Imagine beginning your morning with an exhilarating run through award winning wooded trails, or eating fresh, organic foods for lunch, or even enjoying relaxing chair massages after listening to professionals inspire you toward a holistic lifestyle. That is exactly what guests at Southern Adventist University’s “Empowered by Wellness” gathering will experience June 10-11.
The summit, held on the campus of Southern, will feature presentations, stimulating activities, practical workshops, and opportunities to network with academic, church, healthcare, and corporate wellness leaders. The program includes a range of speakers who are experts in the topics of nutrition, mental health, purposeful living, workplace wellness, and more.
“[The presenters] have all inspired me personally and professionally,” said Phil Garver, dean of the School of P.E., Health and Wellness. “Most of them have been on our campus before as speakers for our Employee Wellness Program.”
Summit instructors include Ryan Picarella, manager of corporate wellness at BlueCross BlueShield; Carl A. Hammerschlag, M.D., psychiatrist and recognized author; Sandy Queen, international wellness motivator and presenter; David Gobble, Ph.D., aging specialist; and Des Cummings, Jr., Ph.D., president of the Florida Hospital Foundation. Featured presenters include Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and host of “Huckabee” on the Fox News Channel, and Neil Nedley, M.D., author and medical director of the Nedley Depression Recovery Program.
Huckabee, who ran for president in the 2008 election, will put politics aside and focus on the story of how he lost 110 pounds and completed four marathons after being diagnosed with type II diabetes. Garver and Leslie Evenson, Wellness Institute director, have both been inspired by the results of his dramatic lifestyle changes.
“Several years ago I read a book Huckabee wrote about his health journey,” Evenson said. “I’m looking forward to hearing him speak about that same topic in person.”
Beyond the health talks, “Empowered by Wellness” also includes presenters Zonya Foco and David Roth. Foco, who brought her “DIET FREE” lifestyle program to Southern last September, is a renowned nutritionist who will keep guests active between sessions with different moving and stretching exercises. Roth, a singer and songwriter from Massachusetts, is sharing some of the music he’s performed at the National Wellness Conference.
“Music therapy plays an important role in the balance of our lives,” said Sharon Robberson, director of Conference Services and Events. “Learning to relax often involves a variety of methods and music is an excellent way to make that happen.”
Garver was inspired to host “Empowered by Wellness” after attending a wellness conference in Wisconsin every summer for 28 years. He said he wanted to make that kind of experience available to the people in the Chattanooga area and beyond. The significant difference, though, is that the mission of Southern’s summit is to share Christ-centered wellness.
“We have a culture of wellness on our campus that is unique and positive,” Garver said. “God has continued to bless us on this journey, so why not share it?”
Those who register for the summit can expect the opportunity to network and socialize with others who are interested in not only enhancing their own lives, but also the lives of those around them—physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
“God has opened some amazing doors during the process of planning this event, so I am anticipating amazing results,” Garver said.
Tickets are available online and include three pricing options: All-Inclusive, Mike Huckabee only, or Neil Nedley only. If you have any additional questions, contact Conference Services and Events at 423.236.2555.