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WOMEN OF DISTINCTION Karin L. Ciance DNP RN Nursing Education Assistant Professor - Anna Maria College 1 Women of Distinction Della D. R. Holden Health and Graphic Design CEO of Holden It Down Management LLC 2 Women of Distinction Karin L. Ciance DNP RN Nursing Education Assistant Professor - Anna Maria College Holden MA 3 Women of Distinction K I hope that I can inspire future nurses to treat all their patients with caring comfort and compassion. Dr. Ciance s 3 C s arin L. Ciance s ascent through the nursing field started with a Diploma in Nursing in 1983 from Worcester City Hospital School of Nursing. She immediately began earning credits toward her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in l983 from Worcester State College. As I knew when I graduated that I wanted to be a nurse manager or nursing supervisor I earned 33 college credits and worked for two and half years to complete 60 credits just to be matriculating into the nursing major. I worked the 11-7 shift full-time and was going to school part-time in the evening taking courses. When I was taking nursing courses for clinical days I would take a vacation day each week. I would give my schedule to my supervisor and inform her that I needed to work every Friday Saturday Sunday and Monday 11-7 during the school year. I did this for two and half years and needed to be guaranteed that schedule each semester. Dr. Ciance s hard work paid off as she earned her BSN in 1989. She went on later to obtain a Master of Science in Community Health Nursing from Worcester State College in 2004 and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Walden University in 2014. Over the years she has enjoyed taking care of patients in the various roles and settings she has worked in. These roles include staff nurse charge nurse associate nurse manager nurse manager director of clinical services and director of urgent care. She has worked in the areas of urgent care medical surgical nursing women s health rehabilitation community health and long-term care. I taught one lab section at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) and loved it. I enjoy teaching nursing students the skills to become a nurse. I later took a job at MCPHS University in Worcester MA as an adjunct nursing professor and absolutely enjoyed teaching the courses as well as being in the nursing skills lab. I ve also taught in the nursing graduate level for Worcester State University. Teaching at the graduate level was an adjustment from teaching undergraduate students. This prepared Dr. Ciance for an adjunct teaching position in nursing at Anna Maria College where she obtained a full-time nursing faculty position. I had finally found a place of employment where I could settle in and call home. I love teaching and inspiring students about how passionate I am about the profession. Today as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Anna Maria College Dr. Ciance teaches courses for the traditional BSN program and online RN-BSN program. Courses include fundamentals community health public health research and senior seminar. She also advises students and attends faculty assembly meetings and school meetings. Dr. Ciance is an active member of the Molly Bish Center Committee and Library and Technology Committee. She serves as the Dining for Women Chapter Leader and is the counselor and vice president for the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society Iota Phi Chapter-at-Large at Anna Maria College. She serves as a mentor for new faculty and graduate nursing students. Her dissertation Engaging and Educating Elders in the Sure Steps Fall Prevention Program was published by Proquest. Additionally Dr. Ciance did collaborative work with the free care clinics to establish the Greenwood Street Medical Clinic where she serves in the role executive director. I ve always been in charge additional tasks and my responsibilities seriously. Dr. Ciance also gained valuable experience teaching. It took two years of planning and meeting with members in the community to organize the clinic. Working with the interdisciplinary team that has enhanced my practice. This clinic has helped over 3 500 citizens of Worcester County Massachusetts without medical insurance in the past six years. The entire staff volunteers their time to serve at this clinic. As a nurse leader in the acute care area I was involved in several performance improvement projects to ensure patient safety and decrease risk to patients and staff. One of her other proudest accomplishments was being recognized as Strathmore s Who s Who 2015 Professional of the Year for her outstanding contributions and achievements in the field of Community Health Nursing. Dr. Ciance was honored with a visual celebration of her career on two large monitors appearing in Times Square New York on August 28 2015. Dr. Ciance serves in some very key non-nursing roles as well. She has currently served for the past three years as the moderator of Bethlehem Covenant Church sang for the Praise and Worship team taught Sunday school and served on the church board as the chairman of Christian Education. She has also been involved in Girl Scouts for over twenty-five years and currently is a Girl Scout Daisy leader. In her free time Dr. Ciance enjoys vacationing with her family camping hiking and going to the movies. She lives in Holden Massachusetts with her husband (Paul A. Ciance Jr.) and daughter (Karoline Kerstin Ciance). Karoline is in her second year at Anna Maria College where she is majoring in Music Therapy. Dr. Ciance treats her patients co-workers staff and everyone she encounters as she would want to be treated. Q&A Q Why did you become a nurse A I wanted to provide care comfort and compassion to people in a positive manner. Q What does the future of nursing look like in the next 10 years A Nursing is moving out into the community and clients homes. Clients are discharged from the acute care hospitals sooner than before to go home. Q What influenced you to go into nursing A While nursing can be a hard job it can also be very rewarding. However someone shouldn t go into nursing for the paycheck. Q Why should someone go into nursing A You should go into nursing to provide Dr. Ciance s 3 C s caring comfort and compassion. Q How has technology changed nursing care A Telemedicine provides direct monitoring of patients in their homes on a daily basis. The incidence of patients returning to the hospital within 30 days has decreased because of telemedicine. Having experience the use of telemedicine with my father I would strongly advocate for anyone being discharged from the hospital if applicable to have this service. It provided me with such a peace of mind knowing someone else was monitoring my father s weight and vital signs daily. Technology also improves patient care because data can be obtained more quickly which results in more timely patient care. Q What are some of the positive and negative aspects of technology A You can obtain results quicker but it s a problem when there s a power loss. Q What have been the greatest changing factors in nursing A The salary increase and how insurance companies seem to be in charge of the patient s plan of care (instead of the healthcare team). Q Why did you continue your education for your doctorate A In order to remain in my position as a full-time member of the faculty I continued my education to practice to the full extent of my education and to become a role model for others. I knew obtaining a terminal degree would allow me the opportunity to grow in my role. Q Why did you become a nursing professor A I wanted to teach nursing students to become caring comforting compassionate and competent nurses. Q What do you think about men in nursing A I think it provides a different perspective in nursing. I live by the Golden Rule do unto to others as you would do unto yourself. I know that with my faith in God and if I give the world the best I can the best will come back to me. 5 Women of Distinction Amy L. Spangenberg Agriculture Equine Breeding and Training E-commerce Trainer - SHF Miniature Horses Owner - DVA Creative Ventures LLC Starrucca PA T hrough her work as a Trainer at SHF Miniature Horses Amy Spangenberg displays her love for animals and agriculture by properly training miniature horses to interact with humans and other animals. Ms. Spangenberg has also recently started an E-commerce business selling holistic products and gifts. She is very proud to offer 100% therapeutic grade essential oils natural air fresheners gift baskets herbal supplements aromatherapy products and many items that can be personalized for gifts such as wooden cutting boards and glassware. I have had various careers outside of the horse training. I ve worked as an addictions counselor as well as a behavioral specialist. I m currently working on a PhD in educational psychology and hope to gain an online undergraduate psychology teaching position in the future but my love for animals has always kept me in my current field and will continue to keep me here. Amy has been working with animals for her entire life. Growing up on an active dairy farm (Summer Hope Farm) and helping her father who was also a lover of animals is what led Amy to develop a passion for agriculture. Following the sale of the farm s dairy cows in 1998 the Summer Hope Farm was transitioned to miniature horses and was renamed SHF Miniature Horses which is still family owned and operated. In her role of trainer and laborer Amy keeps the barn clean and cares for the animals while also working with young horses as a pet quality trainer in order to help them socialize with people and other animals. She also works with the owners to help maintain the quality of the breeding program so the organization continues raising animals for both pets and showing. My passion has always led back to agriculture no matter what other directions I have taken. My love of psychology and love of animals are finally coming together so that I may be able to cause some social change in the world. Regarding her education Amy has received a BA in Behavioral Science from Wilmington College in 1991 an MS in Counselor Education from Marywood College in 1994 and is currently working on earning her PhD in Educational Psychology from Walden University. In her leisure Amy enjoys cooking baking and reading. She is working on a dissertation on Education and Identity development at the moment as well. My dissertation on Education and Identity Development will be my legacy but hopefully beyond the actual writing of the dissertation the research will lead to some social change within agricultural education for women. My advice to anyone starting out in this industry or any other is to follow your passion. If you have a passion for what you do and you find and work with a great mentor you can do anything that you want. Always pay attention to what the animal is trying to tell you. I have been bitten more than once because I wasn t paying attention to the horse I was working with. 6 Women of Distinction Anna Marie Schmidt Weselak Business non-profit and educational services Owner Weselak & Associates Lombard IL W ith an extensive background in education experience in sales and marketing as well as involvement in a variety of civic and professional volunteer organizations Anna Marie Schmidt Weselak specializes in training companies to improve their operations through customized seminars and consulting. With a Masters Degree in Education Anna founded Weselak & Associates in 1994. She serves as an independent contractor of interpersonal relations and communication skills training. In her role Anna is the off-site training director for small to mid-sized companies and as a consultant for large companies within their training departments. As a certified assessment analyst using more than 40 tools and surveys that assess the strengths of individuals and teams she crafts customized professional development pathways that allow staff members to discover their ultimate potential and achieve the goals of the organization. Sharing her expertise Anna co-authored a book titled Overcoming Mediocrity in 2014. Additionally she is involved with numerous industry organizations including The Association of Training and Development (ATD) Association of Training and Development Chicago Chapter CCATD National Association of Parliamentarians National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Lombard Chamber of Commerce and Industry Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Small Business Association Leadership Council. A dedicated community member Anna continues to be active in the PTA as a past president of the Illinois PTA and a past president of the National PTA. She is involved with her church as a past Parish Council Chairman and a board member of the Council of Catholic Women. Her sense of civic duty does not end there. Anna is a founding member and past president of the Zonta Club of Oak Brook and is the Area 1 Director-Elect for District 6 of Zonta International. She is a long time member of Lombard Service League which is affiliated with the General Federation of Women s Clubs (GFWC) where she served as a member of the GFWC IL board of directors. Anna is also a dedicated member of the Three Fires Council of the Boy Scouts of America as Vice President of Learning for Life Exploring. Anna is happily married to her husband Kevin Weselak a Retired High School Special Education Teacher. The couple has a daughter and two sons. In her free time Anna enjoys traveling reading and sewing dresses for her wonderful granddaughters. The flexibility in the hours and love of what I do has kept me in my business for the past 21 years Anna said. Over the years I have been continually inspired by the new assessment tools and the amazing validity of their results. I enjoy reviewing the results of these tools with individuals in groups or individually. My greatest joy is when someone gains new insight into him or herself that can enable them to reach their potential. Anna is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst Certified Professional Motivators Analyst and Certified Professional Emotional Intelligence Analyst. Prior to founding Weselak & Associates Anna was a teacher. She worked for the East Aurora School District Pioneer Child Care Center College of DuPage St. Xavier University Center for Teacher Effectiveness International Renewal Institute and Louis University. She also was the Outside Sales and Marketing Director for the Minuteman Press. I am a 10 year cancer survivor of NonHodgkin s Lymphoma which gives special meaning to each new day Anna said. I hope that the way I live life and all that I do will be an inspiration to others. 