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Description: Professional women discuss what drives them to accomplish the feats they have.

Women of Distinction To be successful in this business it helps to be a forward thinker. -Wrene Gandiosi IF YOU HAVE A MESSAGE THAT YOU WANT OR NEED THE WORLD TO HEAR DON T LET INSECURITIES CONVINCE YOU THAT YOU CANNOT DELIVER IT I ensure that the parents are educated about their child s rights and develop the appropriate negotiating skills in order to advocate for their child. - Pam Labellarte Vicki Shultz Helen Werner PhD RN Upper Division Program Coordinator Monroe College School of Nursing 14 26 contents... 8 50 features DelinA ohnson 17 AnneAnalyst II JMacy s MCIS 20 Beverly BArthA Owner Bartha s Bookkeeping & Tax Service LLC 23 BrittAny r. WAshington Realm Realty Manager Ernest & Young - Realtor 29 loquAtor BAker Dinkins President Founder LBD Enterprise 38 tomoko mAeDA-ChuBAChiCompany Medical Director Stiefel a GSK ABellArte 58 PAm lEducation Advocate From Advocacy to Action Special Also available as Digital Download on your device g women of distinction magazine Editorial E d i t o r - i n -C h i E f Marissa Bacchi Contributing WritErs Holli M. Narvaez Felix Pons Angie M. Hoffman Production ProduCtion dirECtor Antonio Meneses Editorial Coodinator Rachael Raffna sElECtion CommittEE Anne Silar Kimberly Diehl Rebecca Valuch Women of Distinction Published by National Association of Distinguished Professionals 560 Broadhollow Road Ste. 310 Melville NY 11747 Phone 631-465-9024 Fax 631-465-9035 http women of distinction magazine 4 hElEn WErnEr Phd rn uPPEr division Program Coordinator monroE CollEgE sChool of nursing I was shocked to see black lung as such a current health crisis with some men being diagnosed as young as in their early 30s... REGISTERED NURSE HELEN WERNER PHD HAS ENJOYED A CAREER IN NURSING AND EDUCATION FOR THE LAST 41 YEARS. Whether she was employed by a hospital medical center or as a nurse educator Helen attributes her longevity in the profession to her commitment of lifetime learning. She also admits to not being afraid of taking on new challenges or greater responsibilities based on the needs of the healthcare facility or academic setting. in the intensive care unit. During her time with the medial center Helen was part of a task force for the Office of the Inspector General to develop a program for veterans with swallowing disorders. Simultaneously attending Barry Universtiy for her PhD Helen conducted her dissertation research in this area. While in the doctoral program Helen encountered professional jealously but instead of letting the experience affect her in a negative way she realized the jealousy was only due to her success in working in a field that had such value attached to it. In the midst of her dissertation Helen was diagnosed with breast cancer. While it was extremely difficult to continue her studies while undergoing treatment it provided a good distraction from the experience of chemotherapy. Her research helped by having something else to focus on. Ultimately her work on swallowing disorders was published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. Employed for 25 years Helen received promotions within the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center until attaining the position as acting associate chief nurse. When her father became ill Helen returned to New York to take care of him. She was transferred to Hudson Valley Veterans Affairs Hospital in Castle Point as their associate chief nurse in long-term care. After retiring from her service with the Veterans Affairs Many of the additional responsibilities I took on were collateral duties Helen said about the tasks she performed outside her main role. But in the end I found that the additional duties provided me with skills and knowledge that served me well in my future positions. After earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from City College of New York Mount Sinai School of Nursing Helen became a registered nurse in 1973. Her first position was as a staff nurse at Einstein Medical Center in the Bronx New York where she worked on a medical unit caring for patients with brain cancer. While working full-time Helen pursued her Master s Degree in Nursing at Hunter College in New York City completing the program in 1980. Relocating to Miami Florida Helen was invited to work for the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a staff nurse 5 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Helen began her career as a nurse educator first at HunterBellevue School of Nursing as an assistant professor and now with Monroe College School of Nursing in the Bronx as an upper division coordinator for the new nursing bachelor s program. In addition Helen instructs in the classroom and in clinical settings acts as a student advisor and is a committee chairperson for the college. Helen s connections with former colleagues in the nursing industry have provided qualified instructors who are ready and willing to teach doctoral courses for Monroe. Helen also procured a renowned nursing scholar who was the guest speaker at the faculty retreat by networking at nursing conferences she had attended. As an instructor with the college Helen attributes her ability to reach each student on a more personal level to her previous experience with her former professor Dr. Martha Rogers. The dean of the college of nursing at New York Universtiy Dr. Rogers s work provided the foundation of all the nursing theorists who came after her and she led the way to a body of nursing research that guides evidence-based practice to this very day. The impact Dr. Rogers had on Helen was not immediate but years after Helen signed up for her course. Consequently as a former student of Dr. Rogers Helen teaches nursing theory and nursing research in the bachelor s program at Monroe College. She is able to teach her students the science of unitary human beings in a way that is more personal than professors who have not had the opportunity to experience Dr. Rogers s teachings. Helen continues to advance nursing science through education research and practice as a member of the Society of Rogerian Scholars. Recently Helen and a group of students from Monroe College visited Fayette County West Virginia over their spring break spending their time and expertise performing health screenings at clinics and presenting health education information to area youth. This was the third year Monroe has embarked on a medical mission and West Virginia was selected due to its low incomes limited employment opportunities and poor healthcare. During a visit to New River Health a local healthcare center in West Virginia Helen met people suffering from black lung after working in coal mines to support their families. Although lack lung a respiratory ailment caused by longterm exposure to coal dust is preventable some 10 000 American miners have still died over the last decade. Most of the miners Helen met are now relying on getting government assistance for their care. I was shocked to see black lung as such a current health crisis with some men being diagnosed as young as in their early 30 s Helen shared. Some miners are passing away while waiting for government benefits. Coal is built this country and we can do better by these men and their families. I tell my students we need to have a political impact. The experience in West Virginia gave Helen the desire to conduct a research study to reduce the occurrence of black lung. If she is able to get the study up and running she is confident it will change the lives of so many miners not only West Virginia but across the United States. Throughout her career as a nurse and educator Helen embraced the importance of lifelong learning whenever possible by continuing her formal education and attending national conferences to stay abreast of future changes and innovations in nursing. This prepared and helped advance Helen through her career more effectively over the years rather than waiting for healthcare facilities to provide training programs. Being proactive with her education always kept her one step ahead and assisted her in her development as a nurse leader. Involved with several nursing organizations Helen is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International an honor society of nursing that advances world health and celebrates nursing excellence in scholarship leadership and service. She is also active in Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) and until recently served two terms as a member of the education committee. As a committee member Helen participated in monthly conference calls to review educational presentations from national conferences on wound care and ostomies to be presented at the national WOCN conferences. Politically liberal Helen supports universal healthcare for all. She volunteers her time with her synagogue and at several women s social networking groups. Helen is a proud mother of two rescue cats Betty Boop and Tiger Lilly and feels very fortunate to have been able to maintain longstanding friendships despite her very hectic schedule. women of distinction magazine 6 Is there a good job market for entry level (new graduate) Registered Nurses Yes however many hospitals will only consider hiring RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. What do you believe to be one of the hardest parts of being a nurse Is a BSN the only path towards becoming a Registered Nurse No another way is to attend a nursing program that offers an Associate s Degree in Nursing (AAS). One of the hardest parts is putting aside our own concerns and fears about our own vulnerabilities in order to provide the best care for our patients and support for their families. What skill sets would aspiring nurses be expected to develop at entry level positions Is the nursing profession for everyone Definitely not. The profession of nursing is a difficult and challenging profession. However it is wonderful to know that you are helping people. Registered Nurses must be proficient at computer skills in order to document medications and nurses notes be able to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation administer medications and provide health teaching for patients and family members. What courses should potential applicants excel in Sciences in high school such as biology chemistry physics and mathematics (algebra and geometry) provides a firm foundation for courses that are part of nursing curriculum that may include chemistry organic chemistry microbiology physics and anatomy and physiology. Also it is important for potential students to be able to communicate well both orally and in writing. Where can Registered Nurses find positions RNs can find positions in hospitals home care clinics assisted-living facilities and schools to name a few. Should someone considering a nursing career volunteer in a healthcare setting Yes. Hospitals have volunteer services where high school students can get exposure to a healthcare setting to get a preview. How does a nursing student become eligible to take the RN licensing exam What about the National Council Licensure Exam Which did you enjoy more working in the field or teaching in the classroom Why The school determines if the candidate is ready to take the exam after successful completion of all coursework requirements and maintaining an acceptable GPA. I love teaching but I prefer bedside nursing. I feel however that I can have a greater positive impact by preparing the next generation of nurses who will be providing care for many more patients than I could ever hope to. contact 7 Helen Werner PhD RN Upper Division Program Coordinator Monroe College School of Nursing Bronx NY hwerner National Association of Distinguished Professionals Wrene Gandiosi viCe-PresiDent of sAles AnD mArketing liBerty nAtionAl title AgenCy CorP. WORKING IN THE MORTGAGE BANKING The next five years were spent at Astrum Funding Inc. and INDUSTRY for 14 years gave Wrene Gandiosi the Solomon & Siris PC where Wrene gained experience as the experience she needed for a seamless transition into title insurance. The mortgage industry gave Wrene the vast knowledge and experience in clearing deals to close making the decision to move to the title insurance industry an easy one. quality control loan review officer and the in-house closer. These positions gave her the knowledge she needed to cross over to the title industry with ease. Starting her title career in 1993 at All Island Abstract Ltd. Wrene began as a title closer for the company. Her drive for the industry was evident leading her into a sales position soon after. As an executive in sales Wrene was a top producer for many years. Considered a guru in the title industry Russell Eisman is one of the owners of All Island Abstract. During her time employed with their team Wrene had the extreme good fortune to work very close with Russell and learn a ton about the industry. After eight years with All Island Abstract Wrene opened her own title insurance company in 2001. At United Title Agency White Rose Title Agency Inc. located in Bellmore New York Wrene managed and trained employees oversaw the day to day operations and managed the clientele. Taking the company to a national level Wrene received numerous awards for her excellence in audit control and finest agency. I have always been intrigued by the history of title insurance and knew after I made a shift into this incredible industry my passion would not waver Wrene said. Experience integrity dedication and the desire for excellence has kept me at the top of my game but it is the genuine compassion for people and the ability to build relationships with clients that keeps my passion for title insurance alive. Graduating from the Verbatim School of Court Reporting in 1980 Wrene spent nine years working for Resource One Inc. (formerly The Dartmouth Plan Inc.). She started as the assistant to the vice-president in the legal department and worked her way up to vice-president of the secondary mortgage division. A colleague and vice-president of The Dartmouth Plan Yvette Grishaver mentored her throughout her career there and was a true role model for women to follow. women of distinction magazine 8 As a national agent for major underwriters Wrene took on challenges to clear titles that most title companies would have walked away from. She spent significant time educating her loan officers through seminars about the pitfalls of title issues and how to combat those issues to become more efficient and successful. The experienced of running her own company vastly increased her knowledge of the industry. A role model to her employees Wrene has always led by example. She helped the people around her grow knowing in turn that it would help her become even more successful. She taught the importance of integrity and standard for which she strives to incorporate in every aspect of her life personal and professional. Cyclical in nature the title insurance industry is driven by interest rates and the economy. After the first down cycle Wrene learned to be prepared for the next one in efforts to keep her company on top of its game. There are no short cuts in the title insurance and those who take them end up disgraced leaving a stigma attached to the industry. To avoid this Wrene used caution when choosing the clients she represented as not everyone is forthright. She is also a strong believer in dotting her i s and crossing her t s to ensure compliance with procedure and policies. She aligned herself with underwriters that taught her to strive to hit the mark of excellence in running her company. She acknowledges Maureen McElligott at Commonwealth and Fidelity for constantly guiding her through the ever changing market that they all strived to survive in. Taking the first steps to opening up my own company was challenging but I had a support team behind me that believed I could do it Wrene remembers. With the support from my wonderful husband Phillip parents in-laws and siblings I knew I could accomplish anything. In the beginning of 2014 Wrene accepted a position at Liberty National Title and Settlement Services a full-service nationwide title settlement company and has again found herself in education. Headed by Patricia Stein and Lenny Oliva Liberty National Title is developing a new approach to title insurance. In a joint venture their goal is to educate homeowners homebuyers and realtors on why title insurance is so important. Shopping for title insurance can be done online at similar to the way a consumer would shop for automobile or home owner s insurance. Title insurance usually covers hidden risk including errors liens ownership claims and invalid deeds. If a claim is made against their client s property the title insurance company will negotiate with the other party to settle the claims defend in court if necessary pay any incurred legal costs and satisfy any covered claims. A spin off of Homebuyers Assistance Networking Discounts (HAND) was developed to offer homebuyers vendors that relate to all aspects of the home purchase industry. At consumers can find attorneys homeowner insurance companies movers surveyors bankers realtors and more. To be successful in this business it helps to be a forward thinker Wrene advises. Try not to react hastily to situations first see where they can lead you then make you decision going forward. Involved in several organizations in the title industry Wrene is a member of the New York State Land Title Association American Land Title Association and National Notary Association. A sincere and passionate person in every aspect of her life Wrene believes in Karma and gives freely of herself. She treats people with the same respect and dignity that she wants to receive. And most of all as a professional woman she wants to show young women they can enter and conquer any industry or career path they chose. Instilling great family values in their children Wrene s parents Walter and Jeannette Compare taught the value of family union and encouraged their children to follow their dreams. Both were teachers in the public school system of Island Trees New York and active union members. Wrene and her three siblings all college graduates are still extremely close. High school sweethearts Wrene and Phillip have been together since they were 16-years-old. Married for 31 years Phillip has been Wrene s greatest inspiration. Phillip is the owner of two family businesses S&P Furniture and Smart Choice Moving and Trucking. They have two German Shepherds Lexie and Ruger who they truly adore. Although they do not have children of their own they continue to be a strong influence in both their nieces and nephews lives. I have always loved and embraced change because it brings new ventures new people new challenges and new goals Wrene admitted about her career path. When I made a decision to leave a company I left with the knowledge I gained and applied it to my next business venture. 9 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Where do you see the title industry in 10 years your goals. I see our industry moving into the technology age. Most people fight it but I am a firm believer in automation through technology. As the technology develops to gather the data from the county clerks and court houses so does our industry. How do you find time in your busy schedule to do other projects and hobbies and enjoy family time Does social media have an impact on your industry Yes. Social media is currently playing a major role in our industry and we have embraced it because it is more efficient in connecting with people. I still like to meet my clients face to face and get to know them but I do like the empowerment that social media brings to any size company. Are you seeing women viewed differently in your industry from when you started as compared to today My day starts around 4 30am and ends around 9pm. It starts with playtime and exercise for the dogs then off to do my gardening if the season is upon us. I have breakfast with my husband and start an evening meal before I head off to work. I do a lot of networking events that are in the evening but I set two nights a week aside for my family time. It is important to have a balance of business and pleasure and plan those nights together so I have something to look forward to. I fit my hobbies in when I can. I am an incredible multi-tasker and utilize my day to its fullest potential. Years ago it was a hard industry to enter because of its male domination. A woman had to be on top of her game to make a name for herself. I come in contact with a lot of women that have shared a similar career path and we all encourage other women to follow their dreams. What is the next professional chapter in your life going to be Is there equality in pay in your industry between men and women Yes there is equality in pay. We are not an industry that requires a college education or degree to determine your worth whether you are a male or female. We are an industry that pays according to the value and working knowledge you bring to an organization. If you were able to implement changes in your industry what would they be Licensing and education would be at the top of my list. Our underwriters put a lot of effort into education so that their agents can excel at their businesses. You mentioned earlier that your industry has its share of peaks and valleys. How do you keep your passion at its highest level You need to reinvent yourself and your product. Look for changes that are needed to help make your industry a better place to work in and implement those changes into your own company. What makes for a truly rewarding occupation and what are some of the requirements When you choose an occupation or if it chooses you you must put a lot of passion and hard work into it for it to be successful. We all know that success is not measured by money money is a reward for hard work. So begin each day acknowledging the people around you that help you achieve I still have much to do in my current venture but I would l like to start another business unrelated to what I am doing now. I have always had a passion to open a fine home furnishing and d cor store which comes from my love of interior design work. I love to be surrounded by beautiful things. A dear family member and childhood friend Veronica Schliemann and Patricia Venechanos always encouraged me to allow my creative side to shine. Veronica is a music teacher by trade and now an accomplished artist while Patricia is a well-known kitchen designer who taught herself the trade and whose kitchens are published in trade magazines. They have had a tremendous influence on me. I have used my design skills to build and furnish my own homes as well as homes of friends and family. I took time from my busy schedule to help colleagues design their workspaces and businesses and then fully decorate them. I ve even decorated a restaurant. I can visually see what the project will look like and work to accomplish that goal. It s gratifying to see the reaction from people when they see the finished product. When the timing is right I will take the necessary steps to make that dream a reality. What are some of the obstacles that women still face in today s workplace I feel that working mothers face the biggest challenges and obstacles. They are pulled in many different directions and have to make a lot of sacrifices and decisions that affect their families. It can be overwhelming when women have to work late with children at home. I see them juggling schedules when they cannot make certain commitments. I feel men have stepped up to the plate to help out with raising their families and sharing in the household commitments because they recognize the fact that two incomes are necessary in most families to get by today. contact 10 Wrene Gandiosi Jericho NY Vice-President of Sale and Marketing Liberty National Title Agency Corp. http wrene women of distinction magazine Marcy R. Berkal oWner fromvintAge2vogue.Com mArCy B Antiques & things llC Infected with her parent s appetite for antiquing Marcy R. Berkal would often travel to antique stores or flea markets to admire and purchase someone else s desirable collections and she loved listening to the stories that the shopkeepers would often share about their prized possessions. But it was Marcy s parents who taught her how to appreciate these timeless treasures by sharing and gifting their own heirlooms so others could create their own memories of the antiques too. A few years ago when Marcy was contemplating downsizing her home she came upon some family heirlooms that had been packed away. Those items triggered memories of having found and displayed them long ago and the enjoyment she took in owning them throughout various periods of time in her life. Once her children were grown and on their own Marcy had the time to pursue her joy of finding previously owned items once again. She began purchasing a few unique treasures here and there and soon she realized she was ready to share these wonderful previously owned items with others as a career. Not only do I have a love for finding previously loved treasures but I am also fascinated by the history behind each cherished possession Marcy said about what drives her search. My desire for seeking out the lost treasures of yesteryear and recycling them in a way that creates a renewed appreciation for their beauty keeps me pursuing this as a full-time career. To pursue her antiquing career Marcy started FromVintage2Vogue in 2012 an online opportunity for shoppers to find a new loving home in which to place their timeless treasures so that others can create new memories with them. The online platform offers a unique internet stopover where people can have all the excitement of discovering someone else s lost treasures yet avoid poking around in scary attics and dusty old barns. As founder and sole owner Marcy spends a good portion of her day working on website maintenance updating the site with new items and working directly with clients to locate those one-of-a-kind items they have difficulty finding themselves. Marcy is always available to her customers and offers the highest quality of personalized service. To get recognition in the community FromVintage2Vogue participates in several social media and charitable events and she advertises in various local magazines and on websites. With no prior experience and on a very tight budget Marcy worked closely with a design media company and ultimately taught herself basic web design site maintenance and desktop publishing. While this was a huge challenge for her Marcy believes the reward of being able to put treasures in the homes of satisfied and appreciative customers was well worth the initially sacrifice of time that it took to learn those necessary computer skills. Marcy s background while not related to online consignment has attributed to the success of her online business. As a young adult she worked at a large home furnishing and textile company where she learned to appreciate and interact with clients seeking high end home d cor. After graduating from Adelphi University with a BS and MS is Social Work Marcy became a clinical social worker and spent a number of years working with clients who suffered a wide array of difficulties in their lives. Her years as a social worker has uniquely positioned her to help ease the transition of parting with the things her clients are consigning. And as a skilled listener Marcy is more often than not able to help people in their quest to find appropriate and loving homes for their 11 National Association of Distinguished Professionals cherished items. While there are a lot of sale and consignment stores both on the internet and in storefronts across the country and the world Marcy brings a distinctive personal service to her business model. Most of her customers start out as clients but end up as friends. Helping people find new homes for their valued belongings where these items can create new stories with new families is really what FromVintage2Vogue is all about. Marcy believes it s of the best feelings to put people together with treasures that has a special meaning to them. Running FromVintage2Vogue is very labor intensive Marcy admits about her online business. There is a lot of research travel and site maintenance to be done daily. But it is a great love of mine and I look forward to going to work every day. Marcy never gets enough of rummaging through antique and vintage shops on her downtime for both business and pleasure. Once she finds those perfect items she then takes them home to do some research on them. She is an avid reader too but most of her time is spent on tasks related to the functioning of FromVintage2Vogue. To help further the exposure of her company Marcy is a member of Long Island Women s Business Association National Association of Business Women National Association of Professional Women Long Island Professional Women s Network National Association of Social Workers and International Women s Leadership Association. A loving and caring woman Marcy is creative motivated kind and compassionate and has always been 100% devoted to her family and the people closest to her. By constantly practicing the importance of honor integrity and high morals Marcy hopes to leave this world with the legacy of a Woman of Valor someday. Why do people need a consignment service such as the one offered by your company In this challenging economy offers an array of distinctive contemporary and pre-owned accessories to dress both the body and home. Our ecofriendly concept supports the Green Movement and has allowed us to feature recycled items in a way that breathes new life into timeless treasures. We are sensitive to today s economic strains therefore focusing on giving our clientele the most value for their money without jeopardizing quality or beauty. Why did you choose to have an online store as opposed to a more traditional brick and mortar establishment An online store is available 24 7 365 and clients can shop from the comfort of their own home or any place where they can access the internet. The overhead is low which allows the price points to be very attractive to the consumer inventory can be updated more frequently with a touch of a hand and unlike a brick and mortar store space for displaying inventory is never a factor. Furthermore an online store can be seen throughout the country and world and is not limited to local traffic. Just recently I had a shipment sent to Australia. How do you fill your inventory My inventory comes from consignment clientele many of which are downsizing or acquiring family heirlooms. I also spend a lot of time traveling to find antiques and unique treasures. How do you personalize your service I will personally go to the customer s home or business professionally photograph and if necessary remove and store the product they wish to consign. I will then research and appraise all items to come up with a fair sale price. I work with each client directly to ensure satisfaction through the selling and purchasing process. Specifically what kind of items do you have in your online store We offer not only unique and special one-of-a-kind items but also several gallery quality glass and crystal pieces trendy and classic couture clothing designer handbags accessories Loved B4 collectibles and novelty items. Do you accept a client wish list Of course searching out specific items on a customer s wish list is a specialty of my company. I always encourage my clients to update me in real time of things they are looking for as I am often out looking for unique items on my own. How long does it take for an order to be shipped All orders are guaranteed to be shipped within 48 hours of purchase unless alternate arrangements are made. women of distinction magazine 12 What does it mean when you say that is a socially conscious company How can I find you and do you ever participate in antique craft or fundraising events I can be found on Facebook Pinterest Open Sky or other search engines which will always announce the events I participate in. Throughout the year the company donates a percentage of its sales to charities that encourage a greener earth support medical research issues that are significant to women and projects ensuring that no child will be affected by hunger and poverty. How can I find out more detailed information about your company and its products My website has an extensive Frequently Asked Questions page a detailed history of the company and any contact information you may need. 13 contact Marcy R. Berkal Commack NY Owner Marcy B Antiques & Things LLC http Fromvintage2vogue National Association of Distinguished Professionals Vicki S. Shultz Chief exeCutive offiCer founDer gloBAl ProfessionAl sPeAkers ACADemy While training to become a keynote speaker Vicki S. Shultz s coach brought in a member of the National Speakers Association to evaluate her stage persona. His most well-known skill was the ability to identify a speaker by a single word and Vicki s was sage . Sages are typically involved in expressing themselves verbally in teaching or public speaking. Sages are metaphorically speaking the face of the body of mankind and have a need to express themselves before the public at-large. Vicki s deep level of knowledge and experience in public speaking is exactly what she has to offer her clients at her organization Global Professional Speakers Academy. I have a natural talent for coaching and encouraging people to reach beyond their level to help others Vicki admitted about how successful she is helping clients. My greatest satisfaction is in the many achievements of my clients over the years. It was not Vicki s intention to get into a field coaching others in public speaking but it came so natural to her that she was automatically drawn to it. As a professionally trained public speaker thanks to the help of a very well-known speaking coach Vicki