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Vibrant Living Retreat 2017

Vibrant Living Retreat Ojai Valley Inn & Spa


March 24-26, 2017
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Space is limited! Call 213.740.0777 to secure your reservation!

Come hear the experts assembled by the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology discuss the newest developments in science, technology, nutrition, disease prevention and longevity to help us live longer, more fulfilled and healthier lives.

Retreat Rates
$2,750 double accommodation
$2,250 single accommodation

Special Thanks to the retreat planning committee for building a personalized retreat to benefit the participants who attend.
Elie Gindi, Paul Irving, Mei-Lee Ney, Keith Renken, Sharon Tedesco, Shari Thorell, Patricia Will


Saturday Afternoon Longevity Activities

In conjunction with the Ojai Valley Inn and others, we have orchestrated afternoon activities on Saturday to complement the healthy-aging knowledge we will gain at the retreat.
Come relax, enjoy and savor a different side of healthy-aging through yoga,  custom smoothie bar, meditation, and faculty led sessions:
Dr. Leah Buturain-Schneider’s Vessels of Gratitude:  Attunement to Life as Gift
Dr. George Shannon’s Improv for the Non-actor: An Andragogical Approach Activity


Retreat Keynote Speakers

Navroj (Nuvi) Mehta
Voice of the Symphony for the San Diego Symphony

Music and the Brain

Come join us when featured guest speaker Nuvi Mehta, cousin of Zubin Mehta, will regale us with stories of the lives of history’s great composers and how their music heals body and soul, makes babies smarter and brings elation beyond anything else. Director of Special Projects for the San Diego Symphony, Nuvi Mehta is a graduate of The Juilliard School and widely considered one of the finest speakers on classical music.  He captures minds and hearts for music as the “Voice of the San Diego Symphony.”  The Los Angeles Times likened him to a young Gary Cooper, saying, “his old-fashioned Hollywood charisma extends to an eloquent and theatrical way of speaking that is almost entirely lost today.”  Conducting appearances have taken Mehta across the U.S. and to Europe and Mexico, and he has appeared as violin soloist with the San Diego Symphony, the Fine Arts Chamber Orchestra of Mexico City, and served as Concertmaster for the New World Symphony.  When Nuvi Mehta recently spoke at the American College of trial lawyers (a group renowned for having extraordinary speakers) the subsequent cocktail hour conversation was all about how fantastic his talk had been.  He is a speaker you do not want to miss—especially when this renowned musician picks up his violin so you can hear the music.

Marc Freedman
Founder and CEO of

The Encore Opportunity: Making the Most of the Longevity Revolution

Marc Freedman is founder and CEO of  A Visiting Scholar at Stanford University during 2014-15 and formerly a Visiting Fellow at King’s College, University of London, Freedman is a member of the Wall Street Journal’s “Experts” panel and the author of four books, including most recently, “The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife.” Originator of the Encore career idea, Freedman led the creation of Experience Corps – now AARP Experience Corps – mobilizing thousands of individuals over 50 to improve the school performance and prospects of low-income elementary school students in 22 U.S. cities

Come join us as Marc discusses how investment in extending the length of lives continues, but the most important challenge of the longevity revolution is not living longer–it is living better.  That is as true for individuals, as it is for societies.  And the key to navigating this transformation successfully will be social innovation, particularly creativity aimed at helping older people make the most of their accumulated wisdom and skills. If we rise to meet this challenge, the result promises to be a windfall of talent for society, now and for generations to come. Marc will be introduced by Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging and distinguished scholar in residence at USC Leonard Davis, who also serves as a board member and vice chair of

Saturday Speaking Topic – Brain Cognition/Alzheimer’s Research:

