Photo Credit: Mike Zanine (Header Image)

Fusing the clever mind with the wisdom of the ocean, mountains and sky.

The Center for Nature and Leadership is a leadership incubator and national community of women designed to translate personal expertise and insight into impact for communities and organizations across the world.

We believe that:

  The creative empowerment of women is a powerful tool for social, environmental, and personal transformation that is required for our world today;

 effective personal growth is a process fueled by continuity and a supportive community for inspiration, motivation and accountability;

 an established community of mentors and personal advisors provides a depth of growth that cannot otherwise be achieved;

 nature-based leadership development supports the development of collaborative and generative soul-based leaders who lead with their heart, spirit and hands, as well as their minds; and

 when women leaders are a part of a multigenerational and diverse professional community, they are more likely to be champions for each other’s work, creating exponential impact in a world that so desperately needs it at this time.

We believe that:

  The creative empowerment of women is a powerful tool for social, environmental, and personal transformation that is required for our world today;

 effective personal growth is a process fueled by continuity and a supportive community for inspiration, motivation and accountability;

 an established community of mentors and personal advisors provides a depth of growth that cannot otherwise be achieved;

 nature-based leadership development supports the development of collaborative and generative soul-based leaders who lead with their heart, spirit and hands, as well as their minds; and

 when women leaders are a part of a multigenerational and diverse professional community, they are more likely to be champions for each other’s work, creating exponential impact in a world that so desperately needs it at this time.

Photo Credit: Mike Zanine (Header Image)

With gratitude and acknowledgment

The Center for Nature and Leadership and the women of the Generative Council acknowledge all who came before us: human beings and the natural world that sustains us.

We acknowledge the places we call home, where we live, work and play, throughout the U.S. are located on unceded Indigenous lands. As an organization committed to nature-based leadership for women, The Center for Nature and Leadership recognizes the continual displacement of Native people by the United States and is committed to working to dismantle the ongoing effects of this colonial legacy.

We acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples of the places where the Generative Council has gathered and held space: the Cayuga, Haudenosaunee, Susquehannock peoples of the Ithaca, NY region; the Kusso of Edisto Island, SC; the Shoshone-Bannock, Cheyenne, Eastern Shoshone of Moose, WY, home of Teton Science School; the Utes, Jicarilla Apache, and Pueblos of Abiquiu, NM near Ghost Ranch; the Anishinabewaki including the Ojibwe, and Sioux peoples of Land O’Lakes, WI; the Tillamook and Siletz of Lincoln City OR, home of Westwind; the Sioux, Cheyenne and Crow peoples of northern WY; the Jicarilla Apache, the Cheyenne and the Ute of Crestone, CO; and the Huichol, descendants of the Aztecs near Sayulita, Mexico.

We also acknowledge that this country’s prosperity, and in many cases, our own, is built on the backs of slave labor and the involuntary removal of Native Americans from their homes, as well as other culture-destroying, brutal colonial tactics.

We commit to incorporating anti-racist and decolonial learnings into our teachings and to diversifying our membership by reaching out to communities of black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) to provide reduced or no-cost options (based on their personal circumstances) to enable their participation. We are also researching other ways we may be of service.

We are eternally grateful in mind, body and spirit to our non-human ancestors and all beings with whom we share this beautiful Earth: the hoofed ones, the green-leafed ones, the ones who bear fruit, the winged ones, the clawed ones, the scaled ones, the flying, the swimming, the crawling ones, the flowing and blowing ones, and the unseen ones.  They nourish us, energize us, and connect us.  They refresh our spirits, delight our minds, and remind us that every breath is a gift.

Finally, and most deeply, we offer heartfelt gratitude to the feminine: girls, women, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers throughout time, who gave us life, helped us grow, and continually sustain us through every triumph and despair. It is the women who hold the gift of life in their bodies, bring their gifts to their receptive communities in leadership of all types, and tend the hearth fires of their homes with nourishment, love, faith and hope. We seek to follow their countless examples, especially the example of Earth. She is the Sacred Mother of us All, and with many names from every place, humans have looked up, down and all around them, and said “Thank you, Mama”.

We acknowledge the places we call home, where we live, work and play, throughout the U.S. are located on unceded Indigenous lands. As an organization committed to nature-based leadership for women, The Center for Nature and Leadership recognizes the continual displacement of Native people by the United States and is committed to working to dismantle the ongoing effects of this colonial legacy.

We acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples of the places where the Generative Council has gathered and held space: the Cayuga, Haudenosaunee, Susquehannock peoples of the Ithaca, NY region; the Kusso of Edisto Island, SC; the Shoshone-Bannock, Cheyenne, Eastern Shoshone of Moose, WY, home of Teton Science School; the Utes, Jicarilla Apache, and Pueblos of Abiquiu, NM near Ghost Ranch; the Anishinabewaki including the Ojibwe, and Sioux peoples of Land O’Lakes, WI; the Tillamook and Siletz of Lincoln City OR, home of Westwind; the Sioux, Cheyenne and Crow peoples of northern WY; the Jicarilla Apache, the Cheyenne and the Ute of Crestone, CO; and the Huichol, descendants of the Aztecs near Sayulita, Mexico.

We also acknowledge that this country’s prosperity, and in many cases, our own, is built on the backs of slave labor and the involuntary removal of Native Americans from their homes, as well as other culture-destroying, brutal colonial tactics.

We commit to incorporating anti-racist and decolonial learnings into our teachings and to diversifying our membership by reaching out to communities of black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) to provide reduced or no-cost options (based on their personal circumstances) to enable their participation. We are also researching other ways we may be of service.

We are eternally grateful in mind, body and spirit to our non-human ancestors and all beings with whom we share this beautiful Earth: the hoofed ones, the green-leafed ones, the ones who bear fruit, the winged ones, the clawed ones, the scaled ones, the flying, the swimming, the crawling ones, the flowing and blowing ones, and the unseen ones.  They nourish us, energize us, and connect us.  They refresh our spirits, delight our minds, and remind us that every breath is a gift.

Finally, and most deeply, we offer heartfelt gratitude to the feminine: girls, women, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers throughout time, who gave us life, helped us grow, and continually sustain us through every triumph and despair. It is the women who hold the gift of life in their bodies, bring their gifts to their receptive communities in leadership of all types, and tend the hearth fires of their homes with nourishment, love, faith and hope. We seek to follow their countless examples, especially the example of Earth. She is the Sacred Mother of us All, and with many names from every place, humans have looked up, down and all around them, and said “Thank you, Mama”.

Our Partners

Our unique partnership structure provides a platform for talented women leaders to share their expertise, wisdom and knowledge with you through mission-related programming.  Contact us to explore this opportunity.

BEVERLY WINTERSCHEID, PH.D.

Founding Partner

Beverly is a mentor and motivator for women who want to change the world through passionate commitment to their ideas, families, organizations, and communities.

After 20 years of a successful business and academic career that included a Ph.D. in Business Strategy, a post-doc at the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management,  positions as VP, Strategy and Organization for Manco-Henkel, Inc. and Director of Strategic Initiatives for Stratton Corporation. she had a profound awakening.   After investing two decades in change management with a large systems focus, she came to the conclusion that change happens one person at a time.

Acting on her discovery, she began training in ecopsychology and nature-based guiding with the Animas Valley Institute.  In 2008, she joined Marlboro College’s Sustainability MBA, launching a 2-year nature-based leadership development course, where she stayed for the next seven years.

Also in 2008, she founded the Center for Nature and Leadership (CNL) to blend traditional leadership development with scientific findings on the beneficial effects of Nature on humans.  The Generative Council is CNL’s keystone program, designed to provide diverse women leaders the time & space to develop their personal impact, meeting  in places of wild magnificence three times/year, and supported by an ongoing community of previous participants.

Creating and achieving bottom-lines of all sorts, and helping others see the wisdom of Nature at work in their own lives is what she loves to do.  Cultivating fearless leaders, those who stand firmly on authenticity and truth, who strive to bring new visions into reality in concert with others is her passion and expertise.

And, when she’s not working with members of the Center for Nature and Leadership community, you’ll find her in the backcountry of her home in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, or sailing in the Bahamas.

 

BEVERLY WINTERSCHEID, PH.D.

Founding Partner

Beverly is a mentor and motivator for women who want to change the world through passionate commitment to their ideas, families, organizations, and communities.

After 20 years of a successful business and academic career that included a Ph.D. in Business Strategy, a post-doc at the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management,  positions as VP, Strategy and Organization for Manco-Henkel, Inc. and Director of Strategic Initiatives for Stratton Corporation. she had a profound awakening.   After investing two decades in change management with a large systems focus, she came to the conclusion that change happens one person at a time.

Acting on her discovery, she began training in ecopsychology and nature-based guiding with the Animas Valley Institute.  In 2008, she joined Marlboro College’s Sustainability MBA, launching a 2-year nature-based leadership development course, where she stayed for the next seven years.

