Elias Hengst is the owner of several DC restaurants and yoga studios and recently joined Minds’ Board of Directors. His father, Wolf Hengst, immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1968 and worked his way from the lowest rungs of the hotel business to run Four Seasons Hotels. His mother Carolyn, an ordained Tibetan Buddhist nun, raised three children while also teaching, completing her MSW, and practicing psychotherapy. After graduating from Middlebury College in 1996 with honors, Elias spent two years working in the technology sector before returning to Washington to complete his Master of Science in Foreign Service at Georgetown University. During graduate school, Elias’ latent entrepreneurial streak emerged: in 1998, he and a friend opened Tryst Coffeehouse and Bar—now a DC institution—followed by The Diner, a 24-hour restaurant. After several years, his focus shifted to opening farm-to-table restaurants, including Mendocino Grille and Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar. After 10 years in the restaurant business, Elias channeled his start-up experience into opening his first yoga studio, Georgetown Yoga, in 2012, and his second, Dupont Circle Yoga, in 2016. Elias lives in Georgetown with his dog and cat, Bodhi and Kingston, runs a local elite cycling team, loves hanging out with his three nieces in nearby VA, and goes to yoga as often as he can.