December 2019 Newsletter


Good Day,

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Puerto Rico for our 20th Anniversary Annual Retreat!

The Program Committee Co-Chairs, Michelle Jordan, Linda Watt, Lara Metcalf, and Charlotte Whitmore, as well as our Puerto Rico Event Chair, Mari Carmen Aponte, Legacy Chair, Penny Peters, and our 20th Anniversary Party Chairs, Theo Schwabacher and Erin McCormick, have been hard at work putting together a fascinating program for you. A draft program is available below.

Lastly, this is your last chance to please update your Facebook Bios or your friends might not be able to reach you (or recognize you). Bios were due by December 15.  If you have not submitted your bio, please contact Leslie ASAP. Digital copies of the Face Book will be sent out in February, printed copies will be sent out shortly after.

If you have any updates you would like to share for future newsletters, please email me or Leslie Dube ( And don’t forget to share some of your favorite bumper sticker ideas here and we’ll feature in the upcoming Grove updates.

Best wishes for the new year!


20th Anniversary Retreat
Puerto Rico

Click here to register by January 10
Retreat fee: $1,850.00

We have a terrific retreat planned in Puerto Rico for our 20th Anniversary Celebration and have many exciting events planned. Read below for some highlights on events and speakers. Thank you to our terrific program co-chairs Michelle Jordan, Linda Watt, Lara Metcalf, and Charlotte Whitmore!
The official retreat will begin with cocktails on Thursday, January 23, and end with breakfast on Monday, January 27.
Please remember, this program is a draft and is subject to change.

We Need a Final Head Count!
Because this retreat will be our biggest one yet (did we mention over 200 members are already signed up!?), we need to ensure an accurate headcount for meals. We noticed at the past few retreats, some members decided to dine on their own and forego the Grove dinners, leave early, or make other plans. While all meals during the retreat are included in your registration fee, and we highly encourage you to join us for each meal and bond with your Grove sisters we need to ensure an accurate headcount! If you are attending the retreat, please click here to fill out the form.

This not-to-be-missed Anniversary event will include morning programming, featuring several panels with members of the Grove and a few special guests from Puerto Rico; afternoons open to spend exploring Puerto Rico, volunteering, at the beach at La Concha, or relaxing at one of the multiple pools between the two resorts; and evenings spent celebrating our sisterhood.

Click here and read below for a sneak peek at some of the special programming we are working on.

Evening Events

Opening Cocktail Reception and Dinner
Thursday, January 23
The 20th anniversary celebration will kick off with a cocktail party and dinner at the Condado Vanderbilt. Reconnect with old friends and meet new members as we reflect on the past 20 years of the Grove. We are looking for photos to feature in a slide show, if you have any you would like to share, get in touch with Leslie ( as soon as possible.

Dine Around Puerto Rico!
Friday, January 24
Mari Carmen Aponte has worked to secure a total buyout for a portion of Friday evening of three separate exclusive restaurants owned by the world-renowned Chef Mario Pagán. One of Puerto Rico’s top chefs, Chef Pagán became a celebrity when he participated in Food Network’s Iron Chef and became the USA culinary ambassador in Milan. Pagán has been featured in many publications such as Food and Wine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire Magazine, and Travel and Leisure. In 2014, Pagán was also a guest chef at the James Beard House. He is known for his dedication to introducing Puerto Rican-Caribbean influenced cuisine to the rest of the world.

He has also agreed to personally welcome us at each of his restaurants: Sage Steak Loft at Olive Boutique Hotel; Raya, a Caribbean Asian restaurant located at O:LV Hotel, and Mario Pagán, his namesake restaurant characterized for its ambiance and fusion of native ingredients. We also have STK restaurant as an option. STK is a unique concept that artfully blends the modern steakhouse and a chic lounge into one, offering a dynamic, fine dining experience. STK distinguishes itself by emphasizing the social experience and taking a vibe-driven approach to fine dining. Every venue has a DJ to create an infectious, high-energy atmosphere and the sleek environment is designed to encourage guests to interact and mingle.

