Syracuse Woman Magazine - April 2022

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APR I L 2022

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

april GUEST COMMENTARY Dr. Chris Allen Be a woman entrepreneur! Support a woman entrepreneur!...................................... 6

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SPECIAL FEATURE Thinking of starting a business? Here are some resources for women entrepreneurs..........................................8 Stirpe honors Women of Distinction............................... 20

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PAST EVENTS Spring Bridal Show at Fair Haven Event Center at Colloca Estate Winery and 2022 Special Olympics Winter Games............................................................................. 10 WBOC LEADING LADY Lisa Stevenson Rent the Chicken brings the homestead life to you.... 18 ON THE COVER Jen Liddy From teacher to entrepreneur........................................ 23

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DOLLARS & SENSE Small business owners: Watch for dangers from within............................................................................................. 28 Claim your fame.........................................................................30

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WOMEN'S HEALTH I'm not blushing - it's Rosacea April is Rosacea Awareness Month...................................... 32 Chef Eric Rose Easy prep meals - perfect for busy schedules...... 34 INSPIRE Terri Todd ................................................................................... 38 Nicole Danielle ........................................................................ 40 Stephanie Long and Heather Jensen.............................. 42

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MOVERS & SHAKERS.......................................................................... 44 UPCOMING EVENTS............................................................................. 46

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GUEST COMMENTARY

Be a woman entrepreneur! Support a woman entrepreneur! Dr. Chris Allen

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ecent surveys of women's entrepreneurship in the United States have shown that women-owned businesses are one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy. Although woman entrepreneurs are good for the economy, we also know that women, especially women of color, face more barriers than business owners in general when starting and growing their businesses. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected women-owned businesses more negatively than businesses generally, which is true not only in the United States but worldwide. The demands on women entrepreneurs have been greater, given prolonged and constantly changing school closures, childcare issues, and senior care challenges during the pandemic. Women are still more likely to be in primary caregiving roles and thus, juggling more responsibilities at home and work, especially if they are full- or part-time business owners. Also, women-owned businesses typically have fewer cash reserves and access to financing. Thus, they are more vulnerable in times of crisis. The benefits and challenges of being a woman entrepreneur are deeply personal to me. Over the past 15 years, I have transitioned my own business. For many years, I was a psychologist/therapist who helped individuals improve their lives and cope better. Working in mental health was a noble and satisfying profession. However, I dreamed of using my skills to have a broader impact on society. So, over several years, I worked to develop my business as a workplace psychologist/coach. As such, I now work with leaders, teams, and organizations to better meet the needs of all their stakeholders: their employees, leaders, teams, shareholders, customers, and the wider community. This opportunity for a broader impact has been immensely fulfilling. However, as someone who received NO business training (somehow graduate schools don't think that psychologists, social workers, and similar professionals are indeed business owners in need of business skills!), I was terrified about some aspects of business and lacked confidence in myself as a business owner. I needed help and support as I retooled my professional goals and grew a new business. Fortunately, here in Central New York, I discovered many resources and supports for my business through local business organizations and companies that support women entrepreneurs. These include Syracuse Woman Magazine, the WISE Women's Business Center, the Women's Business Opportunities Connection (WBOC), and many others. This issue features some of these organizations. During the past 10-plus years and through these community resources, I have developed terrific partnerships with other women in business who have become vendors, suppliers, contractors, and clients. I have hired and partnered with women to help me with website design, photography, graphic design, promotional materials, insurance, email marketing, government contracting, legal matters, business development, and more. While my business has grown financially during this time and in its reputation and brand, what has been most rewarding are the friendships I have developed with so many women of diverse backgrounds. Through these relationships, I have gained the support, knowledge, and confidence I need to succeed as a business owner. So whether you are a "sidepreneur" (someone starting a business on the side of other work), a "solopreneur" or "mompreneur," someone considering starting a business, someone in business for years, or a business owner who employs others, the Central New York community has a lot of help to offer YOU! While women have had a positive impact on the local and national economy over the past two decades, there is still work to be done to help women in business. Barriers for women remain in terms of adequate financing, sufficient time to devote to the business, and sufficient skills and knowledge. And to be clear, successful entrepreneurship for women benefits everyone, not just women. For example, more goods and services that are bought and sold helps our economy. In addition, successful companies can pay their employees more and support families. So I encourage you to: attend WISE and WBOC events virtually or in person; hire women entrepreneurs when possible to revamp your website, develop your business marketing materials, deliver programming, or coach your employees; buy products when possible from local, women-owned businesses. Be a woman entrepreneur! Support a woman entrepreneur! SWM

SyracuseWomanMag.com contact@syracusewomanmag.com

PUBLISHER

David Tyler dtyler@eaglenewsonline.com

DESIGN

Andrea Reeves

PHOTOGRAPHERS Alice G. Patterson Ashley Casey onePhoto Linda Jabbour

CONTRIBUTORS

Dr. Chris Allen Tara Benson Iris Buckowski Ashley Casey Briana Goodwin

Kate Hill Jason Klaiber Lorna Oppedisano Eric Rose Ken Sturtz

Cover photo by Alice G. Patterson

ADVERTISING SALES

Renée Moonan Linda Jabbour 315.657.7690 315.657.0849 Rmoonan@eaglenewsonline.com Ljabbour@eaglenewsonline.com

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Unlike any other publication in the Syracuse area, our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, home matters, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local Syracuse women. Ads are due on the 15th of the month prior to publication. The print magazines will be distributed locally in over 350 locations and will be in your inbox electronically by the middle of every month. The publication is available free of charge.

CONTACT OUR HOME OFFICE 315.434.8889 | 2501 James Street, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206

The magazine is published 12 times a year by Community Media Group, LLC and Eagle Publications, 2501 James St., Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206 Copyright © 2022 Community Media Group, LLC. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publishers. Syracuse Woman Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Community Media Group, LLC and will not be returned.

Dr. Chris Allen is the president/owner of Insight Business Works, Inc. APR I L 2022

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Thinking of starting a business? HERE ARE SOME Ken Sturtz

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o, you want to start a business? Seems simple enough, but in reality, entrepreneurship can be a confusing, stressful process, especially if you don’t know where to turn for help. Women entrepreneurs start and own nearly half of all businesses in the U.S., employing more than 9 million workers. And women remain the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segment in the nation. If you’re considering starting a business, here are organizations that can help you jumpstart things.

WISE Women’s Business Center

“There’s definitely no shortage of resources for women entrepreneurs,” says Katrina Ballard, an outreach and marketing specialist for SBA who focuses on women business ownership. “But it can be difficult to know where to start.” The WISE Women’s Business Center, which SBA supports and works closely with, is a great starting point for women thinking about starting a business. Another great resource is Ascent Learning, a free online platform offered through SBA for women entrepreneurs looking to grow or improve their business. The platform is a good tool for people who can’t take a class in-person or who want to learn the basics. Topics covered include disaster and economic recovery, strategic marketing, financial strategy and access to capital. It recently expanded to include a section focused on educating women business owners about venturing into government contracting to help expand their businesses. SBA also operates a women-owned business federal contracting program. The purpose of this is to help women navigate the process of competing for federal contracts, which can be lucrative since the government has a 5 percent contracting goal for women-owned small businesses. Women-owned small businesses can also participate in SBA loan programs. Contact the local SBA office for details.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and hosted by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, the center offers training programs as well as business counseling for entrepreneurs. The center offers a variety of training, most of which are provided free of charge. “Building Blocks for Business,” a one-hour introduction class, is offered twice a month. “WISE Power Hour” is offered several times a month and changes topics based on client needs. The roundtable-style sessions emphasize participation and networking. In addition to other training, the center offers a seven-week course for those creating a business plan. Clients can receive free one-on-one business counseling as needed to help them achieve their long-term goals. Free advising calls are also available for clients with technical questions or who aren’t sure where to start at the center.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

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RESOURCES FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS Women Business Opportunities Connection (WBOC)

The nonprofit is committed to advancing the success of women in business. It accomplishes this primarily through educational programming, networking opportunities and kinship among women entrepreneurs. Members include people thinking about starting a business as well as recent entrepreneurs and women who’ve been in business for years, says Amy Doyle, the group’s president. WBOC hosts monthly educational programs which attract upwards of 50 women and are open to members, their guests and nonmembers. The events also include a chance to socialize and network. Events for members include a monthly coffee break and occasional happy hours. The smaller, more intimate get-togethers provide a perfect opportunity for women to build personal and professional relationships and connect with other women entrepreneurs. “One of the things that’s really inspiring to see is the connections women build when they get involved in the organization,” Doyle says.

Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

South Side Innovation Center

The center is a community-based microenterprise incubator run by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. It’s open to small business entrepreneurs committed to business development on Syracuse’s South Side. The center provides office space and equipment to encourage the creation of new businesses and help existing businesses grow. It also hosts training programs, provides advice on business plans and offers access to mentors and professional contacts. A unique resource at the center is the Syracuse Commercial Test Kitchen. The kitchen helps new and existing entrepreneurs with training and guidance to commercialize their original home recipes. The center offers training in developing recipes into full scale-up production formulas as well as marketing and market research, sales, distribution and FDA requirements. SWM

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Though not specifically for women, the SBDC, which has offices at several locations including Onondaga Community College, is another resource to consider. Business advisors can provide personalized, industry-specific support whether you’re looking to start a business for the first time or expand your existing business.

Clients can receive information from the SBDC Research Network to help them identify competitors, learn about marketing trends in their industry and find out about consumer spending habits. Network resources include lists of suppliers and competitors in specific markets, demographic data, tables and maps outlining consumer spending habits in various industries, and industry profiles. SBDC can also help business owners determine if they qualify as a minority or women-owned business enterprise and, if they do, assist them in becoming certified. The state requires 30 percent of projects be done by certified minority or women-owned businesses.

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PAST EVENTS

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

he Fair Haven Center at Colloca Estate Winery hosted the 2022 Colloca Bridal Show on Sunday, March 6 in the Gran Ballroom.. Guests were treated to champagne and appetizers while enjoying an early Spring Bridal Fashion Show. Many wedding and bridal vendors were on hand for prospective brides looking for ideas for their special upcoming celebrations; a fashion show with bridal gowns, mother-ofthe-bride, bridal party gowns, cakes and wedding favors. The event was co-sponsored by Gina Bush, owner and president of Bliss Bridal Shop located in Baldwinsville, who provided the bridalwear. Photos courtesy onePhoto and Linda Jabbour.

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PAST EVENTS

Special Olympians gathered from all over New York state for the 2022 Special Olympics Winter Games that took place Feb. 25. Pictured are the Opening Ceremonies and Winter Games Competitions at the Oncenter Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center in downtown Syracuse.

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The Winter Games events included Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding and Floor Hockey. Congratulations to all who won, participated and attended the event! Photos courtesy https://specialolympicsny. smugmug.com.

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WBOC LEADING LADY

LISA STEVENSON

Rent the Chicken brings the homestead life to you By Kate Hill

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or the past few years, Lisa Stevenson, of Hastings, has been giving Central New York families the experience of keeping backyard chickens without the commitment of year-round ownership. Stevenson and her husband, Steve, are affiliate partners of Rent the Chicken (rentthechicken.com), a company that delivers egg-laying hens to renters in the spring and picks them up in the fall. “There are various reasons for people to rent chickens — from couples that want to have a food source close to home to families that want to experience having chickens for their children,” said Stevenson. “We have grandparents that rent chickens for their grandchildren when they visit, [and we have] people who have thought about getting chickens but don't know where to start.” Rental packages range from $475 to $875 and include two or four hens, depending on the type of package. The chickens are typically between six months and two years old. Two hens are expected to produce eight to 14 eggs per week, while four hens lay 16 to 28 eggs per week. Each rental also includes a portable chicken coop, food and water dishes, 100 to 200 pounds of chicken feed (optional non-GMO or organic feed available), a quick guide for taking care of the chickens, and a copy of “Fresh Eggs Daily” by poultry expert Lisa Steele. The Stevensons deliver, set up and pick up all rentals for free if the renters are in Syracuse, Fabius, Skaneateles, Camillus, Oswego, Cicero, Manlius, Watertown, and other locations within 50 miles of Hastings. “The expressions and reactions of our renters when we deliver their chickens is priceless,” said Stevenson. “All of our renters are so excited when they see their chickens. We also love educating people about chickens and their eggs. Many incorrectly think a rooster is needed for a hen to lay eggs. [Also,] most people think eggs must be refrigerated, [but] most countries do not refrigerate eggs.” At the end of the season (May through October), renters have the option of adopting the hens and keeping all their supplies if they decide they want to continue raising backyard chickens. They can also ask to rent the same hens the following spring. Jenn and Phil Tompkins, of Freeport, Pennsylvania, co-founded Rent the Chicken in 2013 as a part-time way to supplement their income. The couple now has more than 45 farmers and homesteaders around the United States and Canada who offer the Rent the Chicken service as an extension of their farms. The Stevensons became affiliates in spring 2018 and started delivering chicken rentals the following spring.

Stevenson has been raising chickens for around 25 years, but she had not considered basing a business on them until she saw a Saturday morning news story highlighting a chicken rental company. At the time, however, she was still working a full-time corporate job. After retiring at the end of 2016, the idea came back to her, and she started searching online for chicken rentals. “There were two companies and neither of them had affiliates in CNY,” she recalled. “Rent the Chicken did have an affiliate in the Capital region, so I contacted [them]. The next thing I know I'm talking to the owners of the company, and I decided to sign up. Much to the surprise of my husband, Steve. He thought I was crazy.” When she started with Rent the Chicken, Stevenson had around 30 hens. Unfortunately, however, they were all too old to rent, so she had to purchase “started pullets,” chicks that are 16-17 weeks old and are about a month away from starting to lay eggs. Currently, she keeps a personal flock of 28 hens and a rooster and rents out between 80 and 90 hens per year. The Stevensons rent out a total of 30 hand-built coops, which come in two sizes, standard and deluxe. “Even though my husband told me when I signed up that he was not going to be building coops for me, [we designed and built] them all,” Stevenson said. “Steve does most of the building and I do most of the painting and staining.” Rent the Chicken is also offering "Hatch The Chicken," a five-week hatching rental with three weeks of incubator use and two weeks of baby chicks. “[We] also provide the experience of hatching chicks in your home, daycare, preschool, elementary school, senior community, etc.,” Stevenson explained. “We provide everything needed to hatch chicks and then watch the cute balls of fluff grow for two weeks. Then we pick everything up. There is no need to find homes for the chicks.” In 2020, Stevenson joined the Women Business Opportunities Connection (WBOC) to help her develop the business. WBOC is a Syracuse-based nonprofit organization supporting women in business through educational programs, networking, and collaborative opportunities. Stevenson said that although she was only able to attend a few inperson meetings before the COVID-19 shutdown, her involvement with WBOC has already given her greater confidence in herself and connections to talented women. “I know that some of the members have spread the word about Rent The Chicken to friends and family, which I really appreciate,” she said. “WBOC is a wonderful resource for women in all kinds of businesses.” SWM Learn more about WBOC at wboconnection.org.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Stirpe honors Women of Distinction

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

ssemblyman Al Stirpe hosted his 10th annual Woman of Distinction award ceremony on March 19 at Stone’s Lakeside. The event was held in-person, after being held remotely for the past two years. Hosted by owner April Stone, it was the perfect venue for a celebration that has not taken place in person for the past two years.

