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Women of Distinction mAGAZine At the end of the day we all need to take home a paycheck Cheryl added about her struggles and triumphs of working in the electrical field as a female. If I could do it any woman can do it. Cheryl Waiters Electrical Retired Electrician Local 38 Electrical Union Author Dallas TX Adrienne Smith Fitness Coaching Corrective Exercise Specialist & Owner of Fitness Evolution RR Rocky River OH ABOUT Fitness Evolution believes that you should be able to improve your health without breaking the bank. We pride ourselves on being a low-cost and contract-free gym that offers our members state-of-the-art facilities. We love to provide our members with a high quality gym experience while keeping your membership fee as low as possible. At Fitness Evolution we have built a meaningful community so that all of our members can feel comfortable at all times. Our staff and highly educated trainers are always willing to provide a helping hand so that you can achieve your fitness goals. As soon as you step foot in our gym we want you to feel like it s a home away from home. Currently we have Fitness Evolution locations in the following states Arizona California Maryland Nevada Minnesota Virginia and Washington. Every Fitness Evolution location features state-of-the-art facilities in addition to fantastic services and amenities. At Fitness Evolution our goal is to provide you with the resources you need to achieve your fitness goals while ensuring you re comfortable and having fun 19900 Ingersoll Drive Rocky River Ohio 216.282.7FIT(7348) www.FitnessEvolutionRR.com Info FitnessEvolutionRR.com Adrienne FitnessEvolutionRR.com 5 41 contents... Bonnie Elizabeth Gordon 28 Sandra Stemmer 52 Winifred McCullough Turner Holly Hoxie features 12 Marlissa Kern Gardner Art Broker and Consultant Founder Owner and President of Emillions Art Boston MA 32 Cheryl Waiters 45 Angie Cox Electrical Retired Electrician Local 38 Electrical Union Author Dallas TX Author NonProfit Inspirational Speaker Author Founder and President of No Child Unloved Inc. Gifford IL 58 Monica Bennett Empowerment Coach Owner of the Positive Mind LLC Freeport NY 3 Women of Distinction Women of Distinction Magazine ISSUE 13 Women of Distinction Staff Marissa Bacchi EDITOR-IN-CHIEF HEAD WRITER EDITOR Holli M. Narvaez Felix Pons WRITER LAYOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN Jill Mongonia EDITORIAL COODINATOR Rachael Raffna Anne Silar SELECTION COMMITTEE SELECTION COMMITTEE Kimberly Deihl SELECTION COMMITTEE Woman of Distinction Published by National Association of Distinguished Professionals 560 Broadhollow Road Ste. 310 Melville NY 11747 Phone (631) 465-9024 Fax (631) 465-9035 http www.nadprofessionals.com Rebecca Valuch 4 Women of Distinction Non-Profit Spiritual Minister Director Center for Awakening Salt Lake City UT Bonnie Elizabeth Gordon 5 Women of Distinction Spirituality is something that has always been very important to Bonnie Elizabeth Gordon. She would pray and meditate for hours as a child and began having spontaneous awakening experiences outdoors feeling one with God. As a teenager Bonnie attended ashrams and yoga retreats and started studying the book A Course in Miracles. Following her heart and intuition she establishedherownnon-profitorganization theCenterforAwakening in1996. I am blessed to be living a life I absolutely love I am completely free to always do what makes my heart sing and I have always known that my highest service to humanity will also be what brings me my greatest joy Bonnie said about the many benefits her non-profit has to offer. My life is filled with synchronicity miracles and grace as I deeply commit to serve my own truth and whoever is before me in any now moment. AftermovingtoSaltLakeCity Utahwithhertwoyoungchildrenin1994 Bonniehadnohome job orfriendsandverylittle money. Committed to providing for her family while also doing what she loved she had to believe in herself by discovering and developinghergiftsandfiguringoutwhatitwasshewasgoingtocontributeinhernewcommunity. Shortlyafterherarrival Bonniebecameaministerwithalocalchurch.In1996 resultingfromwhatbroughtherthemostjoy andseemedtoflowwithease sheopenedtheCenterforAwakeningnon-profitorganization.Shealsobecameaspeaker author life coach hospice volunteer yoga instructor Licensed Massage Therapist Shaman Reiki Master Theta healer Rebirther and Oneness Trainer. Initially the operation of the center came very slowly. Bonnie remembers waking up on some Monday mornings and not havingasingleappointmentscheduledfortheentireweek.Herfirstfewmusicmediationsonlyhadonepersoninattendance. Sherememberscreatingcourseslateatnightaftersheputherchildrentobedwhiletryingtogetthelaundrydone justtobe prepared.Butshenevergaveup.She sgratefulforthosecircumstancesbecausetheypropelledherintopowerfulactiontonot only do what she loved but it enabled her to begin providing a good life for herself and her children. Overtheyears theCenterforAwakeninghasbeencommittedtocharitableprojectsandhumanitarianwork bothlocallyand worldwide.Thenot-for-profithasworkedonprojectshelpingpeopleinIndia CostaRica Peru Mexico MarshallIslands Conga Africa and Brazil and has partnered with many international organizations. Presently the Center is working on raising funds for supplies needed in a small village in the Marshall Islands called Lae. The peopleofLaeneedmaterialstofishandgrowfoodtobecomemoreself-sufficient.Thenextseveralprojectsscheduledforthe CenterincludehelpingavillageinAfricawitheducation aleprosyorganizationinIndia andorphanagesinBrazil.Bonnie s favoriteprojectsarethoseinwhichshegetstotraveltothecountryanddeliverneedsandservicesdirectlytothepeople. Inadditiontocharitableandhumanitarianprojects theCenterservesthepublicwithyogaclasses coachingandcounseling enrichment courses meditation and spiritual meetings and events. They also hold community events to bring the community together in celebration. For example they organize camping trips outings to local hot springs and concerts. As the director and minister of the Center for Awakening Bonnie with the invaluable help of the Center for Awakening board ofdirectors organizesallhumanitarianprojects bothlocallyandinternationally.Bonnieteachesandorganizesspiritual courses spiritual groups and social activities offered. She conducts spiritual counseling healing and coaching and goes on many trainings and teachings. She also manages the website email communications and newsletter. There are no salaried employeesattheCenter everyone stimeteaching counseling andorganizingeventsistheirservicetohumanity. 6 Women of Distinction The most powerful inspiration affecting both Bonnie and the Center was when James LeVoy Sorenson synchronistically showedupinBonnie slife.Asaboardmember Jim svastexperience wisdom knowledge insight andopenheartmadea hugedifferencefortheorganization.Underhisadvisementandassistance theCenterforAwakeningbecamea501(c)(3) andhewouldmatchdonationsreceivedforalmosteveryhumanitarianproject.Jimalsoofferedhishomeinthemountainsfor meditation courses events and numerous spiritual celebrations. His untimely passing has been one of the hardest challenges Bonnie has had to face thus far. He is honored throughout the organization and held in the highest regard. Workingthroughheremotionalwounds Bonnie sjourneyhasnotalwaysbeeneasy howeversheviewseverychallengeshe has faced as serving her ongoing growth and spiritual awakening. She has learned many lessons and is grateful as a result because they have taught her how to trust life to access the boundless source within to be unattached to outcomes and to be present loving open and free. She is learning to dissolve all sense of separation within herself and disempowering ways of being and continually works on facing her own fears insecurities and limitations as a human being. By continually deconstructingherbeliefs lettinggoofattachments healingoldhurts andbeingherownsourceforlove Bonnienowenjoys a profound state of wakeful presence she is fully committed to living a spontaneous life and is fully committed to serve herself and humanity in the highest possible way in each present moment. She continues to grow in consciousness and expand into greaterandgreaterexpressionsofwhosheis...life awakening andloveareaneverendingjourney. Fundamentally Bonnie believes that everyone is an absolute divine being deeply connected to and one with an omnipresent infinite allloving andpowerfulsourcethatisdivineinnature whollyloving completelyinnocent alwaysorchestratingfor thehighestloveofall andinfiniteinpowerandpossibility.Everyoneisalsoexperiencingahumanlife havingtodealwith emotions disappointments passions relationships joys hurtsandallthedemandsofcaringforaphysicalbody.Boththe infiniteselfandhumanselfaresacredgiftstobecherishedandhonoredandincludedinourlovingembrace.Believingthat everyone is a wise gifted powerful healing transformative cosmic being Bonnie understands and teaches that people have nolimitstotheloveandmagnificencetheycanexpress create andsharewiththeworld. Live life in cooperation with nature others and the spontaneous flow of the universe Bonnie said. Give up attachments limited thinking and be open to all possibilities even those your mind cannot imagine. Love yourself with wild abandon always stay aligned with your intuition and let that guide and direct your actions rather than obligation expectations belief systems pleasing others and habit. Sometimes in order for your dreams to come true you need to have the courage to let go of what doesn t work or what isn t your highest truth in order to make space for what you are really passionate about. Bonnie is an author and inspirational speaker and presently speaks at Unity of Salt Lake City the New Consciousness Expo Healers Festival Toastmasters and anywhere people invite her to speak. Bonnie is a member of Unity of Salt Lake City Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living Toastmasters Oneness University Reiki International Yoga Alliance Clarity Coaching and Dance of Universal Peace. Bonnie has taught many courses throughout the years classes on nutrition parenting Abundance Oneness Awakening Course self-love breathwork Reiki Master A Course in Miracles and many more. In addition to being the director of A Center for Awakening Bonnie is currently a coach at Clarity Coaching teaches yoga and meditation and is a trainer and blessing giver intheSaltLakeCityDeekshacommunity.Shehaswrittenfivebooks includingYouAretheOne AwakeningtoWhoYouTruly Are The Stained Glass Window A New Story of Creation and Secrets of NI. RecognizedintheJetSkiHallofFameasaworldchampionjetskiracer BonniealsorantrackintheJuniorOlympics Bonnie holdsaBSinPsychology.Sheenjoyshiking dancing playingguitar andspendingqualitytimewithherchildren AsiaJoy John and JC and her grandchildren James and Elise. Bonnie deeply cherishes her time together with beloved family and friends. Q What is the most important life lesson you have learned through your work A The most important lesson I have learned is to love myself to be true to myself to forgive myself and to honor my truth regardlessoftheapprovalordisapprovalofothersorfittingintothestandards.Thesinglemosttransformativethinginmylife has been to become my own source for love security and happiness to truly and deeply love accept and honor my very own self allaspectsofmybeing(physical spiritual emotional social personality strengthsandweaknesses).Itseemsthatwhen wearetrulyanddeeplycenteredinself-loveandacceptance theworld asourmirror reflectsbackonlylove wespontaneously stepintoourhighestservicetohumanity andwehaveinfinitelymoretogiveinourservicetohumanity.Self-love likespiritual awakening isaneverevolvinganddeeperjourney. Q What has been responsible for your success A Myheart theall-lovingeternalwisdomthatwellsdeepwithinme whichknowsinfinitelymorethanmybrain.Mymost powerful guide has been following my heart as much and as often as I can remember. Yes there are times when limited thinkingandfearsmakeagoodcase butIalwaysreturnmyattentionquicklytomyheart aligningwith trusting loving and followingmyheart struth.It snotalwayseasy therearetimeswhenitdoesn tappeartomakesense orifwechoosetofollow our heart and possibly disappoint someone we love but it is better to do that than to disappoint our very own sacred self. Life justworksbestwhenweareinabsoluteintegritywithourdeepesttruth.LifehasshownmesomanytimesthatwhenIhonor myheart struth evenwhenpeoplewereoriginallydisappointed inthelongrunitwasevidentthatfollowingmytruthservednot only my highest good but the highest good of everyone involved. I can trust my heart to not only take care of me but all whom I know and love. Q What began this passion to follow your heart A I have always done my best to follow my heart. When I was a child I had a poster in my bedroom that said Follow Your HeartandAllYourDreamsWillComeTrue. Believeme I vehadmyshareoftimeswhenIdidn tlistentomyheart timesIsold out on myself and my truth. Yet they were teaching opportunities to help me follow my heart and live in integrity with my deepest truth more and more often. Q How did you get to where you are now in your life A Where I stand today is due to many divinely orchestrated events that involved a lot of other people places circumstances and events that showed up in the exact way at the exact time and place to always present me with the perfect opportunities to move along in my career.AnamazinglineofeventslineduptobringmetoUtah.Iwasn tawarethatthestate ofUtahevenexistedaweekbeforeIcamehere.Life sacooperativeventureandwelivein afriendlyuniverse.Alloflifeorchestratestosupportandfacilitateeveryone shighestgood atalltimes unconditionally.It sonlywhenwe realignedandconnectedtothedeepesttruth withinourheartsthatwe reabletosensethemiraculousgeniusandsacrednessofwhatwetrulyare. Q What exactly is synchronicity and how does it work A Synchronicity is always happening no matter what. We create the highest and greatest synchronicity when we stay tuned into the hearts guidance listening to our highest wisest inner voice that often speaks to us through our body sensations that alertuswhensomethingdoesordoesn tfeelinspired.Whenyoulistentowhatyourheartwantsandmovepowerfullyinto divineaction youcommandtheentireuniversetorearrangeandarrangeitselftobringyourheart sdesiresintofruition.This orchestrationoftenoccursinwayswecouldn timagineorevenunderstand bringingthepeople opportunities circumstances andphysicalthingsallintoalignmentattheexactrighttimingandalignmenttobringourheart sdesiresintofullblown manifestation in this physical world and our physical life. Your part in synchronicity is to know what your heart truly wants and to courageously take the inspired actions you are guided to take and then let go allow space for the universe to surprise you give upattachments needingtocontrollifeorfigureanythingout andmovepowerfullyintoastateofsurrenderandtrust.Weare allheretolearn grow andevolvethroughexperienceandrelationships yethavefun enjoylife andplayinafriendlyandsafe world. We need to take full responsibility for our lives as co-creators with our divine selves knowing that our divine and human aspects are one and want the same thing. Q What inspired you to be a spiritual leader A AllmylifeIhavebeenpassionateaboutlifeandspirituality.Atfive-years-oldIknewcompletelythatIwasfarmorethan justmybody somehowIknewIwasaneternalSpirit.Ihadn treadanybooksatfivethatwouldgivemethisinformation Ijust knew it and I have never believed anything different. I identify myself with the spiritual or soul aspect which is best described as an incomprehensible mystery yet at the same time I honor my physicality completely the body is also the Sacred Self. Growing up my family was not religious we only went to church on Christmas and Easter. This provided me with the opportunity to spend most every Sunday in nature. All through my childhood and teen years I went into the woods and I loved it I spent hours and hours alone in nature throughout my childhood the trees were my Sunday school teachers and the wind was my bible. All of nature became my spiritual conditioning. Being in the woods and wandering through nature was one of my favorite things to do and I was passionate about it. I began having profound spiritual experiences as I played and wandered in nature. I allowed aninfinitepresencetoexperiencethroughme.IwouldfeelasacredsublimePresenceineverythingIwasawareof.Iwas completelyonewitheveryoneandeverything.I dfeelthegraceandcauselessrapturefloodmybeing-ness.Ican tcontainthe joy.Alllifesparkles indescribablybeautifulandperfect.IntheseexperiencesIfeltdeeplyconnectedtoandonewiththetrees the sky the water the birds everything was brilliantly loving me and I was loving it all we were one. Even into my late teens Ihadexperiencesofpureecstasy joy andadeepcontentment.Feelingmyheartburstingwithsacredlifeforceenergy pure ecstatic love was a very common yet always extraordinary experience all throughout my childhood and again now in my adult life. For me these spiritual experiences have always been completely natural safe and always spontaneous. Q Can you tell us about the books you have published A YouAreTheOne myfirstbook wasaprocessformethatbeganinmychildhoodandcontinuestothisday.Itisfilledwith inspired ideas and messages that came through me or to me since childhood for the purposes of assisting my mind to evolve fromastateofresistance attachment andseparationtoastateofalignment allowance joy andoneness.Ourconsciousness is always expanding and You Are The One helped bring me to the place where I could courageously step into living a completely spontaneous life. All of my books are messages that came through me from that source of wisdom within me. The Stained Glass Window is on awakening from the consciousness that you are a separate body living in the world to knowing that you are the world. My newest book Living a Spontaneous Life will be available soon. Q What is most important to you in your life and career A Beingin100%integritywithmyselfismostimportanttome.Thiswouldalsobemyhighestservicetohumanity livingin perfect alignment with the deepest truth within my heart living my highest possible destiny being wide-open unstoppable love for myself and all beings. Loving myself completely and treating myself gently patiently with complete unconditional love acceptance tenderness and compassion at all times especially when I feel a disconnect from my truth heart. In those times I get afraid insecure angry or upset I respond to myself by showering myself with love comfort attention forgiveness and kindness neverjudging blaming shaming orcriticizingmyself.ItreatmyselflikeIwouldtreatthemostprecious sensitive innocent beloved child in all the universe. I know that only from the deepest alignment and loving acceptance with myself can I be in my highest possible service to humanity and I am committed to living in the highest service and completely surrender all attachment to how that may look in any now moment. Q What does it mean to be your own source of love A FormuchofmyadultlifeIhavelookedoutsidemyselfforlove security andhappiness.I dthinkthoughtslike Whenthe rightmanshowsup thenI llbehappy WhenI mfinanciallysecure thenI llbesecure and Wheneveryonelovesme then I llfeelloved. Finally incompleteexhaustion havingsearchedfarandwide inbooks seminars healingwork relationships andsuccess IdiscoveredtherewasoneplaceIhadn tlookedveryoften aplaceIhadn tgivenmuchattentionto.Thisplace iswithinme.Iwasrighthereallalong justwaitingformetoslowdownandnoticemyselfrightundermyownnose.Thereis anindescribable divinevastnessthatdwellswithineveryoneandithasmanynames(God HolySpirit EternalFriend Mother Father theBeloved theDivine ConsciousAwareness Infinity thePresence).Thissublimeinnerpresence unmanifestgrace isthesourceofaninfinitesupplyoflove creativity wisdom information beauty abundance health guidance joy peace and security. Q How does one live a spontaneous life A Idon tknow Iwillneverknow andtoliveaspontaneouslifeistoneverknow.Toneverneedtofigurethingsoutandto always trust that what you need who you need to be with what you need to do whatever means you need and whatever circumstances are needed will present themselves at the perfect time in the optimal way for the highest good of all. This doesn tmeanIdonothing itmeansIonlydowhatIamguidedtodo.Toliveaspontaneouslifeistobeinthemoment toplan thingsyoufeelguidedtoplan buttoholdlooselytoallplansknowinglifewillalwayshavethefinalsay. 