Meet The Mindd Team

The Mindd Team is a passionate group of highly experienced professionals and practitioners from diverse career backgrounds. We share a mutual passion for health and educating and empowering our community of practitioners and families in integrative healthcare solutions. We are a small team who strive to make a big impact!

Leslie Embersits
Executive Director & CEO

Leslie Embersits is the Executive Director & CEO of Mindd Foundation which she founded in 2005. Leslie has a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and a Masters in film from the Peter Stark Film Producing Program from the University of Southern California.

With over 35 years of experience in strategy, advertising, marketing, film and event management across New York, Los Angeles and Sydney, Leslie brings vision, heart and strategic clarity to the Mindd mission.

In 1997 Leslie became a mum, which began her campaign for more informed healthcare for children. In 2004 she began seminars on making a difference to kids health. This work officially became the Mindd Foundation in May 2005 and since then has delivered hundreds of seminars, conferences and programs as well as expanding the advocacy and charitable work to support the health of children and families, as well as the professional skills of integrative health care practitioners.

Jacinta Wren
Digital Project Manager
Adv. Dip (Nut Med)

Jacinta Wren has over a decade’s experience in digital marketing, branding and project management roles for the creative and natural health industries.

Previously as a studio manager within the design industry, she has worked with many teams across multiple branding, content development, website and creative design projects.

Jacinta went on to qualify as a clinical nutritionist with an advanced diploma of nutritional medicine. This career shift and new skills have continued to support her vision to make the world a healthier, joyful and more sustainable place to live.

Jacinta shares her commitment to charitable work, and for quality education and training.
Her role and skills now embrace digital artwork production, managing the communication between the Mindd community, and engaging with Mindd Health audiences through dynamic communication, social media and quality digital content. As well as digital project management, including the development and management of the Mindd Health Hub – Mindd’s education and training online platform.
Emily Hartley Sharpe
Digital Producer & Podcast Host
Emily Hartley Sharpe

With a mission to transform reach, impact and health outcomes for Australians through integrative healthcare, Emily is passionate about the power of natural medicine, and its dissemination through education for both practitioners and families directly.

After 15 years of leading teams, solving problems and connecting people and ideas, Emily aligns her project management and marketing skillset in support of Integrative, Functional and Environmental Medicine.

A qualified practitioner and active Integrative and Environmental Medicine advocate, Emily is a key member of Australia’s most progressive practitioner community. Previously managing the Mindd International Forum’s face-to-face conferences and events, she is currently the digital producer of the online Mindd Forum 2021 edition. In both her professional and personal life, Emily is tapped into a powerful network of pioneering doctors and allied health professionals in Australia and internationally. In 2021, Emily will amplify some of this collective wisdom as host of Mindd’s community podcast, in an effort to empower and connect Australians to independent education so that they can make more informed health decisions.

Gemma Pokrzywa
Customer Service & Food Is Medicine
Adv. Dip (Nut Med), B Health Sci

Gemma Pokrzywa brings her experience and skills as a nutritionist and passionate cook to the Mindd community. Her interest in holistic methods of cooking within the family home, and the use of traditional medicines have been further developed through her Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Western herbal medicine.

Through her practitioner and professional catering experiences, Gemma empowers clients to make educated food choices to improve their health.

Gemma liaises between the Mindd community and Mindd team, managing customer enquiries and questions as well as managing the Food Is Medicine program at the annual Mindd International Forum.

Troy Laforteza
Web Development

Troy Laforteza holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research.

His fascination for technology and online learning has played a critical role in his career by incorporating his engineering knowledge with technical and interpersonal skills in software development.

Troy is a part of Mindd’s digital team – providing support for website design, user interface development, website upgrades and maintenance.

He has always been an advocate for health and wellness, driving him to support Mindd Health with an effective online presence for events, educational programs and health campaigns.

Leonard Regio
Video Editor
BA Pol Sci

Leonard currently works as a freelance VA for several clients in the US and Australia as media content producer/video editor and layout & design artist.

He also manages an events company and works there as a professional photographer.

Being employed in different industries for the past 30 years has been a fulfilling experience.

But working in an environment where I can spend my time and passion growing new relationships, helping others be better at what they do and being part of their journey as they realize their goals is a challenge I’d like to embark anew.

Volunteers support the Mindd Mission too…

We are also privileged to have the generous support of a passionate group of volunteers.

Mindd volunteers support with administration and marketing activities in the Mindd head office in Edgecliff Sydney, as well as providing essential support to ensure the smooth preparation and running for all our events.

Find out more about joining our volunteer team here.

Mindd Foundation