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Women of Distinction Magazine WDM My goal is to ensure the company achieves and adheres to solid corporate governance. Sandra Sandy L. (Hill) Marshall Oil & Gas (Energy) Officer and Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors - Tanager Energy Inc. 1 Women of Distinction ABA is governed by the scientific approach and the volume of research produced and published yearly concerning the behavior of all organisms especially children s education has been monumental Corrine explained. Spreading this methodology and encouraging the study of ABA is my lifetime goal. Corrine Russell Donley EdD Special Education Early Childhood Assistant Professor Emerita University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 5 57 contents... Erin Conway 28 Victoria Rose Marotta 72 Sandra Sandy L. (Hill) Marshall Brittaney Fisher features 24 Corrine Russell Donley EdD 41 Dora Carpenter CPC 74 Cathy Houde Special Education Early Childhood Assistant Professor Emerita University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh WI Personal and Professional Development Coaching and Mentoring Owner The ANIYA Group Life Coaching Center Washington DC Hospitality Tourism Entertainment Administration Base Clerk III Universal Orlando Orlando FL 87 Maria Gabrielle Habib Higher Education Graphic Design Professor Maryland Institute College of Art Creative Director Booz Allen Hamilton Strategic Innovation Group Owner DesignMa LLC Washington DC Women of Distinction Magazine ISSUE 15 Women of Distinction Staff Marissa Bacchi EDITOR-IN-CHIEF HEAD WRITER EDITOR Holli M. Narvaez Felix Pons WRITER LAYOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN Jill Mongonia EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Rachael Raffna Anne Silar SELECTION COMMITTEE SELECTION COMMITTEE Kimberly Deihl SELECTION COMMITTEE Woman of Distinction Published by National Association of Distinguished Professionals 560 Broadhollow Road Ste. 310 Melville NY 11747 Phone (631) 465-9024 Fax (631) 465-9035 www.womenofdistinction.net Rebecca Valuch Erin Conway Co-Founder & Head of School Montessori Cottage Montessori Consultant Fallsington PA E rin Conway s vision was to work with young children and the Montessori education philosophy seemed the perfect fit for her beliefs. Erin was introduced to the Montessori method of teaching in 1991 when she accepted a job as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in New Jersey. Within less than four years she went from assistant teacher to head teacher. In 2000 she left that school and co-founded Montessori Cottage in Fallsington Pennsylvania. Believing that children who are fortunate enough to have a Montessori educational experience have an unshakable foundation for lifelong learning Erin said My dream is for every child have the option of a Montessori education particularly at the preschool level when development is so rapid. The first five years of a child s life is the most rapid time of brain development more than any other period of time in their lives. It makes one question why we wait until fiveyears-old to formally start a child s education. I feel that the younger a child is when self-confidence and a love of learning is instilled the better the chance for longevity. The Montessori method of education is more than one hundred years old. Maria Montessori the creator of the teaching method was the first female physician in Italy. She made the transition from medicine to education after observing children with cognitive delays in the hospital who were believed to be unteachable. According to Erin Dr. Montessori would not accept the fact that any child was unteachable and so she worked with these children on her own time and eventually created a method of teaching that turned out to be an extremely successful educational venture. Essentially it teaches the senses then the intellect Erin explained about the Montessori way so that looking becomes reading and touching becomes writing and so forth. This method was so successful that in a period of two years some of Dr. Montessori s cognitively challenged children were able to surpass the abilities of typical children. Dr. Montessori wondered if these unfortunate children could do so well with this method how much better could typical children do if they used her methods. Hence the first Montessori school was born. As Head of School Erin s responsibilities at Montessori Cottage include interviewing and touring families handling all of the school s administrative duties including overseeing parent-teacher conferences presenting parent development workshops and negotiating all contracts pertaining to the school. Maintaining good relationships with the existing families she is also the sounding board for her staff. Most importantly she takes time out of her very busy schedule to stay current with child development and professional development and makes sure that their school is up to date on the latest information. The mandatory minimum for professional development in the state of Pennsylvania is six 5 Women of Distinction This year Erin completed more than 50 hours. On average her staff usually has about three times the state minimum of teacher development and Erin believes that this investment sets them apart from all the other area preschools. She also does private consulting for Montessori schools where services range from teacher workshops to implementing Montessori programs. More than academics the Montessori method of teaching fosters compassion and tolerance in children. It also fosters collaboration flexibility independence creativity perseverance problem solving skills critical thinking and helps to develop concentration. These skills are not just for school but for life. While Erin admits that the rewards for teachers certainly do not equate to material in this industry and that Montessori teachers are shamefully underpaid the rewards of being a Montessori teacher is in knowing that you have made a difference in the lives of the children. to what happens in a Montessori classroom. In addition to their training in childhood development Montessori teachers are trained as observers. They are trained to watch for signs of what the child is ready to learn next and then they offer materials that will foster that new skill. Erin explained further that just like it would be absurd to force a child to learn how to walk before they are physically ready we cannot make a child read before they are developmentally ready. There are no grades in a Montessori classroom instead a child works on the activity until they have learned it each child works at their own pace. In a traditional classroom the child has a certain amount of time to learn something they are graded on it and then they move on to the next level. Here each child works at his or her own pace the child is in the same classroom for three years and in that time frame the children learn what they need to at their own pace. Children may have a vague memory of you the teacher but their parents never forget Erin said about the impact her teachers and staff have on families. Over the years I have run into parents whose children have left my school years before and they tell me that the foundation that we gave their child is the reason for their child s current success. We are investing in the future in mankind that is our reward. In a traditional classroom they are expected to move on to the next level despite their level of understanding. They are building on a foundation that is not strong Erin added. Eventually the foundation gets weaker and weaker because they are constantly adding on to information that was not solid to begin with. It really doesn t make sense when you think about it. Montessori makes sense it sets the child up for success. One of the biggest differences in working at a Montessori school versus any other school Erin further explains is that the children in the care of a Montessori school are affected by the type of people the teachers are. Being a Montessori teacher is so much more than simply presenting materials and understanding development. Erin said that Dr. Maria Montessori spoke a lot about the teachers doing selfinventory something Maria called moral alertness which is revealed in tranquility patience charity and humility not in words but in virtues. The Montessori philosophy is misunderstood Erin noted. It has a reputation of being too strict as well as to lenient. The fact is it is neither. The Montessori Method is unique from traditional education in two significant ways. The classrooms are grouped by three year spans rather than by a single age and the children are self-directed. Dr. Montessori believed that children innately know what they are ready to learn when they are ready to learn it. If you think about the day that your child first learned to walk you didn t choose that day because the child was a certain age. You knew it would happen somewhere between nine and 18 months and you waited for the child to show signs that he or she was ready. When they began to show signs you began preparing their environment to foster that new skill. It is the same approach Montessori Cottage is a full affiliate with the American Montessori Society where Erin is also a member herself. Philadelphia was the host city of the Annual American Montessori Society Conference in March 2014. With more than 4 000 attendees from all over the world volunteers from the local Philadelphia Montessori schools including Erin lent a hand in making it such a great success. Erin is also an active member of a Pennsylvania Montessori Heads of School group and the Pennsylvania Montessori Teachers Association. Erin holds a Master s Degree in Education as well as an Infant Toddler American Montessori Certification. Her husband Glenn to whom she has been married for 19 years is a tremendous supporter of her career. They have two children Sarah 18 and Shane 14 both of whom are Montessori students. Erin enjoys her free time with her husband and children as well as her extended family. She also enjoys reading exercising and time at the beach. This is more than a career Erin said with gratitude. This is an industry for the passionate. If it was possible to fully understand the Montessori Method it would take a lifetime. 6 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What is Montessori A It is a philosophy of teaching where the children are grouped by three years. The children learn at their developmental level rather than their age. Children move to the next level when they have mastered their current level not when the calendar says it is time to move on. Q What ages does Montessori serve A Primarily preschool but it starts at infancy and goes through high school. Q Is Montessori good for children with learning disabilities What about gifted children A Montessori is good for all students. Children move through the curriculum at their own pace it doesn t matter where the child is cognitively. Q How are all the children doing different things at different times Is it chaotic A On the contrary Montessori classrooms are usually quite peaceful. The children are self-directed. That is they are choosing what activities to do throughout the day and consequently they become absorbed in their work and they develop great concentration skills. Q If they are choosing their own activities throughout the day how do you ensure a well-rounded education A Children innately know what they are ready to learn when they are ready to learn it. Cognitive development is not much different than physical development. The adult doesn t choose the day that a child learns to crawl or walk the child innately knows. The same goes for cognitive development. You can t make a child hear letter sounds before they are developmentally ready. Q How do you know when a child is ready to learn a new skill A Montessori teachers are trained in child development as well as in observation. We know what signs to look for and when a child shows readiness the teachers will introduce the lesson. Q Where do I find Montessori schools A Montessori schools are all over the world. In fact it is the only teaching method that is on six continents. Be aware though the name Montessori is not registered and schools do use the name without practicing the philosophy. Check to see if the school is affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS) or Association Montessori International (AMI) and make sure that the teachers have a certification from one of those organizations. Q What else should I know about Montessori A The Montessori Method is over 100 years old and it is as or more relevant than ever. Modern research is finally confirming Dr. Maria Montessori s theories from over a century ago. Q How is the Montessori Method more relevant than ever A In education today you hear a lot about 21st century skills. The world is changing so quickly that we are preparing children for jobs that don t even exist yet. To do that we need to give children a broad set of knowledge skills work habits and character traits. Montessori has been doing that for over 100 years. Q What types of skills and character traits are 21st Century Skills A Critical thinking problem solving creativity perseverance self-direction oral and written communication collaboration etc. These are skills that Montessori schools have been fostering in children for over a century. It is no coincidence that some of the greatest innovators of our time (Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin The Sims Creator Will Wright Creator of Wikipedia Jimmy Whales Singer Songwriter Taylor Swift) were all Montessori students. 7 Women of Distinction Where childhood is a journey...not a race Serving Children 13 Months - Kindergarten in the Yardley area Monday 7 30 am 4 30 pm Tuesday 7 30 am 4 30 pm Wednesday 7 30 am 4 30 pm Thursday 7 30 am 4 30 pm Friday 7 30 am 4 30 pm Saturday Closed Sunday Closed 9 Old Locust Street Fallsington PA 19054 (215) 295-3125 admin montessoricottage.com Where childhood is a journey...not a race Serving Children 13 Months - Kindergarten in the Yardley area 9 Old Locust Street Fallsington PA 19054 (215) 295-3125 admin montessoricottage.com Gloria Layne Bieber Health and Wellness Spiritual Practitioner Intuitive Reader Our Angels Center for Well Being Wellness Counselor Owner Life Portraits International Psychic 10 Women of Distinction Calgary Alberta CAN dvising others to trust in your higher power Gloria Layne Bieber declares that many times we do not see the totality of a situation but rather allow our emotions and ego to dictate how and what we are going to do about certain events. Knowingly changing the form of negative thought and promoting a positive atmosphere links us to higher consciousness. Living by this simple notion and fortunate to have a family and doctor (Dr. Pujara P Bakul) to support her on her latest journey Gloria finally set out to commence intuitive healing and hold workshops of a number of disciplines like meditation channeling Reiki and psychic reading beginning in 2000. It has been a long time coming. A As a Wellness Counselor and Owner of Life Portraits her consultancy business that she formed in 2004 and is also based in Calgary Gloria offers a comprehensive range of spiritual insight and holistic healing. She utilizes electromagnetic fields to balance clients chakras and energy and provides insight to aid people in coping with practical day to day stresses and life s difficulties. Services include aura and chakra imaging Reiki energy balance iconic detox baths color therapy nutrition connecting with guides home parties and private readings and workshops. Most of my young adult life I was able to connect to spirits. I always felt different and had difficulty expressing myself in what I felt and saw in my inner mind s eye Gloria explained about her younger years living in Calgary Alberta Canada. The support of my family gave me the confidence to trust and as a child I was brought up to meditate and attend classes of well-being intuition dream therapy and others similar to those. I went to many teachings and workshops to align my selfesteem and to learn to trust in my abilities and in other people. I feel humbled and privileged to be able to connect to people through my practice Gloria said happily. It is an honor to serve and share information with others. Being empathetic serves for the greater good even though life s experiences can be very hurting at times. I hope that through my work I can help people through those difficult times and help them find their path to better understand themselves and be able to succeed. Explaining further that she desperately needed to live her life in a way that was not surrounded by drama and negativity Gloria set out to understand herself better become more grounded and continue in her journey in a way that enabled self-help towards positive living. To do this she had to leave her previous management career where she had spent 25 of her former years to challenge herself without the security of a weekly paycheck in order to do what she does best. As a Practitioner Intuitive Reader at Our Angels Center For Well Being located in the Calgary area Gloria teaches various workshops for clients including Intuition Dream Interpretation Vision Board Reiki and Meditation. Our Angels Center For Well Being is a multidisciplinary holistic wellness center that offers spiritual and alternative treatments services and products to the public with a focus on teaching clientele the importance of self-healing within the mind body and soul through the use of spiritually-based products and services that promote personal life transformations. She began working for them in 2011. Gloria has had the good fortune to work with numerous retreats in and around Calgary. She has participated in venues like The Women s Show Body Soul Spirt Expo and a number of health shows as well. She was privileged to attend the 2014 Emmy Awards and she also attended the 2015 Oscar Awards in their gifting suites. Gloria has interviewed on television and radio and has published articles in The Rising Women Magazine relating to the holistic industry. Gloria currently works out of Our Angels Center For Well Being located in the Kensington area of Calgary Alberta Canada. She offers spiritual alternative health treatments with a focus on teaching clients the importance of self-healing within the mind body and soul through the use of spiritually based practices that promote personal life transformations. 11 Women of Distinction 12 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What purpose does an aura or chakra have A Auras and chakras are a window into the state of the personality of the inner soul. They provide information about the choices you make at a given point in time and how these decisions fit with your inner truth. When the path you are taking does not align with your inner purpose your auras and chakras will let you know. They are the true indication of balance and inner peace. Q What is an aura A An electromagnetic energy field called an aura surrounds every living organism. This energy field vibrates at different frequencies reflecting colors that denote your state of mind body and inner being. Your aura colors are determined by physical mental emotional and spiritual states of being. Without energy we would not exist. The human aura is an energy occurrence within a highly complex system. The aura is the external representation of a creative life force that energizes and sustains our existence. As a functional energy form that envelopes the physical body the aura provides a channel for interacting with other energy sources and dimensions including other human aura systems. Q What is color therapy A Color and light around the chakra centers tell the secret of the body s physical mental emotional and spiritual balance. The different colors represent different frequencies and that represents the health of the body s core energy locations. These are the points in the body that balance thought emotion spirit and other life-affirming dimensions. Q Are there spiritual teachers on the other side A Guides are with us at every step. In essence they try to teach and guide us along our path throughout our life. We try to form a communicative style in order to render one s conscience mind to reach out to our teachers. They give us information through our senses on how to make the best decisions for ourselves at any given point in time. Q Does one s health or nutrition play a role in balancing A With the body and spirit working together through time and dimensions as a whole we can heal the body through nutrition. Each chakra accounts for its current state respecting both the function it play within the individual where it sits in the body and what nutritional elements it needs to thrive. For example the root chakra is the body s grounding network and it likewise finds nourishment through root vegetables while the body s sacral chakra controlling sex and creativity finds healing through sweet fruits nuts and a select few spices. Q How does one learn to feel energy A Subtle energy is the life force energy field of a living thing that most people cannot see with the naked eye. We all have the ability and use it naturally so that most of the time we do not really think about how we actually do it. Examples include sensing the mood of a friend before they speak walking into a room and feeling that you could cut the air with a knife and knowing that someone is staring at you. Q Can energy be blocked A Energy feeds and nurtures the soul. When there is a blockage the physical spiritual and mental well-being may be at risk. One of the greatest gifts a healer can offer is to willingly be a conduit of Mother Nature s energy to work with you through your energy blockages. The art if Reiki however is beyond removing blockages. It comes in the skill and knowledge of being able to read the meaning behind a blockage to provide clients with information on what the energy source means. Q Why do people feel anxious A Anxiety is the body s natural response to when you feel threatened or under pressure. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning while another gets panicky at the thought of change. Someone else may struggle with fear or intrusive thoughts. Yet another may live in a constant state of tension. Q How can one become silent in the mind A Relaxation meditation and guided imagery is effective in silencing the mind. It sidesteps the logical and analytical centers of the brain. Q What is transcendental meditation A It is a technique that uses a mantra to encourage in a passive attitude. It is the use of a mental device through repetition of sound word chant or prayer that teaches one to be quiet and move away from distracting thoughts. 