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Meet Your Host

Maggie Headshot Square

Maggie Klaassens

Founder of The Sober Summit

A wife, mom of three young kids, health coach and former wine enthusiast turned sober drinker.

My dream for The Sober Summit is for each and every one of you to consider what life could be like if you removed alcohol. I want more people to realize the joys and benefits of being sober. I hope this summit inspires you to consider a change.

Meet Your Speakers

Adam Cox

How to Use Hypnotherapy to Stop Drinking

Adam is one of the world’s most innovative hypnotherapists.

He became a self-made millionaire at the age of 27 launching a PR agency at 23 years old, is a radio presenter on UK national radio.

He developed an interest in hypnosis at the age of 14 and is now most well-known as a hypnotherapist to celebrities, CEOs and even royalty.

He is the host of 2 podcasts in the iTunes chart Modern Mindset and The Hypnotist (Over 250,000 downloads per month). He is the founder of PhobiaGuru.com, HypnoSlimming.com, Addiction Experts, and is the creator of Hypnotic Wealth.

His mission was to impact more that 1 million people through his hypnosis downloads – something he achieved in early 2022. Adam has been alcohol free for over 4 years.

Amanda Kuda

The Spiritual Effects of Alcohol

Amanda is an alcohol-free lifestyle expert. She’s a holistic life coach, speaker and author living, working and playing in Austin, TX. As a coach, Amanda helps ambitious, soul-centered women stop drinking and start manifesting the life they deserve and desire.

She teaches a modern approach to personal development, self-actualization and spiritual enlightenment through the lens of elective sobriety. Amanda is currently under contract with Penguin Random House imprint, Avery to publish her first book, unbottled Potential (on shelves October 2023).

Andy Ramage

The Benefits of Working with An Alcohol Free Coach

Andy is a former professional footballer who, after injury, created two major financial brokerages. After taking a break from alcohol Andy’s life was transformed. Nine years later, Andy is widely recognized as one of the world’s #1 alcohol-free performance coaches or, as the Happy Pear coined, “the Godfather of the alcohol-free movement”.

Andy co-founded the OneYearNoBeer movement and recently co-created the Dryy app and Dryy Coach online community, which collectively have coached hundreds of thousands of middle-lane drinkers to better performance through alcohol-free performance coaching.

As a coach, Andy is in an elite group globally who are trained at Masters Degree level in coaching psychology and positive psychology, and is currently coaching at every level, from everyday heroes to premiership footballers and CEO’s.

Andy also trains life/executive coaches on his double accredited (ICF, AC) diploma in positive coaching AND the next wave of alcohol-free coaches on his DRYY Coach certification.

Andy Smith

How to Use Sobriety to Engage in Your Own Happiness

Andy has held a variety of senior executive roles internationally across the healthcare spectrum – he has run pharmaceutical operations, dental companies and veterinary companies. All fuelled by excessive drinking. The wheels fell off when he was 50 and his physical and mental health imploded. Inspiration came from a very unlikely source and when he decided to co-operate with the part of him that he had been fighting against for years, everything changed.

Since getting sober, andy has helped over 4,000 people get fully sober and he runs an online social media group with nearly 40,000 members. andy has used his regained health and passion for life to raise thousands for disadvantaged children by cycling the Tour de France – TWICE – and also mountain biking across the top of Norway in the Arctic Circle.

Andy is a licensed NLP practitioner and a qualified hypnotherapist.

Annie Grace

How to Gain Control and Remove the Physiological Desire to Drink

Annie Grace is the author of This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life and The Alcohol Experiment: A 30-day, Alcohol-Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control.

She grew up outside Aspen, Colorado, in a one-room log cabin without running water or electricity. Having discovered a passion for marketing, Annie Grace earned a Masters of Science (Marketing) and dove into corporate life. As the youngest vice president in a multinational company at the age of 26, her drinking career began in earnest. At 35, in a global C-level marketing role, she was responsible for marketing in 28 countries; she was drinking almost two bottles of wine a night.

Knowing she needed a change but unwilling to submit to a life of deprivation and stigma, Annie Grace embarked on a journey to painlessly gain control of alcohol – for her that process resulted in no longer wanting to drink. Never happier, she left her executive role to write and share This Naked Mind with the world.

In her free time, she loves to ski, travel (26 countries and counting), and enjoy her beautiful family. Annie Grace lives with her husband and three children in the Colorado mountains.

