November 2016 Newsletter


Good day,

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy November.  As we gear up for the busy Holiday season, please take a moment to check out some of the exciting updates from our members and some important updates on our upcoming Grove Retreat in January.

We are excited to announce that Erin LeBlanc gave birth to her third baby boy! Quinn Samuel LeBlanc was born at 7:05 pm. on November 21, weighing 8 lbs 2 oz.

There are still a number of members who have not yet paid 2017 Membership Dues. Please remember, you are not permitted to attend any retreats (even if you have signed up for them) unless you have paid your dues.  There is a section in the newsletter below to click to pay your dues.  You will also be excluded from the Face Book if you have not paid your dues.

If you have any updates you would like to share for future newsletters, please email me or Leslie Dube (




Cuba Retreat 

PinkCarPicCubaHavana, a Mix of Past and Present, Freedom and Restrictions, is Alive with New Energy and Ingenuity. 

January 26-30, 2017

Please join us for a wonderful Cuban Adventure! Take a look at our Draft Agenda and Informational Sheet
Flight Status:
If you are going on an extension, Batia should have contacted you regarding your flight information.  If you are not going on an extension, we are finalizing final flight details.  We sent out information to answer some of your flight related questions, Click Here for flight information.

We are encouraging everyone to travel with the Grove. It is not possible to discount people who decide to travel on their own.  There is only one price this year.  Please remember that Batia is not able to make separate arrangements for you to arrive early or stay late.  She is focused on our group’s activities and doesn’t have time to make alternate arrangements for our members and their guests.

Click here for more information on the Retreat.

January 26 Pre-Event
We hope that you will join us in Miami on the morning of January 26th before we depart for Cuba for a Conversation With Alexandra Villoch, President and Publisher of Miami Herald Media Co.   

This session will take place on Thursday, January 26th at 8:30am at the Hilton Miami Airport. Breakfast will be provided, after which, a shuttle will transport our group to the airport hangar.Please click here to register for this special session. Spouses are also invited to attend this session, we encourage you to invite and register your spouse as well.

If you are flying in on the night of the 25th, we have secured a room block at the Hilton Miami Airport.  Please click here to book your room.  Rooms are limited, so please get your reservations in for both the hotel and special session as soon as possible.

If you are planning on driving to Miami, the Hilton Miami Airport also offers discounted long term parking.  To book your long term parking, click here.


  • A Conversation With Josefina Vidal,  director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s department for the United States
  • Where do Ideas come from?
  • Doing Business in Cuba
  • A Conversation With Cuban Economist, Jorge Mario Sanchez
  • A Conversation With Sandra Whitehouse on Cuban Reefs
  • Arts & Culture
  • A Conversation With Gail Reed, founder of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC)
  • Public Healing after Political Division
  • Personal Healing after Personal Trauma

Click HERE to read a WSJ article about some hurdles we may face in our travels to Cuba. Everyone should prepare to be flexible!

Click HERE to view the New Yorker Article about “A New Cuba.”


2017 Adventures for the Mind Auction in Cuba


Auction Chair, Rebecca Boenigk, is now accepting auction donations for the 2017 Cuba Auction to benefit the Adventures for the Mind Foundation.

Please email Rebecca at if you have anything to donate for the 2017 Auction.

Donations can include items, home stays or even unique special services.  For example, Grover Julia Hansen just donated a “Behind the Scenes of New York Theater” and will host this fabulous insider’s look tour for the lucky bidder.

Thank you for your continued support of the Adventures for the Mind Foundation!


Save the Date – Santa Fe 2017!
September 14-16, 2017

Mark your Calendars – the Grove Mini Retreat will be in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the Fall of 2017 at The LaFonda Hotel.

Stay tuned for upcoming information on Pre and Post trip activities.  Trips will be to Taos, Chaco Canyon, Chimayo, Bandilier, Abiquiu and Georgia O’Keeffe’s home. There are so many fabulous places to shop, to hike, to see, and world class museums in Santa Fe.  If you want to truly experience all that Santa Fe has to offer, plan to arrive on Tuesday before the Mini Retreat and leave on the Monday after.

The Belizean Grove Room Block is now open at the La Fonda Hotel. September is a popular time to travel to Santa Fe so be sure to book your room early.

Details on Room Rates and how to book are listed below:

Traditional Room rates:
$219.00 single/double occupancy
$234.00 triple occupancy
$249.00 quad occupancy

Based on availability, upgraded rooms are available at special room rates:

Deluxe Room: $259.00 single/double, $274.00 triple, $289.00 quad occupancy

One-bedroom Suite: $299.00 single/double, $314.00 triple, $329.00 quad occupancy

Terrace at La Fonda Room: $419.00 single/double, $434.00 triple, $449.00 quad occupancy

Room rates are subject to prevailing taxes, currently 15.3125%; 7% Lodger’s Tax and 8.3125% Gross Receipts Tax.

