National Business Womenâ€™s Week October 21-25, 2013
The Dublin Citizen
2013 Women in Business Section
Sjolin uses brush to better new hometown By PAUL GAUDETTE Artist and Irish Cowboy owner Patty Sjolin’s life went through several twists before she found her home in Dublin but it shows how people can find happiness outside their childhood dreams. Growing up in El Paso and Burnet, Sjolin knew from an early age she wanted to work in illustration. Her main desire was to become an animator for Walt Disney studios since she was first inspired into the career choice after being impressed by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. So she began to draw non-stop and perfecting her own style. After high school, she attended the Art Institute of Tucson which helped her develop her portfolio. While there, her style caught the eye of the staff. “The teachers said, ‘you’ve got to go to Lisa Frank’,” Sjolin recounted, saying that they thought her roundeyed animal cartoon characters seemed like a perfect fit for the company that produces products like school supplies. Sjolin’s portfolio was good enough to get her hired at the Arizona- based company on a provisional basis,
leading to a career that lasted several years. The overall experience was bittersweet though. She was staff so she didn’t receive commission or keep any rights to her drawings once they were produced. It was still gratifying to see them accepted and put on a folder or notebook though. Some of her designs are even going back on sale in a vintage line that Lisa Frank is currently manufacturing. As a character designer, she had to produce numerous versions of the same drawing so that her bosses could have a choice of different colors and backgrounds. Rejection hit her hard on drawings that were more a reflection of her own style. She was also raising two kids by herself while working long hours. “Looking back, I don’t know how I did it,” she offered, shaking her head. She reported that the secret to raising kids on a busy schedule is to provide an example by showing them they can achieve anything if they’re willing to work for it. When she decided she was ready for a change, she made an attempt at
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her childhood goal by moving to Los Angeles to try to get hired at Disney. Unfortunately, she was unable to and worked as a waitress to survive. This was followed by another unexpected career that she found surprisingly fulfilling- landscape artist for a retirement community. Sjolin grew to love picking plants to suit the grounds and seasons and relished the residents referring to her as the ‘flower lady.’ This job made her realize how much an artist can enhance a communitysomething she noticed extended to towns. “When I go through little towns, it’s going to show if there’s an artist living there,” she said, adding that the towns are usually enhanced by murals filling blank walls or bare windows. She views it as a great way to give back and something she’s strived to do since moving to Dublin four years ago. Sjolin reported that the level of support Dublin has offered her is overwhelming and that she quickly began to view the new town as the home she never had. To repay this welcoming and encouraging spirit, Sjolin has tried to offer her talents by adding character to the community. “Dublin’s like a canvas to me,” she said with a smile. She has painted numerous windows around town, either promoting an upcoming event or beautifying a vacant building downtown. She reported that this is a small way that she can help Dublin survive- by catching the eye of people passing through town.
Her handiwork can also be seen around Dublin schools and she has been working with Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Luanne Schexnider in decorating the Chamber float for parades. Recognizing her passion for building up the community, Sjolin’s first year of membership in the Chamber was actually sponsored by an anonymous donor. Their gift was repaid with an active member who has proven valuable ever since, helping in numerous Dublin events. She regrets that she isn’t able to help more since opening her resale shop, The Irish Cowboy, but she’s happy her store is right next to the Chamber office at 113 S. Patrick. Sjolin said that her trust has been paid back again with her store. Although it was hard to stay open for the first few months, business has been picking up recently and more vendors are expressing an interest in selling there. The store has evolved differently than she had planned since she is working with vendors with different stock. There are two personal touches that she’s proud of, a buggy with a painted background where customers can take their picture and a Christmas room with two complete villages, numerous trees and much more. These displays aren’t for sale. They’re simply there to offer customers something to see as well as some of the small-town hospitality that’s convinced Sjolin to be Dublin’s resident artist working to make Dublin a prettier place to live.
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Torres juggles several city roles for Dublin By KIM BENESTANTE After working in Stephenville all her life, Juanita Torres took a risk, leaving her daycare job to start work at Dublin City Hall as the court’s clerk. “After I started, I thought, ‘What did I get myself into? I had never done this kind of work,’” she said. But just five years later, the chance she took has paid off, with Torres being sworn in late last year as the city’s first female associate judge. “I love it,” she said. Today, the 31-year-old who grew up in Dublin and attended Ranger College is balancing her job as court clerk and her duties as associate judge, frequently presiding over weekly court hearings for City Judge Latrelle Cain as her daughter battles Leukemia. “Thank God, she’s doing much better,” Torres said. Cain is the city’s first full time female judge and “has pretty much been my mentor here,” Torres noted. It’s that compassion and dedication which has enabled Torres to rise so quickly and aids her in her career. As a judge, “You hear all kinds of stories,” she laughed, but noted seriously the most important part of her job is “you need to be openminded and hear the whole story – especially when (the defendants) are mad! You have to calm them down.” Respect is also key to her job, Torres noted – a trait she says was “engraved in her mind” by her mother “from ‘Day One.’ Juveniles don’t have as much respect these days” and learning that quality is pivotal to any defendant’s rehabilitation, she explained. “My mom and dad are pretty much my rocks,” she said, and instrumental to her own success. Torres has also gained inspiration when working almost exclusively with females throughout her life, she said. “Women have helped me grow and be the woman I am today,” she said. “Right now, I work with all these
great women.” Being a judge is sometimes part psychologist, part mediator and always about resolution. When listening to and deciding a defendant’s fate, “It’s not just about fining them,” Torres said. “It’s also getting the problem solved. We try to work with them.” “Working with” a defendant often requires Torres to think creatively about how to best help that person – especially juveniles. For example, because there aren’t a lot of local programs designed to help rehabilitate troubled youths or adults battling alcohol and drug addictions, Torres did some research and discovered Cottonwood Church offers Alcoholics Anonymous counseling and started referring those who need assistance. Torres’ overall passion for her work stems from her devotion to Dublin, noting she never wants to move, and wants to continue helping citizens become more involved with the community – especially Hispanics. Torres is fulfilling that mission through her work as a board member for the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. “A lot of Hispanics didn’t really know what the Chamber could do for them,” Torres said, which is a major reason Torres accepted an offer from Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Luanne Schexnider to help organize Dublin’s first Fall Fiesta. Schexnider said she asked Torres to help translate for Fiesta vendors and participants who spoke only Spanish, and now considers Torres a good friend. “If she tells you she’s going to do something, she does it,” Schexnider said about Torres. “She has a great attitude and a wonderful followthrough,” the Chamber director said. Torres’ work doesn’t stop there. “I wear a lot of hats,” she exclaimed,
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including helping with utilities at Dublin Public Works and taking minutes at City Council meetings. When she’s not devoting herself to the community, Torres enjoys time with her husband of 12 years,
Antonio, and the couple’s two Blue Pitbulls, Ruby and Ocho. “I just love Dublin,” she said. “You can go to the bank and they know your name. It’s a peaceful town.”
