November 2020 Newsletter

Note from SSS

Good day,

I hope everyone is having a great fall despite this strange year. We are well underway in planning for many of our upcoming events and look forward to connecting with our Grove sisters.

Don’t know whether many of you are seeing family members or friends joining the “lockdown beards,” but if so, I recently read in the Financial Times an interesting column to make sense of the beard trend.

Liminality is the idea that many societies use rituals and symbols to mark moments of transition from one state to another, or the limbo when someone is at the threshold of change.

Whether due to a stage in the life cycle or an unplanned societal event, more men are creating a sense of symbolic difference by giving up shaving.

Psychologists often tell clients liminality can be frightening but, it can also offer a chance to reflect, reboot, and reshape.

Liminality draws us out of what we have known, yet… does not allow us to know what is coming next, or when. It’s the chrysalis stage for the caterpillar.

So, another way of saying to all those suffering economic or psychological pain, we’re trying to reframe this peculiar moment in history in a more positive sense.

Stay safe, stay well.


Member News

What the Grovers, Taras, and Nyomis have been up to lately….

-Lara Metcalf, former managing director at the Social Entrepreneur’s Fund, joins VC firm The Engine as CFO and COO.

-Kathleen Shanahan named Turtle & Hughes CEO. Kathleen becomes the first non-family CEO in the company’s almost 100-year history. Based on her accomplishments as Co-CEO, Family Business Magazine recently announced that Kathleen has been named a CEO to Watch and is featured in the publication’s November/December issue. Click here and here to read more.

-Two Grovers, Jen Cohen and Regan McCarthy, are excited to announce the launch of The American Road website ( ), an informational site to describe their hefty three-pronged program –  Education, Community, and Media –  now in development.  Unusually, it uses music – here, using original and contemporary covers of historically important America songs – to drive the study of modern American history and civics and to connect youth to related local civic engagement/volunteer opportunities.  Innovative digital media and resources will supplement and support. More than 70+ organizations have helped to shape this project substantively and thoughtfully.  Though no federal funding is likely, it has gained strong bi-partisan and bi-cameral support, perhaps best captured by the words of the late Rep. John Lewis – said just three days before his death.  In a letter to the Secretary of the Smithsonian honoring his GOP counterpart and late friend Amo Houghton, Rep. Lewis described The American Road as an initiative that will “bolster and restore the understanding and faith in the long and complicated challenge of maintaining and improving our democracy.”

You can learn more about The American Road on the website.   If you are interested in getting involved in the project or know of others who might share this interest, Jen Cohen or Regan McCarthy would love to hear from you and will be happy to address all questions.

Michele Mitchell launched the podcast The Cocktail Conversations. Each episode is a racy, raucous and informed deep dive into the topics you wanna talk about, but are afraid to ask. The first season’s topic is the value gap, aka “gender equity.” The next season Michele wants to explore the trust gap. Click here to learn more and click here to listen on Spotify.

-Grounding footwear and lifestyle company, HARMONY783, co-founded by Sharon Whiteley, announced the launch of its flagship product — stylish women’s and men’s grounding footwear designed and engineered to reconnect people with the Earth’s natural energy, enabling them to optimize their health simply by wearing shoes. Click here to read more.

Virtual Retreat

San Antonio Virtual Retreat

Based on the survey that was sent out for San Antonio, there was very limited willingness to attend an in-person event, although we all want to connect with one another. For this reason, we will not be holding our retreat in San Antonio. Our year and a half of work on the retreat won’t go to waste. The San Antonio committee is not letting the pandemic get in the way of creating a great opportunity to spend meaningful and fun time with our friends and soon to be friends. We, therefore, are shifting to a virtual retreat, which will reflect the fantastic program that we have created.

The San Antonio committee already has a number of panels already planned, such as “Thriving Through Chaos” and “Going from Problem Solving to Problem Finding”—we are searching for speakers from across our Grove cohorts to fill these panels. If you are a new member of have not spoken at a Grove event before, and feel like you have an interesting story or perspective to share on one of these panels, please reach out to us.

The San Antonio Virtual Retreat, will be the evening of Friday February 19, 2021 and mid-morning/early afternoon on Saturday February 20, 2021.

Face Book 2021

2021 Face Book

It’s time for us to put together the 2021 Face Book! Please send in your updated bios!
If you are a new member or if you need to update your bio, please fill out this template and email it to
Please note that your membership directory bio on the Belizean Grove website is not the same as your face book bio, updating one does not update the other. We are not able to update your online directory.