Also in 2008, she founded the Center for Nature and Leadership (CNL) to blend traditional leadership development with scientific findings on the beneficial effects of Nature on humans.  The Generative Council is CNL’s keystone program, designed to provide diverse women leaders the time & space to develop their personal impact, meeting  in places of wild magnificence three times/year, and supported by an ongoing community of previous participants.

Creating and achieving bottom-lines of all sorts, and helping others see the wisdom of Nature at work in their own lives is what she loves to do.  Cultivating fearless leaders, those who stand firmly on authenticity and truth, who strive to bring new visions into reality in concert with others is her passion and expertise.

And, when she’s not working with members of the Center for Nature and Leadership community, you’ll find her in the backcountry of her home in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, or sailing in the Bahamas.

 

CHRIS SCHNEIDER

Partner, Generative Council Guide

With 20 years of corporate management and coaching experience in my various business roles, delivering my passion of connecting people in the corporate arena with their inward journeys has led me to help others ignite their best self and deliver their purpose work to the world. Over the last 10 years,  I’ve also led corporate nature-based workshops and founded an Outdoor Enthusiast Club in my Fortune 50 company.

I am passionate in my commitment to introducing children to nature through their sensory experience, recognizing that children are the stewards of our future.  I actively lead youth in nature, guiding on my home lands of Wisconsin and my current home in Arizona — so that both children and adults strengthen their leadership to become impactful difference makers.  I look forward to doing the same with you!

CHRIS SCHNEIDER

Partner, Generative Council Guide

With 20 years of corporate management and coaching experience in my various business roles, delivering my passion of connecting people in the corporate arena with their inward journeys has led me to help others ignite their best self and deliver their purpose work to the world. Over the last 10 years,  I’ve also led corporate nature-based workshops and founded an Outdoor Enthusiast Club in my Fortune 50 company.

I am passionate in my commitment to introducing children to nature through their sensory experience, recognizing that children are the stewards of our future.  I actively lead youth in nature, guiding on my home lands of Wisconsin and my current home in Arizona — so that both children and adults strengthen their leadership to become impactful difference makers.  I look forward to doing the same with you!

NANCY HENJUM

Partner, Generative Council Guide

With 30 years of organizational leadership, executive coaching and team facilitation experience, I seek to serve as a catalyst for positive engagement in and with the world. Two years ago I found the Center for Nature and Leadership. By bringing the wisdom of nature into my method and incorporating the practices I have learned with the women of the Generative Council, I have expanded my awareness, perspective and skillset.

Having lived the first quarter of my life in 14 different places as an Air Force “brat”, I determined to plant my roots and since 1990 Colorado is the place I have grown my branches. The light in Colorado’s crisp blue skies and the strength from its’ magnificent Rocky Mountains have become my sustenance. In addition to the importance of place, my deepest connection is to the people in it. Giving to and receiving from community is one of my highest values. Generative Council is a precious part of my community.

NANCY HENJUM

Partner, Generative Council Guide

With 30 years of organizational leadership, executive coaching and team facilitation experience, I seek to serve as a catalyst for positive engagement in and with the world. Two years ago I found the Center for Nature and Leadership. By bringing the wisdom of nature into my method and incorporating the practices I have learned with the women of the Generative Council, I have expanded my awareness, perspective and skillset.

Having lived the first quarter of my life in 14 different places as an Air Force “brat”, I determined to plant my roots and since 1990 Colorado is the place I have grown my branches. The light in Colorado’s crisp blue skies and the strength from its’ magnificent Rocky Mountains have become my sustenance. In addition to the importance of place, my deepest connection is to the people in it. Giving to and receiving from community is one of my highest values. Generative Council is a precious part of my community.

Our Board

These generous people give their time, talent and creativity to help give life to the Center for Nature and Leadership.  

CHRIS SCHNEIDER

Board Chair

Chris Schneider is connecting the world of corporate-leadership and inward-purpose for women of all ages. She is an Agency Administration Leader for State Farm Insurance.

As a guide on the land, she creates opportunities for women to learn about their bio-region and find space for self-empowerment to be born and thrive. Incorporating whole heart practices, intentional actions to ignite our best leadership, and personal authenticity. Chris also fosters a passion of introducing children to the natural world through their senses. Creating opportunities for kids to self discover a relationship with the living world. Inspiring them, as they flourish and develop into our future stewards of the earth. She dedicates time to community environmental education centers, The Sierra Club, and is an active member of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN).

Chris earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point. She also completed undergraduate work at Naropa University Boulder, Colorado in Ecopsychology. Chris is a founding member of the the Generative Council.