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Schexnider returns to boost hometown By KIM BENESTANTE
Perhaps it was her time away from her hometown which helped inspire Dublin-native Luanne Schexnider’s devotion to making the town an enchanting place to live. Her love of Dublin is evident by what she’s already achieved in less than a year as the Executive Director of the local Chamber of Commerce. “I feel like everything I’ve done has helped me prepare for this job,” she said, referring to her past careers as a radio talk-show host, a teacher, an
actress and mother – often living out of state. “When I came back to Dublin, I really wanted to ignite Dublin,” she said. Building on the community’s camaraderie has been crucial to her success. “I created and branded the character, Shamrock Princess, to convey Dublin as the Community of Kindness. She’s like the Santa Claus of St. Patrick’s Day,” Schexnider explained about the character, replete with a costume made by her cousin. The princess was a part of Schexnider’s
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efforts to enhance Dublin’s premier holiday and main event in attracting visitors. “I wanted to make a memory for Dublin. I feel like every child deserves to have a magical life; that’s what I try to do now, in every realm.” Adding fun to community events is only a part of the role Schexnider has held since December, but integral in building relationships, attracting commerce and visitors to Dublin, and membership to the Chamber—her core responsibilities in representing the community. But it’s her creativity and nevermet-a-stranger attitude which paved the way for her to organize brand new events for Dublin, including the first Fall Fiesta held last month—an event she hopes will become annual due to the benefits it provides for the Hispanic community. “It opened the door for at least six new Hispanic businesses to become Chamber members.” Over 400 people were in attendance, she said, and all vendors were locally, owned and operated. “It worked great for the Hispanic merchants. I want (to have local vendors) for all events. It’s like Dublin Dollars—keeping the money here,” she said, referring to the Chamber’s project in which gift cards function as cash at local merchants. Schexnider is also helping the Chamber to coordinate a possible New Year’s Eve party this year at the Dublin Rotary Building. “The theme’s An Enchanted Evening,” she said, and she’s hoping the Chamber’s annual Safe Trick or Treat event on Halloween “that incorporates lots of businesses” will provide a channel to showcase the Pennies for the Park initiative—a project designed to gather donations for new playground equipment for the city park. Plus, “we are discussing plans to renovate the park building,” she noted, via planned fundraisers and grants in the coming months. It’s no surprise Schexnider has been able to accomplish so much in such a short time in lieu of her array of experiences. After graduating from Dublin High School in 1977, she went south a couple of years later to Brownsville, Texas to finish school and earn a teaching certificate, working primarily as a Kindergarten and elementary educator. She later lived and worked in Burleson, Texas, New Hampshire then Raleigh, North Carolina where she worked as an actress and raised her two children, Zane—who still lives in North Carolina with his wife, Jaimi, and their sixmonth-old son, Gavin—and McKenna, currently a resident of New York City. Schexnider never forgot her roots, and returned to Dublin a couple of
timesbeforesettlingherepermanently. In 2003 she returned, partly to enable Zane to graduate from Dublin High in 2004. Schexnider also worked then as the former KCUB radio station’s morning show anchor. “I was known as Luanne in the van,” she laughed. “There was this terrible, old red van I would drive!” But it was her guest experiences, or lack thereof, which helped her develop her creativity. “A lot of the time guests wouldn’t show up,” she said, noting she still had to make each show interesting. After Zane graduated, Schexnider returned to Raleigh, working as an actress and honing skills of patience she still finds handy today. “There was a lot of hurrying up to wait,” she remembered. Then in the summer of 2006, Schexnider returned to Dublin permanently, meeting her husband, Regi, a former missionary and now volunteer firefighter who also works at Schreiber Foods in Stephenville. “He’s the flame of my life,” she laughed, sincerely noting his support and encouragement as being instrumental to her success. “I couldn’t do it without him.” Similarly, she attributes the values instilled in her by her parents to showing her “what really matters.” And she says City Manager Nancy Wooldridge was nothing short of a mentor to her. “I can’t think of a better person to represent Dublin,” Schexnider said of Wooldridge. “I couldn’t have done this job at the Chamber without her help.” Further, Schexnider commends Dublin’s Economic Development Corp. “for all the different aspects of support to the community. I think the city is pulling it together.” Overall, Schexnider says her job is about “connecting the dots…I see that there are a lot of people who have been trying to help Dublin for years; and I see they’re trying to keep Dublin as a spotlight community. I also see people moving into the community who are bringing a lot of ideas, knowledge and integrity—who have this passion for Dublin. I think the combined aspects will be a green light for Dublin… All the time people want to come to Dublin for retirement—there’s a lot of interest in small towns. It makes a difference when someone walks into a store and someone greets them with a smile—it’s not fake; it’s very sincere and a part of the reason I want to be back here. “The other night my husband asked me, ‘What would you do if you could do anything and make money?’” Schexnider said. “I told him, ‘I would do exactly what I’m doing now.’ It’s not about the money; it’s that I’m doing what I love.”
