We Are Building American Buddhism

Our Team

 

Our Team


Norman Oberstein,
Chief Executive Officer
Norman Oberstein, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenz Foundation. is a 1962 Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Iowa and a 1965 Order of the Coif graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California (Berkeley), where he participated as a member of the Board of Editors for the California Law Review.  Mr. Oberstein was a senior partner in the litigation department and a managing member of the Beverly Hills law firm of Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz & Selvin. 

In January of 1982, Mr. Oberstein formed his own firm, and in April of 2006, merged his practice with Gipson Hoffman & Pancione, where he is Of Counsel to the firm. Mr. Oberstein’s legal career has been devoted to the litigation of complex business disputes in a wide array of general business, entertainment, intellectual property, and trust and estate matters.  At the request of Dr. Lenz, he and the late Norman Marcus formed The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism in 1998.
Liz Lewinson is Vice President and Treasurer of the Lenz Foundation. She leads the grant category titled "Women in Buddhism” and is chairperson of the Advisory Committee She studied American Buddhism with Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz for 17 years and was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1992. A long time practitioner and teacher of meditation, she is the author of the award-winning biography, American Buddhist Rebel: The Story of Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz and a book of Buddhist teachings, Women, Meditation, and Power. A multi-certified technology project manager, she led critical I.T. programs for the world’s largest financial services firms. She is also a marketing and communications specialist.LizLewinson_small.jpg
Liz Lewinson
Vice President and Treasurer

Rob Francais, CPA
Board Member, Wealth Manager and Financial Advisor
Rob Francais is CEO of Aspiriant, the foundation’s accounting and wealth advisor firm and one of the leading financial services companies in the United States.  Aspiriant has eleven offices across the USA serving 1,700 families with $12.5 billion in assets under management.  As CEO,  Rob successfully led and completed the acquisition of Deloitte’s national investment practice.  As a Board member of the Lenz Foundation, he provides operational oversight and advice on philanthropic matters.
Barb has been practicing and teaching meditation for over 25 years. She was motivated to teach after experiencing the transformative effects of Buddhist meditation on her spiritual life and career and watching the incredible transformations of others. Barb is co-founder, President, and COO of a fast-growing IT consulting company and a certified coach. She enjoys supporting others in their career success and meditative practices.
B.A. Smith
Co-Chairperson, Advisory Committee
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Julie Steinberg
Director of Administration
Julie Steinberg began her career in the banking and finance industry as an Account Executive for a Los Angeles-based finance company. After a hiatus as a stay-at-home parent, Julie immersed herself in local politics and successfully ran campaigns for School Board members, City Council members and city-wide School Bond measures. She led campaigns for community improvements and events.  In 2006, Julie joined the Board of Directors as Treasurer of a non-profit that raises much-needed funds for a local high school’s athletic department.  Julie joined The Lenz Foundation in 2016. 

The Lenz Foundation Advisory Committee

  • Liz Lewinson, Chairperson
  • B. A. Smith, Co-Chairperson
  • Dr. Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMin, co-founder, the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
  • Jeffrey Richardson, Director, Rama Meditation Society
  • Acharya Fleet Maull, Prison Dharma Network
  • James Shaheen, Editor and Publisher - Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
  • Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies, Naropa University
  • Lisa Marshall, CEO, Rama Meditation Society