CHRIS SCHNEIDER

Board Member

Chris Schneider is connecting the world of corporate-leadership and inward-purpose for women of all ages. She is an Agency Administration Leader for State Farm Insurance.

As a guide on the land, she creates opportunities for women to learn about their bio-region and find space for self-empowerment to be born and thrive. Incorporating whole heart practices, intentional actions to ignite our best leadership, and personal authenticity. Chris also fosters a passion of introducing children to the natural world through their senses. Creating opportunities for kids to self discover a relationship with the living world. Inspiring them, as they flourish and develop into our future stewards of the earth. She dedicates time to community environmental education centers, The Sierra Club, and is an active member of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN).

Chris earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point. She also completed undergraduate work at Naropa University Boulder, Colorado in Ecopsychology. Chris is a founding member of the the Generative Council.

HOLLY BRAUN

Board Member

Ten years ago I shifted my professional orientation from advancing profit to fulfilling purpose and have spent the last decade helping redirect and align my organization’s existing mission of delivering safe and reliable energy to the societal charge of solving for climate change and reducing carbon emissions. I now work to advance the largest component of my organizations “low carbon pathway” through robust policy, customer-facing energy efficiency and technology, and organizational innovation.

Generative Council came midway through this journey and provided the necessary spiritual expansion to fulfill my quest. Retreating from the clutter, obligation, and pace of city-life into the quiet, reflective and harmonious non-judgment of nature was both humbling and emboldening. I found direction, clarity, and conviction that nourished and guided me to a place of sustained richness. I’m inspired how accessible this gift is and yet, it can be veiled and mysterious without models. While always a student, I am grateful to serve as a guide in this journey for future generations of council women.

HOLLY BRAUN

Board Member

Ten years ago I shifted my professional orientation from advancing profit to fulfilling purpose and have spent the last decade helping redirect and align my organization’s existing mission of delivering safe and reliable energy to the societal charge of solving for climate change and reducing carbon emissions. I now work to advance the largest component of my organizations “low carbon pathway” through robust policy, customer-facing energy efficiency and technology, and organizational innovation.

Generative Council came midway through this journey and provided the necessary spiritual expansion to fulfill my quest. Retreating from the clutter, obligation, and pace of city-life into the quiet, reflective and harmonious non-judgment of nature was both humbling and emboldening. I found direction, clarity, and conviction that nourished and guided me to a place of sustained richness. I’m inspired how accessible this gift is and yet, it can be veiled and mysterious without models. While always a student, I am grateful to serve as a guide in this journey for future generations of council women.

“JAC” JODI CLARK

Board Member

Jac is a passionate, community-minded educator, inspired by groups committed to creativity, learning, and healing. She began her journey co-creating what she has come to call “collective awesome” via co-founding a Renaissance Faire in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Her professional journey has taken her from advising the LGBT student group and working extensively in student affairs at Marlboro College to teaching/directing for ActingOut, an issue-oriented improv theater training and performance program for New Hampshire youth.

She’s served as a designer and facilitator of community processes for groups dedicated to co-creating after-school programs, community strategies for healthy food and physical activity, or substance abuse prevention. Her work interests include peer-to-peer mentoring, the power of stories shared and witnessed, creating sacred tech virtual space and exploring embodied leadership via sword training and martial practice. She’s a former member of Global Round Table Leadership and a consultant with the Center for New Leadership.

Jac finds deep healing, spiritual wisdom and nourishment in the time she spends with mountains, forests, streams, and lakes as well as with the other beings who call those places home. She was a founding board member for Wolfgard Northeast, a wolf and wilderness education center in southeastern Vermont. She is also an active member of the EarthSpirit Community and Chase Hill Folk.

“JAC” JODI CLARK

Board Member

Jac Jodi is a passionate, community-minded educator, inspired by groups committed to creativity, learning, and healing. She began her journey co-creating what she has come to call “collective awesome” via co-founding a Renaissance Faire in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Her professional journey has taken her from advising the LGBT student group and working extensively in student affairs at Marlboro College to teaching/directing for ActingOut, an issue-oriented improv theater training and performance program for New Hampshire youth. She’s served as a designer and facilitator of community processes for groups dedicated to co-creating after-school programs, community strategies for healthy food and physical activity, or substance abuse prevention. Her work interests include peer-to-peer mentoring, the power of stories shared and witnessed, creating sacred tech virtual space and exploring embodied leadership via sword training and martial practice. She’s a member of Global Round Table Leadership and a consultant with the Center for New Leadership.

