Ron Hering Award – 2014

Volker Ellspermann

‘weißer Büffel
Deutschsprachige Europa

“’Ich erschaffe eine Welt aus Liebe und Wohlstand indem ich mich für schwache einsetze.”  

Ich fördere und unterstütze andere. Zum Beispiel durch Mentorship in MKP und im privaten Umfeld, Königsinitiation und Hohe Magie sind hierfür gute Beispiele, es ist also Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe.

Shannon Lee Wyman Kenevan

Dragonfly with Playful Cub and
F*cking Amazing Little Ant
Wisconsin USA

“By creating safe space, I elevate people and transform communities.”  

Shannon helped develop the Appleton (WI) “Voices of Men” project, working to end domestic violence and sexual assault by enlisting non-violent men to step up and speak out. In 2007, two domestic abuse and sexual assault agencies sponsored a “Men’s Summit” that led to the formation of “Fox Valley Voices of Men.”  Shannon helped lead an intensive community-wide discussion about the causes of sexual assault and domestic violence. Shannon has served as President of Voices of Men from 2010-2014, and now in 2015 will serve as Voices of Men’s first paid staff. – 2014 Voices of Men highlights

Don Weseman

Dancing Heron
St Louis USA

“I empower loving by loving and empowering.”  

Don is an experienced Social Worker, specializing in working with men with a history of violent behavior, battering or domestic violence, and other anger issues. Don is active in the St Louis Community teaching, counseling, mentoring and serving as Elder and ceremony leader. 

Jean Wentzel

Roti Katz
Europe Francophone

“I create a world of service and reason by asserting my conviction.”  

Jean Wentzel was born in Altkirch, land of Alsace. He is now 80 years old, and for 50 years JW has helped many people to stay in the land of Alsace. He has written papers, private or official, and translated in german or in french. JW has kept poor people busy and he was appointed for guardianship. After the 2nd war, he worked in a bank, but he prefered interacting with people over money and his customers would ask him for advice about all their life problems. One time he rescued his neighbour’s family from an house fire.

Dave Tuscany

Courageous Lion
Central Great Lakes USA

“I create a world of transformation by modeling, mentoring, and leading others through their own unique unfolding.” 

Dave is a certified co-leader in MKP, a father of four, and is finally at a place in his life where his work isn’t so hard – and actually fuels his life. He enjoys more than ever simply connecting with others. His work is to shift from realizing that he is loved for who he is, not necessarily what he does. He uses “No” and “Yes” appropriately, usually with a smile.

Douglas Ryder

Medicine Bear
Greater Carolinas USA

“To heal the world by healing hearts.”  

A long-time activist for peace and justice, Doug served for more than 30 years as a social worker and psychotherapist, and holds a special interest in advocating for men’s mental health, addiction recovery, and veterans issues. He served as president of the Rochester (NY) Chapter of Veterans for Peace (VFP), a global organization of veterans and allies working to end our culture of militarism while healing the wounds of war. Upon his retirement and relocation to North Carolina, Doug was elected president of the Eisenhower Chapter (Triangle Region) of VFP. 

Nathan Roberts

Ancient Turtle
UK / Republic of Ireland

“I create places of light for people to discover and be themselves.”  

Nathan is the co-founder and Chief Executive of A Band of Brothers, a charity established by men committed to positive social change through personal growth and community building. A Band of Brothers supports deeply wounded younger men, mostly young offenders looking for rehabilitation, to shift their life path towards something that is more personally their truth and is based on local men volunteering their time and love to this cause. 


Joseph E. Pegues, Jr.

Memphis USA

“To teach men to love and not be afraid to show their feelings.”  

Joseph serves as a mentor to young men and to men in the recovery community, giving back what was given to him. Joseph has been married for 42 years, has three children and 5 grandchildren. He has been employed by the U S Postal Service for 36 years as a Labor Relations Specialist.  The work he has done in MKP has allowed him to live without having to mask his feelings and he tries to share that with others every day.

Christian Pedersen

Butterfly Man
Northern California USA

“I create a world of Full Potential love & relationships by modeling and teaching a better way!”  

