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Fall 2021




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CONTENTS 07 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to our annual health issue. This issue we are not only talking about our health as women and mothers, but how to extend health to our children.

08 “HELLO QUEEN"BY JJ DAVIS There’s a metamorphosis that happens to women as each decade passes. Have you ever wondered why friendships falter or your love language shifts? Let's talk about friendship among women.

28 MEET DR. CANDICE JONES We talked to Dr. Candice Jones about how to discipline our children without traumatizing them.

46 MOMS YOU SHOULD KNOW 2021-2022 Meet this year’s list of trailblazing moms. CEOMOM



























GETTING BACK TO...HEALTH Editor-in-Chief Vonna Matthews Libby Boyce Cover Photographer Sonia Jhas Photographer Dr. Candice Jones Photographer Contributing Photographer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer

Ben Cope Photography Laura Benn Photography/Dave Laus The Daniel Morris MikiFoto + Co Christine Field Lorena Junco Margain JJ Davis Mallika Malhotra Tiyana Jordan Dr. Jan (Yon) Bonhoeffer Matt Casadona

Editorial Office 9355 John W. Elliott Dr. Suite 25449 Frisco, TX 75033 972-302-9150 | CEOMOM Magazine is published by For Her Media Frisco, Texas 75033 | 972-302-9150





YOUR HEALTH PRIORITIZED, YOUR BEAUTY REALIZED Look in the mirror. What do you see? If you see anything less than beautiful, let’s talk. Are you smaller than you’d like to be? Have you gained a few pandemic pounds. Is your hair graying? Are you struggling with adult acne? No matter the answer to these questions, I’m here to tell you, sis you are beautiful. Our fall issue continues to be one of my favorite, because it puts the focus on full body health. We go beyond the external to everything that encompasses our being. As I get older, I have a greater appreciation for what I feel like, the functionality of my body and being in good health overall- mind, body and soul. It’s no longer good enough for me to like the curves of my silhouette or look like a million bucks, I have to live it and be it. I connect being beautiful with being healthy, having a decluttered mind, healthy relationships, practicing a daily ritual of self care and just breathing in the moment. All of our bodies are different so my full body health will look different from yours. That’s okay. Don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, work to reach your optimal health and embrace beauty beyond your physicality. We’re women, so we love to look good. However, I encourage you to not stop there. Get your annual checkups, stay active, set boundaries, eat healthy based on your body’s needs, pray, meditate, go to sleep, feed your soul and drink lots of water. And if your health is not what it used to be or you‘re going through a health battle, you can get through this. I’m rooting for you.

Vonna Matthews CEOMOM





J. Joy Davis is the Female Founder of THE FIRM MANAGEMENT, a company with a capacity for management, creative production and brand strategy that is best suited for women who dare to live as large as they dream. She has spent over a decade working with multilocation entrepreneurs, investors, luxury retailers and Fortune 500 companies including but, not limited to NBA, WNBA, Marriott, Michael Kors, BCBG, Max Azria, Tory Burch as well as nonprofits and charitable foundations on the Business Development, Corporate Sales and Relationship Management sides of the table. Joy has developed a keen business sense as to how to connect the right people with the right resources to move the needle in the right places. CEOMOM



With a love for academia and a heart for empowering young power players, she is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte where she teaches Business Communication courses for Belk College of Business. She is currently working on what she is manifesting to be her first best-seller while praying for a publisher who is AS obsessed about the plights of the high achieving woman as she is! Her greatest joy is being a mother to her teenage son, Nolan. Thus, Joy believes that while success is a powerful antidote, it is authenticity where God shines the brightest. Follow Joy: @thefirmwins

THE SEASONS OF FRIENDSHIP Friendships are like seasons. They change… There’s a metamorphosis that happens to women as each decade passes. Have you ever wondered why friendships falter or your love language shifts? Maybe you experienced trauma. Maybe you lost a relationship. Or, maybe you hit a financial goal and it’s elevated your net worth which alienated your previous network. Each season requires a different level of tenacity and grit as mothers, wives, business women, entrepreneurs. We are allowed to evolve. To shift. To grow. And especially in the sacred space of a sisterhood. The same grace we extend to our friend at her peak should be extended as she sits, fragile, in her valley. You see, this concept of friendship is nothing new to women. In fact, some of us have a very complicated relationship if we’re being honest. As girls, we are taught “to have a friend, we must be a friend.” From a young age, girls are encouraged to bond with one another. From sleepovers to Girl Scouts to fights about boys in middle school; to sororities to wine night to group chats; the list goes on as to how we yearn (for) and lean (on) our girlfriends over the years. It feels wonderful to be included and wanted and valued! It’s so nice to call a girlfriend for advice on love, business and parenting; some of life’s greatest challenges. And many are solved over a shared bottle of wine. Who doesn’t want to be invited to a fabulous event or a surprise birthday party or a couple’s trip to Greece? But as women, it is inevitable that we will go through transition in life. Your identity often impacts your associations. But, what happens when there is a shift in your relationship status or you encounter a hard patch in your business or you exhaust yourself caring for an aging parent? Each of these can emotionally chip away at the you, you were and the sisterhood that you had hoped would sustain you may disappear because of the weight of whatever it is that you are going through in your life. Take business for instance. They say it’s lonely at the top. Female entrepreneurs understand this notion best. Often, the “wins” in life appear so glamorous but they require long nights and long days and may not leave room to take that trip to Napa. One woman may not be an ideal client for you but she may create magic with someone different and that needs to be respected instead of questioned. Some girlfriends may not understand that level of sacrifice and discipline to your business. Some may see your personal trials as “drama” or “none of their business” when in all actuality, you are sinking under the weight of being misunderstood and misrepresented when our deepest desire is to feel seen and connected. Let’s be real. There isn’t enough chatter about the end of a friendship and to speak plainly — it hurts. You may have traveled with her, built memories together, business sometimes, celebrated birthdays, baby showers, holidays and then all of a sudden, something happens and she is no longer in your life. You feel ghosted. Rejected. Alone.




FRIENDSHIP IS A BEAUTIFUL BLESSING WHEN IT’S AT ITS PEAK. SISTERHOOD IS SUCH A SPECIAL BOND. We pride ourselves in being wonderful mothers, wives, business women but, do we place the same emphasis on being a loving friend? A friend who doesn’t gossip about another woman’s business, attack her marriage or influence others to take a side that may leave someone feeling alienated and isolated. I have a girlfriend who often says, “your vibe attracts your tribe.” She has told me on several occasions that every woman in her life need not get along but, she will not participate in bashing one over the other. I used to question her loyalty in this regard until I realized that her superpower is her confidence, her tenacity, her fierce protection over those she loves. You see there’s already an army of mean girls in every city, at every dinner and in every social circle. Bullying has become a common tactic in this space of women’s empowerment which is oxymoronic as it reeks of elitist insecurity. But, I challenge you to rise above her. I challenge you to not take the word of a jilted friend over the value that another woman has had or could have in your life. I like the saying, “what Susie says about Sally says more about Susie than Sally.” You never know the depths of despair that someone could be going through. Your desire to alienate another woman simply because it’s the “popular” opinion could be the demise of her mental health. Friendship is a beautiful blessing when it’s at its peak. Sisterhood is such a special bond. You laugh, you cry, you share, you journey together through the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Yet, in the valley of a friendship, it can be disappointing and treacherous and cause you to recluse and isolate which isn’t what God intended. In fact, what He did intend was for us to enjoy the gift of “a friend that sticketh closer than a (might I take the liberty?), a sister.”

JJ Davis




POLISHED EXISTS to gather young professional women to navigate career and

explore faith.

DAYNA L. REED Photo Credit: Didomi Photography

WELCOME BACK? It’s still fresh in my memory: returning to church after giving birth to our first child, Jaicie. My husband Franklin and I were so excited for everyone to finally meet our baby girl. We arrived a little after the service began, so most of our friends would have to wait a while to get a closer look. Throughout the service, other moms periodically glanced our way with bright eyes and enthusiastic smiles, appearing just as ecstatic as we were about our new addition.


