Avenue 22 Events

Level Up is a weekend retreat for women business owners, entrepreneurs, and creatives who are looking to level up their business and make 2019 their best year yet! The event features a series of talks and workshops by experts, along with small group discussions and working sessions. We also provide time for you to relax and make connections.

Whether you want to learn about contracts and employment law, how to navigate financial statements, define your brand strategy, or learn tactics for closing the deal with relational selling, you’ll find what you’re looking for - and more - at Level Up this November 2-4 at Cedarbrook Lodge.

Due to the nature of the retreat, space is intentionally limited - there are fewer than 30 spots available for this dynamic event.

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Alessandra Brescia Photo

Alessandra Brescia


“I tend to view situations from two different and clear perspectives: One is very structured that requires data and process and the other, is from a sensitive point of view that values creativity and its need to flourish.”

Alessandra is a Peruvian-Italian brand enthusiast. She has worked in corporations in London, Lima and Luxembourg as well as brand and marketing consulting firms in both Latin America and Europe.

In 2009, whilst living in Switzerland and raising her children, she launched a photography business to fulfill her creative side. In 2014 she moved to Seattle and developed a huge admiration for the creative and entrepreneurial community here. This allowed for her business to evolve organically as other creatives started tapping into her brand knowledge and experience. She writes a monthly newsletter to help others build and develop their brands.

She considers herself a contemporary nomad, a somewhat expert mover and a keen observer of people and cultures. Alessandra is now – most of the time! - a full-time business and brand consultant and continues to work on her photography whenever possible.


Lauren Burgon


Lauren is an attorney with a solo practice based in West Seattle, where she has lived for nearly 25 years.  Lauren’s practice focuses primarily on business law and the needs of business owners.

Typical clients are services providers such as therapists, business consultants, bookkeepers, copywriters, and remodeling contractors.  Lauren’s services include advising on employment issues such as hiring/firing and paid time off, drafting/revising independent contractor agreements, employment agreements and client services agreements, reviewing commercial leases, and advising on copyright and trademark issues.

Lauren grew up in Massachusetts, and graduated with a degree in English from Middlebury College in Vermont.  She moved to Seattle right after college, and graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 1991.  Lauren has two fabulous kids who are almost grown, and enjoys close relationships with her extended family, who have all migrated to West Seattle over the years.   

Lauren currently serves on the Board of Directors for the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and Women Business Owners, and volunteers on a weekly basis for Westside Baby.


Rachel Barnett

Since 1995, Rachel Barnett has been a QuickBooks user, eventually earning the coveted QuickBooks ProAdvisor status. For six years, Rachel owned and operated Primarily Bookkeeping, d/b/a Your Bookkeeping Fairy Godmother, a Seattle-area bookkeeping firm, until 2018.

Following the sale of her business, Rachel embraced her passion to provide behind-the-scenes support for other professionals.  She is in the process of starting a new business, Gentle Frog, but hasn’t decided yet what services this business will provide.

When she’s not busy supporting professionals and their businesses, Rachel enjoys actively participating in the QuickSource accounting community. She has also hosted a number of SCORE workshops, where she enjoys connecting with and educating other professionals.

Rachel splits her time between Bellevue and Leavenworth, where she resides with her husband and a houseplant, a cactus that has proven fairly resilient.


Theresa Kinney

Blue Heron Consultants

Theresa considers herself one of the luckiest people on earth. She has an amazing family and truly enjoys working with people to achieve their leadership and career potential.

Theresa has a broad corporate background. As Regional Director for the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and Canada for BlessingWhite, she partnered with organizations to help them improve their leadership development and career programs. Prior to that she was the VP of Business Development for a leading outplacement/career transition firm as well as VP at a local savings and loan, overseeing IT and Operations.

For over 18 years Theresa has served as a trusted advisor during key organizational transformations with employee engagement and leadership development as her primary consulting focus. Theresa enjoys facilitating workshops and public speaking and is certified in MBTI and Strong Interest Inventory.

She holds a Masters in Leadership Studies from City University Bellevue, and undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Washington. She is a past president of the Association for Talent Development Puget Sound chapter as well as a former Director for the Lake Washington Human Resources Association.




Ready for a getaway where you’ll be able to relax and focus on elevating your business? We have found just the place in Cedarbrook Lodge. The warm and comfortable Northwest setting, along with welcoming amenities, makes it the ideal setting for a productive weekend where you will be empowered and your goals and dreams allowed to take flight.

The 18-acre retreat center features serene grounds, lush guest rooms, full-service spa and 24- hour fitness center, walking trails, and communal living rooms where attendees may continue their conversations into the evening hours while enjoying the always-available Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Cedarbrook Lodge is a true urban oasis.

Private and double rooms are available and are included in the ticket price. Select your preference during the registration process.

Located just minutes from Sea-Tac International Airport, Cedarbrook is conveniently located for those in the Puget Sound region, as well as for those travelling by air.

