Rita Perea, Ph.D (abd)

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3408 Woodland Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50266

As a speaker and author, Rita has 25 years of experience speaking to trade associations, businesses and consumers. She's a member of the Garden Communicators Association, a certified Work-Life Balance Specialist, Executive Coach and Master Gardener.

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Rita Perea is President and CEO of Rita Perea Leadership Coaching and Consulting Associates. As keynote speaker, author, executive coach, and leadership development trainer, she shares her 25-plus years of experience with senior leaders in a wide range of industries. Additionally, Rita is certified as a Work-life Balance Specialist, a Master Cognitive Coach and a Spiritual Director, specializing in mindfulness in the workplace.

Through her Ph.D. studies, Rita developed a strong interest in garden design and plant therapy which led her to become certified as a Master Gardener and a member of the Garden Communicators Association. As a garden designer, she specializes in creating calming outdoor spaces that encourage mindfulness and personal reflection. By combining her love of gardening with providing spiritual direction and leadership coaching to busy executives, Rita founded the International Contemplative Garden Association to foster a sense of community to promote mindfulness in the garden.
Rita is the author of the From Frantic to Fabulous: Transforming Your Work and Your World e-book series and is a contributing author to the popular Awakening the Workplace: Achieving Connection, Fulfillment, and Success at Work (2008). She can be reached at RitaPerea.com and ContemplativeGardens.org.



(T) = lecture appropriate or customizable for trade shows or industry audiences
(C) = lecture appropriate or customizable for consumer audiences
The Magical Hellebore (T)(C)
After a long winter’s nap, the beauty of the hellebore magically appears as a welcome sign that spring is, indeed, on its way.  Commonly known as the “Christmas Rose” or “Lenten Rose”, Hellebores are nature’s gift to the gardener at a time when few other flowers brave the cold outdoor elements to say hello.  This presentation will discuss the rich history, beauty and magic of this flowering perennial.
Gardening Mindfully (T)(C)
Mindfulness is the energy of being aware of, and awake to, the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply. To be mindful is to be present and at one with what we are doing in each moment. Rita will help the audience learn the act of Gardening Mindfully – being truly present and connected moment-by-moment to the sights, sounds, smells and rhythms of the garden.
Green Peace: Yoga and Other Happy Practices in the Garden (T)(C)
“Mindfulness is a source of happiness.” Not only can we grow a garden, we can also cultivate the harmony of body, mind and beyond through our daily mindful practices in nature. With a relaxed and gentle attitude, an open mind and receptive heart, we can enjoy finding peace in the garden. Rita will inspire your garden connection through practices and activities which feed your soul and help you feel frazzle-free.
Plants are My Prozac (C)
Does life ever feel O.C. – Out of Control? Our fast-paced, modern lifestyle can be challenging at best, and, at worst, downright depressing. It might be time to put down your devices and reconnect with nature. Move from frantic to fabulous by finding help as close as your flowerpots. Rita will share drug-free gardening techniques to help you find your balance and wellbeing in both work and life.
Peace on the Prairie (T)(C)
How can you focus on ecology, holistic health and spirituality to draw visitors to seek your garden center to relax and rejuvenate their souls? Join Rita as she discusses these principles taking place in the Midwest and how they can be creatively modified to have an in-store experience that will move them frazzled to peace-filled in no time!
Create a Mindful Garden Retreat (T)(C)
Picture your own urban oasis designed to provide serenity and refuge from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Do you see it? Can you feel it? Do you want it? Rita can teach you how! In her presentation, she will clearly lay out the principles of design to achieve the garden that you visualize in your mind and heart.
Happiness is Digging in the Dirt (T)(C)
According to the famous plant collector, E.H. Wilson, “There are no happier folks than plant lovers and none more generous than those who garden.” Researchers now have proof as to why gardeners tend to be so happy. Digging in the dirt releases a strain of bacterium in the soil called Mycobacterium vaccae. M. vaccae triggers a release of serotonin in the brain, which provides the lovely lift we experience. The best idea for those anxious or depressed is to get out and garden! Rita will give you, the new or seasoned gardener, a five-step plan for getting your hands back in the dirt and getting the happiness lift you have been craving.
Navigating Personal and Professional Change: Charting Your Course for Success (T)
Today we are facing many changes in our work and in our personal lives. Some are planned; some just happen. All can be challenging. We often feel tossed around, as if we are crashing against the rocks. We find ourselves wondering if life will ever get back to normal again. If we understand the best way to navigate a change, whether that change is a choice or one we can’t control, we can move through the transition with more ease. Rita will show you and your team how to navigate the high seas of change.
Elevating Employee Engagement: A Tool Kit for Exceptional Supervisors (T)
A recent Gallup workplace poll suggests that 61% of all American workers received no praise during the past year.  As managers and leaders, we attract and hire the best talent for the job.  What are the best practices to engage and retain our talent? In this interactive presentation you will receive a tool kit of best practices to: Creating a positive team culture and work environment; Enhance team communication; Give positive and constructive feedback; Engage and motivate employees; Evaluate performance; and Get individuals and the team back on track. Rita will show you how to elevate your employee engagement.
Managing the Mysteries of a Multi-generational Workplace (T)
Today, for the first time ever, four generations are working side-by-side in the American workplace. Organizations are feeling the pain of generation gaps as they struggle to manage productivity and morale, while maintaining high standards of quality and service in a challenging economy. As leaders and managers in our organizations, we are pivotal in framing the solutions for the issues created by this new American workforce. Learn to identify generational behaviors that help and hinder an organization. Explore what team work looks like for a new generation of workers. Examine the best communication methods across the generation. Finally, learn how to bridge the gap through multi-generational success stories. Let Rita help your managers stop the madness and effectively maneuver the issues in the multi-generational workplace.
Speaking with Confidence (T)
Speaking in public is one of the top fears that we face.  To reach our business goals and leadership aspirations, speaking with confidence is a critical skill to learn and apply. Whether you are speaking one-on-one with customers and clients or presenting to thousands, Rita Perea will share the confidence-building techniques she has gained from her 25+ years of being a public speaker. Speaking with Confidence will teach you: What to do before a presentation to calm your jitters; How to win your audience over in the first 30 seconds; How to use emotion effectively and appropriately; How and when to tell a story; How to master the tools of public speaking; How to close a presentation to get 100% audience buy-in. Let Rita help you push past your fear of public speaking.


Available to speak anywhere.

Photo Gallery

Perea, Ph.D (abd)
  • Rita Perea, Author and Keynote Speaker
  • Rita is an active member of the National Speakers Association (NSA)
  • Rita is an active member of the Garden Writers Association
  • Awakening the Workplace: Achieving Connection, Fulfillment and Success at Work (2008)

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Audience Reviews

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Insightful and Great Delivery

Edy Abuan from Iowa - 11/16/2018 09:34:25

Rita gave a very detailed and well prepared session about being mindful in the garden. Her insights are not only personal but also comes from a professional background so it was a very great experience for me. Hoping to hear from her soon.

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