Things took a turn, however, when feeding time came and I pulled out the Avent baby bottle. As I sat there feeding my baby, I noticed a few of those warm looks strangely turn to scowls. Somewhat puzzled, I looked around, wondering if I’d missed something that was said, not realizing that those frowns were meant for me. The service couldn’t have ended fast enough for some of those moms to make a beeline to where we were sitting. But it wasn’t so that they could finally meet Jaicie or greet me. Instead, it was to grill me with questions such as: “What’s with the bottle?!” “You aren’t nursing?!” “Well, are you at least pumping?!” “Please tell me that’s not formula in that bottle!” I was so caught off guard by the ambush that my initial response was shocked silence, followed by: “Whoa . . .Wait a minute! What?!” My happy moment quickly deflated and I felt as if I’d shifted from being in the House of the Lord to the courtroom of Judge Judy. What they didn’t know was that I’d had an emergency C-section followed by a tough recovery, and my new baby was a bit colicky – all factors that had led to my decision to discontinue nursing earlier than I’d hoped. And although things hadn’t worked out quite the way I had planned, everything was still good: my baby was healthy, I was healing, and we were happy! Needless to say, I left church far from uplifted that day. Instead, I left feeling discouraged and questioning everything I had done for my baby those past couple of months. Although I’d been able to shut down the interrogation successfully at the time, the uncertainty their words produced and the feeling of having failed lingered for days to come. I desperately wanted nothing but the best for my baby. I began to wonder if I was giving her that. I didn’t know it then, but this wouldn’t be my last encounter with this incriminating analysis over how I cared for my children or the second-guessing it created within me. In fact, it was only the beginning, and would unexpectedly grow into something more troubling than I could imagine. Something, my friend, I would eventually come to know as mommy guilt! Order your copy of Guilt-Free Mommy at






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1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas drained & rinsed 3-4 tbsp vegan mayo 2-3 tbsp dill relish 1 tbsp lemon juice 1/4 c onions, chopped salt and pepper to taste 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/8 chili powder 1/8 tsp paprika Creole seasoning to taste

Recipe provided by: Vonna Matthews



Mash chickpeas with fork or food processor. Mix all ingredients into the mashed chickpeas except the salt and pepper. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.



This sandwich goes well with a sliced tomato, avocado, and spinach over toasted bread. You may use lightly toasted ciabatta bread instead of sliced bread. This easy and quick recipe is kid-friendly and healthy. Pair it with plain potato chips or carrots.

GARLIC PASTA W/ BRUSSELS SPROUTS Recipe by Toye Releford-Penny of So7 Health

THE INGREDIENTS BRUSSELS SPROUTS 1. 16 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved (or any other glorious green) 2. 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil 3. Pinch each sea salt + black pepper SAUCE + PASTA 1. 3 Tbsp. olive oil or butter 2. 4 large cloves garlic, chopped 3. 4 Tbsp. arrowroot starch 4. 1 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk 5. Sea salt + black pepper to taste 6. 10 ounces, gluten free pasta (your choice)

THE PROCESS 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and add Brussels sprouts to a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and season generously with salt and pepper and toss. Arrange in a single layer and set aside. 2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (for cooking the pasta) and salt generously (1 Tbsp.). Set aside while preparing sauce. 3. Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and garlic. Sauteé for 3 minutes or until fragrant and slightly golden brown. 4. Add arrowroot and whisk, then add almond milk and whisk. At this point, it will be very clumpy - this is normal. Transfer to a high-speed blender and add salt + pepper, and vegan Parmesan cheese (optional). Blend on high until creamy and smooth. 5. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more Parmesan for cheesiness, or salt and pepper for more overall flavor. 6. Transfer sauce back to the skillet and warm over medium-low heat until bubbly while whisking.

The sauce should thicken, at which point you can lower the heat to low and simmer until pasta is cooked. Add Brussels sprouts to the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown and tender. 7. Around this time, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain pasta and add directly to the sauce, along with half of the Brussels sprouts and toss to combine. Season with a bit more Parmesan cheese (optional) for extra flavor. Serve. Note: Feel free to add your favorite poultry with this dish. It's Super Yummy!



From getting hit with a ball to being insulted or even bullied, kids have no shortage of reasons to get angry. Like adults, their kneejerk reaction when bad things happen is often to get back at them―that is, seek revenge. Did a classmate call you a name? You’ll name-call right back. If your sister took your favorite pair of shoes, you’ll steal her favorite dress. Even if somebody does something by accident, you still think of ways to “get back” at them. Though revenge can bring momentary satisfaction, it’s not healthy. Anger still simmers for days, resentment builds and so does bitterness―both between the people involved, and within each of us individually.




I have experienced this first hand. Several years ago, a surgeon I trusted made a grave mistake: I had a tumor on one adrenal gland, and he removed the wrong gland. I must now contend with a lifetime of medical issues. My friends’ and family’s immediate reaction was: let’s seek revenge. At first I agreed. But soon I realized that this thought brought me no comfort. On the contrary: the idea of devoting my precious energy to pursuing the negative force of revenge made me feel even more bitter and exhausted. This would not mend my broken body or soul.

So I chose instead to embark on a quest for peace and healing—beginning by seeking space in my heart to forgive. I write about this in my memoir On the Way to Casa Lotus. True forgiveness, I have learned, heals us. It brings us back to peace and joy. This is a lesson I’m committed to teaching my own three children. It’s not always easy, because when somebody wrongs us we feel hurt and angry. Here are some of the ways I help my kids learn to forgive: Explain that forgiveness is a muscle. Like all muscles, it needs to be built and it takes work to keep it in shape. Show your kids some of the muscles on your body as an example and practice simple exercises like sit-ups or push-ups with them so they can feel those muscles getting stronger bit by bit. Tell them that forgiveness is the same: nobody gets it right immediately, but the more you work the muscle, the easier it will get. Remind them that everyone’s human, and we all make mistakes. Tell them about mistakes you have made. You are very human to them, after all! Tell them that the important thing is to believe that the person who made the mistake is still capable of good and can still learn and try to do better next time―just like you have. Invite them to put themselves in the other person’s shoes. Walk them through what the other person might be feeling, and explain that the other person might also be angry and hurt. Maybe they even feel shame or regret. Consider the person’s circumstances: were they having a bad day? Do they have a stressful situation at home? This will help kids develop empathy and gain perspective―which builds the forgiveness muscle, too. Reassure them that they can thrive after emotional pain. Acknowledge that yes, being wronged hurts, but that our emotions are very good at healing. In fact, it’s healthy to experience all emotional pain, including the kind that occurs when somebody wrongs you. It makes us stronger and more resilient. Let them know that being in touch with these feelings and talking about them helps. Teach them that love multiplies. It does not divide. Hug them, kiss them and say that in the end, it’s all about love. Like love, forgiveness brings people together and makes the world a better place. Isn’t that the kind of world they want?

Photo Credit: Lorena Junco Margain

About Lorena Junco Margain Art collector and philanthropist Lorena Junco Margain is the author of On the Way to Casa Lotus, a memoir about her journey coming to terms with the permanent consequences of a surgeon’s devastating mistake. After studying visual arts at Universidad de Monterrey, she co-founded the Distrito14 gallery in Monterrey. She also co-founded and curated, with her husband, the Margain-Junco Collection to promote awareness of Mexican art internationally. She lives in Austin, Texas with her family.





By Christine Field As I look back on my 65 years, to say that my life did not turn out the way I expected would be an understatement. I wonder how many of us would be honest enough to say the same.

IDEALISM I approached both marriage and motherhood with incredible idealism. I would have the greatest marriage and my kids would rise up and call me blessed. Proverbs 31:28. Now, I am grateful that they at least speak to me – on occasion. I believed my marriage would last ’til death do us part. Our children would bless us with grandchildren and they would all come home for Sunday dinners. The way it turned out – not so much. I do have one grandchild but he is being raised by his father and his grandmother on his side. Because I never thought I would have kids (secondary infertility), I cherished the idea of motherhood and even called it my “divine appointment.” I have mostly adopted kids who I mostly homeschooled.

HOMESCHOOLING REFLECTIONS Being a Christian homeschooling mom is a lot of pressure. We strive for perfect marriages and perfect children. Life doesn’t always cooperate. Homeschooling moms compare themselves and measure their worth by how well their family is managed. The goal is to turn out perfect little human beings. Even though I was a very active member of that community, writing books and speaking at homeschool conventions, when my family started to experience issues and problems, I was shunned by the community.

RESPONDING TO PRESSURE Aspiring to have a perfect family life and a perfect marriage puts you under a lot of pressure. My first clue that the pressure was killing me was when I landed in a 3-week inpatient program for depression. At that time, my then-husband had been diagnosed with cancer and was quite ill. Some of the issues of my children were beginning to surface. The future did not look bright. In fact, it looked dreadful.

Sometimes dedication to children and family can lead to an unhealthy dependence on them. When they struggled, I died a little inside. My flaw was my inability to let go to allow them to try and fail, to fly high and crash hard. My attempts to fix people and make them happy were misguided … and sad.

