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WDM Kendra L. B. Cook Compliance Global Trade Compliance Engineering Aerospace Engineering President Chief Executive Officer C2 International (C2I) LLC President Chief Executive Officer Wineglass Engineering LLC December 2015 Monika Wilbanks Author 2 Women of Distinction features WDM 4 18 Kathleen Guercy Myers Finance Retail Banking Compliance Global Trade Compliance Engineering Aerospace Engineering President Chief Executive Officer C2 International (C2I) LLC President Chief Executive Officer Wineglass Engineering LLC Livingston MT Kendra L. B. Cook 33 JudithHealthcareK. Stih Judy Home 46 Heidi Miller Retail Toy Manufacturer 50 Melissa Richards Dog Services Caregiver Homemaker Mesa AZ Former Community Banking District Manager and Senior Vice President - Wells Fargo Bank Previously in Downtown Los Angeles Beverly Hills El Segundo and Southern California Chief Executve Officer Owner Creator - Mini-Play Makeup Inc. Burley ID Owner Trainer The Dog Sanctuary LLC Sussex WI Kendra L. B. Cook Compliance Global Trade Compliance Engineering Aerospace Engineering President Chief Executive Officer C2 International (C2I) LLC President Chief Executive Officer Wineglass Engineering LLC 4 Livingston MT Women of Distinction I n 2008 Kendra L. B. Cook was excited to receive news from her husband that they would be moving to Taiwan for his job. Knowing that she wanted to continue her career in engineering while overseas Kendra understood it was critical for her to fully understand the limitations of working as an engineer abroad. She took six months of courses and passed a comprehensive exam to become a Certified US Export Compliance Officer. After nearly a year of business contract negotiations Kendra secured a job for herself through her newly formed company C2 International (C2I) as the US Government s Liaison to the Taiwan Government and Systems Engineer on the COSMIC-2 joint US Taiwan satellite program. Kendra and her husband Justin lived in Taiwan for two years before returning to the US. She s glad to have spent that time in Taiwan because she learned how complex the US Export Control regulations really are. She realized that there are many businesses that she can help with her first-hand experience. Critical to this role is Kendra s ability to speak Chinese to develop the necessary relationship with the US s primary mission partner Taiwan s National Space Organization. Kendra holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University an MS in Astronautical Engineering and another MS in Computer Engineering both from the Air Force Institute of Technology. She is a Certified US Export Compliance Officer and Certified Project Management Professional. Kendra has been involved with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace Conference for the past nine years and has served as Session Organizer Committee Member and Technical Program Co-Chair. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Livingston Women in Business. She has authored over 25 papers and has been invited to speak at several conferences and workshops as well as college and high school groups. Having grown up in Montana Kendra wanted to raise her family in the same relaxed and outdoor environment. She and Justin finally settled down in Livingston Montana after moving nine times in 11 years. They love the outdoors and enjoy hiking camping biking snowboarding skydiving and traveling the world. With two daughters ages four and one they are passionate about finding exciting adventures as a family. Justin is a Program Manager and also works in compliance at C2I bringing immense knowledge and experience with him. He s dealt with everything from diplomatic relationships with First World foreign leaders to Third World militants. Having been through several deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan he s seen firsthand the detrimental impacts of corruption and non-adherence to US export control laws and regulations. I love being an engineer and also having the ability to help businesses expand internationally Kendra said. I believe these two industries complement each other they require similar skills and knowledge. Founded in February 2009 C2I provides professional services in the area of Global Trade Compliance business compliance (such as organizational personal conflict of interest and business ethics) international business relations and business development to support businesses as they expand internationally. C2I services are also available to foreign companies who want to do business with US companies and government agencies that deal with export controlled products. In addition to providing daily compliance consulting services at C2I Kendra also serves as President and CEO providing strategic guidance and actively seeking out new business opportunities in the US and abroad. In February 2015 C2I was selected to be promoted by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and Kendra and Justin traveled to Taipei to provide a presentation on Global Trade Compliance to more than 30 Taiwan businesses. A few months later C2I entered into a strategic partnership with a Taiwan firm to promote more US-Taiwan cooperation and business dealings across multiple high-tech industries. Kendra and Justin founded Wineglass Engineering (WE) LLC in 2015. Based in the beautiful Wineglass Mountain Range in Montana WE is a business consulting firm that specializes in providing systems engineering and senior level program management services to private and government customers focusing on aerospace and military intelligence systems. WE currently holds the contract under which Kendra now serves as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Lead Systems Engineer on the COSMIC-2 satellite program. One of the reasons we are both so passionate about compliance with US export laws and regulations is because of my husband s experience overseas where our adversaries used illegally obtained US weapons and technology against him our troops and allies Kendra noted. I believe that a life work balance can exist Kendra said happily. You don t have to choose between a family and a career it is possible to have both. I want to help companies expand and grow their businesses overseas legally ethically and with confidence. I want to raise strong independent children who are kind compassionate and have integrity. I also believe in giving back and serving our country and community. It does take sacrifice but it is all worth it. 5 Women of Distinction Q&A Q With two small children at home how do you juggle everything A It is definitely a juggling act I m continually striving to find that Life Work balance but I ve realized that doing the best you can is the best you can do. I try to be present in whatever it is that I m doing whether it s working or spending time with my family. I try to schedule in time for my family where I don t check email or answer calls. When I have a lot of travel back-to-back I try to bring my girls with me. We have a live-in nanny which is a huge blessing. When they re not traveling with me I call home every day which can be difficult with the time zone difference. It s important to me that they know I m thinking of them every day. Q How do you think the military has shaped your life Would you recommend it to others A Serving seven years as an Officer in the United States Air Force has had a profound impact on my life. I received an incredible education and was put in leadership positions as a young Lieutenant positions that would have taken years to achieve in the private sector. The education experience and other skills and assets I obtained during my time in the military helped me stand out among my peers when I transitioned to the civilian sector. I would absolutely recommend serving in the military to anyone who has the desire. I come from a long line of servicemen and I am grateful I had the opportunity to serve my country in that capacity. Q Do you have any advice for young women in maledominated career fields A Don t listen to the nay-sayers. I had men telling me I didn t belong when I was an intern at an engineering company when I was an officer in the Air Force and when I was hired into an executive level position when I was 29 years old the youngest and only female at that level in the company. All along the way I ve had people telling me I can t do it or I shouldn t do it but I didn t listen. I found mentors who supported and encouraged me and served as my champion when I wasn t in the room. Find a good mentor who is willing to fight for you and use them Q How or why does your business stand out from the competition A We don t just have the book knowledge we have the experience to back it up. We have experience working on export controlled programs and have had to live with the dayto-day restrictions of US Export Control laws and regulations. We ve had to deal with policies and procedures put in place by people who had no experience operating in the challenging environments of controlled programs which we know firsthand can be extremely frustrating. I ve served as Director of Corporate Compliance for a 600 employee company and Justin served as the Director of Research Compliance for a 100 million research program. We both fully understand the difficulties serving as the in-house person in charge of compliance. All of this experience adds up to give C2I the ability to provide practical actionable advice. We don t just tell our customers what the regulations say we actually help them implement them in an effective manner. Wineglass Engineering (WE) is committed to providing quality systems engineering and program management support to all of our customers. WE stands out from its competitors based on the diverse experience and leadership aptitude of its employees and managers. WE employees not only have the expertise in engineering and program management but also have proven leadership experience in both private industry and government military roles as well as an absolute dedication to integrity and excellence in all we do. WE employs people with value-added professional and life experiences required to ensure success. Q What are your hopes for the future A I hope that my daughters grow up with equal rights equal opportunities and equal pay. Generations before me have made leaps and bounds in women s rights but there s still room to improve. Until we get more women into leadership positions and into boardrooms women s voices won t truly be heard and they won t be treated equally. We need powerful and successful women in leadership positions who can mentor and champion the next generation. That is something I am hoping to do to improve the future for my daughters and all women. 6 Women of Distinction Dr. Gwen E Murrell-Powell Healthcare Chaplaincy Founder and Director Pastoral Care Chaplains of Color Certified Clinical Chaplain (Per Diem) Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Long Beach CA Torrance CA arly in her career Gwen Murrell-Powell worked for Continental Airlines and United Airlines in their data centers. Privileged to have traveled to many parts of the world she later left the industry to co-found a computer technology business. Years later her role shifted once again when she was divinely called to work as a spiritual caregiver. Founding Pastoral Care Chaplains of Color (PCCC) a nonprofit organization in Long Beach California Gwen serves as Founder and Director promoting the field of chaplaincy and recruiting new members to support it. I lost my only daughter due to an illness in 1992. Shannon was a beautiful girl full of wit joy and love. After Shannon earned her BA in 1991 she became an office manager in Hollywood California for the current United State Senator of California Barbara Boxer. When Shannon died my soul died with her Gwen said sadly who is also a mother to son Lance. While attending church to do some soul searching Gwen listened to the sermon spoken by a woman who was also a chaplain at a local hospital where they offered a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training program. Gwen joined the program and entered into a life changing journey of selfdiscovery. Completing her training in 2009 her new career was born. In her current role as a Healthcare Chaplain at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance Gwen works with those in emotional crisis. She is committed to service of the soul giving a sense of peace and comfort by compassionately caring for each of her patients. I feel humbled that I am allowed to enter in to some of the most intimate experiences of peoples lives Gwen noted. It gives me a real sense of gratitude to know that I m touching the lives of so many people and making a difference in the world around me. 7 Also a Director at PCCC Gwen is an advocate for the profession of chaplaincy. She promotes chaplaincy in urban and remote areas. She gives information on entering CPE programs mentoring those that want to become a chaplain and spiritual care employment opportunities. PCCC is also a resource for its members to meet and support other Women of Distinction chaplains. Their motto is Chaplains Caring for Chaplains . Q&A Q Why do you believe chaplaincy is relevant in the healthcare profession A In order for true healing to take place the whole person must be attended to. That is spirit mind and body. Psychiatrists and doctors attend to the care of the mind and body while chaplains attend to the care of the soul. Chaplains show themselves relevant and necessary by attending to the spiritual well-being of each person. Q What is the difference between a pastor and a chaplain A Pastors are affiliated with a particular faith group within a church while chaplains serve people of all faiths outside the walls of a church. We serve God s people where ever they are in a home on a military base or at the site of a major disaster. Q Why do you feel chaplains should be familiar with bioethics A As a member of the interdisciplinary team in some hospice or palliative cases the role of a chaplain is to be an advocate for the patient families to ensure their rights and wishes are respected based on the principles of bioethics which are autonomy beneficence non-maleficence and justice. Q What is your theological perspective as it relates to chaplaincy A My faith is my salvation. My relationship with God has sustained me and allowed me to evolve into the chaplain person that I am today. Therefore I must exercise my faith and trust in God because there is no way to understand some of the challenges or triumphs I ve had in my life. I am so grateful that God anointed me to serve His people as a chaplain. I am a living loving soul and my life is an awesome example of what God can and will do. Q How would you with a Christian background best minister with a patient family who has no faith tradition or beliefs A As a chaplain I am honored to be a compassionate presence and celebrate the lives of people of all beliefs nonbelief s faiths and cultures. I offer a ministry of presence to help strengthen the spirituality and deepen the faith of all people whatever their belief is. Q What would you like people to know about PCCC A PCCC is a growing organization. Our membership is increasing by large numbers and we continue to reach out and empower more lay and clergy to become chaplains. PCCC provides a model of self-care for all chaplains to bring a depth of healing to themselves. Q How did you come up with the name Pastoral Care Chaplains of Color A The name is self-explanatory. It says exactly who we are and the motto Chaplains Caring for Chaplains which further explains who we are and why we are in existence. I am aware that the word Color may cause discomfort to some people I say to that white is a color too. All people are invited and welcomed to become members of PCCC thereby completing the color palette to include all colors. Q How do your colleagues feel about you starting a new chaplains organization (PCCC) A My colleague are delighted to know we now have a place to connect and be a comfort to each other. Some of the comments about PCCC have been You have struck a chord at the right time for something that is needed You are on the path connecting with communities is key Your group PCCC what a great idea It is much needed and Congratulations on the work you are doing . Q Can anyone become a member of PCCC A Yes. We welcome membership enrolment to anyone interested in chaplaincy on any level. PCCC membership is open to chaplains and people who love and support chaplains. The beauty of PCCC is its broad base diversity of all people. 