s natural talents have helped her develop and hone her skills since the 1980 s. Vicki has been in the industry for nearly four decades. Founding Global Professional Speakers Academy in 2013 she has remained faithful to her commitment of helping produce unparalleled educational experiences based on innovative training content and an exceptionally refined process. Professional speakers and those who want to become professional speakers have an opportunity at the Academy to experience the time-tested practices sound methodologies and real life business lessons that sustain successful speakers. Global Professional Speakers Academy is the only comprehensive professional speaker development organization where students literally step into a living laboratory as part of their training. Utilizing successful professional speakers these experiences can take students behind the scenes enabling them to see firsthand how the training process drives a professional speaker s excellence. Committed to the success of its students the Academy is a one-stop speaker development program providing not only the training but the tools to become a refined professional speaker. Some of the services offered at the Academy include professional videography book publishing and marketing and agents for event booking. Serving as chief executive officer Vicki creates and designs the coursework for the Academy s clients. Because the students come from all over and have unique backgrounds overseeing the operation is an ever-growing responsibility. Vicki also manages the coaching that takes place by other certified coaches that work for her she conducts all strategy meetings sets every budget and recruits and hires all faculty members. And although the Academy has already gone global Vicki still wants to move into more and more countries with their many top trained speakers. If you have a message that you want or need the world to hear don t let insecurities convince you that you cannot deliver it Vicki said optimistically. Never tell yourself that you can t. The biggest deterrent I see in people is themselves. The difference between those who fail and those who thrive is inner faith. The success that Vicki enjoys today did not come without obstacles. Vicki faced everything from the glass ceilings to personal physical and financial hardships. Early on in her career she accepted a position that was historically held by men. Although Vicki could feel the resentment she overcame women of distinction magazine 14 it and stayed in position for 12 years before moving on to her next professional venture. The startup of any business can cause financial difficulties and forming Global Professional Speakers Academy was not an exception. In the beginning Vicki felt that financial stress but she was determined to bring talent to the market in a meaningful way in order to make a difference. There have also been times when Vicki s hectic work schedule has taken its toll. But through 13 surgeries a death sentence from her doctors and some residual physical ailments Vicki continues to maintain the development of her clients at the Academy. She doesn t let anything get in her way. Author of Committed We Stand Vicki addresses the need for understanding and the communication between companies and the young professionals they hire. This book is the foundation of her own keynote speech which gave her the opportunity to share her message regarding personal commitment with audiences worldwide. Vicki also speaks frequently on the topics of various trial practices ethics business entities and business operations. Vicki attended Lockyear College of Business and earned a business degree in 1973. She then attended Southeastern Illinois College for real estate and graduated in 1976. Valuing the importance of education Vicki returned to school in 1996 to continue to work on a degree in advanced English from the University of Houston. During the course of her career Vicki has been inspired by many different people including the very students she teaches today. In her younger years she found great inspiration in Dr. Billy Graham an American evangelical Christian minister. In later years one of Vicki s greatest professional motivators was Zig Ziglar who always taught about being the best at whatever you do and to always work to make a difference. In recent years Vicki has served as president of the Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association the nation s largest paralegal association. She also served for 15 years as the administrator of a large metropolitan law firm and holds an advanced paralegal certification from the National Association of Legal Assistants specializing in trial preparation. A member of several professional organizations Vicki was acknowledged as Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women in 2012. Always seeking to bring up-to-date knowledge and skills to the Academy Vicki is involved with the International Leadership Association Certified Coaches Federation and the Society for Human Resource Management where she is preparing to take the Senior Human Resources Manager certification exam very soon. Husband and business partner Arlie Edward Shutlz Jr. runs the electronic publishing services for the Academy. They have four children. Chris the eldest is 39-years-old and is married to Andrea a retail store manager and they live in Tyler Texas. Chris recently purchased a large marine division where he sells custom boats off-road vehicles and watersports equipment. Son Arlie III Trey is 33-years-old and is married to Debbie. They live in Knoxville Tennessee. Debbie designs and sells custom jewelry and Trey works in construction. They have a 5-year-old daughter named Miley Grace. Daughter Sara is 32 and is a stay-at-homemom who lives in Athens Tennessee with her husband Chris a truck driver and their 3-year-old daughter Isabella. Their youngest Robyn 31 and husband Jason reside in Tyler Texas and are expecting their first child in September 2014. Robyn is an e-Commerce manager for a large telecommunications company while Jason is a chemist for the University of Texas at Tyler. They both earned their MBA s this year. God has a plan and that plan involves each of us taking care of the other Vicki said lastly. Once you learn to look outside of yourself you will find an entire world that is hungry for help that you can provide. Did you have someone who you considered your shining example as you chose the speaking and coaching career Zig Ziglar was always my inspiration. His heart was always to make a difference in a world that is in such darkness. Was there anything that Mr. Ziglar said that just stood out in your mind Absolutely He said that you can have anything you want as long as you help enough people to get what they want. Since that message soaked into my brain I ve been on a mission to help people who want to speak to reach their goals. The most important thing that I get out of the Academy is the satisfaction of seeing those speakers delivering their messages. So does your new academy format offer more services to speakers In my original model we only took on speakers who were wanting to go all the way to the top pay for keynote speaking. This can be a year-long process for some people. It seemed to us that a lot of people who wanted to speak were just afraid to make such a large investment of their time and money when the goal seemed so distant to them. 15 National Association of Distinguished Professionals What is the new format In the new academy format we are able to help speakers at any level to become better at what they do and move up the chain in smaller steps. As they progress they may gain the confidence needed to go all the way. If that is the case everything they have already learned through the Academy will plug directly into that process and they will progress as though it had always been their goal. What would you tell a young hopeful speaker that is considering the Academy I always tell them that the difference between making it big and not is just doing it. We work to help the new starting speakers overcome their self-doubts and become committed strong speakers who deliver powerful messages. Don t a lot of people offer speaker development programs Where can people go to get more information on this interesting program We have a very informative website at www. Yes they do. However no one offers the all-inclusive turnkey process that the Academy does. We can not only train the speaker but provide them with all the tools that very successful speakers have including branding advertising materials book writing and publishing videos stage presence coaching websites and much more. No other coaching service offers this level of assistance. Are people able to enter the program from the website How many people coaches etc. work for the Academy and what do they do I am a Certified Coach Practitioner with the Certified Coaches Federation. I work from our Houston Texas locations doing some coaching and general oversight of the Academy s operations. My husband Arlie runs the electronic publishing business. Sherry Prindle the Motivational Mastermind is a Certified Master Coach with the Certified Coaches Federation. She works from her offices in Kansas City Missouri. Sherry develops our social media and online courses. She also does direct coaching of our clients. Erika Gilchrest the unstoppable woman is a Certified Coach through the Professional Women s Network. She works from her offices in Chicago Illinois. Erika helps our clients write a book and get it published. She also does direct coaching of our clients. Additionally we have a number of associates who provide services to our clients. Alicia White from Dallas Texas provides everything needed for back of the room sales and beyond. Robert Snyder of Strategic Presentations of Texas provides video services. Justin Pyron of Houston Texas provides website development and support. Sylvia Benavides Motes of SBM Consulting in Houston Texas and Wilene Dunn of WCD Enterprises in Fort Worth Texas finds bookings for our speakers at all levels. This is not a complete list of all we have to offer but these are the top members of the staff. Essentially yes. On the site is a complete course description of our offerings. To begin potential students complete the Entrance Exam. It is a short document that gives us some very essential information about the individual their goals and their current accomplishments. This is submitted to the Academy directly from the website. Once we ve received this information we prepare a detailed recommendation for the individual of the coursework we believe would be most helpful to them. What is the cost of getting this information reviewed by the Academy There is a one-time fee of 500 for the exam. Once an individual receives the Academy s recommendation for coursework and selects their program pricing varies depending on the level of training and support required to reach the mutually agreed upon goals. contact 16 Vicki S. Shultz Houston TX Chief Executive Officer Founder Global Professional Speakers Academy http vicki 832-495-6933 women of distinction magazine Anne Delina Johnson 17 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Anne Delina Johnson mCis AnAlyst ii mACy s STARTING COLLEGE AS AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MAJOR Anne Delina Johnson thought her love for teaching would dictate her career path. But after taking a basic computer class that was required of all freshman Anne began to second guess herself. She followed up with a second computer class enjoying it even more. Switching her major and graduating with a degree in computer science Anne is now fortunate to be able to have a career that marries her love of computers with her love of teaching. access issues and workflow questions while educating users on software features workflow network connectivity general technical support questions and hardware issues with Apple computers. Through her teaching philosophy Anne feels people learn easier when spoken to in a personal manner and one that they can relate to. She finds that people understand faster when they don t feel threatened or made to seem unintelligent. Her ability to teach while providing computer support is what has attributed to Anne s success. In a somewhat male dominated field Anne has previously encountered being the only woman on a support team and her knowledge and ability was often underestimated. She has learned through experience that the best way to handle this type of situation unfortunately is to sometimes let her male counterparts make mistakes then chime in with a solution that hasn t been considered offer advice and observe her co-workers reactions to see if her suggestion will be considered. Don t be afraid to take on a new responsibility no matter how uncomfortable you are Anne noted about trying to advance in your career. Don t be afraid to fail even on a small scale because in failing you are problem solving and finding out what piece of the puzzle doesn t fit. To advance her knowledge and abilities in computer support Anne has earned numerous certifications in her field including Macintosh Support Professional Apple Certified Professional 10.6 Casper Certified Administrator and several Adobe certifications. To validate her expertise in IT Anne was also the recipient of the Macy s annual Make Magic Six Award. To teach the user population how to use their software phones and resolve computer issues without making them feel as though a 2-year-old knows more than they do can be difficult but it s something I excel at Anne said about her patience on the job. My role at work supports my love for teaching and computers and allows me to be creative while playing with the latest tools and gadgets. After graduating from Western Oregon University in 2000 Anne gained experience working as an information technology (IT) technical analyst and technical support professional with two different companies in Oregon. In 2006 she was invited to become the help desk coordinator for Elie Tahari which is based out of New Jersey and a position she held for three years. In 2010 Anne was hired by Macy s as part of their Macy s Creative IT Support (MCIS) team as a level one analyst. With her experience and success in the position she was quickly promoted to level two where she now offers support for the creative departments including marketing visual merchandising the in-house print shop the internal photo studio located in Brooklyn New York Bloomingdales and creative teams. As a MCIS analyst Anne also supports and resolves computer issues internet women of distinction magazine 18 Strong caring and compassionate Anne moved 3 000 miles to care for her best friend after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Unfortunately she passed away three years ago but it taught Anne to never take anything for granted and to live every day to the fullest. She has learned to take chances and risks both personally and professionally. Most importantly Anne never stops trying to make the world a better place be it a smile a gesture by helping someone or just showing your appreciation with a simple thank you. Anne s love of teaching reaches back to her days in high school. As a teacher s aid Anne assisted first year flute students and 7th grade science students as well as Spanish-speaking students with their homework. In college she volunteered as part of her Spanish class to teach English and basic skills at a local church tutored 2nd and 4th graders in mathematics and took notes for disabled students on campus. In her free time Anne loves to read go for long walks crochet and go to concerts. She is active in her church s Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults does Bible study and volunteers with Soul Kitchen and of course the Macy s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Anne donates monetarily for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD ovarian cancer and melanoma cancer causes as well as the Child Fund and The Salvation Army. This past June Anne became engaged to Tom Wozniak a senior programmer for All State Legal a company that provides office supplies stationery and marketing material to law firms. The wedding date is set for September 2015 and they look forward to starting a family together. Why do you feel that there aren t more women working in your field I sense they feel trapped and that it s not a career where money can be made to support themselves or a family life. How is a support role crucial in your type of business Quality support lends itself to a better work environment more pride in the business and a willingness to uphold the company motto both on and off the clock. Do you consider yourself a leader Yes I do. My belief is that in order to work successfully in any organization you must build relationships based on respect and teamwork. What made you decide to go into computers I ve always enjoyed learning the latest and greatest technologies. I found that with my love of teaching I am able to combine my passion for new gadgets with my passion for helping people while teaching them not to be afraid of new technologies. Do you feel that customer support is important in the consumer s eye Absolutely. Quality support establishes a relationship with customers by instilling confidence that you stand behind your product. What is the best part about working for Macy s I support the company s philosophy of giving back to your community and recognizing employee passions to make a change for the best while supporting them. Do you find it hard to balance work and home life Anyone can be anything do anything or achieve anything. But you are nothing without family and friends. Make other people happy encourage them and make their day brighter which in turn helps make their jobs and lives easier. My practice to a balanced life is simple. Once I get on the train heading home I leave work in the office. I try to not to bring my personal life into work but sometimes being human the two overlap. How do you stay current on new technologies I read news stories attend trainings visit the big tech stores and play with new devices. What is your biggest fear in your job role My biggest fear is being outsourced or automated by a robot. Realistically however every machine requires a person with knowledge and skill to repair it. What would you say to someone thinking about a career in support I d say patience charm and dedication will make the role fun exciting and challenging. contact 19 Anne Delina Johnson New York NY MCIS Analyst II Macy s anne.johnson 212-494-4834 National Association of Distinguished Professionals women of distinction magazine 20 Beverly S. Bartha oWner BArthA s BookkeePing & tAx serviCe llC Beverly S. Bartha graduated from high school in 1966 with a diploma that included an emphasis in business. Her love of math soon found her following a career path in accounting as an assistant for an accountant of a local gravel company. Remaining in position for just one year she then spent the next 12 years traveling from military base to military base in the United States and Germany with her husband and high school sweetheart William. Settling in Springfield Missouri in 1980 Beverly got a divorce and found herself working again in the accounting field again. Three years after returning to work she opened the doors to Bartha s Bookkeeping & Tax Service. She hasn t looked back since. I enjoy the challenge that I face every day with the different companies I represent Beverly said about the joys of bookkeeping. Each set of books and each tax return I do are all different and the more complex it is the better I like it After her divorce from William Beverly got back into her groove working for Dunn s Accounting and Tax Services. But when Beverly decided to go off on her own Mr. Dunn told her that she would never make it in business for herself. She went out of her way to prove him wrong. Boy was he wrong she s been in business for nearly 35 years now. Beverly has had her share of obstacles though. In 1983 Beverly met Andras Bartha a big rig truck driver and future second husband. For 17 years she held up her business while also driving with her husband. She managed to handle 10 bookkeeping clients every month and 75 tax clients each February. In 2003 while working from 3am until midnight during tax season Beverly started experiencing some heart trouble. Beverly knew that the stresses of her business and her husband s career had taken a toll on her. And although she knew she would miss Andras while he was on the road she decided to stop driving with him to focus solely on her own career. Beverly grew her accounting business to 75 bookkeeping clients per month and 275 tax clients. As the sole owner of Bartha s Bookkeeping & Tax Service she still does it all by herself. She collects the books from the companies inputs the information onto her computer runs all of the financial reports and handles all federal and state monthly quarterly and yearly filing before returning the books back to her clients. For her small- to medium-sized business clients Beverly s basic monthly services include an operating statement or detailed profit and loss statement balance sheet a payroll register with a breakdown on each employee a general ledger and preparation of W-2 s and 1099 s when necessary. During tax season Beverly prepares income taxes for federal and all states with an emphasis in interstate trucking and is an authorized e-file provider. She has successfully argued with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the state of Missouri over tax returns. When people hear that she has gotten favorable outcomes with the IRS they want to use her services too. Word of mouth is Beverly s best way of advertising for acquiring new clients. Each year the IRS and states update and change tax laws. Beverly stays on top of these changes to best serve her clients by educating herself through research. She always has some type of publication to review for the purpose of staying current. To be successful in this field you have to love working with numbers. I would also suggest getting as much education as you can and following up with continued education courses. Holding an advanced accounting degree from LaSalle Extension University Beverly returned to obtain an accounting degree in bookkeeping from North American School of Bookkeeping and Accounting. She has earned multiple certifications for accounting courses tax courses and completion of continuing education. A member of the National Society of Tax Professionals National Association of Professional Women National 21 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Association of Registered Tax Return Prepares Better Business Bureau National Notary Association Business Consumer Alliance National Society of Accountants National Association for Female Executives and the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers Beverly stays abreast of what is relevant and what is most important in the accounting field. Since Beverly opened Bartha s Bookkeeping & Tax Service she s been back where she belongs. She is so happy doing what she loves. She has learned to enjoy life and family is an extremely hard worker and is known in the community as a kind loving person. She s even earned several awards from the City of Springfield for her work The Best of 2013 and 2014 Springfield in Accounting Auditing and Bookkeeping and her business became an LLC just this year in 2014. Beverly s parents were her biggest supporters and inspiration. They always told Beverly that she could do anything she put her mind to. When she decided to open her own bookkeeping company they were right there cheering her on both emotionally and spiritually. When Beverly is running her full-time business she sells Partylite Candles. Partylite a company from Plymouth Massachusetts has been in business making the best burning candles in America for the last 41 years. Beverly does home parties and sells their products online through her personal Partylite website. She really enjoys the time that she gets to spends with her Partylite friends and associates. Prior to divorcing William Beverly and he had a daughter together in 1973. Her name is Tammy. Married to Jason Durham they are currently in the process of adopting a little girl named Chassity. Tammy has her own business and Jason is a computer genius. Tammy Jason and Chassity also live in Springfield Missouri and Beverly loves spending time with her only grandchild. Beverly s father passed away in 2007 and her mother passed in 2010. She has one brother Carol Monday Jr. a military veteran who lives in East Liverpool Ohio. Where do you think the accounting field will be in the future The accounting field will always be around. Everyone works with numbers daily. CEOs and owners of small business will always need to know if their company is showing a profit or loss. What do you think that the tax preparer will be in the future There is a lot of tax software out there but a tax preparer will always be needed. A tax preparer has the knowledge of the tax laws over the common person. Do you think there will be a place for the small business person in the future Every business starts out small. I started my business in 1980 with five bookkeeping clients and 75 tax clients. Within 14 years I had 50 bookkeeping clients and 260 tax clients. Do you think we will always have taxes I believe taxes will always be here. That s the only way governments can survive. Do you think that the government should rewrite the tax law Yes. I believe the tax law has too many areas where there is double taxation and too many loopholes. How important is it to find an accountant with a college degree A college degree is important but the experience of the accountant is more important. Does he or she have the experience to handle your company When looking for a tax preparer what do you look for I would look for the enrolled agent or the RTRP (Registered Tax Return Preparer). Both are governed by the IRS. How important is it to find a tax preparer that is open year round It s very important. You never know when you are going to get that letter from the IRS or your state about your tax return. You must be able to get a hold of the preparer to help you. When looking for an accountant or a tax preparer would you use the telephone book or a referral Beverly S. Bartha Springfield MO Owner Bartha s Bookkeeping & Tax Service LLC http http beverlybartha beverlyb 417-865-8075 The telephone book is good but it doesn t give you information about the company. A referral from a family member or friends will tell you more about the company. contact Does the fee give you any clue about the accountant or tax preparer No. There are places with high prices and places with low prices. Fees don t tell you of their experience or knowledge. women of distinction magazine 22 Brittany R. Washington mAnAger ernst & young reAltor reAlm reAlty ACCOUNTANT BRITTANY R. WASHINGTON Dispute Services sector being project based her specific had the privilege of having three internships at Ernst & Young before she graduated college. In 2009 she was offered a full-time position with the company in their Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services sector. While her career in accounting keeps her extremely busy her interest in real estate prompted her to pursue her realtor license simultaneously. Today Brittany manages both careers with a unique appreciation for each one. I love to see how my individual research problem solving and knowledge directly impacts an organizations day-today functions Brittany said. Due to these reasons I have continued to pursue a career in both accounting and real estate. While these two industries seem opposite they are very much alike in that both require finding solutions to problems and using expertise that will greatly affect an organization s or person s buying experience. As a newly promoted manager in Ernst & Young s Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services practice Brittany specializes in forensic accounting fraud and investigations dispute services insurance claims fraud risk and investigation anti-fraud services government contracts and corporate compliance. With the Fraud Investigation and tasks vary and range depending on the current project on hand. These duties include but are not limited to detail review of transactions analysis report writing managing large teams client communication identifying client issues and creating effective and efficient solutions. Ernst & Young offers a vast array of opportunities industry experience and a culture that is much different from other organizations. It is a great fit for Brittany supporting her passion for helping people resolve issues finding solutions to enhance current structures and adding value in areas to mitigate future risk. Last year Brittany had the opportunity to co-write three accounting chapters for graduate students to use as a supplemental textbook. The book was later published and distributed throughout colleges in the United States. As a young African American professional woman one of Brittany s biggest inspirations is Valerie Williams the first African American partner at Ernst & Young. Conquering barriers and overcoming obstacles as an African American woman in corporate America is a great achievement and one that Brittany would like to emulate. For Brittany to get to 23 National Association of Distinguished Professionals know Valerie personally and have the opportunity to talk to her about her personal challenges has given Brittany great courage to continue to grow. It has also boosted her efforts to someday become a partner herself at Ernst & Young. Even though working for one of the Big 4 accounting firms can be quite stressful and demanding Brittany still pursued her real estate license and in 2013 began her journey helping clients find their dream homes. Balancing two careers can sometimes be difficult especially since Brittany travels roughly 80-90% of the time with Ernst & Young. But thanks to her great ability to multi-task and her flexible schedule Brittany has made it work. Brittany s travel also creates the challenge of being and staying relevant in the Houston market. This challenge has offered her the experience to get involved in areas she might not normally consider. Brittany has used this as an opportunity to meet different people participate in an array of organizations and reach out to other professionals from across the globe heightening her expertise in local and global networking not only in Houston but around the world. To assist in building her professional network in both accounting and real estate Brittany is a member of the National Association of Black Accountants University of Houston Alumni Association Houston CPA Society Texas Society of CPAs Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Association of Certified Anti- Money Laundering Specialists and the Houston Association of Realtors. Before graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration Brittany earned a Certificate of Entrepreneurship. One year later she obtained her Master of Science Degree in Accountancy graduating Summa Cum Laude. In 2010 she passed the exam to become a Certified Public Accountant. Finally in 2011 and 2012 Brittany became a Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. An advocate for her own career Brittany is not afraid to share her accomplishments goals and interests. She carves her own career path by being assertive and humbled by the opportunities and success she has achieved. As a driven professional woman with two careers Brittany sometimes admits to having difficulty finding balance between workplace and personal time. But noting her values morals and religion as a way of leading her through life s journey she makes sure to put family first in all areas of her life. Newly engaged Brittany spends most of her free time planning discussing or organizing something related to the wedding. Her fianc e Zewuze Ladzekpo is the assistant business administrator for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Dean s Business Office at the University of Houston. He is also a small business owner of a new company Wooz Wizdom LLC an interactive website business that is committed to continued education and building up one another within the local and national communities. I am driven by love family passion commitment and dedication in all aspects of my life. My religious values and morals guide my thoughts and actions both during and long after my work hours have ended. women of distinction magazine 24 Do companies really need to invest so much money in fraud prevention Fraud and corruption are facts of business life. Studies show that global businesses can lose up to 6% of revenues to fraud. Fraud prevention is imperative. As a newly promoted executive of the firm are you required to sell work And if so is it hard to bring in new business What does FIDS mean FIDS is an acronym for Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services. As mentioned EY is a teaming environment so we collectively work together to bring in new opportunities into the firm. I like to think of selling work as creating relationships. Those relationships will in turn bring in the work. What type of investigations do you work on With my experience at Ernst & Young I have mainly worked on employee embezzlement insurance claim services antimoney laundering investigations several financial services projects government contract services and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act projects. How do you balance the accounting industry and being a real estate agent It s all about time management. Learning how to flex your style and work balance makes many things possible. Do you feel lost working at a big company like Ernst & Young Actually no I don t. While the organization is big in nature we work in teams that give me the opportunity