IDENTITY Another factor leading to my disillusionment had to do with defining my identity. My identity as a mom was so tied up in the drama of family life that I lost myself. While juggling the issues of many children with many issues, the marriage died a little with each crisis faced. Could we have done it differently? Some couples survive great tragedy. Others fold into their own bitterness and disappointment. Family therapy probably could have helped had we chosen it early on, but we didn’t. We still have disagreements about how to handle things with the now-grown children The kids grew up and on. The marriage failed. Shared struggle failed to knit us together. The statistics for marriage survival for couples facing the issues we faced are grim. Only the strongest can survive the major challenges we faced.

WHAT WILL I REMEMBER? What will I remember? I will cherish the good times, the laughter of children, the loyalty of a good spouse. I will cherish the growth in wisdom and patience that blessed my challenges. I will forever remain grateful for the many miracles of my life – the arrival of children, the many fun experiences we had together, the growth we all experienced because of the crucible of family life. Through the tears and the pain, the doubts, and the uncertainty – it was worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing.


I’m a marriage and motherhood survivor and I’m still standing and I’m OK.

My therapy process caused me to examine my patterns of sabotage. No marriage is perfect and no children are perfect. We are all imperfect people.

Learn more about









Photo Credit: Ben Cope

LIBBY BOYCE IS FINDING STRENGTH IN KINDNESS & HONORING HER SON’S LEGACY When Libby Boyce thought of legacy, she reflected on the values she would leave her children, Maya and Cameron. In early July 2019, Boyce’s perception of legacy changed when Cameron Boyce, the late Disney star, passed unexpectedly from epilepsy. Libby Boyce is honoring her son’s philanthropic legacy through her fight to end epilepsy. In 2019, Boyce created The Cameron Boyce Foundation to reduce gun violence and increase epilepsy awareness while working to find a cure.

campaigns and will be launching a new one this November for epilepsy awareness month. In addition, we have donated to several arts programs that provide opportunities for young people to discover creative outlets, and to the Thirst Project for clean water wells in Uganda. Lastly, we have built an amazing Board of Directors that includes epileptologists, people with lived experience with epilepsy, and other inspirational individuals.

In this CEOMOM Magazine interview, Boyce shared how she found strength in kindness and continuing her son’s work to leave the world better than he found it.

Vonna: What do you want families to know about epilepsy? What is one of the first actions parents should take if their child is diagnosed with epilepsy?

Vonna: Tell us about the work you’ve done with The Cameron Boyce Foundation since you started it just days after Cameron’s passing. Describe the impact the foundation has made within the past two years. Libby: We began TCBF in the heat of the moment, devastated at the thought that Cameron’s philanthropic work would end. In the beginning we were focused on all of the things that Cameron was passionate about such as reducing gun violence by giving young people creative outlets, and providing clean water wells in villages with no clean water. We quickly realized that we had to add epilepsy. Since that time, we have refocused our efforts to epilepsy awareness and research because that is what killed our son. There is such a lack of attention on epilepsy and how pervasive it is, and we feel an obligation to do something about this with the platform that Cameron left to us. So far, we have raised over $1 million dollars. We have funded epilepsy research, implemented awareness campaigns, spoken with health providers about the lack of epilepsy education, and we have developed epilepsy tools. In addition, we have partnered with other epilepsy foundations and with Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach CA, which is a level 4 epilepsy center (which anyone diagnosed with epilepsy should be seeking treatment and counsel). We have also done epilepsy awareness

Libby: Go to a level 4 epilepsy center. Every major city has at least one level 4 epilepsy center. Take control of your care, ask questions and never settle for a healthcare provider that you are not confident in. Ensure that the provider you select is getting the latest information about epilepsy research and treatments. Your healthcare provider must share the good, the bad and the ugly details about epilepsy, even if it is hard to hear. Being informed is your best tool and defense! Vonna: What is Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy? How is helping to educate people about SUDEP? Libby: SUDEP is exactly as it sounds. A person has a seizure and during the seizure either their heart stops or they just stop breathing. Healthcare providers do not tell a lot of epilepsy patients about SUDEP because it is fairly uncommon (although it is definitely underreported) and they don’t want to scare the patient. Hopefully our last campaign (Know SUDEP Now) and our upcoming campaign will raise awareness, cause people to ask more questions and get armed with information. Being seizure free is the goal and anything less than that must be explored and


“Take control of your care, ask questions and never settle for a healthcare provider that you are not confident in. Ensure that the provider you select is getting the latest information about epilepsy research and treatments.”




Cameron was such a different human on so many levels. I often thought he was my parent because he was so grounded and wise beyond his years.

Photo Courtesy of Wagging Tails Productions

addressed. Everyone knows someone with epilepsy. It is the most common neurological disease. Yet, there is so much stigma associated with it. That must end in order to move the needle towards better detection, treatment, and ultimately a cure. Vonna: In addition to donating, what can people do to get involved with TCBF and spread awareness about epilepsy? Libby: If you have a friend or family member with epilepsy, learn as much as you can and encourage them to review the suggestions I made above. Donate to TCBF (every little bit counts) and follow our social media for updates and information at, or @thecameronboycefoundation. Be kind to others! Vonna: Cameron’s last film role was Runt, which came out in October. He started the social media campaign, @wieldingpeace on Instagram after his involvement with the film. How has @wieldingpeace partnered with Runt to end gun violence and bullying?

every fiber of his being. He wanted to pass that along to impressionable young people who have little or no positive parental or adult guidance. Vonna: You said in an interview that “Cameron left a lot of seeds, and you are carrying on those seeds.” As a mother, how is continuing your son’s legacy giving you strength and hope? Libby: That is a really tough one. Cameron was such a different human on so many levels. I often thought he was my parent because he was so grounded and wise beyond his years. He understood the human condition like no one I have ever met before. He was so many people's lifeline and anchor. He gives me strength because I know he would want me and our family to thrive and take care of one another. I also know that if he could choose to die to save countless others, he likely would. That is all I have…..other than that, I am gutted.

Libby: Runt tells the story of a young person struggling with being bullied and having no parental guidance. It does not end very well for Cameron’s character, Cal. Wielding Peace was developed in response to his role in Runt. Cameron wanted to encourage young people to turn to the creative arts as opposed to turning to violence and negativity. Cameron had so many creative outlets which were so important to





Photo Credit: Mangostar Studio

We can all agree sleep is a good thing, but many of us don’t get enough sleep, or enough quality sleep. While you may put your head on your pillow every night by 10 pm and wake up at 6 am, you may feel groggy when you wake up the next morning. Waking up exhausted usually means you did not have quality sleep. The odds are you tossed and turned all night, even if you don’t remember it.

WAYS TO IMPROVE SLEEP Consider all the factors that can stop you from sleeping well such as work, family responsibilities, stress, illness, and more. Quality sleep can be hard to come by, especially if you have kids or pets that sleep with you in bed. While you can’t control every factor that interferes with your sleep every night, there are ways to make improvements that will promote better sleep. Here’s how. STICK TO A SCHEDULE While the amount of sleep someone needs will differ from person to person, everyone needs a sleep schedule. If you’re someone who finds they function better on seven hours of sleep instead of eight, make sure you keep to that schedule every single day, even on weekends.



Make sure you try not to sleep more than eight hours a night, many people need at least seven hours, but more than eight hours of sleep can actually have the opposite effect and make you feel lethargic throughout the day. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day and try not to make changes to this schedule on the weekends, but if you do try to aim for no more than an extra hour. Being consistent trains your body and mind to know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up, meaning you’ll fall asleep quicker and wake up feeling more refreshed. If you’re someone who has trouble falling asleep at night, leave the bed after 20 minutes of attempting to sleep and do something you find relaxing. This can be listening to soothing music or doing breathing exercises. Try not to turn on the television, as blue light can trick your body into thinking it’s still daytime. When you’re tired again, try going back to sleep and repeat these steps as needed. CHANGE YOUR EATING (AND DRINKING HABITS) You should try to avoid heavy meals within a few hours of bedtime, or your discomfort

might keep you awake longer. Other things such as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can impact your sleep as well. Both nicotine and caffeine are stimulants that can take hours to wear off, making falling asleep and staying asleep difficult. On the other hand, alcohol (even beer) may make you feel sleepy at first, but it can disrupt your sleep cycle even after you’ve fallen asleep. Nourishing your body with proper ingredients and food will promote a healthier lifestyle and sleep pattern. CONSIDER YOUR SLEEP ENVIRONMENT Your sleep environment has a big impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. The best sleep environments are cold, dark, and quiet places. However, light exposure can make it difficult to fall asleep because it tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Because of this, you should avoid prolonged use of devices like your cell phone and television before going to sleep. You can also take a look at the items in your sleep environment, such as your bed and pillows. A bed that’s too soft or too firm can interfere with your sleep, while using the wrong pillow can make falling asleep difficult and cause you to wake up with aches and pains in the morning. If you believe there’s a problem with your

6 Ways to Improve Your Sleeping Habits

Sleep has a direct correlation to your physical and mental health, so it’s important to stop putting off ways that can help you get the best sleep of your life. mattress, visit a mattress store so you can try out different types of beds to determine the one you find comfortable. If the problem is your pillow, consider the position in which you sleep, how that impacts your sleep quality, and how you feel in the morning. Side sleepers, for example, typically have neck, back, and shoulder pain when using the wrong pillow. This can be easily resolved with a pillow for side sleepers that takes the pressure off the joints for more restful sleep.