7 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What is your target market A I work with clients in corporate non-profit and education because those are industries where I am comfortable. Although it sounds like a very broad market I found everyone needs to better understand themselves so they can work better with others. The work that I do is not industry specific. Q I have taken DISC before so do need to take it again A On the contrary our lives are ever changing. With a change in your career position job or personal life your environment changes and thus your behavior may change. Behavioral assessments measure our primary behavioral style today based on our current environment. Q Everything is going well in our organization what kind of training can you do for us A Continuous improvement is continual learning. Investing in the people of your company is an investment in your company. Employees will see that you value them and they will be more engaged and less likely to leave. We offer a variety of seminars that will help employees to become top performers. Q What process do you use to develop a training program A We use a 3 step process. Our philosophy is to (1) help people to better understand themselves so they can (2) better understand others that will help them to (3) perform better in their jobs. Each of our seminars and workshops are customized to meet the needs of our clients. We do not offer any canned programs Q Is there anything we can do to see if a potential hire is a good fit for our company A Yes we facilitate a process called Benchmarking which identifies why the job exists. We then generate a Job Report and compare it to the Talent Report that the candidate takes as part of the interview process. By comparing these two reports it will help you to see which candidates fit the job. Q All this training and all these assessments sounds expensive. Can our small company afford it A We work with each client to customize each seminar and each professional development plan to fit the size of their company and their budget. No company is too large or too small for us to provide training to their employees. Q Who are your associates A Weselak & Associates is a team of independent contractors who are knowledgeable and experienced to facilitate and present seminars on a variety of topics. Our network can provide expertise on a wide variety of topics and services within the training industry. 8 Women of Distinction Annette Carriedo Music Artist Management and Consulting CEO Founder of Hold You Down Entertainment Inc. Long Beach CA D espite the fact that Annette Carriedo had a blossoming career in Mortgage and Banking her incredible passion for music empowered her to take a leap of faith to redefine her future in the music industry. She explains that she often reflects on her decision and wonders if she began her journey too late in life but her story proves the fact that it is never too late to follow your dreams. In the year 2012 Annette encountered an independent hip-hop artist at a Los Angeles show. The two engaged in conversation about music and he invited her to his upcoming performance at a local venue. Shortly after the performance they shared some ideas about the industry and by the end of the evening he asked her to consider managing him. With no previous music management experience she accepted the offer because she did however have many years of corporate management experience. I always had a passion for music and over the years of attending events I had developed some great relationships with influential people in the industry. Annette explains. Prior to entering her current role she had been working in the Mortgage and Banking field for more than 15 years. She quickly ascended starting out in collection call centers that led to various titles ranging from manager director and even Vice President. Although she was successful her sincere interest resided in music she just didn t quite know how to make the transition. It wasn t until a series of setbacks the devastating passing of her mother a car accident and a layoff that she was put in the position to really think about what she wanted to accomplish in her life. After feeling as though she had reached rock bottom there was nothing left for her to do but to work her way from the bottom to the top this time in an industry that has always intrigued her. Annette claims to have worked for exceptional leaders who pushed her abilities to their limits and in that process they groomed her to become the strong leader she is today. She states In those moments I always thought that they were being hard on me but in reality they believed in me and in the potential that I had. It was because of these leaders that Annette learned that even when you may think you have reached a wall there is always opportunity to break through or climb over it. Her determination led her to the decision to obtain her degree in Music Business. A short time after she launched her Artist Management company Hold You Down Entertainment Inc. and she hasn t looked back since. Annette is the CEO and Founder of her business and is responsible for running its dayto-day operations. She coordinates events and collaborations and scouts for new talent alongside her business partners. Annette Carriedo wants to share her knowledge with the world and hopes it will help artists become thoroughly informed in order for them to make successful business decisions. She strongly believes that everyone deserves a shot a lending hand and words of encouragement. Annette s ability to use her resources and expertise is truly a gift as she helps artists achieve their greatest dreams. 9 Women of Distinction Bobbie Crittenden Beasley Non-Profit Founder and Chief Executive Officer Project Reaching Out Charlotte NC F or as long as Bobbie Crittenden Beasley can remember she has always had a certain level of compassion for others. As a child she would share whatever she had with those less fortunate she began writing poetry to express herself and in the last 60 s had written her first non-fiction book. In 2002 Bobbie began volunteering and speaking to young girls and women. With the understanding that Hey I ve been there too she finally gave a name to the thoughtful acts she was already doing in 2013. It was called Project Reaching Out. The non-profit organization Bobbie formed was in an effort to not only share her life experiences but to also see positive reaction with those of whom she shared her story with. And while her resources are still very limited her goals remain the same to help as many families as she can. Being a victim of domestic violence myself I thrive in helping those in the same situation as I once was Bobbie said. Getting out there and educating these victims so that they can leave their abusive relationships is what Project Reaching Out is all about. I m no longer living in the past but I feel that by sharing my experiences with others I can help save their lives. It was Bobbie s first husband who left both physical and emotional scars on her life. He played target practice on her leg with a knife which suffered nine stitches in an emergency room he hit her so hard under her chin she still has a scar she nearly lost an eye was once hung upside down by her feet from the stairwell he even put a gun to her head and played Russian Roulette with her life then beat her in the face with the pistol when it didn t go off. Finally after years of abuse Bobbie found enough courage to take her children and leave home. Bobbie began her career in 1967 after graduating from high school. She moved to New York spent time in retail and after landing a position with Time & Life Magazine as a filing clerk began reading every article she got her hands on. This was when she really became inspired to write more than just poetry. Now as the Author of several non- fiction books and one fiction book Bobbie s most recent which was published in 2015 entitled Flaws is about terrorism violence and murder understanding where we came from and stopping this generation of curse of hate. Involved with several local community events in Charlotte that feed the homeless including one called Operation Hope for the Homeless through UCC Outreach Ministry Bobbie also supports several other organizations including Prevent Obesity and Mercy Ministry. Giving back is what she is all about. Married twice and now widowed Bobbie has seven children 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She loves to sew and write in her free time. 10 Women of Distinction Carrie L. Hamilton CRMA Patient Tech Mental Health Tech Montgomery Area Mental Health Montgomery AL C The enjoyment I get knowing that I can make a different in other lives serves as an inspiration for me on the daily basis. arrie Hamilton started her career in mental health in June 1992 after a previous job went out of business. She was simply looking for any job to help with some of her family s expenses during the time her husband was overseas. Having a child born normal excel in playing drums and piano to later experience mental illness due to drugs causing him to have problems and take medications to help aid his stability helps me to assist others with disabilities and ensure that all of their rights are protected. Currently Carrie works as a Mental Heath Tech where she assists patients in daily living and all of its activities. Carries main objective is to people with basic living skills. She also has part-time job as a PCT where she assists patients with their needs in the medical field. Q&A Q Who is most likely to have mental illness What cause mental illness How does mental illness affect a person A Mental Illness can affect anyone from any walk of life regardless of their status position or level of intelligence. Mental illness is usually caused by abnormality or chemical imbalance in the brain. It can occur in anyone as it limits a person s ability to cope with their life and happiness. Q Can mental illness be cure Does any medication cause side effects A No mental illnesses cannot be cured but taking medications as prescribe by a physician can stabilize an individual. Yes medications can cause a plethora of side effect and it s important to report any medications to your physician immediately. One must be able to recognize any changes in your personality or behavior. Q Can the physician determine a person have mental illness before birth A Actually yes. There are several tests that can be done to detect abnormalities in the fetus before the child is born. I enjoy helping the consumers with disabilities due to the fact that any person can have a mental disability that leaves them somewhat or fully impaired. For example a person born with an impairment or suffered an injury in a car accident leaving them physically disabled. At the end of the day Carrie feels as though it s important to express one s feelings because many of people don t know they may fall into the category of mentally disabled. She knows that there are many people in the world getting hurt or killed because they don t address their issues and nobody helps them. Carrie also knows that there are many people who never get diagnosed for mental illnesses that they actually have. 11 Women of Distinction gifted musician Dawn Dae Collins has been a vocalist and multi-instrumental performer since the 1970s. When her brother became ill with thyroid cancer Dawn took a vested interest in learning more about holistic approaches to wellness especially as it relates to music. Thus began her journey into the field of Therapeutic Music and Arts. In 1997 she became certified in Music for Healing and Transition. Since 2006 she provides arts-based therapies as best suited for clients needs. A Dawn Dae Collins I raised two sons as a single mom worked full-time for the State of New York taught guitar part-time to supplement our income and educated myself on a part-time basis not earning my Bachelors until I was in my 50s Dawn explained. I never gave up my dream of one day pursuing a career that fed my soul and creative passion. Today Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from SUNY Empire State a Master of Arts in Expressive Arts Therapy from the European Graduate School Leuk-Wallis Switzerland and a Master of Arts in Worship Studies Ethnomusicology from Liberty University. Dawn has earned certifications in multiple healing modalities e.g. Vibroacoustic Therapy Reiki Yoga of the Voice and chaplaincy. Therapeutic Music & Arts Therapeutic Expressive Arts Consultant Stuyvesant NY Q&A Q What is expressive arts therapy A Expressive arts therapy includes a range of art forms encompassing visual arts kinesthetic arts literary arts and auditory art forms. An expressive arts practitioner guides an individual through an arts making project utilizing one or more art modalities. Q What is a Certified Music Practitioner (CMP) A A CMP is a person that has completed successfully the Music for Healing and Transition Program training. Q How is a CMP different than a music therapist A A CMP provides music (the instrument of choice varies) for individuals within five patient conditions such as acute nonacute or with chronic conditions cognitively impaired in pain or high anxiety and the actively dying. The individual receiving service may be passive or non-communicative. Health benefits may include reduction of pain regulated body rhythms memory stimulation and mood improvement. A CMP is not required to report outcomes. A licensed music therapist seeks to engage and achieve specific documented outcomes within a determined set of goals. I am passionate about educating and helping others through music and a range of art modalities Dawn said. Music is very powerful and each of us has a vibratory nature that we can tap into. Dawn is a member of several industry-related organizations including the World Flute Society American Folk Harp Society and Dulcimer Association of Albany. Additionally Dawn advises students for the Music for Healing and Therapy Program and serves on the MHTP Conference Committee. In her free time Dawn volunteers for her church serving on the pastoral council and singing in choir. I would like to leave a legacy that is about teaching and exemplifying kindness and love building others self-esteem and bringing light into the world through tenderness and compassionate service Dawn said. 12 Women of Distinction T hrough her company AE Money Quests LLC educator Debra P. Avara is changing the way people understand finance. An accomplished author and speaker Debra oversees all aspects of her business in addition to being a full-time Assistant Professor of Sociology and Government at Amarillo College in Texas. Debra P. Avara Education Owner CEO of AE Money