About RiverTides

RiverTides' programs and services are built on an understanding of the skills, commitments and perseverance required to create effective organizations and to manage transformational change successfully. We have extensive experience in the nonprofit sector in executive management; in concept, program and organization development; in strategic planning, and in organization partnerships.

The work of RiverTides responds to the challenges of these times in which ethnic, religious and cultural differences as well as economic disparities have become powerful forces pulling at the fabric of society - forces that stress connections among communities and with the natural environment. We see this transformative period in which we live as an opportunity to create new, more sustainable patterns.

RiverTides’ work is primarily focused in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State.


RiverTides is a project of the International Center for Integrative Studies (ICIS), which was founded in 1962 and reorganized in 1991. The ICIS works to integrate and disseminate innovative thinking, knowing that real change occurs in all cultures when a critical mass of common consciousness is reached. ICIS creates intentional networks of people whose concerns and commitments draw them together in a common bond of shared holistic and spiritual values. It develops programs and collaborative activities that advance these purposes by demonstrating new ways of approaching societal and world concerns. ICIS purpose is to co-create a common consciousness among individuals and organizations in order to kindle new visions for the positive future of humanity.

Over its 40-year history, ICIS has addressed national and international issues with programs in the fields of education, culture, communications, youth, and aging. Previous model programs included: The FORUM, an international communication network of 300 scholars and practitioners from 40 nations representing many fields of knowledge and practice, and The Door, an early national and international model for youth development and youth services (set up as an independent nonprofit organization in 1991 ). A new ICIS FORUM Online program, RiverTides, the ICIS Salon and RiverTides Conversations Series, and the Center for a Science of Hope are the current program areas of ICIS.

Director & Associates

Laraine M. Mai has over thirty-five years of hands-on, nonprofit leadership and management experience as a founder, executive, and consultant in the fields of education, youth services, international issues, and interfaith cooperation. This work has encompassed diverse cultures, traditions, and disciplines. She was a cofounder and Director of The Door, a national model for youth development and adolescent services; helped to establish The Interfaith Center of New York and served as its first Executive Director; and designed and directed several innovative youth and adult education programs including: The Learning Laboratory, a research and demonstration project serving youth; Women and Leadership, a retreat program for women; the EdTech Project, an education and consulting program on the creative uses of computer technology in schools; and the Quality of Later Life, a pilot health promotion and civic engagement project for elders. In 2002 she founded RiverTides. She currently serves as the President of ICIS.

Judy Chaddick serves as the on-site coordinator in New Mexico for Mustard Seeds. She is presently the Director of the District Gifted Program in the Espanola Public Schools and was formerly their District Science Facilitator. Judy teaches a graduate course in Inquiry-Based Science for elementary teachers at Highlands University and a distance science education course for the local community college. She has been awarded the Elementary Science Teacher of the Year for New Mexico and the Earth Science Teacher of the Year for the Southwestern Region. Judy has worked for over 30 years in under-served schools in northern New Mexico.

Michael O’Shea founded and directs Mustard Seeds and a retired executive and educator, having directed several human service and educational programs at local, city, and state levels. He was Director of the statewide Consortium for Medical Education for New York; Director of Education for the Department of Juvenile Justice in NYC, and Executive Director of the Caring Community, a multi-service program for elders. He has also been a college administrator and professor, and been involved in the formation of several secondary schools in New York, New Jersey and Florida.