Ray was born in South-East London and started his own building company aged just 18. From humble beginnings, the business has flourished and transitioned into a joint venture property company, covering all aspects of building, property management and corporate services for the past 25 years.
In the 1990s, alongside wife Marie and in addition to his property businesses, Ray ran two successful restaurants in the capital and an alternative health clinic in West London. The clinic offered an integrated and holistic approach to health, helping individuals from all walks of life to overcome issues relating to health, nutrition, emotional and physical well-being.
After a period of significant and profound inner transformation and with the birth of their son in 2000, Ray decided to take his family out of the city and pursue a different life journey. With Penninghame House, Ray and Marie knew they had found the ideal place to set up home, bring up a child and fulfil their dream of running residential programs to help people get the most out of life. With this vision in mind, Penninghame House Foundation has been formed.
Ray continues to be involved in his property businesses in London but his real passion now lies in his work as a course leader and driving the vision of the Penninghame House Foundation forward along with his wife Marie.
Marie is a Swedish national who has spent the last 29 years working in and around the restaurant and catering trade. From the tender age of 17, she ran successful restaurants in Italy, London and Sweden and also worked as a freelance luxury travel consultant, working to discover and research exclusive holiday destinations.
Marie’s passion lies with food, nutrition and the body. In the 1990s, further to her restaurant businesses, this long-held interest was pursued in the integrated health clinic in West London that she created and ran with her husband Ray. Their aim was to provide an opportunity for clients to experience a holistic approach to health. This was based on a combination of alternative and complementary healing methods – ultimately enabling clients to learn to care for their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
This vision has been carried on and fortified with the creation of Penninghame House Foundation. Since moving to Scotland, Marie combines bringing up a son with developing a strong vision of Penninghame House Foundation as a place that drives and supports the transformation of individual. Marie’s own deep inner transformation, after the series of life changing experiences over the last 15 years, has made her unstoppable in committing her time and resources to this noble goal.
Christopher Cooke is an international consultant, coach and trainer with over twenty years experience in pioneering and supporting personal and organisational change.
Christopher is simply curious about what is truly possible for individuals, teams, organizations, communities and countries. This provides him with a passionate capacity to engage the real issues of today’s increasingly complex world, using elegantly simple approaches that are based upon ‘life’s natural designs’ to support the continued regeneration of all life.
Christopher has led and attended workshops and courses on a global scale for the past twenty years. Working with individuals and groups from small businesses, large corporations and government bodies, he has a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in enabling businesses to adapt and grow an increasingly challenging business and economic environment. Further to the commercial aspects of his work, Christopher runs courses on helps individuals to assess their viewpoint, change their mindset and transform their life.
Christopher met Ray and Marie in 2002 and shared their vision as to what was possible with the Penninghame House Foundation and how it could create a truly transformational space for both individuals and businesses. Since this initial meeting, the dream of the Penninghame House Foundation took hold and became reality in November 2008.
Christopher is committed to a viable planet and a viable species, recognising fresh thinking is needed to navigate the coming years. He believes that the change we are seeking – what he would describe as requiring ‘Integral Thinking’- has already happened for over 15% of the planet, he argues then that we are just learning to grow into it!
Ela is a unique, pioneering spirit in an increasingly uniform and regulated world. Her proven ability to inspire, create and execute visionary concepts and ideas makes her a respected business consultant.
Ela is known throughout Croatia as the founder of the first health food business, the Gaia Health Food company, established in 1989. This was a ground breaking concept that formed the framework for all healthy lifestyles, trends and businesses in Croatia today. As a result, Ela was recognized nationally as an entrepreneurial role model.
Following on from the sale of Gaia, Ela has been working as a business consultant on various projects, ranging from corporate consulting to introducing progressive concepts to Croatia such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Cross-Sector Partnership, enabling further commercial and social development of the country.
Ela’s life long interest in spirituality, cosmology, religion and philosophy, as well as in her own inner growth has brought her to Scotland. After attending several courses in 2007, Ela got involved with Ray and Marie in shaping their new vision for Penninghame. Today Ela is one of the founding members of the Penninghame House Foundation, providing invaluable experience and expertise in the development of its vision. Not just fulfilling her commercial drive, this project also resonates with her spiritual side, in her desire to perpetuate the evolution of human consciousness across the planet.
Ela lives in Zagreb, Croatia. In her spare time, Ela likes to keep up with leading edge science and spirituality and to further her own personal growth and development with courses, travelling and meeting new people, getting out and into nature, gardening, storytelling and reading.
Andrew’s background is in business and includes great success in the Financial Services Sector in the City of London with extensive experience of starting, developing and selling businesses. Andrew has acted as Chairman of a number of small and medium sized companies, all of which were financially very successful.
Andrew’s business career created significant outer success and financial security but this was correlated with a sense of inner meaningless, loneliness, despair and isolation. In 1984 after a profound spiritual experience that deeply transformed his life Andrew felt drawn to seek alternative careers, where he would get more than financial rewards for his labour.
With a BA in Philosophy and Theology and an MA in Psychology, Andrew trained and qualified as a psychotherapist and provided a clinical practice in London for many years. Andrew has extensive experience in individual and group psychotherapy, gained through formal education as well as participation in a variety of trainings and targeted courses. He also facilitates groups on inner child work, psycho-spiritual development and addiction recovery groups. Andrew now works daily to further his spiritual journey and to support others in their own journeys.
After attending several programs at Penninghame Andrew became close friends with Ray and Marie. He was touched and inspired by the Penninghame experience and completely shared the vision for the Penninghame Foundation, becoming one of the founding members. Andrew also acts as Chairman of the Penninghame House Foundation, and brings his considerable business background to this role.