Jac finds deep healing, spiritual wisdom and nourishment in the time she spends with mountains, forests, streams, and lakes as well as with the other beings who call those places home. She was a founding board member for Wolfgard Northeast, a wolf and wilderness education center in southeastern Vermont. She is also an active member of the EarthSpirit Community and Chase Hill Folk.

NANCY HENJUM

Board Member

With 30 years of organizational leadership, executive coaching and team facilitation experience, I seek to serve as a catalyst for positive engagement in and with the world. Two years ago I found the Center for Nature and Leadership. By bringing the wisdom of nature into my method and incorporating the practices I have learned with the women of the Generative Council, I have expanded my awareness, perspective and skillset.

Having lived the first quarter of my life in 14 different places as an Air Force “brat”, I determined to plant my roots and since 1990 Colorado is the place I have grown my branches. The light in Colorado’s crisp blue skies and the strength from its’ magnificent Rocky Mountains have become my sustenance. In addition to the importance of place, my deepest connection is to the people in it. Giving to and receiving from community is one of my highest values. Generative Council is a precious part of my community.

NANCY HENJUM

Board Member

With 30 years of organizational leadership, executive coaching and team facilitation experience, I seek to serve as a catalyst for positive engagement in and with the world. Two years ago I found the Center for Nature and Leadership. By bringing the wisdom of nature into my method and incorporating the practices I have learned with the women of the Generative Council, I have expanded my awareness, perspective and skillset.

Having lived the first quarter of my life in 14 different places as an Air Force “brat”, I determined to plant my roots and since 1990 Colorado is the place I have grown my branches. The light in Colorado’s crisp blue skies and the strength from its’ magnificent Rocky Mountains have become my sustenance. In addition to the importance of place, my deepest connection is to the people in it. Giving to and receiving from community is one of my highest values. Generative Council is a precious part of my community.

KELSEY WEST

Board Member

Kelsey West works in corporate philanthropy, where she is skilled at finding the intersection of business and nonprofit missions for direct social impact. She has a passion for employee engagement and connecting them to the communities in which they work and live. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Planning, Public Policy and Management as well as a Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies.

While she was raised in the green forests of Oregon, she now calls the red rocks of Arizona home. She goes to the outdoors to learn, explore, refresh, and reconnect. After participating in the Arizona regional gathering in 2019, she has remained committed to CNL’s mission of empowering women, connecting with nature, and creating a community of multigenerational leadership.

KELSEY WEST

Board Member

Kelsey West works in corporate philanthropy, where she is skilled at finding the intersection of business and nonprofit missions for direct social impact. She has a passion for employee engagement and connecting them to the communities in which they work and live. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Planning, Public Policy and Management as well as a Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies.

While she was raised in the green forests of Oregon, she now calls the red rocks of Arizona home. She goes to the outdoors to learn, explore, refresh, and reconnect. After participating in the Arizona regional gathering in 2019, she has remained committed to CNL’s mission of empowering women, connecting with nature, and creating a community of multigenerational leadership.

DEBBIE SAGEN

Board Member

I have more than 30 years of experience in public, private and non-profit management, consulting and coaching and have served in leadership positions in local government, non-profit, and private consulting firms, including executive roles in non-profit organizations, community planning and economic development, training, leadership, and organizational development, legislative affairs, and fund development. As I was transitioning into my own consulting practice, the Generative Council provided the safe space for me to explore, learn, and grow as a leader, coaching practitioner, and independent consultant.

My connection to nature has been a life-long practice, developed over years of work and play outdoors. My home at the foot of Pikes Peak backs to the National Forest, allowing my family and I to embrace, respect, and nurture the urban wildland interface each day. Participating in Generative Council constantly deepens my love for using nature’s lessons to teach us more about ourselves and learn sustainable ideas and practices from one another.

DEBBIE SAGEN

Board Member

I have more than 30 years of experience in public, private and non-profit management, consulting and coaching and have served in leadership positions in local government, non-profit, and private consulting firms, including executive roles in non-profit organizations, community planning and economic development, training, leadership, and organizational development, legislative affairs, and fund development. As I was transitioning into my own consulting practice, the Generative Council provided the safe space for me to explore, learn, and grow as a leader, coaching practitioner, and independent consultant.

My connection to nature has been a life-long practice, developed over years of work and play outdoors. My home at the foot of Pikes Peak backs to the National Forest, allowing my family and I to embrace, respect, and nurture the urban wildland interface each day. Participating in Generative Council constantly deepens my love for using nature’s lessons to teach us more about ourselves and learn sustainable ideas and practices from one another.

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