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WOMEN OF DISTINCTION Colleen Bourassa Health and Beauty Rose Catalano Security Surveillance Chief Executive Officer of Gems Security Systems and Gemstar Security Services Colleen Bourassa Health and Beauty Newberg OR T rue Beauty and Wealth is Never Skin Deep Just ask this Skin-Care Consultant Child Champion and Well-Traveled 60 Year-Old Cover Girl Because when you finally find your place - where your career fits in with your lifestyle and you re working for a company you believe in - your beauty and wealth are thoroughly assimilated into your entire being. You shine from the inside out. Treat yourself with our uniquely innovative well-researched and science-based skin care products and supplements to see and feel incredible results that keep compounding over time. Then you ll know that each and every customized application dispensed into your hands isn t just good for your face - It s good for your bank account it s good for your lifestyle and it s good for the community. However if you re anything like me you haven t taken the easy or well-traveled path. Maybe you ve tried other corporate entrepreneurial or philanthropic ventures that didn t meet your expectations. Either they weren t flexible enough or the caliber of products diminished... or like me you might have been disappointed with the lack of leadership and ability to build wealth. You wanted something more. Here s your chance to make a bigger impact on the world I have the education and experience to help you thrive. In my past I founded and operated a certified nursing assistant school pioneered senior adult foster care worked in direct patient care was a vocational rehab counselor and a certified career coach. This background gives me the skills I need to inspire and lead a flourishing team representing Nu Skin at my company Ageless Beauty and Wellness. I continue to be an avid reader travel the world and invest in personal selfdevelopment. This is my experience because I was blessed to find Nu Skin. At first I was just looking for increased energy vitality and youthful skin. I got such amazing results that I ve been an Executive Distributor for 7 years now. I am so proud to be able to work with a publicly traded company that has such high quality products with outstanding leadership and world-class scientists behind it. It s especially rewarding knowing every transaction in my business is helping underprivileged children. That s because Nu Skin established The Force For Good Foundation a nonprofit to improve the lives of children particularly to help those who are disadvantaged and suffering from disease illiteracy and poverty. I work with distributors around the world to support this nonprofit with local projects product sales and donations. My talent is in helping others chart their paths to success. I am passionate about helping my team. And I m not the only one Nu Skin is known for building teams to train and support each other through our growth. There are incentive plans with a clear path and each milestone achieved is celebrated as we advance through leadership levels. You have the freedom to do it your way but you are not alone. And Nu Skin products are superior. I m a living breathing beautiful example of how good they are You get to provide people with solid technology from some of the best scientists in the world using health and beauty products that work from the inside and the outside. Skin care has never worked - or felt - so good Because when you create a sensory experience with Epoch essential oils Nu Skin donates 0.25 of your purchase to the Nu Skin Force For Good Foundation specifically to preserve the lifestyle and traditions of indigenous people around the world. When you take one of our AgeLOC Youth supplements it promotes your age defensive mechanisms inside your body. And when you reach your hand under the new AgeLOC Me smart technology device you re given a unique formulation dispensed in micro-layers based on a customized skin code selected from 2000 combinations that is just for you. Now younger-looking skin is simple with just one application in the morning and one in the evening. I am on the adventure of a lifetime And I invite people like you - who aren t satisfied with the standard grueling rigid 9-5 jobs - to join me as I earn income on my own schedule. You can start earning income in as early as 30 days My new career has given me the opportunity to travel more and meet new people and make a real difference in the world. I found a fun and flexible wealth-building career that helps me stay young and beautiful Q&A Q Are you ready to feel beautiful with like-minded positive people that want to change the world A Whether you re ready to be a Nu Skin customer or a distributor it s easy to sign up In either case you simply fill out an online form. I usually recommend that my new customers sign-up as a preferred customer with delivery rewards as that offers them the highest product discount. But don t worry I ll make sure you re clear on your options so that you properly place your order to best fit your needs. And the best part is that Nu Skin offers a refund with their money-back guarantee so long as you order from us directly. And if you re interested in becoming a distributor on my team you don t need to stock up on an inventory of product either. There is no up-front cash investment required. Of course we do recommend that you try these fantastic products for yourself so that you can talk intelligently with first-hand knowledge about Nu Skin to your own customers. And of course I ll offer further education for you on the history of the business as a publicly traded company and the prominent leadership and global-renowned scientists at the helm. Q How can I gain beauty and wealth at a whole new level A There is so much new innovation at Nu Skin the time is now to join me as a customer or distributor Give me a call at 541-668-7546 to schedule a 15-minute phone appointment and I ll answer any questions you have. Or I m happy to meet face-to-face for a free product demonstration. Even if you re not in the USA a Nu Skin home office representative can assist you in your primary language to discuss the business and products. Remember we collaborate Q What is your professional and educational background A Nu Skin Executive Distributor at Ageless Beauty and Wellness Disability Benefits Analyst at The Standard CEO and Certified Life Coach at Career Maps Coaching Inc. Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) at Professional Consulting Services Founder of Health Care Institute for Certified Nursing Assistant training VRC Consultant to State of Oregon and Veterans Administration MS in Education and Counseling from Portland State University BA in Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University Q What other people are saying A Forbes named Nu Skin as one of the 100 most trustworthy companies in the U.S. (2010) Chicago Athanaeum honored the AgeLOC Me cartridge device as a winner of Good Design Awards (2015) Cosmopolitan magazine awarded Nu Skin s Tru Face Essence Ultra with the 2015 Cosmopolitan Beauty Award Glamour magazine highlights the advantages of AgeLOC Me personalized skin care (2016) The Utah (the corporate headquarters home state) Governor s Office of Economic Development awarded Nu Skin the Outstanding Company Award (2016) Q What s your dream A At Nu Skin we have a success formula that is designed to help make your dream a reality. I d love to know what your dream is too Give me a call at 541-668-7546 and let s talk about how you can have beauty and wealth at a new level I d love to help you define your success and build a more meaningful life. 5 Women of Distinction Patricia BaronowskiSchneider Investor Relations Public Relations Media Relations Social Media President Chief Executive Officer Pristine Advisers Farmingdale NY I f Patricia Baronowski-Schneider were to explain in a single word what it is that makes her career particularly rewarding she would reply People . While people who need people are the luckiest people in the world Patricia thinks there are great dividends to seize and enjoy from meeting so many distinguished men and women within her industry. These individuals who make her a more informed and inspired advocate for the services she offers have everything to do with her success today as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Pristine Advisers of New York. Providing Investor Public Media Relations and Creative Marketing to public companies private organizations closed-end funds for clients BDC s MLP s ETF s REIT s etc. Pristine Advisers brings almost three decades of experience to the table. Focusing on providing results they help clients acquire greater visibility through media and increase shareholder value through building awareness and a competitive edge through heightened communications with the investment community. They also have more than 25 years of experience in the financial industry and fully understand how the financial markets operate. Not only does Patricia run her firm but she is also very hands-on when it comes to the client tasks her organization is hired to do. While Pristine Advisers handles investor relations public relations and media relations for clients they are also in charge of marketing their clients to the investment community and the media. Constantly seeking additional investors for clients to present their products to Patricia and her team seek the appropriate media in which to pitch their story exploring the various roads and methods one can use to help market Patricia s firm and the firm s clients. 6 Women of Distinction Unlike the typical day of doing the same tasks over and over doing the exact same thing my career has me doing something different at all times she noted. I love that. Patricia is a go-getter who strives for perfection in everything that she does. She is always on the learning train always evolving and sharpening her skills to ensure she is up to date in modern technology in modern methods of handing investor relations public relations media relations current laws and news in the industry. Never afraid of a challenge every task she tackles is considered a learning experience and an opportunity for her to grow. Active as a member of numerous organizations relative to her field Patricia is affiliated with National Investor Relations Society American Management Association and Public Relations Society of America. Published in a book called The Confidence Factor for Women in Leadership Conversations with Women CEO s & Leaders and Insiders Know-How Running Your Own Business she was also on the cover of World Class CEO Magazine and was named in WE Magazine for Women and Who s Who Among Women in Ecommerce. A very easy going person Patricia is also what many would consider a daredevil. A skydiver and Skydiver Instructor on weekends it is a hobby that she has been enjoying for more than 15 years as a way to finally get over her fear of heights. She has a D-License in Skydiving holds a United States Parachute Association (USPA) License and has an AFF Instructor License all through the USPA. Although she admits to still being very much afraid of heights she explains that depth perception and height perception are not the same thing. The world is constantly changing and so are the various methods Patricia explained about the complexity of working in her industry. I am always reading learning and evaluating new ways to do business. I am constantly attending conferences participating in webinars and speaking with industry professionals as well to evolve and keep with the times not only for myself as a company but also for the well-being of our clients. Explaining that no two days are ever the same it is often a challenge in reaching the right audience at the right time and still market each client to a particular category not to mention the fact that the markets are always evolving. From the people to the categories to the media and social media Patricia remains on her toes at all times and needless to say it certainly keeps her job extremely interesting. 7 Women of Distinction Skydiving has helped me to take risks and not be afraid of trying new things Patricia noted. Teaching people is always a joy for me and going above and beyond to accomplish others tasks is part of what helps me stand out from my competitors. Patricia earned her Master of Business Administration in Business Management Marketing and Related Support Services in 2003 through State University of New York Empire State College. She holds a Paralegal Certificate through Sobehlson School an Investor Relations Certificate through New York University a Securities Industry Certification through New York Institute of Finance is a Certified Social Media Strategist through Social Media Magic University is certified in Investor Relations through New York University in Fixed Income Securities through New York Institute of Finance in Finance through New York Institute of Finance and in Regulations 101 through NIRI. She is also licensed through the Chamber of Commerce in New York. Working her way up Patricia began her career with Handy & Harman as a Receptionist of the firm and shortly thereafter was promoted to Telecommunications Specialist. She then spent time with Dewe Rogerson as a Secretary to a company director and then went on to becoming an Assistant Account Executive with Citigate and then as an Account Executive to Account Manager before moving on to The Altman Group as their Managing Director to the Vice-President. It was in 2010 that Patricia formed Pristine Advisers as President and CEO. 8 Women of Distinction I came from two bigger companies prior to forming my own. Everyone believed that there was a company doing the majority of the work. The reality was that there was a company if something was needed but the work that was being done on a daily basis was by myself Patricia noted about one of the biggest difficulties she faced working for someone else. Going on my own and working as hard as I do caused competitors to come out of the woodwork to come after me. The good thing is that I not only created a challenge for them but I also motivated myself to work even harder than I already was. Patricia stands behind everything she does when it comes to business. She gives it 150% every single day and is very much aware of what she has to offer which is a great attribute. Doing her best and letting her work speak for itself rather than allowing competitors to get in her way actions really do speak louder than words. Married with two children one lives in Manhattan and works in public relations and the other lives in the Bronx and works in social media and fashion. Recently Patricia was blessed with the news that she will become a first-time grandparent in the summer of 2016. She eagerly awaits the new baby s presence. I would like to accomplish everything God has in store for me while I am here Patricia said lastly. I always treat people with respect I always put others needs above my own I am always trying to teach people as best I can and I am always trying to be a good example. I seek fundraising opportunities for those in need volunteer with local hospitals visiting the elderly and am constantly there for my kids and my family. I believe my working from the ground up and having come from very little has really made me appreciate everything in life and I am grateful for all of the chances and opportunities I have been given. 9 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel that your business is important in today s society A Technology makes my business essential for the good of the clients we serve and the clarity of the message we convey on behalf of fund managers and investors alike. The sheer rapidity of technology with its ability to deliver news at the speed of the electron demands a real-time response to events which without our role as interpreter and mediator of information can upend markets spread rumor and innuendo fuel panic and induce a selloff in funds at home and abroad. Q Why is your business a necessity within the context of the global economy A Technology means the global economy is just that an international non-stop series of messages and financial transactions a never ending always open trading platform for private investors and fund managers worldwide where a single comment either a misquote or a poorly phrased response can cause economic upheaval. My job is to ensure that these fund managers mostly those responsible for running companies BDC s MLP s REIT s closed-end funds etc. have the guidance they need to communicate with authority and transparency. Q What motivates you to stay enthusiastic about your work A Diversity is everything meaning that I work with so many financial professionals. I host an annual conference on behalf of the specific marketplace I serve that exposes me to a vast array of voices and perspectives. I learn a lot from these men and women which provides me with a sense of newness other businesses lack. Q What is the greatest challenge your business faces A We face a recurring challenge a slight hurdle almost every service provider confronts. We need to convey the indispensable value of the counsel and guidance we offer and the wisdom we possess because if we cannot communicate effectively on our own behalf and speak persuasively for the betterment of the clients we seek to represent then this challenge will mutate from a minor issue to a major (and insurmountable) obstacle. It is something we do on a daily basis developing ways of which to reach the audiences that matter most for our clients and ensuring the messages are clear and heard. Q What is the most undervalued service your business provides A This sentence is the answer which is to say the ability to write with integrity and lucidity and passion and eloquence too. It is an art not a science. If we can give voice to a client s beliefs and strategy if we can (and indeed we do) hone each sentence and polish each paragraph then that client will have a message that resonates with current and potential investors worldwide. Q What is the most significant change involving how you do business A Two words social media. It is essential for clients to understand because it is crucial for me to emphasize the importance of outlets like Facebook Google LinkedIn and Twitter. It is urgent for clients to join no it is a nonnegotiable requirement for these fund managers to allow us to moderate the real-time dialogue by analysts investors and critics alike concerning the performance of the market in general and this or that fund in particular. Q What makes your business different from the competition A In a world overrun by numbers given the fact that the currency of Wall Street is more mathematical than verbal more quantitative than qualitative we have the talent to humanize a great many concepts for the good of a great many investors at home and abroad. We embrace branding as storytelling and broadcasting a voice (and showcasing the face behind that voice) for an audience of relevant investors. Q What do you intend to do differently in 2016 A Time changes. The times change and we must change too. This year presents opportunities not additional obstacles because there is a worldwide conversation a minute-by-minute posting of tens of thousands of tweets comments and news flashes about Wall Street. Our firm has the skill and resources to deliver clarity in a digital environment of seemingly indecipherable chaos. Q What is the most significant crisis you battle on a daily basis A Investors may have short-term goals but I have longterm objectives. Putting it another way there is a difference between a business and a brand there are many of the former while there are few among the latter. If I can transform a client s business into a brand and if that brand has a kind of incalculable (in a good way) worth then I can lay claim to having converted a crisis into a financial cornucopia. Q What should the public know about your co-workers and staff A I have the pleasure to work alongside some of the most impressive men and women in my profession. Their commitment to excellence as well as their unyielding personal pledge to ethical behavior is a glory to behold. 