Karena Dawn, co-founder of Tone It Up, is a wellness entrepreneur, NY Times best selling author, NAMI board advisor and a passionate mental health advocate. Growing up with a mother who was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, her childhood was filled with traumatic experiences that resulted in repressed emotions, guilt, shame and a suicide attempt. She knows from experience that suffering in silence only reinforces the stigma surrounding mental health issues and creates barriers which prevent healing.
She overcame a dark period of depression, anxiety and substance abuse in her teens and 20s, was able to forge a path to self-discovery, build a nurturing community that has helped millions, and ultimately find peace. She has always used her platform and influence to inspire people around the world through fitness, mindfulness and spiritual empowerment and founded The Big Silence Foundation to further her mission and erase the stigma surrounding mental health.
To be a world leader on erasing the stigma surrounding mental health topics, and creating a society which values the importance of the integration of mental health conversations into daily lives.
The Big Silence Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that provides resources and support to anyone directly or indirectly impacted by mental illness. We raise awareness, promote understanding, and aim to bring together people and organizations who want to improve public attitudes towards mental health and normalize conversations surrounding mental health topics and experiences.
Chief Operating Officer
Jeremy McCassy is an entrepreneur, marketer and brand builder helping to build brands like No Fear, Oakley, Tone It Up, Love Wellness, and many more. Jeremy has executed more than 20 years as an expert in the professional marketplace propelling brands forward through key relationships and partnerships. A Vitality for life and social engagement across professional and personal pursuits, Jeremy is an opportunist and people person with an infectious laugh and vibrant energy. Jeremy balances his professional pace with his lifelong passion for surfing and his dedicated devotion to his daughter.
Rachel has over fifteen years of leadership experience, principally with non-profits. After more than a decade dedicated to community development through arts and culture organizations, Rachel joins The Big Silence because the cause resonates with her experience of growing up in a family altered by mental illness. As an accomplished grant writer, she has secured funding from National Endowment for the Arts, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, National Center for the Book, and others. Rachel is also a poet and editor who believes that sharing our stories has the power to transform lives.
Jen Peros is a two-time Emmy winning journalist and media relations expert with over 15 years of experience in entertainment, lifestyle and fashion news. Peros is the former Editor in Chief of Us Weekly Magazine, and has also worked for various entertainment news outlets such as Entertainment Tonight, Extra! and FOX. Peros made the switch over to Public Relations in 2019, using her experience in media to help her clients frame and tell their stories in both innovative and captivating ways.
Anuja was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, where her involvement with the Jewel Never Broken Foundation and the Inspiring Children foundation led her to develop a passion for mental health, wellness, and spreading knowledge about these fields. She is a recent graduate from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her degree in Marketing, and also plans on furthering her education in law school in the near future with hopes to continue working in the non-profit sector.
Stacey Thomas is our social media guru, Cali girl, and content queen. She has worked with Karena Dawn for over 5 years, including at Tone It Up. Stacey is passionate about sharing her love of life, encouraging others to follow their dream, and always stay in alignment with their heart. In her free time, she teaches yoga and is your best hype girl.
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from Karena Dawn.