13 Women of Distinction 14 Women of Distinction Karen Hunter Sewing Crafts Proprietress A Stitch in Time Sewing Lounge and School Orofino ID 15 Women of Distinction person who says she does not like to follow the norm and prefers to stand out from the crowd Karen Hunter takes pride in crafting beautiful things as the Owner and Creator of A Stitch in Time Sewing Lounge and School a sewing and crafts store in Orofino Idaho. Discovering the art of sewing in her home economics class in high school along with several sewing projects during her time volunteering with 4-H Karen has been honing her craft since 1979. A Being brave and thinking outside my comfort box has been the essence of my business Karen admits. When it comes to business it s always a good idea to try something new that no one else is doing. It may not be available in your community so you can be the first. I am always pleasantly surprised when I find other people who like my ideas it keeps me going. My mother and grandmother sewed for basic needs like mending and my mother made clothes for my sister and I when we were young Karen said. My grandmother even taught me to crochet. When I create something now it is a way for me to continue their memories. Living in a small community in Idaho of approximately 3 000 people people do not typically stray far from home. But Karen has found a great big world outside of Idaho and that it is absolutely beautiful. Using her experiences in travel she has been able to learn and discover new things like material and techniques and bring them back home with her to share. She enjoys teaching and sharing her experiences with those that can appreciate the quality handiwork from our heritage and those of other countries thus preserving a piece of history by recreating something new. And what better way to do it but within the four walls of her business Constantly looking for inspiration and ideas for herself in other businesses crafters and by way of the internet Karen takes advantage of one of the great perks of owning a crafting store shopping She always keeps in mind what marketing practices work for other people and she has a great ability when it comes to sifting through garments and other items at thrift shops and swap meets and finding things that have some sort of hidden potential. Being able to transform them into new and exciting pieces however takes a special talent all her own. This form of searching is what Karen identifies as upcycling or recycling and she believes it is a wonderful sustainable business tactic that benefits her as a business owner as it allows for better profitability and it affords her the opportunity to be more environmentally and economically conscience. Karen has had experience working with the public for as long as she can remember so customer service has always come second nature to her. She has worked for big box retail stores like The Home Depot Staples and Macy s to small chain stores like Joann Fabrics. She has also worked in hospitals doctors offices and lawyers offices. The value of learning good customer service serves as her bread and butter as the owner of her own shop so when it comes to the customer she will do whatever it takes to make them feel comfortable and eager about their next visit. A big fan of a woman by the name of Martha Campbell Pullen PhD from Huntsville Alabama Karen discovered a lot about her business style by reading up on her in books. Martha developed a huge business following with sewing techniques that she developed to recreate French heirloom sewing. Meeting her at the Sew Expo in Puyallup Washington in 2008 Karen became hooked on her ideas and level of creativity. In fact she was the one who really taught Karen how to think outside the box. Although Karen was making clothing for herself and her daughter and dabbled a bit in quilts at the time she never truly blossomed in the art of sewing until she took Martha s licensed teaching certification training. It has changed the way she thinks about how to teach make money and most of all make her customers happy. Finding her biggest strengths by first believing in herself Karen knows that no one is going to hold your hand and lead the way to your own achievements. Although she has been encouraged along the way by both friends and family alike and her accomplishments have been recognized which certainly keeps her going every day she still must keep her head on straight and remember that she must fight for herself her business and all that she believes in if she wants to be successful in life and work. If we do not keep these skills going they will die out. So many people will rely on what they can buy at the store Karen said about preserving and reviving older pieces by way of her business. And should there be no more stores those people will be absolutely lost. A Stitch in Time Sewing Lounge and School is a very new and unique concept. In addition to offering sewing classes in garment construction and design the lounge aspect offers the opportunity for customers from larger communities who might not have enough room in their homes to come in relax meet other people with similar interests and be able to cut their fabric work on their projects and feel just as comfortable in the lounge as they would feel at home. It is also a place where support encouragement and inspiration flourish. My biggest challenge has been a lack of selfconfidence Karen said about her innermost feelings. But God has given me a special gift and purpose that only I can fulfill. Karen s self-esteem issues were the result of a bad marriage and divorce. But knowing just how talented she really is she must continue to remind herself that she is worth it. Growing up in a town with a lot of retirees and young families her advanced degrees have actually hindered her in her job search over the years. She has been told she was overqualified for many of the positions she s applied for so she always had to go above and beyond the competition to improve upon herself to achieve her own goals and dreams. By creating her own path and opening up the doors to A Stitch in Time Sewing Lounge she has been able to prove just how capable she is. A great way to create a name for yourself in your local community when it comes to business is by being present and active and Karen knows this first hand. She tries to get involved with various organizations and projects to demonstrate her versatility and to give back. Recently she took over the local Cinderella Project in town. The project is a closet of evening gowns and prom dresses at her school for women and young ladies who live locally from which to borrow them for events like prom the Junior Miss program or any other social gathering that requires formal attire. Women donate gently used dresses at the store that they have previously invested in and only wore once or twice. It is another fantastic way to upcycle and reuse something that Karen is very much a fan of. She also plans on using these dresses in future classes on redesigning. Karen volunteers as a 4-H leader and is in the beginning phases of starting a Swap Meet on weekends. Karen also enjoys spending some of her free time on personal development which she said is a fancy way of saying that I am constantly learning . When she watches television she likes to watch shows like The History Channel or the news programs. Never taking her personal time for granted Karen is a survivor of not only divorce but three separate battles with cancer. The times she has gone through have made her stronger and much more resourceful. Single with four grown children and three grandchildren now her daughter is a registered nurse and all three of her sons are active duty military men. Karen earned her Bachelor s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston Idaho in 2008 and her MBA in International Business from American Intercontinental University in Illinois in 2010. She is now working toward her Master s Degree in Paralegal Studies at The George Washington University in Washington DC and a Master Sewing and Design Professional Certification through the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. I want people to remember me as an overcomer. I am the person who was dealt a bad hand of cards and was able to turn things around. I am making something of my life by pulling up my boot straps and making my future happen Karen said happily. 17 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What makes your business relevant at this time A In the 21st century so much education and focus is on technology. The basic skills in life are being forgotten. The majority of garments purchased by today s consumers are mass produced in overseas factories on assembly lines. Such garments are produced in the millions and are all identical. If a person does not want to look like everyone else in the crowd his or her shopping choices are very limited. By providing sewing classes in garment construction and design the average person can create a wardrobe that sets him or her apart from the crowds while maintaining the high quality that has been lost over time. Q Is your business sustainable A Sewing skills are the basis of my business. These skills can be taught to men women children teens seniors and disabled persons. Creativity will be encouraged while keeping budget and effect in mind. Garments from secondhand stores can be redesigned to create new items more appealing than the parts. By teaching classes more people will benefit than by one person doing custom sewing who has a limited space and time to work from. Q What age groups will you cater to A There are many quilt and fabric stores who cater to a specific slice of the crafting market. There needs to be more places for people who want to learn skills of a larger variety. Beginning sewing can be taught to children as young as four or five and to all ages. Special adaptations can be incorporated in the teaching programs for disabled persons. The business will focus on encouraging the gift of creativity in fashion design with programs similar to Project Runway and Masquerade events. Student teachers and interns will be given the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in the crafting business industry. Q What is the bottom line motivator for you A My bottom-line motivator is to educate and encourage. The old Chinese proverb says that if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day but if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime. The bible verse Proverbs 22 6 says Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. What that means to me is that each person is valuable and teachable. Someone told me recently that You don t know what you don t know. That barrier is easy to bring down by finding out what you do not know and incorporating it into your everyday schedules. Q Will you be doing any conferences on Women Entrepreneurs in business A I have some experience in public speaking and would be honored to speak to groups on my thoughts and plans for starting and running a business as a single woman. Q From where do you get your inspiration A My inspiration comes from the wonderful artists around the world in the crafting industry like Martha Pullen from Huntsville Alabama and Jenny Haskins from Castle Hill New South Wales Australia. They have opened up a world of design and creativity to the regular people outside of New York City and Paris. People who live on Main Street USA can recreate the fabulous garments that are featured on the catwalks in Milan and Paris. Q What is in the future plans for your business A The sewing lounge concept has become very popular in large communities. I plan on franchising the idea in order to share my vision through like-minded people throughout the US and beyond. The basic concept is that it is better to give a hand up than a hand out. I think this idea is fundamental to the successful future of our society to become self-sufficient and resourceful in the changing world of technology and globalization. Q What is the theme of the business A The name A Stitch in Time is a metaphor for proper planning and sustainability. If you take an extra step in the beginning whatever you do will last longer. I like the Steampunk movement because it incorporates the Victorian era of Old London and the futuristic gadgets of HG Wells and Jules Verne. What it means to me is the foundation in our history from which we have learned and the promise the future holds for those who are prepared and resourceful. The sewing lounge idea was created for people who live in larger communities who may not have room in their own apartments for sewing tasks such as cutting out fabric or tying quilts. Other purposes of the sewing lounge are to provide a place for creative support inspiration from others and a safe place to learn and express ideas. Q Will you be teaching any classes yourself and what kind A I am a licensed heirloom sewing teacher through the Martha Pullen Company. It is my favorite form of embellishments and design. I plan on teaching classes in heirloom sewing techniques for garments and quilts. I will have a variety of teachers to teach a large choice of classes in all areas. I will also involve the students from the local universities textile program to work as interns. Q Will you continue your education in the field A I like to say that I am a lifelong learner. I will continue my education by taking more certification classes from the Martha Pullen Company and from the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. They both offer classes and training that I can bring back and share with my students and associates. This form of networking will broaden my knowledge and influence in the crafting and sewing world. 19 Women of Distinction Rebecca Theodore Media Communication Independent Journalist Professional Writer and Public Speaker 20 NY New York Women of Distinction R ebecca Theodore is a syndicated columnist based in Washington DC and has built a reputation for strong social and political writing. She writes on trending topics of national security politics and human rights. Her work has appeared in the LA Times the Nation of Change the Associated Press and the Baltimore Post among others. As an award-winning public speaker Rebecca successfully paneled the Harvard Caribbean Law School Conference of 2011 and was the keynote speaker for the Peaceful Caribbean Conference 2012 and Women in Leadership conference 2010. In combining her liberal arts education with politics public administration and journalism she has mastered the art of speech writing thus translating complex economic political and policy issues into a clear message for the general public. Rebecca always knew that writing and public speaking were God-given talents. Growing up in her native Dominica she was one of the best English students in her local primary school. She recalls the times when she was laughed to scorn by peers in her little church after memorizing a script called The Mission Story and delivering it with confidence before a packed audience. But little did she know she was building her confidence to speak before large audiences. Although sometimes she felt defeated from the constant criticisms and rebuke that were continually being lashed out at her she somehow knew deep within that she would use her writing and public speaking skills to rise to prominence. Finally in 2002 at York University in Toronto Ontario Canada Rebecca decided to become a writer and public speaker after receiving much praise and admiration from professors on the depth of her writing and eloquence and fluency in speaking. She has even co-authored an anthology of the political social and economic life in Haiti published as the Caribbean Writer . I m one of those distinct women who find certain strength in boldness. The personal power within me has helped me define success my way. I don t follow the crowd. However I always admired Christian Amanpour a female journalist but more and more I find myself gravitating to Sarah Palin. Regardless of the legacy that Sarah Palin will write on the slate of history I think she will always be regarded as a fearless woman who stood up for herself and that in itself is a great inspiration for me. She also found her voice through writing. In striving to be the voice of the voiceless and bringing attention to issues that are overlooked or underrepresented Rebecca has become the tireless advocate for women s rights globally. By taking the role of keynote speaker at women s conferences and summits she s able to raise awareness of the marginalization problems that women are facing globally and implement ways to raise awareness of these problems. I think the most professional challenge is being looked upon as an outsider. Maybe if I was perceived otherwise I wouldn t have been so persistent in my efforts to get my message to a wider spectrum. Women have always been on the side of the less valued and that really stirred the challenge within me to seek solutions. And in the process I found out that it was not a singular thing. These were the actions that contributed to my success. Rebecca grew up in a family of nine children as the middle child. I had to fight to break loose to define who I was and which direction I wanted to take. People refer to me as a force of nature but I had to work very hard to achieve this power. I believe that personal power is harder to achieve because you have to believe in yourself. It s hard to protect your personal power from others because people always think you have a chip on your shoulder or you have a bigger than life attitude. But I don t think I have to play it safe with anyone where excellence is concerned. I make my own rules and play my own games. And in the end I m the winner because I always play to win. In her free time Rebecca volunteers for a literacy program at a women s ministry and serves as a minister to the elderly in a nursing home. She also enjoys reading fishing and yoga. She has one daughter Chrissy Theodore who is currently finishing her degree in public policy and governance at Ryerson University in Toronto Ontario Canada. Chrissy is my world and the wind beneath my wings. Rebecca wants to be remembered as someone who ran the race and won. She fought the good fight and gracefully reached the finished line. I believe that the task of professional writer public speaker and journalist provides a wonderful opportunity to interact with ethnic and diverse audiences from all walks of life. The world is full of people who have a good story to tell hence why she aspired to be the best at telling her story. While the thirst for leadership literary cohesiveness and the love of challenging difficult tasks keeps her firmly glued to her career Rebecca loves the task of diffusing problems through writing opinion editorial pieces for numerous publications. As long as the world turns and there are trending topics of interest I ll continue to write and speak. Although she has to find her own market and negotiate her own fee as an independent journalist professional writer and public speaker Rebecca chooses who she wants to work for and what she wants to write about. However writing on trending topics on national security politics and human rights gives leading publications an edge in publicity as they all capitalize on her publicity with a large readership.She is the author of the book Escape Artiste . Rebecca is also an articulate pro-Israel activist and has held notable debates on Israel s right to exist in the Middle East. 22 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Does the business of journalism synthesize or aggregate information A The world leaders in news are making too much noise on a single topic. They get the audience distracted instead of registering interest. It would be better if they stop turning the media into a circus. The only reward for some viewers is to become copy cats to what they have seen and heard. Q What does the business of journalism need to stop doing A We are living in a post-industrialized age and public service journalism is open to investigation by all and anyone. They need to tell the truth because people make up their own stories and mask it as truth. Q What does public speaking mean to me A Public speaking gives a fierce purpose and builds my confidence and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Q What story are you most proud of writing about A I am most proud of writing about the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Q What qualities should writers share with the world A Words are a writer s most cherished asset and they should know how to use them. Q How would you describe yourself as a writer A Writing helps me express my feelings. As a writer I love writing about my feelings curiosity and all of the questions in my mind. Even though all of my questions are not answered writing helps me calm myself and make me a satisfied and complete person. Q What are the most important things that writing and public speaking have taught me A Writing and public speaking help me see the world in a new way. There are always new discoveries. Q What advice would you give to aspiring writers A You must always learn to exercise your conscience. Q Who is your favorite writer A George Elliot. Q Why do journalists feel that it is important to ask tough questions A Journalists are like servers. They wait on the audience. The audience on the other hand wants to be informed. They must grill the interviewees for their own answers. Q Why do journalists like to repeat the whole story in the middle of an interview A It helps find the truth. Maybe you can ask me to repeat my story again. 23 Women of Distinction Corrine Russell Donley EdD Special Education Early Childhood Assistant Professor Emerita University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 24 Oshkosh WI Women of Distinction C orrine Russell Donley EdD who is best known for her very rewarding career as a qualified applied behavior analyst and educator with expertise in the education of caretakers for infants toddlers youth and adults with developmental disabilities and or emotional disturbance retired from her teaching profession in 2002 with the Department of Special Education University of WisconsinOshkosh while also upholding her own private practice as behavioral consultant for nearly 18 years. Working in her latest role as the university s coordinator of assessment the University called upon Corrine to facilitate the development of the assessment of student learning with the deans and chairs of all the departments under the direction of the vice-chancellor. Corrine had the ability to utilize the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) a relatively new area of research and practice that is misunderstood by many because they find it difficult to accept. Despite those misconceived perceptions Corrine found it very effective in implementing the assessment program. Corrine s educational contributions over the years have included everything from regular to special education classroom instruction to parenting education higher education educational leadership and finally therapeutic instruction in homes schools workshops and group homes. During her undergraduate studies at Ohio State University Corrine traveled to the state of Maine to work as a nurses aide in the state institution with the American Friends Service Committee over a summer. She was chosen to help build a stone bamboo and handcrafted tile building with the World Council of Churches for five weeks in Greece the following summer. Most of her clients toward the end of her career were violent adults with autism or cognitive deficits that were successfully transferred from institutions to community settings with the modern educational approach in treatments called ABA. Moderating the speed of change is the lesson she still must learn however because change that is instituted too quickly will unfortunately not be effective. This she says is a valuable lesson for any behavior analyst. For all those that follow her lead in the study of ABA she believes in the importance of undergraduates not waiting too long after receiving their degree to pursue their master s degree in ABA. A professional background in psychology education business administration animal training social services or human services are all examples of the many areas that are applicable to this discipline. According to Corrine ABA is related to all areas of life and the number of behavior analysts is growing. When Corrine first entered into her teaching career in 1961 she taught children with cognitive disabilities at what was then called The Little Carpenter School which was located in Point Pleasant New Jersey. It was one of the first public school classes for trainable children in the United States because New Jersey legislature had the foresight to pass a law that every child regardless of disability was to attend a public school Corrine said about the state law at that time. Sophisticated positive developments in the field of special education have challenged me for over 50 years and have motivated me to remain in teaching. In 1960 those of us who had studied the few instructional courses available really had few clues as to what methods were effective. Our students were guinea pigs their progress and my frustration often showed it. ABA is governed by the scientific approach and the volume of research produced and published yearly concerning the behavior of all organisms especially children s education has been monumental Corrine explained. Spreading this methodology and encouraging the study of ABA is my lifetime goal. Unfortunately Corrine s work in ABA ended abruptly when she was forced to retire following emergency surgery to repair a dissected aorta. But her hope is that this area of study will continue to live through others with the same amount of passion and zest she has for the practice. Although she admits she has found that people in general do not appreciate change even when the product is successful. Corrine began her career in the Point Pleasant school systems followed by 22 years teaching in the Howell Township New Jersey Public Schools. She then worked as a supervisor for a short time at Margaret Chapman School in Yonkers New York while pursuing her doctorate in ABA at Teacher s College at Columbia University in New York City. Accepting her first position in higher education as an assistant professor of special education at Georgian Court College in Lakewood New Jersey Corrine remained in this role for two years. She then took on the role of behavior analyst parent trainer for children with disabilities at Fred S. Keller Preschool in Yonkers New York. Finally in 1992 Corrine began working for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Beginning as an assistant professor for the Department of Special Education she then became a lecturer for the university before entering into her final role as university coordinator of assessment until retirement. Throughout her career Corrine has published numerous papers in educational journals including the The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 25 Women of Distinction Initiating the formation of the Wisconsin Association for Behavior Analysis (WisABA) a