10 Women of Distinction Angela Brannon Tarleton Arts Education Co-Founder Vice President Artistic Director and Director of Dance of Kearsarge Conservatory of the Performing Arts Warner NH ngela Brannon Tarleton has over 30 years of experience on a college and conservatory level and has worked in every medium of the performing arts. She understands the performance process from stretching to warming up the body to the bows at the end of a performance. As an actress dancer singer choreographer director playwright and musician (also an accomplished flutist) she fits into any role needed. Angela works well with directors musical directors and technical crew. She has designed costume and lighting for dance concerts and is considered a Renaissance Woman . When teaching directing or choreographing she maintains a strong focus on activity creating a sense of unity and purpose that gets the job done . As an original visionary and founder of Christ Arts Institute Inc. Angela kept the vision alive with her innovative ideas and dedication to excellence in training and performance and continues to do the same in New Hampshire with Kearsarge Conservatory of the Performing Arts (KCPA). A She has been married to her Co-Founder (Kevin) for almost 34 years. Kevin has always supported my vision both emotionally and financially. He not only has a master s degree an MFA in Acting and Directing but he is a talent in his own right. He has worked as a self-employed carpenter and remodeler for 34 years so we could maintain our studio. I also have two great kids with him Alyssa and Jonmichael. Angela can say that she loves her life and is very happy. I teach the majority of the classes at KCPA. I have developed the curriculum which includes a graded ballet system. I am in charge of hiring the teachers to maintain the highest standard of teaching and am constantly watching and analyzing the students technique to promote excellence and prevent injury. I set the class schedule and develop the holiday and spring shows. I also write all of our advertising maintain the website choose and cut all of the music choose the costumes organize the Order of Show design the first draft of the programs am prepared to wipe noses and tears of little ones maintain discipline and keep attitudes in check with teenagers and occasionally vacuum the floors and clean and or unclog the toilet. Oh and then there s the making of props painting sets sewing alterations and repairs of costumes. I do pretty much everything except anything having to do with finances which makes me very happy because I know what I m good at and what I m not. What makes Angela different is that she is diverse. Beyond my husband and children I have my wonderful extended family of KCPA all so loving and encouraging. I also have my church First Baptist Church New London where I still play my flute every Sunday And above all I have the unconditional love of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has blessed me with infinite creativity but also an analytical mind so that I can watch and correct my students technique. I can develop beautiful dancers but I can also teach actors how to dance and dancers how to act. I can choreograph in any venue from classical ballet to modern to musical theatre to children s theatre because I m also an actor and a musician. I think it makes me unique. I have had some dreadful choreographers in the past because they could only work in one venue of dance and had no clue how to choreograph musical theatre and work with actors. 12 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel the arts are important and should be maintained and encouraged in our society A Because as Goethe said The functions of the arts are entertainment edification and exaltation of the human spirit . Q Why are the arts being taken out of our public schools A Because people don t understand their importance. For centuries arts were an integral part of education now they are being replaced by sports and that s where all the emphasis and money go. We need to get back to a balance and understand that education without the arts is incomplete. Q What is your favorite quote A The following lines from Mr. Holland s Opus totally sum up how I feel. Because the arts are being cut from public schools exponentially and sports are on the increase that s where all the money and attention goes Vice Principal Wolters I care about these kids just as much as you do. And if I m forced to choose between Mozart and reading and writing and long division I choose long division. Mr. Glenn Holland Well I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want Gene. Sooner or later these kids aren t going to have anything to read or write about. Mr. Glenn Holland The day they cut the football budget in this state that will be the end of western civilization as we know it Q How can the arts help my kid in life A Many of the greatest minds in the world throughout history either were artists themselves or supported the arts. They are too numerous to name but the Egyptians Greeks and Romans and Italian and English Renaissances were fed by art and artists and along with it came advances in science medicine philosophy and technology. Q Dance lasts for nine months which is way longer than any sport. Does it really need to last that long A Dance is not a sport it s an art. Would you expect your child to learn to play an instrument or speak a foreign language in six weeks Dance is a language that the body needs to learn to speak and speak properly so the dancer can have longevity in his or her dancing life even if it doesn t become a career. Q Aren t I setting my kid up for failure (After all most kids don t make it in the arts as a career.) A Music works both the left and right brain. Singing playing the piano and dancing exposes a child to music. Many studies have been done which show that those students do better in school than children who are not exposed to music. Some things should be for passion and pleasure. I have had kids that have become professionals and I ve also had kids that became nurses doctors and the most difficult job of all stay at home wives and or moms They all loved to dance sing and act. Let your child enjoy life and they ll figure it out. Q Why should they take formal lessons when they can get as much by singing and dancing at home A There s a difference between doing something and doing it correctly. Sure they can have fun singing and dancing at home (as they should). But how would you feel if someone gave you a hammer a nail and several boards and told you to build a house You would probably look at them like they had lobsters coming out of their ears Certainly you could build something with the materials you were given but not a house. Your child is given the proper tools in class so they can sing and dance beautifully and it will give them ability to do so without vocal or physical injury. Education is an investment so be sure to invest wisely in excellent programs that will enrich your child s life with the beauty discipline and creativity of the arts. Again education without the arts in incomplete. 13 Women of Distinction Karen Reass CASAC ICADC Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Advanced Certified Relapse Prevention Specialist Certified Clincical Interventionist St. James NY H aving overcome her own addictions Karen Reass became an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor an Advanced Certified Relapse Prevention Specialist and a Certified Clinical Interventionist. She now has over two decades of experience treating addictions. Karen has developed various curriculums and delivered training over the years on Relapse Prevention Women and Addiction Trauma Informed Care and Intervention for the following organizations The Suffolk Coalition to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Dependencies Inc. The Lake Grove Treatment Centers of NY and the Academy of Addiction Studies Outreach Training Institute Suffolk County Community College She was the guest speaker on the panel for the Dual Recovery Training Series about Trauma and Substance Abuse sponsored by The Mental Health Association of New York City and assisted Terence Gorski in teaching Advanced Relapse Prevention Skills for State of Connecticut s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. In addition to having a unique skill set based on both her own healing process and a lot of training with thought leaders in the field Karen really cares about what she does. As a teenager I became addicted to drugs. Despite my talents and being awarded a full scholarship to one of the finest art schools in the country I succumbed to my disease dropped out of school and nearly died. In 1987 Karen entered counseling and 12-step programming to get clean and sober. She discovered what she was truly seeking and began the long road towards healing. I realized I had a wealth of personal experience and although I was working as a commercial artist I decided to go back to school to shape my experience into one that could help others. I completed my Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor Training and was working in the field by 1990. Addiction treatment was a perfect fit for me. I found it rewarding to take a devastating life experience and shape it into a profession where I could help those suffering the way I had. I also love meeting and collaborating with other dedicated professionals. Today Karen s career is twofold. She is the Director of Family Services at a large Residential Treatment Program and a Certified Clinical Interventionist in her private practice. As the Director of Family Services I develop programs to meet the needs of those whose loved ones are recovering in the program. This includes designing curriculum for Educational Workshops Hiring Training and Supervising staff and conducting Lectures Family Counseling Sessions and Bridge Groups. As an Interventionist I help the families of addicted loved ones stop the progression of the addiction. I educate them about the disease of addiction validate the trauma they ve experienced and help them formulate a clear and concise message of hope and expectation that their loved one accept treatment. There s so much pain and suffering around the world. Substance abuse and other addictions are a reflection of how disconnected so many have become from their true purpose. We are not here to suffer yet we re caught up in repetitive cycles of trauma. As I have been loved into wellness I want to love others. I know that love heals and when we feel loved we can pass it on. Healing is possible. 15 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What advice would you offer someone starting off in the industry A I encourage counselors to do their own recovery and go deeper into intrapersonal work where they can discover their traumas biases and stuck points. By walking the walk and practicing self-care counselors will model authenticity to others and be much more effective. And one of the greatest gifts you can give your client is your unconditional care and respect. All the training in the world is meaningless if you don t meet your client where they are (not where you wish they were). Seek first to understand and the rapport you build will bear fruit. Q What is an intervention A An intervention is a conscious act designed to promote awareness and change. In a substance abuse intervention I meet with and listen to the family that has reached out to me. I then assist them in developing a strategy that will help motivate their addicted loved one to say yes to treatment. Traditionally letters are used to help families formulate their thoughts. I provide a structure for the letter as well as guidance and support every step of the way. The intervention is orchestrated and is as much an art as it is a science. It s a dance with the family that I m assisting as I assess and interpret the dynamics of the system. Doing years of work in psychodrama for my own healing has provided me with a unique skill set. This work is largely intuitive. Q Are there different methods for intervening A Yes I ve been trained in several methods and work eclectically. All the models I use emphasize treating the family and the addicted individual with gentleness dignity and respect. In the ARISE model we invite the addicted individual to participate in the family s meetings from the start and use the least amount of pressure needed to meet the level of resistance presented. In the LOVE FIRST (Structured Family Intervention) model I meet with the family unbeknownst to the addicted individual until all are prepared and then the addicted loved one is surprised by the family meeting when the intervention takes place. There is also the CRAFT model which involves no confrontation at all and focuses entirely on the family making changes that can slowly allow for the addicted individual to respond in kind. I usually present all models to the family as I believe the family is inherently resilient and knows instinctively how best to approach their loved one. Q What are the challenges of doing intervention work A There are many challenging aspects of doing intervention work. Because families tend to wait until all else has failed the interventionist is dealing with a very stressed out family. A typical call involves a sense of crisis and urgency. Getting the family on the same page is also a challenge both logistically and emotionally. Although families say they want change some (albeit unconsciously) work against it. There are often saboteurs of the intervention amongst the folks who say they want to help. I must quickly assess the players and the roles they take in the family system in order to get them to work together. And sometimes families are so traumatized by years even generations of addiction that there can be a learned helplessness which can be very difficult to overcome. Q What are the rewards of doing intervention work A Validating educating and supporting the family has its rewards. Whether or not the addicted individual ultimately accepts the family s request to enter treatment much good can come of the process itself. By educating the family on how to care for themselves teaching them new communication techniques making sure that all voices are heard and understood and all concerns addressed the family can shift into a mode of working together not previously experienced. This is very empowering to the individuals involved and potentially opens their minds to options not previously considered like their own recovery. For the family the ultimate reward is to see their loved one have a moment of clarity and accept the love and concern expressed in the intervention and say yes to treatment. For me witnessing a family that cares enough to overcome their own extreme anxiety to confront the disease that has hijacked their loved one is powerful. I believe that intervention is a profound act of caring it is love in action. 16 Women of Distinction Lois M. Bitler Author - Bible Stories for Children Author of Mighty Servants of the Living God Yorktown Heights NY 17 Women of Distinction L ois M. Bitler s career as an author of Bible stories for children started with her father Paul R. Bitler. He was stricken with tuberculosis (TB) at the age of 21 put in a sanatorium and given six months to live. While lying on his deathbed he asked the Lord that if he would be lifted up he would serve Him wherever the Lord wanted him to go. The Lord answered his prayer as Paul made a full recovery. In 1942 at the age of 25 he came to New York City with a suitcase and a few dollars in his pocket. Paul kept his promise to God and became a missionary to the Spanish-speaking people of New York City and the surrounding areas. At a Bible meeting in New York City he met Margaret M. Morgan (Lois mother) and they eventually married. In 1943 Paul started two Spanish-speaking churches one in the South Bronx N.Y. and the other in Spanish Harlem New York City. Both churches are still active to this day. Years later in 1979 Lois (now 21-years-old) followed in her parents footsteps and began teaching Sunday school. I added morals and values to each Bible story to help the children in their personal lives. I also ended each story with a Bible verse and asked questions so that they would remember the story for I knew these stories would carry them through their lifetime. Little did she know that in 1993 Lois would have a book of her Bible stories published in the Hungarian language. Dr. Frank Sreter Founder of The Hungarian Literature Mission in Hungary liked the stories and wanted to publish them for the children of Hungary. Dr. Sreter asked me if I would do the book for free as the citizens didn t have much. I thought about all the children in Hungary who didn t know about God or the Bible and agreed to do it. The beautiful book is called Vedd Es Olvasd (Take It and Read It) and it is still available in Hungary today. Lois continued teaching Sunday school and writing Bible stories for the Spanish-speaking children. However she stopped teaching in 2007 after her mother became bedbound and asked Lois to take care of her. She had also taken care of her father years prior in 1990 when he got sick. And with her mother physically able to care for him while Lois was at church on Sundays she was still able to teach. Paul passed away on January 10 1991. I taught for many years in the South Bronx church. In the beginning it was very difficult to teach because the children had just come from other countries and didn t grasp the English language. I tried two different Sunday school lesson books but they couldn t do the homework assignments due to their lack of understanding. I remember going to my room and closing the door. I asked the Lord What can I do in order for the children to understand the Bible stories How can I communicate to them the love of God My memory went back to all the times I spent reading and studying the Word of God the Bible all the times my parents housed missionaries all the Bible meetings and the Bible camp I attended and all the Bible courses I had taken at Emmaus Bible College. Lois suddenly knew the answer. God wanted her to write the Bible stories in a way that the children could understand them to simplify and paraphrase the stories to the point where they could comprehend their true meaning. To this day I remember my father saying to me One day God is going to bless you for taking care of your daddy. I had a good father who was a godly man and I would have done it a million times over for him. But now in 2007 with her mother being bedbound Lois could no longer teach Sunday school. She needed me 24 7. It was really hard but I wanted to honor her wishes to remain at home. I remember asking God for the strength to see me through this with Mom. He gave me His strength and remained faithful to answering my prayers. Lois spent seven years with her mother in that condition. 