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 April 9-12 and Sept. 10-13, 2019, 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

Our Spring 2019 Think Week (April 9-12) focuses on internal challenges that second-stage leaders face:
  • Honing your leadership edge (Dan Wyant of the Edward Lowe Foundation) visit
  • Creating a performance-based culture (Tiffany Tokarz of Modern Muse Consulting) visit
  • Strategic innovation (Gregg Fraley of Gregg Fraley Innovation)  visit
  • Recruiting and retaining talent (Amy Cell of Amy Cell Talent) visit
  • Building a high-performance team (Dino Signore of the Edward Lowe Foundation) visit
  • Mindfulness for skeptical CEOs (Deirdre Guthrie of Spore Studios)visit
Our 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
  • Business valuation (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

Speakers, April 9 - 12

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.

Gregg Fraley

CEO of Gregg Fraley Innovation (GFI), Gregg takes a practical, hands-on approach to innovation. A serial entrepreneur, he has founded three software companies, including Advanced Health/Med-E-Systems, which went public in 1997. Since 2003 Gregg has focused on helping other companies innovate.He works with small, medium and large organizations, including Coca-Cola, Bosch, Sanofi, W.R. Grace, P&G and Georgia Pacific. Gregg is also a Visiting Innovation Scholar at the University of Notre Dame and author of “Jack’s Notebook,” a business novel about the creative problem-solving process.

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.

Amy Cell

As Chief Matchmaker of Ypsilanti-based Amy Cell Talent, Amy leads a consulting and recruiting firm that helps employers and communities solve their talent challenges through innovative programs and approaches.Prior to launching her practice in 2015, Amy was the senior vice president of talent enhancement for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. where she designed and implemented many innovative initiatives. Additional career stops in the talent space include Ann Arbor SPARK, the University of Michigan, Ford Motor Co., Stanford Research Institute and Applied Biosystems. She also worked briefly as a CPA for Plante & Moran before realizing that she liked people more than numbers.

Amy received her BBA and MBA from the University of Michigan, where she is also a member of the faculty.

Tiffany Tokarz

An expert in leadership development psychology, Tiffany is the owner and founder of Modern Muse Consulting, a Des Moines-based consulting and training firm that helps business owners and sales professional increase productivity and profitability in a predictable way.

Tiffany recently was inducted into Faculty Row, an invite-only organization that includes TED Talk speakers and Fulbright scholars.

A results-driven professional, Tiffany also believes that work-life balance is an integral part of intentional growth — and she takes her own advice. When not working, you’ll find her jogging at Gray’s Lake, teaching or taking yoga classes, spending quality time with loved ones, enjoying a glass of wine or attempting to cook something new in the kitchen.

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