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WOMEN OF DISTINCTION Kalynn A. Tindall Automotive Finance Manager for Bates Nissan Denise A. Pancyrz Holistic Nutrition Type 2 Diabetes Reversal Expert Kalynn A. Tindall 3 Automotive Finance Manager for Bates Nissan Women of Distinction Killeen TX K alynn A. Tindall knew she had found her career after the wonderful experience she had when purchasing a car on her own prior to moving to Texas. She was looking for a challenge and knew that this would be a big one. The General Sales Manager of Paul Brown Motors in New York Jim Paterniti was the gentleman who helped me and he has been a huge inspiration. I called Jim before deciding to get into the car business to ask his advice. He told me to go for it because my personality was perfect for this business and he knew that I d excel. So in 2012 Kalynn applied to a few different dealerships but Bates Nissan gave her an opportunity only 30 minutes after the interview. Today as Finance Manager for Bates Nissan Kalynn wears many hats to ensure the financial success of the dealership. She serves as the compliance manager to ensure that all employees are following the company s policy on safeguarding consumer information. Kalynn also offers vehicle financing and insurance to customers by providing them a thorough explanation of all products offered and maintaining accurate and concise paperwork. In addition she has to maintain good working relationships with lenders to secure competitive interest rates and process all deals accurately as well secure approvals with financial sources through the proper federal state and corporate channels by understanding and complying with regulations that affect all aspects of the sales process. And finally Kalynn provides training to the sales team on the different programs for financing and leasing vehicles. In a male-dominated industry Kalynn has successfully made her mark. The company saw her value and rewarded her accordingly. I ve worked hard to get to where I am today. I want others to realize that nothing will ever be handed to you. I feel as though some people from my generation feel entitled to certain things because of how highly we stress equality and the importance it plays in our society today. While I m a huge supporter of equality and believe in equal rights regardless of the situation I don t believe in handouts or being given something just because my male cohort was (given it). I believe that in order to be successful man or woman you have to prove your worth and show the world that you deserve everything you have. I m not in the position I am today because my company felt obligated to promote me but because they saw my true value. Kalynn would like to be remembered for giving the knowledge and technical mastery of this business to others as well as having taught others about the wisdom and leadership philosophy she has learned along the way (and is still learning) in order to create lifelong customers how to balance profits with ethics and how to do well while doing good. I want to be the kind of person that other people want to follow and have a positive influence on them the way that my mentors have on me. I d like for people to have fun during the purchase process and to bring respect back to the car business. After being in the business for a year or so I met another inspiration of mine Kevin Adams. He s been in the car business for over 15 years. I m constantly learning from him and he does whatever he can to help better my career. I couldn t be more grateful to him. She has since transitioned from sales to finance but still has customers from two or three years ago calling her for assistance a true testament to her personality. The reason why I ve stayed in the car business is because of the gratifying feeling I get when I ve helped someone purchase their new car. Whether the car is new or used it s always a new car to the person purchasing it. Every sale is important because of the lifelong customers you earn while doing it. A car is the second biggest purchase a person will make in their life so if I can be a part of that and make people happy while doing it then that in itself is rewarding. The biggest compliment any customer has given me is the referral of their friends and family. You have to sell yourself before you can sell anything else because if a person doesn t like you they certainly won t buy from you. 4 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why should I buy a car from you and not somewhere else A Bates Nissan has been in business for over 40 years and we are family-owned and operated. We don t use addendum stickers. We offer VPP pricing for active duty reserve and retired military and will do anything to earn your business. We pride ourselves on treating our customers like family and Nissan is one of the top non-luxury manufacturers that produce quality cars. Q Can you help me arrange financing at competitive rates A Yes I have a multitude of lenders that range from prime lending to sub-prime lending that are designed to cater to different types of customers. Each lender fights to give a customer the best rate possible based on their credit score and history. Q What are the different benefits of leasing a vehicle vs. purchasing one A The benefits of leasing a new vehicle are that customers usually have a lower payment you get a new vehicle every 2-3 years you typically will stay within your bumper-to-bumper warranty and you don t have to worry about negative equity. However the benefits of purchasing your vehicle are that you don t have to worry about going over mileage you re gaining equity in your vehicle as long as you continue to make payments on your loan and you ll eventually own your car (which means no car payment). When deciding whether to lease or purchase consider all of the options and what fits your budget and lifestyle better. Q What are the optional insurance products that you offer A The optional protections offered for you and your new vehicle are designed to help you budget and prepare for the what-ifs that come along with owning a new vehicle. Extended warranties that offer bumper-to-bumper coverage can protect your new vehicle up to 120 000 miles. GAP insurance covers you in case of a total loss and pays the difference between what your insurance company pays and what you still owe on the loan. Platinum Protection is a tire and wheel road hazard paintless dent repair key replacement and windshield repair protection. Prepaid maintenances allow you to prepay for your vehicles required services at a discounted rate. Q How long is the vehicle covered under the manufacturer s warranty A Nissan s manufacturer limited bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for 36 months or 36 000 miles and their limited powertrain warranty lasts for 60 months or 60 000 miles. Q If I purchase the extended warranty do I have to bring my vehicle back to Bates Nissan A If you purchase a Nissan Security Plus warranty or Quality Guard warranty you don t have to bring the vehicle back to Bates Nissan to have warranty work done to your vehicle. The warranty is accepted nationwide at any Nissan dealership and all Nissan parts are used. Q What are the optional terms of my loan and how is the interest rate determined A The term of your loan and interest rate is up to a lender to approve. You can typically finance your vehicle from 36-84 months with the average loan between 60-72 months and there are a myriad of factors that determine what a lender will approve. Banks take debt-to-income ratio past payment history credit score vehicle collateral credit history and etc. into consideration to determine what kind of a risk they re taking by giving you the loan. The interest rate and term is determined by all of those factors. Q What are my other financing options A You don t have to take the financing that any dealership offers you. You do have the option to obtain your own financing or can decide to pay cash for the vehicle if you don t want to finance it. Q How do I go about registering and titling my new vehicle A You don t have to worry about that. We do all of the paperwork necessary in order to register and title your new vehicle. You can pick up your plates and registration from us once we have received them and if you live out of state we make sure to register and title the vehicle in the state you live in. Q Is there a time frame in which I can return the vehicle if I decide that I do not want it anymore A There is a misperception that a customer has 30 days to return a vehicle if they decide they don t want it anymore for any reason. However for most dealerships there is no return policy. Once you ve signed a contract agreeing to the terms and conditions of the sale and take delivery of the vehicle the dealership is under no legal obligation to allow you to bring it back. 5 Crystal Moore Naylor Online Store President Founder of Our Soon Coming King 6 Women of Distinction s Founder and president of Our Soon Coming King Crystal Moore Naylor dedicates her time to creating inspiring products for customers while using her talents to help spread the word of God. Her online store is located at She handcrafts a number of items and authors different poems songs and books to encourage others to live the best lives they can through the power of Jesus Christ. She has authored three books titled Why Three Baptisms What Total Salvation Gives Through Jesus Christ The Son and VICTORIOUS GLORIOUS CHURCH which are all available for purchase through Crystal is also an ordained minister and has ministered with her husband for many years. Regarding her education Crystal received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education from Morgan State College in 1969 a Master of Education Degree in Special Education from Bowie State College in 1979 and a Bible College Degree from Living Word Christian College in 1988. In her free time Crystal enjoys spending time with her husband and family drawing reading God s word and traveling when possible. She is currently on TV twice a week to share God s word and has spent time on the radio sharing God s word. A Q How long does it take you to create a product A It depends on which product that I am creating. My first book I wrote in three weeks however my recent book took me several years to write it. Poems normally require the shortest time to write which varies from several minutes to several hours or days before the final copy is made. If I am making a silk floral arrangement I normally do several at one time and it can take from several hours to several days. As a wife mother grandmother and minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ everything must be worked around my busy but very fulfilling schedule. Q Have you always wanted to write and create things A My interest for writing began in sixth grade when I had a teacher who often asked me to tell the class stories. She would also have the class write original stories. Later in junior high school I joined the school newspaper and began to write stories on a regular basis. I also liked art class very much from elementary school through high school and college. Art was my favorite class. Q How have your creations helped people A I ve received calls e-mails and cards stating how my products have encouraged a number of people or how it touched them in special ways or how it helped them with their grief in the loss of a loved one for which I give Almighty God all the glory because I know I can do nothing without Him amen. Q How has being a woman affected you in your business A First of all my deepest heart s desire as a daughter of God is to represent Him and to represent the Lord well in my business and every area of my life. No matter what I know that I am accepted by the Lord and I also feel that it is important to be a person of FAITH VISION INTEGRITY and a PURE-HEART. When you know that you are doing what you are called to do for your life s destiny purpose it helps to give you a peace and rest in the Lord and you trust Him amen. Romans 8 28 States And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are the called according to His purpose. Q What gives you the greatest joy in life A I receive great joy in spending time with Almighty God and my family and fulfilling His destiny for my life through preaching and teaching God s word by developing various creative ideas as well as ministering to people. I receive great joy when I see people receive joy themselves as well as when I see and even hear of the victories that others have experienced. Q What do you want readers to know about you and why A That regardless of any opposition discouragement or receiving great favor from God I know that I must keep my focus on the Lord and what He has called me to do to fulfill my destiny purpose. I also know that what He has called me to do is not just for me or about me but about touching the lives of others for good. I also know that I can do nothing without the Lord s help and that with God all things are possible to them that believe Amen. Q&A Q What is the vision or purpose of your business A The vision or purpose of my online store at is multifaceted. My created products vary from poems and songs to pictures and books. They all were inspired by the Lord and it is my desire and prayer that each person will be touched by each product and that they will be motivated to continue to go forward in life regardless of whatever challenges they may face in life. Q What is your mission A My mission is 1. To bless and encourage people to be all that they can be and to let people know that Jesus Christ loves them and cares about them and so do I 2. To let people know that there is a real heaven and hell and because Jesus Christ paid the redemption price by accepting Jesus they can be born again. 3. Also through my products my mission is to help prepare people for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes in the air to Rapture His Church. Q How can a person become motivated to go forward in the world today with its various challenges A Life is a journey and regardless of the obstacles we all face throughout life when a person chooses to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and they renew their mind with the word of God consistently as well as to do the word of God a deep peace and trust in the Lord develops in that person s life. Also transformation in the individual can occur to cause them to become a better person and an asset in the world. 7 Women of Distinction Alberta Marshall-Moore Health and Wellness Certified Personal Trainer Specialist in Senior Fitness Author and Speaker Owner of Victory GoalsTM 8 Carol Stream IL Women of Distinction lberta Marshall-Moore Owner of Victory GoalsTM is driven by her passion for positively affecting the health of others. In her book Victory GoalsTM Prayer Exercise and Weight Control Alberta shares her knowledge and specialized techniques through her unique journal which is designed to help people set and track their goals and evaluate their actions at the end of each month. A In all her roles Alberta has relied on hard work and dedication to succeed. Good health as far as I am concerned is not an option but a must Alberta said. My thoughts and energies are always geared toward getting the message of discipline and balance in prayer exercise and weight control out to everyone I can. The biggest lesson I have learned is to never give up and persevere no matter how hard things may seem she said. Set your goals and work out a plan to go after them with all that is in you. Put blinders on don t look to the left or right and go for it Don t take no for an answer because if you don t give up it will happen no matter how long it takes. Alberta first became fascinated with various vitamins supplements and overall health and wellness in the 1980 s while working with a company that produced natural supplements. After seeing clients experience so many great results from their product she wanted to pursue a career in the industry. Today she is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Specialist in Senior Fitness. Educating the public about age related health issues is one of Alberta s greatest passions. She believes getting older does not mean people are relegated to getting sick and falling apart. Spreading her message Alberta facilitated a Connect Group through her church. She based her teachings on her book. The participants used Victory GoalsTM Prayer Exercise and Weight Control to track their progress during and after the meetings ended. Alberta is deeply compassionate about serving seniors in her community as well. She and her husband spend their free time with the residents at the local Convalescent Center who rarely or never have visitors. This is a type of ministry for us that we enjoy tremendously she said. Seniors are hungry for and so appreciative of the fact that someone would voluntarily spend time with them. I would like to leave the world a legacy of balance in their lives in the areas of Prayer Exercise and Weight Control. The spiritual balance will be through a relationship with Jesus Christ the Son of God and the physical balance through Exercise and Weight Control. In addition to being a health and wellness expert Alberta is a licensed Insurance Producer. She has been in the industry for more than a decade and held esteemed positions such as Account Executive for Combined Worksite Solutions a subsidiary of AON Corp. There she was responsible for recruiting and servicing partner companies for their U-Select Program. Alberta was also an Independent Art Consultant working up to the position of Regional Manager with a team of 30 individuals. 9 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why did you add prayer to the goals in your Victory GoalsTM Prayer Exercise and Weight Control Journal A We are three part beings. We have a mind a body and a spirit. To live thriving abundant lives we need to cultivate balance in all three areas. Q Why are you so passionate about helping others achieve balance in their lives A I believe it is part of my God given purpose. I struggled for years with the yo yo syndrome of repeatedly losing weight and regaining more than I had lost. Through the Victory GoalsTM concept that I teach and practice I am healthier and more energetic today at age sixty-five than I was when I was in my twenties. Q What inspired you to become a Personal Trainer A Exercise is part of the Victory GoalsTM Concept. By becoming a Personal Trainer I can help individuals facilitate weight loss and weight control. Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Q Why did you pursue a second certification as a Specialist in Senior Fitness when you were already a Certified Personal Trainer A Seniors have a different set of needs. I can help them better by being trained to identify those needs and by knowing how to address them through education proper eating habits and the appropriate exercise program. I saw a lot of situations good and bad when I was helping to care for my parents and being a Specialist in Senior Fitness will allow me to help seniors prevent or improve some of the health situations that I saw and that I am still seeing. Q What is part of your message to seniors A It s never too late to get started on an appropriate exercise program and proper eating habits. Science is proving this to be true with seniors who are living well into their eighties and nineties living healthy thriving lives. It is very possible through lifestyle change. Q What do you believe is one of the biggest mistakes people make concerning their health A We must learn to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to disease and our health. We must learn what it takes to stay healthy or improve our health give it top priority and follow it through because the information we need is readily available. With so many diseases at almost epidemic rates we can no longer afford to ignore the facts that are being presented by scientific research the Center for Disease Control and others sources. Q What are some of the diseases that are preventable through regular exercise and proper eating habits A According to the Chronic Disease Overview article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease stroke cancer diabetes obesity and arthritis are among the most common costly and preventable of all health problems. These diseases in the past have been considered a part of aging over which we have no control and that we should in fact expect to fall victim to at least one them when nothing is further from the truth. One of my favorite quotes by Tim Morrow expresses it well It s not getting old that makes us sick it s getting sick that makes us old . 