18 Women of Distinction We were able to spend long days nights and years together. Today I cherish the memories and special times I had alone with my mother. My married sister Deborah was a big help and was with me when mom passed on August 16 2014. I had a wonderful godly mother and I have no regrets. The following year brought great things for Lois. On May 5 2015 Tate Publishing Company and Enterprises LLC released Lois first book in the English language. The book is called Mighty Servants of the Living God and contains all the Bible stories she wrote 68 stories with 10 fully illustrated pictures. Q&A Q Why do you feel that writing a book of Bible stories for children is relevant in today s world A In today s world many children do not know much about God the Bible or all the wonderful stories that the Bible contains. With my book Mighty Servants of the Living God many children are reading these stories for the very first time. There is a great need for Bible stories in today s world. Q Was it difficult for you to write these stories for children A No it wasn t difficult because I taught children in Sunday school and knew they needed to be able to understand the stories written in the Bible. I also knew that God loved them so I needed to relay this message of God s love for them in a clear and accurate way that they could understand. Q How hard was it for you to think of a title for the book A It took a while for me to think of the title Mighty Servants of the Living God but I know God is alive. If you have accepted God s son The Lord Jesus Christ into your heart as your Lord and Savior you are His servant and it s His strength that makes you mighty. Hence Mighty Servants of the Living God was born. Q Was the book being published with pictures worth waiting for A Yes through much perseverance and prayer the right publishing company (Tate Publishing Company and Enterprises LLC) helped me. I have no regrets just sheer joy. It s a beautiful book my best book yet. What joy this book has given me Tate Publishing Company and Enterprises LLC has translated the book into Spanish. The book is now available for purchase in both Engish and Spanish. It will soon be translated into the Filipino language. I am full of joy and excitement It took years to see my dream come true and now it has come to life in four languages It s up to me now to promote and sell Mighty Servants of the Living God . It s hard work but because it s my dream it s exciting. Pray and never give up. Never. Mighty Servants of the Living God can be purchased in both English and Spanish directly from Lois at loisbitler yahoo. com and she is also involved with promotions and events in support of the book. Churches and bookstores all over the U.S. and Canada are purchasing the book. One church Calvary Baptist Church in New York City purchased the books as awards for Vacation Bible School students. Christian Missions in Many Lands (CMML) and I are sending books to schools in foreign countries that teach English to the children. The book has also gone to a leper orphanage in India through Mr. and Mrs. Rick Hart of Alabama. The book is even being purchased individually by parent(s) who would like to have their children read and learn Bible stories. Mighty Servants of the Living God is available to all people and organizations who would like to read and learn about the Word of God. 19 Women of Distinction Rose Catalano Security Surveillance Chief Executive Officer of Gems Security Systems and Gemstar Security Services Vaughan Ontario Canada I n 1991 after many years of working for others as an office administrator credit and collection officer associate store program manager and assistant controller Rose Catalano thought about venturing out and starting her own business. It wasn t a planned decision to specifically consider the security industry. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the need for security systems was becoming more and more prevalent. After quite a bit of market and product research I concluded that this was an industry ripe for more suppliers (contractors) to meet the growing demands for video surveillance and access control systems and it had the potential of being recession-proof . She founded two companies Gems Security Systems and (later) Gemstar Security Services. Gems Security Systems specializes in providing electronic security equipment and service while Gemstar Security provides security solutions against vandalism theft physical aggression personal safety concerns and parking control issues within commercial industrial and residential markets. Rose wanted to provide her customers with comprehensive security solutions and having both companies allowed her to do just that. I stay involved with all aspects of both companies by keeping abreast of all up and coming projects installation progression vehicle conditions potential HR discrepancies insurance negotiations scheduling practices employee benefit plan renewals banking details and the status of accounts receivable and payable. Additionally I handle all monthly accounting functions and prepare business forecasts and fiscal year-end reports. Her career and how she runs her business was greatly inspired by Margaret Thatcher. I ve always been moved by her performance because she showed consistency and courage. She knew how to keep the momentum going and made tough decisions in the name of betterment for the country even if it meant the public would not judge her kindly. In business making difficult decisions is a daily occurrence and at times your decisions could be perceived as sour or discriminatory and are often taken with harsh expression. In the face of such adversities I believe Mrs. Thatcher showed us how to avoid being shell-shocked and keep an open forum for more dialogue instead. 20 Women of Distinction She has also faced her fair share of gender stereotypes. I started my business with a minimal amount of money. Having insufficient funds made growth and progress difficult. The banks were not ready to extend loans (even at a higher premium) to a female venturing into a male-dominated industry. In those days who ever heard of a female taking an ownership position in a high-tech security company Creditors were not willing to extend credit and those who did only allowed a minimal amount. Many new prospects were afraid to sign a contract when they found out that the company was owned by a female. And of course the landlord was none too kind if the rent was an hour late. He simply did not trust that I would honor my responsibility. This taught me perseverance and being a realist I utilized whatever resources were available to help me find alternatives to get me where I wanted to go. Rose has now been working and contributing to the electronic security industry for almost 25 years and has gained a tremendous amount of industry and product knowledge. She has also learned how to effectively win in difficult or challenging situations that often creep up in this industry. They also contribute to Ronald McDonald House Toronto Sick Children s Hospital Ner Israel Yeshiva College and other research foundations. In July 2015 Rose published a book titled This Head of Security Wears High Heels and dedicated it to all young women (could apply to men also) who aspire to one day have their own security company (or any business for that matter). I strongly believe that there is a slight public misconception about the mode and value of doing business vs. the real business world. In my book I explain the reason why making money in business is hard but losing everything is easy especially if you sponsor yourself with a lack of conviction low morale second-hand type leadership or poor excuses. But all is not bad. If managed properly business can offer you financial stability optimism a base for learned wisdom social recognition and a whole lot of insight into the unwritten programs and unspoken terms of operation. Rose is a person who truly thinks that inaction seldom produces results. I prefer to address my business endeavors with caution regardless of what the questionable truth may be. Throughout the years I ve built up a support team that works with me not just for me. Together we take pride in ensuring proper service ethics roundthe-clock availability and ultimate customer satisfaction the ingredient that encourages us to want to go to work the next day. Both companies support the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement. I believe that we (women and men) need to work as a team toward ending gender stereotyping reducing crime and seriously be the loud voice that speaks with clarity when lawmakers miss the mark as they introduce and enforce new security rules and regulations. The spirit of unity must stand as a populist business message that acts as the enabler of our fundamental goal. She also hopes that more individuals will take a moment to come to terms with the fact that a female who is assertive competitive and active in a leadership role (whether it be in business politics policing medicine athletics etc.) not be looked at as a deviant but rather as a competent contributor of our daily lives. For the last eight years we ve donated scholarships to high school college or university students who obtain and maintain satisfactory grades and show positive contribution to their community. Today I proudly speak from experience when I say that the business institution is making fine progress toward a new category of professionalism. 21 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What knowledge did you have of installations service requirements and product schematics prior to entering the industry A I knew absolutely nothing about the intricacies of this industry but I was willing to learn them (and learn them well) so I did. Q What challenges did you encounter as a female in this industry A When I first opened my security company I was truly an odd item in this very male-dominated field totally unfamiliar with the technical lingo. Until I gained sufficient product knowledge I felt intimidated to even dare answer the phone in fear of alienating any new prospective customers (which were hard to find). Typically new customers would shy away from the unknown or the unproven but perseverance and a lot of hard work were the ingredients that kept me moving forward. With only a small number of employees a lot of determination and some people skills I slowly built a company with a reputation of good service and quality workmanship. I never allowed misplaced uncertainties to dominate the agenda. Q How were you treated by your male counterparts in the security industry A For the most part I was simply ignored. Other times I was the recipient of many sly remarks. The better-mannered ones often preferred to deal with the sales rep (male) only and totally leave me out of the equation. After all what possible input could a female offer in regards to electronic systems service or installation It was made clear that I was the odd kid in their segregated block. Q You recently wrote a book titled This Head of Security Wears High Heels . Can you tell us what inspired you to do so A I wrote this book to encourage other women to hopefully consider joining me in the world of business and entrepreneurship. In the book I talk about my experiences with snubs and insults from my counterparts the litany of poor excuses from employees dealings with incompetent tax auditors weird customer behaviors and how I rose above those barriers. As I see it the odds are there for us to beat. Q We understand that most of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the RINJ Foundation. Why did you choose that particular foundation A The RINJ Foundation is especially dedicated to finding solutions for a safer world by putting a stop to gender-based violence and sex crimes (which also includes buying selling children in the sex trade). They lobby for better criminal justice and more programs to help the victims. I believe it s not only important but it is very noble to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate. Q What advice would you give to today s young women A I would promote motivation building self esteem and the drive and commitment to participate in our daily mission to create a world that is based on equality peace and prosperity. I know there is still a lot work to be done to reach our vision of industrial equality but we cannot sit back and simply wait for politicians or system integrators to make it happen. We need to participate instead of ignoring the inevitable. Together our smarts will trump adversity and raise much needed subject awareness. Q Does this message apply to all women around the world A Unfortunately no not today I m well aware that in many parts of the world women and children are not only sadly disadvantaged but they live in constant fear for their safety. To them I say have faith in the agencies and dedicated individuals (who are devoted advocates) tirelessly working on your behalf and eagerly seek to promote and establish better safety programs and social justice for you and your daughters. Hope and action are the vehicles that will take us to a better place tomorrow. 22 Women of Distinction Charlene Peterson T Children s Books - Pre-K to 4th Grade Children s Book Author President - DCAPT Enterprises LLC Fredericksburg VA hrough her work as a Children s Book Author Charlene Peterson loves to express her passion for writing while providing children with an entertaining way to learn special life lessons. She is also the President of DCAPT Enterprises. I have a strong passion for writing. If you love what you do then you will thrive at it. One should never give up on writing if it s their passion. Keep pushing yourself and don t let anyone derail you from what you re trying to do. Do your research and do not rush the process things will happen. Seek advice from others who have taken the same journey. Having developed a love for writing in high school Charlene has been able to realize a dream of hers after having her first children s book titled Cowhead s Big Move published recent years. Along with her series The Misadventures of Cowhead she is planning on starting her own product line revolving around her main character. No matter who or what you are you should always live your dreams. If I didn t have the tenacity to move forward with my writing then my book would have never come to life. Without risk or hard work there is no reward and if you believe in it see it through. I give this same advice to my children. Regarding her education Charlene has a Masters Degree in Organizational Management and is currently working on earning her PhD in Organizational Development with an Emphasis in Leadership and Communication. Aside from writing Charlene loves to spend time with her husband and three children and enjoys cooking for them. I want my books to inspire children to continue reading and learning. Reading is fundamental as well as fun. Reading can take you any place you want to go. 23 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why did you choose to write a children s book A I decided to write a children s book because my daughter was four years old at the time and I wanted to read her something that she could relate to. The stories I write about are based on her antics growing up -- things she did tried tested and spoke about. The book is relatable to all kids and their parents as well as teachers. Q Why is your book worth reading A Every kids loves to read or to be read to. My book has a gentle message for all kids and their parents to help explain things such as why some children are different from others. The messages I put forward in these stories are meant to help children grow and to help parents teach their children to cope with different things that happen in life. Although there are gentle messages my stories are cute fun and enjoyable to read. The illustrations capture the attention of the kids. Q What s something interesting about you What s something weird about you A Something interesting -- when it comes to crunch time I sit in my recliner put my feet up and close my eyes. This allows me to close out the world around me. I am alone and my thoughts come together and I m able to create magic. Something weird -- I like to pretend that I m a famous singer and that I m giving a concert in my car on my way to work. (No I cannot sing but in my mind I am the next Whitney Houston.) Q Besides writing and being with your family what else do you enjoy doing A I enjoy shopping and cooking. I love watching the Food Network as it gives me great ideas that I can turn into my own ideas. Q Is writing your full time job A No writing is not my full time job. I have a paying job working in support of the Department of Defense as well as in support of the Department of Homeland Security. I am hoping that one day soon writing will become my full time job. Q You say your book is part of a series. When will the next book be released A This book was just released. Once I get a little more recognition on the first book I will release the second book. It is already written but needs illustrations. Q Are you interested in doing anything else with your book series A Yes I m hoping to launch a product line with plush dolls rain boots DVDs birthday party themed items and so much more. Hopefully a cartoon will come out of this. That would definitely be a blessing. I think the kids would love to see this book as well as the others I m working on in live animation form. I think a cartoon would be great (So if there are any investors reading this article let s talk. I promise you will not be disappointed.) Q How would you define success A Success is a mindset. A person s idea of success is based on the goals they put for themselves and those goals can change depending on the direction a person wishes to go in. Q Have you reached success as of today A No I have not. In my mind I will never reach success because I will always be reaching for my next goal. Now if you ask my nine year old daughter she will say success is when I reach 100k in sales so I can take her and the family to Paris. I may not be successful in other people s eyes but my book is out so I will not discount that as part of my success. This is a very nice start to my future. Q Where do you see yourself in 10 years A I see my book and main character as a household name. I see myself book on the 1 best sellers list. Also in 10 years I see myself sitting in a cabin in the snowcapped mountains writing more books expanding my series and working on other books. I also see a full line of products flowing off the store shelves and my main character Cowhead on the silver screen bringing smiles to kids faces everywhere. 