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WDM Melanie S. Weiss BSN RNC-MNN Healthcare OB Nursing Certified Registered Nurse Katz Women s Hospital Northwell Health Author January 2016 Regina Davis Education Writing Retired Teacher Co-Author Carolyn Spencer Retired Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Illustrator Co-Author (757) 650-9494 regreginadavis features 4 11 Alyssa ConnellRelations Marketing Public Healthcare OB Nursing Certified Registered Nurse Katz Women s Hospital Northwell Health Author New Hyde Park NY Melanie S. Weiss BSN RNC-MNN WDM 23 Self-Improvement Energy Work Kelly K.D. Fisher 32 Fine Art -A. Caldwell Linda Creative and Digitally 41 Yael VanGruber Abstract Photography Fine Art Photographer at Linda Caldwell Photography Santa Rosa CA Coaching Founder Chief Executive Officer Bright Energetics Dunkirk MD and Social Media Specializing in Healthcare Technology Economic Development Agriculture Energy and Financial Aviation and Aerospace Chief Executive Officer Connell Communcations Chief Executive Officer Connell Aviation Group Cedar Falls IA Contemporary Art Unique Custom Jewelry & Fashion Designers Boutique for Men Women Artist Jewelry Designer at Clique Gallery-Boutique Yoga Instructor Addison TX Melanie S. Weiss BSN RNC-MNN Healthcare OB Nursing Certified Registered Nurse Katz Women s Hospital Northwell Health Author New Hyde Park NY Women of Distinction 4 M ore than anything else Melanie S. Weiss sees herself as an exceptionally loving and devoted mother and wife. Very compassionate empathetic and loyal she likes to have fun and laugh because life is simply too short not to. As a Nurse for more than 30 years she is blessed to be able to put her best foot forward tending to the many needs of patients while instilling those same values and attributes she practices so willfully each and every day at the hospital where she works. Beginning her career as a Registered Nurse in June 1985 after attaining her BSN from Adelphi University Melanie completed her final obstetric (OB) clinical at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) which is now MAGNET recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for nursing excellence. Offered a nursing position on their Postpartum Unit just before graduation she s remained at LIJMC ever since eventually earning a promotion to Assistant Nursing Care Coordinator. Since earning her BSN Melanie has become certified in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing Maternal Newborn Nursing Basic Life Support Neonatal Resuscitation Professional Childbirth Education Nurse AMMA Therapy and holds a Certificate in Wholistic Nursing. She s also a member of the Association of Women s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses International Nurses Association National Association of Distinguished Professionals National Association of Professional Women Immune Deficiency Foundation PANDAS Network New England PANS PANDAS Association and is the Social Event Coordinator for Long Island Authors and Writers Society. Authoring her first book In A Pickle Over PANDAS in May 2015 a children s medical book Melanie also published an article PANDAS What Every Parent Needs to Know in the November 2015 issue of The Missouri Autism Report. Another article was accepted for publication by Nurse Advisor Magazine in 2015 The Pandemonium of PANDAS An Unprecedented Pediatric Disorder. Married to her husband Matthew for over 24 years they have three sons Gregory 20 Robert 18 and James 14. Maturity and experience are what led me to a greater sense of empathy for my patients and their families throughout my career Melanie said about her success in the healthcare field. Thanks to my parents John and Betty Passarelli whose love and support paved the way to my becoming a nurse as well as my former role models now the patients are my inspiration. Currently working at the Katz Women s Hospital (KWH) at LIJMC part of Northwell Health (formerly known as the North Shore LIJ Health System) Melanie cares for new mothers and their infants on the Mother Baby Unit which is comprised of a 30-bed Postpartum Unit as well as a Newborn Nursery. She maintains Clinical Ladder III status and serves as a mentor and resource person to nurses and ancillary staff. Serving on the hospital s Professional Development Committee (Clinical Ladder Board) she also has Charge Nurse responsibilities serves as a Blood Captain initiated and maintains her unit s Journal Club and has been the annual Team Captain of the North Shore LIJ Walk for Health A Walk for Women and their Families. 5 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What do you base your daily nursing practice and policies on A I base them on evidence-based practices from studies that have been done. Q What is one important aspect of patient care that you haven t already mentioned A The patient experience. It is important for the patient and their family to have a positive experience during their hospital stay fostered by the caliber of nursing care they receive. Q What does your patient teaching include A It includes postpartum care for the mother infant care breastfeeding and discharge teaching. Q What is your unit s nurse-patient ratio A The nurse-patient ratio on the Mother Baby Unit is unique in that the nurse cares for a patient dyad--mother and infant. Typically there is one nurse to four five patient dyads. Q How are you an asset to your unit A I am an asset to my unit due to the 30 years of OB nursing experience I bring to work at each shift my certifications Clinical Ladder III status and serving as a role model. Q How does computer charting affect your nursing care A It affects my nursing care in both positive and negative ways. Charting can be more inclusive and precise as long as the nurse presses the correct keys but it is extremely time consuming. This takes the nurse away from the patient s bedside and the focus can become the computer instead of the actual patient. There are computers at the bedside but all charting cannot reasonably be completed there as one must stand the entire time and patient visitors can be distracting. Q What are some of your hopes for the future of nursing A I hope nurses can spend more time at the bedside through streamlined computer charting more autonomy for nurses to practice as the true professionals they are and allow nurses to focus on their own job description without having to also do the job of the housekeeper unit receptionist or having to remind resident physicians to complete their job responsibilities as well. This will help to improve patient safety in my opinion. I also believe that all nurse leaders should be required to attend management courses so they can lead effectively and respectfully. Q What would help your unit to function more efficiently A An increase in the number of unit receptionists lactation consultants and nurse practitioners across all shifts while realizing there are budgetary constraints. Q What are your professional goals for the future A To obtain Legal Nurse Consultant certification an MSN degree a new leadership role and look back on my nursing career one day with great pride and satisfaction. 6 Women of Distinction Orphialasertrella Adams-Taylor DDiv Wholesale Baking President Chief Executive Officer Aunt Orphia s Delicious Homemade Pound Cake Company Philadelphia PA I n the spring of 2006 Orphialasertrella Adams-Taylor s decision to become her own boss doing what she does best came to fruition. Known for her exquisite talents in the kitchen when it came to replicating her mother s favorite recipe she formed Aunt Orphia s Delicious Homemade Pound Cake with her two daughters. Now they are in more than 50 locations including several cafes convenient stores supermarket chains and bookstores and they are also sold to catering companies all across the Delaware Valley. While sales continue to grow Orphialasertrella bakes her pound cakes as needed relying solely on supply and demand to make sure that all of her pound cakes are always fresh. Her cakes have a buttery rich flavor with a light texture that is sure to please. In addition to selling them in retail stores she also sells them online for individual sale. Selling anywhere from five to 35 slices or whole cakes they can be gift wrapped and are shipped directly to customers worldwide. Orphialasertrella is also known by many in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas as a pastor of Scriptures of Evangelistic Ministries Inc. as a public speaker anointed author writer gospel poetess community prayer service leader and director of the Ten Commandments Campaign for Children. She holds a Doctorate of Divinity Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Pastoral Studies and is a graduate of Temple University s School of Social Administration. She volunteers her free time as the pastor of Kids For Christ doing weekly bible study and supplying free cake to the group on a weekly basis. She is a charter member of HE IS MINE a prayer gathering group is a poet writer and author of seven inspirational books to date including most recently Sister What Are You Talking Too a book that offers anointed advice for women of all ages. I live by a slogan that I wrote many years ago and I still live by it today Orphialasertrella said which says Believe in God for everything and you will conquer anything . This slogan goes on every pound cake label I produce. Aunt Orphia s Delicious Homemade Pound Cake is a family owned and operated business. In honor of her late mother Orphia Davis-Adams Orphialasertrella works alongside her daughters both of which are Temple University graduates to create this secret pound cake recipe that was passed down to them so long ago. Wearing many hats including including handling the financial marketing and public relations aspects as well as remaining the company s favorite baker each pound cake is made with love in health-certified professional kitchens. Orphialasertrella s mother Orphia would bake these delicious homemade pound cakes for family and friends especially during the holidays and for special occasions. When Orphialasertrella decided to make a business out of her mother s recipe she first introduced and sold them on lunch carts at Temple University s main campus in Philadelphia. 7 Women of Distinction Theresa A. Salameno T International Etiquette and Modern Manners Education Founder Managing Director Manners Matter LLC Allendale NJ he protocol for international business is a priority these days in order for businesses to get ahead in the global market. Understanding and executing the proper protocol and etiquette helps develop a professional polish that gives an edge in business and social circles something Theresa A. Salameno is well aware of. Her background in hotel administration as a professional chef and an international and domestic corporate event planner provided the skills and experience that she felt she needed to successfully start Manners Matter LLC three years ago an international etiquette and manners consulting company where she consults on both business etiquette and executive dinner manners. The art of dining and setting a beautiful table can make a meal memorable whether it be for business family or friends Theresa explained. Executive dining plays a large part in the business world today as approximately 50% of negotiations are finalized at the table and corporations are mindful of how poor social skills and dining etiquette could make or break a deal when negotiating with clients. The International Business Etiquette seminars focus on cultural awareness networking first impressions and dress codes. 