2018 Mexico Annual Retreat


THU JAN 18 – MON JAN 22, 2018 Mark your calendars and join us for an amazing trip to Mexico!

This trip will be unforgettable with all of the sites, music, food, and more!


2018 Annual Retreat- Mayakoba, Mexico

“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 Mexico Retreat!
Susan Stuatberg’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. From the ‘Truth or Fake News’ Panel, we have a few resources for those who are interested in pursuing their own fact checking: The 10 Best Fact Checking SitesGet Your Facts Right – 6 Fact Checking Websites That Help You Know The Truth, and Top 10 sites to help students check their facts.

Also for the ‘Truth or Fake News’ Panel, check out these source recommendations!
-Stanford Law School: Fake News & Misinformation Policy Practicum (October 2017) read more here.
-Darrell M. West, How to Combat Fake News and Disinformation (Brookings December 18, 2017) read more here.
-Joshua Gillin, Politifacts Guide to Fake News Websites, Pundit-Fact (April 20, 2017) read more here.
-Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action (May 2017) read more here.
-Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News (2017) by Bob Schieffer


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 Gladys Bolivar and Marjorie Torres led topic:
* You have to be optimistic, relentless and passionate
* It is a team effort, connections and power of leveraging any door causes a “multiplier effect”
* No room for fear and building your business around serving a community
* Surround yourself with the right people and skill sets to continue to grow
* You must have a firm belief of success


Additionally, to read a summary of the table topic DISPELLING THE MYTHS ABOUT FINTECH-BLOCKCHAIN-BITCOIN please email Maggie Hanson-Muse (mhansonm@hotmail.com). Also here are some sources for the topic:

Cryptoassets; The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond (more of an investment manual)
Chris Burniske & Jack Tatar

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies (more on the technology behind)
Arvind Narayanan et al

Short Article
An article from Digital Asset Holdings, founded by Blythe Masters, the ex-JPM superstar female founder which can be read here.


Hotel & Flights

The 2018 Annual Retreat Planning Committee—Michelle Jordan, Linda Watt, and Elizabeth Crowell—is hard at work on our upcoming Annual Retreat in Mexico, January 18-22, 2018, where we are staying at one of the most fantastic hotels, brand new in the Mayakoba Resort Area—the Andaz, Mayakoba (click here to visit the website).

This is a beautiful resort only 30 minutes away from the Cancun airport. We are planning Keynotes, Conversations With and several exciting panels as well as afternoon breakout sessions and fun activities and sports at this fabulous new resort. Optional afternoon sessions include, Golf; Sea Snorkeling & Cave Swimming Expedition; Cave Swimming and Purification Ceremony; Mayan Ruins of Tulum; Swimming with Dolphins Experience, and more! Registration for these afternoon events is not yet open, details on how to register will be sent out this fall.

Room Reservations and Flights: The room block is now open! We are working with Deb Carr, with Cleveland Circle Travel-American Express, to book rooms at the hotel. United-Airlines-North-America-Route-Map_mediumthumb_pdfDeb is also able to book flights for members and has secured a discount with United for flights if booked through Deb Carr. United flies from everywhere to Cancun with a connection via Houston/Chicago/Washington Dulles/Newark/ San Francisco/LAX – see map.

As you plan your trip, you may want to consider coming in a few days early, or staying a few days late. Although spouses are not invited to join the group for any part of the Retreat, you can bring your spouse either before or after the Retreat to explore the region and/or join you in a round of golf. The Mayakoba Resort area is home to the El Camaleón Golf Club at Mayakoba, a spectacular 18-hole golf course designed by PGA legend Greg Norman with a par 72 and distinctive hazards, winding through an area of preserved mangroves. This challenging course is home to the annual PGA Tour OHL Classic. The golf club features a driving range and a short game practice facility. We have also negotiated Preferential green fee for our group 3 days before and after the event. BG is not taking room reservations.

To book your room, contact Deb Carr (deb@cctravel.com), with the below information:

1. Name as it appears on passports (Make sure Passports have at least 6 months validity upon the return date)
2. Date of Birth
3. City of origin / Preferred Carrier or Flights
4. Departure Date and Return Date
5. Room type desired
6. Roommate if applicable
7. Cell phone number

The following room options are available: (Please click here to view resort map for location)

Guestroom Types Single/Double Guestroom Rate

Andaz Guestroom $225.00
Lagoon View Guestroom $225.00
Beach Guestroom $295.00
Ocean Guestroom $325.00
Lagoon View Suite $474.00
Beach Suite $490.00
Ocean Front Studio $674.00

Room rates are quoted exclusive of local taxes, which are currently 19%: (16% Value Added Tax* (VAT), 3% Lodging Tax) and 15% of Resort Fee.

Need a Roommate? Click Here!

*We have worked with the hotel to eliminate the VAT, and here is what you will need to do to avoid the VAT: To remove the VAT fee from guestrooms, each guest will need to give the hotel a copy of their immigration form and a copy of their passport. The VAT will be removed after the guest checks out of their guestroom. A refund will be issued within 7-10 business days after checkout for guests paying individually for their guestrooms. If a you do not submit this information prior to departing the hotel, you will not receive the VAT refund for your guestroom.

