Our Team Members

Weare the Toivo Team, ready to greet you with a warm and friendly smile! We are your peers, and we understand your challenges. We are experienced professionals, here to help you on your path to healthy, intentional living!

Do you have a question on holistic health and healing? Ask the Toivo Team!

Toivo Staff

Hilary Bryant
Hilary BryantToivo Director and Yoga Instructor
(860) 296-2338

Hilary is a 200-hour certified Yoga Instructor. Her yoga journey began in 2005 when she took her first class while seeking treatment for depression. Hilary practiced on and off until yoga became a central part of her life in 2012. Loving the clarity of mind, body and spirit that a regular practice brought, she decided to make it a career. Stepping onto the mat every day is now the most important part of her approach to peaceful daily living. Hilary is overjoyed to bring the healing power of yoga to everyone she can.

Deron Drumm
Deron DrummExecutive Director of Advocacy Unlimited/Toivo Founder
(860) 296-2338

Deron has reshaped his life by incorporating intentional living practices. After years of struggling, he found peace and health when he stopped seeing himself as a victim and started to take ownership of his past and present actions. Yoga, meditation, healthy relationships, positive habits and nutritious foods have allowed him to live his life free of the destructive behaviors he once engaged in. The workshops he facilitates are designed to help maximize one’s human experience.

Annette Deonarine
Annette DeonarineDirector of Latino Initiative
(860) 296-2338

Annette translates Toivo materials into Spanish and informs the logistics and activities of the holistic health initiative through the lens of Latino culture. In 2013, LUPA recognized Annette as one of Connecticut’s top 50 most influential Latinos. Advocacy Unlimited was also awarded the LPRAC Community Service Award for advocacy efforts and support in the Connecticut Latino community.

Linda Lentini
Linda LentiniGeneral Manager at Advocacy Unlimited/Walk/Run Group Instructor
(860) 667-0460

Linda uses her peer based recovery to educate, support and walk beside people during their process. She is the main facilitator of Recovery University and also facilitates Healing Trauma by Stephanie Covington at York Correctional Institute. As an experienced trainer, Linda supports others by drawing on her lived experience with the mental health and criminal justice systems. On a daily basis Linda incorporates running, meditation, healthy nutrition, and spiritual readings into her life. She facilitates Toivo walk/run activities.

Chris Grosso
Chris GrossoSpiritual Director
Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I’ve Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True, Oct. 2015). He writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, and more. A self-taught musician, Chris has been writing, recording, and touring since the mid-90s. He is passionate about his work with people who are in the process of healing or struggling with addictions of all kinds. He speaks and leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, rehabs, youth centers, 12-step meetings, hospitals, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs over Dinner and hosts The Indie Spiritualist podcast with the Mindpod Network.
Laura Le
Laura LeWellness Facilitator
Laura Le is a certified Laughter Yoga instructor. For the last five years, she has shared the healing power of laughter in various different settings, including hospitals, workplaces, libraries, parties, health conferences, and retreats. She has been has been interviewed on radio and public TV shows and has been featured in the Hartford Courant.

Toivo Instructors

Donna Gentile
Donna GentileArt/Design/Music
Donna is an artist and educator using art and storytelling to inspire, heal, strengthen and transform people and communities. As the founder of Community Mandala Project, she teaches Mandala Art Workshops to help us connect to our center, where we discover strength, personal power and our own natural ability to heal. Mandala art came to Donna during trauma and helped her heal. Today, she lives a vibrant, healthy and happy life, using her story of triumph to help others. Donna is also an accomplished singer/songwriter, seasoned graphic/web designer and loving mother.
Harold Howard
Harold HowardFacilitator of Chatting Drums
Harold has been playing self-taught Djembe since 2011. After many years of being homeless, and a history of depression, he found therapy, purpose and peace in drumming. Drumming consistently and continuously helps him come out of mental struggles. Harold is proactive in his recovery and helps others transition from illness to wellness. He believes that drumming does not cure anything. He says, “drumming helps people physically, spiritually and emotionally. It boosts the immune system, creates a feeling of well-being, and releases emotional distress.”
Leslie Salmon Jones
Leslie Salmon JonesAfro Flow Yoga® Instructor
Afro Flow Yoga® founder, Leslie Salmon Jones enjoys a career working with clients, students, diverse populations, and community organizations to help develop mastery over their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-beings. Since dancing at the age of seven, Leslie has been living her dreams as a professional dancer, certified holistic personal trainer, yoga instructor, certified wellness coach, and public speaker. She completed her BA in interdisciplinary studies in health sciences and dance at SUNY, NYC and has had the opportunity to study and train with world-renowned masters of dance, yoga and spirituality. It was through her intensive dance training at the Alvin Ailey School in New York that Leslie was first introduced to yoga, and nearly twenty years later, she remains dedicated to her yoga practice. It was the connection with African spirituality, yogic principals, the intrinsic expression of movement through nature’s elements and a transformational journey throughout Africa and the Caribbean, that inspired Leslie to create Afro Flow Yoga® in 2008.
Luz Lopez
Luz LopezZumba Instructor
Be prepared to have fun. Born in Colombia, certified Zumba instructor Luz Lopez shares her passion for Zumba with contagious energy. Luz believes that she passed through despair, in no small part due to taking a friend up on the suggestion to try Zumba.
Kelli Joy
Kelli JoySound Healer/Artist
Kelli Joy is a Sound Artist, licensed massage therapist, medicinal aromatherapist and sound healing practitioner.To help others heal, you must first heal yourself. So began Kelli’s journey into the depths of her Being to discover the source of love and joy that was always there within her hidden under layers of suffering, depression and addiction.

Through the use of mindfulness practices, sound therapy and meditative self inquiry, She shed the layers of depression, anxiety, and suffering that had ruled her life for many years and renewed my passion for living. Kelli hold sacred space for individual and group healings in various modalities that include meditation, sound therapy, plant medicine and art.

Amy B. Otzel, M.A., M.S., LPC
Amy B. Otzel, M.A., M.S., LPCBreath-Body-Mind Facilitator
Amy B. Otzel is a warrior of wellness that moves with a purpose! After serving as a U.S. Army behavioral health Sergeant in both garrison and combat theater, Amy went on to earn an M.A. degree in Psychology, an M.S. degree in Professional Counseling, licensing as a professional counselor, and teacher certifications in Breath~Body~Mind ™ and Holistic Stress Management. She continues to march on in pursuit of an M.A. degree in Integrative Health & Healing and board certification as a Health & Wellness Coach. Following six years of service as a Readjustment Counseling Therapist with the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, she range-walked into a new area of operations. Partnered with her husband, as co-owner of Nature’s Resource Wellness Market, she is an advocate of natural and vitalistic methods for balancing wellness. In private practice, Amy is the owner of Inner Resource Psychotherapy committed to holistically-minded integrative mental health counseling considering mind, body, spirit and all layers and aspects of one’s life continuing work with military members, veterans, and their families as well as multi-cultural adult male and female populations. With emphasis on conditions of trauma and stress, Amy regularly presents for educational and informational engagements. She is currently co-authoring a first book and is a collaborator researching the potential benefits of homeopathic remedies tailored to support combat-related posttraumatic stress. Her endeavors and accomplishments have been complimented by the valued relationships she shares with her husband, Nicholas, and son, Nicholas.
Michele Matthews
Michele MatthewsYoga Instructor
Michele Matthews is a 200 hour teacher training graduate from Sacred Rivers Yoga, and is also reiki 2 certified. She has been teaching chair yoga therapy since 2013. Michele is passionate about bringing yoga to those whom it may be otherwise inaccessible to.