24 Women of Distinction Juanita Mora MD Healthcare Medicine - Allergy Immunology Chief Executive Officer and Physician - Chicago Allergy Center Chicago IL G rowing up Juanita Mora dreamed of becoming a doctor. Her passion for medicine grew as she became more aware for the need of bilingual physicians in the Latino community who could help break down the language barrier and deliver excellent medical care. She realized firsthand from her mother s experience how important this was. I thoroughly enjoy each and every part of my job. I love what I do and feel blessed every day to be able to touch peoples lives in so many ways teaching in the patient setting and empowering my patients. Juanita also loves to go into local primary care physician offices to give talks on diseases that affect their mutual patient populations and is passionate about giving back to the community by actively speaking in school settings and other community organizations. Her greatest professional inspiration stems from her parents. They came to the United States as immigrants from Mexico and instilled in my siblings and I that education is the key that opens the doors to the world. They planted the seed that made each and every one of my siblings strive for a higher degree in education and achieve the American dream as well as our own dreams. The best advice I can give to an aspiring doctor is that this is your chance to make your practice what you want it to be. Let it be nothing less than your dream. She is a physician who is truly passionate about her field and helping others. As a first generation Mexican-American my native tongue is Spanish but I learned English in school. This helped because my mother fell ill with kidney failure and as the eldest of five children I often translated for her in medical settings. Juanita studied hard to become a doctor. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1996 and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 2003. My dream came true the day I was called Doctor for the first time during my medical school graduation. Today Juanita is the CEO and Physician of the Chicago Allergy Center. She prides herself on providing the most up to date and thorough care to every patient that walks through her practice providing a warm environment where patients feel welcomed and attended to and promoting community and physician awareness on topics that affect her patient population such as treatment and management of anaphylaxis in the home and school setting management and treatment of asthma management and treatment of allergic rhinitis and identifying patients at risk for immunodeficiency. I believe in treating each and every one of my patients as family and giving them the best care possible. Humbleness humility and happiness will always be part of my character. Juanita hopes to be an inspiration to children who have big dreams and help them break down the barriers that might be impeding those dreams from coming true. If I could do it so can you 25 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Do allergies run in families A Yes allergies have a genetic predisposition which is the reason we have many families in our practice. We see both adults and children. Q Does asthma have a cure A Although asthma does not have a cure it can be controlled and many children will outgrow their symptoms. Q Why has there been such a rise in food allergies in the last few years A There are many causes such as later introduction of high allergy foods hygiene hypothesis and more processed foods in our diets. It s time to go back to what our ancestors practiced. Q Who qualifies for allergy shots A Anyone over the age of 5 with uncontrolled allergies or who wants to minimize symptoms by the development of tolerance qualifies for allergy shots. Q Does eczema put my child at risk for allergies and asthma A Eczema is often the first sign of the atopic march and may be an indication that your child might be at higher risk for allergic rhinitis food allergy and asthma. Q When can asthma be diagnosed A It can often be diagnosed after the age of 5 when children can fully do a pre post bronchodilator spirometry test. Q Can food allergies be outgrown A Yes 85% kids will outgrow food allergies to egg milk wheat and soy by the age of 5. Allergies to fish shellfish peanuts and other nuts are a little harder to outgrow but 25% of kids will outgrow those allergies as well. Q Is there such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog A No dog protein is found in hair dander urine and saliva. There are less allergenic dogs but not hypoallergenic dogs. Q Will a dog or cat in the home worsen a baby s chance for development of asthma A Dogs pre-existing the birth of a baby in a home protect against asthma while cats increase the risk of asthma. Q Can babies get skin tested and does it hurt A Skin testing involves a small skin prick that feels like a small pinch. The test is easily done after 3 months of age. We have smart TVs to keep kids and adults busy during the 15 minutes the skin test runs. 26 Women of Distinction Kenyuatia L. Gash LCSW MAC ACSW Mental health PTSD Trauma Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist Life Coach & Inspirationalist at Kenyuatia L. Gash LCSW Inc. Hampton VA F or Kenyuatia L. Gash working in the mental health field is more than just a job it is personal. At the tender age of 10 years old Kenyuatia s uncle was deployed to Desert Storm. Upon his return from war she distinctively remembers detecting a difference in him. Watching her uncle struggle with what we now know is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) she immediately knew she wanted to help people dealing with his condition. Although I couldn t help my uncle I wanted to be able to help others like him she said. I initially thought my gifts and skills would be best suited for law however while finishing my first degree in Legal Studies in 2003 I started my social work career working with at-risk youth and knew my life would never be the same. I always tell people I didn t choose social work. Social work chose me. Today Kenyuatia holds two Masters degrees Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and a Masters in Criminal Justice in Administration from Point Park University also in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Kenyuatia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in both Pennsylvania and Virginia. She also holds two national certifications ACSW (Academy of Certified Social Workers) and a MAC certification (Master Addiction Counselor ). She is currently pursuing a BCD (Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work). She was named Who s Who Among College Students in 2002 and earned a place on the National Dean s List in 2001 and 2002. In 2003 Kenyuatia was named a National Dwight D. Eisenhower Scholar. With more than 12 years in the mental health and behavioral services industry the accomplished Kenyuatia wears many hats and has three major components of her full-time position. She is federally employed as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Supportive Employment Consultant. In her role she provides direct clinical and distinctive services to eligible homeless veterans suffering from a full range of psychiatric substance abuse and medical disorders. She is responsible for developing aspects that are needed to provide effective and efficiently organized services in accordance with problem guidelines. Inasmuch she works collaboratively with community agencies and other government programs to develop and enhance services. She is a Regional Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) Trainer and Consultant providing expert foundational trainings and consultations to mental health clinicians who serve patients diagnosed with PTSD. She also serves as a coach and mentor by assisting her fellow peers with his or her personal and professional growth and fulfillment in the organization. If her resume wasn t impressive enough Kenyuatia is a Clinical Video Tele-health CPT and PTSD Facilitator. In that position she recently established and co-facilitated a Telehealth cognitive processing therapy group that simultaneously broadcasts to three sites to include two cities in Virginia and one in North Carolina. The first of its kind at her employment site. The ambitious Kenyuatia didn t stop there. She has a private practice as well. She specializes in offering outpatient therapeutic counseling services to children (ages 8-12) adolescents adults and families through individual and group therapy who struggle with substance abuse anxiety bipolar disorder borderline personality disorders mood disorders trauma and other emotional disturbances. In her private practice she also offers coaching and mentoring sessions clinical supervision (for those seeking state licensure in social work and professional counseling) as well as local trainings and workshops. In addition she is currently an independent contractor with the University of Southern California as a virtual CPT-C trainer and coach. Currently Kenyuatia is in the process of establishing a non-profit organization entitled Destined Success Inc. This organization is designed to embrace empower and inspire individuals who struggle with low self-esteem abandonment issues domestic violence rejection and emotional abuse and to provide them with the coping skills resources and techniques to restructure themselves for great success. When she is taking a few moments to herself Kenyuatia loves watching the Golden Girls football traveling spending time with friends & family and attending Zumba classes. My passion and desire to see others become successful is one the greatest fulfillments of my career she said. My greatest professional challenges have been related to being a minority woman and having not always been perceived as an equal competitor. However with perseverance dedication and advancing my education I can now choose the job I want instead of having to take a job that is offered. Over the years one of the greatest lessons Kenyuatia learned from her family is at all times put God first in everything you do... and to always trust your instincts . She tells students aspiring to have careers in her industry not to be afraid to try different genres in social work such as child welfare mental health non-profits geriatrics medical etc. to find their niche. She reminds them to embrace what the social work field has to offer and to be careful not to create professional barriers or limitations for themselves. She advises them to seek out people that are willing to mentor and invest in you. Kenyuatia fondly remembers Dr. Hazel M. Hadden who was a mentor educator and motivator to her. Dr. Hadden taught and instilled in Kenyuatia the importance of education family and spiritual growth. She embodied those attributes and set the example for Kenyuatia which were foundational to her success. Even in her spare time Kenyuatia is helping others overcome adversities hardships and misfortunes. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and volunteers for two nonprofit organizations. The first is the Breakthrough Center an organization that assists the less fortunate and homeless in her local community. The second nonprofit organization is Give an Hour where she volunteers as a licensed mental health practitioner providing free mental health counseling to combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as their loved ones. My aspiration in everything I do is to inspire empower and encourage someone daily she said. I believe that I was created with a purpose to reach those less fortunate than myself. As I continue in my professional and spiritual journey I can see clearly now why I was chosen to endure many challenges at an early age. These circumstances were not easy however they defined my purpose and inspired my destiny. 28 Women of Distinction Nancy Monson Life Coaching Guidance Soul Purpose Advocate Everyday Spirituality Founder and Chief Executive Officer Leadership Alignment Consulting Group Jackson CA I ve had many careers during my professional life but the one that seems to have stuck is coaching either with senior leaders and entrepreneurs or women in midlife transition. arly in 1992 Nancy Monson was working in the Director s Office at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory helping with strategic planning while attending UC Berkeley s Evening MBA Program. One day she viewed a video presentation by Stephen Covey outlining his course and book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People which deeply inspired her. Dr. Covey s presentation struck me so deeply that I knew I needed to attend his three day program. When I returned from the program I was so excited I shared my experience during a team meeting and one of the women on my team said that the Director s Manager of Administration was looking for just such a program. When Nancy was asked to bring the program into her workplace she jumped at the opportunity. After she and a colleague received certification from the Covey Leadership Center they began facilitating the program for Laboratory employees. It was a huge success with a six-month waiting list of people who wanted to attend the life-changing program. Nancy and her colleague went on to certify six new facilitators to help with the demand. That really shifted my career to a focus on leadership and professional development. In 1994 during Nancy s last semester in UC Berkeley s Haas Evening MBA program Anderson Consulting now called Accenture hired her colleague from the graduate program. Because they were looking for people with Nancy s expertise her colleague reached out and asked Nancy to send in her resume. After a series of interviews Nancy left the Laboratory and took a job with the Andersen Consulting Change Management. E 29 Women of Distinction Although I learned how to navigate organization change during my time at Accenture the travel severely burned me out. It was brutal on my body soul and relationship. While at a professional conference Nancy learned about a university in Iowa that focused on the deep timeless principles of meditation enlightenment and Consciousness. Inspired by the idea Nancy left her professional life and relationship and moved to Iowa to complete another masters program at Maharishi University of Management. There she learned the advanced meditation techniques of Transcendental Meditation as well as ancient Vedic knowledge of enlightenment and the nature of the Universe. As the CEO of the parent company Nancy Monson Coaching Inc. Nancy leads both Leadership Alignment Consulting Group which offers leadership coaching and organization consulting services and Everyday Spirituality which offers transformational mentoring programs for those ready to live their full potential. Nancy serves as the content creator rainmaker deliverer of services marketing person and leads a small team. I ve learned a lot as an entrepreneur over the past twelve years and particularly as I m focusing on growing Everyday Spirituality I m learning what it means to create a marketing and sales funnel to help my clients find me and choose how they wish to work with me. As often as she can Nancy spend time outdoors hiking biking swimming backpacking and taking landscape photographs. It s what rejuvenates her grounds her and nourishes her soul. Having kept a journal over the past twenty years Nancy is close to finishing her first book Midlife Rebirth Awakening to the Wise Woman You Were Born to Be. It was restorative rejuvenating and healing to be immersed in that sweet environment of deep self-study for a year. That time in school saved my life and shifted the course of my life forever. After returning to her home state of California in 1999 Nancy learned about life coaching and enrolled in the entire training and certification program offered by The Coaches Training Institute. Through a friend she had met in Iowa she was introduced to Hagberg Consulting Group (HCG) a small boutique executive coaching and culture alignment firm. HCG was looking for someone to help them with culture change and Nancy was looking to learn executive coaching which launched her career in executive coaching. At the same time I also started working with people who sought life coaching. I didn t market my services as a life coach but friends and colleagues started referring people to me. Soon after joining HCG Nancy learned about a two-year training program in spiritual guidance