2013 Women in Business Section
Riley works hard in Dublin dairy duties By KARI LANTING
In pre-dawn hours, Donna Riley dresses to go to the office. Usually she grabs her barn boots, jeans and gloves. Her office that day might be the cab of a big John Deer tractor or maybe the milk barn. But regardless of her surroundings, this petite gal with the pioneer spirit is a business woman through and through. “This is the job God gave me,” Donna theorizes. “It’s no different than any business woman working in town.” Donna and her husband, Joe Mac Riley, have operated Rose Hill Dairy in Dublin for the past 35 years. They milk 300 cows and farm 300 acres. Each day brings a different set of chores: record keeping, accounts and finances to hauling cattle, driving silage trucks and other farm equipment. “It’s just part of my job, which also includes feeding all the guys a good lunch,” she said. “In the summer, I often make homemade ice cream, but on busy days when I am driving the truck, the guys might just get a sandwich.” Donna is often compared to her father, Don Mitchell, for whom she is named. Like her parents, Donna believes “you work hard beside your mate, treat others fairly, tend your land and cattle well and most days it comes out just right,” she said. Donna said her mother Lola taught her bookkeeping skills. Lola did the bookkeeping at home and she also kept books for the sale barns in Hico, Dublin and Stephenville. “I worked with Mama in Dublin and Stephenville sales and learned a lot.” Donna, like her mother, is known for reaching out to others and serving the community. She has fed the Wednesday night youth group at First Baptist Church in Dublin for the past seven years, taught Junior High Sunday School and plays keyboard for the Sunday morning service. Donna admits she is sometimes called on to pull out her flute. “Judy Thiebaud sometimes forces me to play my flute, and I do until my lips get tired.” Serving others is ingrained in Donna through her mother. “Mama would go early to First Christian Church, the little church next to First Baptist, to play piano for them when they didn’t have their own pianist. We would sit towards the back of our church and Mama would slip in late to sit with us after she finished playing next door.” Donna has served on the León
Water Shed Committee and is currently on the ballot for the upcoming USDA Farm Service Committee, a committee her father served on for nine years. “It’s part of being in a community. We try to do our share to help,” Donna said. Currently she is serving her third year as secretary for the Texas Truck and Tractor Association, where their son Brady competes. Donna and Joe have two children. Daughter Amanda is married to John Fellers and they live in Bryan with their daughter, Cassie, 15, son, Owen, 1 ½. They are expecting another child in March. Brady and his wife, Haley, run the Crooked River Sod Farm. They are parents of 7-month-old daughter Reece. Several years ago Donna and Joe went into business with Brady in the sod farm where they grow St. Augustine grass and sell it by the pallet. Joe Mac often jokes with Donna about being opinionated. “I guess I’m just good at being bossy,” she laughs, although her friend Wilma
Earles argues that Donna isn’t bossy but does have the ability to encourage and motivate people to
get the Job done. Those who know Donna know that (Continued, page 13)
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McFarland moved to teach Dublin’s rodeo history By PAUL GAUDETTE
Since moving into the area six years ago, Dublin Rodeo Heritage Museum President Kipling McFarland has devoted time and energy to preserving a key aspect of Dublin’s history, a natural endeavor for a woman that seemed destined to teach from childhood.
Coming from a family of teachers, her first name is in reference to the author of such classics as The Jungle Book, Riki-Tiki-Tavi and If… She remembers often sitting around the dinner table in her Corpus Christ home discussing historical and current events. Her father, an avid fan of history, would
tell stories to her and her siblings based around prominent points in time. McFarland quickly discovered a calling and passion in teaching and went to Delmar College for early childhood teaching. This allowed her to open a preschool in Austin. After moving to Texas’ capital city, she developed an interest in scuba diving and was told about a unique scuba instructor by her brother. She not only fell in love with scuba but also Glenn, the man who taught it to her. Soon after, they were married and had a son, Ian. McFarland did her best to never turn away any child who came to her preschool, showing a certain patience for those with cognitive disabilities and teaching children exhibiting autistic characteristics. She said her preschool was very text-rich as she would spot-light a different age-appropriate book every week for the children to absorb. She had already noticed Ian having some difficulty so it wasn’t too shocking when his first-grade teacher called them into conference
and said that he was dyslexic. The teacher said that she expected to see him on the cover of a magazine some day because he is really bright. She admitted that she couldn’t teach him to read. “Well, I can,” Kipling remembered saying, considering her background. McFarland noted that many dyslexic children are smart but take longer to finish assignments because they don’t learn well under the traditional teaching style. The labeling hurts the child a lot and she wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to her son. “I told him that he thinks differently,” she related. “It’s a gift. He’s not allowed to use it as a crutch.” She tried to keep the preschool going while she home-schooled Ian but the schedule proved to be too much. Even so, she and Glenn found ways to devote time and energy to giving back to the community by doing non-profit work with people with disabilities and even had a (Continued next page)
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2013 Women in Business Section grant to teach people with cognitive disabilities how to scuba dive. They also worked with St. David’s Rehabilitation. Their lives changed drastically six years ago when they moved from Austin to Glenn’s family land of about 1300 acres in the Victor Community and dubbed it the MC Bar ranch. In addition to volunteering for the museum, she also occasionally substitute teaches at DeLeon ISD, produces tin art to sell and organizes trail rides at their ranch. Kipling describes herself as a “museum-aholic” so while investigating the museums of Dublin, she stepped into the Rodeo History Museum at 118 W. Blackjack and was surprised at the western heritage of the Irish Capital of Texas. “I didn’t know anything about the rodeo,” she admitted. “It was shocking to find that there was this rich history and big stars that came through town.” She also remembered how delighted she was to meet Mary Ann Stephen who was volunteering there. “It was great to meet someone who was involved in the history and
whose picture is hanging on the wall,” Kipling reported, adding that the dynamic woman helped secure her decision to volunteer for the museum four years ago. Since taking over as president, Kipling has been proud to oversee two successful banquet dinners in which they honor Dublin people who carry on the town’s heritage in the rodeo lifestyle. She reported it was gratifying to see the events turn out well considering the work that went into organizing the functions which featured meals, auctions and presentations about the award recipients’ lives accompanied by a prepared slideshow. She offered that the most impressive thing about the museum is the amount of quality photographs they have to display, citing that only about half of their collection is up for viewing. (She plans to print copies of the photos soon to revitalize the exhibits.) “The Colborns must have had a sense of what they were doing,” she said in reference to the organizers of Dublin’s famous Colborn Bowl. “The pictures really tell the story of what happened.” Kipling counts it as a really compelling story too, one that shows
7 how a large rodeo pulled people from all over the country and united the small town of Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century. “People would help out in everything from parking to fixing chutes when they were broken,” she advised. Last year, Dublin ISD instructor Jennifer Miller brought a group of students up to the museum to help catalogue the collection and install wi-fi, and Kipling remembered being delighted by the amazement of the
teenagers as they realized what used to be in Dublin. It’s a history she feels worth preserving and so she’s found another avenue to teach but the museum only operates with about 5-6 volunteers currently. She’s always looking for other people to help teach Dublin’s rich rodeo history. For more information, Kipling can be reached at (254) 979-5772. The Dublin Rodeo Heritage Museum can also be found on Facebook.
