GOAL Magazine Winter 2017

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What’s yours?

INSIDE Invest in Our Greatest Asset, Our Children - by Judge Anthony Bompiani Senate Passes Murphy's Mental Health Reforms - by Congressman Tim Murphy Gray Goes from Gloomy to Glam - by Scott Ludwick

Westmoreland Chiropractic & Rehab Associates





800.686.4455 HillviewMotors.com

Exciting Events Coming to Your Area! Be sure to mark your calendars for

May 5, 2017 at the Ligonier Country Club!

GOAL Magazine is excited to announce its “Second Annual Golf Classic!” We Will grant all net-proceeds to The Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation to specifically impact the Learning Support, Autistic Support, and Life Skills Classroom Enrichment Programs in the Greater Latrobe Area School District. Just like a snowflake or a fingerprint, every child is unique and they all breathe life and energy into the future success and identity to our society. By participating in this event in whatever capacity you can, you will be joining a collective effort to help children with special needs get the support they need to adjust to the challenges of today so that they too can experience the opportunities of tomorrow and beyond.

d e n i f De Magazine

GOAL Magazine is proud to announce the first annual “GOAL Magazine Gala!” This event will benefit Canine Partners for Life, an organization dedicated to training service dogs, home companion dogs, and residential companion dogs to assist individuals who have a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. The mission of Canine Partners for Life is to increase the independence and quality of life of individuals with physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities or who are in other situations of need. GOAL Magazine is an eclectic collection of information in which anybody can find something of value and interest and this event will stay true to that image with different types of entertainment and themes for each room. This is not a programmed sit-down event. This is a party to enjoy the company of friends, meet new people, and raise money for a cause that benefits people, with a variety of challenges.

Gala Magazine

This event will take place on

October 14, 2017 at the Greensburg Country Club!


To innovatively reveal to readers the power of being diversely informed and doing so with style, class, and authenticity.


Promote entrepreneurial spirit while enriching minds with meaningful and thought provoking information through an eclectic and collaborative effort of local professionals.


Individual Commitment to a Group Effort was chosen as our motto to reinforce the commitment all the contributors have collectively made to bring this magazine and its purpose to life.



Authenticity is defined as being real or genuine, true and accurate and worthy of acceptance and belief while remaining true to one’s own personality, spirit, talent, and character. The intention of GOAL Magazine, first and foremost, is to be considered a valuable ambassador of information you can trust.


Collaboration is defined as the willingness to work, one with another; to cooperate and connect in order to achieve a desired result. The value of GOAL Magazine is in the eclectic content provided without compensation by some of the most respected and well-known professionals in their fields, while effectively connecting readers to one all-encompassing fountain of local knowledge.


Enrichment is defined as the result of being supplied with an abundance of anything desirable; to add significance or value; to make finer in quality. GOAL Magazine was created with the intention of breathing life into the desire of information and recognition of the value of expertise within their communities.

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winter 2017


What’s yours?


Fireman Highlight


Shaffer's Landscaping





Understanding Your Credit Report


Qualifying for the Home Office Deduction


From Undergraduate to Career



Invest In Our Greatest Asset, Our Children

Breaking: Senate Passes Murphy's Mental Health Reforms


Are you starting the New Year with a Renovation Project?

Benefits for Military Families



Alliance of Hope


The Comfort Zone: The Place to Be or Step Away From?


Bear’s Top Suiting Tips For The Modern Gentleman

Start your year off right with a great dental exam


Greater Latrobe Senior High School


Annual Market Review


Glamour Portraiture



Do you know your General Health Index?


Auto Coverage Tragedy During winter months, wintery roads create dangerous driving situations. Be sure to not overlook a key component: your present insurance plan.

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Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce


Think Spring!

This year, the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce is thinking spring in an entirely new way... as in a springboard to a great 2017!


Deciding What to Do with Your 401K When you change jobs, you need to decide what to do with the money in your 401(k) plan. Should you leave it, take it with you, roll the money over into an IRA or your new employer's retirement plan?

Fireman Highlight Shad Elder, a life member, lieutenant, and recording secretary for Midway-St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department, is someone who risks their life on a daily basis to ensure our community is safe. Elder became a junior firefighter at 15 years old and has been active ever since. As someone who dedicates their time for public service, Elder sat down with a member of the GOAL Magazine team. The following questions were a result of this meeting: 1. What is your favorite part about being a volunteer firefighter? My favorite part about being a firefighter is first and foremost helping the public. Being able to help families and know that I’m making an impact. I still get a rush every time I answer a call. Also, I enjoy the friendships I’ve made over the years; with people from all over.

