About Us

Ron Pevny

Ron Pevny, M.A.,                    Founder and Director

Ron Pevny recognized his calling as a wilderness rite of passage guide while on a personal vision quest in 1979. Ever since, through his guiding, life coaching and consulting, he has been assisting people in creating lives of purpose, passion and service. He has a passion and gift for helping individuals and organizations in transition tap the power of the natural world to catalyze vision and renewal. His gentle, accepting way of working with others and deep resonance with nature support the opening of hearts and minds. Ron brings to his work a wealth of experience, knowledge, processes and practices, but knows that ultimately it is the open heart that generates vision and healing.

In 2001, after developing a passion for doing oral history work with elders in his community of Durango, Colorado, Ron co-created the Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats and vision quests. Seven years ago he created the Center for Conscious Eldering, through which he works with talented colleagues to offer Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats and introductory conscious eldering workshops at retreat centers in inspiring natural settings across North America. He is also a Certified Sage-ing Leader with Sage-ing (R) International, a networker who supports collaborations between Conscious Aging organizations, a writer who  contributes articles to The Sage-ing(R) Communicator and the Boomer Living Plus website, and author of of the book Conscious Living, Conscious Aging published by Beyond Words/Atria Books in 2014.

Due to his abilities as a networker, the Shift Network in 2015 asked  Ron to identify and interview  leaders in the Positive/Conscious Aging Movement for the annual  “Transforming Aging” Summits.  For the first three annual Summits, he interviewed 55 leaders whose wisdom and work support an empowering vision of aging for today’s world.  He has also taught two virtual conscious eldering courses for The Shift Network, an e-course on the dynamics of life transition for “Spirituality and Practice”, and has been interviewed for radio programs and podcasts numerous times.

As participants in the Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats began to ask for assistance in integrating their insights and experiences into their daily lives, Ron has focused his life coaching practice on Coaching for Conscious Living.

Ron did his Master’s work in Integral Counseling and Psychotherapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies, learning therapeutic and growth practices from around the world. In 1980 he was one of the first to be certified as a Wilderness Rite of Passage Guide, and played a key role in the founding of the worldwide Wilderness Guides Council. Throughout the 90s his rite of passage and coaching work was complemented by his service as a ” corporate creativity” trainer for Herrmann International and by consulting with the adult learning programs of numerous colleges and universities.

Ron and his colleagues at the Center for Conscious Eldering share a deep commitment to supporting the development of conscious elders in a world urgently in need of elder wisdom and gifts.

Ron may be reached at ron@centerforconsciouseldering.com


Dennis Stamper, M.A.

Dennis Stamper  holds a Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He also attended seminary at St. Paul School of Theology where he focused on pastoral care and chaplaincy.  Dennis began his professional career working in the area of child welfare where he developed and directed residential care programs for troubled children and youth.  He then spent over fifteen years developing and directing multi-disciplinary treatment programs for individuals with chronic pain.  He served the last twenty years of his career as a Commissioned Pastor working as a hospital chaplain.

As Dennis began to contemplate what would come next in his life after retirement, he attended a Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreat.  The experience gave him a broad new perspective on what was possible for his elder years.  He returned to the Center for Conscious Eldering two years later for a Next Step retreat.  He left that retreat convinced that he wanted to share what he had gained by assisting others in finding a more empowering image of aging.

Dennis completed the Certified Sage-ing Leader training program with Sage-ing International and became a CSL in 2020.  He continues to be passionate about conscious eldering and has led numerous workshops and retreats both on-line and in person, in addition to co-leading our Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats.

Dennis and his wife Shawn have six children and two grandchildren.  He frequently travels to southern Mexico where he works closely with the indigenous Tzeltal people of Chiapas.  You can find his excellent TED talk in the “Resources” section of this website.

Dennis can be reached at stampers@charter.net


Barbara Roth, M.A.

Barbara Roth  retired in 2018 from a career focused on child and youth development in local, state and national arenas.   Since then, she has been on a conscious eldering journey which started with a weeklong Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreat at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico one week after retirement and has continued with participation in our Next Step program, writing articles for our Conscious Eldering Inspiration and Resources newsletter, and doing the inner work that she teaches so well.  Barb co-led her first Conscious Eldering Retreat at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico in September 2022 and looks forward to facilitating many more.

Barb’s education included a B.S. in Child Development with a minor in literature and a teaching certificate, and an M.A. in Child and Human Development with a minor in Women’s Studies. Her career was varied including running a child care center, teaching at community colleges, developing child and youth programs for a large local YMCA, managing programs through the State Department of Education and consulting on the national level for Ys around the country through the YMCA of the USA. Barbara is enthusiastic about her shift from supporting child and youth development to supporting conscious eldering, seeing it as both a natural progression and an exciting new venture.

In addition to time with her husband, children and five grandchildren, Barb enjoys knitting, sewing, forest bathing, cooking, hiking & walking, and traveling.

Barbara can be reached at barbaraanneroth@gmail.com


Anne Wennhold

Anne Wennhold has for  many years been  Ron’s primary partner in offering Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats.  She is now “Choosing Conscious Elderhood Guide Emeritus”, working with Ron to develop online programs for people in later elderhood.  Working out of her New Jersey home, she offers her own online courses on Memoir Writing and on Shamanic Practices for Elders. She also helps individuals access their creativity and inner guidance through guided journeys and mentoring sessions.

Anne may be contacted at annewennhold@gmail.com or 201-266-8473.









Martina Breen

Martina Breen practices in her native Ireland as a Psychotherapist, Spiritual Wisdom Teacher and Certified Sage-ing Leader (CSL).  For the past 33 years, she has been following her calling to self-understanding and spiritual development by undertaking a number of vision quests, 9-day Vipassana retreats and other deep Spiritual Journey experiences. She teaches life writing programs based on the Ira Progoff method of journaling and is a member of the Irish facilitation team of the Sacred Art of Living and Dying series.  Martina is passionate about the art of ageing consciously and brings to Choosing Conscious Elderhood her skills of facilitation, counseling, sharing wisdom teachings, and her life experience as a grandmother and mother, daughter, sister and friend.

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