8 Aspiring to someday become a chef Theresa was given an amazing opportunity to train with one of the top private caterers in London England at Cook & Butler Private Caterers. The owner of the company sponsored her helping her obtain her a certification from Hotel and Catering Industries Training Board. Theresa enjoyed it so much that she continued on to earn her Bachelor s Degree in Hotel and Catering Administration from Brooklands College in Surrey England. But it was under the owner s tutelage at the catering company that she really came to understand the true meaning of professionalism. Even though she decided to take a different career path the work ethic and principles instilled in her at Cook & Butler have stayed with her throughout the years. After six years as executive chef Theresa switched to the hospitality industry employed by Strand Palace Hotel in London. Although it was a challenge to change her career paths as she missed the creativity and satisfaction of working in the kitchen the experience she gained from hotel management and administration further developed Theresa s interpersonal skills. It was these skills that motivated her to teach others. Had she not made this career move she may have never been in business for herself today. After two years of working in the hotel industry Theresa was ready to become a chef again. She opened her own private catering business in London where she served as managing director event planner and professional chef from 1978-1981. She then took a job with Abela & Co. as a food services corporate personnel officer a position she held until she got married the following year. Six years later in 1988 Theresa and her husband moved to the United States. For the next 12 years she honed her skills by traveling internationally with her husband assisting him in hosting business events and numerous executive dinners for a large financial corporation in New York City. Working in the hospitality industry was very demanding of Theresa s time and commitment but offered a career that lent itself to creativity and great personal satisfaction. She was fortunate to be mentored by people who were experts in their fields and she never underestimated the advice given by those who have already worked their way through the ranks of their profession. Theresa was always open to improving her skills by listening and learning from others. Clients expect quality culinary skills and managerial expertise plus exceptional service respect and civility Theresa said about working in the hospitality arena. By developing my social skills I was able to bring a professional polish to every company I was employed with which helped to establish my reputation as a true professional. When Theresa was ready to open Manners Matter in 2011 she traveled back to London where she became a Certified International Business Etiquette Consultant and Certified International Youth Etiquette Consultant. She has since received two Honorary Doctorates one in Humanities from Stonehill College and one in Human Letters from Ramapo College attesting to her hard work and respect in the field. As a small business owner Theresa s reputation serves her best and with that comes the responsibility of developing the finest programs and seminars. Her international business etiquette program for young executives and college seniors focuses on cultural awareness networking first impressions appropriate office behavior dress codes and how to dine your way to success in the international business world. Manners Matter also offers programs for children and teens. Contemporary Modern Manners and Social and Life Skills are fun hands-on programs designed to develop self-esteem and confidence that young people can build on to become effective leaders of tomorrow. Working with such diverse age groups means that Theresa must constantly review and update the programs in order to keep them current and engaging. She is also currently filming a new Manners Matter Business Etiquette DVD that will be featured in an online law education platform to be offered to fashion institutes and colleges. Theresa sits on the board of directors of the John Fell House a historic house in Allendale New Jersey and co-chairs the John Fell Tea Room where she offers seasonal afternoon teas in the home of Patriot John Fell. Working alongside her co-chair committee and volunteers Theresa uses her expertise in hospitality to make this project an overwhelming success. To benefit both the afternoon tea and Manners Matter Theresa became a Certified Tea and Etiquette Consultant and attended the Dorothea Johnson and Bruce Richardson s Tea and Etiquette Master Class in 2013. The board and tea committee are very supportive of Manners Matter and working together has given Theresa a chance to be creative while fundraising to benefit the house. After moving to the United States Theresa became very active in her children s school working on the Parent Teacher Association board and chairing several fundraising committees. Most recently she taught religious education programs at her parish chaired the board of her parish council and the Allendale branch of the Auxiliary was a member of the executive board of Valley Hospital Auxiliary and as member of the National Association of Professional Women where she was honored with the 2014 Woman of the Year Award. Believing in the value of education and the responsibility she feels to help others Theresa is now an on the board of trustees for Stonehill College board of governors for Ramapo College and board of directors of Oasis and on the advisory board for Peace First. I benefited by having a good education that enabled me to follow my dream. My business today is about educating others on the value of self-esteem confidence respect and civility with a focus centered on colleges and nonprofit organizations that offer education as a means to improve lives Theresa added. Together Theresa and her husband support trips for college students provide students scholarships and fund teacher programs. Manners Matter supports and works with teenage girls to offer an after-school program to help prepare them for college. These girls are working to improve their lives through education and in doing so are slowly helping themselves and their families who often struggle with poverty. Theresa strives for kindness. She believes that kindness encompasses empathy and justice which leads to a more peaceful and humble world. There are numerous opportunities to reach out and make a difference in others lives and by lending a helping hand she hopes to inspire others to do the same. 9 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What was the reason for starting your own business A I enjoy teaching and believed that I had the expertise to become a consultant. Q Why did you choose International Business and Protocol A To be successful you need to have a passion for what you are doing and to understand your business. I combined my love of food and fine dining with my knowledge of hotels and restaurants and all that I d be taught about protocol manners and social skills and with these founded Manners Matter LLC. Q Do you have a favorite seminar you like to present A Yes I love the Dining Etiquette program. I usually begin the presentation with a talk followed by a session of Q&A and then offer a full dining experience where the clients can continue to ask questions during the meal. It is amazing to see the transformation as they relax and truly begin to understand the benefit of dining etiquette. Q How many people do you prefer in your audience A I have given private seminars to groups as small as four and presentations for up to 75 however it depends on the venue and how you can set up the room. I prefer no more than 60 because you become less effective if you are not able to command everyone s attention. Q Do you have a preference for working with students children or adults A Each group brings its own challenges but that s what keeps you on your toes. When working in a school environment the programs for children have to be hands-on and lots of fun as you are teaching good manners and social skills. Working with college seniors or young executives is rewarding because they actually see that etiquette and protocol can benefit them in their lives immediately. Q You became an entrepreneur later in life why A I had a great career and have been involved in many philanthropic causes. Now that my family is grown I wanted to create something of my own and it s never too late to do that Q If you hadn t followed your career path what would you have done if you were starting over A I always loved being a chef and often thought I might have gone into journalism....for a food magazine Or even own and run a country Bed and Breakfast Inn. Q Is your family supportive of your new business A Absolutely. They are very enthusiastic when I receive enquiries because each presentation is custom designed for the client so there is always a flurry of activity to prepare that specific seminar. Q Is there anyone whose inspiration led you on this path A My mother was always cooking and family meals at the dining table were the order of the day sometimes it was just the immediate family other times it was all the extended family. She believed in me and encouraged me to follow my own path to success. Secondly I would have to say my employer at Cook & Butler who instilled in me the love of perfection in food preparation and presentation. Q Do you think Etiquette and Protocol make a difference A Of course they do. Etiquette and Protocol are guidelines for civility respect and kindness and without those characteristics democracy breaks down. The children and young people of today are our leaders of tomorrow and appropriate behavior socially and in the business world is vital in developing relationships. 10 Women of Distinction Alyssa Connell Marketing Public Relations and Social Media Specializing in Healthcare Technology Economic Development Agriculture Energy and Financial Aviation and Aerospace Chief Executive Officer Connell Communcations Chief Executive Officer Connell Aviation Group Cedar Falls IA Getting to the Point lyssa Connell believes in getting to the point. And at only 35 she s making sure her personal compass continues to point True North. As the Chief Executive Officer of not only one but two multi-national communications firms Alyssa has shattered the glass ceiling for women in business. But it s the reasons why that are so inspiring. In 2012 Alyssa became the CEO Founder of Connell Communications a company whose core belief is providing the highest quality customer service in the communications industry. Connell Communications has also developed an exciting niche in corporate global turnkey event management. The firm provides executive services for every stage of a corporation s event. Alyssa knew she wanted the branding of her firm centered on a compass rose. After spending years working in PR one central theme among clients was resounding they needed help finding direction she said. Really don t we all at times Just when we think we re headed True North someone changes the map. It s easy to lose our way. Especially in today s business climate. Connell Communications believes in a concept they call The Point of Influence. That s the exact moment when a customer makes a decision to purchase a product join a team try something new or extend their hard-earned trust. That moment that exact place in time that s the foundation of the company. It seems to fit given Alyssa s renewed outlook on life. A There always comes a point in your journey. A time or place where it starts to set in that the life that we have is all that we have said Alyssa. That point came for her when she was diagnosed and survived a rare brain surgery for a condition called Chiari Malformation. Now a self-described warrior and survivor she is focused on getting the most out of every moment personally and professionally. Like so many others my timeline is defined by a before and after. Before I was more complacent thinking I had all the time in the world to get things done said Alyssa. After I realized if we are going to make positive change we need to do it now. There s no more waiting. Alyssa shares her life with her husband Cary a leading cardiologist and their five young children. She credits her many successes to having such a supportive family. Knowing you have a cheering squad behind you believing in you makes every sacrifice and every accomplishment worthwhile said Alyssa. Maybe it didn t start out that way but running these companies has become a family dream. Get to the Point of Influence Alyssa started her career in television news as a reporter and producer. After spending the first couple years chasing storms and ambulances she knew a change of direction was in order. Still using her training in television and writing she transferred her skills to the marketing agency side. She s spent the last 15 years helping companies grow launch products celebrate success and build revenue. Along the way she s worked with and led dozens of the Fortune 500. If we can get our clients there it will work. They ll achieve even the largest goals said Alyssa. That is what we live for. The company has provided all facets of communications solutions for clients across all sectors but their expertise lies in agriculture technology energy and healthcare. Get to the Point A Connell loves the sky and those who ve dedicated their lives to it starting with her own family. She has taken her business savvy in a new direction and has successfully launched her second company Connell Aviation Group. The company is a 100% aviation and aerospace communications company. Deemed her greatest professional accomplishment thus far Alyssa found a way to bring her family of aviators together to help advance flight in America. As her grandfather James Connell turns 80 in 2015 she is honoring his lifetime dedication to the industry by sharing his pioneer spirit with others. Connell Aviation Group (CAG) answers a need in aviation the ability for aviation and aerospace