to feel like a part of the greater good. Is it easy to move up the ranks at Ernst & Young Ernst & Young has a great organizational structure that promotes learning and growth. However it is also your responsibility to demonstrate that you are ready for the next level or promotion in order to receive it. Does Ernst & Young offer travel opportunities During my time here at Ernst & Young I had the opportunity to travel to several different places. I believe I have visited each state thus far. Do you enjoy working in the accounting industry or real estate industry more I actually equally enjoy them both. They hit both a passion and interest level which is why I continue to handle both careers at this point. If you weren t doing either accounting or real estate and money was not a factor what would be your career path I would probably be a teacher or a home decorator. I know these are totally different but I love making a difference in people s lives and being a home decorator definitely touches my creative side. 25 contact Brittany R. Washington Houston TX Manager Ernst & Young Realtor Realm Realty http brittaywashington 713-750-8229 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Christina Walker oWner PresiDent strokes of PerfeCtion THE UNDENIABLE LOVE AND RESPECT for the her own ranch The Rockin CW Ranch. The Ranch offers way horses can positively influence humans was something that Christina Walker could not help but want to share with the world. By combining her passion for horses with the talent and resources of those around her Christina opened Splash of Passion in 2012 in Pine Valley California that is dedicated to promoting positive change in both horses and humans lives in an amazing way. Horses are my greatest inspiration. They inspire me to work hard they inspire me to commit they inspire me to learn and they inspire me to excel Christina said profoundly. The connection I have with these animals grounds me and enables me to clearly see my mission in life which is to share this incredible connection with others. Christina is very fortunate to do what she loves for a living. In addition to owning her amazing business she also owns year-round instruction programs trail riding through the local San Diego mountains horse camps for kids and arts and crafts. The Ranch is currently creating a clinical course that will facilitate learning experiences between humans and horses that will explore these distinctive relationships which are a basis for Splash of Passion. They are also currently developing riding tack specifically to foster better communication and respect between horse and rider. This specialized equipment will build better relationships between the two. It hasn t always been an easy road for Christina since opening her business two years ago. Lack of funding to grow the organization and develop her ranch for client services has been an upward climb. The business constantly desires to grow and evolve but it has taken a lot of dedication to properly allocate resources to meet their many needs. She s women of distinction magazine 26 been working incredibly hard since the very beginning but she s been committed and positive and knows exactly what she wants to accomplish. Christina is no quitter. She is determined and believes in her vision. Responsible for the daily management of both Splash of Passion and The Rockin CW Ranch Christina also personally handles each and every client ensuring that they have the highest quality experience with the greatest benefits possible facilitated through the program. Specializing in animal welfare and behaviors Christina often spends time building strong foundations with the animals she has selected to inspire humans. As she continues to develop their desensitization training concept through professional development and the creation of a desensitizing course she also hopes to one day become certified in this unique training which will benefit both riders and horses alike by creating stronger relationships based on trust. Christina takes great pride in her community as well as in her industry and regularly contributes to a number of causes. As a member of the Tijuana River Valley Equestrian Association and as backdrop designer for The San Diego Zoo s annual event Rendezvous in the Zoo these relationships serve to strengthen her businesses by allowing her to become more knowledgeable and efficient at she does every day. Christina is a volunteer with The Bureau of Land Management and does trail maintenance in the local Cleveland National Forest too. She also participates in local events within her community with such organizations as the Mountain Empire Men s Club and The Camp Lockett Event and Equestrian Facility. San Diego County has always been of great importance to Christina. In her earlier years she worked the information booth at the San Diego Museum of Natural History giving her a strong sense of curiosity of San Diego history. Later when she founded a non-profit organization she was able to assist area domestic violence victims while learning how to manage people. These tools have made Christina a valuable asset to the county and for that she feels truly blessed. Running her two businesses has given Christina the ability to help people better understand themselves and their interactions with the world around them enabling them to be more successful in their professional and personal lives. Equestrian living is something she will always have a great amount of respect for and she hopes to continue to serve the world with appreciation and dedication. She also has a wonderful family who continues to support her as she follows her dreams which has made all the difference. Why do you feel that your business is significant In a society growing more and more dependent upon technology Splash of Passion aims to inspire individuals to rekindle their relationships with animals and nature. We continually explore passion and promote self-discovery through positive outdoor experiences. What services does Splash of Passion provide to guests We provide instructional horseback riding experiences through groundwork arena lessons and trail riding. We provide services to children and adults that focus on horsemanship the arts and personal development through camps clinics and lesson programs. How do humans learn through horses at Splash of Passion Our unique training program teaches humans through communication with horses based on vibrations. How the vibrations are accepted or deflected by the horse ultimately represents how communications will be interpreted by humans teaching participants to better read humans vibrations and be more successful in producing results in their lives. What types of camps are provided at Splash of Passion Children and adults will have a hands-on experience at the ranch exploring horsemanship interacting with farm animals and discovering through art. Through interactions with nature and animals participants build character explore passion and creativity and embrace the freedom of the outdoors. What types of horseback riding lessons are available We provide fundamental horsemanship skills through groundwork sessions arena riding and instructional trail riding. Our trail riding lessons are a client favorite with personalized instruction on amazing mountain trails in San Diego. What types of clinics are available We specialize in desensitization training clinics focusing on the gradual exposure to phobias and progressively more anxiety-provoking stimuli which teaches relaxation attentiveness trust and communication between horse and rider. This training can truly save your life or your relationship. Why are Splash of Passion s horses so special I m having the time of my life right now living my dream of owning my own business. It has given me the opportunity to grab on to my own future and point it wherever I want it to go. Splash of Passion is my future and changing lives through horses is my destiny. 27 Our ranch is home to many rescue horses now free of a lifetime of hunger and abuse. Our animals inspire through their perseverance and dedication to humans through the positive relationships we have established with each and every one of them. National Association of Distinguished Professionals Why should I become involved with horses Horses are incredibly responsive animals and we have much to learn from them that we can apply to our personal and professional lives. Through interactions with these animals in a positive safe environment you can learn responsibility trust communication problem-solving and self-awareness just to name a few. What additional experiences does Splash of Passion provide We provide overnight mini-dude ranch vacation experiences for families couples or small groups. Our ranch accommodations include a rustic cabin swimming pool horsemanship packages and outdoor recreation hosting. What is in the future for Splash of Passion We are excited to be creating a full desensitizing clinic course at The Rockin CW Ranch. This course will facilitate learning experiences between human and horses and explore these distinctive relationships that are the basis for Splash of Passion. Splash of Passion The Ultimate Ride at Rockin CW Ranch Christina Walker Pine Valley CA Owner Operator Splash of Passion http http splashofpassion rockincw 619-473-0291 contact 28 women of distinction magazine Loquator Baker Dinkins Back when Loquator Baker Dinkins owned her own restaurant she witnessed homeless people going through her garbage cans at night looking for leftover food. Saddened by it she started bringing them into her restaurant after she had closed up for the day to let them wash up. She would then cook them a hot meal and send them off with an additional bag of food. Helping others was Loquator s true calling. So in 1974 she formed LBD Enterprise Food Pantry. There is so much need out here Loquator emphasized. As I look around the Lord shows me that I cannot stop helping people. Every time I turn around someone else comes to me in need of help with bills rent bus fare medications or simply feeding their family. LBD Enterprise Food Pantry a 501(c) (3) organization located in Hazel Crest Illinois is committed to fostering growth and independence in families in the southern suburban communities of PresiDent founDer lBD enterPrise Chicago Illinois. Their program strategies focus on children families the elderly the homeless and people who are temporarily or periodically in need of assistance. They provide the fundamental support necessary to enable others to eat balanced nutritious meals thus promoting good health. They also foster the need of those seeking employment by offering job training workshops clothing and transportation funds helping them to reach their fullest potential and breaking the cycle of poverty in the surrounding neighborhoods. LBD Enterprise works diligently to develop good health self-respect selfdiscipline education self-reliance and self-confidence to the people of the community. years ago they have distributed over 1.75 million packages of food served over 10 million pounds of food and given out an abundance of toys and clothing to help the less fortunate. To raise funds SINCE LOQUATOR FOUNDED THE FOOD PANTRY almost 40 29 National Association of Distinguished Professionals they organize picnics motorcycle rides runs parades walka-thons flea markets and cookouts. As president of LBD Enterprise Loquator works with the elected officials other organizations and the public in multiple communities to raise funds and receive donations to keep the organization in operation. With less than 30 consistent monthly contributors Loquator has to be creative when fundraising for money and resources. When professionals see how passionate Loquator is and how much she loves serving others they can t help but assist her in donating their time and services. For example there are five doctors that have held fundraisers on behalf of the organization. The doctors have also volunteered to give free health fairs and medical exams and have brought other doctors aboard to do the same. Not wanting to turn anyone away there have been times when the pantry had exhausted its food supply. When this happens Loquator often given them money out of her own pocket to purchase food. She has even housed destitute families with children in her own home to prevent them from having to sleep in their car. For 15 years Loquator was the coordinator with the US Marine s South Suburban Toys for Tots where she collected about 350 000 toys and winter items each year. Inspired by this great organization Loquator decided to found and become president of Toys for Kids collecting about 100 000 toys winter clothing and boots annually. Unfortunately the need for help has greatly increased while the contributions have greatly decreased. It breaks Loquator s heart when she sees former contributors now in the line of need. Loquator s greatest inspiration to help others has always been God. Thirty-four years ago she was told she needed open heart surgery. Opting not to go under the knife she asked for God to heal her. Loquator s heart was re-tested and doctors told her she no longer needed the surgery. God healed her and in return He told her to heal others. I care deeply about others probably more than many can imagine Loquator said about her life s work. There is a big need here and too many people are turning their heads when they could be offering a helping hand. I would like to see more people come together and service God s people. People s needs are constantly growing and Loquator would like to see her organization expand to accommodate those needs. Her goal is to leave LBD Enterprise in a way that the next person in charge can pick up where she left off keep the doors open and the organization running long after she is gone. Loquator leads by example and she hopes that many others will do the same for years to come. After graduating from Jim Hill High School in 1955 Loquator started taking nursing classes at Governors State University. Switching gears she became certified in Food Sanitation through Chicago Public Health and 10 years later took some business classes at South Suburban College to benefit the operations of the food pantry. Loquator has been married to her husband for 30 years. She has 11 children seven surviving with 30 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Most of her family lives close by in the suburbs of Chicago while the rest reside in Houston TX. women of distinction magazine 30 What makes you most happy in what you do To see the children happy with the Easter Egg Hunt. We have about 500 kids at the hunt and we give out complete Easter baskets to each child. When you were growing up what did you see as your future occupation or career I went to school to be a registered nurse because I wanted to help people. I didn t complete all the courses required. 10) Q What is your current career goal A My largest goal now is finding and moving into a much larger building with plenty of room. This way I can do lots more and will have room to expand. I am currently looking at a building an old hospital but it can serve the purpose for which I need. It has enough room for me to do everything I want to do and much more. I can expand and still have room. With a building this size I can build more activities in the future and I can still do what I do. How do you pick yourself up when you run out of energy to do all the work you do God picks me up If it weren t for Him I couldn t do it. What is your greatest joy that has come from your business When we have a Christmas picnic in July in the park. This is when we collect toys school uniforms and school supplies for the children. What was one of your most successful fundraiser events During one bike run some 2 500 bikers showed up from all across the country. They work with me every year but that particular year I was so grateful to see so many people show up. How many persons or families do you service weekly or monthly Weekly we service about 500 families with food clothing and whatever people donate. This past week in just three days we serviced over 400 families. Have you prepared a plan to retire from the organization In my mind retirement will come no time soon. My retirement will come when my God calls me home. Looking back at your 38 years of servicing others what more do you feel you can do My goal is to have a larger building so that I can help even more people like homeless mothers. I want to house them and teach them how to cook and prepare healthy food for their families. I started working with food when I was a child. When I was eight-years-old we went to Florida every year to pick beans tomatoes and cabbage so my mother could save money to send us to school. 31 contact Can you tell us how you first became interested in food Loquator Baker Dinkins Hazel Crest IL President Founder LBD Enterprise http 708-596-7168 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Rain A. Thompson PresiDent WACo Winnelson If anyone can ever say they started all the way at the bottom and worked their way up Rain A. Thompson certainly can. In 2003 Rain began her career working for a plumbing wholesale company as a temp. Ten short years later she was given the opportunity to move to Waco Texas to take over a struggling company where she would become the president and co-owner of Waco Winnelson a plumbing wholesale company. I never thought I would have become a president and coowner of a company in a male dominated career field Rain admitted. I have found that in this industry men are automatically given respect while women have to earn it. But this has helped me be at the top of my game forcing me to constantly educate myself and stay up-to-date on everything. In 2006 Rain began her career with WinWholsale at Cheyenne Winnelson a group of over 500 independent locations and a leading supplier of domestic and industrial supplies and materials. Rain started as a delivery and warehouse driver but within a year she was promoted and moved into the office where she began to work on the day to day operations of running the company. When Rain was offered to take over Waco Winnelson in 2013 she had the experience and understanding of how businesses function from the ground up. As co-owner and women of distinction magazine 32 president Rain oversees all operations of the business including purchasing receivables payables training pulling and delivery of materials. Even though she is the president of the company it is not uncommon to see Rain out in the warehouse stocking inventory driving the forklift and unloading semi-trucks. As someone who never believes in giving up no matter the task and someone known for typically giving more than she asks for in return Rain is looked upon as a great leader and someone that employees can look up to and turn to at any time. Also a great motivator Rain loves interacting with others. She is very active and enjoys new projects something she attributes to being a successful company leader. Rain believes in creating relationships with customers that allow Waco Winnelson to grow and prosper as opposed to a get rich quick motto that puts the bottom line first. Her winning attitude is what generates an attitude among her customers of wanting to work with her not having to work with her. Even as a young adult Rain was exceptionally motivated. In her junior and senior years in high school Rain took college classes at the University of Wyoming. Upon graduating from high school she attended Casper College and Laramie County Community College only to take a break to enlist in the United States Air Force. While serving four years as a munition specialist stationed in Germany she simultaneously took several college courses. After serving in the military Rain and her family moved back to Cheyenne Wyoming where she became a stay-at-homemom for several years raising her four daughters. When they were small her family enjoyed traveling visiting caves and old ruins camping and riding their 4-wheelers. But when Rain decided to go back to work her family provided her with the utmost support and tolerance as she grew within the WinWholesale organization. Now that her daughters are almost grown Rain and her husband ride their Harley Davidson motorcycles all across the United States whenever they find the time. Riding is one of her most relaxing calming activities where she can clear her mind and her soul of everyday stress. An organization that allows up to 40% ownership Rain feels extremely fortunate to have first worked for WinWholesale all those years ago giving her the opportunity to get where she is today. The company has built some great leaders always promoted from within and had exceptional employees that have mentored or touched Rain s life in one way or another. She is grateful for having had the opportunity when she was asked to work with them and she is even more grateful for the being taken on board with Waco Winnelson. The past two years have been a remarkable experience for her. You can do and be but no one said it anYthing You desire would be easY and no one will just hand it to You. work hard give it Your all and don t let anYone hold You back. when You step out of Your comfort zone with Your head held high You can learn from Your mistakes as well as Your achievements and have fun doing it 33 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Why do you feel that your business is important in today s world Plumbing products and services will always be needed. What is the most rewarding part of your job Making customers happy Having what they need at a fair price and creating a relationship of trust and respect. Why do you enjoy your career I get to learn every day. I also get the opportunity to work hand in hand with people. If you had one thing you could change about your past career choices what would it be I would have tried sooner. For the longest time I did not have enough confidence in myself. How does your husband feel about you working in a male dominate career field Since he is a plumber he thinks it s great I am very fortunate to be able to communicate with my husband on the same level when it comes to our careers. If you could describe your work ethic in only one word what would it be Enthusiastic Do you see further growth in your career Right now I am very content running Waco Winnelson but I do love challenges. At some point I am sure I will accept more responsibilities within the WinWholesale organization. What are some of the things that motivate you professionally Company growth and becoming a great leader are great motivators for me. What is your favorite part of your job To tell you the truth I really love working in the warehouse. There is something to say about getting dirty and using manual labor to complete a job. What would your advice to be to an individual working their way up the corporate ladder within the WinWholesale organization Believe in yourself Rain A. Thompson Waco TX President Waco Winnelson http rathompson 254-751-0150 contact 34 women of distinction magazine Rose Beemer MBA senior finAnCiAl AnAlyst BuDget AnD finAnCiAl AnAlysis nAtionWiDe ChilDren s hosPitAl THERE HAVE BEEN TWO MAJOR FACTORS THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO ROSE BEEMER S STEADFAST CAREER PATH A CONTINUOUS DESIRE TO LEARN AND A MAGNIFICENT APTITUDE FOR NUMBERS. Rose earned three degrees and a certificate in non-profit management in just five years from 2008 to 2013. Now after just recently completing her master s degree in December 2013 she is finally settling in to enjoy life a bit when her work day is done. Rose started out as an operations coordinator for Licking County Coalition for Housing. She then learned of an opportunity at Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio as a finance coordinator and accepted. In 2008 she became the accounting systems analyst at OSU Physicians Inc. (OSUP) a division of The Ohio State University. It was during this impressionable time that Rose truly began learning detailed level healthcare finance like how medical charges and payments are recorded and budgeted for. This position is also what set the groundwork for her current role at Nationwide Children s Hospital after two years in New York at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System (NSLIJ). It was 2012 that Rose was taken on board at NSLIJ as a senior analyst for the Cardiovascular Service Line. Her job required her to analyze physician level data including wRVU s (worked relative value units) and service mix to prepare reports that are used to make strategic business decisions for the service line. My role at NSLIJ was to constantly pull and look at data everything from physician productivity to patient satisfaction to help the service line leadership make critical operational decisions Rose explained. Because in many situations I was the first one to see the data it was important for me to understand what I was looking at so if something out of the ordinary came up I was able to recognize it and bring it to senior leadership s attention right away. The sooner something is recognized and corrected in most cases directly relates to dollars in the long run. Recently Rose moved back to Columbus Ohio and accepted a position with Nationwide Children s Hospital as a senior financial analyst for the department of budget and financial analysis. In this role Rose will work with different clinical departments as well as non-clinical areas such as information systems and marketing to help develop their annual budgets and provide decision support. Her experience at both OSUP and NSLIJ provided Rose with the necessary skills and background. Working hard to get ahead is something Rose learned early in life. She also learned that as long as you work hard that 35 National Association of Distinguished Professionals anything is possible. Rose has always had a philosophy that if you don t like your current situation than you should do something about it. Learning all that you can she says will open doors for you when you least expect it and because many aspects of healthcare move so fast it s important to stay relevant and be prepared for that next possible promotion. Constant change in healthcare has given Rose a tremendous ability to challenge herself something she thoroughly enjoys and finds great satisfaction in. In her 10 years in the industry she has gone from just a high school graduate working full-time to having her master s degree and climbing the corporate ladder. In fact it was during the beginning of her career when she had applied for a position as an accountant with a property management company when she was turned away due to her lack of education. They wanted a college graduate something Rose wasn t at that time. It was at that very moment that she decided to do something about it. She went back to school. Rose went on to earn her Associate s Degree in Accounting from the University of Phoenix in 2009 her Bachelor s Degree in Business Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in 2010 and her Master s Degree in Business Administration from Franklin University in 2013. She also became active with several organizations including the Medical Group Management Association and Daughters of Scotia a Scottish fraternal charitable group. Although it took being turned down for a position for Rose to make the decision to enter college if she could do it all over again she would have pursued her degrees immediately after high school. If you don t know what you want to be that s okay as most students don t. Instead Rose says to consider a degree in business and then work on a specialization during postgraduate work if possible. Rose has a great group of friends from all over the country. It s wonderful because she gets to travel quite a bit visiting with them. She also loves to shop go to Broadway musicals and go on vacations to get away from it all. And now that she is completely finished with her schooling she has time for it all. Though not married Rose comes from a big family. She is the eighth of 10 cousins on her mother s side and as a young child lived in house with 10 people on her father s side of the family. She also has a three-year-old nephew from her sister that she gets to spoil every now and again. Thinking ahead to the future Rose may consider working on a policy level for the federal government to help strengthen the United States healthcare system someday. She does not however have any desire to work in politics. She hopes that she can help better herself by making moral sound decisions and be able to pass her knowledge on to the next generation too. Her future is wide open and she is excited about the next step. What degrees or certifications are required for your current role Realistically a background in finance either corporate finance or accounting is critical. Then I suggest working on the master s level to learn how to analyze and apply information. What is the most frustrating thing about your positions in your experience Working with people who judge me based on my age or their perception of what I may or may not know is tough. I have always been one of if not the youngest persons in the department and when people talk to me as such it is very frustrating. I want to be accepted and respected as a professional who is experienced in her profession. Has education always been important to you No. In fact when I was a teenager I wanted absolutely no part of school. When I originally went to college I received a scholarship but hated going to school so much that I dropped out before the first semester was over having to repay the scholarship funds for that semester. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do in life and no applicable skills to apply what it was that I was learning so it was all really pointless for me until much later on. Now I can t seem to get enough education and will probably become over-educated. How has your social life changed in the last few years in relation to work Once I started school that all changed. I spent almost all my free time studying and writing papers. Now that I am finished with school I find myself going out more often but I am also trying to fill my time with more substantial activities like taking classes and working on my house. Who has supported you the most professionally My parents have supported my education from day one and my going to college was very important to them. I have a very small group of friends who have also obtained master s degrees and so they know what it takes to get through it and they ve supported me throughout the process. What do you think is next for you career wise I am planning on enrolling in a Certified Public Accountant prep course and then studying to sit for the CPA exam. I have absolutely no interest in doing taxes but I would like to be the CFO of an organization one day and that designation will be very important. Do you think education or experience is more important for your current role Both. In order to be successful in a role like mine you have to have many years of experience to be able to understand the different concepts you work with on a daily basis. Advanced education however teaches you how to think critically and dive in to find the answers to every question that starts with the word why . women of distinction magazine 36 Why have you chosen to work in the healthcare industry Healthcare is a rapidly growing industry with changes happening on a daily basis. This allows me to continually learn and grow and it never gets boring. Do you need strong computer skills for your role as an analyst Yes. You work with a variety of software applications and analysis tools such as Microsoft Excel and Access as well as more advanced data software that brings together data from multiple sources such as Cognos or an enterprise data warehouse (EDW). How can a student figure out if being a financial analyst might be a good career for them They should determine if they have good math skills an inquisitive nature enjoy helping other people solve problems and like working with computers. If the answer to all four is yes then financial analysis may be the right choice for them. 37 contact Rose Beemer MBA Columbus OH Senior Financial Analyst Budget and Financial Analysis Nationwide Children s Hospital http National Association of Distinguished Professionals Tomoko Maeda-Chubachi meDiCAl DireCtor stiefel A gsk ComPAny TOMOKO MAEDA-CHUBACHI STARTED HER CAREER in academic dermatology becoming a Board Working in the pharmaceutical industry is very different from working in clinics or hospitals Tomoko admitted. It is very stimulating to work on a large project team leading anywhere from 100 to 1 000 people to bring a new drug to the global market. After earning her MD in 1991 and graduating Cum Laude from Osaka University School of Medicine Osaka Japan Tomoko obtained her physician s license. She remained at Osaka University as a graduate student and resident of dermatology before leaving Japan and heading to the United States. Tomoko earned a PhD in Skin Biology in 1996 where Certified Dermatologist in 1996 and had extensive research activities in Japan Canada and the United States. While she enjoyed the work she was doing she also found the corporate world very exciting too so she decided to take a leap of faith and try working in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the years Tomoko has been fortunate to be able to combine both loves dermatology and drug development and is now highly visible in the dermatology societies in the United States Europe and Japan. women of distinction magazine 38 her thesis covered UV-related skin cancer and damage. She did her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Dermatology at Boston University under Dr. Barbara Gilchrest. Tomoko was stimulated by her new and very different environment and culture and she truly enjoyed the lifestyle. The experience inspired her to want to come back to the US sometime in the future. Returning back to Japan and Osaka University in 1997 Tomoko was soon invited to become chief associate at Osaka Kosei-Nenkin Hospital in Osaka Japan recognized as a photodermatology expert. She continued her expertise in Dermatopathology Laboratory Medicine at the University of Alberta-Canada. It was there that Tomoko was responsible for the management of Dr. Victor Tron s lab assisting in the initial set up after his relocation from the University of British Columbia to the University of Alberta and helping transform it into a highly productive leading lab. She concentrated in UVinduced skin cancer research. Within that two-and-a-halfyear period she supervised medical students postdoctoral fellows and published multiple research articles. Tomoko found herself enjoying the opportunity to lead the small team and started thinking about how she could use her leadership skills in a more dynamic environment. Making the shift away from academic dermatology to work for Pfizer Japan Tomoko spent her first four years as the Japan development team leader. She led teams in various therapeutic areas including osteoporosis and other metabolic diseases and experienced tough but exciting negotiation with Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) in order to introduce new drugs to the market. In 2006 Tomoko was transferred to San Diego and asked to lead ophthalmology clinical trials at Pfizer. She experienced all aspects of clinical development including strategy development study design execution of the studies and regulatory filing while negotiating with regulatory authorities and she achieved approval from European Medicines Agency (EMA). With her leadership Pfizer was granted a six-month patent extension of Iatanoprost (Xalatan ) with the European Union by executing one of the first Pediatric Investigation Plans. Tomoko was then asked to lead the Psoriasis Project in Connecticut where she was responsible for psoriasis pivotal global studies. Fulfilling her longtime dream of getting into dermatology Tomoko further enhanced her experiences negotiating with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) EMA PMDA and other local regulatory authorities. Tomoko served as a liaison between the global team and the Japan team by using strong connections with key players in every function in Japan. Soon after Eli Lilly and Company invited Tomoko to become their senior medical advisor in 2011. Tomoko was asked to lead a project in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. She served as a subject matter expert in dermatology and contributed to enhance Eli Lilly s reach to the dermatology communities by tapping of her strong network. She also enjoyed introducing the new therapeutic area to colleagues. Tomoko facilitated communications between Japan and other global teams. She broadened her experiences in medical affairs business development and due diligence for alliance partnership. In March 2014 Tomoko left Eli Lilly to become medical director for clinical development at Stiefel a GSK Company where she now leads several dermatology projects as a physician project leader and uses her expertise as a dermatologist and drug developer to benefit the company. As a woman developing my career in Japan was challenging Tomoko said looking back. But I am grateful to have had superiors that supported my move to the United States giving me the opportunity to advance in my career. It is my dream that I can contribute to introducing new drugs more efficiently to patients and I believe my global network with many talented drug developers and my Japanese background will inspire me to achieve my goal. Last year Tomoko was appointed as academia-industry partnership liaison of the Society for Investigative Dermatology. She is a member Healthcare Businesswomen Association American Academy of Dermatology Women s Dermatology Society Society for Investigative Dermatology Japanese Dermatology Association and European Association of Dermatology and Venereology. it is verY stimulating to work on a large project team leading anYwhere from to bring a new drug to the global market. 