Join us for a unique leader retreat that combines personal reflection time with cutting-edge business content — and the opportunity to spend time with other second-stage* entrepreneurs. Slated for Sept. 10-13, 2019, and Sept. 22-25, 2020, Think Week enables leaders to step away from daily distractions, take advantage of Big Rock Valley’s serene setting and think deeply about their businesses.

This is your chance to:

Access experts on sales and marketing, leadership, financial literacy, strategy and value chain analysis in one-on-one discussions.

Brainstorm with other second-stage leaders around the campfire.
Spend time on guided and unguided reflection, including yoga and mindfulness practices.
Learn more about Big Rock Valley’s conservation best practices.
Enjoy awesome cuisine, courtesy of Chef Jose Ruiz and our amazing Guest Services Team.

And here’s the best part: It’s all about you. Use this time as you wish. You can attend all or none of the activities. Think Week (okay, it’s really four days and three nights) is your chance to step back, clear your head and think about the direction of both your business and personal life in a distraction-free environment.

Cost is $1,000 per participant, which includes facilitation, food and overnight lodgings for four days and three nights. To register or get more info, click below and contact Rita Phillips.

Topics and Speakers

Fall 2019 Think Week (September 10-13) addresses challenges in the external environment:
  • Business-level strategy (Paul Bateson of the Edward Lowe Foundation) visit
  • Industry forces (Dino Signore of the Edward Lowe Foundation) visit
  • Maximizing your company’s value (Michael Gay of Michigan Small Business Development Center) visit
  • Managing a sales team (Terry Dwyer of Breakwater Partners LLC) visit
  • Value-chain analysis (Dino Signore of the Edward Lowe Foundation) visit
  • Mindfulness for skeptical CEOs (Deirdre Guthrie of Spore Studios)visit

Interested in other retreat dates?

Select from a variety of offerings for business leaders and key executives of second-stage companies.

Speakers, Sept. 10-13

Dino Signore, PhD

An expert on second-stage entrepreneurs, Dino Signore has a doctorate in business psychology and is manager of entrepreneurial education at the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Signore leads all of the foundation’s learning events, which have been attended by thousands of second-stage business owners and executives as well as leaders of entrepreneur support organizations. He has trained hundreds of facilitators in the foundation’s PeerSpectives peer learning protocol and is known for his relevant content design and engaging and experiential facilitation style.

Mike Gay - Maximizing your company’s value

Can you go on vacation and — here’s the big catch — turn off your cell phone?

In today’s increasingly competitive climate, business owners need to understand what drives value for their companies,” says financial guru Mike Gay. “And one critical component of value is developing a sustainable business, one that can run smoothly without you.

Join us for fall Think Week (Sept. 10-13) where Mike will discuss how to maximize your company’s value, from the quality of your financial statements to how you manage employees.

Value-based management enables business owners to:
• Achieve faster, more sustainable and profitable growth.
• Make better financial decisions.
• Create a more enjoyable work environment.
• Enjoy a better, earlier, longer retirement.

The net worth of most small-business owners is wrapped up in their companies,” adds Mike. “Yet at some point, they’ll want liquidity to do something else.
Designed for second-stage business leaders, Think Week is a unique retreat that blends reflection time with cutting-edge leadership and business content. In addition to formal presentations, Mike and other content experts will be available for one-on-one time.
Click here to learn more about Think Week — and see the full line-up of presenters.

About Mike Gay — Specializing in financial and operations management for second-stage companies, Mike provides expertise in value-based management, financial modeling, loan requests, transition planning, and assistance with the implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System.™ In addition to serving as a counsellor at the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Mike is an author, small-business owner and frequent speaker. He has an MBA from the University of Michigan, is a Certified Financial Planner™ and is a certified member of the International Society of Business Appraisers.

Terry Dwyer - The science of sales management

Too often selling is portrayed as an art, something that can’t be explained — not true,” says sales pro Terry Dwyer. “Granted, some art is involved, but 80 percent of selling can be observable, measurable and repeatable.

As one of the guest presenters at Think Week (Sept. 10-13), Dwyer will discuss high-performing sales teams — and share techniques for strategy, process and execution that second-stage CEOs can implement immediately. Among takeaways, participants will learn how to:

  • Avoid common personnel mistakes, such as hiring a sales manager with great charisma but no analytic skills or automatically promoting your top salesperson. “Knowing how to sell isn’t the same thing as knowing how to manage a sales team,” explains Dwyer.
  • Implement a structure that gives CEOs visibility into the sales pipeline — something you can observe and measure every week instead of seeing only the results.
  • Align compensation plans with your company’s objectives.
  • Develop a sales plan and position your team for long-term success.

To scale an organization the right way, you need to balance the ability to build demand and the capacity to fulfill it,” Terry says. “Skilled sales managers understand the factors that are causing your company to miss growth goals and make mid-course corrections.

Designed for leaders of second-stage companies, Think Week is a unique retreat that blends reflection time with cutting-edge leadership and business content. In addition to their formal presentations, Dwyer and other content experts will also be available for one-on-one time.

Cost: Only $1,000 per participant for this four-day, three-night program, which includes all content, food and lodgings.

Click here to learn more about Think Week — and see the full line-up of presenters.

About Terry Dwyer — Founder of Breakwater Partners LLC, Terry helps companies maximize their growth through strategic selling solutions. He draws upon a 35-year career of sales management at companies with annual revenues ranging from $5 million to more than $500 million.

Terry holds a bachelor’s degree in English from John Carroll University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He resides in Ludington, Michigan, and Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife, Gay, and son, Michael. In his free time, Terry enjoys reading, golf and volunteer work with nonprofits.

Deirdre Guthrie, PhD

Deirdre is the owner of Spore Studios: Intentional Life Design and director of wellbeing programs and facilitation at Fernwood Botanical Gardens, which curates bimonthly contemplative seasonal retreats, compassionate leadership programs for organizations, a caring for caregivers program and a summer mindfulness camp for children.

She has a doctorate in anthropology and is a professor of wellbeing science. In this capacity she has served as a principal investigator on the Wellbeing at Work project at the University of Notre Dame and as a consultant to the ALIVE! Research Partnership at Rush University Hospital in Chicago.

*Second-stage companies generally have 6-99 employees and $1 million to $50 million in annual revenue.