2020 Women’s Summit

Topics, Descriptions& Presenters

An Awakening Welcome

Taiko drummer Ben Miller will bring you into the present moment — helping you let go of your doubts,

worries, and concerns. Now focused — deep learning and relaxation are possible.

Taiko drummer Ben Miller will bring you into the present moment — helping you let go of your doubts, worries, and concerns. Now focused — deep learning and relaxation are possible. Ben is a lifelong percussionist with a passion for improvisational drumming who was drawn to the art of Taiko. The way of Taiko uses the whole body in playing the drum and contains a deeper underlying philosophy within the art form. Ben joined South Florida’s original taiko group, Fushu Daiko, in 1998. Then he trained under Sensei Takemasa Ishikura and performed with Matsuriza at the Japan Pavilion in Disney’s EPCOT.


Ben served as Artistic Director from 2011-2019 and is currently the Executive Director. He is a Master of Classical Five Element Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism (A.P., M.Ac) in practice since 2004. He incorporates his understanding of eastern philosophy and the five elements into his leadership and training the Fushu Daiko ensemble and student groups. Ben is a teacher and speaker who facilitates workshops in the art of taiko drumming, mindfulness, and stress reduction techniques. www.fushudaiko.org @5ElementBen

Keynote: A Mother’s Courage to Awaken

Paula Petry, PhD will share her message, A Mother’s Courage to Awaken. We will join her as she shares her
travels down the yellow brick road to discover her inner power and the magic that lies in all of us.

Dr. Paula Petry’s journey of self-discovery, healing, and personal empowerment she paved a new path not only her daughter but for many others. She became a strong advocate for children with disabilities, forming what is now an important parent to parent organization in Florida. She brought that knowledge and her passion for family-centered care services to her faculty position at the University of Miami, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics— for over a decade preparing pediatricians to work with children with special health care needs.

Her daughter Alexandra’s death at age twelve brought great loss, suffering, and new beginnings. On her journey to healing, Paula studied energy medicine, sound healing, and the expressive arts, which she now blends together in retreats, workshops, and individual energy medicine sessions. Her passion is to help women awaken to their inner truth and power, a theme and focus of her upcoming book with the working title: A Mother’s Courage To Awaken. Paula resides in Cooperstown and is a co-owner of the Light of Heart Sanctuary.

Four Breakout Sessions

1. Acupuncture & Sound Healing

In this session, participants will experience an introduction to acupuncture and sound healing. Each participant will be ‘needled’ in one earlobe – using a method called Shen Men, close to being painless. The vibrational sounds of the drum will further assist in reaching a deep relaxation and calming of one’s central nervous system. Presenters: Ben Miller, AP and Jeff Deen, Esq

2. Reclaiming Your Forgotten Powers

In this session, participants will consider their life’s journey through the eyes and souls of the Hero’s Journey, a pattern of events identified by historian Joseph Campbell - one that lives in all of us. So much so that film producers have reenacted it in their movies. Its essence is the storyline in Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, The Lion King, and Batman. Consideration will be given to the fact that we often get stuck along the way, i.e. in the darkness of the belly of the whale, in continual cycles of trials and tribulations, inability to find an appropriate mentor, or never returning back home to share one’s story and give back to others. Processes will help participants move forward in their own Hero’s Journey story. Presenter: Paula Petry, PhD

3. Food choices & Gut Heath for Wellness

I’m sure that everyone has at one time or another heard the expression, “you are what you eat.” Although this may be true to a certain extent, you are also what you digest, absorb, assimilate, and eliminate, or fail to eliminate. In this session, participants will explore how everyday food and lifestyle choices can improve the quality of their overall health, starting with the “gut.”

Lisa Brown, founder of Free Flowing Health, is a Registered Yoga Teacher with over 500 hours of accumulated study, an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Certified Health Coach, and a Natural Gourmet Institute Vegan Chef. She holds a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College. Born and raised in NYC, Lisa spent her younger years living life in the fast lane. Working as a full-time EMT while in college, coupled with a poor diet, lots of stress, and little to no sleep left Lisa running on empty with a number of health issues, including a severe back injury. After turning to yoga for physical rehabilitation and adjusting her lifestyle, diet, and mindset, Lisa experienced deep and long-lasting healing on all levels of being. After her own personal journey of self-discovery and transformation, Lisa's quest for knowledge, passion for healthy living, and deep desire to be of service to others was insatiable. Today, Lisa combines her work as a Personal Vegan Chef, Health Coach, & Yoga Teacher to help people around the world achieve greater levels of health, happiness and, harmony.