8 Women of Distinction Candace Croft PhD RH CFLE EFT-Adv Health & Wellness (Integrative Coaching & Presenting) Founder and Chief Executive - Tabankhu Lancaster WI fter years of working as a therapist and consultant Candace Croft shifted her focus to integrative coaching which involves all aspects of being (spirit mind and body) and doing (intent behavior and peak performance) fused as one with each aspect affecting and affected by the health and well-being of the other. A As an integrative coach I combine teaching and healing to help others leverage the principles of unity psychology that is a combination of transpersonal psychology psychoanalytic theories lifespan development advanced physics and metaphysics. This blend of Eastern and Western science and philosophies creates a set of powerfully complementary techniques for achieving greater holistic self-health. Candace followed an inner pull to explore deep truths of life its meaning and how each person is in this world to express soul and develop aspects of self through life experiences. With that Candace founded Tabankhu where she provides professional services integrative coaching presentations consulting books and products that assist individuals with personal and professional growth. As Chief Executive she is the face of Tabankhu and oversees all operations services marketing and engagements. Tabankhu reflects the expression of her heartfelt passion for helping others be curiously amused engaged and enlightened by self. She outlined the principles of unity psychology and the PSI-BETABLOCK-R8 technique used exclusively at Tabankhu. We each hold the keys to our own peak life performance but swept away by hectic days we often don t focus on self as we should to grow in healthy ways. The voice of our inner guide becomes drowned by daily noise the relationship with our guide becomes sporadic and weak or we just plain turn a deaf ear until our inner guide grows silent. Tabankhu provides a way to schedule dedicated time for feel-good selfdiscovery that comes from re-establishing a strong trusting relationship with one s self. It s fulfilling to be able to provide that encouraging time with self when others can discover how best to flow with their strengths and talents and express their true purpose for greater life meaning. Candace seeks to create a legacy of helping others find inner peace and joy and hopes to be seen as a strong passionate woman who left her corner of the world better than when she came into it. Not only have I followed this inner pull with my personal life but I ve realized it in my professional life as a coach therapist healer wellness director author educator and manager. I believe that life brings others into our lives that provide guiding influences when we pay attention. One such guiding light came into her life when she was pursuing her doctorate. Howard Hall PhD a professor at Penn State saw within me something that perhaps I d seen but didn t know how to integrate into my daily image of self. Having gone through some life-changing health issues personally he talked in a language that resonated with me speaking of vital healing energy chakras and how words and imagery affects one s physical self. It made total sense to someone like me who had seen things as a child that others thought to be pure imagination. After a while with no one to validate such experiences you learn to keep silent. Of course that isn t healthy. Howard gave me not only the opportunity to validate my spirit s natural language but to live my experience rather than hide it. That liberating encounter made me want to pass that same sense of life freedom on to others. 10 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Integrative coaching sounds interesting but what if I m not religious spiritual A Integrative coaching is not based upon religion nor does a person need to define themselves as spiritual. It works with all value systems and beliefs and is founded on the notion that regardless of religion or level of spirituality we re all spiritual beings having an earthly experience that was intended to be a joyful self-exploration. As such integrative coaching maintains a practical focus on daily life that embraces each person s unique strengths and brings greater joy and meaning to a life aligned with spirit. When we align our lives with our core energies we find ourselves going with life s flow more easily comfortably and with a sense of inner happiness and peace. Q Any inside secrets about your profession that you wish to share A Coaching and life success is not dependent on a professional or expert any more than great cuisine requires a professional chef for preparation. As an integrative coach I bring my training with standard life coaching techniques combined with holistic healing information techniques to each session to assist others in learning how best to maximize self-health and life success from an empowered core. Paired with the right coach you can learn to coach yourself Q How can all of this work via the phone A That s a difficult concept for those raised in Western society to understand isn t it We tend to put faith in things that we directly experience (see hear smell taste and touch) but are more skeptical about that which is subtle. Yet that s how coaching works subtle shifts in energy perceptions thoughts and emotions that result in manifest changes at the physical and behavioral levels. When you have a phone conversation with someone you can tell if they re happy sad or at peace stressed right The same is true with a phone coaching session which also provides an extra bit of security through anonymity as well as convenience. However for those in the Dubuque IA area face-to-face sessions may be scheduled with me through the Center of I Am. Q How do you decide what technique(s) will be used in a session A Everyone processes information and learns differently. This is also true when learning about self so what works for one will not work for another. I partner with each client to find those techniques that personally resonate and allow for desired change to occur most effectively. With several options available from goal setting Reiki guided therapeutic imagery meditation and EFT (an acupressure technique) all clients will find a way to increase life success. (I ve even had the pleasure of providing balancing Reiki energy to dogs and horses.) Q Do you have a favorite story that exemplifies being curious amused and enlightened by self A I was traveling by car to a presentation with a friend. A state trooper coming from the opposite direction turned on his flashing lights and completed a U-turn to come in line behind us. As we waited for the trooper to approach us it occurred to me that perhaps my friend who lived in the Seattle area might not be familiar with rural speed limits. You do know the speed limit here is 55 right He looked surprised incredulous and asked Why I broke out laughing and pointed to the sign directly in front of where he had stopped the car a speed limit sign with the number 55 in large print. Because the sign says so. The signs are always there but we often have difficulty recognizing them until someone points them out to us. Q Talk about a recent coaching experience and how it positively affected someone s life. A After attending our conference workshop a woman in her sixties related that she had every intention of leaving the room after attending the previous session but found herself inexplicably rooted in her seat in spite of her intentions to the contrary. She shared the healing value of the workshop helping her realize that there was still a meaningful enjoyable life ahead after the death of her husband and thanked us saying You changed my life. I m always humbled by such positive effects. Q What is your greatest strength A Building on strengths is my greatest strength. Who would want to do otherwise I engage others in self-mastery through practical tips and storytelling including each client s life story revision. Q Your column is entitled Living With Heart . How was that title chosen A Maintaining healthy balance can be challenging in our hectic world. We each face challenges with some more obvious and difficult than others. Life is an advanced course in understanding expressing and perfecting self. Living with Heart refers to mindfully passing all actions through heart before responding to life. Going through heart is the path to greater self-health and life success. Q If you could offer one piece of advice for Living with Heart what would it be A Simply the Tabankhu tagline Keep Your HeartLightShiningTM Q What types of presentations do you conduct for business and groups A Presentations and workshops are conducted for general or business audiences and focus on leveraging the principles of unity psychology for higher living with practical tips methods for doing that. Workshops naturally include learning practice with techniques. Topics discuss building upon strengths rising above chaos mastering the play ethic empowerment writing a positive life script becoming a soul ninja and activating the love factor. A complete listing is available at http www.heartlightshining.com. Q What is your new book Soul Gardening about A This is the first book in a series that focuses on mastering the techniques for growing good hearts in self and others utilizing unity psychology as it combines lifespan development traditional psychological theories metaphysics and advanced physics. A recent review by a judge in the 23rd Annual Writer s Digest SelfPublished Book Awards This book offers us the tools to become Master Gardeners of our souls and lives. I found this amazing book to be a treasure of helpful ideas for living a fuller more enjoyable healthier and caring life. Each time I open the book I am again captivated by the words and ideas that pour forth from the page. Each lesson ends with an affirmation. (Full review and list of books available at http www.heartlightshining.com.) 11 Women of Distinction Dee Hill Author Healthcare Author of God Given Gifts - The Power To Choose Office Coordinator for Dr. Genevieve Mejia San Angelo TX 12 Women of Distinction D friends. ee Hill fell in love with writing when she was in the 5th grade. She wrote poetry and songs throughout her school years that were well-received by her However despite her enthusiasm for writing Dee followed a different career path in 1997 when she started working in her mother s photography studio in San Angelo Texas as the office manager. A few years later she started her own photography business Studio II. I mainly did work for high school seniors sporting events and black and white photojournalism photographs at weddings. I was passionate about capturing these moments in time and as with everything I did it to the best of my ability. I even won the top five state awards in photography in Kerrville Texas. God blessed me with the fabulous gift of being able to be a part of these clients lives. To this day some are still in my life. She continued working in photography until 2006 the beginning of the digital age. I met Jerry during my senior year of high school. Once I graduated we were married and God blessed us with our first son Zachary several months later. Being a teenage mother and wife wasn t easy but we never gave up on each other. We were later blessed with our second son Mathew. And six years later we decided to have another baby so along came our third son Gentry. All three are amazing hardworking boys. Zachary is a diesel mechanic and has the gift for anything with a motor. Mathew is a high school senior plays on the varsity football team and works for Sonic when he isn t busy with school and football. He wants to go to college for business and become a chiropractor. Gentry is a sixth grader with such a cute personality. He s quiet most of the time (at least until he gets to know you) then he comes up with some funny phrases. Jerry and I have been married for 21 years. Things have been hard at times but we don t give up we just look for the good in every situation and pray for God to give us the strength to get through whatever He has in store for us. Life has not always been easy for Dee. She did not come from money but did come from a strong-willed family that never gave up. As the digital age came around the photography industry suffered and will never be the same. When that happened I had two options give up and never try anything else again or look up to God for help and let Him lead me where I needed to go. Dee took a few jobs here and there to make ends meet but none of them felt like she was doing what God wanted her to do. However once she was able to get into the medical field in November 2010 as an office coordinator Dee was able to focus on her writing again. We call the hard times character-building times . Those times have molded me into the person I am and family we are. God gave us a beautiful gift and it is through His grace and love that I am here doing His work today. Dee would like to leave the world with hope and faith that God has a purpose for each and every one of us. Even though all you can see are obstacles open your eyes and heart to see the bigger picture. God never promised us that it would be easy He promised us that He would see us through. I hope to help people open their eyes look up to Him and give Him praise for everything He has done and will continue to do in their lives. Being in this field has made me grow in so many ways. It has given me inspiration to write and focus on my hopes and dreams for myself and my family. The time she was allotted to write allowed her to author the book God Given Gifts - The Power to Choose and publish it via Tate Publishing. I will soon be booking signings and public events. Aside from her career and the completion of her book Dee s considers her first role to be that of an excellent wife for her husband Jerry and mother of their three boys. 13 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What inspires you to write A I m inspired by anything from a song movie quote a familiar smell or a phrase that I hear in passing. Q Did you always want to be a writer author A Yes but I wasn t sure what venue I would be using. Whether it was with my photography combined with writing or just being a writer author I ve always had a passion for writing. Q How long did it take you to write God Given Gifts - The Power to Choose A It took me several weeks to write it but several months to lay it out the way I wanted it to read. Q When did you decide to submit your work A I decided to submit my book idea in March 2014. It was finally completed the following year. Q What do you hope that people get out of reading your book A I hope they get inspired to use their God Given Gift (G3) to help others and encourage their children grandchildren to find their G3. Q How does it make you feel to have written a book and achieved one of your lifelong dreams A It feels amazing I have a great family and support group that encourages me to strive to be the best. I know in my heart that this is where God wants me to be. Q Sometimes people get comfortable where they are in life and are content staying that way. What do you say to them A GET UP and get out of your comfort zone You will never go further than you re willing to take yourself. Don t let the devil steal your dreams Q What has kept you pushing forward when you felt you couldn t go any further A My strong faith in God has kept me looking up at Him and giving it my all for Him because He gave it all for me. Q Do you feel like this will be one of many things to come A Yes as long as it is His plan. 14 Women of Distinction Donna J. Porter Manufacturing Executive Vice President of Sales - Giant Lift Equipment Mfg Co Inc 15 North Hampton NH Women of Distinction W ith more than 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry Donna J. Porter is at the top of her game when it comes to pleasing customers as the Executive Vice-President of Sales at Giant Lift Mfg Co. From 1979-89 she worked in the sales office of Tech Industries a manufacturer of bottles jars and caps for the cosmetics industry. Soon after moving to New Hampshire with her family in 1989 she began working for Giant Lift. Though she initially applied for a receptionist position at the company Donna was hired as a permanent inside sales person due to her past experience in the field. As Executive Vice-President of Sale at Giant Lift which manufactures material handling equipment and Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRC) Donna oversees all orders that are placed with the company. Aside from speaking with customers and working up quotes she also helps with customer support and troubleshooting. Some of Donna s other main responsibilities include coordinating the production schedule of a product and managing the company s inventory while following projects from beginning to end. Donna s mother Rachel has been a prime example of a strong woman throughout her life teaching Donna that women have an equal standing to men and can do anything they put their minds to no matter what others may say. From both of her parents Donna was able to learn to be proud of herself no matter what and also learned to lead by example. Don t ever let anyone tell you that you can t do something or that something is impossible. I ve been told that I m very stubborn which is something I picked up from my parents. If you don t know the answer to something go and find it out. You can t be afraid to ask questions it s a great way to learn. Throughout her years in the manufacturing industry Donna has been to about eight NAEC (National Association of Elevator Contractors) trade shows where she coordinates all aspects of Giant Lift s attendance while also taking time to run the company s booth there. One of the greatest challenges I ve faced through the years is being in an industry that is predominantly made of men. There have been times where I ve had to win them over and let them know that I do have the proper information to help solve their problems. On many occasions I ve answered my phone and have had men tell me that that they were holding for a salesMAN. Now I just smile when it happens as I know I ll be able to help any man who needs it. For 36 years Donna has been married to her wonderful and patient husband David Porter. Together they have a daughter Sharyn who is married and has a daughter of her own Donna s granddaughter Julia with her husband Jeremy. Donna is the eldest of five children in her family. I ve always been interested in how things are made. For the second time in my life I had found myself in a job at a manufacturing facility. The products we make are custom designed for each of our customer s needs. I find it very gratifying to be able to work with a distributor or an architect in all stages of a project - from the beginning through the design process and finally to production. The people who have inspired Donna the most throughout her life have been her parents Claude and Rachel Daniels who have been married for 58 years. Her father Claude has always been a hard working man who always got the job done without complaining. Though he s a man of few words he always taught Donna and her four siblings how to take pride in everything they do while doing it well. I want to show the people that there s still such a thing as good work ethic. I want to lead by example just like my parents always have. My daughter is my legacy and she s learning things the same way I did. She is a wonderful mother has a kind heart and is a hard worker. In the little free time she has Donna enjoys being with her family. She has participated in several cancer walks including the Avon Breast Cancer Walk to support both family and friends. A seamstress since her youth Donna has also enjoyed making bridal gowns for those close to her as well. Anything can be done if you just put your mind to it. Be independent but remember that it is fine to ask for help. Surround yourself with good people. 