“As a woman and a business owner, I know all too well the challenges of these past two years,” said April Stone of Stone’s Lakeside. “Having the support of fellow women and supporting them in return are just some of the things that drive me to work as hard as I do. We are honored to host this year’s event.” Women from the 127th District, which includes Tully, Pompey, Fabius, Manlius, Clay and Cicero/North Syracuse were honored for remarkable contributions to the community. Categories included Business, Community & Civic Affairs, Health, Volunteerism, Education and a Covid Hero Award. Elected Officials, non-profit leaders, teachers and more received proclamations surrounded by friends and family. “The women who effect positive change and strengthen our communities deserve to be celebrated for all the work they do,” said Stirpe. “My annual Women of Distinction Awards are the perfect opportunity to uplift and honor remarkable women right here in our backyard and celebrate moving forward.” Central New York Regional Representative, Tracy DiGenova, was on hand, with a message from Governor Kathy Hochul. “As you pay tribute to these distinguished women you highlight their strength of character and diverse abilities that inspire pride among their communities, their colleagues, and us all. Moreover, they motivate younger generations of women to reach their potential and goals in life, and we admire them as progressive role models within today’s society.” The celebration was sponsored by Karis Wiggins Designs and the Whistlestop Florist. This is the list of the 2022 winners: Sara Wall Bollinger - Community/Civic Affairs, Sue Kowalski - Higher Education, Linda McCrystal - Health/Food Insecurity (posthumous), Anju Varshney - COVID Hero, Kasey Dolson - Education, Mary Kay Maroney - Volunteer and Lori Schakow – Business. SWM

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COVER STORY

JEN LIDDY

From teacher to entrepreneur Ken Sturtz

“It was like getting a PhD in business, but also in myself, I learned what I was good at and what I sucked at.”

J

en Liddy was once a high school English teacher, more concerned with grading papers than entrepreneurship. She and her students killed off Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar each year on the Ides of March and plowed through the dense undergrowth of “Lord of the Flies.” But as a teacher Liddy could not have imagined she would change careers, become a small business owner and then pivot to helping other entrepreneurs achieve their goals. Today, Liddy is the owner of Jen Liddy Coaching & Development. Her Syracuse-based business focuses on supporting women entrepreneurs in learning how to create content marketing for their businesses. She grew up on Long Island and after college spent a few years working in New York City and, as she says, trying to figure out what she wanted to do when she grew up. She eventually settled on education, entering Le Moyne College in the late 1990s to earn her master’s degree. She taught in Skaneateles, Fayetteville-Manlius and then at Cayuga Community College in Fulton. Continued on page 24

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COVER STORY

From teacher to entrepreneur from page 23 Liddy loved teaching, but the challenges of the job gradually wore her down. So, when a business opportunity came along in 2013, she made what she says was a difficult decision to leave education and try something new. “I left because I was kind of burned out from teaching,” she says. “I felt I was always trying to get the attention of people who didn’t really want to be in the room.” She went into business with two friends, opening a 9,000-squarefoot fitness studio in East Syracuse. They needed someone to handle the operations side of the business and that’s where Liddy focused most of her time. But she had gone from teaching, which she knew a lot about, to running a business, about which she knew very little. It was like learning to drink from a fire house, she says. “It was like getting a PhD in business, but also in myself,” she says. “I learned what I was good at and what I sucked at.” The fitness studio gave Liddy a crash course in how to run a business, but it had not afforded her any kind of meaningful work-life balance. From the start 60-70-hour workweeks were the norm and she steadily grew tired; the workload was a drain on her family. She and her partners were able to cover their expenses, but any profits went right back into the business. Liddy was in her mid-forties at that point, and she says she became concerned that she wasn’t adding anything to her family’s long-term financial future. Most of her time at the studio was spent at the front desk, which afforded her the opportunity to strike up conversations with clients. She soon realized that many of their clients were very creative, entrepreneurial women, but that they faced similar challenges in their efforts to start or grow their businesses. “I learned about their dreams and what they wanted in their businesses, but they kind of couldn’t get out of their way,” Liddy says. Those conversations encouraged her to go into business coaching. She left the fitness studio, which closed in 2017. Her husband and son quickly noticed a change in her demeanor. She says the experience taught a valuable lesson, that she needed to learn how to work without burning out. About a month after leaving the fitness studio Liddy began business coaching. “I never thought about going back to get a regular job because I was so used to working for myself,” she says. “I knew the next thing was going to be helping women business owners.” Many of her first clients were women she had met through the fitness studio. Her foray into business coaching wasn’t without a good deal of self-doubt. Who am I to do this? Liddy asked herself frequently. She says at the start she worried a good deal and suffered from more than a hint of impostor syndrome.

But she grew her coaching business and gradually realized that many of her previous experiences had prepared her to help entrepreneurs. She says she also benefited from having a very supportive partner in her husband, who cheered her on even in moments when Liddy felt like she didn’t know what she was doing. Her husband is also a business coach and consultant with decades of experience. She says that as helpful a resource as he is, they generally stay out of each other’s business. This is due in part to the fact that they each have unique focuses, in Liddy’s case women entrepreneurs. Liddy continued growing her business, but realized that she truly shined when working with clients on writing, speaking and communications. In early 2020, she began focusing mainly on her work as a content creation specialist. A content creation specialist helps people understand how to effectively connect with their audience. When people think about content creation they usually think of social media, Liddy says, but it can take the form of anything from long form writing, short form videos and email, to a LinkedIn bio, blog posts and podcasts (Liddy hosts a podcast, Content Creation Made Easy, in which she discusses strategies for content creation and marketing). In the case of business owners, the goal is to help them cut through the confusion to nurture content so they can grow their business. “Most people are geniuses at what they do, but they’ve never really been taught how to speak to their audiences,” Liddy says. “They just feel burdened by this extra thing they’re supposed to be good at, which is content marketing.” When working with clients Liddy teaches them how to connect with the right audience so they can gain their audience’s trust and eventually make them customers. That means creating content to speak to their audience in a way that resonates with them. Entrepreneurs have often done a good deal of learning, listening and watching by the time Liddy meets with them. They usually have a sense of the direction they want to go in with their content creation, but need help getting there, she says. Often, she helps people clarify their voice, cut jargon out of their content and fine-tune their message. For example, she has a client who marketed herself as a food and body love coach. But it wasn’t not entirely clear who was being targeted, so they worked on the client’s messaging, Liddy says. Since the client works with a very specific population, they developed messaging to reflect that: I help veteran dieters who are tired of dieting end their battle with food. That messaging better articulates what the business is and attracts the right audience.