9 Women of Distinction Carrie Alexander Colella Ed. D Child Welfare Business and Leadership Development Founder Listen First Consulting Program Specialist Placement Services Administration at Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA)Washington DC Washington DC Carrie Alexander Colella has spent most of her career working in child welfare services. However prior to graduating college she workedinherlocalcommunityasanadvocateforpreschoolchildrenandtheirfamilies.AdemonstrationprojectinruralGeorgia calledtheGeorgiaOutreachProject piquedherinterestinchangeandmotivatedhertoreturntotheUniversityofWestGeorgia in1982toearnherBachelorofScienceinSociologywithaMinorinHumanisticPsychology. Shortly after graduating my then husband got a promotion at work and we moved our family to Washington DC where I attended graduate school at Howard University and earned my Masters of Social Work with a focus on displaced populations. After working in several local government and non-profit agencies I eventually began work at DC - CFSA where I remain today. In order to complete her doctorate Carrie did research within the organization on the communication practices between management and frontline social worker (s) with the hope that it would serve to make clear that improvement can be made. My study was completed in 2012 and published in October of 2014 so it hasn t been very long and I hope that the results will have a positive impact on those communication practices. In forming my own consulting firm my hope is that the study will provide a platform to help other child welfare and non-profit agencies to take a serious look at and re-organize how they communicate with staff. During her time at CFSA Carrie worked on the Social Worker Retention Committee a committee tasked with developing programs meant to retain existing licensed social workers and recruit new ones. Wedevelopedanddistributedsurveysinanattempttogetsomeideaonwhatwouldmaketheworkflowbetter andthoughnot scientific thesurveyrevealedthattheinteractionbetweensocialworkersandtheirsupervisorswasoftenconflictedandfilledwith blame from their work. The agency director at the time allowed us to develop a feedback exchange meant to be anonymous to give managers feedback as to how workers felt put down leading to their dissatisfaction. This process lasted for less than a year andnotmuchchangeresulted.Workersstilltendtoburnouttooquicklyandleavetheagencyandsometimesthefieldofsocial work. As mentioned earlier the research for my doctorate focused on communication among and between social workers and their superiors.Itwasscientificandshowednosurprisethatthereexistsagapinthecommunicationpracticesbetweenandamong socialworkersandmanagers.Mybookisentitled Communication TheHeartofOrganizationalLeadership . Carrieisalsoproudofbeingthefirstandonlychildoffiveinherfamilytogotocollegeandbeingabletoaccomplishthegoalsshe set for herself despite being a wife and eventually a single mother of three children. 10 Women of Distinction I accomplished these goals not in consecutive years but I got them done. Being a parent was my first priority but I never gave up on my dream of completing my terminal degree and writing my first book. So I would say people have to know what their priorities are and then proceed with patience to do what they feel is important. I also want people to learn to communicate better. This takes time skill respect for others differences of opinions an awareness that we don t all HAVE to agree but at least we need to know that we have a right to our beliefs and opinions and that others have that right as well. In the long run communication is the key to a better quality of life the key to solving problems the key to initiating collaboration and the key to understanding different cultures lifestyles and generations. People need to expand their definitions of what communication is and how it can serve us all. Q How will your study on communication help me in my agency A If you feel that your agency organization could use help in identifying your communication practices and if they are working I canhelpyoudevelopaqualitativeorquantitativeresearchstudytoguideyouinmakingthatdetermination. Q How would you accomplish this A I would ask your help in identifying key people within your agency who would be available to complete a brief pre-evaluation of the current practices and outcomes along with me. I would then proceed to develop an evaluation tailored to your particular agency organization and based upon the results of the pre-evaluation. This full evaluation will be matched with what you hope to accomplish in your organization when the study is completed. Q How long would this study evaluation take A The length of time will vary based upon the size of your agency but you should think in terms of four to six months. It would also dependuponwhetheryouselectaqualitativeoraquantitativestudyorifyouneedacombinationofthetwomethods. Q Are recommendations offered at the end of the survey A Yes the decision on recommendations always rest with you. You can choose to implement some or all of them. Q Whenyourresearchiscompleted willwereceiveawrittenreportofyourfindings A Yes. Q What experience do you have in communication strategies A I completed my doctoral dissertation on the link between communication practices and agency outcomes and my study has been published. Q What do you think is the main problem of communication in the work setting A Thiswillvaryfromoneorganizationtoanother butgenerally employeestendtofeelthattheirjobscouldbeaffectedifthey questioninstructionstheyaregivenbysuperiors. Q Do you think technology has improved the communication in the work environment A Yes however depending upon the technical skill and comfort level among your staff technology does not replace the need for face to face communication. Q What do you feel is the best way to implement new communication strategies A Ithinkthebestwaytointroducenewcommunicationstrategiesistofirstcompleteasmallpilotprogramofthenewpractice strategies. This way you have a real opportunity to eliminate or add to the new practice as needed before going agency-wide. This gives you more of an understanding of what to expect in the future. 11 Women of Distinction Marlissa Kern Gardner Art Broker and Consultant Founder Owner and President of Emillions Art Boston MA 12 Women of Distinction Marlissa Kern Gardner believes that art has always been a part of her soul. Her education started early due to her parents devotionanddesiretosharingtheworld streasures history andculturewithMarlissa and her two older brothers. My upbringing and education has helped me develop an appreciation for the beauty and craftsmanship unique to humankind. Through observation study and engagement all over the world I ve enriched my command in literature and academics streamlining my goals. Ultimately I ve built a foundation and deep desire to shape my life in the realm of self expression granting me the opportunity to work and communicate with people globally. Through her many travels and varied cultural experiences Marlissa has developed a rich appreciation for the magnitude of the sharing that artists so generously give to the world. Thatsharing thatunfettered unguardedself-expression isagiftbeyondmeasure.I vebeenfortunatetohavecollectedavast amountofartfromallcornersoftheglobe.Whetheranoriginalworkbyaprominentartist orapieceofsculpturebyan unknown in a remote location the power and courage of the creative soul never fails to both humble and impress me. As I continued to explorethemuseums galleries antiqueshops andbazaarsoftheworld myviewofartbecamefurtherrefined.Atthesametime myvisionofhowIcouldbestservetheworld scommunityofartistsbecameremarkablyclear.It sfromthatclaritythatmycareer as an agent and broker of art evolved. MarlissaisnowtheFounder Owner andPresidentofEmillionsArt.She sresponsibleforallfacetsofthecompany soperations including branding marketing recruitment of artists and devising strategies for effectively promoting and selling the artists represented by Emillions to the appropriate clientele. At the same time the continued growth of the company depends on a concerted on-goingefforttofindanddevelopworkingrelationshipswithartistsfromallovertheworld. This discovery processisalwaysexciting.Findinganartist establishinganeffective openlineofcommunicationwiththem and researching opportunities that will serve each of my artists best is a never ending process. Emillions is fortunate to represent artists nationally and internationally with works coming from the U.S. Europe New Zealand South America and Japan. Developing maintaining andfulfillingopportunitiesforboththecompanyandfortheartistsonaglobalstageismyprimaryfocus. ArtisMarlissa spassion.Shebelievesthatherlegacywillbethecontinuationofamulti-generationalmovementtosharethis passion that is inherent to the creative process to acknowledge the generosity of the artists who share their unconditional gift of self-expression andtocompletethecirclesthatjoinartistswiththosewhovalueartinallitsmanyforms. 13 Women of Distinction It is infused in my way of being. Like anything in my life once I choose to do something important to me I choose to do it well. There is no trying. There is only doing. I search and research for every avenue that will allow me to bring happiness into the lives of the people in my world. This is important to all involved the artist the buyer and Emillions. The willingness and commitment to be great not stopping for anything are what drive and empower me. This commitment is what generates an unfailing personal belief and a similar level of energy within the artists I represent. Q Intoday sdayandage whatarethebestwaystoshowworkandgetworkknownforanartist A As much of the world has evolved getting work knownintoday smarketistherealdifficulty.Before social media the only marketing available was print and television. Showing work is no longer an issue with the advent of internet and social media. Art fairs have played an essential role for the artist as well. However with the overwhelming amounts of available art championing the breathtaking piece of work you are representing is the real challenge while making people aware that what you represent is unique and is beyond all others. Marketing has always been complex for any artist. Being cognizant of the key strategies in the new age is a nuance managing personal contact social media showings auctions and studio visitation. Identifying and marketing to the appropriate buyer for each artist is something Emillions is working to achieve daily. If we are to stay abreast of the market one must understand that there are different needs for different buyers. With the skills I have obtainedinfilmmakingandproduction marketingarthasbecomeaneasytransition. Q Can you valuate my art A As lovely a prospect as this is it takes years of experience education and history to be able to valuate art in the most practical and professional manner. AnArtAppraiserisaverydifferentjobfromthatofanArtBroker.Whileanappraiserfocuseson determining the potential value of a piece of work I focus on matching the perfect piece with the perfect buyer exposure of the work and working with the client. Having an independent appraisal process ensures an honest valuation but effectively a piece s value is determined by the artists historyinthefield talent trend fortitude(ifworkistimeless) refinement(iftheartisthasmasteredhiswork) ageoftheartist(if he syoungandwillproducealot oroldandnearingtheagewherehewillnot)andultimately whatpeoplearewillingtopayfor the work. Q How is a broker relevant to the industry these days with so many options available to the artist for networking A Myjobistoseekoutbuyersinmanydifferentvenues matchingthebuyerwiththeartistandtheartistwiththebuyer.Artists certainly have more ability and functionality to do this now than in the past. However my job is to broaden their range.As I have learned one person cannot be everywhere. I expand the horizon of the artist and help make his work needed thereby wanted. Enlarging the possibility each day by making connections on the artist s behalf and allowing for more sales opportunities makes Emillions a conduit for both the artist and the buyer. While I endeavor to help the artist companies collectors designers and privatebuyerslooktoEmillionsforworksthatwillfittheircriteria ultimately allowing the scope of work to advance in both directions. Brokering allows artists to focus on what they do best producing wonderful works of art. Q What is interesting for you to note in the art world currently A Currently itisinterestingtonotesignificantshiftsamongartists and consumers alike towards the contemporary and digital arts. The contemporaryistouchingalmosteveryaspectoftheartsatthemoment.Agenre spuredefinition whileholdingtrue isconstantly evolvingwiththeadventandprogressionofcreativityandfinally newterminologyinartgenres.Forexample worksdefinedas ClassicArt manyartistshavetakenlicensetotransformtofittheir style ofwork revolutionizingartasweknowittoday.Inthis example perhaps contemporaryclassic or contemporaryimpressionism willariseanew creatinganewfeeltotheolderstyles while stirring up new terminology. Additionally the digital arts have become an authentic art form allowing photographers to truly enhance their platform reaching new levels of expression often resulting in their works resembling the painting .They often spend hours beyond their photo shoots days weeks and months creating works of art on their computers to the delight of the consumer foolingusintobelievingitisapainting.Theyaretruegeniusesandmastersintheirfield.Kudostothesenewworld artists. More of these motifs are appearing on the art scene worldwide than ever before. 14 Women of Distinction Q Why do you feel this shift has been so prevalent A Ifeelthereisthistrendduetomanydifferingfactors.Forexample thetechnologyindustryhaseducatedourjuniorandsenior generations in the high arts and allowed us to expand younger older and newer forms of arts in many differing ways. This allows artists to transform newer pieces into unconventional and exciting works. Photography can be transformed through different color works and layering. Digital imaging can be used to replicate art that took years to produce. This technology will allow artists to use theirskillstofinallymonetizewhattheycreate. Q Areolderartistsabletoevolveintoday sfast-pacedworld A Surprisingly theworldchangessoquicklytodaythattheseartistsfinditeasiertoevolvethanafewdecadesagowhenpeople were attached to their own training. Older artists now have the capability with the internet along with the integration of the younger generation to be a part of everyday life. Due to this fact evolution is not only possible it is probable. Q How do you choose your artists A I trust my eye. I seek out artists from many different arenas. Studio visits museums galleries social networking and art fairs areallnecessitiesofthisresearchprocessandItakemytimetovettheseartistsfromwell-definedanddistinctivepoolsbeforeI representthem.Additionally Iaskmyself Istheirworkoriginal ambitious andunique Ispeaktothempersonallyaboutwhat they have been doing and achieving. What are their ambitions What would they like to achieve and does this coincide with my goals Ultimately I must believe in their work and in them. Q Whatarethemarkersoffirstclassart A Firstclassarthasclearintention iswellexecuted andisuniqueinconcept.Ithashistoricalvalue speakingofatime whether it is the past present or future yet is timeless. It will convey a message and will not hesitate to draw you in evoking emotion fromtheviewer.Amasterpieceisrefinedinitsformandsellsitself ultimatelyconnectingwithviewers buyers andartistsofmany kinds. Q What kind of art are you focusing on A Emillions Art carries a wide variety of artists from all over the world. We do not focus on one genre or methodology. Our criteria extendstooneexception itisuniqueandofquality.OurartistscovertheglobeandweareproudtosaywehaveartistsfromAsia Europe South America and North America. We are on the track to span the entire globe. Q Why should I use Emillions Art Forthebuyer EmillionsArts exclusiveartistscomefromallovertheworld.Wearetheepitomeofbeautiful high-endartranging inavarietyofgenres mediums andmotifs.Ifyoudon tseesomethingfromanartistthatsuitsyou butmatchesyourstyle more options are available. Contact us and we will work with you. Forartists Emillionssearchesforclientsthatfityourneeds whetheritisamuseum gallery collector corporation designer or private buyer. Visit our site at www.emillionsart.com. Regina E. Mason Education through the Arts Author Speaker Storyteller and Filmmaker Organization Gina sJourneyLLC Oakland CA 16 Women of Distinction Regina E. Mason has spent 15 years authenticating the pioneering narrative of her direct ancestor William Grimes author of the first fugitive slave narrative inAmerican History. She has shared her amazing search and the historical importance of his narrativewithstudentsonuniversitycampusesfromYaletoStanfordtoColoradoState(tonameafew).Shehasengagedahost of students on various high school and elementary school campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area and has appeared on KQED Television RTERadioofIreland andC-Span sBookTV.ReginaalsohadthehonorthispastJulyofbeingafeaturedspeakerat TheSlaveryPast Present andFutureProject 1stAnnualGlobalMeetingandConferenceatMansfieldCollege Oxford United Kingdom. I actually got started in my career by accident. In 1991 I had taken up genealogy as a hobby after a lifelong curiosity for roots. At that point in my life I had two young daughters ages two and six and I wanted to give them the gift of family history. But before I could give such a gift I had to discover my familial roots for myself. To get started I drew on a fragmented story that had been handed down to me in 1971 from my Aunt Katherine (the family historian) in Oakland California. Her Aunt Katherine was a gifted storyteller who loved to talk about family lore. She said we were pioneers of San Francisco and that her great-grandmother Cecelia Victoria had endured a long passage on a ship that sailed from the East Coast and around Cape Horn in South America before landing in San Francisco. However the story that intrigued me the most was the one that my aunt knew the least about. She