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Estes treats patients with professionalism, personal care By KIM BENESTANTE
In an age where healthcare seems to be growing more impersonal, and
patients feeling more isolated than ever from their providers, there’s at least one medical field—and one
nurse in particular—who works avidly, daily to specially tailor each of her patient’s needs the oldfashioned way: making house calls. For the past 22 years Dana Estes RN has been employed with Stephens Healthcare of Dublin, visiting and treating patients—an average of 20 to 25 patients for whom she’s responsible at any given time—in their homes. Estes’ duties are wide-ranging and varied. For example one day she might need to spend more time with a patient who just got home from the hospital—setting up an intravenous drip, for example. But her next visit that day may be of a routine nature, checking medication levels, confirming the home has adequate food supplies and gathering information for the doctor. “A lot of times we are the doctor’s eyes,” she said. And a steady, caring bedside manner is of equal importance to the technical skills. “Some are very lonely,” Estes said about her patients. “Sometimes we’re the only people they’ll see for days.” Estes is a true nurse in the sense
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of the word, always listening to her patients carefully while simultaneously going about their treatments. “I just let them talk about what they’re interested in—what’s bothering them,” she said; “checking to see if they’re depressed.” Often a patient’s worries stem from a lack of funds, she said, especially as new healthcare laws are curbing some federal medical benefits. Patients have to ask themselves, “Are they going to go without food? Medicine? Let their electricity cut off?” Estes described about the dilemma some home healthcare patients are facing—the majority being elderly. Although patients today are facing diminished benefits, a lack of income to pay for basic needs is something Stephens Healthcare— with nine local employees, including Estes—has been trying to overcome for 20 years, she said. Out of necessity, the Stephens Charitable Foundation was established, Estes explained, to help provide at least a bit of relief to those patients with the most dire and immediate needs. What’s more remarkable is employees of Stephens personally donate a portion of their individual paychecks, each pay period, to the charitable account. “It’s only a small amount,” Estes said humbly, but noted the extra cash might be just enough to provide a few extra meals, or keep the lights on. Stephens Healthcare, owned by Ann and Neal Stephens, also has locations in Stephenville and Granbury whose employees participate in the fund as well. There are growing concerns among home healthcare patients, Estes noted, that changes in federal Medicare laws will further curtail— already some patients are dealing with slashed benefits—government payments for home healthcare needs. “The patients right now are really uneasy in these times,” she said somberly. “It’s tough.” Their worries include whether they’ll be placed in a nursing home should those home healthcare benefits be denied, Estes said. Patients can qualify for up to two months of home healthcare treatment, Estes explained, but must fit criteria of needing a skilled nurse or nurse’s aide; be homebound; and being under a doctor’s orders. What happens if a patient still needs care once the (Continued next page)
2013 Women in Business Section allotted two months have lapsed? A re-certification is done to verify eligibility, Estes said, basically ensuring the patient’s care is continued. Working so closely with patients is one of the most rewarding aspects of Estes’ job, she said, because “you get to know the patient. If you go to a hospital, you don’t get to know those them. It’s fulfilling.” Another job perk? The “wonderful people” with whom, and for she works, she said smiling—many of whom she’s worked with as long as she’s been at the company. “It’s our Stephens family,” she said fondly. “Sometimes we spend more time here than at home,” adding a typical workday may have her at the office until 6 p.m. or later Estes became a member of the Stephens family in 1991 after graduating with her Registered Nursing degree from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, having initially met Ann, also an RN, while she was working in home healthcare for Girling Healthcare, and Stephens was working in Dr. Nathan Cedar’s Stephenville clinic. Ann “would bring in blood (samples) and I would register
them,” Estes fondly remembered. Eventually Ann decided to leave Girling and open Stephens Healthcare, subsequently bringing Estes on board. “She’s a wonderful person,” Estes reiterated. Prior to earning her RN, Estes attained her Licensed Vocational Nursing degree from a program Stephenville Hospital then offered, and soon went to work for Dr. Cedars—including assisting him in surgery twice a week at the old De Leon Hospital (now a part of the Comanche County Medical Center). These days, when the 1978 graduate of Stephenville High isn’t with patients, Estes frequently spends time with her husband, Clay—together since 1981—at his meat processing (and now restaurant) company, Clay’s Deer Processing and Smoke House in Dublin, where Estes sometimes assists in cleaning duties. But don’t expect to find her taking orders in the restaurant, she said. “The main thing I do is I’m their cheerleader!” she said. “I’m just not a salesman at all,” but added proudly Clay and his team “can do anything,” having diversified to construction and a
9 dirt supply businesses in the past when the economy warranted. (Humility aside, Estes is no slouch, working five days a week at Stephens—including being on 24hour call once a month.) For fun, the couple rides their three horses at home across their 150-acre property; horse riding is a hobby they share with their son, Scott, 36; his wife Nocona; son Brady, 14; daughter Callie, nine; and Nocona’s sons Sawyer, eight; and Jackson, five. Estes is also an
avid antiquing enthusiast. “I’m just very blessed. God’s blessed me in so many ways: wonder family; great friends; health. A lot of other nurses I know leave their jobs for more money, but I love what I do. I want to stay right where I am,” Estes said. “I love to take care of people. God has blessed me…in so many ways,” she reiterated again. “If I can brighten up an elderly or someone that’s ill, well, I want to give back.”