companies to have access to the highest quality communications solutions by specialists solely dedicated to their industry. The company is unlike any other in the nation. It is led by an Executive Advisory Board of elite aviation and aerospace professionals whose entire careers have been dedicated to the field. This Executive Advisory Board s qualifications span all facets of the industry powered by the Connell Communications marketing team. Their industry expertise markets include Airports (General Aviation and Commercial Service) Flight and Aircraft Maintenance Instruction and Education Agricultural Aerial Applicators Avionics Aviation Maintenance Parts Distributors Disassembly and Part-Out companies corporate Aviation and charter aircraft Salvage and Storage Classic Aircraft Restoration Freight Companies Airshow and Aviation Entertainment Aviation Trade Shows Conferences and Conventions Aviation and Aerospace Manufacturing Government and Economic Development Authorities. Since 1954 the Connell Family has done it all. From flight instruction implementing large commercial maintenance programs and putting on award-winning airshows this is the team you want with you on the ground or in the air. Get to the Point of Style Phenomenal. That is a word definitely not used enough. And most women sure aren t called it enough. Considering all that women accomplish in a single day how better a word to describe the corporate woman After traveling the nation observing women in business for more than a decade Alyssa Connell had a strong desire and determination to help women take back control of their image. We believe in safer skies. Stronger pilots. More reliable aircraft. Thriving airports and industry. And we believe in getting to the point above said Alyssa. Guided by a leadership team of six members of the Connell Family the team has a combined total of more than 250 years of aviation and aerospace experience. This group oversees the positioning development and strategic direction of Connell Aviation Group its clients and the industry. In addition to Alyssa members of the Executive Advisory Board include James Connell Michael Connell Patrick Connell David Connell. The company offers services in online marketing and public relations event management and economic business development. 13 Women of Distinction A lifestyle change in 2009 led Alyssa to win one of the nation s first successful social media fitness challenges for working mothers. Through that competition and makeover she now fully understands full-circle the struggles of weight loss and body image and the power this plays in embracing your true identity. We are working side by side to offer expert advice to women on fashion trends in today s corporate world and how-to tips on becoming a stronger professional in a confusing and changing business climate said Alyssa. There joint website features informative blog posts photo sessions and webinars with practical and purposeful information for the everyday executive. Also Alyssa and Lisa are leading Phenomenal Women Workshops at conventions corporations and other venues across America. The duo aims to take their resources in marketing PR and social media and combine it with their thirst to help professional women redefine their sense of beauty and self-worth. Through all forms of communication they believe women will start to change their behavior. Through diligence and effort the culture of the corporate woman will be restored to one of pride and high-class. That s the Point of Style guiding phenomenal women to success. The Point of Life If you were to ask Alyssa Connell what s the point of her life she will tell you it all comes down to love. Love what you do. Love who you are and who you re with. And love the journey along the way. So often we put ourselves last. On the backburner. We give to our bosses our careers our kids our spouses our communities and our homes said Alyssa. And at the end of the day what little time is left is given to tasks and chores. That s where Lisa Coots-Schooley and her store SPLURGE Boutique come in the picture. SPLURGE Boutique is a high-style women s clothing boutique centered on styling today s everyday executive. Connell Communications and SPLURGE Boutique have the same core belief that all women are phenomenal. Together the two companies are helping women in America understand the power of a positive professional image and the definition of true confidence of character. As leaders in communications and corporate fashion the companies have come together to help redefine beauty confidence and self-worth in today s modern woman. The meaning behind The Point of Style is that every woman is phenomenal no matter what size is on her label. Q&A Q Specify your full name as you would like it to appear in print. A Alyssa Connell Q What is your job title and name of your organization A Chief Executive Officer Connell Communications Chief Executive Officer Connell Aviation Group Q Specify your industry (i.e. Healthcare ER Nursing Education High School English) A Connell Communications Marketing PR and Social Media all industries but specialize in healthcare technology economic development agriculture energy and financial Connell Aviation Group 100% focused on aviation and aerospace. Q Where is your organization located (City State Country) A Connell Communications is headquartered in Iowa with a regional new business office in Arizona. Connell Aviation Group has offices in Iowa Arizona and Minnesota Q What made you choose your current career A I started my career in television news after meeting and becoming fascinated with local news personalities while still in high school. After spending the first years of my career chasing storms and ambulances I knew I needed a change of direction. Still using my training in television and writing I went into the marketing agency side and have spent the last 15 years helping companies grow launch products celebrate success and build revenue. Along the way I have been very fortunate to work with and lead dozens of the Fortune 500. Q What are your skills and how do you use them A I believe the most powerful form of communication is the written word. Followed by the spoken word. Not enough emphasis is placed on the power of proper communication. My skills include copywriting strategy and business development presentations problem solving and social media. Q What is your biggest accomplishment A My greatest professional accomplishment thus far is opening Connell Aviation Group and finding a way to bring my family of aviators together to help advance flight in America. As my grandfather James Connell turns 80 in 2015 I am honoring his lifetime dedication to the industry by sharing his pioneer spirit with others. This outshines all other awards and accolades I have received big and small. Q How long have you been in your present position A After spending many years as the Vice President of a multi-national marketing and PR firm I left the agency in 2012 to become CEO Founder of Connell Communications. Our company believes in providing the highest quality customer service in the communications industry. Also we have developed an exciting niche in corporate global turnkey event management. We provide executive services for every stage of a corporation s event. Our team has executed every type of occasion for many of the largest companies and brands in the world. No matter the budget size or scope we custom tailor a flawless event that will achieves maximum results. Now in 2014 we have successfully launched our second company Connell Aviation Group a 100% aviation and aerospace communications company. We formed this company so that aviation professionals worldwide could have access to affordable communications and marketing programs. Connell Aviation Group is unlike any other company in the nation. It is led by an Executive Advisory Board of elite professionals whose entire careers have been dedicated to advancing flight in America. This Executive Advisory Board s qualifications span all facets of aviation and aerospace powered by the Connell Communications marketing team. Q What are your key responsibilities A As CEO of both Connell Communications and Connell Aviation Group my responsibilities are focused on revenue generation and strategic growth. However I became successful in my field because of my creative vision writing and strategic thinking skills. I oversee the professional development of all team members. Q What industry is your company associated with A Connell Communications has worked with clients across all sectors but our expertise lies in agriculture technology energy and healthcare. Connell Aviation Group is 100% focused on the aviation and aerospace industries. Caryn Knappen RN BSN Nursing Private Duty Registered Nurse Manager Chateau Home Care Inc. Holly MI 17 Women of Distinction B eing a good nurse means being an advocate. It means taking the time to get to know your patients not from a chart or from others but by spending time with them. Nurses are the backbone in any facility and the physicians are often making their decisions based on nurses input. This is the philosophy that Caryn Knappen RN BSN has been living by for the past 18 years as a registered nurse. It is what drives her to do her best with each new day and why she has remained in the healthcare field all these years later. Nursing is a very complex field and it takes a special kind of person to be all of these things. Inspiring others to push themselves to become better people and better professionals by being open to opportunity Caryn recognizes that she does not have all the answers when it comes to nursing care. She does however see the relevance in growing professionally by using the resources available to us. We all start out knowing nothing and are all the same in that sense Caryn notes. If we utilize the resources available to us we can all become greater and excel. Caryn is involved with the National Spinal Cord Injury Association Brain Injury Association of Michigan Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) Concerned Association of Patients and Providers (CAPP) National Association of Professional Women and several groups on LinkedIn regarding nursing home care and nurse management. CPAN and CAPP are two organizations in Michigan that help protect the state s auto no-fault laws that protect their citizens who suffer catastrophic injuries. Caryn has made numerous presentations to the legislation and has traveled to Lansing Michigan to speak with the House of Representatives and Senate on behalf of protecting their auto no-fault benefits. When it comes to matters of the heart Caryn is as empathetic as can be. She s even donated one of her own kidneys to a patient whose health had been suffering from dialysis. She was a match when the patient s family members were not. It was a no-brainer for her. Kindness is something she practices in work and at home something she is trying to instill in her two beautiful daughters ages 13 and 10. They are the highlight of Caryn s life. Although creating the perfect work family balance is still a work in progress she is getting better and better at prioritizing. When she isn t working or spending time with her daughters she s enjoying the company of extended family and friends or spending quiet time reading or gardening. I learned that on the inside who I am as a person is a nurse at heart Caryn said. On my worst days those that are stressful and tense when it becomes tempting to change careers sometimes all it takes is a call from a neighbor family member or friend seeking advice and once again I m all in . I gain great satisfaction when I see the positive outcomes of my interventions and decision making when it comes to my patients and I know that I ve made a difference. When Caryn first started her career in nursing she was still two years shy of graduating with her bachelor s degree. Working as a nurse extern for an intercity hospital she learned the importance of time management and organization that she d later use throughout her career. She also learned clinical skills as she floated throughout the departments within the hospital. By the time she completed her BSN from the University of Michigan in 1996 she had planted her roots at the hospital as a staff nurse then as a charge nurse and later as a nurse manager before ultimately entering into the private duty nursing arena in 2001. Working in the private duty sector for nearly 15 years now Caryn plans and manages all aspects of patient care including hands-on direct care development of an individualized plan of care development of policies and procedures relevant to one specific patient clinical decision making and communication to the rest of the team when statuses change recruitment and hiring of new employees employee scheduling staff meetings performance evaluations coordination