General Business

NJBIA’s ‘Year of the Business Owner’ Campaign Spotlights Pause to Thrive Co-Founders

In 2023, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association is spotlighting entrepreneurs with a “Year of the Business Owner” campaign. The initiative highlights the successes and challenges of running a small- and mid-sized business in the state. Below, we profile Karen Rafiqi and Linda Savino co-founders of Neptune-based Pause to Thrive.

Q: Describe your business:

A: Pause to Thrive was created to address the ongoing mental health effects of serious illness and disease in New Jersey. The organization was incorporated in November 2021 as a Non-Profit corporation and in March of 2022 received its designation as a 501c3 organization.

Our programs are designed to immerse oneself in an interactive and supportive environment to facilitate healing in blue and green spaces. Both overnight retreats and day programs are offered. We provide individuals the opportunity to personally take charge of their health and move forward. The pillars of the organization are based on our spiritual holistic model offering health education, integrative medicine, psychosocial counseling and support and group life coaching.  The goal is to build resilience by helping individuals identify their strengths, acquire new self-care skills, and understand the power within.

By sharing our vision and mission with the medical community, we have been fortunate to have a dedicated retreat team of volunteer medical professionals in medicine, mental health, neuropsychology, alternative medicineand life coaching. These professionals are affiliated with the Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health, Encompass Health, Open Heart Yoga, Seeds of Life Coaching, and private practice.  Upon the request of the medical community, a post COVID retreat program is currently offered. Programs for those with cancer and heart disease will be available in 2023. 

Q: What empowers you every day? 

It is truly a gift to be on the personal healing journey with those seeking recovery. This energizes us to expand program offerings (other diagnoses) and increase the numbers of persons served who benefit from these very special retreat experiences.  Our ongoing relationship with our “Thrivers” (graduates), and learning about their personal successes, continues to motivate and empower us. 

Q: What are your most recent successes?

Recently,we delivered our third COVID Long Haulers retreat at the San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch.  The program uses outcome measures to determine impact, the Impact of Event Scale – Revised (IES-R), and Body Scheme as well as a program satisfaction survey. Consistent with our previous retreats, all participants demonstrated reduction of perceived distress, improved self-image and high satisfied with their experience. 

Q: What are your most recent challenges?

Pause to Thrive is in the expected Lifecycle Stage for an emerging Non-Profit.  The organization is focused on fundraising to develop infrastructure, program expansion to include   other diagnoses, grow community impact (persons served), board development, business plan expansion and marketing.  We plan to add employees in 2023. 

Q: How do you maintain a positive cashflow?

Currently, we have been able to continue operations due to the volunteer efforts of leadership and the medical retreat professionals, a grant from County of Monmouth, COVID 19 Recovery Grant program and private philanthropy.  

Q: How has NJBIA helped you with your business?

As a long-standing member of NJBIA through previous business affiliations, it was clearly important that Pause to Thrive become a member of the association to benefit from the networking, education, health and business advocacy and an array of available tools and services for a new business.   

About the Business

  • Co-Founders: Karen Rafiqi & Linda Savino
  • Incorporated in 2021
  • Neptune
  • 732-493-0852
  • [email protected] Need help with your business? Let NJBIA help! Visit njbia.org for details.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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