“I never thought about going back to get a regular job because I was so used to working for myself... I knew the next thing was going to be helping women business owners.”—Jen Liddy

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COVER STORY

From teacher to entrepreneur from page 25 Liddy’s decision to focus more on content creation turned out to be a winner. Her first six-figure year was in 2020. She says the pandemic pushed everyone online and reinforced for people just how important effective content creation really is. Reflecting on her career and the twists and turns it took to get to where she is, Liddy says she slowly realized that so much of her previous experiences were preparing her to be a business coach and content creation specialist. She had excellent communication skills from her teaching days. She had also taught classes in personal development in addition to English. And from running a business she understood firsthand the exhaustion and head-spinning challenges many women business owners faced. “When you’re in the middle of something you might wonder about it, but when you step back you see all the pieces of what you’ve done really do weave together,” she says. SWM

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

“Most people are geniuses at what they do, but they’ve never really been taught how to speak to their audiences.”—Jen Liddy

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DOLLARS & SENSE

Small business owners: Watch for dangers from within Tara Benson

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hirty percent of small businesses will permanently close their doors because of employee theft. Wow, as if small businesses didn’t have it hard enough already. Now imagine the employees you consider family are robbing you blind. I know what you are thinking, not my employees. Sue has worked here for 15 years and makes cookies every Friday, John brings in pictures of his son’s artwork and Claire is head of the local PTA. They would never steal from my business. Wrong. Seventy-five percent of employees admit to stealing at least once from their employer. So how does an employee that starts off trustworthy end up stealing from you? Let’s look at Carla’s case: Carla opened a hair salon in Syracuse. The salon was small at first with Carla and her best friend Jackie working double duty as stylists and managers. Carla took care of inventory, advertising, and cleaning while Jackie took care of the bookkeeping. The business and the friendship were doing great with the salon staying small and manageable for the two of them. Five years later, a client of Carla’s that had a connection in the local movie-making scene was able to secure her a contract doing all the hair and make up for a small independent movie being filmed in the area. This recognition put Carla’s salon on the map and business began to grow. Carla hired more stylists and even opened another location on the other side of town. Jackie switched to bookkeeping full time since she was the only person Carla trusted with the money. She paid the bills on time, handled taxes, and reconciled the accounts. Things were again going great with the salons. They had developed a strong reputation in the community and their stylists were working many of the local movies and photo shoots bringing in significant revenue for the business. One morning, Jackie’s mother fell in her garage and had to go to the emergency room. Jackie assured Carla she could handle the bookkeeping the following day when she returned and not to worry. Stressing to her there was nothing pending that couldn’t wait for her return. That same day Carla received a call from a supplier about a late payment. Thinking there must be some mistake, she dug around in Jackie’s office until she found the account statements and cancelled checks. She couldn’t find the payment for the supplier and assured them she would mail it out that day as she was sure it was just an oversight. After the call, Carla looked closer at the checks and found two different companies she didn’t recognize getting regular payments of $1500 every month. She followed the trail backward through the bank statements and found payments going back three years.

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She looked closer at the checks and realized her signature on them was forged and the names of the two companies were the same as Jackie’s beloved horses. Her stomach dropped as what was happening became clear. Jackie had been stealing from her salon for years. She had located over $100,000 stolen in just a few minutes. The fraud investigator Carla hired located more than $330,000 stolen by Jackie in less than five years. Carla was devastated. She now had to fire Jackie and take legal action against her best friend. There are ways to protect your business and not end up like Carla: ■ Separate financial responsibilities. You should have a different person handling each step of the bookkeeping. One pays bills, one reconciles the bank statements, and one handles deposits. Only you should have access to all steps of this process. ■ Have an email or phone number for employees to anonymously report suspicious activities. More than 40 percent of employee thefts are revealed due to a tip from another employee. ■ Don’t depend on auditors to find fraud. Their job is to verify the books and records in front of them are accurate, not find fraudulent documents meant to deceive. We worked a case where an auditor reconciled a company’s books partially based off sales invoices provided by the bookkeeper. Our investigation into those same invoices found 25 of the 34 invoices provided were for fake companies and the bookkeeper had stolen $40,000 that year. The auditor had no reason to believe the bookkeeper provided fake documents. ■ Pay attention to your employees. These types of situations may be more likely to lead to an employee stealing: • Living beyond their means. • Having financial difficulty or a sudden need for more money (medical bills, college tuition, etc.). • Unusually close relationship to a vendor or customer. • Recently been passed over for a promotion or not happy with a bonus or raise. This type of crime is unique because the people who commit these crimes are often trustworthy and respected members of their workplace and their community, but with a few painless adjustments to your processes, you can help reduce the chances an employee will steal. SWM

Tara Benson is the owner and lead investigator for Armour Investigations in Syracuse. Visit the website at armourinvestigations.com for more information.

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DOLLARS & SENSE

Claim your fame! Iris Buczkowski

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he world is changing faster than anyone can keep up with and the work environment we knew pre-pandemic is all but gone. Yes, many industries have started to open again now that COVID is less prevalent, but there seems to be a definite shift in how employers and consumers conduct business. Gone are the days of exclusive in-person meetings. Zooming in pajamas and grocery deliveries are here to stay. Not only have people taken early retirements, but there has been a tremendous surge in entrepreneurship during the past couple of years. I started a business right before the world shut down and let me tell you, not only was it frightening and became a huge leap of faith, but it also caused me to reevaluate my business plan even though I had just started and thought I had it all figured out. Seeing as how nothing has been quite conventional, here are my words of wisdom, tried and true, for anyone who desires more independence and the freedom that can be found by becoming an entrepreneur. Now you are probably thinking – ok, here she goes with the typical outline of all the things that one needs to do and the million boxes to be checked off to get started. Nope, that is not me and I am not that girl. I found that when you are starting a business there are three essential components you need to identify as your primary colors so they can become the foundation of your own masterpiece.

Identify your passion and purpose. What are you doing when you feel like you step into the most authentic version of yourself? I’m talking about that thing that you can feel deep inside your core and know that it is good and the medium that brings that to life. When you find the perfect union between these two things you have identified your true passion and purpose. From the outside looking in, I look like just another financial advisor. However, on the inside my drive is to educate and empower people to make excellent financial decisions that ultimately lead them to achieve their personal goals. What we see on the outside may not be what happens to be on the inside. The key to a successful entrepreneurial path is to be able to articulate your concept clearly so your audience wants to buy your brand.

Take a hard look at your weaknesses Let’s face it, nobody is perfect, and we all have things at which we do not excel. The sooner we embrace this the more quickly we can set ourselves up for true success. When we surround ourselves with people who have stronger core competencies that complement our own, the stronger we become. The cool thing about that is while we

are building our phenomenal teams, we are also setting others up for success alongside us. You would think I love all kinds of numbers. That’s absolutely not the truth because I find accounting incredibly tedious. Just ask my amazing accountant (who graciously puts up with me) how I really feel! Having said that, I more importantly do not want to be responsible for audits and I like to ensure that that my clients have those same benefits. I may know a lot of things about an array of topics related to finance, but I always defer to other professionals when their counsel is needed. Some of my greatest allies not only include accountants, but attorneys and marketing professionals as well (and do not forget the value of a good financial advisor!). Do not put yourself in a position to be a “Jack of all trades and master of none.” It’s simply not flattering.

Develop a mindset to give back This is the most unequivocable piece of advice I can ever impart to anybody, not just aspiring entrepreneurs. You cannot get ahead in life if you do not give back. Period. Giving back comes in so many different forms. Whether it is something to do with your passion and purpose, or information on a topic that you happen to be an expert at, people will want to be a part of your story if you put yourself out there to support your community and peers. It does not have to be in monetary form such as a donation or sponsorship. It might be speaking at career day at your local high school or participating in a community clean-up project, but whatever form it takes it is a compelling piece of your story when you want to improve the community around you. Start small where you can and grow from there. Take it from one entrepreneur to another, the beginning always feels humble but the farther down the path you go you will find tremendous rewards. As Winston Churchill famously said, “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Taking the dive into the business world and creating something by yourself for the benefit of others may seem like a daunting mountain to climb, but the view from the top is amazing. I can attest to that, although I would never climb a real mountain. In a time when more and more people want the flexibility to have a career and raise a family, finding the work and home balance, this has become a more mainstream and conventional path to explore. If you find yourself wanting to do something more, use these principles as guide points when you develop your plan, and know that when you do you will be well on your way to claiming your fame. SWM

Iris Buczkowski is the founder and CEO of Birch Wealth Management (birchwealth.com). Original content provided by Iris is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice.

