Part of living well is expanding our horizons. In a fast changing world, many of us are celebrating lifelong learning like never before. Retirement communities are being planned around college campuses and progressive housing alternatives are being embraced to engage community. Regardless of your age or stage in life, pursuing cultural competencies is a win-win for all generations.

Ethnocentrism is believing and acting on the notion that our culture is superior to anothers, which creates narrow opportunities to explore and grow in appreciation of anothers worldview. So, how are you keeping your cultural baggage in check? You may be surprised to learn that beyond traveling the globe or working in a highly diverse environment, there is a multitude of  learning opportunities here in Monmouth County.

Luckily, our family has hosted a dozen international college exchange students for a decade. Until they arrived from various corners of the world, we were a lot less culturally competent. Here are three simple ways they’ve enlarged our lives:

  1. Did you know our county hosts a Latvian Society Center named Priedaine right here on Rte 33 in Freehold? The cultural center is used for dances, concerts, and community gatherings to celebrate life. Jani, the pagan holiday that celebrates the summer solstice is the most important Latvian holiday on their secular calendar. The evening celebration starts prior to June 23 which is St Johns Day. This holiday celebrates the saint’s birthday six months prior to Christmas. When our Latvian student shared his love for opera and singing in the shower, we knew he was a product of a rich artistic culture. For those of you asking Siri, “Where the heck is Latvia?”, know that the independent Baltic country is lodged between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south. All three countries were previously part of the former Soviet Union. Latvia is largely a flat, forest outside its capital city, Riga, with wicked fast internet speed  and a very tall NY Knicks NBA basketball player named Porzingas   
  2. Did you know traditional Chinese brides change their wedding gowns up to 30 times during their big day? Today, most relieved brides have narrowed that selection down to three dresses on wedding day. One simple dress for the ceremonial tea welcomes in-laws, one commemorates the actual ceremony (check out their red qipao dresses!) and one showcases at the reception which is indicative of wealth and family status. Our Beijing student darted out the door to Manhattan with his red “Hongbao” or traditional red money envelope, hoping that his gift with worthy of the bride and groom’s celebration.  We knew after consulting with our student that his envelope had no folded,soiled bills, no coins and if it was a check, did not include the unlucky number four. In Chinese cultural traditions, the number four symbolizes death and is clearly bad luck on a celebratory wedding day.
  3. Lastly, our Brazilian houseguest has turned us all on to authentic dining in Long Branch that never disappoints. Delicious culinary experiences await on Brighton, Broadway and Joline in town for those that really want a full Brazilian BBQ immersion. We’re working on our Portguese before we imbibe again and encourage anyone to squeeze in a trip to the breathtaking beaches near Sao Luis to enjoy more real Brazilian beauty. Our students continue to expand our horizons and we’re celebrating cultural diversity daily.

     Whether you opt to stay near or travel far, enjoy the journey of becoming a more culturally competent global citizen and live well!

Read DonnaLyn’s monthly Living Well in Community Magazine NJ column to get tips to enlarge your life: 
Colts Neck • Holmdel • Lincroft – November 2017 – Issue
Rumson • Fair Haven • Little Silver • Red Bank • Locust • Sea Bright – November 2017 – Issue

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is the CEO/President of DLG Consulting, an integrated leadership training company that supports talent agility and skills development. Share your comments at or connect at


I love this time of year listening to migrating birds make travel plans. Bounding flight is evident when small birds fly long, arduous distances in a graceful gliding position but sometimes have to flap like crazy to stay on course. Sound familiar? Many of us keep the pace for long periods of time and then find ourselves called to engage in short bursts of frenzied flapping to keep our heads above water. If you need to glide again and would like some support, drop me a line for our next coaching circle for birds of a feather flocking together for more success in business or life. Mention this email for 10% off private coaching for new clients thru October 2017.

Speaking of flocking together, I just finished Charles Vogl’s new book, The Art of Community..Seven Principles for Belonging which is well worth your time! He shares his principles for growing enduring,effective and connected communities which helps us help others in meaningful ways! Here’s where you might join us:

A big thanks to Marilyn Schlossbach’s team at Russell & Bette’s(the former What’s Your Beef restaurant in Rumson, NJ) for generously providing great food and a fun venue just before our big biking adventure in CT to cure blood cancers. Learn more about team effort and a kicking community at

We’ve established the #WomenWorking4Women scholarship fund to support local female college students with big dreams and proven track records of success. Care to join this community or know someone that would? I’ll be happy to share how this focused group of professionals is helping make dreams come true with their time and talent.

