Welcome to our our Team Member Spotlights! Our team has been changing and growing this past year, which is why we wanted to re-introduce our team members to you, and give you a closer look at who's behind the wheel here at YFFR. We hope you enjoy this monthly blog series.
Title: Donor Relations Director/Strategic Partnership Director
I am responsible for designing, implementing, and coordinating an organization-wide donor, partner, and sponsor relations with stewardship system that consistently promotes interaction with and recognition of donors at all levels. I execute the day-to-day planning, coordination, and management of all campaigning. I am responsible for deepening the prospective investment pipeline, and maintaining accurate and up-to-date information on campaign and organization goals, donors, and prospects. I also communicate directly with first responder departments across the country to raise funds directly to pay for their programs and provide them with YFFR at no cost.
I was born in Chicago, IL but was raised in Toms River, NJ - infamous for the "Jersey Shore". I graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Psychology and Bachelor's of Social Work. After college, I continued my studies and obtained my 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher Certification, Personal Trainer Certification, 1st Degree Black Belt in Martial Arts, and became a YFFR Level 2 Instructor. I am also currently pursuing my Nutrition Coach Certification.
My history with YFFR started in 2017 when I searched "Yoga For First Responders" on google. I was hoping to find tools to utilize with my husband as he is a firefighter and ER RN. I completed the Pflugerville YFFR Instructor School in 2019 right before my wedding, and fell in love not only with the mission and the cause, but the people who drive it within YFFR.
Such a hard question! I have so much support everywhere! My immediate sidekicks are my husband, Alexander Vidal, and 3 four-legged friends, Alice the cat, Molly the dog, and Bubba the bearded dragon. I am grateful to say, as a firefighter, Alex's YFFR practice has grown as my love for YFFR has grown.
Do you consider yourself a yogi?
Yes! My practice is my therapy, and I am not the only one who knows it. My husband will remind me to practice when he knows I am having an off day or long week. I love being versatile and listening to what my mind needs; sometimes a powerful plank drill, and others a simple neurological reset in the car between meetings. I aspire to always seek to grow in my practice and encourage others to do the same.
My motivation for supporting the mission of Yoga For First Responders® comes in part from my familial ties to military and first responders. Most immediate; my brother is in the army, father is a retired marine, and husband is a firefighter. I have attempted to enter into Law Enforcement and Military as well, but my life had other beautiful and brilliant plans, and now I am helping the helpers!
About those beautiful and brilliant plans... I have a rare disorder called Syringomyelia. Long story short, about .008% are diagnosed and it creates a cavity in my spinal cord with a variety of symptoms that effect me both physically and mentally. But this is not a bad thing, or something to be sorry about. I am proud of my disorder, without it I would not have the passion for health and wellness that I do. I want to be the best me in spirit, mind, and body. But more importantly, having this "invisible" disorder has made me extremely empathetic. When I meet someone, I don't just see a face with a name - I see a journey, and love learning of their experiences and triumphs.
Throughout my life, I have faced many different adversities, with both my physical and mental health. With every journey, yoga has been a major tool strengthening my resiliency along the way. I long to understand the warrior mindset and push myself to train with any opportunity that is presented.
10 Sounds Neuro Reset - Eric Brenneman
This reset is my go-to tool to become aware and mindful of my surroundings.
YFFR Cyber Academy
YFFR Cyber Academy is our online training tool and app. There are a handful of free audio and video drills always available on the YFFR Cyber Academy. To enjoy all 70+ drills, subscriptions start at just $7.99/month. Practice yoga and mindfulness along with YFFR's Founder & CEO, as well as YFFR instructors and special guests. >> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cookie Core
More so listening: Rachel Hollis' Didn't See That Coming
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Brenna. Stay tuned for our next Team Member Spotlight in January.
- The YFFR Team