offered in British Columbia and with the support of the CEO she enrolled in the ten workshop two-year program that was held in Vancouver. After Nancy s former employer Accenture purchased HCG she decided to go into business for herself. Fortunately my client base and reputation had grown since 2000 and I had no difficulty establishing and maintaining my own executive coaching practice going forward. Since then Nancy has continued to run her two practices executive coaching organization development consulting and life transformation coaching. I m called to help people heal from their suffering and live a life of self-love and the fullest expression of their soul s potential. I dearly hope that the people I come into contact with feel seen accepted and loved by me for who they truly are. We rarely get that in life and we certainly don t do that for ourselves. I hope through my writings and programs to leave behind a clearer understanding and path for living their soul s full potential. There isn t much easily accessible to people who are called by their soul to guide them through the process of transforming to living a soul-directed life. 30 Women of Distinction Sylvia Owen Entertainment President Casino Fun Inc. San Antonio TX I nitially approached by mutual friends in March of 2000 about purchasing the business they had created Sylvia Owen knew that her 12-plus years of experience in customer service would serve her well. After much consideration she quit her full-time job and put her retirement money on the line to invest in Casino Fun Inc. in San Antonio Texas. It was a gut-wrenching and risky decision but Sylvia believed in what she was doing and pushed forward. Sylvia has learned a great deal about what it means to be flexible and to really work hard for one s success since becoming an entrepreneur. She came to understand the value in investing in her customers success. And due to her experience at the Live Oak Convention Center Sylvia gained experience in customer service patience and professionalism all qualities that are necessary in the planning and execution of a successful event as well as management and ownership. Although skeptical at first because we were not familiar with the casino business I did a lot of soul searching learning and evaluating the pros and cons of this type of business Sylvia said. At the time I was working for the City of Live Oak at the Live Oak Convention Center and had lots of professional experience working with clients and planning their events. Armed with a decision to take up the purchase offer I began setting goals to not only build up the business but also replace my retirement nest egg that I invested. Anyone can build a successful business if they have put enough hard work and perseverance into it. I was able to take a starter company with small operations and turn it into a very lucrative business by simply making smart decisions and dedicating the time to nurture it Sylvia said thankfully. Serving as President of her company Sylvia oversees dayto-day responsibilities of running the casino in addition to dealing with clients and staff members directly in order to produce sales. Her staff is professional and talented and support the core values set forth established with integrity and honesty in mind. Casino Fun Inc. is one of Texas casino party and casino night rental companies that bring glamour and excitement Las Vegas style. Opening their doors for private parties corporate events and non-profit fundraisers Sylvia and her team offer everything from Blackjack Craps and Roulette to Texas Hold em 3-Card Poker Let it Ride Poker Cluck a Luck and Slots. Although no real gambling is involved guests have an opportunity to exchange chips for raffle tickets for a chance at winning prizes from the host of the party. It is more than just a party it is an experience. Working with customers has always been one of Sylvia s strong suits. Seeking to grow her new entertainment business she began to prioritize the projected expenses by putting profits back into the business to purchase more equipment and tables. This strategy has proven to be quite successful and she now handles parties of up to 1 500. Her love of party planning fundraisers and other events led to the creation of a long list of clients some of which have remained as a client base since the very beginning. In the beginning it was difficult due to the lack of a taskmanagement system Sylvia recalled. I quickly learned how to organize everything from itemizing inventory ensuring staff coverage at work parties to creation of form and layouts of facilities so that the business would flow better. Devoting much of her free time to family Sylvia also enjoys doing volunteer work. She has worked with the Hispanic and Schertz Chambers of Commerce San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association South Texas Cattlewomen and National Association of Casino Party Operators. She is a Life Member and former Board Director for the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo where she has held roles as Volunteer Vice-Chairman and Donor Supporter. She also takes a great interest in cooking and has a large collection of cookbooks that have surpassed 3 000 in number. Growing up Sylvia came from humble beginnings. As part of a very devoted family and youngest of six she and her siblings were taught strong values that included working hard honesty integrity having chores and responsibilities and doing things for the right reasons. Her father earned an honest living in construction and her mother was a full-time mom who did all the housekeeping and tending to the children. It was her parents who gave her the foundation for her personal development as an individual and Sylvia emulated their strengths even while enduring losses and struggles consistently persevering toward her goals. Becoming a mother herself only instilled in Sylvia the importance of what she had learned as a child. The mother of two loving and successful sons one of whom works for Southwest Airlines and one of whom is in the US Army she couldn t be more proud. She also has a wonderful stepdaughter and a grandson to keep her on her toes. Without the love and support of her family Sylvia could never have been able to devote the time needed to invest herself in her business and in her community. She thanks them for being partners in her life s success. 32 Women of Distinction Wanda Bass Greeting Card Vice President - Public Relations of Xcards Newark NJ As Vice President of Xcards Wanda is responsible for the company s public relations so she wears many hats in order to develop and promote the product. Her tasks include designs writing content promotions sales marketing and building the brand. But first and foremost we are a true example of what we re selling. However their biggest challenge has been getting into major retail stores because greeting card giants like Hallmark and American Greeting have contracts with them to only carry their product line. Although pursuing a market untouched by the greeting card industry has allowed us to break through into some of these stores without any conflict from major manufacturers. Therefore we re currently in our first major retail store Shoprite. Hallelujah Wanda s purpose in life is to continue to perfect this product and believes that it will bring about a breakthrough or be the stepping stone to creating effective communication to restore and maintain healthy relationships that last for a lifetime. I n 2008 Wanda Bass and her ex-husband discovered a void in the greeting card industry for people who are divorced or separated yet may still have ties through children or unresolved issues. They wanted to provide a tool that has never existed before for people who find themselves in this unfortunate situation to communicate a sentiment or emotion they otherwise could not do through a card. We know in our hearts that there s a need for this product in today s society. 33 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel that your business is relevant in today s world A Xcards believes that within a society where the divorce rate is 50% and out of wedlock births are nearly 40% there s a need for cards that express the thoughts and point of views of people who find themselves in unfortunate but sometimes necessary circumstances. One of the main objectives of Xcards is to promote a healthy parenting environment for the children involved in these separations. We believe that a stable relationship between parents is the foundation for raising confident and socially healthy children. Q How did you come up with the concept of Xcards A There was a time when Father s Day or my ex-husband s birthday came around. I would go to the stores and noticed that there was not a category for our particular circumstances. There were only cards for husband lover friend etc. However there weren t any cards for the father of my children that express the words I wanted to convey for our current situation. I would then buy a general card and write something inside that expressed what I really wanted to say. Q What demographic (audience) do you see Xcards serving the most A The truth of the matter is that this is a universal social issue that affects all cultures and communities. Q Is it challenging working with your ex-spouse A The most difficult challenges are to learn how to forgive and how to receive forgiveness. Once you ve accomplished this you can move on and not be subjected to the issues of the past. We feel it is very important to remain focused on the business and not drift back to the issues of the past. Remember whether working together in business or raising your children together (which are very similar) you have to focus on a common goal the success of your business or the success of your children. Q How has your current working relationship benefited the children born to the marriage A Through open communication positive attitudes mutual respect with plenty of love and patience these all have a place in creating a healthy environment for our children to make a successful transition. Q What would you tell divorced couples with children who have less than a loving friendship A Choose to forgive. When people hurt or offend you you can choose to respond either with anger that will harm you and your children or choose to walk through the forgiveness that God calls us all to pursue. Work to separate your emotional response to your ex s reactions and seek solutions not retaliations. Accept the challenge to be the voice of reason rather than of reaction so you can move forward in providing a healthy environment for your children. Q How can a negative relationship affect your children and their future relationships A This is a complicated issue and the cause and effect can be multiple. Children do not have prior knowledge or skills so they eagerly look for someone to imitate. That someone is usually one or both parents. Parents are the first role models and teachers and children are affected more by what their parents do and say. The example of what a child has before them (whether good or bad) may become the standard that a child uses for the rest of their life. Q Do you enjoy your work A Yes I enjoy my work and feel so very passionate with what we re doing in our company as a team. Xcards is A Need For The Now. Q What is the ultimate goal of your company A To be a brand sold nationally and possibly internationally in many major retail stores and pharmacies. Therefore to expedite the achievement of this goal we re willing to partner with a corporation or individual that sees the vision and potential of the company. This entity must not only have the financial backing to build the brand and product but also have the influence and connections to open the doors for Xcards to gain access to more major retail outlets. Q What would you say to people who object to the concept of Xcards A Xcards is visionary. We expect it s going to be confronted by doubters skeptics and those threatened by its realization. As a result there will always be walls put up on the way to achieving the objective but we will continue to walk by faith and not by sight. Therefore we will go over and around or through the walls by virtue of God s resourcefulness. Xcards comes with a new perspective daring you to break the traditional mindset by tearing down the walls of defense. It s a stepping stone to forgiveness healing and restoration so we re extending an invitation to all who have gone through divorce separation to purchase our greeting card and seize your breakthrough as we did. 34 Women of Distinction Althea E. Maynard Civil Service Healthcare Fmr. Chair of the Savoy Council on Aging Savoy MA E nsuring the elderly and her community are properly cared for are both a career and a way of life for Althea E. Maynard. The former Chair of the Savoy Council on Aging (COA) in Massachusetts Althea first became passionate about providing services for the elderly in the 1970s after taking on the role of caregiver for her mother and mother-in-law. On September 5 1978 she was elected Secretary and Treasurer of the Savoy COA becoming their youngest member. At 94 years young Althea is retired but still remains an inactive member o f the Savoy COA. In her life Althea has long and decorated history of serving her community. In February 1953 she was voted in as Savoy Hollow Librarian remaining there until 1986. She transported one of the three bussing routes for her local school from August 1953 until June 1959. She served as Superintendent of Bible Classes at the Savoy First Baptist Church for 35 years. She was Vice President of the Savoy Parent Teacher Association. In 1959 Althea was named Acting Postmaster of Savoy before becoming the fulltime Postmaster a position she held until 1986. Her tireless efforts to Savoy did not go unnoticed. In June 2000 Emmett Schmarsow of the Boston Elder Services presented Althea with the State of Massachusetts Lifetime Achievement Award. She earned the honor for establishing the COA newsletter securing a handicapped nine-passenger van for the town and a building for the Council to hold meetings functions and potluck suppers. She accomplished these three goals less than two years after she set them for herself. Althea is also a published writer with two books to her credit The Tomb a short spiritual story available through Kindle and Amazon and Looking Forward ......as I Look Back her memoirs available through Shutterfly. Through it all Althea always put family first. She was married to her husband Harold for 57 years. He died January 19 1999. The couple has two daughters and two sons five granddaughters two great granddaughters and two great grandsons. It gave me satisfaction knowing I could help wherever and whenever I could she said. Being a caregiver is one thing set apart from serving as COA. I found that people feel the need for a caregiver too early sometimes. With having an active Senior Center joining and mingling with others a person can maintain independence much longer with emotional and social stability. When Althea was elected COA Chair in 1996 she was responsible for all aspects and functions of the Council. She conducted monthly board meetings wrote an eight-page newsletter and arranged the calendar of activities. One of her greatest accomplishments was overseeing State Formula Grant and expenditures and for the Savoy Annual Report of COA. When I became Chair I sought advice from the Dalton COA Chair concerning my Formula Grant Althea recalled. She was so helpful and efficient I vowed to be just like her. I feel that I did succeed and I assisted anyone who sought help from me. I became a SHINE Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everybody in order to give free unbiased advice and counseling on the ever-changing health insurance. 35 Women of Distinction Dr. Maureen M. GouveiaWhitehead Education Founder Executive Director MMGW Christian Academy Inc. Orlando FL ttending college in the UK Dr. Maureen M. Gouveia-Whitehead always played a significant role in education. Accepted to Bedford College of Higher Education in England she graduated with her teaching certificate in 1979 and was offered a full-time position soon thereafter. Earning her tenure at Homerton House Secondary School as a Lead Teacher Maureen remained for eight years before becoming the Head of the Business Studies Department for Pimlico High School and later as a Lecturer II and Program Supervisor at Croydon College. A Courses include Ministry Gift Assessment Five Fold Ministry courses and arts courses such as Music Voice Training Dance and Poetry Writing. Skill Development Courses are also offered in English Practical Math Finance Banking ESL and Technology. Overseeing daily operations of her school Maureen chairs board meetings prepares curricula and assists with student recruitment and fundraising events. She is presently hiring volunteer instructors as well as other staff members for teaching courses. With over 30 years of experience in education and administration Maureen wanted to create a school that would proactively instill the importance of living in communities that boasts ethics integrity and most importantly God s will. Honored to serve as an ambassador for Capella University Maureen is involved in empowering and referring prospective students. She s also a member of convocation for the University of London. In 2008 she authored a book entitled Morvet s Memoirs God s Divine Intervention and Protection and in 2013 she authored The Investigation of Faculty Training Needs for Instructing Adult Nonstandard English Speakers. Maureen has her teaching certification from Bedford College of Higher Education a BA in Sociology with honors from North London University an MA in Educational Administration from the University of London and a PhD with distinction in Leadership for Higher Education from Capella University. Married for 15 years to a wonderful man Maureen has two adult step-children and grandchildren. I ve always wanted to see others succeed and I ve enjoyed doing my part in making it happen. As a leader and lifelong learner I m always excited about the changes education brings Maureen said. Moving back to the US Maureen became an Adjunct Instructor for Florida Metropolitan University in 1997 before taking a position as a General Education Professor with ITT Technical Institute. She then became Director of Education for Galiano Career Academy Director of Education for Centura Institute and finally Faculty Member for Southern Technical College. During her time with ITT Maureen also founded MMGW Inc. (as President and Owner) a publishing services company that specializes in typing and formatting services for original books cards verses for all occasions flyers and educational learning materials. Still in business today she s since founded her own school for adult learners MMGW Christian Academy Inc. MMGW Christian Academy is a non-profit corporation that provides both ministry and community education services. Located in Orlando Florida their mission is to assist students in developing ministry gifts refreshing and enhancing their various skills through programs that will produce confidence knowledge understanding and encouragement for work in the community. 