If you’ve got great recommendations for Minneapolis,MN, please share them as I take bounding flight to speak at another national conference empowering smart women in financial services. I’m looking forward to flapping and gliding into another great community of passionate people. Happy Fall!                   

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA, CIC, RYT
President, DLG Consulting Red Bank NJ
Keynotes, Leadership Consulting & Success Coaching..  @DonnaLynSpeaks FB/Tw @DonnaLynConsults/IG

DonnaLyn has been helping executives and leadership talent succeed with the intersection of her business building, conference speaking and wellness life. Catch her between keynotes and client care at 732-547-0894 for a conversation about your goals.

Photo by Tom Zapcic Photography

Please visit the original LinkedIn article:
“Ditch the Devices! Three ways to Divert your audience to a meaningful message.”

We can all agree that most people are distracted and overstimulated thanks to our time saving devices. While we enjoy a myriad of professional and personal benefits from our tiny little computers, my colleagues and I have often discussed how to keep our conference audiences tuned into our keynotes instead of tuned out by technology. Whether you’re addressing a large crowd or conducting a small corporate seminar, here are three tips to take your talk to the top:

  1. Open with a compelling, current trend or a research statistic that’s not widely known. All ages and levels of management want to stay current and relevant. When I recently addressed a wide spectrum of leadership at a national conference in Vegas, I was sure to share content that was relatable to senior and emerging talent. This increased my chances of grabbing the attention of attendees from the start. The next challenge was to keep them plugged in.

  3. Move your message with momentum. In other words, match the trajectory of your message with your energy. Most leaders in your audience are energy seekers. If you model enthusiasm for your material to serve them, chances are the audience will stay in the moment with you. You’ll know this by observing their body language and eyeball engagement. The goal is “heads up” and “thumbs off”, unless, of course, they’re favorably tweeting about your session.

  5. Connect your participants with their peers. It’s always an honor to get to know people on a more personal basis and that’s largely done through personal conversations. Whether you have an opportunity to introduce conference colleagues immediately after your presentation or take the time to connect them virtually post conference, showcasing genuine interest in the success of others is a win/win. Rarely are you the only stranger in the room. Most of the conference attendees I meet do not know the professionals around them because they’re coming from different parts of the world. What a great opportunity to be a connecting conduit for them!

Notice all three of these tips start with an action word: Open, Move and Connect. All require focused attention. After years of helping thousands of executives refine their leadership skills, I promise your audience will put their devices on silent when you’re actively attuned to their goals. Good luck!

As Malcolm Forbes once said. “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” As many of us prepare for back to school adventures, I’m reminded of an outdoor classroom experience shared with friends this summer. Here are a few things we learned in the wild west wilderness this year:

 We hiked the Crown Jewel of the Continent, Glacier National Park. Established in 1910, this iconic beauty is our country’s 10th named national park rich with glacier carved perfect  peaks, turquoise and emerald lakes and rich wildlife. The park is comprised of 1600 square miles and showcases much of its beauty by traveling the Going-To-The-Sun-Road. This twisting and sometimes terrorizing ride hugs deep  gorges and hair pin turns.  Students of all ages enjoy(or not!)  50 miles of winding wonder over the Continental divide with breathtaking views and vertical vistas. Lifelong learners climb 6,640 feet to the top of Logan’s Pass to trek alongside long bearded mountain goats grazing on snowy patches of ice in July. When’s the last time you caught sight of a pair of big horned rams? Every step in this classroom was a new experience.

We learned that Glacier National Park is linked with Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park which created the world’s first International Peace Park. In 1995, this Peace Park became recognized as a World Heritage Site that showcases grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, bull trout and bison. The park maintains 71 species of mammals, 24 species of fish and symbolizes hope and a vision of unity for all. Visitors from around the globe converge with nature to celebrate the wonder of creation. We shared a shuttle with nature enthusiasts from Germany, Australia, Canada and the Canary Islands as we learned about more than 730 miles of hiking trails and climb options of over 10,000 feet skyward.

