Michele Little is a Certified Death Midwife who helps us prepare for the end of this life at Beautiful Dying
Company. Conducting monthly workshops online, called Exit Papers 101, Michele holds our hands as she
helps prepare the essential final paperwork for the dying and the death - the medical directives, the
family tree, the final wishes, funeral arrangements, the memorials and bequests. Michele arrives at this
calling the consummation of her history as a peace maker and life transformationalist, from leading
women's empowerment circles to Shamanic drumming in Ireland. From directing corporate project
management to supporting and honoring First Responders, and children worldwide.
Michele is the producer of the Beautiful Dying Collective Insights that commenced on May 11, 2020
following the COVID-19 pandemic. These daily Insights are an invitation to our community-at-large to
get to know who, what, why, and how our collaborators are sharing next steps leading us to the 2020
Beautiful Dying Expo in November.
Christy Marie survived and thrived despite heartbreak, deaths, divorce, her own cancer
diagnosis and recovery, all while raising her beautiful children to adulthood. She spent 10+
years as an early childhood educator and has now come full circle with a return to college
to study human development and aging. She is currently the co-producer of the annual
Beautiful Dying Expo & Trade Show.
Christy works with clients at all ends of the diagnosis spectrum, from those who have
just received word to families in crisis needing urgent support. The benefits of working with
a Doulagivers® Specialist include reduced stress on the family, increased choices and
quality of life, and support in making your end of life journey one of dignity, pride,
empowerment, and love!
Dr. Karl Steinberg is currently President-Elect of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care
Medicine and is editor emeritus of their news magazine, Caring for the Ages, and an associate editor of
their peer-reviewed journal, JAMDA. He is a past chair and current board member of the Coalition for
Compassionate Care of California. Dr. Steinberg is on the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative
Medicine’s Public Policy Committee, serves as vice president of the National POLST organization, and is
on the National Quality Forum’s standing committee on Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. He has been
an advisor for Beautiful Dying since 2017.
Karl has board certifications in family medicine and in hospice and palliative medicine, and is
certified as a nursing home and hospice medical director in addition to having a certification as a
healthcare ethics consultant.
He enjoys presenting at educational conferences to professional audiences and the public,
and also serves as a consultant and testifying expert witness in civil lawsuits and regulatory matters,
frequently educating reporters and legislators about issues in geriatrics, palliative care and long-term
care. However, up until the COVID pandemic started, Dr. Steinberg was probably best known for taking
his dogs on patient care rounds with him on most days.
Ben Janzen, Dr. Theol., Ph.D., APBCC, Chaplain Bereavement Services Manager-VITAS Healthcare
Ben grew up in Germany. Upon finishing High School, he joined the Franciscan Capuchin Order of the Catholic Church where he enjoyed his education as a Catholic Theologian within the Franciscan tradition. When he received his doctorate in Theology, he became a lecturer at the Franciscan College for Philosophy and Theology in Muenster, Germany. His love for Star Trek and anything SciFi brought him to the USA.
He studied comparative literature at UC Riverside working on the role of Spirituality and Religion in Star Trek and graduated with a Ph.D. in 2006. A year earlier, he had met his now husband Sal and consequently left the Order. Ben has been working with VITAS Healthcare, San Diego, as a Chaplain since 2010. He was trained at VITAS, and he worked as a resident and a team chaplain for five years. In 2015, he took the position of Bereavement Services Manager. In 2018 Ben was certified as a Grief Recovery Method Specialist. Ben and Sal have a dog, Sammy, and they enjoy traveling, cooking, baking and anything having to do with food.
Adam Englund, Esquire, has been in solo practice for over 30 years. He handles transactions in the areas of business entity formation and operation, contracts, intellectual property, including trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights; many aspects of entertainment law and trust and estate planning. In the estate planning arena, in addition to advanced health care directives, power of attorney, real estate transfers and wills, Adam helps individuals and families avoid probate all together by preparing a revocable living trust.
Adam says, “The best bequest is to have your affairs in order”.
Peter J. Gray Consulting, Inc.
Business Consultant, Leadership Training and Development, Accountability Partner and Customized Training Design Working directly with individuals at all levels of organizations; from Executive Leadership, Managers, and Team Members, Peter helps identify learning gaps, training, and coaching opportunities to enhance company culture, productivity, and desired outcomes. Peter's twenty-plus years on the frontline to executive leadership, affords a partnering experience that is insightful, creative, and both personally and professionally meaningful.
Penny Little - Producer and Project Shepherd - author, artist, musician, teacher, event organizer and film director on award winning movies and documentaries. Penny was signed as a singer songwriter to Warner Brothers UK. She has recorded on numerous albums and toured the US, UK, Europe, and Japan with various musical projects. Penny has facilitated creative arts workshops - music, drama, dance, and the arts - for children and adults in Japan, the UK, and the US. Penny's most recent book "Goodbye Yellow Butterfly" explores her grieving process after the death of her husband and musical partner Nik Green who died of cancer on March 13, 2016.
Adam says, “The best bequest is to have your affairs in order”.
Shawn LaValleur Adame
Shawn LaValleur-Adame founded DIY Dying early 2018. She is trained as a Death Doula and Funeral Celebrant. DIY Dying is opening soon (Do It Yourself Dying.) She offers full body green burials both in ground and at sea as well as cremation services. Her mission is to bring back the funeral service to the people and help those dying to die consciously. Death is not to be feared, for it is the last event in one’s life, so talk about it with your loved ones and make it special.
Hugh Wunderman is an industry Veteran with over 30 years experience and has owned his own Boutique Entertainment business since 1980. He is the sole owner of the boutique global Events & Entertainment Company "A Gala Event"- a division of Gala Creative Group International, LTD, based in New York.
Karen Wyatt, MD
Karen Wyatt, MD is the best selling author of the books The Tai of Death and What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from Stories of the Dying, which contains stories of patients she cared for as a hospice doctor and the spiritual lessons she learned from them at the end of their lives. Dr Wyatt also hosts End-of-Life University Podcast, which features conversations with experts in all aspects of end-of-life care. She is widely regarded as a thought-leader in the effort to transform the way we care for our dying in the U.S. In addition, she is valued for her application of spiritual principles to illness and healthcare and teaches that in order to live life fully we mush each overcome our fear of death and embrace the difficulties that life brings us.