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HEALTHY WOMAN

I’m not blushing – it’s Rosacea APRIL IS ROSACEA AWARENESS MONTH Briana Goodwin

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here are a few skin conditions that can affect one’s quality of life and rosacea is among the most common. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, rosacea effects 14 million US adults. Even worse, most people will not realize the signs and symptoms of this skin disorder. Some will think they just blush easier than most, or that they suffer from a more inflamed form of acne. Living with rosacea can be embarrassing, affecting a person’s social and psychological health. Men and women with rosacea may have diminished self-esteem, but more importantly left untreated rosacea can have medical repercussions as well. Through an interview with Lindsey Gaworecki P.A., a dermatological specialist at Syracuse Plastic Surgery, we will learn about the different types of rosacea, the many triggers that can cause a flair in rosacea, and her tactics for treating this common condition.

What are the different types of Rosacea?

The main two types of rosacea are erythemal and inflammatory. Erythemal rosacea is vascular, marked by facial redness caused by broken blood vessels under the skin. Inflammatory rosacea can cause acne breakouts along with redness. Any treatment I give for either are very personalized because regardless of the diagnosis everyone is different. If someone has one of the less common types of rosacea like ocular rosacea that effects their eyes, I would refer them to an ophthalmologist.

What are some triggers that can exasperate Rosacea?

The main trigger for Rosacea is sunlight! Sunscreen should always be worn even in cooler months. Other triggers include: stress, caffeine, alcoholic beverages - especially wine - and spicy foods. Some people can also be reactive to extreme temperature change. For instance, if you got out of a really hot shower and stepped into a cold room. Avoiding some of these triggers can help to manage symptoms.

Where skincare is concerned, what are some Rosacea dos and don’ts?

Any skincare used by a rosacea patient should be gentle. Stay away from harsh exfoliates and always wear sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher. Sunscreen is the most important skincare for someone with rosacea. Also be wary of antiaging products with retinoids. Retinol can make rosacea worse in some cases and should not be used unless under the supervision of a medical provider. As a rule, it is better to stay away from antiaging products because they often have acids, and high concentrations of ingredients that can do more harm than good.

What can happen if Rosacea is left untreated?

Leaving Rosacea untreated can lead to more serious medical issues. One of the most common being rhinophyma. Rhinophyma is when skin around the nose thickens and becomes enlarged and bumpy. Consequently, this would require a much more invasive surgery as opposed to getting preventative treatments and early medical intervention. Rosacea is a serious medical condition that often times goes unnoticed or will be looked over. While there is no “cure” for rosacea there are ways in which it can be managed. Management of rosacea can greatly improve a person’s quality of life. Those who go untreated may notice a negative impact on their daily lives, and social activities. Additionally, untreated there can be greater consequences than just looking a bit red or having a low self-esteem. Thankfully, there are medical professionals like who can offer hope and relief in the form of treatment. SWM

How can these different types of Rosacea be treated?

For erythemal rosacea lasers have been the most effective treatment. Other treatments rarely do anything significant. Marcela Tobar is medical esthetician who also works at SPS and she would use an IPL laser to reduce broken blood vessels and redness. I could also use a YAG laser to achieve the same goals depending on the patient’s needs. Inflammatory rosacea responds best to prescriptions such as topical creams, foams, and sometimes oral medications. My consultations at SPS for rosacea are covered through insurance. Some treatments like lasers will incur an additional cost that will be paid out of pocket. APR I L 2022

Briana Goodwin is a patient concierge at Syracuse Plastic Surgery located at 3107 E. Genesee St., Syracuse.

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Leadership Development Coach Speaker/Trainer 315-720-2494 • barb@buildyourpathllc.com buildyourpathllc.com

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HEALTHY WOMAN

Easy prep meals – perfect for busy schedules Chef Eric Rose

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hen it comes to meal prep, the hardest part is having easyto-make household dishes that everyone will eat. I’m going to give you a few guaranteed winners. But before any of the slicing, dicing, roasting, air frying and serving can happen, you first have to gather all the groceries, which poses the question: do I go to the store or use a delivery service? There are some fantastic delivery options out there that will save you the time and hassle of doing the shopping. There’s a minimal cost but remember that your time is worth money. So, you decide. I typically spend a few hours Sunday in the kitchen doing meal prep. Some modern conveniences make pulling it all together a lot faster these days. As a chef I never thought I would ever use an air fryer or an Instant Pot - but look at me now! The Instant Pot is a cleverly named culinary tool that can perform an impressive variety of cooking tasks. Whether you want to make yogurt, cook rice, sauté vegetables, or slow cook a roast, this handy device can do it all. In a home where time and space are a concern, this just might become your favorite appliance. It definitely has for me. When meal planning, I like to purchase in bulk when I can to save a dollar and at the same time look for opportunities to use the product multiple times throughout the week. For example, in my suggested menu I would purchase ground beef in bulk and sauté some off with a little diced onion for my Monday night mini mac

and cheese in a bowl, and then I’d save some cooked beef mixture to mix in my ravioli casserole. On Tuesday I would cook a small whole chicken in the air fryer and eat it for dinner on Tuesday night. I would then pull the remainder to use on top of a salad for lunch or even mix into my cheesy chicken and rice dish on Thursday. Another way I like to save time is to create some instant or crock pot freezer meals. Instant Pot freezer meals are a complete lifesaver for any busy person

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and are all the rage right now, with hundreds of options for every family. Simply prep by adding all the ingredients into a bag and freezing them, then dump them into your Instant Pot when you

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need dinner in a hurry. These can be a life saver so it’s a good idea to have a few in your freezer. Most freezer meals if sealed tightly can last up to six months in the freezer, no problem. If you are anything like me, don’t forget to write on the bag what’s in it. It could save you

from future guessing (and maybe disappointment). It’s no surprise the secret to making dinner easy peasy on busy weeknights is proper meal planning and shopping and making sure it's a recipe that the whole family will enjoy. So next week give these easy-to-make winning recipes a try — I think you’ll like them. SWM WEEKDAY MENU

Monday: Ravioli Casserole (Quick Bake or Microwave) Tuesday: Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken (Air Fryer) Wednesday: Mini Mac and Cheese in a Bowl (Reheat Meat in Microwave) Thursday: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli (Instant Pot) Friday: Shrimp N Grits (10 min sauté) Ravioli Casserole (Serves 4) Your favorite frozen ravioli pasta; (20-24 oz) Favorite canned sauce; 3 cups Sautéed ground beef and onion; 2 cups Mozzarella cheese; shredded; 2 cups Directions: Preheat oven to 375°. Spray casserole dish and combine frozen raviolis, ground beef mixture and sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven until hot throughout and cheese is bubbling.