10 Anne DeNada Personal Growth and Inner Healing Shamanic Body Therapy Armstrong British Columbia F ear is false evidence that appears real according to Shamanic Body Therapist and Healer Anne DeNada. Drawing on the natural gifts when Anne places her hands on a client she is able to inject life energy into their bodies assisting them on a spiritual and physical journey to unlock past negative experiences and lead them to discover their truth. Anne helps clients experience trauma from a new perspective teaching them to connect with their inner suffering using both their mental and physical or cellular memory where she says many traumas are harbored within the body. therapy examine belief systems create mandalas physical unblocking massaging detox programs sound therapy journaling meditating and walks in nature. During the shamanic process my(her) energetic ability involves passing only with clients conscious and sub-conscious permission the blocked energy through my(her) body where it can be cleared and when returned to the client their cells state I remember this . With those clients working on this path we move to strengthening expanding and utilizing their light body. In addition they have access to oxygen apparatus such as an ozone spa a hyperbaric chamber breathing oxygen foot detox chi machine and infrared dome and other apparatus. This assists them in detoxing and thereby increasing their life force or chi. I remove a layer of fear that is smothering their true selves Anne explained. It is like somebody who has a house that is a mess and it is a mirror of how they are thinking in that moment. Then somebody comes and cleans that house and it brightens their outlook and creates a path of unlimited potential and self empowerment ie abundance in all areas of their life. I help them see their situation in a better light. Her spiritual journey began in 1955 at the age of 12 having suffered through childhood trauma. She learned to pray meditate and seek inner guidance through her teens and actively sought help in her 30s. She has not stopped since. Nearly 20 years ago Anne recognized her gifts after a trusted friend who can see energy witnessed Anne s ability. While her work has deepened through trainers and therapists her natural gifts were enhanced through years of retreat and individual work with clients. Anne started her healing facilitator business in 2000 in Ottawa and expanded to Boston in 2008. While traditional therapy has its place it tends to focus solely on the mind and ignores the important physical component. Through her own infant and childhood traumas and near death experiences Anne has learned the power of connecting mind body and spirit during her sessions. This work is done either through individual sessions or preferably via a silent two-week retreat. During this time a client has no contact whatsoever with the outside world just with the therapist. They do dream analysis art Mentally I had said that my body was by best teacher but I had to learn later that my body is not a separate feature it is a part of me I am my body she said. I used to feel my spirit was separate but I am my spirit. I found I was able to make changes when my emotions and physical body become one and I was able to relieve my own traumas. Everyone experiences in varying degrees physical emotional or mental trauma through out their lives. Often they have no idea what they have undergone because physiologically survival causes them to block painful memories. Opening these deep seeded emotions and physical tightness paves the way for Anne s clients to evaluate their inner selves explore these dark or shadow areas of their being and most of all learn the incredible strength they have within. 11 Women of Distinction It is only when you look back that you can see the kind of strength it took to survive she said. It is the most difficult step someone can take in their life but to go inward is the greatest joy or beauty anyone can experience in their lives. No one else can love himself or herself to the depth one is capable of because no one else has the opportunity to know another so intimately. It is so wonderful to join with another s energy that is so trusting and to go deep where life is truly lived and from their to connect to the oneness or all that is. Anne was the founding president of the Women s Business Network and successful entrepreneur who created 5 businesses throughout her career -- all while raising 3 children as a single mother. As they grew up she did a lot of traveling and healing facilitator work wherever she happened to be London Australia India Cuba Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua as well as visiting orphanages in Vietnam and Bali. Now remarried Anne is currently building a retreat in Fiji. My legacy is to leave a trail of energetic happy juice wherever I have been as a world traveller. Anne said. If our car is not working we take it in for a check up- we need to do our own physical or emotional check up with ourselves or a professional. We need to see the blockage or a cyst and give it our attention. Generally a physical blockage or pain has an emotional underlying cause that we have neglected to pay attention to. We are overly influenced by our media environment and advertising. We just take a pill which covers the issue. Wrong answer. We would not do that if our pay were cut in half so why do it to ourselves. Our medical system does not consider the whole person. It divides and conquers in some instances. We are among the most gifted healers of God s creatures. We are made to heal ourselves but we are not made to be absentee owners. Today we have therapists coaches and teachers whereas in days gone by we only needed a loving friend. Q Why do I suffer from scarcity in my life A We are not taught how to be creative or feel special. We all have the spark of the divine within us. We learn to settle for comfort in the known. We are not taught to examine our programming taught to us by our caregivers that go all the way back to Adam and Eve. Since we absorbed this programming from the moment of conception and beyond it is familiar and desires no change. Yet scarcity is only a reflection of our inner world- our lack of trust self-worth and self-love. Teaching people to go within is one of my greatest loves in life. Q Why would a person wish to come to you for personal inner growth work A The first answer is that I cannot take a client any further than I have been myself. My trauma started as a very young baby and continued during the first 20 years of my life. Secondly if a person is willing to do what is required of them to the best of their ability I can guarantee results to their satisfaction. Thirdly making a commitment to spend two weeks with oneself with professional guidance is the greatest adventure one will ever take. Believe me I have been all over the world even in Nepal during the 2015 Earthquakes and refugee camps and nothing compares to one s inner journey. Q&A Q What is one of the main issues that people deal with that causes their unhappiness A Separation and Abandonment is a very deep feeling people mis-understand. These feelings arise strongly when there has been a divorce a loss of a partner or death of a loved one or illness. The deepest cause is what their heart is expressing about how they have managed their own feelings that become triggered by external forces. Fear propels them not to go deeper to look for escapes binging addictions distractions or entertainment. Fear removes them from the power of their heart and their own inner wisdom. If they stay with their sadness (tears wash the soul) just see it and do not participate or get overwhelmed by it they will pass through it and strengthen their connection to their heart. It takes practice guidance and patience. When people are in their emotions like sadness- feelings are like waves on the shore they come and go. More often than not just like waves which leave the shore clean and pristine. So we can do mental emotional and energetic purging in our person our temporary existence versus our permanent us. The truth is we are never alone. Q Why is it vital for a person to understand pain in their physical body or emotional body A In both instances pain is our best friend. It is like a stoplight a warning light in our car or a dead battery or an accident. It is telling us things are not working in our life. We are not living harmoniously balanced or happily. We do not leave a hurting child alone unless we are hurting ourselves. 12 AnnMari Shannahan Not For Profit (AIDS Research) Vice President Public Information at amfAR The Foundation for AIDS Research New York NY W ith a background in media creative design and development AnnMari Shannahan brings more than 20 years experience to her position as Vice President of Public Information at amfAR The Foundation for AIDS Research. AnnMari is a natural leader overseeing a team of 11 dedicated professionals who are responsible for the international not for profits marketing communications and public relations. She is charged with raising public awareness about amfAR and its mission of supporting AIDS research HIV prevention treatment education and the advocacy of AIDS-related public policy. Building the visibility of the Foundation AnnMari collaborates with the scientific community and media as well as providing support of high profile fundraising galas around the globe including the Foundation s largest event in the south of France during the Cannes film festival. From there her career took off. She worked with Fortune 500 and start-up companies as well as not for profit organizations. She returned to school completing the Executive Education Marketing Program at Harvard Business School in 2004. And after 17 years in her industry she founded her own creative studio The Ingenuity Lab. Soon after she was introduced to the CEO of amfAR. AnnMari joined the Foundation in 2010 seven months after the death of her husband Regis Thomas Shannahan. He was an exemplary and accomplished man and husband who was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 pancreatic cancer in September 2009 and died seven weeks later in October. The couple was married for 18 years. Even as his health failed Regis encouraged AnnMari to embrace life. It is a philosophy she continues to live by. Professionally and personally I ve been blessed. I ve worked extremely hard to be successful but I also believe that luck has played a role at times. In addition to my successes I ve also experienced great loss which has helped to shape how I see the world and live life every day. My choice has been not to dwell in the negative or past but be positive about moving forward. I hope that by living this way that I have inspired those around me to see things a little differently. I have a passion for working in a creative environment where ideas become a reality AnnMari said. I have a deep respect for the creative process given my background and I find it very gratifying when I can successfully manage solving business problems with creative solutions. Working with amfAR for the past 6 years has been a major highlight. Professionally and personally it s gratifying knowing that I m contributing to putting an end to the greatest health crisis of our time. AnnMari has been the inspired creator of marketing initiatives over the course of her career. After earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Central Connecticut State University in 1992 AnnMari accepted an Art Director position at People Magazine Online and moved to Manhattan in 1995. 13 Bernice Murcheson RN BSN CHTP ChT. - Holistic Nursing Healthcare Owner Operator of Inner Reflections (Holistic Nurse) Nanaimo BC Canada B ernice Murcheson spent almost 40 years as a general duty nurse and as an ICU nurse at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital retiring from that in 2001 -- six years after she began training as a holistic nurse in 1995. Today she is the owner of Inner Reflections a home-based holistic nursing practice. Since she discovered the power of Complementary Medicine Bernice has never tired of the work and the results never cease to amaze her. The central theme of a new approach to health care known as the holistic health care movement is the inseparability of body mind and spirit. Western medicine has tended to separate these entities and treat them separately. Relief of physical symptoms (the current model) is important but the underlying meanings for illness are of equal importance Bernice said. As a Holistic Nurse she embraces energetic harmony and balance and views illness or injury as a disruption of the energetic flow of harmony and balance. We are all surrounded by an energetic field. She uses Energetic treatment modalities such as Healing Touch Therapeutic Touch and Reiki to influence and restore the flow of energy. Self- healing happens when the body mind spirit are returned to a state of energetic balance. Having graduated from the 3-year nurses training program at Victoria Union Hospital and from British Columbia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Technology in Specialty Nursing Bernice promotes the ideology that we deserve the best of both worlds that of conventional medical treatment and or the best that Holistic Health Care Complementary Medicine has to offer. Through the information provided by study of psychoneuroimmunology hypnotherapy and Guided Imagery are the modalities that Bernice uses to reinforce positive mental images creating positive emotions. These positive emotions are important in reversing the cycle of disease development. She believes that everyone should be given the information to make informed decisions to choose the path of treatment that is right for them. She became interested in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) while studying for her nursing degree. 14 Women of Distinction Through work by scientists such as Candace Pert we now know that neuropeptides (some examples are hormones another example is endorphins or feel good chemicals ) are the basis of emotions. Emotions tell us and our bodies what to do. What we are thinking can and does influence healing. Neuropeptides affect the physical body if the mental emotional state is unbalanced for a prolonged period. Therefore it is very important for the nurse doctor caregiver to choose words wisely while speaking to clients in order for them to maintain a positive and hopeful attitude regarding their illness and return to wellness. A careless word or a negative proclamation of life expectancy can totally remove any hope that a client may have and may influence any chance for return to wellness. How many times have you heard someone say I have 3 months to live and that person accepts this as gospel from his physician then gives up and dies right on time The reversal is also true. Bernice s journey into holistic medicine is a deeply personal one. Her greatest personal challenge occurred a few years ago when as a result of the lack of her own self-care she became ill with a potentially life-threatening illness. Influenced by Cell Biologist Bruce Lipton Vicki Slater RN Ph.D (the Physics of Healing Touch) and Janet Mentgen RN BSN who designed the energy modality known as Healing Touch (etc.) Q&A Q What is psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) A PNI is relatively new and studies the interaction between the psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the body. Simply put the influence of the brain and our thought processes affect the immune system. Q What is energy work A Healing touch and therapeutic touch were both designed by nurses for nurses but are now taught to others as well. Energy work strives to return the energy field that we all have around our physical bodies to a state of wholeness to encourage selfhealing. Q What is hypnotherapy guided imagery and can I be hypnotized A In hypnosis the body and the conscious mind are relaxed and new information replacing faulty thinking may be more easily accepted. The client s intent is important during a session it s a consent situation with 90% being the responsibility of the client. When new information is presented the brain compares that to what is already known on the subject. Guided imagery is very helpful for a client suffering from a disease as it creates positive images of healing and according to PNI these positive images then create neuropeptides to influence healing. Q What are neuropeptides A They re a chain of amino acids or nerve proteins found in the brain and throughout the body. These chemical messengers are influenced by mood and thought and sent throughout the body to every cell. With expert guidance from naturopathic physicians I changed my diet built up my immune system with the supplements that were suggested (body) practiced guided imagery (mind) utilized prayer faith and meditation (spirit) and of course energy work (body mind and spirit). Eight months from the appearance of the first frightening and horrific symptoms Bernice received a medical all clear and remains healthy to this day. 15 Women of Distinction Bettina Robles Speaking Writing Speaker Author Dulceviento Ministries Murrieta CA H appily married Bettina Robles husband Frank came to her one day with a very serious question. Asking if she would consider leaving all her worldly possessions behind her except of course their four children and move to America Samoa a US Territory in the South Pacific. She was shocked Just 29-years-old at the time Bettina didn t even know where it was. Grabbing a map and locating the small island she spontaneously agreed. Saying goodbye to her family and friends in California Bettina Frank and the kids left for American Samoa in 1964. Once settled in Bettina began writing letters to her parents accounts of her daily experiences. Saved by her loving parents she later used these letters to recount her thoughts and publish a book American Samoa The Heart of a Giant. Samoans truly have a big heart which is why I named my book as such Bettina noted. I love reading the wonderful comments of the Samoan population. They re proud that someone wrote about their island culture. The book speaks of what it was like living among the Samoans Bettina s courageous adventure and her humorous acts of bravery living on the island. Returning to the states in 1971 the Robles became reborn Christians. She and Frank later became missionaries in 1973 (Frank also became a Pastor). They traveled to Mexico continuing their adventures for another 13 years exploring the Sierras of Chihuahua and working with their people and the Tarahumara and Gurijio Indians. From 1990 to 2004 Bettina organized women s retreats and conferences in the US of up to 1 000 women. Today she s a Speaker of the Gospel an Artist Pianist Composer Teacher and Clothing Designer and continues to speak at Dulceviento Ministries one of her ministries. Bettina also wrote and directed a film Rut La Moabita a story of Ruth from the Bible. Having spent the past 20 years on her family s ranch with her three sons and their families which was previously owned by President Ronald Reagan Bettina s daughter and son-in-law live just five minutes away. She has seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Bettina enjoyed a blessed life with her husband Frank for 54 years before his passing. She s currently writing about her adventures she experienced with him in Mexico a book she hopes to soon publish. I like to believe that I inspire women especially single women who have lived an abusive life Bettina said seeing them grow in spirit and change into women who can believe in themselves taking the necessary steps of faith into their futures. Q&A Q Your story is the one of a kind. How did you begin writing A Everyone has a story everyone has learned a lesson to share with others. You just have to sit down and write. You ll be surprised how much you have to share. Q Do you have to research what you re writing A Research is essential in getting your facts straight. Your story will become real like a new birth. Q Can you help me A E-mail me. I ll help you in every step to get your book published. 