“In Good Company with Hugh Byrne”


Our podcast is hosted by mindfulness expert and “The Here and Now Habit” author, Hugh Byrne, PhD. In this series we explore the power of mindfulness and how to apply this fundamental practice in day to day living – from increasing focus, productivity and creativity in the workplace to enhancing the quality of personal relationships, breaking bad habits, building resilience, and achieving a greater sense of well being. Hugh will be interviewing entrepreneurial and inspiring guests along the way, discussing how they have cultivated mindfulness into their lives, the impact it has had, and sharing the challenges and successes of their journey.

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Episode 1 – How To Navigate The Entrepreneurial “Valley Of Death” with David Hinson

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David Hinson – President of Brookland Capital Partners, a financial advisory company that focuses on merger & acquisition and foreign direct investment transactions into the U.S. small and medium-sized corporate sector. Prior to launching this company, David served as a Presidential appointee in the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama (2009 – 2014). In his capacity, he served as Senior Advisor to the Administration on the U.S. minority business community and on the senior staff of the Secretary of Commerce as National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), representing nearly six million businesses and $1 trillion in annual output to the U.S. economy. Under his leadership, MBDA achieved the highest 5-year performance in the 45-year history of the Agency; assisting minority-owned firms in obtaining over $19 billion in contracts and capital, creating and saving over 60,000 jobs and increasing Agency Return on Investment (ROI) from 59x to 175x. This performance was achieved during the worst U.S. economic period since the Great Depression and in a reduced budget environment. Further, David launched the “first of its type” specialty business centers in the areas of Federal Procurement, Health Care Technology, and International Business. He established the first Secretary’s Advisory Board on Minority Business Enterprises since 1970 and launched the Australia Business Development Initiative, an initiative designed to rapidly expand exports of minority-owned firms. David served as a member of the White House Business Council, and on the Department of Commerce China and Haitian taskforces. David represented the Obama Administration on numerous trade delegations and meetings with foreign leaders in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Episode 2 – The Benefits Of A Mindful Practice And Why It Matters with Daniel Turissini

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Daniel Turissini – Founder and CEO, recharj® – The premier DC studio offers a variety of meditation traditions in class format for all levels as well as 25-minute power nap sessions. In addition to classes, recharj® offers private one-on-one instruction, self-guided digital content, as well as workshops and corporate mindfulness programs to provide clients with intensive practice

Episode 3 – Creating Life Balance to Achieve Success with Michael Barnes

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Michael C. Barnes – Managing partner of DCBA Law & Policy , a nationally recognized law and policy firm. Mr. Barnes oversees the lawyers in the firm and advises clients on matters of corporate responsibility, public policy, and regulatory compliance in health care and drug safety. Mr. Barnes is a founder of the not-for-profit Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence and
has been a member of the advisory board for the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit since 2012. He is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report and provides analysis for TV networks including CNBC, CNN, FOX Business, FOX News, and MSNBC. Mr. Barnes previously served as confidential counsel in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Episode 4 – The Journey Within – Embracing Change to Cultivate Resilience with Pete Kornmeier

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Peter Kornmeier – Founder and CEO, Spark Expeditions . Pete has traveled to over forty-five countries and led trips on six different continents. Spark Expeditions is dedicated to providing meaningful experiences for people. Pete was featured as a leader in Alaska on MTV Made: Extreme Survivalists. His favorite traveling experiences were volunteering for two months at the
Tibetan Refugee Assistance Center in India and backpacking for fourteen days through remote areas of Wrangell St. Elias National Park in Alaska. Pete’s strongest attribute is his ability to pack enough snacks for a trip.

Episode 5 – Harnessing the Power of Perspective to Create a New Paradigm with Martin Mayorga

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Martin Mayorga – Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, to a Nicaraguan father and a Peruvian mother. Soon after, his family moved to Managua,Nicaragua during the tumultuous times of the Nicaraguan revolution.

Growing up in Nicaragua, Martin spent time traveling to the regions of Matagalpa and Esteli, where his father would take him to visit friends who grew coffee, tobacco, and other agricultural products. There, Martin saw first-hand the tremendous efforts taken by small farmers to produce
products that would sell for 20 to 100 times more in value than paid to the small farmers.

After leaving Nicaragua for Costa Rica and Peru, the Mayorga family arrived to the United States where Martin assimilated into the American culture. He did not return to Latin America for 7 years until he was 19 and went to Nicaragua to celebrate the first democratic government in some time. During that visit, Martin was struck even more by the stark gap in income between farmers and those who sell and distribute their products in the United States. He decided to leverage the opportunities given to him in the United States to re-engage in Latin America and support small farmers.

Through the last 20+ years in business, Martin has evolved his focus to not just supporting small farmers, but to also giving them opportunities to be
better world citizens by promoting organic farming practices and supporting their communities’ efforts to educate their children.

Mayorga Organics now employs 80 individuals through 5 countries. The company distributes coffee and chia across the United States and works with cooperatives that have an aggregate membership of over 3,000 small farmers. Martin oversees operations of the company’s manufacturing facility in Rockville, MD as well as the company’s sales efforts in the US and development efforts in Latin America.

On his spare time, Martin likes to hike, go camping, travel, and be with his two kids.

Episode 6 – Investing In Community To Shift Awareness with Maryam Ovissi

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Maryam Ovissi – Believes, “Yoga is the most powerful system that gives power back to the individual to find their freedom, moving peaceful from the inside with awareness and consciousness!”

