Our Team


Board of Directors


Jean Richardson is President and Founder of Gold Mine Natural Food Company in San Diego.  She has practiced macrobiotics for 40 years, studied with major teachers, and managed two macrobiotic restaurants in Boston. In 1985, Jean started Gold Mine, which carries a full line of macrobiotic staple foods. The company imports and distributes Ohsawa® brand organic/traditional macrobiotic foods from Japan, manufactures organic, raw sauerkraut and kimchi, and has been a supporter of French Meadows for many years. Jean has two daughters and three grandchildren.


Michael Brown became vegetarian in the late 1960's in conjunction with becoming involved in a meditation practice.  He adopted a macrobiotic lifestyle in 2006 in response to several health issues.  Michael has owned and operated three vegetarian restaurants, two in California and one in Guadalajara, Mexico.  His 40-year career as an environmental engineer focuses on renewable energy, energy/resource conservation, waste treatment and recycling. Michael is a veteran French Meadow camper and he has been on the George Oshawa Macrobiotic Foundation Board of Directors for four years.


Sean Braniff has been a vegetarian since his graduation from college in 1982. Something of a novelty back then, at least in his hometown of Chicago, Sean is thrilled to have witnessed the consistent rise of vegetarian/plant-based eating among Americans. He came to know Macrobiotics in the early 90s and has been attending the French Meadow summer conferences for some 15 years. His wife Saci McDonald has been a regular in the French Meadows kitchen, while Sean has spread his enthusiasm for life via play, recreation and the annual dance parties. His professional background is varied, from directing residential programs for schizophrenics to running the back offices operations for a securities trading firm during the dot.com days. He has a particular zeal for project management and event planning and will be coordinating the startup operations of Vegetarian Educational Institute. 

Retreat Director

Jeanne Grosset is a Natural Health Specialist in the Los Angeles area. Her company 7th Element Services focuses on educating, nourishing and empowering people on the natural path of health. Working with her husband Patrick Grosset they offer a weekly meal service, cleanse program and on-going cooking classes throughout the year. Jeanne also has a background in Graphic Design and enjoys creating all the social media for VEI's outreach into the world to spread the word about the power of natural foods for a happy, healthy life.


Photography By

Special thanks for the beautiful photos of our Summer Retreat 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019...

Nancy Adler - www.NancyAdler.com
Zack Beveridge - 
Gerard Lum
Sheldon Rice



Thank you to all our Sponsors for providing us with the best ingredients, produce, product and services for our health conscious community!

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