Please Contact Hotel Directly:

Reservations: 800-523-5002, #1 or
505-982-5511, #1

Group Code: 877069

*Please contact Hotel directly to make reservations.

Please call between the hours of (Mountain Standard Time):
Monday – Friday: 7am-8pm
Saturday: 8am-5pm
Sunday: 9am-5pm

Cut-off date for making reservations:
Monday, August 21, 2017


67505772-448b-4771-a871-3651261abc8c-thumbnailAdventures for the Mind 2016 Grant Update
The AFM board met in September and voted to award the following organization grants and scholarships:

2016 Funds Granted to date:

Jack & Jill, $5,000
America Solidaria, $5,000
FAU Student Scholarships, $15,000 ($7,500 for one undergraduate student, $7,500 for one graduate student)
Living Classrooms, $5,000
International Folk Art Alliance, $5,000
Mercado Global, $5,000
Kakenya Center for Excellence, $5,075
The AFM board is still in the process of evaluating additional requests, we will keep you abreast to these updates.

Thank you for your support!


2017 Face Book

Last call to update your Face Book Bio!

We are finalizing the 2017 Face Book. If you would like to make any changes to your bio from last year, please send in your completed bio to ASAP.

Please note that the Face Book bio is different than the online member profile and we cannot make the changes for you

Click here for Bio Template

If you don’t pay your dues you cannot be in the facebook.


See what the Grovers and TARAs have been up to lately…

Fellow Grovers Alison Winter and Leigh Martin are giving each of our members a free download of the Gracious Exit workbooks. Click here for more information.

Halla Tomasdottir shared her story of her run for the President of Iceland in her recent TED talk.

Lauren B. Stakias named Director of Institutional Advancement at The Morgan Library & Museum.

Camille Preston will be speaking at Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit on her (not yet published) new book!

Naomi McDougall Jones gave a TEDxTalk on November 20th, entitled The Women in Film Revolution Begins With You


Virginia Hepner To Step Down As President, CEO of The Woodruff Arts Center In May, 2017. Read more about it here.

TODDI GUTNER recently joined Firmenich, a privately held $3 billion flavors and fragrance company based in Geneva, Switzerland as the Business Innovation Lead. She is responsible for leading and implementing design thinking, business model generation and lean start-up methodologies for the global businesses to develop new products, services and processes worldwide as well integrate new technologies into the businesses. She is based at company’s North American’s HQ in Princeton, NJ, and continues to teach Design Thinking at Cornell Tech.

“Do You Hate Networking?” by Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire

That is the lament so often heard from many who would rather climb down a chimney than “work the room.” To help you get in the spirit, here are ten tips I use myself—and just in time—because December is the “Best Networking Time of the Year!” Read more here.


If anyone would like to nominate someone for the new Grove Cohort, Nyomi, please sumbit ASAP.

The key candidate criteria is two-fold:

1.     Her values are a good fit with the Belizean Grove. 

She must be kind, an already amazingly successful contributor to a greater good, dynamic and zany enough to enjoy our brand of fun. She must pass the roommate test, and the ‘stuck in an airport for 9 hours’ test. That can be a pretty high bar, as we have sometimes painfully come to appreciate.

2.     She already has at least one significant accomplishment under her belt.

We all also know there is an incredibly talented pool of young women who would be truly marvelous additions to the BG, and, as have the Taras before them contributed to the Grovers, help us all grasp the future in ways we haven’t yet even begun to imagine. With the changes in work environment (globalization, the Internet and other tech advances, entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropic spirit), many young women are walking their own path and achieving great successes in their 20s and early 30s. And many more young women have the potential to do so. For our initial kernel of 10, we want young women who already have at least one notable success story.

And as with the Grovers and Taras, membership in Nyomi is by invitation only. The candidate must have the support of one BG nominator and at least one seconder. The nominator must have known the candidate personally for a sufficient period of time to ascertain that they are a good fit for Nyomi, and must introduce the candidate to at least one other Grover or Tara to secure a seconder. We want to know ahead of time that this candidate will fit into the culture we work so hard to nurture and maintain.

So 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. For example, fresh SSS fellows are probably not quite “there” yet, so please postpone their nominations till they have come into their own.

Click HERE to Download the Nyomi Application.

Please submit all applications with resume to


Last Chance to Pay your Dues!

The regular deadline for 2017 Dues was September 30th.  The finance committee will be having a meeting in the next few weeks, if you have not paid your dues by this time, you are eligible for removal from the Grove.

Remember, to be able to participate in retreats and appear in the Face Book, you must pay your dues.

Dues are very easy to pay online with a credit card this year so please click the appropriate link below and pay your 2017 Dues.

2017 Grover Dues

2017 New Grover Dues (w/ Initiation Fee)

2017 TARA Dues

2017 New TARA Dues (with Initiation Fee)

2017 Nyomi Dues (with Initiation Fee)


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.)


“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”


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