chapter of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in 2002 Corrine is proud of the manner in which younger behavior analysts have carried the tradition and successful work to grow the practice within the state. WisABA membership has multiplied meetings are held in various areas in the large state of Wisconsin their yearly conference is well attended and Board Certified Behavior Analysts become licensed regularly as a result. In addition the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee supports the graduate discipline through the Corrine Russell Donley Fellowship for Behavior Analysis. Corrine is also actively involved with other organizations that have supported her in both her teaching and consulting career as well as networking endeavors. These include membership with the National Association of Distinguished Professionals National Association of Professional Women as well as Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Women s Honorary Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity Mortarboard Senior Women s Honorary Council for Exception Children and Kappa Delta Pi and was designated as a Keller Fellow at Teachers College of Columbia University. She has also been recognized by Who s Who in American Women Continental Who s Who and Cambridge Who s Who and was the recipient of a Teacher of the Year Award by The Arc of Monmouth County in 1981-82. Graduating in 1958 with a Bachelor s Degree in Music from Ohio State University Corrine followed up man years later with a Master s Degree in Music Education with a minor in Special Education from Trenton State College in 1981. Continuing in her education she earned herself a second Master s Degree in Special Education in 1989 followed by an EdD in Behavior Analysis with a minor in Special Education in 1990 both of which were received at Teachers College of Columbia University. Now residing in Ohio with her daughter and her family ever since the surgery Corrine reflects back on the many wonderful years that she lived in Oshkosh. One of her favorite and most memorable experiences was when she restored her Victorian home there. It was a very personally rewarding time in her life. As an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Oshkosh church is a big part of Corrine s life now. She has studied piano choral directing voice and violin all at different points in her life and she has a great interest in music mostly classical. Previously married for 32 years Corrine has four children nine grandsons and one granddaughter as well as four great-grandchildren. Having spent her married years in New Jersey followed by more than 20 years in Wisconsin it is good to be back in Ohio again enjoying her days with her daughter and extended family. My goal in my later years has been to cultivate positive generous close relationships with as many family members colleagues and friends as possible because I believe those connections are the most important aspects of life Corrine said reflecting back on life s many blessings. Rather than collecting objects now I seem to be giving away the artifacts and things I love to people I care about or those who really need them. 26 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) A A system for the improvement of behavior that focuses on observable measurable socially significant behaviors studied with objective scientific procedures. Q What does scientific mean A In science the results of experimentation can be used to predict behavior under the same circumstances because the experimenter uses objective observation and seeks the simplest explanation for the behavior. Q What is the difference between typical education and ABA A Behavior Analyst Teachers do not expect that their hunches or that other s tales of effective instruction will necessarily produce learning. They test their ideas by manipulating the variables and measuring their students responses over time. Q Why haven t we heard of this kind of education before A The science is relatively new people are resistant to change the implementation requires work the number of teachers using the technology is still small and some people feel that only children with disabilities are those that need special education. Q Why do teachers who use ABA talk about behaviors instead of subjects or grades A Learning a new academic skill is the improvement of a behavior that the child did not perform well before or he did not know before. Q Are there other professionals who use this technology A The field of professionals studying and using the discipline is growing quickly social work sports instruction parent training business management animal training and psychology among others. Q Why is this system important to the future of the world A I feel that this field will stimulate faster more creative learning for all children with various abilities who will then solve many of the earth s dilemmas. Effective education is a major need in much of the world especially in the US. Q What types of technology are used in ABA A Research constantly requires the newest technologies for measuring behaviors. Prior to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI s) people could not measure brain waves. Now we can see the effects of the environment on the brain we can measure the effects of instruction on it. This is important for treating autism. Q If I wanted to get help from a behavior analyst where would I look A The Association for Behavior Analysis International website (www.ABAI.com) is a power house of information. I would suggest that you contact a behavior analyst first who would be listed in your state on the website. Q If I wanted to be a behavior analyst where would I inquire A A link to these A-accredited programs and other information about certification are on the website Ohio State University City University New York Teachers College Columbia University University of Cincinnati University of Kansas University of Nevada Reno West Virginia University Western Michigan University CSU Los Angeles FSU Panama City Florida Tech Simmons College Southern Illinois University St Cloud State University of Houston Clear Lake University of Maryland Baltimore County University of North Texas University of South Florida Jacksonville State University McNeese State University Western New England University University of Wisconsin Milwaukee University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Caldwell University UNMC and OAUCAS. Corrine credits her colleagues Cooper J. O. Heron T. E. Heward W. L. (1987). Applied Behavior Analysis. Columbus Merrill for the answers to these questions however they re not quotes.) 27 Women of Distinction Sandra Sandy L. (Hill) Marshall Oil & Gas (Energy) Officer and Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors Tanager Energy Inc. 28 Calgary Alberta Canada Women of Distinction I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me . Philippians 4 13 Sandra Sandy L. (Hill) Marshall is the Officer and Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors at Tanager Energy in Calgary Alberta Canada. She focuses on providing the Board of Directors with ethical company practices effective shareholder communication timely disclosure and strong board administration. Sandy gives very high attention to professional detail with her extensive expertise in the energy field as well as her outstanding leadership abilities thus increasing focus on good company practices effective shareholder communications efficiency dedication new business development operations management timely disclosure and effective board administration as well as improving corporate communications with both registered and beneficial owners. This also entails the following processes Actively representing member interests to government stock exchanges and regulators. Streamlining and standardizing industry requirements. Identifying and implementing cost reductions and operation efficiencies. Facilitating discussion and communication among its members. As an accomplished executive in the oil and gas energy industry with well over two decades of diverse professional experience Sandy considers herself blessed to have the opportunity to come to work every day to a job that she loves and allows her entrepreneurial spirit to be practiced. She routinely demonstrates the excitement passion vision goal orientation dedication and diligence necessary for the Board of Directors to reach their potential. As a result she has earned recognition in the prestigious network of prominent professionals. Sandy has also earned numerous other awards and distinctions over the years. However she considers her most important accolade to be that she is a person of integrity before God. At times God will be the only witness to my righteous behavior. Sometimes God is the only one who understands my motives. Sometimes I will do all I know God has asked me to do only to face ridicule from others. At such times all I can do is maintain my integrity trusting that God always keeps His eyes on me. God looks favorably upon those who walk with integrity doing what they know is right regardless of how others perceive their actions. Your vindication should not be in the eyes of others. It should be in the knowledge that God keeps you in His sight. If you have this confidence it will be enough to sustain you. 29 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel that your business is relevant in today s world A The oil and gas industry will always be relevant whether it s today or in the future. With collaborative actions and innovations of most of the big oil companies and environmental agencies working together the energy industry has made great strides in decreasing our carbon footprint. The energy industry is very concerned about greenhouse gas emissions land and water and will continue to place these as priority areas. The regulatory agencies (AER) are also on board and regulating what is being done in all areas of the industry making sure that it is living up to the standards that are set before them. One of the companies actively engaged in the environmental protection of the oil and gas industry is COSIA (Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance). COSIA is an alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating the pace of improvement in environmental performance in Canada s oil sands through collaborative actions and innovations. COSIA is comprised of 14 members who represent almost 90% of the oil sands production in Canada. They share experience and intellectual property with other member companies. Through the sharing of innovation and application of these technologies members accelerate the pace of environmental performance improvement. (http www.cosia.ca about-cosia members) Oil companies whether national or international are the central driving force in the oil industry right across the supply chain from exploration and production through processing and transportation all the way to marketing sales and distribution. Strong partnerships between the public and private sector are to be encouraged especially given the challenges that the oil industry is facing. Oil companies must continually seek to develop new technologies (for example) to enhance recovery from mature oil fields as well as look to the oil sands in Northern Alberta. The energy industry is currently facing a challenge with raising costs and the retirement of its workers. Everyone is well aware of the rising cost of oil and gas. With the gas and oil prices in North America we have to find other avenues where we can become more self-sufficient rather than being so dependent on OPEC. We do have the means to accomplish this. There will always be a continual demand for oil and the cost bbl (cost per barrel) is only going to rise. The environmentalists and the oil industry are facing challenges but with each working together the industry can become stronger and more acceptable to both sides. We have a great responsibility to our children and future generations to make this work. Q What do you do to stay on top of the latest developments that are coming your way A I am continually researching and reading all the business magazines I have subscribed to along with articles on the Internet to keep the company abreast of what they should be aware of. I review articles put out by law firms for the latest security issues that pertain to the energy industry. Q What policies or practices have you put in place for your Board to follow A I ve put in place the following policies and practices Code of business ethics which is given to each employee to read and sign Whistleblower policy Onboarding and offboarding policy Keeping the Board abreast of cybersecurity issues and the evolving role of the Board Strategy and risk assessment Implementing Board evaluations twice a year Brought forth a gender diversity policy within the workplace The Board s role in emerging risks Corporate responsibility strategy The Company s enhanced corporate governance rules Shareholder feedback Latest in finance rules and regulations Director and officer liability insurance Q How do you make sure that everyone s computers have the latest software on them to prevent cybersecurity A I arrange with our IT group to not only thoroughly check everyone s computers at the office but to also go to their homes and make sure that their security is up to date and that they have the latest security software. Q How do you keep your Board informed of the latest securities information A I attend all courses offered by the CSCS TSX IIROC NCAD SCCE and as many webinars as possible that are pertinent in enabling the Board to succeed and stay up on the latest events. 30 Women of Distinction Q Company Survival 101 by Daniel Burns What is he stating that companies need to do and how does this apply for your company A According to Daniel Today it is all about transformation. This means you can t go backwards and you can t stand still. You can t rest on your laurels and you can t keep doing what you ve always done even if you do your best to keep doing it better. The only way for a company to survive let alone thrive is to continuously reinvent and redefine itself. As an oil and gas company we continually have to redefine what we re doing especially when we re out in the field working on a well. You definitely can t stand still or rest on your laurels. You are forever trying new techniques. There s always a service company out there who has come up with a new procedure that you can try. (I would suggest that if you have the time read Company Survival 101 You Must Continually Reinvent and Redefine .) Q Board composition executive pay and corporate strategy are among the issues directors will face in 2015. How do you propose to handle this A Mark Rogers CEO of online boardroom community BoardProspects.com states Increasingly companies are realizing that although they may have a very talented group of directors around the boardroom table they may not necessarily be the right directors to confront the growing challenges in a global economy. What Mark says is true which is why it s important that you evaluate your Board members and give each a Board evaluation process questionnaire to complete on a regular basis after which they all sit down and review where their strengths and weaknesses lie. This enables the Board to focus on the areas where there needs to be change. The directors have to be willing to listen to change and want what s best for the company. If that means stepping down to allow someone with fresh ideas to come aboard then they have to be willing to do so. Q Does your company have a succession plan in place A In his book Succession Planning Reasons Why Companies Often Fail written by Noel Trichy a professor at the University of Michigan and long-time researcher on succession Trichy discusses the importance of continuity of leadership and developing a pipeline of future leaders who are willing and able to take up leadership positions within an organization. He suggests that it s important to have a pipeline already established that s agreeable to everyone involved. The succession plan must be tailored to fit the needs of the company. If your company hasn t thought about having a plan in place then it should. One never knows what may happen and your company could be left with no one at the helm to lead it. Q In the latest issue of Financier Magazine they state In these litigious days a thorough awareness of the risk and liability issues faced by directors & officers (D&Os) is a prerequisite for businesses intent on surviving the considerable pitfalls that exist within the corporate world. As a direct result of the 2008 global financial crisis the risks faced by D&Os have grown exponentially and new exposures arising from compliance discrimination tax bribery and antitrust rules have taken root amid the fiduciary responsibilities board members have to investors and company constituents. How is your company dealing with these issues A Tanager Energy Inc. has taken steps to increase its D&Os awareness of their responsibilities to their investors. Tanager is paying strict attention to ensure that each Board member is made aware of their responsibilities and that they are being followed. This is being done by a continual assessment of what is required of each director and making sure that none of the aforementioned situations arise within the company. Q Where do you see compliance and ethics in your company A Compliance and ethics are especially critical for oil and gas companies such as Tanager Energy Inc. Over the last three years Tanager has completed several acquisitions each one demanding extensive due diligence to ensure there are no outstanding or pending lawsuits or other issues that may have adverse impact on the company in the future. That in itself is a formidable task for a company s compliance department. Rigorous compliance starts with Tanager s Board of Directors which are extremely supportive of the compliance program. The CEO and President John E. Squarek always tells people to do the right thing a message that s disseminated throughout the organization. The most important aspect in compliance is the culture of the company and that people take it seriously. That culture is evident in the Company s Code of Conduct entitled We Are Responsible which lists three core values (integrity respect and responsibility) and emphasizes open communication among employees and recognition of individual contributions as well as treating the company s reputation as each consultant s employee s own. The President s business update and newsletter on our website is another example of Tanager s culture of compliance. It reminds consultants employees of their individual and collective responsibility for compliance. 31 Women of Distinction Barbara Bates Sedoric Estate and Legacy Planning Internet business that applies to Estate Planning Financial Planning Hospice and Palliative Care Senior Living and Retirement Communities President and Founder of LastingMatters 32 New Castle NH Women of Distinction W e need to ensure that our next of kin are prepared and understand what we want should we become incapacitated or die. These arrangements can and should go beyond legal documents like wills estate plans and medical directives. They should include instructions about belongings social media family traditions and other issues of importance. I d like to change the way we have conversations about and plan for what happens in a practical and pragmatic way. It doesn t need to be morbid or morose. Making such a plan now is an easy and profound gift to those who care about you and can help minimize conflict and upset during a time of tremendous emotion. My legacy is helping your loved ones find what will matter most when it is needed most. Barbara Bates Sedoric is the President and Founder of LastingMatters and Author of The LastingMatters Organizer launched in May 2014. (http www.LastingMatters.com) Barbara is responsible for all daily business operations and transactions speaking engagements bookkeeping accounting an active blog and future business development. Her strong organizational skills and acute attention to details combined with her passion for helping any adult plan ahead has allowed Barbara to successfully gain widespread media attention and garnered interest from many industries including financial legal healthcare and senior care and living services and corporations. Her training and experience as a paralegal and the personal experience from her mother s sudden death in 2006 inspired Barbara to help others plan for the inevitable in a practical and pragmatic way. (More on this in the Q & A section.) Barbara is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Connecticut College and currently lives in Rye New Hampshire with her family. Deliberately preparing for the end of life (or an incapacitation) is one of the kindest things you can do for your family your friends and yourself. While having a conversation about these events may be difficult actually making the plan doesn t need to be. Planning ahead is the greatest gift a person can give and receive when it matters most. It is with these ideas in mind that Barbara created The LastingMatters Organizer which helps individuals at any age comprehensively communicate and document their wishes. Barbara launched LastingMatters and The LastingMatters Organizer in May 2014 after three years of extensive research hundreds of interviews and a lengthy writing and design process. For more information please visit http www. LastingMatters.com. Barbara comes from four generations of financial advisors and is married to a nationally recognized wealth manager Thomas Sedoric. (http www.thesedoricgroup.com) I m inspired by observing first-hand the hard work dedication and long term care that Tom has provided his clients in the past three decades of serving them as they plan for all of life s transitions. I ve witnessed his compassion for and deep relationship and understanding of his clients and their families. I m also inspired by my father Bruce Bates (84) who along with Tom has helped hundreds of families as a wealth manager. Both motivated me to combine my experience as an estates and trusts paralegal with my organizational and planning skills to create a comprehensive guide and resource to help any adult at any age plan for the inevitable. My story is compelling and I ve created a comprehensive solution for a significant problem (the lack of information) that s unique and beneficial to all adults. She got to where she is now when her career as an Estates and Trusts Paralegal at the Boston law firm of Foley Hoag & Eliot ended after seven years when she had her first child. Subsequently she remarried (celebrating 22 years in October) and had her youngest child at age 40. Barbara remained involved in the legal field as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) representing children in abuse cases. Q&A Q Tell us about LastingMatters and why it was started. A I launched LastingMatters to help people communicate their personal wishes and plans should they become incapacitated or die. Trained as an estates and trusts paralegal I was inspired to act following the sudden death of my mother. We were unprepared for her death. I founded LastingMatters to help provide an easier more personal and practical way to help anyone tackle communicating about this inherently difficult and often avoided topic. The Organizer was designed to help anyone at any age reduce the costs time stress and the family pressure associated with the incapacitation or death of a loved one. Q Why do we need The LastingMatters Organizer A Death is inevitable and incapacitation is possible. Regardless these are difficult subjects to discuss or address in any straightforward manner. We live longer than we ve ever lived before but typically remain stuck avoiding these topics and certainly don t plan for them as we should. The LastingMatters Organizer is designed to take the complexity out of planning and documenting personal information and wishes about everything ranging from family heirlooms and traditions to your social media profiles and photos. Completing the Organizer will greatly reduce the costs guesswork and stress your loved ones will experience with these life-altering events. Q What are some websites that list LastingMatters as a resource A Some of these websites include National Healthcare Decisions Day - www.nhdd.org The Conversation Project (Landing Page) - www. TheConversationProject.org Life Matters Media - www.lifemattersmedia.org Maria Shriver http www.mariashriver.com Home Instead Senior Care - www.HomeInstead.com A Place for Mom - www.aplaceformom.com Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket Foundation www.pascon.org Q What kind of feedback have you received since your launch in May 2014 A The feedback has been amazing. We were named a mustread book by New Hampshire Public Radio last summer and public response overall has been very positive. Very impressive