Wake Up facilitators are experts of their craft.  We combine their extensive experience and skill with the Wake Up 5 Pillars.  We are honored to host their expertise, energy, and adventures in our beautiful event spaces, and we mean it when we say that spending time with them will change your life.

Interested in facilitating your own workshop with Wake Up? 



Sheila Armitage, Ph.D., LL.B. (Hons)

After years of witnessing burnout in business and healthcare, and personally experiencing burnout from intense-travel consulting, Sheila now focuses on helping others live in alignment with what matters most to them through resilience, energy management, authentic leadership, and self-care. She combines nature and horses with traditional learning modalities for powerful results. 

She has worked internationally as a leadership and organizational learning expert and coach with Fortune 10 to 500 companies, government, non-profits, educational institutions, small businesses, and individuals. Sheila has worked with C-level leaders through to front-line staff from diverse industries.

With over 20 years of leadership, communications, change, team and sales training experience, she is known for her candor, practical problem solving, and her ability to ask penetrating questions and navigate through tough conversations. Sample clients include IBM, Dell, Sony, Columbia HCA, Seton Healthcare Network, and Catholic Healthcare West.

Committed to health, animal welfare, and learning, she invests her time in these areas. She currently serves on the Seton Southwest Community Advisory Committee, The Seton Patient Experience Steering Committee and on the Chamber Committee for Leadership Dripping Springs. She supports RED Arena, a hippotherapy and equine therapy center, with operations, as a team coach, an advisor to The Board and Executive Director, and as a side walker with clients with disabilities.

What matters most to Sheila is staying healthy, investing time with her family, "ranchette" and animals, friends, community and in nature.


Robert Bakhshai

Robert develops, teaches and facilitates leadership and self-development courses and curriculum, specializing in a unique, no-nonsense approach that leverages experiential tools including improvisation. He has been teaching and facilitating for 10 years that in ways that ignite new insights for individuals and within corporate environments. He is experienced in inspiring breakthroughs within group dynamics, relationships and personal development.

Since 2004 Robert has worked with the Amala Foundation and currently serves as Lead Programs Facilitator where he creates, facilitates and provides follow-up mentorship programs for small groups as well as organizations up to 200 people. Robert’s core programs include Rise Up Youth Leadership Development, Circle Up, Diversity Leadership Conference and the One Village Project, This December, he will travel to Kenya as a teacher and member of the Core Team for the Global Youth Peace Summit.

Robert uses his background and expertise in User Experience Design to be of service to community-focused initiatives. He served as a Council Member of Vuka, a co-working and event space for like-minded, purpose-based people in South Austin. He also helped in the formation of Wake Up. His early career includes experience as a filmmaker, personal trainer, corporate consultant and amateur boxer. He completed studies at Oregon State University in New Media.

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Carrie Contey

Carrie has been passionate about understanding babies, children and human development since she was a child herself. Her deep and persistent interest motivated her to go as far as she could in studying humans from the very beginning. As a result, she received her Ph.D. in prenatal and perinatal psychology in 2006. Carrie has been working with families as a parenting coach – teaching classes, running a successful online program called "Evolve" and seeing clients one-on-one for the past 10 years. Her work offers a whole new perspective on family life and humanhood and what we need to be healthy, happy, whole human beings in all phases of life.


Melissa D’Antoni

Melissa is the Founder + Director of Fire Tree Studios where she celebrates pure creativity as a channel to nurture deep connection, foster rapid self-awareness, fuel personal evolution and grounded-in-reality expansion.

She has thrived through many of life’s transitions including leaving a successful yet unfulfilling career in Internet and technology marketing to pursue a deeper relationship with creativity and spirituality. In 2007, she founded Fire Tree Studios™ and the Fire Tree Method® in Austin and offers a variety of mentoring and training programs for both individuals and groups. She is deeply inspired and committed to working with people who desire to create and manifest profound change and transformation in their lives and want to do it in a unique way that holds reverence for divine intelligence of the creative process as inner teacher.

Melissa is a graduate of Tulane University with a Master’s in Clinical Psychology (MACP) from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.  She is a Certified Yoga Teacher and has completed multiple trainings and certifications in expressive arts and therapeutic interventions. She resides in Martha’s Vineyard and Austin. Learn more about Melissa here.


Paige Davis, Soul Sparks

Paige is an entrepreneur, wellness enthusiast, Huffington Post blogger and certified meditation teacher with the McLean Meditation Institute. She is passionate about inspiring change from a personal place of awareness. Paige created Soul Sparks as a destination to inspire and empower anyone looking to create a meaningful and accessible approach to living a more mindful life through meditation + mindfulness programs. Paige is also co-founder of sustainable lifestyle product company, BlueAvocado, which provides thoughtful designs that reduce waste and inspire small steps we can all take to living a greener, simpler life. Paige received a BA in Journalism and Environmental Science from the University of Indiana and holds certifications from the Western School of Feng Shui and Pilates Center of Austin.