36 Women of Distinction Cheryle Denise Vining Self Spiritual Advisor Owner Eco Orgonite Energy Jewelry Augusta Georgia C heryle Denise Vining has never worked a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job. She answers to a higher calling. In 1980 Cheryle had an out of body experience and became aware of another part of life. The powerful occurrence prompted her to start her own business Eco Orgonite Energy Jewelry in 2011. My finances are my professional challenge she said. When your funds are limited it s hard to stay motivated. A gift like mine is something you deal with everyday. I make a piece of jewelry per day. I invest in myself whenever my lifestyle allows me. For those who ask my advice is free. Sometimes I give away my jewelry away for free for the ones who really need it and have no money to buy. Self taught Cheryle puts all her energy into the jewelry she makes and has little down time. For me and how I live there is no free time for me she said. It s moment to moment. Cheryle who has nine children and seven grandchildren encourages others to never give up on find their inner calling. I started advising people based on their experiences when I realized that I was helping people and I decided to create my business she said. It lead to making jewelry on a metaphysic level by educating myself about energies and how they work. This not just a business it s my personal journey. Cheryle crafts her pieces using the best of natural elements. She uses the best quality gemstones crystal quartz recycled jewelry pieces and Orgone energy pieces for her collection. All are one of a kind and made to order. She also makes cultural jewelry and creates her own T-shirts and herbal soaps. The people she makes jewelry for are drawn to Cheryle s energy and the care she puts into her designs. Cheryle who has limitations due to living with narcolepsy never let her disability or difficult life circumstances stand in her way. All things are possible she said. Put in the work in and watch it come back. You are someone special look inside yourself think use your mind and educate yourself. Raise your consciousness above the world s views and people s opinions. Do what you want. Create. 37 Women of Distinction Elizabeth Beth Hope Braden Author and Publishing Author Illustrator Publisher at Terra s Children s Books Oxford AL F inding your true calling in life is something that doesn t come easy for most young men and women. But Elizabeth Beth Hope Braden is not your typical teenager. Using her artistic and literary talents she launched her publishing company Terra s Children s Books in June 2014 at the tender age of 16 years old. Less than two years later Beth has authored illustrated and published two books that are touted as wonderful tools to help little ones learn and venture into the beautiful world of literature. Growing up in Oxford Alabama Beth has always enjoyed reading writing and illustrating. By 2014 Beth had written and illustrated her first book Terra s Four Special Friends for the 2014 ACTE Regional Tech Fair at Jacksonville State University. Being so young in the publishing industry has thrown many challenges in Beth s direction. At first she tried asking various publishers to publish her children s books. Although her work was complete and thorough Beth was not accomplished enough or old enough in their eyes. In this I decided I did not need someone else to tell me how to format my books or what words I could or could not use thus making my work unique and my strive to be strongly independent she said. I am 17 years old but with an old soul and a strong work ethic I have moved the mountains of adversity. Coming from a lower middle class family and working to my best abilities to make the things everyone else call impossible to things that tell me I m-possible. From that point on both Beth and her business have both grown tremendously. As the sole proprietor of her company Beth has found herself managing everything imaginable from marketing to production from demand to supply ratios. All before graduating high school. Although I have only been in my career for little over a year I plan to stay in my career for many years to come because I have a strong passion for what I do Beth said. I love writing and bringing joy to other people through my work. The smile on the faces of the readers is truly what brings me the most joy. To date the company has grossed thousands of dollars with books sold across the United States as well as internationally in South Africa Germany and Iraq. But Beth is not keeping her success or profits to herself. Beth is head of Team Miley a cancer support group for 7-year-old Miley Eady who is suffering from Leukemia. Ten percent of all of Terra s Children s Books sales go to support Miley s treatment. Beth is also blood drive coordinator through Leaders Save Lives in coordination with the American Red Cross. I would like to leave the legacy that makes others want to do good in the world Beth said. My favorite saying and my soon to be senior quote is Most people strive to be famous for what can make them rich I strive to be remembered for making a difference. 38 Women of Distinction Felicia Carole Wilt Healthcare Pathology Technical Supervisor Vanderbilt Medical Center Nashville TN F elicia Carole Wilt s grandfather was diagnosed with leukemia when she was in the fourth grade. She recalls him telling the powerful story of a medical lab conducting the blood test that led to his diagnosis. From then on Felicia knew she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. Through hard work and unwavering determination Felicia started college at the age of 16. Four years later she graduated Medical Technology School and set out to fulfill her passion. Felicia has had the opportunity to work as a generalist in both small and large facilities allowing her to explore different aspects of her field. When she graduated school Felicia became Blood Bank Supervisor Microbiology Assistant Supervisor and Supervisor at Helen Keller Hospital HLA Lab where she assisted with infertility treatments. I felt as though I was helping people she said. Working in infertility it was exciting to see life begin the joy on those ladies faces when they became pregnant. My biggest challenge was working with HLA typing because it was new and I hadn t learned much about it in school. But the thrill of knowing we were testing for donors that could save lives across the country was always exciting. Today Felicia is the Technical Supervisor at the Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee. She supervises technologists writes procedures assists with grants and performs lab tests. The Vanderbilt Medical lab plays a huge part in properly diagnosing and treating patients. Being accurate in a timely manner is invaluable. However the position doesn t offer a lot of praise. Felicia has been fortunate to work with wonderful doctors and nurses that give her a sense of value on a daily basis. One person in particular played a huge role in influencing Felicia a former supervisor Jackie Walker. She had a great management and work ethic Felicia said. She was a very fair and honest person. That can make a huge significance in the first few years of your career. Felicia urges young women looking to enter the healthcare industry to find an area of the field they are passionate about. For example if they prefer a specific concentration she suggests choosing to work in a larger facility. However if they prefer being a generalist and like feeling a sense of importance she recommends working for a smaller community hospital. Helping others is something Felicia practices outside the office as well. She is a member of the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory Association and assists with organizing Women s Health Fair events and cancer walks. She is an active volunteer with the VA and belongs to several patriotic groups. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her partner of 20 years Eddie. It s easy to succeed at something you are passionate about she said. God home work and community I hope to be an inspiration in all four. I want to be the best that I can be for each of these. 39 Women of Distinction Janice F. Chlebus Firearms Training Co-Owner - Make Your Shot Count Firearms Training Fayetteville NC s Co-Owner of Make Your Shot Count Firearms Training Janice Chlebus takes pride in teaching others how to properly use firearms in a safe and knowledgeable manner. Though Janice initially only helped her husband Geary a certified firearms instructor handle administrative work within his firearms training business she eventually took an interest in instructing as well. After helping several women properly handle their firearms on the shooting range one day she began assisting Geary in classes and teaching her own basic level courses. A For someone starting out in this industry be customer-centered. Remember the class is about the student not about you. Students perform at the level of knowledge they possess. My purpose is to raise that knowledge level and instill a feeling of confidence. Watch how you say certain things. Words are one thing but the way and tone of voice determines how you are perceived. Always be firm but polite. Janice s biggest professional inspiration has been her husband Geary who makes instruction both entertaining and educational at the same time. His ability to avoid talking down to any students while building their confidence has helped Janice become a better instructor herself. I did not let my age sex or the fact that I m surrounded by men on the firing range stop me from taking the initiative to become a firearms instructor. Determination and willingness to take risks is necessary to succeed. I m passionate about my skills and abilities and will strive to do better. In her leisure Janice enjoys spending time with her husband volunteering in various church projects and baking for her fellow church members. Janice is a strong advocate of teaching firearms safety to children of all ages. I love what I do because it s great seeing the positive improvements in the students skills. It s also nice to hear comments that express their satisfaction in my presentation and my ability to speak in a simplified manner. In her role of co-owner Janice handles the daily responsibilities of the business including class scheduling recruiting and instructing. She constructs realistic scenarios for training. She has witnessed instructors teaching fantasy shooting drills on the range that would only work in a fantasy gunfight. It s important to know the difference between practicing target accuracy and combat accuracy they are not the same. Janice also advises women to realistically evaluate themselves during instruction. If your personal morals conflict with taking someone s life even in self-defense then carrying a handgun may not be for you. It s also important that all students understand the effects of adrenaline when scared and the consequences of fight-flight-or freeze reactions to deadly force encounters. Doubt and hesitancy during your response could result in your death. Most importantly Janice teaches her students how to avoid a gun fight entirely. God created everyone equal in his eyes and I will not let any person of any position talk to me in a way that suggests otherwise. I will take challenges head on and accept the consequences of my words and actions. 40 Women of Distinction Jennifer Pillars Human Resources HR Generalist at ESI North America Inc. Farmington Hills MI F aced with mounting bills temporary employment and the sudden death of her beloved husband of 19 years Jennifer Jenne Pillars found herself at the lowest point in her life. Her story is one of determination and success. In the first 9 months of 2014 Jenne and her late husband Steve suffered two unexpected and unprecedented job losses were forced to withdraw their entire savings and retirement to pay bills could not afford healthcare for their family and lost the contents of their basement in a flood. The hits came in rapid succession Steve started a new job in October that would offer their family benefits by February. On December 1st Jenne was hired back into the law firm where she worked for 13 years. Her former position as senior immigration paralegal was no longer available but she was grateful to fill in for a immigration secretary on leave. Jenne and Steve believed the worst was behind them and they could begin to rebuild however the final blow to Jenne s horrific year came on December 7th when Steve passed suddenly. Driven by the love for her 15-year old Erik and will to survive Jenne moved her life in a positive direction. Steve s life insurance lapsed with previous employment. I was scrambling to find ways to make ends meet. Returning to work one week after the funeral was out of necessity I really just wanted time to absorb the shock. In the following months I worked full-time while applying and interviewing for permanent jobs. My specialty in immigration desire to change careers and law firm contacts opened the door for me at ESI and my current position. Jenne credits her family friends and community with providing the support that helped propel her forward. As HR Generalist at ESI Jenne uses her strong background in immigration to assist foreign employees while acquiring the HR knowledge required to benefit the entire U.S. workforce. I joined ESI confident in my immigration skills which has helped in learning the HR function she said. I have a wonderful mentor attend HR conferences and am working toward HR certification. She s found her new niche. Jenne holds a bachelor s degree in Political Science from Michigan State University as well as paralegal certification. She worked as a paralegal for 21 years before her career change and plans to publish a book about the storm that ravaged her life. She encourages those struggling through personal and professional challenges to keep moving forward. As horrible things in life happen learn and find meaning from them. They are an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and grow she said. After Steve died I could ve easily given up. It was such a devastating year with an unbelievable ending. I live with the pain of my loss every day but it does not define me rather it is the rebuilding I started in 2014 and unwavering perseverance since. The heart can be broken and still keep beating. Steve died too soon at age 45. Jenne lives life now to honor his memory and their love. 41 Women of Distinction Linda J. Gomez Education Coaching Men s Volleyball Assistant Coach Warner University Sitting All Star Associate Head Coach Florida Region of USA Volleyball Sitting Volleyball Liaison IMPACT Instructor USA Volleyball Local Official USA Beach Volleyball Lake Wale and Eustis FL B orn in Miami Florida to a Cuban immigrant who served in the US Navy during WWII Linda J. Gomez has spent her entire career trying to emulate her father. His spirit hardworking attitude and love of serving others spills over into Linda s life every day teaching students as a Volleyball Coach and teacher for nearly 28 years. She s also currently serving as the Florida Region USA Volleyball Sitting Liaison as both teacher and a coach for the organization is an IMPACT Instructor teaching entry level coaching classes for USA Volleyball and has been a club coach for boys and girls. Linda recently worked alongside the Florida region to bring the Paralympic sport of Sitting Volleyball to the region. Officially adopted in the fall of 2014 it s the first USAV region to do so and with the help of several Paralympians living in Florida they were able to bring Sitting Volleyball clinics all throughout the state. In May 2015 the first All Star team competed in the USA Adult Opens Tournament in Detroit Michigan and won the Gold Medal. Linda has valued education throughout her career and is a lifelong learner earning her Master s in Educational Leadership in 2009 from Nova Southeastern University. Serving in so many capacities over the past couple of decades including as a camp counselor director for a summer camps developer of the Space Coast Christian Athletic Association s Middle School Division and currently as the Head Sitting Volleyball Coach for the Army for the Warrior Games the list goes on and on. Linda is constantly on the go choosing joy and praising someone up every day in her journey through life. I ve enjoyed much success in career although it was sometimes difficult raising three children at the same time Linda admitted. But my passion to serve others motivated me to continue on. I ve always been an athlete and it was natural to gravitate towards this field. I love being active playing sports and kids. Graduating with a Bachelor s in Physical Education from Florida State University with a Minor in Coaching Linda began her career as a City of Miami Firefighter in 1988 and simultaneously began teaching at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 1989 as a part-time physical education teacher and volleyball coach. Accepting her first coaching position at the college level in 1995 at Broward Community College she continued to gain hands-on experience in coaching while teaching K-12 Physical Education and serving as an athletic director for several different schools over the next 20 years. Taking a step back in 2007 Linda resigned from Eastern Florida State University after adopting her 7-year-old Russia born daughter to help her transition to her new family. Eight years later she accepted a position with Warner University as their Men s Assistant Volleyball Coach in 2015 bringing a plethora of experience with her assisting the head coach in various tasks like recruiting athletes mentoring and assisting with development of student athlete s success. 