16 Women of Distinction Candi Hughes CAIA CFP Finance - Investment Management Director of Securities Operations - Hatteras Funds Raleigh NC C Photo By Flying Frog Media andi Hughes finance career started in 1998 working for a fixed income manager in Durham NC. Prior to that she had no financial industry experience. Q&A Q What are alternative investments A At Hatteras Funds we define alternative investments as strategies that derive a meaningful component of total return from nontraditional management techniques. These strategies fall into two primary categories hedged investments like long short equity designed to help mitigate risk and private investments like venture capital designed to generate enhanced returns. Q Do you do any securities trading for the fund A Typically no we hire managers to trade positions in our funds. When a manager is terminated there may be some remaining securities that need to be traded. I would then step in and trade the securities. These can range from equities forwards bonds and options to illiquid securities. Q How do you balance work and home life A I have a great partner in my husband Kriss. He helps handle a lot of the extra-curricular activities for our son. He s always been supportive of me and helped with the demands of my career. At work I m also lucky to have a situation that allows flexibility when necessary to be there for my family. You can t always be there for everyone but with support from both family and work you can be successful. Q What women inspired you A My mother was a role model for me. She was a strong woman who managed our family and finances and instilled in me the belief that I could do anything I set out to do. Q What is your dream job A I d like to be a baker because I love to make cookies. One day when we ve made the money we feel we need for retirement we ll open a bakery in some place warm. I was hired because of my strong analytical background and ability to answer mental math and problem solving questions during my interview. Today Candi serves as the Director of Securities Operations for Hatteras Funds an alternative investment firm with 1 billion under management. Alternative investments include every kind of security type from stocks to bonds to convertibles and derivatives and each requires a unique operating procedure. Candi has systematized and created policies and procedures to ensure that the firm is operationally as efficient as possible. In addition she works alongside the firm s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on fund and corporate accounting. Finance is fast paced and I work well in an environment that demands focus and attention to detail. I also enjoy the operations side of the business because each day is a new challenge and presents the opportunity to learn more about the industry. It s a small world and most of the people you work with are smart and fun to be around. Candi would like to show young women how to be strong in the world with everything they do. Whether you re in a male-dominated industry like finance (or in another profession) you can be strong assertive intelligent and compassionate. I d like for my son to view women as equals and treat all people with respect and kindness. 17 Women of Distinction Denise A. Pancyrz D Holistic Nutrition Type 2 Diabetes Reversal Expert Naples FL It s of the utmost importance to Denise that she connects with clients. Being professional is not enough Denise truly cares about her clients and helping them achieve their goals by knowing when they need a gentle nudge or tough love. enise A. Pancyrz didn t choose her career. It chose her. Denise and her husband were living a good life when in her mid-forties she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. After ignoring the signs for several years she was hospitalized due to a pancreatitis attack and pneumonia with her glucose cholesterol and triglyceride levels off the charts. Denise was devastated to learn that in addition to taking oral medications she required four insulin shots per day. Everyone she turned to in the medical community for help reversing this process said it could not happen. Instead she was told as she aged the dosages of medications and insulin would increase and her health would continue to deteriorate. Against the odds and the medical community s prediction Denise reversed the deadly effects of diabetes no more drugs no more insulin shots Once Denise created her one of a kind blueprint for reversing Type 2 Diabetes in 2011 she wanted to share her knowledge with others suffering from this disease. Using holistic nutrition she began coaching diabetics and prediabetics one-on-one speaking and conducting workshops for groups and organizations. Within weeks Denise s clients experience remarkable improvements. Healthcare is a team effort. As the patient you are the team leader. It s difficult to regain optimal health on your own Denise explained. Your team members may include your doctor family friends even co-workers. Denise is the author of The Virgin Diabetic which depicts her journey of being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. With many projects on the horizon she is currently working on her next two books -- a recipe book with a little different twist and her blueprint for reversing diabetes. Denise is thrilled to be launching a oneof-a-kind online training program in June 2016 to reverse the deadly effects of Type 2 diabetes. Denise also shares her message through various radio shows such as Today s Talk 1490 KSEN AM1150 Maggie Linton Show with many more upcoming interviews. Denise is also a dedicated member of The American Nutrition Association a non-profit on a mission to promote optimal health through nutrition and wellness education. When she s not working Denise enjoys golf and traveling with her husband. However spending time with their grandchildren gives the couple the greatest joy. It is important to me to bring awareness to the public that a natural approach to reversing the effects of diabetes is possible she said. I enjoy taking my clients by the hand knowing I m teaching them how to transform their health. Hearing feedback that their doctor is ecstatic with their health improvements and told they should keep doing whatever it is they are doing is exciting. Knowing that I am a part of something so big is unbelievable. I feel very privileged when a client lets me into their life and is open to learning how to be healthy for a lifetime. 18 Women of Distinction Diana Barranco Musical Pageantry Coaching Owner Director of DVB Productions LLC dba A Winning Edge St. Augustine FL D Music has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. iana Barranco has been playing the piano and singing since she was five years old and began her pageant career by competing in her first pageant ten years later. As she gained awards accolades and talent through practice Diana began to feel the desire to teach others the lessons she had learned. At the age of twenty-one she began giving voice and piano lessons. At the age of twentyeight Diana began competing in pageants again entered in the Mrs. Division of various systems and competed for the following four years. After her years of competing Diana again had a desire to help other women and teens achieve their goals in the pageant world and started pageant coaching in 2001. As the director Diana spends her days instructing voice and piano lessons both in person and online directing two children s choirs coaching pageant contestants recording music holding recitals for music students twice a year creating recital tickets and programs and developing and building her website and social media presence. My greatest satisfaction comes from the success of my students. When they succeed I succeed. Diana believes that to be truly happy and fulfilled one should look to better the lives of others not just their own life. My desire to help others achieve their personal goals in music and pageant coaching is what drives me to build my business and take it into the future. Now Diana serves as the sole proprietor of DVB Productions LLC dba A Winning Edge. She is responsible for all of the duties of running her office clerically such as filling out documents sending emails taking phone calls doing mailings and keeping budget. I believe that pursuing what makes you happy as a wife mother and business owner is most important. However it s all about making a positive difference in one person s life. Accolades trophies and profits don t mean a thing unless you are investing in the lives of others. 19 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why do you think that music is an important part of a child s education A Music is very important in the development of children. It can help improve communication and math skills. Q Have you ever performed professionally as a pianist or vocalist A I have been a professional singer for the past twenty-six years. I have played the piano for weddings church services and at the captain s dinner for Carnival Cruise Lines. Q What would you consider your favorite pageant title you ve held and why A I was named Miss Chiquita Banana for the state of Florida in 2000. I toured all over Florida promoting the health benefits of bananas as well as singing and signing autographs. Q What would you say to the person that thinks pageants are antiquated or exploiting women A Women enter pageants for all kinds of different reasons. It s a choice to participate and they are still relevant today. The contestant that goes into a pageant fully aware of all its parameters can make it a very successful experience. Q Do you prefer to play classical or modern music on the piano A I grew up playing classical piano. I find it very calming and technically challenging. Q Is there anything you haven t accomplished yet but would like to see happen in your lifetime A Yes I would like to record a CD that will be picked up by a major record label. I would love to go on tour and share my music with others. Q If you could do any other job what would it be A I think it would be really fun to be a radio DJ. I love to interact with people and being on the radio causes you to enunciate clearly and use inflexions in your voice to convey your message. Q Where do you see your business going in the next five years A I would love to hire professional musicians who love working with others and eventually open my own studio. I would like to expand my after-school instruction to other schools in my county. Q Do you teach adults and children A Yes my youngest student was four and a half years old and my oldest student was seventy-two. I welcome all ages and backgrounds to participate in my lessons. Q Do I have to own a piano to take lessons or have a background in singing A If you do not own a piano a digital piano with weighted keys will work just as well. No experience is required to start taking piano or voice lessons. If you are a piano or vocal coaching student you must have a minimum of two years experience in either instrument. 20 Women of Distinction Donna J. Cok Healthcare Registered Respiratory Therapist - Nationwide Children s Hospital Columbus OH s a Registered Respiratory Therapist at Nationwide Children s Hospital Donna Cok is dedicated to helping her patients overcome their respiratory issues while educating them on how to maintain their health. A I ve stayed in this career for 25 years because it s challenging and allows me as a single mom to support my children. I also love meeting new people and helping others. I am blessed to provide care to patients and see them get well. I am also blessed to be able to continue my education and strive towards different opportunities within the healthcare field. Donna began her career in respiratory therapy in 1991. In her role at Nationwide Children s Hospital she works as a Registered Respiratory Therapist with a variety of age groups in the Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary wing. She is also a student mentor and speaks to high school students with the goal of motivating them to enter a field in the healthcare system. The only limitations in life are the ones you set. If you get to a fork in the road you always have a way to get around it. Sometimes taking the road less traveled can open new doors and opportunities that we may have missed if we stayed in our comfort zone. I believe that things come into our lives for a reason and that God never gives us more than we can handle. As a single mother of six children much of Donna s free time is spent being heavily involved in their daily activities. She also enjoys crafts and remodeling shopping reading and sports. Donna is also a substitute teacher for the local school district teaching kids K-12. For those new in this field never stop learning or challenging yourself to do better. Continuing my education was the best decision I made it has afforded me many opportunities and opened up many more career advancements. Attend seminars ask questions participate in physician rounds and never be afraid to ask a question. Consider it a privilege to learn something new every day. Also you should never be afraid to respectfully question an order or to be an advocate for a patient. Regarding her education Donna became a certified Respiratory Therapist in 1991 and a Registered Respiratory Therapist in 1993 through the California College of Health Science. She also received a BS in Advanced Patient Care from Grand Canyon University in 2012 and a MBA in Healthcare Management from California Coast University in 2015. Regardless of race gender or religion we are all individuals capable of making a difference and overcoming challenges and giving 110% every day. Something I felt was a tragedy turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I lost my job after my third daughter s birth due to breastfeeding in the workplace. I was blessed to be able to speak on behalf of working moms in this country and was invited to speak on talk shows in magazines and in front of congress. After years of debates an amendment was added to workplace discrimination to protect moms who needed to pump in the workplace. This is my greatest accomplishment. 21 Women of Distinction Donna Humphreys F Interpreting Languages Freelance American Sign Language English Interpreter Staff Interpreter City of Boston Boston Public Schools Horace Mann School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Per-Diem Interpreter Signature Healthcare Per-Diem Interpreter Steward Healthcare Brockton MA or Donna Humphreys becoming an American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter has been a dream come true. Beginning her career 30 years ago at the Paul A. Dever State School residential facility she served mentally disabled persons until the school closed down seven years later. Realizing that she wouldn t be able to earn a good salary with only a high school diploma she went back to school at the age of 26. Completing her AS at Massasoit Community College Donna continued on to earn her BA degree. Upon entering the program in 1998 at Northeastern University she changed her focus of human services to American Sign Language English (ASL) interpreting graduating with a BA in ASL English Interpreting. As an interpreter I educate facilitate negotiate and advocate for so many people Donna explained. Interpreters are used for parties doctor appointments church services travel job interviews and a million other things. I m in the labor and delivery room facilitating communication between doctors nurses family members and the deaf mother what an honor. Conversely I m also involved with some of the most difficult times in people s lives like the death of a child or parent. Human services and interpreting is an industry that requires you to travel and work in a large variety of settings with multiple people and multiple personalities all of the time. Nevertheless Donna couldn t image doing anything else. For the past 10 years Donna has been a member of Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and Boston Teachers Union. A single mom to two teenagers however has been her favorite role ever. I wanted to immerse myself into the deaf community so I applied and began working at the Horace Mann School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Donna said. I wanted more exposure interaction and opportunity to learn more about the language but also deaf culture deaf history traditions community traditions and the deaf experience. Where best to learn the community but from the deaf people themselves Still employed with the Horace Mann School today Donna assists teachers and other service providers in the development implementation and delivery of Individual Educational Plans and classroom curriculum provides interpreting services participates in meetings and serves as a positive role model and mentor to students. Donna is also a Freelance Interpreter providing services for deaf and non-deaf members of the community and is a Per-Diem ASL Interpreter for both Signature Healthcare and Steward Health Care providing medical interpreting to families parents and doctors. Q&A Q The most popular question I get asked is is sign language the same all around the world Is this true A No. American Sign Language (ASL) is a language used by the deaf community in American. Each country has their own sign language just like each country has their own spoken language. Q How long did it take you to learn Sign Language A I m constantly learning. There are new words created in the English language all the time. As society changes so does our language. It took me two years of college courses to learn the fundamentals of ASL and it s taken me 15 years and counting to learn the language. 22 Women of Distinction Elizabeth Liz Sisca Restoration Technician Supervisor Paul Davis Restoration Saddle Brook NJ 23 Women of Distinction s a young child Elizabeth Liz Sisca would spend hours watching her grandfather Henry fixing and building things in his workshop. She looked on in awe of what he could accomplish using his two hands. Since then Liz developed a passion for restoration. A I was never a person who could sit at a desk and push papers whether it be in school or in any profession I ve been a part of she said. Do what you love and if you can t if you don t have the means find a way. Liz attended the Hohokus School of Trade in spring of 2013 and graduated in March of the following year after completing a 9-month program with a Building Maintenance Superintendent Diploma. Initially she had every intention of going into the electrical field. But one month later a wonderful opportunity presented itself. She never looked back. Liz started out as an apprentice at Paul Davis Restoration. With next to no real world experience in the field some people might believe Liz was at a disadvantage. But that was certainly not the case. She seized the opportunity and learned from the ground up. There she met Barry who became one of first mentors on the job. He taught Liz a great deal of industry information in a short period of time. Even now Barry s advice is something Liz considers everyday when it comes to her work ethic. She also credits her growth to training with the owner Steve Rotay and her co-workers Diane Kinne Nelson Vives Jon Vogt Vitor Travsoy Estenban Lantigua Craig Morris and Theresa Feldman. Each and everyday Liz uses her talents and training to change lives whether it may be the technicians around her at work or the homeowners on job sites. Though she may only be in their lives for a brief period of time Liz believes she has the power to make their lives easier. She strives to instill the knowledge that others imparted on her and is committed to giving the people around her 110 percent. I always go above and beyond for my company and my customers and I think that really says a lot about my character she said. We all have a short period of time on this earth and I hope the things I do day in and day out make a difference. Success was not without struggle. She knew going into the industry would be difficult. There are long late nights and Liz has worked tirelessly to dismiss the preconceived notion that women can t succeed in her chosen field. But working in a field that is dominated by men never stopped her from achieving her dreams. I am living proof that you can she said. If you have the right drive and determination anything can be achieved don t ever let your circumstances define who you are or what you want in life. It will be hard there has been a lot of bloodshed bruises cuts lost time with family and friends but I wouldn t change any of it. Nothing worth having in this life will be easy or handed to you. All of these people have contributed to making me into the technician I am today and I can t thank them enough Liz said. I haven t had to face many challenges because I have had the right team surrounding me. If you have a clear objective to anything you want in life nothing will stop you from achieving the things you ve set out to do. I haven t let any of my challenges overcome me and it s made me a better person employees and technician. In the year and a half since she began Liz has worked her way into a supervisory position overseeing a team of technicians. There are four men who she works with on a daily basis. I truly believe without me things wouldn t go as smoothly or get done as efficiently and without them it wouldn t be possible to do the caliber of work we do day in and day out she said. I believe I have a great future ahead of me with hopefully many possibilities. 