September in the Hudson Valley is filled with Harvest Festivals celebrating the bounty of the season. We were lucky enough to have had a month of amazing Re>Think Local member events like the Hudson River Craft Beer Festival on Sept. 21st and the Rondout Valley Growers Association’s 10th Anniversary Barn Dance & BBQ on September 28th.
Bryan and Dahlia Graham of Fruition Chocolate opened their Shokan doors to us on September 18th, offering a delicious departure from our usual Re>Mix events. Upon entering their wonderful shop and confectionery on Rt. 28, we were immediately intoxicated (not from the Bourbon) with the intense aroma of cacao. Bourbon tastings from Tuthilltown Spirits and a delightful spread of cheese and other goodies from Cheese Louise complimented these fine confections. Dahlia shared a history of the bean to bar process with an attentive room as we sampled the incredible selection of chocolates. What treasures we have in the Hudson Valley with these three amazing local purveyors. Thanks to all!
A week later, we gathered with close to 75 Hudson Valley Wellness Professionals for a one-day conference at the Omega Institute. We had a full agenda that began with a beautiful breathing exercise and meditation lead by Holly Anne Shelowitz, followed by an inspiring morning session on collaborating to heal our communities. Our speaker panel featured Joe Concra of the O+ Festival, Susan Weeks of Healthcare is a Human Right, Nancy Plumer and Nancy Eos from the Rondout Valley Holistic Health Community, and The Center for Creative Education’s Artistic Wellness Director/DXF Dance Cross Fitness Founder, Drew Andrews. Lively discussion with Q&A followed.
After lunch, our lead sponsor, Tim Allred of the William’s Lake Project engaged the audience for ideas to help co-create the wellness initiative at William’s Lake, and Re>Think’s Outreach Director, Kelleigh McKenzie discussed localism and the triple bottom line. Drew lead us in an upbeat session of Soul Line Dancing before we moved into the Marketing portion of the day…
Leadership mentor and coach, Blair Glaser lead the afternoon session along with Business Development guru Melissa Gibson of New in Town, Inc., each sharing marketing strategies and tools for healthy self promotion to achieve a healthy bottom line. Babs Moley, Owner of River Rock Health Spa discussed ideas on branding the Hudson Valley as a destination for wellness.
The day ended with a cafe conversation moderated by Re>Think Local Co-Chair, Jennifer Schwartz Berky, as we discussed the hot topics from the day and put plans in place for moving these important initiatives forward. A lovely meditation guided again by Holly Shelowitz closed a wonderful session. As always, lots of networking lead to ideas and future collaborations in health, wellness and fitness…all building blocks to a sustainable, local and human-scale economy right here in the Hudson Valley.
Special thanks to our partners at The Omega Institute, all our attendees who took the time to join us and offer their input, and our inspiring speakers. Huge thanks to our generous sponsors – The Williams Lake Project, O+, Hudson Valley Skin Care, Dion Ogust Photography, Holly Anne Shelowitz for her lovely food and treats, DXF/Dance Xross Fitness, Field Apothecary & Herb Farm, Earthmind Wellness, Heart & Soul of Beacon, and Movement 4 Life. Many thanks to Dion Ogust for capturing the day. Eternal gratitude to you all.