16 Women of Distinction 17 Women of Distinction Kathleen Guercy Myers Finance Retail Banking Former Community Banking District Manager and Senior Vice President - Wells Fargo Bank Previously in Downtown Los Angeles Beverly Hills 18 El Segundo and Southern California Women of Distinction K athleen Guercy Myers was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti and came to the United States when she was 12-years-old only knowing how to speak French and Creole in her new land. She had to learn to survive adapt and overcome obstacles at an early age since her older siblings were in high school while she was in junior high school but Kathleen went on to succeed in high school by making the honor roll and graduating in the top 10% of her class. However as a black foreign woman and mother in 1976 her attempts at joining the workforce were hindered by discrimination and prejudice. Kathleen wanted to enter the banking financial industry (which was at the time dominated by white Caucasian males) so she got a job as a Part Time Official Assistant at a Citibank branch in Manhattan while she was a student at the College of Staten Island who was married and had a six-month-old son. But Kathleen finally got her break in 1977 (at the age of 22) when management opportunities became available. Three management training positions were posted but the branch manager VP specifically noted that he only wanted males. When asked about the position his response was that she did not fit the profile . So after going over his head to the human resources department she was offered an interview at the area office. Most branches were changing the in-house branch operation to centralized operation and Citibank was the innovative industry leader who wanted to bring out the concept of the ATM (Automated Teller Machine). So in 1977 Citibank introduced and rolled out the ATM to the public with the marketing slogan of the Citi Never Sleeps . Kathleen was part of the new initiative rollout of Citigold a priority service program that focuses on relationship and business banking for high net worth clients. While working at the Gramercy Park Branch in Manhattan she was very successful in the rollout of the new service and was later promoted to the Citigold Manager position. In 1987 she relocated to Southern California and worked for Citicorp Savings Bank a subsidy of Citibank North America (NA). Two weeks later I was told by my boss that the people over him decided to give me one of the management training jobs. After this experience I was self-motivated self-driven and made a promise to myself that I will always work three times harder by outperforming in every position given to me prove to others and myself that I have the ability skills and determination to rise to the top and to never allow someone else s perception of me become my reality. This allowed Kathleen to grow professionally and continually move up the ranks of Citibank for 24 years. In the late 70s the banking industry was changing and expanding in many ways. Prior to bank deregulation being in effect Citibank NA had acquired Sears Financial Services and was no longer allowed to be called Citibank NA or operate as a commercial bank in the State of California. Therefore they came into the state as Citicorp Savings Bank. After banking deregulation was approved all of the Citicorp Savings Banks were changed nationally to Citibank. In 2000 after 24 years of working for Citibank Kathleen ended her career as an Area Manager Division EVP (Executive Vice President) in Southern California after being recruited by Wells Fargo Bank. As a Division Area Manager her success was around the area of developing mentoring directing and motivating the sales and service team to exceed their expectations and goals. She provided leadership by ensuring consistent execution of Citibank s strategies aiming at servicing and building targeted customer relationships. Kathleen was also accountable for her division cluster and branches sales results strategic business management personnel customer service customer and employee retention community relations operating expense control and increasing productivity. She was successful in growing bottom line growth profits and controlled losses by improving division revenues. 19 Women of Distinction I managed one of the largest most management intensive and high-risk markets in the Los Angeles Metro Region and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of 14-16 retail banking branches with over 300 financial professionals. I exceeded sales production in all critical areas and ended several years as one of the top District Managers in overall sales in the LA Metro Region and LA Crossroads Division. I also successfully managed various market segments like Hispanic Black affluent high net worth low to moderate income small business commercial and various consumer markets. For eight consecutive years she sustained strong performance in almost every segment of the Wells Fargo Management Pyramid due to the systematic execution and detailed approach on building processes inspections focus discipline and accountability. Such hard work earned Kathleen a promotion to the Community Banking District Manager position in 2005 and to Senior Vice President in 2008. In spite of all challenges I continued my journey took on my responsibilities focused on my performance mentored others and committed myself to give hope to others for hope helps others evolve. As a mentor coach and motivator some of my great rewards were to see my people excel succeed and become champions. I ve learned that people come to our life for a reason season or lifetime. Many will come and go some will come back into your life and only a few will stay for the long haul. At times others come to make you see the sun when you only saw only the clouds and help you believe in yourself. Remember to focus on SELF-preservation by balancing your work life your mind (thoughts emotion views) your body (health) your soul (core strength) and your spirit (life force attitude feelings). Today she is married to Paul Myers and has two adult children (Joel and Thara) two adult stepchildren (Elliott and Wenona) two grandchildren (Jolee her first granddaughter and little Mini-Kathy and Joel Jr. her grandson) and three step grandchildren (Leslie Jaden and Londyn). My Gallup Organization StrengthsFinder Signature dominant themes of talent (Relator Focus Responsibility Strategic and Arranger) helped me maximize my talent which led me to success and helped me meet and exceed the demands of my daily life career and family. In 2013 after having some medical challenges she retired from Wells Fargo as a Community Banking District Manager and SVP (Senior Vice President) in Southern California. Over the years and even after her retirement Kathleen has held multiple leadership positions in the Pacific Union Division Southern California SDA Conference and Greater Los Angeles SDA Region. She has also served as the Finance Chairperson for the Valley Crossroads SDA Church for 16 years and currently serves as the Risk Management Director and was actively involved with the Urban Financial Service Coalition Habitat for Humanity Latin Business Association Black Business Association American Heart Association Governor Pete Wilson National Conference for Women LA Works and Aids Walk. Kathleen has continued to survive adapt and overcome obstacles throughout her life. Since she got married at an early age and didn t finishing her college education she decided later to go back to school to complete her college education and successfully acquired her Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Phoenix in 1996. My son Joel is following my footsteps in the banking industry and has worked at Citibank Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Thara works for the City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation is a part-time preschool teacher coaches a high school girls basketball team and is a part-time physical education teacher at a Christian school. Wenona works for LACER (Los Angeles County Employee Retirement). And Elliott is an engineer. She would like to be remembered as a trailblazer and people person who made a difference by reaching out to others. Several of the team members I mentored have been promoted to senior management positions in several financial organizations and banks. I always took a stand for justice equality promoted fairness and always was a voice (not an echo). You should always have eyes that see the best in people a heart that forgives the worst a mind that forgets the bad and a soul that never loses faith in God. Lastly always remember to pray live love laugh be grateful thankful and give back. 20 Women of Distinction Monika Wilbanks Author Cape Coral FL 21 Women of Distinction fter Monika Wilbanks retired from her careers in the hotel and nursing industries she focused on a writing career fueled by five trips to Africa throughout the years. This is where she met a spiritual teacher named Olumba O. Obu the man who inspired her to begin writing her first book Love - The Spiritual Journey into the New Millennium in 1988 (published in 2001). A The book came out of nowhere Monika had worked in the hotel industry for 14 years in Dallas Texas and got her nursing degree to work as a Patient Care Assistant (PCA) after moving to Florida. Nursing was much closer to my heart and gave me the joy of helping others heal. It was the beginning of my spiritual journey before retiring and becoming an author. She self-published her five books and is occasionally asked to discuss them as well as help other authors in foreign countries get their books published. The books serve to inform people of the turbulent times we re living in. We need to focus on our soul journey more than ever. They can all be found on Amazon and include Love - The Spiritual Journey into the New Millennium (2001) The Holy Spirit Revealed (2006) Die Enth llung des Heiligen Geistes (German Version - 2013) The Universal Sisterhood (2011) The New Name of God Rules The Trinity God Has Now Taken Control Over the Earth (2011) Rise Brother Rise Your Time is Now (2014) Monika was born in the Black Forest region of Germany as the oldest daughter among seven girls. She later moved to the city where she met and married Jerry Wilbanks an American in Germany. They had three children two girls and a boy. The first child Cheryl was born in Heidelberg Germany. After that they moved to the United States and settled in Benton Arkansas where the other two children Donna and Scott were born. Sadly after the death of her husband her second daughter Donna followed him a few years later leaving her husband David and their seven-yearold Savannah behind. Her oldest daughter Cheryl passed away in Dallas this year (in 2015) and is safely under our heavenly Father s wings. During that time I moved to Florida and eventually retired to write rest and spend time with my granddaughters Sarah and Aubree. I visit Katie and Savannah in Dallas when possible. My fondest legacy would be that I helped humanity through my works to gain a better understanding of the importance of getting closer to the heart of God and bring us all together as one in a new era of love and peace. 22 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel that your books are important in today s world A My books are important in our time of change. More and more people are looking for answers. One book The Universal Sisterhood is meant to bring women together in our time. Women magazines tell women how to dress cook and make a man happy but no one writes about the spiritual aspect of a woman s heart. Oprah Winfrey had a show on years ago that revealed that women have a hole in their hearts. We learned about the physical and the mental aspects of a woman but not her spiritual side. Q Though women are liberated in the U.S. and other western countries what else is missing A Yes we re physically liberated but we re not complete without the spiritual side. One is not whole without the other. Q What is our responsibility as liberated women to help those still in bondage A We re not free until every woman on this planet is free. It s our responsibility to act on that. The world listens to women with high profiles so we must step forward with this mighty work. This will have a far-reaching impact on not only our own spiritually but it will affect the whole world as well. Q What do you think of places in the world where only men rule A Once the men of the world know and understand that a woman brings as much to the table as they do they ll request the missing cards in their hand. They re missing 50% of the knowledge that could help bring happiness and peace to their country. If a man does not know how to hear a woman s heart he ll always feel incomplete and lost. Q What are the qualities of a woman that are most needed in the world today A God gave women the gift to bring forth life. Women are designed for that assignment as well as every other aspect that life brings. They are beings of great aptitude endearment inspiration and influence and have a magnificent spectrum of emotion and compassion. A woman s inherent nature is to love nurture protect inspire mold nourish and comfort. She nourishes the body and mind of a child. Men will also need to cherish and love the female qualities in order to enter the new era in peace. Q Do you think that throughout history women have left their mark on the world A Yes they ve been a great influence supporting many famous men including presidents and great rulers of the world. Women have accomplished great feats throughout history. They are inventors scientists politicians leaders pilots actors philanthropists and saints. Q Will women have more influence in the Aquarian age A Yes in the past the wisdom of a woman has been an unspoken factor behind that strong male energy. But in the future that wisdom will be the key to world changes. I m issuing a manifesto to women throughout the world to use their power to elevate the statues of women in the Aquarian age for this is the age of the woman. Giving wings to someone else is no longer our gain. This is the time for women to take leadership roles all over the world. That evidence is shown already in many countries. Q What is the role of a woman in today s world A For thousands of years a woman s role was unchangeable and is even to this day in some places. Women were looked upon as property caretakers second class citizens etc. For many centuries women had to bend to that rule. Now women rebel against that injustice. Many walk away confused and lonely never knowing why their love match didn t work out for them. Their nature is harmony and love. In today s world a woman s role is to make a better world with her partner allowing time and expression for her spiritual side to be heard. Q Who is that woman in Revelation 12 1 A Revelation 12 1 shows us that the journey of Eva our first mother was a successful one. She is victorious in the end. A crown is given to her with the 12 stars. The sun clothed her and the moon under her feet show us that she overcame the world for us women. As she overcame the world we too will overcome. Q Have we ignored our soul for too long A Yes we need to lay a foundation of love but must first acknowledge that we have neglected and ignored our soul. We ve been so busy with other things that we forgot our spiritual side. We must become aware of what abides in our heart. Women and men alike must open up to the feelings that we have locked up for centuries. Let s all find the pure love in our hearts that we had in the beginning with our Father to be in that circle of love 23 Women of Distinction Aline Grossman I knew that if I became a skilled attorney then I would be financially independent I wanted to be able to meet my family s needs. line Grossman is a skilled commercial real estate attorney at Feinstein Raiss Kelin & Booker L.L.C. a general practice law firm that specializes in real estate. It has an established reputation for its capabilities in handling transactions as well as landlord tenant law and commercial litigation matters. Aline handles all aspects of commercial real estate business and corporate transactions throughout the country. Law Attorney - Feinstein Raiss Kelin & Booker LLC (Eisenhower Corporate Campus) Livingston NJ Admitted to the New York and New Jersey Bar Associations in 1993 Aline did not start to practice law until 2000. She was a single mother with two young children wanting to provide for her family and took the appropriate steps to do so. Before she became a mother Aline s work experiences were with the New York City government during the Giuliani administration both at the New York City Department and in the Office of the Mayor. A I worked on social service programs and used my legal background to analyze regulations for the purpose of guiding a team of social service professionals. 