Comprehensive Brilliant. You beat me to it Read the In the News and Read the Reviews section of my website for more. Financial advisors and estate planners are using the Organizer to deepen their relationships with multigenerational clients. Boomers and their aging parents use the Organizer as a guide and resource for engaging in conversations and planning about the issues that lay ahead. This is a tool that facilitates one of the most meaningful conversations people could ever have. Keith Sabella a 55-year-old college professor and father of two initially thought his wife was being morbid when she came home with The LastingMatters Organizer . But we walked through the process together and there were so many things we hadn t talked about that needed discussion he said. I can t believe how much I found out about her life and what she wants and doesn t want. What a surprise that talking about these things could make us feel much more alive Q Who is The LastingMatters Organizer designed for A The LastingMatters Organizer was developed for all adults. Whether 30 or 80 you are the person the Organizer was designed for. An easy-to-use resource the Organizer is also designed for your adult children your spouse parents clients and employees and can be a gift that provides true peace of mind. It is a place to consider document and store information that ll be incredibly useful for your loved ones should you die or become incapacitated. Q Tell us about two of your A-HA moments. A (1) When Maria Shriver introduced me as an Architect of Change on her website http mariashriver.com architects page 2 (2) When I officially launched my company and The LastingMatters Organizer at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter NH speaking in public to a crowd for the very first time about why LastingMatters actually matters. I recognized the power of my story and the value of the product was the result of my passion to help others avoid the chaos that erupts after the death of a loved one. Q What are some articles we should read about you and LastingMatters A Learn more about Barbara Bates Sedoric and LastingMatters here Maria Shriver Why Even Healthy People Should Keep Their Affairs in Order New Hampshire Public Radio Must Read Book Summer 2014 Maria Shriver Losing My Mother Inspired Me to Help Others New Hampshire Public Radio The Death Show Fox News Connecticut Helping Families Cope With Death and Loss Q What words of inspiration can you give for the future A Any age is the right age to make sure your wishes are known to those who care about you most. Carpe diem The LastingMatters Organizer is a priceless gift for those you love and those you will leave behind. It is where loved ones will find what matters most. ntact 34 Women of Distinction Carol E. Parrish Harra Religious Congregation Bishop of Chapel of Christ Sophia Tahlequah OK 35 Women of Distinction C arol E. Parrish Harra is the Bishop of Chapel of Christ Sophia. She has 44 years of experience and has served as Academic Dean on the staff of Sancta Sophia Seminary for 30 years and ordained many. Carol now serves in a small chapel teaching four six-week classes a year and presents workshops in various cities throughout the U.S. She s also had the pleasure for years of taking students on tours to one to three countries a year to study various world religions. To apply our spirituality is most necessary religion is responsible for numerous hatreds and wars because each person thinks their way is the right way. Each person should spend time writing their own Ten Commandments. Carol also lives by these simple truths ethical principles that create a peaceful life. One learns to walk by walking you learn to love by loving. We are taught we can love only one person at a time. This isn t true we know we already love more than one at most any time we love many. Healing is a state of balance harmony rest and creativity. Healing happens as we prepare this desired state of harmony within ourselves and our environment. Behind emotions lay feelings. Calm the emotions and you ll discover how you truly feel. Behind intellectualizing lie your true thoughts. Each day look for your challenge your blessing and a chance to do service (help another). We are to see the other as a reflection of ourselves and are challenged by the thoughts and feelings of others to discover ourselves. The feminine in each is loving nourishing gentle and the protector. The masculine in each is wise bold willful and the defender. Both are needed to be in balance. We are especially designed to build a higher consciousness in all areas of our lives. The world needs the contributions of wise ones for the world to be abundantly healthy. It takes time to learn all children are our children all parents are our parents. I had the opportunity to help in developing a small campus in the foothills of the Ozarks where we average 700 visitors students or seekers a year to be introduced to the concept of the Interfaith Christian Approach. I particularly enjoy working in small groups of sincere questers. Her journey began in 1958 when a near death experience prompted her desire to serve in some kind of spiritual approach. Since my family was Roman Catholic becoming a priest was out of the question at that time. I had a business background working for a bank and an estate planning company but that wasn t what I desired. So at age 30 I prepared to become a protestant minister. And in 1971 at age 36 Carol was ordained and entered the ministry. It was the right step at the right time. Much of Carol s earlier work was in the area of Death and Dying and she had a chance to meet Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Raymond Moody and Kenneth Ring. I was one of the early members of International Academy of Near Death Studies. Since that time I ve trained others in dealing with experiences of the light hospice served as Chaplains at two hospitals and introduced many to the topic of Death and Dying Studies. My career is one of assisting others in their time of need and this manifests in dozens of ways. Carol believes that sincerity of purpose must lead the way for those who seek to serve humanity. This type of statement must be taken truthfully not just as a line of type. I don t take on a cause or a project if I don t feel I can give it my all. I belief whatever our beliefs we are to be a living example. Additionally she believes that there can be no peace in the world until we learn to communicate our feelings and respect our neighbors. 36 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel that your business is relevant in today s world A Our society is becoming more socially concerned and dependent on modern technology. As this happens we re causing more individuals to drop through the cracks for many unresolved issues poverty lack of education gender issues etc. An aid to resolving many of these issues would be to better train this group that has so many needs. As wealthy as our society has become we should strive to provide a more efficient usage of technology. Technology could solve a number of major ills that our society with an increasing number of dysfunctional individuals needs to resolve. Q All classes of humanity are suffering immensely these days. We don t know how to bring healing to the fears anger blaming and alienation that permeates human lives in all these areas. How can the right use of technology assist us A Technology requires several components that don t exist in the disenfranchised community. It takes effort interest hope and freedom from suffering to engage the lost . (The term lost is used in the church world as non-religious or non-spiritual.) The lost are really the walking dead those awaiting today s fate which will only bring greater suffering. Hope is an ideology within the survival consciousness that inspires one to believe a situation can improve. Many of the poorest individuals do not have hope. Q What part can technology play in freeing ones from suffering in this disenfranchised segment while they are bombarded with distorted rumors or false truths of others equally confused individuals and a distrust of one s own judgment A These are lost to the bulk of society and so are their energy intelligence and personal creativity. This group hides their abilities from the system of our society so it suffers as well society in general therefore suffers loss. We must first admit we have a poor caste in our society or we cannot integrate them. Material goals are distorted because these without much education and little training don t pursue long range goals. Feeling excluded and inferior these don t have much access to technology because it requires some stability to acquire equipment and to pursue training planning etc. We must find tools for help them gain stability. Q How did you get drawn into the grief ministry A Having experienced a near death experience at age 24 and it being exceptionally beautiful and profound I naturally reached out to those fearful of death or caught up in grief and agony. I responded by trying to lessen their pain. My own experience of a presence of love exposed me to a dimension on life I didn t know before. I wanted to share this peace and freedom from fear with others who seemed trapped in their own pain. Ministry provided me the way. Q Welfare efforts are beginnings without the use of much technology. Can we build on the free cell phone plan that has begun and gradually bring other technology into the hands of the poor or others it could assist A The effort that s begun to provide cell phones without or limited charge is a beginning. Even those who are not part of this group are watching. The providers have admitted the need exists although often politicized. The free television set might be next local TV stations could reach others. Information dilutes rumors fears untruths and suspicions of authority. Fear of authorities runs high in this group due to bad experiences or rumors of such. Likewise with difficult histories many of these people don t trust either the government or their own judgment. Early childhood services remain the most helpful but this will need almost one-to-one nurturing present workers cannot nearly meet the need. We could utilize teenagers who love technology. Why not utilize this young group by forming tech groups similar to Peace Corps who can work with overlooked children and broken families The teenager can earn some money and be used to reach folks that society has difficulty reaching. Young people seek employment and need it for many reasons. They can reach the disenfranchised more easily. They can be trained to use and show off their cell phones and other devices. They can be used to break through the hopeless of those who are younger and tempted by distrust and alienation. We can pay minimum wage to help them and those they serve. Q Where would the technology come from A Corporations could and would provide technology for nonprofit youth programs such as scouts churches civic organizations led by young adults etc. They could be organized to work under social service organizations. Churches both help and perpetuate the problem at times by requiring people to follow a denominational line. New organizations for youth and young adults would not be as inclined as adults these younger groups are attracted to technology and are still at the age of questioning social norms. Technology allows access to many new thoughts which is needed to awaken freedom and curiosity in those who have rebelled from social norms. Dropouts could be reached more easily by these younger groups and the younger groups used properly would avoid dropping out etc. 37 Women of Distinction Denise A. Johnson Manufacturing Metal Fabrication Conveyor Material Handling President Chief Executive Officer Owner RiteWay Manufacturing Inc. 38 Lester Prairie MN Women of Distinction D enise A. Johnson formed her own business in 2002 RiteWay Bookkeeping and More LLC a spinoff name after her father s successful business RiteWay Mechanical Installations Inc. While running her own bookkeeping business Denise also worked an additional 20 hours per week for her father. Within just one year her dad asked her to consider taking over his manufacturing company someday in the future so that the family business could live on. Giving it much thought and consideration Denise relocated her family from Twin Cities Minnesota to Lester Prairie a distance of approximately 60 miles which turned out the be the best decision she had ever made. Founded in 1999 RiteWay Manufacturing Inc. began as an installer and manufacturer of conveyor systems for the package handling industry. They ve since diversified themselves and are now able to provide a full-range of manufacturing solutions such as engineering assembly welding fabrication and finishing. Through customer value high-quality design and manufacturing RiteWay serves customers in a number of different industries including package handling sorting devices and more. Denise is an active member Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association United States Women s Chamber of Commerce and M.O.V.E. LLC which she holds a special place in her heart for as it is a local school run by Dunwoody that provides quick training in the welding and machining fields. Just this year in May 2015 she earned a Diploma in Business Management through South Central College. Prior to owning her own businesses Denise worked as an office manager for Elite Construction Services Outdoor Environment Inc. and Lorentz Lubricant Inc. Married since July 2005 to her best friend Bruce who owns his own business as a tree service provider they share a blended family with four children. Brenda Judice works at RiteWay as an administrative assistant and has two sons of her own Tyler 5 and Bryce 2. Stephanie Kellner attends the College of St. Benedicts as a freshman pursuing a double major in business management and accounting. She also enjoys working at RiteWay during breaks and summers. Kraig Kellner is in Howard Lake Waverly Winsted High School as a sophomore who works part-time as a laborer part-time for RiteWay. Finally Jamie Johnson Denise s step-son is a successful realtor who works for Pulte Group in Las Vegas Nevada. My dad and I spent 10-12 hours a day together seven days a week for eight years Denise said about the wonderful working relationship she shared with her father. But after a battle with cancer he passed away on October 25 2010. Seven days later the bank came in and wanted to foreclose on his business. On November 23 I filed for Chapter 11 Protection. After two long years and 67 bankers and investors I was able to buy the company in a 363 Auction as my own under STAFF Manufacturing LLC dba RiteWay Manufacturing Inc. STAFF stands for Strength Through America Family & Faith. I love what we do and couldn t image doing anything else. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy was one of the most difficult challenges Denise has ever had to face. On top of losing a parent a boss and a best friend she couldn t image losing the one thing that bonded her father and she together which was the business. But she did it and she is so proud of what she has overcome. A business dominated by males Denise has found a very strong voice and personality within herself who face adversity but has never given up. Her father would have been so very proud of her today as she continues to move the business forward in a positive direction following in the same ethics and values that he cared so much about. As the President CEO and Owner of RiteWay Manufacturing Denise oversees strategic planning sales human resources and much more. Beginning her career with the organization when there were just three employees she has learned through trial and error how to do all of the positions that make the business successful today. She loves employing people and sharing her knowledge with them. She also loves every aspect of what RiteWay represents. Taking a piece of steel and manipulating it into a finished product is simply amazing Denise added about the essence of the business. It amazes me that we provide conveyor systems all over the US that send our packages to customers and that we are capable of providing a special service to FedEx Ground called the Phoenix Program. Faith and character are more important to me than money and material things Denise said putting life into perspective. My number one priority is spending time with my family. What you see is what you get. I love to have fun and be around positive people with a good sense of humor. You can t live life with any regrets because you never know when your time will end. Enjoying nature in her down time Denise finds tranquility in both fishing and hunting. She also enjoys reading especially self-help books to improve herself and the way she does business. Living by the well-known bible verse Philippians 4 13 that says I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength Denise believes that God does not give you more than you can handle and if you lean on Him He will lead you down the path that he has for you. Denise looks forward to many more successful years in the manufacturing and metal fabrication business while she continues to make her father proud and she owes it all to him. 39 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel that your business is significant A We manufacture conveyor systems for the parcel handling world and without our industry you would not be able to use the internet to order online as there would be no way to deliver the packages. We take pride in knowing that our company helps deliver packages every day to every part of the country. Q What s the most important personal attribute a person needs to succeed in this profession A Drive and Motivation. If you have drive and motivation you can do anything you set out to do and be successful. Q If you had to do it all over again would you choose the same profession and field A Yes. There have been a lot of difficult times over the year and there will continue to be but I wouldn t trade it for the world. I was able to spend a lot of time with my dad and be with him every day and we were good together. We really complimented each other and I plan to continue his legacy. Q Who is the most influential person in your life professionally A I would have to say both my dad and my husband. They both have brought out the best in me. They helped me see that I could do anything that I wanted to and they both supported me through all of it. Q How did you come up with the name RiteWay Manufacturing Inc. A My dad did a lot of installations and building and he was tired of people doing everything the wrong way hence RiteWay . Q Did your father s business ethics rub off on you A Very much so. My father was an amazing business owner. He had so much integrity and cared so much about his employees customers and vendors which is so important. He never took distributions from the company he put every penny that he made right back into the business to make it a better place. He was the most honest man I ever knew and people had a lot of respect for him. I try my absolute best to honor both his name and the reputation he built in RiteWay. Q Any words of wisdom when it comes to owning your own business A It s not easy and when things get hard you need to keep your faith and push through. Q An advice from one boss to another A When you are seen as a boss most people tend to overlook that you are also a normal person. It s important that my employees also get to know me outside of work so that they don t miss out on who I am as a person. Q Do you have any down time from work as a business owner If so how do you unwind A Yes and we love going to Mexico. When we are down in the Caribbean nothing but relaxation exists. Q What opinions do you wish you could change about the manufacturing industry A That manufacturing is dirty or that you can t make money in this field. Also the fact that parents push their kids to get a four-year college degree because some kids are not meant to go to college yet they can still provide a good life for themselves and their family by working in the manufacturing business. 40 Women of Distinction Dora Carpenter CPC Personal and Professional Development Coaching and Mentoring Owner The ANIYA Group Life Coaching Center 41 Washington DC Women of Distinction P ursuing grief and life coaching while working in the death care industry for more than a decade Dora Carpenter discovered that there was much more in terms of services that she could offer to others than her job role would allow. Hearing countless stories from families that held unfulfilled hopes and dreams that were being buried in the cemetery Dora was determined to make a change in both career and life. In 2010 with the help of her daughter Christina a Certified Professional Life Coach who works in clinical oncology they launched The ANIYA Group Life Coaching Center. After receiving her professional coaching training from World Coach Institute Dora became licensed to teach Susan Jeffers PhD s Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway in the United States. Susan was Dora s virtual mentor and hero an internationally known bestselling author and motivational speaker who passed away in 2012. Dora also provides regular free grief support events in her local community offering tools tips encouragement and support to those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. She volunteers with Skyler s Gift Foundation to support families who have lost an infant to prematurity and with the Women for Change Coaching Community providing one-on-one coaching to women who are financially challenged and seeking to make positive life changes. Prior to coaching Dora spent several years working in government healthcare private and legal organizations. Forming her first business at the age of 30 CompeTemps By Dora a temporary staffing service her mission was to show that temporary workers were not just temps but competent capable and qualified workers. Closing the business after seven years Dora went on to pursue other goals before ultimately getting into the death care industry. Dora has spent more than 30 years working with individuals to enhance their confidence skillsets and personal and professional development. And while the coaching profession has become better known and accepted today than ever before she continues to educate potential clients on what coaching is really all about what it is and what it isn t and what the value and benefits of coaching are. My passion became my purpose Dora said about her decision to offer more services by forming her own coaching business. When I see individuals finding joy in living and finding purpose in the gift of life when I am able to help individuals work through the painful emotions of loss and ultimately transition from grief to gratitude I know that I am doing what I am called to do. Each of us has an obligation for being here and when we receive confirmation that we are fulfilling that obligation doing so is gratifying. Dora is a Certified Life Coach Certified Grief Coach Certified Consumer s Funeral Consultant Motivational Speaker and Licensed Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway Trainer. Her programs events and trainings are developed to enhance personal and professional development and to empower people to stage their lives from where they are now to where they desire to be challenging them to say Yes to life. Dora s signature coaching program called Decide to Say Yes is a result of those efforts. She has authored eight books four on the topic of grief one dedicated to her mother two that include daily motivational quotes and one that was co-authored by Christina called Staging Your Life. In addition to offering one-on-one sessions Dora is available for speaking engagements including keynotes breakout sessions workshops seminars power lunches and webinar trainings. If you really believe in yourself and your vision let no one or nothing steal your dream Dora said lastly about life and work. Use whatever positive motivation that works for you to stay the course and change courses if you have to but don t quit until you reach the finish line. More importantly value what you do if you don t others won t perceive value in what you offer. Finding great importance in the gift of relaxation Dora takes the necessary time to unwind what she calls mental breaks . Difficult as it is for her at times she says it takes a lot of discipline for her to do. She will often escape to the Caribbean and do absolutely nothing in order to recharge her body and mind. She also visits the spa on occasion and takes walks to feel reenergized. But her biggest escape and what matters most in her life is her family. Her son Carlton II a corporate recruiter and co-owner of a music production company that he shares with his wife Shantrell reside in Alexandria Virginia. Daughter Christina resides in Washington DC with her fiveyear-old daughter Madison. 