24 Women of Distinction Liz s advice to anyone starting out in the industry is to be patient and never stop improving on your skills. I ve seen a large amount of people come in and out of this business who just don t give themselves enough time to adjust to the life we live Liz said. There are weeks when I don t get to see my family at all. It takes a lot of dedication to be in this profession being apart of a good company like I have has made the transition easier for me. Be patient if your doing restoration work its definitely not for everyone but if you put in the time and are serious about making this your life long profession it can be a great experience. You will learn something new everyday in this career so if you re looking to be well rounded in this trade this is the way to go. In the tiny bit of free Liz gets she can be found spending with her large family her group of friends and her beloved fianc Kara. Liz also loves sports. In fact she was a three sport athlete her entire life. She can t turn down any chance to pick up a basketball or softball and start playing. One thing I would like people to know about me is what a struggle it was for me to get to this point in my life she said. After leaving college I had no clue what I wanted to do I was absolutely lost. I went from job to job hoping I would find something I loved but never did I think this is a real struggle that a lot of our young adults are having in life now a days. There are always options in life and I think our youth is very quick to give up and want things handed to them. Like I said previously nothing in life worth having is easy you just have to be willing to put in the time. 25 Women of Distinction Jeanette Ann Snider Insurance and Government Programs Marketer for Premier Insurance Partners and Owner of Snider Insurance Inc. Fort Collins CO J eanette Ann Snider was inspired by her grandmother to pursue a career with purpose. She has a rich heritage as a 5th generation farmer which taught her from an early age the value of being a part of something bigger then herself. Her passion for public health advocacy began in college writing papers and even educating her own professors on pertinent social and political issues including the implications of Obamacare and the dangerous use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the agricultural industry a cause close to Jeanette s heart. Her professional career started at Prowers County Department of Human Services as a Clerk where she assisted with developing policies procedures committees and programs that were implemented on the county level. She supported many departments such as LEAP Food Stamps Medicaid TANF Child Care and Child Support. Working in the non-profit sector allowed Jeanette to focus on her passion for mending Americas broken patrons and brining their standard of living to a comfortable level that is manageable for them within the program guidelines. The first line of defense is what we eat explained Jeanette who actively serves the government researching public health policies. Food and healthcare go hand-in-hand. Additionally Jeanette is an avid proponent of neighborhood gardens land use human rights consumer rights prison systems and drug rehab desertification -- and many other causes. I guess my question is can we fix our broken places as Americans and people of the world while we also fix our habitats and each other Jeanette asked. Sometimes it is in doing that we find the answer being part of something bigger than ourselves feels good. Jeanette s greatest inspiration is her grandmother. I enjoy having a voice that can impact others in a positive way she said. I want to make a difference and the power it would take is not without needed connections ones that would not only need to support my cause but also my wallet to accomplish such goals in the world of social programs insurance agriculture science consumer rights and human rights. Jeanette s sense of social justice led her into her current position as a Marketer for Premier Insurance Partners and owner of Snider Insurance Inc. where she provides product knowledge so that clients can make educated decisions regarding their healthcare options. She focuses on Medicare products because it is a good cross-fit between her previous experience and current job duties. She is actively researching a resource based economy model as well as social programs that impact poverty through agriculture leading to a healthier population and alleviating health care costs. My heritage has giving me the necessary grit to push through she said. Moving from the farm to the city came with its joys and losses. I used to have limited views and now I know how interconnected we all are. I want to make a difference and the power it would take is not without needed connections. I have a passion for the earth and it inspires me to honor my heritage of homesteading. Many hands make for light work. For a free consultation regarding Senior Healthcare Options locally in Colorado and in the Lower 48 please call Jeanette at 970-493-4594 26 Women of Distinction Jenny Lynn Reed Dooley Residential School Behavior Analysis Coordinator of Residential Services The Learning Tree Inc. Piedmont AL S tudying psychology in college Jenny Lynn Reed Dooley had plans to continue on and pursue a career in criminal psychology once she graduated. But after taking a course in Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA and being encouraged to volunteer at a new preschool for children with autism she thought twice. The Learning Tree preschool used ABA to help preschoolers learn and function in society as normally as possible Jenny explained. Seeing the little ones learn to control their behavior problems communicate and make friends made me realize this was something I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life. Jenny began working for The Learning Tree (a non-profit organization that provides educational residential and support services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities including autism) in 2007 as an Instructional Support Specialist after she earned her MS in ABA and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. While in graduate school I noticed that the adolescent aged students with behavior problems really needed just as much if not more attention and service. I think a lot of times they get pushed to the back burner Jenny noted. Now serving as the residential school s Coordinator of Residential Services Jenny oversees documentation of the residential service provision residential staff work hours residential staff job performance preparation of Person Centered Instructional Plans quarterly reports and training. She also supervises the Residential Supervisors communicates with the Regional Director and monitors staff implementation of all prescribed training protocols. There s nothing like watching individuals with no functional language begin to communicate to you about what they want and need instead of hitting you or hurting themselves Jenny said. Q&A Q What is applied behavior analysis (ABA) A ABA is the application of behavioral principles to shape behaviors and teach new skills. Behaviors are observed and analyzed to determine their function. The events occurring before and after the behavior are analyzed and manipulated to shape or change behavior. Q What are some key elements of an ABA program A It emphasizes the importance of looking at the antecedents behaviors and consequences of behaviors teaching new behaviors and developing instructional plans to teach new skills through the use of reinforcement shaping prompting fading chaining extinction and discrimination. Data collection and analysis is also very important. Q What skills can be taught using ABA A ABA programs focus on the development of language skills social skills leisure skills motor skills academic skills and self-help skills. Q What is special about The Learning Tree Inc. A It was founded by two former public school teachers in response to the desperate pleas of three local parents in Mobile Alabama. My boss is one of the co-founders. A member of Alabama Association for Behavior Analysis Association of Professional Behavior Analysts and Association of Behavior Analysis International Jenny lives locally in Sand Rock Alabama with her husband Will a Self-Employed Carpenter Electrician and Musician their son Liam 3 and their newest addition to the family daughter Maggie Jean who was born on February 22 2016. 27 Women of Distinction Jessica Ruivo Manufacturing Executive Assistant at Everflow Supplies Inc. Carteret NY G rowing up Jessica Ruivo was fascinated with computers. Her father was a passionate computer engineer and Jessica immediately took to sitting at a desk and gathering information. After graduating high school in 2006 she began taking courses in office administration and today is thriving in a rewarding career as an Executive Assistant at Everflow Supplies Inc. Everflow was built on a three-generation family tradition of integrity and manufacturing high quality products. The company has been exclusively serving the national plumbing and industrial supply markets with a comprehensive line of premier products for more than 15 years. As Everflow s Executive Assistant Jessica takes on a challenging position that requires her to wear many hats. Her primary focus is bookkeeping however through the years Jessica has acquired knowledge that allows her to assist and sustain multiple departments within the organization. She encourages those aspiring in her field to never lose sight of their goals or the job at hand. Obstacles can stray you from your goals but with enough determination anything is possible she said. Throughout her career Jessica has learned humility goes a long way. When you work hard and want great results you tend to forget that people are not robots and make mistakes at times Jessica explained. And that is OK too. Communication is key to success Jessica said. Everyday she is inspired by her dedicated co-workers who use their talents to propel the company forward. I feel the need to thrive in environments where organization skills are essential Jessica said. My work motivates me to strive for perfection in everything I do. Previously Jessica worked as an administrative assistant at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and for her uncle s company Quality Rebuilders before accepting her current position at Everflow. In all her years working in an office setting Jessica strived and searched for validation in her work but came to realize the only person she needed to be happy with is herself. As a child she was told if she was not a hard worker nothing else mattered. Jessica has kept that lesson close to her heart and has garnered a reputation for consistently achieving the goals and tasks before her. Being able to work with others well is something I am always trying to improve on she said. There is no better way to work then to work with people you get along with. Jessica currently resides in Old Bridge New Jersey with her longtime boyfriend who works for the state inspecting commercial buses. In her free time Jessica enjoys spending time her family especially her nephews. 28 Women of Distinction Q&A Q How does your company distinguish itself from other companies in the same industry A Everflow has established itself through the adaptation for the most advanced technologies available which enables the providing of the highest level of customer service. In a world where products rapidly become commoditized this has been the best way to compete. Q What role do you play in helping your company achieve its goals A As an executive assistant I work with all of the executives and am able to provide help and support where needed whether in planning purchasing execution or customer service. Q Where do you see your company five years from now A I see the company building its product offerings and catalog while continually adapting the latest technologies. Q Where do you see yourself within the company five years from now A Hopefully as I have the opportunity to learn more as I have since being here my roles and responsibly will continue to expand and I will continue to have the same level of satisfaction. Q How do you view yourself within the company A My position allows me to work with everyone. As a lifetime team player I enjoy being part of the team and growing together with the company. Q Do you feel that you are growing professionally in your current role A Since joining the company I have seen the adaptation and learned firsthand how to use new technologies. Every day is a learning experience. Q Do you feel your job title reflects your day-to-day responsibilities A Yes. I really get to work with all of the different departments and provide support as needed. Q How much interaction do you have with your coworkers A We sit in a low-walled cubicle environment giving us a bullpen type of feeling and allowing us to interact and resolve issues together and quickly. Q How is your company perceived in the marketplace A As the young upstart up that has quickly grown and taken market share by offering unparalleled customer services. Q What is your favorite part of your job A The people being part of a great team 29 Women of Distinction Lyndsay Bialecki W Graphic Design and Beauty Owner Graphic Designer Web Designer Photographer of Galactic Designs & Licensed Nail Technician Owner of Polished Hair and Nail Lounge Cape Coral FL ith an artistic eye and driven spirit single mother and business owner Lyndsay Bialecki is a woman of many talents and endless determination. She is the sole proprietor graphic designer web designer and photographer at Galactic Designs creating logos business cards and signage for her salon Polished Hair and Nail Lounge. Computer savvy Lyndsay also oversees her businesses websites and social media pages. In addition to operating two thriving companies Lyndsay who holds an Associate s Degree in Multimedia Technologies is currently enrolled at Rasmussen College in Fort Myers where she is completing her Bachelor s Degree in 3D Animation and Motion Graphics. The road to success has been bumpy Lyndsay admits. Following the death of both her parents and the birth of her son Lyndsay decided to return to school in 2010. She previously worked as a Tattoo artist but wanted a more stable profession to support her family. She purchased her salon in May 2015 and launched Galactic Designs. Lyndsay s seven-year-old son Gianni has remained her greatest inspiration through it all. I want to show other single mothers that it is possible for you to do anything you put your mind too she said. Don t think just because you are alone and with a child you cannot be successful. I go to school full time am a mother full time own a successful salon and also an at home graphic design business. I am not stopping there. I also plan another goal after I graduate to create 3D animation and or motion graphics for television and film. I may in the future even create an animated television series for other children who knows A dedicated community member Lyndsay uses her salon and design businesses as platforms to help others. She regularly attends local charitable events fairs and offers raffles or a free nail art designs. I would like my children and family to know that I am a hard worker and that I always tried to better myself she said. I always told myself I can do this and I did. 30 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Can you be tattooed and successful A Yes. There s a stereotype that tattooed people cannot become employed or that we are all troublemakers. I successfully was a trained tattoo artist through an apprenticeship have 2 degrees as well as own 2 businesses. Q Is it hard to own and run a salon A While I am still new to this endeavor I found myself a fantastic group of girls who rent from me and that I can trust. We are like family and so far this has been a fun and rewarding experience Q Is it possible to have more than one job A Yes. I am a single mother who lost both her parents here in Florida and lost any help I had with my son. My mother passed away before my son was born but my Father was here to help babysit and such before he passed away. Now that I only have myself it was hard to watch my son alone while doing school but now that my son is in school I have managed to run to successful businesses while still having time to get 2 degrees in college. While tiring it can be done. Q What made you decide to purchase a salon while going to school for computer animation A I happened to see the salon for sale and have already been around hair and nail people. My mother was a hairdresser for over 40 years as well as my aunt. I just lost both of my parents in the last few years and was now 39. I am of Polish decent and thought to myself I needed to do this and Polished Hair and Nail Lounge was born. It has helped me financially while attending school because it does have a steady income on top of doing websites ads business designs etc. from home with my other business. Q What is the most gratifying thing about owning your own business A While there are some levels of stress like making sure those bills get paid on top of remembering your own bills at home there is something magical when you can actually say that this is YOUR business and when people write reviews and say that YOUR salon is beautiful and they love coming there that just makes you literally cry tears of joy. I also have gotten reviews of my design work and photography and have had people send me gift cards or even future work. It makes me feel good to help people and use my God given talents for the world to see. Q How do you get into 3D Animation A I went to my local college here in Fort Myers who offered those types of classes. There are also a lot of Art schools that just focus on that subject without having to take the Humanities course in between. You then have to create a Demo Reel of your work which is like a slide show movie of clips of your designs. It s kind of like a movie resume. You can tell someone you do animation but companies such as major names like Pixar and Dreamworks need to see what you can actually do on top of your knowledge of the software like Maya and 3DS Max which is what was used in films such as Transformers and Life of Pi. It is a very hard industry to get into but to even have that knowledge and the know how of what all it takes to create one little character or background for a film is incredible. Q Where do you see yourself in the future A I would love to do animations for television and film one day. Creating cartoons or special effects is what I wanted to do ever since the computer was even invented. I am a huge Star Wars fan and have every video game console ever made from Vectrex and beyond. Some consoles are even from Japan and are very rare. 31 Women of Distinction Dr. Marva Thomas Dixon Educational Consulting and Products CEO - Dixon & Associates Consulting Services LLC Grand Prairie TX s CEO of Dixon & Associates Consulting Services LLC Marva Dixon is dedicated to helping students parents and teachers reach their full potential in the education system. Marva started her company in 2012 after retiring from a career in public education which spanned over 40 years. As a former principal and central office administrator Marva saw a need for real world professional development training for educational administrators and educators along with advocacy training for students and parents. My love passion and advocacy for students educators and parents has kept me in my career for so long. I ensure students have every opportunity to reach their full potential and that educators and parents truly understand their respective roles and responsibilities as it relates to education. As CEO of her company Marva serves as the primary consultant secures staffing for projects identifies formulates and writes project proposals for the company secures appropriate funding and facilitates marketing strategies. The advice I would offer to someone starting out in my industry would be to not expect to get financially rich. The wealth they will receive comes in the form of the positive impact you have on the lives of our youth America s greatest resource. The positive feedback from students parents and other educators you work with will be worth millions and can never be replaced or bought with money. People want to know you are authentic and really care about them. Respect is not automatically given one must earn the respect of others and vice-versa. Regarding her education Marva received a BA in Intermediate Education from North Carolina Central University in 1974 a M.Ed. in Special Education from North Carolina Central University in 1975 and an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of North Texas in 1997. She has also earned multiple certifications including Superintendent Certification Certification in Mid-Management Professional and Special Education Counseling and Certification in Supervision. A Marva has published many works including MAN-UP Institute Guide Motivating Attitudes that Nurture an Understanding of your Potential At Risk Adolescent Males Thrive with Respect Reading and Resiliency A Parent s formula for Your Child s Success Success Engagement and The Power of the 5 Ps What Every Educator Needs to Know. She has published poetry works as well. I am a servant leader who cares deeply about our youth and ensuring they have every opportunity to fulfill their potential. I m especially concerned about the current trajectory of young men of color. Equity and justice coupled with my strong faith serve as a framework for my efforts to live my life s purpose. This allows me to be able to look myself in the mirror every day and feel okay despite what others may think about me or do to me. In her leisure Marva enjoys creative writing researching dancing bike riding and spending time with her grandchildren. She also dedicates time to a number of causes that further youth education and volunteers with the Saint John Church Unleashed Youth and Educator programs and the NAACP Education Task Force. In 2015 Marva was inducted into the African American Education Archives and History Program African American Educators Hall of Fame. The legacy I want to leave the world is that I made a significant difference in the lives of our youth America s most valuable resource. 