Quests LLC. Full time Assistant Professor of Sociology Government at Amarillo College Amarillo TX Purpose and determination have kept me in my career. I know my purpose here is to teach basic financial literacy. Money doesn t have to be hard It just takes a little knowledge that can change a life. Debra is an avid blogger who has published multiple books about financial literacy. In 2009 she penned her first book Just The Basics Please and has since gone on to write My Money Financial Literacy for Exceptional People Bella Buys a Big Blue Bike and The Money Maze Don t get Lost in the Middle. To complement her writing Debra developed an awardwinning educational game -- Key to the Front Door. Hoping to disseminate financial advice in low-income neighborhoods Debra raised money and secured grants to fund Financial Literacy Seminars. Since its inception she has reached hundreds of people through seminars held at ESL GED Classes Salvation Army Women and Family Shelters Churches and Schools. My goal is to change the world one budget at a time Teaching one person is an exponential explosion. Generations are changed. I will never know how many lives are changed by just one person reading one of my books. Debra holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice a Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology and a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science. Additionally she is a member of WIT (Women in Toys) and NAPW (National Association of Professional Women). In addition to being a successful CEO and Professor Debra is also a busy mother wife and caregiver for her mother. Q&A Q Have you won any awards for your game A Yes Creative Child 2015 Educational Game of the Year Award 2015 Family Choice Award 2014 Family Choice Best of the Year Gold Seal Seal of Approval and Editors Choice Awards the 2014 Tilly Wig Brain Child Award and 2014 Homeschool.com Seal of Approval 2015 Lekotek AblePlay tested and approved for Special Needs Academics Choice Fall 2015 Brain Toy Award and the game was a Mensa Game competitor. The game didn t win but I received some really good feedback that I will use before the next shipment. Q Why do you feel that your business is relevant in today s world A We have really dropped the ball when it comes to teaching our children about money. Two years ago they passed a law that requires schools to teach financial literacy but I ve had teachers tell me this is the subject they throw in the last week before summer break This is one of the most important subjects we can teach our children and it shouldn t be done in 1 week before summer break Time management is my biggest challenge and I ll confess I still haven t mastered it for balance My passion says keep going Debra is currently working on a game for K -3rd graders and her next book. She aspires to one day teach at Disney University. I love Disney World and would love the opportunity to teach financial literacy to the interns that come in every semester 13 Women of Distinction I I figured out at a young age that my passion in life is helping people. n 2008 Della D. R. Holden started her first job with a homeowners association. Unaware of her talents and skills of being an entrepreneur Della saw herself working for an organization that needed her business know-how. However because she didn t have any actual experience with running an official business Della was looked down upon and was subjected to minimum wage because due to her lack of a degree and experience in the field. With this type of adversity in my first real job I decided that I never wanted to work for anyone else in my life. So in 2012 I decided to start my own business. Now Della serves as the CEO of Holden It Down Management LLC where she runs the day-to-day operations focusing on pushing out the best products and services to maximize the best results for her clients. Holden It Down Management LLC is a graphic design firm and also sells Total Life Changes (TLC) products. In the future Della looks forward to becoming an author of a memoir of her life story to show where she s come from and what her future holds. It brings me pleasure and joy that I can provide a product and service to people that makes them feel good about themselves and what they have going on. Whether it s with health wellness helping them feel good or developing a design for their vision and bringing it to life I m always happy assisting others. Whenever she s not working Della loves to spend time with her daughter who serves as her personal and professional inspiration. Della is also involved with and volunteers her time to a plethora events and organizations in the community. One of her favorite places to volunteer is the Golden Age Hobby House where Della spends time with senior citizens in the community and teaches them computer classes gives health awareness consultations and gives beneficial information to their lifestyles. Della is also a part of the Community Fundraiser Program where she helps raise funds while promoting small businesses and non-profit organizations. Della D. R. Holden Health and Graphic Design CEO of Holden It Down Management LLC Houston TX I m a businesswoman striving to help my people and community to do better within their selves their business and community. We re all here for a purpose and we must recognize it to fulfill own destiny. At the end of the day Della wants to be known for striving to help people her determination to get the job done and to produce the best results. I want what I ve left behind to be given to my children grandchildren and so on. To know that Della Holden was the true definition of integrity and a woman of God. 14 Women of Distinction Erica Lev Architectural Design President of Lev Consulting Services Streamwood IL E ven as a young child Erica Lev s talent for sketching was evident. Her passion developed into a profession. After she attended the Phoenix Institute of Technology in 1988 to earn an Associates Degree in drafting and design Erica quickly landed a job at the famed Sears Tower in Chicago. Working in the iconic building and living in a city with distinctive architecture Erica developed a love for buildings particularly residential properties. Her admiration led her to found Architectural Design firm Lev Consulting Services in 2000. Lev Consulting Services specializes in a variety of Architectural design and spatial planning projects. As owner Erica wears many hats. She the business accountant designer drafter field measure code verifier secretary and errand runner. Her greatest role is serving her clients always paying close attention to their specific style. Q&A Q How do you come up with a specific design for your clients A I take in consideration many things. First the wants of my client. After that the restrictions of the village including the property and the structure of the any existing will really determine what can be done. Q What do you enjoy the most about the design process A The creativity of transforming from old to new. Designing keeps me on my toes and I love a challenge. Q What would be the most important to you in regards to your clients A Working independently from the contractors I always want my client to feel that I have their best interest in mind. I never want them to feel that I lean more toward something in the design because it benefits me. Q What is the one thing your customers require from you A That I have a listening ear. If they are not heard in their wants and have these things ignored they will have less confidence in my performance. I try to make sure their must haves are included in their design. I put my clients best interest first to give them the best design for their life style that equates a functional space. It is always about the client Erica said. I like to learn how the family uses their current space and what type of life style they live to ensure that our design will fit best with their current home and give them the very best usage to maintain how they live. Prior to launching her business Erica held many esteemed position within her field. She worked for corporations and government organizations such as Sears and the FAA before moving on to residential construction with Bloodgood Sharp and Buster Airoom and Normandy Builders. Erica has been married to her wonderful husband for 26 years. The couple has grown sons and a new daughter-in-law. In her spare time Erica enjoys making jewelry painting and teaching others about the Bible as a volunteer. 15 Women of Distinction Iryna Sokolovsky I Art Oil Paint Artist President of the AntiAge Global Corporation Delray Beach FL ryna Sokolovsky is the talented artist behind AntiAge Global Corporation. Though her company she focuses on creating paintings that speak to clients which results in high customer satisfaction. Each piece is unique and can t be duplicated. My main focus is to create positive art she said. As an artist I can create wonderful artwork if I feel no pressure from outside the world. The artwork is a wonderful chemical reaction inside the brain that is can give you desire to paint and do some outstanding results. If I want to create beautiful art than I should ask myself to stop thinking about material things and as a businesswoman this is the most difficult task. Iryna has been working as an artist in the United States since 2007 and recently founded her art company AntiAge Global Corporation. ( May you can add more about your company here My company is not doing or selling any prints or copy of my Artwork I am focusing creating a unique paintings . Usually the Art oil takes a year to dry . The buyer has to be very patient to get this kind of paint. ) She holds a bachelor s degree in Nursing and previously worked as a Nurse Practitioner at a local hospital. Iryna is also a NCEA Certified Esthetician. In her spare time she enjoys fishing going to the beach bicycling walking yoga spending time with her husband Simon and of course painting. Q&A Q How many people work for you A My company is just starting out. I am looking forward to see people who are interesting be a part of the company. Q What is your goal in the future for the company A To get my unique art style recognizable in any country as a high quality product. Q Do you advertise your busyness A Yes you can find me on the Facebook or website to support company. I am building up my company by the art I am selling. You can just follow me or like my https www.facebook.com oil.paint.artist page or website http sivkovart.wix.com antiage To be an artist is the best gift that anyone can receive she said. When I look back at my life I would say to accept the talent is the most difficult and most wonderful feeling in the world. I would like my legacy to be to accept yourself for who you are and be kind to each other. If you would like to support the Anti Age Global Corporation or be a part of the company as an investor please contact directly by the phone (561) 281-0875 or email sivkovart yahoo.com. The company is focusing to provide only natural products ( no chemicals ) and is looking for investors . The 50 % of the profit from oil paintings are will be giving as a charity to fight a cancer. 16 Women of Distinction Janet G Bradsher Consulting Solution Solvers LLC Owner Hampton VA fter she was laid off from a well-paying job in December of 2012 Janet G Bradsher spent the following year applying for jobs in hopes to be back in the game in no time however that was not the case. Over 278 applications later a company reached out to her and Solution Solvers was born. Janet has over 25 years of experience in accounting operations and technology. She explains her love for improving processes making tasks easier and less time consuming. She resolves problems and provides solutions to help organizations thrive as well as reduce their expenses in atypical ways as opposed to downsizing. Currently Janet is responsible for completing all duties as the owner of Solution Solvers. Although she operates on her own she is experiencing a lot of growth and is considering hiring someone to assist her enabling her to focus even more on her clients. Janet names Byron Jenkins the general manager of a former position as the greatest inspiration and influence in her work career. He saw something in me that I had never seen in myself. She explains. He is very smart and loved to share his knowledge. I learned a lot from him. Janet s self-confidence improved tremendously due to working with him. Janet advises people in her industry or any industry for that matter to not be afraid to ask for additional work as it holds the opportunity to learn as much as possible. She states Observe everything you can whether it applies to you or not. Really understand the ins and outs of the company their strengths and weaknesses. One obstacle on the path to Janet s success was an experience with a company where coworkers were jealous of her performance creating problems for her in a place where she had to return to work every day. A That being said she paid no mind to such immaturity and worked even better than before. You will work for organizations that will use you and take credit for your work and demand ridiculous hours with no care for your family or your private time. Janet says. These factors mentioned have all been an issue with her previous jobs which ultimately led her to the start of her own business. Janet has written several blogs for her current software partner xTuple and has also worked on various Six Sigma projects to aid in the improvement of short term cash and processes. She is affiliated with the International Women s League Association (IWLA) and the Opportunity Worklink a local organization where lectures are given to assist men and women on their job searches and offer interview techniques. In her free time Janet takes care of her mother escorting her to her appointments Red Hat luncheons church and visiting family. Janet is actively involved with her local church as she has written thank you notes and provided a free meal for the Hampton VA police force. Also around Christmas time presents were purchased and wrapped along with a Christmas tree wreath and a Christmas dinner for a less fortunate family in her community. Janet would like to someday be remembered as a woman who really helped her clients and people in general and deeply cared about the quality of her work and their satisfaction. 