Leadership Retreats

Retreats at the Edward Lowe Foundation give entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to recharge — to step away from daily distractions and really focus on building their business.

What makes us different?

Relevant content for second-stagers

Our retreats are designed specifically for leaders of second-stage companies — entrepreneurs who have moved beyond the startup phase and have the aptitude and appetite for continued growth.

Power of peer learning

Retreat participants tell us that coming here is like discovering their long-lost tribe — they’re in a trusted environment with like-minded people and can talk openly about both business and personal issues.

Inspirational setting

Welcome to Big Rock Valley (BRV), our learning campus in Southwest Michigan! With 2,000 acres of woodlands, prairies and streams, BRV provides a  serene yet stimulating setting where entrepreneurs can recharge, reflect and be inspired.

Helping today's growth entrepreneurs

Leader Retreats at Big Rock Valley (BRV) is a series of educational programs for second-stage entrepreneurs. Sessions are highly interactive, and curriculum is designed to be a continuum. Each course stands on its own while building upon previous content. Yet there is no cookie-cutter format; retreat curriculum will vary depending upon each group’s needs.

Your takeaways include:

• Greater insights into your strengths and leadership style.
• A clearer vision about your company’s direction.
• Practical tools and techniques to accelerate growth.
• The ability to think differently about yourself, your people and your organization.
• Stronger bonds with your peer group.

“The retreat was fabulous — and I’m not one to give compliments easily.When you’re the CEO, you rarely get the opportunity to focus on your own internal skill sets. The retreat made me more aware of the need for learning, reflection and introspection about my strengths and weaknesses so I can be more effective as a leader.”

— David Schlaifer of DAS Health in Tampa, Florida

Our facilities

The Tower of Tomorrow

Opened in 2010, this state-of-the-art conference facility is LEED-certified and features a geothermal HVAC system. Recycled materials, as well as stone and wood from the foundation’s property, have been used throughout the building.


Five railroad boxcars provide overnight housing for our retreat participants — each with two bedrooms, a large bathroom and a sitting area. Although renovated, the cars have their original floors; paneled interiors have been built with wood from BRV.

Guest Houses

Guests may also be housed in one of our renovated farmhouses (some date back to the 1830s). Interiors feature the design style that our co-founder, Darlene Lowe, is known for. Guests will share a house with their peers, but have their own private bedroom.


Numerous running and hiking trails can be found at BRV, and we also have a small fitness center with weights, a treadmill and elliptical machine. To accommodate less aerobic activities, our leisure center has games, TV and free Wi-Fi.

Scheduling a retreat


Our typical 3-day, 2-night retreat is $1,000 per participant, which includes program facilitation, lodging, meals, snacks and nonalcoholic beverages. The low cost may be surprising, but we subsidize programs as part of our entrepreneurship mission.

Travel to BRV

Our GPS location is 58054 Decatur Road in Cassopolis, Michigan. The closest major airports are Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway or Detroit Metro. Nearby regional airports are in South Bend, Indiana, and Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Arrival time is 1-3 p.m. on the first day of the retreat.  If you’re early, feel free to explore the property and relax.   


Be comfortable! We do many outdoor activities, so jeans are perfectly acceptable.

Book now! Space is limited, so we recommend reserving your retreat early. For more information about specific program content, logistical information or available dates, email Rita Phillips at rita@lowe.org.