May 2019 Newletter


Good Day,

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 (



st louis city gardenJoin us in St. Louis, Missouri for our 2019 Mini Retreat

September 12-14, 2019 Registration is now open! Click here to register for the Mini Retreat The Mini Retreat fee is $650.00 Here’s a look at some of the fascinating panels:

  • Forward from Ferguson
  • Female CEO’s Leading St. Louis
  • Virtual Medicine changing the Rural Landscape
  • Improving the World Through Creative Conservation
  • Rebuilding the St. Louis Fashion Industry and its Impact on St. Louis
  • Creative Medicine

We are also thrilled to announce we will be having a keynote address by Jackie Joyner Kersee on Thursday evening at the historic St. Louis Arch.
St. Louis was profiled in Delta Sky magazine, click here to read.
St. Louis has consistently been rated in the top 10 of cities to visit, so plan on coming early and staying late! The STL committee recommends staying an extra night or two in the Hilton Ballpark so you can explore all the exciting things St. Louis has to offer. Gather some friends and go to multiple restaurants featuring James Beard Award Winning chefs. Visit the #1 rated Pasty Chef, Madison Reed! Stay after the event and visit the St. Louis Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Soldiers Memorial, the Hills of Cahokia, and more! There is plenty to do right in the city! Eat at the famous “The Hill” restaurants and experience some of the best Italian food anywhere. See the First Cathedral West of the Mississippi then head to the St. Louis Basilica in the Central West End, the most beautiful Mosaic Cathedral in America, Stay and enjoy. All are just a LYFT ride away!
Click here to learn a plethora of wonderful information about things that make St. Louis so special and unique. It also includes links to their most recent destination video, along with a video and information about their up and coming food scene.
Room Block
The room block is back open! We have a few room available on Thursday and Friday, book ASAP! 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.”
Pre & Post Tours St. Louis Zoo Tour- Sept 12 Missouri Botanical Garden Tour- Sept 12 Architectural St. Louis Tour- Sept 14 Winery Tour- Sept 14 Click here for more information on the tours.Information on tour registration will be sent out next week!


Puerto Rico 2020
Our 20th anniversary retreat will be held in Puerto Rico in January 23-27, 2020! More information will be coming soon!

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

20th Anniversary T-Shirt Suggestions
We’re thrilled to celebrate our 20th anniversary in Puerto Rico and we would love to have shirts to commemorate our 20 years of friendship.
If you have any fun slogan or design suggestions, please fill out this form.

Fall 2020 Mini Retreat: San Antonio, TX and Winter 2021 Annual Retreat: Argentina


Edie Weiner’s Annual Neverville Weekend, August 2-4, 2019

Edie Weiner has agreed to once again host a weekend of sisterhood at her Neverville vacation home. If you have never been to Neverville, read the note from Anne Lim O’Brien on why the weekend is so special to her:

Dear Grover Sisters:
I wanted to share with you one of my most favorite BG events and destinations – Neverville – in the hope that you will join the gathering this year, August 2-4, see more details below.
One of the joys of our sisterhood is in coming together to share, to learn, to open our minds and hearts to as well as for each other… I’ve enjoyed this in our larger annual and mini retreats.  And yet there’s something so very special about the smallness and intimacy of a Neverville gathering, that has me coming back every year for the last ten years since I became part of the Grove.
For me, Neverville is short, sweet and alchemy in motion: 36 hours of serious fun; unstructured, relaxed, spontaneous sharing; and mysteriously transformational!  We bond, we bawl, we brave, and boldly, we bear our experiences. Some of my most significant life decisions were discussed, deliberated, and decided at Neverville…thanks to the magic and fairy dust that Edie sprinkles into our weekend together. Mostly, we all leave with gratitude for the deeper friendships formed.
I hope you will sign up and come to Neverville this year…and especially for those unable to meet up in Chile, this event bridges our time together between retreats. It’s a lot of work for Edie and Bill to host this event…and it only makes sense if we have a minimum of 15 signed up.
Warmest regards,

