Reverend Ross Foti holds a Bachelors Degree in Non-Western Civilizations from Allegheny College and a Masters Degree in Consciousness from Holmes Institute. He is an Ordained Minister of Religious Science.
Here are some interesting facts and whimsies about Reverend Ross’ journey thus far…
- Reverend Ross grew up in New York State on the eastern edge of Lake Chautauqua.
- Received a Bachelors Degree in Non-Western Civilization from Allegheny College and wrote a thesis on the painting and poetry of the T’ang and Sung dynasties in China, proving his hypothesis that a more accurate representation of historical events could be found in art rather than any government sanctioned history.
- Created and grew a successful landscape design and build company with an acre nursery of Sonoran desert plant materials in the Coachella Valley, introducing xeroscaping to a lawn-happy culture in the 1980s. He created this business with his partner Jack Tremaine. Their clients included Bob and Dolores Hope, Frank and Barbara Sinatra, Hal and Martha Wallis, Eunice Johnson of the Johnson Publishing Family in Chicago, and Eisenhower Medical Center where they landscaped the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, a courtyard in the Betty Ford Center, The Uhlein Administration Building, and The Hal B Wallis Research Building.
- It was while working for Hal Wallis and his wife, the actress Martha Hyer, that Ross came to hold the Oscar statuette for the film, “Casablanca” at the Wallis’ home in Holmbly Hills in Los Angeles. (Hal Wallis produced Casablanca).
- In 1987, Ross and Jack created The Trefoti Foundation at Eisenhower Medical Center, a foundation whose purpose was to provide cash grants for non-medical needs to people with HIV/AIDS: for example, money for airfare home to visit loved ones. The first recipient was a Latina mother of three children who used the money to visit her family in Mexico and introduce her children to their grandparents before she succumbed to AIDS.
- A gifted songwriter and performer, in October, 1987, Reverend Ross was invited to perform a trilogy of songs he wrote based on his experiences of losing a partner and friends to HIV/AIDS, along with Patty Larkin and other musicians, as part of the first public unfolding of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt on the Mall in Washington, DC.
- After these experiences, Reverend Ross moved to Amsterdam for 6 months to get some perspective on his life and to experience a progressive culture dealing with human issues in productive and inclusive ways.
- He returned to Northern California and studied Organic Agriculture in Bolinas in Marin County and became involved in the Sonoma County Organic Farm Movement, working alongside the Farallon Institute and other non-profits and for-profits to introduce organic produce into conventional supermarkets. During this time, he sat on a committee that organized the first Sonoma County Organically Grown Week – a series of community programs that culminated in an all-organic dinner with Alice Waters as our guest. This was 1991, long before organic was anywhere near the public consciousness and before Whole Foods became as ubiquitous as it is now.
- After this, Ross moved to Italy where he lived in Rome for two years studying the Italian language and culture while working for a company making and selling English-language Italian- dance music to clubs in France, Belgium, Germany, and Portugal, eventually moving out of Rome and out to the countryside, living in a farmhouse where he planted a garden, rented a piano and wrote music and poetry for a year and a half.
- Coming back to America, he settled again in Northern California, designing gardens and hardscape for estates and properties in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Mill Valley, San Rafael, and Tiburon.
- It was during this period that he became aware of the Santa Rosa Church of Religious Science and began his formal studies toward practitioner and ministry in 1998, and studied under Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen.
- In 2000, he moved to Santa Barbara and designed and project-managed the transformation of seven 1930s craftsmen bungalows into a modern condominium project within the strict design requirements of the historical district in which they stand. This 6-year project involved continuous interface with governmental agencies, the California State Real Estate Board, and daily engagement overseeing contractors and tradesmen for the LLC that owned the property.
- While in Santa Barbara, he furthered his spiritual studies at Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California, under the direction of Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith. He provided piano accompaniment for meditation and was an occasional featured artist at Sunday morning services as well.
