In Celebration of Women’s History Month
A Day-Long Women’s Retreat
Divine Beauty – Nurturing the Spirit
Saturday, March 9th, 2024 9AM – 3PM
Science of Spirituality International Meditation Center, Lisle, Illinois
A Free Community Event
Saturday March 09, 2024
9:00 am – 9:45 am
9:45 am – 10:00 am
10:00 am – 11:15 am
The Pursuit of Courage: When Being Brave is Not an Option.
By Karen S. Wells, Chief Operations & Inclusion Officer Make-a-Wish America
11:15AM – 12:15 PM
Meditation Workshop – “The Power of Love” with Zelma Chamberlain, M.Ed., Career Development Coordinator, Retired.
12:15PM – 1:00 PM
Free Vegetarian Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Panel Discussion with Women Community Leaders
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
About the Event
Within every woman there is a Divine Beauty that can transform our lives and the world around us.
Join our 9th annual women’s retreat where we explore the divine beauty in all women and how empowerment, transformation and meaningful changes come from within.
Held at the Science of Spirituality International Meditation Center in Lisle, Illinois, we will hear esteemed speakers share their experiences of self-discovery. Enjoy a free vegetarian lunch and spend time together with like-minded women.
Regardless of where you are in your life’s journey, learn how to face daily challenges with courage and strength by finding your center of peace and harmony. Together we will be inspired to navigate life by creating a space for unconditional love, wisdom, fearlessness, and joy.
Special guest speaker, Karen S. Wells, Chief Operations & Inclusion Officer Make-a-Wish America
Karen S. Wells brings over 30 years of distinctive career experiences and an exceptional leadership journey. In addition to being an NCAA Division I scholar-athlete, Karen has held successful key leadership roles in a Fortune 500 company, multiple C-suite roles in nonprofits, and as an entrepreneur and small business owner. Karen is the Chief Operations and Inclusion Officer serving the mission of Make-A-Wish America, a grassroots organization granting life-changing wishes of hope and healing for critically ill children across the US. In her previous role, Karen served as the Chief Strategy and Diversity Officer for Make-A-Wish America. Before joining Make-A-Wish, Karen was the CEO of Bridge Communities, the largest provider of transitional housing and support services for families experiencing homelessness in DuPage County, IL. Read More
Guest speaker, Zelma Pierce Chamberlain
Zelma Pierce Chamberlain M.Ed is a retired educator, with over 20 years experience working with a non-traditional school population. Zelma has been meditating for over 39 years and has found that meditation is key to living a life of peace and love. Coping with stressful situations is not easy however meditation allows her the opportunity to navigate life’s challenges with grace and serenity. Zelma is the National Women’s Retreat Coordinator for Science of Spirituality. She facilitates and presents at women’s retreats and workshops around the world teaching a meditative technique that is widely respected and provides numerous benefits. Many have found her presentations direct, engaging and resonating with practical experiences that are enjoyed by all.
Moderator & M.C., Sara Pletcher M.S., M.Ed.
Sara Pletcher M.S., M.Ed. has been in the field of education for over 20 years, beginning as an AMS trained Montessori teacher. She later went on to specialize in both early childhood and dual language education, earning Masters degrees from the Erikson Institute and Roosevelt University. During her career, Ms. Pletcher has worked in a broad range of contexts—including public and private schools, both in the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Pletcher has used meditation and relaxation techniques in the classroom to support students’ social emotional development and decrease stress. She has also published two children’s books based on her experiences in the classroom—Ride the Wind and ¿Qué se dice en la escuela? Read More
Inspiration and Wisdom from Women Community Leaders
M.B.A. Author, CPCC Certified Professional Life Transformational Coach & Speaker
Gallery From Previous Years Events
Science of Spirituality International Meditation Center
4105 Naperville Rd, Lisle, IL 60532
Masks Recommended but Not Required
No Smoking Facility
Karen S. Wells
Chief Operations and Inclusion Officer
Karen S. Wells brings over 30 years of distinctive career experiences and an exceptional leadership journey. In addition to being an NCAA Division I scholar-athlete, Karen has held successful key leadership roles in a Fortune 500 company, multiple C-suite roles in nonprofits, and as an entrepreneur and small business owner. Karen is the Chief Operations and Inclusion Officer serving the mission of Make-A-Wish America, a grassroots organization granting life-changing wishes of hope and healing for critically ill children across the US. In her previous role, Karen served as the Chief Strategy and Diversity Officer for Make-A-Wish America. Before joining Make-A-Wish, Karen was the CEO of Bridge Communities, the largest provider of transitional housing and support services for families experiencing homelessness in DuPage County, IL.