42 Women of Distinction 43 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Was there a defining moment when you decided to pursue helping others by coaching A Yes. I had suggested to my employer that we offer our families a form of grief support as a community outreach service and was told no. I was reminded that my job was to sell cemetery property. That day I decided to make their no my yes. I pursued grief support training and began offering free grief support at the local library. Q You talk a lot about your family. What role do they play in your success A My family means everything to me. How I define success equates to love and gratitude not material gain or things that might bring temporary gratification. Seeing the smiles sharing the ups and downs strategizing ideas and celebrating accomplishments is what makes me smile sometimes to the point of tears. When we are all together chatting of old times current times and future times I am in moments of ecstasy. What makes my heart sing the loudest with joy is quality times shared with the love of my life my granddaughter a gift from God to me. Q Life coaching is becoming quite popular. How do you handle the competition A One might look at the industry as such however I don t believe in competition. No one does what you do the exact same way that you do it and the clients and opportunities that are attracted to me are the ones that I am supposed to receive. When I started my temporary help service years ago there were 105 other well-known temporary services within a five mile radius. If I had bought into the competition concern I would have never even opened the business. You are uniquely created with a unique gift that no one can duplicate. Never forget that Q You teach Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway . Do you have any fears and if so what are they A That is a great question and I always share my story during these trainings. After closing my first business and experiencing the death of a loved one at the same time I developed severe panic attacks. When learning that I could be housebound and on medication for the rest of my life that fear was greater than the fear of taking the necessary steps although many baby steps to gradually leave the house and eliminate the need for medication. We all have fears and as Susan Jeffers says The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it. Q Was it difficult to publish your first book A It was a learning experience and an exciting adventure. I researched my options read other s stories of successes and challenges decided on the self-publishing route and began writing. I asked myself my favorite coaching question What is the worst that can happen You can do whatever you set your mind to do if you want it bad enough. Q You are always so positive. How do you stay that way A I am human and indeed have my moments of fear self-doubt grief bursts and discouragement at times. I acknowledge and accept them then I give myself a set amount of time to embrace them. When time is up I course correct and keep it moving. No I don t live in a glass bubble or wear rose-colored glasses but I have been considered a Pollyanna (smile). I make a determined effort to practice what I teach. Q Do you have an ultimate goal to accomplish A I do. As a personal and professional development mentoring coach I want to help 1 000 individuals go from pain to peace heartbreak to happiness and grief to gratitude. Then help those 1 000 help another 1 000 thereby positively affecting the lives of over one million people who are saying Yes to the gift of now. Q Do you have a favorite book or author that inspires your work A The book that changed the course of my life is The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. It has laid the foundation for me pursuing employment and business opportunities. Even today I reread this book at least once a year. I have many favorite authors as my bookshelf is filled with positive motivational and inspirational books but my favorite quote is from Napoleon Hill Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve. Q You encourage people to wake up loving life. How do you wake up A I meditate for 15-20 minutes. Then I ask three questions taken from A Course in Miracles. Where would you have me go What would you have me do What would you have me say and to whom Then I go about my day allowing and receiving all that life has to share with me. Q How did you get to be on podcasts radio shows and even television A I am a firm believer that everything in life happens perfectly. I also believe that when you are doing the right thing the right way the universe rewards you. No I don t have a public relations firm or marketing firm (at least not yet) but I am blessed to be asked to appear on these platforms and share information hope encouragement and support. 44 Women of Distinction Janet Truxton Redox Signaling Molecules Advancing Life and Skin Care Associate for ASEA LLC and RENU28 (Powered by ASEA LLC) 45 Salt Lake City UT Women of Distinction J anet Truxton works as an Associate for ASEA and RENU28 (Powered by ASEA LLC) helping people to look and feel their youngest. My experience (testimony) from drinking ASEA My energy level has increased and the hot flashes are gone AGE A LITTLE SLOWER - REASONS TO TRY RENU28 A study by Dermatest one of the leading dermatological research companies in the world concluded the following 21% decrease in eye wrinkle depth 23% improvement in wrinkles overall 22% improvement in facial skin texture 23% improvement in skin s smoothness 20% increase in skin s elasticity 11% increase in skin s moisture In the current times we live in today most people want to look and feel their youngest Someone told me about ASEA for Advancing Life and RENU28 Skin Gel in June 2014 and what great products they are. I ve been using them ever since and just love them The liquid version of ASEA which boosts the body s ability to protect heal and repair itself works from the inside while RENU28 works from the outside in to combat the effects of aging and healing skin problems. Both products are chemical-free using Redox Signaling Molecules the same molecules that exist in all human cells. And cellulite trial results show that in only six weeks you could see Over 16.5% increase in elasticity Over 12% decrease in fat (adipose) lobule length Over 10.5% decrease in fat (adipose) lobule width I only sell products that I use and believe in. You ll also experience the following increased skin flow benefits Healthy and radiant skin Even complexion Relief from dry skin Clears up acne Faster wound healing Stretch mark reduction My experience (testimony) from using RENU28 At 60 years old it has really improved my skin to look younger it s wonderful for all skin problems Janet s mentor Anita has been her greatest professional inspiration. Anita is 64 but looks and feels like she s 40 ASEA and RENU28 have changed her life as well as the many people she s shared it with. Thank you and have a great day - Janet Truxton 9 REASONS TO TRY ASEA 1. First and only source of Redox signaling reactive molecules outside the body. 2. Supports the vital activity of cellular communication. 3. Promotes enhanced immune function. 4. Protects against free radical damage. 5. Boosts production of the body s own antioxidants by up to 500%. 6. Provides superior support to athletes. 7. Supported by research and clinical results. 8. Enjoys the highest quality production standards. 9. Proven to be completely safe for anyone to use. 46 Women of Distinction Before After 47 Women of Distinction Lauren Ellis Education - Admissions and Teaching Assistant Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment at Middlesex Community College Adjunct Faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies at Middlesex Community College 48 Lowell MA Women of Distinction L auren Ellis is the Assistant Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment and Adjunct Faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies courses at Middlesex Community College (MCC). She represents the college at recruiting events including but not limited to college fairs high school visits working with community-based organizations panel discussions on the spot admission events and open houses. She also provides advising to current and potential students to help identify their skills interests and aptitudes in relation to a program that would best fit their educational goals. Additionally Lauren is responsible for the Academy of Health Professions (accelerated certificate programs in the areas of Nurse Assistant Medical Reception Phlebotomy Medical Office Administration and Clinical Laboratory Technology) and recruits for the Medical Assisting and Medical Laboratory Technology Degree programs. The Academy provides skills training and academic coursework for someone looking to get into the health field and gain employment. Lauren began her career in Education specifically Residential Life & Housing in 1999 as Assistant Residence Director at Northeastern University and later at Bentley College (now University. She isn t working in education for a good salary or a flashy title. I work in education because I love what I do and I love to make a difference. More importantly I m able to assist students in developing an educational plan that includes course and degree completion dates. I was drawn to this position due to my experience as a Resident Assistant (RA) during my undergraduate years at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea Ohio. I helped foster a communal environment in the residence halls with a staff of RAs providing programming and engagement opportunities to students in-hall and campus wide. My role encompassed acting as an administrative hearing officer counselor and on-call administrator for crisis or emergency situations and the overall operational management of the building(s) I was responsible for. At the time I didn t realize I would be creating a path to my own success in higher education. 49 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What are the benefits of attending Middlesex Community College (MCC) A Community colleges provide a way for students to earn or finish a degree or certificate that can be transferred to a bachelor s degree or upgrade their skills and achieve their academic goals. A full associate degree will cost students an average of 12 000 which doesn t account for potential financial aid or scholarships awarded. MCC is an affordable way to receive a great education. Often times when I meet one on one with prospective students they re surprised by all the different opportunities they re afforded as students at MCC. For example we have a strong Commonwealth Honors program where students are able to challenge themselves in honors level coursework with a strong emphasis on critical thinking and independent research. More importantly students are able to attend conferences and gain access to scholarships. Additionally MCC is very committed to providing students with opportunities to participate in study abroad fellowships that allow students to gain different perspectives and learn about another country s culture and history. Students have traveled to places like Peru China Belize Russia and Spain. Q What does MCC do to help ease the transition for new students entering the college A First the Admissions team meets with new students one on one to give them all the knowledge they need to get started at the college. The meetings typically cover admission criteria placement testing preparation reviewing academic programs of interest and connecting students with financial aid resources. Second to ensure students persist each semester they re connected to a range of resources from academic career and transfer counseling to academic support and tutoring personal counseling and disability support services. Lastly but certainly not least we have a First Year Experience program designed for first year students that offer a variety of one credit interdisciplinary studies courses. As an Adjunct Faculty member I teach two of the interdisciplinary studies courses First Year Experience and Leadership. The First Year Experience course focuses on student success skills and self-assessment to better define a students personalized academic and financial plan while attending MCC and the Leadership course focuses on leadership styles and skills that will allow students to learn about their own values identity and community values. I love being able to have a dual role of a professional staff member and adjunct faculty because the two perspectives merged together allow me to better serve the students and their path to success One thing I ve learned and always keep with me is that success can be defined in many ways when it comes to students and although many want to achieve the same thing the path they take to get there is a unique one. Q How can a student prepare for college in high school A There are many ways a student can prepare for college in high school. My favorite opportunity for students to take advantage of is a dual enrollment program offered at their local community college or state school. Dual enrollment allows high school or home school students to take college level courses at a discounted price that can be applied toward high school graduation requirements while gaining transferrable college credits at the same time. Since I ve worked at MCC I ve been able to see three Dual Enrollment students complete their high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time Q You had mentioned earlier that students can transfer credits to a bachelor s degree program. Can you expand on the transfer opportunities that MCC offers A Yes most college level credits can transfer to many different institutions. There are grade requirements set forth typically a C or better in order to accept the transfer credit. Massachusetts has a program called MassTransfer which allows for students to have a seamless transition to a 4-year Massachusetts state school or one of the UMASS campuses upon completion of an associate s degree at a community college. Students who achieve a certain GPA are afforded benefits that range from guaranteed admissions to no application fee to discounted tuition during the transfer process. MCC also has articulation agreements with private schools in Massachusetts and outside of Massachusetts in the event MassTransfer is not the student s main point of interest. For example we have agreements with Southern New Hampshire University St. Josephs College of Maine and California University of Pennsylvania. Q Are there sports teams and ways to get involved at MCC A Yes I have a few key words for you Center for Leadership and Engagement. The Center provides multiple opportunities for students to get involved with clubs and organizations intramural sports teams community engagement leadership and student governance. MCC has academic civic and service-minded and multicultural student organizations for personal enrichment. If there s an organization that we don t have all it takes is a few students and they re able to create a new group on campus. Our Multicultural Center provides educational social and cultural activities that support diversity on campus. Needless to say the Center is always full of students and food Research says that the more involved a student is in college the more successful they will become. Q Outside of your role at MCC how do you give back or get involved in the community A In my free time I provide resume services and career workshops with a local nonprofit organization called Supportive Care Inc. located in Lawrence MA. Of the many programs Supportive Care offers I ve worked with the TIPS (Teen Issues Problem Solutions) program that focuses on reunifying the family by helping youth with self-esteem and self- empowerment skills. I retain a real passion for working with students and being able to not only counsel them but serve a mentor. I was afforded the opportunity to have mentor in college with my first professional position while I completed my master s degree. Like many professionals in education I m committed to academic excellence and want to give back to students. It s what brought me to where I am today. Q What advice would you offer a new professional starting a career in education A Don t forget yourself and what makes you passionate about being an educator. Education is an evolving field. Educators are faced with change daily and need to be able to adapt collaborate with others and expand upon best practices. You won t learn everything overnight. I ve been at MCC for a little over five years and am still learning. 50 Women of Distinction Kena Marie Troupe ER Nursing RN MSN - Staff RN for Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast 51 Miramar Beach FL Women of Distinction K ena Marie Troupe graduated from nursing school at age 20 and started working as an RN (registered nurse) in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) in 1990. Twenty-three years later she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at age 44. Kena now has a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and is back in school (as of June 2015) studying to become a family practice nurse practitioner around her work schedule. Go all the way Don t ever stop learning or let anyone tell you that you can t do it. I chose to be a nurse after having a severely premature infant at the age of 18 as a single mom. I had already considered a career in nursing but the amazing nurses in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola FL helped me make my official career choice. Kena now works as a staff RN and relief team leader in the Emergency Department at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. She also serves as a preceptor for newly hired nurses in the department and is a member of the Critical Care committee for the hospital. Additionally she strives to help the hospital function at its highest capacity by providing exceptional care to her patients and their families while keeping cost containment in the forefront. As mentioned earlier Kena gave birth to a severely premature infant. This was her son Blake who she considers her greatest professional inspiration. Blake was born in 1988 at 26 weeks gestation (or 14 weeks early). At birth he was on a ventilator to help him breath had a chest tube in both lungs and had a central intravenous line in his belly button to receive the medications and nutrition he needed to stay alive. Blake survived against all odds and against all of the doctors reports. Two weeks later he suffered two brain injuries and had to have heart surgery the following week. At age eight Blake was diagnosed with autism but Kena didn t allow that to be an excuse for him to be anything other than the exceptional young man he is today someone who works with the youth at his church. Not only did the survival of my son cement my choice to pursue a nursing career it is a daily reminder of the good that I do for others on a daily basis. I also have a daughter Brette (19) who is a beautiful and intelligent young lady. Kena believes there is no goal too big and no dream too small that can t be obtained no matter what your past or present circumstances are and is also a firm believer in second chances. God gives them to us on a daily basis so we owe it to each other to do the same. If Kena had significant impact on at least one person in her lifetime then she feels she s made a difference. Sacred Heart is owned by Ascension Health which is both the largest Catholic and nonprofit healthcare organization in the US. In order to continuously to provide the level of care we currently offer it s up to each individual to do their part for cost containment. I take being able to provide appropriate care to those in need very seriously because I (myself) have been a recipient of the generosity of the Sacred Heart Health System as a young mom. She s always had a passion for helping others and loves being able to help those who are vulnerable and sick. My 1st grade teacher told my mother during a parent-teacher meeting that I needed to be a nurse because I always migrated toward those in my class who needed help and who had less fortunate circumstances than my own. 52 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel that your business is relevant in today s world A I believe that advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners) are going to be the preferred healthcare providers of the future. With the current changes in healthcare and the new health care reform and because more new physicians are migrating away from general practice into specialty areas there are not going to be enough general practice physicians to meet the demands of all the newly insured Americans. Nurse practitioners are going to fill that gap. Evidence shows that with the advanced training received the care provided by nurse practitioners is as good as the care provided by general practice physicians. Q Do you feel that all registered nurses need to be bachelor s prepared A The short answer is no. If you look at the curriculum for BSN programs around the country the majority of the classes required are not direct care based. The clinical skills that RNs rely upon to provide quality patient care are learned in the skills labs and at the bedside the Associate degree RN programs provide the clinical residencies and skill sets needed for the safe appropriate and quality care that nurses are currently providing to their patients. Q How do you feel about the current state of health care reform A Although I feel that having adequate health insurance is a must for everyone I also think that having health insurance is a privilege not a right. The average American with health insurance coverage prior to the health care reform worked to pay for that insurance. The new plans offered by the health care reform while affordable do not work for everyone. For example in the area where I reside there are a plethora of plans to choose from but a limited amount of providers who accept the plans and those who do accept the plans are seeing their full capacity of patients leaving them unable to accept new patients. Q What is your position on allowing nurse practitioners to have full prescriptive authority A Currently there are only four states where nurse practitioners do NOT have full prescriptive authority meaning that they cannot write a prescription for pain medication for their patients (Alabama Florida Hawaii and Missouri). I believe that for nurse practitioners to be able to provide effective care for patients presenting with any disease state that may be treated within their scope of practice full prescriptive authority is needed. Q How do working full time going to school and raising a toddler affect your life A I am raising my granddaughter Adalynn who is 21-monthsold. She is the joy and sunshine in my life. My life is so busy with full-time work in a busy ER and full-time school but it is definitely worth it. I don t want to look back on my life and wish I had done this or that differently. I don t want to have a dream and not do everything I can to fulfill it. We only have one life so we need to fill it with purpose. Q Do you come from a family of college graduates A No I m actually a second-generation college graduate. My father (a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant) is the first generation and holds two master s degrees one in business and one in education. My brother (a Navy officer retiring in November 2015) is also a college graduate with a Bachelor in Sociology (and also a Nuclear Power Engineer for the Navy). They were able to utilize the GI Bill to finish school. I believe that anyone can go to college no matter what their financial or intellectual status may be. There are so many programs available to help people both financially and academically. Q Why do you think you have been successful in your endeavors with your career and education A I don t take NO for an answer. I set a goal and work until I achieve that goal. It s called momentum. Once you set yourself in motion you can t stop you can t make excuses and you can t slow down. Sometimes it feels like I m running a marathon but it s one that I am winning. I also tend to be a bit of a perfectionist with my coursework. I don t give myself permission to be lax or to produce anything less than what is required. I graduated from both my BSN and MSN programs with a 3.8 GPA and knowing that I can do it motivates me. Q Do you think that the US should do away with LPN LVN programs A Absolutely not LPN LVNs are a vital resource that RNs and physicians cannot live without. They are highly utilized in medical offices and nursing homes across the United States. LPN LVNs can be utilized to their full capacity in these areas as more and more acute care hospitals are employing only RNs due to the increase in patient acuity levels. Many nursing programs around the country offer bridge programs that give the LPN LVN the opportunity to become RNs in as little as one year by taking their training into consideration. Q What are your thoughts on a national nursing license A I think that a national nursing license is in the future for American RNs. We have to attend schools with curriculum set through national standards and we take a national licensing examination so why not allow nurses to work in any state without having to go through the red tape and lengthy waiting times of applying for a new license. Q What are your employment plans after completing your nurse practitioner program A I would like to work in an emergency room. I love the pace and the variety of patient complaints that we see. I have been approached by a physician about being a practitioner in a nurse run clinic in the local area that focuses not only on a patient s medical needs but that treats the patient holistically using alternative treatments like acupuncture. I have also considered teaching in a nursing program or working in a clinic directed toward providing medical care for the underserved and uninsured. I believe that more of these types clinics are needed especially in rural areas. 