Sleep has a direct correlation to your physical and mental health, so it’s important to stop putting off ways that can help you get the best sleep of your life. Once you’ve figured out what works best for you, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your day-to-day life.

LIMIT NAPS Long naps can disrupt your natural sleep cycle. If you need a nap, try to limit it to 30 minutes or less and avoid doing so late in the day or at night. If you work nights, you might require a nap later in the day to help you make up for any sleep you missed due to work. GET PHYSICAL Exercise can help promote better sleep, but you should avoid getting too active before bed. Instead, aim to have your heaviest, most intense workouts earlier in the day, so you don’t give yourself a boost of cardio energy right before bed. MANAGE STRESS Stress is one of the most significant factors that can interfere with sleep. If you’re feeling overly stressed, make sure you find ways to manage it, especially before bed. Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but it doesn’t have to impact everything you do, including sleep. No matter what you’re stressed about, you can help calm your mind before bed by doing breathing exercises or writing in a journal. You can also learn stress management techniques that will keep your stress at bay during the day, making it easier to get work done and fall asleep. BETTER SLEEP IS ACHIEVABLE Depending on what’s keeping you from getting your best sleep, some of these tips can be beneficial. In some cases, people only struggle with a few sleepless nights. So if you have trouble sleeping most nights, it’s recommended to talk to your health care provider about what could be the cause so they can come up with a treatment plan that allows you to sleep better and feel more refreshed each morning.

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.








The most powerful and effective thing that we can do to change the quality of the day and to make the greatest contribution to others is actually not a thing at all. October was Emotional Wellness Month, reminding us to “disconnect and take a timeout for our brain” amid our overbooked, distracted, and uncertain lives. A former emergency physician, Dr. Jan is familiar with the emotional costs that come from running on “emergency mode.” When we are under high levels of stress, adrenaline and steroids flow through our bodies, suppressing parasympathetic nervous system activity, which carries messages from the body. “Whenever you are in an emergency, you cannot afford to think about what your body needs in this moment,” Dr. Jan says. “If you suppress messages from the parasympathetic nervous system for too long, they tend to build up and then pour out all at once.” Here are some of his tips for fostering better emotional wellness: Set the Tone for the Day. This is a matter of basic values. Taking time in the morning to prepare yourself for the day is just a matter of shifting your “set point“ of what you think

is adequate preparation before you are fit for the world. Skipping basic morning routine tasks would offend people’s senses. But in just the same way, if you don't have a way to prepare your consciousness and your emotions, you may offend people in other ways, by acting stressed or insufficiently sensitive to other people’s needs and emotions. Bring Attention to Your Own Internal State. One method which works very well is sometimes referred to as “giving and taking with the breath.” It is quite simple and easy to learn. Here are the steps: 1. Notice the thoughts that are passing, the emotions you can feel, and bodily sensations. 2. Imagine something like a window in the middle of the chest. With your in breath, imagine you can draw in all of the thoughts and feelings and body sensations through the “window of the heart“ and into presence, or consciousness. 3. With the out breath, breathe out a sigh of blessing, where you re-create thought and feeling from out of your own presence. Repeat steps two and three a few times.

4. Now, simply expand the circumference of the breathing in to include things outside yourself. Breathe everything in through the window of the heart into presence, including everything you have attributed as part of ”me,” and everything you have thought of as part of “the other.” 5. Send out a wave of blessing, from out of your own presence, blessing the thoughts and feelings you think of as “me” as well as the thoughts and feelings you think of as “the other.” Sit Doing Nothing. The most powerful and effective thing that we can do to change the quality of the day and to make the greatest contribution to others is actually not a thing at all. It is taking time for nothing. You don't need to learn any fancy meditation techniques or special breathing or visualizations or anything. If you just sit and observe the thoughts that are passing, the emotional fluctuations, and the sensations in your body, with a relaxed and detached curiosity, they start to settle down on their own. “Slowly, after some time you feel less caught up in the thoughts and feelings and body sensations, and you relax more into being....,” Dr. Jan. says. “Instead of consciousness being something you experience, you know that it is who you are. People quickly discover that it is peaceful, relaxed, and inherently loving.” About the Author: Dr. Jan Bonhoeffer (SAY Yon Bon-hoffer) is founder of Heart Based Medicine, a nonprofit foundation helping medical professionals, caregivers, and others maintain compassion and empathy for their patients and for themselves through the pandemic and beyond. His new book is “Dare to Care — How to Survive and Thrive in Today’s Medical World.” Learn more at









In High Five Discipline: Positive Parenting for Happy, Healthy, Well-Behaved Kids, pediatrician Candice Jones, MD, FAAP gives parents the tools they need to take a positive approach to parenting and discipline. Dr. Jones helps parents better understand child development and how the ways that children are disciplined shapes not only their behavior but their overall health and wellbeing. CEOMOM Magazine talked to Dr. Jones about the essential components of High Five discipline, and how thinking like a child helps us on our parenting journey. Tell us about your background and how your career led you to pediatric medicine. Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you that I proclaimed I would be a doctor from the age of five. It wasn’t until my fourth year of medical school that I settled on pediatrics. I loved the innocence of children, working with parents, and having the opportunity to help shape a person from infancy to adulthood. Being able to grow with a child steered me towards outpatient, general pediatrics where my passion continues to be health promotion and disease prevention in children.

What inspired you to write the book, High Five Discipline: Positive Parenting for Happy, Healthy, WellBehaved Kids? Inspiration came from self-reflecting on my upbringing, challenges I had as a parent, and regularly being asked about parenting and discipline struggles by families I serve. My upbringing and early parenting challenges were very similar to my patients’. So I wanted to share through this book how I transitioned to parenting in a positive way. What is positive discipline? What are the essential components of High Five discipline? Positive parenting is a way to raise kids by supporting their development and keeping their overall health and well-being in mind. High Five discipline is a positive parenting approach to discipline that consists of the high five essentials. 1. Knowledge of child development and parenting skills. 2. Good relational health between parent and child. 3. Encouraging appropriate behavior. 4. Discouraging and correcting inappropriate behavior. 5. Managing the environment.




Photo Credit: The Daniel Morris

In your book, you teach parents how to act like a parent but think like a child. How does relating to your child encourage positive discipline? When we meet kids where they are developmentally, we gain a better understanding of how they are experiencing the world, why they do what they do, and what they are capable of. Trying to think like a child helps us form realistic expectations for them. Then we can teach and they can learn. That’s what discipline means, to teach. We can’t just expect to control children and for them to be able to do what we want them to do, especially if they are not developmentally capable yet.




Describe the techniques you use to help parents stay calm when their child misbehaves? First of all, we have to understand that discipline is so much more than what we do when kids misbehave. Proactive techniques, such as maintaining the environment through structure and routines head off misbehavior. Skills, such as positive reinforcement and telling kids what to do, empower kids to make good behavioral choices. If we spend more time doing these things, we’ll spend less time struggling with unwanted behaviors and our own frustrations. My go-to stay calm techniques are deep breathing, stepping away to collect myself, and counting to 10 before I respond. Ten seconds can make all the difference in the way we react to our children.