42 Women of Distinction Lori Jayne Wells CPSS Mental Health Field Activity Director Recovery Cooperative President of the Make A Little Change Picnic Committee Board Member HealthWest Muskegon MI D I have schizoaffective disorder and I ve been in treatment for my mental illness for the past twentyfive years. uring the time she spent seeking treatment Lori Jayne Wells watched the mental health system make changes for the better including the addition of the Certified Peer Support Specialists. Certified Peer Support Specialist are people who also suffer from mental illness but are in recovery and are trained to help others reach recovery by listening offering support sharing their recovery stories and other talents. As I improved I was told by many people that I d make a great Peer Support Specialist. So ten years ago I started down the road to become one. Lori started her journey as a Consumers Advisory Committee (CAC) member. After five years of serving on the committee the CAC decided to start putting on a picnic event to raise awareness to break the stigma surrounding people with mental and developmental disabilities. The second year of the event Lori took over as president of the committee. Our first picnic of sixty-five people has now grown to more than four hundred and thirty this past year. This year we hope to make it a statewide affair. Whenever she can Lori spends time conducting Bible study door-to-door work and meetings as a Jehovah s Witness and 43 talking to her son Matthew. I really hate it when people use mental illness as a copout for doing something like we see in the news so often. There are so many of us that are working so hard to prove that the mentally ill are not a danger to others and are good productive people. We do not deserve the labels of bi-polar schizo crazy or nut case or the stigma that comes along with it. Lori wants to leave the world with the realization that the mentally ill are just people not the stereotyped stigmatized demographic one might see on television or in the movies. Lori knows that people with mental disabilities are fighting diseases and they deserve to be treated with respect for the hard work they do to live day-to-day to be a responsible part of society and not to be labeled or marginalized. I hope that I will be know as one of many people that helped not only set an example but change the mindsets of the general population to treat people with mental illness and mental disabilities with the respect and dignity they deserve. Women of Distinction Meghan Daly Meghan Daly Meghan Daly Rosselli Rosselli Rosselli Graphic Design Graphic Arts There was around the house from Playboy to National Geographic. The creation of those magazines is what led me to study graphic design in college. Graphic Design Graphic Arts Graphic Designer Sole-Proprietor Arts Graphic Design GraphicSenior Sole-Proprietor Senior Graphic Designer Silver Lace Graphics LLC Owner Operator Graphic Designer Silver Lace Graphics LLC Buena Vista VA Silver Lace Graphics LLC Buena Vista VA Buena Vista VA There was always a collection of magazines lying around the house from Playboy to National Geographic. 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However she out I of Business Administration Masters of Science Management to gain a I have more energy on I know what to with. those shoes to work. began this want to be perfect. better understanding on how to run her business. run her business. ability to live in color work in color and providethat she doesn tbusiness becuase of my husbands career path with CSX Transportation (railroad). He has been steadily promoted As a mother railroadsister aunt teacher and the family and wife promotions come packing up crazy business inspiration is mind blowing to me. and with I love how each day is never the same and doesn t owner Meghan new city and state with little from perfect.wanted moving to a realizes that she is far to no notice. I However Silver Lace Graphics LLC has now two I love how have Meghan is heading get been and the same in business for solo to What to contribute it be ifwanthad everything all become stale. Ieach day is neverto toward her third year as a she alsobe able fun would to my family into be perfect. one. I bored and knows that she doesn t we more ways then years and a tendency figured out I started this business because to see don t want to solely be known as MOM . I want my son of my doesn t become on with have one occasion that have been accused stale. Iher trustyaside kick Chloe to get the owner entrpreneur more than tendency Petra. As husbands career if and that have a passion figured do What that I am a hard workerwe had I everything allforhas been I fun would it be within CSX Railroad. He what I out bored andand proprietor of I know whatmore than have than Silver Lace on to LLC Meghan I have more energybeen accusedGraphics with. The does just and a thirst promoted and with to be a stay at home mom began steadily for knowledge. I wanted husbandspromotions with this business becuase of my railroad career path about that I have the moment from than I everything at more energy the actual designing one occasion ability to live in color towork in color and provide again but change the traditional and moving to a new city right down cleaning the toilets. She also manages CSX Transportation (railroad). the come packing up the family definition. promoted know whatbusiness finances ability to to me. color and graphic and state with little to noHe has been steadilybe able to with. The taxes marketing advertising inspiration is mind blowing live in notice. I wanted to and with railroad promotions come packing up the family and work in color and provide inspiration her sanity. production all while trying to maintain is mind to contribute to my family in more ways then one. Silver Lace Graphics blowing now been in business for two moving to a new city and state with little to no notice. I wanted LLC has to me. Iable towant to be to my family in as mom. I want my I don t contribute solely known more ways then one. One heading toward her professional inspirations has years and Meghan is of Meghan s greatest third year as a solo to be worker want my have been her eleven-year-old- son Grayson who has Asperger s son to see that I am a hard MOM . Iand that Ison to a entrpreneur with her trusty (high functioning Autism). As the owner don t want to solely be known as a thirst for knowledge. Isee side kick Chloe Petra. Syndrome passion for what and that I have a passion for what I do I do and I am a hard worker and proprietor of Silver Lace Graphics operation for more than a that wanted to be a stay at home mom again but change Silver Lace Graphics LLC has been in LLC Meghan does just is amazing and designing year and Meghan is Being different from the actualempowering and a thirst for knowledge. I wanted to be a stay at home mom now heading toward her second year as a solo and about everything at the moment the definition from the norm. entrepreneur. As theshould andtoilets. She Silver Lace Graphics again but change the traditional definition. owner be proprietor of feared becase the right down to cleaning the embraced notalso manages of public To always Meghan Daly Rosselli LLC Meghan doesopinion.marketing live life on your own terms not just about everything at the moment from the business finances societal terms. I hope to be ableandteach my son taxes advertising to graphic www.silverlacegraphics.net actual designing right down to cleaning the toilet. She also manages production all while trying to maintain her sanity. www.behance.net SilverLaceGraphics that normal marketing advertising graphics the business finances taxes is over rated. He has taught me about M eghan Daly Rosselli began her career in design Meghan also substitute teaches for the Buena Vista City One of Meghan s greatest professional inspirations has meant to be. been of Meghan s greatest professional inspirations has been her One her eleven-year-old- son Grayson who has Asperger s Syndrome (high functioning Autism).Asperger s syndrome. eleven-year-old son Grayson who has production and tries to maintain her sanity on most days. who you are thinking outside the box and being 48 info silverlacegraphics.net meghanrosselli silverlacegraphics.net Being different is amazing and empowering and should be embraced not feared becase of public opinion. To always live life on your own terms not Being different is amazing and empowering and should be embraced to feared because of public societal terms. I hopenot be able to teach my son opinion. To is over rated. on has own terms not that normal always live life He your taught me about societal outside the boxI and being who to instill thinking terms. Although hope to be able you are these lessons in him I know that he is the one who meant to to me. taught them be. Contact 48 44 Meghan Daly Rosselli www.silverlacegraphics.net www.behance.net SilverLaceGraphics info silverlacegraphics.net meghanrosselli silverlacegraphics.net Women of Distinction Melvia F. Miller The Soulful Dr. Seuss Edutainment Specialist Environmentalist Founder and Director of The wHolistic Academy Multi-Cultural Eco-Educational Consultant Las Vegas NV S ince elementary school Melvia Miller has been a gifted storyteller and writer. Her talent and drive launched her into a lifelong career as an award winning celebrated educator and author. Melvia attended Ball State University where she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Public Service Sorority. She used her skills as a writer to pen a popular weekly column in the BSU Newspaper titled From the Back of the Bus. She studied languages -- Spanish Black History and Sciences. She became one of the BSU Women s Judo Champs. And she was named to Who s Who In American Universities And Colleges. Melvia is a graduate of Ball State University the University of Michigan and she holds other credentials from several other colleges and institutes. Later in life she got married and started a family. In her professional career Melvia has worked as a teacher counselor training manager and consultant. She tested many of her methods -- games and exercises on her students -- and their grades improved as a result of her methods. Her first major book was an epic poem titled New and Different Friends. She presented it at a major event in Detroit in front of thousands of people and received an award. She is one of the founders of the concept of EDU-TAINMENT. One year for a Black History Month event several students created a postage stamp with Melvia s picture on it and they dubbed her The Soulful Dr. Seuss. One of her greatest desires in life was to become a mother. She did have two wonderful healthy sons Malik and Mikal. Both young men have their college degrees and good jobs. She has had a few setbacks in life having suffered several major health challenges including an auto accident. During the time that I was suffering from the injuries I discovered several effective ways to heal with the help of doctors chiropractors therapists and herbs she said. To the amazement of many people who thought she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair Melvia is not in a wheelchair As a result of experiencing the power of natural remedies herbs and therapies such as massage and Tai Chi... Melvia compiled many of these remedies and published a full color book Best Healers on Earth. -- and board-games -- plus a booklet of Fun Ways to Learn activities. She also has published more than a dozen other books on a variety of topics. Melvia learned that our bodies and minds will heal themselves -- given nutrition & proper care. Melvia is a very spiritual woman who believes... It is an honor to help each other & strive to become light in others lives. EDUTAINMENT ENTERPRISES offers these books DVDs newsletters and board games that are designed based on her style of making learning enjoyable -- utilizing pictures humor exercises and experts quotes -- that help make complicated topics easier to understand. Her project The wHolistic Academy offers the best in natural herbal health products as well as Home Study Courses. Her main mission and goals are to help empower other people. Some proceeds are donated to various non-profits and schools. 45 Women of Distinction Patricia Vergano Real Estate Sales Seller s Listing Services and Buyer s Purchasing Services Broker Owner County Cottage Realty St. Louis Mo E ver since she was a little girl Patricia Vergano has had an entrepreneurial spirit. Even then she would daydream about owning her own company one day. By the time she was in high school Patricia developed an interest in real estate when her father would take her to visit new home developments and they would walk through display homes. It was then she knew that she wanted a career in real estate. In 1987 she received her Brokers License from the Independent Career Institute and began her successful career in the real estate industry. She worked in her field for 15 years before fulfilling her childhood dream of opening a business County Cottage Realty in 2002. Patricia is a full service broker in charge of marketing plans staging suggestions photos advertising contract negotiations closing procedures and a myriad of additional details involved in the sale and purchase of real estate in the state of Missouri. In short she handles everything from start to sold including scheduling building inspection appointments and ordering title work and appraisals. Many things have changed in the real estate industry namely advances in computers and technology. Through it all Patricia has learned to grow and adapt. She never lost sight of her clients and making people happy. It is a quality and talent Patricia s father Thomas Gately instilled in her from a young age. He is one of her greatest inspirations. He was a true people person and salesman and I marveled at how he interacted with people she said. He was a problem solver and I later realized that I inherited that talent either through DNA or countless hours listening to his conversations tucking his techniques away in the back of my mind. Perhaps the only thing Patricia is more dedicated to than her business is her family. She has been married to her business partner Daniel Vergano for 26 years. The couple has three beautiful daughters that Patricia simply loves spending time with. I love looking at houses with a buyer Patricia said. I love photographing a new listing and working with the photos in my editing program. And maybe my most favorite part is negotiating the contract. Negotiating is an art. It requires reading people and their motivations. It s a thrill every time Being the mother of three children was always my priority she said. There was no better combination to motherhood than a career in real estate where I was able to make my own schedule and still be the kind of mom that I wanted to be to my kids. It worked out perfectly and now my oldest daughter has chosen a career in real estate as well. Read more about Patty at Better Business Bureau s website https stlouisbbb.wordpress.com 2014 10 24 bbb-customerreviews-build-consumer-trust 46 Women of Distinction Rita A. Becerra Slavens Healthcare Massage Therapist Owner if Sweet Dreams Custom Massage Kansas City MO t age 59 Rita A Becerra Slavens reinvented her career. A certified hairdresser and dental assistant as well as a dedicated volunteer at the Student Therapist Program Good Shepard Hospice in Kansas City Missouri Rita wanted to apply all her schooling and talents to her next venture. The choice led Rita to enroll in massage school in 2009. Today her business Sweet Dreams Customer Massage is booming. Rita quickly developed a reputation as a first class massage therapist and businesswoman. She manages all aspects of her business from caring for clients to marketing. Her hard work and healing touch have not gone unnoticed. In 2015 Rita received a Kansas City Award which honors and generates public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Kansas City. I have always been a giver and love to do that to help and be their for people to make them happen you see their face and to know some one cares she said. I have helped a lot of people with sciatica pain I never new about before. For those just starting out in the industry Rita suggests exploring all options before jumping in. The nature of the job allows people to work in any city or country they choose. Massage therapists can hold positions in hospitals cruise ships spas and doctors offices. Above all Rita encourages anyone aspiring to make a career change to follow his or her heart. A Some times I did not know if I would or would not make it Rita recalled. No matter what happens remember you can do it never give up. Add all the jobs and all the things you have done have done in your lifetime and put them together and you have created a person of perseverance. Life is short and at the end you can use it all just go for it. When Rita is not working she is giving back to her community. She works with children at her church on Sundays teaching the younger generation to praise the Lord and about the Bible. Rita commits as much time to as many children s summer programs as possible including Kingdom Kids. Additionally Rita helps with special events as a Marketing Director at the area mall. She even donates chair massages to the local North Kansas City football team. She has just recieved 2016 Best two years now and also was exceped in the BBB. 47 Women of Distinction Dr. Sandra Jean Singleton Religious Education Director - House of God s Dwelling Place Inc. Radcliff KY T hrough her work as Director of the House of God s Dwelling Place Dr. Sandra Singleton offers help to those in need through the power of ministry. Sandra first began her career in ministry in 1984. In her current role of Director of the House of God s Dwelling Place she oversees all outreach functions whether it be through television broadcasting or community outreach programs. Regarding her education Sandra received a Doctorate in Religious Studies from Grace Bible College Institute in 2000 a Doctorate in Humanities from Grace Bible College Institute in 2006 a BS in Pastoral Ministries from Campbellsville University in 2013 and a Master of Theology from Campbellsville University in 2015. She also received certification as a Nurse s Assistant from Jefferson Community College in 2010. I was a high school dropout but I never gave up on getting my high school diploma. I re-entered school and achieved my goal. I now hold a doctorate degree in religious studies an honorary doctorate in humanities a master s degree in theology and I am presently working on my master s degree in management and leadership. My desire is to obtain my Ph.D. in Management and Leadership. The reason for all of this learning is because I would like to teach in the larger universities. The reason why I want my readers to know this is because some of my degrees were not regionally accredited and were only accredited in their respective states but I went back to school to get regionally accredited degrees. If you want to accomplish something bad enough you can. In her free time Sandra enjoys reading watching TV bowling playing dominos volunteering her services to other ministry teams and spending time with her family. She is also involved with the Church of God in Christ. God has inspired me to remain in this career for so long. I ve also remained motivated due to my God-given charisma and the visions in which I have. Sandra s greatest professional inspirations have been Dr. William Perry Foree and Dr. Jackie Foree who set positive examples for her to follow. Before taking on her current position Sandra was the coordinator dean and instructor for a satellite bible college based in Indianapolis Indiana for the church she attends (Greater Bethel Temple Apostolic Church). She then incorporated her ministry herself in the state of Kentucky and formulated her own business plan. The advice I would offer to someone starting out in this industry is to educate themselves in all areas of the business and to have the stamina to withstand any opposition. If it at first you do not succeed -- try and try again. The ability to not give up on your dreams and visions is essential. The legacy I would like to leave the world is showing and knowing that my life made an impact on others by assisting them through life s journey. 