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NBBW offers rich history of showcasing women workers National Business Women’s Week provides an opportunity to recognize and highlight the progress women have made as professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs. During this week Business and Professional Women facilitates discussions on the needs of working women, shares information about successful workplace policies, and raises awareness of the resources available for working women. To honor the contributions of working women and employers who support working women and their families, BPW celebrates National Business Women’s Week (NBWW) during the third week of October. Traditionally the President of the United States begins the week with an official proclamation that is
followed by similar messages from governors and mayors throughout the country. BPW clubs use this week to publicize their activities, attract new members, and underline the BPW’s goal of elevating the standards for all working women. NBWW is a great opportunity to recognize and highlight the progress women have made as business owners and entrepreneurs. NBWW also provides an opportunity facilitate discussions on the needs of working women, share information about successful workplace policies, and raise awareness of the resources available for working women in their communities. The concept of National Business
Women’s Week originated with Emma Dot Partridge, Executive Secretary of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs from 1924 to 1927. The first annual observance of NBWW was held April 15-22, 1928, when National President Lena Madesin Phillips opened the week with a nationally broadcast speech. She stated that the purpose of the week was “to focus public attention upon a better business woman for a better business world.” From this early effort, NBWW has grown into a nationwide salute to all workingwomen. In 1938, NBWW was moved to the third full week of October.
U.S. President Herbert Hoover was the first president to issue a letter recognizing NBWW and the contributions and achievements of workingwomen. The program for the first observance of NBWW in 1928 included: •Legislative Day devoted to national, state and local legislation of interest to women •Education Day devoted to emphasizing the need for equitable educational opportunities •Club Rally Day for prospective new members •Community Day honoring leaders in the community •Goodwill Day devoted to working with other women’s organizations.
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2013 Women in Business Section
Young pursues childhood dream career By KIM BENESTANTE
Amy Young is one of those rare individuals actually fulfilling a whatI-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up dream from childhood. What’s more unique, that passion essentially includes two careers. And adding to fate? It all began with a hat. “As soon as I saw her, I wanted to wear that hat!” Young remembered upon first seeing the iconic nurse’s hat while worn by actress Diahann Carroll in the early 1970s sitcom, Julia. Ironically, the vintage headwear was phased out of the required uniform by the time Young was in college. “By then, no hats!” she said laughing. Now officially a Nurse Practitioner in title, she’s also actively engaged in teaching Tarleton State University nursing students simultaneously while treating her patients at Dublin Family Medicine in Dublin, the clinic at which she’s worked with Dr. Jeffrey Hutchins for the past eight years. “I am teaching, just not in the big classroom setting like I thought,” Young said, referring to other aspirations the 1982 graduate of
Stephenville High School had in her youth. Young’s medical career path potentially took a natural course, as she was simply observing her mother in those early days. “My mom was a nurse and a nurse practitioner who taught at Tarleton,” she said, noting the family moved to Stephenville in 1981 after her mother took the teaching job. And, her mom had the hat. “I would see my mother ironing hers…and I never got the hat!” Young jokingly lamented again. “I always wanted to be a nurse—since the first grade.” Today Young spends her days balancing the treatment of patients with common acute and chronic illnesses at the clinic and three nursing homes (two in Stephenville and Golden Age Manor Nursing Center in Dublin), as well as working with at least one Tarleton nursing graduate student who must fulfill clinical degree hours each semester. Students observe Young while she treats patients with an array of conditions,includingthosechronically ill. Unbelievably, Young actually describes her highly-specialized
job as “easy,” but acknowledges her students often are in disbelief at the quick and accurate diagnosis Young has with her patients. “You become so familiar with what you do, you don’t realize the knowledge you accumulate,” she said, adding she always reminds her students
to reference about what they’re not sure. “Don’t ever be scared to look something up and ask questions,” she advised. The variety of Young’s job ensures she’s never bored, she said, “and never minds going to work. And the (Continued next page)
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2013 Women in Business Section people I work with, I just wouldn’t trade them,” she said about Dublin Family Medicine’s nine-person staff. And the patients—literally thousands over the years—are “all my favorites,” she said regarding the fulfillment and motivation she draws from diagnosing and treating. “Just helping people,” she said about the most rewarding aspect of her job; “always being a (Registered Nurse), first” is her top priority—“that’s the whole reason you go into being a caregiver—especially now that I can actually diagnose and prescribe treatment.” Those medical privileges were earned in 2007 when Young, already working for Dr. Hutchins, graduated from Saint Louis University in Missouri with a Family Nurse Practitioner degree. While her initial R.N. degree was attained at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in 2004, Young first started working in the medical field at the old Dublin Hospital (now an office complex and retirement center) in the late 1980s, straight out of UTA with a Bachelor of Science degree. Then around 1989, she began working in home healthcare, becoming instrumental in initiating one of Erath County’s most valuable services.