Christian and his wife Sonika Tinker have given over 30 years combined to coaching and leading seminars, helping thousands of couples and singles to dramatically improve their relationships. Christian is a Certified Life Coach, Certified Mediator, ManKind Project graduate and author, and together with Sonika he teaches men and women how to do relationships in a new way that works to produce intimacy, smooth communication, richer sex, and Full Potential Love.

Steve Murphy

Black Dog
Arizona USA

“I create community by showing up awake and focused on living a life of passion, truth and love. I add value to myself, my family and all those in the village.”  

After years of active service to the MKP community, Steve shifted his efforts into starting a Boys to Men Center in the Greater Phoenix area.  In the past 14 months, he and the Phoenix BtM team have supported 9 boys in their ROPAW and new path to manhood. As part of the mission to add Value to all in the village, he works 2 other “Change” organizations in the Phoenix area that offer empowerment support to girls and boys. 

John Mix

Colorful Heron
Wisconsin USA

“I create a world of abundant love and beauty through my art, writing, chaplaincy, and art process workshops.”  

John is Chaplain at the Dane County Jail, where he counsels men in crisis. As an artist, he has brought art-making into the jail as a means of personal healing. He has testified in public hearings about the School-to-Prison pipeline, against the abuse of solitary confinement in Wisconsin prisons, and the huge racial disparity in who is sent to prison in our state.  He is one of the founders of our local inter-faith social action group MOSES which seeks to reform the criminal justice system in Wisconsin.


Ipswa Mescackanis

Grandpa Coyote
Northwest USA

“As a grandfather among grandfathers, I co-create alternative consciousness by living courageousness and inspiring others.”  

Ipswa embodies the principles and teachings of the ancestral lineage both Cree Nēhilawē and Gaelic Ri AlbuiArd Cànanan Goidhealach. His people know him as Chief of Generosity, Justice, Resourcefulness and Perseverance.

Benjamin Maurer

King Cobra
Indiana USA

“I create a safe and secure world by developing relationships, setting boundaries, and living life authentically.”  

Ben has been blessed to work with several young adults with a variety of physical and mental impairments as an instructional assistant, direct care staff member, and teacher.  We honor him for his dedication to working with youth with significant psychological, cognitive, and physical impairments to improve their quality of life and relationships. He is reminded every day that everyone needs a safe secure environment to be nurtured and supported towards their personal growth. 

Steven Martin

Healthy Gorilla
Mid Atlantic USA

“As a Man among Men I protect the boys and men of our community by modeling humbleness.”  

Since 2010 Steve has successfully created and currently maintains five local site-based Boys To Men mentoring programs that run weekly during the school year.  Steve has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the BTMVA program and to the boys and their families. Steve maintains nearly 15 active mentors, all on a volunteer basis. Currently the BTMVA organization serves 50 boys in the communities of Chesterfield, City of Richmond, Henrico and Prince George Counties. 

James (Jim) Lounsbury

Servant Snake
Florida USA

“I create a just and peaceful world by listening, teaching, facilitating, and not giving up.”  

Jim worked for 25 years in public service helping to drive environmental policy changes in the US and Europe.  In 1999 he changed careers to mental health counseling and has worked with several thousand individuals and families to improve their lives. He is on a team that provides crisis grief and trauma counseling in his county, and is on the emergency response team in his local community.  He also lends funding to friends and family trying to set up small businesses, including providing free housing to a single mother of 8 in support of her building a career and independence.

Nicolas Lopez

Wide Eyed Panther
San Diego USA

“I co-create a world of confidence, compassion, and love, through self care and and support of others.”  

Nicolas Lopez is constantly looking for ways to give assistance or aid to others. When an eight-year-old boy crashed into his truck, Nicolas repaired the boy’s brakes and sent him on his way. He installed cameras and motion lights for a single mother to help secure her home. Nicolas has been in recovery for 23 years, is a single father of one adult daughter, and the eldest brother of eight children. 

Michael Lee

Magnificent Loving Lion
Los Angeles USA

“I create a safe container for healing through my courageous transparency and vulnerability.”  

Michael is a facilitator for the Clare Foundation, has organized fundraising for the American Diabetes Association, has created clothing / mock interview programs for people in transition, and brings 3 motivational speakers every month to Camp Gonzalez Juvenile Detention Center. 