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Air Fryer Chicken (Serves 4) Broiler chicken; 3-4 lbs Olive oil; ¼ cup Kosher salt and pepper Lemon Directions: Preheat air fryer to 350°. Brush outside of chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper inside and outside. Cut the lemon in thirds and place in the cavity of the bird. Place chicken, breast side down, on tray in air-fryer basket; cook 30 min. Flip chicken and cook until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°, 35-40 minutes longer. Remove chicken; let stand 15 minutes before carving. *Note: The chicken can be prepped a few days in advanced and reheated. Mini Mac and Cheese in a Bowl (Serves 4) Onion; diced ¼ cup Ground beef; 20 oz Thousand Island Dressing; 8 tbsp White vinegar; ½ tsp Onion powder; ½ tsp Romaine lettuce; shredded 12 cups Cheddar cheese; shredded 1 cup Dill pickle plices; 8 oz Sesame seeds; 4 tsp Directions: Heat a small, lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion & cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the beef and cook until

fully browned. Meanwhile, mix together the dressing, vinegar and onion powder. To assemble: Top lettuce with the ground beef and sprinkle with cheese. Top with pickle slices. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cheesy Chicken Broccoli (Instant Pot) (Serves 4) Chicken broth; 2 cups Uncooked long-grain white rice; 1 ¼ cup Salt; ½ tsp Pepper; ¼ tsp Raw chicken; cut in 1-inch pieces 20 oz Fresh broccoli florets; 1 package 10 ounces, about 4 cups Sharp cheddar cheese; shredded 1 cup / 4 ounces Directions: Spray Instant Pot™ insert with cooking spray. Mix broth, rice, salt and pepper in insert. Stir in chicken and broccoli. Secure lid; set pressure valve to SEALING. Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK; cook on high pressure 11 minutes. Stir in cheese. Broccoli will break down when stirring. *Note: If you want to use leftover cooked chicken shred and just fold in at the end of the cooking with the cheese.

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HEALTHY EATING

Easy prep meals from page 35

Shrimp N Cauliflower Grits (Serves 4) Butter; 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning; 2 tbsp Chicken broth; ½ cup Raw shrimp; peeled and deveined Cheddar cheese; shredded 2/3 cup Riced cauliflower; 5 cups Salt; ½ tsp Hot sauce; 3 tbsp Sour cream; 4 tbsp Milk; 1 cup Sliced onion or chives; ¼ cup

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Directions: Coat shrimp in Cajun seasoning on both sides. Over medium heat cook shrimp in a lightly greased skillet until pink, about 2 minutes each side. Add lemon juice, and chicken broth, scraping any bits in the pan. Simmer for about one minute. Remove from pan and set aside.In a separate skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add rice cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes. Add milk, hot sauce, and salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and cheese until melted. Serve shrimp atop the grits and top with green onion or chives. *Note: You can substitute regular quick grits or used frozen rice cauliflower.

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INSPIRE

TERRI TODD Lorna Oppedisano

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fter having a career in the wellness industry for more than two decades, Terri Todd discovered the benefits of reformer pilates on her own body and knew she had found something special. “I couldn’t believe the difference in how my body felt in comparison to the spin and HITT classes that I was teaching,” she remembered. Terri started in the industry as a personal trainer in 1992. When she began her career, she was a single mother of two boys. The relief brought on by exercise inspired her to pursue the field professionally, earning her National Academy Sports Medicine Personal Training Certification. Her practice began to shift when she earned a STOTT PILATES® Mat certification. Then, when her daughter began college in 2016, Terri had the ability to learn more about reformer pilates, which incorporates a reformer machine into the workout. Along with the many NASM certifications she had earned, she became STOTT PILATES® Reformer certified, as well. She found this to be helpful in conjunction with the spin and HITT classes she was teaching. “I felt it was so much more restorative, so I started cross-training my clients, one day with traditional weight training and one day on a reformer,” she said. “I soon realized they got better results and felt better with this, so I transitioned over.” Terri explained that a huge benefit to pilates practice is balance and restoration, as well as lengthening and strengthening of muscles, ligaments and tendons, a result of constantly moving from one exercise to the next. While other forms of exercise can compress the spine, she said, reformer pilates helps to decompress the spine. Looking back over the past couple of years, particularly in regard to the wellness industry, Terri is thankful for the decision she made to focus on reformer pilates, as fitness facilities closed due to pandemic regulations and more people gravitated toward at-home workouts. Prior to the pandemic, Terri trained her clients out of leased space in a local fitness facility. When the facility was forced to temporarily close its doors, she began thinking about the future of the industry and what that would mean for her career. Terri knew there would be risk involved in stepping out completely on her own, but she was ready to make that move. “It’s my path,” she said. “It’s been wonderful.” After spending a year and a half searching for the perfect space, she found her new home for Precision Pilates at 205 Brooklea Drive in Fayetteville, where Olive on Brooklea was once housed. She is now able to hold both private sessions and group classes, with the line of reformers offering a safe space of six feet between clients. She carefully curated the atmosphere of the studio, from her choices in paint to lighting to the different essential oils she uses during sessions.

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“This is where people get other things than just their workout,” she said. “They find peace here.” With support from a couple independent contractors, including a physical therapist, Precision Pilates offers a variety of classes and sessions throughout the week to a myriad of people. While the majority of her clients come to her with back problems, she’s also helped people facing other challenges such as sports injuries, depression or menopause. From a 9-year-old competitive ice skater to a 97-year-old client, who has also been a business mentor to Terri, her client base runs the gamut, she said. Terri feels blessed to help her clients, especially those feeling the physical effects of the pandemic. “During these difficult couple of years that we’ve had of sedentary behavior, everybody’s needs have changed,” she explained. “Immobility has increased. Obesity has increased. Medical issues, such as diabetes, have increased.” The art of healing and being able to read people’s bodies has always come naturally to Terri. “I have always had this affinity to help care for people or pets,” she said, adding that healing is her calling. Having been in her space in Fayetteville since August 2021, handling the administrative aspects of the business along with being present as an instructor for her clients can be challenging, she said. Terri credited a few people for helping her along the way: her husband, her 97-year-old client and mentor, and other women in business. Learning how to run a business is about listening to those who have already done it, she said. She advised anyone working to start a business — wellness or otherwise — to seek out the right tools and people, like fellow female entrepreneurs or the WISE Women’s Business Center, and to have confidence along the way. “You are so much more capable than you can give yourself credit for,” Terri said. “So, climb those stairs because at the top is a huge reward.” SWM For more information about Precision Pilates, visit precisionpilatescny.com.

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INSPIRE

NICOLE DANIELLE

The journey to self-discovery Jason Klaiber

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ften leaping from one endeavor to the next, Nicole Danielle has never been one to remain permanently placed. About a decade ago, having seen her life put into limbo by a series of unanswered questions regarding her purpose, the Syracuse resident sold the vast majority of her belongings and purchased a oneway plane ticket to England. “I just knew that there was something inside of me that really wanted to go over there, so I followed it,” said Danielle, now 37. Bothered by a certain stagnancy in her day-to-day as well as the thought of living through other people’s desires, she ignored suggestions to keep her personal journey within the boundaries of the United States, a large portion of which she had already ventured to on camping trips with her family. With that broader purview in mind, she decided to take the reins of her awakening and head for London in particular, for starters because everyone there spoke her language, but also because her beloved grandmother always mentioned the city as one of her favorites. Without much in the way of funding or a plan in the longer term, Danielle left the hostel she booked and returned to the States after three months, though when the idea came to her to obtain a master’s degree in public administration, her heart settled on London Metropolitan University over the more proximal choice of Syracuse University. During her second stay overseas, she worked with the public university’s business incubator to tap into her enjoyment of cooking and open a shop in north London selling sweet pies and custom cakes. Called Oh Gee, Pie!, that business was turned into a social setting of sorts meant to mainly support young people aging out of foster care. Danielle would eventually bring on a business partner, another American-born visitor who had just finished a master’s of her own, and together they sold their treats to places like local groceries. In addition, they grew by working with nonprofits to hold date night cooking classes for couples, baking workshops for young men at risk of being repeat criminal offenders, and other get-togethers with members of the surrounding community. However, the two associates began disagreeing with the direction of Oh Gee, Pie! just as their visas were nearing expiration. Facing those predicaments, Danielle decided to resign from the business and forfeit her visa, thereafter leaving the country once again, but this time with an extra five years’ worth of cherished memories. Her arrival back in Syracuse after that departure left her feeling what she called a “disruptive experience of mixed feelings.”