“When I first started, there really wasn’t hospice around here,” Young said about the at-home treatment for terminally and seriously ill patients. Eventually Young left homehealth care after completing her studies at TCU, and joined Dr. Hutchins’ team in 2005. In the meantime, Young’s husband Pat, or “Othel” (a family nickname derived from his grandfather, O.T. Young), has been with her since the beginning of her career, as the two actually knew each other at Stephenville High but didn’t date. “We had a class together; he was a smart kid,” she remembered fondly. It wasn’t until her sophomore year at UTA—also Othel’s alma mater— that the two reconnected and their “friendship turned into a romance,” eventually marrying in 1985. “We’ve been together ever since,” she said, and today counts spending time “and enjoying my husband” as one of her favorite things to do when she isn’t working. Othel is a manager at FMC Technologies in Stephenville. The couple is parents to Elizabeth, 26, a transplant nurse at Baylor Healthcare System in Fort Worth. And their youngest, son Nicholas, 23, is finishing a degree in economics at Texas State University in San Marcos.
These days Young also counts herself as a bourgeoning golfer—“I just got a new set of clubs” from Othel; “so I guess I’m golfing,” she said laughingly. She also loves to travel to see her grandmother in Georgia, and watching ESPN’s “College Gameday on Saturdays!” she said enthusiastically. Equally, however, Young relishes her days at the clinic, especially when the students are around. “You really see the progress in the medical students (Dr. Hutchins’ residents),” Young said; “fresh out of school; no
RILEY Cont’d from Page 5 she is likely to find a bright spot in even the darkest day, and usually can translate adversity into humor. Back when the kids were still in school it had rained so much that the roads going to Rileys and their neighbors were so flooded that the school buses couldn’t run. Joe and Donna took the big feed truck and went to school to pick up the Riley kids and neighboring Lanting and Gilder kids, as well. They all packed into the single-cab truck and forded the high water to get the kids home. Donna still laughs about how much
experience. They’re wide-eyed, and to watch their progress is such an experience.” She also reaps enormous satisfaction from her nursing students’ development, too—especially when they return to her later in life to express their gratitude. “They’re always very appreciative,” she said. For her part, Young is grateful to work with her coworkers at Dublin Family Medical and Dr. Hutchins, and “plans to retire here,” she said. “I think he’s planning to retire with me, too,” she said laughingly. fun they had all packed into that small cab. And the kids have lasting memories of being picked up at school in a feed truck. There are no idle hands at the Rileys and Donna combined her newspaper interview with driving the silage truck. She apologized for not having time to stop and talk. “We’ve been waiting all summer for this feed to be ready to cut.” A woman’s work is never done. Especially a pioneer woman. “Joe has his 50 percent of the work he is best at and I have mine,” Donna said. “We both do our part and it works out well.”
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2013 Women in Business Section
McLean uses positive attitude to produce results By KIM BENESTANTE
A philosophy of accentuating the positives and eliminating the negatives has allowed Dublin Realty’s Ami McLean to achieve almost $1 million in sales in just nine months—all during her first year as the company’s only female broker. Cleaning up Dublin’s schools and ridding the town of dilapidated
buildings to attract new businesses – and residents – are all a part of her mission, and key to the area’s survival, she explained. “We have to attract more young people to Dublin, McLean said. “The older people won’t be here forever. We have to have money in the city for the tax base and economy…If those people buy, they have a stake
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in this town; if they own—it makes this town better.” As a part of her recruiting efforts, McLean posts real estate notices at the bowling alley and Tarleton State University in Stephenville. McLean herself graduated from Tarleton in 2001 with a math degree and soon began teaching. She left the profession in 2007 to stay at home for a few years with her three sons, Gage, 12; Kellyn, eight and Ryder, four. Then last summer, the 1996 Valedictorian of Dublin High School decided she wanted to re-enter the workforce, especially after a bit of persuasion from her lifelong friend, and fellow broker, Miles Gilman. “He’s like, ‘Let’s do this,’” said McLean, remembering Gilman’s attempts to enlist her to join Dublin Realty owner LH Jones’ team last July. “I thought, ‘Am I going to want to do this?’” McLean wondered, but went ahead and began the process of becoming a licensed real estate broker. “I just did it because I thought, ‘It will get me out of the house,’” she said, ordering all requisite classes online and doing the work at home while Ryder had
his tonsils removed. “It was tough,” she said. McLean completed her course work and became licensed. But adding to the challenge, she entered the industry during one of the worst periods in US real estate history. “It was the deadest part of the year,” she said regarding the then-depressed real estate market. “But I got my first listing the first day” on the job, she added. That encouragement spurred McLean to keep working hard and to realize what has become a passion. “I love real estate; finding people the perfect home,” she cited as her favorite part of the job. “It means something. It’s not just a house. It’s where you live.” McLean knows being a successful realtor requires work outside her so-called job description. “I also try to focus on the schools because it’s integral to keep residents,” she stated, and described her efforts at helping to improve the Dublin Independent School System as being something of a personal mantra for years. As a mom, she’s been a leader for D.I.S.D. by alerting teachers (Continued next page)
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2013 Women in Business Section and faculty to dangerous activities occurring in the schools, especially bullying. One example stems from a few years ago when she was leading a CubMaster’s troop, and the boys described to her how they felt violated and frightened to go to school, as the bullying and violence was escalating at Dublin Junior High School. McLean took action, and arranged an assembly consisting of the troop, D.I.S.D. superintendent, assistant superintendent and principals of the middle school. “Each boy took turns and voiced their opinions. It had gotten ridiculous. The kids were going into (the school) and safety was an issue,” she remembered, adding it’s imperative to have a quality school system. “It’s all about getting people to want to move here.” Nowadays, “teachers are getting more faith in the school system,” McLean said. “You can tell.” Besides crusading to straighten out the schools, McLean also focuses on eliminating Dublin’s condemned buildings and structures, and bringing in fresh businesses to revitalize the area “just for things to be better.” She’s been better able to accomplish this pursuit
through her board membership of Dublin’s Board of Adjustment and strategically partnering with Dublin City Code Enforcement Officer Jim Roach. “So far we’ve succeeded in getting one old home and building behind it torn down,” McLean said. “Getting an old home torn down is going to help the house’s value across from it.” McLean also said she’s working to attract interest in two old buildings in particular: the former Texaco Station at 115 S. Patrick Street and an old appliance store at W. O’Neil and Patrick Street. “I really want to get, more than anything, a business in there,” she said. “The (Economic Development Corp.) will help anyone who wants to open a business,” adding government loans for real estate purchases are beginning to accelerate again. “They’re there to be had,” she said. McLean’s also an advocate for getting back to the economic basics in Dublin: rodeo and agriculture. “Peanuts, cotton—getting that back for the farmers to make money is key,” she explained. “We do have to focus on it.” Plus, she said local efforts to reinstate the Dublin Rodeo also are pivotal to the town’s economic success; “that right there
15 alone would create so much.” In the meantime, all of McLean’s efforts are paying off. “I love real
estate,” she said again. “I really just did it for something to do. Now I’m obsessed.”