 We rode horses most days to frame our western adventure. Taking a class in the great outdoors Montana style included bison burgers, big sky BBQs, chuck wagons and swooning cowboys telling tales of living on the range. Our fourth generation rancher and his team of wranglers made sure we agreed with Franklin Delano Roosevelt who once said, “There’s nothing more American than visiting our parks.” We couln’t agree more. Keep your return to school learning adventurous and live well!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is the CEO/President of DLG Consulting, an integrated leadership training company that supports talent agility and skills development for professionals. Conference keynoter and executive coach, she delights in helping others develop resiliency and reinvention at Connect Facebook@DonnaLynSpeaks, Twitter@DonnaLynSpeaks, Instagram@DonnaLynConsults



Living Well Column for Community Magazine/ August 2017

“A Nod to Nike”

Nike says it. Many of us try to live it. Just do it! Indeed, we did it this weekend in what Backpacker magazine calls “the most dangerous small mountain in the world.” Mt. Washington, in the White Mountains of NH, hosts approximately 250,000 visitors a year. Home of the world’s worst weather, Mt Washington sits at the intersection of several major storm tracks and is known for its extreme weather, rocky terrain and windy ways. The highest wind velocity ever recorded at any surface weather station belongs to Mt Washington at 231 mph.

Eight diverse, talented and teflon women climbed together this weekend in our first Lodge-to-Hut weekend adventure from Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. The 120 yr hut system was devised to provide refuge and meals to hungry hikers. We were edified by the “croo” (hut crews) with entertainment, education and hot meals at Lakes of the Clouds Hut, reportedly the most popular in the system. The overnight did not disappoint despite no shower, hot water, or electricity in our bunk room of 12 strangers turned friends. We wilderness women harnessed our physical strength, mental stamina and adventurous spirit to summit the northeast’s highest precipice in the east at 6300 ft. For those that don’t own hiking boots or a backpack, a Mt Washington climb is significant for a number of reasons:

1.  It’s hilly hard. Think one big tripping trap. Lots of rocks, little rest.

2.  The weather is highly unpredictable and potentially dangerous. The kill hill record currently stands at over 150 lives.

3.  It’s a multi-strength stretch assignment. Brains & beauty unite.

Our posse of packing mountain mamas brought their lust for life to the ascent. A land use attorney, a teacher, a memory making mom and her two daughters and a few seasoned entrepreneurs hoofed straight up the mountain to meet the vicissitudes of mountain life. The weekend weather predicted T-storms and lightening mixed with winds and wet weather. We showed up, stocked up and shuffled up Mt Washington’s steep steps and slippery trails. We left no stone unturned as we tested our mettle  along the miles of smiles and faces of occasional fear.

We revisited some universal truths about living well:

1.  Take calculated risks.

2.  Make new friends.

3.  Growth can be uncomfortable.

Sure, we could have played it safe with another delightful day at the Jersey shore, but then we wouldn’t have bonded with our inner outdoorswoman at such a high level(no pun intended). We wouldn’t have learned about eight kinds of cloud formations, the physics of wind or a the doggone wonder of mountain flora that stretches from New Hampshire’s White mountains to NJ(Labrador Tea).

Nike, the winged goddess of victory, would have been proud. We just did it with tenacity and teamwork. We will likely treasure this weekend trek for a lifetime. Learn more at to plan your next daring adventure. Do the training, make new friends, take risks and live well!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is the CEO/President of DLG Consulting, an integrated leadership training company that supports talent agility and skills development for professionals. Conference keynoter and executive coach, she delights in helping others develop resiliency and reinvention at

Join us this Sat 2-4pm at Monmouth Park’s Turf Club for some stress busting yoga to benefit Women that Build at Habitat for Humanity. Look for local wellness leadership and enjoy a wide array of talented teachers while we network on and off the mat! $20pp Excited to be presenting with #SynergyYoga #MonmouthBeachYoga #AKneadedVacation #DNBEvents #DebHeptigYoga

I will be keynoting on effective leadership trends next week at another national business conference in Vegas. Have a favorite spa/show/yoga venue recommendation post business? Send your recommendations to for a free day pass to YogaOnTheLake this season. #SaturdaysRock #8:30AM #Memorial-LaborDay

Busy coaching leaders on presentation skills. Need a refresher? Mention this enews for a 10% discount. Offer through April 30. “Your expertise as a professional speaker is helping me uplevel my presentation skills at our events. Thank you for your honest, informed critique delivered in an encouraging manner!” Dawn D., Executive Director

We’re KickingCancerOverboard next to send more #ToSeaForFree at Runapalooza marathon. Want to join our NJMarathon April 30 volunteer teams? Send an email at to join the fun. Thanks for all you do!