- He received his Professional Practitioner license from North Hollywood Church of Religious Science in 2006 and once the Santa Barbara Project was complete, was hired by The United Centers for Spiritual Living in its Burbank office as Manager of Growth, Expansion, and Ministerial Support (GEMS). As GEMS Manager, he updated and redesigned a paper-wasting culture into a productive and more efficient department. Overseeing licensing and credentials for Ministers, Practitioners, and Covenanted Communities, Reverend Ross brought groundbreaking procedures and practices online to expand the capacity of the organization to better serve its constituents. He created and managed the Professional Standards and Ethics Team, updated Codes of Ethics for Ministers and Practitioners, troubleshot conflicts and gathered teams to resolve issues throughout the global communities, and in doing so, set a high-standard of customer service for communities and constituents.
- In 2008, Reverend Ross became certified as a Peacemaker during a week-long intensive at Unity Village in Missouri through a program designed and facilitated by Rev. Dr. Gary Simmons.
- In 2010, Ross received a Masters Degree in Consciousness Studies from Holmes Institute, and took a year off from organizational leadership.
- During that year, Reverend Ross took the opportunity to explore the world of money. After passing all Federal security clearances, he worked for a year at the Federal Reserve Bank in Denver, Colorado, studying its culture while cooking for the Bank Examiners, the Fed Agents, the Security Force, the money shredders and handlers, and the Board and Management staff. It was again, another window into the fascinating world of money – working above a cache of one-billion US dollars underneath him every single day!
- Reverend Ross licensed as a Religious Science Minister in August 2011 and moving back to California, studied the potential for a new spiritual community in the San Luis Obispo coastal area.
- In December 2011, he was called to Claremont Center for Spiritual Living where he served as a staff minister, an assistant minister, and an associate minister in a graying traditional church community. It was during this time that reverend Ross reinvigorated the community with new and original services and began his interest in creating curricula to empower students to be bolder and kinder, to themselves and with one another.
- In his eighteen months at Claremont, he wrote and facilitated new curricula, ran successively more successful courses, one after another, created a Sunday Evening community, Begin Within, a weekly yoga community with participants aged eight to eighty-five. While there, he created a dynamic Easter Service, a new Christmas Eve Service, and a new Good Friday service. He also created and developed a choir under the direction of KC Van Horne.
- In August of 2013, Reverend Ross decided to take a six-week sabbatical in which he spent time with family and friends in Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Boston, New York City, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. One of the highlights of the European leg of his journey was officiating at his niece’s wedding in a small village outside Cologne.
- Since returning to Claremont, California in September, 2013, Reverend Ross is creating again. His new ministry Always Be Growing, is a subsidiary of Global Outreach Connections, Inc, where he is an Associate Minister. Global Outreach Connections, Inc. founded by his dear friend and hiking companion Reverend Barbara Rush, is dedicated to taking the Science of Mind and Spirit out into the streets and across all media platforms to share tools that encourage people to transform their lives.
- The first week in November, Reverend Ross created and facilitated a three day retreat on Self Regard on My Baldy Village in Southern California. His newest course, The Power of Choice: The Art of Decision Making began in November and runs through December.
- Certified as a Restorative Yoga Instructor through the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, California, Reverend Ross leads a Saturday Morning Safe and Gentle Yoga class appropriate for all levels and ages every Saturday @ 9 am at the Claremont Friends’ Meeting House. Up to date information about class schedules are available online on Reverend Ross’ Facebook page, Reverend Ross..Always Be Growing.
- A new bi-weekly event, Quietude- a mix of music, silence, meditation, and message – takes place at the Claremont Friends’ Meeting House every other Sunday Evening @ 7 pm. Check out the events page on this website for more information. (December 8th: ADVENTure and December 22nd: Stille Nacht.
- Reverend Ross’ philosophy is simple: laugh, learn, and love. His mission is to help people live better lives.
To schedule a counseling session or to inquire about Reverend Ross’ favorable profit splits for 501c3 organizations and for-profit corporations interested in Reverend Ross teaching courses on your campus, please email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.