of support services scheduling of appointments and creation of agendas for physician visits physician reports and management of dynamics between the patient family and staff members. But the most important contributions of being a nurse manager are those aspects that go unseen those that involve critical decision making and organization prioritizing the aspects that are the most crucial at the time and yet are still able to keep long-term goals and perspectives in mind. Q&A Q What do you think are the most important clinical skills in nursing A Communication and listening. Both are so basic yet so vital in promoting positive outcomes directing care and preventing errors. Q What was the most difficult nursing task you have experienced A Delegation. Through my years in nursing it has become easier but it tends to be very hard having someone else do the work you can do. It becomes easier when you are able to see the results in the sense of better efficiency and productivity. Q What has been the greatest reward of managing people A I ve had co-workers who were are nursing students aides and or paramedics EMT s who ve chosen a career in nursing. It tells me that we are doing something right. We are influencing and shaping others in a positive light and they are inspired to join the profession. Q What would you say to a nurse who s frustrated disappointed in the nursing profession A I d quote Ghandi Be the change you wish to see in the world . Change starts within. Look at your environment and strive to change it for the better. If that doesn t work go to the top and change it yourself. Sometimes you need to leave an environment and that s okay. Know that anything is possible and with hard work you will see the rewards. Q How do you achieve an optimal collaboration between you and your staff members A First recognizing that I don t have all the answers we make group decisions whenever possible. Collaboration is also achieved by doing the work myself and seeing firsthand what works and what doesn t. If I expect the staff to do a certain task I m certainly going to be doing it myself. There are times for authoritative decision making particularly in times of crisis. Most of the time however we can decide as a group what the best plan of action is. Q How does a nurse manager role in a private duty position extend into the community A The interpersonal relationships formed are extensive between my role as a nurse manager and the individuals I work with such as physicians case managers hospital staff social workers activity therapists respiratory therapists physical therapists equipment suppliers adaptive engineers insurance adjustors and others. The collaboration with other professionals improves patient care and creates an awareness between other professionals of the services that can be provided within the home. Q What is different today about the nursing profession than when you entered into it A I m seeing more of a push for advanced practice nursing more legislation for safe patient care practices in different states. There is more networking on social sites and more accelerated programs too. I ve witnessed the trends and cycles of hiring and layoffs especially as it related to licensed practical nurses. I ve noticed a new trend of a lack of hiring of new grads. With the shift in the economy part-time nurses have taken full time positions and contingent nurses started taking part-time or full-time positions. Q The nursing profession is undergoing so much in terms of nurse-to-patient ratios understaffing and mandating. What needs to happen within the profession to remedy this A Patient safety is always number one. Some states have enacted laws to prevent high nurse-to-patient ratios and some unionized hospitals have policies regarding this. Educating administration and legislation is a priority as well as educating the public. Nurses need to be able to demonstrate through their actions that they re the backbone in the medical setting and feel empowered to create changes that promote patient safety. Q What do new nurses need to do to excel in the nursing profession A They must continue learning every day. Nurses can t learn all of the medical terms labs medications etc. in nursing school and nursing standards and best practices change continually. It s okay to ask or look up information. Asking for clarity and or learning new material gives credibility and shows that you re conscientious and serious about your role. Q Any advice for new nurses or someone thinking about entering the nursing profession A 1) Believe in yourself - You won t learn all the skills necessary in nursing school. Every institution has a different protocol and you re learning new every time. 2) Take the opportunity to grow - When an opportunity arises take the chance. Try not to let fear guide your decisions for what may be a life changing career opportunity. 3) Visualize - Having a visual idea of where you d like to be where you need to be as a team and where the patient needs to be makes it easier to take the steps necessary to get there. 19 Women of Distinction Regina Davis Education Writing Regina Davis Retired Teacher Co-Author Carolyn Spencer Retired Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Illustrator Co-Author Virginia Beach VA Carolyn Spencer R etired educators Regina Davis and Carolyn Spencer have a combined total of 66 years of teaching experience between them. Regina was an elementary teacher and reading math Title 1 specialist who worked in Bethpage Long Island and Virginia Beach public schools while Carolyn taught early childhood and elementary students in Norfolk Virginia and Virginia Beach public schools. After retiring from the classroom Regina and Carolyn got together to tackle an ongoing issue that is affecting children across America both inside and outside of the schools bullying. They began writing a series of children s books together as a way to spread the message on how to deal with the harmful effects of bulling. Regina and Carolyn have co-authored three books since 2011 Lord Computesalot Ruler of Aurora Bullyalis and His Secret Quest to End Bullying Lord Computesalot s Quintessential Quest to Banish Bullies and Sen r Smarty Pantaloons and the Mystery of the Missing Teachers. Carolyn s talents have also served as illustrator for all three books. Although intended for children these books provide some great tips for parents teachers and counselors. I feel very fortunate to have published and especially to have been able to co-author and illustrate a series of books to help alleviate the senseless actions associated with bullying Carolyn added. Using the Smarty Pantaloons book series to promote their anti-bullying message Regina and Carolyn spend time reading to children in libraries and public and private schools and put on plays where the two of them will dress up as two bully principals. Carolyn also strives to develop artistic talents in children using the books to stimulate creativity. They have been guests on Close-Up Talk Radio with Jim Masters where they had the opportunity to talk about bullying and their book series and were both featured in an article in The Virginian Pilot newspaper which appeared in the December 7 2013 issue. Book one in the series is a colorful clever fantasy that demonstrates to children how terrible bullying is and presents it in a different perspective by having the adults bully each other. Book two is a fun activity book with reproducible pages that uses poetry puzzles games and cheers to teach children about bullying in a creative way. Book three is about a clever robotic computer that always comes to the rescue when strange situations occur at Foxaloon Elementary. In October 2013 book two won an Honorable Mention Award in the J.M. Northern Book Festival. My hope is in spreading the message that bullying is ridiculous and hurtful and must end Regina said. The world would be a better place if everyone from cradle to grave followed the Golden Rule. 20 Women of Distinction I ve always been one to encourage creativity and instill positive and loving reinforcement in children Carolyn said about teaching. Every child begins school excited so educators need to encourage their unique gifts and bring them out in their own way through their talent of teaching and inspiring. Actively involved in their communities through various professional organizations Regina is a member of the International Reading Association Virginia Beach Education Association National Education Association Red Hats and is on the education committee for the Cape Charles Historical Society. Carolyn is also on the education committee for Cape Charles Historical Society and is a member of the Virginia Beach Education Association as well. She also belongs to The Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America where she sends some of their books to children s hospitals for them to read while they recover. Regina has learned throughout her career and in life that you usually get out of something what you put into it. Having taught grades first through fifth graders she has instructed students with a vast array of abilities and talents. Over the course of her teaching career she has worked hard to creatively inspire her students to learn. Along the way she has also witnessed her share of bullying both with children and adults. As a result her inspiration led her to base her writing on these experiences. Regina earned her BS in Elementary Education from St. John s University in 1967. One year later she received her MA in English from Hofstra University. Carolyn earned both a BA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a BS in Visual Arts from Old Dominion University. After a long career in education I missed children Regina admitted. I realized that writing children s books would help fill that void. Carolyn always felt that she had a gift of helping young children and knew how to bring out their best abilities within the four walls of her classroom. She believes that all children should understand the that they are worthy that they should always have faith in themselves and what they believe in and should never let any negativity affect their beliefs. She says that children are all unique individuals and all have a special talent which is what makes learning so special in the first place. Both Regina and Carolyn were only children raised by two loving parents. Regina s father worked as an architect with an office in Valley Stream New York. Her mother did the payroll for her father s business. She lived to be 98-years-old. Both of her parents are now passed. Carolyn s father is an artist photographer and painter and was an engineering draftsman in his career. Her mother also worked in the business sector. They are now 92- and 91-years old. Regina has one son David who owns a business called The Furniture Shop in Glendale Arizona with his wife Regen. Regina has two grandchildren. Carolyn has two children David and Jill and one granddaughter. 