Virtual Session

Sorting Fact from Fiction in Our Age of Disinformation

Sunday, December 13
5:00 PM ET/ 2:00 PM PT

Led by Special Guests
Upendra Shardanand and Vivian Schiller

Zoom details will be sent closer to the event.

More information about Upendra Shardanand
Upendra Shardanand is 3x startup founder and 1x VC, now consulting with companies to develop new products and set up incubators.

His first startup, Firefly Network, created the web’s first recommendation engine, portable web profiles, and social network. One of the most-trafficked sites on the web, Firefly was acquired by Microsoft in 1998.

Upendra co-founded The Accelerator Group, a VC / incubator based in NYC and LA. The fund developed or funded 15 early-stage businesses including Blogger (acq. by GOOG), Openwave (OPWV), and Insight First (acq. by TFSM).

After a stint as Director of Technology at Time Warner, Upendra co-founded Daylife, a news aggregator and publishing platform. Daylife served 100+ publishing clients across 6 continents, and was acqiured in 2012.

He now consults with both startups and large companies to create or level up new products, set up R&D pipelines, and internal incubators, with a particular focus on information ecosystems and augmented reality.

Upendra is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab, where he was one of the inventors of collaborative filtering (“if you like this, you’ll like that”). He’s also served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Samsung; guest-lectured at NYU and the City University of New York; and is an advisor to Bindle Systems, and in the past to StreetEasy (acq by ZG), Help Remedies (acq by Remedies, LLC), Treehugger (acq by DISCA) PeoplePC (acq by ELNK), MediaCode (acq by YHOO), RealNames, and InsightFirst (acq by TFSM).

Upendra also publishes a periodic blog about disinformation and is the cousin of Neha Joshi (Nyomi).

More information about Vivian Schiller
Vivian Schiller joined the Aspen Institute in January 2020 as Executive Director of Aspen Digital, which empowers policymakers, civic organizations, companies, and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and media in the service of an informed, just, and equitable world.

Vivian Schiller was a longtime executive at the intersection of journalism, media and technology. She headed the Civil Foundation, which makes philanthropic grants in support of sustainable journalism, and helps uphold the journalism ethics and standards of Civil, the global network for ethical journalism.

Prior to joining Civil, Ms. Schiller held a number of executive roles in the media industry. She was the Global Chair of News at Twitter. In this role, she led the company’s strategy for news and partnership with journalism organizations and the news publishing ecosystem.

Before that Ms. Schiller was Senior VP & Chief Digital Office, NBC News where she led strategy and operations for the networks’ presence on the web, mobile, devices, and social media.

Prior to NBC, Ms. Schiller served as President and CEO of NPR, leading all of NPR’s worldwide media operations. She was Senior Vice President and General Manager of and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications. Earlier in her career, Ms. Schiller was the head of CNN Productions, where she led CNN’s long-form programming efforts. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys.

Ms. Schiller is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a Director of the Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian.

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Films of the Month

Movie – Streaming
I’m Your Woman
Available on: Amazon Prime (starting December 11)
Director: Julia Hart
Starring: Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé Kene
Synopsis: In this 1970s set crime drama, a woman is forced to go on the run after her husband betrays his partners, sending her and her baby on a dangerous journey.
Genre: Crime Drama
IMDB link:

Series – Streaming
Between the World and Me
Available on: HBO
Creators: Kamilah Forbes
Starring: Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Synopsis: The special will include powerful readings from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, it will also incorporate documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage, and animation.
Genre: Special
IMDB link:


Two CFO Job Opportunities

Retail CFO (Dallas)
Fast growing and highly acquisitive multi-unit chain, based in Dallas, searching for a CFO with acquisition expertise. The company has close to 200 sites in 17 states. Fast growth due to shifting trends away from “Do it Yourself.” This is a fragmented industry, yet growing and receiving results with room for consolidation with proven acquisition strategy. Salary package is in the 250-350K range with 75-100K bonus. Company will sell in 4 years and will receive a piece of the action.

Retail Chain CFO (Palm Beach)
Seeking a CFO for a national company which is doing a roll up. Want someone with healthcare, or retail chain expertise, or multi-unit expertise. Diversity is a plus – a woman of color, Hispanic, or Asian American. This fast growing company is headquartered in the northern part of Palm Beach County. Already have 30+ operations across the US. Company growing through bolstered business operations, acquisitions, and new unit development strategy. Starting salary in the 250-350K range with 75-100K bonus. Company will sell within the next 4 years and will receive a piece of the action.