100 to 1 000 people 39 National Association of Distinguished Professionals What direction do you see the future of pharmaceutical business going Do you have a lifelong professional dream There is little chance we can develop blockbuster drugs in the future. The pharmaceutical industry s focus will change to develop drugs to improve quality of life. Dermatology fits well in such a category. Most dermatological diseases are not life threatening but they largely affect lifestyle and selfesteem and this helps people function at the best. I have accomplished one of my lifelong dreams to develop drugs for dermatology diseases. I would also like to become a facilitator to bridge the gap between the US and Japan in drug development. In the future I want to become an independent consultant and work on as many different dermatological diseases as I can and help as many US companies as possible to introduce their drugs into the Japanese market and vice versa. Where do you see opportunities in the pharmaceutical business What is your next career goal The collaboration with academia should become more open and streamlined. We have had a difficult history with compliance issues in the past. We need to understand how to use our resources and knowledge effectively and wisely in spite of many hurdles between the two. There are very few dermatologists in the industry and in order to introduce effective medicine for patients with dermatological diseases we need more of them. I want to develop my mentoring skills and help dermatologists that are interested in drug development enter into this exciting field. What is most exciting to you in your business I like challenges and brainstorming to solve the problems in a team environment. We can be very creative when we work as a team conquering the hurdles. Is there anything in particular you are doing to prepare What area do you see that needs improvement in drug development I am trying hard to expand my network. I was shy to ask but I found that many people want to help other people. If you don t ask they cannot help. I was shy to be visible but I am working on that. Drug development for children. As they are viewed vulnerable people have not diligently tested new drugs in the robust clinical trials. As a result there are so few drugs approved to use for children. We have to discuss how to quickly bring these necessary drugs to the children. Japan is known to be a difficult place for women to develop their career. Do you agree What value do you see in drug development in addition to bringing in the drug to patients I think it s changing. I ve had opportunities to mentor Japanese women who want to advance their career to the global level in the industry. I want them to be exposed to different cultures and be more flexible and creative. It s an advantage to see things from a global perspective which can also make you more competitive in the marketplace. To develop a drug and market it we have to test the drug in many patients sometimes more than 10 000. It costs anywhere from 1 million to 1 billion to introduce one drug to the market and make it available to patients. Once the drug is marketed it is difficult to run studies in a tightly controlled environment. Therefore the data obtained in clinical trials is very valuable evidence in medicine the healthcare system relies on the evidence. Do you have any advice for women who want to advance their career to the next step If you are a non-native English speaker I recommend speech training. English is just a tool for communication. If you learn English specific rhythm tone and flow people will feel more comfortable listening to you. I met a great coach and I also have a career coach. Investing in yourself is essential and helps you reap the benefits of your hard work. Tomoko Maeda-Chubachi Research Triangle Park NC Medical Director Stiefel a GSK Company contact 40 women of distinction magazine Violet Joan Niggl Author RETIREMENT IS A PERIOD IN A PERSON S forced to put her first love on hold and set her sights on LIFE when the days of working endless hours are over becoming a successful executive in the business world. and relaxation can finally begin. For Violet Joan Niggl her retirement did not last very long. She was not happy neglecting her mental skills and abilities so in 2010 Violet picked up a pen and began pursuing her dream of becoming an author. Writing always held a place in Violet s heart since the age of four. Short stories by O. Henry such as The Gift of the Magi had a major influence on her childhood. Poetry and children s books were among other favorites any story with a happy ending for this child born in the Great Depression. However in response to her family s needs Violet was After graduating from The New York Institute of Finance and the American Institute of Banking in the 1950 s she became an assistant corporate secretary managing a team of 45 men at the largest over-the-counter securities house in the world while she worked on Wall Street. In a time where modern technology was not present she was responsible for manually calculating transactions handling millions of dollars in loans and overseeing other business and financial matters. She moved to Canada after marrying her husband of 30 years. There she worked for two years as a consultant for a mortgage and loan company in Canada then later became the director of the Cabinet Office of the Premier of Ontario in Toronto. While living in Canada Violet 41 National Association of Distinguished Professionals continued her studies at night graduating from The Institute for Children s Literature. In 1987 she also earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities from York University in Toronto at the age of 61. I have worked with men for most of my career and have worked harder and smarter Violet asserts. I have contributed much as a pioneer woman on Wall Street and in information management in Canada but now I know firsthand that my love stories have impacted numbers of people and that has become my purpose in life. Now an award-winning author Violet devotes most of her time promoting her books attending book signings and book fests entering contests being a guest speaker on radio interviews encouraging potential authors and proofing books for other writers. There was a screenplay written for her first book First Love Just Once in a Lifetime and she is currently searching for a movie producer to make her book come alive on the big screen. With three demanding careers throughout her life Violet is no stranger to hard work even in retirement. Writing involves long hours research and total dedication. She has taken several writing courses in other genres in addition to the children s writing course and has participated in several other writing groups in past years. Finding a good publisher was crucial and Violet learned a lot about patience during her search. Throughout all her difficult and time-consuming efforts she never became discouraged. Most recently Violet belongs to the Gulf Coast Writers Association in Fort Myers Florida and a smaller lesserknown writers group called The Motley Crew. In 2013 the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) chose her as Woman of the Year. She has been interviewed on numerous talk radio shows had a Valentine letter published in a local magazine wrote articles for and co-edited a political newsletter and graced the cover of a senior s magazine. Fame came fast for Violet winning the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in 2012 for Best Memoir and 2012 Best Romance Memoir from Later that year another award came her way with an IRWIN (Industry Recognition for Writers in the News) award from the Book Publicists of Southern California for Best Romance Memoir. Violet is currently a member of several Who s Who organizations and won a 2013 honorable mention for the Great Southeast Book Festival Awards in the Biography Autobiography category. Despite all of her awards and recognition Violet has stayed very humble and is always looking to improve with each new book she writes. She enjoys testing her limits but ultimately writes what is most enjoyable for her. I am a very dedicated hard worker who has never forgotten her roots Violet added. I was blessed with wonderful parents and although poor they taught me to live with patience caring kindness and compassion. Violet has applied the values that her parents taught her into her daily life. She is always willing to help others without expecting anything in return because it is the right thing to do. To love and be loved has constantly been a driving influence in her life and wants to share this belief with the world through her writing. In her free time which is not very often Violet enjoys reading travelling attending concerts and keeping in touch with good friends. She delights in listening to classical music and has always had an affinity for photography. Residing in Florida since becoming a widow in 1993 Violet continues to write her heart-felt and moving stories and spread love to the world. Available on women of distinction magazine 42 Why do you feel that what you do now for a living is important Reading books in whatever form brings the magical world of fantasy into a child s life and acts as an escape for so many. Books also expand our vocabulary and open our minds to new ideas subjects and the world we live in. In simple terms like travel reading broadens our horizons. What is a book signing When an author publishes a new book they will be asked by a local book store or library to do a signing. This means that the author may give a short talk about the book followed by autographing books for customers who wish to purchase them. Do you believe that self-publishing is a good or bad thing What is the genre of your book First Love What is the genre of your book Angel in Disguise In some ways it may be considered a bad thing since no strict rules apply. However books that were published by traditional publishers didn t always make the mark either. In general I think it s a good thing since it opens the door to so many authors who wouldn t otherwise get published many whose books are good. Genre is a term that describes the category of a book. First Love is a memoir therefore besides being categorized as Biography Autobiography its genre is also Romance and Adult non-fiction. Angel in Disguise initially intended as a book for an older child is also an adult pet lover s book and a book for those who have lost a loved one. Therefore its genre too would be Adult Non-Fiction. What would you consider to be the essential must do if an author s budget is limited The most essential must do is to have the book edited by a responsible editor. There is nothing more distracting than misspelled words incomplete sentences or wrong tenses. Final proofing of a book is what distinguishes it from a poorly edited book. Why do some writers choose to use a pseudonym in place of their real name How important is the cover of a book Some choose to for anonymity but I chose mine because I liked the sound of it. My real first name is Violetta but I left out one t because that was the way it was spelled in Mexico where my story took place. I chose the maiden name of Elizabeth Barrett Browning my favorite poet for my surname. Logically it s very important because it s what attracts the reader first. An attractive cover can lead the reader to wonder what its relevance is to the story. Do pictures help enhance a memoir Yes once the reader begins to learn about the characters of the story it arouses their curiosity to know what they looked like. A memoir without pictures would leave the reader disappointed since these are real people. Do reviews on the back of book covers help sell books Sometimes. Readers who like to know what a story is about generally read the synopsis on the back of a book cover. If there are any reviews there as well they may read them and be influenced by them especially if the review is written by a famous person or a well-known company. Would pictures help enhance a work of fiction Not likely since the story is not about real people and their descriptions can leave a lot to the imagination. However many works of fiction use illustrations especially in children s books. 43 contact Violet Joan Niggl Fort Myers FL Author http National Association of Distinguished Professionals Radiology Technologist Yesenia Reina Juarez While taking a high school medical explorer program Yesenia Reina Juarez was exposed to many medical professions giving her an opportunity to get her feet wet in what it would be like to work in different healthcare arenas. Of those professions she was drawn particularly to radiology because of the wide range of options in the field and the dynamic characteristics of the job. Today the relevance and crucial impact that radiology has on the medical field has provided Yesenia with a rewarding and lasting career doing something really she enjoys. The technology and applications of radiology intrigued me because they require such an intricate knowledge of the human body Yesenia said about her specific career choice. Radiology enables physicians to make a definite diagnosis to treat their patients by complimenting their diagnostic interpretation and adding value to advanced therapies and treatment options that would benefit the patient and aid in their recovery. After graduating from Oregon Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Radiologic Science in June 2001 Yesenia furthered her education at Georgetown University where she earned her Master of Science Degree in Tumor Biology. Immediately following college Yesenia began work as a travel radiology technologist. This provided her with a diverse level of work that included use of a variety of types of equipment technology applications and protocols. It also gave her further insight into the level and depth of radiology. Yesenia grew tremendously as a technologist because she was forced to be independent complete tasks efficiently and adapt to changing work conditions giving her the ability to thrive in many new challenging areas of radiology in future years. women of distinction magazine 44 YESENIA S CAREER CHOICE to be a travel radiology Why do you feel that good healthcare is imperative technologist though thrilling came with many sacrifices too. She was forced to live out of a suitcase for 13 weeks a year in a hotel and was expected to perform on a high level while also meeting the regulations at each location. Exhausted and lonely at times Yesenia would not trade the experience for anything because it was those very experiences that would lay the foundation for the type of technologist she is today. It shaped her character her development and her strength in the field. Each career advancement Yesenia earned since she first started in radiology enabled her to grow professionally. She did her best to learn something new from each colleague and superior she worked with along the way whether it was by use of a new approach method or theory in the scope of her work. Focusing on new technology applications and development Yesenia continues to grow academically because she believes knowledge is both instrumental and integral in radiology. She keeps an eager attitude and a strong initiative to become a valuable employee to always remain relevant. Now a radiology technologist Yesenia performs radiology procedures including inpatient and outpatient exams surgery and emergency trauma at primary acute care facilities working with digital radiology systems PACS and daylight processors. She also tracks inventory stocks supplies and assists in other areas when needed while communicating and collaborating with other health professionals in various departments in order to expedite care of patients and provide a safe environment. Working with the Dean of Health at ENMU-R Yesenia has also fostered a rigorous academic program that caters to the needs of radiology students and serves the needs of the community. She has taught clinical pathology to students and has served as their liaison to local clinical sites in the southeastern New Mexico area. Success is possible with discipline tenacity and determination Yesenia said. I am in my current position because I always move and transition to face new challenges find new opportunities and set new goals. Yesenia enjoys reading listening to music going to the gym dancing watching movies hiking and sports activities. She is a member of Women s Professional Association International Association of Science Strathmore Worldwide and Princeton Global Network. Her relatively small but close knit family has been necessary and valuable in Yesenia s success and helping her in overcoming her struggles throughout her career. Living alone in Las Cruces New Mexico her parents live nearby in Dexter where she grew up. Yesenia is close with her older brother his family and her younger sister. Healthcare is critical in every aspect of today s society because we are surrounded by medical conditions that cause people to seek medical treatments at hospitals or clinics. How do you feel radiology has changed since you entered the profession I feel the field has become more dependent and engaged in technology such as computer applications that it has continued to change the course of the profession. As the use of modern applications change so will the number of personnel necessary to complete our line of work. What changes would you like to observe in this profession that would allow professional growth I feel that there are still many unqualified personnel engaging in my line of work that have been allowed to be grandfathered into the field and as result have limited many opportunities for myself and others to grow in this career. Furthermore the education requirements should be changed to meet the changing needs of the profession. The education should be modified to require a four-year degree. What other limitations have you observed in this profession The salary has remained very stagnant during my tenure in the field. Even though there has been a diverse change in technology applications and equipment I feel that technologists that have been in this career should be compensated greater because radiology continues to be instrumental for diagnosis for medical providers in the region. What would you like to be doing in 5-10 years I would like to become an administrator serving a large facility that services the needs of the community to provide medical services that would enable them to seek treatment and meet the growing need to find treatments that serve their conditions in the area. Why do you feel radiology has been viewed as a lesser degree profession by others Many people do not realize the impact and critical component this career has in the daily operations of hospital revenue. I believe that if people understood the nature of our work the scope and the great need they would promote us to the level of capacity that we deserve similar to that of a nurse in the hospital. Do you plan to stay in this area of work or seek greater options in healthcare I would hope to acquire new skills and a higher level of education that would allow me to grow in this career. Although radiology is instrumental in healthcare it is only one aspect to the entire picture. For me I would hope to be behind the scenes making integral changes to healthcare overall. 45 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Do you think healthcare will change for the better or worse by implementing Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) I feel having health insurance is very important and would change our line of work tremendously. More people would strive to seek treatments if they had the means to provide for this service and thus I think prevention methods would also be enforced so that medical bills would not reach the depths and levels that they are at today. Are universities capitalizing on increasing students knowledge or just hoping to meet their growing need to make more money I feel that education has been instrumental in my professional growth. I also think facilities and businesses could make resources available for professionals to grow professionally without having to obtain yet another degree certificate or training that may or may not provide them with opportunities to move up the corporate ladder. Are you satisfied with your choice to enter radiology. If not what other line of work would you have selected Overall I have been content and happy in my profession. However now I want to move up and feel inhibited because of certain choices I made early on in my career. More education seems the most promising aspect and now I must decide what track I would like to move into. Yesenia Reina Juarez Las Cruces NM Radiology Technologist women of distinction magazine Success is possible with discipline tenacity and determination contact 46 Delores L. McCollum trAiner ConsultAnt oWner suCCessful ClAssroom mAnAgement llC AS LONG AS SHE COULD REMEMBER Delores L. McCollum wanted to become a teacher. Beginning her career as a social studies teacher in the public school system of Cleveland Ohio Delores faced many challenges in the classroom but always believed that teaching well done is one of the most rewarding careers on earth. She believes that what teacher instills in his or her students will and should leave a lifelong impression on them for years maybe generations to come. My 31-year teaching career was filled with strikes payless paydays state takeovers federal intervention a superintendent s presumed suicide at school and more superintendents than stripes on the US flag Delores said looking back. My decision to keep my focus on my students and my determination to be the best teacher that I could be despite my miserable circumstances made me stronger and empowered me to encourage my students and others not to give up or relinquish their dreams. A collegiate teacher of pre-service teachers Delores came to realize that across the United States there is a severe problem of underprepared teachers. She has seen firsthand the difference between a well-managed classroom and one that is not. In August 2013 Successful Classroom Management LLC was born with the goal of addressing this problem. In her home-based one-woman business Delores created the registered trademarked presentations applies for seminar opportunities and contacts potential clients. Her desire to ensure excellent education for all children is the energy that drives her business. The lack of authentic classroom management training the overwhelming pressure of test-driven academics and the realities of the 21st century classroom conspire to make the lives of teachers and students unnecessarily challenging. Through her organization Delores helps her clients discover how to remove uncertainty eliminate chaos and anticipate and minimize problems as they develop the skills of an organized prepared and confident classroom teacher. Throughout her career Delores has been recognized for several honors and awards including a 2008 Educational Excellence Award a 2007-2008 Community Service Award was named Outstanding Young Woman of America and earned a Fulbright Scholar to the State of Israel. A high school graduate of Cleveland herself Delores went on to attend Spelman College and graduated Cum Laude women of distinction magazine 48 with a BA in History. Four years later she earned an MA in History from Cleveland State University and several years later obtained a Permanent Teacher Certificate in comprehensive social studies from the State of Ohio Department of Education. Delores is a member of the Fulbright Alumni Association National Alliance of Black School Educators and the National Association of Professional Women. Previously Delores was a member of the Teacher Education Curriculum Redesign and Create Team of Cleveland State University creator of Happy Birthday Dr. King birthday card contest and founder of the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast Celebration where she raised over 50 000 in 10 years. Is the presence of charter schools improving the quality of public education There is very little independent data that shows any great educational improvement in charter schools over public schools or the post-graduation performance of their students. What do district leaders believe they accomplish by closing schools With reductions in educational funding voters refusal to approve tax levies and mandates for balanced budgets cuts have to come from somewhere so school are closed. What do federal state and local elected officials need to know and do to support world class education in the United States Elected officials should be required to field test every highstakes test they mandate and work two days in a school of their community to get an understanding of education as it is today. World class schools require equitable excellent funding and support of students and school personnel. Are the courses presently taught absolutely necessary for the real world Why does Teach for America seem to generate such passionate opposition among public school teachers The training provided by Teach for America is too brief to prepare its graduates for the realities of the 21st century classroom. All courses can be made applicable to the real world. The challenge is to link the lesson to students past experience present knowledge and future utilization. Does education really prepare students to be responsible citizens and assets to the community Why does there seem to be so much hostility toward teachers unions Educators are so overwhelmed with responsibilities and burdened with shrinking time that responsible citizen and asset to the community often become unrealized goals. Many people lack an understanding of the history and impact of unions. Others believe that teachers as professionals should not belong to unions. Why is teacher turnover so high How can mental health counseling improve students energy to focus on learning Mental health counseling would be an excellent school service. However tight budgets and stubborn denial impede the implementation of school-based mental health counseling. Too many people enter Colleges of Education without the passion for teaching matriculate through their studies poorly prepared for the reality of today s classroom and do not receive the support they need to succeed. Why is there so much emphasis on high stakes testing in US education High stakes testing is about economics the billions of dollars spent on testing and politics neat little sound bites for the next election. 