Board of Directors
Byron Woollen
Interim  Board Chair

Byron Woollen Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who splits his professional career between private practice and consulting to the leadership on issues related to organizational development. Byron has been a member of the Brooklyn Zen Center since 2013 and will take the precepts from Greg Snyder in the fall of 2017.




Greg Snyder, Dharma Teacher & Zen Buddhist Priest
BZC Co-founder, President

Greg Snyder is a dharma teacher and senior priest at Brooklyn Zen Center, as well as its co-founder and current President. He is also the Senior Director of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary, where he directs and teaches in a Masters of Divinity program focused on Buddhism and Inter-religious Engagement. Greg received priest ordination and dharma transmission from Teah Strozer and is a lineage holder in the Suzuki Roshi lineage of Soto Zen. Greg is active with multiple interfaith and community networks organizing around peace-building, anti-violence and social justice initiatives, and currently sits on the Brooklyn Borough President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Community Partnerships. Greg’s practice of Zen and the dharma includes an understanding that personal and social liberation are a deeply integrated process of mutual unfolding. In addition to teaching in a formal Zen context, he facilitates Undoing Whiteness and Undoing Patriarchy workshops and ongoing groups that focus on investigating self-identities that may unconsciously perpetuate societal suffering. His efforts include ensuring the dharma is truly available to everyone, supporting young people in practice, developing a community-responsive Zen center, and advocating for bringing the illumination of conditioning around patriarchy, racism and economic exploitation to the center of our Buddhist exploration of self. He is devoted to co-creating an American dharma movement that fully embraces a deep social engagement focused on transforming inequity, bias and violence in ourselves, our communities and the world.

Ericka Phillips
Development Chair

Though introduced to meditation by her father as a teenager, Ericka first engaged in formal Buddhist studies and meditation practice when she moved to New York from Chicago in 2000. She looks forward to applying the wisdom she’s gained from experience as a development consultant and nonprofit administrator to her role as Development Chair of the BZC Board. Ericka is the former executive director of the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York. Ericka also serves on the New York Tara Mandala Committee and she is a proud member of the Hampshire College Alumni Circle of New York.

Alexandra Gekas
Board Secretary

Alex is a media professional with a decade of experience as a journalist, editor, content producer and operations director in print, digital and satellite radio. She has been practicing meditation for over 10 years with different communities but wasn’t moved to join a sangha until she walked through the doors of the Brooklyn Zen Center in 2015 and deeply felt she had found her spiritual home.




Weishin Kerry Huang
Interim Treasurer

Weishin Kerry Huang is a first generation Chinese American, having immigrated to the US with his family six months after the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. They are a sacred activist and healing justice worker committed to the practice of socially engaged Buddhism. Weishin currently sits with Love Circle Sangha, a people of color and allies sangha who practices in the Order of Interbeing, founded by Thich Nhat Hanh. They are also a student of Rev. angel Kyoto williams Sensei, a queer black female Zen priest who is addressing racism through the dharma.



Laura O’Loughlin, LCSW, Dharma Teacher and Psychotherapist
BZC Co-founder, Emeritus Board Member

Laura O’Loughlin is a dharma teacher and senior lay practitioner at Brooklyn Zen Center, as well as its co-founder. Before she began training with Teah Strozer, Laura was a student of Darlene Cohen’s. She is currently a psychotherapist, affiliated with the Buddhist Psychotherapy Collective, with her own practice in Manhattan. As a clinician, Laura uses mindfulness and body-oriented practices to support healing and transformation. Before co-founding Brooklyn Zen Center, Laura had trained and lived in various Buddhist communities since 1997, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center. Laura was also Director of Austin Zen Center, where among other things she studied the interface between eastern and western psychologies.

Ian Case
BZC Co-founder, Emeritus Board Member

Ian has been a student at Brooklyn Zen Center since its inception in 2005. During this time he has taken on various administrative and practice roles at the center, including serving for six and a half years as Ino (head of the meditation hall). He was in residence for 15 months at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 2015-2016 and was ordained as a priest by Teah Strozer in October 2016. Ian holds an MA in Linguistics from the City University of New York and is now pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary.