Board of Directors and Executive Team

Gary Alan Spanovich: Founder and Board President














Gary with President Kim Dae-jung of South Korea on one of his many trips to South and North Korea for Peace

Gary’s work is to facilitate change and to end conflict so that projects that would benefit all parties can move forward. He has done this during his entire 35 year career. Whether working internationally for the Singapore Ministry of National Development or the Borough of Harrow in England; or for two of the largest Engineering firms in the world: CRS Group Architects/Engineers in the 1980’s or PARSONS Engineering; or for Regional and County Governments; or the last ten years in South Korea, China, North Korea, and India. 

Gary has worked with transportation issues on the Korean Peninsula for over a decade. In his work with Nobel Peace Laureates and high government transportation officials, including the President of the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI) and the South Korean Minister of Transportation he has been published over ten times in South Korean transportation publications. He has been a keynote speaker at many international conferences in: South Korea, North Korea, and China. He, with a group of colleagues from China, South Korea, and Japan initiated an Undersea Tunnel Association to study tunnels between: China and North Korea; China and South Korea; South Korea and Japan; Russia and the United States. Gary is an experienced mediator, transportation infrastructure professional, and a communications consultant and facilitator.  He is experienced in working with diverse groups to achieve consensus and he uses the Wholistic Approach ©. He has also been involved in the possible end of the Korean Conflict for the last 15 years and has studied the issues and has an understanding of how they might be solved. 

Founder & Executive Director of the Institute has accomplished humanitarian work in India since 1992 and in 1995 built a school for street children there with Rotarian assistance. Through this work he began to do humanitarian work for 53 Tibetan Refugee camps in India. Gary has worked with five large Universities in Oregon along with a planning committee of Oregon's senior faith leaders. He has accomplished many student peace activites involving Middle, High School and College students all over oregon. He also has worked with Oregon's Governor and First Lady, the Mayor of Portland and former US Senator Mark O. Hatfield. 


Gary Alan Spanovich, AICP,  is a Planner/Project Manager with 38 years of land use and infrastructure experience in Oregon practicing as a Land Use Planner; Transportation & Engineering Director; and a certified policy mediator mediating disputes among stakeholders on major public projects in the state. He has worked in both southern Oregon in the rural areas and the urban areas to obtain land use permits for various projects, including a number of cell phone towers. Gary has a BSBA from the University of Florida, 1970 in Quantitative Methods & Statistics; a MSP from Florida State University, 1974 in transportation & regional planning. He has also completed a year and a half toward a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Portland State University and has both attended a number of short courses over his career and also taught them for the USDOT.

Nancy Olmsted Spanovich: Executive Director, Board Member

Nancy Spanovich and Mrs. Antoinette Hatfield (Senator Hatfield was a co-founder of the Wholistic Peace Institute)

Nancy Olmsted Spanovich, scientist, business owner, wife and mother, founded Olmsted Legacy, an environmental planning consulting firm that focuses on water, infrastructure, and alternative energy projects that create peace with the earth. Nancy's career spans more than three decades as an environmental scientist managing projects for multi-discipline engineering firms in Honolulu, Boise, and Portland/Vancouver, WA.

A transforming moment for Nancy came in 2009 when she was introduced to Dr. James Kim, who managed to reconcile with his torturers in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), i.e. North Korea and find the courage to build a University in Pyongyang North Korea. President James Kim's courage and conviction to build peace within lands of great oppression and while suffering great painful abuse gave Nancy the courage to depart from vocation of a corporate manager and to seek ways to become involved in researching, teaching actively educating for peace at the Wholistic Peace Institute.


Nancy was a member of the Portland Downtown Rotary Club where she chaired the domestic violence solutions committee, became a Paul Harris fellow and was nominated for the trustee board. Since that time her involvement with the Nobel Peace Laureate programs and the Student Peace Leaders programs inspired her to assist the organizations growth.


In 2013, she was accepted as a visiting lecturer at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology in North Korea though the trip has not yet transpired because of the uncertainty in diplomatic relations with the country. In 2015, Nancy agreed to serve as the Executive Director of Educating for Peace, the Wholistic Peace Institute (founded in 2001) after volunteering with several Nobel Peace Laureates and leading the development program for the Institute for the past five years. She brings business acumen and compassionate heart for teaching peace and acting on the mission- to "stop the killing", the mission of research, teaching, and peacemaking organization. 

Chris Spanovich: Board Member and Information Technology Specialist

2017 Heart of Gold Winner Ed Kawasaki with board member Chris Spanovich

Advisory Board Members

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Venerable Lahkdor, Religious Asst. to the Dalai Lama

Adolf Perez Esquivel, 1980 Nobel Peace Prize

Betty Williams, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize

Lech Walesa, 1983 Nobel Peace Prize 

Amnesty International, 1977 Nobel Peace Prize (Dr. William Schulz)

Physicians for Social Responsibility, 1985 Nobel Peace Prize (Dr. Bob Musil)

Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, Former President of Costa Rica & 1987 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, who was the keynoter at the Institute's "Compassion in Government" Forum in 2002.

Former President of South Korea, Kim Dae Jung, 2000 Nobel Peace Prize Represented by Mrs. Kim Dae Jung, former First Lady of South Korea & Chief of Kim Dae Jung Peace Center

Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize 

Dae Yong Shin:  Board Member

Dae Shin and Executive Team Meet with Andrew Young.

Dae Yong Shin, 50-year business owner in the Beltway of Nation's Capitol and pictured here with Andrew Young and Wholistic Peace Institute, is a man of  deep conviction and peace. Born into poverty the eldest of seven children to a South Korean family during the second world war, Dae Shins early life was finding his way in a world of fear, hate, and torture. Full article here. Shin emigrated the U.S. with 200 dollars in his pocket and was befriended by an industrialist in our nation. Who gave Mr. Shin the courage and the keys to his company for one dollar. This transforming experience has allowed Dae Shin to rise to the helm of three successful industrial businesses. Using his understanding of mechanical engineering and his belief in humanity 'this is the land of opportunity" he said. "I work hard, I treat people the way I want to be treated. I have been blessed" 

Father Thomas Yurchak, Board Member and Secretary 

Fr. Tom Yurchak, Pastor, St. Jude Catholic Church, Eugene Oregon; co-founder of the Institute and also Secretary to the Board.

He was born in Sioux Falls, S.D., on July 7, 1949. He attended Crozier Seminary High School in Onamia, Minn., before transferring to Mount Angel Seminary High School, where he graduated. He remained at Mount Angel for his freshman year of college before transferring to the Archdiocesan House of Studies at Portland State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in history in 1971. He received a magister der theologie at the Universitaet Innsbruck in 1975. Returning to Portland, he was ordained on June 5, 1976, at St. Paul Church in Eugene. 

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