17 Women of Distinction Kamara Marcus Consulting & Project Management President CEO Intellect World Wide Inc. Tampa FL K amara Marcus never dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. Today she achieved beyond her wildest dreams as CEO and President of Intellect World Wide Inc. Based in Tampa Intellect World Wide Inc. specializes in Consulting and Project Management. Drawing on her personal experience Kamara is penning her first book Kept My Enemy Closer which deals with the everyday struggles of Major Depressive Disorder Acute Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which Kamara was diagnosed with in 2005 while going through the break-up of a 20 year marriage and running her business. My role within the company is not just being at the top of the company but knowing each component of how the company works what changes need to be made whom to hire and subcontract with and most of all learning how to stay up-to-date in my industry field Kamara said. I am hands-on in every capacity but I do not micro-manage. Kamara holds a Master s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) a Bachelor s Degree in Criminal Justice and Associate s Degree in Paralegal Studies. Prior to launching Intellect World Wide she worked in city government as a Legal Secretary for a police department as well as in Growth Management and in Business and Housing Development. I would like readers to know that you can cope with and overcome obstacles that you never thought you could she said. You must have support of family and friends. I chose (and still do) see my therapist (psychiatrist). I have no shame in saying that I had to see her three (3) yes ... three (3) times a week Now I still go monthly because I still need that personal time. I am better because of it. Today Kamara is happily remarried to her wonderful husband of 5 years Jeffrey Marcus. She has two adult children and recently became a first time grandmother. I ran both my company and worked a full-time job for 10 years Kamara said. I did not realize it then but once I was running my business only I thought about how much opportunity I had missed out on while trying to balance both. I missed out on networking having a live voice to answer calls researching new opportunities etc. With all of that under the rug I focus on Intellect s capacity to take business to the next level. I am available and it has been better than I could have ever imagined 18 Women of Distinction Leslie M. Gunn Education (Grades 1 -12) Incl Independent Studies Program Director of Business Development Public Relations Community Awareness Advocate - Gunn Christian Academy Birmingham AL T hrough her work as the Director of Business Development at Gunn Christian Academy Leslie Gunn is dedicated to helping the school operate in the best interest of the children. She also works in Public Relations and is a Community Awareness Advocate for the academy. I had never wanted to be present in the educational sector which is odd since I come from a family full of educators who have attained high honors in various caveats of the educational sector but I have always wanted to make a difference and transition into something where I can help people. I just didn t know how I was going to do it. In this career I do just that. Leslie started in her professional career as a staffing recruiter in 2008. At that point she realized that she enjoyed being instrumental in helping others find employment. This rewarding feeling of helping others carries on in her work with Gunn Christian Academy. Leslie s current role is to inquire and search for secure sponsorships and donors for the academy while also speaking with potential investors or funders looking s to donate to humanitarian causes. In addition she observes students in order to understand them and aid in the academy s good disciplinary reputation. Regarding her education Leslie received a BS in Sports Management and Business from Georgia Southern University in 2001 a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources from Keller School of Management in 2011 and a Masters in Human Resource Management concentrating on Global Diversity and Strategic Staffing in 2013. She also obtained a Human Resource Specialist Certificate concentrating in Organizational Development. In her leisure Leslie enjoys singing reading and watching movies and collecting vintage black and white artwork from various genres specifically Hollywood glamour singers and actresses of color. She also collects vintage pieces of jewelry. She loves not only helping children but encouraging their parents to participate in the achievements of their children. She continues to raise funds for the academy and implement more programs for at risk youth to be a part of. I like having a positive impact on the people I come in contact with. I love being a part of societies and causes that reach out to communities. I want my legacy to illustrate that although the beginning of Gunn Christian Academy may have been lengthy my faith took us higher than I could have ever imagined. These kids are sharp bright students who want a way out of some of their environments. GCA has the capability to give hope and they have changed the lives of others. Honestly these children and the staff have given me the best gift of all the capacity to love as deeply and compassionately as ever. I didn t have that ability before. There is no such thing as coincidence. My advice for those starting out in this field is to always be determined never settle for no understand to never lose your voice be willing to listen to constructive criticism never argue and be the better person. Children are our future so give your best and most importantly always stay true to your convictions. Lisa Ann Robinson Moving and Relocation Services Certified Moving Consultant with AMJ Campbell Ottawa Ontario Canada L isa Ann Robinson is the go-to Certified Moving Consultant in the Ottawa-area. With an extensive background as a professional sales person she has enjoyed years of success in diversified business-to-business enterprises. Her previous sales position led her to her dream job working for AMJ Campbell a full-service moving and relocation company in Canada. AMJ Campbell was by far my largest client and as such I had regular communication and interaction with Senior Management. Fate had me in the right place at the right time as AMJ Campbell was recruiting for a Professional Sales Representative Lisa said. As I had been successful in selling to them they offered me a position and career path that I just couldn t refuse. I was pleased to join AMJ Campbell in February 2013. My new position was a leap from Business to Business to Business to Consumer involving a more personal approach more suitable to my passion for helping people. It is the best fit for my personality and my strong desire to work with people and families especially during stressful times. Statistically researchers say that moving is the most stressful life event only next to death and divorce. And while moving may appear to be simple it is much more complex than the general public may realize. It takes approximately 45 people in different areas of responsibility to complete a successful move. Lisa s role as the initial contact person for customers is to provide a detailed in-house survey of their prized possessions. She then explains the intricacies of the moving experience and set expectations for the quality move AMJ Campbell is known for delivering. Lisa becomes the customer s advisor and advocate assisting them through the entire move from beginning to end concluding with a satisfaction survey. Behind the scene Lisa coordinates the move with the operations department and all other stakeholders to ensure the move is successful as expected by the customer. I always tell my potential clients that I am their Girl Lisa said. I will be there for them. They will have my cell number to call anytime. I intend to treat them the way I want to be treated and I will be honest and fair. I truly serve as their advocate through their move. Lisa is a Certified Moving Consultant through the Canadian Movers Association and is an active member and volunteer for the Women s Business Network of Ottawa volunteering on the Marketing and Communications Committee. In her limited free time Lisa enjoys spending a quiet night with her family. She has a beautiful and thriving 7-year-old daughter who loves swimming and making music. I am an everyday woman like you and I ve had my challenges and made my mistakes she said. Once I developed my knowledge and narrowed down my passion for people I found my ambition and drive all at once. Find your passion do what you love and the rest will follow. I would like to be remembered as a warm hearted fair lady with enough passion and drive to run the world 20 Women of Distinction Q&A Q 1. You are a Single Mother with a young child at home how do you balance your personal from your professional life A Balance makes me laugh I would have to say that I am available for my job 6am to 6pm and the rest of the time is about my girl. I simply do what needs to be done and I try to keep things simple. Q What types of services does your business provide A AMJ Campbell offers a One Stop Moving and Transportation Solution to a diversified customer base of Corporate Government and General Consumers. Our Services consists of Local and long distance moving Canada wide Cross-border moving to from the USA International moving anywhere in the world Office & Commercial Moving Specialized Logistics Home delivery services Warehousing & storage Q How or why does your business stand out from the competition A AMJ Campbell is the largest moving company network in Canada with over 40 offices coast to coast and one South Florida Location. We are a proud Member of The Atlas Word Group (Atlas van Lines) a leader in global moving and logistics. We are largest Agent Network in Canada with excess of 200 million dollars in revenue 2800 employees 1 000 000 sq. ft. of modern warehouse space and 1500 well maintained fleet vehicles. AMJ Campbell is perennially the receiver of the majority of the Atlas Quality Awards each and every year. Q What is your greatest strength A People. Meeting people helping people and making a difference. Q What are your aspirations for the future A To train and recruit the next up and comers. I want to continue to maintain the standards at AMJ Campbell that has been established for over 82 years Q Do you have any advice for young women who have career aspirations of entering a male-dominated profession A Be prepared to fight and stay competitive. Find a mentor to help and do not be afraid but always always treat them the way you want to be treated. Q What would you tell someone that says they can t afford a professional mover and or don t think they can afford one when it comes time to move A Customers may think that a do-it-yourself move approach renting a truck engaging friends and family is cheaper than a professional mover. In many cases this simply is not true. I work with the customer pointing out all the hidden costs to a do-it-yourself move. We then compare the costs with our services. Customers in most cases are absolutely shocked as costs can be very similar. Why would they then go through all that work and put their prized possessions at risk for similar costs I am pleased to say I convert most of such opportunities. I am constantly working on adding more value to the client s move lowering the overall costs where possible. 21 Women of Distinction Lisa A. Stark Healthcare Senior Living Community Relations Manager - Westminster Village Senior Living Community Clarksville IN T hrough her work as Community Relations Manager at Westminster Village Senior Living Community Lisa Stark is dedicated to serving customers to the best of her ability. While she has only worked in senior living for a few years Lisa s entire professional career has been a path that has led to a career in marketing. Her experience in managing reception record keeping advertising development and customer service has given her an advantage in her field and has allowed her to remain at her best. If people are looking to get into marketing I would first encourage them to work for a company they believe in. I don t think I could come to work every day for a company if I didn t believe in their product. You need to make sure the company s product or service is something that fits with your ideals that you can be proud of. Hopefully your work makes a positive impact on the world on communities or on the environment. Also never stop learning Regarding her education Lisa has an Associates of Science in Journalism a Bachelors of Continuing Studies with a minor in Supervision both from Indiana University and is currently pursuing Masters of Liberal Studies. In her leisure Lisa enjoys volunteering and contributing to several organizations including the Susan Komen Foundation Gilda s Club and RHF Philanthropy. She directs several projects throughout the year using her position as a marketing director including holiday bazaars Breast Cancer Awareness event fundraising for Toys for Tots and blanket coat drives for local shelters. Lisa also sponsors several events for seniors in the community and is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Clarksville IN. I enjoy many things about my job. First I get to work with an amazing group of people and I get energy from everyone I work with. I m a people person and I love interacting with customers and meeting their needs. Second I have a lot of freedom in my job. The management team is supervised by the director but there s a lot of autonomy in what we do. He has a lot of confidence in us. I also work with the National Marketing Director. I get excited by the fact that I don t have to run everything by her but I can still go to her if I need to with any questions. It s more of a sharing of information. In her role of community relations manager Lisa s main responsibilities include advertising developing marketing materials and being an event planner. She also does inside and outside sales of independent and assisted senior living apartments and develops relationships with prospective residents their families and senior organizations. Overall Lisa acts as a conduit for sharing information about her company and makes sure it s in a language that represents the organization s vision and the mission of what they do. I believe that real happiness and joy comes from serving others. Joy in service is a guiding principle and a passion that s evident in my daily interactions. I hope that I can be remembered as someone who made a difference in the lives of others. 