2017 July Newsletter


Good Day,

We are gearing up for the fantastic Mini Retreat in Santa Fe in September and over 120 people have signed up already.  Remember that you must register by September 1st so please don’t delay!

Read below for some important news on the upcoming Retreats, and what our members have been up to lately.

If you have any updates you would like to share for future newsletters, please email me or Leslie Dube (leslie@belizeangrove.org).



2018 DUES

Don’t Forget to Pay Your 2018 Dues!

The Dues Emails went out earlier this month with a link to register and pay your 2018 Dues.

Take advantage of the $100 Early Payment Discount and pay now!

Click here to pay dues

Click here to pay dues

Click here to pay dues

Click here to pay dues

Click here to pay dues

Click here to pay dues


Mini Retreat Registration is still open!


10593838516_7ba3411b8e_mYour guests MUST be pre-registered for dinner on Friday night, September 15, please click here register.  

We will not accept payments at the door.


Now that you have registered for the Santa Fe Retreat and booked your flight and hotel (if not, don’t miss out! register today!) here are our recommendations and next steps to get the most out of your visit:

1) Sign up for a pre-or post-trip including the following options:  Visit Georgia O’Keeffe’s home north of Santa Fe and see the landscape she painted.  Take a trip to the historic Spanish spiritual and healing Sanctuario in rural Chimayo. Visit Chaco Canyon, a Unesco World Heritage site. Travel the scenic high road to Taos and visit Taos Pueblo. Hike among ancient ruins in Bandelier National Monument.  Trips are Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

2)Santa Fe is renowned as a center of spirituality and healing. Call and make a private appointment with world famous astrologer, Tom Brady,  or our resident shaman, Jose Stevens, to explore your meaning and purpose in life and learn about ancient ways of “knowing”.  Bring pictures of loved ones or colleagues for Jose to tell you about your relationship with them.  Tom Brady: 505-954-4001. Jose Stevens: jose@thepowerpath.com and 505-982-8732.

3) Join the local Grovers for an unofficial soak and afternoon at Ten Thousand Waves Spa and dinner at Izanami afterwards on Saturday.  Make your treatments between 2 and 6 pm as dinner is at 6 pm sharp at the Spa restaurant, Izanami, for a chef’s tasting menu at $69 per person plus drinks. Grovers have reserved a few private hot tubs to visit and there is also a Women’s Tub ( suits optional) and Community Tub (must wear suits) you can use as well. Go online at www.tenthousandwaves.com to see the treatments, then call 1-505-982-9304 to make an appointment.

4) Bring your husband/partner/friend along to join the Mangrove activities planned for Wed, Thurs, Friday and Saturday…..including fly fishing, tennis, golf, hiking and a visit to the Santa Fe Institute, Meow Wolf and Los Alamos.  Contact Paul Rooker (508-864-0120 and prooker@foliomed.com) for dinners at 6:30 pm on Wed and Thurs and tennis, John Keating (jpk4653@earthlink.net) for golf, Caleb Whitmore (541-633-3075 and caleb@analyticspros.com) for fly fishing, Peter Prince (arc2arc@me.com)for hiking, and Mark Koch (mark@altny.com) for the intellectual pursuits! Friends/spouses/partners are welcome for the Boots and Boogie Dinner & Dance at Cathy Allen’s home Friday evening for a $100 fee (must be paid in advance) Guest Dinner Registration link.

5) Choose your offsite, behind the scenes discussion and tour option for Friday afternoon of the program. There are five fabulous places to visit, with interesting speakers and guides. You MUST indicate ahead of time which you plan to attend because of transportation arrangements. The five are: Meow Wolf, O’Keeffe Museum and Research Center, Santa Fe Institute, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, and the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens.  A link to register will be sent out soon.

We look forward to seeing you soon in Santa Fe and helping you explore the magic of the “City Different.”


Mayakoba, Mexico! January 18–22, 2018 

The 2018 Annual Retreat Planning Committee—Michelle Jordan, Linda Watt, and Elizabeth Crowell—is hard at work on our upcoming Annual Retreat in Mexico, January 18-22, 2018, where we are staying at one of the most fantastic hotels, brand new in the Mayakoba Resort Area—the Andaz, Mayakoba (click here to visit the website).  This is a beautiful resort only 30 minutes away from the Cancun airport.  We are planning Keynotes, Conversations With and several exciting panels as well as afternoon breakout sessions and fun activities and sports at this fabulous new resort. Optional afternoon sessions include, Golf; Sea Snorkeling & Cave Swimming Expedition; Cave Swimming and Purification Ceremony; Mayan Ruins of Tulum; Swimming with Dolphins Experience, and more!