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2013 Women in Business Section
Black offers help in Dublin’s times of need By PAUL GAUDETTE
The majority of people who talk to Verna Black while she’s on the job never see her face or learn her name. However, she still is there for many in their greatest time of need. Black works as the lead dispatch operator for the Dublin Police Department, fielding a wide variety of emergency calls and managing a team of dispatch operators. “[Callers] may never know our name but we are their life-line until someone gets there,” Black offered. She added that most people aren’t aware what goes into responding an emergency call. After receiving a 9-1-1 call, operators have to soothe the caller while getting as much information as possible and relaying that to the officers they are dispatching. “After it’s all over, you want to take a breath and reflect on what just happened, but the phones already ringing with someone else needing help.” Black admitted that operators
typically take the job home with them, thinking about the people they coached throughout the day and hoping they made a difference. A frustrating part of the job is that since they can’t see the scene so they can only pass along what they’re told so they might miss a vital piece of information or not fully describe the scene because they didn’t know all the specifics. While some calls may be relatively simple, there are others that aren’t. Two particular calls that stick in Verna’s mind involve talking to a man who was burning after being trapped in a vehicle and another where parents found their child floating face-down in the pool. Black remembers the second because she was able to coach them into getting the child to breathe before emergency medical services got on the scene. The fact that she got closure made the call unusual. Black advised that the hardest part of dispatch’s job is that they rarely find out what happened to the caller after they
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hang up the phone. While she said the calls stay on operator’s mind, she said that the secret to maintaining her husband and three children (and now the grandson that she is raising) is being able to separate it from her home life. Other than separating home and work, Black says the secret to raising children while maintaining a demanding job is simply communication, saying it’s a vital piece of family life that many are missing right now. Black comes from a background of law enforcement as her uncle was an officer and her mother was a sergeant in the Department of Corrections in Gatesville. Verna started serving the law as an officer in the Gatesville prison herself, helping maintain order in a female death row facility. When she told her mother about her intended career path, her mother wasn’t worried. “She knew I was too much like her and that I’d be fine,” Black said with a laugh.
Still, she remembered that she met some resistance being a female officer, saying that although she had use-of-force training so she could respond to violent inmates, male officers would often push her back so she rarely got to use that training. When her family moved to the panhandle, she was done with working as a prison officer so she took training to become a dispatch operator. Black advised that to be good in dispatch, the person needs to want to help other people and have a caring heart. She feels the easiest part of the job is coming to work as she enjoys her co-workers and reports the departments all work well together. EMS director Max Smith even told her recently how great the improvement was in the relationship between EMS and the police. She credits her other dispatchers for their responsibility and tries her best to accommodate them. (Continued next page)
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2013 Women in Business Section She was recently out of the office for several days and said they kept the place running smoothly. Black also enjoys joking with officers and the women in the city office, adding that they occasionally pull pranks on each other. “There’s nothing that anybody in this office wouldn’t do for each other, on or off the clock,” she affirmed. In addition to her regluar duties, Black has recently taking classes which accredited her to teach the operation of the National Crime Information Center and Texas Crime Information Center database to others. (The NCIC and TCIC are computerized indexes of criminal justice information supplied between law organizations for the prompt delivery of information about crimes and criminals.) The goal is for Black to become authorized in all dispatch training so they won’t have to send operators out of town to learn any aspect of the job. When asked if there were any common mistakes made by dispatchers, Black said everyone has a different style of communication so as long as they keep the scene safe and communicate well, there
really is no right or wrong style. She did report that she often critiques the actions of dispatchers on the television show Panic 9-1-1, occasionally catching big issues such as one operator advising two teens to ‘do everything they can’ to get someone out of a burning vehicle. Black said that the operator couldn’t determine how safe the scene was for the passes-by who called 9-1-1 and that they made themselves responsible if the teenagers got trapped or the vehicle exploded. Verna’s husband jokes with her as she talks at the screen, ‘Does everybody get it wrong but you?’ She replies with a kidding ‘Of course.’ Those spending a few minutes with Verna will quickly notice that she loves to laugh. “It can’t all be doom and gloom,” she stated. Black has learned to separate the serious and the silly, doing her best to put anyone she talks to at ease and forming lasting impressions. When asked if she had anything to say to the people of Dublin, she said, “I truly enjoy being able to serve each and every one of you. I hope to be able to do it for many years to come.”
