March 2016 Newsletter


Wrapping Up the 2016 Annual Retreat

We are back and feeling energized from a Fabulous Cruise Retreat on board the Celebrity Constellation. Thank you to the entire Cruise Committee for all their hard work and planning (Cathleen Asch, Theresa Behrendt, Rebecca Boenigk, Evelyn D’An, Michelle Jordan, Melissa Means and Linda Watt).

We couldn’t have made it happen without our own sponsors and donors Pamela O’Rourke and Sandi Peterson.  We would also like to thank the members who generously donated and bid on AFM Auction items.

The Program was very informative and exciting with plenty of time for fun!

Click below to view Edie’s fabulous Keynote Speech from the Retreat – THIS  MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED BY THE FUTURE HUNTERS SO NO SHARING!

Belizean Grove 2016 Retreat – Edie Weiner Keynote Speech – COPYRIGHTED



The Grove Retreat – Some Takeaways from Amb. Mary Ann Peters

For me the Grove magic is made up of brain candy, adventure and relaxation, sharing, support and sheer fun. I’d like to try to capture the magic of this Grove in numbers and words  that may evoke for you the same memories they do for me.  Let’ s do the first few Jeopardy style.

For practice, if I say “19” who can give me the question? That’s right, “What is the number of gallons of water it takes to grow a tomato?”

  • 6–the number of black flockers
  • 12– the number of new Grovers and TARAs
  • 50– the percentage of species existent today that will be extinct in coming decades
  • 79,000– the number of dams in the US
  • 2000– the number that already can produce power– creating an opportunity to retrofit some of the other 77,000
  • 150,000,000–metric tons of plastic in the Pacific Ocean
  • 3(or maybe 4) –number of times Sherri Bovino risked losing her company and fought to keep it going
  • 0–number of men who have gotten the better of Pamela
    7–perhaps the ideal number of justices on a Supreme Court
  • 21–percentage of children in the US living below the poverty line
  • 459–number of gallons of water it takes to make a hamburger
  • 416– average number of days before you know you’ve been hacked
  • 30,000,000–the word gap for some kids entering school
  • 2,000,000–number of Girls Scouts

Now for some of the words and phrases that struck me:

  • syn-bio and the democratization of creation
  • e-sports and the divorce of athletes from physical strength and fitness
  • don’t leave the men behind. Edie’s warning reminded me of a quote from a participant at a Carter Center workshop in Ghana on empowering women and girls, “We are educating 21st century women who will marry 18th century men.”
  • ocean acidification

Here are a few that I skipped when I turned two pages instead of one:

  • advocate for an energy policy including the ocean
  • the power of Grovers and other friends for beating the odds
  • the secret society of foul weather friends
  • the power of declaring

Back to the ones I did use:

  • an Olympic practitioner of the sport of extreme decision-making and the need to work hard to learn all you can before committing even though you know you will never have all the information
  • for dealing with those grumpy old men– do what we have always done– “make them feel good and do what you think is right”
  • social impact investing– I want to try this
  • we have to discuss immigration , not reduce it to sound bites
  • the moonshot for renewables is where to store the energy from wind and sun
  • cyber extortion
  • Boards must insist on  cyber security measures
  • don’t ask the waiter what to order
  • eating is becoming a political and moral act
  • art is essential to our humanity
  • it is very hard to change minds but art–stories, films– can change hearts and emotions and that can change the world
  • kids who don’t get art in schools will never know what they are missing
  • reimagine the rust belt
  • the unicorn herd
  • no “yes but”–“yes AND”
  • the little girl in Chad who gave her  necklace to Celina
  • how to find your friends in the forest, or on a cruise ship
  • no bright red line
  • girls of confidence, courage, character
  • if I could pick just one word it would be IMPACT

Personally I loved getting to know the TARAs, I learned that Lauren is engaged, that Robin is a skater, that Linda had lost her voice– and I missed Linda’s voice.  I got to know Camille and Undraa at the Aries table and had a conversation for the first time with Joan Price. Our Zika table was great– Annette, Joanie, Sarah F and Elizabeth O.Susan is a master or mistress of quotations, I have her book at home. My favorite new one from this retreat is “Closed mouth gathers no feet.”

And speaking of Susan, on behalf of all of us let me thank Susan for this fabulous organization that enriches our lives.


What the Grovers and TARAs Have been Up to Lately…


Authored a new report on Millennials in the workplace. While it’s been the lead story in all the major commercial real estate publications, she’s getting interest from other industries/media too.

Diane actually worked with Erin McCormick’s group over at the International Entrepreneurship Center to form the initial study group and get survey respondents.

Here’s a link to the report.


Was in the NY Times!  Click below to view the article on Government Contracts awarded to Women Owned Businesses.