49 contact Delores L. McCollum Cleveland OH Trainer Consultant Owner Successful Classroom Management LLC http delores 216-283-5209 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Hope H. Anderson RD LDN ALTHOUGH HOPE H. ANDERSON RD LDN There are certain activities Hope suggests be done daily spent 17 years in food service management it wasn t until 2001 when she created Hope Nutritional Services that she found her true calling. Hope Nutritional Services served as the vehicle through which she would offer feefor-service nutritional counselling. Since her initial launch Hope has expanded to include anti-aging products and has now transformed the business to an online based business model. and she does it all by herself. The first would be an early morning affirmation in which one would state his her goals. She suggests eating healthy meals snacks and hydrating one s body with adequate water. Make time to move exercise and meditate. Try to set up daily plans the night before and participate in enjoyable activities. A member of the Christians in Action Network Club and her local chapter of the National Association of Professional Women Hope also participates and promotes on an as needed basis for the programs to assist the American Heart Association Diabetes and Cancers on their yearly campaigns to raise funding. Hope has written two e-books that were available on downloads on two different websites and was a member of the panel Immigrants Eating Habits on a segment of Esta Semana Show which educated audiences about the behavior of immigrants in the United States. She wrote a proposal and received a grant that implemented nutrition education and training for students in the Chartered Youth Advisory Program. Hope has also conducted taste tests of exotic fruits and vegetables educating students on the importance of eating good nutritional foods and the impact of their growth and learning. I am a very knowledgeable empathic and caring person and have both hands-on experiences and professional education in health and wellness Hope said about her dedication to the field. Hope is married lives in Davie Florida and her only daughter lives in Montclair New Jersey. When she s not scheduling presentations and demonstrations for follow-ups with prospects interested in her anti-aging products or the business opportunity she loves to garden spend time with her husband read and go to the movies. She also enjoys entertaining friends by touring her gardens having great meals together and sharing laughs. I am passionate about food nutrition and health and want to give people the power to take charge by making informed decisions to support their health and wellness Hope said about what she loves most about her career. After working in food service management for so many years and becoming a registered dietitian it felt natural to launch my own private practice. Earning a BS in Foods and Nutrition in 1974 from Howard University Hope later went on to pursue the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Loyola University in 1994. She successfully completed the examination by the American Dietetic Association (now The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics) and became a registered dietitian in 2000. In 2004 Hope obtained her Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and a year later became a Therapeutic Lifestyle Coach through Metagenics. Hope had the education and experience needed to start her own health and wellness company but was faced with the challenge of going online. Not knowing anything about the internet Hope started from scratch arming herself with books taking online webinars in marketing gaining the tools needed to obtain the necessary knowledge she needed to run a successful online business. Today Hope writes content for her websites and provides expert content for three other sites supports her social media outreach with posts joining groups and making comments and produces and posts video content to her site. women of distinction magazine 50 Why do you feel that food and nutrition play a vital role in health and wellness for people and the world From the beginning food has always been mentioned to play an important part in health and wellness. In the days of Hippocrates he stated that food is medicine coupled with the fact that we can heal our bodies with healthy food. supports Why do you feel that your online business is relevant in today s technological world My message is relevant and serves the purpose of delivering credible evidence-based information that is scientific. It fills the gap by educating people on how to make informed decisions by eliminating misinformation and myths when they search the web. Today there is a huge and growing demand for organic food. I support this as well as keeping a pulse on sustainable food fair trade non GMO humane and healthy food supply. I provide information on the topics that are controversial provide peer-reviewed evidence point people in the direction of the research where they can find options to shop and find these foods at their local farmers market. I also noticed that big retail chains are jumping on the bandwagon by displaying local natural and organic foods for customers. What do you think is causing these changes and movement What is your business and how does it serve the world My business is an online platform named Hope Nutritional Services which provides credible information based on research. It collaborates with like-minded people partners with companies and organization that bring value to the public when people search for solutions to improve their lives. As people become more informed they want to feel and look great and become healthy. They expect more and are demanding more. There is a movement for healthy foods that is starting a political force. There is growing evidence of obesity and chronic illness getting out of hand. Families companies and governments are driven into bankruptcy by high healthcare costs. Providing information with solutions on services product programs and tools will give people the information that they need quickly in a reliable fashion so they can help themselves become healthier. What is unique about your business and how do you stay above the crowd I have witnessed the multitude of misinformation that is on the Internet. Some businesses sole intention is to make money and do not provide the service or product that they promise. My mission is to serve ethically stand behind my word and work provide superb value that I m proud of always be respectful and respected not take advantage of people or ruin my reputation. What is the role of the medical community Are they tapping into the source to fill the gap Medical science knows a lot about the impact our food choices have on our health and on the world around us. But the information is not delivered and growing with the technical speed of the Internet. This is one of the reasons I created a platform where my message can be delivered quickly to reach more people in near and far away places around the world. They ll have the information that they need to keep themselves and the planet healthy. What is the status of our food chain Is it in good health or in crisis Staying abreast with food sustainability and keeping a pulse on GMO s (genetically modified organisms) the Food Revolution book and the various Summits held by John Robbins and other guests pinpoint to emerging information that there is a food crisis. There are over 46 million people who are hungry and don t have enough food to eat. The safety net is pulled or cut and big agribusiness has made profits that are more important than our health more important than the environment more important than your right to know how your food is produced. This is mind boggling to me. It is my duty in bringing awareness to this struggle for people to be informed. What is your biggest why and how do you want to be remembered My biggest why is my purposeful intention to give high quality service. I want to make an impactful difference in the lives of people who want to improve their health through eating healthy foods and exercise and by providing added benefits of products that can enhance delivery of energy coupled with a youthful look and feel from within and outside of their bodies. I also want to help eradicate malnutrition and hunger in children both locally and around the world. Making it fun making it delicious changing your life - that is the best gift that one can give oneself to live a healthy and purposeful life. How are people responding to these changes and what is your role in helping to bring about change What are some of the issues that your business 51 contact People are taking action from the rural farmer to the urban household s dinner from grocery store shelves to state ballot boxes. People are demanding and reclaiming that their food systems and their menus support their health. My role is to provide these findings write about them and sign petitions to congress and state representatives to keep or prevent legislation. Hope H. Anderson RD LDN Davie FL Owner Hope Nutritional Services http http anthopenutritionalservices 954-636-1246 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Maria E. Marcus oWner mAnAger Designer little threADs Born in San Salvador the capital city of El Salvador Maria E. Marcus always admired the beautiful and elaborate dresses fabricated at an exclusive children s clothing store nearby her home. With a daughter in tow she wanted to be able to dress her little one in dresses similar to those in the storefront window but she just couldn t afford it. Instead Maria decided that she d learn how to make them herself. It didn t take long for her daughter s friends to take notice and before she knew it she was being asked by parents to make dresses for their daughters. Her career in fashion design was certainly on the horizon. sell her business and focus on taking care of her teenage children. It wasn t until several years later when her children were in college that she began designing a new line for a small business that she and a friend started called Little Threads. As a small business owner Maria wears many fashionable hats alongside her partner. She manages day to day operations designs the line with the help of her assistant and is in constant contact with their factories to ensure on-time production with the quality they expect. Eager to expand to other markets with more products Maria began to design a line of baby layettes called Baby Threads after a trip to South America inspired her finding the best cotton in the world there called pima cotton. The beautiful hand embroidered products from the area have been a great success. She also created another line simultaneously with a European flair called Marco&Lizzy which was immediately successful too. Maria s ambition and hard work has paid off. Her lines are not only going global but she is now participating in the Pitti Bimbo fashion show in Florence Italy. The fashion industry is a hard and complicated business but Maria had the desire passion and perseverance to launch Little Thread Baby Thread and Marco&Lizzy to the levels they are today. Although it has not been an easy one I have loved my journey Maria admits about the ups and downs of the fashion industry. After so many years in the business I am still having a lot of fun. I VE ALWAYS SAID THAT NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION . I had nothing but a dream when I started in the industry Maria said about the beginning stages of her career. I m always thinking of new ways to offer products to customers that are well manufactured with quality materials. Maria was able to expand her small business Marilen Children s Store and it quickly became known as the best children s store in San Salvador. Not long after she was also manufacturing crib bedding and nursery d cor. The growth of her business allowed her to export her line with the help of the government through a program designed to promote exportation of goods manufactured in El Salvador. She participated in the New York Children s Show Mode Enfantine in Paris and Kind Jugend in Germany while her business grew to more than 60 employees. Upon her relocation to south Florida Maria was forced to women of distinction magazine 52 What kind of advice can you give someone who is looking to open a children s clothing and accessory business Study the market find a niche and look for a good supplier to manufacture your product. what they ordered last season has sold in their stores. How did you build a sales force for your business I looked for independent sales reps who covered several areas around the country. I have a fashion degree but what s the best way to break into the industry First find a job as an assistant manager of a fashion line to learn the business inside and out. This will teach you how the fashion industry works and will allow you to see the big picture. In the industry there are many areas you can work independently for. All these areas are essential in the industry and do not require a large working capital. What other areas besides fashion would be important to learn Accounting is essential. You would benefit from business and marketing classes but you do not need to become an expert or have a degree. The basic understanding is enough to help you grow your business. What kind of people do you need to hire to help grow a business You should hire people who have a degree in fashion because they have learned the technical skills needed in the industry. A business and marketing background person will implement their knowledge on the business aspect and people who are willing to work hard next to you to. How can a small fashion business survive in this competitive market You have to take advantage of new technology use it as a tool to market your product on the right channels and find material and labor resources to be competitive. Why should you stay informed of global trends in fashion Being informed of global trends bring fresh ideas to your line to keep customers interested. How do you suggest starting a business with limited resources By first operating from your apartment of house you can avoid paying rent. But you must expect to make personal sacrifices by working long hours. You must also reinvest your profits into future merchandise to enable you to grow the business. How did you become a good designer How did you create customer loyalty in a wholesale business In this business it is difficult to achieve loyalty from your customers. You are as good as the last season you created. The customers will go back to see your new line again only if 53 contact By training your eye you can find inspiration in all of your surroundings. I assemble my ideas and create the collection. Maria E. Marcus Deerfield Beach FL Owner Manager Designer Little Threads http http http littlethreads 954-425-7727 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Maria C. Tabraue After purchasing five acres of land in Miami Maria C. Tabraue and her husband were able to create a habitat suited to work with endangered animals and birds. The animals which are often rare creatures acquired for breeding and conservation and wildlife in need rescue rehabilitation and with any luck release have become Maria s greatest joy and the formation of Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF). Co-founDer DireCtor viCe-PresiDent seCretAry ZoologiCAl WilDlife founDAtion (ZWf) different experience to witness the animals right in front of you. To feel a toucan s feathers graze your shoulder to hold a fur baby or to learn from a knowledgeable guide is what makes the experience unique and reveals the animals as real living and breathing creatures. Educating the youth is the key to helping preserve wildlife in the future. One of the foundation s most gratifying programs involves working with local schools and educators to ensure young people are able to experience wildlife in their formative years. Maria has seen this philosophy manifest itself in movies and on television where children are increasingly exposed to social and environmental issues. Maria s foundation is hoping that this program will have a major impact on the way students view the world. Dedicated to educating children and adults on animal conservation Maria s held private educational programs at Miami Children s Hospital University of Miami Florida International University and organizations that assist handicapped and low income children. Accredited by the Zoological Association of America as a zoo and conservation facility ZWF is the fulfillment of Maria s family s dream who all live on the five-acre property together as husband wife and son. Our goal is just to know that we re playing a small part Maria said about her foundation. If each person that visits us walks away with that same mindset we ve accomplished what we set out to do. As co-founder of Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF) Maria manages all of the business and financial aspects and holds the positions of director vice-president and secretary. However she feels her main role is to engage and empower the visitors on a daily basis. It is extremely gratifying for her to see someone return to visit or sponsor a specific animal contribute to one of their conservation programs or simply have a renewed interest in the natural world. Maria s foundation has an up-close and personal approach to wildlife encounters that is very different from other facilities. Maria knows that it s one thing to be an observer viewing wildlife hands-off and from a distance but it is a very women of distinction magazine 54 What is ZWF all about these animals in the wild. ZWF consists of two locations including a 5-acre zoo in Miami and a 40-acre facility in Jupiter offering intimate guided wildlife tours that include hands-on encounters with a vast variety of wildlife. ZWF has everything from domestic animals and primates to large predatory birds and mammals. What would you say is the most gratifying part of your job ZWF s animals are part of our family and are the ambassadors for their cousins in the wild. The work we do has a positive effect on our animals every day and we continue to educate about the needs of these creatures and how to conserve and preserve them. Why did you and your family decide to found ZWF We are passionate about animals about their care and conservation and about helping other people understand just how important these creatures are to our planet. What exactly does ZWF do What do you feel is something that directly affects ZWF s purpose in today s world With advances in technology our culture has really become removed from the natural world and from each other to some extent. What we aim to do is create the kind of experience where people can reconnect with wildlife in an up-close and personal way. ZWF creates a habitat suited for the animals and birds endangered often rare creatures that we acquire for breeding and conservation as well as wildlife that comes to us to be rescued rehabilitated and whenever possible released. What kind of animals can be found at ZWF There are dozens of exotic species with many available for interactive activities. ZWF offers more animal encounters than any south Florida zoo. Some popular exotics include a giant ant eater Bengal white Bengal tiger a white handed gibbon and Eurasian eagle owl. What is your ultimate personal goal that can be reached through ZWF My goal is to educate the public and ensure exotic wildlife preservation so future generations have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate these exotic animals. I ve raised awareness in the community of the cause and continue to through different channels. What charities or non-profit events if any have you been a part of through ZWF I have assisted in the organization of events and educational programs for ZWF and have participated in various charitable community events such as Earth Day Event at Pinecrest Gardens and Miami Children s Hospital UOTS Cancer Camp Charity and have created Zoo to You an educational program and presentation given to various private and public schools. How does ZWF specifically help animals in need or distress ZWF breeds endangered species in captivity helps injured animals and rescues animals from being terminated or raised to be hunted. What sets ZWF apart from other zoos or conservation facilities of its type We re not just a zoo. It s not simply about displaying animals. It s really an opportunity to be much closer more personal to experience wildlife up close and in some cases uncaged. We talk a lot about helping visitors regain a lost connection to wildlife at our facility. In our view regaining that connection is so vitally important because it inevitably creates an incentive to be more sensitive to the well-being of 55 contact Maria C. Tabraue Miami FL Co-founder Director Vice-president Secretary Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF) http maria 305-969-3696 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Pam Labellarte sPeCiAl eDuCAtion ADvoCAte from ADvoCACy to ACtion When Pam Labellarte s youngest daughter was born with Down syndrome she immediately began advocating for services to support her development. Three years later her son was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and her role of advocate expanded to include fighting for both of them. After extensive training in the area of Special Education Advocacy Pam began to educate and support other parents of children with Down syndrome. Often Pam is confronted by new situations where students with rare disabilities families and school staff who are experiencing a confrontational relationship or families who have lost trust in the school system. These situations require that Pam conduct research and investigate alternatives in order to problem solve and identify a plan of action to provide guidance to the parents and school team. In addition to working with families Pam offers workshops on various topics in special education law and presents exhibits at various events such as Transition Fairs. In 2005 Pam co-organized and launched the Lake County Options Transition Fair which now has over 40 providers and exhibitors. As co-presenter at the 2011 National Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) Pam spoke on the Critical Elements of Transition . Pam also developed a Disability Awareness Program and trained parents on how to present a similar program at their child s school. I want to allow parents to be parents. At the same time I want them to observe me utilizing advocacy skills to obtain services and support their child s needs Pam emphasized. I ensure that the parents are educated about their child s rights and develop the appropriate negotiating skills in order to advocate for their child. Completing an extensive Special Education Advocate Training sponsored by Family T.I.E.S in 1999 Pam obtained additional Special Education Boot Camp Training conducted by nationally renowned attorney and creator of the Wrightslaw website Peter Wright Esq. Pam s two years of experience as a special education advocate in a special education law firm expanded her knowledge even more. In 2014 she became certified in the Special Education Advocate Training Program sponsored by the COPAA. A member of COPAA Pam is involved in peer-to-peer network dedicated to protecting and enforcing legal and civil rights of students with disabilities. Pam is also a member of the US Consortium of Special Needs which was established I FOCUS MY ENERGY ON INFORMING PARENTS of their children s educational rights as well as teaching them how to obtain appropriate support and services by learning negotiating skills and gaining knowledge about their child s disability and specific needs Pam said. My underlying goal is for the parents to model their advocacy skills in order to teach their children to advocate for their own needs depending on their individual capabilities. After working as a parent advocate at a Center for Independent Living for 5 years Pam founded From Advocacy to Action to provide services to families with children of varying disabilities in several counties in Illinois and Wisconsin. As an advocate working in a private practice she intakes calls from families reviews student records and schedules then conducts initial consultations. If the family retains her services Pam attends school meetings and preps the family in advance. When Pam is not working in her home office or in the schools she is often found working out of her Volkswagen Beetle convertible as her mobile office (see photos). Traveling to schools and families homes Pam encourages communication between parents and the school team. She creates consensus amount the people involved with a focus on the child and the common goal of identifying and providing the appropriate support and services to meet the child s needs. women of distinction magazine 56 to assist its members in growing their business and helping promote their products and services to the special needs community. Because Pam has experienced the challenges her son and daughter have faced she relishes in their triumphs. She supported her son when no one seemed to understand why he was so smart yet couldn t sit still and stay focused. More so she has observed her daughter when the world wanted to limit her because she had Down syndrome. Her daughter s determination has never ceased to amaze her whether she was learning to walk talk write her name or read. Pam was at a loss as she experienced her daughter dealing with health issues that required hospitalization and almost took her life. Despite all that her daughter has faced she keeps moving forward to overcome the next obstacle. Taking a lead from her children s trials and successes Pam includes them in the work she does with the families who are facing similar or greater challenges. This provides Pam the energy and focus she needs to be an effective advocate. Without the inspiration she receives from her children and the parents she supports she would not be able to possess the passion for the great work she does for others. whether appropriate services are being provided. But it is also demonstrated by modeling to the parents and the school team the importance of clear communication amongst the IEP team. What is a common issue that you deal with as an advocate that could be avoided if the law was followed as intended I support students who are dealing with extreme anxiety depression or social issues but the school team refuses to consider the student for special education services simply because he she is passing all of his her academic classes. Many times these students end up in a hospital day program before the school team is willing to consider providing services. What impact does the current increase in bullying at school have on the students you support If a student with a disability has a cognitive challenge is on the Autism Spectrum has an emotional disability obsessive defiance disorder (ODD) Bi-polar disorder or the like they can easily be incited by other students and exhibit behaviors that are not appropriate in the school setting suspended and denied their education. Why is there a need for special education advocates Special education law has had insufficient federal funding and it is not consistently administered by all school districts. As a result many students with disabilities are not receiving the appropriate services and support to allow them to lead the most independent life possible. What types of disabilities are represented in the students that you have supported as an Advocate The disabilities I have encountered are Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) ADHD Specific Learning Disability Emotional Disability Intellectual Disability and other low incidence disabilities as well. What is meant by special education services that are student focused Although students may share the same disability they are individuals and are impacted in different ways and as such their IEP must be developed to meet their individual needs. How has the No Child left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) impacted students who would otherwise benefit from Special Education Services Should students be involved in the IEP process and if so when The student should participate as soon as the parents feel they are able so that their voice can be heard and they can begin to develop the self-advocacy skills they will need for the rest of their life. By law they are required to invite students by the age of 16. The problem arises when the student does not respond to the intervention (RTI) but the school does not assess the child for a possible disability and provide them special education services. When is it time for a parent to take their battle with the school district to an attorney and consider filing for Due Process What are the most common challenges the students and families that you support face Do you represent parents at their child s school meetings with the school district My role is to support by teaching parents how to be effective advocates. This may be demonstrated by me addressing tough questions about why a student isn t progressing or 57 contact Many parents that are not aware of their own rights and or their child s rights and are not always prepared for the amount of effort that is required to monitor their child s progress to ensure services are being provided appropriately and consistently if they are found eligible. If I believe the student s educational and functional needs are not being met and the parents have participated in the IEP process in good faith yet the parents are at a stalemate with the school district I suggest they seek a consultation with a special education attorney. Pam Labellarte Mundelein IL Special Education Advocate From Advocacy to Action http 847-401-5053 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Trina L. Allison Owner Operator Studio 47 GROWING UP AROUND CARS HER WHOLE has an affinity for Ferrari and Lamborghini has long been LIFE while she watched her grandfather manager his in the business of service restoration and performance service station Trina L. Allison would often be found playing on the old lifts inside the station. By 2005 in her adult life she had purchased her very first sports car a Porsche. Her love for cars quickly became an obsession. So when the opportunity arose to acquire a car shop up for sale Studio 47 Trina knew it had her name written all over it. The only problem was that the shop focused only on Italian cars and Trina would need to merge the German auto world into Studio 47 s lineup if she wanted to run it her way. It s remarkable to see how Enzo Ferrari and Ferdinand Porsche came up with the concepts of how an automobile should be built. And yet while they are very different they both had some amazing ideas Trina noted. Maintaining repairing and restoring these vehicles is very fulfilling. Studio 47 is a full service facility for Ferrari Lamborghini Porsche Maserati Alfa Romeo and Lancia automobiles. An environment that boasts a lot of love and respect for these exotic cars Studio 47 is not just a garage it s a studio where your car is handled with white glove service and care. Business partners Trina and Craig Reed complement each other in operating such a successful venture. Craig who tuning and is highly sought after. Trina brings fresh ideas new concepts and a hands-on operational approach. While Trina is responsible for all administrative tasks like scheduling billing public relation decisions and social media her ability is not however limited to the operations of the business. In fact Trina proudly did the majority of the restoration on her own 1980 Porsche 911SC so she is very handy in the garage. Involved in High Performance Drivers Education (HPDE) events Trina is a licensed race driver. To honor her late husband she had his 968 Porsche made into her Sports Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) race car. A dedicated Porsche enthusiast Trina is also membership chair for the Mid-Ohio Region Porsche Club of America which has helped her network in the automotive industry. She listens to other people s concerns and opinions dealing with other auto repair shops and uses the information to improve Studio 47 as much as possible. In between working her 50 to 60 hour week racing select SVRA events and being involved with HPDE Trina still has time to raise her three daughters ages 11- to 15-years-old. All honor roll students her daughters enjoy going to the track women of distinction magazine 58 with Trina and being helpful around the house. It s still a man s world but I think the tides are changing Trina presumes. I want to open the door for other women to race and be in the automotive industry and I believe I am helping pave the way for our daughters and granddaughters. day. As an owner you never really get time off. I am always thinking shop and some of my best ideas come when I least expect it. How many of your customers are repeat and how many are new clients We have a very strong customer base in which we see the cars yearly. However since adding Porsche to the lineup we are gaining new customers each week. It is not uncommon to see cars shipped here from California and Canada. How does your shop differ from a normal repair facility Why is your business so relevant today We feel like our shop is a studio. The floors are white and the walls are adorn with various artwork all pertaining to cars and racing. We treat each car like a piece of artwork and use the white gloves to service them. Why has the automotive field continued to be a male dominate world My best guess would be the women of the world have not had enough exposure until Danika Patrick and other women became well-known names. I see quite a few young girls excited to meet a woman who races like their dads do. I think they are going to be the next shop owners. Our market is such a niche market. To find someone who can work on older cars is difficult. To be able to fabricate items if the part is not available and to have the brains to figure out the problems without all the electronics is a God given talent. Shops like Studio 47 are out there but as the owners age the shops will be hard pressed to find a successor who will carry the same morals values and quality of work. I think my age and the employees we have set us apart. We still have a good 20-plus years. If you had not invested in this career where do you think you would be today I would still be in the automotive world. I would have liked moved to a warmer climate however it was not what my children had wanted so we stayed in Ohio. What car has come through your shop that blew you away We had a Lamborghini Murcielago that someone from the Sacramento Kings had owned. It was a beautiful blue with the logo embroidered in the headrest. It was a masterpiece. How do people react when they find out you own an automotive shop and that you race They are all genuinely happy for me and then the questions start. I usually have a few difficult ones to answer but once I pass their test they seem impressed. How does one start to get involved in the industry I would say to start small like at a dealership or a quick lube place and become knowledgeable with cars and the parts. Then find your niche market. What would you suggest after finding your niche How many hours a week do you work I am at the office every day for 8-10 hours 6 days a week. However we have to deliver cars to their owners and have been out on the road until midnight making a 17-hour work 59 contact LISTEN. That is the best tool we were given as humans. If you listen and digest everything you hear eventually you will know exactly how things work and blend. Trina L. Allison Worthington OH Owner Operator Studio 47 http Trina 614-855-4435 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Owner Speranzi Facial Spa Beauty Coach Creator Natural FaceLift Made Easy by Beauty On Command Graduating with a degree in biology from European University Yolanda Russo knew that she wanted to work in a field that would allow her to help people feel better younger and stay healthier longer. Yolanda then went on to become a licensed massage therapist focusing on pain management. Suffering from severe migraines since she was a teenager she also wanted to be able to apply what she had learned through her years of experience to help others cope with all kinds of pain which she says is stress related. In 2002 Yolanda became a licensed esthetician. Founding Speranzi Facial Spa in Caldwell New Jersey in 2012 she offers natural and botanical based facials for clients that result in some very amazing results almost instantaneously. Her skincare products include high performing antioxidants such as Japanese green tea CoQ10 reservatol and peptides and contain zero synthetic preservatives. Through many years of working with clients who had a desire to feel better and look younger I developed many unique and targeted treatments and marketed them successfully to bring a steady flow of clients to our spa Yolanda said about the history and success of her spa. After successfully helping manage clients pain through coaching for stress relief and massage therapy Yolanda also discovered