The evening will begin with a cocktail party and our annual Live Auction at La Concha. We will keep the auction short and fun (remember the excitement of our auction in Chile!), we will have a DJ, cocktails, as well as opportunities to bid and donate! Afterward we will walk the short block/blocks to the three separate exclusive restaurants.
Dine Around Sign Up
Click here to sign up for the restaurant you would like to attend Friday night. You can only choose one and you must sign up ahead of time.

20th Anniversary Bash
Saturday, January 25
Start planning on getting the old bands and singing groups back together or form a new one for the new decade! Saturday night’s 20th Anniversary Celebration will feature both new and old acts from our own members. Have an interest in performing? Get in touch with Leslie as soon as possible to secure your spot! Space is limited!
Don’t have your own band? Don’t worry! We are working to secure a local Puerto Rican band who is known for its eclectic style! From authentic Puerto Rican music, to pop hits, there will be a variety of songs to dance to! Be sure to wear your dancing shoes, because this band knows how to party!
In celebration of our 20th Anniversary, or Emerald Anniversary, the party theme is Wizard of Oz.
What’s the dress code, you ask? It’s a Grove party, so costumes are welcome and encouraged! Let your look be inspired by the original 1939 film The Wizard of Oz; The Wiz; or Wicked. The dinner will be held at the ballroom in the Condado Vanderbilt, so you won’t have to worry about walking through the streets of San Juan dressed as a witch—unless you want to!

Farewell Dinner
Sunday, January 26
Take one last night to connect with friends and reminisce on your Grove experience. We will have a relaxing dinner at the beach at La Concha (weather permitting).

Volunteer Opportunities
We received numerous requests from our members for more volunteer opportunities while we are in Puerto Rico and we have listened! We will be sending out more information on how to sign up for these opportunities in the weeks to come, below is a brief outline of some of these opportunities:

Thursday, January 23
Plan on arriving early Thursday morning or coming in on Wednesday night to participate in two separate volunteer opportunities:
Speed Networking Event
Join us from 11:00-2:00 PM at La Concha for an event that has never been done before in Puerto Rico: Speed Networking! Meet with hand selected female entrepreneurs from Puerto Rico to offer expertise to budding businesswomen to help them learn best practices in leadership, networking, and how to get out of the trenches to cultivate relationships to build resources.
Click here to sign up for the Speed Networking event

Estuary Restoration with Estuario
The only tropical estuary within the National Estuary Program (NEP), the San Juan Bay has been recognized as nationally important by the EPA since 1992. Connecting eight municipalities in the most populated urban area of Puerto Rico, the estuary is home to hundreds of thousands of people as well as 500 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, and fish. With shifts in land use from agricultural to urban development, about 70% of the San Juan Bay Estuary Watershed is paved, and forest cover is highly fragmented. The remaining crucial habitats—dunes, mangrove forests, and moist coastal forests—are not only important to the survival of animal and fish species but also provide the first line of defense against tropical storms. The San Juan Bay Estuary Program (Estuario) has created adaptation plans that included strategies like infrastructure maintenance, public education, and green infrastructure implementation to help restore this area.
Join new Tara Brenda Torres, Estuario’s Executive Director, on Thursday morning, and help restore the Condado lagoon. Estuario will lead volunteers from the Grove around the lagoon where we will be planting plants vital to the ecosystem of the lagoon. Afterward, we are working with a local tour company to make it possible to rent standup paddle boards and kayaks to tour around the area! More details to come!

Friday, January 24
Glasswing International
Benefiting 25 students from Puente Blanco Educa Center and over 100 students from after school programs, you will help create a safe and tranquil reading and learning space for students k-6th grade.
Activities include: Includes institutional painting, painting of educational murals, creation of reading corner, decoration, gardening, etc.
Click here to sign up for Glasswing International
Important Note: There’s only 30 volunteer spots. The first 30 members to sign up are guaranteed a volunteer spot, those that sign up after will be added to a wait list.

