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ESD Global Board Members

Yehudit (Yudit) Zicklin-Sidikman

Founder & President

Founder and President of ESD Global Inc. – a US non-profit organization, is a thought leader, speaker, and educator on Empowerment Self Defense (ESD) with over 20 years of experience in the field. She is a fourth-degree black belt in Judo and holds an MBA with a background in psychology.

Helen Yee

Board Member

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Helen H Yee co-founded the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM) in 1990, after becoming a licensed massage therapist, where she is currently CFO. As a graduate of Ohio Dominican University and a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo, Helen competed nationally and internationally, and is a two-time National gold medalist, and was selected as an alternate for the 1988 US Olympic Team.

Mark Nessel is a thought leader, educator, author, and speaker on Empowerment Self Defense (ESD) with over 25 years of experience in the field. He holds black belts in jujitsu and Tae Kwon Do. He has BAs in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin Madison. and is a graduate of the MOR Associates Higher Education IT Leaders Program.


Mark Nessel

ESD Global Staff Members

Dawn Lindsey is responsible for the development and execution of the organization’s strategic plan. She has held a variety of roles throughout her career, including Chief Operations Officer with HOPE Community Development Corporation, Director of Real Estate Development with Intend Indiana, Deputy Executive Director for the Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation, Chief Operations Officer at Hi-Mark Construction Group and CEO of the South African Local Economic Development Network.

Executive Director 

Dawn Lindsey 

Sarah Stephens

Director of Operations

Sarah Stephens is responsible for enabling smooth execution of the organization’s strategic plan. Sarah has had a variety of career experiences including Early Intervention Services, Children and Family Services, Travel Management, Secondary Education, Music Education and Nonprofit Program Management.

Cassie Hitzman

Program Director

Casandra (Cassie) has a deep passion for social justice. For all. She considers herself a warrior for compassion. A feminist and anti racist, she seeks to change the world by transformation. She has 25 plus years in martial arts and holds a 3rd degree black belt in both Tae Kwon Do, under Marjory Allingham and Shuri Te Ju Jutsu under Kyoshi Troy Price (which she currently pursues) and has extensively taught both.

Kim Rivers

Mentorship & Certification Coordinator

Kim Rivers holds a Masters of Social Work from Springfield College. She has taught Empowerment Self Defense (ESD) at Berkshire Community College since 2006. Kim participated in ESD Global’s instructor training program in 2018. She received her Self Defense Instructor Certification from National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF) in 2019 and currently serves a member of their Equity and Inclusion Committee.

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