53 Women of Distinction Mary Vinagro Nature Photography Owner of Seven Lakes Exposure Wakefield NH 54 Women of Distinction W Exposure. hile she is the CFO and Co-Owner of several construction companies Mary Vinagro is happiest as sole owner of Seven Lakes Photography is something that I m passionate about. It allows me the opportunity to be outdoors and enjoy nature. Plus it keeps me sane on the weekends. Mary carries her cameras around wherever she goes. Growing up my father took our family s photos and videos. After he passed away I took over the camera work and liked it. Years later I started taking wildlife pictures after my husband and I built a place in the White Mountains. And in January of 2014 I gathered all of my favorite pictures and created a website to sell my work. Mary really enjoys capturing moments with her camera and would like to share New England and other places where she has traveled with the world. You never know when a photo opportunity might present itself. Her passion for photography started when she was a child. I hope I can inspire others to take a walk outside and appreciate nature. 55 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why did you become a photographer A I started out taking family photos when was I was younger. I ve lost so many family members over the years that I hoped to capture moments with my loved ones. When my husband and I built a house in the White Mountains of New Hampshire seven years ago I really started to appreciate the outdoors of New England. I have been very fortunate to have all types of subjects (from plants to animals) in the area so I decided that I wanted to capture moments in nature and share them with others. Q How can your photographs inspire other women to follow their passions A As busy as my schedule is with my day job I make time to take photos. I hope that someone who reads this article is inspired to make the effort to follow through with an idea they may have been contemplating. I think everyone has a talent. They just need to put the effort in to find out what it is and go with it. I get tired of hearing excuses as to why someone can t do something. I prefer to figure out ways to make things happen. Q You work with wildlife. What is the longest time you ve waited for a shot A I ve spent several hours at a time hanging out in the woods waiting for the right shot. The most extensive project was chasing after a bald eagle. I am fortunate to have one living around my lake and I ve been trying to get a good shot of him for the seven years we ve been living in East Wakefield. He always managed to stay just far enough away. I kept buying bigger lenses in order to get close ups but he still eluded me. But about three months ago (early morning) my husband started yelling for me to look outside the living room window and sure enough the eagle was just sitting on a stump about 10 feet from our dock. I couldn t believe it. It was like the eagle was waiting for me. So I ran out the door (in my pajamas no less) sneaking from tree to tree until I could get close enough to take the shot. They are truly magnificent birds. Q What do you want your viewers to get out of your photography A I hope to inspire others to get outside and appreciate the outdoors. Too much time is spent in front the television and the computer. I would also love to decorate homes and businesses with my work. I would love to bring a smile to someone s face when they look at one of my photos especially if they are having a bad day or their job requires them to sit at a desk all day. Q How far do you want to expand A Nature photography appeals to me the most because I think New England is a unique and fascinating place to live but I am not ruling out the possibility of trying my hand at sports. I think it would be fun to capture moments in both professional and amateur events. Q What type of equipment do you use A I started out with a Minolta 35mm way back when. Now I use Sony a55 and Sony HX300 digital cameras. It s so nice to be able to instantly see the photos instead of having to wait for the film to develop. Q How will your talents as a photographer grow to obtain your goal A At some point I would like to take some classes to expand my knowledge. I still have a lot to learn about lighting. I love taking night shots but they can be a real challenge for me. The cameras also present a challenge because there are so many settings available. Q With the digital age your artwork can appear on cups banners shirts etc. Do you think this cheapens the artistry of the photo A My first thought was yes. I guess it can cheapen the artistry of the photo but from my perspective I just want to share what I see and enjoy. So whether it s hanging on a wall or staring back at you from your coffee mug as long as you get enjoyment out of the picture that s what really matters. Q What are your favorite things to photograph A Moonscapes are one of my favorite things to photograph. The ever-changing skyline when the moon is out and clouds are rolling in can be quite beautiful. I also love taking close-up shots of birds. New England has so many varieties and I ve learned to appreciate all the species we have in the area. Q Would you like to go beyond New England to take photos A I love to travel and hope to do more in the future. I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica last year and was amazed at the wildlife. My website has quite a few photos that I took during my stay and gives me the opportunity to share what I ve seen with others who may never get the chance to explore other places. 56 Women of Distinction Victoria Rose Marotta Nonprofit - Cancer Awareness Research and Funding Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Rose Fund 57 Aston PA Women of Distinction T his is the story of a woman who has used a negative life experience as a platform to create hope and inspire others. Most who go through something so detrimental at such a young age wish they could erase what happened to them. But for Victoria Rose Marotta it was the complete opposite. While no one actually wants it having cancer has brought such a powerful positive outlook to her life. In 2010 Victoria was diagnosed with medulloblastoma (brain cancer) at age 21. Medulloblastoma is a pediatric malignant primary brain tumor originating in the part of the brain towards the back and the bottom on the floor of the skull. While she was in the hospital for almost four months her brother (Mike Marotta) started the Victoria Rose Fund (VRF). As Victoria slowly recovered and went into remission in 2011 she took over as Founder and CEO and began to pursue all aspects of nonprofit organization work. Today Victoria does it all and manages all operations of the VRF including public relations marketing sales and social media. She plans and sponsors various events to raise money as financial relief to local families in need and also raises awareness of all forms of cancer through website management and social media. However Victoria believes that her most important role is to try to inspire all cancer patients by giving advice compassion and support through several mediums. I know it may sound clich but live your life to the fullest each day. I ve learned that tomorrow is not guaranteed. My strong advice for others is to live not just live but make a difference and make a mark on this world while you can. Help others pray a lot and always find something positive that motivates you in life. Lastly and most importantly never lose sight of your dreams and NEVER GIVE UP. Danny Thomas (actor comedian producer) never forgot his dreams and never forgot his promise to St. Jude. In the 1950s he and his wife (with help from others) raised funds to build his dream St. Jude Children s Research Hospital. This inspired me to never lose sight of my own dreams. Victoria likes painting in her free time and donating what she paints to charities and benefits events. Working out also serves as a release of any type of post-cancer stress or negative thoughts. And she enjoys volunteering as another way to give back to her community as well as music and going to concerts. Music is a way to the soul. Certain music can hit me on a spiritual level and has a very strong connection with me. She cherishes every moment with those who supported her and never left her side through everything. Going through something so serious at such a young age has matured Victoria and made her a stronger woman today than she ever was. It also inspired her to motivate and help others going through cancer. The feeling of helping someone else is really indescribable. Knowing that I along with my followers and annual donors can possibly change just one person s life makes everything I do here worth it. The biggest lesson that Victoria has learned through her battle with cancer is that you should always be grateful for what you have and to not take anything for granite. I want to leave an everlasting legacy on the world and want people to remember me as a strong caring loving religious powerful fighter and entrepreneur. 58 59 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What drives this nonprofit A This nonprofit would never be able to run without our followers and donors. They have a strong dedicated and loyal relationship with the organization. Q How important do you think CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is for a business A I think that CSR is absolutely essential for a business to thrive. It can be used as a marketing tool to gain ethos with the consumer or future consumer. Emotional benefits are endless and almost vital in this day and age. Q How does this nonprofit help society A I think the VRF helps society by creating awareness and a lifesaving mission to finish the fight against cancer. The work we do has a local impact on the community helping society in many ways. Q How do you market this organization A I market the VRF with a concept called the Four Ps of Marketing which are product place price and promotion. In this case the product is our fundraising efforts and benefits the place is the local town the price is how much people donate and the promotion is all of the promotions it takes to run this nonprofit with a social media presence. Q How much does social media help or not help with your organization s success A It helps immensely. By using many media devices we can stimulate our specific message using Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn and Google . By using the hashtags VRF NoOneFightsAlone CancerAwareness and PayItForward consistently with my posts I m able to create a very clear message. It s just another way to endorse and validate the overall image of the VRF. Q How long do you see yourself managing this fund A I honestly would like to do this for the rest of my life. If all goes well I will work my hardest to keep this fund running until the day I die. I know that it will always be in my heart to help give back through this forum. Q How do you choose who the VRF Annual event is going to be dedicated to A Friends or family usually know someone who knows someone who is going through cancer and battling this horrible detrimental disease. Unfortunately it is nowadays becoming very common that you know someone who has or had cancer in society. I also find people suffering through connections on social media sites and real life interactions (at events the gym college etc.). Q If you could take back going through brain cancer would you Why or why not A To be honest I went through a lot of pain and trials and tribulations to get where I am today but I would never take it back (even if I could). I know I am the person I am today because of being diagnosed with cancer at age 21. Q What specific moment as Founder of the VRF stands out to you the most A I would have to say in September 2014 when my fund raised over 20 000 for a local six-month old diagnosed with the same exact cancer I had (medulloblastoma). It was honestly one of the best moments in my life to give that check to her parents. Hugging them made everything we did beyond worth it. Q If you could dedicate this entire fund nonprofit to someone who would it be and why A I dedicate this entire fund to a very special boy I met during radiation treatments Christian Thomas Clopp. He suffered from brain cancer as well and we rang our cancer bell together after months of treatment. He has inspired me more than he could ever know. (The full story is on my website www. victoriarosefund.org.) In loving memory of Christian Thomas Clopp. 60 Women of Distinction Yvette Renee Terry Resume Writing and Instructional Design Founder of Divine Design Professional Resume Writing Center 61 Boston MA Women of Distinction vette Renee Terry is the founder of DivineDesign Professional Resume Writing Center where she creates professional career marketing documents for jobseekers professionals and college students. Y Know the importance of owning what you bring to the table. Confidence wins it Yvette created the company website and all of its marketing materials. To reach a broader audience she developed a show called Professional Development It Begins With You . The show reaches an audience of over 300 000 area residents and has been successful with increasing the number of clients the company serves. She has over 20 years of administrative experience with 12 years as an executive assistant and has worked for Wellington Management Company Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company The Greater Boston Food Bank Year Up Fleet Boston Financial Group and currently at The University of Massachusetts Boston. Yvette is also a certified television producer (having worked with Boston Neighborhood Network) and a certified facilitator. Yvette started writing resumes with her very own and landed her first job at age 16. She later founded DivineDesign Professional Resume Writing Center in 2002. Find out what others are doing in the resume industry and create services that are unlike anyone else. You have to believe in your vision and create a niche for your business. Be different and be brave. You have to create services that are valuable to the market. Get good business exposure by investing in the services you create through advertising and offer your existing clients incentives like referral bonuses an informative newsletter and seasonal discounts. It s not enough to create a fancy website and catchy marketing materials. Don t be afraid to knock on doors make phone calls or partner with someone in your field. Believe in your business. Through hard work and determination Yvette was successfully able to procure positions with top companies while pursuing each college degree (Associate Bachelor and Master) parttime. I had a full understanding of what each position required and was able to communicate my experience and confidence both on paper and during interviews. Her mother was her greatest inspiration. I love career writing When I work with a client I strive to understand their unique style skillset and professional aspirations. When a client looks at the finished product of their resume (or other career marketing document) the smile on their face and satisfaction is my motivation. My goal as a professional resume writer is to express each client s unique talent skills and style efficiently and beautifully. I believe every person has talent. She believes that in order to be successful in the resume writing industry it s important to learn from the best and invest in your vision by attending seminars and network with industry leaders. Although she passed some time ago she had a wonderful work ethic that I still emulate today. I was taught to believe in myself and my abilities and to go after my dreams. Yvette now inspires others to go after their dreams. 62 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why is it important to have a quality resume and other marketing materials in today s market A Your resume and marketing materials is the first impression you show the world. These materials represent not only your skills accomplishments and experience but also your brand which is what separates you from other candidates. Q Besides a resume what other marketing tools should professionals have when pursuing employment A A cover letter career biography and a LinkedIn Profile. Each of these documents is essential and provides candidates an opportunity to sell tell and share their story. A cover letter introduces your resume and gives an opportunity to explain how you achieved results your work style and how you plan to use your expertise for the next potential employer. The career biography tells your unique story and how your professional philosophy connects with the employer s vision mission and client expectations. Everyone should be on a professional social media outlet and LinkedIn is the best place to showcase your projects through PowerPoint samples recommendations and it shows that you have a professional network that might be useful to your next employer. Q Where did you come up with the name DivineDesign for your resume service A I wanted a name that expressed beautifully written and formatted marketing materials. Q Where do you want your resume writing service to be five years from now A I want to be serving clients from around the world have a small staff and office space and be recognized as a leader in the resume industry. Q What inspired you to create the show Professional Development It Begins With You A Throughout my career I had conversations with people from different backgrounds who were ready for a career change but weren t sure how to go about it. Q What are the advantages of an executive assistant as a career option A Strategic thinking skills leadership and personal and professional development. Being a top-level executive assistant will require you to become an industry leader understanding the trends technology and terminology of your given industry. With this you become indispensable by gaining new skills building your knowledge and increasing your visibility from all corners of the organization. Q What contribution to society would you like to make through your resume writing service A The importance of knowing your value and being confident that your skills and talents are needed and valued. Q Do you provide career coaching services A I have written career articles on my website that provide information tools and advice to jobseekers such as interviewing creating your own brand and much more. You will find some career guidance and inspirational articles and videos on my website. (www.divinedesignsite.com) 63 Women of Distinction Abby Beale Natural Healthcare Homeopath Education Nationally Certified Classical Homeopath Homeopathy Healings Speed Reading Expert Rev It Up Reading East Longmeadow MA 64 Wallingford CT Women of Distinction W hen her infant son couldn t get relief from repeated ear infections with antibiotics prescribed by his doctor Abby Beale fought to find a way to relieve his pain. Investing time and energy in every available resource Abby came across homeopathy. Not only was it successful in her son s health but after 11 years of part-time commitment she herself became a Nationally Certified Classical Homeopath in 2013. I m a homeopath because homeopathic remedies give clients the help they need to feel better Abby said. It s really fascinating learning people s stories and then being able to match them to an appropriate homeopathic remedy. It s like finding the missing piece of a puzzle quite challenging but also very rewarding. Homeopathy is a natural safe inexpensive and effective healing modality that Abby hopes will become more sought after by consumers. Hopefully her practice will help spread the word about its many benefits. Abby is also on the board of the National Center for Homeopathy an influential avenue for educating people about the benefits of homeopathic care. Labeling herself a serial entrepreneur Abby has been in business for herself for 25 years although she only recently founded Homeopathy Healings in East Longmeadow Massachusetts. She s always loved being in control of her time especially while her kids were growing up and her husband Christopher who is self-employed with his own financial planning practice couldn t agree more. He s a great sounding board and provides Abby with great advice when needed. Abby is also a Speed Reading Expert. She has been teaching speed reading strategies for more than two decades as the owner of Rev It Up Reading. Helping people unleash their learning confidence and enhance their ability to get through any reading workload her teachings are really simple yet not well-known. In fact she has written two books on the topic 10 Days to Faster Reading and The Complete Idiot s Guide to Speed Reading. 10 Days is also available in Russian and Chinese. She s also authored Success Skills Strategies for Study and Lifelong Learning (a college level study skills textbook) and is planning to release one more book about managing life overload. She has also created an interactive and dynamic online strategic reading course called Rev It Up Reading a fantastic educational tool for high school and college students and busy professionals. Abby is a Certified Classical Homeopath through the Council for Homeopathic Certification. She holds a BA in Hispanic Language and Literature from Boston University and an MS in Adult Education from Southern Connecticut State University. 