Maryam has the honor to be the Founder & CEO/COO of Beloved Yoga & Wellness, Inc. Beloved Yoga is located in Reston and Great Falls, Virginia and has been sharing the intelligent practice of Yoga since 2006. Beloved Yoga has been a powerful nucleus in the Northern Virginia region organizing one of the largest yoga festivals in the area: Love Your Body Yoga Festival ~ at the Reston Town Center every June for the last 10 years, drawing over 5000 people.

In November 2017, Beloved Yoga opens it’s newest concept in Yoga studios that will shift the entire Yoga domain! Beloved Yoga: A Sanctuary for All will offer a 6500 sq. ft. oasis for people of all ages and abilities to come and experience peace through the practice of Yoga. Over the next few years, you will see Beloved Yoga studios opening all over the United States!

Maryam Ovissi became an avid student of yoga in 1999, after studying privately with Simin Yahaghi, her first yoga teacher, in California. Since 2001, she has been teaching Hatha, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Prenatal and Mom & Baby classes. Maryamis a certified yoga therapist and a registered yoga teacher that has done numerous trainings including her 500 hr Teacher Training under the tutelage of Bhekaji Lynch. She has continued to study with reknown teachers in the world of Yoga. Maryam is the founder of the BelovedYoga Teacher Training Programs: 200 hr Immersion, 300 hr Advance
Teacher Training and the BelovedYoga Certification Program. The BelovedYoga School meets the standards set by Yoga Alliance and is a member school of International Association of Yoga Therapists.

“Transforming Trauma into Teachers” is one of the greatest secrets for discovering peace and happiness in this life. Yoga is one of the most effective tools to support this transformation. Maryam has been sharing the teachings and methodology of Yoga in group and one-on-one settings with clients for over 15 years. Working with a range of clients and a variety of conditions: lower back pain, hip and knee replacements, spinal fusions, invasive surgeries, traumatic physical injuries, chronic conditions, emotional stress and mental imbalances from cognitive to stress induced confusion. Maryam’s specialities in Trauma lays in her experience with medical trauma: Invasive surgeries, Cancer and all the layers of treatment around Cancer, as well as complex medical conditions that creates “Medical Trauma”.

Maryam serves on the Board of the Greater Reston Arts Center and the SouthGate Community Center and also makes time to explore creativity in her own life through writing poetry and mark making! In 2015, she co-authored her first book on Yoga Philosophy: “Pilgrimage through the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”.

Episode 7 – What It Takes To Win A Campaign with Terry Richards

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Terry M. Richards, President of the National Democratic Club, has served for over 10 years in the federal government in both the legislative and executive branches. Most recently he has served as the Senior Advisor for Legislative Affairs to the Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Richards has built strong and extensive relationships both in Congress as well as the Obama Administration working to pass bills relating to chemical facility security, the recognition of the importance of minority-owned businesses to the nation’s economy, and rebuilding the business community in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

As Club President, Mr. Richards has worked closely with club personnel to enhance club efficiencies and install critical financial controls, expand membership with a focus on building the club’s brand, and lay a strong foundation for the club’s future growth.

Upcoming Podcast Guests:

Darrell Rogers – Director of Advocacy, Institute of Integrative Nutrition . Darrell has worked in advocacy, policy research, and communications in Washington, DC for over 16 years. His work has earned his employers and his clients significant policy successes and media acclaim. Darrell’s work is highlighted with extensive Capitol Hill experience, nonprofit management and employment with a noted public affairs and political consulting firm in Washington, DC. A New Jersey native, Darrell received a BA in History from William Paterson University and a Master’s Degree in American Government from The Catholic University of America. He quickly began his career in Washington, DC by working for several notable nonprofit organizations. Prior to his current position with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Darrell was the Campaigns and Communications Director to the largest grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and promoting complementary and alternative healthcare access in the country.


Nancy Gusman – ESQ. and Owner of Brick House Title Benefit Corporation . Brick House’s mission is to promote affordable, sustainable homeownership – they do so by offering pro bono counseling to homeowners in distress and first time homebuyers, as well as conducting educational seminars/classes intended to create financial literacy and educated home buying. Brick House also works with real estate investors who purchase distressed properties and renovate them for affordable housing. Additionally, they contribute a portion of proceeds to charitable organizations whose values are in line with the mission toward affordable, sustainable housing. Nancy brings close to 30 years’ experience in real estate transactions in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. She has been very active in the structuring and financing of commercial and residential real estate transactions, and has developed expertise in handling complex issues such as foreclosure, foreclosure prevention, bankruptcy, investment property, distress transactions, delayed settlement transactions, low credit financing, and advising clients with regard to state and federal regulations in financing. Nancy’s goal is to educate her customers so they understand the transactions they enter into, eliminating much of the confusion normally associated with real estate transactions.


Andrea Lieberstein – Author, mindfulness-based registered dietitian nutritionist, mindful eating (MB-EAT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) instructor has specialized in helping people transform their lives for over 25 years. She leads mindfulness meditation and mindful eating trainings and retreats at retreat centers across the country and internationally. She utilizes Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT), MBSR, MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion) and other mindfulness-based and mindful eating practices in her private practice working with individuals on a wide range of disordered eating, healthy weight management, body image and stress related issues and health concerns. She is a contributing author to the forthcoming book, Resources for Teaching Mindfulness: An International Handbook and contributed to the books The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook (fifth edition) and Some Leaders Are Born Women . Her new book, Well Nourished is now available at