Sunday, January 26
Join Brenda Torres again Sunday afternoon after the morning panels and take a trip to the farm where the plants are grown for the estuary restoration project! Volunteers will learn more about the ecosystem of Puerto Rico and the importance of the estuary project. Volunteers will also have the opportunity for a special lunch.

The room block for Puerto Rico is still open!
The room block at the Vanderbilt is completely full, but we have a few rooms left at La Concha! So book now before it’s too late.
We are once again 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.
BG is not taking room reservations.
To book your room, contact Deb Carr (, with the below information:

1.Name as it appears on driver’s license or passport
2.Date of Birth
3. City of origin / Preferred Carrier or Flights (if booking flights) We are offering a 10% discount on American Airlines flights through July 31st
4. Arrival Date and Return Date
5. Resort requested – Condado Vanderbilt or La Concha
6. Room type desired
7. Roommate if applicable – please provide arrival date and departure date of your roommate
8. Cell phone number
9. Credit card for hotel guarantee – you may call this in to Deb
10. Billing Address

La Concha, located directly across the park from the Vanderbilt. La Concha features pristine beaches and pools, fitness center, spa, Casino del Mar, and Fifty Eight—one of the largest bars in Puerto Rico, where you can experience vibrant performances, dancing, and music! Guests are also able to access world-class golf just 30 minutes away at the Bahia Beach Resort.
La Concha Room Rates:
$269/night + 11% Tax, 18% Resort Fee, $4 baggage fee, $2/day attendant fee
We expect this to be our biggest retreat ever! So book soon to ensure you have a spot at this exciting retreat! We cannot guarantee that we will be able to get more rooms, so once they are gone, they are gone!
Deb Carr’s contact information:

Looking for a roommate? Click here.

Bring your Grove photos!
Do you have photos or mementos from past retreats and get-togethers? Please bring copies of them with you to the retreat, or send them to Leslie ahead of time!


San Antonio- Sept 24 & 25, 2020
The room block is open!
We will be staying at the Hilton Palacio del Rio! Click here to book your room!
We already have a terrific committee working on panels and securing speakers. Thank you to our committee led by Rebecca Boenigk and Pamela O’Rourke, also including Rachel Boenigk, Elaine Eisenman, and Kathleen Mason.

Looking for Panelists!
For our fall retreat in San Antonio, we want to do a panel on In the Digital and AI Age, How Companies Can Go From Vulnerable to Vigilant – Rethinking Everything
Early warning signs of not being responsive to changes in your business environment may not be easily apparent. So leaders at companies or organizations need to groom their organizations to be responsive to weak signals of potential threats and latest opportunities
Looking for speakers, on this panel, from business, government, or the non-profit sectors, who have created multiple scenarios:
Invested in foresight
Created guiding questions from what you have missed in the past, diagnosing the present, and anticipating the future.
Please let Leslie Dube know if this panel would be of interest for you to speak on.

Winter 2021 Annual Retreat: Argentina
February 25-28 (tentative dates)
We heard your feedback and agree that Argentina in January will be too hot as it’s their summer and many of the people we would like to meet will be on vacation! We also understand that we are competing with board meetings during the first two weeks of February. Therefore, we are looking at the last weekend in February for the main event with pre and post trips planned. We are always looking for volunteers for the event, so if you would like to join the committee, please contact Leslie Dube!

Argentina 2021 Survey
Click here to take a quick survey to give feedback on past retreats and share your ideas for Argentina.