Registration for these afternoon events is not yet open, details on how to register will be sent out this fall.

Room Reservations and Flights:   Event registration is not yet open; however, the room block is now open!

We are working with Deb Carr, with Cleveland Circle Travel-American Express, to book rooms at the hotel. Deb is also able to book flights for members and has secured a discount with United for flights if booked through Deb Carr.  United flies from everywhere to Cancun with a connection via Houston/Chicago/Washington Dulles/Newark/ San Francisco/LAX. As you plan your trip, you may want to consider coming in a few days early, or staying a few days late. Although spouses are not invited to join the group for any part of the Retreat, you can bring your spouse either before or after the Retreat to explore the region and/or join you in a round of golf. The Mayakoba Resort area is home to the El Camaleón Golf Club at Mayakoba, a spectacular 18-hole golf course designed by PGA legend Greg Norman with a par 72 and distinctive hazards, winding through an area of preserved mangroves. This challenging course is home to the annual PGA Tour OHL Classic. The golf club features a driving range and a short game practice facility.   We have also negotiated Preferential green fee for our group 3 days before and after the event.

BG is not taking room reservations. To book your room, contact to Deb Carr (deb@cctravel.com), with the below information:

  1. Name as it appears on passports (Make sure Passports have at least 6 months validity upon the return date)
  2. Date of Birth
  3. City of origin / Preferred Carrier or Flights
  4. Departure Date and Return Date
  5. Room type desired
  6. Roommate if applicable
  7. Cell phone number

The following room options are available:

GUEST ROOM RATES Guestroom Types:

Single/Double Guestroom Rate Andaz Guestroom $225.00

Lagoon View Guestroom $225.00

Beach Guestroom $295.00

Ocean Guestroom $325.00

Lagoon View Suite $474.00

Beach Suite $490.00

Ocean Front Studio $674.00

Room rates are quoted exclusive of local taxes, which are currently 19%: (16% Value Added Tax* (VAT), 3% Lodging Tax) and 15% of Resort Fee. *We have worked with the hotel to eliminate the VAT, and here is what you will need to do to avoid the VAT:  To remove the VAT fee from guestrooms, each guest will need to give the hotel a copy of their immigration form and a copy of their passport.  The VAT will be removed after the guest checks out of their guestroom.  A refund will be issued within 7-10 business days after checkout for guests paying individually for their guestrooms.  If a you do not submit this information prior to departing the hotel, you will not receive the VAT refund for your guestroom. Resort Fee Inclusions:

  • Welcome drink upon arrival
  • Hydrotherapy at Naum Spa, including sauna, steam, aroma-therapy, Jacuzzi, ice fountain and experience shower, spa treat and beverages
  • 24-Access to the fitness center
  • Yoga by the Beach
  • In-room healthy minibar, including healthy snacks and non-alcoholic beverages (alcoholic beverages available for purchase)
  • Access to Mayakoba’s outdoor tennis and paddle courts, including the use of rackets and balls
  • On-property transportation service by chauffeured golf carts 24/7
  • Bikes available to tour throughout property
  • Flip flops in guestrooms
  • Transportation ferry on the waterways within the Mayakoba Resorts
  • Transportation to El Camaleon Golf Course, Mayakoba’s tennis courts and paddle courts.
  • Non-Motorized water sports
  • Local Telephone calls
  • Valet Parking
  • Premium Wi-Fi throughout the resort and in meeting rooms
  • Bellman and Maid gratuity

Program Registration: The Annual Retreat registration fee is: $1885

As a part of your registration fee, for the first time, all meals will be included, as well as 12 hours of call bar brands from 11am to 11pm at the resort. Included in your registration fee, along with all meals and 12 hour open bar, are:  Retreat bag, BG notebook, program and all program materials, transportation to/from the airport on January 18 and January 22, transportation to downtown area for dinner. We are also arranging for a special night out on the town with dinner at the Alux Restaurant—in a fascinating cave that has been turned into a high-end restaurant. Pamela O’Rourke and ICON Consultants will once again be sponsoring the final night party—a luau on the beach! Please note that Room Registration is different than the Grove Program Registration, as usual. You will be required to register for both once the program registration is open to attend the Annual Retreat.