24 Women of Distinction When Aline returned to work and started practicing law she worked in-house for a real estate company Kushner Companies. Between its acquisition and development of commercial and residential property management departments the organization had over 400 employees. I had the opportunity to learn a lot quickly since I was exposed to all different types of legal issues in a dynamic business setting. Aline later left the corporate environment and began to explore the practice of law in a law firm setting. Over a 10 year period she gained proficiency as an attorney at Schepisi & McLaughlin P.A. (a well-known law firm in and around northern New Jersey) and became the firm s senior transactional attorney. In her present position at Feinstein Raiss Kelin & Booker L.L.C. Aline works on large and complex transactions all around the country. She enjoys helping clients meet the needs of their businesses. Despite the demands of Aline s career her children who are in currently teenagers are her priority. She has yet to miss any of their school performances or sports events. Aline s husband an advertising executive is outgoing and supportive. He has three children from his previous marriage. Our household is busy and together we have a beautiful combined family. Outside of work religion is a big part of Aline s life. She and her family are involved in their community as active synagogue members and volunteers for other religious and charitable organizations. We shut down our electronic devices and stop working from sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday. We also take time out of our busy schedules and reconnect with family and friends often hosting guests for meals or visiting with neighbors. Aline describes herself as a gym rat . It is like a game and I know the rules and dynamics my challenge is to come up with the solution and it is rewarding when I do. My skill is my ability to identify issues and to apply the law but my willingness to listen to my clients is what makes the services that I provide valuable. The transactions that I handle involve significant sums of money so my clients are concerned about preserving their livelihood. I am there to help them shed some of the anxiety. She is inspired by her colleagues. A few years ago I ran a half-marathon and raised money for an organization called Sharsheret (which means chain) that connects women with breast cancer to each other and to available resources. I was inspired to set fitness goals by a charitable organization but I continue to exercise avidly. I wake up between 5 00 and 6 00 a.m. to swim run bike or take a strength training class before I start the rest of my day. Besides the other health benefits releasing energy early in the day helps me stay focused. Both in her professional and personal life Aline does not try to take on the world s problems but rather to identify and tackle an individual or group s issues one by one. They are wise ethical and helpful. They also have a good rapport with clients and are dedicated to achieving the results that clients want . 25 Women of Distinction Dr. Genesis A. Slaughter Ministry Minister Teacher Redemption Ministerial Fellowship International Philadelphia PA J ust 7-years-old at the time Dr. Genesis A. Slaughter was fingering through the Bible in the living room one day when she discovered that her name was actually printed in the Bible. A year later she began Sunday school each week. A church goer ever since Genesis has explored many religions including Catholic Methodist United Methodist Presbyterian AME AME Zion Baptist Progressive even Buddhism. Coming to the conclusion that most of them are more similar in their belief system than they are not (although it isn t popular thinking among Christians these days) it s fine with her. Human like the rest of us at times she finds it difficult to be out there in the world waiting on the green light from Him trying to make it in this world. Perseverance is the key and Genesis believes that the door has been opened for her and she will endure. Good things happen to good people. Sadly one of Genesis s biggest challenges in life has to do with her tragic upbringing. Living in a house where the motto was what happens in this house stays in this house Genesis was rejected and never felt good enough by her own mother. Her mother s married boyfriend also molested her at an early age. As a result she was very needy. Using God to guide support and strengthen her Genesis was able to forgive her mother in her adult years before she passed away. As a Minister Genesis has also faced scrutiny simply for being a woman. Attending seminary for four years mostly with pastors from surrounding churches none of them have invited her to speak as yet. Too many of them she says still believe that women have no business in the pulpit and so they only allow women to preach from the floor level. Hopefully things will change. Genesis certainly hopes so. Genesis earned her BS in Psychology at Temple University enrolling at the age of 35. Twenty years later in 2008 she completed her Master of Divinity through Palmer Theological Seminary. Currently penning her first book she works with the organization Angel Tree Prison Fellowship and recently enrolled in the Temple University Alumni Association to become a mentor and volunteer. She s a part of the Chabad. org Learning where she can better understand her Jewish roots. Genesis has been studying now for seven years and finds it fascinating. She also attends the High Holy Days feasts each year with the Jewish community of Einstein Hospital. My faith and willingness to learn has kept me intrigued about God that others have made us afraid of Genesis said who is now a Minister and Teacher with Redemption Ministerial Fellowship International in Greenville South Carolina. Since I was 19 I had a hungry for something yet not knowing what I wanted I began to realize that something from within was driving me to a place of excellence. I have been studying about God in some form or another all my life. A Minister of the Gospel of Christ Genesis became licensed May 2012 and ordained May 2014 within RMFI. Always conscience of what she does and says while serving others God and family Genesis loves to teach the Word of God and she is dedicated in love service and forgiveness. Staying true to waiting on the Lord s direction however isn t always a walk in the park for Genesis. 26 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Other than ministry what else have you applied your mind to A I love studying psychology and law. In fact during my years at Temple University my advisor had suggested I do a duel major at Rutgers University for these subjects. I didn t think I could at the time so I didn t. Fear of rejection was the culprit. Q Do you teach from electronics and do you find them helpful during teaching A Electronics has it place in ministry but for me I prefer to work from study pages. I write out long hang. Sounds a bit old fashion for the tech savvy preacher today but at every I want to discuss is on paper highlighted my way and I don t have to stop to adjust the screen for anything. Studying for me is not work flipping through tablet apps is Q How many hours do you think one should study when preparing to teach or preach A Great question. For me I take all the time I need. Again I love studying the Bible and working it out to help others understand it takes times. You can t take one verse and run with it without using corresponding texts that connect the dots throughout the Scriptures. And consequently what happens is one thought takes you to another as you build the theme that God has provided. Q Are all of your books movies or television programming spiritual A Absolutely not. I enjoy all types of books music movies and television programs. I Love Law and Order cop shows with a plot and murder mysteries. I like religious movies but I pick them apart most often for content and context for today. I enjoy music of all kinds even rap. Relevance is important to the audience or community you serve. You can t speak to the 18-30 groups if you are clueless to what they like read listen to or the games played on social media. You must be current and aware of all group activities. Q Do you have any special songs for someone going through a storm A I have an arsenal full for any day or reason Take me to the King by Tamara Mann Marvelous by Walter Hawkins Let It by DeWayne Woods I Trust You by James Fortune & FYI and the list goes on. Whenever you want my playlist just email me. Q What s next for Dr. Slaughter A God is not through with me yet and neither am I. Plans to relocate are in motion. There are many roads to travel and still more people to touch. There are children who need love the youth who need encouraging and elders who need caring for. I have so much to be grateful for and strength to fulfill my destiny I ll be around for as long as He says so. Until then....... 27 Women of Distinction Dr. Nicole Kendall Arrighi I Education Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning Tennessee State University Nashville TN As a teacher you will be pulled between your students families personal and community obligations. It is essential to give yourself time to reflect react and rejuvenate so that there is harmony between you meeting your needs as a teacher and those you seek to serve. As a 12-year online Instructor for the Tennessee Board of Regents Online Degree Program including eight years as a faculty mentor Nicole continues work as a beta tester for several technology companies in her off time. She is a member on several editorial and organization boards that have produced instructional content for their constituents is serving as a Senior Member of the National Education Association s (NEA) Content Quality and Review Board that recommends online professional development courses to their academy and is also a longstanding member of their state affiliate Tennessee Education Association. Additionally Nicole is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. which engages in international platforms surrounding education and global access. Nicole s involvement and prior leadership positions have all allowed for community outreach and educational advocacy contribution for both children and public education. Inspired daily by her mother who serves as her greatest inspiration she is someone who has always had innovative ideas when it came to the education field someone Nicole describes as a technology guru . Her mom drives her to see beyond the existing barriers of education with each new day. Not to be forgotten her stepfather also encourages her to remain grounded so her jubilant personality shines through. Attending the University of Tennessee at Martin Nicole earned a BS in Elementary Education in 1999. She then followed with a Master s of Education in General Administration Leadership at Vanderbilt University which she completed a year later. In 2005 she earned an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction at Tennessee State University. Recently married to Christopher Arrighi Art Educator and Entrepreneur Nicole loves spending down time with him attending sporting events and traveling. She also loves reading cultural events and journaling. ncorporating her own teaching motto as an instructor of higher education that It s not who you teach it s how you teach Dr. Nicole Kendall Arrighi has been in the classroom for 15 years now beginning as a middle school teacher with MetroNashville Public Schools. Having always believed that she can be a better teacher and person when she is striving to be her best self Nicole s positive outlook on life has led her on a great journey to success. Entering in to my career at just 21 and into the higher education arena four years later my students challenged the depth of my credentials while colleagues were distant to the youthful ideas and strategies I utilized Nicole admitted about the challenges she faced early on in her career. Each dynamic warranted a level of confidence to showcase my abilities in an engaging manner thereby building relationships solid mentoring opportunities and contributions to my professional goals. As an Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning at Tennessee State University since 2005 Nicole trains teachers and students on how to incorporate technology within the classroom presents nationally and internationally on topics like classroom management millennial learners and digital citizenship and prepares pre-professional educators for teaching learning and advocacy of children and public education. Her higher education online training and consulting has assisted several historically black institutions K-12 school districts and internationally in England Senegal and most recently the United Nations (UNESCO) 2014 mobile learning week. Nicole s 10-year faculty appointment at Tennessee State University also includes service as Interim Chair EdTech Coordinator and Webmaster for the Department of Teaching and Learning. I have a sincere love for the education profession and its core value of enriching communities Nicole said about her dedication to her profession. It is equally rewarding to know my impact on students many of which are now thriving professionals in their own lives. Receiving notes of gratitude for experiences shared in years past are humbling reminders that my influence is far-reaching than my classroom. Technology is something that is ever-evolving. Working in the field Nicole has seen and experienced first-hand products come and go. In her role at the University it s important that she help other teachers as well as students learn to be flexible to life s upgrades because they support new opportunities. It s equally important to establish patience and balance as soon as possible Nicole added about the complexities of teaching in her particular field. The education professional requires a level of selflessness in its teacher. 28 Women of Distinction F ounder and CEO of Jacqueline DuJour Enterprises LLC Jacqueline Miller is what she calls a Mom Coach and Strategist . Working with some amazing female clients who happen to be amazing mothers too Jacqueline helps them discover more about themselves with the understanding that there is more to life than just being a mom. Not to discredit mothers everywhere however the first thing she debunks with each of her clients is Myth 1 that motherhood is where dreams go to die because that is certainly not the case. Instead she provides them with the tools and strategies that will enable them to pursue their passion and live their best life all the while being a fantastic mom. Following a successful 20-plus career as a human resources executive for a healthcare IT company I was confident that entrepreneurship would be the next phase of my life Jacqueline said about her progression into consulting and life coaching. I wrote my first children s book and started my first company after becoming a certified etiquette expert but something was still missing. In 2014 I decided to begin monetizing a skill that I had previously been providing pro bono and that was coaching and empowering moms so that they could pursue their dreams and live their fullest lives. Jacqueline wants all women to learn how to conquer their fears and believe in their gifts and talents. She hopes to inspire women everywhere who want to be the stilettos in a room full of flats and be instrumental in bridging the gap between the woman with dreams and the mom she has become. When a mother isn t following her dreams it s very difficult for her to authentically be able to inspire her children to follow theirs she noted. Once we get out of our own way dispense negative chatter and move beyond our comfort zones the possibilities are endless. Honing in on my clients needs and being passionate about serving them has been essential to my success and theirs. A two-time bestselling author Jacqueline co-authored the 1 bestselling book Chocolate & Diamonds for the Woman s Soul Timeless Treasures to Warm the Heart and authored the bestselling book IT S NOT ME IT S MY INNER ME 10 Steps to Getting Unstuck and Empowered. Born into humbling beginnings Jacqueline worked very hard for everything she has accomplished. Completing her undergraduate and post-undergraduate education at City University and New York University respectively she dedicated much of her life to her career s progression. In 2002 she was left to raise her two sons by herself as a single mom after her husband suddenly died on Super Bowl Sunday. Teaching her boys the value of a good education they went on to follow their dreams. One is now a sophomore at American University and the other is an associate producer for ESPN. Now in a committed relationship with an incredible man a US Marine everything is finally falling back into place both in career and at home. What a wonderful blessing. Jacqueline Miller Consulting Life Coaching Founder Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline DuJour Enterprises LLC North Plainfield NJ 29 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What would make a mom want to seek out your services A When she s feeling unfulfilled and often overwhelmed knowing that there s more to life than just being Mom. She s dragging herself into work on Monday mornings knowing for sure that this is NOT how she plans