21 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What do you think the ramifications are of a child being bullied at an early age A There d be negative effects on a person s mental and physical health more than 30-40 years later. Depression anxiety and a lower quality of life could result from bullying at an early age. Q If you knew your child was acting different and withdrawing from friends or family what could you as a parent do to see if he she was being bullied A Parent-child communication is key so try to carry on daily dialogue with your child and if you notice sudden change in behavior or withdrawal from others attempt to learn from your child what is going on in his her life. If your child closes up and refuses to discuss matters schedule an appointment with their teacher or guidance counselor. As parents and educators we need to try to understand the developing nature of bullying . It s important to realize the essential and key characteristics of bullying and know how to select the interventions needed. Q What do you think causes a child to bully others A It could be that the child is having to deal with family situations (e.g. separation of parents) and bullying would possibly make them feel important and more in control of things that are happening in his her life. The child could also have very low self-esteem. Q What role do you believe is the school counselor s job A The school counselor along with parents and teachers needs to teach children at an early age so they will develop honesty kindness and integrity. Q With the growing effects of bullying in our schools and internet how can we come together to stop this dangerous situation A Many schools have already tried to cut down on the bullying problems by assigning a bullying specialist to help with these issues guidance counselors in most districts are taking extra training courses in bullying prevention parents are being advised to monitor their children s computer access to decrease the cyber-bullying epidemic and faculty and family are using anti-bullying children s books to recognize the dangers and learn what to do if they re targeted. Q Does bullying happen only between children A No. Bullying affects all ages. Bullying often occurs within families and is a very serious problem at the workplace where many workers are subject to bullying by their bosses or other employees. Bullying has always been around but there is a recent awareness that we all need to do our part to try to stop this huge problem which has infiltrated all ages and walks of life. Q What are the main types of bullying A The main types of bullying are verbal physical social and cyber. Q What do you consider the most dangerous form of bullying A Cyber-bullying the newest type of bullying is often the most dangerous. It has not only led to loss of self-esteem but loss of life because online taunting has resulted in suicide. Q If you are a bystander who sees someone else being bullied how can you help A Bystanders can help stop a bully if they stand up and support the one being bullied report the bullying object to the bully s behavior or talk to friends and get their help. Q What can you do if you are being bullied A This Acrostic Poem tells steps you can take if you are the target of a bully Be assertive and speak clearly and fully. Use your head to spot a bully. Let an adult know you ve been bullied by someone. Laugh or smile so the bully has no fun. Ignore the bully and leave but don t run. End the friendship and set yourself free. Do tell the bully Stop bullying me 22 Women of Distinction Kelly K.D. Fisher Self-Improvement Energy Work Coaching Founder Chief Executive Officer Bright Energetics Dunkirk MD lso known as energetically sensitive Kelly K. D. Fisher has been an introvert all of her life. Her shyness which made her feel uncomfortable around others and in public exhausted her for years especially when it came to her job. Working in a leadership position in the computer security field Kelly was ready to take the first step to try to fix herself . Focusing on the right side of her brain Kelly took numerous classes like Reiki Matrix Energetics and Consciousness Studies and discovered that not only was it working for her but she wanted to help others by teaching what she had learned. For example Instructor Jaden Rose Phoenix taught her to allow the flow and shifts to unfold during an energy work session instead of expecting an instant bam. Dr. Mark Dunn can shift his energy to match a specific chakra or emotion and then broadcast that energy out into a room of 500 people so others can sense what that energy feels like. It was one of the most amazing experiences Kelly has ever had. She became brave enough to try remote energy work over the phone and via teleseminar and found she got better results than if the person or group was right in front of her. It really made her think about how consciousness and connectedness work. Founding Bright Energetics in 2009 in Dunkirk Maryland Kelly s business is an extension of herself an embodiment of her dream for others who are going through what she did. She wants her clients to learn to see their sensitivity as a tool and an asset and not a bundle of symptoms. Since starting on her own journey of discovery back in 2003 she can now pass on all she s learned to them and has been pretty successful at it. A As a highly sensitive introverted female Kelly has had her fair share of obstacles to overcome but she says you have to teach yourself to recognize what s you and what s not you. As people we pick up so much information from the media and others that do not reflect who we truly are. By being able to sort out the junk and get down to who we really are as well as no longer allowing that junk to enter into our energy system we can have much more harmonious happy productive lives. Working and living in Maryland Kelly and her husband (also a left-brainer) have been married since 1996 and have three children. In her down time she speaks as a member of the Community of Transformation organization and is now mentoring a high school level FIRST robotics team. At this point my brain switches back and forth in odd patterns Kelly said about the left and right side of her brain. I ve been quite left-brained in my career and in life for so long between serving in the US Navy working for the Department of Defense and now working as a computer security contractor. Studying Reiki Shamanism Matrix Energetics and consciousness has really developed the other side of my brain and opened up my perception. 23 Women of Distinction Q&A Q What is your ultimate goal as an energy coach A I want to help others learn to feel comfortable and accepted as they truly are not as others expect them to be. Q How do you go about accomplishing that A I try my best to meet people where they are right now without judging them. If they want my help to shift into something new I ll help them. I feel it s important to view others that way without all the preconceived biases. Isn t that how we d really like others to treat us in return Q Are their specific techniques you practice with your clients Can you give some examples A It s more a blend of techniques I ve learned combined with what each client s needs are at that time. One critical skill I do teach each client is how to ground and center themselves. Q Do you hold any certifications for working in this field A Yes I am a certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner and am certified in Yuen Method of Chinese Energy Healing and NeuroLinguistic Programming with Hypnosis. I m also trained in Shamanism and Consciousness Studies. Q How does it change the perception of yourself when you discover such a thing as being highly energetically sensitive A For me learning this information was a huge light bulb moment. It was a relief to find out I wasn t the only one who felt this way. From there I learned many more skills and techniques to get myself feeling sorted out and comfortable in public in leadership roles etc. Q In addition to teaching clients how to become more comfortable with themselves do you plan on contributing to the field in other capacities in the future A There s definitely a book or two rattling around in my head but nothing is on paper yet. Q What advice can you give to others starting out in this field A If you do something nebulous you re going to have a hard time describing it in terms that people can understand or recognize as applying to them. Trying to remember what you called it before you figured out what it was called (if you ve figured out what to call it) is equally difficult. Trying to do research on something you don t have terms or names for is maddening. Make sure you can express to others exactly what you do. Q What do highly sensitive people (HSPs) and introverts have in common A A lot I think there are many common experiences between the two such as being more quiet or avoiding crowds. The main commonality is needing more recovery time after emotionally-charged events being in crowded spaces or after a stressful week at work. Q How much of the population is introverted vs. HSP Are some people both A More recent studies say 50% of the population is introverted. Dr. Elaine Aron who wrote many books about HSPs says that 15-20 of us are HSPs and about 70% of HSPs are introverts. Q How does this affect an HSP or introverts career A When you don t feel like you ve got yourself sorted out or your energy feels drained how are you supposed to feel like stepping into more responsibility or leading others I went through this myself and learned a lot of lessons along the way. This is one of the reasons I feel so strongly about helping others who are in the same boat. I love to help people get comfortable in their daily lives and then feel ready to move up. I n order to overcome her own personal need and desire for inner peace Tracy Becker began learning and teaching meditation and other self-help techniques in 1988. Over the next decade she began teaching at community events women s retreats community colleges and even offered services to friends. By 1999 Tracy had gone back to school to pursue her master s degree in counseling at Oregon State University and has since become a nationally certified counselor and coach licensed counselor in the state of North Carolina and certified in distance counseling. As the co-creator of The I Am Institute Heaven on Earth A Spiritual Center and Retreat and The Blast Network A Destination for Those Who Live on Purpose (a web TV show) Tracy s mission is to positively impact the lives of over 10 million people by expanding the message that we all have a divine purpose and that purpose is to align with and learn how to sustain a state of joy and to experience freedom to expand from limited to limitless perceptions and experiences in life love mind and infinite possibilities. Tracy Becker Coaching Counseling Owner Operator Tracy Becker Transformational Coaching Chief Executive Officer Founder The I Am Institute Co-Founder Host The Blast Network Statesville NC Before I went into private practice I worked with a variety of other organizations Tracy said. Through these experiences I discovered that healthy and collaborative communications is key. This awareness empowered me to positively impact my interactions with others through these effective communication skills thus making an agreement to myself to make every interaction as easy and effective as possible. It completely changed my experiences and the experiences of those I interact with and has since has become an integral part of my counseling coaching and life. Owning and operating a private practice that provides counseling and coaching services to individuals couples and families through 45-55 minute sessions Tracy also reaches out to the masses via audio video e-books web TV home study courses blogs webinars and multiple other ways. In 2013 Tracy was identified as one of the leading meditation instructors with the release of many of her meditations and Life Lessons on Omvana an app rated 1 in health and fitness in more than 30 countries. Happily married Tracy is a transformational coach and counselor who has traveled the world to teach and learn from spiritual leaders and leading edge psychological teachers. Through this process she s been able to heal herself and clear the way to healing others. Her gift to the world is in bringing this healing source to humanity as part of her services to clients. 25 Women of Distinction Q&A Q How might an individual decide if they want need a coach A Coaching is for the highly motivated and or inspired person who has had some success in their lives and is wanting to change one or more areas of their life. Q Why would someone want to utilize you Tracy Becker as their transformational coach A I have helped thousands of individuals improve the quality of their life in the last 25 years. I have sought out training and hold a Master s degree in counseling as well as a certification as a coach. I am fun and easy to work with and committed to your success. Q How long should I expect to be involved with Transformational Coaching A Most people are in coaching between 6-12 months. I wouldn t expect anyone to invest in themselves for less than 6 months. Q What specific areas of transformation can you help others with A Transformational coaching can be best utilized if one has already determined their desired destination outcome and is need of the steps accountability mindset tools to get them there be it career change status change mindset change finances etc. Q How much time does one need to invest when they work with Tracy A I would expect that one should have between 30-60 minutes per day carved for themselves to devote to the change. Sometimes it will be less and sometimes more as the commitment shifts and the opportunities arise. Q If I live in another state or country can you still help me A Yes. I work with most people on Skype or by phone and can arrange my schedule to work in various time frames. However one must be English Speaking to receive the best benefits. Q Can you help others from different cultural or religious backgrounds A Yes. Throughout the years I have worked with a wide variety of cultural ethnic and religious backgrounds and perspectives with great success. Q Are you available to travel and teach groups in other areas A Yes. I ve been traveling to teach for many years. I have a workshop series that can be taught in 2- to 5-day workshops. I have four programs that I offer Limitless Love (relationship and effective communications) Limitless Life (self-empowerment and activation of your inner truth desires) Limitless Mind (mindfulness meditation and managing the mental and emotions bodies) and Limitless Possibilities (how to expand grow and manifest). I m also available for keynote speeches and lectures. Q Do you use alternative modalities to help others A Yes. I am proficient in overcoming most obstacles clients and consumers bring to the table and I am well known for my ability to simplify and strategize with those who come to me for services. The only thing I require is willingness intention and commitment to themselves. Q What do your clients continually praise you on professionally A My authenticity directness ability to help others see an easier way simplifying what appears to be complicated and loyalty to their progress and desires that I m compassionate don t waste their time am effective I provide solutions that work and I m process and outcome oriented not problem oriented that people leave their time with many tools to be successful in whatever way that may be for them more at peace more happiness more confidence and more joy. They know I care about their success. 