Staff

Jeni Dominelli

Jeni Dominelli

Founder/Executive Director

Jeni is a musician/songwriter herself, but also holds her B.A. Degree in Sociology from the University of San Diego in California and graduated with honors, having the highest academic average in her class for two years.

Prior to launching The Beat of Life, Jeni spent her career as a social worker for a diverse range of human and social service organizations and facilities both in San Diego and in Nashville. She spent several years working with foster youth and kids in the social welfare system, in case management and in Director and Management level positions for residential treatment facilities. This work eventually expanded to include residential facilities for adults suffering with mental illness. She has also worked as a Healthy Lifestyle Director for Dementia/Alzheimer’s patients, as a Facility Manager for Developmentally Disabled teens, and briefly in education, as a substitute teacher with an Emergency Teaching Credential for grades K-12, and as a teacher and Associate Director of Education for Sylvan Learning Centers. In addition to her professional positions, she has worked as a volunteer and coordinator of projects and teams serving halfway houses, centers for the blind, cancer patients, and the homeless – including Habit For Humanity House-building in Mexico and Hope Worldwide, and as a Big Sister mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle TN. She has won several awards for her writing and performed both as a songwriter and as part of a duo for over half her life in San Diego and in Nashville, where she has lived the last 10 years.

Because of her musical background, Jeni was eventually recruited to create a therapeutic music program for a brand new residential facility for foster youth, and subsequently for adults with developmental disabilities such as Autism, Down Syndrome, and TBI (traumatic brain injury) – both which eventually spearheaded her desire to merge her passions for music and social work/human services to launch the non-profit organization that is now The Beat of Life.

Please see “About Us: A Message From The Founder” for more on our Founder and the story behind the inception of The Beat of Life.

Steve Bryant

Steve Bryant

Director of Programs

Nashville Bassist Steve Bryant is a lifetime career musician whose session credits include Lady Antebellum, Brooks and Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, Steve Holy, Keith Whitley, and Ricky Skaggs to name a few… He also teaches privately world wide via Skype and does remote recording tracking bass to projects from his home studio.. He loves the outdoors, reading, cycling, hiking, and sharing a trail with friends. His childhood experiences of family dysfunction drives his work at The Beat Of Life in bringing the transformative and healing power of music to those hurting.

Lori Dixon

Lori Dixon

Vice President of Programs and Strategic Alliances

Lori has always had a love for music.  As a child, she was in choir as soon as they would take her at 4 years old.  She sang in choirs and in shows all the way through high school.  Besides singing and writing, she was an avid supporter of independent music, often booking her friends from around the country in NY clubs like CBGB’s and The Bitter End while she lived in The Big Apple.  While attending the State University of New York she took vocal classes as electives, never truly thinking she would use music for more than her own personal enjoyment.  She sang backing vocals and did voice over work in a NY studio as she made her way through college but her degree focus was environmental science, animal behavior, education and working in the non-profit world helping others and environmental causes.

Upon receiving her degree, Lori became a cruelty investigator for the Humane Society, a zookeeper, a disaster relief specialist, a certified wildlife rehabilitator and an environmental educator focusing on inner city children and natural area conservation.  Music was her hobby, and supporting local artists was her main activity when she had free time.

A job as a curator for the Nashville Zoo brought her to Nashville in 1995.  She continued to enjoy local artists and also pursued a Master’s Degree in Education.  Through her passion for children and the power of animals and music in therapy, her path crossed with Jeni Dominelli and the Beat of Life.  Steve Bryant, COO for TBOL introduced them.  Lori was helping the same populations as TBOL through the use of horses in a therapeutic setting.  Lori was so impressed with all TBOL was doing, she soon began volunteering.   Lori partnered with TBOL to turn a writing prompt lesson with her exceptional middle school children into a song, We Can Change the World.  Lori went from volunteer to Education Specialist to Board Member to Staff member for The Beat of Life and is very proud of her position as Vice President of Programs and Strategic Alliances.  Lori continues to act as a songwriter for TBOL in addition to her VP duties and she calls this her “bucket filler”.

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