22 Women of Distinction Luciana Lepri Law Enforcement Public Ministry of Parana State Brazil Brazil I nspired by her father s lustrous legal career Luciana Lepri overcame the odds to enjoy a successful 28-year career as a prosecutor for the Public Ministry of Parana State in Brazil. Growing up in a kind ambitious family as soon as Luciana earned her law degree she moved to the capital to prepare for the Public Ministry exam. At 22 years old Luciana had no money or no life experience just a diploma and a big desire to win. She lived an uncomfortable lifestyle in the State capital for a year working tirelessly to pass her exams. At 23 years old Luciana accomplished her goal and became a prosecutor in 1988. In my career I had to face many challenges to achieve success even before I became a prosecutor such as lack of money being far away from my family but I a lot of determination and will to win she said. Working as a prosecutor I faced many difficult situations and I could learn a lot about life and compassion with people that are less fortunate than me and do all in my power to try to help them. Compassion is the word I always try to remember while analyzing a case. In 1992 Luciana started working in environmental law which has become her passion. In 2003 she traveled to Chicago to take a course with the former Vice President Al Gore and became a Climate Leader for the Climate Reality Project. Luciana shares her expertise and has become a sought-after international public speaker. She has spoken at more than a dozen conferences and events including the Nano Systems Conference Association of War Graduates 9th Cannes Water Symposium Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity Third Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit -- and much more. I ve been working with the environmental law for many years and got involved with Mr. Gore s project while working on my LLM with a focus on climate change at American University she said. It was more than an opportunity it was a reward. For her efforts Luciana earned the Recognition for the Legal Management Project on Hydrographic Basins from The Mexico BAR Association Environmental Law Commission and the Recognition of the Valuable Contribution to Developing and Strengthening the Environmental Law from Universidad Aut noma del M xico. Additionally she received the Merit Certificate for Valuing Life from the Brazilian Ministry of Justice - National Anti-Drug s Secretariat and the International Prize for Water and Law 9th Symposium International De L Eau Cannes France. Luciana is a breast cancer survivor and mother to three wonderful sons Victor (23) Olavo (19) and Diogo (12). The legacy I d like to leave the world is to be strong and focused in what you want but never forget to be kind and compassionate with others in the process to achieve your goals she said. To overcome difficulties in life you don t need to cross anyone way just follow your path and sooner or later you will meet your place. 23 Women of Distinction Lucinda White Ministry Co-Pastor Firebrands for Christ Ministries International and CEO of Lucinda White Ministries 24 Linden AL Women of Distinction P rophetess Lucinda White was in her twenties when God called upon her to spread his will. Living in a small southern town many men and organizations mocked or ridiculed Lucinda following God s message to enter into ministry. Strong in her faith she focused on the assignment God bestowed upon her and founded Firebrands For Christ Ministries International in October 1999 with her husband Pastor Richard White. Services would begin with praise and worship followed by the preached word from the Holy Bible which was confirmed with signs and wonders. Years later Lucinda White Ministries was launched under Firebrands For Christ. Lucinda resides in Linden Alabama with her husband of 34 years who is her greatest inspiration. The couple has two daughters. Tynesha is the administrative assistant of Lucinda s fan page and Latesha is a professional cartoon character designer. They have four glam children Aniah Syrai Cayden and Briley. The thing that has given me longevity in ministry is my dedication of taking care of my tri-fold being which is my soul spirit and body Lucinda said. I devote myself to hours of mediation prayer fasting and studying God s word. Firebrands for Christ is a community ministry that serves the people through Prison Ministry give-a-ways Nursing Home and Elderly Ministry. In her role as a co-pastor and CEO Lucinda is charged with passing her devotion onto others. She wears many hats within the ministry working closely with her husband and committing herself consistently to daily prayer to discern the needs of her congregation. She preaches and serves as a counselor and minister to the people both collectively and individually. Prayer is my connection to God Lucinda explained. It allows me to be successful in helping others. Lucinda s dedication led her into the woods where she has spent decades praying for the people of many nations. The practice earned her the beloved name Woods Lady. Because of her life s devotion to prayer Lucinda was asked to write the foreword of the books 7 Ingredients to an Effective Prayer Life Series Vol. 1&2 compiled by Trina D. Stephenson. Additionally Lucinda has been asked to appear on numerous national and international television programs to preach God s word. I would like to leave a legacy behind that says Lucinda White was an originator she was authentic. She loved God and she loved souls. She will always be remembered for her prayer life. 25 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why are you known as the Woods Lady A I am known as the Woods Lady because I prayed in the woods for more than two decades for nations of people. Q What has been the thing that has given me favor with God and man A The thing that has given me favor with God and man is my honesty and realness. God already knows my uprisings and downfalls. With man I think they see something real. Realness is what is generation is seeking. Q What does your field specialize in A We specialize in prayer preaching teaching healing deliverance counseling revivals and conferences -- any event that leads to the gathering together of people to worship and praise God. Q Has your ministry been exposed to any national publicity A I have made television appearances on Trinity Broadcasting Network the Word Network globally Impact Network on Conversations with Carol Preach The Word Worldwide Network and Majesty Now nationally. Q With crises that are affecting the world what needs to be done spiritually A With all the crisis in the land God is calling for people all over the world to return to the altar back to a lifestyle of prayer. Scriptures state in the Chronicles If my people who are called by my name would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Q How important is teamwork A Teamwork is very important. In my profession there is a gift in the Bible called helps which sometimes goes unnoticed. No man is an island. Just as every part of physical body is necessary for it to function properly it takes every office and organization to keep the ministry of God afloat. The eye cannot say it doesn t need the ear so as to say a pastor cannot say he she doesn t need the people. Everyone is important in the body of Christ. Q Should a person decide in one day he she could do what you do A I do not recommend a person to just one day decide to go and preach to anyone. It takes time to develop one s God given assignment. God called me to preach his word. He equipped me and anointed me over many years through prayer fasting sacrifice and consecration. Ministry is not an overnight success. Q Was it easy for you to get where you are now A No It was not easy. I was in my twenties when God called me. I was glad God saved me and chose little ole me to do his will. I didn t fully understand my destiny in the beginning. It took years even decades before I began to operate in my full assignment. Even now God is bringing to pass things he showed me over twenty years ago. The race is not given to the swift nor to the strong but to the one who endures to the end. Ministry is successful through temperance longsuffering and patience. Q As a pastor what is your message A The message is and always will be about Jesus Christ -- His birth death and resurrection. I have to teach preach and live Christ. We have to point the people to Christ and not ourselves. Q Is the message of Christ still relevant today A Yes the message of Christ is more relevant today than ever before. There are a lot of things that are antiquated and out of date but the message of the cross is fresh every day. There is still power healing and deliverance in the precious blood of the Lamb. Jesus saves. 26 Women of Distinction M. Helen Cavazos Human Resources HR Management & Diversity Consulting President CEO M. H. Cavazos & Associates Houston TX M . Helen Cavazos is passionate about the equitable treatment of all individuals. As President and CEO of M. H. Cavazos & Associates Cavazos is a Human Resources HR Management and Diversity Consulting specialist. Cavazos is responsible for writing proposals preparing the text and materials which are customized to conform to the client s requests as well as facilitating and presenting training modules when required. Most recently the company worked on a project for a non-profit organization where Cavazos updated their Policies & Procedures Manual. This included review and updating required federal and state employment laws and guidelines. Cavazos brings more than 40 years of professional and personal experience to her position. She started her career in Human Resources as an Equal Employment and Affirmative Action Specialist with the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Plans in downtown Chicago. She was hired in the mid-seventies following the landmark Civil Rights Act and Title VII that provided guidelines and action steps to recruit women and minorities. A self-described Affirmative Action Baby Cavazos thrived working for visionary leaders and corporations whose business ethics and values mirrored her own. I worked for individuals who believed in me and companies that provided training and development opportunities. I had to work diligently and long hours to prove myself as I knew at the start that I had a lot to learn having come from humble beginnings and being an Affirmative Action hire I had to prove myself and give back to others just as I had been provided opportunities. Throughout her career Cavazos has worked for Corporate America s Top 500 companies in the private and public sector and most recently with a non-profit organization. For those who know Cavazos it is no secret that the McDonald s Corporation was her best employer. Through McDonald s Cavazos completed HR & Supervisory Leadership Training and was promoted to head the McDonald s Hawaii and Guam HR Department. She credits her participation within the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) to the McDonald s Corporation which sponsored her involvement in the Institute. This led to her role as a liaison for McDonald s involvement in national and local Hispanic organizations. For example Cavazos was selected as the Chair of the Business Advisory Council for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). She was also on the Advisory Council for SER Jobs for Progress and served on the Board of Directors for organizations such as Texas Diversity Council and the Texas Women s Empowerment Foundation. She is past president of Hispanic Women in Leadership (HWIL) and Texas Executive Women (TEW) and is a proud Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (ALF) Cavazos has also made numerous presentations on a variety of topics on Career Development Diversity & Inclusion and Leadership Development during her career in Human Resources. Cavazos still maintains ties with McDonald s and currently serves on the Executive Board of the Ronald McDonald s Children s Charities where she uses her knowledge of McDonald s to promote funding for this organization s programs. Cavazos is a divorced mother of three. She has two grandchildren and one great granddaughter. My children grandchildren and great-grandchildren are my legacy. They are incredible in their own right she said. I believe that they are following in the values and work ethic taught to me by my parents. My family raised 6 children during some challenging times but stressed the value of education and pride in your background and to never forget where you came from. I want people to know that treating people with kindness dignity and respect is the best legacy one can live by. My Mom left me with this can do attitude -- which Cesar Chavez made famous Si se puede. Yes you can. 27 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel that your business is relevant today A Consumers are slowly becoming aware that chemicals in our products are toxic to our health but do not believe natural cleaners are effective. Our business is providing cleaning products that are effective but non-toxic. Q What is your vision for the company A My vision is that we can help to educate the world on how to live a healthier lifestyle and preserve the earth for future generations. Q Is natural a fad or a trend A If you had asked me this several years ago I would have said I believe it is a trend. Today I can definitively say it is a lifestyle change that is here to stay. Q Should businesses be embracing the green movement A Absolutely. First it is the right thing to do. Secondly it is a factor on how consumers evaluate and buy products. Q What do you think consumers are expecting from manufacturers A I believe that consumers are expecting manufacturers to deliver safe quality products for a reasonable price. Q What do you think consumers want from the retailers A I am a consumer and I want retailers to stock products that I can buy. Today we find our selection limited and shelves that are empty which drives me to buy online rather than at my local retailer. Q Do you think brick and mortar is going to be obsolete in the next 10 years A This depends on the retailer. Retailers either have to offer products people want to buy at competitive prices or good service and a good selection at reasonable prices. If they offer neither people will shop online. Q Do you think that companies are responding to their consumers A I believe that innovation is coming from small companies. Marketing is coming from large companies. Unfortunately it is difficult for small companies to gain wide distribution on retail shelves. Q Do you believe that consumers trust companies A Unfortunately no. As the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has uncovered there is a lot of green washing in the market and a lot of products marketed as safe are not. This is why consumers are calling for more transparency from companies and demanding that they list all the ingredients in language that is understandable by the average American. 