"My relationship with Dr. Lipton began more than eight years ago during the early stages of developing the Radical Freedom Program, which was being born out of personal struggle and years of intense self-inquiry. I reached out to Bruce, with a low expectation of hearing back. Eight years later, he's the one I credit for guiding me through the shadows to a place of light, one from which something truly loving has emerged to bring healing and hope to those who seek it."

~ Dwayne V. ~

Dwayne Vanderford, C.Ht
Executive Director & Founder

Dwayne is the originator of the Vision Journaling™ element of the Radical Freedom Program as well as Hypnomeditative Imaging™ and the Yaumny Quest™ excursions that together work to produce unparalleled results. The curriculum was successfully implemented over three years inside the Department of Corrections and facilitated by Vanderford under the leadership and direct support of celebrated epigenetics scientist, Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D. Vanderford also brings valuable years of Vipassana practice and instruction experience to the organization. Perhaps most important, he speaks from a position of compassion, having personally experienced the very pain he seeks to heal.

Mindy Vanderford, CNC
Chief Operating Officer

Throughout her life and career, Mindy has embodied the energy that motivates action. She has over twenty years of creative visionary experience in corporate settings, leading numerous project planning and development expeditions. Her education is in marketing and public relations, and she has held top-level corporate positions, which include sales manager, international event coordinator, and public relations director. As the Crestone Freedom Project’s new Director of Operations, Mindy has been strategically positioned to capitalize upon her well-developed skills with interpersonal communications and motivation. Mindy has been married to Executive Director Dwayne Vanderford for twenty-three years.

Himant Ellis, LAC
Clinical Supervisor

Himant has over 40 years of experience in a variety of Human Services, Holistic Health and Body Oriented Approaches to Wellness Including:​

  • CAC III Addictions Counselor with 10 years service as a Health Professional II with the Colorado Dept. of Corrections, specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing within Strategies for Self-Improvement and Change Program (2008-2017).


  • Outpatient Mental Health | Social Work Assistant in Community Based Parole | Suicide Hotline | Child Protective Services-Abuse and Neglect Investigations and Foster Care Placement | Social Advocates for Youth at Risk Youth Volunteer and Community Liaison.

Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.
Science Advisor & Co-Founder

Dr. Lipton is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit, a stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and the recipient of 2009's Goi Peace Award. He joined the Department of Anatomy at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine in 1973, and later his research at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, between 1987 and 1992, revealed that the environment, operating through the membrane, controlled the behavior and physiology of the cell. His discoveries, which ran counter to the established scientific view that life is controlled by the genes, presaged one of today’s most important fields of study, the science of epigenetics.

Hanne Strong
Operations Advisior

Hanne M. Strong: serves as President of the Manitou Foundation, which she and her late husband, Maurice Strong, founded in 1988. The Foundation, based in Crestone, Colorado has granted land to spiritual, educational, and environmental groups through the Manitou Foundation’s Land Grant Program and through the Strong’s personal landholdings. The Crestone Community currently houses many of the world’s wisdom traditions and is referred to as the “Refuge for World Truths” and accommodates thousands of visiting retreatants per year who seek to develop inner peace and balance within oneself and nature. It is the largest intentional, interreligious, and sustainable living community in North America. Hanne's lifetime of achievements is far too extensive to list here.

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John P. Milton
Nature-Based Program Advisor

John is a pioneering ecologist, spiritual teacher, meditation master, vision quest leader, and shaman. His vision quest and shamanic work began in the mid-1940s, after experiencing his first vision quest at the age of seven. Since the 1950s, he has guided thousands of people into the wilderness, sharing with them, experiences and practices that cultivate a profound connection with nature and, ultimately, source awareness. Over the years, many have sought his profound transmissions and powerful, yet gentle, Qigong teachings. John has pioneered for western civilization a unique way of spiritual cultivation in nature that ripens in a deep ecological experience of communion with all species and with the earth itself. In the early 1970s, John was the first ecologist on staff at the White House, working with the President's Council of Economic Advisors.

Melena Vanderford
Executive Intern

Melena is currently studying at Adams State University in the Department of Psychology, with intentions to enter Stanford's doctoral program when she completes her studies in Colorado. She is the daughter of Dwayne and Mindy Vanderford, founders of the Crestone Freedom Project. When asked about how Melena fits into the project's big picture, Dwayne responded, "She is the future of this work. Melena has a healer's heart. She's been a perfect child since the day she was born. I'm sure many fathers might say the same of their daughters, but not all of them would be correct. In this case, it happens to be a fact. She came fully assembled and without any operating instructions. Melena has simply always done the right things. She and I have spent many hours discussing this project and how she is fully committed to its continuity. We are proud of her in every way, so whatever she does in the future, I'm certain the world will better because of it."