DonnaLyn has been helping executives and leadership talent succeed with the intersection of her entrepreneurial, speaking and wellness life. Catch her between keynotes and client care at 732-547-0894 for a conversation about your goals.

Hosting international college students from around the globe for a decade has been incredibly enlarging, culturally and experientially. We’ve witnessed houseguests pursue academic excellence in chemistry to political science from Dubai to Beijing. Surveys indicate that more than 70% of millennial respondents consider themselves “global citizens.” How about you?

DonnaLyn – Speaker at Colts Neck Business Association Photo credit: Tom Zapcic Photography

In my presentation with the Colts Neck Business Association, we considered our international IQ. The attendee responses were exciting and insightful. Several of the business leaders in attendance were retired executives from global brands that concurred with Hofstede’s dimensions researched for our talk. Another entrepreneur was in business with a Brazilian partner and another was rapidly growing his customer base to include Far East Indians that value informed customer service. All of the above interactions require cultural and communication competencies to engage effectively. So how are you showing up? If you’re ethnocentric, you may want to join us for our next enlightening conversation or a culturally rich consult.  Go global!

Not much of a slots gambler, but we did win big this month, so far. While at our annual Atlantic City Certified Insurance Counselor conference on Cyberliability and all things contracts, we were able to meet and greet new and longtime, trusted colleagues. Here’s what we learned:

Forbes magazine recently reported that cybercrime costs are projected to reach $2 trillion by 2019. When I coach and keynote, I talk about the power of planning to stay resilient in business and life. Professional hackers (aka Hackers for Hire), reportedly launch approximately 8 attacks per year, with an average income bounty of $30K/per hack attack according to a recent Ponemon survey. Troubling but true. Need a review? Contact me at

We’re back in town now “Going Global” with Colts Neck Business Association members. Had the honor to share what’s trending in the culturally competent lives of businesses near and far as their presenting speaker. #EnlargeYourLeadershipLife

Last week we shared what’s trending in Social Media to benefit local businesses and Habitat for Humanity’s Women that Build initiative. If you’re a nomophobe, you had company and hopefully made new contacts while building brand awareness. #TrendingTechTips #DNB Events

We’re KickingCancerOverboard next to send more #ToSeaForFree. Want to join our NJMarathon April 30 or Runapalooza April 22 volunteer teams? Send me an email at to join the fun. Thanks for all you do!

Keep winning,

First 100 Attendees will get a filled swag bag! Free prizes!
Join in on the fun and take a master yoga class at Monmouth Park Racetrack’s Turf Room. Fantastic instructors from local yoga studios are getting together to give a master class to benefit Habitat For Humanity of Monmouth County on earth day.

April 22 from 2:00-4:00 at 175 Oceanport Ave in Oceanport, NJ 07757

The Cost is $20 ahead of time and $25 at the door

There will be swag bags for the first 100 attendees and prizes! One lucky winner for 2 tickets to the Taste For Homes event which will take place on May 15th at the  Oyster Point Hotel.

Please bring your own yoga mat and towel.

  • Jennifer Portman from Synergy Yoga in Fair Haven
  • Donnalyn Giegerich from Yoga On The Lake Summer Series in Middletown
  • Regina Golden from Coba Yoga in Little Silver
  • Georgette Kaftan from Monmouth Beach Yoga
  • Melissa Beveridge from MBee Well
  • Nicole Lerario from Kneaded Vacation Massage
  • Debi Heptig from Bodhi Connect LLC
  • Kristin Gould from Synergy Yoga in Fair Haven

Please click here to register today!


I had the recent pleasure of whisking to Boston for business on the Acela with an extraordinary professional colleague, now admired friend. She epitomizes the quote penned by Leonard E Read, ” The person who fears to try is thus enslaved.” Let’s just say my client and trusted friend has been modeling freedom for many for decades. She’s the kind of person most of us aspire to become…smart, funny, generous and resilient. It takes consistent work to hone these skills and more than a few years of courageous living to master these leadership qualities. Which one do you value most or find most challenging to develop?

We’re back from Boston now but I’ll be sharing some insights gained on that brain train before heading to another insurance conference in Atlantic City. Join us for some great networking crafted by DNB Events, Fair Haven. If you’re local, join us to assess your sociability and global citizenry skills. I’ll be presenting on “Being Social” at Teak Rooftop, Red Bank Tuesday April 4th 6-9pm to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

On Wednesday April 12 8am at Colts Neck Municipal Center, we’ll be talking about your International IQ as a global citizen with the Colts Neck Business Association.