“There was some alleviation and some joy with being back here in an environment that I’m familiar with, surrounded by people I know and love, but then there was also this question of ‘now what am I doing?’” Danielle said. Subscribing by then to the belief that everything happens for a reason, Danielle was soon approached by a friend of hers employed at Lemon Grass, the Walton Street restaurant that serves Pacific Rim Thai cuisine. At that point the owners were in the process of opening a new steakhouse, bar and banquet space in Armory Square called Citronelle, which Danielle eventually helped to manage and get up and running. For that opportunity she said she drew a bit from her participation in opening the since-closed Persian-influenced dining spot Parisa just prior to her tenure on the other side of the Channel. She then shifted from that brief stint with Citronelle to Three Lives, an establishment in the entertainment district on South Clinton Street that she co-owns alongside her brother Jon Page. Founded right before the height of COVID, Three Lives uniquely features a full-service bar, a restaurant and an arcade all in one, hence the name suggesting a triplet of offerings. Despite not being much of a gamer herself Danielle has overseen operations there on the back end, all the while acknowledging the business’ function as a community builder and celebratory beacon through times of trouble. “Part of the entrepreneurial life and life altogether is just learning how to pivot and learning how to use things that come along to push yourself forward,” she said. The entire long and winding road that led Danielle through struggles and transitional periods has also culminated in her creation of a four-week workshop series centered around her empathetic counseling and knowledge of small business development. Under the banner of “A WanderLost Life,” she seeks to help individuals and groups of people encountering any nagging feelings of unrest, career dissatisfaction, or desires for a fulfilling switch-up in lifestyle. Specifically focused on offering advice to women, Danielle relies on the acronym S.E.L.F., which stands both for “soul embodied life force,” or the recognition of ties to a higher spiritual source, as well as “see, embrace and live found,” in other words the steps to a continuous path of understanding, discovery and self-appreciation. SWM

For more information on Nicole Danielle’s workshop series, Awaken SELF, visit her website awanderlostlife.com. Through A WanderLost Life, Syracuse resident Nicole Danielle helps others to answer questions about themselves and to find their own “care instructions,” the individualized notes contained within the roadmaps keeping their lives in alignment. Danielle has also helped to run her share of food-oriented businesses, including a pie shop that she started during her time in England.

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INSPIRE

STEPHANIE LONG AND HEATHER JENSEN

More than fairy godmothers at Mirror Mirror Ashley M. Casey

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any would-be brides grew up watching Cinderella’s tattered frock transform into a glittering ballgown, Sleeping Beauty twirling in a duochrome off-the-shoulder number or Giselle’s quintessential princess dress come to life as “Enchanted” shifted from animation to live action in the first act. But other future brides — especially those who are curvy, have disabilities or don’t neatly fit into society’s gender categories — are less likely to see themselves onscreen. Enter Stephanie Long, Heather Jensen and their crew of “fairy godmothers” at Mirror Mirror Inc., a bridal boutique in the village of Baldwinsville. “We tell the staff that it’s not their job to sell. It’s their job to make the bride feel better than when she came in,” said Jensen, the store manager. Long, who has a background in fashion design, opened Mirror Mirror Inc. in January 2013. Jensen went to school for graphic design and marketing and found her way to the wedding industry through event planning. The two met while doing local theater. They are both Syracuse Area Live Theater (SALT) Award winners — both have won for costuming and Jensen won best supporting actress in a play in 2018. Their passion for fashion and local theater are not the only things Jensen and Long have in common: both women hail from Baldwinsville. “I love having a store in my hometown. I love bringing people to Baldwinsville,” Long said. While many brides travel from Rochester, Buffalo, Pennsylvania and even Canada to shop at Mirror Mirror Inc., the boutique’s reach has expanded to all corners of the world. “It’s amazing how many places on the map we’ve touched. … We’ve shipped dresses to Australia, China, Germany,” said Long, adding that brides from 43 states have bought dresses at her shop. After spending the first seven years squeezed into the front room of the store, the Mirror Mirror Inc. team took the pandemic as an opportunity to reassess their space and layout needs. They expanded the showroom and dressing rooms in October 2020. Now the boutique can comfortably accommodate five brides at a time for fitting appointments. On a busy Saturday, Long and her fairy godmothers might see 15 to 18 brides. The consultants’ job is to help brides find the gown — or pantsuit, which is an increasingly popular choice — that makes them feel beautiful and confident. “It’s difficult to stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye and feel confident,” Long said. Mirror Mirror Inc.’s fairy godmothers are trained not to persuade a bride to choose a particular style, but to listen to their concerns and

study their body language to see how they feel about the dress. If a bride does not feel confident or beautiful in the dress, she stands stockstill and stiff. “You can tell if someone is comfortable in a dress — they’re swishing,” Long said. Jensen recalled one customer who emailed the boutique ahead of her appointment to let them know she was recovering from an eating disorder. “She emailed us letting us know what her triggers were and certain words not to use. She was so honest and brave,” Long said. “We changed our vocabulary.” Over the decade they’ve been in business, the Mirror Mirror Inc. team has learned how to dress — and interact with — brides who have had mastectomies, brides who use wheelchairs, plus-size brides, and transgender or nonbinary clients. “It was like watching a butterfly coming out of a cocoon,” Jensen said of one gender nonconforming customer. “They were no different than any other bride, regardless of gender. I feel like we made them feel comfortable and possible.” “Size inclusivity is really important to us,” Long said. “We want to have not only dresses for everybody to try on, we want to have great and interesting and unique dresses for everybody to try on.” That can be a challenge when many sample dresses run between bridal sizes 8 to 12 (bridal sizes are smaller than standard clothing sizes). Both plus-size and petite brides may struggle with fit issues while trying on dresses. That is why Mirror Mirror Inc. carries dresses from size 4 to 30. “We try and have a dress for every size and every style,” Jensen said. Part of Long and Jensen’s training process is having fledgling fairy godmothers try on a variety of dresses themselves. It’s like a retelling of Goldilocks, but instead of porridge and chairs, consultants are trying on dresses that are too small, too big, too heavy, too itchy so they know what it’s like for brides to try on wedding gowns. That personal connection is the most magical part of Mirror Mirror Inc.’s fairy tale. “We call ourselves fairy godmothers. We’re more than that,” Jensen said. “We’re counselors, we’re sisters, we’re mothers, we’re therapists, we’re mediators.” SWM

Mirror Mirror Inc. is located at 27 Oswego St. in the village of Baldwinsville. Visit mirrormirrorincbridal.com to schedule an appointment, or follow the boutique on Facebook and Instagram @mirrormirrorincbridal or on TikTok @mirrormirrorinc.