Resort Fee Inclusions:
• Welcome drink upon arrival
• Hydrotherapy at Naum Spa, including sauna, steam, aroma-therapy, Jacuzzi, ice fountain and experience shower, spa treat and beverages
• 24-Access to the fitness center
• Yoga by the Beach
• In-room healthy minibar, including healthy snacks and non-alcoholic beverages (alcoholic beverages available for purchase)
• Access to Mayakoba’s outdoor tennis and paddle courts, including the use of rackets and balls
• On-property transportation service by chauffeured golf carts 24/7
• Bikes available to tour throughout property
• Flip flops in guestrooms
• Transportation ferry on the waterways within the Mayakoba Resorts
• Transportation to El Camaleon Golf Course, Mayakoba’s tennis courts and paddle courts.
• Non-Motorized water sports
• Local Telephone calls
• Valet Parking
• Premium Wi-Fi throughout the resort and in meeting rooms
• Bellman and Maid gratuity

Transportation to Resort

BG will arrange and provide your transport from the Cancun airport to the Andaz Mayakoba Resort.  However, we need your flight information to do so.  If you do not provide us with your flight information, you will not have a seat in one of the transport vehicles.  The transport with bring you directly from the Cancun airport to the hotel, they will not be authorized to make any additional stops.  Please be sure to send Deb Carr or Leslie Dube your flight information as soon as possible!


Our program committee is hard at work securing speakers and Global Guests and is planning some exciting panels.  We have several stimulating speakers and panels already lined up, including a fascinating Conversation With Lauren Anderson and Donna Hrinak on Diplomacy and Law Enforcement; an update on Puerto Rico from Mari Carmen Aponte; a panel on Betrayal featuring Angela Moore, Elisa Speranza, Ceree Eberly, moderated by Elaine Eisenman; a Conversation with Peggy Crow—Physician-in-Chief; Chair, Department of Medicine; Benjamin M. Rosen Chair in Immunology and Inflammation Research Hospital for Special Surgery; Chief, Division of Rheumatology Joseph P. Routh Professor of Rheumatic Diseases in Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College, and Valerie Montgomery Rice—the sixth president of the Morehouse School of Medicine and the first women to lead the free-standing medical institute; and we will be kicking off this fabulous event with a Keynote address from our own Edie Weiner.  More great speakers are being confirmed each day.

*The following is the draft of our agenda. Times and events may change.*

Thursday, Jan 18

All Day- Members arrive/check-in the Andaz Mayakoba

5:00pm- New Grovers, New TARAS, New Nyomis cocktail meet and greet

5:30pm- Opening Cocktail Party

6:30pm- Opening Dinner Location:  Lagoon Pool Area

The Final Night Dinner, hosted by Pamela O’Rourke and ICON Consultants will be a Tropical Luau theme, so wear your best tropical clothing and we will provide the leis!  Remember, this event will held be around the beach area, so do not wear heels.  This is a one suitcase trip—the weather will be warm and you do not need to pack a lot, so leave your heels, nice jewelry, and blazers at home!

Afternoon Activities

We have several exciting afternoon activities planned, and a few optional non-Belizean Grove activities available through 4Worlds Expeditions Travel Company.  Some of the optional onsite and Belizean Grove activities are:

  • Margarita making class
  • BG “Fun Run”/”Fun Triathlon”
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions to take a deeper dive with our speakers; such as a self-defense session with former FBI Executive Lauren Anderson, a session on “Reputation Repair” with Davia Temin, and an afternoon by the beach to discuss overcoming Betrayal (drinks included!).
  • Golf at the El Camaleón Golf Club at Mayakoba, an 18-hole, par-72 golf course winding through preserved mangroves, designed by PGA legend Greg Norman (additional fee applies)
  • Guided kayak tours perfect for exploring the lagoons and canals. A one-hour tour is $90 (USD) for a double kayak and $70 (USD) for a single kayak.


4Worlds Expeditions Travel Company is offering the Belizean Grove 3 exclusive afternoon adventures:

  • Sea Snorkeling & Cave Swimming Expedition
  • Visit and Tour of the Mayan ruins of Tulum
  • Swimming with the Dolphins Experience

Read more about these 3 activities here.  If you are interested in going on any of these afternoon excursions, please contact Sylvie Phelis at Sales1@4worldsexpeditions.com with your first, second, and third preferences right away.  We can’t wait until the last minute to get these trips up.   If we have enough people who want to go offsite we’ll do them.  If not, we won’t.

We are also working on an afternoon of service to benefit low-income families in the Col Cristo Rey Playa del Carmen Quintana Roo, area.  We will be working with a local kindergarten, K’iin Beh, the organization that operates this kindergarten, is a credible and transparent organization that provides quality care for the children.  We will share more details on this opportunity once we have them.

Pre & Post Trip Info

We are also looking for volunteers to plan a pre/post golf trip and/or dive trip. If you are interested in helping to plan these or any other trips, please contact Leslie (leslie@belizeangrove.org).

Travel Insurance:
We encourage you to purchase travel insurance. You can purchase travel insurance through Deb Carr when you book your room and/or room and flight. Please ask Deb about the insurance when you speak to her.

Mark your calendars: For those of you in WCD, we will have a WCD Dinner in Mexico City on January 16, 2018. If you are planning to arrive early and fly into Mexico City for the WCD Dinner on January 16, you can also work with Deb Carr to book your flight to Cancun via Aero Mexico, which has several flights daily.

When:  January 16, 2018 at 7:00pm

Venue:  Club de Industriales, Salon Tamayo

Opening Remarks:

Juan Pablo Castañon – Presidente de CCE

Susan Stautberg – Introduction to Women Corporate Directors Foundation and Introducing Susan Keating

Panel topic: “How Women Add Value to Corporate Boards”  

Moderator:  Jose Maria Urquiza, partner Spenser Stuart

Panelists: Blanca Treviño, President and CEO Sofftek Mtra. and Irene Espinosa Cantellano, Tesorera de la Federación

Cancellation and Refund Policy

The 2018 Mexico Retreat is subject to the following Belizean Grove cancellation charges if you cancel for any reason:  

If your notice is received:                                                       You will receive:

30 to 59 days before Mini Retreat…………………………………….. 50% refund of registration fees

29 days or less before Mini Retreat…………………………………… No refund