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About Irene

She’s a smart, sassy scientist with a master’s in Psychology and a PhD in Neuroscience who studied the neural circuits underlying learning and motivation. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in premier academic journals, won over $2.25 million in grants, and currently serves on the UCSF Graduate Division Advisory Board.


She’s an award-winning educator. For over 20 years she taught science to students ranging from elementary to university, winning two teaching awards and delivering many hundreds of hours of content on stage and on the page. 


She’s an accomplished writer. You can read her monthly column at Shasta Scout, her magazine articles at Hidden Compass and Enjoy Magazine, her books, or her blog.


She’s an avid adventurer. If she’s not sipping a cup of tea at her ranch in far Northern California, then look for her in some exotic destination, playing Dungeons and Dragons, hiking up a mountain, or paddle boarding through a sea cave.


AND, she’s a dynamic leadership coach who works with executives driven by passion, purpose, and people. Learn more about her coaching at Inquiring Minds

Meet Tessa

Chief Operations Officer

As leaders know well, we are nothing without a strong support team! 

With shared values and similar purpose driving our individual missions it is no surprise that when Irene had determined it was time to enlist a sidekick for her journey, Tessa Borquez would be the one to answer the call. 


A tourism and hospitality professional for over twenty years Tessa brings an excitement for life, community, and adventuring. Tessa's love for connecting and being connected, together with her passion for creating unforgettable experiences led her to start her own destination and event planning business, Alacrity Destination Services in 2021. Driven by her mission "Explore, Discover, Savor", a reminder to treat every day with the curiosity of a traveler, along with the need for coaching through some challenges as a new business owner, Tessa found Irene lighting the way for leaders just like her.  


Today as Chief Operations Officer at Inquiring Minds, Tessa's pride in our work and positive persistence helps to shape not just Irene's daily calendar but the structural organization and community culture, as well.  Her collaborative and compassionate nature aids in our ability to provide leaders and their teams with a space for significant transformation. 


When not in work mode, Tessa enjoys practicing yoga, kayaking, camping, cruising and playing her crystal quartz singing bowls. 

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