2. What’s the worst part of your job? The worst part of my job is the lack of man power we currently have. Recruitment is down, and it’s hard to get people motivated to want to volunteer their time. With the demand in jobs currently, it can be difficult to get new people to complete the many hours of training necessary to receive the correct certificates before becoming an active member. 3. How do you feel technology or advancements in regulations have helped your job? Technology definitely has its advantages, and safety has been a huge factor in that. With things like automatic alarm systems in homes that detects fires or carbon monoxide, it can alert our departments faster and more efficiently. There’s also programs installed in vehicles that can help alert emergency crews if there is an accident. As far as regulations, making sure to check your dryer vent as often as possible and your furnace yearly, that’s very important.

4. How can people who don’t want to fight fires help out? There’s always ways help at your local VFD. There are Administrative Memberships, helping financially, serving on a board or even going to events they host within the area. 5. What is one thing you wish the general public knew about being a firefighter? I wish people knew how much work goes into being a fireman. Sometimes it can feel like the public takes for granted what we do on a daily basis. It’s also very hard on our family lives at home as well. But there are some great opportunities for scholarships through the community college for volunteer firefighters; you never know, it could lead to a new career path!

Father and son, Shad Elder & Harry David Elder

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Your credit report contains information about your past and present credit transactions. It’s used primarily by potential lenders to evaluate your creditworthiness. So if you’re about to apply for credit, especially for something significant like a mortgage, you’ll want to get and review a copy of your credit report.

You can see what they see: getting a copy of your credit report Every consumer is entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Besides the annual report, you are also entitled to a free report under the following circumstances: • A company has taken adverse action against you, such as denying you credit, insurance, or employment (you must request a copy within 60 days of the adverse action) • You're unemployed and plan to look for a job within the next 60 days • You're on welfare

g n i d n a t s r e d n U t i d e r C r You t r o p Re

• Your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft

Visit www.annualcreditreport.com for more information

What’s it all about? Your credit report usually starts off with your personal information: your name, address, Social Security number, telephone number, employer, past address and past employer, and (if applicable) your spouse’s name. Check this information for accuracy; if any of it is wrong, correct it with the credit bureau that issued the report. The bulk of the information in your credit report is account information. For each creditor, you’ll find the lender’s name, account number, and type of account; the opening date, high balance, present balance, loan terms, and your payment history; and the current status of the account. You’ll also see status indicators that provide information about your payment performance over the past 12 to 24 months. They’ll show whether the account is or has been past due, and if past due, they’ll show how far (e.g., 30 days, 60 days). They’ll also indicate charge-offs or repossessions. Because credit bureaus collect information from courthouse and registry records, you may find notations of bankruptcies, tax liens, judgments, or even criminal proceedings in your file. At the end of your credit report, you’ll find notations on who has requested your information in the past 24 months. When you apply for credit, the lender requests your credit report--that will show up as an inquiry. Other inquiries indicate that your name has been included in a creditor’s prescreen program. If so, you’ll probably get a credit card offer in the mail. You may be surprised at how many accounts show up on your report. If you find inactive accounts (e.g., a retailer you no longer do business with), you should contact the credit card company, close the account, and ask for a letter confirming that the account was closed at the customer’s request.

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lf econdHa By The S h ealt Coach W t Team en Managem

Basing the future on the past

What all this information means in terms of your creditworthiness depends on the lender’s criteria. Generally speaking, a lender feels safer assuming that you can be trusted to make timely monthly payments against your debts in the future if you have always done so in the past. A history of late payments or bad debts will hurt you. Based on your track record, a new lender is likely to turn you down for credit or extend it to you at a higher interest rate if your credit report indicates that you are a poor risk. Too many inquiries on your credit report in a short time can also make lenders suspicious. Loan officers may assume that you’re being turned down repeatedly for credit or that you’re up to something-going on a shopping spree, financing a bad habit, or borrowing to pay off other debts. Either way, the lenders may not want to take a chance on you. Your credit report may also indicate that you have good credit, but not enough of it. For instance, if you’re applying for a car loan, the lender may be reviewing your credit report to determine if you’re capable of handling monthly payments over a period of years. The lender sees that you’ve always paid your charge cards on time, but your total balances due and monthly payments have been small. Because the lender can’t predict from this information whether you’ll be able to handle a regular car payment, your loan is approved only on the condition that you supply an acceptable cosigner.