said someone in our family by the surname of Grimes from New Haven Connecticut had a connection to the Underground Railroad. Asa10-yearoldjustlearningaboutAmericanHistory slaveryinAmerica andtheUndergroundRailroad the reference to the clandestine network of people who helped runaway slaves escape to the North and to Canada fascinated Regina and left her very curious about her ancestor Grimes and his association with the Underground Railroad. What my aunt had given me essentially amounted to three little clues the Grimes surname the city of New Haven and the Underground Railroad. Interestingly enough those three clues paired with a sketchy family tree unwittingly sent me on a 15-year course of discovery. In the process my children grew up as did I. Insearchforherroots ReginadiscoveredthatamannamedWilliamGrimeshadwrittenhislifestory LifeofWilliamGrimes theRunawaySlave andpublishedithimselfin1825withoutdeferencetowhiteeditors publishers orsponsors.Hislifehadan immediacy candor and no-holds-barred realism unparalleled in the famous antebellum slave narratives of the period. Regina also discovered that William was her great-great-great-grandfather. As I delved into this man s story the language astonished me. Unrelenting misery plagued his life leaving him a profoundly embitteredman.NeverbeforehadIimaginedthedepthoftheslaves sufferingsuntilIreadthisman sstory.Theslavesystem that William Grimes described was far more cutthroat than anything I could have imagined. He was ten years old when he was sold away from the arms of his grieving mother to a far off plantation. He grew up like a wild weed friendless and motherless with apparently no surrogate slave family or loved one to embrace him. Defenseless he was repeatedly forced outside of the house servants circlebythoseobligedtolookoutfirstfortheirowninterest.Iwasnumb. Inherquesttodiscovereverythingshecouldaboutthisman Reginaalsolearnedhowpioneeringhisnarrativeis.It sactually thefirstfugitiveslavenarrativeinAmericanhistory.SomehistorianssaythatWilliamGrimesunwittinglyinitiatedanewgenreof American Literature the Slave Narrative yet he remains essentially unknown today. My ancestor William Grimes had the audacity to write and publish the first fugitive slave narrative inAmerican history Life ofWilliamGrimes theRunawaySlave in1825.Ilearnedthatfamousfugitiveslavenarrativesofthe1840sand50sthatwere trademark of the Abolitionist Movement were amended and sponsored by white people. Grimes was beholden to no one. His is anunfiltered unedited authenticvoiceof literaryindependence .WilliamGrimeswasanordinarymanwhodidanextraordinary thing.Hedefiedthestatusquobysimplywritinghisstoryinhisownwords.Bydoingso heboldlyinsertedhimselfintoAmerican History yet his saga remains essentially unknown today. However thingsarechanging becausein2008 OxfordUniversityPresspublishedanauthoritativeeditionoftheGrimesnarrative thatReginaco-editedwithDr.WilliamL.Andrews(anexpertonearlyblackautobiographies)fromtheUniversityofNorthCarolina at Chapel Hill. Their extensive historical and genealogical research produced an authoritative copiously annotated text that featurespagesfromanoriginalGrimesfamilybible transcriptionsofthe1824correspondencethatsetthetermsfortheauthor s self-purchaseinConnecticut(nineyearsafterhisescapefromSavannah Georgia) andmanyotherstrikingimagesthatinvoke the life and times of William Grimes. This new edition continues to be read on college campuses and high schools across the nation. www.ReginaMason.com Reginaisalsoworkingtoreachawideraudienceviathedocumentaryfilm Gina sJourney TheSearchforWilliamGrimes producedbyindependentfilmmakerSeanDurant dueforcompletionsometimethissummer.It sbasedontheafterwordofthe book MyLongRoadBacktoWilliamGrimes whichrevealsRegina slongpathtoauthenticateherancestor sstoryandtheintense personalsacrificesthatmadeeditingandre-publishinghisoriginalbookpossible. In the film Regina s path is retraced as she visits historical locations and key points of interest along her 15-year path of discovery.Thefilmfeaturesspecialvisualeffectstocreatescenesduringthe1800swhenWilliamGrimeswasenslavedinthe South and endured a life of hardship as a free man in the North. Regina and several of her colleagues were also interviewed. www.ginasjourney.com I m passionate about what I do and I m on a mission to get my ancestor s story to a wider audience. In history we tend to recycle over and over again the voices of the same players. I m about highlighting the unsung fresh new voices who made a difference in their own communities and within their own circumstances. In my years of research William Grimes voice isn t the only unsung voice I found. There are several that I m working to bring to light after my documentary is completed. Inthemeantime Reginacanbefoundperforming TheRawTruth acompellingmonologuethatfuses19thcenturyfilmreenactment ofthelifeofWilliamGrimeswithpersonalreflectionandhistory. Foranyonewho dliketofollowRegina spath heradviceissimplytonotletanyonetalkyououtofyourdream. Pursueitasifyourlifedependedonit.Knowthatyoudon thavetohavealloftheanswersormoney.Bothwillcomefromunlikely sources if your cause is an honorable one. This wife and mother of two daughters would like to be remembered as someone who never placed limitations on herself. William Grimes had real-life limitations imposed on him as a fugitive slave living in a free territory. The thought of being caught and returned to slavery was real. When his nightmare became reality his former master forced him to give up his home and business to purchase a so-called freedom yet he overcame as much as he could in spite of his situation. His example has taught me that we can reach higher regardless of where we are in life. Reginaisn tconcernedaboutherownlegacyasmuchassheisaboutthelegacyofWilliamGrimes. I mjustavehicleinwhichtotellthisman sextraordinarystory. 18 Women of Distinction Sarah M. Wesen Telecommunications Call Center Applications Executive Director of Sales and Business Development Frontline Call Center and Frontline Services ChiefInformationOfficer Ternio Eastsound WA 19 Women of Distinction Becomingthemainproviderforherdaughterin2007 SarahM.Wesendesiredtofindworkthatwouldofferheraflexible schedule so she could still be the full-time mother that her eight-year-old had always known her to be. Learning of a local organization FrontlineCallCenter inEastsound Washington aftergettingtheopportunitytomeetthecompany sCEOJill Blankenship Sarahappliedforanagentpositionsheheardtheywerelookingtofulfill.Thinkingshemightbeagoodfitforthe role shegaveitherbestshotandlandedthejob.IthasbeeneightyearsnowandSarahcontinuestothriveatthecallcenter. Now the executive director of sales and business development at Frontline Call Center and Frontline Services Sarah brings a highlydiversifiedbackgroundtothetable.Hertimewiththecompanyhasprovidedherwithchallengesrelatedtoherprevious experience within the organization giving her an advantage to solving problems and providing support where needed. The management team has supported her with ongoing education and a willingness to let her try out new ideas and she has been giventheflexibilitytolearnnewskillswhilestillenhancinghercurrenttalentsinthefield. I started as an agent and learned the different areas as I moved up the company Sarah explained. I made it a point to create ways to stay in touch with processes and people in the various areas I played in. I already had a diverse retail background that came with sales training and I had the listening and observation skills from my career in managing a design showroom and interior design projects. TheseuniquetraitsarewhatenabledSarahtogainbetterinsightwhenmeetingwithclients.Requiringhertounderstand clients businessmodelsquickly beabletoidentifytheirneeds andcreateasolutionbasedonexperienceandknowledgeof her company are essential tools in her role. Weareuniqueinthatnotonlydoweprovidecallcenterservices wealsoreselltheinContactplatformandsupportother companies by building out their own platforms Sarah further explained. Knowing the support needs of the companies we provide support for in different genres as well as the inContact platform allows for an understanding of how to set up other centers whichiswheremyroleinFrontlineServicescomesintoplay.Shapingtheprocesses findingtheholesorpitfalls and understanding how all parts of all the companies play together especially when introducing new technology would be an accurate description of my role. I evaluate nudge and create. Create and curiosity aretwokeywordsthatSarahlikestousewhendescribingherself.Creativitymakeslifemoreinteresting forSarah.Bylookingatthingsfroma whatcanIcreate angle shesayskeepsachangeflowinplacethatpromptsnatural fluidityofherthoughtsandactionsaresignificanttoherhappiness.Likewise curiosityinfersinterest andifshecanbe interested in something than she will retain that information and be able to engage in it naturally in the future. Living fully as herselfandbeingauthenticisequallyimportanttoSarah.Havingtattooedacopyrightsymbolonherhandisavisualreminder forhertoalwaysbepresentbecausesheisthemostuniqueaspectofherownexistence. When it comes to keeping technology tools relevant Sarah admits that it has certainly been a challenge. She understands andcanappreciatehowquicklytelecommunicationsandnewtechnologybecomesavailableandshealsorecognizesthe importanceofbeingflexiblesothatapplyingchangeisnotsouncomfortable.Thisgeneration shesays mustbeabletoapply change ideas and explore new technologies and partnerships in order to be successful at allowing communication and agile business development to take place. It also takes a level of creativity which is why she loves what she does for a living. Participating in several extracurricular activities that pertain to work Sarah is cautious about how much time she can truly dedicate to them without interfering with her work home life balance. Active with several social media outlets such as Linkedin she also attends networking events like Network After Work Seattle and Crave Seattle as well as various trade conferences. In fact lastyearshespearheadedtheorganizationandpresentationofFrontlineServicesasasponsoratinContact sICUC2014. Whenitcomestofamily sheisthecurrentpresidentoftheBoosterClubatherdaughter shighschooltohelpraisemoneyfor student opportunities. Using her creative senses to de-stress Sarah forms polymer clay critters and fairy houses before selling her one-of-a-kind creations online and in local stores. After her aunt passed down a toolbox full of sculpting tools and clay to Sarah shebeganpracticingtheartformandhadquicklyfoundanewtalentthatshereallyenjoyed. Aside from work Sarah is lucky in life saying that she has been blessed with the right family for her. Her partner Steve isalandscaperandartistwhobalancesherquitewell.Whilesheisdeepintoworkandtraveldemands Steveholdsdown household responsibilities. He also reminds her that there is a world outside of all her gadgets especially her cell phone. While theirteenagedaughterpreparesforlifeoutsideofmomanddad Sarahdescribesherasanempatheticspiritwhoisequally talentedinbothvoiceandmusic justlikemom.Finally theirfamilylifewouldnotbecompletewithouttheirfour-leggedfriends Lexi apit heelermix andNinja ablacklab.Sarahhasafour-footpetiguanatoo namedPirimus whokeepshercompanyat theofficeandisoftenfoundnappingonthebackofherofficechairwhilesheishardatwork. 20 Women of Distinction Q What space does Frontline Call Center occupy in the call center arena A Frontlineistrulyanichecallcenterspecializinginallthingscustomercare.Wetakethetimetounderstandbothourclients industryandtheircustomerbasetocreatetheiridealcustomercaresolution resultinginfirstcallresolutionasoftenaspossible. Q What is the most valuable tool a client can provide you with to support their company A Direct secureagentaccesstotheirCRM sordatabases.OuragentscanuseallthemajorCRMbrands likeSalesforceand Zendesk. It cuts down on data entry redundancy and keeps the communication as real time as possible. Q Whatinfluencedyourdecisiontouseacloud-basedcontactplatforminsteadofapremisebasedsolution A We tried other platforms but struggled with their outages and lack of support. inContact was a low cost investment out the gate and nine years later we have not outgrown them yet. By being cloud-based we can operate using both in-house and remote agents from across the US. Q Has growth been a concern in your business development A Yes because I believe in keeping a close eye on future growth so that we are prepared and can grow in a controlled manner. By looking ahead to the long-term you can make sure that the contact platform you choose will accommodate your future needs and provide development friendly applications for controlled growth. Q In what support area are you seeing growth opportunities in the most A A combination of hardware and software support because it crosses into most industries now. We support medical devices smartpens andmobileappsthattieintouserfacingsystemsrequiringouragentstoprovidetechsupportineverydaylanguage that anyone can understand. Q Doyoufeelthatcallcenterscanbenefitbypartneringwithotherorganizations A Absolutely.Thetechnologyinthetelecommunicationsindustryischangingsofastthatit sdifficulttokeepupwiththe technologyinallareas.OurclosestpartnerisinContactbecauseofthestrategicflexibilitytheybringtothetable.Thatiswhat we look for in a partner. Q Canyouprovideanexampleofstrategicflexibility A Not only do we use the inContact platform we are also a reseller for them and set up others with their own instances of inContactiftheywanttoruntheirowncenter.Thisopensupthedoortoofferinguniquesupportmodels likesharedagents providing dedicated agents that use their platform only or providing implementation api services only. Q Haveyouutilizedtechnologythatyoucreatedspecificallyforyourcallcenter A WebuiltanapplicationwerefertoasourCommunity2.0ontopoftheinContactplatform.Itallowsourclientstoaccess their contact reports call recordings and support pages on demand creating transparency throughout our support. Q Can you describe the ideal in-house or remote agent A Ourmostsuccessfulagentdemographictodatehasbeenmostlyfemalesintheirmid-20sthrough30swithsomecollege. Theyarefairlytechsavvywithexcellentwritten verbalskills.Theyworkfromhomesotheyalsoneedahomeofficewitha locking door. Q What is the most common misconception about utilizing a remote workforce A Clientsthinkingtherewillbemorebackgroundnoisefromaremoteagentthananinhouseagent.It sactuallytheopposite asyoucanusuallyhearmorechatternoisefromotheragentsonafloorinanycallcenterversusonlyhearingtheoneagent workingfromahomeoffice. 21 Women of Distinction Sharpel L.M. Welch MBA Education High School Algebra Non-Profit CommunityOutreach Algebra Teacher Caddo Parish School Board Executive Director Kids of Cornerstone Outreach Youth Development Program Shreveport LA 22 Women of Distinction SharpelL.M.Welchhasbeenworkingwithyouthinsomecapacity(teaching coaching ministering etc.)forover20years first as a youth minister basketball coach mentor professional development trainer and teacher. This is my calling. Developing young minds is like breathing for me. The only jobs I have had where I jump up energized and excited about work were those where I was teaching coaching or helping the youth of our community in some way. Sheandherhusband aretiredaircraftmechanic arebothordainedministersandwhenSharpelisn tworkingordoingherown courseworkorpreparingcourseworkforheralgebrastudents she sbusyastheExecutiveDirectoroftheirlocalcommunity outreach program or volunteering for Community Renewal International providing a safe haven for youth living in high risk high crimeareasofthecityatoneoftheir FriendshipHouses whereherhusbandisaCommunityCoordinator. Needlesstosay mylifeisbusy.ButIbelievethatthesacrificesmadenowwillserveagreaterpurposelater.Throughour outreachprogram I vehadtheopportunitytomentor tutor counsel coachover300youth.Asateacher inmyprofessional careerinacademia I vecontributedinareasfromhumanresourcesmanagementtothefrontlinesofteachingandtraining future and current leaders. Sharpel would like people to use her life as a reminder to never give up and never accept excuses for not trying. I want my granddaughters and grandsons to know that ANYTHING can be accomplished with the correct spiritual educational and relational balances in life. Finally I would like to remind the younger generations that there is no success without risk of failure no reward without hard work no opportunity without criticisms and no true leadership without TRUST IN GOD Q What is one of your frustrations with perceptions in your line of work A My biggest frustration comes when I hear someone voice the notion that I am wasting my time in inner-city communities andfailingschoolsystems.ISTRONGLYdisagree.Ineverycity ifyoulookhardenough youcanfindjewelsandgemshidden amidtheconcretejungles.Anydiamond inroughform lookslikeacommonrock.Askanygemologistandtheywilltellyouthat only time heat and immense pressure can bring out the beauty of a true diamond. I see our high-risk youth as precious gems that have already survived the pressures of their environments and simply need only to be harvested. But we have this treasure inearthenvessels thattheexcellencyofthepowermaybeofGodandnotofus. (2Corinthians4 7-KJV) Q How are your professional career and your community outreach work connected A Statistics show that there is a growing rate of children who live in vulnerable environments where the incidence of poverty teen pregnancy unemployment substance abuse and violence is widespread. The youth are often struggling in academics as well. However research has proven that comprehensive community outreach services and support can serve as a catalyst to maximize the rates of success and minimize problems faced by children and families of high-risk areas. Q Describe how your community outreach efforts bridge what you do in the classroom to what happens when the students leave school. A TheKidsofCornerstoneOutreachisanon-profitcommunityimprovementprogramwithacomprehensivetwo-tiercurriculum whichfocusesonyouthdevelopmentandyouthleadership.Tier 1 DiamondsintheRough entailsbringingabouttheholistic developmentofeachindividual spirit mind andbody.Tier 2 TheJoshuaGeneration concentratesondiscoveringand harvesting the innate leadership characteristics of local youth. Q Where can participants and potential volunteers go to become a part of these community outreach efforts A KOCiscurrentlypartneredwithJoeyKetchumandtheWesternHillsChurch(locatedat4153PinesRoad Shreveport LA 71119)whofacilitatetheprogramactivities.PastorJoeyKetchumsharesthesamepassionastheWelch stomakeanimpactin the community by simply exhibiting the love of Christ. The motto of Western Hills Church is Loving God... Loving People. The motto of Kids of Cornerstone is Changing Our World One Child at a Time . Q YoumentionedKOC stwo-tieredapproachtooutreach.Canyoudescribethe DiamondsintheRough tier A Yes we call our elementary age girls Jewels and our elementary age boys Gems . We have what we call Skull Drill conversations that address the following three categories of development ((1)Mindinvolvestutoring financialliteracy publicspeaking collegepreptours etiquette mentorprogram andcareer planning. 