to spend the next 10 year of her life yet she s uncertain of what she really wants to do next and is even more concerned that she can t pursue it AND be a great mom. Q What has been your greatest reward A The thank yous from women who discover that ah-ha moment. When they win I win. Also having my children beam with pride when they observe me following my dreams finally Q In addition to coaching what other platforms do you use to get your message out to women A My goal is to increase my outreach via conferences workshops and informal roundtable discussions. I love to listen as much as I enjoy speaking and very often so many women just need to have someone to listen to them without judgement. Q If you could change something what would it be A I would have gotten out of my way a long time ago and made myself available to be the Mom Strategist that I am today. I LOVE what I do Q How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you even been able to find a balance A Rather than seek balance which I believe to be nearly impossible because something or someone is generally shortchanged I prefer to seek what I call healthy harmony . While I believe that it is possible to be do and have it all in life I maintain the healthy harmony in both my professional and personal life by understanding that all three components can t exist at once nor without regularly using a 4-letter word H-E-L-P. Q Would you ever turn away a potential client A Without a doubt. It is one thing to say that you want a change in your life. However the true test comes when you are presented with the work that you have to put in to make it happen. I would never work with a woman who is full of excuses and who expects a change to come at the hands of a miracle. Great things come to those who are willing to take charge of their destiny with the assistance of someone who is going to be their biggest cheerleader. Q Why have you chosen to become an entrepreneur as opposed to returning to corporate America A Having been the victim of downsizing I vowed that I would never willingly give power over my life to another corporation again. I love the independence the flexibility and the earning potential that entrepreneurship brings. Your wins and your losses are all due to your actions no one else s. There is a sense of pride like no other that comes with being your own boss. 30 Women of Distinction I stand for safety inclusion and freedom. When people ask me what I do I tell them I keep money data and people safe. Jessica Robinson Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PurePoint International 31 New York City NY Women of Distinction J essica Robinson is an advocate for supporting private sector engagement in global women peace and security concerns. With a twin sister in federal law enforcement and other members of her family working in the public sector you can say that Jessica was meant to do this work. However she also drew inspiration from the 50 Nancy Drew books she read in the 8th grade. Jessica founded PurePoint International in New York City to help protect people and companies. As a security and risk management expert and outsourced Chief Security Officer (CSO) she conducts risk assessments and employee training on cyber and physical security information protection and threat prevention. PurePoint International provides affordable products training and consulting focused on creating a safe and empowered workplace for startups middle market companies and international nonprofits. In addition Jessica conducts trainings on sexual harassment and hostile work environments workplace violence and EMV (Europay MasterCard and Visa) technology. She also speaks on topics such as gender concerns in the workplace personal and travel security of women creating safe spaces in regards to race and rape on college campuses. Her private sector experience includes Target Corporation and working with the 2015 U.S. Open. What sets Jessica apart is that she is also a certified coach and works on the emotional side of creating a consciously secure life. Q So what makes Jessica stand out in her industry A It s safe to say that this woman is redefining not only what it means to be a leader in the security industry but she is also creating a new vision of what it would mean to live in a consciously secure world. Jessica s personal mission is creating a safer more secure global environment for people to raise their children economically provide for their families receive an education and simply live their lives how they choose to without fear or intimidation. This means working with businesses and organizations to increase people s own sense of personal security and create safe and empowered work environments. Q What makes PurePoint International different from other security companies A Despite that PurePoint International is a minority woman and millennial-owned business PurePoint sets itself apart as a security company with its vision of creating a more consciously secure world. In addition Jessica s approach for a holistic view of security includes looking at the practical areas of risk like physical security data and cyber but also human resources brand reputation and inherent risk in a business s growth model. Finally PurePoint s four values not only look at the business but the personal approach to security Safety & Security PurePoint International was created to start a new innovative unique way to outsource security needs for those in at-risk roles creating a consciously secure world for middle market enterprises nonprofits journalists and social entrepreneurs. Humanism This is a holistic perspective on personal security and development that helps individuals college students women travelers and nonprofit leaders to confidently lead high risk environments at work home and their community regarding gender-based security concerns. Partnership PurePoint International collaborates with strategic partners (including other security companies) to advance a client s needs or to advance corporate governmental and non-governmental partnerships. Leadership This includes being an industry leader in risk management security operations and training as well as Jessica s initiative Security for Social Impact that focuses on training human rights defenders and moderating panels at the United Nations focused on accelerating the role of women in peace and security. She is truly creating a new approach to security which includes a hybrid social enterprise model of security and risk solutions as well as looking holistically at the human component of what it truly means to be consciously safe as a human being. Jessica is on the board (or committees) of several organizations including the UN Women Committee on Public Private Partnerships World Pulse Women in International Security (NYC Chapter) and is on faculty with the Emerging Global Leadership Program with IMPACT Leadership 21. Additionally she is co-author of the 1 best-selling book Mission Unstoppable Extraordinary Stories of Failures Blessings and was recognized as a 2014 Rising Leader by the African-American Alumni Council at the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time Jessica loves to travel and has been to over 20 counties and hiked in the United States Europe East Asia and South Asia. You can learn more about Jessica and PurePoint International at www.the-purepoint.com. 32 Women of Distinction Judith Judy K. Stih Home Healthcare Caregiver Homemaker Mesa AZ ividly remembering her mother s 90th birthday and how she danced so gracefully among family and friends Judith Judy K. Stih began to notice that her mom was becoming increasingly forgetful. Within just a year Judy and her husband John Sr. removed her from her home and into an assisted living facility. By the time she was 92 they moved her to more of a dementia facility and by 93 they moved her yet again this time to a dementia only cottage. But for a number of reasons Judy wasn t happy with the level of care she was receiving and decided that it was time to bring her into her home for the rest of her days. V All of my activities outside of my home were locked up for future dreams and plans. I had absolutely no idea how I would care for her Judy admitted selflessly. She was 93 and in a wheelchair. Accepting a journey with a parent with dementia is not for everyone Judy said simply. It has its good days and its bad days. When mom was good she was very good and when mom was bad she was very bad. There wasn t much I could do to help but I was able to be there for her when she bathed and screamed because her private places had to be washed and I could hold her head and tell her how pretty she was to help distract her. Where else would someone give her this level of care No one would give her the amount of attention I could give her. In the beginning Judy s mother Mollie slept in the guest bedroom in a double bed but when Judy discovered that she could get help from Medicare hospice and the state her state caseworker was able to help her get a hospital bed and other necessary items she needed in order to care for her properly. A blessing yes but the road ahead became more and more difficult with each new day. Mollie lived with Judy for seven years she turned 100 on August 28 2015. Under hospice through the state of Arizona she was totally unable to care for herself. She was loud although she was never sedated during the day. When she was sedated something that is very common with this disease Judy never knew what she was capable of. She gave her mom meds at night to help her sleep. Mollie invited invisible friends inside the house and it seemed like the television got louder and louder every day. Each day was different. Judy didn t go by the book instead she followed Mollie s lead. She s had taken more than 150 videos of her mom since she s began living with her and has written many journals about her experience and when it was finally time to go home to her Rudy Judy s father it was a sad sad day. Judy expressed an enormous amount of patience love and sacrifice but it will still very hard to say goodbye. Mollie passed away peacefully in her sleep in her pretty pink room at Judy s home on November 8 2015. I gave up a lot like traveling after retirement our escape condo in San Diego when the weather here in Arizona is 110 degrees. I couldn t even leave the house to grab coffee with friends. This was a journey fitness is important unconditional love is learned patience is demanded and just when you wonder if you can still keep up God reminds you that He is here and that you are someone very special. You are never alone. I am blessed to have been able to accompany my mom on this horrible journey. I am blessed to have had her here with me Judy said smiling. My mom didn t even know me anymore but she still knew her own name. She called my husband the strange man in the house Judy said. One day she asked why do you call me mother is it because I am an old lady I told her no it s because you ARE my mother to which she replied well it s nice to meet you . One day she said to me I don t want to go to school today and I responded back that s okay today is Sunday there s no school . It was actually Tuesday. I could tell where mom was mentally by her name. What is your name I d ask her and she d respond My name is Mollie Skolaris which is her maiden name so I knew it was my mom before she was married. Judy dreamed of going to college but wasn t able to complete her degree until the age of 44. Nevertheless she did it. Holding the position as a Corporate Account Manager with Motorola Semiconductor products for many years this title was the ceiling of her career. Although she was okay with that (she loved her position) she was still determined to get her degree. It enabled her to become qualified to substitute teach in the classroom in later years something she always wanted to do. Judy worked with elementary and special needs students and absolutely loved the opportunity. John Judy s husband is a retired Chief Executive Officer of Sevrar. They recently celebrated 52 years together. They share three sons all of whom have been instrumental in supporting Judy s and John s venture caring for their grandmother. John Jr. is an Arizona State University graduate and Manager of Technical Business Development. Daniel is the Chief Executive Officer of HealthyLivingSpaces and the author of two books. Todd is a National Sales Manager for Mitsubishi Diamond Division. Quoting a famous American playwright novelist and recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes Thornton Wilder who said We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures Judy agrees having never taken for granted a single day in which her mother was here on this Earth with her. Awaking each day at about 11 30am Mollie would be dressed with a bow in her hair and matching socks. She was introduced to as many small tasks as possible. She put the silverware away wrote love letters to Judy s dad (although she couldn t see very well) and she loved her cards. Mollie grew up playing cards and they had a set of big big cards for her to use. She would stack them and organize them by color. Last year Mollie could play tic tack toe and win but not recently. Dementia Judy says is a horrible disease and watching it unfold every single day was tough. The only message I would like to convey to everyone is to hug your mother today and every day Judy said finally. One hundred years might seem like a long lifetime but it s never enough for those loved ones left behind. Thank you God for this journey you allowed me. Dr. Kitty Boitnott Career Transition and Job Search Coaching Owner Founder Boitnott Coaching LLC Glen Allen VA D r. Kitty Boitnott worked as a schoolteacher and elementary school librarian for 33 years. During that time she was also an outspoken advocate for public education and in 2008 she was elected to serve as President of the Virginia Education Association (VEA). After leaving the VEA Kitty decided that she wanted to stay connected to teachers so she created Boitnott Coaching LLC for the purpose of career coaching teachers who are suffering from the pain and heartache of job burnout and disillusionment. Teaching isn t for everyone. When a young teacher or a midcareer teacher realizes that they re in the wrong career I help them figure out what they need to do in order to transition into a career that may be a better fit Kitty explained. Over time I also began working with a career coaching company and I started coaching mid-career professionals from other walks of life from all over the world. I ve successfully coached 100 clients and counting. My mission is to encourage and support each client as they discover what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Coaching and hosting speaking engagements are just two elements of what Kitty does. As a Certified Stress Management Coach Kitty offers workshops on stress management and she is the author of an eBook entitled Stressed Stretched and Just Plain Overwhelmed A Guide to Managing Stress and Creating a Greater Sense of WorkLife Balance. She is a regular contributor to Careeralism. com an online e-zine directed at those seeking advice on job hunting including resume help assistance with interview preparation and LinkedIn optimization. Additionally she volunteers for two local groups in Virginia that offer free job search advice. Meeting every week Kitty serves as a liaison frequent speaker and coach. I love helping people discover what their hidden talents are and I m good at identifying which one(s) they should utilize to shine even when they can t see it in themselves she added. Kitty has a Bachelor s in English Education a Master s in Liberal Studies an Education Specialist Degree and a PhD in Educational Leadership. She is also a Certified Holistic Life Coach. 