Correcting errors on your credit report Under federal and some state laws, you have a right to dispute incorrect or misleading information on your credit report. Typically, you’ll receive with your report either a form to complete or a telephone number to call about the information that you wish to dispute. Once the credit bureau receives your request, it generally has 30 days to complete a reinvestigation by checking any item you dispute with the party that submitted it. One of four things should then happen: • The credit bureau reinvestigates, the party submitting the information agrees it’s incorrect, and the information is corrected • The credit bureau reinvestigates, the party submitting the information maintains it’s correct, and your credit report goes unchanged • The credit bureau doesn’t reinvestigate, and so the disputed information must be removed from your report • The credit bureau reinvestigates, but the party submitting the information doesn’t respond, and so the disputed information must be removed from your report You should be provided with a report on the reinvestigation within five days of its conclusion. If the reinvestigation resulted in a change to your credit report, you should also get an updated copy. You have the right to add to your credit report a statement of 100 words or less that explains your side of the story with respect to any disputed but unchanged information. A summary of your statement will go out with every copy of your credit report in the future, and you can have the statement sent to anyone who has gotten your credit report in the past six months. Unfortunately, though, this may not help you much--creditors often ignore or dismiss these statements.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016

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BREAKING: SENATE PASSES MURPHY'S MENTAL HEALTH REFORMS For Immediate Release: December 7, 2016 Contact: Carly Atchison 202.225.2301 Washington, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Senate passed Congressman Tim Murphy's (PA-18) Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, included in the 21st Century Cures healthcare reform package. The bill passed 94-5, and now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law. Congressman Murphy, who led the multi-year effort to reform the nation’s failing mental health care system after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school, released the following statement: “This historic vote is one of the rare moments in Congress where members can say with confidence their vote to pass these reforms will indeed save lives. We are ending the era of stigma surrounding mental illness and focusing on delivering treatment before tragedy. By bringing research, treatments and cures into the 21st Century, we are finally breaking down the wall between physical health and mental health. “As we approach the anniversary of Sandy Hook, I'm deeply moved that the House and Senate voted to include the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act in the 21st Century Cures bill because it was this very tragedy that motivated my relentless effort to fix the patchwork of antiquated

programs and ineffective policies to get care to those in psychiatric crisis. “Many doubted we would make it this far, but here we are... and we’re still not done. I will continue advancing reforms so none remain in the shadows because we’ve set our eyes on one goal: to fix our nation’s broken mental health system so it works for all. “We traveled to every corner of this nation, listening to doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists, experts and advocates, and most importantly patients, consumers and their families. “Through congressional hearings and an in-depth investigation, we discovered the abhorrent, and at times fatal, disconnect between 112 federal agencies who are assigned to treat the mentally ill. We exposed a $130 billion dollar investment in a system that has done little but watch the rates of homelessness, incarceration, suicide and drug overdose deaths soar. We came together, across party lines, and went to work. Today, we have passed legislation that will save lives. “A special note of thanks to Chairman Fred Upton for his steadfast leadership on Energy and Commerce and dedication to seeing H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act move forward, and for his tremendous medical innovation bill, the 21st Century Cures Act.

“I’m deeply grateful to Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who teamed up with me on our original bill. Her conviction and determination, and applying her experience as a psychiatric nurse, proved instrumental in championing the cause that someone in crisis should get treatment in a hospital and not locked up in a jail cell. It is largely due to her efforts that we made it to the finish line. “Without the commitment from House Speaker Paul Ryan we wouldn’t be here today. In his first days as Speaker of the House, he pledged his support for the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. It was his leadership and determination that kept us moving forward to ensure the House would take action on the way we treat the mentally ill in this nation. “To all of my colleagues in Congress who spoke up, stepped up, and teamed up with our efforts to end the mental health crisis in America: Thank you. “Lastly, to every family member, to the tens of thousands who reached out to me, to those who stepped forward to share their story and be a voice for change, my deepest gratitude for your courageous stand to help families in mental health crisis.” For a full list of the provisions included in the final bill, click https://murphy. house.gov/uploads/Division%20B%20 Helping%20Families%20in%20Crisis%20 SBS.pdf

Murphy Press | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) 2332 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-2301 | (202) 225-1844 (f)

8 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

SPECIAL EDITION E-News: In Case You Missed It...