65 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What is homeopathy A Homeopathy is a safe effective system of natural health care used by millions of people worldwide for more than 200 years. Homeopathy addresses the health of the whole person and seeks to stimulate the body s ability to heal itself to improve well-being. Q How did you get interested in homeopathy A I became interested when my 9-month-old son had repeated infections treated by antibiotics. When tubes were the next step I looked for other options. I went to a homeopath who gave my 16-month-old one remedy and he never had another ear infection again. Q What do you need to do to become a certified classical homeopath A I received most of my classroom and clinical training through the New England School of Homeopathy and learned from several masters through webinars and special events. It took me 11 years to complete the requirements while working on my reading and training business. Q Is homeopathy different than naturopathy A Yes It s the most common question I get. Naturopaths are natural medical doctors who go through a four-year program that includes education in nutrition vitamins herbs counseling and homeopathy. They can provide homeopathic remedies as one of their healing tools. A homeopath works ONLY with homeopathic remedies. Q Who comes to see you A Those who are looking for more natural products to heal their bodies those who want to take less pharmaceutical medication those who have come to a dead end in their path to healing and those who want a more holistic approach to their healing. Q What kinds of diagnosis do you work with A Homeopaths work with symptoms a person experiences not a diagnosis. If you have five people going to a homeopath with the same condition say depression each would probably receive a different remedy. This is because homeopathy is individualized to the person based on how that person experiences their depression. That s the beauty of homeopathy Q What do you like best about being a homeopath A I love gathering the pieces of people s mental emotional and physical puzzle and then putting the pieces together to find a remedy that will result in less symptoms and more health. Q What are your challenges about being a homeopath A Since homeopathy isn t well known I need to educate people about what it is and how it works. I offer workshops about homeopathy in the hopes more people will come to me with some workingknowledge. Q If you love homeopathy so much why are you continuing your speed reading business A I feel fortunate to be passionate about two things Both businesses help a lot of people which gives me a lot of pleasure. There s no reason to give one up for the other at this point. Q What was the best business advice you ever received A From the beginning I was told the best thing I could do to ensure success is to niche myself specialize in something and get good at it. I ve done that twice with homeopathy and speed reading. I think it s still good advice 66 Women of Distinction Carri M. Garrison Metal Fabrication Precision Machining President Fabrication Technologies - FABTEK 67 Anacortes WA Women of Distinction enturing back into the business world in 1976 after her children went off to school Carri M. Garrison who had previously attended the Minnesota School of Business made the decision to look into careers in larger corporations. Finding work as an expeditor in the procurement department at the Control Data Aerospace Division in Minneapolis Minnesota she was quickly advised by her boss to apply for a buyer s position that had become available. Hesitant because she didn t quite feel she was qualified enough for the role Carri turned in her resume and landed the position. Soon after she was promoted into more complex purchasing positions boosting her knowledge base and spending numerous hours on the manufacturing floor. It was the beginning of a long and successful career in supply chain management program management proposal management and project management. As Carri s career progressed she eventually found herself working in California in numerous upper management positions with General Dynamics Rockwell and Douglas Aircraft (now Boeing). Retiring in 2006 as a director on the Future Combat Systems Program Carri and her husband moved to the San Juan Islands. Fabrication Technologies or FabTek although small is a highly sophisticated precision metal fabrication shop maintaining an aerospace quality system. V While Carri oversees the administration and oversight of all activities including establishing the strategic vision of the company developing systems managing costs fostering customer relationships managing all equipment purchases and ensuring that operations align with company policies and procedures she is eager to create a sophisticated business environment that can benefit the community and open doors for the younger population. Enjoying the warm weather of the San Juan s Carri loves to hike sail kayak and garden. She also loves to knit read and frequently entertain friends and family with home cooked meals. She has been a volunteer CASA Guardian ad Litem for Island County since 2008 taking on cases when a child has been removed from their home. She will soon be celebrating her 30-year anniversary with her husband of which they share their home with their furry cat Max. They also have a blended family with two sons and a daughter as well as five grandchildren. While managing a two-year remodeling project of our home on the island a local medical spa in town was in need of a business manager. The opportunity to understand the inner workings of a small business was enlightening. By 2014 I decided to start my own business that would serve as a premiere metal fabrication business Carri acknowledged noting that retirement wasn t meant for her just yet. 68 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What sets you apart from other small metal fabrication companies A We have brought together the highest technology digital design analysis machine programming capabilities with very sophisticated CNC machining welding and assembly equipment to satisfy ISO 9000 AS9100. Q Why do you feel your business is important A We believe by integrating technology training sophisticated equipment and systematic controls we can compete on a world class level and provide the wellpaying skilled jobs our country is in desperate need of while rejuvenating the Made-in-America pride. Q What types of products do you make A With our diverse capabilities it ranges from CNC machined components and assemblies for aircraft and satellites to commercial products and welded assemblies. Q Where do you see your company in 10 years A I would like FabTek to be the premiere high technology metal fabrication business in the Puget Sound area with a reputation of cooperation knowledge and overall excellence. Q Is it difficult to be a small business contracting with large aerospace corporations A A solid basis of knowledge with the appropriate systems in place can open many doors. My experience as a director at Boeing leading large teams on high technology programs including classified programs has provided me with insights into the real needs and objectives of large aerospace customers. Q How will your business benefit the community A FabTek will open doors for some of the younger generation on the island offering a path to gaining skills that will provide them with living wage career futures. Our goal is to provide an environment of continued learning and expertise. Q How are educational requirements changing in this field A Technology has changed over the years and advanced computer skills are absolutely necessary for any potential employee. Sophisticated software programs are being utilized within most areas of the company not just engineering but fabrication as well as inspection. Q What are keys to a successful relationship between your company and your customers A Communications are critical with regular reporting and ongoing conversations. Our systems provide the controls and objective evidence that allow our customers to develop faith and trust. Understanding a customer s needs and demonstrating the flexibility to satisfy those needs is paramount. Q Is it difficult being a women owner in a Metal Fabrication environment A Not at all It has taken years of hard work dedication and success to overcome some of the prejudices that exist in corporate America. I have taken that confidence with me upon creating this small business. It generally takes a few minutes of chatting when first meeting new folks but before long they realize I m the real deal. Q Do you see women viewed differently from when you began your career A Yes The young women of today are more confident and comfortable in leadership roles and aren t afraid to tackle anything that interests them. I see them thriving without the stigma of being female. 69 Women of Distinction Carolyn Muise Information Technology Company Vice President of Total Customer Experience - EMC Corporation 70 Hopkinton MA Women of Distinction C arolyn Muise is the Vice President of EMC Corporation s Total Customer Experience Program. With revenues of 24.5 billion and 60 000 people worldwide EMC is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. In this role Carolyn has operational responsibility for engagement with EMC s customers partners and employees to drive quality innovation and continuous improvement into its products services and business operations. She also interacts with all business functions at the corporate office and all over the globe. Additionally she s able to gather customer and partner insight and consolidate data utilize analytics to provide intelligent recommendations on areas for continuous improvement. Carolyn led EMC s Engineering Lab (E-Lab). EMC s E-Lab is a global operation considered the industry s premier brand for rigorous end-to-end interoperability testing and the development of best-in-class integrated solutions. In this role Carolyn led a team that worked closely with EMC customers partners vendors and competitors to promote integration across every major platform operating system and network element available. This role requires me to empower and influence others to drive actions that will result in positive business outcomes. As a freshman in high school Carolyn had a focused interest on math and science. Her geometry and science teachers were influential in her decision to focus on engineering in college. They were both very supportive and told me that the opportunity for female engineers was in high demand then and would still be in the future. I was convinced to major in engineering where my passion was evident and the opportunity was immense. Carolyn later went on to graduate from Northeastern University in Boston with a Bachelor in Engineering. She also earned a Business Management Certificate from Bryant University. Since then she s worked through various levels to get where she is today and learned various lessons along the way. Transitioning from Manager to Director was a huge tipping point in my career and then from Senior Director to Vice president was another huge transformation. At these times in my career I learned that the skills that got me to that level weren t going to get me to the next one without self-awareness and self-reflection. The most important thing I learned about myself was that you need to modify your engagement and approach to respond accordingly. For example your interaction at the peer level can be different then your interaction at the CIO level or at the Senior Executive level. I also learned that the most influential leaders respond at the most relevant times not all the time. Self-awareness is one of the most critical attributes that enables me to be my best in an agile dynamic environment. Today under Carolyn s leadership EMC s Total Customer Experience program has been recognized by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) for its Innovation in Customer Commitment Temkin Group for Customer Experience Excellence and Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) for Customer Experience Impact. Prior to this role There are several reasons why I stay in the technology industry. First I get to work with what I m passionate about. Second is the everevolving dynamics of the market. And lastly is the innovation and creativity required to be successful in such a dynamic market industry and world. I m always challenged and learning about new technology processes solutions and services that must continue to evolve in alignment with our global customers and partners. Carolyn has been recognized for her work outside of EMC including membership with the Society of Women Engineers at Simmons College induction into The Boston Club (one of the largest communities of women executives and professional leaders in the Northeast) and is an active participant in the National Center for Women and Information Technology. She also mentors new graduates and employees and shares her story with them and the journey she s been on and then learns from them about what they aspire to be. Depending on what level the employees are at Carolyn shares many words of wisdom such as Don t expect others to define success for you. Destiny is a choice not a chance. Don t compare your accomplishments with anyone other than yourself. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK Networking is critical for the role you re in and more importantly for the opportunity that will come. Success is being ready for it when it comes. Despite all obstacles Carolyn has been successful. You can be your best as long as you are self-aware true to your capability and approach everything with pride passion integrity and excellence. 71 Women of Distinction Brittaney Fisher Healthcare Patient Transporter Athens Regional Medical Center 72 Athens GA Women of Distinction S earching for a position that would help her acquire the patient contact hours she needed for Physician Assistant (PA) School Brittaney Fisher went to work for Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens Georgia as a Patient Transporter. Getting her foot in the door in the medical field was just what she needed and she is so grateful for the experience she has gained and the patient care responsibilities she is now able to administer. By April 2015 Brittaney finally began her school s application process and she is well on her way to a wonderful career in healthcare. Initially Brittaney received her AS in Biology at The College of Coastal Georgia and her BS in Avian Biology at The University of Georgia. Eager to continue in her education Brittaney cannot wait to move upward in her field. Working to finance her continued education Brittaney was fortunate to receive a HOPE Scholarship to help defray costs. Working and taking courses part-time has taught her how to manage her time and prioritize the many tasks involved in her daily routine. When Brittaney has a moment to herself she loves to sit with a hot cup of coffee by her bedside and read. She also enjoys swimming to stay in shape and she visits the local YMCA at least three days a week. Brittaney likes to sing too and she recently started learning the guitar. I get to talk with patients learn more about their backgrounds and just be an ear to listen Brittaney said. I spend a lot of time just aiding and comforting them. Although this is merely a stepping stone for me it s helped in shaping me into a more qualified and compassionate applicant for PA school. As a Patient Transporter at the Medical Center Brittaney is responsible for transporting patients in a timely fashion from their room to appropriate testing sites within the hospital from the emergency room or admissions to the floor room and from testing sites back to the their hospital room. Patient care safety and satisfaction is always her number one priority. My job description may sound pretty basic but it s actually more in depth when it comes to patient care Brittaney noted. I transport patients from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life and I listen to their stories and help provide comfort to them and their families when they need it most. My department does a great job at aiding in the flow and efficiency of patient transportation throughout the hospital. Working with a great number of nurses every day Brittaney admires their work ethic and sees firsthand an immense amount of personal fulfillment in their careers. She hopes to someday be able to use her skills and resources to minister to others in a similar fashion who are sick and in pain. This process has taught me how to be a more selfless person and to better serve others around me she added. I firmly believe this is my calling in life. 73 Women of Distinction Cathy Houde Hospitality Tourism Entertainment Administration Base Clerk III Universal Orlando Orlando FL G rowing up with a music teacher for a mother a father that played trombone and loved to dance and a band director for a grandfather Cathy Houde had a strong foundation of music and a love of the arts in her home. Along with her two older brothers she learned to play the piano performed in community theater and was joined in dance class by her middle brother. Music and the arts was truly a family affair and it would prove a long time career. Cathy s first paying job as a professional performer began at Sea World of Texas at San Antonio at the age of 18. She then began a six-month contract with Norwegian Cruise Lines as a singer dancer. Relocating to Branson Missouri for four years Cathy became a dancer magic assistant in the Van Burch and Wellford Show and as a dance teacher at the Branson Performing Arts Academy. But longing to be closer to her brother again who was living and working in Orlando Florida with Walt Disney World she flew in to audition for Universal Studios and was hired as a part-time singer dancer in the Beetlejuice Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue. She also performed as a dancer in the annual Mardi Gras Parade found employment teaching at several dance studios nearby and worked several dinner shows in town. She has tremendous work ethic has reinvented herself time and time again and has chosen persistence and passion to achieve her goals. Going back to school to pursue her Associate s Degree in Business at Bryant and Stratton College Online Cathy s decision to move out of performing has been the best decision for her at this time in her life. The entertainment industry is tough and you have to have thick skin she said who is now an Entertainment Administration Base Clerk III with Universal. In a theme park shows come and go and you have to be prepared to move on or be replaced. It s important to have a fall back plan and know that there will always be somebody better looking and more talented than you coming up. But I ve learned to never settle and never get comfortable because the rug can get pulled out from under you at any time. Passionate about animals and education Cathy is a lead volunteer humane educator for Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando and a Florida District Leader for Humane Society of the United States. She also volunteers with Orange County Public Schools as a tutor and with the Read 2 Succeed program. The excitement of performing the many adventures and the talented people I ve met over the years have been a wonderful and fulfilling experience Cathy said. The feeling of having an audience in the palm of your hand and the overwhelming thunder of applause is addictive and a feeling I can t describe. Cathy considers herself an underdog that always had to prove herself and work harder than everybody else. Her success has come from being her own constant in her life. 74 Women of Distinction Carol Spain-Falk Writing Speaking Owner Creator Bitter Bits of Wisdom Hockley TX fter more than 30 years Carol Spain-Falk s marriage had ended. Journaling to calm her soul she began to feel better. Sometimes finding herself laughing and crying at the same time her writings became more and more creative. Carol began incorporating a logo and characters in her notepad which evolved into funny and smart humored cards. These cards served as a means for her to cope something she thought maybe others in similar situations could use as inspiration. But one day Carol suffered a brain aneurysm and a stroke so her drawings and writings went tucked away in a box for nearly a year. A Lucky to be alive and now living with a feeding tube Carol has converted her favorite recipes to accommodate her needs. She has also since written a book entitled I Am Not Broken to help those struggling to regain their physical and mental independence as well as for the loved ones who care for them. Carol also received an Eppy Award for contributing to another book written by Author Joe Vitale and she also had four shower curtains designed by her featured in a retail magazine a very special moment for her. Carol spent 25 years working in the medical field. Now learning about healthcare from a patient s point of view Carol has gained an entirely new perspective about life. Slowly getting back on her feet Carol has a lot of hobbies. She likes to bake sew upholster garden read and spend time in nature. Her biggest companion is her dog of eight years a rescued Shar Pei named Sandy. She also has two grown children who are both happily married. I ve survived divorce a brain aneurism a stroke and Polymyositis. After one year in five different facilities I had to learn how to deal with the loss of privacy mobility communication body and mind control and financial decisions my being as a functional person she said. I want to encourage others. Learning again what others take for granted is challenging but with guidance it can be done. My story is full of challenges breakthroughs do s and don ts and lots of laughter. A friend or relative could send one of these as a means for support or perhaps the x-spouse could send one she added. I now have more than 40 different cards and they are for all occasions. Some are just for women some just for men and some for either sex. Since Carol s illness she has learned that more than 50% of marriages end up in divorce which is why she thinks her cards would do well in stores. Carol has also considered making cards available to bisexual relationships and she even bought a video program to convert her cards to video. However Carol is always careful with how her work is portrayed because there are often children being affected by these broken marriages and relationships. 75 Women of Distinction Deborah J. Kosik Photography Photographer and Owner of DK Studio 308 76 South Abington Township PA Women of Distinction D eborah J. Kosik has always loved the art of photography and capturing those special moments at family events. She has used a basic point and shoot camera most of her life but decided to explore the art of photography as a hobby in 2010 when she received her first DSLR camera as a Christmas gift from her husband David. Take the time look around live one moment at a time and see all the beauty around you. Each area requires a special expertise and my passion is with portraits. I simply love love love taking pictures of people. Everyone is beautiful and to be able to bring out that beauty and see a smile on someone s face is priceless. Deborah enjoys spending time with David and her family. Their son Shawn and daughter-in-law Rebekah have two sons Hunter and Isaiah. Aside from them what s most important to her is that she has met the most incredible people on her journey and is honored and grateful to call them friends. That really started my journey into the photography world. Needless to say my camera is always with me and I love capturing pretty much everything in sight. I can t explain the feeling but even on a bad day when I pick up my camera and take a look at all the beauty in the world there is an unbelievable calm soothing serenity that comes over me. Today Deborah is the owner and sole photographer of DK Studio 308 and handles the theme design camera equipment and edits every photo herself. She was great inspired by her father another small business owner. Growing up he taught me high morals and values. As a small business owner now herself Deborah has faced some challenges along the way. One of her biggest challenges involved the pricing of her work and products. I was pricing at a loss due to an I m not good enough mentality. But a close friend of mine who also owns a small business told me that I had to stop giving away the farm and helped me set reasonable rates. Deborah is living proof that dreams can come true at any age. I m an old lady living a dream As a late bloomer in the photography business there were times when Deborah wanted to throw in the towel but friends were there to remind her of how far she s come and to never give up. It s never too late. There are many avenues to pursue in the art of photography landscapes sports fashion magazine commercial product stock images weddings corporate headshots events family seniors etc. I extend my most sincere thank you to all the amazing people who have assisted me on this new road in my life. Without God or you I would never have even gotten this far. 77 Women of Distinction Elaine Wida Manufacturer - Consumer Package Goods Global Insights Manager at Clorox Oakland CA I t all began for Elaine Wida while studying Fashion Design and Merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Santa Barbara. Seeing the impact of my work makes me proud to be part of a team that delivers a solution that makes people happy. Elaine s advice for anyone getting into marketing would be remain to empathetic open-minded and learn to truly listen beyond just the words and into the motivations and psychology. I was invited to study in Paris but was told after six weeks that while I was creative and good with numbers I didn t have the skills needed for design and should go back to America and study marketing. With that I began my higher education in business and found my passion for people and behavior in consumer research. I wrote my thesis in 1993 on how people select a wine in high social risk scenarios hampered by a lack of knowledge. Following that work I started my career on the vendor side supplying research to a variety of CPG companies through sensory testing and consumer behavior. While assisting in product development was great understanding why they buy or don t buy was even more fascinating. Today Elaine is the Global Insights Manager at Clorox where she provides the organization with the voice of the consumer through brand shopper and digital insights. Companies need to supply solutions to people s wants and needs to be successful. My role is to observe listen measure and report on the consumer and share those insights with the teams to aid them in better decision making. Studying people and their behaviors is always enlightening. For the most part we tend to surround ourselves with like-minded people. This leads us to believe that everyone thinks and acts the same way. However the real world couldn t be further from the truth. What drives one to act can be entirely different from what motivates another. People never get boring to study. I love what I do She s greatly inspired by her interactions with people and learning more about them. At the end of the day it s just business but in this role it s personalized. Make sure you re ready to take on the challenge of being in a service position that sometimes requires you to fight for a seat at the table. You must truly believe in what you can do for the company and the value of insights. The incorporation of insights into an organization must be accepted and valued at the top. When looking at a company to work with ask how much insights are valued and integrated into the processes. If it s just a checklist item or not truly valued you won t be able to make a difference. Elaine believes that listening observing and interacting with others is a great learning experience that can teach us many things. I not only incorporate my passion for people into my career but also into my life as a whole. There s so much that can be learned simply by listening and paying attention. 