Serenbe Stories

Serenbe Stories

A podcast for those seeking stories about having an impact and building a better life. From the original Serenbe story of how Founder Steve Nygren and his family discovered and developed the land that is now the leading wellness community, to stories featuring many of the people that inspired, encouraged and influenced how Serenbe was created. Steve Nygren and host Monica Olsen talk about how we resist or ignore issues out of fear vs. discovering common sense solutions and discuss the biophilic connection to nature and each other that is vitally important for individual and community wellness. Join us as we tell the story of Serenbe and interview friends, residents and leaders from around the world who are doing the essential work to build and grow thel biophilic movement.

Episodes

November 20, 2023 35 mins

Serenbe had been on Frank and Christine Egan’s radar for years before they eventually uprooted their busy lives on Long Island and moved all the way down to rural Georgia. However, when you hear their full story, it’s not all that surprising that this is where they landed. In addition to running a successful orthodontics practice, Frank and Christine have been longtime advocates for local food, sustainable living, and a balanced ap...

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Juliann West first heard about Serenbe in 2014 when her brother and sister-in-law tried convincing her to move here; however, at the time, she didn’t think she would ever leave her adopted home of Seattle or the Pacific Northwest. Flash forward to 2018 and Juliann found herself back in Serenbe’s orbit, this time as the newly appointed General Manager at the Inn and Farmhouse, a demanding role that she handles with incredible calmne...

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George Cohen was just starting out in the mortgage business in 2013 when a family friend connected him with Serenbe Real Estate. However, his journey to becoming a full-fledged resident didn't happen overnight. It was a few years later, after overcoming personal challenges and embracing sobriety, that George immediately connected with key members of the community who played a pivotal role on his road to recovery. 

In the years ...

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On this week’s episode of Serenbe Stories, we’re sharing an interview that Steve Nygren gave on the Glowing Older podcast, alongside their host Nancy Griffin. Serenbe has big plans to  break ground on a state of the art aging-in-place campus, designed to take down the barriers that often leave older generations siloed away from the greater community. This campus will have no gates, no locked away areas, and interestingly, no age re...

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Serenbe’s HR Director Stephanie Coyne is BACK for her first official Serenbe Stories takeover, where we’re putting the spotlight on our amazing employees. In today’s episode, Stephanie is catching up with Serenbe’s CFO Gil Mathis, who lives and works in the community. Gil and his wife Jeny - both longtime and beloved fixtures in the community -  first discovered Serenbe while looking for a way to mix up their typical vacation routi...

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You might recognize today’s guest, Vern Yip, from shows like Trading Spaces, HGTV’s Design Star, and Deserving Design. He also runs his own design studio in Atlanta, designs a line of dog and kid-friendly furniture, has published multiple books on how to maximize your home - and he still has more TV and book projects in the works. Vern actually wrote his master’s thesis on New Urbanism, so Serenbe has been on his radar since its ea...

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If you’ve listened to Serenbe Stories for a while, then our guest today, Phill Tabb, will need no introduction. For those who need a refresher, Phill Tabb is Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Texas A&M University and has been involved with Serenbe since its earliest days, creating the community’s masterplan using the principles of sacred geometry. He is the author of numerous publications including Serene Urbanism: A Biophi...

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Giff Beaton and Allie Kelly moved to Serenbe from Atlanta six years ago, motivated by a desire to raise their twin boys closer to nature and to escape the city’s urban sprawl. By day, Giff works as a Delta pilot - but he is also an accomplished naturalist & nature photographer, authoring or co-authoring multiple books  like Birds of Georgia, Dragonflies & Damselflies, and Tiger Beetles of the Southeastern United States. Gif...

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Thomas Jackson is an environmental artist and photographer known for his abstract photographs that combine landscapes, sculpture, and kinetic art. Last Spring, he installed and photographed three incredible pieces in Serenbe during an artist residency with the Art Farm, in partnership with Jackson Fine Art, an Atlanta-based and world-renowned gallery with a 33-year history of supporting artists and collectors. In this interview, St...