26 Women of Distinction Anita K. Parran Public Media Relations Marketing Communications Principal KK Charles Communications LLC Kansas City MO C ertified Communications Professional Anita K. Parran ardently believes that success is not measured by what one has but by who they are and what they give back. True to her profession and personal beliefs it is better to give than to receive. Because of this and her ability to form cohesive partnerships with her clients Anita can offer award-winning results through a broad range of communications services provided by her Kansas City Missouri based company. Along with running a successful communications company Anita regularly presents seminars to various organizations within her community. She has authored a chapter in The State of Black Kansas City and has written profiles of notables for magazines including Career Focus Flourish and Missouri Meetings & Events. Anita has received multiple awards for her excellence in communications including a national Headliner Award from Association of Women in Communications and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists both of which were awarded in 2006. Increasing exposure for KK Charles Communications Anita is the secretary for the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists and member of the Kansas City Press Club Society of Professional Journalists and Public Relations Society of America. Sharing her knowledge experience and expertise Anita is involved in a host of volunteer efforts as well. She is a governor appointed public member of Missouri Board of Pharmacy treasurer of Developmental Disability Services for Jackson County secretary and executive committee member of Stephens College board of trustees board member of Friends of the Library at University of Missouri honorary chair of RUBIES 5th anniversary and gala chair of the board of governors of Urban League of Greater Kansas and member of the Kansas University Girl s Night In fundraiser event for the Adelaide C. Ward Women s Heart Center. To follow her belief of giving rather than receiving Anita tries to do her share to contribute by any means feasible. There is nothing more rewarding than getting a client to envision what they perceive as impossible Anita said about sharing her creative ideas. By creating crisp messages and vivid images with the written word I provide my services from concept to delivery and enhance my client s overall communications needs. Founding KK Charles Communications LLC in 1998 Anita performs all functions from administration to bookkeeping to advertising. Most of her focus is on the client so relationships are paramount. Anita provides a free consultation to meet with potential clients and evaluate if they are a good match. For Anita and a client to be a match she must first believe that the project is worthwhile that personalities are in synch that values are similar and the project outcomes must are agreed upon. Once Anita takes on a client she offers services such as public and media relations with collateral materials press kits annual and company reports brochures newsletters conference and meeting materials news and magazine article writing and communications seminars and trainings. 27 Ann Helen Senae Accounting Public Practice Firm Owner President of A.H. Senae Inc. Mission British Columbia Canada nn Senae is someone who doesn t know the meaning of the word no . She was told at age 16 that she couldn t finish high school after getting pregnant and that her only option was to get married. I realized a few months after dropping out that I had made a huge mistake. I didn t like the idea of being dependent on someone for my financial well- being so I knew that I had to go back to school. I took one course at a time through my early 20s until I finished. And in the process I had two more children three by the time I was 21. After that Ann was accepted into Simon Fraser University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1975. A While continuing to build her practice Ann found a passion for music. My second husband (Bill) was a weekend musician. I would go with him to his gigs but I was bored just sitting there. Bill suggested that I learn how to play the bass guitar so I did that and started singing as well. I loved performing and continued playing with Bill s band on the weekends and ran my firm with three employees during the week. My husband had his own business while I was in school and the accountant he worked with showed me a set of financial statements. None of them made sense to me so I took an introductory accounting course as an elective and was hooked. The band broke up in 1995 but Ann continued with other musical projects. One of the guys from a jam band I played bass for invited me to join his country rock band Borderline . I ve been playing and singing with them for about a year now and we re in the process of recording our first album. In order to focus on her music career Ann sold the majority part of her practice last year. Ann was later accepted into the university s Certified General Accountants (CGA) program. This program required working in the field while studying so I worked in the accounting department for a vehicle retailer and then managed the office for a carpet cleaning company. After remarrying in 1976 and having her fourth child Ann worked for a public accounting firm and graduated from the CGA program in 1986. This allowed me to start a home-based public practice in 1990. I did this gradually while still working my old job until I had enough clients to support the business. I still do personal tax returns and will continue doing them for a few more years. It s something I love to do. My advice to others is to follow your passion and never give up. 28 Women of Distinction Dawn Ranieri Home Improvement Cleanouts Owner of TNT Removal & Disposal LLC. Folcroft PA D awn Ranieri is the owner of TNT Removal & Disposal a company that her boyfriend (Tom Lamb) founded in 1993. After working with him for two years and learning the business they decided to rebuild the company as woman-owned . My hard work has earned me the distinctions of becoming a VIP member and one of the 2014 Professional Women of the Year for the National Society of Professional Women (NAPW) and a member of the Women s Power Network (WPN). Years from now Dawn would like to be remembered for her caring nature. TNT provides many services for the residential commercial and real estate market. We strive to recycle and maintain a green environment. We also donate reusable items to Goodwill and Nana s Attic for people in need. It is such a great feeling to be able to do this constantly. Most of Dawn s time is spent on the road at network events or meetings with other business owners. I build relationships with them in hopes that we can work together utilizing each other s services. I also have over 10 years of experience with marketing and social media so I m usually on my computer building the company s online presence when I m not on the road. As a female business owner Dawn has experienced her share of challenges. One was trying to get our industry code changed because we were being classified as categories that did not define us. This was putting us in a higher paying worker s compensation class. Another challenge was becoming a woman-owned business. Luckily I was able to get help from an experienced business owner who helped make everything a smooth process. I believe we are all born with talents and gifts. It is how we use them that makes us special. When I help others with my talents I feel like I have done what I was put here to do. The world truly is a beautiful place if you open your eyes welcome it and give yourself and your talents to the world so more beauty can be experienced by others. I try to help people any way I can through inspirational messages connecting business owners together helping them with their marketing donating items and just about anything else I can do for them. There is always time for people and things that matter When you help others and expect nothing in return you are rewarded with a great feeling of accomplishment. 29 Women of Distinction Denise Carpenter Healthcare President and Chief Executive Officer of Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) Toronto Ontario CAN D enise Carpenter began her career in the early 1980s working with Canadian organizations to recognize understand and apply the principles of reputation management to drive growth in their financial and reputational value. That was followed by a period working with businesses serving multiple stakeholders to shift public policy for the betterment of Canadians. Today I lead the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada to position the broader pharmacy community as one part of the solution to the challenges confronting Canada s internationally admired healthcare system an aging population and rapidly rising healthcare costs. As business people and as individual citizens we need to recognize respect and accommodate others in our communities because we have more in common than anything that divides us. None of us has a monopoly on vision or values. We need to focus on bringing out the best of what s offered in our communities. From friends family neighbors institutions and local businesses we all benefit from a rich stimulating community. And as a society we need to appreciate the role played by business and cultural creators in building a balanced community. I participate through Casey House an AIDS HIV specialty hospital as well as on the National Advisory Committee of the Gold Medal Plates which provides financial assistance to Canada s high-performance athletes through celebration of excellence in Canadian cuisine wine and the arts. Denise sits as a director on a variety of corporate crown and community boards and would like to be thought of as a leader and builder of sustainable success. Neighbourhood Pharmacies is a strong voice and the leading advocate for the business of retail pharmacy. We represent the owners and operators of Canada s leading drug store brands delivering healthcare closer to home at approximately 6 500 locations across the country. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada Denise s focus is enabling leaders and leadership teams in industry and government to achieve critical strategic outcomes more effectively at less cost and with key risks addressed. Neighbourhood Pharmacies advocates for the business of retail pharmacy and its vital role in sustaining the accessibility quality and affordability of healthcare for Canadians. Our organization is advancing innovative solutions to deliver better patient care better patient outcomes and better overall system costs through original research evidence-based advocacy networking and information services. Community involvement has educated and enriched Denise throughout her career. She volunteers to help bring business cultural sport and health organizations together. My industry is currently in the midst of enormous change. The old ways of doing business are never coming back they can t and that makes change difficult for many people to understand and accept. Therefore we need to find new ways to be successful that serve our patients and customers needs and provide challenge and reward for the industry and its people. I m all about solutions and helping people move forward together. 