2)Spiritinvolvesbiblestudy praiseandworship churchparticipation communityvolunteerism prayerchain compassionate kids network the word in motion rap drama liturgical dance poetry and music. (3)Bodyinvolvesabstinence diet nutrition physicalhygiene professionalsportsevents positiveselfimage andsports. Q What is the goal of the second tier The Joshua Generation A The Joshua Generation is geared towards our older youth the teenagers. The title comes from the bible account of the childrenofIsraelwho soldergenerationdiedinthewilderness.Afterwardstheyoungergeneration ledbyJoshuaandCaleb possessedthelandandlifethathadbeenpromisedtothembyGod.Wefocusonthefollowingthreeobjectives -Toserveasaliaisonbetweenthecity syouthandelectedpublicofficialsinordertoassessissues developactionplans and implement programs processes and educational events that directly affect young people in our area. For the Youth... By the Youth(Alleviatingtheassumptionthatweknowwhatourchildrenareconcernedabout.) -Todiscoverandnurturehiddenleadershipcharacteristicsinouryouth thefutureofournation.(TheyhaveMUCHtosay... Let sLISTEN.) - To educate & encourage solution-based thinking and actions as it relates to the academic emotional environmental and socio-economicbarriersfacedbyyoungpeople.(Fosteringa Think...Do...Be Mentality) Q Where does your passion come from A The reason I am passionate about youth particularly those in high-risk environments stems from my abusive childhood. I was borntoa16-yearoldmotherwhowasphysicallyabusedbyher20-yearoldhusband.ShortlyafterIwasborn hisabuseturned towards me then eventually my younger sister. I can relate to youth in tough situations with the odds stacked against them because I WAS one of them. Q What was the turning point in your childhood that prevented you from becoming a victim or product of your trauma A This may sound clich but I had a praying grandmother. Sarah B. Jones was a single mother of eight who not only raised her own children but countless others grandchildren neighborhood kids etc. in a one bedroom house. No child was ever turned away. She literally LOVED the pain away. She was an angel walking among us. The prayer and encouragement of my grandmother provided the turning point for making up my mind to go from victim to victor in life. Q Who or what has been your greatest professional inspiration A I have a few people who have inspired me professionally. Foremost are my mother the late Jeanette Jones Harmon and grandmother the late Sarah B. Jones who always taught me to remain God-centered and spiritually grounded. Professor Fonda Johnson-Gaddiestronglyencouragedmetoregisterformyfirstcollegecourse.Thentherewasmypartnerinministry Youth PastorLisaOjesina whooriginallydevelopedtheideaofJewelsandGemsaspartofher KingsTreasures outreachministry and who would not accept my timidity and literally pushed me up front into leadership. These powerful praying women often saw greatness in me before I could recognize it in myself. Finally my husband Emmitt Welch has been my partner in every sense of the word. He has been there to wipe away my tears when I felt like giving up on my educational goals to pray and to sometimes even push me. Q What is your prognosis for the fate of inner-city schools and communities in America A My prognosis is great. I have high hopes for the future of our schools and communities. It would be easy to focus on the problems facing our society and there is a need for that but only if that focus comes with a solution-based refocusing strategy. That strategy begins with love and ends with rolling up our sleeves and working side-by-side with our youth to create a better tomorrow. We need everyone who has been impacted and become successful in life and career to in turn commit to making a positive impact for others. Q Can you sum up your cure for the woes of inner city communities in one word A Yes the word I would use happens to be my favorite verb LOVE(1Corinthians13 KJV) 24 Sudipa Biswas Epidemiology and HIV Surveillance Staff Epidemiologist Research for the City of Houston Health and Human Service Department 25 Houston TX Women of Distinction Behonesttoyourself andyouwillfindultimatehappiness. SudipaBiswas Sudipa Biswas is a Research Epidemiologist for the City of Houston Health and Human Service Department in Houston Texas. Her position is crucial for communicable disease investigation at the field level for effective control and prevention. Sudipa is responsible for the public health follow-up for the reportable infectious diseases after proper investigation. I serve an area of the health sector where clients need special attention proper education and adequate counseling. As a public health worker I always like to work with patients who truly need help with their health management. Community well-being is the primary goal of public health workers and this entails providing effective community service to bring changes in people s lives. Sudipa scareerbeganafterearningherBachelorinMedicinefromtheChittagongMedicalCollegeattheUniversityofChittagong. Shejoinedanon-governmentalorganizationinBangladeshasacommunityphysician helpingthegarmentworkersinBangladesh. During that year I learned about the necessity of primary health care occupational health and safety and most importantly the obstacles of social health on working women in Bangladesh which immensely inspired me to pursue my career in public health. She went on to complete a Master in Public Health and searched for an opportunity where she could best serve the community nationdirectly.ThisledSudipatotheCityofHoustonHealthandHumanServiceDepartmentinJanuary2010 wheresheremains today. However coming from a different health system cultural background and ideology of life as well as building up the rapport and connectionwithherclientsandcommunitywasachallengeforSudipawhenshejoinedthepublichealthforce. I am grateful to my family colleagues work environment and overall my organization for providing me with the support to become asuccessfulandefficientpublichealthprofessional.WhenIfirststartedmycareer mysupervisor mentorwasagreatinspiration. Shetaughtmehowwecanmakedifferenceinaperson slifethroughourefficientwork whichisthegoalforpublichealthinthe community.Mypatient ssatisfactionandpositivefeedbackisalwaysthedrivingwheelformycareer.Ilovemywork.Tome loving your work is the key to overcoming all obstacles in the workplace as well as in life so try to focus on what you like to do in life and that passion will bring you success in the end. SudipaisalsoanactivememberofHoustonDurgaBariSociety(HDBS) areligiousorganizationservingintheGreaterHouston Area VedantaSocietyofGreaterHouston(VSGH) andBangladeshAmericanSocietyofGreaterHouston(BASGH). My active participation in all community events organized through them such as health fairs youth conferences religious celebrations cultural events and community festivals has enhanced my communication skills. I serve as co-coordinator event management community liaison and almost always volunteer for any section that needs help to make an event successful. She believes that simplicity of life is very hard to achieve in this ongoing complex world. IamtryingtoreachthatsimplepointwhereIcanlookback haveadeepbreath andsaythatI vedonesomethingforeveryone. Sudipa discusses her work in more detail in the following Q & A Q What is the best reason to choose health care as profession A The range of skills and experiences you can gather within this profession is not limited only to your imagination. You can examine patients and their activities in real life. The overall health of your community will be impacted by your efforts which is a key reason that so many choose this profession. Q Why did you choose HIV surveillance A Houston is the 4thlargestcityamongmorethan20U.S.metropolitanareaswithhighHIV AIDSprevalencerates according toNHBS(NationalHIVBehavioralSurveillance)sites.Theseprevalenceratesarecausingseriousalarmsforthehealthcare developmentofHouston.Asapublichealthworker Ithinkit smyprivilegetocontributetothisresearchareatodecreasethe prevalence rate. 26 Women of Distinction Q What is the purpose of HIV surveillance A The purpose of HIV surveillance is three-fold (1)Toprovidearoadmapfordevelopingasystemofcare. (2)TopresentadetailedpictureofthelocalHIV AIDSepidemic. (3)ToguidedecisionsaboutHIV-relatedservicesandresourcesinourareaconsistentwiththegoalsofthenationalHIV AIDS strategy. Q Tell us something about the City of Houston Health and Human Service Department A The Health and Human Service Department of City of Houston provides traditional public health services and seeks to use innovativemethodstomeetthecommunity spresentandfutureneeds.Ourmissionistoworkinpartnershipwiththecommunity to promote and protect the health and social well-being of all Houstonians. Q WhatisthemissionandvisionofHouston sHIVsurveillance A To work in partnership with the community in order to assess plan and implement effective public health strategies to reduce the spread of HIV viral hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases in the City of Houston. 27 Women of Distinction Winifred McCullough Turner Federal Government -Administrative Support DeputyDirector OfficeofFacility InformationandAssetManagementin theOfficeoftheAssistantSecretaryforAdministration at the U.S. Department of Transportation Washington DC 28 Women of Distinction WinifredMcCulloughTurnerholdsaMasterofScienceinNationalResourceStrategyfromtheNationalDefenseUniversity s Eisenhower School in Washington DC a Master of Arts in Human Resources Development from Webster University in St. Louis MO and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Jackson State University in Jackson MS. Winifred McCullough Turner came from very humble beginnings in rural Mississippi. She grew up on a farm in a small town calledCamdenasthethirdofninechildren.HerparentsCharlieandKatherineweremarriedfor49yearsbeforeherfather passed away. My parents were great role models. I never heard them utter a harsh word. They were very spiritual and encouraged all their children to excel in everything they do. As far back as she can remember Winifred dreamed of becoming a lawyer. However her life went in a different direction when she saw a commercial for the United States Army. Theimagesofsoldiersrepellingfromhelicoptersintriguedme soIquicklymademywaytothenearestArmyReserveOfficer TrainingCorp(ROTC)building.IlikedwhatIheardandenrolledintheprogram butafterfouryearsoffunandexcitement I didn twanttogiveitup.Upongraduatingin1978 IwascommissionedasaSecondLieutenantandembarkeduponacareerin the United States Army. After having completed a distinguished military career and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel Winifred is now the Deputy Director intheOfficeofFacilities InformationandAssetManagement whereshemanagesadiversestaffof119federalandcontract personnel providingadministrativeservicestotheDepartmentofTransportation(DOT)headquartersandsupportingover5 500 employees. TheworkIdoensurestheproperfunctioningofadministrativesupportservices sothatemployeesarefreetofocusonwhat s reallyimportant ensuringafast safe efficient accessible andconvenienttransportationsystemthatmeetsourvitalnational interestsandenhancesthequalityoflifeoftheAmericanpeople. Winifred wants to be known for helping people and making their lives a little better. I want to be known as the person who always looked for the good in others. I believe that whatever we re looking for (good or evil) we ll find if we look deep enough. SheismarriedtoHenryC.TurnerJr. U.S.ArmyLieutenantColonel(retired).Theyhavethreeadultchildren LangstonJ. Turner Nicole S. Turner and Dominic B. Turner. Winifred discusses her career in more detail in the following Q & A Q Who or what has been your greatest professional inspiration A I cannot credit any one person. There are been many great mentors and leaders who have assisted me throughout my professionaljourney.However mymother KatherineMcCullough deservesthemostcredit becausesheprovidedarocksolid foundation that enabled me to launch my career. I also believe that much of my professional inspiration comes from within call it drive determination or simple spiritual intervention. Q Can you recall a time when you implemented a program that was a game changer for the organization A Yes whenIestablishedtheCustomerServiceCallCenterintheOfficeofRealandPersonalPropertyandAsset Management at the U.S. Department of Transportation. I created a one-stop shop that provided assistance to over 5 500 employees. As a result of this initiative employees were able to devote their full attention to mission critical tasks as opposed to day-to-day administrative facility issues. With a high-tech automated call center we improved response time to employee issues improvedproficiencyandproductivity andoverallimprovedcustomerservice satisfaction. Q As a manager and leader how do you keep your staff motivated A I keep my staff motivated by ensuring they are actively engaged in the changes that are made and in the decision-making process.Byensuringthatthey reinvolvedintheplanningandexecutionduringtheearlystages they remorewillingtoaccept andsupportchange.Irewardemployeeswhentheyexcelattheirjob.Ialsoprovideasupportivegrowthenvironmentwhere staff can develop through training mentoring and coaching. 29 Women of Distinction Q What is the one attribute that every leader should possess A Theabilitytomotivate influenceiscritical.Youcan taccomplisheverythingbyyourself.Youmustbeabletorelyonothers. Therefore it simperativethatleadersareabletomotivateandinfluenceothers. Q How do you keep current on key international policies and economic and political trends that affect the organization A I mabletostayuptodateonkeyinternationalpoliciesandeconomicandpoliticaltrendsbyreviewingvariousdocuments suchastheDepartmentofTransportation sStrategicPlan reviewingonlinesources includingGlobalTrends2015 transportation industry trends attending meetings training sessions transportation forums and conferences and through working collaboratively on interagency work groups. Q Howdoyouimproveefficienciesandfunctionsinanorganizationsuchasyours A First determinewhat sworkingandwhat snot.Next forthoseareasidentifiedforimprovements meetwithappropriatestaff and effectively communicate the problem. Form a working group so that they can begin to develop a plan of action on how to bestproceed.Checkinwiththeteamregularlysotheycanseethatyou reengaged.Makesuretheystayontarget butavoid micromanagement.Throughoutthisprocess theideaistoencourageandmotivatetheteamtofindthebestsolutionformaking improvements. At the conclusion of the process improvement initiative reward and recognize the team for their effort. Q Asaleader whatisthedecidingfactorwhenyouhavetohiresomeoneandbothcandidatesareequallyasqualified A Themostimportantquestionstoaskyourselfare Willheorshebeagoodfitwiththeorganizationandmanagementteam and does he or she understand the culture of the organization You may want to also consider things that you have in common withthecandidate.Forexample maybeyouenjoythesamehobbies orattendedthesameuniversity.Thesefactorscanmake the transition smoother and pave the way for open and frank communication. Q Howdidyouovercomeobstaclesduringyourcareer(bothinthemilitaryandintheFederalGovernment) A Iovercameobstaclesbyviewingthemas bumpsintheroad .Youdon tstopdriving becauseyouhitabump.Ineverlost sight of my desired goals. If I only had one word to describe what is key that word would be perseverance . Q Would you advise high school college students today to pursue a military career Why or why not A Yes the military is an excellent career choice for any young adult. It enables them to obtain a skill in an exhilarating and challengingenvironment.Theylearnstructureanddiscipline.Andthey reaffordedtheopportunitytotravel(withoutthepersonal expense).They realsoabletobuildfriendshipsandnetworks someofwhichwilllastthemalifetime.Evenafterleavingthe military service they will still belong to a wonderful military organization. Q Lookingbackoveryourcareer what(ifanything)wouldyoudodifferentlytoday A I veenjoyedawonderfulandchallengingcareer.However knowingwhatIknowtoday thereareseveralthingsIwoulddo differently.First inthewordsofSherylSandberg Iwould leanin more.IwouldmakecertainthatI msittingatthetableand notonthewall.Secondly Iwouldbeboldandmoreassertive.Finally althoughI manintrovertatheart Iwouldsummonmore extrovertappearances.Asthesayinggoes Thesqueakywheelgetsthegrease. 30 Women of Distinction Cheryl Waiters Electrical Retired Electrician Local 38 Electrical Union Author Dallas TX CherylWaitersbecamethefirstAfricanAmericanwomantogaininternationalrecognitionforhercareerasamemberofthe Local 38 Electrical Union. Encouraged to go to school and get a degree to pursue womanly work Cheryl decided to ignore the advice given to her by her uncle and instead followed in his footsteps to become a third-generation electrician. Gaining furtherrecognitionforbuildingProgressiveFieldfortheClevelandIndiansastheonlyfemalejourneymanelectricianamong 2 000maleconstructionworkersinOhio aswellastheadjacentThe Q homeofLeBronJames CherylappearedonGood Morning America and was interviewed by Spencer Christian for Joan Lunden on the topic of women working in non-traditional workenvironments.OtherprojectsCherylhaslentahandonhaveincludedtheGoodSamaritanHome theKeyBankTower The Marriott Hotel in downtown Cleveland the Great Lakes Science Center and the Cleveland Browns Stadium among many others. In fact she also lent a hand in the new Cleveland skyline making it a new American city. The men I have worked with would do just about anything to make me quit. They were mean and downright nasty at times but I kept going back day after day Cheryl said about her career choice. Women can do most anything with the right education and equipment. Usingthespiritofdeterminationandthebeliefthatshewashelpinginthefightforequalrightsforwomen Cherylcontinuedon inconstruction.JoiningtheLocal38ElectricalUnionin1989inCleveland Ohio sheworkedjustashardinherlateryearsas shedidwhenshefirstbeganherjourneytwodecadesago.SheisalsoaretiredmemberoftheInternationalBrotherhoodof Electrical Workers. Completing her autobiography Blood Sweat and High Heels Cheryl voices her message of self-empowerment for women of all ages and nationalities demonstrating the courage that it took for her to face life as an African American female electrician in amale-dominatedtrade followedbymuchcriticism.Blood Sweat andHighHeelspresentsarecapofCheryl slife describing howsheovercameracialandgenderbiasasshecontinuouslystruggledfordignity respect andequalityintreatmentand payontheconstructionjobsite.Thiswarmandwittynarrative that attimeswasevenfunny isnowinthemidstofasequel and Cheryl is eager to continue mentoring and advising young women and single parents alike in their professional pursuit of happiness through her books. At the end of the day we all need to take home a paycheck Cheryl added about her struggles and triumphs of working in the electrical field as a female. If I could do it any woman can do it. 31 Women of Distinction Q Why did you write this book A I wanted to give my audience a post-Civil Rights American experience to connect history with a personal experience of doingsomethingwomenweren tsupposedtodo electricalwork.Iwantedpeopletochangehowtheytreatothers their families and themselves and let young people know they have options to succeed in life. I wanted them to educate themselves andthinkbeforetheyacted.Ialsowantedpeopletofindinspirationtochangethemselvesifnecessary andbuildstronger individuals families and a stronger America. Q