David Kuhn

Caribbean Sea Otter
Chicago USA

“To be an ambassador from my world of the blind and visually impaired to the world of the fully sighted. To demonstrate patience and understanding with a sense of humor to that world that just cannot fully know mine, and often fears it.”  

David Kuhn, a 62-year-old blind grandfather of four, is running 11,000 miles around the perimeter states of the USA to raise awareness and fund for his 12 year old granddaughter, Kylie, who has cystic fibrosis. His epic journey requires sighted running/walking guides, and he is actively recruiting support for his cause and the 1 in 29 people who carry the cystic fibrosis gene.

Rick Huttner

Wise Old Owl
New Mexico USA

“My mission is to create a better world by listening to and acknowledging others.” 

Through his personal work on his NWTA and in his I-Group Rick found his courage and mission to publicly share his life’s journey which has included sexual abuse, healing, and transformation.  Rick inspires others to seek the healing and transformation they desire through his story.

Kevin Hauber

Santa Barbara USA

“I co-create a world of healing and wholeness by practicing compassion and unconditional love.”  

Kevin Hauber is founder of and past president of SLO Green Build. As a leader of the Green Building Alliance, and as the head of a newly formed “Green Division” of a significant regional Mortgage Banker, Kevin is changing the shape and the face of San Luis Obispo County. He routinely gives of his time to feed the homeless, provides advice and help to his college fraternity and to the local Kiwanis Club, offers free Yoga workshops and free WATSU massages every Friday, and speaks at his beloved Unity Church on matters of great importance to the entire San Luis Obispo community. 

Rex Hagon

Courageous Lion
Toronto Canada

“I create a world of realized potential by loving and supporting myself and others unconditionally.”  

Volunteerism is often doing what others are not . Rex epitomizes that in his life through his good heart and selfless desire to make the world a better place.  He has served for 11 years on the ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) Board, and was presented with the Leslie Yeo Award for Volunteerism in 2013 by ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society for his 40+ year career.

Phillip Garber

Loving Lion
Philadelphia USA

“I co-create a world of unity by loving and accepting myself and all others.”  

Phillip is a leader in Suicide Anonymous (SA), and the Assistant Chairperson of the Suicide Anonymous World Service Committee (SAWSC), Treasurer and acting Secretary of SAWSC, and the Treasurer of all 3 NJ Meetings. He promotes SA whenever and wherever he can, constantly supporting people with suicidal issues. He, along with his wife, Janet, facilitates a number of mental health and suicide awareness workshops at mental illness drop-in Centers throughout the Delaware Valley. They are also on the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services Suicide Prevention Committee’s Advisory Council.


Brian Forestell

Awakened Grizzly
Alberta Canada

“I awaken my true nature and the nature of the people around me recognizing that my true nature is goodness and love and that I share this identical nature with each man that I meet.”  

Every day Brian brings his mission into his office and home.  He has involved himself in many volunteer endeavors in his small town and sat on the Municipal Planning Committee as a volunteer member of the community for many years. Recognizing that he is responsible for the consequences of his actions, he has recreated his legal practice to avoid causing suffering to his legal clients and those around them.

Jeff Fitts

Runnin’ Turtle
Upstate New York USA

“I help boys and girls grow into powerful men and women by creating emotionally healthy families.”

Jeff Fitts was a founding member of Boys To Men of Upstate New York.  Active from 2005–2010, he served as Administrator, Registrar, and Mentor. Locally, 54 mentors were trained by recalling their own Teenage Fire, 35 boys and teens became Young Ravens or Journeymen in 3 weekends modeled after NWTA, and all were supported in bi-monthly gatherings.  Jeff continues to mentor a 17-year-old inner-city teen. He recently moved into his 90-year-old father’s home after his father suffered a stroke, along with his wife Sarah and her 86-year-old mother; both of whom would otherwise require institutional care. 

Jim Finley

King Lion
Kansas City USA

“I create a loving world at peace through nurturing, understanding, growth and service.”