Ashleigh DiLello

How Alcohol Effects Your Brain

Hi! I’m Ashleigh. Mind Coach, Mother, Wife, and Founder & Creator of Bio Emotional Healing®, a revolutionary process based in neuroscience that helps my clients rewire their nervous system.

At age 13, I was suddenly faced with a life-threatening illness that led to years of chronic pain, emotional trauma, and living in a perpetual state of fight or flight.

Through my study of neuroscience and a 20-year journey, I was able to conquer the emotional, physical, and mental battle in my life to become a Mind Coach, elite athlete, TV & Broadway star, entrepreneur, and Keynote Speaker.

I’ve made it my life’s mission to share the knowledge and secrets that have completely changed my life and finally given freedom and healing to so many people around the world. I know it’s possible to break free from feeling like a prisoner to your body and mind.

We are far MORE powerful that we are led to believe!

Ben Anderson

The Future of Sobriety

Ben is over two years alcohol-free and is the co-host of the Over The Influence Podcast.

Ben didn’t mean to go alcohol-free – he initially gave it up for three months, with the full intention of returning to drinking once the three month deadline hit. But AF life suited him – and he truly belives that anyone can benefit from giving up alcohol, no matter what kind of drinker you are.

Ben runs his own podcast production business, Sound Rebel, and is currently training to become a qualified AF coach.

Dr. Brooke Scheller

How Alcohol Affects Your Nutrition Goals

Dr. Brooke Scheller is a doctor of clinical nutrition, a nationally recognized health expert, and the founder of Functional Sobriety, a nutrition-based approach to an alcohol-free lifestyle.

Her launch of Functional Sobiety led to the development of her online community, the Functional Sobriety Network, and her online course, the Alcohol-Free Nutrition Academy. Dr. Brooke is an author and contributor to many health platforms and has been featured on websites like Forbes and Oprah Daily. She is currently authoring a book that will be published in Fall of 2023.

Casey McGuire Davidson

Know Your Why and Your Triggers

Casey McGuire Davidson helps successful women drink less + live more. She’s a leader in the modern sober curious movement of women who are gray area drinkers going alcohol-free.

An ex-red wine girl turned Life and Sobriety Coach, Casey is passionate about helping busy women change their relationship with alcohol. She specializes in working with busy women with full calendars and overflowing to-do lists, who are doing all the things and then coming home and drinking to forget about all the things.

Casey hosts the Hello Someday Podcast, a top 100 Mental Health podcast, which teaches women the tried and true secrets of breaking out of the drinking cycle and creating a life they truly love. She’s the creator of The Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit.

Casey’s helped thousands of women turn the decision to stop drinking from their worst-case scenario to the best decision of their lives.

Fawna Asfaw

How Alcohol Affects Your Nutrition Goals

Fawna Asfaw is a Recovery Coach, CADAC Candidate and Published Author.

She currently oversees a dual-diagnosis young women’s transitional sober living, Casa Bella.

Fawna is the Founder of The Good Wrk, her company helping young women rebuild their lives on their own terms through specialized Recovery Coaching and sobriety courses.

She also recently published her first powerful debut addiction memoir, Sober Daughter.

Gayle Macdonald

How to Use Visualization to Manage Cravings

Gayle Macdonald is a tea-drinking British mum of two living in Spain. Gayle is a life and sobriety coach, teacher, lover of trees and alcohol-free since March 2019 and social media-free since February 2022. She is the founder of Sober Bliss, helping women to change their relationship with alcohol in a way that feels good through uplifting and empowering coaching and community.

Through the powerful tools of journaling, visualization, self-care and meditation, Gayle’s gift is turning what is often seen as difficult, shameful, heavily loaded with stigma and judgment into a positive, loving, expansive experience. Gayle teaches people to tap into their own power to use what they already have inside of them, to help them embrace sobriety as an opportunity for positive change, it is lovely, inspiring, enriching, uplifting and theirs for the taking in the most exciting way possible.

Gayle also hosts The Sober Bliss Podcast bringing you advice and inspiration as you walk your path to living a rich and full alcohol-free life. Discover why sobriety is the kindest think you can do for yourself, and how you can feel empowered by your choice to live the abundant life of alcohol-freedom you deserve.

Jen Hirst

How Alcohol Affects Your Nutrition Goals

Sober since April 24, 2013, Jen Hirst helps women boost their confidence in sobriety by implementing health habits from the start. Why wait to feel better?

