2019 - A Year in Review

virtues matter Dec 22, 2019

A desire to have a life of ‘joy, meaning and purpose’ is a universal component of the human experience.  It is the foundation for cultures, ages, genders and religions worldwide.

It’s why Dara started ‘The Heart of Education’ in 2006 (with book of same name) to transform our schools and the systems that support them into environments that embrace the love of learning and help to develop the whole child.

Dave also comes from a place of purpose with a career built around entrepreneurship, economic & community development, and sustainability.  

On January 1, 2019 we united and launched Virtues Matter, a mission-based business in partnership with The Virtues Project. with the basic premise - if people develop their virtues, all else will follow.

2019 was a busy year with many teachable moments.  Some of our  highlights are listed below. 

We are grateful for the generosity of support from all our friends, advisors, partners and associates who helped bring our year one vision to life!   We couldn’t have done it without your helpfulness.  We are excited you are on this journey with us.

 With warmest caring and gratitude

 Dave & Dara


Mobile App

Virtues Matter redesigned and developed a new scalable version of the Virtues Cards mobile app for the iPhone and Android. Launching January 2020 with four decks of cards, this interactive tool provides people worldwide with daily inspirations, affirmations and personal practices to cultivate positive qualities of character and strengthen relationships in families, schools, businesses, organizations and communities. 

Live Workshops

In September, we facilitated two sessions of A Pace of Grace, where we shared strategies to help people sustain a life of joy, meaning and purpose. We also held two sessions of Inspiring Leadership presenting authentic and thoughtful practices to help leaders influence, lead, serve and create a culture of inspiration, motivation and commitment.

City Montessori Schools (CMS) {India}

Dara was invited as a keynote speaker at the CMS International Conference on 'Character, Education and Future Impact' in Lucknow, India. She also facilitated a one-day Introduction to The Virtues Project Workshop.  Educators were so inspired by the work, that she was asked to return in June where she facilitated five two-day Introductions to The Virtues Project for 600 educators, as well as a 4-hour Introduction for Administrators. She has been mentoring CMS and is returning to train more educators, administrators, youth and facilitators in January. Dave held a 5-hour workshop "Initiating Sustainability on Your Campus and in Your Own Community", weaving in virtues as a way to build engagement.


Dara and Dave worked with The Virtues Project Faribault Team as they rolled out a community-wide initiative to promote the practice of Virtues. Leveraging relationships in the Chamber of Commerce, local schools, and other civic groups, we met with and facilitated workshops for educators and different community stakeholders. 

Global Mentorship 2019 

Attended the The Virtues Project Global Mentorship 2019 in The Netherlands with the theme, "Moving with Character”. We presented to Virtues Project facilitators and enthusiasts about opportunities to experience the new Virtues Cards app and how it could expand the virtues community.

Dara and Dave both led breakout sessions at's 2019 National Forum, “Navigating Character Journeys”. Dave’s topic “The Virtues in Business: Does it matter?” was one of the few non-education related topics and was well received. Dara filled the room for her talk, “Wholeness, Healing, and Well-being for Educators”.

Heart of Education Consulting

Dara continued her work in education by facilitating a variety of keynotes, workshops and retreats focusing on The Virtues Project through the lens of Social Emotional Learning, Character Education, Restorative Practices, Race & Equity, Trauma Responsiveness /Resilience, Mindfulness, Teacher Well-being and Whole Child.