Sincia Liu, Founder & Executive Director

For Sincia, Camp Tuku is the product of a long-lasting dream. Sincia was first introduced to a residential children’s summer camp at the age of 20, when she worked as a waterfront and bunk counselor at Trails End Camp (TEC) during her summer break while attending Rutgers University. She enjoyed the camp experience so much that she returned to TEC for two additional summers. Inspired by the bond and friendship that she built with the kids and the other counselors, Sincia vowed to someday start her own camp. After leading a successful 25-year career as an executive in the staffing and consulting business, she decided that it was time to pursue her other passion.

As someone who believes in the power of meditation and a healthy diet and lifestyle, Sincia’s vision for Camp Tuku combines the benefits of nature with an integrated program that cultivates a healthy mind, body, and heart. Her goal is to create a fun and joyful experience for campers while equipping them with tools that they can use to enrich their lives for years to come.

As a physician, Sincia’s husband, Tim, shares her passion for a healthy and adventurous lifestyle. They reside in Peoria, Arizona with their two children, Arwen and Anderson, their dogs, Sam and Mochi, and Puccini the cat. They can’t wait to embark on the Camp Tuku journey together!

Susan Kaiser Greenland, Mindfulness and Meditation Advisor

Camp Tuku - Susan Kaiser GreenlandSusan is an internationally recognized instructor of mindfulness and meditation to children, teens, and families. She is involved in the design of Camp Tuku’s mindfulness and meditation activities to create a one-of-a-kind experience for our campers.

Susan’s work in the areas of mindfulness and meditation has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and Parents. She speaks widely at prestigious institutions and meditation centers in the United States and abroad. In fact, she helped pioneer activity-based mindfulness for young people and published two leading books titled, “The Mindful Child” and “Mindful Games”. In addition, she has recorded a series of brief guided meditations for grownups entitled Mindful Parent, Mindful Child.

Susan worked as a corporate lawyer from 1988 to 2005 representing the ABC and CBS networks. During that time, she co-founded The Inner Kids Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that taught secular mindfulness in schools and community-based programs in the greater Los Angeles area. Susan was on the clinical team of the Pediatric Pain Clinic at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, co-investigator on several UCLA research studies on the impact of mindfulness in education, and a collaborator on an investigation of mindful eating for children and caregivers. To learn more about mindfulness and meditation practices for children and families, feel free to sign-up for Susan’s newsletter at www.susankaisergreenland.com and follow her on social media.

Paige Niezelski, Program Director

Paige is excited to contribute her skills in camp programming to making Camp Tuku a fun and deeply enriching experience for campers.

Paige graduated from Slippery Rock University with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy in 2013. Since then, Paige has worked in 4 countries teaching and coordinating camp programming. For the last two summers she has served as the Program Director for WorldStrides Global Camps in Shanghai China.

Currently Paige develops and directs enrichment programming for inner city children at the Indochinese American Council and the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania. Paige’s international experience has given her an appreciation for meditation and the spiritual practices that surround it. She is excited about making these practices accessible to children. Her camp experience has also led her to an appreciation of the uniqueness of every child, and the joys of providing them with new and engaging experiences.

When not implementing and designing programming, Paige enjoys meditation, reading, piano and browsing Etsy looking for antique household items.

Rachel Weir, Director of Operations

Rachel holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and recently graduated with a Master of Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. 

 

Rachel’s passion for education first ignited when she served as a Teach for America Corps Member in rural North Carolina, where she taught high school English and Journalism after college. But it wasn’t until living in the frigid (-30 degrees Fahrenheit) northeastern parts of China as a Princeton in Asia Fellow that Rachel realized the important nexus between education and peacebuilding. 

 

Since then, Rachel has managed several after-school programs serving international and at-risk populations and has directed summer camp operations in Shanghai, China. Today, Rachel’s academic and professional interests include effective leadership and management for peace education, cultural exchange, and people-to-people diplomacy. 

 

Rachel is currently based out of Manhattan, NYC, but is frequently in the air en route to visit her partner, Alan, who is stationed in Hawaii. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys searching for affordable flights and traveling on a shoestring. To date, she has traveled to over 35 countries and hopes to one day visit all 195. 

Michelle Seaver, Mindfulness Director

Michelle began meditating while working in organizational psychology in corporate settings to enhance culture, human dynamics and talent development.  As a change management professional she was fascinated by the profound impact of a daily practice in cultivating healthy habits of mind and connecting more deeply with others.

