January 2019 Newsletter


Good Day,

Hope 2019 is off to a great start for you! The 2019 Annual Retreat in Chile was a huge success! Thank you to the entire Chile Retreat Committee for all their hard work and excellent planning, and especially to our fearless co-chairs, Kathy Barclay and Lucy Pamboukdjian. The Program was very informative and exciting, with plenty of time to explore all the beautiful country has to offer! Check for updates from the trip on our website in the next few weeks.

The Belizean Grove has some exciting things planned for the years ahead – be sure to read everything below and visit our website as we are constantly updating and making new additions to the content. If you have any updates you would like to share for future newsletters, please email me or Leslie Dube (leslie@belizeangrove.org).



Face Book 2019 Hard Copy Request Form

The 2019 Face Book is almost ready! We have a draft available for viewing in the link below.

To view the 2019 Face Book, click here!

This is the last call for updated bios, you must submit it by Friday, February 8. If you are a new member or if you need to update your bio, please fill out this template and email it to facebook@belizeangrove.org Digital copy will be posted February 15th.
If you would like a hard copy and did not fill out a form at the Annual Retreat, please click here to request your copy


AFM Auction Update

The Adventures for the Mind Foundation (AFM) LIVE auction in Chile raised over $75,000! And that was just in one night! Because of your donations we were able to achieve our goal and make it over $1,000,000 in donations!

Couldn’t make it to Chile? There is still time to participate in the auction and make an impact! Think about how much more we can bring in when you have time to plan and think with our new ONLINE auction! Keep a look out for instructions on how to create an online account to view and bid on items in the next few weeks.

The money that has been raised over the years from our auctions has allowed AFM to continue to help women and girls in need across the globe! AFM funds organizations in the United States, Latin America, South America, and the Caribbean. These are organizations that are close to the hearts of members. The money that has been raised has gone to charities we have worked with in the countries we have visited, as well as your own local charities.

Auction Spotlight
4 Passes to the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Each pass encompasses the admittance of 2 people. The special weekend pass that allows the bid winners into regularly priced screenings, press screenings, the SIFF Lounge and Festival Forums on these 4 days, May 17-20, 2019. Four passes for two people each (8 people!) to this exciting Spring weekend celebration of the arts, the largest film festival in the US. Each pass is valued at $250+ (and hard to get!).


In this new section you can share with other members, job opportunities, upcoming books, real estate, job openings, etc.

Click here to submit you own post and look at other members’ posts.
*Be sure to leave any necessary contact info such as a phone number or email as well as the urls to any links you would like to include.*


What the Grovers and Taras Have been Up to Lately…

-Naomi McDougall Jones movie Bite Me! has just been invited to have its world premiere at the prestigious Cinequest Film Festival (https://www.cinequest.org/) in Silicon Valley, March 5-17, 2019, and we have happily accepted!

Cinequest is solidly at the top of the next tier down of film festivals, which more and more are the homes of true independent films. Cinequest is highly regarded within the industry, and, from everyone we’ve spoken to, is considered a terrific, well-run film festival that brings an innovative, forward-thinking Silicon Valley edge to its film programming and festival.

Bite Me! is a subversive romantic comedy about the real-life subculture of people who believe that they’re vampires and the IRS agent who audits them (www.bitemethefilm.com).

Avanthi Shah has been selected to join the Board of FINCA International, Washington DC.

Ramya Swaminathan’s new company, Malta, just spun out of Google X! Ramya has been doing important work in renewable energy development for a number of years, and now will continue that work as CEO of Malta, an innovative renewable energy storage company. Click here to read more.

Amy Kaslow is the creator of  K/NOW, which is a fresh online news missive named by Forbes Magazine a Top Ten Newsletter of 2018. K/NOW posted a piece titled Chile: South America’s Most Stable Country
Reluctant Host to Migrants, 
you can click here to read it.

-Article that members may be interested in: Everyone Knows Innovation is Essential to Business Success—Except Board Directors

-Please find clips below of Theo Schwabacher’s local interview about requiring Women on Boards with NBC Bay Area, San Jose, CA – January 27, 2019


RECAP: 2019 Annual Retreat- Santiago, Chile

“Life is short. Break the rules, do more, need less, smile often, be brave, stay true, dream big, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.”

Thank you so much to all who attended the Chile Retreat! Susan Stautberg’s opening speech is available to read here.