Pre-Trips/After-Trips: We are also looking for volunteers to plan a pre/post golf trip and/or dive trip.  If you are interested in helping to plan these or any other trips, please contact Leslie (leslie@belizeangrove.org).

Travel Insurance: We encourage you to purchase travel insurance. You can purchase travel insurance through Deb Carr when you book your room and/or room and flight.  Please see the attachment on insurance premiums and ask Deb about the insurance when you speak to her.

WCD Mark your calendars:  For those of you in WCD, we will have a WCD Dinner in Mexico City on January 16, 2018.  If you are planning to arrive early and fly into Mexico City for the WCD Dinner on January 16, you can also work with Deb Carr to book your flight to Cancun via Aero Mexico, which has several flights daily. Look forward to seeing you in Mexico! We will travel to Chile for our 2019 Annual Retreat.


September 13-15, 2018

We are thrilled to announce that the 2018 Mini Retreat will be in Seattle, September 13-15 with the opportunity for both pre and post trips.  Our Seattle Mini Retreat committee is already hard at work planning the event!  The committee is currently negotiating with hotels in the area, we will release the information as soon as it is confirmed.

Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft are just a few of the many companies with headquarters in Seattle that you will get to learn more about at the exciting 2018 Mini Retreat: Read more about Amazon in this exciting article from The Economist.


The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, the country’s groundbreaking legislation to end human trafficking and provide much needed support to victims, is currently up for reauthorization. The continued life of this legislation is crucial to our fight against child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, and that is why we are asking for your help.

Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced two bi-partisan Senate bills that reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).The TVPA emphasizes a victim-focused approach to combating human trafficking, while also strengthening restitution to the victims of human trafficking. Critically, a number of new provisions add protections for children. Contact your senators now and tell them to support the TVPA Reauthorization Bills.

This is a bipartisan issue. Member of congress and individuals on both sides of the aisle can all agree: the United States of America must end child trafficking and provide support for victims of these unconscionable crimes. We are counting on you to help us achieve a world where no child is bought, sold, or used for sex.

Innocents at Risk supports the Reauthorization of the TVPA in partnership with EPACT !  Please join us with your support and contact your Senator.


What the Grovers and Taras Have been Up to Lately…

Pamela O’Rourke, President & CEO of ICON Information Consultants, was featured columnist in the Houston Business Journal with a byline titled, “4 Things I learned Starting a Business as a Woman.”  In the article she discusses challenges faced early on in her career and her two biggest business lessons.

Also, Pamela O’Rourke received the Entrepreneurial Champion Luminary Award. The  annual Luminary Awards honor four outstanding women who have demonstrated outstanding business leadership in Entrepreneurship, Corporate Innovation, STEM Innovation, and Skills to Succeed.

Ivy Ross, Head of Design for Google Hardware, is featured in Cultured Magazine article Wild Thoughts with Ivy Ross.

Lara Metcalf and Social Finance led the world’s first social impact bond focused on connecting 2,000 documented refugees and immigrants to the workforce in Massachusetts, with the goal of improved economic opportunity.  The project will measure improvement in earnings over a 2 year period.   The groundbreaking deal was written about in a number of publications, including Institutional Investor and the Boston Globe.

Rebecca Boenigk testified before the Ways & Means Committee on Thursday, July 13th in Washington, DC.  She spoke about tax reform and small business. Click here to read a press release about her testimony.

Cathy Allen was quoted in the New York Times article You Don’t Have to be College-Bound to Take a Gap Year.

At an awards ceremony on Monday, July 10, 2017 Joanna Prukop received a lifetime achievement award from the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies at their annual meeting in Vail, Colorado.  The Association represents state wildlife agencies in the thirteen western states.

The Phillip W. Schneider Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the Western Association and is presented to the individual under the following criteria:

1)      Long-term commitment to fish and wildlife resources and the stewardship thereof;

2)      Outstanding achievements on behalf of those resources as well as in the field of fish and wildlife management;

3)      Fostering a vision for the future preservation, conservation and utilization of those resources and an ability to affect change toward that vision; and

4)      An affiliation of some type with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

The award is not necessarily given every year, as this special award holds a significant honor.

Joy Booker completed the New York City Triathlon! She participated with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training. Her team raised nearly $300K for cancer research. See pictures below:

JoyBooker_Pic1 JoyBooker_Pic4


Haven’t updated your profile on the website yet? Not sure what to do?

Watch this short video for step-by-step instructions. (NOTE:  To make the video larger – click the small “4 arrows” icon at the bottom right of the video – to the right of the HD.)


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

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