Briarpatch Apprentices

Helping Make a Better World, One Business at a Time

In this page you’ll find information about apprentices to the Briarpatch coordinator:

Learning about the Briarpatch

Through personal contacts, networking, and the Apprentice Alliance, Briarpatch has enjoyed the support of a special group of right livelihood seekers.

In search of a deeper learning about right livelihood and simple living, these volunteers traded their labor in exchange for mentorship and guidance from the coordinator and other members.

Sometimes they were deeply immersed in the operations of a particular business. At other times, they directly assisted in the management and coordination of the network itself; sometimes both.

Claude Whitmyer

Claude Whitmyer apprenticed with Shali (the second coordinator, Charles Albert Parsons) for more than a year before becoming the current Network coordinator.

Shali trained him in all the systems and procedures that had been developed to that point for managing the network. 

Claude apprenticing with Shali on a weekly consulting team outing.
Claude apprenticing with Shali on a weekly consulting team outing.

He also offered extensive guidance in the culture and social norms of the community and how best to support Michael’s efforts on behalf of the network.

Anders Åhlund

Anders apprenticed with Claude Whitmyer way back in the early 1980s, working as a clerk at Living Lightly, the alternative energy/city living retail store on 9th Avenue in San Francisco.

Today he is the County Director for the province of Västmanland in his native Sweden. This position follows a career in government including the Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Finance.

Anders Ahlund

Anthony Giovanniello, Ms. Ac., L.Ac.

In the early 1980s, Anthony Giovanniello also worked with Claude Whitmyer as a paid clerk at Living Lightly, an urban version of the Whole Earth Truck Store. Later Tony assisted Claude with his business and Briarpatch stuff.

Anthony Giovanniello

Giovanniello holds a Masters Degree in Science and Acupuncture, is Nationally Board Certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and specializes in the treatment of PTSD, anxiety, depression, addictions and end of life issues.

Anthony is the founder of Acupuncture Ambassadors, a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to organize sustainable acupuncture treatment clinics worldwide for the care of refugees, victims of violence, human trafficking, and war.

Mart Pearson

In the early 1980s, Mart Pearson was another paid clerk at Living Lightly and considers his apprenticeship with Claude Whitmyer to be more of an informal one, learning under Whitmyer as the General Manager.

Later he assisted Claude with Briarpatch correspondence and served on the committee that put together the original set of documents used to manage the mountains of correspondence Briarpatch was receiving back then.

Mart Pearson

They also worked together at an early high-tech startup in the late 1980s.

Today Mart is at the pinnacle of his career, serving as Vice President, Europe for Cohera Medical, a Dutch Company. He spent more than a quarter of a century in international sales and marketing of medical devices, with a focus on the introduction of innovative products. He lives in Northern Italy.

Chris Mays

Chris is a person of many talents. He had been a professional photographer prior to his apprenticeship but was in search of a new direction.

After spending more than a year assisting the coordinator in back-office tasks, newsletter and directory production, and other tasks, he settled on library sciences and returned to school.

Today he’s nearing retirement as a tenured librarian at San Francisco State University.

Chris Mays

Hidetake Enomoto

Claude Whitmyer met Hidetake Enomoto at California Institute of Integral Studies and served as thesis advisor for his Master of Arts in Organizational Transformation.

Hidetake Enomoto

Hide went beyond the usual student/advisor relationship to engage in a period of in-depth study of the “Good Work Guidance” process Whitmyer developed from his experiences with Briarpatch.

This process is designed to help people apply the principles and practices of right livelihood and simple living to shaping and directing their careers.

With Claude’s encouragement, Enomoto also pursued certifications in coaching and psychosynthesis. He combined the knowledge of individual and organizational psycho-dynamics he learned in the organizational transformation program with the learnings from his certifications and his work with Whitmyer to create a unique form of coaching.

And so began the story of how Hide Enomoto single-handedly introduced career coaching to his native Japan.

Hidetake Enomoto and Claude Whitmyer
Hidetake Enomoto

In a culture that has emphasized the good of the many over the good of the one and has not traditionally valued individual fulfillment, Mr. Enomoto’s seminars and workshops on finding personally meaningful work struck a chord with professionals there.

Following his success with coaching in Japan, Hide spent several years researching eco-villages, living for three years at the Findhorn intentional community in Scotland. He is currently a leader in the Transition Towns green metro movement in Japan.

Enomoto is available for cross-cultural workshops and web or teleconferences on new developments in the Japanese workplace, community building, and eco-villages. He is the author of Coaching (PHP, 1999) and translator of the Japanese edition of Virtual Teams (by friends of the Briarpatch Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps).

Other Apprentices

These apprentices are no less important to our success than the others. However, we’ve lost track of each other and we’ve been unable to pull as much bio info from the records as we did for the others. They also don’t show up on Google searches. If you know them or if you are one, please get in touch by email so we can correct this.

(claude[dot]whitmyer[at]gmail[dot]com or our contact form.

  • June Cheng
  • Kathleen Gorman
  • Sarah Parton
  • Victoria Maki
Claude with apprentices Sarah Parton and June Cheng.
Claude with apprentices Sarah Parton and June Cheng.
Victoria Maki
Victoria Maki