that their faces looked much younger after their therapy sessions. She then applied it to a beauty treatment and found a cure for wrinkles and sagging skin. Her system allows men and women to choose a natural alternative to plastic surgery. Beauty On Command Natural FaceLift Made Easy is going to be available to the public in November 2014 through her website and com. Yolanda co-authored her first book entitled Women Living Consciously which also happens to be coming out in November 2014. The book talks about her life s journey and struggles she endured on the way to success. It will be available for purchase at and www. Hoping to teach and influence healthy habits to clients Yolanda Russo women of distinction magazine 60 that will result in them actively taking care of themselves Yolanda goes above and beyond is forever patient and is willing to serve every clients wishes. Her positive attitude and outlook on life always shines through in her work and clients are better served as a result. remedies using self-massage and home masks containing avocado yogurt and honey among other mixes to help the skin look glowing. Has as the economy influenced your business at all I realize that the spa field can be challenging when dealing with the recession and other issues. Finding your niche market is the best solution to continuously serving clients. Why did you decide to write a book Where did you do your schooling to become an esthetician I studied at Capri Institute of Cosmetology graduating in 2002. I studied to become an esthetician and business owner. I also became a licensed massage therapist at Somerset School of Massage Therapy in Somerset New Jersey. I belong to the same category as everyone I serve I am the baby boomer myself and I am facing the same issues they are facing. I can relate and share my knowledge it makes me happy and goes along the lines of being of service to others. Who are some of your greatest influences professionally and why What field did you work in prior to getting into your current field There are three that come to mind immediately. Personal Development Guru Jim Rohn Life Coach and Public Speaker Brian Tracy Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins. I first started out in the hospitality industry in 1996. I loved to work with people and after I had finished my bachelor s degree I wanted to continue working along those lines. What types of facials do you offer We offer Sun Defense Facials After Sunburn or Sun Allergy Facials Acne Facials Express Facials Deep Cleansing Facials European Hydrating Facials Oxygen Infusions as well as Oxygen Eye Lip Treatments Natural Facelifts Dark Circle Remedies Microdermabrasion Microdermabrasion Collagen Masks Glycolic Peels and Papaya Enzyme Peels and Cellulite Eraser Packages. What are your most popular services Why Acne facials are extremely effective and painless due to the successful system we use to control the acne. Some clients avoided a very dangerous acne drug by simply receiving a treatment at the spa. Microdermabrasion is a second leading facial treatment at our spa. We use a high-grade equipment that is safe but extremely efficient in sloughing off the dead or damaged skin. Are your prices competitive Prices start at 55 and up depending on the treatment that you choose. We also offer package deals for many of our services. Do any of your treatments require down time Not at all. All facials end with a cooling mask and complimentary make-up application. You also teach DIY skincare. Where and what do you educate clients on I offer DIY skincare tips and education one-on-on at the spa and on home-remedies demonstrating on the video how to maintain the look of the beautiful and healthy skin. My focus is on the natural and healthy 61 contact Yolanda Russo Caldwell NJ Owner Speranzi Facial Spa Beauty Coach Creator Natural FaceLift Made Easy by Beauty On Command http 973-228-7727 National Association of Distinguished Professionals http women of distinction magazine 62 Agatha Aggie Cutrone viCe-PresiDent of teChnology solutions AnD teChniCAl suPPort serviCes time inC. While working for a local concept-to-completion print company Agatha Aggie Cutrone was a technical artist doing mostly paste-up and inking work. When the company brought in an Atex Mainframe computer and typesetting system it was clear to Aggie that this was the wave of the future. She volunteered to take the night shift to learn the new system knowing that this new technology would soon be a part of her everyday job. I ve been fortunate to have had jobs that provided me with career growth potential and the opportunity to learn new technologies Aggie said. I am lucky enough to love what I do be able to make a good living at it and be smart enough to appreciate it. After working for Weber & Stevens Inc. and CMP Media Inc. Aggie was offered the opportunity to work for Time Inc. a division of Time Warner in 1998. She began as the service desk and training manager but was quickly recognized for her ability to build teams and work through business transformation. She was promoted to senior director of desktop operations and messaging then senior director of digital and publishing technology. In 2007 Time Inc. offered Aggie the position of vice-president of technology solutions and technical support services. In this role she now leads teams of people that develop and support technologies used by the editors to create content. Aggie is involved in hiring and placing people in the best position for providing quality customer service and technology-based solutions and systems in the most costeffective manner enabling the customers to meet the goals of the business. During Aggie s time at the company the industry has gone through a substantial transformation. Aggie has had to deal with the realigning of the way staff work how organizations are structured and how technology is used. She has specialized in readiness leadership and managing the here to there journey leading people in and out of change. Examples of these changes include the AOL Time Warner merger acquisitions divestitures magazine advertising s collapse workforce reengineering downsizing outsourcing and the transition to digital. There have been several enabling technologies that Aggie s had the privilege to help develop and introduce including an application that refined the process of transmitting video and photo assets from the field to the website editors increasing efficiencies and leading to cost savings of 7 million. The eReader application was also a great technology that enabled TIME Magazine to be present at the launch of the iPad. And finally when Time Inc. became the first major US magazine publisher to design its titles to interact with readers through all leading tablets Aggie s team was able to launch 18 titles in just five months. A graduate of State University of New York Aggie has been awarded several awards including the Time Inc. President s Award Most Innovative Approach to Problem Solving CMP Customer First Award and CMP Editorial Excellence Award. She is a member of Time Warner Woman s Network Executive Woman s Golf Association and National Association of Professional Woman where she was recognized as Woman of the Year in 2011. women of distinction magazine 63 PrinCiPAl Designer golDiloCks Designs llC INSPIRED BY ALL THAT IS BEAUTIFUL Allison One of the reasons I wanted to start a card company was that I felt cards were the best way to help people feel personally connected Allison said who plans to donate a portion of the proceeds of her cards to different charities. It is so much more important to have communication beyond a like from social media or a text or email. It s a lot more meaningful to get a card in the mail. There is something beautiful in a handwritten card it is an intimate form of expression. Goldilocks Designs LLC can be found in boutiques and gift shops decorative accessories stores museum shops and more. Her company logo is an image of her mother at the age of six from whom Allison gets her curly locks. Many of the photographs she uses in her cards are taken from old family photos in combination with vintage ephemera and quotes from notable visionaries as diverse as Kierkegaard and Dr. Seuss. It is amazing the depth of reach and engagement with the tools available on the internet Allison added about the challenges of incorporating social media tools into her everyday business. I try to limit it to twice a day for 45 minutes each otherwise it can quickly take up an entire day. Allison is a member of the Greeting Card Association American Institute of Graphic Arts and several other professional organizations. Allison has been married to her husband Dan for 22 years. They have two sons Jack 19 an honor student at the University of Connecticut and Jonah 16 who plans to study hospitality and hotel management. Allison Staffin Staffin has been drawing ever since she could pick up a crayon. As she got older she studied art and loved crafts painting and drawing. Following her heart Allison pursued a degree in Graphic Design and Advertising from the University of Delaware. Starting as a graphic designer in 1980 Allison formed her own design studio a year later. Specializing in cosmetic packaging her first big account was Revlon. As her reputation grew she landed contracts with L Oreal Estee Lauder Liz Claiborne La Prairie and others. Her specialties included Mother s Day Father s Day Holiday and Gift with Purchase packaging as well as promotional materials displays and logos. Once Allison married she moved to New Jersey to start a family. After the birth of her second son she took a break from the business world. Once her boys began preschool however she took up pottery and began making and selling jewelry in boutiques and at craft shows. When Allison was going through breast cancer treatment the outpouring of love and support she received from family and friends was overwhelming. What touched her most were the cards people sent and the sentiments they shared. She sent cards with her gratitude in return. She decided to go back into business this time designing and selling greeting cards. Her first line debuted at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City in May 2013. 64 National Association of Distinguished Professionals PersonAl AssistAnt to Ceo glAnBiA PerformAnCe nutrition After moving to a new city newly single mom Amy Tilley found herself searching for a career that would sufficiently support her and her daughter. With only basic administration skills Amy was blessed to acquire an interview and land a position thanks to a general manager who was willing to give her a shot as his assistant. It was this very position that launched Amy s career as a professional administrative assistant. Working as an assistant for several great executives has allowed me to develop a stronger skill set Amy said about gaining experience in her field. Being a personal assistant for different individuals with different personalities has continuously helped shape my ability to become a high level assistant. Starting her career in 2000 Amy spent 11 years as an executive assistant for vice-presidents and presidents for the companies Wonder Bread and Hostess CRST Van Expedited and Crate and Barrel and developed company policy and training manuals for most of the positions she held. Amy became proficient in Microsoft PowerPoint Excel Word and Outlook and obtained numerous certifications during this time. In 2011 Amy was hired as the personal assistant to the CFO and COO of Glanbia Performance Nutrition a sports nutrition company. Within a year she shifted over to support the CEO. Managing their calendar answering emails and overseeing meeting schedules and the organization of events are just a few of Amy s daily responsibilities today. One of Amy s biggest accomplishments at Glanbia include the development of a staff of administrative professionals that work as a cohesive team and are not segregated to the various departments or among executives. The creation of the team enables others to learn from one another s accomplishments and mistakes while one team leader represents them all collectively. Monthly meetings are held to ensure all team members can fully and successfully communicate between each other and the team as a whole. With the official title of administrative office manager Amy is involved in office decisions for all of the assistants mail room coordinator and front desk receptionist. She maintains policies and procedures that are used across her administrative team including a smaller team located in Boca Raton Florida. My admin team is the heartbeat of the company as we work to keep all the working parts in motion Amy explained. If there is a miss is a department we take responsibility. Our executive team relies on us to keep everything flowing at a high level and professional manner. Since getting into the sports nutrition industry Amy has found a love for working out and living a healthy lifestyle. She and her husband actively try to spend time outside riding their bikes on the nature trails of Illinois and travel the country to various national parks. Amy has also enjoyed watching her daughter make the decision to go into the business world as she enters her first year of college. There is a lot of pride knowing that I helped develop such a determined young women Amy said about her daughter. Amy Tilley women of distinction magazine 65 Angharad Ann Bransford-Young PresiDent BrAnsforD inC. Angharad Ann Bransford-Young started her career in education in 1965 after graduating from the University of North Texas as an English and speech teacher. She transitioned into a counselor role for the junior high students where she not only gained experience and knowledge but also a strong commitment and understanding of the need for the field of counseling. Working at the university level afforded Ann the time for writing and working in the private sector too. Through Bransford Inc. Ann counsels and consults clients in vocational and other areas. She is licensed as a professional counselor and a family therapist. She also has certification from the National Board of Certified Counselors. As a writer Ann authored the chapter on stress for Fleming Revell s book Whole Book of Health co-authored Getting the Job You Want authored a published poem entitled The Ruler and wrote articles in university publications on homesickness loneliness academic advising and career choice. Ann was also an editor for Bookbreak a book review publication and Footnotes a publication for Oral Roberts University Northeastern State University and the University of Tulsa. Ann s has membership with the American Counseling Association International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals Disability Analysts Association Phi Delta Kappa and National Association of Professional Women. She s a member of Delta Gamma Alums Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Friends of the Library and Philbrook Art Museum and a board member of Neighbors Along the Line a non-profit to help low income families. After a 32-year career at Oral Roberts University Ann retired receiving the award of Professor Emeritus. She continues to counsel and consult through Bransford Inc. She believes that much of what gives her meaning and direction in life is contributed to her faith in God. She enjoys traveling playing bridge reading and spending time with her two daughters son-in-law and six wonderful grandchildren. I ENJOYED THE CHALLENGES THAT CAME ALONG WITH COUNSELING Ann said about working with students. While working in the junior high Ann earned her MTA at Northeastern State University in 1968. She resigned from the junior high position and became a teaching assistant to work on her EdD at the University of Tulsa. Her dissertation led back to the public schools as an English as a Second Language Coordinator. As she was finishing her doctorate she accepted a position at Oral Roberts University (ORU) where she served as a counselor then assistant director and was promoted to director of the University Counseling Services. Later she served as director for Counseling Care Associates as an affiliate of ORU and assisted in establishing a master s level program in counseling at ORU. Ann became a full-time professor in this program and taught courses such as Vocational Guidance Crisis Counseling Professional Issues in Counseling Counseling Children and Adolescents and numerous psychology courses and seminars. Her stellar teaching and counseling career awarded Ann with numerous achievements including a Kappa Kappa Iota Scholarship Kappa Delta Pi Service Award Counseling Award from the National Distinguished Registry and an Honorable Award for Professionalism in Instruction. 66 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Ann E. Patsis oWner glimPses of neW englAnD PAst Living on a farm with four children all under the age of 5 Ann E. Patsis wanted to do her part to contribute financially to the household bills. With small children in the house Ann s options were limited to a career she could embark on at home so she turned to her love of art. I have always had a passion for art so I went out to our barn to look for items to paint and then sell Ann remembers. I painted milk pails scoops and anything tin then sold them off the hay wagon on the side of the road. I especially loved the challenge of painting on tin materials. When Ann initially began painting there were no quality colored instruction books for her to learn from. All the books were in black and white. Deciding to take some formal instruction Ann began by taking a two-week course with Pricilla Houser in Tulsa Oklahoma where she learned the basics of oil painting. Later she switched to acrylic paint when they became available. In addition to painting Ann would bake pies breads and pastries and make jams and jellies. As her business began to grow Ann started Glimpses of New England Past to encompass her sales. She looked to the style of 50 s Country Painter Peter Ompir for inspiration to try new things and create new designs. As the sole owner of Glimpses of New England Ann wears many hats including acting as CEO overseeing operations the bookkeeping and treasury the shipping department and being the baker and painter. She has expanded her business selling online through Ebay Etsy and the online co-op Ann also paints traditional designs for Old Sturbridge Village a town in Massachusetts that re-creates life in rural New England during the 1790 s through 1830 s. Ann s work has been published more than once in Tole World Magazine and she has even been featured on television on the QVC Shopping Network. She has self-published a book entitled Welcome to Blissful Acres Ten Projects Several Worksheets Lots of Recipes and Memories... Hope You Stay a While and as a DecoArt helping artist Ann teaches others to paint. As secretary of the Agricultural Commission Ann organizes the farmers market in her town of Westminster Massachusetts where she also sells her tin artwork and baked goods. Practice practice practice Don t be afraid to create your own style and don t ever think that anything you create is bad Ann says about the joys and pitfalls of being an artist. Remember you can always wipe off what you don t like and redo it. Ann has eight children 17 grandchildren and 25-andcounting great-grandchildren. When she is not painting or baking she enjoys spending time with her ever growing family. women of distinction magazine 67 Ann Patterson ChArtereD ProfessionAl ACCountAnt FOLLOWING IN HER FATHER S FOOTSTEPS is hoping to find a new full-time position soon. Chartered Professional Accountant Ann Patterson decided to become an accountant after seeing what a rewarding profession it was. Attending the University of Toronto Ann graduated in 1979 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a Specialist in Commerce and Economics. Ann has since enjoyed spending every second of the last 35 years crunching numbers . Halfway through her career Ann realized that a university degree was not going to be sufficient in order to advance within the accounting profession. She also came to learn that it was imperative that she obtain a designation. So Ann returned to school after many years while still working full-time becoming a Certified General Accountant in 2005. Although it was difficult to return to school later in life it was Ann s biggest accomplishment. If she could do it all over again she would have completed all her schooling first including a Master s of Business Administration degree. Ann has found that employers are now requiring more and more education from their staff members and the additional education gives them the edge over their competitors when seeking employment. Active in many professional organizations Ann is a proud member of Financial Executives International Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs Toronto Chapter of eWomen Network and National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs and she also sits on the board of directors of Times Change Women s Employment Service. Doing her very best to enjoy life in all its fullness Ann attends the theater cheers on the Toronto Blue Jays at baseball games spends time with family and friends and loves networking while meeting new people. She resides in Toronto Ontario along with her 93-year-old father who still runs a small part-time accounting business himself. The accounting profession is constantly changing and adapting to fulfill the demands of the marketplace Ann said about the variety in her industry. Over the last decade technology has brought about many changes in the field and accounting and finance professionals are becoming an integral part of senior management within those organizations that desire to expand and grow. The first 10 years of Ann s career were spent working in an entry level accountant position in a public accounting firm and a manufacturing company. It wasn t until 1988 when Ann started with the Canadian Bible Society that she began her work with non-profit accounting. In 2001 Ann was hired as an intermediate accountant at YMCA Canada and in 2003 was invited to become the accounting manager for WoodGreen Community Services. In 2013 the Ontario Association of Adult and Continuing Education School Board Administrators (CESBA) asked Ann to be their part-time accountant. Two days a week Ann fulfilled all accounting and finance roles within the organization including issuing payments to vendors processing payroll and preparing required government reports as CESBA is mainly funded by the provincial government of Ontario. Ann 68 National Association of Distinguished Professionals ProfessionAl Wig ConsultAnt BAmBi s mAkeover For several years doctors and beauty professionals pointed out that Bambi F. Kaan s hair had structurally thinned out. Watching her patterns grow more pronounced over time Bambi decided to try wearing a wig. After being thoroughly disappointed with quality price and service with several different wig retailers Bambi decided to start her own company as a professional wig consultant. I didn t understand why there was such a threshold between price and accessibility for women to purchase wigs Bambi said disappointedly. Why isn t there a friendly service that solves both price and accessibility Could greed be the only motive The first wig Bambi tried on was purchased online about two years ago. When it arrived in the mail Bambi was so disappointed she wanted to return it but it wasn t returnable. Several months later she visited a wig store but the price tags on these higher end wigs were exorbitant compared to the online prices she already explored. The store wouldn t even allow her to try on a wig unless she planned on purchasing it. Hesitant Bambi bought the wig anyway but left the store feeling taken advantage of. Now as a professional wig consultant Bambi sells wigs that are high quality and feel like authentic hair. Clients can touch try on and experience these wigs in the privacy of their own home either alone or by hosting a wig party with friends. Bambi sells Godiva s Secret wigs to women who want to always look their best and don t have time to fuss as well as to those women suffering a variety of medical conditions including those undergoing cancer treatment. She is specially trained to help clients with special needs and many insurance carriers accept Bambi s products services. By providing wigs to women to help them to feel less selfconscious and better about themselves Bambi is dedicated to helping women feel their very best at all times something she can truly relate to. In early 2012 Bambi started a second business Bambi s Makeover. Her company is small and geographically is a challenge so she relies on social media to educate and reach out to potential clients. Offering mobility by bringing the store to her clients she is able to provide the highest grade of service giving her the opportunity to operate at her maximum capacity. Bambi s broad career history spectrum has enabled her to grow and has given her a solid base for her company when it comes to managerial administrative and organizational skills. She spent several decades delivering professional services in the healthcare industry ranging from hospice and geriatric care assisting occupational therapists and serving as an executive assistant for a corporate healthcare company. She also set up her own homeschooling program in which her children received grants to further their education. Supporting her 100% Bambi s husband is her biggest inspiration in all her business endeavors. Native to the Netherlands her husband is a computer expert working as a technical advisor for FedEx Services. Their daughter is a certified ophthalmologist assistant. Bambi F. Kaan 70 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Camille A. Bryan DireCtor of ProgrAms nAtionAl BAr AssoCiAtion employees. In 2012 Camille accepted the position as the Director of Programs for the National Bar Association where she is now responsible for the development and execution for the Association s signature youth programs and continuing legal education programs. Camille manages a summer camp for high school students interested in pursuing legal careers an oratorical competition for high school students and a leadership development program for members interested in NBA leadership positions. In addition she collaborates with other national bar associations to host the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy a yearly program for potential bar leaders. Camille earned her BA in History and Social Studies from University of West Indies followed by an MA in Education and Human Development and an EdD in Higher Education Administration both from George Washington University. She holds professional certifications in Public Relations MBTI Six Sigma Green Belt Series 7 Series 63 Series 3 COTR and Human Resources. Camille is a founding board member of Women Love Sports Too which encourages women to be more involved in sports. They organize a number of events for women of all ages including football camps taught by ex-NFL players and sports career sessions for college girls. Keep learning and be open to change Camille said lastly. But most importantly enjoy what you are doing. Life is too short to spend time in an endeavor that doesn t fulfill you. OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS Camille A. Bryan has made several career changes. First working in the brokerage business in Miami working for firms like Smith Barney and Drexel Burnham she then made the transition into travel and tourism in 1987 after the market crashed. Working for the airlines while she pursued her MA her intent was to return back to her home country of Jamaica to work for the Jamaica Tourism Board. But after marrying and having children her plans and her career had changed. When my daughters were young I decided to pursue my doctorate to prove that they can achieve anything they desire Camille said. And with every new endeavor I secure training and certifications to further establish myself in my new field. Entering the world of academe Camille began to pursue her doctorate at George Washington University taught educational statistics and developed the Graduate School of Education Research Laboratory. Determined to finish her degree Camille completed her dissertation in one year and her EdD in three years overall. She continued in academe at the University of Maryland where she was founding manager of the University s National Scholarship Office. Her mission was to encourage Maryland students to apply for prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes Marshall and Fulbright. During her tenure Camille was able to significantly increase the number of national scholars for the school. Transitioning from academe to government service Camille then became associate director for Workforce Development for the District of Columbia. She created several programs and managed a training facility and training needs for 30 000 women of distinction magazine 71 Harriet Ellen Lehrer PresiDent imAgine A neW imAge IMAGE CONSULTANT HARRIET ELLEN LEHRER understands the importance of women wanting to look and feel good out in the business world. Harriet s longtime interest in fashion and clothing only fueled her desire to open her own image consulting company. So in 2001 Harriet officially formed Imagine a New Image as a way to help professional women of all shapes sizes and colors look and feel their absolute best. I pride myself on my ability to adapt to any workplace from non-profits to corporate environments Harriet said regarding her flexibility of working with all different types of clients. I anticipate and address women s individual needs with an emphasis on employability skills for those in need of work whether they are seeking to advance their career or if they have been displaced due to a layoff. Having worked with various segments of the population Harriet s expertise and understanding of fashion and image trends makes her image consulting services valuable to all types of companies and professional women. With tact and diplomacy in mind her focus is on the 50 woman because she believes that this particular age group is underserved in the retail arena. Harriet carefully assists them in looking good while also dressing appropriately for their individual age. Harriet has developed and facilitated workshops through her organization highlighting the interview image specifically. She teaches the importance of correct lines silhouettes for various figure types flattering colors and their correlation with employability and self-esteem. As a bonus Harriet also provides assistance with interviewing skills and personal presentation. As a skilled personal shopper with exquisite personal taste in the selection of clothing and accessories Harriet offers her clients services like image style and color analysis figure assessment color draping business casual dress accessories analysis and personal wardrobe shopping. Personable approachable and sensitive to the needs of diverse cultures and economic statuses Harriet is also a valuable resource for those companies interested in enhancing professionalism. Her workshops increase staff morale self-esteem in employees development improved employment opportunities and job retention. For the past five years Harriet has volunteered her services at Bayview Correctional Facility in Manhattan New York. Along with a colleague Harriet brings clothing from their respective closets and demonstrates to the ladies how to create a core wardrobe. Harriet gets a lot of satisfaction knowing that these women appreciate and can still learn a great deal from these programs even though they are being housed in a medium security facility. Harriet has a diploma in the Intensive Secretarial Program from Berkeley College which is located in Garrett Mountain New Jersey. She also attended and received her Certificate from Christine Valmy International School for Esthetics Skin Care Make Up and Nail Artistry in New York City. To increase the exposure and many benefits of Imagine a New Image Harriet is also an active member of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Professional Women where she was recently nominated for the Woman of the Year award. 