More about Neverville:
Co-founder Edie Weiner has generously agreed to host members at her vacation home in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania referred to as “Neverville” for a fun weekend and a contribution to the Adventures for the Mind Foundation.
This popular weekend in Pennsylvania will be August 2-4, 2019. Your contribution will cover everything on site: Dinner Friday night; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on Saturday; and Brunch on Sunday. All linens/towels/sundries provided. All refreshments, including wine, soft drinks, healthy fruits and vegetables, available 24/7. Hiking, beach, canoeing, antiquing, horseback riding…all included for those who choose (some at a nominal additional fee).
We will take no more than 30 reservations, knowing there will be cancellations as we get closer to August. Neverville sleeps about 20, and if attendance is fully booked, all rooms (and some of the larger beds) will be shared. This is a totally casual, fun weekend. Pack nothing but a change of clothes, bathing suit, pajamas and comfortable shoes!
Reserve your spot now!

We will be taking reservations until May 17. If we do not have at least 15 people signed up by then, Neverville will be cancelled this year. After you sign up, and we have at least 15 people, we will send out payment invoices, which will need to be paid by no later than June 1. There will be no refunds: Cancellations will be treated as full contributions to the AFM Foundation. Cost: $600. Of that, you may claim a contribution of $450. The additional $150 will help cover on-site expenses.


Know a Potential New Nyomi?

If you would like to nominate someone to be a Nyomi, we are now currently accepting Nyomi nomination packets.
Please do not forward to us applications for anyone who:
1. You don’t personally know
2. You wouldn’t be willing to share a room with on a retreat
3. You do not have at least one seconder for
4. You believe is “on the way” but is not quite there yet … save the application for a future time when the candidate would have probably achieved her first success story and her application will have the ‘wow’ effect on first impression.
Nomination Form
Nomination Guidelines
Please send the completed nomination pack to Leslie


What the Grovers and Taras Have been Up to Lately…

Becca Braun is pleased to announce the first book in her company, Braun Ink’s, creative collection of biographical case studies developed for business professionals, educators and students. They’ve launched their Braun Collection of executive memoirs in multiple formats so coaches and instructors can use the approach that’s most effective for managers and students. Billion or Bust!: Growing a Tech Company in Texas is a short, action-packed account by former Rackspace CEO, Lanham Napier, in which he recalls working with a team to build a tech company and create jobs outside Silicon Valley. Check out Lanham’s Rackspace story, available in many formats, and including video conference call with Lanham, at the Braun Collection, or buy the book at Amazon.

-Lauren Herring was interviewed by Thrive Global. Click here to read sHeroes: How Lauren Herring is helping future female leaders succeed & reach their career goals. She was also featured by Yahoo Finance in How to close the female leadership gap in business.

-Dawn Sweeney was interviewed about technology, workforce trends and what’s going to propel the restaurant industry forward.  Dawn also spoke at The National Restaurant Association Show this past weekend, helping to celebrate the NRA’s centennial anniversary.

-Lauren C. Anderson gave keynote speech at LIM College’s 80th Commencement. Click here to read more.

-Marie Therese Dominguez will be nominated Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to the administration of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Click here to read more.

-Linda Watt has created a new blog, Linda Sojourner! She is focusing on the experience of travel, with special attention to the spirituality of place.  Travel appeals to our souls in special and sometimes unexpected ways, through her blog she’ll share thoughts about interesting places far flung and nearby.

You’ll find her blog at Safe and happy travels Linda!

-Diane Danielson has written a report about the need for diversity and inclusion in the industry entitled “It’s Time for the Commercial Real Estate Industry to Focus on Diversity and Inclusion.” Click here to read more and click here to read the report.


BOOK NEWS: Betrayed: A Survivor’s Guide to Lying, Cheating, & Double Dealing

Susan is very excited to announce the new book that she co-authored with Elaine Eisenman- Betrayed: A Survivor’s Guide to Lying, Cheating, & Double Dealing- is going to print today!
It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon here and will be available for purchase on July 2 for $19.99.
Learn the lessons of survival from those who lived through the depths of betrayal in business, marriage, families, and friendship.
Delve into over 50 true stories to master the art of successfully handling the trauma of setbacks, releasing your anger, overcoming the urge for quick revenge, deciding if forgiveness is possible, and, most critically, tapping into your power to set the path for a positive future.