Doyouthinkwomenworkinginnon-traditionaljobsisabattleofthesexes A Nobecausewomenandmenwantthesamethingsphysicallyandspiritually.Itwasn tabattleitwasabreakthrough- womentryingtogetmentounderstandthatwe renotcompeting.Womenwanttoshowthatthey renotweakandignorantand can do more than be mothers and homemakers. We have come a long way baby. Q What was it like working with men in construction A My experience was like being in an abusive marriage. The work is physical but not necessarily hard. I had many power toolstomakethingseasyandIlookedatitlikeworkingouteveryday.Theenvironmentisdirty andjustas70%ofmendon t cleanathometheydon tcleanuponconstructionjobs.Forwomen theenvironmentisverychallenging menspittingtobacco all day and the port-a-potties were hard to use after them. Horseplay was dangerous at times too. Most of them were very competitiveandveryjealousifawomandidabetterjob. Q What kind of work should women do in your opinion A Ibelievewomenshouldbeabletodoanykindofworktheywantwithoutharassment.We reco-heirstotheuniverseand shouldhaveanequalshare.Thedifferencesbetweenmenandwomenshouldbalancetheirrelationshiponandoffthejob.We must learn to work together. Men should see us as an asset not a liability. Q How did you pick the title for your book A Good Morning America Interviewer Spencer Christian made reference to blood sweat and tears going into our hard work ontheClevelandIndiansStadium soIusedBLOODtotellthestoryoffamilyinfluenceinmylife thefirstphaseofourlives and act one of the screenplay SWEAT to tell the story of my work experience the second phase of our lives and act two of the screenplay and HIGHHEELS for retirement the last phase of our lives and act three of the screenplay which I am currently living. Q What do you want readers to learn from your book A I mnotarockstar I vehadaveryinterestingandcomplexlifeandIwantreaderstobeinterestedinthelivesofeveryday American heroes and sheroes because we can all learn from each other. Whatever the reader takes away and learns should be their personal experience. Q Isthebookjustforwomen A There ssomethinginthebookforeveryone it shistoricalandtalksaboutmanyissuesfacingpeopletoday.It sinspirational educational thoughtprovoking andajourneythroughtimeandspace.EveryonehasastoryandIencouragethemtowrite theirs leaving a legacy behind. Q Is your book your legacy so to speak A I vebeenaskedtoteach speak andmakeaplatform.Isimplywrotemylifestoryfromthebeginningtomy15minutesof fame as they say. Q What would you say to those seeking employment today A Learnabuildingtradeoranytradeorskillthatarobotcan tdo.Everyoneneedssomekindofservice andskilledtradeswill put food on the table no matter what the economy is doing. Q Who is your greatest inspiration A The Eternal God and Tina Turner 32 Women of Distinction Lisa A. Ferrara PhD Healthcare Device Regulatory Consulting Strategies and Medical Device Testing and Failure Analyses Owner ChiefExecutiveOfficer OrthoKineticTechnologies(OKT) Owner OrthoKinetic Testing Technologies Southport NC 33 Women of Distinction Originally Lisa A. Ferrara PhD received a biology degree with the intent to go to medical school to become a cardiac surgeon. After attending a fascinating lecture on the future of myoelectric prosthetics she changed her focus to engineering. Obtaining hersecondbachelor sinelectricalengineering sheworkedasabiomedicalengineerfortheDepartmentofOrthopedicsat theStateUniversityofNewYorkforafewyearsbeforeearninghermaster sinneuroscienceandbioengineeringatSyracuse UniversityandherdoctorateinappliedbiomedicalengineeringwithaconcentrationinMicroElectroMechanical(MEMS) Systems. Lisa later accepted a faculty position for the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine where she developed the Spine Biomechanics Laboratory and later accepted a greater challenge where she founded the Spine ResearchLaboratory ajointmusculoskeletalresearchfacilityforthedepartmentsofOrthopedicsandNeurosurgeryatthe Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In2005 OrthoKineticTechnologies(OKT)andOrthoKineticTestingTechnologies(OKTT)wereformed. The two separate companies which often work in collaboration provide the medical device industry with a turn-key approach for taking new concepts for new medical devices from early concept to commercialization while ensuring the devices have effectively proven their safety Lisa explained. The relationship of OKT and OKTT provide the client with the necessary regulatory and test strategies accompanied with the pre- and post-clinical testing where device performance can be closely monitored to ensure all devices will perform within safe thresholds. Lisa and her husband a mechanical engineer previously from the nuclear industry are co-owners of OKT and OKTT and sharenumeroustasksrequiredforrunningbothcompanies.Theirworkingrelationshipisideal astheybalanceeachother professionally and manage everything from the business development to medical device testing risk mitigation and interfacing with the FDA. Lisaservesasascientificadvisortoahealthcareinvestmentgroup isamemberofnumerousmedicalorganizations sits on numerous executive review committees for many medical societies is the chairman of the International Society for the AdvancementofSpineSurgeryResearchcommittee servesasaneditorialmemberforfivedifferentpeer-reviewedmedicaland scientificjournals andasamemberoftheSoutheasternRegionalBiotechnologyBoardforNorthCarolina.Heradvicetobeing successful in a rapidly changing environment is to stay current recognize the market trends for future growth think creatively beinnovativeandresourceful andalwaysremainobjectiveandethical. 34 Women of Distinction Q What is the mission for the two companies A OKT and OKTT provide a turn-key approach for medical device assessment validation and regulatory approval from concepttocommercialization . Q Is the turnkey approach that both companies [OKT and OKTT] provide considered valuable to the client A Theturnkeyapproachformedicaldevicedevelopmentandevaluationprovidesaunifiedandwell-managedpathwaytowards regulatory success. Q How do you keep your business current A The business keeps pace with the technology. As technology continues to evolve beyond conventional standards and strategies. Q How do the two businesses differentiate themselves A TheformationofbothOKTandOKTTwastocreatethefirstbusinessmodelthatofferedaturn-keyapproachformedical device evaluation from early design to post-market success. Q Howdothetwocompanies OKTandOKTTworktogethertobenefittheclient A OKT is the consulting and strategy piece to provide the client with the appropriate guidance to ensure a successful outcome. OKTTisaseparateISO17025certifiedandA2LAaccreditedmedicaldeviceandtissuetestingfacilitythatperformsthe appropriate test batteries according to the strategies OKT has developed. Q Howwelldoesthebusinessfitwithyourcorecompetencies A ThebusinessmodelfitswellwithOKTandOKTT scorecompetencies asthiscollaborativemodelwasdesignedtoprovide consultationtotheClientduringtheentirecourseoftheproduct slifecycle. Q What is the client involvement strategy A The client is very involved with OKT and OKTT during the evaluation period and if applicable during the course of the product lifecycle to ensure that a safe and effective medical device maintains these parameters. Q How can you involve customers in creating a superior solution A TheClient steamandOKT OKTT steammustallworkasaunifiedgroup.Productsuccessdependsonawell-informed team.Thisensuresamoreefficientprocesswithagreaterprobabilityofsuccess. Q Howwillyourcustomersbenefitbyyourbusinessmodel A The turn-key approachtowardsmedicaldevicedevelopmentisasignificantbenefittoourclients asitprovidesawellorchestrated and cost-effective approach for device safety with a high probability of regulatory success. Q Whydoyoufeelthatyourbusinessisrelevantintoday shealthcareindustry A Bothbusinessesfillanicheprovidingthemedicaldeviceindustrywithnecessarystrategiesandsolutionsforasuperior product. OKT and OKTT have been recognized for outstanding work superior problem-solving and maintaining highest standards of ethics integrity. 35 Women of Distinction Mary Vinagro Nature Photography Owner of Seven Lakes Exposure Wakefield NH While she is the CFO and Co-Owner of several construction companies Mary Vinagro is happiest as sole owner of Seven Lakes Exposure. PhotographyissomethingthatI mpassionateabout.It allowsmetheopportunitytobeoutdoorsandenjoynature. Plus it keeps me sane on the weekends. Mary carries her cameras around wherever she goes. Q Whattypeofequipmentdoyouuse A I started out with a Minolta 35mm way back when. Now I useSonya55andSonyHX300digitalcameras.It ssonice to be able to instantly see the photos instead of having to wait forthefilmtodevelop. Q Youworkwithwildlife.Whatisthelongesttimeyou ve waited for a shot A I vespentseveralhoursatatimehangingoutinthewoods waitingfortherightshot.Themostextensiveprojectwas chasing after a bald eagle. I am fortunate to have one living aroundmylakeandI vebeentryingtogetagoodshotof himforthesevenyearswe vebeenlivinginEastWakefield. Healwaysmanagedtostayjustfarenoughaway.Ikept buying bigger lenses in order to get close ups but he still eludedme.Butaboutthreemonthsago(earlymorning) my husband started yelling for me to look outside the living room windowandsureenough theeaglewasjustsittingona stumpabout10feetfromourdock.Icouldn tbelieveit.Itwas liketheeaglewaswaitingforme.SoIranoutthedoor(in mypajamasnoless) sneakingfromtreetotree untilIcould getcloseenoughtotaketheshot.Theyaretrulymagnificent birds. Q What do you want your viewers to get out of your photography A I hope to inspire others to get outside and appreciate the outdoors. Too much time is spent in front the television and the computer. I would also love to decorate homes and businesses with my work. I would love to bring a smile tosomeone sfacewhentheylookatoneofmyphotos especiallyiftheyarehavingabadday ortheirjobrequires them to sit at a desk all day. You never know when a photo opportunity might present itself. Her passion for photography started when she was a child. Growingup myfathertookourfamily sphotosandvideos. After he passed away I took over the camera work and liked it. Years later I started taking wildlife pictures after my husband and I built a place in the White Mountains. And in Januaryof2014 Igatheredallofmyfavoritepicturesand created a website to sell my work. Maryreallyenjoyscapturingmomentswithhercameraand would like to share New England and other places where she has traveled with the world. I hope I can inspire others to take a walk outside and appreciate nature. Q Why did you become a photographer A I started out taking family photos when was I was younger. I velostsomanyfamilymembersovertheyears thatIhoped to capture moments with my loved ones. When my husband and I built a house in the White Mountains of New Hampshire seven years ago I really started to appreciate the outdoors of New England. I have been very fortunate to have all types of subjects(fromplantstoanimals)inthearea soIdecidedthat I wanted to capture moments in nature and share them with 36 others. Women of Distinction Q How far do you want to expand A Nature photography appeals to me the most because I thinkNewEnglandisauniqueandfascinatingplacetolive but I am not ruling out the possibility of trying my hand at sports. I think it would be fun to capture moments in both professional and amateur events. Q How can your photographs inspire other women to follow their passions A Asbusyasmyscheduleiswithmydayjob Imaketime to take photos. I hope that someone who reads this article is inspired to make the effort to follow through with an idea they may have been contemplating. I think everyone has a talent. Theyjustneedtoputtheeffortintofindoutwhatitisand go with it. I get tired of hearing excuses as to why someone can tdosomething.Iprefertofigureoutwaystomakethings happen. Q How will your talents as a photographer grow to obtain your goal A At some point I would like to take some classes to expand my knowledge. I still have a lot to learn about lighting. I love taking night shots but they can be a real challenge for me. The cameras also present a challenge because there are so many settings available. Q With the digital age your artwork can appear on cups banners shirts etc. Do you think this cheapens the artistry of the photo A Myfirstthoughtwasyes.Iguessitcancheapentheartistry ofthephoto butfrommyperspective Ijustwanttoshare whatIseeandenjoy.Sowhetherit shangingonawallor staring back at you from your coffee mug as long as you get enjoymentoutofthepicture that swhatreallymatters. Q What are your favorite things to photograph A Moonscapes are one of my favorite things to photograph. The ever-changing skyline when the moon is out and clouds arerollingincanbequitebeautiful.Ialsolovetakingclose-up shotsofbirds.NewEnglandhassomanyvarietiesandI ve learned to appreciate all the species we have in the area. Q Would you like to go beyond New England to take photos A I love to travel and hope to do more in the future. I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica last year and was amazedatthewildlife.Mywebsitehasquiteafewphotosthat I took during my stay and gives me the opportunity to share whatI veseenwithotherswhomaynevergetthechanceto explore other places. 37 Women of Distinction Rose Perri Biotechnology Pharmaceutical President East Gate Biotech Corp. Toronto Ontario CAN 38 Women of Distinction Workingalongsideherlatebrother ElioMarkPerriin1990 RosePerriassistedinthetransactionsoffinancingseveral Canadian biotech companies. Meeting their business partner four years later Anna Gluskin together they formed a drug deliverycompanyin1995.Spendingthenext16yearsinbusinesstogether whichisconsideredtobequitealongruninthe biotech industry Rose felt blessed. My brother has always been my greatest inspiration. Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 1990 he was just starting out in the biotech pharmaceutical business as a venture capitalist Rose explained. His client base included doctors who initially encouraged him to get into the business. The fact that he was terminally ill also made him focus on trying to find potential treatments for himself. Eventually investors and scientists approached him with their ideas and my brother s business evolved from there. Rose sbrotheralwayshadverypositiveoutlookonlife despitehisillness.HisexcitementforthebusinessrubbedoffonRose and Anna and they have been the driving force behind East Gate Biotech Corp. ever since. As president of the organization Rose spends a lot of time making certain that daily activities are in line with their overall mission. She also nurtures their pharmaanddistributionnetworkwiththegoalofestablishingtherightpartneringfit.Meanwhile asactingCEO Annaspends her efforts providing the high level corporate vision for the company making sure that their resources are utilized to further their developments at an optimal level that will lead to commercialization. Thebiotechfieldischallengingonmanylevels Rosesaid. Developmentscantakemanytwistsandturns asitiswellknown thatbiotechcompaniesdon thavelonglife businesscycles.Anappetiteformulti-taskingisrequiredasmanagementmust always balance the wish list of investors clinicians patient-base and pharma companies alike. Notingthatthefinancialhealthisequallyimportant asitisnecessaryfortheprogressofthecompany sproprietaryknow-how and technology platform Anna said You have to work hard to motivate yourself during the good times and sustain yourself whendealingwithchallengesanddelays.Alotofpeopleoftenattributelucktoone ssuccess buttheoldadageholds work hard and make your own luck. Q What does EastGate Biotech do A We innovate proven pharmaceuticals by enhancing their delivery absorption to satisfy an unmet need. We also develop innovative nutraceuticals that are sourced from natural substances and effectively absorbed by the body. Q How does the delivery system work A EastGate Biotech developed a proprietary platform delivery system known as a sub-micron self-nanoemulsifying delivery system. We innovate proven pharmaceuticals by enhancing their delivery and absorption to satisfy the amount needed. We also develop innovative nutraceutical serviced from natural substances that are effectively absorbed by the body. 39 Women of Distinction Q Whatisyourcompany spositionintheindustry A As a biotech company we are focused on the formulation of existing products that have unmet needs in growing disease indications such as diabetes. We are not a discovery company nor are we a marketing company. Q How are you different than the competition A We try to stay ahead of the competition by determining indications that do not have enough safe and effective drugs. A lot ofbiggercompaniesarenotexpandingtheirproductpipelinesfromwithinandhaveoptedtodomergersandacquisitionsto ensure growth. Q What are your products A EastGate is working on two fronts in parallel nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical developments utilizing our delivery platform.We vedevelopedanintraoralinsulintabletforType2andpre-diabetespatients.Asafeandeffectivenon-injectable insulin product still remains the Holy Grail particularly in the form of a tablet. The other pharmaceutical development is our Lorazepam Spray for acute seizures for patients with epilepsy. An easy-to-use patient-friendly hand-held spray would diminish the need for in-patient hospital stay and allow patients family-members and their caregivers the freedom to treat themselves or their family member during a seizure attack. Q Any interesting products in your nutraceutical line A Our nutraceutical products are based on essential oils that are formulated through our delivery system. Details of the products can be found on our e-commerce page www.nano-essentials.com.WerecentlyreceivedanNPN(naturalproduct number)fromHealthCanadaforourproductGlucora whichisanatural-basedformulaforhealthyglucosemetabolism.Thisis a supplement that will complement our diabetes franchise. Q How big are the markets A It swellknownthatdiabeteshasbecomeapandemicaroundtheworld.Presently insulininjectablesrepresentamultibillion dollar industry. The insulin pill has the potential of growing this market size tenfold. The anti-seizure market costs the healthcaresystem 90billionannually.Thenutraceuticalbusinessisa 2billionbusinessandgrowing.Newandeffective products such as ours have the opportunity to penetrate this marketplace. Q Anything else A The beauty about our sub-micron delivery system is that we can apply many other drugs through it. We can also have a separate business whereby other companies can license our delivery system to expand their own product lines. Q Where do you hope to see the company headed in the next few years A Enteringintolicensingagreement(s)foroneorbothofourpharmaceuticaldevelopmentsandcommenceclinicalstudies aimed toward regulatory approvals gaining further market penetration achieved by our existing distributors and widen the distribution network for our nutraceutical products and collaborating with other pharmaceutical companies who wish to use our platform delivery system to enhance their own products or expand their product pipeline. Q Where is the company located A We have a wholly-owned subsidiary located in Toronto Canada from which operations take place. The parent company is a US publically-trading company on the Bulletin Board with the symbol ETBI. 40 Women