Liz is a native Floridian who grew up in Martin County. She is running for Martin County School Board to give back and be of service to the community she so deeply loves.
Liz’s strong public-school education at Hidden Oaks Middle School and Martin County High School (Go Tigers!) gave her the skills she needed to be successful in her undergraduate career at the University of Central Florida and in obtaining her master’s degree in Economic Policy at Boston University. Her time in graduate school and her professional career kept her away from paradise for about 12 years, but in late 2019, she and her husband were able to move back home and now reside in Martin County.
Liz grew up around hardworking parents who gave back and valued this community. They helped foster her love of service, which has been the most fulfilling aspect of her life.
In her professional career she was a civil servant – working as an economist for the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). She was responsible for the private wage and salary estimate for the entire nation and was asked to join the prestigious GDP review committee. Later, Liz worked directly for BEA’s chief economist, where she helped to create a healthcare price index.
While Liz loved her work, she wanted to do more to help people directly and serve her community in a more impactful way, so she launched her own business teaching yoga, Pilates, and meditation.
Personal tragedies can often make someone turn inward. For Liz, several personal tragedies caused her to turn outward---toward her community---and vow to make a difference.
In 2012, Liz’s mom, Katherine Bernstein, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack at 61 years young. Her mom was her best friend, so Katherine’s passing was especially heartbreaking. But Liz embraced the moment as a reminder about the fragility of life and the importance of making sure every day is a day well lived.
At the same time, her own health was causing her concerns. Inexplicable symptoms, including sleeplessness, constant hunger, anxiety and weight gain were dismissed by doctors as the result of the trauma of losing her mother, Liz knew there was something more to it.
After struggling with the symptoms for several years, Liz was eventually diagnosed with Cushing's Disease, a rare brain disease caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland that results in high levels of cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone commonly referred to as the “stress hormone.” In 2015, doctors where able to successfully remove the tumor, however, a cut made to her spinal cord during the procedure required a second surgery to stop a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak.
To add to the grief of losing her mom, and her own health challenges, her father and “her rock”, Alan Bernstein, was diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer in 2015 and spent four and a half years battling the disease with endless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments before he passed away in 2019.
For most people, the grief and stress would have caused them to retreat into their own world with sadness and cynicism. But Liz is resilient. She chose to see these tragic losses and health challenges as an opportunity to forge a new path and create clarity in her life about what really matters. With loving support from her brother and her friends, she opened her own business dedicated to helping others, and immersed herself in volunteering in her community.
When Liz says she has made a conscious decision to dedicate her life to service and helping others, she means it. She’s learned from experience what truly matters.
Liz currently volunteers at The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in their education department, teaching kids of all ages about native Florida wildlife and our beautiful, precious, and unique environment. Liz also teaches meditation at the Martin County Correctional Institution through the One Love Prison Meditation Project.
Liz remembers the joy of representing Martin County High School in local, regional, and national debate tournaments, and wants to ensure all kids in Martin County have access to the abundance of enriching electives and extra-circular options she was afforded.
She is committed to strengthening Martin County’s public education and giving back to the community by serving on the Martin County School Board.
Education & Experience
- Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences at UF (IFAS), Liz is lifelong learner and believes strongly in the power of education. She is pursuing her Florida Master Naturalist Certification and just completed her Freshwater course in March 2022.
- One Love Prison Meditation Project - teaching meditation at Martin County Correctional Institution
- Busch Wildlife Sanctuary - Education Volunteer since April 2021
- Liz has completed many mediation trainings since 2009 but her most comprehensive is was the 2-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program through The Greater Good Institute at UC Berkeley, completed in Feb 2021.
- Liz is comprehensively certified in Pilates through Balanced Body
- Liz has graduated from numerous yoga certifications and training since 2005. She is an experienced, registered yoga teacher at the 500 level. (E-RYT- 500hr)
- N Street Village - very active volunteer for over 10 years including but not limited to:
- Chair of Young professional association
- On the Ambassador Counsel
- Started her business, Soulful Elephant Yoga (SEY) in 2014
- Research Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Untied States Department of Commerce
- Development of first Health Care Price Index
- Economist, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Untied States Department of Commerce
- National Income and Wealth Division- Private wage and salary estimate for the entire nation, largest component to GDI
- GDP review committee
- Active roll in the National Association of Business Economists, served on the Healthcare Roundtable
- M.A.E.P., Masters in Economic Policy, Boston University 2009
- IHS Global Insight, Consulting Team Intern
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Economics, University of Central Florida 2007
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance, University of Central Florida 2007
- Intern in the Regional Division at the Bureau of Economic Analysis 2005
- Institute for Economic Competitiveness at University of Central Florida 2003-2007
- Martin County High School graduate
- Hidden Oaks Middle School graduate