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Since 2014, Serenbe has partnered with Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine for our annual designer Showhouse. Every year, a selection of Atlanta’s top interior designers take over a new home within the community and we open up the space for tours. For the past ten years, every home has been absolutely breathtaking - and the best part? Each one is completely different from the last. Our guests today, Elizabeth Ralls and Lauren I...

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September 15, 2023 1 min

Serenbe Stories will be back for its 9th Season on Monday, September 18th! This season, we’re continuing to explore the people and places that make Serenbe such a dynamic and thriving community. Tune in for a behind the scenes look at our 10th annual Designer Showhouse, hear from renowned installation artist Thomas Jackson who created a stunning photography series in our woods, dive deep into the wildlife that surrounds us with a r...

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In this special bonus episode of Serenbe Stories, Garnie Nygren and Monica Olsen sit down with marketing expert Tony Triumph for a conversation all about building the Serenbe brand. Tony is the founder and CEO of the Triumphant Group, a New York based marketing agency that has worked with major brands such as Nordstrom, Kettle Vodka, and Hyatt Hotels just to name a few. Before visiting Serenbe, Tony had never been to Atlanta outsid...

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For the final episode of Season 8, Steve and Monica are turning the mics over to two of Serenbe’s amazing team members, HR Director Stephanie Coyne and Director of Community Operations Amy Peterson. Hear from Stephanie and Amy as they give listeners a rundown of living, working, and playing in the community - from learning on the job, new resident onboarding, trivia nights at Halsa, and the supportive ecosystem that makes it all po...

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Anne and Walter Henegar started making regular visits to Serenbe in 2008 and purchased their Mado townhome ten years later, becoming beloved part-time residents. So beloved, in fact, that many neighbors don’t even realize that they aren’t here full-time. When the Henegars aren’t in Serenbe, they’re up in Atlanta running Westside Presbyterian Church - Walter as Senior Pastor and Anne as Director of Spiritual Formation - with a visio...

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Lisa (aka Woody) and Jim Challenger were looking to move away from the freezing Chicago weather but finding little success - until Lisa stumbled across a TikTok of Serenbe that showed off the distinctive architecture, farm-to-table meals, and easy access to nature. They first visited in June of last year and were full-time residents by August. Lisa played a central role getting Serenbe holiday-ready, the pair have already moved int...

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After years of working in the fast-paced world of digital marketing for massive companies like Microsoft and AOL, Stephanie Nadi Olson founded We Are Rosie, a revolutionary business that matches major brands with a national network of marketers looking for flexible but dependable work. After four years of rapid growth, Stephanie sold her company and stepped down as CEO but has stayed very involved as board chair. 

An Atlanta native ...

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Glen Slater grew up riding bikes everywhere and later worked in a bike shop in college, where he realized that his interest in building and machinery connected nicely with his love of cycling. He opened his own shop, Pro Bike Repair, in 2012 and moved it to Serenbe in 2019. In the intervening years, PBR has become the unofficial Welcome center due to its location in the Crossroads, just past the Serenbe entrance, and its laid-back,...

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When the world shut down in the Spring of 2020, Amy Mass and her husband Jared hit pause on their busy lives in Hollywood. Later that year, they piled into an RV with a few friends for what they imagined would be a relaxing Fall break in Serenbe - but like so many before them, they ended up under a contract for a house. 

Now, it’s almost impossible to imagine Serenbe without the hilarious - and festive - Mass family. From Halloween ...

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Stepping foot into the Hills & Hamlets Bookshop is like taking in a deep, calming breath. The atmosphere is warm and cozy and the shopkeepers couldn’t be friendlier or more knowledgeable. And even though the shop itself is on the smaller side, it’s packed to the brim with books from every genre you can think of including children's books, fantasy, art & architecture, urban planning, cookbooks - and even some rare &...

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When Crystal Barrois and her husband drove down to Serenbe in late 2016, they knew they were home - despite the pouring rain. Since then, they’ve started a family here and watched their kids grow up as free range children, exploring the woods and community under the watchful eye of fellow neighbors, co-parents, and co-grandparents. It takes a village, as they say. At her day job, Crystal serves as a pilot with Delta. In an industry...

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