28 Women of Distinction Scarlett McPherson Advertising Specialty Promotional Products Industry Owner President of Tara Promotional Products Inc. White Hall AR dvertising and marketing guru Scarlett McPherson is an expert at helping companies and non-profit organizations build their brand. After graduating with a Business Marketing Degree Scarlett worked in the advertising and print industry for six years before deciding to open her own company Tara Promotional Products Inc. in 1999. Tara Promotional Products Inc. a promotional product distributor that is dedicated to helping clients bolster their brand through customized marketing items such as mugs pens and t-shirts -- and more. Promotional products also known as ad specialties make up a nearly 17 billion dollar industry and are used by virtually every business in America Scarlett said. These memorable products provide a better cost per impression for advertisers than almost every major marketing effort like TV magazines and the Internet. A Tara Promotional Products is a proud member of the National Advertising Specialty Institute and Scarlett is a dedicated member of the Women s Business Enterprises National Council. I am 100% woman owned business and believe anyone is capable of creating a business out of something that they love to do Scarlett said. Go to work every day no matter what. Be kind to everyone you meet treat the receptionist that greets you as well as the CEO of the company you are visiting. Never agree to deliver unless you truly can. It is better to tell someone up front your capabilities instead of being a disappointment to them. I love to create logos and design artwork but I really love helping people achieve successful marketing campaigns Scarlett said. In my business most orders that we do for our customers are custom and also are for special events and sometimes this is a challenge mostly because our orders are very detailed and require a very particular eye for detail. We work very hard to make sure our orders are correct and of quality but also delivered in lightening fast process. In her spare time Scarlett enjoys reading boating and spending time with family. She has been married to her husband Russell McPherson for 19 years. The couple has three grown children and a wonderful grandson. I would just like to be remembered as someone that was generous and honest she said. Someone that worked hard and believed that there is nothing that you can not accomplish if you work hard and you are kind to others. 29 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why is branding (logo) so important to companies A Branding is very important to a company as it is what most consumers recognize about that company besides their name. Q What is branding A The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers mind mainly through advertising print and products with a consistent theme or logo design. Q What is a promotional product or advertising specialty product A This is an item that can be printed with your logo or a specific imprint that is geared toward an advertising campaign. It could be anything from a pen to a T-shirt or even a USB Flash drive. Q What promotional products work best A It depends on what client or employee you are trying to target. For instance if you are selling a product such as Health Insurance you may want to give your clients or potential clients a pedometer or a basic calendar just for your contact information. Q What products work best as safety awards for manufacturing employees A Caps duffel bags shirts jackets backpacks lunch coolers are all good items to give to manufacturing employees as safety awards. Apparel is something they could wear to work and bags and coolers would be something they could use at work or at home the gym or any other outing. Q Are promotional products expensive A They are a very affordable option for advertising or promoting your business or as a thank you to a client. Most promotional items are things you would purchase to use in an office setting already such as pens planners calendars notepads etc. Q Do promotional products really work to help generate business A Market research studies have concluded that 52% of the people that you give a promotional product to ultimately does business with that company and 42% of participants said they were more likely to do business with that company. Q What are some of the most popular items in the industry A We are seeing an incline in the tech sales of our operation for instance items such as power banks chargers USB flash drives and most items driven by the wide usage of cell phones and pads. Q How long of an impact should I expect from giving out a promotional product A Market research studies have concluded that 72% of the people given a promotional product within the last twelve months still have it and 33% of those people actually had the product on their person. Q What is the best thing about using promotional products as one of your mainstays for advertising A Brand recognition This requires repeat exposure to your brand over and over and if a person for instance receives a desk calendar from a business and they keep it on their desks they are most likely looking at this brand 365 days a year. Which increases brand recognition. 30 Women of Distinction Sha Kai Humphries Cosmetology Cosmetologist at HairStyling By Joseph Founder of How to Achieve the Ultimate Dream Of Beauty and Spiritual Glam Leader. New York NY & Charlotte NC S ha Kai Humphries was born and raised Charlotte. NC and moved to New York City in 1997. While living in Queens she began working in a local supermarket as a cashier and eventually became a bookkeeper. Sha Kai then attended a training school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She again moved on to work at an Adult Home as a CNA and took another training course to become a Physical Therapy Aide (PTA). One day I was sitting in the break room reading the newspaper and I came across an ad for New York International Beauty School. I thought it sounded like fun That s when I realized that I had found my passion and purpose which is to severe others. Beauty has always lived in me but it was then when I realized I had an amazing gift. I had always styled my own hair along with styling others hair way back when microwave ponytails were in style So I signed up for beauty school. When Sha Kai was three months into beauty school going everyday part time she was laid off from her job as a PTA. She couldn t get another job in her field of work due to her lack of experience and filled positions. I want people to understand the real meaning of beauty it s skin deep My organization is here to physically spiritually and mentally uplift you. There s nothing in the world that feels better than loving yourself. My true mission in life is to bring out that shinning inner beauty we all have. Sha Kai feels she s in this world to bring happiness into people s lives. She recently started a project for those who need a spiritual glam make-over. How it works is you submit someone you love an in need of uplifting email me a brief story on why you feel that person needs uplifting and then I contact the person then I ll book them for a chance to experience the spiritual glam make-over. By helping others achieve beauty on the outside Sha Kai believes she is matching the individual s beauty on the inside. We live in a world where they tell you and show you what is viewed as beauty but there are people dealing with insecurities lack of love rejection not being noticed or appreciated. I would just love for people to know and understand the only way to receive love and respect is to believe it yourself. Love yourself respect yourself appreciate yourself admire yourself and like yourself. Be grateful for you. Your intentions in life determine everything. Love is in the H-Air At that moment I became stuck lost sad and angry. But finally I realized Hey I m in beauty school. Maybe I can make some money doing this. And I really fell in love with it Now Sha Kai is a traveling hair stylist spiritual Glam leader and the author of Beauty N A Cocktail a book filled with knowledge inspiration beauty and spiritual tips on how to achieve the ultimate dream of beauty with a few all-natural homemade cocktail treatments to promote healthy hair. Dr. Tammarie Heit General Dentistry General Dentist - Scotia Square Dentistry Edmonton Alberta Canada T hrough her work as a General Dentist at Scotia Square Dentistry Dr. Tammarie Heit takes pride in her desire to contribute to the overall success of her profession through providing patients with top quality dental care while also presenting them with alternative methods to healing in addition to treatments available in traditional medicine. Everything I hoped for in a career was found in dentistry. The ability to use my nursing background and knowledge of clinical medicine from a nursing perspective to enhance the experience of dentistry for people overall has been deeply satisfying. Dentistry is expensive to deliver -- just like medicine -- so my belief and experience that dentistry is most cost effective using a preventative approach has resulted in a practice that is built around systems of health and education for patients and professionals who want to learn. The availability of this information for people who desire it is important to me. The mission is to deliver this practical message and its systems as an option for professionals and patients to apply to the clinical setting and personal lives. Before beginning her career in dentistry in 1996 Tammarie had spent 10 years as a registered nurse. Initially she chose to begin a new career in order to avoid night shifts which led to her creating a personal list of the pros and cons of nursing. After doing this she found that all of her career goals could be achieved through dentistry so she went on to receive the necessary education to become a doctor of dental surgery (DDS). After graduation Tammarie travelled to first nation communities province wide full time and completed hundreds of general dental procedures on people who needed help. Ultimately she gained a strong clinical foothold in dentistry and learned a lot about these special people and their culture fulfilling an innate desire to help people in need. After several years of experience in clinical dentistry Tammarie learned how to apply her knowledge and skill to advance her training in full mouth rehabilitation and cosmetic dentistry in 2006. Tammarie then earned her Fellowship and Mastership from the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics in 2008 and 2009 respectively and began publishing with her first peer reviewed piece Neuromuscular Orthotics in the Treatment of Craniomandibular Dysfunction and the Effects on Patients with Multiple Sclerosis-a Pilot Study in the Journal of Craniomandibular and Sleep Practice. Through multidisciplinary collaboration with multiple specialties in dentistry and craniofacial pain cases. She regularly speaks locally and internationally on her published research and case presentations to help with ongoing clinical communication with professionals in health care. She is the Canadian certified instructor for the DNA device which is a dental device used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (and other craniofacial problems). Dentistry is the greatest most rewarding profession on the planet because a person gets to build things with their hands brain and help people in ways unimaginable. One can literally change people s lives for the better -- which is a huge benefit for society. My advice for someone starting in this industry would simply be what my mentors taught me -- never stop learning teaching and caring. This simple act will consistently feed one s entire life and will provide all of the riches in life like relationships healing of others joy of team play family and lifestyle in a win win scenario that benefits patients and society as a whole. The biggest lesson I ve learned is that time is more valuable than money. It is important to physically recognize and write down what your purpose in life is then pursue it directly. The concepts introduced in a book called The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari truly resonate with me and helps me keep on track. 32 Women of Distinction Through multidisciplinary collaborations with fellow dentists doctors and healthcare providers Tammarie has made several large contributions to her field. Due to these joint efforts a cure for Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been discovered which is a deadly disease that goes largely goes undiagnosed and affects millions of people causing billions of dollars in health care. Q&A Q How does your training and experience as a nurse help you as a dentist A I will always be a nurse at heart. A nurse is very much a patient advocate that helps someone in need access the appropriate people and information in her field of expertise. If someone had a problem they need someone they can trust help them decide which direction to turn. The knowledge of basic medical processes and connections with medical doctors along with expert knowledge of the craniofacial region teeth puts me in a unique position to help people. It is very important to me not to impose my own bias into my treatment plans as dentistry can be scary and expensive for some people. I feel like a general dentist is a quarterback for the patient and should present each diagnostic statement with all the options available for treatment (including no treatment) the risks benefits and alternatives-then let the person decide what treatment they want and who will do it. From that point it is my job to help support my patient in their decision and be there for them in the future. A nurse listens and supports her patient in a highly ethical way. Q How can this approach by dentistry affect society as a whole A Once a dentist discovers how to successfully treat one patient s chronic pain using the physiologic rest position of the jaw it becomes automatic to ask why this simple process works. It is the why that is the key to discovery and prevention. If we can prevent the development of craniofacial pain by recognizing and encouraging normal development at an early stage in the next person then we will end up with a healthier individual adult. The more healthy and optimally productive each individual in a society is the better the society overall. An example of prevention in dentistry is the discovery of bonding materials that can be used to seal the adult teeth when they erupt. Sealants have prevented many cavities in people and have overall reduced the loss of teeth. There are many people who now can have their own teeth for their entire life-no dentures. People with their own teeth live longer and healthier higher quality lives. This affects society as a whole. Other discoveries in dentistry are