CEO Job Opportunity

CEO opportunity for publicly traded company that is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchises and fitness centers in the US, based in Chicago suburbs. Good salary and bonus, plus the Private Equity firm plans to sell the company in the next 12 months so bigger bonus then. Responsibilities include opening new stores, managing the culture, and preparing company for sale. Need a proven CEO of a retail, entertainment, or subscription services company.
Please send appropriate resumes to Susan Stautberg at


Movie of the Month- Chosen by Emily Best and Naomi McDougall Jones

Streaming and in Theaters
Bite Me
Available in-person: For 51-screenings and Joyful Vampire Events in 40 cities around the US between May 6-August 1st (
Available online: At Seed&Spark. It is also available on iTunes, Amazon, and GooglePlay, but we encourage you to support indie film and Grove sister Emily Best and watch it on Seed&Spark!
Director: Meredith Edwards
Written by/starring: Naomi McDougall Jones (Grove/Nyomi)
Also starring: Christian Coulson (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Nashville, Mozart in the Jungle), Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), and Annie Golden (Orange is the New Black)
Synopsis: A subversive romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her. Genre: Subversive romantic comedy
IMDB link:


Dear Friends –

Thanks to so many of you who could make the memorial service for Don Melnick yesterday. It was a moving, beautiful tribute to a great man involving a standing-room group of family, friends and colleagues. For those who could not make it, I also want to say thanks for the emotional and practical support so generously given to Mary and her family. What a difference you have made! The grieving heart knows no clock.
Here is one last piece I am honored to give related to Don and Mary. I have been asked by many of our friends and colleagues to give a bit more info on how to honor Don.
As you may remember, Mary asked that contributions be made in the name of Don J Melnick to these organizations, if you are so inclined.

  • Macaulay Honors College, where Mary Pearl is Dean. 

Macaulay Honors College at CUNY is an exceptional and highly selective college where New York’s most promising – but least financially advantaged – students receive the financial and academic support to realize their intellectual and leadership potential. It is a vibrant, rigorous and yet creative undergraduate institution, serving an outstandingly diverse student population, and helping them as individuals to achieve truly impressive results. Mary would be humble about her achievements at Macaulay and would focus on the students’ achievements instead. She surely can be proud of those, but her tenure is nothing short of remarkable so far. As a CUNY graduate myself, I can assure you – she need not be humble about what she has done and can do yet. Support is needed to supplement the resources and services needed by a talented but economically challenged student population.
If you wish to contribute to Macaulay in Don’s name this is how to do it:
A donation to Macaulay should be made by check, payable and sent to:
The Macaulay Honors College Foundation
35 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023
Memo: in honor of Don J Melnick
You can learn more about Macaulay here.

  • Shine Global,  where Don was former Board Chair and longtime Board Member. (I also serve on the Shine Board, fyi.)

Shine Global is a unique non-profit serving an important need: it produces and distributes films that give voice to children and their families by telling stories of their resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. Its goal is ambitious: to transform children’s live using the power of media – and specifically documentary film/video and related educational resources – to bring real issues facing children living in difficult circumstances to a broad audience and to show the deeply inspiring manner in which children and their families respond. You may have been aware of the award-winning film, The Eagle Huntress – a Shine co-produced film. But others, such as Liyana, War Dance, Innocente, TreMaisonDesan and many others, including the most recent release of The Election Effect (telling about how the 2016 election affected youth of all stripes in America) have garnered Shine films more that 60 well-deserved awards, including Academy Award nomination.   Support is needed to continue film development projects, to create a film “investment” fund, and to complete film projects in development, such as Virtually Free.
You can learn more about the activities and films of Shine here.
If you wish to contribute to Shine Global in Don’s name this is how to do it:
Either link to this URL
Send a check payable and sent to:
Shine Global
350 West 42nd Street – Suite 41G
New York, NY 10036
Memo: In Honor of Don J Melnick
Thank you again, for all of your kindness and generosity to the Pearl-Melnicks in this time. – Regan
PS: As some may know, Don was an avid jogger (like, everywhere, but especially in Riverside Park, NYC). The family is setting a bench in honor of Don in Riverside Park around W 113th Street and Riverside Drive.   The plaque will say:
Don Jay Melnick
He had a good run

Indeed, he did….Have a sit if you are in the area!
-Regan McCarthy


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’!”