How to Discipline Children Without Traumatizing Them - High Five Discipline: Positive Parenting for Happy, Healthy, Well-Behaved Kids

There is an ongoing debate about the impact spanking has on children. From your professional perspective, how does spanking affect children? The evidence is clear. Spanking is ineffective and harmful. It can lead to behavioral, emotional, and mental health problems in children. But also, other forms of negative discipline, such as yelling, shaming, threatening, namecalling, etc. all harm children. Children who experience physical punishment are more likely to:

Spank their own children

Hit a spouse

Engage in higher rates of substance use and be at increased risk for crime and violence when exposed as older children and adolescents

Have reduced prefrontal cortical gray matter and lower performance IQ

Have elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which have been shown to change brain structure. (Chapter 1 of HFD)

How can parents prevent discipline from being a source of childhood trauma? What are some ways to heal if childhood trauma has occurred? When we use negative forms of discipline it can be traumatizing to children. For example, spanking can easily escalate into physical abuse. Profanity and namecalling is verbal abuse. Shaming and controlling is mental abuse. We have to reject negative forms of discipline that were sometimes normalized in our upbringing and find a more positive way of parenting. Appropriate discipline should teach kids to behave but it should not hurt them. I strongly believe that parents should take a parenting class, read parenting books like High Five discipline, and seek a trusted source for parenting advice, such as their pediatrician. Even though parents want to do what’s best for their kids, sometimes we get it wrong. We should apologize and tell our kids that we love them unconditionally. We should provide them with a safe, stable, nurturing relationship and environment and tons of positive childhood experiences. Healing practices, such as exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, meditation, getting out in nature and other mindfulness practices are also important. You have linked self-care with cultivating a positive mindset and effective parenting. Why is self care so important to the way we parent and discipline our children? To put it simply, when we create the best version of ourselves, we are able to give the best to our kids.

We have to reject negative forms of discipline that were sometimes normalized in our upbringing and find a more positive way of parenting.






Let’s be reflective. How often do we as women allow ourselves the proper time to recover mentally and physically from a time of difficulty or stages of momentary setback? If it’s taking you a moment to reflect and you can’t recall, please don’t feel alone. This was also a question that I had to take some time to ponder. Like so many other women, I am living in a constant state of resiliency. Certainly, the term has been popularized to depict strength and withbearing, but could it be causing each of us to become obligated to immediately tend to our stressors as opposed to properly processing and caring for ourselves? The idea of the “resilient woman”, the woman who defies adversity and can bounce back from a crisis time and time again can very well be overly exaggerated. Especially, during times such as these that’s filled with so much precarity and uncertainty.

Pay attention to your inner self. If you are feeling overwhelmed about a situation don’t feel pressured to quickly address your stressor. Take as much time as you need to process, regroup, and proceed through the challenge with a clear prospective.

Of course, as a mother and entrepreneur I want to be resilient. I want to be able to tackle a challenge, efficiently multitask and be completely present for my children. But I began to wonder, is my want to be that resilient woman all of the time a real or modified expectation based upon the pressures of societal depictions.

The message in each of these contexts is similar. As women, as mothers, as professionals we may not be able to always avoid obstacles from life’s tough situations, be it experiencing a lost, parenting challenges or just the stressors from our day-to-day obligations. However, we can be ok with not having to quickly cope. You are already resilient and strong and knowing how to pace and recover makes you even more so.

Dr. Alisha Reed, pharmacist and founder of Fly with Alisha Reed, a platform that inspires widows through their journeys of grief shares, “Honestly, the term resiliency annoys me just as much as being called strong. This is something that has been passed down from generation to generation. We were taught not to be vulnerable, because it was seen as a sign of weakness. There are some days that I don’t want to be “resilient,” I just want to be a woman.”

Set hard boundaries. Your space, your peace and mental health are more important than your ability to “spring” through adversity. Slow it down. Say no. It’s ok if you aren’t ready to take a challenge head on. Remember challenges are there to develop us not break us down. Redirect the negative energy that comes with times of adversity to positive views of yourself. Use this as an opportunity for self-discovery and develop an appreciation for how well you’ve overcome!

Think of it in terms of our health. Is the combination of constant adaptability and self-preservation taking away from healing and self-care? Licensed social worker and author, Darshall Polk admitted to her struggle with the love and hate feeling towards always needing to be resilient. “It’s not healthy, we need time to sit and deal with our emotions. I like to take my time and heal in my way. I don’t want to move on quickly. I don’t want to be like a robot. I want to embrace my femininity and be that delicate flower. I don’t want to be strong all the time. I don’t want to be flexible all the time. I want to deal with things on my own timeline.” Be mindful that wanting to take our time to acknowledge our experiences and become vulnerable does not take away from our ability to reset and push through unscathed. It only helps to rebuild our mental and physical selves in relation to our bodies so that being resilient isn’t a state that we reside but an opportunity for growth. The Power of Resiliency is the Strength in Knowing: 3 Tips to Manage Adversity

Photo Credit: Pep Holman

Tiyana Jordan, boy mom, author and entrepreneur has a decade of marketing and branding experience. Jordan is an avid writer, researcher and her fixation with business development are the reasons why she started NINE30 Brand Voice Agency and Consulting. Her dedication to entrepreneurship, business foundation and professional relationship building plays a pivotal role in her career.




Fall 2021



Son ia



SONIA JHAS As one of North America’s leading mindset and wellness experts, Sonia Jhas offers an action plan that can help people ease back into the regular swing of things. What makes her signature style shine with her followers is her combined focus on training your mind and your body together to achieve long-lasting transformations. CEOMOM Magazine spoke to Jhas about how she turned her struggles with infertility into a platform that helps other women realize and maintain health and wellness. CEOMOM



Who is Sonia Jhas? This should feel like such a simple question, and yet, I’m like “woah, there’s a lot to unpack here”! I’ll keep this as brief as I possibly can: I’m a 37-year-old, South Asian female who lives in Toronto, Canada. I’m the mother of two kids (which is exhausting), the wife of a neurosurgeon (which sounds more exciting than it is), an entrepreneur (which essentially means I’m on a constant professional roller coaster), and a mindset and wellness expert (which allows me to do what I love most – helping people!). How did your fitness journey begin? Like many women out there, most of my youth was spent on the “hamster wheel” of weight loss. I wasn’t born particularly skinny, but I did learn very early on that if I made myself suffer enough, I too could fit myself into a size 0. How? Well, that varied each time. Sometimes I dieted. Sometimes I exercised. But most of the time, I dieted AND exercised. Which doesn’t sound all that bad, I know, but I’m not talking about scaling back on takeout and eating more leafy greens. No, I’m talking about extreme deprivation (although I didn’t realize it at the time). The cycle of yo-yo dieting and overexercising continued for over a decade until my mid-twenties. It was then that I hit my breaking point.

My coaching isn’t about handing over a meal plan, a pretty checklist, and offering quick little check-ins once in a while. Rather, it’s about digging into the core of my clients’ internal resistance and creating customized solutions for them and their bodies.

What led you to turn your love for fitness into a brand? Remember how I said that I hit my breaking point? Well, I had literally gotten to the point where I couldn’t stand the constant yo-yo dieting, negative self-talk, and feelings of failure. And so, I decided to really step back and “do the work” to finally cultivate true health and wellness from the inside out. I re-taught myself the fundamentals of fitness and nutrition, focused on nourishing my body and building strength instead of losing weight, and I also worked on developing a positive relationship with food. My transformation didn’t happen overnight, but a year later, I truly felt like a different person. I also felt like I had uncovered my passion. I wanted to share what I had learned with everyone I met, and I wanted to help people avoid making the same mistakes that I had made. And so (to make a long story short), I decided to quit my career in the corporate world to pursue health and wellness, and there’s been no looking back since!