72 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Janet C. Bernstein insurAnCe risk ADvisor viCe-PresiDent of PersonAl lines AmeriCAP insurAnCe grouP After applying for a non-specific sales position in 1998 Janet C. Bernstein was called in for an interview with a company not knowing what industry she was applying for. After multiple interviews role-plays and personality test she discovered that it was for an insurance company. Upon completing the entire interview process the results showed that Janet was an ideal candidate for sales and she was hired immediately. This was how Janet began her journey in the insurance industry that she still remains in today. I ENJOY HELPING MY CLIENTS PROTECT THEIR ASSETS and businesses while knowing they are better informed because of my consultative approach to insurance and risk management Janet explained. After a few conversations with new clients it is usually evident they have significant coverage gaps in one or more places and the cost to cover those gaps are minimal. In fact in many cases my solution is less expensive than their current package. In 2013 after 15 years in insurance Janet was offered the chance to become equity partner with AmeriCap Insurance Group and given the opportunity to build her own client base. As insurance risk advisor and vice-president of personal lines for the company Janet s primary role is to promote and manage the personal insurance division. She speaks with clients every day that may be purchasing vacation homes adding vehicles or drivers to policies or even starting a new business. She also manages the company s website and social media platforms. People do business with people they like and because of this Janet always operates with integrity never cuts corners and always puts her clients first. With the insurance industry being such a small world she tries not to burn bridges never knowing who she will be doing business with or who might someday become her next boss or colleague. A proud member of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Girls Softball League Janet coaches previously sat on the board as president for three years and as publicity director for one year taking photos for the league and donating her time and images free of charge. Janet is also an active member of the Women of Water Tower Theatre a non-profit organization that supports the arts. Also the founder of CampStein Photography Janet s favorite pastime is taking pictures. She photographs business men and women for the purpose of updating their headshots shoots food for restaurants and special events and does family and bridal portraits. She also recently started a blog www.beyondherimage which profiles women in Dallas Texas who exhibit integrity in their business or personal lives writes articles about them and includes their headshot to go along with their stories. She then advertises the women on her Facebook page to help promote them. After many years of being a single mom Janet met a guy by the name of Harry after he brought his daughter to one of Janet s softball tryouts. They married in the fall of 2013 and have a blended family of five children named Ariana Livia Mya Sofia and Joshua. women of distinction magazine 73 Janita Branch CreAtive DireCtor JB PlAnning AnD CreAtive events IF YOU RE HOSTING AN EVENT IN THE EL JB Planning specializes in both corporate and non-profit PASO TX area or any other city in the US for that events but will assist with planning weddings and social matter Janita Branch is the one you want doing the party planning. Passionate dedicated and very talented Janita provides the highest quality of work to ensure an amazingly successful event every single time. When collaborating with clients they can always rest assured that their event is going to shine because when it s under the direction of Janita it s in great hands. I love planning events because it allows me to be creative and gives me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people Janita said about the perks of being an event planner. Every event incorporates different elements so the planning never gets old. Prior to opening her own business in event planning Janita s experience was gained through various volunteer organizations of which she was a member of. In 2007 she decided to start her own event planning company JB Planning and Creative Events. Initially it was difficult to find clientele outside the wedding planning sector as she was lacking the experience. To rectify that Janita started to put on her own events planning fashion shows expos and fundraisers allowing her to generate a great client list and showcase her many incredible talents. With years of experience in event design coordination logistics and budgeting now under her belt Janita is confident that she can provide her clients with a one-of-akind event that will satisfy both their needs and their budget. events as well. As the creative director Janita gets to help clients reach specific goals whether it is to raise money for their non-profit or charity organization launch a new product or host a successful meeting for their employees. Having the opportunity to help others by taking the burden of planning off of them and allowing them to sit back and enjoy their event is extremely rewarding for Janita and it s why she s stayed true to the profession for all these years. Regardless of whether someone is working as an employee or business owner in the event planning industry Janita recommends finding a mentor. A mentor is important as they can offer sound advice and feedback to help them grow professionally in their field and achieve a higher level of success. To share in her own event planning success Janita recently launched her own online course in the fall of 2014 for individuals interested in getting into the event planning profession. Consisting of online self-paced classes aimed at helping students gain and strengthen the skills necessary to work in event planning Janita is glad to be able to educate the next generation of planners. Likewise Janita always works diligently in her personal life to maintain a strong relationship with her husband of eight years and their two young sons who are now four- and fiveyears-old. She loves to travel run bake and needless to say entertain friends as much as possible. Game and movie nights are two of her favorites. 74 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Jennifer Sellars oWner founDer WAlk BetWeen the WorlDs IGNORING A CALLING THAT SHE HAD PUSHED ASIDE for years Jennifer Sellars finally chose to pay attention and follow a path that just seemed inevitable. Shamanic energy healing and becoming a shamanic practitioner was indeed her life s purpose. With the intention of creating a safe and informative place for others as they embarked on their spiritual journey Jennifer founded Walk Between the Worlds where she offers guidance wisdom healing and other beautiful tools to help others along their way. and Practitioner Channeling and Soul Charting with the Michael Teachings Theta Healing DNA Angel Practitioner Program Crystal Healer Herbalism and Luminous Healing and Energy Medicine Jennifer is able to work with clients of Walk Between the Worlds in a variety of ways to help them restore balance in their lives. It s Jennifer s belief that healing occurs at the energetic level and this is where the shaman begins to work. When the energy body heals the physical emotional mental and spiritual follow. When one heals themselves they heal the world. When one works with the Pachamama they heal our planet and all who find home here. According to Jennifer one must concern themselves with the bigger picture the connection to all things. As an energy healer in the High Andean Shamanic tradition Jennifer believes it is essential to know oneself face one s fears and limiting beliefs and then transform oneself. This is an ongoing process one that takes a lifetime (or many) to master Jennifer continues to transform herself at every opportunity. With each new experience life presents there is opportunity for growth. It is within these moments that wisdom can be found. Jennifer holds a Bachelor s in Anthropology from the University of Florida and a Master s in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida Atlantic University. She attends the Four Winds Society is a member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners and is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women where she was awarded a 2014 Woman of the Year in Spiritual Growth and Development. The role of a medicine woman or shaman is one that requires wisdom and grace passion tempered with responsibility and most of all self-transformation. These are qualities that must be practiced and honed over a lifetime Jennifer explained. I continue this way of life because for me it is authentic and true to who I am. It s a path of continual growth and development a journey not a place to reach and reside. Studying intensively with a local medicine man Jennifer had the opportunity to travel to Peru to learn from the Q ero shaman. During this trip when Jennifer saw the Andes Mountains they called to her singing and she found comfort and support in Mother Earth Pachamama. Walk Between the Worlds Jennifer s private practice opened its doors in 2012. Jennifer is an energy healer in the High Andean Shamanic tradition helping clients through energy work ceremony blessings and spiritual guidance. She also works with Mother Earth Pachamama to restore balance and bring honor and healing to others. Obtaining several certifications including Reiki Master women of distinction magazine 75 Jerri Goranson Chief exeCutive offiCer virtuAl offiCe visions STAY-AT-HOME wanted to be able to help her husband by contributing to the household finances but she also wanted to be there when her children got home from school. She also wanted to contribute to the lives of others in some way. Researching home-based businesses Jerri found a way to use the latest in technology to virtually help companies and entrepreneurs around the world become more successful and still meet the demands of her family. MOM JERRI GORANSON casino industry Food and Beverage and Slot Operations which helped her grow professionally and as an individual and spent several years as an office manager for a local community college. Obtaining a certificate in Dental Billing and Coding Jerri is now in the process of attaining an Associate s Degree in Applied Science in Medical Billing and Coding Health Information Technology from Cumberland County College and Camden County College to further her current career. One of the greatest benefits of working from home is that Jerri has more time to spend with her children. She and her daughter volunteer at the local humane society and Jerri also volunteers as a teacher s assistant during summer Vacation Bible School through her church. She loves to spend time with her family doing outdoor activities such as hiking boating riding bikes and working with the horses. Living on the east coast in New Jersey Jerri admits to the thrill in watching high performance boat races in the Atlantic Ocean too. The virtual assistant industry is up-and-coming Jerri said about the field she chose to get into. I love that I can work from home and have clients all over the world helping grow their business while at the same time growing mine. In 2010 Jerri started Virtual Office Visions assisting professional established entrepreneurs to increase efficiency productivity and profitability. To make sure that the operations of her business and her clients businesses run smoothly she completes each task in a timely manner is sure to meet all deadlines and has systems in place. Her home office is set up just like an onsite office with stateof-the-art equipment that is functional to get any job done efficiently and effectively. To help business owners become more successful and less stressed while growing their businesses Jerri sets realistic goals and communicates clearly and concisely to each of them. She is completely honest if a mistake is made it is quickly made right before moving on. Jerri has previous work experience in both administration and the dental arena as a dental administrator. She has also worked in two of the largest departments in the I am a woman of my word and I am determIned to help others succeed. I strIve to make a posItIve Impact on others whether It Is through my work as a vIrtual assIstant through a sImple act of kIndness or sImply a smIle. It s just who I am. 76 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Joan A. Waithe oWner lADy JoAn s trAveling Boutique A native to the island of Barbados Joan A. Waithe moved to New York in 1962 finishing high school in the United States. She then completed a medical assistant school and began working for several years in the healthcare industry. But soon after she decided she wanted to do something a bit different. So in 1973 Joan entered the United States Air Force as a medic. While in the military Joan would spend her free time directing and modeling for local fashion shows. Her flair for fashion was passed on by her mother and after serving 20 years in the US Air Force Joan retired only to migrate into the fashion industry. Joan founded Lady Joan s Boutique in Fort Walton Beach Florida not long after. As a traveling boutique Joan has the ability to listen and speak to women in groups or as individuals and help then feel better about themselves. During her presentations Joan shows the ladies how to look fabulous while saving money by accessorizing with scarves and jewelry. One of her specialties she notes is the head wrap accessory. The most important part of Joan s presentation though is always about making women feel beautiful and stylish. Active in her community Joan is a member of DM Gospel Service two local Toastmasters groups Gamma Lota a large philanthropic sorority Tucson Arizona Mass Choir where she serves as a spiritual leader and Red Hat Society. Joan also supports and volunteers with the local food bank and Alzheimer s Association. A Gulf War Veteran Joan s time in the Air Force afforded her the opportunity to travel to places she would not have normally traveled and experience things she would have never been able to as a regular citizen of the US. While enlisted she also attended classes toward her undergraduate degree and after retiring she was able to go back and earn her BA in Human Resources Cum Laude from St. Leo College. Joan tries to do her small part in achieving world peace through personally touching the lives of others. Whether it s a smile hug kind word or a listening ear Joan believes that it s not always the big things that matter most but the little meaningful things we do for each other that count. Lady Joan s Boutique offers her every opportunity to accomplish that mission. my greatest InspIratIon for openIng my boutIque Is that all women who are successful have worked hard to get there. success Is not always about becomIng rIch fInancIally but rIch as a person a rIchness of mInd body and spIrIt. Initially Lady Joan s Boutique was a storefront. But as the economy progressively got worse the foot traffic decreased even though the boutique was located on busy main street. Joan eventually made the decision to become a traveling boutique which enabled her to go to the customers instead of waiting for them to come to her. Closing the storefront this also afforded her the opportunity to take time off and enjoy life while running her business. women of distinction magazine 77 JoAnne B. Lussier oWner the WilloW ConneCtion As a single mother of two daughters JoAnne B. Lussier found herself struggling most of her adult life. However it was her upbringing filled with poverty alcoholism and divorce that taught JoAnne how to be independent strong and self-sufficient three characteristics she later passed on to her daughters. After a major life change JoAnne began to focus on her soul s purpose and how she could find meaning in her life while helping others to do the same. She began reading a variety of books and sought out affordable workshops and classes to help her cultivate her own spirituality and creativity. In 2013 she registered for a Reiki course days after her beloved cat Willow passed away. Upon completion of the class she knew Reiki was something she was destined to do. JoAnne became a certified Reiki Master Teacher combining energy healing with her other skills and gifts and launched The Willow Connection. I m passionate about energy healing holistic health alternatives spiritual well-being and self-empowerment and I m committed to inspiring others how to find their true essence so they can live a life filled with purpose belonging and happiness JoAnne said sincerely. There are few things worse than living a life devoid of authenticity and love and my goal is to help people find that within themselves. Aside from energy healing promoting and selling essential oils and card readings JoAnne handles all the scheduling purchasing and bookkeeping for The Willow Connection. When her small business needs additional help JoAnne consults with trusted professional friends for marketing accounting and computer services. Time and accessibility are two factors that JoAnne sometimes struggles with as she still works a full-time job as a paraprofessional in a special education classroom. She quickly learned that she did not have the luxury of time when she was already busy working a 40-hour work week and had to be realistic with how much time she could allot for appointments and still function in both careers. A member of the local Community Emergency Response Team since 2009 JoAnne also volunteers her time with the annual Jog with Judy a race to raise funds for school-wide character development and substance abuse programs. She also supports the Humane Society veteran programs and environmental causes. JoAnne recently began attending church again to reconnect with her beliefs. JoAnne tries to spend most of the warmer months outside gardening hiking in the woods or being near the water. She enjoys reading meditating and writing arts and crafts and music. She is also eager to take classes to learn new skills for her own personal and professional enrichment. Feeling wholeheartedly that it was divine intervention that led her to the opening of The Willow Connection JoAnne believes her vision will take on a life of its own that is bigger than she can imagine. JoAnne knows that the future of The Willow Connection is going to take her on a journey that far exceeds her expectations because her intentions to help others are heartfelt and genuine. 78 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Judy Niocla lo Piccolo For the last seven years Judy Nicola Lo Piccolo has enjoyed the freedom that has come with a career in direct sales. After meeting a representative from Park Lane Jewelry at a school vendor event Judy was impressed with the company s family-oriented values and their promise to stand by their products. She immediately became involved with the company hosting parties displaying the latest fashions and helping guests style themselves and shop. Jewelry expresses your mood your attitude and your personality and I love helping women find the perfect piece Judy said about selling Park Lane Jewelry pieces. I enjoy selling and doing it well makes me want to reach higher goals. AreA mAnAger PArk lAne JeWelry AS THE WORLD S LEADING DIRECT SALES jewelry party plan company Park Lane Jewelry offers exceptional quality jewelry that is backed by an unconditional guarantee. Judy is an area manager for the company with an obligation to represent herself and the company in a respectable way. In addition to selling jewelry she has grown her business by recruiting and training other women to be part of her team. She tries to instill the same passion she has for selling and educates her team on how to handle customers by treating them as friends but still keeping business formal. Judy is good at putting customers first and making them feel comfortable when they purchase that perfect piece of jewelry to complete their look. Sometimes a piece of jewelry can sell itself but most of the time it is the person behind the piece that closes the sale. Judy coaches her team on how to represent themselves when showing products selling the jewelry as well as themselves. Shortly after getting into the business Judy moved from a big city to a much smaller town in Virginia. It took time to adjust but Judy kept a positive mindset. She decided to join local networking groups including National Association of Professional Women National Association of Distinguished Professionals her local chamber of commerce and and did events to get her jewelry noticed. She had brought a fashion to an area where people not only loved it but was a new look that they d never seen. While it was challenging to initially get her product out there Judy still thrived. Judy s recruiting efforts and sales were recognized in 2009 when she was awarded for being in the top five for her level in the company. In 2012 NAPW named her Woman of the Year. Owning her own business Judy loves working on her own but not alone. The freedom of making her own schedule and working the days she chooses gives her as much time for her family as needed. Her husband of five years has been extremely supportive and Judy could not imagine her life without him or their 3-year-old son. Think positively and talk to everyone Judy said in relation to direct sales. Learn to be patient believe in yourself and have faith. You may get turned down here and there but with every no a yes will appear women of distinction magazine 79 Kimberly L. Stanley DireCtor of leAse ADministrAtion AviAtion fACilities ComPAny inC. AFTER THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN OF out the lease s benefits and when necessary its limitations. THE EARLY 1990s Kimberly L. Stanley found herself As AFCO grew Kimberly began setting up the lease terminated from her accounting position in the construction industry. Forced to move back in with her parents for two years she took numerous temporary and part-time jobs just to get by. Although it was a very difficult time it was during that period Kimberly decided to take advantage of every opportunity that came her way big or small. Every a temporary or small job was an opportunity to learn something new on her quest for self-empowerment. administration department and organized its infrastructure by hiring a team of lease administrators and accounts receivable and billing specialists. Promoted to director of lease administration Kimberly developed departmental procedures and policies supporting the roles of each of her team members. Providing valuable services and supporting organizational growth AFCO s lease administration department helps financially recover all costs expenses and profits allowed under tenant leases maintains updated lease information to ensure timely billings and produce financial reporting and tracks tenant insurance in compliance with leases to ensure the company s assets are protected. While overseeing and supervising the department Kimberly motivates teaches and leads her team. Subscribing to the notion you are only as good as your team Kimberly feels ultimately responsible for their actions and will look to herself first when something goes wrong. However occasionally she comes across an individual who is not productive or has a poor work ethic. In order to protect the integrity and morality of her team Kimberly may find it necessary to let that person go. Residing in Northern Virginia Kimberly has been married for eight years to husband Jonathan. Successfully balancing her professional and personal life Kimberly enjoys taking long walks and meditating. In 1993 Kimberly was hired as a cost accountant at West Group Management LLC a property management development and real estate firm. When the company needed help in the lease administration department they asked Kimberly if she would be willing to take on some extra duties. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to learn something new she accepted the additional work. Kimberly found she not only loved lease administration she excelled at it and has made a 20 year career in the industry. Lease administration is the glue that links accounting property management and leasing Kimberly said when describing her profession. Not only do you have to be proficient in all areas of accounting including budgeting you have to know and understand the major components of commercial leases and have the communication and analytical skills to interpret and administer leases for maximum financial gain benefiting landlords and owners. In 1999 Kimberly was invited to become a lease administrator for Aviation Facilities Company Inc. (AFCO) a company that specializes in airport properties. Kimberly s primary focus was to administer leases to the maximum benefit of landlords owners and investors. To protect the company s assets it was Kimberly s responsibility to point 80 National Association of Distinguished Professionals L. Charnette Norton PresiDent the norton grouP inC. Consultant L. Charnette Norton has been working in the food industry for over 50 years. She has dedicated her life to her career offering foodservice management advisory services to a worldwide client base. Providing a wide range of management technical and marketing assistance Charnette shares her extensive experience in the industry as a consultant helping organizations obtain a higher level of success. By being a consultant in the foodservice industry I face new challenges with each new client. No two jobs are the same. It s like having 20 to 30 new jobs a year without changing companies Charnette said about the variety she experiences in her field. And besides having a passion for food I enjoy being in charge Foodservice Operations Developing Business Plans for Health Care Foodservice Guidelines for Compliance with JCAHO and OBRA Dietary Standards HACCP The Future Challenge Keep It Hot Keep It Cold and A Clean Slate A Reengineering Approach To Tomorrow s Healthcare Operation. Extremely active in many professional organizations Charnette is involved with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Dietetic Practice Group Society for Foodservice Management Association for Healthcare Foodservice American Society for Healthcare Food Service Administrators Foodservice Consultants Society International Healthcare Food Service Management and International Foodservice Executive Association. AFTER GRADUATING FROM THE UNIVERSITY Taking a year off in 2002 Charnette served her country at OF MISSOURI with a Bachelor s of Science in Food and the age of 60 as the executive officer for the Medial Task Nutrition and a Master s in Food Systems Management Charnette held positions such as dietary products manager director of dietetics director of food and nutrition services and director of nutrition and foodservices. Confident that her experience and expertise were strong enough to start her own business and get paid for making those same suggestions she had been trying to establish as a foodservice director she decided to go for it. In 1989 Charnette founded The Norton Group Inc. Charnette began consulting for healthcare facilities adult daycare and long-term care facilities universities schools correctional facilities and business and corporate dining. Force a deployed medical battalion that provided combat health support for Bosnia-Herzegovina. The battalion consisted of seven subordinate units including a level III hospital an air ambulance company ground ambulance preventive medicine and medical logistics detachments combat stress control and veterinary teams. Charnette acted as their primary liaison between subordinate units supervised activates of the task force and ensured worldclass combat health support for US and NATO beneficiaries. After serving 23 years in the US Army Reserve Charnette retired in 2004. In addition to consulting Charnette has instructed at several universities has done numerous presentations and has co-authored and authored countless publications articles e-learning and field testing materials and books which include Disaster and Emergency Preparedness in If you don t have a passion for what you do don t do it Charnette said finally. I wake up every day anxious to pursue my career. My love for the industry and my ability to help others become successful has always been my drive for success. women of distinction magazine 81 Lanis L. Hicks Professor AssoCiAte ChAir university of missouri-ColumBiA THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY CHANGES SO RAPIDLY that continual education is required. Professor Lanis L. Hicks has not only dedicated her career to staying abreast on healthcare issues but she also teaches graduate students of University of Missouri to do the same. The students keep me energized and eager to continue learning while helping prepare them for their future careers Lanis said about her ongoing education. Upon graduation my goal is for students to be well-trained ethical healthcare administrators who can and will use their abilities and education to improve the functioning and outcomes of the field. When asked by the dean of the School of Medicine to become a lecturer with the University Lanis assisted in developing an undergraduate education program in health administration for long-term care. From there she was appointed into a tenure-track assistant professor position in health services management and she advanced through the ranks to professor. A professor and associate chair in the Department of Health Management and Informatics School of Medicine Lanis teaches graduate students in both residential and executive modalities. In her role as associate chair Lanis oversees the educational programs and helps ensure that the department provides the competencies the students need for success in their future careers. In addition to teaching Lanis is active in conducting research. Her research interests include rural health workforce requirements electronic health records and economic evaluations and she has focused on evaluating the costeffectiveness of technologies in the delivery of healthcare evaluating the economic impact of healthcare policies and has been involved with a multi-disciplinary team identifying and evaluating measures of quality in nursing homes and the relationship between cost and quality. While research is interesting challenging and certainly necessary to obtain promotions within academic settings Lanis s main focus is always the students. As a faculty member in a state supported university Lanis is expected to generate about 50% of her salary through research and service contracts. While this can be difficult at times the pressure to obtain funding has contributed substantially to Lanis s ability to be a productive faculty member and has resulted in a number of publications and national recognition of her contributions in the field of health services research. Mainly funded by federal agencies Lanis s research is also supported by professional societies and associations as well as various state agencies. She s authored and c-authored 65 articles in refereed journals has authored one book coauthored two books and has authored co-authored 14 book chapters. In recognition for her contributions in her field Lanis was the recipient of the 1999 National Rural Health Association s Distinguished Researcher Award multiple Outstanding Professor in Health Services Management awards and received the University s Gold Chalk Award in 2014. Lanis is the principal investigator and director of the Missouri Health Information Technology Assistance Center. In addition to being a member of numerous professional associations Lanis is an editorial board member for the journal Informatics and has previously been on the editorial board for Journal of Rural Health Journal of Health Administration Education and Nursing Economic . 82 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Lazetta Rainey Braxton MBA CFP founDer Ceo finAnCiAl fountAins A DIVERSE BACKGROUND ENABLES LAZETTA later adopted a monthly rhythm for the full planning RAINEY BRAXTON to demonstrate a receptiveness engagement to give room for life changes and to make the to the financial goals and needs of her clients. As owner of her financial planning and investment management firm Financial Fountains it s Lazetta s mission to serve underserved and underrepresented populations bringing the appropriate financial planning tools and strategies used by high net worth individuals and institutions to middle income households. fee manageable. This model encourages clients to integrate financial planning into their own lifestyle as active managers of their own financial well-being. The positive response Lazetta hears from her clients and those who participate in her pro bono activities confirm the public s desire for more diverse representation in financial services. The lack of diversity in the financial planning profession is clearly evident. To encourage greater support for minority financial professionals Lazetta authored an op-ed piece entitled Minorities Can Enrich the Financial Services Industry published by InvestmentNews in August 2010 and was featured in the August 2014 issue of Financial Planning magazine. Early in Lazetta s entrepreneurship career the economic crisis had begun its dramatic downturn and she was uncertain if new clients would engage a financial planner in such a challenging time. Fortunately her firm s business model focused on financial advice for middle income households that needed guidance during this trying time. The unstable uneconomic conditions served as a catalyst for new clients to seek advice in protecting their valued resources and her business has been a success ever since. A member of several financial groups Lazetta is president of the board of directors for the Association of African American Financial Advisors and serves as chair of the community outreach committee for the Maryland Chapter of Financial Planning Association. She is also a member of Women s Initiative Advisory Panel for Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards National Diversity Committee of Financial Planning Association and National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. As a teenager I discovered that wide economic gaps existed between different classes of people Lazetta explained. It became my quest to learn how to manage resources within one s control and to gain knowledge of how factors outside of one s control impact financial wellbeing. Helping individuals families and institutions achieve financial well-being and contributing to the common good through financial planning and investment management has been my life s calling. After earning a BS in Finance and International Business from the University of Virginia and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Wake Forest University Lazetta decided to become a Certified Financial Planner. She chose this certification due to its highly ethical educational and competence standards. Financial Fountains is a result of working for 12 years in the accounting and financial service profession. As a financial planner Lazetta integrates financial concepts with matters of her clients hearts. Emotional intelligence and intellectual ability are critical for her holistic financial planning approach. Lazetta s style makes financial planning accessible based on each individual s circumstances. The service structure includes financial checkups a full financial planning engagement or investment management only. Lazetta women of distinction magazine 83 Linda Jangula Chief exeCutive offiCer mAnAger Wiki WAgs BORN INTO THE PET INDUSTRY with a father comes from those heart-warming stories of the many faithful being an AKC professional dog handler and interim judge Linda Jangula had developed a love for dogs at an early age. By the time she was 5 Linda had trained one of the top 10 Beagles of the US for confirmation showing. Since that time dog training and showing has always been something she loved to do. As years past it became clear that male dog marking was an ongoing problem. After high school and having spent years in finance a career in office management and confidential contract matters her experience has been beneficial in learning to develop organize and manage her new title as CEO and manager of her own business. Wiki Wags is the result of male dog marking familiarity. Knowing this instinctual behavior would never become a thing of the past Linda found a solution to this dreadful issue. In 2009 she put her ideas to work concurring that this one obstacle taking control of male dog households whether from poor training or health related (incontinence) could become a thing of the past once and for all. Formally launching her business in 2011 Wiki Wags a registered trademark and design patented Disposable Male Dog Wrap is now sold nationwide and gaining notoriety every day. The wrap a fully disposable belly band serves as a dog diaper that attaches around the waist only. When I started out learning was massive and the window of opportunity was narrow. It took a lot of time money research and careful planning Linda admitted. But we conquered what others said we couldn t do. Inspiration customers who have fought the battles of male dog issues the struggles of their senior dogs facing new uncertainties in life and how our wraps have allowed them normalcy once again. Our wraps are truly a life changing product. Linda has been featured as a Successful InventorEntrepreneur in the book One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs by Author and Inventor Stephen Key sharing her insights and ideas on factoring . She s also been recognized by Donald Trump Jr. as 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year for Dog Breeding and Pet Services and more recently the 2014 Family Choice Award for her products. Linda s company has received the prestigious honor of being personally invited to the Secret Room Events presenting company gifts to the stars just prior to the 2014 Emmy s in Hollywood California. An ordained elder Linda is very compassionate. Wiki Wags donates to rescue and shelter events mostly because the male dogs that end up in shelters is due to their natural untrained habits. Linda s goal is to reduce to amount of abuse abandonment and surrenders or worse because pet owners lack the time and or proper knowledge to handle the problems incurred with male dog marking. By providing a viable alternative to such a vital issue to reduce the amount of stress in many pet homes Linda says we can bring harmony back into the home . 