This article appeared in the Vail Daily on June 22nd, 2015 – vaildaily.com
The G3 conference ended at Paragon Backcountry Center in Arrowhead. Attendees hiked to the center
with llamas. They enjoyed wine and appetizers while speaker Ellen Miller talked about graceful aging.
The G3 Women’s Conference, traditionally held in Sonoma, California, took place June 15 and 16 in
Vail. It encouraged women to “gather, grow and go.” An early morning Vail Mountain ascent set the
pace for this high-energy, encouraging group of 40 women dedicated to becoming their best
physically, mentally and emotionally.
Piper Abodeely, founder of the G3 conference, said the goal of G3 “is to help women leverage their
best selves from the inside out by tapping into all aspects of a woman’s life — from health, wellness,
nutrition, balance, career and more — while always having fun and enjoying good food and wine
along the way!”
This was not a traditional business conference with suits and over-coiffed hair. Each speaker was
reputable but infused their talk with fun. This year’s speakers included Ceil Folz, president of the
Vail Valley Foundation; Gaby Milhoan, a social entrepreneur; and Ellen Miller, a local outdoor
The diverse speakers offered something for everyone. Rosie Holliday, founder of travel agency
Holliday Adventures, was pleased by the topic breadth and information quality.
“I was really impressed by the quality of all the speakers (who made the conference) uplifting,
educational, inspirational and fun,” Holliday said.
Although most women attended the conference to glean what they could from the speakers,
Holliday was pleased to observe that there were “a lot of very bright, thoughtful and compassionate
women. I was particularly impressed with the younger women. If all women of their generation
were like these, then the future generation and the planet would be in good hands.”
BANISHING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
Liz Horan Jenks, CEO of Jenks & Co. Inc. stated that “the women who attend G3 are incredibly
supportive of one another and are there to go beyond their comfort zone, thus because we all are
equally vulnerable, as a speaker I just felt like an extension of the overall experience.”
This vulnerability allowed many women to get the support needed to learn different skills and
develop the confidence to start business projects they’d put on hold, or say no to projects they can’t
Gretchen Hovey, owner of Ripe produce in Edwards, private chef and founder of Vail Pop, a pop-up
dinner company, said that she attended the conference “hoping it would help me narrow down
some of my projects.”
Abodeely observes that G3 organizers “find that most participants come for one thing and get
something entirely different out of the experience with great connections, networks and personal
Holliday registered for the conference eager to learn everything.
“I was open to anything that resonated with me,” she said. “And it pretty much all did.”
Banishing negative thoughts through self-talk was one of the most revisited topics in the two-day
“I plan “to zap myself with an elastic band around my wrist when I have a negative thought and
replace it with a positive thought,” Holliday said.
Biana McCarty, a local photographer, said that she is going to approach her art and business
differently after the conference. She learned that she needed to “just shut up and do it” to limit the
criticisms she projects on her work.
Jenks said that not only did she walk away with “a renewed sense of confidence and value” but
while preparing for her talk she “realized that I had more to offer than I thought.”
‘You are enough’
The most empowering aspect of the conference was “being surrounded by amazing women who are
supportive and inspire each other to be their best self,” Jenks said.
She encourages women who have not attended the conference to do so next year and “invest in
yourself and your happiness — the payback is big!”
On the final day of the conference, the women enjoyed food and wine at the Paragon Guides
Backcountry Center, and they were encouraged to share what they had learned and how they
planned to maintain balance and health at home. While this team-building exercise would seem
trite at most conferences, this supportive community was eager to share.
Elaine Kelton, longtime local and author of the book “Women of Vail,” said that “women are
awesome” and that she will remind herself “you are enough, trust that.” Many women were looking
forward to continuing their growth by sharing their knowledge with their daughters.
Holliday said that “even if you are familiar with the topics and practice a healthy mind and body
lifestyle, know the right things to do for the environment and so on, it never hurts to be around
people of a similar bent. We all can learn something even if it is just a tidbit. The exchange of ideas
can be very powerful.”
NEXT YEAR’S CONFERENCE
Next year’s G3 conference will see lots of familiar faces as many of these women plan to return.
According to Holliday, the conference is for “women who do not want to stay in a ‘static’ place in
their life. Women who are interested in learning more about themselves, how to live a healthy,
fulfilling life by helping themselves and others; women who want to connect.”
For more information, visit www.G3sonoma.com.
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