being made every day and our role involving medicine is expanding. It is a very exciting time to be a dentist. Q How can dental schools improve their teaching A That s a tough one. There is so much to learn just about teeth oral cavity-health and otherwise that there is barely enough time to accomplish that in the typical 4-year program. Dental schools do a great job especially considering the last couple of decades with all the advanced technology materials and the internet effect which has increased the dental IQ and demand of the public. There are many errors and misconceptions on the internet from uneducated people and it is more important now than ever to have a trusting relationship with open communication with your dental professional. Now dental schools need to spend more time on patient management. People should know that my main purpose in life is to help advance dentistry into the world of medicine because dentists have a lot to contribute. There are many brilliant minds in dentistry and medicine and it is a collaboration that will help society become healthier first by treating disease then as a result of what we have learned prevent disease. Dentists know a lot about the craniofacial structures. In her leisure Tammarie enjoys traveling researching and spending time with her family and friends and loves nature animals and the great outdoors of Canada. She is an active member of multiple organizations including The Edmonton and District Dental Society The Alberta Dental Association The Canadian Dental Association The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine The Canadian Sleep Society The Academy of Laser Dentistry and The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Tammarie is also a Canadian Regent and board member for the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics and has served as President of the Multidisciplinary Association for the Study of Cranio Cervical Pain in the past. Previously she has been a member of The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce The International Association of Comprehensive Aesthetics and The College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia. I aspire to leave behind good memories and better quality lives for as many people as possible through both experiences in my life and documentation of the written word. I want to be the best possible person and set an example of teamwork tolerance and trust to help optimize the freedom and advancement in our society. The belief is that society will progress better toward balance peace and equality if each person is allowed to reach their potential. 33 Women of Distinction Q What do you think it would take for a new dentist to become a doctor of the mouth A I believe a young dentist should engage in a period of mentorship with a dentist they trust to help them with the practicalities of patient management. This is very important to help someone new from school or new to an area to help them develop a network that enables them to provide optimal care for their patients. The things I do in my clinic that contribute to research and therefore knowledge are not billable to the patient so I have had to figure out business wise how to incorporate these procedures into my practice to make the process feasible. It would be with great pride and hope that I would love to contribute what I have learned clinically to the universities who teach new dentists. I also believe there should be a component of formal business education for a dentist because lack of business skills can prevent a person from providing their talent as a dentist to the people. With some of the new research and collaboration out now it is almost as if dentistry could be a specialty from medicine. It may be that the program should be extended to help prepare the dentist for their new career. There are brilliant minds in the universities that can acknowledge these new contributions and build a program to help prepare our new professionals for this rewarding career. Q Why do you think it is important for dentists to publish in peer-reviewed journals A Dentists have a lot to offer society with regards to health care. The best way to communicate professionally is through thoughtful publication in a peer reviewed journal. That way their clinical evidence experience can be shared analyzed and supported from the different viewpoints of their colleagues. This is very important for developing policy and teaching methods to stay current in this rampant information age. Working together with other professionals is fun and supportive. Treatment is very effective with professional collaboration-especially with very sick or complex patient presentations. Q How can you get rid of headaches and chronic pain without drugs A The idea is to try to minimize drugs and have the patient s own neuromuscular system supported by their own teeth and body posture in the physiologic position of rest (determined scientifically using biomedical instrumentation) which would equate to minimal or no pain if the pain is coming from the muscles. It is a bit more complex than that however because each individual patient presents at a different starting point health level and history of development. Most patients prefer to minimize medications and it is nice to have a choice in our society for this treatment option. Q Is publishing something you learned in dental school A Not for me-not when I graduated in 1996. General dentists were taught to critically read articles and were taught a bit about research meta-analysis and systematic reviews. But this is just more for information rather than how we could actually apply research activity as a practitioner in a general dental business. Most dentists are not involved in research. People who teach in universities have advanced training in this area and are compensated for their work. Although dentists in private practice are not normally participants in research many are enthusiastic and want to help. Clinical dentists need to recognize their value to the universities and find ways to collaborate with the universities. Specialists should (and do) lead in this area but so can general dentists. Together they have a lot to contribute. I believe clinical dentists and university professors would be very successful by tapping each other s resources. Q You have successfully published in dental journals. How did you learn to publish A As a general dentist in private practice I learned to publish in my spare time from the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics (ICCMO). To obtain Mastership status one must research present the thesis to a review panel present the paper to the entire membership (North American or International) and finally have the article published. If one passes these tests they become a Master at the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics (MICCMO). Compensation comes in the form of professional camaraderie and respect from my peers as well as research backed reinforcement for clinical practice. Q What led you to publish your work alongside a neurologist on the topic of migraine headaches A It happened when I was able to help a neurologist with their own migraine headaches without the use of drugs using a special bite technique. I was taught this technique in order to prevent the grinding of teeth which can destroy a person s dental work as well as help people with their craniofacial pain and temporomandibular disorders. This technique has been used worldwide for 40 years by general dentists and specialists and is one option patients can incorporate in their dentistry. The neurologist I helped introduced me to her colleague a stroke neurologist and we started clinical research together on my patients to evaluate how this bite affects the blood flow in the brain. Q Why do you feel that your business is relevant in today s world A People are starting to understand the effects that long-term use of medications can have on their health longevity and quality of life and are looking for alternatives. People want to look younger live longer be healthier and have better quality lives. Dentistry has a major role in providing that and also has a responsibility to learn and teach preventative health care to help reduce costs for society. 34 Women of Distinction Tina Marie Clinger Medical Writing Administrative Analyst Little Rock AR I ve been writing ever since I was a little girl. I ve always had a respect for the importance of words imagination and creativity. lthough Tina Clinger s day job is in the medical field where she works as an Administrative Analyst she has found a position in which she is able to utilize her love of writing. I have always wanted to work in the medical field and I enjoy typing and writing so as an analyst I get to combine the two. In fact Tina works in a specific branch within the medical field called Epidemiology. This branch of medicine deals with the incidence distribution and control of diseases and relating health issues. A Although not published Tina has self-published a novella and a few articles that she is extremely proud of. In fact being selfpublished has served as her biggest lesson and professional inspiration. For every publisher that said no I had to remember that there are others that will take a chance. There is also an option of self-publishing but you have to beware of the vanity publishers out there. Another challenge Tina had to overcome was the devastating after effects of Hurricane Katrina. Although it turned her life upside down Tina is proud to say that she managed to pick up the pieces and start over bigger and better than before. At the end of the day Tina wants others to realize the importance of words imagination and creativity as she has. She is in the process of writing her second novel. After which Tina wishes to find something else that she s passionate about besides writing perhaps working with children or veterans. During my day job I have to make sure that every iota of paper gets in its proper place and every I is dotted and every T is crossed figuratively and literally. Being a writer helps me to realize how the slightest word left out or illegible can screw up the meaning of a sentence. As such it is clear to see that while at work Tina s true passion of writing is sparked stoked and flames. When writing I get to escape the hustle and bustle of the day. All those could of would of should of situations can be played out differently with a little imagination. Writing pretty much gives you creative licenses. My imagination runs wild at times and I have to tame it. Heck I even dream in 35 vivid color. Women of Distinction Trenora L. Parker Edu-tainment (Music) industry President of Parker Girl Music Group Los Angeles CA s a child Trenora L. Parker was surrounded by music raised by a family of musically inclined educators. She received formal music education at USC in a community arts program studying the piano. She began playing for her local church choir and received her certification in Voice Technique from Berklee College of Music. She would write songs train voices and eventually went on to become the choral director. Trenora discovered her passion and love for teaching and as she continued to grow in the music industry she worked with various singers songwriters actors and musicians. Throughout her journey she needed to find other means of income in order to support herself. She took on a position as an administrator and one day received an opportunity to teach music at a charter school in the LAUSD where she worked for several years until the arts program was closed due to budget cuts. Once again Trenora found herself searching for other work. She soon became licensed in the insurance industry but sincerely missed the music. In 1986 Trenora was compelled to follow her heart and founded the Los Angeles Cathedral Choir who were featured on multiple CD recording projects tours television sitcoms and even the American Music Awards. Being recognized for their achievements they received many commendations from the City of Los Angeles. A Due to others issues with insecurity and jealousy people will often waste time and effort to sabotage one s goals. The haters actually provoke me to work even harder toward reaching success. She states. Trenora names her mother Dr. Lois E. Parker as her greatest inspiration describing her as an example of The Ultimate Woman. She watched her mother work hard as a wife mother provider nurturer teacher and disciplinarian while attending school to earning various credentials and degrees. Trenora states She taught my sister Jo Evelyn Parker and I to always have faith in God and that despite any setbacks success is always possible. Trenora s first book Timeless Treasures by Trenora will be hitting the shelves this year. She is actively involved with numerous organizations and she is also working on creating a non-profit foundation to assist students who desire to pursue their academic goals in the arts. Trenora L. Parker would like to someday be remembered as a woman who served inspired and touched many lives with her kindness and love. She hopes to show others through her own life experience how to live a life filled with values and leave a positive impact on the world. Trenora s deep commitment to continued education and growth in the field of music and the performing arts is due to her strong desire to teach and work with gifted individuals and the rewarding feeling she receives from helping others as well as her faith in God. She presently serves as the President and Owner of the Parker Girls Music Group. The group is designed for singers voice over actors public speakers and those who have careers or aspire to attain a career in a field that requires them to use their voices. She is creating a conglomerate of performing artists as a body of professionals for a wide range of special projects and events. Unfortunately not everyone will be supportive of what you re trying to accomplish. Trenora explains. 