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2013 Women in Business Section
Dublin Pharmacy benefits from women workers By KIM BENESTANTE
Family medicine is in Pharmacist Jill Moore’s blood. And her generous bedside-manner philosophy is likely
the reason for her 12 successful years of owning and operating the female-dominant Patrick Street Pharmacy Soda Shop in Dublin that
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also includes a gift shop with a fresh, country essence. “My dad and granddad were both doctors here,” the Dublin native said. “This is my home.” Since 2001, Moore has extended her caring, sharing attitude of putting people first to her staff and customers at her pharmacy – a legacy initiated after World War II when Moore’s grandfather, Dr. Joe J. Pate, settled in Dublin once he was discharged from the military and opened his practice. Moore’s father, Dr. Joe Robert Pate, also was a successful doctor in the family’s business. Today, Moore counts her almost all-female staff as family, too—and their families as well. “They’ve all been raised in the pharmacy,” Patrick Street Pharmacy Technician Kellie St. Germain said about her three daughters, Casey, 25; Cassidy, 19; and Jolie, 8. St. Germain, a 1986 graduate of Dublin High, has worked with Moore since 1996 when the crew was employed at the Stephenville Medical and Surgical Center’s River North Pharmacy. Although St. Germain left the Moore team briefly,
she rejoined in 2002 subsequent to Moore opening Patrick Street. “After school my kids walked here,” St. Germain, remembered. “We’re all on each other’s’ pick up lists,” she said about sharing school car-pooling duties with her co-workers. “We have our family,” she said. Cassidy, too, has joined her mom at the pharmacy. “She’s been working here since she was legally able to drive,” Moore said, whose business offers free deliveries. “But I’ve been coming here since I was nine!” Cassidy added. From the beginning of her career, Moore—who graduated from Dublin High in 1989; did undergraduate work at Tarleton State University; completed her advanced degree at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Pharmacy in 1994 and became licensed in 1995—has continued her own tradition of serving the community since 2000 when she worked as the pharmacist for what was then a Dublin branch of the Stephenville Medical and Surgical Pharmacy system. “They decided they were going to close (Continued next page)
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2013 Women in Business Section it,” Moore remembered about the clinic’s decision. That’s when a colleague convinced her to take an alternate route. “Don’t let it close,” Moore recalled her friend—a fellow pharmacist in Burnet, Texas— telling her. So she began the process of buying the pharmacy from Stephenville Medical and Surgical, even working for a few months with no compensation in order to keep providing service to her customers before the final transaction was closed in 2001. even working for a few months with no compensation in order to keep providing service to her customers before the final transaction was closed in 2001. “Actually when I first bought it, it was just Cindy and me,” Moore said about the early days of Patrick Street when Pharmacy Technician Cindy Bailey, who joined Moore in January, 2001, helped the pharmacist fill and deliver prescriptions. Moore moved Patrick Street to its current location at 604 N. Patrick in April, 2009, where she opened a soda and gift shop. She wanted a nostalgic, soda-fountain style shop added to her pharmacy, inspired by the Dublin pharmacy she used to visit when she was a child. “I remember walking down and getting my pimento cheese sandwich and milkshake,” she said fondly. Moore was able to purchase a portion of the Patrick Street fountain—a regal, antique fireplace mantel—for less than $350 from “a guy in Carlton (Texas) who had it in his barn! He was going to put it on EBay,” Moore recalled. Now there are two women who staff the soda shop, Deb Hall and Cessa Brown. The Moore-Bailey history actually begins in 1974. “Jill’s daddy delivered me,” Bailey said. The 1992 graduate of Stephenville High School left Dublin in the 8th grade. She remembers the early days with just Moore and her as being especially hectic. “What I remember most from when we first started—I started on January 2nd, which is usually the busiest day of the year—I found out I was pregnant with Emily,” Bailey said referring to her now 12-yearold daughter. Back then, she remembered, Jill was busy, and a little anxious, in getting the business started, “and I had to tell her I was pregnant!” Bailey said with a laugh. “I had to get somebody else to do my deliveries for a while.” Today, Bailey is busy with two daughters after the March birth of Presley. And in keeping tradition, six-month-old Presley comes to work with her mom and relaxes in her play pen while Bailey helps
run the pharmacy. (Emily has been a part of the Patrick Street bunch through the years.) “It’s made life so much easier,” Bailey said about being able to not worry about daycare or babysitters. “We all love each other’s kids like our own. We’re like a family; we spend more time with all of us instead of our own (families)! We rely on each other.” Pharmacy Technician Terri Gordon, also one of the first to join Moore’s team in 2001, agreed. “It’s all one, big vicious circle!” she said about the manner in which each employee has come to work at Patrick Street – the common denominator typically being that each is an extended female family member or friend of Moore (Gordon’s son, Clancy, 22, was mostly not around the little girls at the pharmacy, she noted). Gordon is a 1990 graduate of Stephenville High. Another 1990 Stephenville High graduate, Pharmacist Amber Leinhauser, is a part time member of Moore’s staff and says her favorite part of the job is “working with all the crazy girls up here!” Leinhauser, a 1996 graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State,
also has an almost all-girl family at home with her three daughters, Jessica 23; Abbey, 12 and Livi, ten. Leinhauser works Thursdays and Fridays at Patrick Street. Pharmacist Zac House, the only male on staff, works each Monday on site and has been a part of the Patrick Street team for six years. How does House feel about working around an all-female troop? “It’s really okay. I’ve got a wife and two daughters at home so I just do my work up here and keep my mouth shut,” he said with a laugh. “But seriously, it’s really good. We have a lot of good people to work with up here.” Ironically, Moore has an all-male clan at home, with three sons Conner, 16; Brady, 14 and Cole, 10. She’s been married to Sammy, who also works as a pharmacist in Stephenville, for 18 years. The two met in high school after Sammy’s father moved his family to Dublin to take a coaching job. Today the Moore family still spends much of its time immersed in school sports like football and basketball, with Moore working closely with the Booster Club. While Moore and her staff have a good time, they are not without
plights. The latest federal healthcare regulations have been ambiguous and complex. “Last year there was a big change in Medicaid, as far as how we bill our claims; that was a challenge. You have to wait on your money longer,” she said about the process—especially the lengthy delays the pharmacy endures to receive reimbursement from the federal government for medicines. A lot of expenses continue to mount under the law, she noted. “Everything’s going up. Co-pays are up; premiums are going up. Everything is just out-of-pocket more.” But Moore remains undaunted. “I just want to do the best I can, right here,” she said. Patrick Street’s customers have taken notice and show their appreciation by bringing the staff treats during holidays, and on other occasions just to say thanks. “Mr. (Troy) Reed brings us flowers every Monday from his yard,” Bailey noted. And so far it does appear Patrick Street Pharmacy has been on the right track for professional success and personal fulfillments. “It just kind of worked out,” Moore said.
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2013 Women in Business Section
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