FEATURED SPEAKERS – 2018
Karen Russo is the award-winning author of The Money Keys: Unlocking Peace, Freedom and Real Financial Power, endorsed by her teachers Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, Katherine Woodward Thomas, and T. Harv Eker Proctor.
Too many spiritual seekers, creative types, and business owners struggle with upset, overwhelm, and fear about money. As the leader of the global Money Keys Community, Karen teaches, coaches, and provides practical tools to escape these ‘money traps’ and embody mental clarity, spiritual confidence, and—naturally—more cash flow!
Karen recently published the Grow Yourself Grow Your Wealth: Prosperity Practices for Faith and Focus pocket guide, with weekly tools, Money Monday and Faithful Friday. Karen has a special passion for showing women how to embody both masculine and feminine attributes of wealth. She was thrilled to be selected as a contributor for Think and Grow Rich for Women, a collaboration with Sharon Lechter and the Napoleon Hill Foundation.
Karen has been featured on TV’s Fox News and WABC TV New York, in The Arizona Republic, in Phoenix Woman and Science of Mind magazines.
Karen earned an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. She was recognized as Salesperson of the Year—a special honor in an organization distinguished by excellence in sales—in her position as an account executive with an industry leading sales training firm.
Karen’s spiritual education includes a Masters in Consciousness Studies and a Minister Ordination in Religious Science. She is a favorite guest teacher at New Thought spiritual centers.
Karen regularly contributes her time, money and energy to causes committed to justice, inclusion, and empowerment such as Andre House, Gabriel’s Angels, and the United Way.
She lives in the American southwest, with her beloved big fella, Bill, and celebrated her 50th birthday by running her 4th marathon.
To see Rev. Karen in action visit www.MoneyKeysMinistry.com.
Cynthia James is a transformational specialist and one of today’s brightest and best loved inspirational leaders and teachers guiding thousands of people to make changes at a deep level for lasting healing in their lives. Whether coaching, speaking or teaching Cynthia invites participants into INQUIRY, INTROSPECTION AND INTEGRATION. Her newest program, Advanced Awareness Coaching offers depth, focus and results for high level business creatives.
Ms. James has completed two Master’s Degree programs; one in Consciousness Studies from the Holmes Institute where she was awarded the honor of distinguished alumni, and the other in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Cynthia has uniquely combined the creative arts with innovative therapeutic techniques to bring powerful personal growth and expansion to individuals of all ages, cultures, and lifestyles, including facilitating the message of her bestselling and award-winning books, “What Will Set You Free”, Revealing Your Extraordinary Essence” and “I Choose Me: The Art of Being A Phenomenally Successful Woman at Home and at Work.”
Cynthia’s life was transformed as she transcended her childhood of violence and PTSD. Ms. James is personally committed to utilizing creative expression as a vital and effective healing modality. Her messages, music and meditation products have supported individuals and groups around the world.
Cynthia has appeared in the movies, Sacred Journey of the Heart and Leap! She has facilitated hundreds of workshops, seminars and keynotes; including Celebrate Your Life, Woman Arising, the Gift in Shift, Colorado Behavior Healthcare Council, Women’s Success Forum, the Children’s Hospital and many others. Cynthia has co-hosted a radio talk show, a television talk show in Los Angeles and is a sought after radio guest.
Internationally, Ms. James has led workshops in England and Ireland and has created and facilitated pilgrimages to Peru, Chartres, France, meditations in the Temples of Humankind in Damanhur, Italy and Mary Magdalene experiences in the south of France.
Join Cynthia in her workshops, online community or in-person. You will be inspired!
For more information about Cynthia James please visit: www.cynthiajames.net.
Mark Anthony Lord
Since 2000 Mark has been inspiring leaders, groups, and audiences of all ages to become empowered and to take the often scary, but always worth it, leap into greater success, personal responsibility, and happiness. He does this with wit, wisdom, effortless style and candor.
After receiving his Masters in Divinity in 2003, Mark founded the Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago. For 11 years he was the CEO & Spiritual Director growing it from three people in his living room to thousands of people who have passed through its doors. Prior to this he spent seventeen years working as a Director and Choreographer traveling all over the world including three years with Disney. His genius talent throughout all his work has been his ability to motivate and inspire people to become greater than they ever thought possible. From dancers on a stage in Sydney to courageous entrepreneurs working out of their homes or organization managers struggling to lead their teams to success – Mark Anthony Lord sees through their blocks and fears and elevates them into the place where new solutions and new possibilities prevail.