48 Women of Distinction Shirley Sanders Arts and Entertainment Writing Publishing Author Publisher Bookspurdee Publisher Henderson NV t the age of 84 Shirley Sanders has seen and (almost) done it all. After spending more than 56 years in the health and beauty business she retired and was given the task of raising 11 of her 13 grandchildren due to neglect. A mother of seven children herself she raised six of them on her own. Yet through it all she has persevered and she has proven to the world just how deep her love truly runs. A Keeping a notepad in just about every room in the house and even one in her car Shirley jots down little tidbits whenever one comes to mind. When she hears or comes up with a clever idea she jots it down to remember them for future inspiration. As a writer you never truly stop working your mind is always thinking about that next sentence that next paragraph that next chapter. Born on a farm in 1931 in Cheraw Mississippi to an African American father and African American Choctaw Indian Mother Shirley was lucky enough to get a good start in life. Her parents insisted that their children get an education and stressed the importance of what it takes to make it in this world. They also instilled the power and grace of God. Going on to earn lifetime teaching credentials in cosmetology and barbering Shirley attended classes at Merritt College Laney College of Oakland San Francisco State University and University of California at Berkeley. Enjoying time well spent reading Shirley reads everything and anything she can get her hands on. She does word puzzles every morning to keep her mind sharp and takes naps every afternoon to rejuvenate her body for the rest of the day. Her biggest and most admirable companion is her Yorkie Louie who probably knows her better than her own children do most days. I retired relocated to another state and the courts gave me custody as a mother all over again to my grandchildren for more than 12 years Shirley said very matter of fact. I did what I had to do. When Shirley finally had time to get back to living for herself she had made the decision at the age of 80 to go back to school to study publishing and writing. At age 83 she had published her first novel Sessy s Journey a memoir and it has been doing very well ever since. One year later The Kenards and The Lockwoods was launched. It is the first book of three which can be found on Amazon.com. She is currently working on the next two books in its series. Writing is my passion now. I am in another world when I tap the keyboard and try to write lines that I feel will inspire entertain teach and give freedom to anyone that will accept and use it as a learning tool Shirley said admitting that she no longer relies on her memory but instead on her records. I was blessed to have had good parents who taught me how to be a productive individual in life. 49 Women of Distinction TeriLynn CanSee Psychic Tarot Reader Astrologer Life Coach Metaphysical Holistic Healing Owner - TLC & Associates Enterprises Long Beach CA T hrough her work as Owner and Principal Psychic at TLC & Associates Enterprises TeriLynn CanSee is dedicated to helping her customers make positive life choices by giving them extra insight to their possible options. While she was always aware of her foresight TeriLynn first pursued a corporate career as a technical recruiter for multiple large aerospace and private firms holding a position at Boeing until being laid off following the tragic events on 9 11. After this she decided to put herself to the test by becoming a psychic tarot card reader and astrologer and was able to find much success. TeriLynn created her own business TLC & Associates Enterprises in June 2012. I thoroughly enjoy helping my clients find their own self-empowerment and guide them to their truer self by being able to view opportunities and options that were available to them. I ve been able to help my clients explore options by reading happenings from their past present and their future. In her role of principal psychic TeriLynn gives helpful readings to her clients that reflect on the positivity in their lives. She also utilizes resources such as holistic fairs schools networks and groups that are likeminded in the metaphysical arena. She does daily tarot card readings and offers online beginner intermediate and advanced paid courses on how to read and understand your own tarot using your cards. TeriLynn works and reads at several holistic fairs including the School of Multidimensional Healing Arts and Sciences in Irvine CA participating in their monthly holistic fair on the last Saturday of every month and gives readings on the first Saturday of every month with the Temple of Light where their fairs are held in Orange County CA. You can find her participation in events on Facebook.com TeriLynnCanSee. She also participates in the Long Beach Woman s Spirt twice a year and attends Pagan Pride fairs several times a year. I m a straightforward psychic and I do not will not participate in negative energy readings or spells or anything that puts a person in a dark place. I only look to bring a person and their soul into the light of their own best being. My readings are to be supportive and provide options for consideration while making life decisions. In her free time TeriLynn enjoys swimming reading and walking her dogs. She is also currently writing a book about self-discovery which is set to be published in 2016-2017 and volunteers with the American Red Cross donating both blood and money to the organization. For those starting out in this industry be true to yourself and heal yourself after each reading. Many psychics do not clear their minds energy nor do inner healing after a reading and the vibes pile up clogging up your mind energy and providing personal physical discomfort. I strongly suggest that all my clients heal themselves as well. I would like to be remembered as someone who was truly about helping people by using my born talent and initials (TLC) Tender Loving Care aka TeriLynn CanSee on our great ME (Mother Earth) of which I am so grateful to share and be a part of in my life as having been in the corporate world a Sr. Technical Recruiter in Information Systems and now a proven and world-renowned Psychic Master Tarot Card Reader Astrologer and intuitive 50 Women of Distinction Tracey Clark Author Author Finder s Keepers Series Ashland KY B oredom is not typically synonymous with the mysterious methods great authors draw on to write their works. Many envision stories created by a masterful wordsmith plagued by dreams that demand to be written down at four in the morning. But Tracey Clark s journey to becoming an author truly began because of good old cabin fever. In 2005 Tracey was in the process of earning her degree in Mathematics when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She became childlike losing most of her abilities. She temporarily lost her eyesight and walked like a toddler. Speaking and writing were suddenly difficult if not impossible at times. It took eight years to get to the point where she d started to feel whole again. Sometime in the middle of the fight to become myself again I started to occupy my mind with dreams and stories Tracey recalled. Then I began to jot down childlike sentences to help me as I allowed my story to grow. Now I can build worlds. Worlds that I wish to share with others. Today Tracey is an accomplished published author. Her debut novel Shocking Finds A Finder s Keepers Novel came out October 26 2015. It was a very exciting time for me but work doesn t stop just because one of my babies was published she said. Tracey currently has several other rough drafts in the works along with a dozen short stories sitting in rough draft form. She has also participated as a judge in writing contests. The world of an author is both extremely isolated and demandingly social. Tracey is a researcher when she needs to develop a deeper view of her book s surroundings and characters. She is an editor with a red pen of pain. And lastly she is a public relations queen. She advises aspiring authors to embrace the Internet. If you want others to take a look at what you have to say you have to do the same she said. Like Tweets that catch your eye comment on blogs and Facebook etc. And give back. There will come a time when you will need Beta Readers those willing to look over your book before you do final edits or try to publish. Read the work of others comment and give you opinions. On her road to becoming a successful author Tracey never forgot about her deep roots as a good old Kentucky gal. In the back of her mind Tracey always keeps her mother s mantra You can have anything you want just be patient and be willing to work for it A hit to my sense of worth. Is this really something I can do This is what I felt and thought as I fought to deal with my MS Tracey said. But Multiple Sclerosis also left me with little else I could do but work on my writing. Walking talking watching television ... many of the things I took for granted were gone. But my ability to think and dream was still there. I jotted down what eventually became my passion my reason for living. 51 Women of Distinction Valencia T. Utley W Human Resources Administrative Specialist Department of the Army (Civilian) Human Resource Specialist Department of the Army (Military) Woodbridge VA hen Valencia T. Utley graduated high school she had mediocre expectations concerning her future career possibilities. But her story clearly shows God had a greater plan. Encouraged by her parents Valencia enlisted in the United States Army. Unsure about this major life choice the decision proved to change her life and led her to become the successful businesswoman she is today. I remember my mother telling me that she wanted a better life for me. She knew the Army could provide that better life said Valencia. As a little kid I always wanted to work in the administrative field. I enjoyed watching television shows with people dressed up working behind a desk taking care of other employee s paperwork. I never imagined my dream would one day be a reality Today Valencia holds dual positions of high esteem. She serves as the principal administrative support specialist for two Divisions (G37 Force Management and G-34 Force Protection) and also as the Health Care Operations Divisions alternate administrative support specialist. In her roles she provides management budget and administrative support of all military and civilian staff and monitors integration of staff actions for each division which includes effective coordination integration and synchronization of actions events follow-ups and activities affecting the Division Chief and staff officers. Valencia s life journey from youth to success is a path she could only dream of. The ability to help others and solve their administrative and personnel problems is self-gratifying and deeply fulfilling. Accomplishing her career goals Valencia set her sights to education. She pursued her undergraduate degree and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Liberty University in Lynchburg Virginia. Unable to stop there she is currently pursuing her Masters of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from Trident University in Cypress CA. Valencia outrightly declares God as her greatest professional inspiration. Avid in her religion she is an active and dedicated member of The Life Church in Woodbridge VA where she serves on the Greeter and Security Ministries. Without God none of this would be possible she said. God has directed my career path from the day I walked into the recruiting station. Along my path he has provided many people who have or has taken a part in my professional development. What an awesome God I serve Q&A Q How does your organization contribute to the society A My organization provide a high quality safe and consistent patience experience influencing a healthier lifestyle and behaviors focusing on health readiness injury and illness prevention saving lives and enabling optimal health outcomes in support of the total Army. Q What special training if any did you take that qualified you for this profession A I received training for my profession when I enlisted in the US Army. Training was conducted in Ft Jackson SC. I continue to take courses online or resident courses to keep my skills up. Q Why is your job important A Human Resource Specialist or Personnel Specialist has an essential part in developing an organization s strategies and also helping organizations navigate through this ever-changing society keeping an updated vision for continuous growth. Q What has been your greatest achievement A When I received my Bachelor s Degree. This achievement was so great that I am going back to school to obtain my Master s Degree. With an already full load this will be an added obstacle that I will conquer. 52 Women of Distinction Katherine Paxton MC CCC Healthcare Counseling Counselor - Katherine Paxton Counselling Services Victoria BC Canada s a Counselor with Katherine Paxton Counselling Services Katherine Paxton is dedicated to helping individuals with autism change their lives for the better while aiding others in better understanding those on the autism spectrum. The truly unique people I ve served have kept me in this career. It s been an honor working with these amazing individuals and families helping them create the life they desire. Each person has had some amazing gifts as well as some challenges while their families have moved mountains to support and help them. Their commitment is humbling. Helping these individuals and their families is a very rewarding experience for me. Katherine has been helping people with special needs for most of her life. In 1993 she was hired as a Behavior Consultant for The Laurel Group where she specialized in working with children and adults who were on the autism spectrum. After over a decade in the field she opened up a private practice in 2006 so she could offer a cognitive behavioral approach to clients. A In my career I have developed skill in taking the conventional counseling tools and altering them to best fit the people I m supporting. There is no singular approach as everyone has different needs and abilities. Shaping the tools so that they fit the person increases their effectiveness in helping the person achieve the change they desire. Helping people achieve the change they desire is my primary goal and gives me great fulfillment. In her free time Katherine is a volunteer Mental Health Director for Focus Ability WorkAble Solutions which provides support and employment for people who are on the autism spectrum. She also supports local organizations that work with people who have special needs including Victoria Society for Children with Autism Operation Trackshoes Community Living Victoria and Sooke Family Resources Society. In 2007 she published her book Counselling People on the Autism Spectrum A Practical Manual receiving a Counselling Book of the Year Award from the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association in 2010. In counseling it s very important never to lose sight of the fact that you re working with the client as part of their team for change. For this to be effective you need to develop an understanding of who your client is as well as an understanding of their unique situation. Respect how clients have managed to get to where they are now. Clients need to know what they re doing well as well as where they could change. Regarding her education Katherine received a BA in Psychology from University of Manitoba in 1988 a BSW from University of Victoria in 1993 and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Campus Alberta University of Calgary University of Lethbridge and Athabasca University in 2006. She has been a Canadian Certified Counsellor since 2006. I hope that my book Counselling People on the Autism Spectrum A Practical Manual is the start of leaving the world with a better understanding of people who are on the autism spectrum. This book could be used as a selfhelp book as well as a guide for counsellors and mental health professionals to work more effectively with people on the autism spectrum. I also hope that my speaking engagements help people better understand someone who is on the autism spectrum and helps them with supporting these people. Women of Distinction Team WDM Jennifer Hardy EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Holli M. Narvaez EDITOR LAYOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN Jill Mongonia Anne Silar SELECTION COMMITTEE SELECTION COMMITTEE Helene Kaye Women of Distinction 560 Broadhollow Road Ste. 310 Melville NY 11747 Phone (631) 465-9024 Fax (631) 465-9035 www.womenofdistinction.net Felicia Carole Wilt Healthcare Pathology Technical Supervisor Vanderbilt Medical Center 55 Women of Distinction Elizabeth Beth Hope Braden Author and Publishing Author Illustrator Publisher at Terra s Children s Books