Our Mission

Serenity Grace Foundation supports organizations focused on nurturing, inspiring and empowering individuals of diverse backgrounds to build sustainable communities of local and global dedicated citizens.

Our Leadership

Karen Kohlberg

Founder

Karen Kohlberg is an interior designer, photographer, artist, and writer. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego where she studied humanities with an emphasis in painting and writing.  She has raised two amazing sons.

She is a member of the San Diego Women’s Foundation, the San Diego Botanical Garden, the Biodynamic Association, the San Diego Watercolor Society, American Society of Interior Designers, and North County Photographic Society.

Karen enjoys finding creative ways to live, create and give in San Diego.

“I love to bring people together through creative expression, to inspire them to grow as individuals and to recognize them as important members of our community.”

                                                                                                                                      – Karen Kohlberg

Cortney Bohling

Executive Director

Cortney Bohling has been serving Serenity Grace Foundation as Secretary and Treasurer for over a decade and is delighted to step into her new position as Executive Director.  During her time as a student and after graduating from Point Loma Nazarene University with a Bachelors in Mathematics and secondary teaching credential, she partnered with Loveworks short-term missions trips to various countries including Madagascar, Venezuela and Bangladesh where her passion to empower those in need grew.  In her free time, she enjoys raising her two children in North County, surfing with her husband, dancing ballet, and travelling.  Cortney’s love for people, education, and holistic health and wellness align wholeheartedly with the mission of Serenity Grace Foundation.

Board of Directors

Michelle Saul

Michelle Saul is President and co-founder of Possibilities Consulting LLC, where she has built an excellent reputation as a versatile consultant, trainer, executive coach and keynote speaker. Michelle excels at guiding leaders through change initiatives by facilitating visioning, transition management, leadership development and team development.  Her clients range from small businesses to large corporations, with an affinity for family businesses and their special succession planning needs. She is committed to sharing her passion for assisting leaders to achieve deep, meaningful and transformative change.

“Margaret Mead once said, “That the starting point for a better world, is the belief that it is possible.” Being a part of the SGF board of directors has been a personal journey of empowerment and inspiration, as together we strive to make the world a better place. The organizations that receive our grants, all embody the SGF mission and being a part of their sustainability has been an honor and a joy.

– Michelle Saul

Lisa M. Davis, L.Ac.

Lisa M. Davis is the founder of Vibrant Living in Harmony and has been practicing traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition and internal martial arts, for over 28 years. She is a graduate of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego, CA. She received both her California State license and her Diplomat in Acupuncture national license in 1991. Lisa concurrently studied cranial sacral therapy through the Upledger Institute International and received her Massage Therapist License at the Institute for Psycho Structural Balancing in Pacific Beach, CA.

“Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Serenity Grace Foundation and the organizations it supports do both by embracing the SGF mission. Seeds are planted and harvested- literally, at Olivewood Gardens. And figuratively through the leadership, education and guidance that inspires the individuals they nurture and support.  I am filled with gratitude and respect for the Serenity Grace Foundation. I am also deeply honored to be a part of the SGF board of directors.” 

– Lisa Davis

Advisory Committee

Frances Tyner

Frances is a Research and Impact Officer for Global Partnerships, a non-profit impact-first investment firm. She is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is responsible for running impact analysis for Global Partnership’s Sub-Saharan Africa portfolio.

Prior to joining Global Partnerships, Frannie spent four and a half years at Hall Capital Partners, a global portfolio management firm based in San Francisco. There she worked across the Capital Markets and Portfolio Management teams. At Hall Capital, she was a member of the firms charitable committee and was responsible for sourcing and conducing diligence on grantee organizations.

She was also an active member of Full Circle Fund, a Bay Area non-profit consulting firm, and was a member of the organization’s 2018 Rising Leaders cohort.

She holds a B.A with Honors in Political Economy from UC Berkeley and was a Princeton in Africa Fellow.

Our Story

In 1992, as an artist, interior designer and young mother, Karen Kohlberg wanted to serve communities in a tangible and meaningful way.  She focused on utilizing interior design as a conduit for positive change by renovating local nonprofit agencies that served youth in distress.

As a result, Design with a Purpose was established in 1994.  Through this experience, designers, architects, artists and photographers joined in making spaces for youth at risk.  For nine years, the organization created beautiful spaces for youth around San Diego County.  In 2008, with a desire to expand the original mission of the organization, DWP was renamed the Serenity Grace Foundation.

Serenity Grace Foundation has supported a variety of organizations in San Diego county focusing on creating art, dance, yoga, film, poetry, photography and growing healthy food as a way to further nurture, inspire and empower individuals of diverse backgrounds.

“My goal is that individuals we serve through the organizations we support will develop a clear and powerful identity that cultivates seeds of proactive compassion for themselves and others through collaborative creative experiences. My hope is to build a sense of belonging through these experiences which will inform each person we serve toward their maximum potential.”

– Karen Kohlberg