36 Women of Distinction Barbara Stephens Education Retired Math and Science Teacher - Houston Independent School District Galena Park Independent School District Houston TX B efore her retirement in 2006 Barbara Stephens had spent nearly three decades as an educator in the Houston TX area where she remained dedicated to serving her middle school students and prepared them for the next chapter of their lives. Barbara s educational career began in 1980 after working for the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research as a laboratory technician in the Texas Medical Center. While her work in this field was enjoyable she found that the long hours on the job negatively affected her family life which led to her landing a job as a seventh grade math teacher in Houston. Over the years she continued teaching middle school level math and science in several different schools in her area while maintaining a progressive record and enhancing standardized test scores through her unique way of teaching. Her work also led to the initiation of programs that benefitted at-risk families which led to development of several nonprofit organizations. Barbara was also eventually appointed Math Department Chairperson and Summer School Principal. As summer school principal she helped develop parental involvement by establishing Math Family Night. In 2000 Barbara assisted a team of educators at Jack Yates High School in the development of a new Geometry and Algebra program which turned out to be a success. After this she pursued a Coordination Special position with Galena Park Independent School District until her retirement in 2006. Following her retirement Barbara was employed by Core Educational Consultants where she had the pleasure of mentoring new teachers for two years. Around this time her husband Joe was sadly diagnosed with kidney cancer and Barbara elected to take care of him until he passed away in May 2015. A good teacher should be knowledgeable about the subject matter and have unique ways of presenting the lessons taught along with disciplinary strategies. One must be honest fair kind and compassionate towards students while maintaining a professional atmosphere. Regarding her education Barbara received a BS in Biology and Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics in 1970 and a Master s Degree in Education Administration in 2001. In her leisure Barbara enjoys meditating practicing yoga listening to jazz traveling eating at new restaurants and spending time with her friends and family. I value my relationship with God almighty. I treasure my family and my friends. Teaching requires a special passion to help and develop skills among students from adverse backgrounds and a passion for the subject elected to teach. It should not be a profession chosen to supplement a salary or fill monetary earnings. 37 Women of Distinction Christine L. Gallegos Beauty Hair Industry Barber United States Air Force Academy Cadet Barber Beauty Shop Stylist AB Nails and Hair Hair-by-Christine Colorado Springs CO W ith a lifelong love of fashion and creative design Christine L. Gallegos says the hair industry is the polishing touch to an amazing outfit. As a barber for the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Beauty Shop and stylist for AB Nails and Hair Hair-by-Christine she an expert at transforming clients looks. Working at the Academy Christine does a minimum of 30 haircuts a day. Once a year the university has in processing day requiring Christine and fellow staff members to buzz more than 1000 heads of hair. After the students completed training Christine helps them find the perfect professional haircut for their graduation. At AB Nails and Hair Christine s strategy is switched to women s haircuts color highlights facial waxing and special occasion styles. It is a very rewarding career she said. My employment at the U.S. Air Force Academy has been a very rewarding career choice. This university has been the greatest learning environment for me professionally and personally. I am very proud of what I do. I m proud to call myself a barber. I am also employed part-time in salons like JC Penney Fantastic Sam s. I get full use out of my license. Seeing the start and finished results of a style of a man or lady. Christine enrolled in beauty school in 1998 and has been licensed since 2000. She went on to earn an associated degree in Health and Beauty Management from National American University graduating with honors in 2014. You could say styling hair is in Christine s DNA. Her father and aunt have been doing hair for more than 40 years each and are considered the best in town. I have been blessed to be from a family of hairstylists Christine said. Many of my friends are amazing stylists of whom I have been inspired by. Watching the skills that time and experience looks very graceful and like watching art in motion. The smile on faces is part of the job I enjoy the most. It is a fun career to be creative. Christine is passionate about using her platform to give back to her community. She is involved with The American GI Forum an organization that raises scholarship money for children of Hispanic American Veterans. I was very grateful to be a recipient of some scholarship money and I enjoy helping with the breakfasts and other volunteer events Christine said. When she is not working Christine likes to walk workout watch sports and cook. Above all else she values the time spent with her family and friends. Without my family and friends support and encouragement none of this would be possible she said. The kind of legacy I want to leave the world is showing my nephew Carlos J. Gallegos that working hard and being a good person are rewarding. I d like that he and my niece Summer Skye Youngman look up to me. I wouldn t want to let them down. I may not want to get out of bed some days the busy life I live won t allow that. Don t give up This is dedicated to my parents Jesus and Eleanor Gallegos Thank you for everything Christine 38 Women of Distinction Vivian Frazier J.D. M.B.A Law Registered Domestic Relations Mediator State of Indiana Owner & CEO Frazier Mediation Law Clerk Public Defender of Indiana I ve always been viewed as someone others turn to for advice when life-altering situations arise and it brings me joy helping others deal with life s difficulties. ivian Frazier always knew that she wanted to make an impact in her community through the practice of law. Although life and family delayed her plans to attend law school Vivian had a promising career in Project Management. However Vivian didn t have the fulfillment she craved from her career in project Management and she decided it was time for a change. So in 2010 started law school which inevitably kicked off her career in the law field. After starting law school Vivian decided to supplement her career with the practice of mediation and became a registered Mediator in the State of Indiana. V My love for and desire to represent individuals whose constitutional rights have been infringed upon and my desire to build a legacy for my children fuels my continued passion of the legal industry. Vivian knows there are many career avenues within the legal field in which she can assist others and within her community such as the protecting the constitutional rights of inmates who have been convicted of crimes the civil rights of young children or parents in the educational setting or the constitutional and civil rights of employees and consumers to not be discriminated against are all exciting areas where advocacy is needed. In my position at the Public Defender of Indiana I have assisted with the legal and factual investigation of capital cases and numerous non-capital cases that resulted in relief for the client including the overturning of convictions due to the violation of the inmates constitutional rights. However Vivian knows that even if her path doesn t lead to the actual practice of law that her degree will open doors allowing her to make an impact and provide access to resources for others. Also Vivian s mediation practice allows her to help families going through divorce child custody and other difficult domestic relation issues resolve their disputes through a discussion facilitated with mutual respect for the other party in order to come to an agreement within the parameters of the court. 39 Women of Distinction Currently Vivian serves as a law clerk for the Public Defender of Indiana. The agency provides factual and legal investigation and representation for post-conviction hearings and appeals in all capital and non-capital cases for inmates throughout the State of Indiana. The attorneys in the office fight to protect the constitutional rights of individuals where those rights have been infringed upon during the trial and appellate criminal processes. As a law clerk Vivian conducts legal and factual research prepares legal interoffice memoranda and other documents in investigation of meritorious claims. Despite the feelings of rejection and loneliness that stayed with her Vivian was able to finish high school with honors and all of the negativity from her childhood fueled her desire to succeed and create an environment for her own children that she would have one day. The journey to obtaining my Juris Doctorate has been quite a bumpy road as I ve matriculated throughout law school. After a six-year enrollment in law school taking two years off for her child s health divorce and financial issues Vivian is excited for the fact that she will be entering one of the most exciting career fields and feels truly honored and fortunate to be a part of it. I get to collaborate with various Indiana state and county agencies including courts correctional facilities and the Indiana Parole Board to retrieve the necessary documents for zealous representation of our clients. I assist in conducting the search location and interview of any person pertinent to the factual investigation of a claim including witnesses victims jurors police officers and attorneys. It provides the hands-on experience I need to excel in the future. Also in terms of being hands-on Vivian serves as the owner CEO and sole mediator of Frazier Mediation. There Vivian handles all mediation cases with the utmost professionalism confidentiality and courtesy. She meets with the parties and their attorneys if they are represented in order to understand their goals from the mediation prior to the actual mediation. Once the mediation is complete Vivian then submits the agreement to both parties for their signature before filing the agreement with the court. Deciding on the exact legal career path after graduation has been difficult for me. I know I will zealously represent the rights of every client. However for me it has been deciding whether to represent the rights of one or many civilly or criminally. In the end I know I will do so with conviction and integrity. I understand and identify with so many of the parties to the cases I mediate because I too have been through a divorce and understand the affects it can have on a family. My hope is to expand the mediation practice to include other qualified mediators and attorneys. Which will include myself as an attorney once I take and pass the bar. Although life has dealt Vivian many difficulties and tribulations such as divorce and trying to support her family she has persevered and strived for success and believes anyone can as well. Due to her losing her mother as an infant Vivian was raised by her grandmother who passed away when she was twelve. After losing her grandfather a couple years later Vivian felt completely alone in the world. Their deaths coupled with the sexual abuse I encountered until I was almost thirteen created thoughts of suicide within my mind. My father wasn t in my life at the time so I lived with my aunt and cousins who became like my siblings. 40 Women of Distinction Stephanie Freund Energy Industry (Natural Gas and Power) Business Owner President Sundara Energy Inc. Ontario Canada fter 20 years working in sales management in the beverage alcohol industry as well as the medical field Stephanie Freund embarked on a new career in the energy industry. She discovered her passion for working in natural gas and power after relocating from Montreal to Vancouver in late 2005. The moved prompted Stephanie to resign from her management role working for a large Quebec-based beverage alcohol distributor. Following a brief job search she got the call from an Alberta based Energy Company and was hired as a sales representative. For nine years Stephanie learned the ropes from the ground up and moved into more senior roles. Through working in the industry Stephanie identified an opportunity and took a bold step in an entrepreneurial direction. In 2014 she founded Sundara Energy which provides commodity sourcing solutions for industrial commercial institutional (ICI) and governmental clients to meet current and future energy supply needs. Her ambitious venture opened up a fresh industry partner option aimed towards clients seeking bilingual assistance with their consulting and Energy purchasing needs across Canada. As the company s president Stephanie is a true energy management partner. Having worked and lived in provinces throughout Canada including Quebec Nova Scotia New Brunswick British Columbia and now Ontario she possesses a unique understanding of the business landscape and client needs nation-wide including offering French speaking bilingual support. Stephanie puts her customers first working closely with them to create specific energy supply solutions bringing long-term value to their bottom line. A The fast pace commodity trading aspect of this industry has been engaging for me and has kept me challenged over the years she said. The Industry is forever evolving so the need to stay informed and communicate that information to my clients is essential and an interesting part of my day-day role. This Industry may seem intimidating to some but is in fact is all about relationship building. Stephanie is currently working on Provincial Energy Programs directed towards the Ontario Greenhouse Sector in an effort to cut their rising energy costs. She participates and supports various industry charity events including runs and bike rides such as the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer -- a cause close to her heart. Stephanie is breast cancer survivor since 2002. These events are popular venues for industry gatherings that bring people together while adding great value towards communities and causes. She is also involved in the Big Sisters Go-Girls program as a school mentor to groups of young adolescent girls. I ve always felt that a true mentor is a gift who helps build confidence and provides support to enable success and growth both on a personal and professional level Stephanie said. Young woman in these times need strong female role models and I truly aspire to fill that role for someone. 41 Women of Distinction Women of Distinction Team WDM Jennifer Hardy EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Holli M. Narvaez EDITOR LAYOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN Jill Mongonia Diane Barry SELECTION COMMITTEE Women of Distinction jennifer womenofdistinction.net www.womenofdistinction.net Iryna Sokolovsky Art Oil Paint Artist President of the AntiAge Global Corporation 43 Women of Distinction Lisa AnnRobinson Moving and Relocation Services Certified Moving Consultant with AMJ Campbell 44 Women of Distinction