of Distinction Sandra Stemmer Executive Director Alberta Sand and Gravel Association Edmonton Alberta Canada 41 Women of Distinction AsExecutiveDirectoroftheAlbertaSandandGravelAssociation(ASGA) Sandraistheorganization sprincipalprofessional providing vision planning and operational oversight. A member-based association the ASGA advocates for environmental responsibility and education of aggregate consumers while representing sand and gravel operators in the orderly development of this non-renewable resource. A key initiative since 2005 theAssociation s Truck Registry is cited as the model forAlberta. The Registry imparts minimum operatingstandardsandestablishesaccountabilitiesthroughnumericalidentificationofeachregisteredtruck.Acentralizedtollfree number relieves municipalities of the burden of managing complaints instead the ASGA oversees an established complaint management protocol resulting in improved commitment for the communities in which members operate. The ASGA provides memberswithbothspecificandgeneraldataonconcernsraisedbythepublic.Focusingonareasrequiringattentionhelpsfoster increasingly responsible operation by those who haul aggregate products in Alberta. Thelongroadhere...Sandrawasbornin1959asthesecondchildtoEdmundandGenevieveKlatt followedcloselybyyounger brother Calvin. Her other brother Bob was only 13 months older. The family of five shared a 680 square foot bungalow in Edmonton Alberta Canada.ThesehumblebeginningswerecompoundedbyadisabilitythatcausedEdmund sdeathin1974. Genevieveworkedveryhardformodestpaytoprovideforherchildrenandtheyeventuallymovedtothe900squarefoothome where Genevieve still resides. Each of the three children followed very different paths through life. Bob married young and became a devoted husband and father working in the electrical trade to support his family. Calvin pursued higher education and attained a PhD in Space Science. However Sandra spathwasfarlessdefinedandinvolvedmultipletwistsandturns. Thedeathofherfatherwasdifficultforherat14yearsofageandshedroppedoutofschoolbarelyintothetenthgrade.Sandra workedataseriesofminimumwagejobsandwasfortunatetoreceiveagovernmentassignmentatage19throughatemporary employment agency. Although the temporary work became an offer of permanent employment Sandra started her career at the very lowest level within the hierarchy of government. When she eventually applied for a position one step higher she was deemed ineligible due to the lack of a high school diploma. With a high IQ and low education she registered for the General Education Diploma exam and thus opened the door to incremental opportunities. From Clerk I she was promoted to Clerk IV in another government department. Her path led to Clerk V Clerk VI and thentoAdministrativeOfficerbeforeshechangeddirectiontoworkwiththeGovernmentofCanada. Again the career path widened when given the opportunity to write a challenge exam after applying for a professional level position. Thus began an impressive career in business planning performance measurement risk management and other areas where she excels. Sandra eventually returned to the Alberta Government where she worked in business planning for Alberta Transportation and Alberta Infrastructure for ten years. Starting as Business Planning Analyst she moved to Manager of Business Planning then to Director during those ten years. She then transferred to Alberta Energy where the new portfolio provided yet another promotion. Five years later Sandra retired with a total career of 33 years in government service. During what turned out to be a brief retirement Sandra worked part time for the Edmonton Humane Society Education Department andcontinuesherparttimeworktothisday.Hercontributionshelpelevatepeoples beliefs attitudes andbehaviors strengthening the potential outcomes for companion animals. Sandraalsohasadeepappreciationforhistoricalbuildingsandfurnishings.In2013 sherealizedanambitiontoownahomein Edmonton sbeautifulhistoricHighlands. Herfirsthousepurchasewasmadeattheageof22 theoriginal680squarefootbungalowshegrewupin.Shemanagedthe downpaymentbysupplementinghergovernmentwageswithasecondjob adding30extrahoursontoeachworkweek.She eventuallyupgradedtoan800squarefootresidence thenthe1 200squarefoothomeshestillownsinthecommunityofBeverly Heights alongwithherlargerdwellinginHighlands.She sfurnishedeachconsecutivehomethroughattendingantiqueauction sales. Positive role models hard work and never letting anything keep her down have lead to Sandra s successes. She hopes her legacy is one of kindness to all creatures each other and ourselves. 42 Women of Distinction Adrienne Smith Fitness Coaching Corrective Exercise Specialist & Owner of Fitness Evolution RR Rocky River OH AdrienneSmith sjourneyintofitnessstartedwhenshestepped away from Mechanical Engineering to stay at home with her daughter. A love for the science of the human body drives Adrienne. I not only love the results I give my clients but the body is amazing.It sablessingtoseehowyoucantakepainaway give someone freedom of movement help them look and feel better than ever and continue to be awed by the amount one can still learn. Each body is different so each training program is as well. Paul Chek helped me learn the parts of the human body and movement of musculature in a way not taughtbytypicalpersonaltrainingcertifications.Heintroduced metocorrectiveexercise.AndCharlesPoliquin sknowledge and experience in program design and strength training is extraordinary. Combining what I learned from them was perfect for me. Since there is no one way to work a body out I have researched and incorporated a number of techniques and styles into my program designs. Adrienne would like to shorten the gap between medicine and holistic health. During this time I exercised a lot and realized that I was very interested in what the trainers at my gym were doing so I decided to get certified myself. In 2003 I was diagnosed with scoliosis from being hit by a car when I was six years old. I really wanted to fix my spine and found out how to do it with Corrective Exercise . Bones go where muscles and tissue put them and I was going to rewire mine. I now only have a trace of spinal curvature. Because I wanted freedom to give my clients the attention they needed I opened my own training studio in 2007. Adrienne is the Owner Operator of Fitness Coach but wears many hats. I mtheMarketingManager OfficeManager SalesManager and anything else needed to run a successful business. I m also a coach to the clients that I have under my supervision. That consists of the body assessment program design and nutritional plan. I am also educating my staff to learn all that I know. Individuals take time to research schools doctors sporting equipment and so on but they never research the trainers or methods of training. I am the only one in my area that does the type of training that I do which makes it hard for otherstocomprehendthequalityofmyprograms.Sure fitness trainerstakethetestsandhavethecertifications butworking with each individual and seeing exactly what that person needs comes from experience. Books cannot teach you the real things that only come from experience. I want professionals and the public to look at all the many different therapies to fix the human body before deciding to be invasive. I also hope that preventative care will one day be covered and looked at as being more important than fixing something after it s damaged. 43 Women of Distinction Sam Semchenko Sam Semchenko is an advertising consultant (medical copywriter) for various pharmaceutical advertising agencies in the United States and the Creative Director of the gallery BCBArt. Her dual career began at the New York offices of Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich in 1978 where she was given the opportunity to compose questions for the VeterinaryAptitude Test(astandardizedexam)andotherpublications. Advertising and Fine Arts Advertising Consultant (variousU.S.pharmaceuticaladvertisingagencies) andCreativeDirector(VP)forBCBArt Hudson NY I had recently graduated from Bryn Mawr with a double major in biology and fine arts and my shared interest in medicine and media served me well in this my first writing gig . It would also set the tone for the rest of my career. Sam wrote medical abstracts to pay her way through graduate school where she earned an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and later a certificate in TV Arts and Computer Graphics from the Center for Media Arts in Manhattan. Inthe1980sand90s Samexpandedhercopywritingtoinclude journal articles for physicians medicolegal textbooks for attorneys andforensicscientificanalysisforamajorproduct liabilitylawfirm. Throughout this period I maintained my interest in the arts and actively exhibited my work in New York City and other locations. Today as a creative consultant in advertising Sam is involved in concept development client presentations pitches product positioning branding rebranding and synergistic interaction with art directors for agencies that develop promotional materials for the pharmaceutical industry. Other responsibilities of this position include strategic planning graphics manipulation market research interpretation and regulatory guidance for digital media and pharmaceutical promotions. For the last 15 years Sam has partnered with numerous pharmaceutical advertising agencies and has developed websites iPad details medical alerts speaker series videos and related products for mobile tablet stand-alone and other platforms. I love to research the latest breakthroughs in cancer treatment and my knowledge of art and design has given me the expertise to communicate medical stories in a variety of print and digital formats. As technology has expanded so have my opportunities as a copywriter. On a parallel track my love of the arts has never wavered and I have maintained this interest as the Creative Director of BCBArt. At BCBArt Sam writes press releases for gallery artists provides promotional guidance and assists with the planning and curating of exhibitions. MorethanfiftyartistshavebeenfeaturedatBCBArtoverthe past decade including nationally and internationally known artists such as David Salle Andy Warhol Richard Hamilton Willem de Kooning Lucio Pozzi Rodney Alan Greenblat Bill Seaman Barbara Friedman Eric Rhein and Julian Opie. Bringing great art to the public is always rewarding and also a lot of fun To date I ve worked on more than 100 brands in treatment areas including oncology virology HIV neurology psychopharmacology cardiology pain management diabetes pediatrics ophthalmology and women s health among other specialties. Science and medicine are fields that are constantly evolving so there s never a lack of material for a copywriter and there s always a need to report new information to physicians or consumers. 44 Women of Distinction Angie Cox Author NonProfit Inspirational Speaker Author Founder and President of No Child Unloved Inc. Gifford IL 45 Women of Distinction Angie Cox is the Founder and President of No Child Unloved (NCUL) thefaceofthecharity andmentorschildrenthrough adversity. Shechosethispathin2010afterreachingaplacewhereshe knew she had to live a life of purpose. That was when Angie beganwritinghermemoir SurvivingtheDevil anaccountof adoption and abuse wanting to bring awareness to others on how prominent the disease of child abuse really is. I decided I wanted a life of victory to teach not only my young daughter but many others that this world may bring you upheavals but you have to get up dust yourself off and move on. That in mind I knew it was important to be strong in my causes with passion and conviction only sending out good energy. Instead of letting her perpetrators take the rest of her life Angie has chosen a life of joy and purpose. She founded NCUL in 2014andalsotravelsasamotivationalspeaker lettingother victims of abuse know that their life doesn t have to end because of abuse. You have to make a choice of winning your battle or letting yourself be a victim forever . Angie goes to different children s agencies and speaks with social workers advocates etc. on how she has overcome her own abuse and talks to youth to inspire their future. She also visits various hospitals (delivering NCUL teddy bears to children who are sick) throws birthday parties to abused children who have never experienced such an event and providesChristmasgiftsandpartiestokids(sick abused and underprivileged)whohaveneverexperiencedthemagicofthe holidays. She is greatly inspired by these children. These children give me strength hope and love. They have restored my faith in humanity when so many adults have been so very cruel. Childhood should be among the happiest and most carefree years of life. Unfortunately there are many forces at work against them. That s where No Child Unloved comes in to brighten the days of these suffering children. Some days can be so hard on my heart and soul but it s so much harder for these children who are hurting. Angie wants to leave one simple legacy behind one so simple and free that she wrote about to her twin brother LOVE. To my twin I am almost rendered speechless as I attempt to write this because so many emotions flood through me. You are my other half. You are my anchor. When I had no one else and when my only hope and expectation out of life was death you endowed me with purpose. Some people might not understand what it is to love someone more than themselves or to value another life more than their own. For you and me it snatural.Youwereandwillalwaysremainmytreasure.The years have been hard and we will still have our moments but we can get through anything as we always have together. 46 Women of Distinction Anna Longo Consumer Product Goods Vice President of Marketing formerly with TREND Enterprises Inc. Minneapolis MN Anna Longo entered the world of Marketing in 1985 after graduating from the University of Western Ontario in London Ontario Canada.HerfirstpositionwaswithKegRestaurants as the Marketing Representative for South Western Ontario. I was also able to involve my children in my work by having them often test products and provide critical insights which was great fun for them and for me Much of Anna s career involved creating the brand and positioning the company for growth as well as building partnerships with the company s supply chain and providing feedback on new product ideas. The National Association of ProfessionalWomen(NAPW)evenrecognizedAnnaasoneof theirVIPWomenoftheYearfor2015-2016. In her previous role as Vice President of Marketing at TREND Anna s efforts were focused on building demand for their products and services while building the brand through research and development of innovative new products. This position appealed to me because it allowed me to use the restaurant and retail skills I developed while putting myself through school. It was when my real interest curiosity passion for customer service began. She then transitioned into advertising sales with the Pennysaver a weekly regional shopper publication and gained sales experience as well as display advertising layout and copy skills. After spending years building expertise in advertising promotions and marketing Anna chose to step out from the corporate world to spend time with her new daughter. Beinga stay-at-homemom wasgreat butaftertwoyears I was ready to resume my career. So one day I saw an ad in the local paper for a position at the corporate office of Scholar s Choice a Canadian educational supplies company. I was over-qualifiedfortheentry-levelposition buteagertogetback to work and the focus on supporting education learning was appealing to me as a new mom so I began as a Marketing and Promotions Assistant. WithinmonthsofbeinghiredbyScholar sChoice Annawas promoted to a management position and became Director of Retail Sales & Marketing a year later. In that role I assumed responsibility for product selection and marketing for the catalog and retail divisions. Once a catalog company Scholar s Choice grew by expanding the retail stores productofferingstoincludespecialtytoyproducts.My responsibilitiesandskillskeptpacewiththecompany sgrowth. I also got to be involved with training and development of team members in customer service and product knowledge as these were critically important in addition to the sales and marketing programs and product selections for our customers. As I look forward to new sales and marketing leadership opportunities I want to leverage my industry knowledge and leadership experience to develop creative business strategies and go-tomarket campaigns that drive new business increase customer retention and build loyalty. Anna now has two children who are both pursuing a Master of Music in Opera Performance. Victoria is a Mezzo-Soprano studying at McGill University in Montreal and Nicholas is a Baritone studying at the University ofToronto.AndIhavenomusicaltalent justaloveandrespect for the arts. Debra Kay Barbarick Healthcare Massage Therapist and Bodyworker at Thrive Massage Therapy Auburn CA 48 Women of Distinction Debra Kay Barbarick has been the owner and sole proprietor ofThriveMassageTherapyinAuburn Californiasince2009. I prefer to work alone in the countryside where I can concentrate on my work with clients and remain close to nature. She has been dedicated in some way to service healing and educationherwholeadultlife whetherit sworkingwithnature orpeople.However herjourneybeganwhenshefirsttraveled toBrazilin1975.Overtheyears Debratrainedinmanyforms of healing and therapy there and in French Guiana before starting her career in the U.S. in 2007. However during that time she experienced the untimely death of her husband and ultimately it was her sick father who would bring her back to the U.S. Fortunately he lived another two years and I got to experience his remarkable healing journey before he passed away peacefullyin2006.IstayedintheU.S.andwentbacktoschool to study massage and bodywork and specialized in advanced modalities coming out of osteopathic medicine. After watching what happened to my dad from being in bed for six months I became very interested in the soft tissue modalities that complimented physical therapy. Therefore Debra became specialized in neuromuscular therapy practical movement therapy and cranial sacral bodywork. They presently show no symptoms and are both keeping journals. We plan to write a small paper of our experience together. With her deep spiritual practice Debra found early in life that healing and creativity come from the deeper levels of her being. I agree with the Dalai Lama that humanity would benefit from a secular spiritual education. I ve been a supportive person and behind the scenes in a lot of great unmentioned endeavors. I believe it s not so important who gets the credit but to get the job done. In her free time Debra likes to continue her education and training. She studies medical herbalism with a renowned American herbalist who lives nearby. I like to grow herbs gather plants and make salves and tinctures. ShealsomeditatesandpracticesQiGong(apowerfulsystem ofhealingandenergymedicinefromChina) andenjoyshiking kayaking cycling swimming and gardening. It svitallyimportantformetomaintainahealthylifetodowhat I do. I m fascinated by posture on a physical mental and emotional level and use my training from Brazil and the U.S. to look at the whole person when I m working with them. My past experiences have made me the unique body worker I am. People have an innate capacity to heal themselves and it s a sheer joy to watch them make breakthroughs to a healthier and often pain-free life. Debra is currently managing a study using a massage protocol from the Ukraine to relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. She s working with two women who have been sick for many years. Denise Wirtz Healthcare - Sex Education Owner and President of Weird Sex Ed Inc. Cumming GA Denise Wirtz s academic and professional background is a patchworkquiltofsorts atapestrythatincludestwentyyears in the health care industry. My career in healthcare began in 1993 as a Certified Nurse Aide. I worked the night shift in a nursing home back then. Family matters at the time forced me to move but in late 1995 I accepted a job in a rural health clinic. The clinic was a dual clinic with one side specializing in pediatrics and the other specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. She then transitioned between healthcare from a clinical to an administrative setting working for health insurance companies and for a small home health agency and non-healthcare positions like technical editing and writing. In 2008 I decided to unify the different pathways into one cohesive union of career experience and education by pursuing my degree. I chose to take all of the different elements and combine them to earn a Doctorate of Management while focusingonwomen shealth. Today Denise is the Owner and President of Weird Sex Ed Inc.