You are one of North America’s leading mindset and wellness experts. Your signature style focuses on training the mind and body together. Describe some of your strategies for focusing on your clients’ mental and physical health simultaneously. Through my in-depth coaching programs, I teach my clients everything I know – from what to eat, to how to workout effectively, to how to identify their real goals, to how to combat their inner-narrative. I help them break free from the on-again-off-again cycle they’re so worried will never end, and together, we’re able to shift the selfsabotaging beliefs and behaviours that are preventing them from conquering their health and wellness goals. My coaching isn’t about handing over a meal plan, a pretty checklist, and offering quick little check-ins once in a while. Rather, it’s about digging into the core of my clients’ internal resistance and creating customized solutions for them and their bodies. You went through IVF to conceive, all while building your fitness brand. What was the key to you building a business while navigating through such a stressful time? I think it’s the “building a business” stuff that actually kept me sane(er) throughout my IVF journeys. I don’t think I realized it at the time, but focusing on what I could control, and channeling my energy towards my other hopes and dreams and ambitions allowed me to feel like my whole world wasn’t hinging upon the “can I get pregnant?” question. The small wins with my business, my clients, and my audience on social media really helped offset the emotional turmoil I was experiencing on the baby front. I’ll also say that being an entrepreneur was a blessing during both my IVF journeys. The flexibility and freedom to only answer to myself was invaluable during phases where I had to be at doctor’s appointments almost daily. Some days I needed to take it slow, or simply cry my face off, and leaning-in to that without fear that I would be “dropping the ball” allowed me to strike a balance between productivity and self-compassion. I also found it tremendously helpful to open up to my audience online about my IVF struggles. Doing so allowed me to be more honest about how I was really feeling, and enabled me to have some very meaningful and therapeutic conversations about infertility. What advice do you have for women who are going through IVF or who are about to embark on that journey as it relates to mental health? My suggestion would be to find a support system that feels truly supportive to you. For me, this involved a therapist and some very close friends. For you, it may involve family, your spouse, or a fertility support group. Whoever it is, find them, and lean on them as much as you can. Going through IVF is both mentally and physically painful. You’re facing inner-narratives, limiting beliefs, societal and selfimposed expectations, hormones, weight gain, and more. It’s a turbulent time on all fronts and the more you can process and express your feelings, the less isolating and scary it will all feel. I’d also encourage you to lean in to




"Movement really helps the body release bottled up stress and emotions, and endorphins can do wonders for our overall sense of wellbeing.”

exercise and good nutrition in whatever way feels good to you. Movement really helps the body release bottled up stress and emotions, and endorphins can do wonders for our overall sense of wellbeing. I’m not saying you need to become a marathon runner, but finding some form of exercise that you like and that you can do a few times a week (even something as simple as dancing in your room with the music blasting!) can help alleviate the stress. The same goes for good nutrition – I’m not suggesting that you need to be on a diet, but I do think it’s helpful to lean into good quality nutrition to keep your hormones and emotions in better balance. Focus on lean protein, healthy fats, fruit, and vegetables as much as you can while always allowing yourself to indulge when you feel like you need it! It’s about trying to maintain stability and balance while you’re going through such a volatile time. And finally, layer in self-care as much as you can. This can involve journaling (a personal favourite), meditating, breathwork (also a personal favourite), taking baths, watching bad Netflix shows, or whatever else feels relaxing to you.

CEO MOM | Ford 39 Photo Credit: Sarah

SONIA’S 4 TIPS TO HELP MOMS “RETURN TO NORMAL” AFTER THE PANDEMIC CONNECT WITH YOURSELF The idea of “self care” has become a bit overwhelming these days. One minute it’s all about meditation. The next minute it’s all about yoga, breathwork, and journaling. But whichever way you choose to spend time with yourself, the bottom line is this: you need to find ways to slow down. Whether it’s through a few minutes of light stretching or simply going for a solo-walk, taking time to connect with yourself can allow you to tune-in to how your mind and body are really feeling. Are you exhausted? Are you stressed? Do you feel the way you want to feel? Only when you slow down are you able to get answers to critical questions like these.

GET CLEAR ON YOUR PRIORITIES In order to minimize the frustration around eating well and doing exercise, it’s important that you get clear on what you’re really trying to achieve. Are you trying to build muscle? Are you trying to shed fat? Are you simply trying to have more energy and feel more vital? By getting clear on your priorities and setting actionable goals, you will give yourself something concrete to evaluate yourself against, which in turn will keep you motivated, focused, and clear on what kind of decisions and actions you should be taking on a daily basis.

LAYER IN POSITIVITY So many of us suffer from limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging thoughts. We know we should strive for more positivity, but we don’t know how to stop the constant cycle of negativity. However, this is where affirmations and positive quotes can really work in our favour. Affirmations are simply positive statements that, if repeated over time, can really boost your self-esteem and problem-solving skills. You’re essentially tricking your mind into thinking differently by reinforcing what it is that you want to believe about yourself. Yes, it may sound silly, but affirmations are powerful, and they’ve been shown to work!

PLAN AND PREPARE Life is hectic for everyone whether you’re a parent, a student, or a bachelor so expecting yourself to stay focused on your health and wellbeing without a little planning and preparation is unrealistic. My suggestion? Do your best to have a meal plan for the week ahead so that you’re not stuck making decisions on the fly. If you can, go so far as to make sure you have all the groceries you’ll need stocked in your fridge, and if you’re feeling really organized, consider pre-cooking some of your meals for the week. The less you’re relying on your willpower throughout the week, the more likely you’ll be to eat healthy, nutritious meals.





Rejoicing in hope,

patient in tribulation,

continuing steadfastly

in prayer.

Romans 12:12

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Experiencing Infertility or Loss

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Some brands make it look easy. Their messaging is laser focused to reach their ideal client, and they seem to have cracked the code on creating a brand that is consistent and clear. Their successful branding efforts have gained a huge following. They generate the kind of sales that make other businesses green with envy. Business is flourishing, and their brands are strong and vibrant. Yet for others, branding still feels confusing and complicated. They struggle to find their sweet spot. The path to success can feel overwhelming and unattainable. They, too, long to build a healthy brand that embodies: Clarity in bringing their business vision to life Confidence to stand out in their market and embrace their expertise Relevance in the marketplace that stands the test of time and outshines the competition An amplified message that makes a bigger impact and finally makes money

So how do we move from stuck to thriving?

Photo Credit: MikiFoto + Co

What can we learn from these ubersuccessful businesses that have reached Power Brand Status? We know branding is an ongoing process that takes work, research, self discovery and validation. It's not as simple as picking a logo design, choosing your colors, and sharing a catchy tagline. Like most successful brands have discovered, branding is about developing your authentic story, serving your customers well, and discovering your true expertise. Plus, it takes a series of intentional steps to keep your business afloat and your brand feeling vibrant. I’m sharing 6 key steps to building a healthy and fit brand for long term growth.

Like most successful brands have discovered, branding is about developing your authentic story, serving your customers well, and discovering your true expertise.

1) Take Action. An energized brand doesn't sit back and wait for their business to grow, they jump in and do what needs to be done to make it happen. From public speaking to creating social media content, they are committed and diligent, making CEOMOM



REMEMBER, YOUR BRAND IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A LOGO AND TAGLINE. IT’S A LIVING ENTITY THAT IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING AND RESPONDING TO THE MARKETPLACE. branding a priority in their weekly schedules. Instead of obsessing about the competition, they carve their own path, take risks and aren’t afraid of imperfect action. 2) Keep Learning. To stay sharp in the long game of business, successful owners invest in their education and skills. Powerful brands invest in coaches, mentors, and courses with the goal of gaining new strategies and ideas for a healthy and thriving business. They listen to podcasts and read books to improve themselves and gain more knowledge. To stay relevant and fresh in the marketplace, brands can’t stay comfortable. They must make time and effort to be curious, creative and innovative.

bigger purpose and passion behind the business. They know what they stand for and the impact they are trying to make in the world. Develop a clear statement communicating your mission and keep it close to you. This will invigorate your mind and business when times get tough. 6) Pause and Rest. Burnout is a real thing. If you're in business for the long game, you must include time to reset, rejuvenate and relax. The most powerful and lasting brands are backed by real people who know when to take a break. The truth is, taking time away can actually launch you forward in business quicker. It will keep your creative juices flowing and help you think more clearly about the next steps you need to take.

3) Invest In Community. If you try to go solo in business and avoid collaborating and connecting with others, you're likely to burn out fast. Strong brands understand the importance of partnerships and finding like-minded people along the journey. Otherwise, you can end up feeling isolated and lost. Connect to other business owners who will encourage you month after month and lead you to brand brilliance. Participate in networking events, join a membership or mastermind, gather your business besties — the camaraderie will keep you feeling positive and sane.

Remember, your brand is so much more than a logo and tagline. It’s a living entity that is constantly evolving and responding to the marketplace. As a business owner, you need to check your brand’s vital signs to ensure that it’s fit and flourishing.

4) Assess Your Results. It's not about doing more all the time for the sake of doing. Successful brands take smart action and do frequent audits. They keep a close eye on their numbers, looking at their offers, strategies, campaigns, etc to evaluate what's working and what's not. They make CEO decisions to cull and curate their spectrum of services. They focus on the platforms that have the most ROI. And most importantly, they don't say yes to everything!

Mallika Malhotra of MikiFoto + Co is an award winning brand strategist, business mentor and speaker. After years of working in corporate advertising, she now helps women entrepreneurs master their story, show up as the face of their business and discover their power niche. It's her mission to empower women to stop hiding and to start emerging as leaders. When she's not taking pictures or building brands, she's at home in Maine with her three sons and husband, drinking coffee or red wine and dreaming about their next global adventure. Learn more about Mallika at and follow her at @mikifotoco on Instagram.