Jim Finley has been involved for thirty years in 12-step programs. He meets twice a week and has sponsored 4 individuals. Has spoken at treatment centers about Alcoholics Anonymous and the benefits of the organization and work. Now more active in the Home Owners Association Landscape committee, Jim loves raising roses and is active in Tree Keepers. Jim has been very involved with MKP Elders from 2003 – 2013, holding national positions on boards and providing support to enhance the work and role of Elders in the organization and community.

Robert Dever

Radiant Raven
Kentucky USA

“I create a world where my actions match my words, and I realize the impact of my judgments and statements on others.”

Robert has been in recovery for fourteen years, which he says started him on a journey towards awareness of how he could give, and champion the causes of those less fortunate than himself.  He is a board member of two rehabilitation houses in Louisville for men and women returning to society through the Department of Corrections, or right off the streets. They provide services to alcoholics and drug addicts who are homeless and in need of mental health services.   He also donates his time working with several blind individuals, helping them to maintain an independent lifestyle. 

Larry Cotton

Wolf Dog
New England USA

“I build bridges from heart to heart through compassionate presence.”

Larry Cotton, COO of Jericho Circle Project, brings humility, perseverance, and authenticity to weekly circles and weekend Intensives inside prison. His presence has sustained heart-centered growth of 400 inmates.

Rick Brown

Fiercely Loving Brown Bear
Philadelphia, USA

“I create a world of peace, equality, and freedom by modeling a committed dedication of service to others.”

Rick’s support for the local community and his commitment and service to the men and women in spiritually-based and recovery programs is well recognized on the east end of Long Island as well as throughout Suffolk County. He has provided support and healing throughout the region. His willingness to serve all is without cultural boundaries, providing guidance and support for people to find and continue on their life’s path. He unselfishly devotes his personal time to a Help Hotline designed to help people in need throughout Suffolk County. 

Michael Bonahan

Prince Koa
Hawaii USA

“I co-create a world where everyone is valued and loved – through mentoring and supporting Rites of Passage.”

Since co-founding Boys to Men in Hawaii, Michael has trained nearly 70 mentors, started J-Groups in Hawaii public schools, and raised awareness and funds to mentor boys from the most challenged environments.  Recently, Michael has been tapped by the founders of Boys to Men to take the program national in 2015. Michael currently works closely with the ManKind Project, Warrior Films, and Boys to Men to support those in need of mentorship and initiation. 

Ron Berezan

White Bear
British Columbia Canada

“I nurture wild, green communities by releasing the wild within.”

Ron is transforming the world through practicing and teaching ways of growing food that are more in keeping with nature’s wild ways. Working both locally and abroad Ron actively engages community in the most profound way possible – from the ground up. Ron excels as a community organizer and leader. Perhaps most notably, Ron has the ability to foster care, compassion and empowerment in lasting ways by leaving ownership with the communities he builds. Ron full-heartedly & from the roots up serves his home community of Powell River and MKP-BC alike. All are uplifted by Ron’s positivity, enthusiasm and zest for life. 


David Bauerly

Central Plains USA

“To create a world in which all men know how incredibly magnificent they are through support, coaching, service, and giving of my time.”

David is the founding father of MKP in Sioux City, Siouxland and Central Plains. He started the first NA meeting in Siouxland in Oct 1976 (2nd meeting in Iowa), started meetings in several surrounding communities, and served as president of the board for the Siouxland Council on Alcoholism 1978-80. In 1989, as executive director, he filmed a 12 week PBS series on sexual addiction with Dr. Patrick Carnes in Sioux City. He has been working with addicted and disruptive physicians for 20 years doing workshops and coaching.

Willie Baronet

Glorious Cheetah
South Central USA

“I create a safe, vibrant and joyful world by listening, encouraging and modeling fierce self-expression.”

Willie has been buying and collecting homeless signs since 1993 as part of a long-term art project titled “We Are All Homeless”. In 2014, he began a 31-day, cross-country trip to buy signs in 24 cities, and began filming a documentary about the process. This project has been featured in dozens of international and local media, including Yahoo! News, NPR-All Things Considered, The Huffington Post and Al Jazeera America. The project is about raising awareness and compassion for the homeless. 

Share This