35 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you feel your business is significant today A As a Career Transition and Job Search Coach specializing in working with individuals who are experiencing the pain of job burnout or the loss of a job I know that my coaching is relevant because looking for a job today is a totally different proposition from what it was even five years ago. People need help when job-hunting and I am here to help them. Q What do people need to know about coaches when they are thinking of hiring one A People should know that there are industry standards and a code of ethics to which coaches are held. They should ask lots of questions and shop around for a qualified coach who is also a good fit for their particular needs. Q How would one determine what a good fit is with regard to selecting a coach A They should consider if the coach is going to be someone with whom they feel comfortable. Is there good rapport A good coach listens and pays attention to what is said as well as what isn t said. They guide rather than push. They provide insight and give the client space to come to their own conclusions. Q Why would someone need a career coach to help them find a job A The days of someone finding an ad in the newspaper and following up with a visit to an office or a phone call to see if you might come in to talk about it are over. Today s applicants must fill out applications that take hours to complete and their resumes must be flawless. They must know how to use keywords strategically and they must know how to navigate the Applicant Tracking System as well as have an optimized up-to-date LinkedIn profile. Q If someone needed help with his or her LinkedIn profile what would you tell him or her A First everyone needs to have an optimized LinkedIn profile...even people who are happily employed. Recruiters are turning to LinkedIn to look for talent for the jobs they have to fill. My clients are being scouted by recruiters because they can t tell that they are looking for work they just see that they have the skills they are looking for in a potential candidate. I help my clients optimize their profiles. Q What about resumes Can t someone just hire that out and have an expert do it for them A Of course they can. There are lots of resume writers who do an okay job and there are lots of resume writers who do a terrible job. Each resume should be customized for the job for which someone is applying. I think it is best for individuals to learn how to write their own stellar resumes then they can tweak them as they need to every time until they land the job they want. Q If you could tell a potential client anything what would it be A Take a chance on yourself and invest in hiring a coach if you feel that you need to get yourself unstuck or out of a rut whether it is with your health a relationship or your job. Hire a coach who will help you uncover what is keeping you stuck and will help you figure out what you need to do to get moving into the life you want and deserve. Q What would you tell someone who says they can t afford a coach or don t think they need one A Only you can determine whether or not you need a coach. This is your LIFE we are talking about however. Surely it deserves to be a first priority. You won t need a coach forever but you may need one for three or six months or so. The reward will more than pay for itself in the long run if you find a new career or make a professional move that could wind up making you money and making you happier over the long term. 36 Women of Distinction Rita Hines R Education Mathematics Mathematics (Grades 6-12) Teacher at Wanette Public School Mathematics Consultant Wanette OK ita Hines has been teaching for 21 years 17 years in public high schools 13 years at a community college and three and a half years at the university level. As a math consultant Rita observes math teachers to suggest best practices for improving engagement of students in the classroom and conducts professional development workshops. And as a member of the College Board s National Academic Assembly Council she attends meetings in New York City NY and various College Board forums and meetings in Reston VA where the Council gives opinions on the redesign of the SAT PSAT and AP subject exams and plans forums and conferences. Rita has even been a teacher consultant on the State of Texas Advisory Committee for textbooks and has been honored with several awards over the years. Her ideal world is one where we all LOVE EACH OTHER SO WE MAY LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER . Her teaching career started in 1991 while working on her Master of Science in Applied Mathematics at the University of Oklahoma where she taught Elementary Functions Calculus I and Calculus II. In 1994 Rita taught mathematics at Plano East Senior High School in Plano TX. She retired from teaching in the summer of 2014 and started a mathematics consulting business. However since she loves math and teaching she decided to go back to teaching recently at the Wanette Public Schools as their one and only high school math teacher (grades 6-12) teaching 6th - 8th grade math and Algebra I Algebra II Geometry and Precalculus to the other students. Knowing that this nation is lacking teachers especially in the fields of math and science has kept me in this career for so long. I want our children to feel safe in their schools to learn and not worry that another student is going to walk into the building with a gun. 37 Women of Distinction Q&A Q When did you know that you wanted to become a teacher A I was born a teacher. I gathered all of my neighborhood friends at the age of five and had them color pages in a coloring book. I would then grade them according to how many times they colored outside the lines. Q Have you always been a math teacher A No I was originally a dance teacher. I taught tap jazz ballet toe and aerobics. I decided to become a math teacher after seeing a commercial in the late 80s about the nation having a shortage of math and science teachers. Q Why did you retire from one of the top schools in the nation the School of Science and Engineering Magnet (SEM) of Dallas ISD A I was literally exhausted. I had been at SEM for over 10 years and felt I needed to rest. I love and believe in the school the students and the staff but it was just time for me to move on. Q What did you do while you were retired A I started a math consulting business and travelled a lot. During my year of retirement I went to New York City NY (three times) Lima Peru (three times) Chicago IL area (five times) Milwaukee WI Las Vegas NV Reston VA Sturgis SD Colorado Wyoming Kansas Nebraska Oklahoma and Texas. Q Why did you come out of retirement and go back to teaching in Oklahoma instead of Texas A I was born and raised in Pauls Valley OK. My Zeta Tau Alpha sister Cindy Neal lives in Wanette OK and told me they were in need of a math teacher. I missed teaching and wanted to give back to Oklahoma and help make a difference. Q How did you get chosen to be on the College Board s National Academic Assembly Council (AAC) A Someone nominated me and I was put on a ballot that went out to all of the College Board s Delegate Members. I was voted onto the AAC for a term of three years. It has been a great experience working with the best of the best educators administrators guidance counselors and admissions in education from all over the United States. Q What is your take on the Nation s Common Core Standards A It s nothing new. As a mathematics teacher I ve always taught what they refer to as the Common Core Standards and more. I understand that they need a uniform standard across the nation because people are moving so much that the students are missing out by going from one state to another especially if the school does not have some set standards for their curriculum. Of course there is always money tied to everything and many companies are raking in the dough over this one Q What do you think is the biggest weakness in our educational system today A Besides budget cuts I think that our biggest weakness is what I call fragmented learning . Students are given the same bits and pieces over and over from Kindergarten up to 12th grade and they have never mastered the skill. A good example in math is fractions. Students are taught fractions at an earlier age but still have not mastered them by the time they graduate. I feel we need to go back to the basic reading writing and arithmetic in pre-K thru 2nd grade so the students can master these three and then introduce all of the other topics. Q How do you feel budget cuts have affected our schools A I know that the schools are less clean than they use to be due to maintenance staff cut. The counselors have been cut to where there is only one counselor for every 400-1000 students. The needs of our students cannot possibly be met Teachers have not had pay raises in over five years in some schools. Q How do you foresee our education system in the next five years A I foresee more and more charter private and specialty schools springing up over the next five years. The voucher system could be going strong and the public school systems will still be trying their hardest to maintain a shoestring budget. 38 Women of Distinction Aleah Angel Jordan Health & Wellness Owner - Help-U-Well Folsom CA W ith 10 years of experience in the Pain Management and Wellness industry Aleah Angel Jordan Owner of Help-U-Well has worked hard to aide those in need by using alternative medical wellness devices. Aleah was inspired to start her work after her husband an ex-amateur bodybuilder began suffering from a very aggressive form of Rheumatoid Arthritis. By using medical wellness devices her husband who is a medically retired x-ray technologist managed to successfully avoid surgery stop taking all medications and safely dropped 90 pounds in the process. He has since reinvented himself as a successful insurance agent. Aleah has also cared for her uncle and with his doctor s verification eliminated his need for high blood pressure medication high cholesterol medication and insulin. After the passing of her mother in 2001 Aleah became involved as a hospice volunteer in order to assist those nearing the end of their lives. Her caring nature also saw her become a volunteer Law Enforcement Chaplain for eight years for Sacramento California s Sheriff s Department City Police and the coroner. I just take everything day by day. I know too well that tomorrow is not guaranteed. I can t make the whole world better but if I can make one person s day just a little brighter then I believe I ve done my job In her leisure Aleah enjoys making both short and feature films. She s a member of the Northern California Film Coalition as well as the Capital Film Arts Alliance. She also encourages anyone interested in film to contact her to receive direction in getting started in the film industry. The industry I m in is difficult but rewarding. It s difficult because while there are some who embrace alternative health care the majority still must be educated to listen to advice other than that of their physician I consider myself an educator of the community. You need to be informed because sometimes we are not clear on all the help that s available. Aleah considers herself a survivor. Several years after being held up at gunpoint as a teenager she found herself working on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison where she worked for nearly 20 years and personally experienced the toll her occupation could have on one s life. I choose to not let anything get the best of me because leaving a legacy for my two daughters is something that is paramount to me. We can be our own hinderance at times if we fail to realize that we need to be the editors of our own life story. If we don t like a scene from our own life s movie we need to edit it like a film and start again. I would like to encourage all of the young women out there who just need someone to look to for guidance to consider these exhortations and choose to be the editor of your own life s story. Our lives are just one decision away from making it better for ourselves and each other while we still have breath 39 Women of Distinction AnneMarie Mullenix Personal and Professional growth Relationship building Motivation and Inspirational growth Owner - AgainstAllOdds.comLLC Certified Life Coach following the ICF Code of Ethics Akron-Canton area (Northeast Ohio) I have always been in a position to empower women. nneMarie Mullenix left the beauty industry after 32 years as a salon manager. From her previous positions as both owner and manager she has always coached individuals to their highest level of potential. In 2015 she started her own life coaching business AgainstAllOdds. comLLC. Though she feels like she has helped empower many people in the past AnneMarie wanted to make it her primary goal. A Many people have inspired AnneMarie throughout her life and career but women in power have always held an important role in her eyes. Women with direction have inspired her to become her own boss while still being able to help and promote the well being of others. Stay true to your vision and authentic self always walk to the beat of your own drum not others. For AnneMarie creating her own experience has been the most challenging part of owning and operating her own business. She knows that everyone is looking for experience and experienced help. However AnneMarie also believes that the amount of years one has in any industry is not as important as what one has done in all of those years. By involving the techniques of active listening reflective communication and foresight AnneMarie knows she has found the recipe for success in life coaching. Family is the most important thing to me first and foremost. Loyalty and respect ring loudly in all that I do and all that I am. Staying true to my beliefs and myself keeps me new. In her free time AnneMarie enjoys being with her husband Jimmie her daughter Toccara Rae son-in-law and her grandson Luke Matthew. Currently AnneMarie is writing an inspirational and motivational book to reach those who need help on a wider scale. I assist individuals both with their professional and personal goals. After years of helping people find their outer beauty I am now focused on coaching them to embrace and empower their inner beauty and strengths by blending them with their outer beauty. AnneMarie believes that her strengths have helped people to achieve their personal and professional goals through via direction she gave. Her dress to impress mentality helps people look and feel their best. Life coaching is a positive and productive way of becoming the person you were meant to be and not the person you feel you should be by focusing on the present in a positive way. As the owner and creator of AgainstAllOdds.comLLC. AnneMarie focuses on networking making connections with those that can help her grow the business while also empowering people along the way. 40 Women of Distinction Carole Morton Psychology Integrative Mind-Body-Spirit Psychotherapist Walnut Creek CA The power of your mind is unlimited. fter obtaining her Master s Degree in Speech (Human) Communication in 1981 Carole J. Morton was moved to help people with their innercommunication. Through her hard work and passion Carole started a private practice and within one year she was seeing over 30 clients weekly. After several years Carole went back to school to study psychology and become a state licensed psychotherapist. A Carole s free time is spent earning her Ph.D. in Integrative and Natural Medicine from a quantum physics perspective. When she s not busy with her studies Carole enjoys creating webinars public speaking and socializing with her family and friends. She also loves giving back to the community and volunteers at the Women s Cancer Resource Center where she offers psychotherapy for no charge. Working in this field for over 33 years has been extremely rewarding. I have had the opportunity to empower and strengthen people in the core of their being and they have been able to become compassionate leaders in their own lives as well as in the lives of others. I am a survivor of severe emotional and sexual trauma and a three-time cancer survivor as well. I ve transformed my relationship with myself from one of extremely low self-esteem to being a confident peaceful and fulfilled individual. Because of this I am able to hold the faith for my clients because I know firsthand the power of the human spirit to heal and thrive. Because it s her own practice Carole holds all of the responsibilities of running a business. On a daily basis she spends time sitting with the clients handling the marketing staying on top of bookkeeping scheduling and speaking publicly. She recently published a book entitled Entering Your Own Heart A Guide to Developing Self Love Inner Peace and Happiness which is based on both her personal and professional healing work. My book which intertwines spirituality with psychology offers an eye-opening perspective that counters traditional psychological theory. Starting with a new and different understanding of developmental theory the book goes on to offer a comprehensive understanding of who we are as psycho-spiritual beings and how to use this understanding to grow heal and awaken. Writing this book has been extremely rewarding. Readers have expressed much appreciation for the book stating that it has helped them to experience a greater amount of self-love self-appreciation and self-confidence in their day-to-day lives. The book is available online at www. EnteringYourOwnHeart.com. She thoroughly believes in the strength of the human spirit to overcome fear and trauma and believes that challenges are growth and learning experiences bringing people closer to compassion for themselves and each other. If there s one thing I want to leave the world it s peace peace within and peace between. I believe that without inner peace we cannot create a truly peaceful and conflict-free world. The process of entering our own heart and uncovering the love within is the road to compassionate understanding inner peace and a world that mirrors that. 41 Women of Distinction Crystal Belue Adams MBA Engineering and Project Management Director of Human Resources Live Oak Consultants LLC Charleston SC I n 2012 Crystal Belue Adams MBA was at Tanger Outlets in Charleston SC when she randomly bumped into the owner of SC Universal a locally based marketing firm for Fortune 500 companies. After a brief conversation about sales they briefly discussed Crystal s profession and the owner offered her an opportunity to interview at the company for the Human Resource Director. For young professionals trying to make their own way Crystal offers some advice After I was offered the position I accepted. But little did I know that this was going to be the first of many male dominated companies I would work for. On the daily bases Crystal faces the challenge of being a young female professional and overcoming it by displaying her professionalism knowledge of business aspects and human resource laws. Having only been in her profession for 5 years Crystal plans to stay in the field due to her love of being that go-to person that her coworkers depend on. Working with employees and helping them find the right solutions to problems is why I come to work everyday. Now currently the Human Resources Director for a highly ranked engineering firm in Charleston SC Live Oaks Consultant LLC Crystal s duties include ensuring planning monitoring and appraisal of employee work results by training managers to coach and