84 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Michelle Brown CFE PresiDent Chief exeCutive offiCer - ChristoPher ChArles grouP llC AFTER WORKING IN HER FIELD FOR SEVERAL Michelle explains that fraud management is the understanding YEARS Michelle Brown was ready to reinvent herself. of how . Since heading the department she has developed Her entire career had focused on the human resources operations project management and finance divisions and Michelle needed change. She grew bored and lacked stimulation and as a result felt less energized about the work she was doing. She desperately wanted more. a program called Discover Build ReturnTM. The program is a discovery process that leverages assessment findings and data points develops actionable plans and solution sets and returns organizational health. Michelle previously spent three years volunteering as a counselor for victims of sex crimes. Helping to free the voices that had been muted she learned skills that would later translate into her career preparing her for her future in many ways. Michelle now enjoys what she does for a living very much. With her son as motivation she hopes to serve as a positive influence to others. Having spent time at the University of Pennsylvania in their Wharton School of Business LEAD Program Michelle also studied at Lynchburg College Virginia Wesleyan College and Regent University and later became a certified fraud examiner. She is a Regent Emeritus for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and is the Virginia Chapter vice-president for the National Association of Professional Women. Barriers are often only tests of your commitment and drive Michelle added. Have the courage to walk in your passion. When I got the chance to work in fraud management I didn t stop at discovery. The real gold is not in the what or the why but in the how . Taking a new approach Michelle began to dissect her job as opposed to just performing it. Looking for ways to improve what she was doing she went to the executive director of her organization to ask permission to refocus her attention to fraud management but told that fraud simply didn t exist in their business. Undeterred Michelle began to build relationships with professionals in fraud management across industries began self-training and continued to approach the executives with her findings. Establishing a focus on fraud and a need to address potential fraud factors she pointed out losses loss potential and recovery potential. To her surprise they listened and she was offered the opportunity to build a fraud management division. Fraud management allows me to focus on my passion Michelle said who is now the president and CEO of Christopher Charles Group LLC. I m fascinated by what drives and motivates people and I love the opportunity to dig into situations find the problems and build solutions. Headquartered in Chesapeake Virginia Michelle is responsible for all aspects of market and revenue growth and brand development and stays close to trends developments and technology that supports fraud management. women of distinction magazine 85 Natalie J. Darby CertifieD legAl nurse ConsultAnt nAtAlie J. DArBy llC AFTER A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE LIFE workplace injury personal injury and criminal cases. As a SITUATIONS Natalie J. Darby picked up left her home CLNC Natalie offers services to assist in case screening in New Jersey and moved to South Carolina to be closer to family. Starting from scratch Natalie got a full-time position at a Level II trauma center as an emergency room nurse. For the last 11 years her nursing career has created a framework for her current venture when she decided to found her own business as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC). locating expert witnesses writing briefs or comprehensive reports organization and interpretation of medical records researching standards of care and defining deviations from standards of care. I have learned from my past circumstances that when you get knocked down nothing is bad enough to keep you from getting back on your feet. I am a prime example of that Natalie admits. I am a single mother of a four-yearold son a full-time emergency room nurse and I have my own business. I did not let my emotional and psychological damage affect my ability to achieve exactly what I wanted in life. In October 2013 Natalie enrolled herself in the legal nursing program at Vicky Milazzo Institute in Atlanta Georgia. Successfully completing the course she aced the exam scoring a 97%. After completing the apprenticeship Natalie officially became a CLNC and opened her own business Natalie J. Darby LLC. With a background in trauma emergency medicine critical care pediatric emergency medicine pediatric trauma school nursing charge nurse and in wound care Natalie offers her expertise in all of these areas to assist clients in various types of legal proceedings. There are six main types of cases that Natalie can be consulted on including medical and nursing malpractice toxic tort and environmental product liability workers compensation and To further her education and be able to become an expert in the fields of nursing and CLNC Natalie has obtained numerous certifications including NIH Stroke Scale Training Trauma Nursing Core Course Pediatric Advanced Life Support Basic Life Support Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Neonatal Resuscitation Program and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazmat Certification. While Natalie works to grow her consulting business into a full-time endeavor she remains a day shift charge nurse in the emergency and trauma department in Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. She is involved in the local Coastal Carolina Chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association and heads the Car Seat Safety Program getting nurses certified to go to community events and check car seats to ensure children are secured correctly. Anything is possible no matter who you are where you come from or what kind of life you have lived Natalie added. Ultimately you have to be the one that decides whether or not to pursue your dreams. 86 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Patricia M. Penvose CPP PAyroll mAnAger AssoCiAteD estAtes reAlty CorPorAtion PAYROLL IS AN ESSENTIAL FUNCTION of every Patricia is a member of American Payroll Association (APA) successful business and as a payroll manager Patricia M. Penvose CPP is responsible in making sure all employees get paid on time. By not meeting her strict deadlines Patricia will negatively affect not only her company but their employees and their families. As a payroll manager Patricia takes her job very seriously. My first experience working in payroll was with a property management company in 1986 Patricia remembers. Since then I have been motivated to advance my career as it has been a most challenging but rewarding industry. Working for Associated Estates Realty Corporation (AEC) as the only payroll manager Patricia is in charge of biweekly payroll for over 400 employees. She works closely with the accounting department to ensure accurate records are kept in the general ledger and keeps up with the everchanging tax laws and challenges which in turn helps AEC stay compliant in all payroll and payroll tax issues and laws. During her time at AEC Patricia s been through two payroll implementations. Initially the company used the system PeopleSoft and then switched over to Ultimate Software and Empower Software a tax implementation. Learning each payroll and tax software has been both challenging and time consuming but once mastered it s made Patricia s job a much more time effective process. Very detail oriented Patricia is willing to give whatever time is necessary in order to meet the deadlines essential to maintaining the proper functions at AEC. It s also imperative that Patricia keep up-to-date on current and pending legislation that could potentially have an impact upon her company. and Bloomberg BNA. The APA is the nation s leader in payroll education offering skills training and resources that help those in the field become successful payroll professionals. Patricia turns to Bloomberg BNA to get fast answers to the challenging questions she is often faced with as they have some of the best resources in aiding payroll professionals create effective policies design competitive compensation plans keep up with Equal Employment Opportunity developments and comply with federal and state laws and regulations. Educated at Lakeland Community College Patricia earned her Associate s Degree in Applied Business in Accounting in 1988. To further her career she became a Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) in 2006. She is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and Harpersfield Rutitans a national organization that organizes fundraisers to donated scholarships build playgrounds and baseball fields donate trees for the elementary children to plant and helps fund many other community needs. In her spare time Patricia enjoys gardening reading archery and crafts. Patricia s family has been her greatest inspiration and their support has been vital in her success. Patricia and her husband have a daughter Melissa and a son Kelly. Melissa and her husband have three children who have all traveled the world doing deaf missionary work. They currently reside in Willoughby Ohio. Kelly and his wife and two children reside in Brunswick Ohio and Kelly works for Fuserashi International Technology. women of distinction magazine 87 Paula Porter professional world as a manager of both sales operations and custom accounts at SambaSafety in Albuquerque New Mexico a market leader for cloud-based driver risk management solutions for organizations with commercial and non-commercial fleets. She has prevailed in her field by showcasing her knowledge and gaining recognition for producing profitable results. mAnAger sAles oPerAtions sAmBAsAfety IN A FAST-PACED INDUSTRY DOMINATED Taking the advice from a close friend Paula is always looking BY MALES Paula Porter has carved her niche in the for new chances to meet and exceed her goals. Growing up she admired her father s hard work and ability to overcome obstacles as a minister giving her the motivation to create a satisfying career for herself. Aside from her work at SambaSafety Paula uses her time to empower other women in their professional and educational careers. She is a chapter president of the National Association of Professional Women and conducts interviews at the University of New Mexico s Anderson School of Business. She volunteers at the local literacy foundation rescue mission and Faith Church Children s Ministry in Albuquerque. As a young single mother Paula wanted to set an example for her daughter Bess that anything is possible with God in your life. If goals are set they can be achieved and success will enable you to give back to the community and those around you. Bess has followed her mother s example by becoming a dental assistant continues to exceed her goals by pursuing a DDS degree from Baylor University s College of Dentistry. Paula has been happily married to Alan Porter since 2004. He has been a staff engineer for the past 18 years in the Lithography Department at Intel Corporation. They reside in Rio Rancho New Mexico and enjoy the remote area where they can unplug from the technology that dominates their careers. Her ambition and drive has very much contributed to Paula s success. She began her career while she was still very young managing a small office supply company in 1984. This position triggered a desire to enroll in college and advance her career. In 1998 Paula graduated the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor s Degree in Business Information Systems and continued her education earning a Master s Degree in 2005 in Information Technology from the same university. In her current position as sales operations manager Paula is responsible for working with all levels of sales management and provides support to the field sales team across the United States. As manager of custom accounts she works one-on-one with the national accounts to ensure that the SambaSafety solutions are deployed successfully. I love the work I do and the people I have worked with throughout my career Paula admits. I find great joy in giving advice to young adults beginning their careers and forging lasting relationships. 88 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Renee Scudder WHEN RENEE SCUDDER STARTED HER PROFESSIONAL CAREER in operations she quickly senior DireCtor of mArketing AnD Business DeveloPment PACifiC fertility Center saw she had a fascination with how businesses reach customers and an interest in tactics for business development and marketing. Then within the broad spectrum of marketing she developed a specific niche in strategic planning sales and the quantitative side of marketing. I have always had a deep intellectual curiosity about marketing and business development Renee said about her interests. I believe marketing should not only be resultsoriented but also evidence-based analytical and creative. I am highly motivated by the goal of reaching as many of the target audiences as possible to educate them about a particular service or product. A senior director of marketing and business development for Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco California Renee is in charge of marketing strategy sales and all business development for the center. In short Renee is responsible for business growth while creating brand equity and strength at the highest level. Quality results-oriented marketing is very team dependent. However it can be challenging at times to drive results against deadlines and revenue goals Renee says while simultaneously motivating a team toward these time-sensitive demanding goals. For this reason Renee constantly seeks to improve her leadership and communication skills and embrace the importance of emotional intelligence. As a business leader Renee tries to create an enriching motivating high-performing work environment where the staff feels respected and valued. As a marketing professional Renee strives to help people find services and products that positively impact their lives. Involved in several marketing organizations Renee is a member of American Marketing Association Association of Strategic Marketing National Speakers Association Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and is AACSB Accredited Professional Business Women of California and National Association of Professional Women where she was recently voted VIP Woman of the Year for 2014. In addition to working at the fertility center one of Renee s greatest passions is teaching undergraduate business students. Teaching is a great responsibility and Renee is committed to helping students understand how to apply classroom learning to the workplace. I aspire to be an inspiring bridge between academic theory and practical application for my students as they go off to make their marks in the world. Renee earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hartwick College in Oneonta New York in 1983. Twentyseven years later she returned to school to earn her Master of Science in Communication Management with a concentration in marketing from Simmons College in Boston Massachusetts. As Renee is an avid cyclist and sailor living in the Bay Area of California provides her many beautiful areas to ride and gorgeous waters to sail. Family time is also being extremely important to her. Renee cherishes the role of being an aunt to her three nieces and nephew and hopes that role model is a moniker that she s earned. women of distinction magazine 89 Shannon Cole oWner shAnnon s Pet sitting OWNING A BUSINESS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE award. but for Shannon Cole it runs in her blood. For many years her grandfather owned a successful industrial laundry company and passed on his keen sense of the business world. Shannon combined this talent with her deep affection for animals and is now the proud owner of Shannon s Pet Sitting in Illinois. Shannon has frequently been a featured guest as a pet care expert on internet radio shows such as Peaceful Planet Pets Radio. She has been interviewed by Angie s List magazine and by author Georganne Fiumara for her book How to Start a Home-based Business to Become a Work-at-Home Mom. Earlier this year Shannon was the guest speaker at the Lincoln State Cat Club. There are many annual and community events that Shannon sponsors and participates in such as The Dog Days of Dundee and 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up Walk which raises awareness for canine cancer. Aside from running her business Shannon volunteers and donates to St. Sophia s Forgotten Felines and Open Doors Animal Rescue. As a certified veterinary assistant Shannon has acquired her expertise over the years by working at multiple clinics and animal emergency centers where she specialized in cardiology and internal medicine. She spent two years at the Petsmart Animal Specialty Department enhancing her knowledge with reptiles aquatics birds and small animals. She holds a certification in pet CPR and first aid. Shannon is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie when she finds the time. She loves roller coasters and bungee jumping. She also enjoys going to the zoo and spending time with her niece Dani and nephew Jayden. Residing in Carpentersville Shannon s dream is to have Dani and Jayden assist with the pets and one day take over the business. Ever since she was a child animals were a constant presence in Shannon s life. As a young teenager Shannon walked dogs and began pet sitting for friends and family. Her aspirations were turning into a reality when she began working at a veterinary clinic and started to pet sit for clients. I have always wanted to work with animals Shannon recalls. I have loved animals all my life and grew up around my grandparent s pets. They always had cats and dogs. As owner operator and primary pet sitter Shannon keeps busy scheduling appointments responding to emails and compiling forms and contracts for clients. Most importantly she oversees the advertising and marketing for her company. A lifelong devotion to helping animals and people alike has allowed Shannon to independently build a successful career through hard work and determination. The job is not always easy and sometimes dirty but her compassion and care to create a calm environment for pets is the driving force behind her vision. Shannon knows that a business thrives by providing excellent customer service and continues to keep this a priority for her clients. This has been acknowledged through presentation of awards such as the Angie s List Super Service Award the Better Business Bureau s Complaint-Free Award and the Worldwide Who s Who VIP 90 National Association of Distinguished Professionals Tammy L. Swain it ProJeCt mAnAger senior Business AnAlyst georgiA DePArtment of Driver serviCes Ceo founDer CufflettA inC. WHILE SHOPPING WITH HER NEWBORN SON trade shows and negotiating the Cuffletta into as many Tammy L. Swain found it extremely difficult to maneuver her him the diaper bag her purse the stroller and all of her shopping bags. Frustrated Tammy always ended her shopping sprees early. While driving home one day however Tammy had an idea. This concept would make it much easier to carry her purse. That very same day the Cuffletta arm purse was beginning to take shape. I have been working on the Cuffletta a multi-use convertible forearm purse for eight years and it has become a huge part of my life Tammy said about her US patented bag. When I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night I think about my product and how proud I am of how far it has come and look forward to its progress in the future. As CEO and founder of TLS Visions and Cuffletta Tammy has been responsible for taking the Cuffletta from a mere thought to a tangible arm purse. Tammy designed the patented Cuffletta to attach to your hand over the thumb leaving your fingers free extending over the wrist to the lower part of your arm and stopping just below the elbow. She is currently working with a factory to get the first production line specs together with the packaging. With a background in information technology Tammy designed the company website acts as office manager and does all of the marketing and networking on her own. She is looking forward to being involved in the sales aspect doing stores and boutiques as possible. Employed by the Georgia Department of Driver Services Tammy also works full-time as an IT project manager and senior business analyst. In her role she gathers business requirement from project sponsors turning them into functional requirements. These functional requirements work as a guide for the information technology programmers database designers quality testers implementation team and the training team. She keeps her projects on track to ensure resources are in place to perform each required task needed to complete each project. With a passion for creating functionality Tammy feels lucky to have a career where she can continue to learn new skills and techniques. A 1997 graduate of Georgia State University Tammy earned a Bachelor s Degree in Computer Information Systems. She later earned her Master s Degrees in Business Management and Human Resources Management Personnel Administration from American InterContinental University in 2004. Born in Atlanta Georgia Tammy currently resides with the husband and four children in Stockbridge Georgia. Time not spent at work or continuing the production of the Cuffletta is spent with her family attending her children s sporting events taking trips and enjoying quiet nights at home. women of distinction magazine 91 Chief exeCutive offiCer Wellness-enDless PossiBilities llC IN 1985 TINA M. WINSTON ENTERED THE through her company. She assures her clients that through HEALTH FOOD INDUSTRY through serving the incorporating low to moderate exercise and using her weight geriatric population. Her interest was sparked to go further so she enrolled in the Dietetic Technology Program at WCCC in Detroit Michigan and received an Associate of Arts Degree in 1991. Upon completion of the program Tina had various opportunities to increase her knowledge of just how important proper nutrition was. loss success map they will safely reach their goal and maintain a healthy weight range. Tina M. Winston Tina worked for a registered dietitian s consulting firm in several nursing homes. This opportunity exposed Tina to the use of therapeutic diets more as she helped her clients abnormal lab levels become stable. She addressed abnormal weight issues and she found this to be very rewarding. She also gained the confidence she needed to be able to run her own nutrition and weight management business later on. I know God chose me to do something extraordinary and I m thankful to have been selected Tina said. Nutrition is a very important matter and I ve come to understand more clearly how much we eat is just as important as what we eat. Tina founded Wellness-Endless Possibilities LLC in 2007. During this period of her professional journey she felt it was time for her to take a more aggressive approach in helping our nation s families to overcome obesity. As she began to expand her business Tina became very proficient in calculating an individual s caloric needs. Modifying the formula to calculate one s calories she realized she had created a successful product which is only available Juggling every aspect of the business all by herself including reaching out to local families and monitoring their progress while utilizing the weight loss success map Tina desires to collaborate with other professional organizations that have the same passion and resources to help our nation s families to become healthier. In the last several years Wellness Endless Possibilities LLC has had the opportunity through the invitation of the school s physical education directors to participate in three health fairs. Since the loss of her husband in 2001 Tina s children and grandchildren have surrounded her more with much love. Tina hopes to leave a legacy for her family that includes her having been very instrumental in helping her nation s families turn the tide of obesity and become healthier people. She also hopes that she has encouraged her loved ones to not be afraid to dream. 92 National Association of Distinguished Professionals ProgrAm mAnAger que teChnology grouP AFTER SPENDING 10 YEARS IN THE technical experience as them. Meanwhile the drive and TECHNICAL FIELD Yolanda Fogg was ready to traits she displayed at work labeled her as tough or hard transition from being an executive assistant to working in information technology (IT). Entering a cross-training program Yolanda received her first help desk position one year later. Transitioning into different leading roles she began to use her project management skills to lead various technical teams. These lead positions required Yolanda to manage IT projects that were both challenging and extremely rewarding. As I progressed in the technical field I found program management most enjoyable Yolanda said. I have been able to combine my past technical experience with the skills I developed in managing short-and long-term projects which is what I enjoy doing the most. Hired at Que Technology Group as the program and project manager in January 2013 Yolanda provides structure and governance to the company s programs. With her senior level leadership Yolanda offers oversight and control over programs and projects while ensuring they align with the company s strategic goals. Effectively communicating project goals and scopes to team members she excels in guiding the activities of her technical team. During her time with Que Technology Yolanda has resolved numerous project issues including technical matters scope creep and user needs. As a professional woman in IT Yolanda has unfortunately faced gender related difficulties. She felt the need to prove herself and work harder to show her male counterparts that she was intelligent and possessed the same level of Yolanda Fogg even though they are common practice in male employees. However Yolanda s hard work and determination did not go unnoticed and others began to look to her as a mentor. She s since used these obstacles as a way to help other professionals reach their professional goals in IT. Having several mentors herself Yolanda has been able to grow and develop in different areas of her professional career. She believes it is important especially for women to find individuals at higher levels who can advocate for you and give honest feedback advice and sponsorship. Yolanda s mentors have helped her advance exposing her to new opportunities and have helped her develop relationships that have led to her professional success. A member of several organizations Yolanda is involved with National Association of Professional Women International Council on System Engineering and Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society. She volunteers her time for short-term projects for Project Management Institute and is an adjunct teacher for the Project Management Professional Exam prep class. Earning a BA in Computer Information Systems from College of Notre Dame of Maryland and an MS in Management with an emphasis in project management from Kaplan University Yolanda understands the importance of education and pursuing a specific area of IT down the road. It s certainly helped her in her career and she is very grateful for it now. women of distinction magazine 93 indEx agatha aggiE CutronE Vice-President of Technology Solutions and Technical Support Services Time Inc. New York NY aggie http 516-578-4115 arnita JEnnings Owner Buy Medical Gift Cards Los Angeles CA arnita http 323-410-7003 allison staffin Principal Designer Goldilocks Designs LLC Watchung NJ allison http 908-757-3848 bambi f. Kaan Professional Wig Consultant Bambi s Makeover Lincoln VT info http 802-780-0WIG (0944) amy tillEy Personal Assistant to CEO Glanbia Performance Nutrition Aurora IL atilley CAmille A. BryAn Washington DC camillebryan3 443-875-4661 angharad ann bransford-young President Bransford Inc. Tulsa OK 918-230-8986 hArriet ellen lehrer President Imagine a New Image Rego Park NY http ann E. Patsis JAnet C. Bernstein Owner Glimpses of New England Past Westminster MA thetinpainter ann PattErson Accountant Toronto ON CAN 416-752-5676 ann.patterson Insurance Risk Advisor Vice-President of Personal Lines AmeriCap Insurance Group Dallas TX jbernstein http http 972-233-9761 JAnitA BrAnCh Creative Director JB Planning and Creative Events El Paso TX jbranch http http 915-249-4969 915-255-9390 KimbErly l. stanlEy Director of Lease Administration Aviation Facilities Company Inc. Dulles VA kstanley http 703-288-8589 l. CharnEttE norton President The Norton Group Inc. Missouri City TX 281-403-0802 Jennifer sellArs Owner Founder Walk Between the Worlds Palm Beach Gardens FL jennifer http 561-542-4844 lanis l. hiCKs Jerri gorAnson Chief Executive Officer Virtual Office Visions Millville NJ jgvov http 609-377-0485 Professor Associate Chair University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia MO hicksl http 573-882-8418 lazEtta rainEy braxton mba CfP Founder CEO Financial Fountains Baltimore MD Lazetta.braxton http 888-683-4093 JoAn A. WAithe Owner Lady Joan s Traveling Boutique Tucson AZ http 520-307-5626 linda Jangula JoannE b. lussiEr Owner The Willow Connection East Woodstock CT jblussier http 860-634-3999 Chief Executive Officer Manager Wiki Wags Lavon TX info http 972-853-0930 888-945-4924 miChEllE broWn CfE Judy niCola lo PiCColo Area Manager Park Lane Jewelry Charlottesville VA jewelsandgems77 http rep jniolalopiccolo 516-477-7134 434-260-1862 President Chief Executive Officer Christopher Charles Group LLC Chesapeake VA info http 757-809-3552 nataliE J. darby Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Natalie J. Darby LLC Myrtle Beach SC http 843-655-0947 yolanda fogg Program Manager Que Technology Group Laurel MD yolanda.fogg http 443-803-8793 PatriCia m. PEnvosE CPP Payroll Manager Associated Estates Realty Corporation Richmond Heights OH http Paula PortEr Manager Sales Operations SambaSafety Albuquerque NM pporter http 888-947-2622 ext. 6819 rEnEE sCuddEr Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development Pacific Fertility Center San Francisco CA scudder http 415-249-3662 tammy l. sWain IT Project Manager Senior Business Analyst Georgia Department of Driver Services Chief Executive Officer Founder Cuffletta Inc. Stockbridge GA tammyswain mail http http cuffletta 770-474-4846 tina m. Winston Chief Executive Officer Wellness-Endless Possibilities LLC Detroit MI tinaspatterns http 313-333-2971 http http Splash of Passion The Ultimate Ride at Rockin CW Ranch