32 Women of Distinction Melissa Carter Wellness Writing Owner Reiki Practitioner - The Wholistic Package Saratoga Springs NY T hrough her work as a Reiki Practitioner at The Wholistic Package company owner Melissa Carter finds joy in healing others to the best of her ability. Aside from her work in wellness she also expresses her passion for writing. Melissa became interested in Reiki a Japanese healing art that focuses on balancing one s energy flow to create an improved sense of well-being in all aspects of life after successfully receiving the treatment to relieve stress. Soon after earning her certification as a Reiki practitioner in 2013 she began The Wholistic Package. Always have a plan. Do as much research as possible regarding the demand of an industry. Network and use your available resources. Value advice from people who have experience in your industry. Know your strengths and challenges and know that sometimes we can t do everything on our own. Ask for assistance when needed and focus your time energy and thoughts on where you re strongest. Keep good records and circle back to previous resources and contacts -- you never know where opportunity may lie. As owner of The Wholistic Package Melissa takes command of all roles including financing networking marketing and offering her services. In addition she also holds a full-time job in marketing for an outside organization. Melissa is the author of a children s book titled Little Lucky Ladybug and is currently working on several new projects. In her mission to help as many people as possible she has previously served as a board member for a homeless shelter that houses women and children volunteered for animal and health-related organizations and offered Reiki to the American Cancer Society. I m thankful for the opportunity to follow my passions and dreams -- it s such a fulfilling feeling. I m all about empowering other women and I m an open resource so I welcome questions. My goals are to help improve the wellness of others through Reiki and bring peace to people s lives. Regarding my book I would also like to work with schools literacy organizations and other empowering organizations. In her leisure Melissa enjoys staying active through exercise and spending quality time with her friends and family. She also possesses a love for music and enjoys attending concerts. I hope to inspire and empower other people with my genuine kindness and care while fulfilling my dreams. I want to leave people smiling and looking at me as an example of how to live and to know that I can truly make a difference in others lives. Positivity motivation and action are key. There are no boundaries for your dreams. If you re an ambitious motivated and passionate hard worker you will be successful personally and professionally. With determination my ideas came to fruition. There will be challenges but set your goals and take things day by day. Don t just follow your dreams follow through on them. Be grateful for your success and use your gifts and talents to inspire and empower others. 33 Women of Distinction Melissa Krakow Martial Arts Taekwondo 2nd Degree Black Belt ATA Certified Instructor - Dunwoody Karate Atlanta Dunwoody GA T hrough her work as an ATA Certified Taekwondo Instructor with Dunwoody Karate Atlanta Melissa Krakow loves to help build confidence in children through martial arts. Melissa was inspired to begin taking Taekwondo after watching her children attend classes for several months. After six months of training she was approached by her head instructor at the time to develop and run a class for toddlers which she credits as one of her greatest achievements in her field to date. Melissa who is now a 2nd Degree Black Belt has been teaching classes since October 2012 but has been fully certified since June 2015. My advice for someone looking to start out in this industry is don t give up Martial Arts takes time and dedication to master. Find yourself a mentor that can give you advice while also being your friend when you need one. There are times when you feel like you want to give up because the task at hand is too hard but you need to keep trying until you succeed. In her free time Melissa home schools her five children giving them an experience of learning in the real world rather than being stuck in a classroom. Before taking on her career as a karate instructor she spent two active years in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Lieutenant. I LOVE what I do Parents enroll their children into Martial Arts for many different reasons ranging from discipline to focus or confidence. It gives me great satisfaction when I see big smiles not only on the child s face but also on the faces of the parents. In her role of karate instructor Melissa teaches classes and helps with administration work. She works with a young demo team which is made up of a small group of fiveyear-olds who love displaying their skills and performing in front of others. Melissa has also worked with mentally and physically challenged students showing them and their families that they can accomplish things that they may have never thought was possible. On top of teaching karate part time I am a full time home school mother of five. While my children are my life I want my children to know that if you put your mind to it you can achieve and do anything you want. I want to be a role model for all children but I would love to be an inspiration for girls especially. It is important to let them know that nothing is impossible. You just have to believe in yourself 34 Women of Distinction Mindy Casavant Bernard Beauty President Chief Executive Officer Amazing Face City State Country for Publication Wellesley MA 35 Women of Distinction E stablished in 2007 President and Chief Executive Officer of Amazing Face Mindy Casavant Bernard has married her talents together bringing nearly 30 years of experience in nursing and 10 years of experience in aesthetics together to support clients with their everyday antiaging skincare needs. Located in Wellesley Massachusetts Amazing Face offers a variety of treatment options and some of the most outstanding results. The business was built on the simple concept of wanting to help people look and feel there best. Enjoying seeing the results of her clients work as much as the clients love getting them Mindy is proud that she finally found her dream job after all these years. number one nationally recognized training facility for Botox and fillers. She counts her blessings for having had the opportunity to be surrounded by some of the most talented professionals in the field. As a one-woman operation Mindy s services at Amazing Face include Botox a neuromodulator that is injected into the muscles preventing them from contracting and allowing the skin from continuing to wrinkle and crease. Specific areas for treatment include forehead lines frown lines eyebrow lift crow s feet under eye lines and bunny lines. Radiesse a strong volumizing filler that is made up of calcium microspheres. It provides lift and scaffolding in the face especially in areas that have lost fat or volume like the cheeks. Juvederm Belotero Voluma Restylane and Perlane all injectable hyaluronic acids with varying degrees of thickness and viscosity all of which are used in different places for a number of reasons. All manmade forms hyaluronic acids are a naturally occurring substance in the body that can plump fine lines treat stronger lines around the nasal mouth area and lips correct contour cheeks and under eyes tear troughs. Sculptra an injectable poly-l-lactic acid that stimulates collage growth. Ultherapy the only FDA approved non-surgical ultrasonic procedure used to stimulate growth of new collagen for the face and neck and non-invasively lift the eyebrow neck and under the chin. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment a treatment that delivers broadband light through the skin for rejuvenation helping to restore a youthful looking skin intended for aged or sun damaged skin. It treats pigmentation and redness and promotes more vibrant and healthy skin stimulating elastin and collagen by way of radio frequency. It also helps decrease facial redness lessen the appearance of pigmented spots reduce pore size and improve texture and fine lines. Chemical Peels including salicylic lactic kojic retinoic or alpha hydroxyl acids all of which help slough off dead skin cells from the top layers in various degrees. Dermaplaning the process of manually exfoliating the skin with a blade in attempt to remove dead skin and debris as well as fine hair from the face which allows for greater absorption of serums and other products Microneedling the process of creating small microperferations in the skin which in turn encourages the body to create new collagen and elastin. This can be done in combination with hyaluronic acid peptides stem cells or plasma rich platelets I was a surgical nurse for 29 years at the world renowned Children s Hospital in Boston Massachusetts Mindy said about her extensive experience in healthcare. It taught me a great work ethic professionalism and patience. It also exposed me to some of the sharpest and brightest minds not to mention hardworking people in the world all things I try to emulate every day with my business. It also taught me to be a good listener which is essential when working with clients in my line of work. Breaking into the healthcare field as a nurse all those years ago Mindy would fly to New York Nevada and Florida to study medical aesthetics because there was no one at that time teaching the specific type of work she was interested in doing in Boston where she lived. Lucky to meet Dr. Joseph Russo a Harvard University educated plastic surgeon who believed in and supported her Dr. Russo became her medical director years later. He along with several representatives taught Mindy about every product the very same products she uses today at Amazing Face. I remember just how much I loved the experience working under Dr. Russo she recalled. I couldn t get enough of it. They say that you know when you re doing your life s work when you would continue doing it even if you didn t get paid. That is where I am today. Amazing Face is everything I dreamed it would be and more. Mindy participated in countless trainings under Dr. Russo. More importantly it was he who taught her the meaning of always striving for excellence and continually trying to seek out ways to change peoples lives for the better. Mindy also trained under Sasha Parker at the Esthetic Skin Institute the 36 Women of Distinction PRP also known as Plasma Rich Platelets is the process of drawing one s blood then spinning it down to remove the red blood cells which in turn leaves you with a super potent serum of your own platelets. The platelets job is to rush to the site of injury. The PRP can be used for facial rejuvenation or hair restoration. Celluma Light therapy developed by NASA. A non-invasive treatment that utilizes red and blue light to fight acne wrinkles texture and tone of the skin and even reduces pain. Mindy s business is her baby it reflects who she is as a person and how she wants to be perceived as a businesswoman. I try to embrace the fact that excellence is an attitude not a skill Mindy noted about how very seriously she takes her job. I make a great effort to really listen to my clients as they describe what they see on their face. I like to hear what their own vision of what beauty looks like to them. I spend a lot of time educating my clients of different options and really encourage them to focus on what bothers them the most first before tackling the next issue rather than doing everything all at once. I tell my clients that what is happening to their face did not happen overnight so why would we try to fix it in one sitting I tell everyone that we are all a work in progress . Two years prior to forming Amazing Face in 2005 Mindy remembers being introduced to Botox for the very first time. It was something she knew would be very very big and soon. Mindy not only wanted to be a part of it but she wanted to be a part of doing it really well while also keeping it affordable so that clients could afford to keep up with treatments. Two years later with the formation of her business she is admittedly aging with her clients something that she says continuously inspires her to come up with new ideas and better products. People would always ask me what skin cream I liked or what makeup I was using Mindy recalled. One day when I was still a nurse Children s Hospital one my colleagues had said to me Mindy you are so missing your calling . That comment really resonated with me. I have been blessed with an artistic sense of beauty and I have been constantly studying faces ever since. Mindy is a Teacher of Botox and Fillers too alongside Dr. Russo at the Aesthetic Institute of Massachusetts. Mindy earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1987 at Boston College. More recently she had the honor of studying under and completing a master class by invitation only under Dr. Mauricio De Maio a reputed plastic surgeon from Brazil who boasts over 20 years of experience in developing techniques in non-surgical aesthetic medicine. It was an invaluable opportunity that she will forever be grateful for. Nominated three years ago in 2013 to join The Council for Women at Boston College a council dedicated to furthering the role of women as leaders she continues to utilize the organization s many benefits today. A very positive person who is not afraid to express herself Mindy has a great ability for putting life into perspective. I really love life Mindy said happily. I think life needs to be embraced. We create our lives so why not enjoy it If not today then when There will always be someone who has more than you and there will always be someone with less. Offer support and encouragement. Hold the door for someone. Let someone go in front of you in traffic. Stop and help someone even if it is going to make you late. Smile at others when you walk pass them. But don t ever let anyone dim your light. So many people want you to just fit in and conform. I m not against that to a certain degree but we all have gifts and that part of you should never ever be negotiable. Married to her best friend Tim for the past 22 years they are such different people but they balance each other out very well. They try to do lots of fun yet casual activities together like sipping red wine by the fire pit in their backyard after a long day. They also have four sons who still keep them very busy. Their eldest John is studying to become a chemical engineer at Northeastern University. Their second son Matthew is pursuing a business accounting degree at Providence College. Their youngest boys Stephen and Michael are still in high school. Just this year Stephen Michael and Mindy took a trip to Maui Hawaii. I have such an affinity for Hawaii Mindy smiled. I lived there in the 1990 s and worked as a nurse in an operating room there. I moved to Hawaii with only a bicycle and a suitcase. I didn t know a single soul. I grew up there in a sense. I learned how to make new friends keep old ones and how to truly fall in love with my work later on in life. Dr. Russo s Aesthetic School and plastic surgery office are the result of a lot of hardworking individuals that strive to support so many people she said. I feel so fortunate to have the support of Dr. Russo and his incredible support staff. They are all like family to me and a home base for all I do. It is really important to have that when you are an independent business owner. I can t thank them enough for all that I have learned through them and continue to learn. 37 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why is it about what you do that is most inspiring A Everyone wants to feel good. Looking good is a part of that. It goes both ways. If you feel good about the way you look it helps you feel good about yourself and vice versa. If you feel good about yourself you have more to give to others and isn t that what it s all about There is no better medicine than the feeling you get when you genuinely help someone else for no reward recognition or self-serving purpose. There is no better feeling. Q What have you learned about yourself throughout your career A No one can ever take away what you earned through hard work or trying to be a better person each and every day. Whether it be your family friends your education or business do them all well. I ve learned to be myself at all times. When things fall into place easily and effortlessly it means you are on the right path. If you keep hitting resistance maybe you are headed in the wrong direction. Q Where do you see yourself in five years A I would like to continue in the field of medical aesthetics but I also want to become a leader in aging well . I want to be a living testimony of living to your fullest potential at each stage of your life. I m not talking about trying to look 30 when your 50. I already did 30 . I think that aging is truly a gift that needs to be embraced not dreaded. You should strive to get better and healthier every year of your life. I can t get enough of seeking out the latest innovations to fight aging that are happening in the medical world right now. I joke with my clients that I am still waiting to peak Q What do you think makes you different than some practitioners A I try everything on myself first. I practice with every product that I use or sell. I want to know how each product performs before I recommend it to someone else. I don t want to recommend or promote anything to anyone that I don t use or think is great. I also keep striving to get better. I not only teach but I also take lots of classes. I don t want to stay stagnant. Business is something that needs to be fluid. You cannot offer people the same thing over and over. I focus on treating my customer the way I would want to be treated. Q What is something else that makes your business personally rewarding A I am genuinely interested in people and I love to hear about their lives where they have been what they do for a living how many kids or grandkids they have. I really think people are fascinating. Sometimes people don t even know how interesting their lives really are. Everyone has a story to tell and that is amazing. I try to make it very personal. Let s face it this a very intimate business. Q What is it that drives you to continue to work so tirelessly on growing and improving your business A Well there are two things. One thing is that I truly love my work and love making people feel more beautiful. I love meeting new people and being able to run my own business which has always been a dream for me. The other reason I work so hard is for my four sons. I am a true believer in educating your children which is a belief my parents instilled in me when they too were working so hard to pay for my education. My dream is for my children to reach their fullest potential. Since the cost of education is so high I work very hard and I keep this worthwhile goal in my mind throughout my 12-hour days. I am able to view work not a chore for me but as means to an end as education is an incredible privilege. My hope is that they find work that gives them the same sense of pride that Amazing Face has given me. 38 Women of Distinction Natalia Levey C.N.C. Health and Wellness - Nutrition Certified Health and Nutrition Coach and Chef Founder of Healthy Intent Tampa FL fter completing the Art Institute of New York City s professional culinary training program in 2002 Natalia Levey dedicated the next decade to being a wife and mother while teaching private cooking classes and perfecting her recipes. I became a master at cooking family dinners throwing parties and teaching people how to cook. In 2013 her passion for health was reignited by the challenge of going on a serious elimination diet in pursuit of learning about her body. This led Natalia to becoming certified as a health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and as a nutritional consultant from the American Association of Nutritional Consultants training under world-renowned integrative medical experts like Mark Hyman and Deepak Chopra. The following year she founded her company Healthy Intent. My goal is to educate professional women about the importance of proper nutrition and self-care through private and corporate cooking classes lectures workshops and a digital magazine. Natalia believes that each person is unique. My health systems are based on your personal patterns. No more one-size-fits-all health programs that give the same old advice. If you want to truly catapult your energy and productivity you need advice that makes sense for YOU. She has been greatly inspired by women with strong voices and fun personalities like Dr. Christiane Northrup Kris Carr and Marie Forleo. I m very fortunate to be in the company of very supportive and successful women. For Natalia English is a second language however it s been her primary one for the last 15 years. It took a lot of work for me to learn how to write well. Words are very powerful and are the way we communicate information and ideas how we support and inspire make someone laugh or influence others to take action. I knew that was going to be something holding me back so I took numerous writing courses and read a lot of books. I then actually wrote a book. A Her book Cravings Boss - The REAL Reason You Crave Food and a 5-Step Plan to Take Back Control is available now in most major bookstores and online. Natalia s professional affiliations include International Association of Health Coaches American Association of Nutritional Consultants American Association of Drugless Practitioners American College of Nutrition In addition she connects with the community by doing nutrition workshops and talks at various cancer support groups. As a business exercise Natalia had to ask people in her circle to name the best things about her. It was really challenging because I prefer to talk about other people s lives and successes. However what they came back with was so amazing and made me feel truly appreciated. It helped me see myself through their eyes. They said I was loving curious generous and dedicated. Her best advice for others is to not be afraid to show vulnerability. People want to be able to relate to you. As soon as I started opening up a little about myself I received great support. It s ok to ask for help. Someone out there actually cares and wants to help you succeed. 