Spanning a 20-year career, Karen held various multi-disciplined VP positions at the McDonald’s Corporation including Regional Vice President, VP of US Strategy, VP of Operations, VP of Innovation, and VP of US Nutrition and Menu Development for the US 13,000 restaurants. For a decade, Karen owned and operated a small business as a franchisee of The Goddard School, the leading franchise for early childhood development. Based on her passion for philanthropy, inspirational storytelling, and guided by her thought leadership in diversity, equity & inclusion, Karen founded her consulting boutique, The AIW Group.
Leading from within is a lesson Karen has learned through a life of beating the odds surviving childhood poverty, breaking through what she has termed as the “plexiglass ceiling” for women of color in corporate and non-profit leadership, and living on, in, and for purpose through courageous leadership and personal transformation grounded in her faith. Karen is an accomplished and inspirational keynote speaker. She connects with her audiences by transparently sharing her diverse professional leadership journey led by her life experiences of courage, hope, and resilience.
As a 1st generation college graduate, Karen is committed to supporting and advocating for the marginalized and underrepresented in the community and the workplace. She is devoted to serving, coaching, and mentoring women, including women in leadership in corporations, nonprofits, and as entrepreneurs; women of color; the next generation of men and women leaders; and women battling poverty. Karen is also committed to coaching and consulting all those who lead, support, mentor and are allies for women.
Karen has been interviewed on CNN, featured in the Chicago Tribune as a “Remarkable Person,” named a Rising Star by Fortune Magazine, and featured in many other media outlets for her corporate and community work. Karen has a BSBA in Marketing from Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, and an MBA from Meredith College, Raleigh, NC.
Karen resides in Illinois and is the proud mom of two young adult children.
Sara Pletcher M.S., M.Ed. has been in the field of education for over 20 years, beginning as an AMS trained Montessori teacher. She later went on to specialize in both early childhood and dual language education, earning Masters degrees from the Erikson Institute and Roosevelt University. During her career, Ms. Pletcher has worked in a broad range of contexts—including public and private schools, both in the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Pletcher has used meditation and relaxation techniques in the classroom to support students’ social emotional development and decrease stress. She has also published two children’s books based on her experiences in the classroom—Ride the Wind and ¿Qué se dice en la escuela?
In addition to working with children, for the past 10 years Ms. Pletcher has also been an adult educator, presenting at state and national multilingual conferences, working as a dual language consultant, and serving as adjunct faculty for both new and experienced teachers. She currently supports teachers as a full-time dual language instructional coach.
Ph.D. LCPC, PCC
Nancy has been helping people grow and develop in their relationships, vocation, and life for over 30 years. Her passion and purpose are to promote flourishing in others and create impact for the greater good by developing people to lead in organizations consciously, by bringing their BEST self to their work and the world. These individuals engage in deep personal development that encourages them to live and lead from an integrated place of personal values and a deep sense of meaning and purpose which contribute to the betterment of the organization, community, and world.
Nancy provides coaching and consultation to many leaders and organizations in the areas of change management, conflict management, leadership skills, healthy team development, strategic planning, personality preferences in the workplace, team accountability, emotional intelligence, and appreciative inquiry. Nancy has also received extensive training in a variety of leadership and organizational assessments that provides the foundation for more evidence-based work.
Nancy is Founder and CEO of the Leadership Evolvement Institute. She serves as adjunct faculty at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL teaching classes in clinical interviewing, counseling skill development., group process and therapeutic skill, and organizational consulting. She serves as the director for the Benedictine University’s L.E.A.D.S. program- a four-year undergraduate leadership development program for undergraduate women. Nancy also works with the Oikos Institute as the People and Culture Consultant. She also taught as adjunct faculty at North Central College, in Naperville, IL teaching classes in organizational design, organizational assessment, and high potential leadership coaching, and at Aurora University, in Aurora, Illinois
Nancy is the co-author of the GPSS Leadership Coach Training Program where she has trained many leaders in the coaching discipline. She has worked closely with faculty from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Northern Seminary, and has provided training for faculty and students at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.
Nancy has a Ph.D. from Benedictine University School of Business, Lisle, IL in Values-Driven Leadership and received the Outstanding Dissertation Award. She has a Master of Science degree in Counseling and Guidance from Indiana University, South Bend, IN and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois and a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. She has received extensive training in organizational development, including a Certificate in Church Leadership from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management’s Center for Nonprofit Management and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL, and a post Graduate certificate in Organizational Development from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.