78 Women of Distinction Emily Edwards Hudkins E Real Estate Sales Associate Broker - Jesse James Real Estate Llano TX mily Edwards Hudkins worked for almost 20 years as a legal secretary before finding her true passion REAL ESTATE. it was discovered that a spot had grown in her lung. Surgery in February 2015 revealed that she had stage one lung cancer less than 2 cm. However all lymph nodes were cleared and the removal of her entire upper right lobe eradicated the cancer. Emily made this career shift 12 years ago after moving to Llano Texas where she first worked for a title company. After three years and a six-month hiatus she acquired her real estate agent license and went to work with Jesse James Real Estate. Emily acquired her brokers license two years later and has been an Associate Broker with Jesse James Real Estate for the past nine years. She s been married to her husband and soul mate (Stephen) since December 11 2002. They have three children and six grandchildren. My son and his family live in Austin Texas my daughter and her family live in Odessa Texas and Stephen s daughter and family live in Fredericksburg Texas. In her free time Emily likes to fish with Stephen in their bass boat which they call the Mardi Gras boat (because of its purple green and gold colors). She also likes riding as a passenger his motorcycles. Otherwise Emily enjoys making barbed wire and bead crosses for anyone who asks new members of her church and children enrolled in confirmation classes. Why do I want people to know this I was a smoker for about 30 years and quit about 15 years ago. My mom and dad aunts and uncles and most of my cousins were all smokers and I m the only one who s had lung cancer. Please listen to your body and don t assume that just because you did or didn t smoke or quit that you will not ever get cancer because there are no guarantees. Today Emily is feeling much better and has a new lease on life. Thanks to all the prayers and the great doctors who listened and acted I ll be here for a few more sunrises and sunsets. She wants to be remembered as someone who never gave up and tried harder than anyone to make a difference in someone s life. Each cross is different. I couldn t understand why I made them like that but got my answer one day on the way to church when a confirmation class was getting their crosses. God spoke to me and said that as each child is different so is each cross. Emily has recently undergone something personal that she s chosen to share with the world. Last year after being hospitalized for a possible heart attack and undergoing numerous tests I love real estate and the chance it gives me to meet so many different individuals. As a Realtor I talk to people about their desire to purchase that perfect home and as a seller s agent I talk to them about selling their home and getting the best offer I can for it. 79 Women of Distinction Jennifer Wynn Human Resources HR Specialist - UT Foundation Inc. Knoxville TN 80 Women of Distinction T hey say that when one door closes another one opens... Jennifer later obtained opportunities to train hold effective meetings lead groups on projects and improve processes. My experiences and development led to me realizing a passion for human resources and understanding how important it can be to an organization. My knowledge will continue to help me serve my organization and its employees. I look forward to new challenges and further growth in the future. Jennifer credits her support system for all of her successes. This was the case for Jennifer Wynn in 2011 when her company laid off her entire division. She contemplated if she was doing what she desired long term. This was an unnerving time in my life that presented me with a wonderful opportunity. I had been presented with the ability to really spend time on creating a new future for myself so I decided to seize that opportunity. So Jennifer evaluated what she most enjoyed from her past experiences she really enjoyed training development and was heavily interested in employment law. With that Jennifer found the right academic program for her and pursued a Bachelor in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management. She had already gained years of valuable experience in the retail industry that would add to a successful career in human resources. I started in retail where a lot of people begin working. This is where I received my first opportunities to be a supervisor and manager influencing my role today. I was challenged with situations that caused me to raise my service standards. I ve since maintained the standard that every person and company should strive to do what s fair and right for the customer (internal or external). I learned a lot about leading and managing people. These experiences taught me a lot about the positive impacts these roles have on employees. I also learned how businesses can thrive off of their employees if the right work environment is created and maintained. I worked for some great companies that had valuable training programs that provided me with key experiences Everything I ve accomplished today would ve been next to impossible without the support of my family friends and mentors. It has been challenging juggling a full-time job college and my family s needs but fortunately my husband has supported me most and I couldn t be more grateful to share my life and successes with him. I have had just the right amount of support to accomplish all that I have personally and professionally. Jennifer s goal is to one day develop new principles that really change organizations for the better not just for their business but their workforce as well. Along the way I hope to serve as an inspiration to employees and help my organization realize its true potential through our staff and culture we create. 81 Women of Distinction Judith A. McNiff CFPPlanning and Financial Investments President - McNiff Money Management Lincolnshire IL udy McNiff had very little growing up. Her father had an eighth grade education and was disabled so she learned at a young age that she had to work for anything she wanted. Her love of teaching financial concepts has evolved into helping parents teach their children how to avoid financial pitfalls and her newly released book Ethan Learns How to Tame the Money Monster tells the story of how a little boy avoids the scary money traps that lead so many adults down the path to a financial meltdown. The book is designed to help parents and grandparents teach core money values to their children. Learn more by going to www.HowToTameTheMoneyMonster. com. Judy has received multiple industry awards including recent recognition from Barron s as one of the top female financial advisors in the country. She was named the 2014 Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women and has been featured on local and national radio on television and in print media. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association The International Women s Leadership Association and Engaging Speakers. She also donates her time to PADS an organization providing emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness. Judy currently lives in Lincolnshire IL with her husband Keith. Her daughter Amanda lives nearby with her family as well. J I was determined to have a better life for my children so I worked my way through college and was the only one in our family of four kids with a college education. Her ultimate wake-up call came in 1985 when Judy found herself abandoned and alone after her husband left her and their 14-month old daughter Amanda stranded in Ecuador. I learned quickly how to handle myself my money and my financial future. Judy went back to school earned her Certified Financial Planner designation and for the last 27 years she has turned her personal ordeal into a platform to help other women navigate through financial landmines to financial independence. She believes she had a dual calling (i) to provide a better life for her family and (ii) to help others achieve a better life for themselves by helping them succeed financially. Judy is known for her innovative seminars which combine investment concepts with a variety of everyday situations to help take the mystery out of managing your money. Her most popular events include Beauty & Her Financial Beasts Investment Recipes cooking demonstration What Do Chocolate Emotions & Money Have in Common and How To Tame The Money Monster money management for kids. I want my children and grandchildren to know that anything is possible if they believe in it. With a plan some determination and God s help you can succeed. Don t give up. 82 Women of Distinction Laurel Bloomfield Fashion Healthcare Cattle Construction Co-Founder CFO Pocket Innerwear Inc. Co-Founder CFO My Rolling Rack Inc. Owner Partner Bloomfield Cattle Co. Owner Partner J&L Dirt LLC Waitsburg WA L aurel Bloomfield s career as an entrepreneur began at the age of 23 after completing her college internship in equine dentistry when she founded Equine Health Consulting. Moving out of state where she met her husband a fifth generation cattle rancher in 2005 she began building a more sustainable ranching business that could be passed down to generations. They also founded a heavy equipment construction company J&L Dirt LLC specializing in excavation land clearing and stream restoration just prior to starting a family in 2012. But once their little bundle of joy made his first appearance the dynamics of the business drastically changed. They gave her their T1 tank top which securely held her pump and tubing up against her body. She was able to go to homecoming wearing a regular dress with her pump completely hidden. Launching a non-profit called OneForOne to fund this arm of their company they decided that for each Pocket Innerwear piece they sell they d give one away to a T1 diabetic child. Listed as the co-inventor Laurel has two patents pending. She is involved in State and County Cattlemen s Association a statewide grass roots organization devoted to promoting agriculture and the cattle industry. Running four businesses with her husband and being a full-time mother Laurel is also involved in her church and as a volunteer. She even gets to ride her horses for work often something not everyone can say. I found myself with likeminded stay-at-homemoms whose first priority was their family but they too had restless minds that desired to be creative Laurel said. I partnered with a few of those friends and we started an online clothing company www.myrollingrack.com in the spring of 2013. Once we opened the doors to that creative side more doors opened. In the fall of 2014 we founded www.pocketinnerwear.com. My husband has always been a huge confidence builder and he s set the tone for a very successful partnership in business and marriage Laurel said happily. I am convinced he is one of the greatest men ever and I am one lucky girl to have his love. Pocket Innerwear Inc. is patent-pending technology clothing designed to discreetly and comfortably carry your most important technology. As moms on the go it s never easy to juggle kids purses baby bags phones and other items. Their clothing items have pockets sewn into them for the convenience of stowing these necessary items such as cellphones credit card or lip gloss etc. They can be worn as outerwear workout wear or as a high quality slimming layering piece. Taking Pocket Innerwear a step further Laurel and her cofounders designed another patent-pending pocket to carry medical devices. Their line is currently catering to Type-1 (insulin dependent) diabetics. Their first sample test was with a 16-year-old girl. The biggest lesson Laurel has learned in business is that you have to always be thinking how can I serve others She also admits that it pays to give and what you get in return is tenfold what you give away. 83 Women of Distinction 84 Women of Distinction Mae LeBlanc Transportation and Warehousing - Freight Handling President of A 1 Lumpers 85 Moncton New Brunswick Canada Women of Distinction fter separating from her husband in 1991 after five years of marriage and faced with the challenge of raising two small children alone Mae LeBlanc was willing to try anything to keep her family secure and comfortable. Keeping an open mind she accepted a job helping a friend unload trucks in a warehouse for A 1 Lumpers in Moncton New Brunswick Canada. The shift began at 7 00 a.m. and finished at 3 00 p.m. (or when all the trailers were finished). A In hindsight it allowed me the opportunity to learn from the ground up. I was a single mother with two small children but knew I needed to find my path my direction. I ve worked exceptionally hard to get to where I am today and have never forgotten how I got here. Mae would like to be remembered for caring about people and helping those she could. She also never accepted her gender as a barrier. Despite the fact that I was so small I was determined to do the work. I was in excellent physical condition and had been taught all my life that I could do anything I put my mind to. The impossible just takes a little longer. I was 5 1 and weighed 93 lbs so I had to work twice as hard as anyone else to prove myself. Fast-forward to 2015 and here she is President of the company Mae oversees 10 administrative staff members in three provinces and a workforce of approximately 120 people. It s all about being the best you can be and living that. I will not let life pass me by without grabbing it by the horns. I work very closely with our clients and visit the work sites to ensure a problem-free environment for all. Keeping our staff focused on our mission and part of the bigger picture really ensures that they are fully engaged. I also help sales staff procure new contracts as well as retain existing ones. In a nut shell my role is keep the company s goals in the forefront each day and be available to both my staff and clients. However Mae s family is still her number one priority. She married her second husband (Michael) in 1999. He had joined the company full-time in 1998 and together they grew and ran the business until he passed away from cancer in February 2014. Michael was my true love and was Dad to my two children (Rosa and Justin). Rosa is now married to a Captain (Tarek) in the Canadian Armed Forces and lives in Ottawa Ontario. She and Tarek have three beautiful daughters. Justin is engaged to a beautiful girl named Nicole. They re building their dream home in Notre Dame New Brunswick. Justin is Operations Manager with A 1 Lumpers and Nicole works dispatch parttime for the company when she s not at her full-time job at Bell Canada. She started from the bottom now she s here. 86 Women of Distinction Maria Gabrielle Habib M Higher Education Graphic Design Professor Maryland Institute College of Art Creative Director Booz Allen Hamilton Strategic Innovation Group Owner DesignMa LLC Washington DC This successful program was then established as a yearly practicum course for a select group of undergraduate graphic and digital media design students who collaborated as an inhouse team developing award winning identity systems. Looking to this new year with passion and excitement Maria accepted a position as Adjunct Professor at Maryland Institute College of Art and as Creative Director for the Strategic Innovation Group at Booz Allen Hamilton. Additionally she secured her own practice DesignMa LLC through which she has embarked on some very interesting projects such as the inaugural launch exhibition campaigns for the newly re-opened Decatur House with the White House Historical Association. Working with students keeps Maria creative. She says it s a natural set of checks and balances keeping her open to experimenting and trying new approaches to design solutions while helping her stay up-to-date with the latest trends in technology and best practices in the field. She tries to provide students the most fruitful experience possible keeping her performance at peak level. As a Creative Director for Booz Allen she keeps her feet wet and her skills sharp in the business. As a new entrepreneur of DesignMa LLC she pursues clients of her dreams and works on the projects that are dear to her heart. Maria s future in the design business is limitless. aria Habib always knew she wanted to create. Observing her surroundings and visual language came naturally to her. After moving to the US in 1998 Maria ventured into the arts for her education. Although she knew very little about the field design intrigued her so she decided to pursue her curiosity. Since I was a little girl I wanted to see creativity guide my life Maria said. Now I m constantly creating and pursuing my passion through the design field that I now know. I strategize and solve problems every day. What s important is that I am challenged and so humbled by what all my daily efforts teach me. After graduating from Corcoran College of Art and Design Maria began her career with an ad agency in Beirut. The consumerist motives that often dictated the design deterred her from that type of environment. So she left to work for a private studio allowing her to delve into more meaningful non-profit projects. Soon after her work in the non-profit sector she felt the urge to venture back to the art and design world and was hired at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Aspiring artists and designers surrounded her again. She soon became senior design director responsible for the visual brand of the institution directing print and digital collateral for exhibitions programming marketing and events. She was inspired by the innovative spirit which worked to synthesize the traditional ethos of an art museum with a cutting edge approach to art education. In 2008 Maria contributed to the institution s fresh approach by co-creating and instructing an in-practice course called Design Lab. 87 Women of Distinction Regina Ozoemela Life and Business Coaching Founder Chief Executive Officer Unlimited Delight LLC 88 Marlborough MA Women of Distinction E nding her 26-year career with Fidelity Investments in 2011 after feeling inadequate and unfulfilled Regina Ozoemela sought out a coach and mentor only to realize that becoming one herself was just what she wanted to do. Now working with clients as a detached partner to help them evolve and enhance their lives someone to hold them accountable for what they want to achieve Regina Ozoemela became a life and business coach as the Founder and CEO of Unlimited Delight LLC. People hire a life coach when they are making transitions looking for a new life direction starting a new business or looking for personal or professional breakthroughs to go from where they are now to where they want to be Regina explained. As a coach I get to remind clients of their own infinite wisdom. By actively listening and being very intuitive I m able to figure out when my client dipped and why and then help them see from a different perspective in order to move forward with clarity and vision.Regina traveled a lot in order to acquire the coaching skills she needed to form her coaching business. She attended countless live workshops and seminars and although money was an issue at the time it didn t stop her from getting the training that she needed. Now a well-respected life and business coach mentor speaker and published award-winning author of a book entitled Success Against All Odds which reveals how Regina took charge of her destiny to find her own life s purpose she finds great satisfaction in having the strong sense of self value confidence and authenticity she has today. My life has been a rollercoaster but it s never stopped me from remaining focused and living my best life Regina said. Besides empowering people to live their best lives and reach their highest potential Regina likes to give back to society. Sponsoring two underprivileged children through Children International she s also a member of Building Educated Leaders for Life Citizen Schools Good Sports and Parkway United Methodist Church s Health Ministry where she serves as the church s public relations officer to raise funds to benefit those living with HIV AIDS and cancer. Born in Nigeria West Africa Regina was a divorced teenage mother of three with no high school diploma. With the help of her brother and aunt she was able to complete high school and participate as an exchange student in the US in her senior year. She then attended Southern New Hampshire University earning her BS in General Management followed by her MBA with a certificate in International Business. Although she missed seeing her children grow up they have since joined her in the States in 2000. As a coach I teach five important steps all of which are explained in my book she noted. The first step is that you have to clarify your direction what it is you are trying to accomplish. For some people it s easy for others it isn t. By asking powerful questions that lead my clients to their answers I support their visions instead of creating their visions for them. 89 Women of Distinction Susanna Roselli Owner of Mama Roselli s Corning CA S usanna Roselli is the Owner of Mama Roselli s Mia Cucina in Corning CA that specializes in fresh from scratch top shelf quality biscotti and cookies. I married into a wonderful and loving Italian family 46 years ago. My husband has since passed away so I started this business as a tribute to his beloved Roselli family. My love for baking is what has kept my spirits alive. Baking has always been in my DNA. However learning to make biscotti was not only challenging but a delightful way to show his family how much I loved them. I have always loved to bake but nothing happens unless you start with a dream. Her main goal is to produce a fabulous product and offer the very best personal service. NOVEMBER Pumpkin & Walnut The harvest side of sweet. DECEMBER Peppermint The simple and refreshing side of sweet. BAKER S DOZEN Semi-Sweet Chocolate Coffee & Walnut The irresistible smooth side of sweet. Susanna has developed a device to cut her baking time in half. Biscotti are not the easiest product to make so this little device helps expedite the process to make the shape and makes it so much easier to bake and then cut them for the second baking. (Biscotti are a twice-baked product.) My plan is to manufacture the device so everyone can make perfect biscotti without the unnecessary stress. However it doesn t make them look cookie-cutter perfect. I designed it so the cookies have the nostalgic look that I ve worked so hard to achieve. She also bakes a few traditional cookies. My products bring back the nostalgia of old time Italy like a blast from the past. I specialize in the traditional anise biscotti. However I have ventured out and created some very exciting new flavors. My biscotti are like a flavor addiction the next one is better than the first. Each variety has its own distinct taste. BISCOTTI FLAVORS OF THE MONTH JANUARY Rustic Anise The lighter side of sweet. FEBRUARY Cranberry Orange & Walnut The amazing side of sweet. MARCH Chocolata Mint & Almond - The Grasshopper The hopping side of sweet. APRIL Semi-Sweet Chocolate Walnut & Peanut Butter The Italian version of a chocolate chip cookie. MAY Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Salted Peanuts The ritzier side of sweet. JUNE Banana Orange & Coconut The tropical side of sweet. JULY Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Walnut The nuttier side of sweet. AUGUST Lemon & Almond The citrus side of sweet. SEPTEMBER Cinnamon Clove & Macadamia The spiced up nutty side of sweet. OCTOBER Double Chocolata & Raspberry The pink side of sweet. The most popular is The Corning Kow Chip . Hopefully for many this will bring back a little bite of their childhood. COOKIE FLAVORS The Cookie Kow Chip Fresh from the pasture. No two alike. Oatmeal Raisin Walnut The heartier side of sweet. Oatmeal Butterscotch Walnut Godfather Approved - The flavor you can t refuse. Oatmeal Raisin The basic side of sweet. Susanna s key to success is simple You will succeed by pursuing what you love and loving that which you pursue. 90 Women of Distinction To Donate Please Visit www.victoriarosefund.org 91 Women of Distinction Victoria Rose Marotta Nonprofit - Cancer Awareness Research and Funding Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Rose Fund Aston PA