39 Women of Distinction Pamela UtleyOliphant Medical and Mental Health Care Psychosocial Rehabilitation Individual (PSRI) with AmericanWork Inc. Augusta GA I Working with the mentally ill has its challenges but it s also very rewarding. n 2002 Pamela Utley-Oliphant began her career in the mental health field at Serenity Behavioral Health Systems as a psychosocial rehabilitation teacher. Each day she was given the opportunity to teach adults about their mental health. In 2006 Pamela began working at AmericanWork Inc. I want to be known as a person who lent a helping hand someone who helped women define their own lives on their terms. I believe every young girl and woman can write her own life story. The world is a classroom without walls and I would like to be able to stir up an excitement for others to pass on to the next generation. With three of her co-workers Pamela works with an organization called Sisters with Divine Purpose (SWDP) which is focused on spiritual community financial and overall health and wellness. Those who serve in the organization are strong advocates for mental health and spend time reconnecting women with their dignity family and communities. Moving forward Pamela wants to get into public speaking and begin writing an inspirational book for women specifically for women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. Pamela knows that denial is a hard stage to get past especially when you re young you want to do what young women do. Watching a client grow step by step is a great motivator. I work mainly with women and my passion has always been to empower women to become an overall whole and healthy person. Pamela s role now within AmericanWork Inc. is to assist each client to work towards increasing her mental and social education. She advocates on behalf of each client to attend each doctor appointment in order for the patient to receive optimal health care. To fight the stigma of mental illness education is the key. By empowering the women to educate themselves about their illness and providing any support they may need. As a person who will try to take care of everyone in need Pamela is always disturbed when she sees anyone in distress. Pamela feels that her life s mission is to motivate and inspire others to reach their highest potential. At the end of the day my position is a vehicle for me to reach women who society deems unreachable. I m humbled to work in this field. Humility means we must set aside self for the good of others. 40 Women of Distinction Paola Henke Business Leadership Life Coaching Business Owner Smart Performance Coaching Sunrise FL W ith natural business savvy Paola Henke was destined for success. In 1999 she launched her own transportation fleet business at the age of 21. She employed more than 50 workers giving her first hand experience understanding different personalities. After 3 years Paola felt the need to experience working for a topranked corporation. In 2001 she was hired to work alongside managers directors and vice presidents of a Fortune 100 company. There she witnessed their hard work and day-to-day realities often times with limited resources to excel. Paola s life journey is a bit like Cinderella in which the loneliness the feeling of abandonment worry fears and selfdoubt throughout her life was very real. She was born out of wedlock to teenage parents. Growing up Paola only knew her father s side of the family -- a stepmom a stepbrother and sister and her older brother. They pretended they lived in a happily ever after life but below the surface everything was ice cold. Just like the fairy tale life gave Paola her own fairy godmother disguised as her grandmother Maria. Her actions showed Paola her love. I hope to help inspire other women who are undergoing similar experiences and know that they are not alone she said. No matter the hardships in your life no matter the disappointment of a parent sibling friend spouse know that you are beautiful and perfectly made and that you are loved by the creator of all the universe. Paola plays a very active role in her daughter s life. She has been involved as a PTA member for the past 5 years at her daughters school and has been the Chairperson for Partners in Education for 2 years. I want to leave a legacy where my daughter and son may see my life as a great example on how to overcome obstacles with a smiling face she said. I want to help women reach their desires and live with a deeper sense of love fulfillment and life purpose. My hope for my children and grandchildren is for them to become life ambassadors and continue to partner with other men and women who need encouragement and support. I felt an urge to delve in and find a way to help them excel in their jobs she said. I understood the pressure and stress they were experiencing because I had also lived it. I have always had a keen interest in leadership development and human behavior to help individuals succeed in the workplace. Through research and conversations with co-workers Paola found the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching where she earned a certification as a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. Earning her coaching certification transformed her life and inspired her to become a leader in her own life. Since being certified in April 2014 Paola s business Smart Performance Coaching continues to develop. The focus of her coaching is on Business Corporate Leadership Development. As CEO Paola wears many hats. Her primary goal is engaging in marketing events and speaking opportunities. She also continuously works on the vision of the company and identifying the steps to reach her goals. 41 Women of Distinction Pearl C. BeguesseRichardson M.D. Healthcare Mental Health Psychiatrist Barling AR I n 1999 following a twenty-five year career in Pediatrics Pearl C. Beguesse-Richardson decided to return to Meharry Medical College to pursue her second love Psychiatry. Pearl explains As a woman in the 1960 s and 1970 s pursuing a career in the medical field was just starting to be encouraged. Women were still a minority in this area of work and there were specialties that they were discouraged from pursuing. This didn t impede Pearl s career as she obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology from Tennessee State University in 1970 her Doctor of Medicine from Meharry Medical College in 1974 and received her Residency in Pediatrics from Howard University Hospital in 1976. After completing her practice in Pediatrics Pearl recognized a growing need for mental health providers. In 2003 she successfully began her Psychiatry practice and joined the Community Mental Health Center in Fort Smith Arkansas. After five years she was compelled to assist her nation s veterans. In 2008 Pearl became affiliated with the Psychiatry team in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her retirement in 2014 was short-lived as she realized the need of her expertise in her community. Pearl believes Life is an ever-changing game. You must never be afraid to change your plan to achieve success. She began working part-time as a Psychiatrist at the outpatient clinic in 2015 where she provides mental health care to adults. Her duties include diagnosis medication management and informal counseling. The professors and physicians at Meharry Medical College inspired Pearl daily by displaying their compassion towards each and every patient under their care. They did not simply teach medicine according to her they modeled the highest ethically medical standards of care. She states The health care industry is always going to be a necessary part of society. Her passion for the care of mankind and helping others has contributed to the longevity of her medical career. Currently Pearl is the President of the Phillis Wheatley Club in Fort Smith Arkansas. She is and has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. since 1967 as well as a member of the NAACP. Last but certainly not least she belongs to Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church where she is actively involved in the Praise Team and Women s Missionary Society. She strongly believes in keeping God in her life as her faith in Him has helped her through countless trials and tribulations. Pearl names her parents Julius and Ethel Carpenter as her biggest supporters along with her husband and children whom she enjoys spending quality time. She also enjoys reading playing scrabble and taking care of her cockatiel Corky. As a successful Psychiatrist Dr. Pearl Beguesse-Richardson feels that people should not be labeled by their disorders. In her opinion personality disorders are the most difficult diagnosis to treat but she is truly dedicated and willing to help whomever she can whenever she can wherever she can. 42 Women of Distinction Sandra J. Maluta Real Estate Sales Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker Nothnagle Rochester NY S andra J. Maluta is the type of real estate broker who understands that buying a home is more than just putting a roof over your head. Her efforts have earned her numerous awards and honors including the Gold Sales Award Silver Sales Award and Bronze Sales Award. She got her start in the Real Estate industry in 2001 when her brother-in-law a homebuilder urged her to work for him. Her passion was instantaneous. Sandra earned her Real Estate License and then became an Associate Broker. Today she has more than 14 years experience selling both residential and commercial properties. For the last 9 years she has been earning clients trust through exceptional service state of the art technology and attention to detail at Nothnagle Realtors in Rochester New York. I love working with people there is nothing better than finding that special home for someone she said. I like the fact that I can make my own schedule. It changes everyday and every week depending on my clients schedules. I make time for family friends and myself in my schedule as well. I have met wonderful people that have become my friends. Communication is key according to Sandra. Home sellers need feedback information in order to keep up with the fast changing real estate market. Her weekly reports help keep her clients stay informed of marketing feedback as well as new competitive listings entering the market. Sandra takes the time to assess her client s personal needs. She knows that stress -free transactions make for a happy client. She will search out homes both on and off the market to help prospective buys achieve their dream property. Sandra takes the time to walk her clients through the process whether they are buying or selling step-by-step. I love working with everyone from first time buyers to seniors if people like you you are honest and work hard for every client they send you referrals that is my goal Sandra said. Most of my business now is from referrals. Whether it s residential commercial or new construction I love it all. In her free time Sandra enjoys golfing with friends reading to relax cooking spending time with family and travelling when her schedule allows. She aspires to keep on the same path and continue to grow her business every year. 43 Women of Distinction Stephanie Blanton Barge Logistics Support Coordinator - Ingram Barge Company Nashville TN fter careers in the finance industry and with the State of Maryland s Department of Corrections Stephanie Blanton was hired by Ingram Barge Company in 2015 as a Customer Service Specialist. A Q&A Q What makes your company different A With our Customer Support team Ingram Barge Company is able to ensure that customers are assisted in a professional and personal way. We can look into their inquiries and make them a priority. Q What is the most challenging part of working in this industry A Understanding the river systems and the language as I m very new to them. However I gain more knowledge every day. Q What are some of the different products you work with A Ingram Barge Company transports many different products down the river for our customers. My area focuses a lot on coal as well as scrap and grain. But as a company we also transport other products such as petroleum coke salt and fuel. Q What are the advantages of your company A We re one of the biggest barge companies today and are able to assist all of our clients through an app they have access to called Towline which allows them to track their barges and see the entire trip. I help with setting up these accounts and answering questions if there s an error. Q Is there a time of the year when it gets busier A Yes we have a season called grain season when it gets very busy from September to November. We re constantly looking for barges to use and trying to meet so many different goals. Many times this season requires us to work later hours. We re responsible for making sure that the communication is accurate between the boats and the different systems we use. We also answer customer questions regarding billing locating a barge and anything else that needs to be addressed. In addition we work with the demurrage for our company. This is similar to a storage fee. We track this and explain it to our customers. Ultimately we help to make the customers happy while servicing the needs of our company. Stephanie hasn t been in this career for very long but she plans on staying with it. My company has so much to offer in terms of education and experience. It s amazing how you just grow with it. She has worked extremely hard to make something of herself. I grew up with a very dysfunctional family and was around everything from drugs to crimes but I didn t want that life so I avoided it and kept fighting to make it through school and into a great job. Life isn t always easy but you can shape it to be what you want if you just fight for it. At the end of the day Stephanie just wants to be someone who helps in the community and shows others that there is good in this world. To me that s the best type of legacy. 44 Women of Distinction Tracie E. Rivers Telecommunications Switching Equipment Technician - Verizon Communication Philadelphia PA F or the past three decades Tracie Rivers has picked up a wide range of skills in the telecommunications industry and is currently continuing her success in the field as a Switching Equipment Technician with Verizon. I love the job that I do at Verizon. There was a time when you were sure to retire from this company unfortunately times have changed. The people I work beside are fantastic we re like a family. Tracie has held a number of positions since beginning work in the telecommunications field with Bell Atlantic in 1986. In her current role of Switching Equipment Technician in Verizon s Data Center her responsibilities include installing repairing and maintaining inside cables wires and plug-in equipment to connect telecommunications systems and equipment. She also does back-ups on certain equipment for administrators who are not on site along with hardware installs when necessary while keeping a database of all the equipment on the center s computer floor. Every year she contributes to Verizon s blood drive and participates in the company s Toys for Tots campaign where they make stockings for children. I have a fascination with Angels. Angels are real and every one of us has a Guardian. People need to understand that Angels definitely walk among us. When you see that elderly woman trying to cross the street help out sometimes instead of concentrating on just yourself you never know who that person may really be. Try to have more love in your heart for your fellow man. In her free time Tracie enjoys reading dancing coloring and volunteering. She volunteers at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission twice a week serving the homeless and is a member of the NAACP the Overbrook Park Civic Association and an organization called The Creek which holds fundraisers to give back to the local community. The most important legacy I would like to leave the world is for my children to feel that I was a great mother who gave them a lot of love and tried to instill good moral values in their life. I would also like people to feel that I was a loving and giving person who also tried to make people laugh there is nothing better than laughter. I also love and praise God and when I leave this Earth I will leave without any regrets. Life is beautiful. It can be really tough at times but without some clouds you would not appreciate the sunshine as much. The advice I would offer to someone starting out in this industry is to remember that because technology is changing so rapidly it takes less people to do a job. This means you have to be flexible and ready for change you have to make yourself viable and learn as much as possible. If you are not sure of something ask for help. And remember Google is your friend. Also don t be afraid to make mistakes. You must believe in yourself. Regarding her education Tracie is currently earning her BS from Drexel University and is expected to graduate at the end of 2016. She has received numerous certifications during her time with Verizon including Tels1211 Introduction to Networking 4-Day AIswitch Fundamentals and Basic Fiber Education for Central Office Technicians. 