Copy of the Press Release Below:

Republican Strategist Julie Cram Joins HDMK as Partner  Strengthens Firm’s Bipartisan Public Affairs Capabilities

For Immediate Release  March 16, 2016   Contact: Justin Bartolomeo  (202)

 Washington, DC – HDMK today announced that Republican strategist Julie Cram has joined the strategic communications and public affairs firm as partner.  Cram brings more than 15 years of experience in issue advocacy, communications and government affairs to the firm.  Cram has held a number of high-level posts in campaigns, the federal government and the private sector during her career.


(An Exciting Note from Halla Dated 3/17/16 Below)

Dear Friends around the world,

I have made the life-changing decision to run for President of Iceland and will announce this formally in Iceland today at 3 pm.  Elections will be held on June 25th 2016 and there is no shortage of candidates. It was not an easy decision, but ultimately I found the decision “not to run” harder to make.  I love my country and its people and I want to play a role in defining our future in a way that we can be proud of and perhaps in a way that can serve a greater purpose in the world at large.  Your support means the world to me, even if you can’t vote 🙂 I also want to thank those of you who knew I was pondering this big decision and I want you to know that your messages of encouragement and support made a difference.

Please know that the announcement will not be made until 3 pm in Iceland…and if I am slow to respond to e-mails during what promises to be a hectic time – it is only because I am trying to make a difference, in Iceland and in the world.

Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Warm wishes from Iceland,

Yours truly,

Halla Tomasdottir


Thank you to Pat McKay who arranged for a visit for some Grove members to the Jack & Jill Children’s Center in Ft. Lauderdale post-Retreat.

Penny Peters noted that “we all feel so privileged to have been able to see the great work the Jack & Jill staff are doing to strengthen families and develop early childhood skills…and to see where some of the Adventures of the Mind dollars have gone.”
Jack and Jill

Left to Right: Julia Hansen, Naomi McDougell Jones (Global Guest), Kathleen Mason, Sarah Kemp, Penny Peters, Grace Richardson


Founder and CEO of ARZU, Inc., was appointed to the board of trustees of Equity Residential.

She also wanted to share with the Grove that Laura Bush just launched her new book, “We Are Afghan Women” and featured several stories about ARZU weavers.


Following her appointment to the DANONE digital advisory board, Freddie now been appointed to the board of Ensogo, the leader in mobile fashion ecommerce in South East Asia. The company is listed on the AU stock exchange.


Movie Picks from Global Guest, Naomi McDougall Jones (

11 films I love from the last 10 years that you might have missed:

The Farewell Party 

Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: THE FAREWELL PARTY is a unique, compassionate and unlikely funny story of a group of friends at a Jerusalem retirement home who decide to help their terminally ill friend. When rumors of their assistance begin to spread, more and more people ask for their help, and the friends are faced with a life and death dilemma.

Female Director/Writer? Half of this Israeli writer/director team is female.

Why to watch: Although it sounds like a bleak story, this is an absolutely hysterical, smart, and beautiful film. It’s one of the best pieces of filmmaking I’ve seen in years and almost no one saw it.

Take This Waltz 

Where to watch: Netflix, iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: This intimate, unflashy romantic drama portrays a happily married woman who experiences a sudden and strong desire for another man.

Female Director/Writer? The writer/director is Sarah Polley who, in general, is a female filmmaker to watch.

Why to Watch: A raw, honest look at female sexuality and desire and at a marriage after the “happily ever after.” Touching, refreshingly true, and devastating filmmaking.


Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: Facing violent opposition, Martin Luther King Jr led a historic march from Selma to Montgomery that changed the world forever.

Female Director/Writer? Director is Ava DuVernay.

Why to Watch: An absolutely gorgeous film that is alarming in how vivdly it still resonates today. The director, Ava DuVernay is a crusader for greater representation of women and people of color in film and should be supported.

Inside Out

Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: When 11-year-old Riley moves to a new city, her Emotions team up to help her through the transition. Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness work together, but when Joy and Sadness get lost, they must journey through unfamiliar places to get back home.

Female Director/Writer? No

Why to Watch: To the embarrassment of both my and my seat mate, this film left me absolutely weeping on an airplane. Such a great example of how a film needn’t be a drama to be profound, nor lacking in entertainment value to affect you. If you don’t have kids you may have missed this, but you shouldn’t.


Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, ROOM is a unique and unexpectedly tender exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child. After 5-year-old Jack and his Ma escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.

Female Director/Writer? The writer is Emma Donoghue, who also wrote the novel.

Why to Watch: By turns funny, sweet, and wrenching, the film speaks to larger themes of what it means to be a mother and lengths one will go to to protect a child. One of the most exciting piece of filmmaking I saw this year.


Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: From the producer of KNOCKED UP, BRIDESMAIDS takes Maid-of-Honor Annie (Kristen Wiig) and four bridesmaids on a hilarious ride to their friend’s wedding.

Female Director/Writer? The film was written by star Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo

Why to Watch: If for any reason you haven’t seen this hysterically funny, smart film, do. Aside from the sheer giddy joy of the film itself, it will stand as an important shot fired in the women in film revolution by defying the conventional wisdom that women are somehow less funny than men and proving, thanks to enormous box office numbers, that audiences do actually want to see films by women, about women.

Beasts of No Nation

Where to watch: Netflix

Synopsis: When civil war tears his family apart, a young West African boy is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters and transforms into a child soldier.

Female Director/Writer? No

Why to Watch: This film, a Netflix original movie, got caught in the liminal distinction between “theatrical release” films and original content by internet titans and so got none of the Oscar attention it absolutely deserved. One of the best, most powerful films of the year, with themes of war and lost innocence that weigh heavy across the globe.


Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, iTunes

Synopsis: This uplifting comedy follows a graphic artist as he comes to grips with the imminent death of his father who, at 75, has one last secret: he’s gay.

Female Director/Writer? No

Why to Watch: Sweet, funny, beautiful, touching, and totally delightful. Plus, wouldn’t you watch Christopher Plummer do pretty much anything?


Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

Female Director/Writer? No

Why to Watch: This film will not be for all audiences. If you are squeamish or not into emotionally intense content, give this one a miss. That said, this is brave, wild, exhilarating filmmaking and deserves a place on this list. I have not been able to shake this film since I saw it and, if you are up for it, it will grip you from start to the end.

That’s Not Us

Where to watch: iTunes or buy DVD on Amazon

Synopsis: Three twenty-something couples – gay, lesbian, and straight – travel to a beach house to enjoy the last days of summer, but what was meant to be a fun, carefree retreat transforms into an intimate exploration of sex and commitment. THAT’S NOT US is a romantic comedy that questions what it takes to sustain a healthy long-term partnership. While gender and sexuality may vary, the struggles to make love last do not.

Female Director/Writer? No

Why to Watch: This film was made for $8,000 and is a prime example of the kind of smart, raw storytelling that can and will flourish in the low-budget indie film world as Hollywood heads further and further into films-as-amusement-park-ride-land.

Let the Right One In

(Make sure you watch the original Swedish film and not the American re-make)

Where to watch: Netflix, iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: Oscar, a 12-year-old fragile and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl he befriends, who moves into his building. When Oscar discovers that Eli is a vampire it does not deter his increasing feelings and confused emotions of a young adolescent. When Eli loses the man who protects and provides for her, as as suspicions are mounting from her neighbors and police she must move on to stay alive. However when Oscar faces his darkest hour, Eli returns to defend him the only way she can.

Female Director/Writer? No

Why to Watch: Arguably one of the best vampire films ever made, I’d posit that this may be the vampire movie for people who don’t like vampire movies.


True Detective (Season 1) vs. Top of The Lake 

Where to Watch: True Detective (Season 1): HBOGo or iTunes; Top of the Lake: Netflix

Why to Watch: If you’re interested in doing an in-depth exploration of the differences between the male gaze (True Detective) and female gaze (Top of the Lake) in storytelling while handling similar subject matter, you’d be hard pressed to find a clearer example than to watch these two series back-to-back. I would be thrilled and fascinated to have an equally in-depth comparison discussion with any of you if you do. Once again, neither of these are for the squeamish or intensity-adverse.

And, of course, I’d love to share my own work with you as well:

Imagine I’m Beautiful 

Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

Synopsis: A psychological drama that dissects the fine line between self-invention and destruction. Lana moves to New York to start anew, but instead moves in with the troubled Kate. The two slowly forge a friendship until one of them makes a discovery that will change their friendship for good. IMAGINE I’M BEAUTIFUL is a haunting and empathetic examination into the corners of two women’s psyches.

The New Yorker Presents

Where to watch: Amazon

Synopsis: Amazon presents a groundbreaking new series that brings America’s most award-winning magazine, The New Yorker, to the screen with documentaries, short narrative films, comedy, poetry, animation, and cartoons from the hands of acclaimed filmmakers and artists.

Note: My segment, Roy Spivey, is in Episode 6, but I hope you will watch the whole series. It’s a smart and enjoyable sampling platter of subjects, styles, and mediums.


Future of the Grove Conclusions by Barbara Colwell 

The conclusions-to-date have been posted to the site under the Members Tab.  Please click here to go directly to the page to see information about size, new cohorts, name, etc.

The “Rules of the Road” information is also posted under the Members Tab.


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.)


“It’s not me who can’t keep a secret.   It’s the people I tell that can’t.”

– Abraham Lincoln

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