If you were a speaker and have resources to share and would like on the website, send to Leslie Dube at leslie@belizeangrove.org. We had so many wonderful and productive table topic discussions this year! We want these amazing conversations to continue! Please share your table topic recaps with Leslie to post on the website. If you have other material to share from your table topic, please also send to Leslie.

Below are the insights from the Sarah Kemp (Tara) and Dona Crawford (Grover) led topic:

DEALING WITH JERKS: from the C-Suite to the Mailroom – How to Survive Them!

*All “solutions” require a long term approach/strategy
*Women are jerks too
*You have to get rid of some jerks; some jerks are salvageable
*Start with polite private confrontation (some jerks do not know they are being jerks)
*We should remember our parenting skills when dealing with jerks
*Ignore the narcissist
*Practice indifference and emotional detachment
*Document, document, document
*Enlist help, have a trusted colleague support you/your ideas/your approach
*If there are other victims, form a posse – safety in numbers
*Go to HR
*Take legal action as a last resort

Helpful tips for dealing with smaller issues that derail meetings:
*For the interrupter – signal time or say thank you for supporting my position.
*For the group that always tried to talk over you. Try setting a specific time on the agenda for summary and use that time to show your ability to analyze what was said.
*Know when to just remove yourself if someone crosses a line.


Join us in St. Louis, Missouri for our 2019 Mini Retreat September 12-14, 2019

Once regarded as a forgettable city in “flyover country” – St. Louis has been selected as one of WSJ’s 10 best travel destinations for 2019. St. Louis is more than just a Gateway to the West. Known for its famous arch, St. Louis is a lively destination in its own right; full of inviting neighborhoods, stunning parks, such as the Missouri Botanical Garden, varied night life, and restaurants that draw on the bounty of surrounding farmland and rivers. With a mix of Midwestern sensibility and southern charm, St. Louis is a city looking to the future.

We will be staying at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. Offering a hot tub and fitness center, a rooftop bar and restaurant, Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark overlooks the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. The St. Louis Gateway Arch is 1,650 feet from this fabulous hotel, while Old Courthouse is 650 feet from the property. The nearest airport is Lambert- St.Louis International Airport, 12 mi from the property. The St. Louis committee (Laura Herring, Lauren Herring, Sharon Fiehler, and Susan Block) is already hard at work planning the event! They have already started working on their program and the exciting events they have in store for us all.

The room block is now open!

Click here to reserve your room

Guests are welcome to start booking reservations using the link or by calling 1-800-445-8667 and referencing your group code “BEL.”


Puerto Rico 2020

Our 20th anniversary retreat will be held in Puerto Rico in January 2020! More info coming soon!

Check out some of these articles on Puerto Rico: USA Today: Hurricane Maria’s economic impact on Puerto Rico Coastal Living: How Puerto Rico is Rebuilding After Hurricane Maria


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

Ever since Naomi first joined the Grove two and a half years ago, many of you have asked her for some kind of formalized monthly movies-by-women-to-watch vehicle. When Emily joined in Seattle and was asked the same thing, they realized the idea was too good to sit on. Here, each month, they will send you recommendations for their two favorite films of the month by a female director – one that you can watch at home and one in theaters.

I Am Not a Witch
Available on: Amazon, iTunes (as of January 22)
Directors: Rungano Nyoni, Patricia Carreira
Starring: Maggie Mulubwa, Dyna Mufuni, Nellie Munamonga
Synopsis: Following a banal incident in her local village, 8-year old girl Shula is accused of witchcraft. After a short trial she is found guilty, taken into state custody and exiled to a witch camp. At the camp she takes part in an initiation ceremony where she is shown the rules surrounding her new life as a witch. Like the other residents, Shula is tied to a ribbon which is attached to a coil that perches on a large truck. She is told that should she ever cut the ribbon, she’ll be cursed and transformed into a goat.
Genre: Drama
IMDB link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6213284/

In Theaters
Free Solo
Available in theaters – check your local listings
Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Starring: N/a (documentary)
Synopsis: Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite’s 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history.
Genre: Documentary
IMDB link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7775622/


Sign Up for the 20th Anniversary Committee!

It’s hard to believe that we are already planning the 20th Anniversary celebration, but it’s that time! The 20th Anniversary will be celebrated in Puerto Rico at our Annual Retreat in January 2020.

We strongly encourage members interested in serving on this committee to let us know via the committee volunteer page on the website (Click here to visit the website). We will start meeting soon to start planning the 20th Anniversary event and need your help! Please consider signing up for this committee.


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’!”

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