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Thu, Jan 25


Dragonfly Retreat

Embracing Leadership and Rising Together: A Re-energizing Retreat for Professional Women

Focus on Education, Public Service, and the Helping Professions With Dr. Jodi Vandenberg-Daves and Dr. Keely Rees

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 Embracing Leadership and Rising Together: A Re-energizing Retreat for Professional Women
 Embracing Leadership and Rising Together: A Re-energizing Retreat for Professional Women

Time & Location

Jan 25, 2024, 4:00 PM CST – Jan 26, 2024, 4:00 PM CST

Dragonfly Retreat, 305 17th Ave N, Bangor, WI 54614, USA

About the Event

Join Dr. Keely Rees and Dr. Jodi Vandenberg-Daves, experienced facilitators of women’s leadership development, for a retreat to pause, reflect, re-envision, and level up your skills to expand influence in your career on your terms.

Leadership happens at every level.  Take stock of what’s needed for you to feel happy and successful in a new role, a new career plan, or a re-boot of an existing situation. We’ll get real about the challenges of navigating systems, especially in the “helping” fields. But, by sharing wisdom and building community, we’ll help you leverage your strengths so that you can tackle these challenges wiIth a refreshed sense of purpose and strength.

If your organization's “business” is helping others (e.g. education, health care, human services fields, including in government agencies), you’re in a field that likely relies heavily on the emotional labor of a mostly female labor force. Women in these fields invest heavily in others, sometimes to the point of burnout, and need encouragement to invest in themselves and their own journeys. Through building community and sharing wisdom, we can develop solutions to help diverse women leaders thrive within these fields. And we can harness the power of women’s leadership to re-imagine the opportunities of the work that provides such critical service to society.


  • Increased awareness of both the challenges and the opportunities of leadership in the helping professions
  • Expanded concept of authenticity, empowerment, and influence in any role
  • Intangible benefits of a retreat time that includes solo reflection, rest time, and community building
  • Expanded toolkit for the ongoing practice of boundary setting, nurturing resilience, and aligning values and purpose in your work.
  • Awareness of what expanding influence and leadership mean to you, how to act on that
  • Improved toolkit for managing stress and engaging in restorative practices to sustain your leadership journey.
  • Connection to a network of emerging and established leaders in similar fields and positions, who can offer you resources as you face ongoing transitions,challenges, and opportunities in your work
  • Increased toolkit for nurturing spaces of inclusion and belonging from any role or position in an organization
  • Actionable tools for mentoring and sponsorship:  getting mentored, being a mentor, and developing a culture of sponsorship to promote the contributions of women and all under-represented groups
  • Increased awareness of the stresses and rewards of emotional labor in the workplace (and beyond) and tools to survive stresses and thrive with rewards.

To get to know us both, visit Jodi here and Keely here!

Sneak Peak of Agenda:

  • Friday - Coming Together & Centering
  • Emotional Labor & Caregiving
  • Resiliency as a Practice
  • Dinner 
  • Chapters, Challenges & Opportunities in Career Journeys
  • Saturday - Opening & Breakfast
  • Self Advocacy & Mentoring
  • Demystifying Leadership & Influence  
  • Lunch
  • Building Community & Becoming an Inclusive Leader from Any Position 
  • Reenvisioning You 
  • Closing & Connection
  • Locally catered with nourishing foods throughout both days. 
  • Opportunities for movement, relaxation, and solo time to process. 

Is this retreat for me?

Probably, yes! Read on…

  • If I’m not in a formal management role, is a leadership retreat right for me?

We define leadership broadly, and invite you to consider yourself as a leader and influencer, whether you’re a floor nurse in a nursing home,   a social worker, an administrator or fundraiser in a nonprofit, an educator at any level, a chaplain, or a person whose work supports direct care for others.  If you influence others, with your ideas, your presence, the scope and vision you have for your work– and want to expand your influence so you bring your largest passions to your work–embrace the leader label and let’s learn together!

  • Is a retreat for the helping professions right for me, even if I'm in a support or administrative role rather than direct patient care, social services, or teaching?

If you’re supporting and/or leading the work of health care, education, social services, or a nonprofit that provides service to a community or to the world, you’re part of our audience. We want a broad conversation, and we invite you to self identify as part of the helping professions, and opt in if you’re on the fence.

  • How will the retreat address the needs and experiences of different women?

As experienced classroom teachers, adult educators, and researchers in the fields of gender, race, and sexuality studies and public health, we are passionately committed to acknowledging the way systems of inequality impact women/female-identified people differently, and to developing allyship and coalitions to build more inclusive workplaces for all.  We also know that the workplace creates power dynamics that can make it hard for some women, including younger ones, to claim their identities as leaders. We build learning environments that acknowledge difference but also provide empowerment through listening, learning, and respecting confidentiality in a shared space. We will provide resources that speak to diverse groups of women based on race, sexuality, gender identity, disability, religion, and systems.

Your employer will benefit, too.

  • If you’re in a new role or soon to be in a new role, your leadership development can advance the organization’s strategic objectives by helping you and your team succeed.
  • Established leaders will return to work invigorated by fresh perspectives and new ideas.
  • To seek funding from your organization for this retreat, investigate the availability and flexibility of professional development funds in your unit and/or organization as a whole.
  • If you think your supervisor or HR would respond to a brief research-based case for coaching, provide them the PDF: “Why Employers Should Invest in Professional Development.”

Payment & Discounted Fee Opportunities

1) Early bird registration:  Register by Nov. 1 for a 10% discount

2) Organizational group discounts:  For every two people from one organization who register, a third can attend FREE!  Do you know an emerging leader who might not have the professional development funds at work, but who could benefit from this retreat?  Recruit them for this “scholarship” pass to the event. Contact Keely directly for the details. 

3) Make payment installments with Affirm

Where should I stay? 

The retreat is held at the Dragonfly Retreat 305 17th Ave N. Bangor, WI

There is Limited on-site overnight space: Singe Room ($75) or a Shared Room with up to 2 others ($25)


Other Local Hotel Options Nearby: (not part of retreat fee)

  • AmericInn by Wyndham, West Salem 125 Buol Rd, West Salem, WI 54669•(608) 351-2883
  • Best Western Plus, Sparta Trail Lodge 4445 Theater Rd, Sparta, WI 54656•(608) 269-2664
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Onalaska 2614 Midwest Dr, Onalaska, WI 54650•(608) 667-3030


  • Retreat Registration

    Retreat Only Pricing $1500

    Sale ended
  • Single Room at Dragonfly

    Reserve your on-site Room at the Dragonfly. Single room will go fast!

    Sale ended
  • Shared Room at Dragonfly

    Shared Room at the Dragonfly Retreat, Single Bed with up to 2 others. First come first serve (up to 6 spaces)

    Sale ended



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