5) Remember Your Why. The entrepreneurial journey is a rollercoaster ride! There are highs and lows, wins and losses. Power brands stay on track by revisiting their




Consider these steps as a framework to nurture your brand to build resilience and optimize performance. Take the time to apply these principles so your business can grow and stand the test of time. A healthy brand makes a wealthy business.












I BELIEVE THAT KNOWING WHO YOU ARE AS A WOMAN OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD POSITIONS YOU TO HAVE A GREATER IMPACT ON YOUR CHILDREN. Being a mother is one of the most rewarding roles in a woman’s life. The immeasurable impact you can have on a child’s life from birth to adulthood is one that can be both fulfilling and motivating. Yet, is it so fulfilling that it replaces any need to be something else? Does your role as a mother remove any dreams you have or desires to pursue a purpose that is not centered on parenting, but rather on who you are? I once heard someone say, “Motherhood is not my greatest calling.” This is a statement that many can argue, and it’s worth the debate. Is motherhood our greatest calling? Should women seek purpose outside of their children? I say a resounding, “Yes” to the pursuit of your own purpose and power. I believe that knowing who you are as a woman outside of motherhood positions you to have a greater impact on your children. The legacy you can leave behind can inspire them to greatness. I have two daughters, and it brings joy to my heart knowing that they will see their mother being her own person. They will see me unapologetically pursue my dreams without reserve. I want my daughters to be empowered to be all that they can be. What better way to empower them than by setting an example of intention and purpose? To all mothers, I give you permission to celebrate your individuality. Celebrate your dreams. Embrace the things about you that make you more than just someone’s mother. You are a woman of power. Becoming a mother doesn’t stop you from dreaming, it gives your dreams new meaning. Here are four tips that will help you find your power beyond motherhood. Tip 1: Write down your dreams. Writing things down tends to be more effective than just saying or thinking them. Vision boards have become popular within the past several years, because they allow you to see your dreams in text and images. You may use a vision board or a journal to be specific about what you love to do, what you want to do, and what gives your heart joy. Do you love to write? Do you love to organize? Do you want to be a public speaker or launch a startup? Is there a ministry or nonprofit organization you have been eager to start? Whatever

your visions may be, write them down and be intentional about making them come true. Writing them down allows you to see how much you want to do that isn’t all about being a mom. Tip 2: Take the first step. Every journey begins with one small step. Moms have a tendency to wait until the perfect moment to pursue their dreams. They want to wait until the children graduate from college or until the children are old enough to drive or until they’ve saved up enough money. When you wear several hats, there is always going to be a reason to wait. Stop waiting and take the first step. It is not the size of the initial step that has all of the power, but the movement that inspires the next step. My grandmother used to say, “Girl, put one foot in front of the other, and get to moving.” It’s okay to start small. Just start. It’s the journey that is going to build and grow you as you pursue your power beyond motherhood. Tip 3: Join a community of working moms who are embracing their careers and passions. The saying goes, "Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be." Being around other moms who are fervently living their dreams will allow you to not only see that you're not alone, but it will give you the opportunity to learn from likeminded individuals, exchange ideas, and receive much needed moral support. Use the internet to find networking groups, specifically for women and mompreneurs. Join mommy groups to find other women who are excited about their individual passions. Tip 3: Celebrate you. This is something women need to do more. Women struggle with taking care of themselves, because we often put others first, especially our children. As we move to living our purpose, we must celebrate the little victories along the way. Celebrate accomplishments by treating yourself to something special. Make sure it is out of the ordinary for you. The more you get used to celebrating you, the easier it will be for you to pursue your dreams and re-discover you.


We are disrupting human resources with new innovative concepts, ideas, and strategies to move organizations forward in the future. Photo Credit: For Beauty Sake, Octavia Whitlowe

Describe your business. At HR&Co., we lead with humanity, authenticity, and honesty to create better global citizens. We strive to reinvigorate organizations to unleash the full power and potential of their people. We are a human capital resources provider and advisory services firm to growing commercial organizations and government agencies. Our clients are continually seeking ways to maximize their businesses, operations, and people resources. At HR&Co., we seek out clients who are continually seeking ways to enable and optimize their talent. Backed by our dedicated team of people experts, our broad perspectives, and industry knowledge, we help our clients tackle their top people priorities. Our human resources services enable organizations to achieve optimal results by providing the tools, solutions, experience, and expertise that allow companies to flourish. Our success comes through being partners, advisors, problem-solvers, and solution builders to co-create the right path forward.

What inspired you to start your business? There was a defining moment in my career- due to the lack of the visibility and access to coaching at the executive level- I decided to start providing executive coaching to diverse talent, providing insights on developing their executive presence, how to navigate the corporate landscape successfully, and to land the right opportunities. It became clear that these leaders had little or no internal support from their organization or had an internal partner that could help. When I launched HR&Co., I made an intentional shift to change my long term relationship with Corporate America to serve her in a different capacity. It was a tough decision, but I knew it was time, a soft exit to a long term commitment to be able to support many individuals across the world. After taking the time to reflect on my journey – lessons learned and opportunities, failures, and puzzling moments, accomplishments, and all the relationships I’ve established over time, I had an epiphany. I realized I could better serve Corporate America in a different

capacity; I could dynamically serve her and many individuals as strategic partner, people advisor, and people engineer. I started HR&Co. to bring a diverse voice to the table from many angles. We aim to be the preeminent HR strategist, executive coach, and forward thinkers dedicated to helping organizations and government agencies flourish through its people and human resources practices. I continue to believe in the successes of organizations, cultures, and people. Today, it gives me great joy to provide HR advisory and strategies to many well - known organizations and their leaders. How is your business changing your industry, the world? Our team actively seeks new ways to consistently challenge the status quo and disrupt the old ways of doing HR. We are focused on executing new innovative concepts, ideas, and strategies to move organizations forward in the future. We are helping people at the individual level; we are CEOMOM DIRECTORY | 51

helping companies at the organizational level. After more than 20 years of corporate human resources expertise, we are always creating solutions that puts people first. We’ve created a one – stop shop for customized advisory service and have established excellent partnerships with technology providers that simplify HR. We are enabling a better work experience and thought leadership. What does being a CEOMOM mean to you? Being in CEOMOM, will be extraordinary! To


be in a lineup with other leading CEO moms will create a new type of community and lane for HR&Co. and me. I welcome the opportunity to share my story, to help others find their story, and to use this engaging platform to connect with other leaders and individuals, to communicate how they can excel in their careers or business. I want your readers to know that they can partner with a preeminent HR strategist, executive coach, and forward thinker dedicated to helping organizations flourish through its people and human resources practices.

Ticki Favaroth

Ticki Favaroth






PHONE 832.445.9369

INSTAGRAM @hrandco.levelup







After over a decade of treating women for high heel related pain and having suffered from my own foot problems, I was inspired to start dr. Liza shoes.

Describe your business. dr. Liza shoes is an innovative line of heels and flats designed by a doctor for healthy all day wear. The first line of designer women’s shoes to be clinically tested for optimum comfort, dr. Liza shoes feel as great as they look. The doctor designer boasts over a decade of experience as a body and posture expert treating a long list of celebrities, political leaders and CEOS, improving not only the way they feel and function, but also the way they look. dr. Liza shoes was launched in March 2017 as a solution for women who wanted to wear beautiful heels all day without suffering from pain or disfigurement. What inspired you to start your business? After over a decade of treating women for high heel related pain and having suffered from my own foot problems, I was inspired to start dr. Liza shoes. Patients would ask me to recommend shoes that they could wear that wouldn't cause pain and disfigurement but also heels that didn't look orthopedic. At that time I could not make any good recommendations and decided to design my own line of shoes that women could wear to look great and feel great.

How is your business changing your industry, the world? Women have been conditioned into believing that they should wear uncomfortable heels in order to achieve a certain look or respect in the workforce. Most of the designs commonly worn by women like pencil thin stilettos and sharp pointed toes were designed by men and sadly cause excruciating pain and permanent disfigurement for many women. They also slow you down as you aren't able to do what you need to do effectively while wearing them. dr. Liza shoes is changing the industry and improving women's lives around the world by showing women that fashion doesn't have to hurt. We can look great and also feel great without causing permanent harm to our bodies. What does being a CEOMOM mean to you? Being a CEOMOM means creating balance between being a mom, a CEO and leading a happy fulfilled life. The great thing about owning a business as a mom is that you can focus on things that you are passionate about while setting a schedule that is best for your personal and family life to thrive.