With her husband in 2007 she participated in the Shamatha Project, a multi-million dollar longitudinal study on the physiological, neurological and psychological effects of sustained meditation practice led by B. Alan Wallace in collaboration with scientists from all over the world.  Deeply inspired by the benefits of the practice they continued in full-time retreat for eighteen months.  She then held the position of Director of Mindfulness and Social and Emotional Learning at United World College Thailand, an International Baccalaureate school.  She also served as a teaching assistant for leading meditation teacher and scholar, B. Alan Wallace. In 2014, she co-founded a non-profit, the Community Mindfulness Project, whose mission is to offer a variety of mindfulness and meditation practices to support physical, psychological, emotional and social well-being. She is trained as a teacher in Cultivating Emotional Balance, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Inner Kids and .B Training for children.  She is currently pursuing a clinical degree in marriage and family therapy and aspires to integrate mindfulness into her practice.

Michelle lives in New Canaan, CT and is a proud of mom of twin daughters, Sophie and Ella.  Some of her favorite activities include running, hiking, tennis, surfing and riding horses on the beach.

Jess Leiter – Director of Innovations & Sustainability

Jessica was born in North Dakota, grew up in Northeast Ohio, and moved to Arizona after graduating college with a degree in education. While in college, she volunteered as a counselor for Youth for Christ. This experience fostered a desire to work with young people.

Jessica has been an educator for 13 years and has loved teaching science. Throughout her career, she facilitated labs and STEM activities that encouraged hands-on learning, cooperative collaboration, and problem solving. She also organized STEM Days on her campus for the students in 1st-8th grade. In 2020, she co-coached the Vistancia Elementary Odyssey of The Mind team.

As an educator, Jessica attended and facilitated lessons at camp with the fifth grade team at Friendly Pines in Prescott. She loved this experience, particularly watching the students become more independent and discover new areas of strength and confidence.

She lives in Peoria, Arizona &  loves Mexican food, riding bikes on sunny days, and traveling with her husband and two daughters. She’s very excited to see what creative and innovative solutions the campers will think up this summer!

Kelly Johnson – Director of Wellness and Nutrition

Kelly is a Midwest native, born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. She graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a major in Marketing and minor in Decision Sciences (statistics). In her 12 years of corporate employment, she worked in the Consumer Packaged Goods and Homebuilding industries using data to make informed sales and marketing decisions.
Kelly loves children and prior to having her own, she volunteered for Junior Achievement, a program in which professionals go into the classroom to teach a specified curriculum and share examples of real life application and experience.
After relocating to Arizona and starting a family, Kelly developed a newfound love of cooking and making healthy food choices. This started with making her first child’s food
from scratch with organic produce. While the family does enjoy fast food and sugar on
occasion, many discussions are had about choosing nutritious options to nourish our
bodies to grow strong and stay healthy.

Lori Cohen-Lindstrom, Waterfront Director

Lori Cohen-Lindstrom grew up on the beaches of Southern California and has spent most of her life in the water. This self-proclaimed “fish” (and coincidentally, a Pisces!) enjoys a wide variety of water sports, from surfing and paddle boarding to kayaking and racing WetBikes along the coastline of Long Beach.

After moving to Phoenix, cultivating a career in architecture and design, and having her daughter, Lori decided it was time to get back into the water and follow another dream: launching a business teaching swim to children, adults, and individuals with special needs. For a few years, Lori also ran a swim camp at a community center and the local country club, which offered a fantastic opportunity for large groups of kids to learn how to safely play in the water and master swimming techniques. Lori is CPR and lifeguard-certified, and continues to provide lifeguarding services for large events and home parties. She loves sharing her knowledge of water safety with swimmers young and old, and looks forward to channeling her passion for all things aquatic into her role as Waterfront Director at Camp Tuku.

When not in the water, Lori enjoys photography, a variety of outdoor activities, advocating for her aging mother, playing sports with her daughter (who, under Lori’s instruction, has been swimming competitively since the age of three), and playing with their young Beagle, Bailey.

Anna Ratiu – Director of Arts and Crafts

Born in Taiwan and raised in both Phoenix, AZ and Irvine, CA, Anna has been exposed to different cultures and esthetics. Anna graduated from California State University Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Education degree.

While in school, Anna served as the University’s Director of Volunteer Services and spearheaded the implementation of project THINK (Teaching Helping Instructing Kids) together with her school.  She has taught high school Science and Physical Education in Phoenix before becoming a mom.

Anna is currently a Real Estate Broker in the Northwest Valley and serves as a mortgage compliance consultant for over twenty mortgage lenders in the Valley.

Throughout her childhood, she enjoyed drawing, volunteering and exploring of any kind.  During her free time, Anna loves spending time with her family, sewing, singing, crafting, shopping and traveling to new places.  She is honored to explore new sustainable crafts together with the campers and it is her hope they will bring home new ideas to share with others.

Andrea Moore, Director of Land Sports

Andrea graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2003 with a B.A. in Special Education and in 2006 from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a M.ed. in Special Education. Throughout her career, Andrea has worked with children of all ability levels and knows how to differentiate her teaching to meet the needs of all children.