Stephanie Long, left, and Heather Jensen. APR I L 2022

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Photo by Ashley Casey

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

Appointed executive director at Contact

The Contact Community Services (Contact) board of directors recently announced that Antara Mitra has been named as its new executive director, effective April 11. Contact is a non-profit devoted to crisis management, suicide prevention and awareness, and school-based support services. She will succeed Patricia (Pat) R. Leone, who is retiring at the beginning of April, after 16 years leading the organization. Mitra will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of administration, financial operations, programs and strategic planning of the agency. Other key duties include grants management, fundraising and community outreach. Mitra brings with her over 20 years of non-profit experience. Most recently, she served as executive director for Community Action Program for Madison County, Inc. since 2016, where she oversaw all aspects of the agency’s business and financial operations. Her extensive background includes experience in local government, higher education and hospital administration. A resident of Onondaga County, Mitra has a master of public health degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University and a master of business administration from the University of Miami. She is also a Fellow of Health Leadership of the Health Foundation of Western & Central New York.

Sakalas named COO at Loretto

Loretto has hired Lori Sakalas as chief operations officer. In her new role, Sakalas will oversee the day-to-day operations of Loretto’s skilled nursing facilities – Loretto Health and Rehabilitation, The Nottingham Residential Healthcare Facility and the Commons on St. Anthony. Sakalas brings over two decades of experience in long-term care operations management to Loretto. She started her career as a nursing assistant over 25 years ago and progressed into various management positions over the years. She has prior management and consulting experience with Genesis Healthcare and Golden Living. Prior to joining Loretto, Sakalas was the vice president of operations, for Guardian Healthcare in Brockway, Penn. In that role, she led her division team with services that included clinical, financial, human resources, reimbursement and rehabilitation to support twenty-six skilled nursing facilities, four assisted living centers and one CCRC. Sakalas holds a bachelor’s degree in health and administrations from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. She also volunteers at her local parish and is on the board of directors for her local ambulance department. “I am very excited and grateful to be become a member of the Loretto family,” said Sakalas, chief operations officer. “I look forward to working with the teams of talented and caring individuals at Loretto in making sure our residents receive the best quality of services.”

Rosner is an active member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY Geneseo and a medical degree from University of Vermont. She completed her medical training with a residency at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx during which she was elected to the Quality Improvement Committee of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. Rosner is also currently an adjunct clinical associate professor at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Named administrator at Sedgwick Heights

Loretto has promoted Molly Messinger to the position of administrator at Sedgwick Heights. Formerly the assistant administrator of The Bernardine, Messinger started at Loretto in 2018. She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology and a minor in music from Le Moyne College. She has worked in long-term care with the geriatric population in social work and administration for six years. In her previous experience working at The Bernardine Assisted Living Facility, Messinger was responsible for overseeing various functions of the organization – initially as a care team manager and then as assistant administrator. In her new role, Messinger is responsible for overseeing all functions of the assisted living program at Sedgwick Heights, including direct care, food service, maintenance, operations, and marketing. Messinger will be responsible for the safety and well-being of all residents and staff while ensuring compliance with Department of Health regulations, company policies, and procedures. “I am most looking forward to building rapport with the staff and residents and promoting the mission, vision, and values of the Loretto organization,” she said. “Ultimately, our goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of the people whom we serve.”

Joins St. Joe’s psychiatric team

Dr. Sarah Rosner has joined St. Joseph’s Health Hospital in Syracuse. In her new role, Rosner joins a team of diverse physicians who provide a comprehensive and high-quality psychiatric care and mental health services to the Syracuse community. Rosner is a certified psychiatrist with experience treating children and adolescents as well as adults. Before joining St. Joseph’s Health, she served as an attending psychiatrist at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx where she managed new admissions, provided psychiatric evaluations and emergency care to the psychiatric unit.

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UPCOMING EVENTS Wednesday, April 6

Friday, April 29

What: A celebration of women in business in Central New York, featuring light fare, networking, ash bar and an opportunity to network with your entrepreneurial peers. Sponsored by WISE, WBOC and Syracuse Woman Magazine. When: 4:30 p.m. Registration. Event from 5 to 7 p.m. Where: Sky Armory, 351 S. Clinton St., Syracuse, NY 13202

What: The black tie Gala honors Aminy Inati Audi. Aminy, her family and Stickley, Audi & Co. have been supporters of Crouse Health as well as many other community endeavors. Aminy has served as the evening's General Chair and Community Committee Chair. Event features musical guest Atlas. Proceeds will be used to support the work of Crouse Health Foundation including purchasing special equipment, underwriting new initiatives and funding educational programs/scholarships. When: 6 p.m. Where: Oncenter Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center, 800 S. State St., Syracuse, NY 13202 Info: crouse.org/tribute2021

Celebrate Women in Business

Sunday, April 10

Bones East Concert

What: This family-friendly concert, founded in the early 1980s by the late Howard Kelley, is a 25-member trombone ensemble made up of semi-professionals, retirees and students who volunteer their time and talent. Bones East, is a one-hour concert and features exciting music composed and/or arranged by CNY residents. Where: DeWitt Community Church, 3600 Erie Blvd., Syracuse, NY 13214 Info: Free and open to the public. Donations encouraged to help support music ministry program.

Saturday, April 23

Symphoria’s Ukraine Benefit Concert

What: A benefit concert for the Ukrainian refugee resettlement in Central New York featuring works written by Ukrainian composers. Symphoria’s acting concertmaster, Sonya Stith Williams, will be featured violin soloist in Legende by composer Heinryk Wieniawski. All donations collected at this event will support a new fund established by Interfaith Works of CNY for the unmet needs of the families that will come. When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Church of the Most Holy Rosary, 111 Roberts Ave., Syracuse, NY 13207 Info: experiencesymphoria.org

45th Annual Crouse Health Tribute Evening Gala

Saturday, April 30

Bone Appetit to support Wanderer’s Rest

What: An opportunity for people to get to know the Wanderer’s Rest Animal Shelter and learn how they can help the organization. Features silent auction, food, drinks and musical entertainment by David and Leslie of Crushing Midnight. All proceeds go toward supporting the cats and dogs at the shelter. When: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Where: Lincklaen House, 79 Albany St., Cazenovia, NY 13035 Info: wanderersrest.org Cost: $25 per ticket

Saturday, May 2

Erin’s Paws for the Cause 5K

What: 5K run with the proceeds going to support the CNY SPCA. Features raffles and a 50/50 on race day. To sponsor or donate email msims4@twcny.rr.com. When: 9 a.m. Where: Reed Webster Park, 3491 Warners Rd, Camillus, NY 13031 Info: To register, visit: runsignup.com/race/ny/Camillus/erinspawsforthecause.

Tuesday April 26

Saturday, May 7

What: Where: Info:

What: Authentic Cajun music, lively dancing, crafters, vendors and food. Features Brass Inc., Soul Risin, Ripcords and the Confabulateurs. A mascot dance-off, kids area and nine local food trucks will be on hand. All funds raised go toward projects supported by Operation Northern Comfort. When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Where: Clinton Square, Syracuse, NY 13202 Info: operationnc.org

Stand Against Racism Walk, Moving Forward Together

Walk to show support for diversity, inclusion and racial equity in Syracuse and Onondaga County, starting at the YWCA main office (401 Douglas St., Syracuse, NY 13203) and ending with a proclamation at the Onondaga County Court House (401 Montgomery St., Syracuse, NY 13202) YWCA main office to Onondaga County Courthouse FREE, visit ywca-syracuse.org/get-involved/stand-against-racism-week/ for walk times.

APR I L 2022

15th Annual Syracuse Crawfish Festival

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