( Weird isawordplayonhersurname notherapproachto sexeducation.)WeirdSexEdisdedicatedtodevelopingand disseminating educational resources primarily for parents but also for teens educators and healthcare providers to improve understanding of the root causes of sexually transmitted infections(STIs)acrosstheteenpopulation. Denise is always available to provide information answer questions andhelpinanywayshecan.Shehasveryrecently connectedwithmembersofSECTFF(StopExploitingChildren TaskForceofForsythCounty)andhasbeenaskedtoconsider speaking at one of their upcoming events. Sexual exploitation of children is a directly intersectional area of sexuality education so I am very interested in the organization. Atabroaderlevel(stateandnational) sheisasupporterofthe Planned Parenthood Federation of America and has helped in varioussmall-scalefundraisingefforts(onapersonallevel)for boththeSoutheastregionandnationalheadquarters. In her free time Denise enjoys reading and creative writing (poetryandprose) aswellasspendingtimewithherfamily. Ilovegoingonroadtripswithmyhusband(Ren )andkids (Campion Patricia andTravis)atleastonceayear.Patricia and I enjoy participating in 5K fun runs but I also find other thingstodowitheachofmykidsfordifferenttypesof dates . My husband and I also try to carve out time to make sure we gooutondatestoo.However mostofmy free timelatelyhas been spent on legal studies since I decided last year to return toschoolforalawdegree(nottobecomealawyer butwith interestsofthebusinessinmind). The aim of improving information delivery to parents is to raise awareness about STIs with parent-child communication being a central focus towards decreasing STI transmission across the teen population. Long-term this can reduce STI transmission across the general population. 50 Women of Distinction DianeButlerstartedhercareerin1992whileshewasincollege asasinglemother.Shewasabletofindaflexiblejobcleaning houses. I love what I do. Serving others is my passion. Today sheistheOwnerandManagerofD.Butler sCleaning. I basically do whatever needs to be done. Some of my duties include hiring training customer relations pricing payroll and other managerial tasks. During the 1990s the majority of the business was cleaning newly constructed homes and businesses. Diane Butler Cleaning Owner and Manager ofD.Butler sCleaning Hanson MA The recession that swept the United States during this time was the biggest challenge in my career. The company wasn t prepared for the housing market to fall the way it did. So to keep the company going we expanded our services to include housekeeping yard work and even shoveling snow just to keep afloat. Diane proudly works for Cleaning For A Reason (http www.cleaningforareason.org) in her free time. Cleaning for a Reason was the brainchild of President and Founder Debbie Sardone owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service in Lewisville TX. Debbie took a phone call from a prospective client several years ago. After providing the woman a price quote the prospectpausedbeforesaying Iwon tbeabletoaffordthat now...I mundergoingcancertreatment andhungup.Debbie hadn t gotten the woman s phone number and was unable to call back to make arrangements. In that instant Debbie decided that no woman undergoing cancer treatment would ever be turned down by her business. In fact they would be givenfreehousecleaningservice.In2005 Debbiesharedher story with other maid services at a national cleaning industry convention. She shared her conviction that it was these women undergoing the physical emotional and financial rigors of cancer treatment who needed professional housecleaning services the most. An onslaught of cleaning business owners began expressing their interest and support. Fighting cancer is difficult enough but living with it is even tougher and that s where Cleaning For A Reason steps in. As a nonprofit serving the entire United States and Canada they partner with maid services to offer professional house cleanings to help women undergoing treatment for cancer any type of cancer. To date the organization has provided more than 17 000 cleanings for women with cancer with a value of more than 4.5 million in donated cleanings and partnered with over 1 100 maid services. Her parents have been her greatest inspiration. They are amazing role models and have taught my sisters and I to love forgive and to always have purpose. I am a woman with a purpose. Success in life begins with a purpose. Live in the moment Remain teachable. I am happy determined selfassured and I always lead by example. 51 Women of Distinction Holly Hoxie RN BSN COS-C HCS-D-9 HCS-D-10 Healthcare - Homecare Consulting Remote Coding and OASIS Review Services Owner HH Precision Coding LLC Thornton CO 52 Women of Distinction Holly Hoxie has been a Registered Nurse and worked in manyspecialtiesformorethan23years.However itwasa position as a Director of Nursing for a homecare agency in IdahothatgaveHollyafocusin2002. One of the responsibilities of my job was performing the coding and OASIS review. That was where I got my first taste of it and I ve been hooked ever since. Holly was greatly inspired by Lisa Selman-Holman a giant in the industry. She literally has written the book on coding OASIS guidance and Medicare regulations. I have been through many of her training classes through the years and she is amazing. I want to be her when I grow up Today Holly is the owner of HH Precision Coding LLC. Idoeverythingfromthefinancialsinvolvedwiththecompany to hiring of employees to working with our clients. My days arequitebusymultitaskingalloftheresponsibilitiesofbeing theownerofacompany butIloveitandwouldn thaveitany otherway Ican timaginedoinganythingelse. However Holly did not always feel that way. Therehavebeenmanyjobsandsituationswheremywork ethic and ideas were not fostered or supported. I felt that I had a lot more to offer this industry and knew I had so much more potential then what I was being allowed to bring to the job.Iwantedtobetheemployerandmanagerwhoallowed employeestocontributeandshine somethingIhaven t received much from some of my past employers. Ifyou rejuststartingoutinthisindustry Hollybelievesthat you should do a lot of reading and studying. Theregulationsforourindustryarequiteintense butthe more you read and study them the more you can get a handle on them and all the changes that go on continually in the world of Homecare and Medicare. You should also network with your peers. They are an invaluable resource. Findsomeoneyoutrustintheindustry your go-to person and utilize them to learn and grow. And in general the best advice that Holly can give is to do what makes you happy. Life is too short to be miserable. Also you can do anything you want if you set your mind to it. If you want to start your ownbusiness doit.Makeaplan workhard andjustdoit.IfI can do it anyone can. Hollyandherhusbandof23yearshavethreeteenageboys theoldestofwhichisinhisfirstyearofcollege. It s always been important for me that my children are successful. So if that happens and they become productive members of society I ll be able to view my own life as a success. 53 Women of Distinction Janae A. Dresser Life Coach specializing in stress management for women FounderandOwnerofWomen sStressCoach Kalaheo HI She cared. She truly listened. She understood me. She made me feel safe. She was uplifting. She made me feel comfortable being myself. She had the ability to tap into my soul and help me discover what I want in life and who I really am. Anonymous Janae A. Dresser is the Founder and Owner of Women s Stress Coach. She serves as the CEO and conducts all the life coaching sessions and other functions such as marketing accounting and website maintenance. Life coaching is my passion and purpose in life. In a sense coaching is a form of healing. The process can be truly transformational and provides a way for individuals to connect with themselves at a depth they wouldn t have otherwise imagined. For me being a part of the healing process is both anhonorandjoy.ThisisthereasonIwasdrawntocoaching andwhyI llcontinuetogrowandexpandmybusinessinthe years ahead. Herinterestinlifecoachingbeganin2014whileworkingasa LeadCrisisCounselor(LCC)fortheYWCA.Partofherduties includedcounselinginmatesatthelocaljail. The Missing Link Prisoner Reform through Coaching . The research paper and power tool are published on the ICA website at http coachcampus.com coach-portfolios research-papers janae-dresser-the-missing-link-prisonerreform-through-coaching and http coachcampus.com coachportfolios power-tools janae-dresser-embrace-vs-resist. Janae graduated as a Certified Professional Coach in early 2015andhasalreadycoachedover100hourswithclientsin Hawaii the U.S. mainland Singapore Canada and the Czech Republic.ShehassinceearnedherAssociateCertifiedCoach credentials with the International Coach Federation. Janae believesthatpersonaltransformationcantakeplaceat any time in your life. When I accepted the position as LCC counselors were typically asked to go to the Kauai Community Correctional Center (KCCC) approximately every three months. After going to KCCC several times I found that the inmates had a much more positive experience when I concluded each counseling session with some life coaching. After a few months KCCC requested that I counsel the inmates on a weekly basis. At one point I was booked for counseling coaching appointments six weeks in advance I knew I d found my calling. This newfound calling motivated Janae to enroll in the InternationalCoachAcademy(ICA).Duringherenrollmentin the ICA program Janae developed the C.O.A.S.T. coaching modelandapowertoolcalled Embracevs.Resist .Thepower tool outlines reasons that individuals resist change. She also 54 wrote a research paper entitled I had a very difficult past growing up on my own and a very stressful life while married to my first husband who was ill with a heart condition for 22 years. I remarried moved to Kauai from California and earned my degrees in business and education in my 50s. Now I m on a new and exciting journey of life coaching I ve had to reinvent myself time and time again only to find a deeper layer of my nature. The learning and transformation never ends it just keeps unfolding if you have the courage to move forward. Women of Distinction Kristie Ball Accounting and Tax Preparation Enrolled Agent Licensed Through Internal Revenue Service Naperville IL MostaccountantsadmitthatApril15thisprobablythemost exciting day of the year for them. Kristie Ball an Enrolled Agent licensed through the Internal Revenue Service will certainly attest to that. Working in accounting and tax preparationformorethan29years acrossthreeaccounting firms taxplanningbeginsonSeptember1steachyearand getsmoreandmoreinvolveduntilfilingshavemettheir deadlineonthe15th of April the following year. IstartedmycareerinaccountinginFebruary1986withan accountingfirminIllinois Kristieadded. Iliterallystarted from the bottom and worked my way up from reconciliations to corporate returns. I love the numbers game. I always found accounting to be fun and challenging all at the same time.TheclientsandthepeopleI veworkedforhavebeen wonderful. Letting clients know that she is always in their corner Kristie will do everything she possibly can to give them the best service possible. That is what she trained her staff to do and that swhatshealwayswantstoalwaysbeabletoprovide. EarningherEnrolledAgencystatusin2013fromthe IRS enrolled agents are masters of taxation. They have gone through rigorous testing to prove to the IRS that they are capable of individual taxes business taxes and representation.Theycandoanythingacertifiedpublic accountant or attorney can do except practice law. They can go anywhere in the country to represent as well because their licenses are with the government not the state. Kristie has three children Jim Katie and Josh and six grandchildren one of which passed away. A big Green Bay Packersfan Kristienamedherparakeet Packer afterthe teamname.Footballseasonisdefinitelyafuntimeinher house with rival Bears fans but it is all in good fun and she enjoysthemanyopportunitiesshegetstoenjoylifeoutside theoffice. I make it a point to spend as much time as I can with my grandchildren my husband and the rest of the family during my offseason. I ll also find time to do some gardening Kristie said noting that she comes from a big family from Muskego Wisconsin as one of six siblings. I ve been married to my husband Gary for 22 years and couldn t have found a better partner. He is my best friend and has never doubted that I could handle starting my own business. Workingforherselfthesedaysastheownerofherownfirm Kristie does everything from signing new clients doing tax returns and helping staff to taking care of IRS notices and tax representation. As a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents National Association of Tax Professionals National Association of Professional Women Naperville Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau Kristie sexperienceoverthelastthreedecadeshasgivenher a ton of knowledge and a great ability to problem solve. 55 Women of Distinction Marketing has always appealed to Laura Glotzbach Scala. She s been in some aspect of the field since graduating from Rider University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration(Advertising)in1997. Watching Who s the Boss in the late 80s got me thinking about advertising. What Angela Bower did seemed pretty cool but I had no idea that I d own a company like hers one day. The world of marketing (especially analytics) is an incredibly dynamic and changing environment which keeps things interesting for Laura who considers herself a life-long learner. There s always something new to learn or a new business challenge to work on. As long as I am learning and challenging myself I llcontinuedownthispath. Laura is the Owner and President of LGS Marketing Services. Sheleadsherteamonvariousanalyticprojectsandworkswith the clients. OneofthetasksthatIthinkiscriticalisfindingwaystoensure my team has the tools to succeed. Training technology and dedicating time to work outside of meetings mean different thingstodifferentteammembers.It simportanttoremember that there isn t just one answer to making an organization successful. I wholeheartedly want my employees partners and clients to succeed and want to do what I can to help them realize that success. HerparentshavebeenLaura sgreatestinspiration. Watching them both grow in their careers and continuing to findsuccess whileworkingincrediblyhardtaughtmethevalue of working hard for what you believe in. And while that is very much a part of what has made me successful I also think that having integrity and being a very fair and honest person has led me down a path of success. I think that combination is what makes me unique. It s important that you don t lose yourself and your integrity when challenges and success come. However Laura still considers a work life balance to be a big challenge. Laura Glotzbach Scala Marketing President of LGS Marketing Services Princeton NJ I m finally beginning to realize that a work life balance and being able to multi-task are urban legends. They don t exist yet we always talk about them. It s not about achieving balance around time but rather ensuring that you are feeling fulfilled in both aspects of your life. When I shifted my mindset into finding value in what I m doing vs. where I m spending my time everything shifted into a nice pattern. For anyone who wants to go down a similar path Laura offers the following advice Lookatwhatyou reboss boss boss isdoing.Ifyoulikewhat they re doing then stick with what you re doing. So much of the work you do at the beginning of a career can be grueling and hard to understand the meaning of. But if you keep in perspectivewhereyou reheadedandlikewhatthey redoing thenit sworthpursuing.Everyonecanreachtheirpotentialif they rewillingtoputtheworkintoit planforit andembrace56 the opportunities when they present themselves. Women of Distinction Merrie Gigi Ranger-Ellis Elder Care Owner Aging With Compassion Inc. Silver City NM Merrie Gigi Ranger-Ellis is the owner of Aging With Compassion Inc. a company committed to providing services that will assist the elderly and homebound to age and recover comfortably in their homes by offering services that meet their needs on an individual level while providing peace of mind to family members near and far. Services include everything and anythingneedednotrequiringhandsonhomehealthservices. These services are specific to household and personal tasks errands house sitting housekeeping mobile notary services shopping respite service transportation private caregiver management and much more. The goal of Aging WithCompassionistoassisttheaging(ages50 )tomaintain a quality of life in their day-to-day living as well as in their environments. AfterourmotherpassedawayinFebruaryof2014 Iremained in Silver City with the intention of giving back to a community abounding with an aging population with limited resources of this nature thus the creation of Aging With Compassion in October of 2014. The business hasn t been operational for very long but I know that I will continue to have the passion to dowhatIdo evenifthebusinessitselfdoesn tthrive.Yousee thisisn taboutmakingmoney thisisaboutsharingcompassion and providing love encouragement and friendship to those whomayneedjust alittleextra inordertomaintainorimprove theirqualityoflife.Whatkeepsmegoingisaheartfeltpassion for what I do and the determination to never give up. It s that very passion and determination that Gigi would like to be remembered for as well as her belief and commitment in assisting individuals to age with dignity grace and in their home as long as safely possible. As owner of the company it s imperative that I never stop learning and that anyone in my employment has a passion for the aging population in order for this organization to reach and maintain its highest capacity. Gigi has had a passion for the aging since she was a child. When I became old enough to work at the local hospital as a candy striper I found myself drawn to the aging. I spent the free time I had reading to individuals writing letters or cards for them or just spending time with them. Eventually I obtained my certificate as a nursing assistant and worked inalongtermcarefacility.Theworkwasdifficultandattimes exhausting however I always went home knowing that I had madesomeone slifealittlebetterthatday.Mycareerpathtook many turns and provided me many opportunities to work with the aging developmentally disabled and homeless. Upon the completion of two master degrees Gigi became credentialed as a gerontologist and moved back to Silver City NewMexicoin2013toassisthersisterincaringfortheiraging mother. Although I ve been told that my assertive and outspoken nature can be intimidating at times underneath that exterior is a commitment to ensure every person in my care is having a quality of life in the manner they choose and within the boundaries of safety and well-being. 