  • Jennifer Ailshire, PhD – Assistant Professor of Gerontology; Hanson Thorell Award Winner 2016
    The Importance of Socioenvironmental Context in Understanding Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health Among Older Adults: Dr. Ailshire will discuss new research on geographic variation in older adult health and how differences in the social and environmental contexts in which older adults live can be used to improve our understanding of the origins of, and solutions to, persistent racial and ethnic inequality in older adult health.
  • Donna Benton, PhD – Assistant Professor of Gerontology
    Caregiving: Why We Care: About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months.  Dr. Benton will talk about how caregiving in the US has changed since the turn of the last century and what has not changed.  She will also answer the pressing question from the 1962 film “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”.
  • Pinchas Cohen, MD – Dean, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
    Newly Discovered Proteins May Protect Against Agings Illnesses: Dean Cohen will discuss mitochondrial DNA differences amongst different ethnicities and how it influences our lifespan and healthspan.
  • Christian Pike, PhD – Professor in Gerontology Division of Biogerontology
    Why Does Alzheimer’s Disease Affect Women More Than Men? Dr. Pike will discuss differences between the male and female brain that impact our understanding of the development of Alzheimer’s disease, its interaction with genetic risk factors, and even our approach to its prevention and treatment.
  • John Walsh, PhD – Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of Gerontology
    How Does Exercise Impact Neurodegenerative Diseases? Dr. Walsh will review the care of patients with brain diseases and describe new therapeutic approaches.

Saturday Faculty Activities:

  • Leah Buturain-Schneider, PhD – Assistant Professor of Gerontology
    Vessels of Gratitude:  Attunement to Life as Gift: This elective round table gathering offers participants the opportunity to engage in an exchange about practicing gratitude.  After a brief summary of the most recent research on the neural coordinates of gratitude and measurable health benefits, participants will be offered a few poems and first person reflections from people in their eighth and ninth decades whose wisdom illumines the path forward.  (In order to support the opportunity for reflection, registration will be capped after at fifteen.) Those who register will be invited to keep a gratitude journal for the week leading up to the retreat and will receive a book and prompts for ‘tuning their instruments’.
  • George Shannon, PhD – Assistant Professor of Gerontology; Hanson Thorell Award Winner 2016
    Improv for the Non-actor: An Andragogical Approach Activity: A basic, interactive improvisation exercise based on the Theater Games of Viola Spolin and Games for the Non-actor, developed by Augusto Boal.

Sunday Speaking Topic – Technology and Disrupting Aging as We Know It:

  • Eric Schneidewind, J.D. – President, AARP
    Mr. Schneidewind will discuss how longer and healthier lives are determined by an amalgamation of smart life decisions and how, now more than ever, technology plays a significant role in helping one get there and how AARP promotes this vision.
  • Daniel Trigub -Strategic Account Executive, Healthcare for Lyft
    How Rideshare Services are Transforming Senior Transportation Every year, around 3.6 million Americans miss or delay medical care because they lack reliable transportation to their appointments. Mr. Trigub will discuss how ride sharing services are transforming senior care through better transportation and examples of their current partnerships in place.
  • Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD – Research Scientist, Institute for Creative Technologies; Research Assistant Professor of Gerontology; Director, Virtual Environments Lab, Integrated Media Systems Center at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
    Clinical Virtual Reality: A Brief Review of the Future! Virtual reality (VR) has undergone a transition in the past 20 years that has taken it from the realm of expensive toy and into that of functional technology. During this period an impressive research literature has evolved that has demonstrated VR’s added-value for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of clinical conditions including: anxiety disorders, PTSD, acute pain management, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, stroke and TBI. This talk will provide an overview of the many forms of VR that have been applied across a diverse range of clinical health conditions and research questions. There will also be a demonstration of VR where participants can actually use a VR headset and explore a virtual world.
  • Elizabeth Zelinski, PhD – Rita and Edward Polusky Chair in Education and Aging; Professor of Gerontology and Psychology
    Does Brain Training Really Work or Not? Companies have produced commercially available brain training products but the impact of these products is not clear, despite claims that they improve brain functioning.  It seems that every few months, another contradictory statement about the use of brain training comes out in the media.  We will discuss the science behind neuroplasticity, and the current state of the art in dissecting the validity of brain training claims.
  • Ron Zuckerman – Founder and Director at Whipclip, Founder and Director at Precise Software Solutions
    Tribu App: Mr. Zuckerman will talk about a new app that will revolutionize volunteerism in the context of aging and beyond


Special Offer:

Special Lyft discount for all first-time users. Please use code Vibrant Living during the dates of March 24-March 26 to receive $5 off your first 10 Lyft rides.

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