TWOgather Inaugural Event

It is a beautiful Spring day, despite the fact that it is technically still Winter here in Chicago. I am sitting outside as I write this post in anticipation of the actual Spring days ahead. For Lisa and I, the Spring of 2017 will mark the implementation of our first official Reflection Institute event, and we could not be more excited to bring a group of interesting women together to learn, laugh, and mingle! I wanted to share a little more about Lisa and my's background and why we have decided to create the Reflection Institute and what we hope to accomplish with our first and future events.

Lisa is the creative force behind our business, she has a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication from Ohio University. She has a Masters in Humanities with a sub-specialty in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and she is a professionally trained photographer on top of it all! Lisa has 9 years of experience working for a small, but mighty executive leadership development firm that works at the C-Suite level of Global 1000 companies. Lisa has traveled the world implementing leadership development programs and has earned praise for her very own iSight workshop where she captures a leader’s legacy via an ethnographic photo session. 

Jenny is the business and project management force behind the business, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology, a Master’s in Business Administration and a Masters in Project Management. Jenny is a 16-year higher education veteran with 8+ years of experience working in the corporate learning and development space. Her current role involves consulting on and project managing the implementation of tailored learning solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Jenny has 7 years of direct sales leadership experience and over 8 years experience influencing and indirectly managing cross-functional teams. She is currently responsible for strategic growth initiatives for her organization.

Jointly, we both have a passion for learning and have a strong bond to the point that we know we want to be in business together! We want to work on something we value, while striving to effectively manage work and life. Through a process of self-discovery, we have realized our area of focus will be self-awareness and thus the Reflection Institute was founded! We want to empower people to live a more self-aware life by connecting them with community, peers, and themselves. We want to create individual paths of learning by designing fun sensory-based experiences tied to coaching, reflection exercises, and meaningful interactions. Our goal is to continue to expand our offerings in order to enable people to create customized journeys of self-awareness that will help achieve greater success in work, life, relationships, and community engagement.

This brings me back to our first event, TWOgather, which will take place on March 24th at the War Chest Boutique in Naperville, IL. We will be catering some delicious food from Two Brothers (We figured an event run by Two Sisters run had to be catered by Two Brothers!!) and we will be conducting some interesting and reflective exercises. I don’t want to give everything away but here is a quick teaser:

1)      Each “pair” will have a chance to learn, both visually and through word of mouth, how they are seen through another’s eyes. It is often important and uplifting to take a step back and see how much of an impression you can make on someone else. 

2)      The entire group (we anticipate a max of 20) will get a chance to mingle and meet other women. We will be providing some specific direction for the mingling sessions that will allow the participants to think about a personal development goal they currently have, and to potentially elicit help from someone else in the room.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, we will be hearing a presentation from the War Chest Boutique. As mentioned above, the Reflection Institute’s goal is to make meaningful connections to self, others, and community. Our overarching goal is to draw attention to organizations that have an important mission and purpose and who are doing amazing things with regard to giving back. We believe that having a strong sense of self is very much tied to giving of yourself to others.  The WAR Chest Boutique is the retail arm of the non-profit organization Women At Risk, International, for which W.A.R. is an acronym. They provide gifts that are hand-crafted by or sold in support of at-risk women (and even some at-risk men) in their partnering programs in over 40 countries, including the United States. When you buy something at the store you receive a card with information about who crafted the item, it is so unique…and purposeful. The store in Naperville is a wonderful, quaint and cozy spot and we are honored that they are partnering with us to host the event.

The Reflection Institute’s mission is to create a movement of self-awareness. Our inaugural TWOgather event is the first exciting step in this direction and we are looking forward to a fun and engaging evening on March 24th. See some of you there!