Throughout her almost 10 years living alcohol-free, she values the importance of taking care of yourself in all aspects of sobriety: from how much sleep you’re getting to light therapy to morning routines.

Jen preaches that exercise ensures your sobriety stays strong. Because if you can move your body today, you can stay sober today!

Her group coaching programs have helped hundreds of women own their sobriety with a supportive community of women rooting for them along the way.

She currently resides in Minnesota with her husband and two children.

Jenn Kautsch

How to get out of the Detox Retox Loop

Jenn Kautsch (pronounced Couch) is the founder and creator of the SoberSis community and leader in the “Sober Curious” movement. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her hubby of 27 years and has 2 adult children in their young 20’s.

SoberSis was “born” Christmas Day of 2017 and since then more than 200K women have downloaded her free “Happy Hour Survival Guide” and over 20K have participated in the 21 Day Reset Challenge. Those numbers are growing every month as she works hard to get the message out to more women! She is a motivational speaker and author of “look Alive, Sis” coming out Spring of 2023!

It’s her passion and life’s calling to create a space where women can renegotiate their relationship with alcohol without labels, judgment or shame. She coaches women who feel stuck in the “gray area” on the drinking spectrum and helps women get off of “auto-pilot” and mindless sipping through the habit of wine o’clock. She is all about holistic health and promotes freedom from the “detox-to-retox” cycle. Sharing through her personal faith, understanding of science and ability to facilitate connection, lives are being changed. Everyday women are becoming more fully alive through soberminded living and more present in their own amazing lives.

Karla Adkins

Hangxiety: The Link Between Anxiety And Alcohol

Karla is on a mission to normalize not drinking, and to help people make the shift from feeling to shame to being courageous.

After self-medicating her anxiety for years with alcohol, Karla had a life altering event and her perspective on life changed. She made it her mission to take what she had learned through her experience and share it with others.

Karla is the author of “And She Came Tumbling Down” and is the Co-Founder of The Zero Proof Life, a safe, judgment-free community exploring radical self care through alcohol-free living.

Kathy VandenBerghe

Relationships, Dating and Sobriety

I am the CEO|FOUNDER of Sober Dating One Date at a Time®

At Sober Dating you will find a community made up of people with one thing in common: We are empowered and enriched by a life free from drugs and alcohol. But we are not defined by what we don’t do or by what our life is lived without; but rather how our life has been filled with so much more – light and acceptance, clarity and spirituality, sobriety and love.

I am also a certified recovery coach and podcast host.

My life passion and purpose is to support those affected by addiction. 

Laura Silverman

How to Maintain a Social Life When You Don’t Drink

Laura Silverman is the founder of Zero Proof Nation and Booze Free in DC, two platforms focused on highlighting non-alcoholic beverages and the culture driving their growth.

Sober since 2007, she is co-host of sporadically-released By Volume, a podcast focused on the intersection between music and non-alcoholic beverages and is the Adult Non-Alcoholic Drinks Industry Advisor to The Spearhead Group.

Laura is frequently sought after as an industry subject matter expert by publications such as Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, Forbes, America’s Test Kitchen, and the BBC. She most recently helped put on DC’s second Mindful Drinking Fest and judged at the World Alcohol Free Awards in London.

Fun facts: Laura is a self-described karaoke rockstar, speaks Spanish somewhat fluently, and was born in Egypt.

Matt Pink

How to Be Sober Confident and Live Your Best Life

Matt Pink aka Better_Life_Guy is making waves in the alcohol-free space. His social media is inspiring tons of alcohol-free adventures and the sober curious to have fun, be social and love their AF adventure.

Matt is the Co-founder of one of the fastest growing alcohol-free apps in the world (DRYY) and is the best selling author of the book “Better Me, Better You”.

He is a fully qualified coach, specializing in Alcohol-free.

His mission and purpose is to help as many people as possible become aware of the restraints that alcohol puts on your life, then help you to break free and live a life of purpose, happiness and freedom.

Meg Geisewite

Mommy Wine Culture and Why it’s Toxic

Med is an ordinary mom who found herself trapped in the mommy wine culture. She began her sober curious journey in November of 2019 where her love of science led her to discover the real truth about alcohol and its seductive lies.

As a best-selling author and speaker, Meg is changing the narrative on the mommy wine culture, the hustle culture, and our pro-drinking culture. In Meg’s debut book, “Intoxicating Lies: One Woman’s Journey to Freedom from Gray Area Drinking” Meg flips the script on the five most intoxicating lies we tell ourselves about alcohol and that we are enough.