Author, CPCC Certified Professional Life Transformational Coach & Speaker
Isabel Draughon is a Life Transformational and Spiritual Coach, Author, International Speaker, and Business Coach with a passionate mission to empower women to use their voices professionally and personally. She is dedicated to guiding professional and entrepreneurial women on their journey to self-discovery and unlocking their full potential for remarkable success in life and business.
As the visionary Founder of Loud Whisper and the host of the highly acclaimed Loud Whisper Reignite Your Voice Podcast, Isabel specializes in empowering women who find themselves grappling with burnout, exhaustion, disempowerment, depletion, unfulfillment, and a sense of disconnection from their soul’s purpose. Her transformative expertise is helping her clients realign with their soul’s purpose, break free from limiting beliefs, reignite their authentic voice, and expand their consciousness to flourish in all aspects of life.
With over two decades of impressive experience as an entrepreneur and coach, Isabel combines her personal journey and professional insights to conquer personal challenges and navigate the complexities of the business world. As the Co-Founder of VizX Design Studio, she has successfully formulated, implemented, and sustained winning business strategies, focusing sharply on consumer relations, business operations, and marketing. Her profound understanding of how the private sector can drive company growth has led to invaluable insights into enhancing profitability, elevating brand recognition, and maximizing consumer satisfaction.
Isabel’s speaking engagements and coaching sessions are enriched by her wealth of experience, unwavering expertise, and profound wisdom in addressing personal and business challenges. Her approach centers around empowering women to integrate all facets of their lives, fostering wholeness and deep connections, and unlocking their full potential in both personal and professional spheres. Through Isabel’s remarkable guidance, women can achieve inner and outer well-being, ultimately discovering peace, joy, profound connections, and the freedom to become their best selves. Truly, Isabel Draughon is an invaluable resource for those seeking personal and entrepreneurial growth, as her insightful guidance empowers clients to conquer personal challenges, realize their full potential, and thrive in every aspect of their lives.
Above all, Isabel’s passion lies in empowering women to discover and unleash their authentic voices, enabling them to become the authors of their own life stories and find profound fulfillment in their personal and professional endeavors. Isabel Draughon is the catalyst for transformation, guiding women to embrace their inner strength, create lives filled with purpose, authenticity, and success, and empower them to use their voices to make a difference in the world.
Shweta Duggal, M.D. is a Board Certified physician in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a loving mother of two, who is passionate about helping people reach their highest potential and move beyond their limitations. Born and raised in Dubai, UAE, she received her medical degree from Gulf Medical University and served as the nation’s first female Chief Intern. She is a proud Rush University Medical Center residency graduate who now serves a diverse patient population in the Greater Chicagoland area for Medrina, the nation’s largest Physiatry group, helping to restore quality of life. She is a strong advocate of making a positive impact in the world through selfless service and community engagement.
Rimjhim D. Stephens
M.D., R.H.N., Health & Nutrition Strategist at Nature’s Path
Rimjhim D. Stephens, M.D., R.H.N. Is the current Health and Nutrition strategist at Nature’s Path foods, North America’s largest organic breakfast company. She is a medical school graduate from the prestigious Manipal University and has studied both Western and Eastern medicine. With her medical training, her interest in healing through food, and her enthusiasm for sharing her knowledge, she untangles the often-confusing realm of all things health. She is a skilled teacher, writer, and lifelong meditator as well as a mom to two young girls. Tune in for her relevant and useful tips for health and happiness and stay for her compassionate approach to healthy eating.
President & CEO of the Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
First Female President & CEO of the Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Karina Y. García Alanis is the mother of Julia A. Ramirez and Candice J. Ramirez. She is the First President & CEO born outside of the United States, and she is the only First President & CEO to become a Naturalized U.S. citizen. Mrs. Garcia is owner of two local businesses, she is the President of A&A Transportation 1 Inc. a growing transportation business in the construction industry and business partner of CBG Renovators, LLC a real estate rehab corporation dedicated to purchasing and rehabilitation of real estate. Mrs. Garcia participated as an author of Inspiring Latinas Vol. 1 to share her inspiring story with other women.
Karina Y. García Alanis was born on September 18, 1981 in Mexico City. At age 9, she was brought by her parents to the state of Illinois, which soon became the American Dream.