2010 New England Fall Fellows' Retreat

Friday, September 10, 2010 (All day) - Sunday, September 12, 2010 (All day)



Essex Conference Center and Retreat, Essex, MA

(Click here for more information about the Essex Conference Center and Retreat.)

Please note that registration for this retreat is now closed.  If you wish to attend but have not yet RSVP'd, please contact Erin.

FRIDAY, September 10th

(Evening arrival for all 2010 New England Fellows, and out of town travelers. New Fellows please arrive in time for dinner!)

5:00 pm                Check-in

6  - 7:00 pm         DINNER

7 – 9:00 pm         INTRODUCTIONS, ORIENTATION FOR NEW FELLOWS.  This evening will allow time for welcoming and introductions for new Fellows, as well as presentation of leadership concepts to be explored throughout the weekend. Fellows will have a chance to identify topics for networking over the weekend.

SATURDAY, September 11th

8 – 9:00 am         BREAKFAST and check-in for new arrivals

9 – 10:00 am       INTRODUCTIONS.  Lissa Widoff, Executive Director of the Switzer Foundation, will welcome participants and discuss the agenda for the weekend.  Participant and staff introductions will be made.


We offer this training at the fall retreat as the first step in our effort to help Fellows develop effective communications skills.   For these trainings, we have the great privilege of engaging with a terrific group of trainers and practitioners.  Matt Wright of COMPASS (Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea) specializes in training scientists and experts to hone their messages so they can communicate their work to a wide range of audiences.  A two hour messaging workshop, including small group work, will take place in the morning.  This will prepare participants for the second part of the training with Journalist and Switzer Network News Reporter (!) Jerry Kay of Media Interchange.

10 – 12:30 pm    Part One:  MESSAGING.   Matt Wright will introduce COMPASS’s time-tested “Message Box” exercise – a simple yet powerful tool for organizing and focusing any message for any audience.  Fellows will then have the opportunity to test out their messages in a “headlining” exercise, and later in the mock interview scenarios.

12:30–1:30 pm   LUNCH

1:30 – 4:00 pm   Part Two:  INTERVIEWS.   Jerry Kay and his team will interview new Fellows and current Leadership Grantees in mock interviews.  These on-camera “live” interviews will give Fellows a chance to practice their message and to be in the spotlight for a few minutes.  We are aiming to have time for all participants to try this and learn from direct experience about the skills and awareness required for communicating your “story” effectively and engagingly.  We know that speaking in front of an audience, let alone a camera and microphone, can be daunting, so we will accommodate each of you within your comfort levels.   Jerry will also make himself available for additional interviews with selected grantees and Fellows whose work can be featured on Switzer Network News.    (Note:  although precedence will be given to 2010 Fellows and current Leadership Grantees, other participants should contact Erin or Lissa if you are interested in being interviewed by Jerry Kay, for this exercise or for Switzer Network News.  We will work with Fellows to schedule a time at the retreat or at another time.)

4 – 4:30 pm         DEBRIEF, conclude training

4:30 – 5:30 pm   BREAK – take a walk, stretch your legs!

5:30 - 6 pm          WINE AND BEER RECEPTION

6 – 7:00 pm         DINNER

7:30-9:00 pm      EVENING PRESENTATION by Switzer Fellow and Leadership Grantee, Misha MytarConservation and rural economic development in downeast Maine.    Misha is a Senior Planner in Maine’s Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands.  In her work, she acts as a bridge between local and state-level planning needs in this remote region of Maine.   Misha will discuss the challenges inherent in balancing economic development needs with conservation, and the region’s great potential for economic development based on the amount of conservation lands acquired in recent years and the corresponding potential for nature-based tourism. 

9:00 - - - ->          HOT TUB, CAMPFIRE and social time

SUNDAY, September 12th

8 – 9:00 am         BREAKFAST

9 - 10:45 am        DEVELOPING A LEADERSHIP LEARNING AGENDA.  Lissa Widoff will present an overview of how to create a leadership learning agenda that articulates your professional, personal and career vision and goals, and offer tools for and identify resources to help you meet your goals.  There will be small group interaction and discussion of each participant’s leadership goals in preparation for drafting a written document.  Alumni can likewise benefit from this exercise.

INTRODUCTION TO CAREER COACHING AND MENTORING.  Foundation staff will present guidance on effective mentoring relationships and seeking professional development support throughout your career. Fellows may serve as mentors in the future or may be seeking one in the near term. In either case, understanding the dynamics and responsibilities of both sides of this relationship can improve the value of mentor/mentee interactions.

11:00 am              PRESENTATION OF 2010 FELLOWSHIP AWARDS

11:30-12:30 pm  KEYNOTE by 1989 Switzer Fellow Eric Jay Dolin, author of the acclaimed book, Leviathan:  The History of Whaling in America (W.W. Norton) and a new book, Fur, Fortune and Empire:  The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America (W.W. Norton July 2010).  In between national book tour engagements, Eric will join us at the retreat to talk about his new book!  His career has spanned the realms of science, policy and communications.  Eric will provide a fitting and engaging capstone to all of our discussions focusing on the importance of communications in making environmental change.  Please join us!


12:30-1:30 pm    LUNCH

1:30 pm                DEPART

Click here for a printable version of this agenda with speaker biographies.


Add comment

Log in to post comments

A vibrant community of environmental leaders