Mark teaches the art of meditation (and other practices to assist people in being here now) in a fun and down-to- earth way that takes out the mystery making it simple, friendly, and easy to develop a consistent practice. He has trained countless people from students to corporate Executives on expanding their wellbeing by exponentially lowering anxiety, calming the mind, and availing themselves to creative solutions and greater success minus the stress.
Mark has worked with hundreds of people ranging from Artists in all mediums to middle Managers to top Executives. He is intuitive and has the innate ability to see potential, but not only see it, help bring it forward and put it into action. He created and facilitated the spiritual practice and self-care programming for Promises Treatment Centers in Los Angeles and Malibu, as well as other Recovery Centers across the country. He travels the country helping Leaders in non-profit and corporate settings change their environment from working in silos into a small group culture where generous sharing and professional and personal support is the new norm.
Mark fearlessly unpacks the trials and tribulations he surmounted along his road to freedom, while weaving in practical tools for transformation that everyone can use for their own personal and professional development. People are left feeling energized and focused.
For more information about mark please visit: markanthonylord.me.
Rev. Alison Benjamin
Ali is a spiritual teacher, ordained minister, and the director of the Satya Center for Spiritual Living, a thriving New Thought community in northern Utah.
She has been a curious seeker her entire life and student of Truth for the past 30 years. She is the founder and director of the Satya Center and enjoys speaking, teaching, coaching, and counseling. Ali is a painter artist and offers Art & Soul Playshops throughout the year, in which she combines meditation, visioning, discussion, and painting.
Ali’s personal Mission and Vision is to inspire and empower individuals to embrace a more intimate relationship with their heart, their power, and their God. She spends her life in service of this vision through serving, painting, playing, and praying.
Ali is married to Michael. Together they work as directors of the Satya Center. She is mother to Adam, Alex, and Chris, and grandmother to Kilee, Lily, and Kora. They live in Ogden, Utah and enjoy their family, spiritual retreats, volunteering in the community, and being a positive force for good at the top of Utah! They live by Gandhi’s wisdom- Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Dr. Charles Geddes (Treasurer) is a founding member of the Big Sky Retreat. He has 47 years of ministry and served on the Board of Directors of International Centers for Spiritual Living. He was awarded an honorary doctorate for his years of contributions and in 2004 voted Minister of the Year. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Bridges Spiritual Centers, Inc., a non-profit Center dedicated to celebrating “the innate divinity in everyone. He is a member of the Affiliated New Thought Network and the Emerson Theological Institute.
Rev. Michael Gott joined the Board in 2013 and is the Music Director. He is an accomplished musician – singer/songwriter/pianist – and has been a successful entertainer, performing all over the world, for over 25 years. Michael is also an outstanding speaker and teacher, and the Senior Minister at Unity of Houston, Houston, Texas since 2017. He has been the Special Guest Musician for the Retreat since 2009 and is always at the top of everyone’s “favorite singer” list. Michael’s many skills and his long-time study of metaphysical principles makes him an invaluable member of the Retreat.
John Harold Moore
John Harold Moore (President) was guided to attend his first Big Sky Retreat in 2014. He thought he was going as an attendee, but due to unforeseen circumstances, some last minute schedule changes, and a few miracles, two weeks before the Retreat he was asked to facilitate a workshop. His decision to say yes turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in his life. After a warm welcome into the Big Sky family, and facilitating two more Family Constellations workshops the following year, John was honored to accept the invitation to join the Board in 2015. To say John brings a diverse background to this Board might be an understatement. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Acting and Advertising Design, worked in theater administration in Syracuse and Washington, DC, performed in parades and shows at the Walt Disney World Resort for seven years, and was a licensed massage therapist in South Florida for thirteen years.
John began attending church services at Unity on the Bay in Miami, Florida, in 2002 and has been a student of New Thought ever since. Life continued to unfold in miraculous ways for John, bringing him the perfect teachers and life experiences that led to the work he feels he was born to do today as a Life Coach, Minister, Family Constellations Facilitator, and A Course in Miracles Teacher. John teaches classes and facilitates workshops at home in Houston, Texas, as well as all over the United States.