Meet The Team

Seph Fontane Pennock

Founder, CEO

Top 3 Strengths
bravery, hope, love of learning

With his work in positive psychology, Seph has been able to help tens of thousands of practitioners and educators all around the world.

Seph strongly believes that we can deal with most of life’s absurdities by leveraging human connection and challenging ourselves, instead of using dogma or pharmaceutical drugs.

Hugo Alberts, PhD.

Founder, CPO

Top 3 Strengths
creativity, love of learning, curiosity

Dr. Hugo Alberts (Ph.D.) – psychologist, researcher, and entrepreneur. Upon completion of the master’s psychology in 2002, he obtained his doctorate in 2007 on the theme of self-control.

In 2008, mindfulness was a major focus of his research and teaching. Through controlled lab- and field studies his research seeks to provide insight into the effectiveness of this method and the processes that underlie mindfulness.

Ernst Jansen

Senior Programmer

Top 3 Strengths
humor, perseverance, self-regulation

The Caesar of CSS, head honcho of HTML, the prince of PHP,  whatever you want to call him, none of this would be possible without our main man Ernst. We get an idea, Ernst makes it a reality.

Craig Smith

Community manager

Top 3 Strengths
creativity, appreciation of beauty and excellence, kindness

Aka ‘Craig Daddy‘. The epitome of kindness. Traded his shrill guitar sound for the sound of his daughter’s laughter. Craig takes amazing care of everyone involved with, whether it’s our customers, writers, or enthusiasts reaching out, Craig is always there to help.

Lucinda Poole, PsyD.

Tool developer

Top 3 Strengths
social intelligence, love, and curiosity

Dr. Lucinda Poole is a psychologist, researcher and mindfulness teacher from Melbourne, Australia. Lucinda is trained and experienced in a number of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, and interventions drawn from Positive Psychology research (e.g., strength-based change, self-compassion, gratitude, resilience).

Courtney Ackerman, M.A.

Researcher, writer

Top 3 Strengths
judgment, humor, and perseverance

Courtney is currently working as a healthcare workforce researcher for the state of California and a regular contributor to the Positive Psychology Program blog. She is also the author of two books based on concepts rooted in positive psychology: My Pocket Positivity and 5-Minute Bliss (available in June 2019). She has a passion for taking research findings and translating them into concise, actionable packages of information that anyone can understand and implement.

Annelé Venter


Top 3 Strengths
creativity, gratitude, spirituality

With her zest for life and a love for the written word, is blessed to have Annelé as its publisher. Annelé beautifully formats the blog contents and lays a final set of eyes on all content before it airs.

Beata Souders, PsyD candidate

Researcher, writer

Top 3 Strengths
love of learning,  appreciation of beauty and excellence, curiosity

Beata Souders is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Psychology at CalSouth and MA in Creative Writing at SNHU, she holds a master’s degree in Positive Psychology from Life University. An ICF certified coach and a Gottman Institute Certified Educator, Beata is on the Executive Committee for the Student Division of the International Positive Psychology Associations and has published and presented on subjects ranging the Flow Theory to learned helplessness.

Elaine Houston, BSc (Hons)

Researcher, writer

Top 3 Strengths
prudence, love of learning, judgment

Originally from Ireland, Elaine Houston is an independent business owner and Behavioral Science graduate with an honors degree from the University of Abertay, Scotland. After graduating, Elaine developed her passion for psychology through a range of avenues, focusing on consumer and small business psychology before going on to work within her local community as a learning and development officer. When she isn’t working, Elaine enjoys exploring creative outlets such as painting, drawing, and photography.

Catherine Moore, MBA, BSc

Researcher, writer

Top 3 Strengths
creativity, social intelligence, humor

Catherine Moore has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Melbourne. She enjoys researching and using her HR knowledge to write about Positive and Organizational psychology. When she isn’t getting super ‘psyched’ about her favorite topics of creativity, motivation, engagement, learning, and happiness, she loves to travel.

Valentina Macias Vasileff, BSc.

Support manager

Top 3 Strengths
humor, teamwork, kindness

As a soon to be clinical psychologist, Valentina focuses mainly on the ‘negative’ side of the human condition whilst selectively having to ignore that everyone, even those with severe psychiatric conditions, have strengths and good things going for them. She now believes that traditional psychology must work with these strengths in order to improve life satisfaction, decrease clinical symptoms, and foster an overall change in the mentality of clients.

Allie Rigby

Editor in Chief

Top 3 strengths
open-mindedness, creativity, and playfulness

Allie is an editor, teacher, and writer based in Northern California. She graduated from Scripps College in 2014 after merging her passions for sociology, environmental studies, and creative writing.  Editing for has reinvigorated her love of good, clean writing that delivers helpful content to readers. She feels lucky to edit content that emphasizes the value of resilience, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence.

About the Founders

Since 2013, Seph Fontane Pennock (left) and Hugo Alberts (right) have been building the world’s most extensive, science-based positive psychology platform.

Their aim is to provide helping professionals with the right knowledge and tools to apply positive psychology in real-life settings and make a difference in the lives of their clients and students.