Cedarbrook Lodge
18525 36th Avenue South
SeaTac, WA 98188




Friday, November 2

4:00 p.m.
Check In + Relax

6:00 p.m.
Welcome Reception

Meet new friends for cocktails and mocktails and delectable bites prepared just for you by the Copperleaf Restaurant culinary team. We’ll set our intentions for the weekend and celebrate what is to come.

Saturday, November 3

8:00 a.m.

Join the group for a Northwest-inspired breakfast or grab-and-go for some time to yourself

9:00 a.m.
Learn + Share

Learn from the experts and share resources on the topics of Small Business Law, Navigating Financial Statements, Defining Your Brand Strategy, and Relational Selling

Lunch + Me Time

Enjoy some grub and some time to yourself. Use your time as you wish - work, relax, or a little of both.

2:00 p.m.
Ask the Experts

Go deeper with 15 minute rounds of 1:1 time with our experts

4:30 p.m.
Group Discussion

Bring it all together with a group discussion with the experts to round out the day

5:00 p.m.
Me Time

6:00 p.m.

Enjoy a fabulous evening with an enticing menu and drinks

Sunday, November 4

7:00 a.m.

Join the group for a Northwest-inspired breakfast or grab-and-go for some time to yourself

8:00 a.m.
Working Session

Get. Work. Done. Take what you’ve learned and focus on getting real work done. Break away for concentrated time on your own or connect with other attendees to zero in on what’s needed for you and your business.

11: 30 a.m.
Closing Circle

Friends + Family Picnic

Thank your family and friends for their support and show off your hard work by inviting them to join us for a family-friendly picnic!

2:00 p.m.
Final Farewell


Just the FAQs, ma’am…


Why level up?

Months ago (when I still had my day job), my to-do list wasn’t getting shorter and client delivery had to be my priority. My hopes and dreams of creating good habits with my business management and development from the start were no longer top of mind (and my QBO was a total mess).  I hadn’t implemented the tools or established the processes I recommend my clients have and I just didn’t have the time needed to invest in my business to elevate it to the next level. So, one day, I said to my husband, “I’m going away this weekend.” He wondered what was up but was soon onboard with the idea of me investing time into my business, to focus on that behind-the-scenes, not very glamorous, don’t always see the ROI immediately sorta stuff. That weekend, we went to a preschool friends’ birthday party, I said my goodbyes to our friends and my family, and hopped in my car to Cedarbrook Lodge. I checked in, relaxed a bit, then got to work. I planned my entire weekend (with a glass of wine by my side), set my goals, and made sure to make time for me as well. By Sunday afternoon I had accomplished more for my business than I had the months prior. I was energized. Motivated. Empowered. I had done it. I set a plan to level up my company. And a few months later, I was able to confidently become a full-time business owner. And now, I want to provide the same for you, for your business, for your dream.

What are the dates of the Level Up Retreat?

November 2 through 4, 2018

What is the cost and what do I get for it?

$1,750 includes a two-night stay in a private or double room (your choice), workshops and presentations by our experts, and six delectable meals (dinner Friday, breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday, breakfast and lunch Sunday). You’ll leave the retreat better prepared for 2019 and have new partners in your business through the relationships you create with fellow Level Up attendees.

What else is included in the ticket price?

We’ll also provide you with everything needed for a productive #workcation, including a variety of office supplies, all-day beverage service, and snacks.  We ask that you bring your work necessities, including your laptop and charger, to-do lists, and anything else you need! We’re also very excited about the carefully curated gift boxes you’ll receive as a thank you for joining us for the weekend. And, perhaps most importantly, we provide the time and space you need to make 2019 the best year yet for your business.

How many people will attend?

We intentionally keep the maximum number of attendees to fewer than 30 people in order to maximize the opportunities to make connections, collaborate and share resources, and have time with the experts.

I haven’t established my business yet. Is this retreat for me?

Yes indeed! This retreat is designed to be worthwhile for all business types with varying degrees of maturity. The variety of businesses - combined with the small group size - lends to lots of learning and sharing! In addition, the retreat is sure to inspire and rejuvenate you.

Where will we be staying?

The beautiful and welcoming Cedarbrook Lodge in Sea-Tac, Washington

Are meals and accomodations provided?

Yes! We want to make this weekend as easy and efficient for you as possible. At the time of registration you will be asked about meal preferences and dietary restrictions and the culinary team will do their very best to accommodate. Additionally, you’ll be asked if you prefer a private room or if you would like to share a room with a friend who is joining you.

I’m bummed that I can no longer attend. Can I get a refund?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a refund, however, your ticket is transferable. You can sell your seat to someone else and, when possible, we’ll help you sell your seat if the retreat is sold out.

Who’s Karen?

Hi! I’m Karen Thornton, Owner of Avenue 22 Events, producer and host of Level Up. Day-to-day I plan and coordinate events for companies and mission-driven organizations. I have amazing, diverse clients that are true partners in business that allow me to create dynamic experiences. Previously, I was a business consultant focused on learning and talent development, which is one of the many things that have led me to investing time in planning retreats and learning experiences for women business owners to invest in themselves and their businesses.

#avenue22events #levelupretreat