Karen Voepel is the founder of “Yoga at the Ranch” specializing in yoga instruction, self-care retreats, sleep dysfunction and test anxiety. Her primary business has been as a court reporter where she discovered yoga as a method of healing repetitive injuries. For more information, please go to www.yogaattheranch.info Karen is certified as a Yoga instructor, Retreat coach and Family Mediator. In 2003, she released a 20-minute Yoga CD focusing on neck and back pain. She has spoken to various organizations on the healing effects of yoga for repetitive stress injuries. Karen and her sister-in-law, Tonya Voepel, founded "Share the Spirit Foundation" in 2003. All proceeds from Karen’s Yoga CD go to Share the Spirit Foundation. “We enjoy giving 100% of the monies raised to those in need,” comments Karen. Together, they have raised thousands of dollars to help needy people nationwide.
Tonya Voepel is a graphic designer and owns Voepel Publication Services, Inc. in Springfield, Illinois. She spent many years working as a graphic designer and art director before starting her own business in 1992. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Tonya enjoys traveling with her family and has had the opportunity to attend several yoga retreats hosted by Karen Voepel, her sister-in-law and co-founder of Share the Spirit Foundation. She plans to continue the tradition of giving and sharing as she helps educate her daughter and the younger generation to "keep the spirit alive."
Susan Portner has been an RN for more than 40 years, focusing on maternal and child health. She has worked with teens at risk for suicide and drug abuse, and is currently employed by Live Well of Colorado as a School Wellness Coordinator. She educates the youth in rural schools and communities to increase physical activity and make healthier meal selections to prevent childhood obesity. In 2010 Susan traveled to Ghana, Africa on a mission trip. There she assisted in a local clinic and worked with mothers in the outlying villages to promote healthy pregnancies and educate families about disease prevention. Susan holds a B.A. in Philosophy, with a minor in Art. She is also a Certified Children’s Yoga teacher. Susan has been married to her husband, an OB/Gyn, for 34 years and they have seven children. She is constantly looking for ways to improve the life for children in need.
Karen Blankenship has been an Association Administrator for the past 30 years. She is currently retired but keeps very busy with her family. She is the mother of three adult children and has been married to Dale for 32 years. She is the ultimate golf widow in the summer months. She and her family have been host family to over 15 students over the past 20 years through the Sister Cities program and International Exchange. She also has coordinated placement of international students. This has been the Blankenship’s way of offering a safe home for international students who live with families during the nine-month school year while becoming culturally orientated to the U.S. She has also been involved in her Church Sunday School over the past 27 years. Karen became involved with Share the Spirit by sponsoring and volunteering for numerous events, especially Fashion Share 201l and 2012 in Springfield, Illinois.