December 2, 2016 Dear Friend, Big things are happ

ening in Washing

ton! On Wednesday, N ovember 30, 2016 , the House passe which included m d the 21st Centu ental health reform ry Cures bill, s from the Helpin Crisis Act. The bi g Families in Men ll now goes to the tal Health U.S. Senate for a vote next week. Throughout the we ek, I continued to push for these de to our nation's br sperately needed oken mental healt reforms h system by meetin Ryan and other Re g with House Spea publican leadershi ker Paul p members, talkin ing with local and g on the House flo national media to or , speakget the word out, big week as the bi and preparing for ll heads to the Se another nate. Thursday afternoo n was particularly special to me, as awarded Medals of two members of m Merit for their as y staff were sistance in resusc I'm happy to repo ita ting a man last m rt that the man is onth. recovering, and wi holiday season. I ll be able to enjoy am always proud another of the team, but am the way that on th in complete admira at day, they jumpe tion of d into action with save a life. out hesitation, an d helped As your elected of ficial, it's importa nt to me that you in Washington, so know what I've be this Special Editi en doing on E-News walks yo Senate takes up 21 u through my we st Century Cures ek. As the an d my mental healt Twitter, Facebook h reforms, follow , and YouTube fo r live video stream me on ing and timely up dates. I encourage you to share your though ts about mental he clicking https://m alth and write to urphy.house.gov/c me by ontact-me.

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AUTO COVERAGE TRAGEDY By Joyce Novotny-Prettiman, Esq. of QuatriniRafferty


uring winter months, slick, wintery roads create dangerous driving situations, which may increase concerns about being involved in an auto accident. While you might think that you've taken the necessary precautions to prepare for winter's worst, you may be overlooking a key component: Your present insurance plan may not supply ample coverage to you and your family if you are severely injured in an accident. Here at QuatriniRafferty, we can't control the weather, but we can help you to gain control of your auto insurance policy so that you and the ones you love are fully prepared for all that winter might bring. And if you are involved in a serious auto accident, we can use our vast experience to maximize the money damages payable to you and your family. In this article, you'll find a true story that reveals the risks associated with an inadequate insurance plan. While this example is not winter weather-related, it exemplifies a lesson to last all year long:

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"Could my coverage begin to help me put my life back together if I was in a serious auto collision?" she underwent a total of four surgeries. He knew that, with these types of injuries, his daughter would not be able to work for some time. He contacted our office for assistance in taking care of the insurance and medical billing matters that she could not attend to while in the hospital.

Our office got a call from a father who was terribly worried about his daughter. She had recently been involved in an accident while traveling to work in East McKeesport. A drunk driver of an oncoming SUV had crossed the center line of the roadway and struck his daughter’s car head-on, causing life-threatening injuries. He felt so lucky she was alive. They had to deal with the frightening news that her foot might need to be amputated. Over the course of 6 months,

When we met with this gentleman and his daughter in the hospital, we assured them that we would help. We learned that her injuries included severe abdominal injuries, a left forearm fracture and a severe right ankle fracture. After this young lady’s inpatient stay of 10 days, she was released to a rehab facility because she could not care for herself at home. Her hospital bills alone were in excess of $327,000. Our first step was to determine how much insurance coverage was available. The driver who caused this collision carried the minimum insurance coverage required in Pennsylvania, which is $15,000 of liability insurance. That amount was offered to settle the claims against this at-fault driver. This coverage

was of course inadequate to compensate our client for her injuries. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that a person who is injured can make a recovery from an atfault driver for any money in excess of the insurance policy limits. Next, we turned to her auto insurance policy. We found that the underinsured motorist coverage in effect at the time of the collision was only $25,000. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not required under Pennsylvania law, but is coverage you can purchase to protect yourself if injured by a driver with little or no liability insurance. The difficult news that we had to deliver to our client was that there was a grand total of $40,000 of insurance coverage available. After the daughter recovered to the point that she could discuss her insurance coverage, she called her agent. She learned that adequate coverage would have been only a few dollars more per month‌and she could have afforded it. She wants us to tell our clients to be informed about their auto insurance coverage BEFORE they have an accident. You should make a call to your insurance agent to find out how much uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage you have in place. After you learn that amount, think to yourself, "Could that coverage begin to help me put my life back together if I was in a serious auto collision?" If your answer is no, get more underinsured motorist coverage immediately. You cannot control what other drivers do on the road, but you can control the amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage you purchase as part of your auto insurance coverage. PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING TO YOU: MAKE SENSE OF YOUR AUTO POLICY BEFORE AN ACCIDENT We have heard clients comment that they never read their auto insurance information prior to a motor vehicle collision. Unfortunately, after you are in an accident, it is too late to make sure that you have the coverage you need. Take the time now to do some "preventative maintenance." Here is our advice about the coverage you

should have in place to protect you and your family.


