How Discovering My Purpose Came To Be

Learn about how Laura Garrison-Brook's life path led her to create Discovering My Purpose, a charitable organization focused on helping people live happier, more meaningful lives

Discovering My Purpose is a gathering of volunteer leaders, teachers and staff who believe in the transformational power of purpose. We are a 501(c)3 GuideStar Gold Statuscharitable organization with Gold Status on GuideStar.

Board of

Discovering My Purpose has a working and giving Board. They are a fundamental part of our success.
Christine Walsh

Christine Walsh serves as Discovering My Purpose's chair. Walsh is founder of Smart Connector where she helps connect professionals to have meaningful conversations and peer-to-peer learning. Walsh assesses professional development needs and manages a team of volunteer leaders to provide learning opportunities. Walsh studied International Business at Georgia State University.

Fun Facts: Walsh grew up in Antwerp, Belgium and speaks Dutch fluently. She is an avid gardener, proud science geek and book lover. She has three very tall teenage boys and three clever cats to fill her days with fun.

Rob Bales

Robert Bales serves on Discovering My Purpose's board as treasurer. Bales is CFO of an emerging big data software company while also launching a cloud-based services firm that provides business support services for small and midsize nonprofits at a cost effective price. Robert Bales has a life long passion for serving nonprofits as a volunteer, board member and consultant. Bales graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with Bachelors and Masters of Accounting degrees.

Fun Facts: Robert is exceptionally proud of this 3 kids, the oldest of which identified and followed her purpose of working with special need children as a teenager and is currently a special needs teacher. His middle son is currently in college and Bales spends most of his free time now keeping up with his youngest daughter’s passion for volleyball and basketball. He is happily married to his wife of 27 years whom he first “dated” in 3rd grade.


Julie Phillips is the Managing Editor for PaperClip Communications, a higher ed and K-12 publisher. After starting her career working on college campuses within student life, she now writes, edits and develops products for the folks doing this important work. She strives to help young people and those supporting them have the most positive experiences possible. Julie graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelors in Communication Studies and from Western Illinois U. with a Masters in College Student Personnel.

Fun Facts: Julie loves to learn, contribute, connect with people and let her creative side out to play. She does improv (badly!) with a good gaggle of folks, produces community theater musicals, freelances on interesting projects, grows lovely flowers, and is lucky to have good friends and family in her world. And, yes, she loves puns and Muppets – proudly!

Lance Ritchlin

Lance Ritchlin is owner of R-Star Productions, Inc., a Colorado firm specializing in content creation and strategies for businesses and nonprofits. He spent 20 years in nonprofit management and content development, building on an early career as a newspaper reporter and editor. He studied journalism at the University of Northern Colorado.

Fun facts: Lance is a lifelong "dabbler," who has played in various bands, produced an independent film, and is currently writing a novel.

Laura Garrison-Brook

Laura Garrison-Brook is CEO and founder of Discovering My Purpose. Garrison-Brook has worked in the nonprofit space for over 20 years, originally focusing on international relations, then later community development. Garrison-Brook has seen how purpose can make a difference in the lives of youth and believes that this is one of the most effective change agents that we have at our disposal. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies (summa cum laude) from University at Albany and the Certificate in Positive Psychology from the Whole Being Institute.

Fun Facts: Laura is the proud mom of two fabulous sons, wife of one great guy and owner of way too many pets. She is a yoga teacher, part owner of three bagel restaurants, and has lived in the South of France and Southern Japan.

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