discipline employees hearing and resolving employee grievances and counseling employees and supervisors. She maintains employee benefits programs and informs employees of benefits by studying and assessing benefit needs and trends and recommending benefit programs to management. Crystal also certifies legal compliance by monitoring and implementing applicable human resource federal and state requirements maintains records ensures that all deadlines are met within the company and provides advice so the company can abide by all laws and not be sued. Never let people underestimate you. The mind is everything and what you think you can become. All the people in my past that told me I couldn t do it have become my inspiration. Especially my business professor while obtaining my masters degree who said You re young and you re a woman no one will ever take you seriously. That gave me to courage to prove him wrong. One day the glass ceiling for women will be completely broken. When she s not traveling Crystal loves to spend time with her animals. When she can she returns to her hometown to of Uvalda GA to visit her parents and her brother. Crystal is also currently working on her Ph.D. in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources. I know you re not going to start out on the top. It takes hard work to get there. But once you make it there will be no better feeling of achievement in your entire career. Find a way or make one. 42 Women of Distinction Edna Perez-Garcia Education Academic Director. Institution - Escuela Tecnica de Electricidad City State Country for Publication San Juan Puerto Rico fter gaining her Master s Degree in Social Work in 1982 Edna Perez-Garcia started her career in the education as a School Social Worker in the Puerto Rico Department of Education where she worked for 30 years until her retirement in 2012. In 1994 Edna was offered a position as a part time Professor in Universidad del Este Carolina Campus. She took the offer and worked the part time evening shift as a Social Work Professor until 2004. During her tenure as a professor Edna was also a caseworker for the institution. In May 2015 she was offered the position as Academic Director for this institution at Escuela Tecnica de Electricidad. A While in high school Edna was inspired to get into her profession from the social worker that was employed by the school. Through her example I learned how I could impact our generations with help motivation and love. Dealing with human behavior and helping people with their problems is a challenge of love. Edna kept this mindset through all of jobs as a social worker professor and now as an Academic Director of Escuela Tecnica de Electricidad. I never imagined that at the age of 57 and after retiring from a 30 year job I would be doing this kind of work and I am enjoying it to the fullest. There is no age to start a new job a different career or anything that drives you to feel happy and complete. Edna wants to help people learn more about what she and her colleagues do in Puerto Rico for their students. My passion is to help people especially the youth. When I decided to accept the job as a School Social Worker I knew it would bring challenges with youngsters and their parents. Dealing with my student s social and educational problems and helping them and their families in the effective solution of those problems kept me in this career. It also helped to develop skills and acquire the necessary knowledge to be in the position. As the Academic Director of this institution Edna is in charge of overseeing the daily activities of the school. She supervises the instructors performance by visiting classrooms and laboratories. Then Edna discusses the findings with the instructor and a report is prepared and discussed. Edna preforms these evaluations of the instructors three times a year. Similarly students evaluations to instructors are tabulated and the results of these are discussed with the instructors and gives direct advice to the instructors based on their particular needs. Edna also considers and approves all requests for equipment tools and materials and coordinates with external resources to create professional development seminars in order to give proper in-service training to the instructors. We are a Commonwealth of the United States of America yet people in the United States know so little about this beautiful island our contributions and relationship with the mainland. We are proud of our history together. 43 Women of Distinction Erica Washington McDonald S Education Language Arts Teacher - Cobb County Schools Founder - Treasurechest Learning Systems Atlanta GA ince childhood Erica W. McDonald has loved all of the benefits that come with earning a proper education. As a Language Arts Teacher at Cobb County Schools and Founder of Treasurechest Learning Systems she now works on inspiring teens to reach their greatest potential despite any difficulties they may face in life. Becoming a parent at the age of 16 didn t stop Erica from following her dreams. In 1994 she received an Associate degree in Language Arts and then transferred to the University of Michigan where she earned her Bachelor s degree in Elementary Education in 1997. Working as a teacher for more than 15 years now she has helped numerous students achieve their goals in her hometown of Flint Michigan and throughout the state of Georgia. In 2011 Treasurechest Emeralds was developed at the Frederick Douglass and Benjamin Mays high schools in Atlanta GA. The program which was made to serve teenage girls provides learning and enrichment activities to students in a hands-on manner. In this profession it helps to learn how to manage your time. Maintain a positive attitude stay out of the view of teachers who want to carry on conversations that are negative. Never go into the teacher s lounge. It s a trap to take your time away from your actual job. Erica s two main idols in life have been her mother and her great-great-grandfather famed African-American educator and presidential advisor Booker T. Washington. From their lives she has learned that she has the power to turn any obstacle into an opportunity through learning and teaching. I continue to teach because it inspires me and helps me inspire others. Teaching allows me to be a big kid It lets me relive my childhood everyday. It keeps me young and in tune with current events. I act as an educator to facilitate greatness. Her experience as a teen parent led to the creation of Treasurechest Learning Systems a nonprofit that specializes in providing education and mentoring to teen parents and youth of all ages in 2010. Some of the services Erica s organization provides involve stress management parenting skills and job and college readiness. There are tough days in teaching but the rewards outweigh the challenges. Stay focused and on the positive path. If you play during work time then you will spend your play time working. Take advantage of every minute of your work day. This will help in preventing you from burning out. It is my goal to utilize my talents to enhance the lives of children and adults so they may thrive in an ever-changing society. In her spare time Erica has begun writing a series of children s books that detail the life and legacy of Booker T. Washington with hopes of inspiring kids to become more interested in their education and the bettering of society. 44 Women of Distinction Greta K. Nagel Ph.D. Education Founder and Chief Executive Officer Museum of Teaching and Learning (MOTAL) S After a long career as a public school teacher reading specialist and elementary school administrator I earned my Ph.D. in multicultural education. hortly after receiving her doctorate Greta K. Nagel became a university professor at California State University Long Beach where she taught courses in literacy and the historical philosophical and social foundations of education along with coordinating teacher certification programs and directing several inner-city tutoring projects. In 2002 I was dealing with deep concern that knowledge about teaching and learning is sadly lacking in our nation in a democracy where citizens from all walks of life serve in many roles to make decisions about education. As one way to deal with that need I conceived The Museum of Teaching and Learning and conducted research in museums ran focus group Dream Teams and wrote chapters about key concepts to be explored in a Museum of Teaching and Learning--all with the support of California State Long Beach and several small grants. In 2004 The Museum of Teaching and Learning (MOTAL) was accepted as a nonprofit project under the umbrella of the CSULB Foundation and Greta proceeded to collaborate with creative teams to produce two exhibitions that were displayed at Cal State and then at Antioch University. Greta retired as professor emerita in 2006 and decided to direct her full attention towards MOTAL as a volunteer. In 2008-2009 MOTAL incorporated and became an independent charitable nonprofit led by a founding board of directors. As the Founder Chief Executive Officer and member on the Board of Directors Greta is responsible for an array of tasks within her organization. She believes that some of her most important duties include creating a vision for the future gathering talented energetic people to serve in a variety of roles acting as a driving force to uncover and create sources of funding and plays the role of friendly evaluator for herself and her colleagues. Being an educator has given me many gifts but a very special one that continues into the MOTAL experience is that I get to be a learner. I have been able to explore fascinating topics solve challenging problems and interact with a wide array of wonderful talented people. Teaching is also a creative endeavor and I have had the good fortune to be from a family that inspired and nurtured creativity in addition to holding great respect for educators. In her free time Greta likes to support several other nonprofit endeavors such as The Bicycle Tree the Woman s Club and NAMI. She also loves to spend time with her growing family walking reading every day and travelling with her husband. We created three more exhibitions continuing to collaborate with an expert creative team each time to complete phases of conception research writing photography design fabrication curriculum planning securing venues and providing free educational experiences to students and the general public. 45 Women of Distinction Heidi Miller Retail Toy Manufacturer Chief Executve Officer Owner Creator - Mini-Play Makeup Inc. Burley ID E ver since she was young Heidi Miller has always had a passion for creating things. As Owner and CEO of Mini-Play Makeup Inc. she is able to fully express her creativity while providing a fun and safe makeup alternative for young girls to play with. After growing tired of her young daughter making a mess with her real expensive makeup and her failure to find a proper alternative on the toy market Heidi decided to take matters into her own hands. After months of research and prototypes Mini-Play Makeup made its debut on eBay in the Spring of 2009 and became an instant hit. While she may lack a formal business education Heidi s perseverance and determination have helped her company become a success along with her passion for people and design. She currently has a patent pending on the key design for her company s makeup line which makes the product both look and feel real. Give yourself time to grow and develop and recognize that it s a process -- making a million dollars now or in the future won t determine whether you re a success or failure. Keep doing what you are passionate about. Real growth happens outside of your comfort zone. Ignore your naysayers and your fears Faith and fear cannot coincide in the same being simultaneously. Remember if this were easy everyone would be doing it. Heidi oversees everything at her company from purchasing manufacturing sales and marketing to shipping and fulfillment she does it all. Despite having a great team working under her Heidi also still plays a vital role in the designing of her products and the design aspects of marketing as it s her passion and enjoys interacting with her satisfied customers. Building a business takes time -- it doesn t happen overnight. Believe in yourself believe in your vision and have faith that with God all things are possible. Let Him be your guide while moving your feet. He is my true mentor and the reason for the success of my company. I m a mother first and a CEO of a company second. It hasn t always been easy to compartmentalize my life between these two demanding roles. However I have found that the more I focus on the people who really matter in my life the more successful I become as an entrepreneur and the easier it is to lead my MiniPlay Makeup team. In her leisure Heidi loves spending time with her husband and four children and partaking in outdoor activities. She also enjoys playing piano cooking gardening and volunteering at her children s schools and her local church. The legacy I d like to leave can mold generations -- and that is the influence I have as a mother. If I am successful in raising kind productive children who love God as well as their neighbor and in turn they teach their children the same then that s all I could ask for. To me that s the most powerful legacy in the world. Collectively it has power to change the world. 46 Women of Distinction Jean M. Schoen Nonprofit Support for cancer patients and their families Founder President - Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio Inc. Toledo OH I n a perfect world there would be no such thing as cancer. Until that world becomes a reality people like Jean Schoen Founder and President of Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio Inc. will remain dedicated to providing help and comfort to those who are currently fighting cancer or have a loved one who has been diagnosed with the disease. Jean started her organization in 2008 after taking care of her husband during his battle with cancer as she came to realize there was a lack of support programs for families struggling through her situation at the time. Though her husband is now a 15 year survivor she has continued on her mission to provide much needed guidance and support to any families dealing with the disease. As a proud mother of three daughters Jean has also used her knowledge to write three children s books which help explain cancer to kids on an age-appropriate level for youth ranging from pre-school children to high school teens. Her books are available on Amazon and are being sold internationally. My legacy is that of a woman who was called to serve cancer patients and their families. My goal is to make this horrible diagnosis a little less fearful for those who experience it. Aside from her own organization Jean is involved as a board member with Northwest Ohio Community Shares and Women of Toledo. She has earned numerous nominations and awards thanks to her work as well as international recognition for her published children s books and her community partnerships. She also enjoys public speaking. I ve experienced many challenges and have made some mistakes throughout life but the most important thing is that I have learned from these mistakes and overcame all of my challenges to become stronger. In her free time Jean enjoys taking photos and is an award winning photographer. Her long-term goal is to travel and create similar organizations in other communities nationwide. One should surround themselves with people who support their vision. It s also important to always trust your instincts. One must be sure to do all of the proper research needed when starting something like a nonprofit organization or a new program within their community. As Founder and President of Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio Jean takes on a number of roles within the organization including the creation of new programs the overseeing of daily operations the management of donor relations public speaking and the handling of community partnerships. Her main inspiration in her work comes from those she serves on a daily basis as their strength and extreme appreciation for life motivates her to continue helping them in the best way that she possibly can. I would like readers to know that you can do anything you put your mind to. I m just a woman with a passion who is motivated to make a difference in the lives of others. 