Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Marian Head

Marian Head's vision and organizational brilliance made it possible to manifest the historic Soviet-American Citizens' Summits that officials have hailed as turning points in ending cold war stereotypes. (Rama Vernon, President of the Center for International Dialogue, 2005)

Whether facilitating ground-breaking international conferences or leading corporate teams to peak performance, Marian's passion for community-building and her gift for designing collaborative processes has literally changed the world.

A pioneer in business, government and education, Marian has had the opportunity to serve Fortune 500 companies like AT&T and Federal Express, and world leaders such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Vice President Al Gore and President Mikhail Gorbechev. She was honored as one of the top leaders in the training profession by the International Society for Performance and Instruction while at the U.S. Senate as its first Training Director. That same professional association invited her to chair their prestigious international awards committee to select the Outstanding Instructional Program of the year in 1983.

Marian's natural leadership qualities appeared early in her life, right here in Toms River, when she accepted the presidency of her 4-H Club. Moving from Toms River to attend the University of Maryland, she quickly rose to elected leadership levels in the Residence Halls Association and as a trusted student advisor on the Chancellor's Undergraduate Advisory Council. She was honored as the only independent (non-Sorority) woman by the esteemed Junior Women's Diadem. Following her Masters Degree in Educational Technology from Catholic University of America in 1976, Marian gave back to her alma mater by creating and teaching their first graduate level Business Communications course. Later, when she moved to Colorado, she and her husband Glenn initiated and co-chaired the nation's first graduate department of Leadership and Organizational Transformation. Marian founded Marlin Press in 1983, initiating the first "Professional Trainer's Collection" to serve corporate trainers and managers, and to provide a venue for her colleagues' publications. Marlin Press published its first international award-winning book in 1984. Two decades later, she published her own award-winner, Revolutionary Agreements, based on principles that have served hundreds of thousands around the world in living in greater peace with themselves and others.

As a child growing up in the big white farmhouse atop Hilltop Farm on Route 9, Marian reflects on her early wishes. She recalls, "Whether it was 'Star Light, Star Bright...,' or blowing out candles on my childhood birthday cakes, I would always silently ask for 'Peace on Earth.'". This early calling manifests itself in all of Marian's life work, both professional and volunteer. Whether co-managing her own team of 40 professionals, facilitating a board meeting of medical doctors, or addressing a conference of thousands of international delegates, Marian's intention to bring out the best in each unique individual while collaborating toward common goals has produced extraordinary results.

Among her most memorable contributions was serving as Program Coordinator towards the end of the Cold War for two Soviet-American Citizens' Summits, bringing together these former enemies of state to develop personal relationships though working on joint projects of common interest. As a result, thousands of participants birthed hundreds of collaborative projects in 1989 in Washington DC and 1990 in Moscow. During this same period, she had the extraordinary experience of co-creating and facilitating the first Global Forums of Parliamentary and Spiritual Leaders in Oxford and Moscow. The Oxford meeting was widely regarded as the largest gathering of church and state in modern times, bringing together parliamentarians from 80 nations with leaders of the five major religions to collectively address issues of human survival.

Today, Marian applies her compassionate leadership towards transforming society's ailing health care and justice systems, while fostering world peace. As CEO of Head2Wellness, a multi-million dollar home-based business, Marian says that she is "solving the health care crises... one healthy person at a time." In 2004, she rejoined the board of Global Family, a UN NGO for which she served on the founding board in 1986.

Always the pioneer, in 2008 Marian helped to birth a new non-profit, The National Environmental Public Advocates, headed by Robert Martin, EPA Ombudsman to three US Presidents. The NEPA serves communities threatened by toxic contaminants by focusing on educating citizen advocates. One of every four U.S. citizens lives within five miles of an egregious, federally-recognized toxic site. Clearly, Marian is not frightened away by the magnitude of our nation's problems.

Next, she took on the criminal justice system! In 2009, her passion for restorative justice landed her as President of the Board of Teaching Peace, the parent organization for her community's alternative to the penal system. She is proud to report that the Longmont Community Justice Partnership boasts a 4.3% re-arrest rate in 2008 for those offenders who took responsibility to repair the harm they caused to their victims and community. This number is especially meaningful when compared to the national recidivism average for the penal system of nearly 70%. Beyond the statistics is the even more significant human factor: offenders have the opportunity to rebuild relationships, restore their place in and become contributing members of their community. With over two million people in our nation's jails, Marian is passionately supporting her community's model of restorative justice while raising the national awareness of this cost-effective alternative to a penal system that is no longer working.

Ward Flynn, author of The Truth Zone: Building the Truthful Organization from the Bottom Up! (Simon & Schuster) sums up Marian's contributions with a comment about her book, "I am grateful to Marian Head for bringing the Revolutionary Agreements to others, at home, at work, in relationships, among friends, clubs, and wherever two or more are gathered. Marian's personal testimony illustrates the power that is unleashed when we work together for the good of all. Her Revolutionary Agreements have changed lives, transformed businesses, and an improved community... It is an idea whose time has come.

It is our honor to induct Marian Head into the TRHS Hall of Fame for the year 2009.

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