45 Women of Distinction Valerie D. Wade Research Administration Senior Grant Contract Administrator - Wayne State University Director of Pre-Award Services - Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Detroit MI s Senior Grant Contract Administrator at Wayne State University and Director of Pre-Award Services at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Valerie Wade is dedicated to aiding in seeking funding for lifesaving cancer research. A This is a very rewarding career. I have gained the respect of my peers and have mutual respect between myself and the faculty that I support. It is gratifying to be involved in the process of seeking funding for cancer research and especially exciting when new and senior investigators successfully receive funding. The process is very competitive. In her current role Valerie is responsible for overseeing all aspects of pre-award grant contract functions for the Research Administration Unit of the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. This includes proposal preparation for grants contracts and business proposals as well as the supervision of two grant administrators. In addition her duties include preparation and review of required information guidelines and policies before submitting to the agency. I would tell a new Research Administrator to be patient. Although the guidelines and policies of the sponsoring agencies vary each application is different. Provide support at the highest level to the faculty member researcher applying for a grant so they can concentrate on the research strategy scientific aspect of the proposal to ensure the highest rating by their peers. Regarding her education Valerie received a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies from Wayne State University and is certified by Proliteracy of America. Valerie is also a member of the Michigan Chapter of the Society of Research Administrators. This shy and quiet little daddy s girl from Highland Park Michigan would like readers to know that anything is possible. I am not a company executive expert nor am I perfect in any way. There have been many bumps challenges and mistakes along the way and my path in life may not match theirs but you never know how things are going to turn out for you and what opportunities you may encounter who will inspire you and who you can inspire never lose hope and ALWAYS be humble. Blessings come in many forms. I also believe in leading by example. Outside of work Valerie enjoys writing short stories and poetry and is currently taking drum lessons. She also loves volunteering as a reading tutor at Siena Literacy Center in Detroit. One of Valerie s greatest joys is being a mother stepmother and grandmother. I am proud to say we raised good citizens and I am honored to be their mother. I would like to be remembered as someone who inspired others to give back. Sometimes we think that we don t have anything to give but we all have ourselves to give. Sometimes someone just wants a listening ear. Everyone has a special talent even if it s just making someone feel special. It s important to give back which is one of the reasons that I tutor. 46 Women of Distinction Verna Wise Nonprofit Youth Girls Empowerment Executive Director - Ophelia s Place Eugene OR s Executive Director of Ophelia s Place Verna Wise is dedicated to helping girls ages 10-18 make healthy choices in their lives while building their confidence and self-esteem. Verna who has a Masters in Business Administration was hired as executive director of Ophelia s Place in 2007. Her experience raising her own three daughters and her passion for creating effective and efficient organizations helped land her the job with the organization. Ophelia s Place is a prevention based organization dedicated to helping girls make healthy life choices through empowerment education and support. In her role as Executive Director Verna ensures the organization runs smoothly. Her responsibilities include creating replicable systems to support staff meeting with potential partners and donors personnel management financial oversight working with the board and problemsolving. Many people see me as someone who has mastered the work life balance. I would like all working women to know it s not easy no matter how easy they might perceive it to be for others. And there are sacrifices. But if you decide what s important in your life it makes those tough times and forks in the road (that we all face) a bit easier. There will be challenges there will be hard times but know your priorities and don t get pulled off-course. Listen to your gut For me while my three girls were growing up they were always my priority. That meant the jobs I chose had to allow me to be the parent I wanted to be. I always looked for positions that were flexible good for my family and challenging. A Regarding her education Verna received a BA in Economics from Willamette University in Salem OR in 1983 and a MBA from Oregon State University in 1987. She also earned an Initial Administrator s License in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon in 2002. Verna is a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Eugene OR and has volunteered at local national and international track meets at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. Verna is a founding member of SAGE a local networking group for leaders and decision makers and belongs to the Nonprofit Association of Oregon. In June 2014 Verna received a certificate of Leader Development from the US Army War College for her participation in their National Security Strategic Seminar. I would like to leave those that have known me with an extra smile. I hope that in some way whatever memory I leave with people brings them joy. I would also like those I have worked and lived with to know that they have permission and encouragement to ask for help when needed None of us can do it all by ourselves and what fun would that be if we could Lastly I would love for those I ve touched to believe that they have inside of themselves everything they need to be the person they would like to be -- because they do 47 Women of Distinction Q&A Q We know you work with girls ages 10-18 but what specific services do you provide A Ophelia s Place is unique in that we provide a broad spectrum of services to meet the wide range of needs of girls and families in our community. At our site in downtown Eugene we provide a place where girls can come after school to work on homework play board games do art or simply relax. We also offer classes and events and individual and family counseling. In local area schools we work closely with the school administrators and counselors and provide girl empowerment groups classroom presentations to both boys and girls staff training and parent education. The topics we discuss include Healthy Relationships Peers as Allies Media & Body Image Internet Safety Conflict Resolution and Sexual Harassment. At times schools have asked us to address specific needs. Last week one of our partner schools was moving toward eliminating their dress code and wanted a facilitated conversation about how dress codes have had a shaming effect primarily on girls. Q Why do you work with girls A What we know is that in one way or another every girl on the cusp of adulthood faces challenges. In time each will encounter challenges to her personal success and physical security. Our founder saw that girls at younger and younger ages were faced with life changing decisions and many did not have the resources or knowledge to understand the ramifications. Her ultimate goal was to create a place where girls could talk to a trusted adult. Q What difference are you hoping to make in girls lives A One of our goals at Ophelia s Place is to empower girls by increasing their self-esteem. Women who consider themselves confident are more likely to be working at a satisfying career and to be financially independent. They are more likely to engage in emotionally and physically safe relationships and are more likely to use healthy coping skills when faced with difficult situations. Therefore we work with girls 10-18 every day but we are changing their future lives by the skills and tools we teach and model. Q How have you been able to stay true to your mission A Our mission at Ophelia s Place is to help girls make healthy life choices through empowerment education and support. We hold on to our mission by listening to every girl who walks through our door during an introductory orientation. We also have girls attend our board meetings and give monthly reports. We hold on to our mission by continually asking each other (as well as the girls) How are we modeling for the girls who come to OP Q Ophelia s Place is ten years old what do you imagine for the next 10 years A We are excited about our future and are in the midst of exploring ways to expand our footprint beyond Lane County Oregon. I imagine in the next 10 years Ophelia s Place mission and model of service will be reaching girls in multiple locations across our country. The work we do is too good not to spread Q What has been the secret of OP success A Ophelia s Place was created with a mission that resonates with girls parents grandparents and community members. The impact of our work and our successes positively affects families schools and communities not just today but into the future. Ophelia s Place has a strong foundation that includes a powerful mission exceptional staff long-term financial commitments and effective business practices. And the board of directors at Ophelia s Place supports me in maintaining a sustainable and fiscally responsible organization. 48 Women of Distinction Candi Hughes CAIA CFP Finance - Investment Management Director of Securities Operations - Hatteras Funds Raleigh NC C andi Hughes finance career started in 1998 working for a fixed income manager in Durham NC. Prior to that she had no financial industry experience. Q&A Q What are alternative investments A At Hatteras Funds we define alternative investments as strategies that derive a meaningful component of total return from nontraditional management techniques. These strategies fall into two primary categories hedged investments like long short equity designed to help mitigate risk and private investments like venture capital designed to generate enhanced returns. Q Do you do any securities trading for the fund A Typically no we hire managers to trade positions in our funds. When a manager is terminated there may be some remaining securities that need to be traded. I would then step in and trade the securities. These can range from equities forwards bonds and options to illiquid securities. Q How do you balance work and home life A I have a great partner in my husband Kriss. He helps handle a lot of the extra-curricular activities for our son. He s always been supportive of me and helped with the demands of my career. At work I m also lucky to have a situation that allows flexibility when necessary to be there for my family. You can t always be there for everyone but with support from both family and work you can be successful. Q What women inspired you A My mother was a role model for me. She was a strong woman who managed our family and finances and instilled in me the belief that I could do anything I set out to do. Q What is your dream job A I d like to be a baker because I love to make cookies. One day when we ve made the money we feel we need for retirement we ll open a bakery in some place warm. I was hired because of my strong analytical background and ability to answer mental math and problem solving questions during my interview. Today Candi serves as the Director of Securities Operations for Hatteras Funds an alternative investment firm with 2 billion under management. Alternative investments include every kind of security type from stocks to bonds to convertibles and derivatives and each requires a unique operating procedure. Candi has systematized and created policies and procedures to ensure that the firm is operationally as efficient as possible. In addition she works alongside the firm s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on fund and corporate accounting. Finance is fast paced and I work well in an environment that demands focus and attention to detail. I also enjoy the operations side of the business because each day is a new challenge and presents the opportunity to learn more about the industry. It s a small world and most of the people you work with are smart and fun to be around. Candi would like to show young women how to be strong in the world with everything they do. Whether you re in a male-dominated industry like finance (or in another profession) you can be strong assertive intelligent and compassionate. I d like for my son to view women as equals and treat all people with respect and kindness. 49 Women of Distinction Jeannie Lorin Skincare and Cosmetics Founder and CEO of Beauty Society Inc. Huntington Beach CA J eannie Lorin built her company Beauty Society with a conscience and socially responsible business model in mind. Women and families sell her fine line of eco-friendly skincare and beauty products across the United States. The company its career opportunities and wonderful products empower women all over the nation. Jeannie considers her sales representatives business partners. Empowering others is Jeannie s mission. Giving the gift of empowerment keeps her steadfast in this industry and drives her company forward every day. As the company founder and CEO Jeannie keeps busy and involved with all aspects of the business. Over the years Beauty Society has grown a wonderful and dedicated staff allowing Jeannie to take on a larger role as the company s visionary. Jeannie works tireless to ensure the products are on the forefront of what the public wants in an ever-changing world of consumer commerce. Though Jeannie has extensive experience in sales she faced challenges when she first entered the beauty industry and became a business owner. She met these challenges with strength and a sincere belief that she could and would overcome each of them. She became a fast learner an unstoppable problem solver and more empowered than she ever thought she could be. Over time my inspiration has grown Beauty Society not only makes people look better which makes them feel better it gives them opportunity to grow both professionally and personally she said. We are on a divine mission to help and serve people this will keep me in my career forever. Her inspiration in the beginning was to unfold the secrets and problems in the skincare industry. In 2004 as Jeannie was approaching her 40th birthday finding an effective anti-aging line became of great importance. However she could not find any product that worked as advertised. She embarked on quest to discover ingredients and formulas that would make a difference she had no intention of going the needle and knife route. To her surprise she learned that science had identified ingredients and formulas available in product development but the major companies were not using them and the companies that were carried a price tag too high for the everyday woman hence the mission to provide guaranteed results at a price anyone could afford began and Beauty Society was born. You have to love what you do not a little you have to love it all the way the deepest love and faith you must have a belief in a higher power and 100% faith in your purpose Jeannie said. I work hard to stay authentic as a woman wife mother and friend. Although I have built a large organization from scratch I never at any time feel I am better than anyone else. We all have the same opportunities in life we just need to find the passion. Jeannie resides in Huntington Beach California and is very in love with her husband who is an extremely supportive man who adores Jeannie. She has four beautiful strong and passionate children who face life head on as she does and are following their dreams. 50 Women of Distinction Rev. Jesten Peters Ministry traveling minister President and Founder of Keys of Authority Ministries Inc. Palatka FL J esten Peters is the Founder and President of Keys of Authority Ministries Inc. located in Palatka Florida. In this capacity she is in charge of the day to day operations of the ministry. She introduces herself and her organization to various pastors churches ministry groups and schedules speaking engagements. Jesten and her board members believe in treating every task with integrity and excellence honoring the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She feels that the word of God is just as relevant today as it was 2 000 years ago. People are still in need of love grace and mercy. She explains. At the young age of 14 Jesten imagined herself someday pursuing a career in ministry not knowing at the time what the exact concept was or what duties it would hold she kept her dream alive. No matter who tells you that you will never make it if it is a passion of yours and you believe that the Lord has called you don t listen to the nay sayers . She states. Although it was indeed a challenge for Jesten as a female minister working with males who didn t exactly know how to encourage her she remained positive and surrounded herself with people who believed in her. There were four women who made a tremendous impact upon her life and strengthened Jesten s faith. She names her praying grandmother her mother Georgia Harman who gave her heart to the Lord a next door neighbor who witnessed to her mother and lastly the kind woman who would pick up Jesten s family for church every Sunday. Without these women Jesten claims she does not know where she would be today. As she proceeded to further educate herself and adapted to the ministry lifestyle she was active in countless volunteer work to earn experience and later attended Judy Jacobs International Institute of Mentoring which ultimately gave her the boost she needed to start her own ministry at 56 years old. As 2005 s Woman of the Year for Columbia County Florida Jesten Peters has written many articles for a Christian newspaper and currently writes articles 3 to 4 times a year for a Christian magazine. She even became a published author when her book Running to Win the Race was released in 2012. She was blessed to have been given the key to the City of Eatonton Georgia in connection with her prison ministry work in the mid1980 s she was recognized by Renewed Christian Magazine as one of 2012 s 8 Phenomenal Women in ministry and she received a plaque in 2014 from the International Seminary in recognition of 48 years in Gospel Ministry. When Jesten is not traveling to spread His word or organizing events within her community she spends her spare time with family. Jesten Peters is passionate and dedicated to her work and to the Lord she truly loves what she does and considers it both a privilege and a blessing. 51 Women of Distinction JoAnn Michalik Healthcare Counseling Owner Certified Grief Coach - Ouch its Grief Homer Glen IL T hrough her work as Owner and Certified Grief Coach with Ouch its Grief JoAnn Michalik is dedicated to helping others overcome their grief and emotions following a difficult time in life. I lost my son Mark when he was 4 years old and he is my inspiration. I feel he is pushing me to help others while I also continue my healing process. While going through my certification I realized that this was my passion -- to help others move forward in grief. In 2012 JoAnn became a Certified Grief Coach after earning her certification from The Grief Coaching Center which is owned by H. Norman Wright who has written over 70 books on grief and loss. Soon after earning her certification JoAnn started Ouch its Grief. As owner of her business she works with her clients in one on one sessions either on the phone or in person. She also facilitates support groups for those grieving and speaks to different organizations about grief. For those looking to begin a career as a grief coach you may want to find a group or organization to help promote you. The challenge in this business is getting clients to realize that they really do need a coach to guide them through the grieving process and help them release their emotions instead of getting stuck. JoAnn has developed many Journey Back to Joy programs using different tools exercises and books to help clients get through certain emotions that may arise when they re on their own. Aside from her work as a grief coach JoAnn has also been a hairdresser by trade for over 30 years and has always lent an open ear to her clients in that field as well. My passion and mission in life is to help anyone who is alone in their grief move forward. They will realize that they can talk to me and that I m listening without judging them. It s a process and everyone is unique. In her leisure JoAnn enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband and their three sons. She serves as Secretary of Orland Park Dynamic Professional Women s Network where women network and help each other s businesses grow and is an honored member of Continental Who s Who and a VIP member of the National Association of Professional Women. I would like to be thought of as someone who cares and understands what grief is and helps the process through this difficult time in a loving and caring way. We all have a purpose and choose our path here on earth. Things happen for a reason just believe. 