Lily Hills

Elizabeth Lily Hills is a multiple award winning author, facilitator and the former host of Sparkpeople Radio, a wellness podcast with more than 15 million members. Over her 15-year career, Lily has discovered how to get your mind "on your team" and quiet the voice in your head that critiques and limits. Her proven and practical approach guides you to understand that loving yourself makes it easier and more enjoyable to reach your full potential.
Lily’s passion is to help empower people in their personal journeys and her abundant experiences dovetail well with Wake Up’s dedication to personal & professional development.

Adrian Ionescu

Adrian is a high-energy individual who is passionate about personal development. He is one of Austin's foremost Transcendental Meditation teachers – helping people learn how to access their personal strength through meditation and mindfulness.

He previously led a 120-member global IT team for Dell, servicing infrastructure projects on multimillion-dollar, multi-year contracts for top-tier customers Adrian is a past president of AIESEC in Romania and Ireland. AIESEC is the world’s largest youth-run non-profit present in 2,400 universities, in 113 countries with more than 86,000 members and 1,000,000 alumni. AIESEC has an exciting leadership development program that allows students and graduates to grow as global leaders.

A force for good in his community, Adrian is committed to making a difference in the world.


Heather McKissick

Heather is an organizational development specialist with specific expertise in leadership development, change management and facilitation. As Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development at University Federal Credit Union (UFCU), Austin’s largest locally-owned financial institution, she is responsible for overall organizational development which focuses on nurturing and building a strong and effective workforce that provides for the well-being of UFCU’s members.

She is the former Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Austin, a non-profit organization where people of diverse backgrounds and experience come together to learn about civic leadership, engage in meaningful dialogue about important public issues, and collaborate to make a difference in Central Texas. Prior to Leadership Austin, she served as Director of Organizational Development and Education for the Seton Healthcare Family, one of Austin’s largest employers. Before Seton, she was at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) as an Organizational Development Specialist and Manager of Learning and Performance. She is also a former Global Communication Specialist for Motorola Semiconductor Product Sector.

Adding to her expertise in business communication and curriculum development, Heather is the former Assistant Dean of Humanities at St. Edward's University, where she also served as a faculty member and advisor to graduate and undergraduate students. She believes strongly in community service and applies her experience as a mentor and volunteer to a wide array of organizations. She is a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Young Women’s Alliance, and Chairs the Advisory Council for the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, which named her “2013 Inspiring Leader of the Year.”  Heather is a recipient of the Austin Business Journal 2010 “Profiles in Power” award and received the Girl Scouts of Central Texas esteemed “Women of Distinction” designation in 2014. In March of 2015 she was named Austin Under 40 “Mentor of the Year”.


Bernadette Noll

Bernadette Noll is a writer, maker, creative thinker, community collaborator and author of three books, Make Stuff Together, Slow Family Living and Look At Us Now, A Creative Family Journal, released May, 2016. You can read more about Bernadette and Slow Family Living at slowfamilyliving.com. Born and raised in New Jersey, she has called Austin home for the past 25 years, and lives with her four children Lucy, Otto, Esme and Dean. 

Robert Richman

Robert Richman is a culture strategist and was the co-creator of Zappos Insights, an innovative program focused on educating companies on the secrets behind Zappos’ amazing employee culture. Robert built Zappos Insights from a small website to a thriving multi-million dollar business teaching over 25,000 students per year. Through his work, Robert has been helpful for improving the employee culture at hundreds of companies like Google, Toyota, Eli Lilly, and Intuit.

As one of the world’s authorities on employee culture, Robert is a sought after keynote speaker at conferences around the world and has been hired to teach culture in person at companies like Google, Toyota, and Eli Lilly. He has pioneered a number of innovative techniques to build culture, such as bringing improv comedy to the workplace.

His new book, The Culture Blueprint, is a systematic guide to how a workplace can help people grow, inspire amazing service, and ultimately drive revenue through amazing culture.

Robert graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in film, as well as from Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program. He is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, and he is the chair of the business program at American Jewish University.


Raven Wells, Convergence 2C, LLC

Raven Wells comes to Austin from Boulder, CO where he works with individuals and groups to maximize human potential and collective intelligence. He is the Director at Convergence 2C, which provides workshop facilitation, organizational consulting and community development in various cities around the U.S. Raven’s experience includes serving as the Co-director at Matrix Leadership Institute, business management, entrepreneurial experience, a private psychotherapy practice, Wilderness EMT, climbing guide, facilitation of various back-country programs and teaching workshops on trauma, systems theory, group dynamics, leadership, human potential and men’s work.  Raven has worked with clients including the City of Austin, Vail Resorts, CA Technologies and the Seton Healthcare Family.