57 Women of Distinction Monica Bennett Empowerment Coach Owner of the Positive Mind LLC Freeport NY As Owner of the Positive Mind Monica Bennett works individually with groups companies organizations and platform speaking engagements to motivate and inspire people to change their limiting belief systems that hold them back from being and giving their best to life. I empower people with a road map to clearly guide them step-by-step to discover their purpose vision and goals. Prior to that Monica owned and operated a successful horticultural business for 23 years. Although she loved the field sheknewthatsheneededtodomore. I felt a call pulling me in the direction of healing and health. I wasn t clear as to what that career would be but I started gravitating in that direction. I had a long commute to my job sites and started listening to tapes and CDs in my van. They were all on personal development healing your mind body and spirit and different modalities to obtain this. Monica fell in love with this new mind set so she went back to school for naturopathy. It was an eight year online program through Clayton College. Since I was a single mom bringing up to two beautiful daughters and had a business to run this afforded me the flexibility to study on my own time. I earned a Doctor of Naturopathy in 2010. While Monica was still learning about natural methods of healing she knew she needed to go deeper into studying about the mind and how healing is effected by our conscious awareness so she enrolled in Bob Proctor s life success consulting training course and became a licensed certified coachin2008. I love coaching and helping people understand the laws of nature to improve their lives. I m always studying learning and growing myself. I believe there s no end to the possibilities we are capable of if we are open to receive a new way to solve challenges and collaborate with one another. My passion gets more intense each day for this field. In2000 Monicadevelopedanaromatherapybodyspraycalled Hygiea to balance your chakras. Hygiea comes from the word hygiene. In Greek mythology Hygiea was the goddess of health. Shealsopublishedabookin2014entitled HowMayIServe . It s a memoir of my life and an empowerment book to help womenovercometheirstrugglesthroughmypersonaljourney written under the pen name Karen Mathews for privacy reasons. Monica has overcome many challenges in her life. Both of my parents were holocaust survivors which has contributed greatly to my understanding of how important it is to change the world and create peace. In our increasingly fastpaced world we re disassociating ourselves with the natural world. My purpose is to help people reunite with the laws of nature. By doing this we can begin to live in harmony with each other our community and our earth. I believe that women are theonestohelpcreatethisshiftinconsciousnessandI min the front lines of this movement. 58 Women of Distinction Nancy M. Graham Website Design and Development Novelist ChiefExecutiveOfficerofNMGEnterprises LLC Writer of the Novel For Best and Worst Pelham AL Nancy M. Graham under the pen name of Marie Nicole Harper isthewriterofthenovel ForBestandWorst .However she s also had a long and successful career having worked in the Savings and Loan Insurance and Information Technology fields. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration she moved to Atlanta Georgia where she worked for the Georgia Federal Savings & Loan Association for four years before she decided it was time to move on. Inadditiontobeinginastuckindead-endjob Iwastiringof Atlanta.Itwasn thomeandIwantedtogohometoAlabama. Fortunately after six weeks of training at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in Atlanta Nancy was transferred to Birmingham Alabama and hired as a claims adjuster where she worked for approximately 2-1 2 years. She then took anotherclaimsadjustingjobatStonewallInsuranceCompany. Nancy self-published the novel through Amazon s selfpublishingsubsidiary CreateSpace onFebruary28 2015. With independent publishing you don t have to send your manuscript off to numerous publishers hoping to get a nibble. You can publish the book with an independent and market it yourself. ForBestandWorst isaboutamanandwomaninthefictitious town of Wentworth Alabama who attend a high school reunion severaldecadesaftergraduation.They rebothsingleandstart uparelationship.However therelationshipdoesn tgoallthat smoothly soNancyleftFBAWopenforasequel. This book is an easy-read romance and perfect for the beach. Thesequel SunsetsofFireandIce isaworkinprogress. I mhesitanttosetareleasedate butcan timagineittakingas long as FBAW did to complete. I know the ropes now. For more information about Marie Nicole Harper and to purchase the book you can go to http www.marienicoleharper.com. With Stonewall I received several promotions and at the end of my tenure I was handling large risk claims and complex litigation. StonewallmoveditsoperationstoCincinnati Ohioin1999 but Nancyoptedtodeclineapositionatthenewoffice.However she still received a generous severance package which allowed her to take some time off. She later began a new career in computer programming and worked for several companies untilfinallystartingherownbusiness NMGEnterprises LLC in2013. OnJanuary7 2014 Ihadjustcompletedaconsultingjobwith alargefinancialinstitutioninBirminghamandsometimethat day for no real reason I sat down and started writing a novel whichturnedouttobe ForBestandWorst (FBAW).SinceI had written some non-fiction under my real name I decided to write FBAW under the pen name Marie Nicole Harper . I wrotethestoryinabout3-1 2months butwhenitwastimeto edit I discovered that it could cost thousands to have a book of that size edited. Therefore I had no choice but to edit it on my own. 59 Women of Distinction Noelle M. LoMonaco Hinkle Country Club Executive Assistant at Belle Haven Country Club Alexandria VA Noelle M. LoMonaco Hinkle worked as the Tennis Shop Manager at Belle Haven Country Club for 18 months until a new General Manager was hired and arranged (as part of his contract) the ability and need to hire an assistant. The President of the Board asked him if he would be willing to speak tosomeonein-housewho(inhisopinion)wasbeingwoefully underutilized. So Noelle was hired as the Executive Assistant to the General Manager and the Board of Directors. I believe that my friendly congenial personality has blended in very well with three General Managers and countless Boards of Directors employees and Club Members alike over the years. The chemistry that was established from the beginning continues to thrive and grow today. I want to give people assurance that as bleak as it might seem now there is light at the end of the tunnel. Through organizations suchastheBrainAneurysmFoundation(BAF) researchhas shown that early detection is key in fighting this disease. I did not know I had my first one when it ruptured and nearly killedmeonDecember13 2007.Threeyearsaftersurviving myfirstbrainaneurysm asecondaneurysmwasdiscovered during a routine angiogram. Since it was discovered my neurosurgeon was able to perform a procedure known as the coiling procedure which has rendered the aneurysm unable to rupture. I will continue to participate in events that raise money for aneurysm research and counsel brain aneurysm survivors in their time of need. Throughout her health issues Noelle s husband and family have been by her side offering prayers love and support to help her through. Both her parents and in-laws have been marriedfor50yearsandit snocoincidencethathavingsuch a strong and supportive family has helped Noelle maintain a positive outlook on life in general and on her future. Noelle wears many hats as Executive Assistant and enjoys the constant challenge of staying two or more steps ahead of everyone at all times. No two days are ever the same And nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing my boss in a conversation and being able to immediately assist him by handing him a relevant documentthathewasjustreferencing. I sat in meetings as the only constant in the governance realm oftheCluboverthelast10 yearsideaswerebroughtupand discussed at length repeatedly. I developed a Policies Manual fortheClubthatcontainsalloftheClub spoliciesandthedate the policy was adopted and or amended by the Board. NoellesurvivedarupturedbrainaneurysminDecember2007 so in her free time she works toward raising awareness of brain aneurysms as well as speaking to those who have recently gone through one. The next chapter has yet to be written but I will embrace whatever challenges opportunities or treasures it may bring Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one of them to stay. Maya Angelou 60 Women of Distinction Priscilla F. Jara Sustainable Tourism Travel Consultant Owner Priscilla Jara knew since she was in college that she wanted acareerthatwasmorethanjustapaycheck.Shewantedto make an impact to make the world go forward. In college I was able to do a study abroad program in Costa Rica. This trip was a life changer for me. We visited different eco-friendly hotels (and some that weren t so eco-friendly). Our purpose for the trip allowed us to compare the different management techniques and how each hotel impacted the environment. The most exciting part of the trip was being part ofaleatherbackseaturtlenesting.That swhenIknewthatI wanted to be part of a cause that conserved our biodiversity. After graduating in May of 2012 Priscilla moved to Ecuador and worked for a Dutch-owned Spanish school and volunteer organization. She s the best mentor anyone could ask for. Dr. Ritz always believed in my vision and never criticized me. She s the first person I spoke to about Green Trees Travel and was all for it no questions asked. Her advice to anyone starting out in this industry is to always trust your instincts and follow your dreams and admits that whileithasn tbeenaneasyjourney that swhat smadehera positive person. I mnotheretoprovetoanyonewhatIcanorcannotdo butto break my own barriers. I always try to look at the brighter side of things. The days I let negativity get in the way are where I am unproductive and it becomes one of those days . But that sthethingstartingoutasanentrepreneur inmymindIam not allowed to be unproductive. I have to hustle and make the most out of my time with a smile on my face and always have positiveaffirmationshandy.ThisiswhyI msuccessful theway I look at my workload stems from loving what I do. Priscilla wants to be part of a change worldwide ranging from many different areas including sustainability education human rights and immigration. It was my dream job but I always knew that something bigger was waiting for me. Priscilla went on to start her own company Green Trees Travel. I m the middle person between hotels volunteer sites and accredited Spanish schools. Depending on the client s suggestions and hobbies I create an itinerary with their preferences. Although the company is in the beginning stages thebiggerpicturekeepsmemotivated.It saboutpeoplebeing part of a cause to preserve our natural resources and utilize what salreadythereatourdisposal.We vebecomeextremely wasteful and I believe that educating people communities and taking a stand for the environment is why I plan to create a network of eco-friendly hotels and programs. I want to be the reason why people change the way they travel. Her college professor Dr. Ritz has been Priscilla s greatest inspiration throughout the years. 61 Women of Distinction Vanessa Kay Robinson Retail Costume Jewelry Ownerof 1BlingzJewelryandMore Florissant MO VanessaKayRobinsonistheownerof 1BlingzJewelryand More in Florissant Missouri. This is the result of a trip to Branson Missouri for her oldest daughterCharcey sbirthdayonOctober25 2011 whereshe came across a jewelry store that sold their products for only 1.00. Vanessa is also proud to carry accessories that represent the American Cancer Society s mission to raise awareness of breast cancer. With each accessory purchased I give a donation to the American Cancer Society. Herinspirationalstoryisn tbasedonhavingaDoctorateoran MBA.It sbasedsolelyuponsteppingoutonfaith. I wasn t just excited about the price but also the quality of the jewelry. My excitement was like that of a child in a candy store. I was actually hyperventilating due to this amazing feeling. As I was still inside the store I could hear the Lord s voice. He wanted me to open a store like this back home. From that point I was obedient and stepped out on faith. Vanessa has also been a licensed cosmetologist and the owner ofCharkay sHairSalonforthepast15years. Beauty from the head up is my specialty. My background in ownershipmadeiteasierformetoopen 1BlingzJewelryand More. Aside from the day-to-day operations of the store Vanessa manages and supervises the employees. She s also responsiblefortheorderingofalljewelryandotheraccessories for the store. If God spoke to your spirit and you know it s God He will bring it to pass. I m humble and very appreciative for what God has done for me and my family. He could have chosen anyone else but He chose me so for that I m thankful. I m not perfect or holier than thou . I just love the Lord and I m excited about what He has done for my life. Therefore I m going to represent Him well because He trusted me with His jewelry store. Vanessahasbeenmarriedfor25yearstoCharlesE.Robinson of Proctor and Gamble. Together they have two children Charcey and Charles Jr. Her ultimate legacy would be to teach her kids and other young people about how hard work pays off being creative taking charge and living their dreams. I believe in providing unique items that you don t typically find in all the other 1 jewelry stores so I choose suppliers who are honest and offer rewards for my business. I m also mindful and order jewelry that s lead and nickel-free for customers allergic to those particular metals. She was greatly inspired by her mother who always believed in being a loyal dedicated and hard worker. Mom was very instrumental in my life and helped me with the launchandoperationsof 1Blingzearlyon.Shealsotaught me to be the best I can be not only at the work place but in any life situations I may encounter. 62 Women of Distinction Vicki Eide Gluten-Free Cookie Manufacturer Business Owner President Prairie Kitchen Doctor of Naturopathy Product Broker Eden Prairie MN Strugglingwithherownhealthandnotbeingabletofind answers with conventional methods Vicki Eide went back to school to uncover more natural approaches as a way to gaininsighttoherownchallengesandhelpotherpeople s health challenges in the process. Completing her Doctor of Naturopathyin2011 Vickialsofoundedherownbusiness Prairie Kitchen a gluten-free company that was the result of some of the health issues she encountered along the way. I have always loved baking Vicki said about the formation of her cookie business and I could never find any delicious gluten-free cookies on my own so I decided to make them myself. It was a way to offer tastier gluten-free cookie options to not only myself but to others as well. Withanynewbusiness it sthecreatorandownerthatdrives sales. Vicki is no different. Over time she has hired more and more staff and is expanding her business by tapping into new and helpful resources. She is developing great strategies and systems to make Prairie Kitchen grow and transition and she never hesitates to seek professional help to guide her in this process. Prairie Kitchen bakes a variety of gluten-free cookies like the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie and the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie. Ordering online has never been easier and Vicki swebsiteisdedicatedtoofferingshipmentstoanywhere in the US. The bakery ships on Mondays Tuesdays and Wednesdays to ensure freshness. Enjoyingtheopportunitytohelpothersfacinghealthissues Vicki looks at health in a very non-conventional and more functionalway.Tobeabletomakeadifferenceistoinfluence others to feel great about themselves and to encourage their strengths and endeavors and she would love the opportunity to help the younger generation grow and develop their passion and entrepreneurial spirit. Likewise Vicki is becoming more active at gluten-free community events as an expert and is also working as a product broker in the wellness industry. Vicki sdrivetobeasuccessfulbusinessownerstemsfrom her father who is passionate in business and in life. She deeply respects all that he has accomplished and is a very proud daughter. Vicki holds her BS from the University of Illinois and her Doctor of Naturopathy from Clayton College of Natural Health.She sbeenhappilymarriedfor35yearstoRoger and they share two children Charlie who is married with twochildrenwithonemoreonthewayandPeter afine artist working and living in Baltimore. She also has three step-daughters Debbie Renee and Barbara. Debbie is a successful realtor in Naples Florida Renee is a mother of two and a studio set director in Minneapolis Minnesota and Barbara is also a mother of two and a restaurant owner. In my opinion a product must be one that customers will want to purchase over and over again a product that most people can afford and love. It should also be the best and in-demand. That s always the goal of Prairie Kitchen Vicki added. 63 Women of Distinction Executive Broadcasting Channel is the newest way to have your voice heard. You will be able to reach a vast network of executives and professionals spanning all markets and industries. Ever thought about video production or a multimedia press release Consider your prayers answered For more information call (855)893-NADP 64 Women of Distinction D.Butler sCleaningInc.isspecialized in a variety of cleaning services for new construction commercial and residential properties. We have built a strong reputation of customer satisfaction by working with perfection detail honesty integrity and diligence. We look forward to showing you how our commitment to personal service and expertise will help you with your cleaning needs. Diane Butler Cleaning OwnerandManagerofD.Butler sCleaning