Dr. Liza Egbogah Dr. Liza Egbogah


8102 GUA



dr. Liza shoes



PHONE 416-366-1703

INSTAGRAM @drLiza | @drLizashoes | @thefixtoronto




3.5 years the[fix] - 13 years CEOMOM DIRECTORY | 57

ANAIDA DETI Photo Credit: Lgh Art Photography & Media

SHIFTING LEADERSHIP IN DENTAL CARE DentalX Is Setting Trends for Dental Hygienists



Dental Industry

SHE’S THE BOSS Describe your business. DentalX is an award winning dental office. We offer all dental services from dental cleanings and check ups to complicated extractions and implants. What inspired you to start your business? I wanted to be a dentist since I was a little girl. The dental profession somehow fascinated me and that feeling grew a lot more as I got older. On the other hand, I was also terrified of going to the dentist. Let’s say going to the dentist back home was not fun at all. My first dental appointment was when I was seven years old and what I remember from that appointment was being scarred for life. My next dental appointment was a decade later and I went only because I was in extreme pain. I always used to say to myself that, “when I become a dentist, I will make sure that the patients look forward to their dental appointments.” And that was the biggest thing for me all these years, making sure that my patients look forward to their dental appointments. How is your business changing your industry, the world? I wanted to do something different compared to traditional dental offices. DentalX is an alternative option for the public, we are slightly different from traditional dental offices. We focus more on the preventative side of dentistry by offering longer dental appointments which include oral hygiene instructions in a more extensive way

including visuals. The office looks different as well, giving you more of a spa feeling than a dental office. We offer different relaxing techniques for the patients, making the dental appointment more relaxing and less scary. We specialize in seeing nervous patients that do not like going to the dentist. Our warm environment and techniques make them more comfortable. It is an amazing feeling when patients come in and tell us, they look forward to their appointments. DentalX gives back at least twice a year by offering free dental services for people that cannot afford to pay. One is in April and one during Christmas time. Our office has offered free dental/dental hygiene services to 30 people from Red Door Family Shelter. And not only that, we had a whole day planned for them, with lunch, a magic show, and Santa made an appearance and gave the kids Christmas gifts. Last December, we offered free dental/dental hygiene services to 25 teenage moms from Jessie's centre in Toronto. Again, we had a whole day planned for them and their kids. I founded Mission Kind (Kids In Need of Dentalcare), to help children aged 6-16 obtain much needed dental work at no charge. Also, I like to offer advise for oral hygiene instructions and dental health in general to the community. What does being a CEO mom mean to you? I think the most difficult thing as a female leader is to juggle family and business. During the time I opened my business in 2014, I also got pregnant with my daughter. I had a


My family encourages me to do better everyday. I am a big feminist and I love to empower women.

complicated pregnancy. My daughter was a twin, but I lost one of them which made my pregnancy high risk. The doctor told me I had to be in bed for the remaining seven months. I told her, that was impossible. She made me sign a waiver and told me that I was nuts for refusing bed rest. Unfortunately, I had no choice. I tried to be very careful, but I was very scared knowing that I would never forgive myself if something happened to my daughter. But she is a fighter just like me. We made it, and this amazing little girl completed our family. I worked till the last day of my pregnancy. The delivery went well, and she was just perfect. Three days later however, I had to return to work. When my staff saw me at the door, they could not believe their eyes. For the first two months, I drove home for lunch to breastfeed my daughter and then went back to work. It was hard. When people say to me, they cannot do something because it is hard, I tell them what I had to do when I was pregnant with my daughter and after I had her. We face

challenges everyday with daily tasks. The hardest thing I find is to balance business and family and prioritize tasks. Being a mom of two, with a teenager and a toddler, life gets difficult. My family encourages me to do better everyday. I am a big feminist and I love to empower women. I think that all of us together can change the world. I really believe that women have a special power in them. We can multitask so well that it’s unbelievable. We do not have it easy, because often we have to take care of the family, home and business. Even though we might make it look easy, we do it day in and day out. I have known many strong women in my life, beginning with my mother and my mother in law. They have shown me that women can do anything. Through it all, we need to love and support each other.

Anaida Deti Anaida Deti






PHONE 647-839-1374






Picture Me Photography

Revolutionizing How Women Wear Hosiery


Photos provided by CARRA Hosiery


Describe your business. CARRA ("CARRA") Hosiery is a luxury hosiery brand that's changing the perception of hosiery. Founded by Christi Hairston, a marketing guru and avid fashion lover, the entrepreneur turned her obsession with hosiery into a company of her own. Named after her late sister Carra LaVonne, Carra was a fashionista before her time and our products serve not only as a legacy to her impeccable style, but an accessory that all women can use to express themselves and take their wardrobe to the next level, no matter their budget. CARRA’s patented hosiery design of high quality is sustainable and fashion forward, Made in the U.S.A. with runresistant fabric. Additionally, our keen awareness of living a hygienic lifestyle makes CARRA unique with its antimicrobial finish that banishes bacteria and a moisture wicking gusset. CARRA is headquartered in the Washington, DC area and sold exclusively online at and ships domestically and to select countries worldwide. What inspired you to start your business? I was stuck in my career and ready for the next challenge. I was reading a magazine and came across an article about two college roommates that started a sock collection from their dorms. I thought to myself, surely if they were able to form a company from their dorm I can start one from my house!! I began to think about my likes and dislikes, what was I passionate about that can be turned into a profitable business and what was missing from the marketplace. Hosiery was the answer for me! I worked diligently for 2 years to learn about legwear development and fabric testing. I managed to find a course with extensive training that covered sketch to packaged product, where creativity sparked the catalyst for my first collection and ultimately the birth of CARRA Hosiery. How is your business changing your industry, the world? Through my Free the Panty campaign, CARRA aims to reshape the way the modern day woman wears hosiery while eliminating the longstanding stigma of women going commando. My brand is bringing a beloved accessory into the marketplace targeting hosiery lovers age 16-60 with fashion forward designs that are both sustainable and affordable. CARRA's products are worn by both women and men alike with men being a niche market. CARRA is breaking gender barriers and social norms in fashion by showcasing men in hosiery in a way often frowned upon.


My brand is bringing a beloved accessory into the marketplace targeting hosiery lovers age 16-60 with fashion forward designs that are I both sustainable and affordable.

What does being a CEOMOM mean to you? Being a CEOMOM means showing pride, leadership and tenacity for an experience you never have to call work. A CEOMOM is a natural leader who is managing all things related to motherhood, career/entrepreneurship, relationships, and finances. It also means being true to yourself and setting an example of strength and dedication to your children.

Christi Hairston

Christi Hairston







PHONE 301-442-5781



STATE OF BUSINESS Maryland, Washington, DC Region




Photos: The Canovas Photography, McKinney Brands, Emerson McClain

Describe your business. The Small Biz Engine® is a consultancy for high impact strategy and growth. I work with entrepreneurs and companies to drive results. We work with organizations, teams, and solo entrepreneurs to help them operate efficiently and expand with intention. As the moniker suggests, The Small Biz Engine® works with you behind the scenes to propel your business with new ideas, growth strategies, removing inhibitors, and refining your processes. Whether you’re looking to explore your business passions or separate yourself from the pack, we're your partner. SBE is my foundation. I invest in others and I also own a restaurant, a real estate brokerage, and a travel agency. I am also the reigning titleholder for the Majestic International Pageant (Ms.) 2021-2022. How is your business changing your industry, the world? I had a number of ideas that were given to friends through casual conversations. As I followed their growth, I realized my ideas


were an integral part of their stories or success. I knew I had something special. After a while, investing in seed ideas and manufacturing growth became my passions. What does being a CEO mom mean to you? It means continually working in harmony with competing priorities. Some days my kids suffer because of my business and some days my business suffers because of my kids, but at the end of any shifts I have to make sure my family knows every effort is to create the best environment possible.

COMPANY The Small Biz Engine


PHONE 407-504-7677


We build brands that are driven by emotion and individuality. Oriel Ross McKinney Oriel Ross McKinney



STATE Florida




10% off Use Code CEOMOM to receive a 10% discount off the purchase of the book.


STORIES FIGHTING TO END MODERN DAY SLAVERY Help us raise funds and awareness to end human trafficking around the world. REACHING OUR WORLD ONE LIFE AT A TIME.







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