Andrea has over 13 years of teaching experience, including teaching students with severe/profound disabilities, children with autism, and children with learning disabilities. Andrea is involved in several committees within her school. She is part of the leadership team for her school, the lighthouse team, and was recently selected for a leadership apprenticeship. She has also coached for several years, coaching her son’s soccer and baseball teams.

As a child, Andrea loved her experiences at camp. She went on to work at several day camps as a young adult and spent a summer in Maryland working at Camp Accomplish as a counselor for children with and without special needs.
In her free time, Andrea enjoys spending time with her family, running, and exercising. She is an avid Chicago sports fan and enjoys watching the Chicago Cubs and Bears.

Andrea resides in Peoria, Arizona with her husband, Mike, two sons, Ashton and Rylan, and their cat, Rizzo. As a family, they enjoy traveling, hiking, swimming, and spending time together.

Tami Carda, Camp Photographer / Nature Photography Instructor

Tami has spent the last 18 years creating a business that supports her passions: nature, photography and connecting with people.  She graduated with a degree in photography from Colorado Mountain College in 2002 and started NVS Photography.  Her work takes her on many adventures.  She has photographed families and weddings in over 10 states and loves that her job keeps her outdoors and on the go.

Tami loves to share her passion for spending time outdoors with her family.  Their favorite places to visit are the ocean, the Sequoias and the lakes in MN where they spend the summer with their midwest family.

She founded the Kindness Club in Vistancia when a writing assignment her son submitted inspired her to make a difference in her community.  The club put in a Monarch Habitat garden at the local elementary school and focuses on creating healthy and happy bodies and minds- and of course, spreading KINDNESS.

Tami enjoys yoga, long walks, sitting in the sun with a cup of tea and spending time with her family.  Her husband Josh is a teacher and their 2 kids ages 6 and 11 love nature, learning and animals as much as their mom.  The family isn’t complete without mentioning their pups Luna and Trooper and their sweet rescued Desert Tortoise, Yeti.

Amy Reynolds, Healthcare Director

After receiving her BSN and Masters in Nursing Science and Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Amy has been practicing pediatric nursing for over 15 years, with an emphasis in neonatal intensive care. She is currently a NICU Certified Case Manager who serves as a professional advocate for patients and families with critically ill babies and children across the U.S. Her passion for pediatrics and caring for the most vulnerable has left her very humble and grateful for her blessings.

 

Born and raised here in sunny Arizona, Amy now resides in Peoria with her husband, Doc, two boys, Owen and Hudson, and their Goldendoodle, Maili. Whether they are boating on the lake, going for a nice hike, or simply curled up on the couch watching a good movie, Amy’s heart is most content when she is spending time with her family. She is also an avid traveler and enjoys learning about new cultures, which leads her to visit many different countries around the world. Amy is excited to be your health advocate and share her love for the great outdoors, all while staying safe and healthy at Camp Tuku!

Timothy Rider, MD., Camp Physician

After earning his Doctor of Medicine degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, Dr. Tim has been practicing family medicine for over 25 years. He is a board-certified physician in the State of Arizona, where he has been practicing at Abrazo Medical Group in Peoria since he and his family moved back to the Valley from New Jersey. Dr. Tim cares for patients of all ages, providing a range of primary healthcare services and treating a variety of conditions, from seasonal illnesses to chronic diseases.

Dr. Tim works closely with Amy, our Healthcare Director, and the leadership team at Camp Tuku to develop health and safety protocols to ensure that our campers and staff stay safe and healthy before and during camp. 

When he’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Tim enjoys traveling, biking, hiking, and paddle boarding with his family. He is passionate about healthy eating, and is naturally curious about space and science. On the weekends, you’ll often find him curled up enjoying sci-fi movies and documentaries with his children. Dr. Tim shares Sincia’s passion for camp and is excited to meet the campers!

Dianna Stewart, Director of Marketing

Dianna was born in Bremerton, Washington, grew up in Rota, Spain and now lives in Peoria, Arizona with her husband, Lee and three children, LeAndrew, Mariah and Lincoln.

She grew up camping – spending two summers camping across the United States as well as exploring Europe through the lens of a camper for 4 summers.

After college, she jumpstarted her social media career by helping small businesses build their presence and reach more people. As social media marketing grew, she found herself running communities for large companies including Cabela’s, Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Universal Technical Institute and Pit Boss Grills. She always believed the biggest beneficiary of social media marketing was small business and launched her own agency, Steward Strategies, in February 2020 to help small businesses prosper during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dianna has spent over a year helping drive awareness and enrollments through social media marketing for Camp Tuku and is a huge advocate for the program’s mission. Her two eldest children attended Camp Tuku’s virtual program in Summer 2020 and witnessed how life changing this was for both of them. She’s excited to capture special memories of campers as well as share stories with people who may consider Camp Tuku in the future!

Dianna enjoys the outdoors, family adventures, fishing, a hot cup of coffee and living in Arizona!