Meg resides in Delaware with her husband and two teenage children. Her family has been her rock throughout her alcohol-free journey. You can often find Meg enjoying nature on the beautiful biking and hiking trails of Delaware.

Michelle Smith

Why Recovery is the New Black

Michelle Smith is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, recovery coach, and the founder of Recovery is the New Black, a digital community for women living or exploring an alcohol-free life.

Michelle struggled for years with alcohol addiction that looked like “overdoing it”. In reality, she was drinking to escape the stresses of life – and the “mommy juice” drinking culture was helping her self-destruct.

Since getting sober in 2016, she has integrated both her personal experience in recovery and professional experience as a mental health and addiction advocate toward normalizing sobriety in our boozy culture.

Michelle’s work has been featured on The Today Show, TEDx, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Scary Mommy, NBC, ABC, and more.

Michelle lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and adorable dog.

Patrick Balsley

Alcohol’s Effects on our Emotional and Mental Health

Patrick Balsley is a Board Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Clinical Interventionist, and Behavioral Health Consultant. He has been working with individuals and families affected by substance use for over a decade. Patrick owns a private group practice in Charlotte, NC called Sana Counseling and is the Founder and Executive Director of Sana House, a recovery residence and community that provides highly individualized care to young adult men and their families who are in recovery from substance use disorders.

Through his professional experience and his own personal recovery journey, Patrick has had the opportunity to joining forces with some outstanding organizations. Patrick currently serves on the Behavioral Health Committee at Atrium Health Foundation and on the Advisory Board of For Students, a non-profit organization that helps schools facilitate essential conversations around mental health. He is on the Board of Directors of both, Emerald School of Excellence, the Carolina’s first Recovery High School, and Pivot Point WNC, a non-profit in Asheville, NC that offers therapeutic wilderness experiences for at-risk youth.

You can also catch Patrick on the airwaves, as the co-host of Champagne Problems, an award-winning podcast that examines the normalization of alcohol in our culture. You can listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Rory Kinsella

How to Use Meditation as a Stress Reliever over Alcohol

Rory Kinsella is a writer and Vedic Meditation teacher based in Sydney, Australia. A former hard-drinking musician and journalist, he quit alcohol in 2017 and has written widely about his experiences, including in the Sydney Morning Herald.

He is the creator of the Wise Monkey Way online program to help people change their relationship with alcohol through meditation, has contributed meditations to apps such as Insight Timer and Meditation Studio and has taught meditation at some of Australia’s biggest companies.

He is also the host of the Not-Quite Alcoholics podcast.

He teaches an effortless style of meditation using a mantra that allows the mind to move beyond thoughts to a place of stillness within.

Sharon Hartley

The Importance of Connection and Alcohol Free Communities

Sharon is the co-host of the Over The Influence podcast and loves speaking to people from all different backgrounds about the reasons they decided to go alcohol-free and how their lives have changed for the better since they made that decision.

Sharon is passionate about showing others there is another way and that a life without alcohol is fun, exciting and a constant adventure of discover.

She also presents her own radio show on BBC Radio Lancashire.

Tawny Lara

Dating, Relating and Hooking Up Without Booze

Tawny Lara is a NYC-based millennial, also known as The Sober Sexpert.

Her book, “Dry Humping: A Guide to Dating, Relating, and Hooking up Without Booze” comes out September 19th, 2023.

Her work is featured in Playboy, Men’s Health, Huffington Post, and two essay collections “Sex and the Single Woman” and “The Addiction Diaries”.

She is the co-host of the Signal Award-winning “Best Buddy” podcast, Recovery Rocks, and mom to a one-eyed cat named Meg White.

William Porter

Alcohol’s Effects on Sleep and the Cardiovascular System

I started drinking and smoking when I was around 14 years old. In my late teens, in an attempt to stop smoking, I read Allen Carr’s “Easyway”. I was fascinated by his pragmatic and practical approach to what was a confusing and complicated subject.

Over the years my drinking steadily increased but I continued to take a common sense analysis of what it was doing to me, coupled with a technical analysis of the chemical, physiological and psychological factors at play.

This continued for over a quarter of a century, during which I joined the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, served a 6-month tour of Iraq, qualified as a lawyer, started a career in the Financial Services sector of the City of London, got married, and had children.

My drinking continued to increase until, in February 2014, I finally stopped for good. I now live with my wife and two children in West London, and continue to work as a lawyer.

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