Letter from the Publisher: Fall 2019

by Karen Floyd

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”

Purposeful change is a cornerstone of ELYSIAN. In this issue, we focus on the distinct but complementary themes of wellness and adventure. Our aim is to empower our readers in pursuit of transformative experiences. These are, of course, individual and sometimes lonely pursuits. Change comes from within, and the road less traveled can yield the greatest return on our investments. Still, our deep desire for self-reflection as well as physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing can benefit from shared perspectives. To that end, we bring you stories of women who have taken unique avenues of exploration and sustainable health: a photographer whose work promotes underwater conservation worldwide, a female-led company specializing in adventure travel for women, Malaysian sisters who have charted a career as hot air balloon pilots, and more. I have found inspiration in each of these stories, and I hope you will, too.

Inspiring Women. (Anecdotal stories)

Through the personal and professional journeys of our Fall Inspiring Women, this issue’s anecdotal stories of adventure and wellness span the globe.

From Africa to India, Israel to Switzerland, the United States and beyond, an international flair permeates these pages. Zimbabwe-born Deborah Calmeyer recalls her childhood spent adventuring in the African bush. Today, as CEO of world-renowned ROAR Africa, she creates one-of-a-kind luxury itineraries so that her clients may experience their own “African dream.” Gila Guttmann, a former systems analyst in the Israeli Army, discovered the hobby of playing duplicate bridge, which catapulted her into the international world of competitive bridge. Sheri Howell, former executive of MTV, whose clients have included Verizon, the Hard Rock Casinos & Hotels, Miley Cyrus and Walmart’s Miley+Max clothing line, speaks to the benefits of Medjet, a network of air ambulances and trained medical staff ready to transport its members who are hospitalized more than 150 miles from home. Finally, wellness expert and Ayurveda specialist Martha Wiedemann, known as one of the principal forces behind the wellness program at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in Switzerland, advocates a healthy lifestyle to achieve inner peace and true beauty.

We continue the tradition of connecting our cover model with one of the our Inspiring Women. Cassi Sherbet is an accomplished dancer and aspiring businesswoman who has plans to transform her love of the arts into an entrepreneurial venture. In this issue, Martha Wiedemann—a woman who has herself developed childhood passions into a successful international career—shares with Cassi the importance of self-confidence and the power of meditative practice as guiding forces that will help her focus on key career goals and decide her next steps in business.

Graceful Living. (Deliberate, spirited, bold)

Wellness is an all-encompassing state of being – and it can be achieved through not only health and fitness, but also our approach to beauty and fashion, our enthusiasm for travel and adventure, and our commitment to giving back. Stories of wellness come to life through the unique, women-driven narratives found in the pages of our Fall 2019 issue.

We meet a mother and daughter who took a health journey to the Kerala region of India to become immersed in the healing practice Ayurveda. Yoga meets travel meets philanthropy in the story of Jordan Ashley and Souljourn Yoga. Artist Ulrike Arnold adds a unique dimension to a luxury retreat and resort in remote Utah. This issue also offers perspectives on healthy and environmentally friendly fashion and beauty products, giving our readers thoughtful and practical avenues to pursue wellness.

Philanthropy. (Creating legacy)

As Hilton Head Island prepares for its marquee event, The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival, we salute the festival’s president and ELYSIAN Inspiring Woman, Carolyn Vanagel, who has ushered in a groundbreaking new addition to the line-up this year, Women Driving America. This 3-day program will celebrate the nation’s top female executives, designers, racers, and collectors of the motoring world. And as we gear up to recognize the women who drive the automotive industry, we also acknowledge the phenomenal rise in women-driven philanthropy. In these pages, we have highlighted the festival’s charitable foundation, Driving Young America, which supports students seeking an education to pursue a career in the automotive industry, as well as educational institutions that provide special opportunities for students entering this field.

Fall is a season of change. May you take chances, seek adventure, overcome obstacles, and experience meaningful transformation.

Thank you for taking the journey.

Read Past Letters from the Publisher

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