4. Brain Wellness

We now know there is more to wellness than simply a physically fit body and a healthy outlook. For true wellness we must consider the brain as a separate and very special organ – an organ that is assessed and enhanced in unique ways that fall outside the realm of primary care. Just as the heart is often afforded special attention, so too must we carefully look at the brain. All too often brain health is an important yet neglected third dimension of true wellness. In this session, Participants learn innovative mind and brain tools and the latest CBD products, for resiliency brain wellness, calmness and greater happiness!

Cynthia L. Dougherty, Ph.D. has been in the “Helping” business for over two decades. Her all-embracing wisdom comes from her training as a Wellness and Life Coach, a Certified Meditation Teacher, and a Certified School Neuropsychologist. Cynthia also holds a Ph.D. in Human and Child Development, a Master’s degree in Family Therapy, Master’s Degree in Psychology, and a Certificate in Neuropsychology. She combines her psychology and therapy training with her love and passion and for neuroscience and mindfulness. She believes that bringing mindfulness into your life both personally and in business will help you optimize your ability to create and live a happy, joyous and fulfilling life. She has written a #1 best-selling book, “ Lost Found and Re-wired”. This March her second book, “Cannabis Conversations” will be debuted. In February 2020, Cynthia is launching her own bi-monthly wellness/lifestyle subscription box for Self-Change!! www.gratefulpeaceofmind.com

A Release, Restore & Relax Yoga for Everybody

In this session, participants will explore the ways in which movement, breath, and meditation can help release stress, restore balance and promote deep relaxation. No prior experience is necessary. Bring a yoga mat if possible. Presenter: Lisa Brown, M.A.

Awakened Thoughts to Embodied Action

In this closing session, you will have the opportunity as we gather together around the Web of Life — to declare to yourself and to others, if you choose, the action(s) you plan to take on behalf of yourself and/or others. This year’s theme song, drumming, and movement will help each of us embody our future self — creating ease and flow as we go forth on our journey to call ourselves to action in 2020 through a community art experience.

Facilitated By: Dana Pezoldt, M.A.

Dana is trained as an expressive artist and has her master’s degree in Expressive Arts / Arts as Healing, from the University of South Florida. She has worked as an expressive artist and Child Life Specialist in pediatric hospice and pediatric oncology and bereavement settings for over 13 years. She currently is a program manager with the All Kids Included Initiative of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. She is instrumental in providing ongoing guidance and program review of community-based art programs for children and youth with disabilities as well as inclusive art experiences for children of all abilities.

Evening Session

7 to 9 PM

The Drumantra Experience with Jeff Deen (Sound Healing, Movement and Voice Journey)

Join sound healer Jeff Deen for this restorative and invigorating journey into the power of DRUMANTRA- healing rhythms + healing affirmations. Chant, tone, groove, move and dance to the beat of the drums. Connect with the power of the group to synchronize our rhythms, voices and hearts to activate the energies of modern mantras for stress relief and self-love. Tune in to your deepest self during this sound healing journey, and emerge renewed and ready to transcend old mental/emotional patterns. Come and transform into your best self with the Drumantra Experience. Bring a yoga mat or a large towel. An eye covering if you’d like one.

Presenter: Jeff Deen

Jeff Deen is a musician, sound healer and meditation teacher who grew up in Miami, Florida. A former attorney, Jeff left his legal career to follow the calling the drums, founding Drumming for Wellness in 2007. Through Drumming for Wellness, Jeff facilitates drumming events for all kinds of populations, from kids with special needs to cancer patients to the elderly in nursing homes to executives in corporate team building settings. Jeff is the inventor of Rhythmic Resonance Healing, a healing modality combining shamanic journeying, suspending drums over clients, chanting and breathwork, in order to escort clients into deep states of relaxation and healing. Jeff recently presented his work as a TEDx speaker at TEDxMIAMI. Jeff'smission is to empower, heal and unify people through rhythm and sound. www.jeffdeen.com

Performer: Brazilian Voices

Brazilian Voices is a non-profit female vocal group of 34 women who sing Brazilian and international music for concerts, educational, hospitals and chemotherapy infusion units, nursing homes among others. Known as 14-time winner of the Brazilian International Press Award for Outstanding Brazilian Musical Group in the US, it has released 7 CDs in the US and Canada and performed widely for 18 years, including in Barcelona, Madrid, Mexico, New York, Arizona and London, in addition to more than 500 performances in South Florida, reaching more than 19,000 people yearly.


In addition, Broward County has proclaimed September 15th, 2016 to be "Brazilian Voices Day” for its positive contribution to the community, which all members are very proud of. Brazilian Voices performs for the 7th consecutive year at the Women’s Summit and Annual Family Cafe Summit in Orlando., an event for hundreds of Floridians with disabilities and their families. Once again, Brazilian Voices reaches out to various communities in Florida with their soothing voices, kindness, joy and professionalism.

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​© 2019 Paula Petry PhD