Founded by community members wanting to provide a platform for wellness of the mind, body, spirit, and environment, SVWFC is now widely recognized as the longest running wellness festival in the world.  This non-profit organization has hosted speakers among the world’s greatest thought-leaders on the subject of wellness and has become a beloved annual community tradition that attracts attendees from around the world.  Attendees are individuals of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds interested in wellness and people dedicated to making the world a better place. We are committed to increasing the offerings of science-based knowledge for mind and body presented at the conference and will continue to present speakers and workshops that celebrate the spirit and nurture environment as well.

SVWFC has a hard working/committed volunteer Board of Directors, a full-time salaried Executive Director as well as an Advisory Council.

Board of Directors

Andria Friesen


Andria has been enthusiastically involved with the Wellness Festival on various levels for nearly twenty years. In addition to hosting select events, sponsoring speakers, and serving on the board, most notably in 2014 she prompted the addition of Environment to the original three pillars of the Wellness Festival; Body, Mind, and Spirit. In 2017, as newly elected President, Andria spearheaded the change of both date and venue for the Festival and in early 2018 she initiated the vote for the new identity; Sun Valley Wellness Festival & Conference….


Marya Hecht

Chairperson, Speakers Committee

Marya Hecht is the Vice President and a founding member of the Sangham Foundation. The Sangham Foundation is a private family foundation that has a strong focus on improving the lives of children and clean water through grant making to grassroots organizations for the most part. Marya has spent a great deal of time volunteering for organizations that the foundation supports, traveling to Africa and other parts of the world to assist first hand in the work being done.

Marya has served as a board member for the Family Nurturing Center, a school in southern Oregon for children in need from low income families. She is passionate about providing safe homes for children and is dedicated to collaborating with others to support orphanages….


Nick Maricich


Nick Maricich serves as Chairman on the Sun Valley Wellness Festival & Conference board of directors.  He has passionately been involved with SVWFC for nearly two decades. Nick is a lifetime resident of the Wood River Valley and was born in the Sun Valley Lodge in 1957.   In addition to his role with SVWFC Nick is an executive board member of the Sun Valley Ski Education and a manager in the Sun Valley Ski School…


Brenda Powell
Chairperson, Movement Committee

Brenda came in to her passion for health and wellness at a very early age as a competitive track and cross country runner, long distance cyclist and later a competitive triathlete. She competed for many years on the world stage completing several marathons, endurance bike rides and 2 Ironman triathlons. She found the completion of the body mind spirit connection when she discovered yoga, meditation and spirituality, and knew she needed to make this the central force in her life’s work as an exercise physiologist, nutritionist and yoga teacher. She has been a health leader, nutrition and weight loss coach, yoga teacher and spiritual travel guide for over 30 years. Brenda moved to the Wood River Valley in 2006 and has been an…


Geneal Thompson
Vice President

Geneal Thompson is at heart a businesswoman who totally loves what she does.  Lucky enough to have discovered her passion in the world of skin care, Geneal has been devoted to her career in Esthetics for over 30 years.  She is owner and operator of About Face in Ketchum, Idaho.  She also represents Esthetics on a State and National level by being part of a Board that oversees, regulates, licenses, and promotes…


Emeritus Board Member
Cheryl Thomas Welch

Advisory Council
Anita Braker
Sophie Craighead
Robert DeGennaro
Kiril Sokoloff

Heather LaMonica Deckard, Executive Director
Tiffani Black, Experience Hall and Registration Coordinator
Sharon Arms, Volunteer Coordinator