BoxLore: The Art of Getting Unboxed

Friday, April 21, 2023
9:00 AM (EDT)
to Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 2:00 PM (EDT)
Category: Regional Event

What is “BoxLore?

From the time we are young, we are socially conditioned to put parts of our lives into defined “boxes.” Education, relationships, work/career, social life and even the different roles that we have in life: mother, manager, caretaker, coach – just to name a few.

Although these boxes give us structure and boundaries, at some point those same boxes end up limiting us and keeping us from tapping into or recognizing our true potential. This retreat is for women leaders to gain a clear awareness of the boxes we create naturally and leave with major takeaways on how to become “unboxed” in our personal and professional lives.

In business, this may translate into us following the status quo, being risk-averse, being afraid of failure, and may even prevent us from applying for jobs or positions that may be a perfect fit for our talents/strengths. But the boxes aren’t real. They are the stories (BoxLoreTM, let’s say) that we tell ourselves about why we can or can’t do certain things.

What will women get out of the workshop?

  • Gain awareness of the boxes impacting women leaders, their organizations and careers. Examples include:
    • Self-confidence – Lack of courage in speaking up or idea sharing
    • Creativity and innovation – Fixed vs. growth mindset
    • Risks – Going by the book, not challenging the status quo
    • Diversity and inclusion – Unconscious bias
    • Stereotypes – Being put into a category (or putting others into categories) that limits what may be possible.
    • Regulation – Assumptions made about what can or cannot be done
    • Roles – Feeling limited in career by personal/career role-based responsibilities (e.g. mother/working dad)
    • Relationships – Making assumptions around communication, interactions, social status
  • Build skills to break boundaries and rebuild for success
  • Learn how to adapt to rapidly changing business climates
  • Gain tips on how to create a strong culture, fostering creativity and innovation
  • Hear inspirational stories from other women who overcame challenges, making significant changes in their lives
  • Create a network of women leaders, in tech and biotech, and gain invaluable peer connections and support

About the Speaker

Kate Foster: Box Crusher, Coach & Facilitator, KickStart Specialists Cofounder & Principal

After spending over 20 years advancing through the ranks in corporate America, Kate began questioning her own definitions of fulfillment and possibility. Despite being afraid of heights, she ascended a Swiss Alp (armed with ice axe and crampons no less) and had 22 hours of life-changing climbing time to contemplate the boxes that existed within her life. This feat prompted many other box-crushing events, including leaving a successful career to follow her passion and open a business with the objective of helping people along their path. Kate believes that life limitation is mostly in our heads… and if we can change our thinking… we truly can change our world!

BoxLore is put on in collaboration with WoTech, the women’s technology group of RBTC. WoTech exists to champion and celebrate women and diversity in our region’s growing tech community with an aim to support and connect women working in technology in any season through mentoring, education, networking, and events.

WoTech includes monthly and quarterly events such as Morning Jolt, Lunch and Learn, and Power Hour.

Friday, April 21


  • 9:00-10:00: Arrival & Check-In
  • 10:00-10:30: Introductions & The Box Concept: Icebreaker
  • 10:30-11:00: What is box thinking? Learn how boxes show up in our lives, jobs and careers
  • 11:00-11:10: Break
  • 11:10-11:40: Storyteller – Hear real stories from women who have eliminated boxes and made change happen
  • 11:40-12:30: Table work & group discussion
  • 12:30-1:00: Lunch


  • 1:00-1:30: What if there wasn’t a box? Activity & Discussion
  • 1:30-2:00: Storyteller – Hear real stories from women who have eliminated boxes and made change happen
  • 2:00-2:45: Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable (Outdoor & Indoor Activity) and Debrief
  • 2:45-3:15: Unboxed – Create a vision for your job, your career, your life through a guided visioning session 
  • 3:15-4:15: Putting it into action – Develop an aspirational plan to accomplish your goals. Group share
  • 4:15-4:30: Wrap up

Evening (Full-Experience Attendees)

  • Cocktail Celebration
  • Dinner followed by campfire social

Saturday, April 22


  • Sunrise yoga with a stellar view (optional)
  • 9:00-9:30: Breakfast
  • 9:30-11:30: BoxLore 2023 Closing
  • 11:30-12:00: Box Lunch to enjoy on-site or to go


  • 12:00-2:00: On-site Activities
    • Hiking, Trail Running
    • Disc Golf
    • Infinity Pool
    • Stand-Up Paddleboarding
    • Shopping in the General Store (apparel & gear)
    • Add On: Book a guided fishing or clay course shoot with The Preserve at Crooked Run.  Contact RBTC for information.

For More Information:

Taylor Spellman

Taylor Spellman

Director, Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council