Our Organization

Our Organization

Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling was founded in September, 1977 by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche as an affiliate center of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa’s dharma seat in North America.

Since the beginning, Columbus KTC has been guided spiritually by His Holiness Karmapa through Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and the lamas of KTD, and organizationally by the KTD’s president and its national board of trustees.

Locally, the Columbus KTC’s Administrative Board handles the day-to-day operation of the center, while the Practice and Study Team, headed by Resident Teacher Lama Kathy Wesley, takes care of religious practice and education matters. Board members serve as volunteers for terms ranging from one to two years.

Here’s an introduction to the 2015-2016 KTC Administrative Board, and our Practice and Study Team. We hope to see you at the Columbus KTC!

Resident Teacher – Lama Kathy Wesley
LamaKathyBio2Kathy Wesley (Lama Gyurme Chötsö) has been a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche since 1977. She participated in the first three-year retreat led by Khenpo Rinpoche at Karmé Ling Retreat Center in upstate New York, and thus earned the title of ‘retreat lama.’ Now, Kathy serves at the Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling as its Resident Teacher and travels to other Buddhist centers throughout the country to share the dharma. Kathy is a graduate of Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She lives in Newark, Ohio with her husband, Mike Wesley.

Director – Kim MiracleKim Miracle
Kim Miracle took refuge with Lama Kathy Wesley in 2001 and is a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. She has volunteered for multiple positions at Columbus KTC over the past fifteen years. Currently she serves as a Meditation Instructor and Director of the Columbus KTC Board. Professionally, Kim has worked for several technology companies in a variety of roles including Marketing and Product Management and earned her undergraduate degree from Otterbein University in Organizational Communications. Kim and her husband live in Columbus, OH.

Assistant Director – Michelle Evans
Michelle Evans has been attending teachings at Columbus KTC for several years and took refuge with Lama Tom Broadwater in 2014. Since then, she’s volunteered to assist with the KTC Kids program. Michelle joined the KTC Board as Assistant Director in April 2017. Professionally, Michelle is employed as in-house counsel for a labor organization. She is a graduate of Smith College and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Michelle, her husband, and son live in Powell, Ohio, with their dog, who has, on occasion, attempted to eat her humans’ dharma books.

Treasurer – Steve PhallenSteve
Steve Phallen took refuge with Lama Kathy in 2007 after having a mid-life crisis.  He is confident that studying the dharma is better choice than buying a motorcycle.  Steve is a graduate of Purdue University and left the corporate world during that midlife crisis to work in non-profit.  He is the Vice President of Finance & Administration for Philanthropy Ohio and also serves on several finance committees for other nonprofit organizations.  He was previously Treasurer at Columbus KTC from 2010-2014.

Secretary – Justin Fitch
justinJustin Fitch (Karma Shenpen Namgyal / “All-Victorious Kindness”) took refuge with Lama Kathy Wesley in 2012. He currently serves as secretary of the board and oversees the Communications and Welcoming teams; he also devotes time to other board initiatives, such as fundraising for the Rebuild Columbus KTC Fund. He teaches high school English in Dublin, Ohio, and lives in Columbus.


Member-at-Large – Eric Weinbergeric
Eric Weinberg took refuge with HE Tai Situ in 1998 and is a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. Eric routinely volunteers at Columbus KTC. Currently he serves as a meditation Instructor, meditation mentor, head of the CKTC prison project and as Member at Large on the Columbus KTC Board. Professionally, Eric has worked as a photo essayist, environmental scientist and Registered Investment Advisor. He earned his undergraduate degree from The University of Cincinnati in Environmental Studies and has completed additional study at the Aresty Institute in the Wharton School. Eric and his wife Jeanne have two grown sons, Sam and Max, and live in Columbus, OH.

Senior Meditation Instructor and Mentor – Darrell Petersdarrell2
Darrell Peters began Buddhist practice in 1972. In 1985, he took refuge and became a student of the Ven. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. A former director of the Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling, he serves CKTC as senior meditation instructor and mentor. Darrell received a master’s degree in journalism and worked as an editor for 30 years at the Ohio State University. Now retired, he lives in Columbus with his wife, Rochelle Peters.