30 Women of Distinction Linda Appleman Shapiro Psychotherapist Addictions Counselor Mental Health Advocate Lecturer Blogger Oral Historian Author SHE S NOT HERSELF A Psychotherapist s Journey Into and Beyond her Mother s Mental Illness Westchester County NY M ental illness hits close to home for many of us these days. But in the 1940s and 50s when Linda Appleman Shapiro was growing up with a mother who suffered from major depressive disorder illnesses in general were never talked about and the medical community itself did little to educate patients or their families. She was also determined not to have her psychotherapist s voice drive the narrative as she felt that would have diminished the impact lessening its universal appeal. In writing her memoir SHE S NOT HERSELF A Psychotherapist s Journey Into and Beyond her Mother s Mental Illness her intent was for readers who are still suffering to identify with her and not feel alone but to find hope moving forward toward healing and forgiving without forgetting. Immigrant families such as mine were left to suffer in silence and shame not knowing where to turn for answers or options. Although we ve come a long way since then and TV shows such as Dr. Phil and Oprah help to educate the public by bringing many problems to light Shapiro a behavioral psychotherapist and addictions counselor for more than 30 years decided she had a story to tell her story which she could share from the perspective of someone who found ways to move through and beyond the trauma of living with a family member who suffered from a chronic illness. She believed she could show how that illness affected her and each of her family members. This was a labor of love and tenacity that I worked on for many years writing and rewriting as I peeled away the layers of the onion that was my life. I wanted to bring the reader into my family s apartment inviting them to see our rooms and furnishings hear our conversations walk the streets of our neighborhood and witness my mother s many breakdowns. For those who have never been afflicted I hope that new-found compassion will help them to advocate for mental health and support much needed funding to help the one in four people who suffer from one mental disorder or another in today s all too chaotic world. As a witness to human vulnerability and strength in taking secrets out of my family s closet I trust that others will then put their own shame aside and seek the help that is available knowing that it is possible to interrupt family dysfunction by merging life s sweetness with its sorrow reconciling its meaning with its m mystery. 31 Women of Distinction Linda A. Caldwell Fine Art - Creative and Digitally Abstract Photography Fine Art Photographer at Linda Caldwell Photography Santa Rosa CA fter her four children left home Linda Caldwell experienced a case of empty nest syndrome which caused her to do some thinking about how she could feel fulfilled in the next chapter of her life. A Knowing that I have always loved taking pictures of landscapes nature shots and vacation places of interest (along with those many shutter clicks of my children over the years) my father suggested that I take that interest to the next level and develop knowledge for the art of photography. So in 2002 I purchased a high end Canon SLR film camera and joined the Santa Rosa Photographic Society Camera Club that was made up of members from beginner to master level. It was there that I met and took private lessons for over three years from a Certified Master of Adobe Photoshop. She was a task master and one whom I appreciated learning the many tools and techniques from within the digital darkroom of Photoshop that led me to eventually move on and develop my own style. Linda s love of photography was her saving grace after the tragic loss of her oldest son (Sean) in 2008 from a sudden deadly bacterial illness followed a few months later by the death of her father from cancer. My daughter in law s family saw the sadness in our heavy hearts and invited my husband and I to spend the holidays at their home in scenic Alaska. After going through such a somber time I found it to be an incredibly healing experience to visit this magnificent land of pristine beauty. Bundling up my camera and my body for the 20 degree below zero weather outside was something I had never experienced before. The air was still and the icy glacial waters of the Kenai River were frozen solid raw wild and untainted. To be there at that moment in time having gone through such grief was incredibly uplifting. Being surrounded with such pristine beauty filling my viewfinder was a privilege indeed. To capture such stillness solitude and beauty was a healing gift to me for which I will be forever grateful. Today she is the owner and sole proprietor of Linda Caldwell Photography working out of her home in an office that what was once her youngest son s room. I use a PC and print all my work from paper to canvas up to 44 in length with the use of 4 different versions of Epson s wide format professional printers. I have a large collection of software installed on my PC along with several external hard drives to fit my creative needs and utilize a back-up system daily to prevent any potential file loss. I have had a working website for over eight years and recently revamped it with full screen images. Marketing my work is my primary concern so keeping up with the latest ways to present my work to the public is of utmost importance to me. This includes a yearly production of my personal calendar to a waiting client list as a marketing tool while keeping up with current versions of business cards and brochures which I design myself. 33 Women of Distinction Linda admits that being the owner and sole proprietor of your business is a challenge. Having to be the one and only one in charge of every aspect is a constant challenge. My first major challenge was initially setting up my website nine years ago. To save money I decided to do most of the work myself which was very time-consuming and challenging at the same time. She has learned a lot in this highly competitive business and has great advice for others looking to follow in her footsteps. Get whatever licensing is required in your hometown to sell or show your work. Set up a separate bank account to handle the funds you receive or expend and a framework for pricing your work. Market your business with a personal website of your work. Open social media accounts like Facebook Twitter and Linked-In. Set goals achievable within a reasonable timeframe. Additionally never stop learning about your trade and never stop studying the latest tools and techniques that are associated with the type of camera and software you work with. You need to take time to continue to improve your skills build your portfolio and define the artist that lies within you. Through time and persistent dedication you will eventually develop your own style and make the journey into your own photographic world. In 2010 Linda wrote and self-published her first book The Birth of an Image... A Photographer s Personal Reflection of that Intimate Moment . You can find it on Books and through the link on the contact page of her website www. The following is an excerpt from the introduction of her book We all journey through this life on a personal path for no two of us are alike. We are all unique with God-given gifts or talents. We only need to search deep within ourselves to uncover what they may be. If I can bring you a positive feeling of appreciation from my photography for the beauty that surrounds us and encourage even the smallest positive change in your life then I will have achieved the purpose of writing this book and provide a legacy when I leave this world. 34 Women of Distinction Linda K. Thomas Hospitality and Lodging Owner Operator of Little River Motel Saint Regis MT 35 Women of Distinction L inda Thomas career in the Hospitality industry started in September 1986 when she bought the Del Mar Motel in Livingston MT. She owned the motel for seven years and enjoyed the people she met as well as the industry in general. Several years later Linda purchased a small motel in Saint Regis MT named the Little River Motel . It is a small quaint motel located about 140 miles south of Glacier National Park consisting of seven regular motel units and four cabins (some with kitchenettes). We are surrounded by our own private forest with plenty of wildlife. There s a herd of deer on the property year-round. Elk bears and cougars have even been spotted and eagles are often seen soaring above. We are fortunate to also have a breeding pair of Great Horned Owls (not a common site). This attracts people from all over the world. The Little River Motel is a one woman operation. Linda later sold the dairy under President Reagan s Dairy Buyout program which eventually led to Linda purchasing the Little River Motel. But this came with its share of challenges. My biggest professional challenge was to come back from a serious accident that took one of my eyes and left me with brain damage. I was told that I did not have the mental capacity to run a business but I refused to listen. I was bound and determined to get back into the motel business. I was going to own my business. The challenge was to be able to operate a business when I couldn t even add 1 1. It was a long process but I did it because I had faith in myself. Through adversity I gained confidence and self-assurance. These are two very important characteristics that can help anyone attain their goals. Owning a motel works out for Linda because she has two children and two grandchildren. Summers are very busy however winters are very slow and that gives her many opportunities to spend time with her kids and their families. I run the front desk and do the bookkeeping laundry cleaning and maintenance. It s only in the summer that I have some help. She had previously owned a dairy with her first husband. I was inspired by my mother to buy a dairy because she and my father owned one. My mother would go out at dawn and feed the cows before going into town to run her other business of over 50 years. She taught me how to be independent. My son recently got married and will be graduating from Montana State University this spring with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. And my daughter has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Montana. She and her husband have a 3-year old daughter and a 4-month old son. Being a business owner has given Linda the independence and the ability to do the things she s dreamed of. 36 Women of Distinction Marci Hugg Hall Entertainment Owner Big Rock Mini Golf & Fun Park Little Rock AR J ust as she was approaching her 56th birthday Marci Hugg Hall was contemplating changing careers so that she could devote more of her time to doing something with more meaning behind it. Often engaging in a repeated conversation with friends about how someone should open a nice family entertainment center with miniature golf in their wonderful town of Little Rock Arkansas Marci finally ran with it. In 2013 Marci s dream came true and she began running a brand new business as the owner of Big Rock Mini Golf & Fun Park. Providing a safe affordable upscale entertainment facility for Little Rock residents and guests to enjoy outdoor recreation is the motto behind Big Rock. Having hired a great staff that includes young diverse individuals Marci is a hands-on business owner that sets an example to her team by being enthusiastic attentive customer service focused and full of high energy and she is proud to be able to make a difference for others within the community. In addition to miniature golf Big Rock also features singleand double-seat Go Karts bumper boats batting cages and an arcade. There is something for everyone. The park also hosts birthday parties has special offers throughout the week like Mad Monday and Token Tuesday and offers group rates for parties of 20 or more. Marci holds a BS in Education and a Master s of Education in Recreation. She previously taught high school and junior high physical education and special education. She also coached varsity boys and girls gymnastics and several Special Olympic sports. Marci has volunteered a great deal within her community including the River Fest Potluck Food Rescue Board and Methodist Children s Home to name a few. She even won a Volunteer of the Year Award from Little Rock Central High School for her efforts. Very much involved in her church Marci has served on almost every committee including as recreation director for vacation bible school for over 12 years. Married for 35 years Marci and her husband also own a material handling equipment and mobile mini storage business with her brothers. They have three adult children Jeni a dentist Bryan a CPA and Nick a marketing representative. Blessed that her children and their families all live close by in Little Rock they all get to enjoy rich fulfilling lives together quite often. I believe that our quality of life depends not only on what we do for work but also what we do with our leisure time Marci said about the inspiration behind the formation of her park. When people have something to engage in that connects them with others gets them outdoors and moving and builds self-esteem and relationships they are going to have healthier more fulfilling lives. Marci knows exactly what it means to enjoy quality of life too. Even though she admits to working seven days a week as the sole owner of the seven acre amusement park she can appreciate the sense of urgency to make her mark in this world as someone who has beat cancer several times and also suffers celiac disease. 