47 Women of Distinction Lisa Bruhn Independent Film and Video Production Independent Filmmaker Writer Producer - Life in Reels Productions Carlsbad CA T LIFE IN REELS PRODUCTIONS hrough her work as an Independent Filmmaker Writer and Producer for Life in Reels Productions Lisa Bruhn is hoping to change lives through her creations and continue making a name for herself in the film industry. Lisa first became interested in screenwriting in 2011 gaining inspiration from her son Tyler Bruhn who has been an independent film actor since the age of 13. Unlike most screenwriters who start out with short films Lisa jumped in feet first with her first script titled Carving a Life which is a feature film. Her son Tyler helped with the development of the story and plays the lead role of Mitch in the film. Producing the project herself as an independent film project Lisa is able to maintain creative control of every aspect of the project. Early in the screenwriting process Lisa approached Tyler s acting mentor Terry Ross to direct the film. Terry brought many years of experience and connections to the project and together the three formed Life in Reels Productions in 2013 having since produced several other short films and videos. Carving a Life will be premiered and screened at film festivals in spring of 2016. R As co-founder and part-owner of Life in Reels Productions Lisa s main role involves screenwriting and producing both short and feature films. In the producing role Lisa acts as the overall business manager of the projects selecting the key cast and crew filming locations permits contracts and oversees all aspects of production and development from start to finish. She also draws upon her more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the semiconductor industry when producing film projects. Lisa s longtime love for writing especially travel writing has led to the creation of her own travel blog www. TrenchCoatTravels.com. I continue to be inspired in filmmaking and writing because of the impact it can make on people s lives. I am more of a humanitarian and a bleeding heart than I should be at times but I can t help it I want to make a positive impact on this world. In her leisure Lisa enjoys spending time with her family and serves as President of the San Diego section of International Dark Sky Association. She is also currently enrolled in a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA. It would be very pleasing to know that I had been able to help people turn their lives around because of a film or article I had written. There s nothing better than lots of experience. Get on sets to learn the trade -- both the good and the bad sides. At the same time learn from the masters and do your research absorb any information you can. Never have the attitude that you know it all -- you can always learn more. Being humble in this industry makes you someone people will want to work with. Reputation is everything so be honest and don t be afraid to try something creatively different. 48 Women of Distinction Lucy Patricia Titus Staffing Owner Chief Executive Officer President - All A-Round Staffing Agency LLC Southaven MS s Owner President and Chief Executive Officer of All A-Round Staffing Agency Lucy Titus main objective is to ensure that her company is giving the best service possible to the employers that seek their help in staffing. She also uses her extraordinary people-reading skills to properly train and equip candidates for their new jobs while maintaining a close relationship with her clients in order to guarantee their comfort and satisfaction. During her more than 20 years of working for other people and supporting her three children as a single mother Lucy had found the time to finally return to college and finish her education. In 2001 she began working on her A.A. degree in Business Administration from Northwest Mississippi Community College where she graduated in 2004. She then registered at Crichton College to work on a B.S. degree in Organizational Management graduating in 2007 and lastly received an M.B.A. degree from Strayer University in 2012. A Never underestimate yourself and remember to give yourself a pat on the back. If you re feeling down in any way encourage yourself. I believe that through God all things are possible and if He believed in us then we should believe in ourselves. While she credits several people as inspirations to her throughout her life Lucy gives the bulk of that credit to her family. Thanks to a large amount of encouragement and continued support from family Lucy gained the confidence to open up her own staffing agency which turned out to be a major success. I m a very hard working person and I always go the extra mile to make things happen. I ll help anyone that needs it but before you receive my help you must learn to help yourself as well. In her free time Lucy enjoys volunteering with several ministries within her church and helping to serve those in need at the local homeless shelter. She is also on the Usher Ministry and loves spending time with her family especially her three children and her grandson Kaleb. I d love to see my company grow as big as possible statewide nationwide and even internationally. I want to be able to retire at the age of 55 and sit on the Board of Directors of this company while my children pick up where I left off. When starting out in this industry you should always do your research and make sure you know your niche. Check your target market and learn as much as you can about staffing and recruiting. Hire a qualified consulting firm if necessary but make sure they give you the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Despite receiving the proper education Lucy still encountered some obstacles while trying to find an adequate position in her chosen field which led her and two of her colleagues to start All A-Round Staffing Agency in March 2015. All A-Round Staffing Agency specializes in short-term temporary placement long-term temporary placement permanent placement training of candidates and total outsourcing of human resources. 49 Women of Distinction H ired by a doggie daycare center when she was a senior high school Melissa Richards couldn t get her mind off of her new four-legged friends and just how much they meant to her. Staying in the field long after earning her diploma Melissa has spent the last several years working with her canine companions in various capacities. The strong connection she has with them has indeed confirmed that this is the field she plans to stay in for the long haul. Melissa Richards Dog Services Owner Trainer The Dog Sanctuary LLC Sussex WI Dogs are generally happy creatures and love to run free and be silly. They provide a great energy to be around and can help anyone and everyone feel loved and appreciated Melissa said happily. In addition to her hands-on experience Melissa decided to attend Animal Behavior College to learn more about their behavior and become more educated in the process. In 2013 she became certified in dog training and shortly thereafter became certified in pet first aid and CPR through one of the top emergency veterinarians in the area. That same year Melissa founded The Dog Sanctuary. The Dog Sanctuary is a place where the canine mind body and soul can reach new levels of education and excitement. The dogs endure obstacle courses and different levels of physical and mental activity with plenty of room for them to run and play. There s even a luxurious room for naptime that encompasses treats essential oils and music so that the dogs can relax and feel right at home. Demonstrating to families that they can create a special bond with their dog through positive training Melissa also helps to build the human-canine relationship through trust and love which helps creates a well-behaved dog. She also isn t shy when it comes to picking up after the dogs doing laundry or any other aspect of running her business. Honoring dogs everywhere Melissa supports many groups both nationally and regionally and is involved specifically with the Elmbrook Humane Society as a dog walker and socializationalist. She is associated with the Association of Professional Dog Training American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Dog Guru s Off-leash Safe Play Humane Society of the United States and Alumni of Animal Behavior College. Melissa also contributes and holds adoption events for Humane Animal Welfare Society at the Dog Sanctuary. When Melissa is not at her place of business she is spending time with her animals a dog and three cats. She enjoys painting with oils and mixed mediums and when she feels really adventurous she loves to travel and explore new cultures outside of her own. 50 Women of Distinction Misty L. Ralston Family and Health Law Law Student - Rutgers Law School Camden NJ fter overcoming several obstacles throughout her life Misty Ralston is finally on the verge of completing her life-long dream of becoming an attorney. Misty who is currently taking classes at Rutgers Law School will be graduating in May 2016 -- 20 years after she originally planned. Due to a lack of finances in the past and her struggle with obesity Misty had been unable to achieve her dream of attending law school to become an attorney for quite some time. However following a successful surgery which resulted in the loss of 200 pounds she finally was able to begin law school as a part-time student in June 2013. A At the moment Misty is also the part-time President for the Student Bar Association and a pupil in the Thomas S. Forkin Family Law American Inn of the Court. Following her graduation from law school in May 2016 she plans on taking both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Bar exams and will be clerking for The Honorable Sandra Lopez a Superior Family Court Judge in Bridgeton. Never give up on your dreams -- it may take decades but dreams do come true. It s taken me awhile to reach my dreams but I ve never given up -- not in going to law school and not in trying to reach a healthy weight. Though she originally planned on practicing health law Misty eventually found herself becoming more interested in family law and now hopes to be able to help families and divorcing couples resolve their problems peacefully as well. Along with her work in law she has aided in the fight against obesity by working with Dr. Marc Neff to coauthor a book titled Journal for a Weight Loss Warrior and create a Facebook page called Weight Loss Jedis while also organizing several events for Educate and Empower To Beat Obesity. In addition Misty recently had an article published by Mind Body Green s website called 7 Things Not to Say to Someone Who Has Had Weight-Loss Surgery. I m excited about graduating law school and finally helping people find peace. I m going to give them my all -- and when someone works with me that person will be working with an attorney that has their back. I hope to break stereotypes and show that regardless of size a person can still be an amazing attorney that helps those who need advice direction and support. In her free time Misty enjoys reading exercising watching Sci-Fi and spending time with her family. Through her work in law and obesity education she hopes to inspire positive change in the lives of those she helps. There are always obstacles in life. You can either give up or find away around it the choice is yours. You can t look back and think how you would do things differently. Rather be grateful for all that has happened -- good and bad -- because those are the things that make the person you become. Embrace it cherish it learn from it and get up and try again. 51 Women of Distinction Tamara Woods Fashion Retail Retired Chief Executive Officer of Chardees Gallery Las Vegas NV R As a teenager I always loved clothing and dressing up. etail has been a dream for Tamara Woods ever since she was a young girl. She has always showed a special love of fashion and merchandising. I kept my head up and overcame those challenges. It eventually helped me when I started my own company Chardees Gallery. Tamara s company Chardees Gallery Inc. was honored with many Who s Who. One in 1992- 1993 and one in 1979-1980 during the Carter Administration when the company was a candidate for the Whitehouse Fellowship Program. Now retired Tamara spends most of her free time with her companion dog Hav Pint. She spends her days learning more about the Word spending time praying and becoming a Woman of God. I have started a Facebook group called Children of God Blog Ministry where we pray for the sick and all people counseling them leading them to the Lord in posting Christian posts testimonies and expressing their opinions online. We have had so many people drop in to see what we are talking about from Hollywood to Mega Ministers and famous gospel singers. This website i am told by many people draws you to it It is anointed by God and we invite anyone to drop by and see for themselves. Tamara helped to launch the website in April 2015 which currently has over 1 000 Facebook friends and Christians from all around the world. For Tamara this is all volunteer work. The group doesn t collect donations or funds instead the website is to help people become closer to to the Lord Salvation. I started out working as a sales girl then went to being a fashion news reporter then back to working visual merchandising until I was promoted to merchandising the entire store. Setting up sales doing fashion shows and dressing all of the manikins in the store. Early in her career Tamara was a print model and a contestant in Ms. Black America of Toledo OH in 1979. She also worked for Charming Shoppes Fashion Bug News Paper for eight years in sales visual merchandising merchandising fashion shows and as a fashion news reporter. Before that she worked as the office manager at the Home Furniture Store which was known locally as L. Fish Furniture. When the furniture store closed and moved back to its home state of Illinois the owner asked Tamara to come along but she didn t want to leave her family. During the time Tamara was working for Fashion Bug she decided to take the steps toward opening her own store. With help from her accountant Mr. Phillips she was able to start Chardees Gallery in September 1984 and eventually incorporated it in 1998. Mr. Phillips taught me all about incorporating a business he helped me with my taxes and he was just an all around great man. Unfortunately he passed away before I was able to incorporate my business and it was very upsetting to me. He was like a member of my family. Throughout her career a major challenge Tamara has had to overcome was racism. While working at Fashion Bug management didn t want a black fashion buyer. When she became office manager at Home Furniture she was the first black woman they had in their offices. When starting your own business don t think you can do everything by yourself. Don t be so independent that you think you don t need help. We all need help and I speak from experience. Take the help when its offered or it ll be a lot harder to climb that ladder. 52 Women of Distinction Dr. Uzma A. Chaudhry MD MBA T Healthcare General Practice Wound Care Wound Care Physician Southfield MI hrough her work as a Wound Care Physician Dr. Uzma A. Chaudhry always helps her patients to the best of her ability. Since starting her position at a wound care company in June 2015 her main role has been to visit various nursing homes and take care of the residents with wounds while providing an effective treatment for each patient. Dr Chaudhry s biggest inspirations in her career are her father who is a hematologist oncologist and her current associate at her wound care practice who helped her become a better wound care physician and discover a new passion for her profession. I absolutely love taking care of and treating patients. I feel like this is the one thing that makes me the happiest. I enjoy watching patients wounds heal and improving their lives. After being named Valedictorian of New Albany High School in 1994 Dr. Chaudhry began attending school at Butler University where she received a B.S. in Biology in 1998. In 2003 she graduated from Ross University School of Medicine with her M.D. degree and in 2011 earned an M.B.A. degree from American Intercontinental University. If you study and learn anatomy and physiology of the skin and wounds and know the scientific background behind them as well as how the treatments work you can do well in wound care. Becoming wound care certified improves patient wound outcomes and involves wound care experience as well as often taking a test. The best agency for anyone who wants to become certified in wound care is the American Board of Wound Management (ABWM). The best course for physicians and podiatrists is CWSP (Certified Wound Specialist Physician). At the beginning of her career in the medical field as a licensed general practice physician in 2011 Dr. Chaudhry had realized through personal experiences that there are a number of companies in the healthcare industry that take part in illegal activities such as over-prescribing narcotics to patients. Her disapproval of these activities ultimately inspired her to slightly alter her path and begin specializing in wound care. The biggest lesson I ve learned is to always research the company you are about to work for in terms of your bosses managers owners other doctors whether they have had run-ins with the law Medicare or the FBI. Also always put your foot down and refuse to do anything you think may be illegal or suspicious. A job is not worth losing your license over. Since around March 2015 Dr. Chaudhry has been involved with the Detroit Medical Orchestra as a violinist. In her spare time she enjoys practicing the violin and studying about wound care. There have been many trials and tribulations throughout my life making it difficult to get to where I am now. However I ve never given up. I ve done my best to remain a good honest and caring person and I hope everyone else can try to do the same. It s also important to remain nice and patient while helping others. 53 Women of Distinction ISSUE 23 Women of Distinction Team WDM Marissa Bacchi EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Holli M. Narvaez EDITOR HEAD WRITER LAYOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN Felix Pons Jill Mongonia EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Rachael Aspen Anne Silar SELECTION COMMITTEE SELECTION COMMITTEE Kimberly Diehl SELECTION COMMITTEE Rebecca Valuch Women of Distinction 560 Broadhollow Road Ste. 310 Melville NY 11747 Phone (631) 465-9024 Fax (631) 465-9035 www.womenofdistinction.net Dr. Kitty Boitnott Career Transition and Job Search Coaching Owner Founder Boitnott Coaching LLC (804) 404-5475 kittyboitnott boitnottcoaching.com Judith Judy K. Stih Home Healthcare Caregiver Homemaker To commission a custom journal box or painting call Judy at (480) 807-4043 judystih.com judystih gmail.com