Angela Moore Jewelry
Calling all Angela Moore jewelry collectors! The originally planned production of Angela’s hand painted jewelry collection has been changed due to a fire in the production facility, and in the meantime, quick work on Angela’s part has brought us this brand new limited edition collection!
Semi-precious bead bracelets and pendant with hand finished silvered “coin” accents featuring our signature sun on the front and BG 2020 on the back. Choose from White Owl, Black Onyx or Emerald City.
Bracelets $40, Pendant $30. Relaxed Fit Bracelets $45.
Available for purchase in Puerto Rico or by order form if you are not attending this year.
Due to the change in orders, we did not keep the order forms from the originally planned production If you previously filled out a jewelry order form for the original production, you will need to submit a new order form or simply purchase in Puerto Rico.
We’ll also have prior years Angela Moore jewelry on hand for fill ins.


What the Grovers and Taras Have been Up to Lately…

-Earlier this year Lauren Anderson was invited to be an Executive-in-Residence Fellow with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Geneva, Switzerland, where she spent three months. She worked on Women, Peace and Security matters with additional focus on preventing violent extremism. Lauren was also asked to serve as a Judge for the Geneva Centre for Security Policy’s 2019 Prize for Innovation in Global Security, which was awarded in November 2019. AND, this fall, Lauren did a panel discussion on “Security Threats Facing America Today” in NYC with former White House Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco. The panel was moderated by attorney and CBS News Legal Analyst Rikki Klieman.

-Candida Brush co-authored the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report. Click here to read the report.

Tatiana Campos welcomed a wonderful new addition to her family. Congratulations Tatiana!

Dear sisters, on December 2nd we welcomed our big baby boy, Augusto Campos Serra! A very healthy baby with 8.7lbs and 21.5in. Our family is full of joy and looking forward to our next adventure!

Augusto Belizean


Last Call! Donate Items for the 2020 AFM Auction!
With the holiday seasons in full swing, it is easy to lose track of time. The Grove’s annual retreat will be upon us soon! We are asking for your help in making this year’s auction at the retreat one of the best yet. Won’t you make a donation to the auction to help us reach our goal?
The Adventures for the Mind Foundation and the Philanthropy Committee are bringing you the best auction, ever, in 2020. Our impact is in many countries on multiple continents, but for us, Puerto Rico is a major opportunity: it’s an American territory, and struggling to rebound. It’s a place, with a people, where we can make a real difference. Our own Mari Carmen Aponte is helping seed and lead economic development and she has done her own due diligence vetting NGOs and making recommendations to us. While there in January, we’ve arranged for onsite visits to some of our grantees and applicants to see just how and why the AFM deploys money. You know we support local groups developing education and employment opportunities for women and girls. Here’s where you can experience it. We are knee-deep in auction prep, and are asking each major destination city to offer up their best!
Your package for Spring-Fall 2020 needs your creativity and contributions!
Consider the many ways you can help:

  • Have an apartment in town you can offer for the weekend?
  • Favorite places to eat and drink you’d help underwrite? Think tapas to High Tea…
  • Have great access to producers, directors, curators in town?
  • Behind the Scenes: A deep look at collection in a major Gallery or Museum?
  • Know a high-end car service you’d donate for a few days?
  • Box seats at the Theater? Baseline at the Stadium?
  • Want to host a special dinner?
  • Have points that you can easily convert into great lodgings at a top hotel?

Remember, we are also looking for silent auction donations of things that not everyone would normally have access to, in order to create a once in a lifetime experience. For example, backstage passes for a private meet and greet, tickets to an awards after party, behind the scenes tour of a Broadway production, a day of cooking with a popular chef, brewery/winery tours, etc. Of course your house/vacation home by itself or in conjunction with any of the above items, jewelry, gift cards and sporting event tickets are always a huge hit.
How can you do that you ask? It is easy! Identify what you want to donate, complete the donation form, by either clicking the link or sending this form back to Rachel or Leslie, along with an image or two. Viola! It’s as easy as that. Now if you don’t have time to complete the form and submit, then just send to Rachel or Leslie an email with your donation, a description, a value and a picture and we will take care of the rest.
We hope you consider offering something on your own, or pooling resources with others.


Films of the Month- Curated by Naomi McDougall Jones and Emily Best

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


Little Women


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.)


Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”