52 Women of Distinction Telisha Brown Oil and Gas Sr. Accounts Payable Accountant APM Lukoil International Upstream West Inc. Houston TX T elisha Brown firmly believes that failure is not an option. Her career began with a trial basis position in the accounting department at Virginia Indonesia Company (VICO) in 1993. She had previously joined VICO in 1988 operating in the telecommunications branch. After just 6 short months she was transferred to the purchasing department as a clerk. With no experience in accounting but 5 years with the company Telisha was offered an astounding opportunity to become an accounts payable clerk. She found the job to be intriguing and although mathematics isn t exactly her forte she fully applied herself to prove that she was capable of persevering in her position. Telisha remained with VICO in their Houston Texas office until they decided to relocate to Indonesia in 1999. Brown continued moving forward and earned the title of Sr. Accounts Payable Accountant for a Russian oil company Lukoil International. She explains that finance and accounting is a market that will always be in demand so she was certain she would continue her path in a field that would be marketable at all times. She enjoys communicating with people and her current role allows her to do just that. Telisha s current title comes with tremendous responsibilities. She handles all invoices and expenses related to the corporate office issues corporate credit cards and administers a reconciliation process assuring management that their employees are not abusing their privileges with fraudulent activity. Telisha faced many obstacles throughout her journey to become the dignified woman she is today. Less than a year after receiving her degree she underwent a company acquisition that shortened her team of 7 down to just one forcing her to work alone for 18 months. Being apprehensive about what I knew and didn t know I found myself in a sink or swim situation so I chose to swim. She says. This hardship helped Telisha gain great confidence in her ability to lead which pushed her towards her current success. Aside from her hard work over the years Telisha takes pride in her family. As a single parent of three she was determined to not let society dictate her future. She refused to be a part of the predicted statistics about the way single women raise children. Telisha chose to do whatever it took to provide for her family even if that meant working overtime or even two jobs at once to accommodate the goal she set out to achieve. Although it was a struggle she truly prevailed as the end result leaves her with an admirable success story of her own and three children who earned college degrees as well. Telisha earned an Associates degree in accounting in 2009 a Bachelors of Science with an accounting concentration in 2011 and will receive her Masters in 2017. The sky is the limit as long as you reach for it. She says. Telisha Brown s hard work strength and courage have proven to herself and her children that there are no limitations any goal is attainable to those willing to reach for it. 53 Women of Distinction Alice Klies Writing President - Northern Arizona Word Weavers Cottonwood AZ s President of Northern Arizona s Word Weavers Alice Klies shares her passion for writing with her peers while motivating them and encouraging them to reach their ultimate goal of publication. Alice worked a number of jobs before finally pursuing a career in writing including stints as a USTA tennis player and teacher coach and a Marketing Director for a well-known Arabian Horse Ranch. She also went back to school to receive her degree in lower education. Since 2011 Alice has been a part of an international writing group called Word Weavers which is a Christian based group that welcomes writers of all backgrounds. At the moment she is working on publishing a memoir pertaining to her journey of raising a premature baby and the valuable lessons she learned in the process. A Alice has had her work published in five Chicken Soup For The Soul books Just Us Girls The Dog Did What Volunteering and Giving Back Think Possible and Merry Christmas. She has also been published in ten anthologies WordSmith Journal AARP and Angels On Earth. We are all here for a purpose in God s eyes. He created us He loves us and He has given each of us gifts to be to serve others. I understand how life challenges can throw curves into the plans that we think are right for us. I have led a life full of challenges with most being due to poor choices I ve made. There are always consequences to all of the choices we make. Personally making a choice to attempt to follow God s word in the Bible has brought me a peace I never knew could exist. In her leisure Alice enjoys the outdoors traveling musicals and plays watching movies and spending time with her family. She is a Certified Stephen Minister and an active member of the Arizona Authors Association Christian Writers of the West Professional Women s Organization Inspire Christian Writers Organization and SON Studios. Alice also volunteers with various organizations for autistic adults and mentors young adults. I ve had a passion for writing for the longest time. Each of my careers have had their own purpose at certain points in my life but I ve written stories and journals since middle school mostly for self-satisfaction. In her role of president Alice s task is to direct and lead the group s writers in their mission to get their works published. Through a unique critique format she encourages her writers by pointing out certain problems with the flow of a story. The group also hosts a Teaching Workshop every October which is attended by a number of publishers agents film producers and accomplished published authors. For one to be a writer one must be a reader There are also classes degrees and much more available to writers. However I think the most important thing for a writer is to let their natural creativity show just let the words flow. If the gift of writing is in you and you have a story to tell then tell it. Or as writers say show it. I hope my husband and children remember me as someone who loved them to the moon and back and I hope they were able to learn a little something from me with compassion and love being at the top of that list. 54 Women of Distinction M.S. Butler M.S. M.B.A. CCC Entertainment Life and Career Coaching For Women In The Rock Music Media and Modeling Industries The Rhiannon Consulting Co. LLC President and Goddess C.E.O. Westchester County NY M ary Stephanie Pasqualetto also known to the general public as M.S. Butler draws on personal experience and a successful career as a business entrepreneur artist and model to coach other women aspiring to triumph in the rock music media and modeling industries. Through her New York based company The Rhiannon Consulting Co. LLC she empowers clients to discover their greatest potential in order to excel in their field of interest. With a thriving coaching business and budding business career it is hard to believe that she could ever be viewed as someone who was unlikely to succeed. Unfortunately this was the case that began in her early childhood and years as a young professional. Growing up she endured bullying for eight years in grammar school. She also was faced with the challenge of having a slight speech impediment as well as a mind case of ADHD. As a result she became very withdrawn. Attending school was a nightmare as she was discouraged by certain adults to enroll in college. While she pursued a career in the beauty industry she also pursued work as a model as a result of suffering low self-esteem and took a while before she became comfortable in her own skin. She eventually made a promise to overcome these hurdles and accomplish her goals despite naysayers. Today not only does she operate a successful business with multiple subsidiaries she also holds a Bachelor of Science Master of Science and Master of Business Administration from Iona College. Additionally she attended the Julia Stewart s School of Coaching Mastery received additional Master Coach training from Joy Balma and is currently attending Fordham University School of Law. I am truly a supporter for the underdog since I consider myself to be one she said. The one person that no one thought would go anywhere and beat all of the odds by having many stones thrown in my direction and still managed to triumph through being put to the test. I tasted both failure but also success through losing I became a winner through sorrow I found joy I ve been in a situation where I have peeked and where I have gone to the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes when you go through all of the terrible events you end up doing great things later on. Her education and life experience allows her to continuously reinvent herself. In addition to The Rhiannon Consulting Co. LLC also has a few DBAs underneath her company such as Dark Muse Publishing independent label Dark Muse Records Rhiannon s Muse and Rhiannon Vintage an online gallery showcasing her art designs creations and vintage glamour photos. She is in a the process of finishing her first poetry book Rhiannon s Muse The Enchanted Grimoire-Book I which is scheduled for released sometime later and plans to record a rock metal poetic EP due out around the same time. While work and her legal studies keep her busy she is also a State Captain for the Professional Beauty Association and an advocate for My Sister s Place Anti-Bullying Safe Cosmetics Act and also plans to become involved in the Women In Music (WIM) community when her schedule allows. Altogether this has been a rewarding experience to nurture my business through the creative process and just see everything grow she said. No matter what I do I would want to be remembered as someone who has always followed her heart stayed passionate and loved life but most of all would never give up. 55 Women of Distinction Q&A Q Why did you choose this particular profession A Because over the last ten years women are entering this industry along with the men and becoming a huge market which is totally unique. Q What other services do you specialize in besides coaching A I also offer meditation sessions to give my clients clarity to be able to focus better in their profession. Learning to become a brand and market your artistry as a business by becoming your own CEO is also very necessary to know within this industry. Q Will I be successful after my coaching session A Success is not an overnight thing and is determined by the amount of time and energy that you put into your own line of work. There is no magic wand that is waved. Q What qualifications do I need to look for in a coach to be qualified to conduct a coaching session with me A Many good coaches have multiple degrees in certain areas of study such as myself and some just have a coaching certification. I actually have all of the above since I believe that in order to be qualified to handle a client you should possess the knowledge to back you up before you coach anyone. Many people are coming forward and saying that they are coaches but do not have the degrees or certification that qualify them to be in this profession. Q Who are your greatest professional inspirations A I actually have two that have especially been very inspirational to me. The first is a woman who is also my mentor coach. Her name is Lisa Montanaro and I have taken her classes and been coached by her quite a few times. I love the fact that she is everything that I am also pursuing in my own endeavors being that of a coach an attorney and also a passionate artist. When she mentors me I feel that there is nothing that I cannot do and that anything is possible. She also inspired me to go back to law school and I will be graduating in May 2017. My other inspiration is a young teenage new Gibson Guitar artist named JJ Savage who is an extremely talented metal rock guitarist composer as well as a passionate advocate for anti-bullying. Q How long can coaching careers last A Coaching can be one of the most rewarding and lifelong professions that anyone can pursue. First you can work alone without employees and without overhead charges. In other words one can be of retirement age and still enjoy this lucrative profession well into their senior years. Q How do you find and market to your clients A Being that it is the rock entertainment industry a majority of your networking and marketing will take place where you will have to go to events and meet up with other artists. A very small percentage will be done by Internet since this is a meet and greet situation. 56 Women of Distinction Pachi Beauty Cosmetics Founder CEO - Pachi Cosmetics Union NJ T hrough her work as Founder and CEO of Pachi Cosmetics Pachi demonstrates her passion for cosmetology by providing top quality makeup work to all of her clients. I love what I do and have a passion for this profession. Walt Disney said it best If you love what you do you don t work a day in your life. Not to say it s always easy but if you love what you do then it doesn t feel like a job. Pachi has been a makeup artist since 2007. She fell passionately in love with the industry and began doing freelance makeup work becoming a certified makeup artist in 2011. In 2013 she created Pachi Cosmetics. Though she is founder and CEO of her company Pachi is still a makeup artist who works hard every day. She trains all new hires and makeup artists with the company s techniques and core values and provides excellent customer service in order to create a memorable experience for clients and have them become repeat customers.To find more success in her industry Pachi had to overcome a language barrier as her first language is Spanish. Now that she is bi-lingual she has been presented with many more opportunities within the beauty industry. My advice for those starting in this industry stay hungry and stay humble. Keep your mind set on your vision and goal. Have an open mind and learn new things every day. Also believe in yourself even when no one else will. Never give up and keep positivity in your life. Know your purpose and understand that while things may not happen right away they will happen when the time is right. In her leisure Pachi enjoys dancing cooking and spending time with her family and friends. She is also a motivational speaker and hosts monthly makeup workshops in her studio along with free online tutorials. Pachi has been featured in fashion shows with Nuestra Belleza Teen Latina Beauty Segments and Tips on both Telemundo and Mundo Fox and has worked as a makeup artist for many celebrities. I m a very positive and hardworking person and I m following my dreams. I want all women to know that if I can do it then they can do it as well. No limits everything is possible. I want to empower women and create awareness that we need to tap into the infinite power that we all have within. We have the will to become everything we ve ever wanted to be and we shouldn t limit ourselves or our daughters. We should raise them to know that they can possibly become the 1st female President of the United States of America one day. 57 Women of Distinction Brooke Dunson Construction Production Founder CEO - Bad Girl Productionz Austin TX T hrough her work as Founder and CEO of Bad Girl Productionz Brooke Dunson s main goal is to ensure the comfort of her clients while proving that women in construction can do just as good of a job as any man. Bad Girl Productionz specializes in the installing and dismantling of exhibits design AV production and residential construction including remodeling and renovation. Following her first production gig at a WWE event in 2010 Brooke immediately took an interest in production and construction and was inspired to start her own company. As the founder and CEO of her business she makes sure that her clients are comfortable manages every build and oversees the buying and gathering of supplies. The first show her company officially worked on was a Prince concert which she admits was a great experience. I strive to constantly design and create new things always looking at everything from different angles to learn more. You should find what you truly love to do because then it will no longer be work -- it will be a piece of art Brooke works hard with several different groups to make sure certain labor laws and rights are met while also representing the less than 2% of women in her industry as they fight for work equality. With many sexual harassment cases being basically ignored by the EEOC Brooke also makes sure to bring attention to these unfortunate happenings. Her organization also began Domestic Violence Advocacy which is a nonprofit that partners with the Domestic Violence Coalition and local law enforcement to provide better resources for victims. Domestic Violence Advocacy also works with middle and high school students educating them in psychological abuse sexual assault and domestic violence through school curriculums. Aside from her work with Bad Girl Productionz she has also put together fundraisers and benefits for breast cancer and muscular dystrophy research. Always give more than what s expected of you anyone can give their minimal amount of effort. I promise that if you shine your very brightest people won t be able to help but notice The biggest inspiration in Brooke s life has been her mother who taught her how to always persevere and have empathy towards people who are less fortunate in the world. The lessons she s learned from her mother have led Brooke to begin training two homeless men in carpentry as a way to help them better their lives. Whether you re a migrant farm worker or a carpenter being paid next to nothing -- I will be your voice. No matter where you are if you re a woman dealing with struggle then I will be there. I petition I listen and I read everything to bring awareness to your fight. Rich or poor your voice and life matter. In her free time Brooke loves to donate gift bags to homeless women in her community along with clothing and feminine products to less fortunate youth. She is also working on a project that will involve the building of an earth sustainable house for the local homeless. I ll always strive to change people s lives for the better while helping them attain their goals no matter how big or small their vision is. I want to be known as someone who not only changed her own environment but hopefully changed the world. Contact 58 (512) 201-0438 https badgirlproductionz sdunson101 Women of Distinction Mallory Yake Agriculture Commercial Swine Industry Management Systems Auditor - Smithfield Foods Hog Production Division Warsaw NC T hrough her work as a Management Systems Auditor with Smithfield Foods Hog Production Division Mallory Yake displays her passion for agriculture by making sure her company exceeds all industry guidelines and requirements. Mallory began working with Smithfield over five years ago starting on the farm as a production trainee. After spending a little over a year and a half on the farm she was able to land her current position. Regarding her education Mallory has received a Bachelors in Science of Agriculture majoring in Animal Sciences from Ohio State University in 2010 along with a Master s Degree in Agriculture Extension Education from North Carolina State University in 2013. One of the parts of my job that I love is that I get to go to a different place and meet different people every day. In her current role of Management Systems Auditor Mallory s main responsibility is to complete compliance audits for her company s management systems those systems being environmental safety and animal care for all company owned and managed farms. She also audits all of the company s supporting operations including feed mills garages truck-washes warehouses labs etc. Smithfield Foods Hog Production Division has always been a leader in the industry and with her job Mallory makes sure the company goes above and beyond the industry standard for compliance in all areas of safety environmental operations and animal care. I am a very focused and determined person who loves her job. What started out as a passion for pigs as a little girl has turned into an amazing experience so far in my career. I really do love my job and the people I get to work with. In her leisure Mallory enjoys outdoor activities including fishing camping hiking and going to the beach as well as reading watching sports and spending time with her friends and family. She is also a member with the North Carolina Pork Council a member with National Pork Board and a member of Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization. The advice I would offer to someone starting out in this industry is not to be afraid to work in different areas. Learning the big picture of the industry or even your company will give you a better perspective as to where you see yourself at. Don t be afraid to learn new things. If you want to be successful in whatever you do you have to keep up with what s going on in the industry -- meaning trends innovations and information. Also be open to working with others. If you are younger and just starting out use co-workers or fellow employees as 59 resources. I would like to be remembered as someone that tried to make a difference in the agriculture industry focusing on the Swine Industry. The career that I have will give me the opportunity to do so. I would also hope that other women become inspired by me to try and get involved in whatever their passion is. Women of Distinction Women of Distinction Team WDM Jennifer Hardy EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Holli M. Narvaez EDITOR LAYOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN Jill Mongonia Anne Silar SELECTION COMMITTEE SELECTION COMMITTEE Helene Kaye Women of Distinction 560 Broadhollow Road Ste. 310 Melville NY 11747 Phone (631) 465-9024 Fax (631) 465-9035 Wellness Writing Owner Reiki Practitioner 61 - The Wholistic Package Women of Distinction Melissa Carter Diana Barranco Musical Pageantry Coaching Owner Director of DVB Productions LLC 62 dba A Winning Edge Women of Distinction