37 Women of Distinction Pat Kelly RN CLNC Healthcare Nursing Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Kelly Legal Nurse Consulting LLC Maple Grove MN ccomplished and dedicated Nurse Pat Kelly RN CLNC has enjoyed more than three decades in direct patient care leading a fulfilling career in the areas of transitional care hospital and hospital-based home care. Desiring a new career challenge Pat made the decision to pursue certification as a Legal Nurse Consultant in 2014. She is committed to building her consulting business and serving the attorney-client relationship with the same allegiance that she has demonstrated throughout her entire nursing career. As a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Pat assists the attorney in navigating the complex world of medical records. While the attorney is the legal expert she is the expert on the healthcare system and its inner workings. Her role is to provide cost-effective expertise for reviewing medical records for both the plaintiff and defense attorney. She screens and analyzes medical records hospital policies and procedures and interprets their relevance to the attorney s case to eliminate the expense of non-meritorious lawsuits. She identifies adherences to and deviations from applicable standards of care and determines causation and damages. She also assists with discovery by preparing interrogatories and requests for production develops reports and chronologies to highlight the significant medical events and researches and applies authoritative medical and nursing literature and standards of care. A Pat is a business woman of character and integrity. She is honest accurate and conscientious. In her most recent role as a legal nurse consultant she has come to value the attorney-client relationship and being an asset to a law firm. This adventure has challenged her in many new ways and she loves being able to use her medical knowledge to seek justice. A technique that Pat tries to follow daily comes from Vickie Milazzo the Entrepreneur of the certified legal nurse consultant field. Milazzo has developed the 5 Promises for Success which are 1) I will live and work a passionate life 2) I will go for it or reject it outright 3) I will take an action step a day towards my passionate vision 4) I will commit to being a success student for life and 5) I believe as a Nurse I really can do anything. Pat also tries to surround herself with positive people and believes that it is okay to say no when necessary. She has also learned to live within her own limitations. Pat is a member of the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants and US Woman s Chamber of Commerce. I ve enjoyed the challenge of teaching and the reward of empowering individuals toward improved health Pat conveyed. I have been an advocate for the patient at their bedside and now I am an advocate for them in the justice system. Since becoming a legal nurse consultant I ve learned to enjoy every step of the process. I take advantage of the early morning hours to screen cases and spend my days off networking and making phone calls. 38 Women of Distinction Sydney P. Howell Music Entertainment Education Owner Harps of Gold Weatherford TX P erforming at a wedding at just 16-years-old Sydney P. Howell earned a BA in Music from the University of North Texas Magna Cum Laude before pursuing her Master s in Harp at the New England Conservatory of Music. While in her first year of graduate school she was hired to play with an ensemble in a TV special. Moving back to Texas in 1968 after completing her two degrees Sydney began playing church and symphony gigs with the Fort Worth Symphony and later taught privately. The work kept coming and Sydney was very fortunate to be able to share her musical talents. In 1996 her new husband and she moved to Parker County where she produced a solo harp CD called Romance with the Harp. Retiring from TCU she continued teaching Suzuki Harp and doing freelance work. For ten years Sydney taught classes at Harp Fire summer camp which included the Wedding Workshop course. She s taught at several Suzuki institutes throughout the country since and has been published in the Harp Column and The American Harp Journal to name a few. Sydney currently plays with a professional eight-harp ensemble Octavia and they ve produced 2 CD s thus far. The founder and president of the Fort Worth Harp Society Sydney was also the founding member of North Texas Suzuki Association and is an active member of the American Harp Society American Harp Society Dallas Chapter and Suzuki Association of the Americas. Sydney has been divorced widowed and is now married to her soul mate Daniel Howell a retired commercial and Air Force pilot electrical contractor and teacher of gymnastics and ballroom dance. They love to travel together and enjoy their extended family as much as possible including six children 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. When I first started my career I didn t need to advertise. Gigs and students just came by word of mouth. Now not so much Sydney owner of Harps of Gold admits. I had to learn to market myself. I joined the chamber of commerce am now very active in a business network and am learning to use social networking. As the sole proprietor of Harps of Gold in Weatherford Texas Sydney performs for weddings funerals dinner parties corporate events and other special occasions and does lecture demonstrations of the harp on site to students. She books her own engagements sets her own calendar and does all company paperwork herself. Sydney began as a piano and harp teacher at Tarrant County Community College. A few years later she became an adjunct professor of harp at Texas Christian University (TCU) where she remained for 29 years. In 1987 she played for High Tea at the Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth continuing for five years until the tea ended. She then began teaching the Suzuki Method and established a Suzuki Harp School at TCU. I believe that people would be happier if they had good music in their lives Sydney added. My part is to build character through teaching music and comforting and entertain through performance. 39 Women of Distinction Tamera Swan Mason Personal Care Products Owner of White Swan Inc. Randallstown MD T amera Swan Mason met a young lady chemist many years ago who was developing products as a fundraiser for various church groups. Tamera loved her work and had her develop products for her and started selling these products to friends and family. I saw that there might be a real future in this endeavor and decided to incorporate and start a real business. I always wanted a business of my own so White Swan Products was founded in 2007. I began to really get serious about the prospect of doing something I enjoyed and make money at the same time. I started with three products Wild Rose Hand & Body Lotion Bath & Shower Gel and Soothing Bath Salts. The products are called Wild Rose because of their unique rose fragrance and rose properties. There are other rose products on the market but most are found in health establishments and have a medicinal odor. Wild Rose has no other fragrance in its makeup and actually smells like a rose. In a large corporation there are departments that specialize in every facet of the business. However in her business Tamera has several functions. For anyone starting out in this industry (or any industry) Tamera believes that it is important to believe in yourself and at least try. Now I have a manufacturing company that makes these products for me. I take pride in researching the ingredients that make up the formula. I want to be sure that the products are made with the finest ingredients and work closely with the manufacturer. I have a special passion for my products and like to create the advertisement to sell them. I also keep a close eye on finances. At the moment I have concentrated my efforts on the lotion and bath gel but anticipate the return of our bath salts as well as two new products (a beauty bar and body spray) this year. Aside from recruiting sales personnel you can find me behind the scenes preparing to make everything work. I leave the day-to-day office work to others. Stick to your guns learn all you can about the industry and never let anyone tell you you can t do it. If you have never worked in this industry or even if you have there will always be challenges to overcome. Life presents us with many opportunities for growth and development but most individuals fail to take advantage of them and constantly make excuses as to why things can t be done. Very few individuals ever step out on faith and try. Even if one fails at least an attempt was made to get involved in something he she wanted to do. Therefore it can always be said that he she at least tried. I expect to be extremely successful in what I do. However if I have not achieved all my goals when my time comes I would like to be remembered as one of those individuals who at least tried. 40 Women of Distinction Yael VanGruber Contemporary Art Unique Custom Jewelry & Fashion Designers Boutique for Men Women Artist Jewelry Designer at Clique Gallery-Boutique Yoga Instructor Addison TX The Gallery carries a wide variety of her contemporary art designs such as digital art acrylic oil water color & print making as well as sculptures glass decors and other types of visual art. The Boutique carries crystals unique gems pearls Italian glass gold & diamond custom jewelry that Yael designed as well as fashion scarves designer bags art decor spiritual books and more. Her unique art & jewelry are meant to bring joy both to the maker and their buyer viewer. It exposes the unseen and unknown areas of our lives in a way that empowers us. Yael believes that just like in art when she uses contrast to bring out the beauty of her paintings it is a metaphor of how God also uses contrast in our lives through challenges trials and pain to bring out our inner beauty for us to appreciate who we are. The purpose of her art and jewelry is to move her customers emotionally and bring them to a higher dimension in touch with their inner soul. She believes in wisdom of the soul which is a reflection of a deeper sense of where a person is coming from. My artwork is about my spiritual beauty and the essence it embodies. My talent is a gift and blessing from God. You will find a lot of grace romance happiness and love through my art. I specialize in five different kinds of media digital art acrylic oil watercolor and print making. I truly enjoy working with all of them transforming my ideas into reality. Since art makes me think in a special creative way without telling me what to think art also questions me and lets me arrive at my own pace to my own answers. I bring a lot of unconditional love and passion to my artwork without any regard to what I will receive. Y ael VanGruber is the Artist Jewelry Designer at Clique Gallery-Boutique a gallery and fashion boutique in uptown Addison TX. Yael is also a Yoga Instructor specializing in Hatha Yoga which she teaches out of her Gallery Boutique. Hatha Yoga focuses on physical health and mental well-being. It uses bodily postures breathing techniques and meditation to make the spine supple and promote circulation in all the organs glands and tissues. Hatha Yoga postures also strengthen and stretch muscles and align the body to promote balance and flexibility. She has been married for 28 years and has 10 children (5 boys and 5 girls). In her free time Yael enjoys spending time with her family cooking reading writing working on various art projects (such as painting in different media knitting crocheting sewing and designing jewelry) movies friends travel and of course yoga. I enjoy devoting my time to my artwork and helping others seek harmony and peace within themselves whether it s through my art jewelry designs yoga classes or blogs that are published on Amazon and on my website. 41 Women of Distinction 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 MON- THU- 10 00AM - 5 00PM FRI - 10 00AM - 4 00PM SAT & SUN - BY APPOINTMENT 15402 ADDISON RD. SUITE B ADDISON TEXAS 75001 (214) 219-7777 CLIQUEGALLERY GMAIL.COM Yael VanGruber Contemporary Art Unique Custom Jewelry & Fashion Designers Boutique for Men Women Artist Jewelry Designer at Clique Gallery-Boutique Yoga Instructor Spring Hours of Operation Monday-Thursday 3 00 PM 8 00 PM Friday 1 00 PM 10 00 PM Saturday 10 00 AM 11 00 PM Sunday 1 00 PM 8 00 PM Big Rock Fun Park 11411 Baseline Road Little Rock AR 72209 (501) 455-3750