We’re rolling! More than 30 Network members signed up for our August 15 individual transitions affinity group. The encore movement came to life as participants from the US, Canada and South Africa talked about their diverse programs. I’m grateful to Elizabeth Mahler, Helen Dennis and Clint Wilkins for being thought-partners in planning the session.

Thanks to all who joined us and said “we want more!” This note recaps headlines from the discussion and next steps.

Background: Here’s a list of those who signed up for the session, and a brief overview of the ways in which Network members support individual transitions.
  • Bring members together in smaller, topic-specific groups as well as larger groups. Small group topics of most interest: funding your encore program, resources for those doing one-to-one coaching, curriculum for entrepreneurship programs.
  • Meet again in October, stay tuned for a Doodle poll to set our date.
Action steps
  • Steering team to plan future meetings – if you want to join the team, let me know. I envision one prep meeting in advance of each group meeting.
  • Network survey – your answers to our six question survey will guide us in planning future meetings and webinars.
  • 15 more minutes of fame – Samela Dingus, Las Vegas-based founder of Your Next Option, is launching a You Tube interview series. Contact her to learn more and tell her about your work.
  • White paper on obstacles to encore work – Ruth Wooden, founder of the Union Theological Seminary’s Encore Transition Program, is interested in developing a white paper on obstacles to encore work. She’s also happy to share her curriculum with other seminaries interested in launching a program that combines later-life transitions and social justice work. 
  • Virtual coffee chats – Network member and uber-connector John Orian (Play at Creation, Calgary AB) has offered to organize coffee chats for the group. John, a veteran of this format, describes it as follows: One of the ideas suggested at our inaugural meeting was that we spend more time talking one-on-one, to get a better appreciation of what we are each doing. What if we could have a virtual coffee chat with another person? What might we learn from and about each other? For sure, we’d discover how we might be able to work together or be connected to others we should get to know.
    For those who would like to invest in one conversation each week to meet one other member of the group and get to know one another better, we’re launching the Coffee Chat Round Robin. Here’s how it will work:

    • By September 15, send your email address and time zone to John Orian ([email protected]playatcreation.com). John will organize a round robin set of meetings for everyone who signs up. The number of meetings will depend upon the number of people who elect to participate.
    • Prior to their meeting week, each pair will reach out to each other to schedule a meeting time
    • Enjoy your chat at the time you scheduled. Go into the chat with the assumption that you will be talking to the best friend of the person who really needs to talk to you. Be memorable and referable.
  • Keep in touch through the Network Facebook Group, connecting you with 160+ members and friends.


Thank you for demonstrating the value of our network. We’ll build on our kickoff in an October meeting. Stay tuned for the date and other information.

Contact: Betsy Werley

Published: August 21, 2019