TORT OPTION: CHOOSE FULL TORT This is the most important choice when selecting your coverage. Always choose the full tort option which provides the most complete protection. If you do not choose full tort, you give up important legal rights. This holds true even if an accident is not your fault. The person who makes the tort selection binds the entire household and everyone covered under the policy. Selecting full tort is "easy." There are no forms to sign to select it. You actually have to sign a form to opt out of your rights under full tort.

Just like wage loss coverage, this coverage is not required under Pennsylvania law but you do not want to go without it! This important coverage protects you and your family if you are hurt by a person who has little or no insurance. To make this coverage even more valuable, you want to "stack" uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you have several cars in your household, you can collect this type of coverage from another car in your household. This coverage may also provide protection even if you would be involved in an accident that does not involve your vehicle.

Full Tort + Wage Loss Coverage + Stacked UM/UIM Coverage = The Best Protection for You and Your Family! MEDICAL COVERAGE: $10,000.00 MINIMUM Although you are required to purchase at least $5,000 of medical coverage (or "first party coverage" as it is called in Pennsylvania), we recommend that you purchase at least double that amount. If you do not have health insurance, you may want to purchase even more coverage, which will pay medical bills if you or a family member is hurt in a collision.

The attorneys at QuatriniRafferty are happy to review your auto coverage with you, free of charge, to ensure that you are fully insured all year long. Give us a call today at (724) 837-0080 to set up a free consultation or visit us online at www. qrlegal.com to learn more.

WAGE LOSS COVERAGE: CHOOSE IT! If you are hurt in an accident and are not able to work thereafter, wage loss coverage will keep money coming in to pay your bills while you are off work. If you do not have this coverage, you must wait to get your lost wages covered by the person at fault for the collision. This process can take a long time because the wage loss payment is part of a one-time, lump-sum payment. While Pennsylvania law does not require that you carry this coverage, most people who become involved in an accident are thankful they purchased it.

Pictured are Attorneys Dennis Rafferty, Joyce Novotny-Prettiman, and Jessica Rafferty, your experienced Personal Injury Attorneys.

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The Comfort Zone: The Place to Be or Step Away From? By William J. Urbanik, MBA, Managing Partner/Financial Planner, The SecondHalf Coach, Inc.


ccording to one theory, the term comfort zone originated in reference to the temperature zone (67 to 78 degrees) where we’re most comfortable, and feel neither hot nor cold. Psychologically, our comfort zone is the place we’re most at home and in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress. It’s a behavioral state where a person operates in an anxiety-neutral position and where our uncertainty and vulnerability are minimized. Ultimately, we feel comfort because we feel control.

No doubt, in the comfort zone, a steady level of performance is possible. There is nothing wrong with feeling comfortable and having slow, steady performance if that is what you need and/or desire to be successful. However, anyone wishing to grow and reach new heights need to prepare to step beyond that comfortable state and enter into a realm of less comfort, less convenience and yes---more stress. Think about it: Did you ever do something you were really proud of when you were in autopilot mode? It is medically proven that stepping out of a comfort zone raises anxiety and generates a stress response. This results in an enhanced level of concentration and focus and could even release adrenaline propelling us to advanced levels of performance. For years, experts have been writing on this subject and we’ve come to see stress as a dirty word. I mean, how many health conditions state “stress” as one of its potential causes? A lot! Therefore, we’re wired to seek out comfort, which is why it’s so hard to let it go. We are creatures of habit and the comfort zone is our natural, neutral state — a

professional watching my business grow simultaneously. And look now, here I am being one of the people starting another business producing this magazine to help educate the public using other people who took risks to share their expertise.

place where stress and anxiety are minimal, where we know what’s coming next and can plan accordingly. We know that in the investment world that in order to achieve reward you must be willing to take risk of some kind. Any investment that has growth potential has some sort of risk whether its market volatility, liquidity, or growth that is so little it doesn’t outpace inflation therefore having purchasing power risk. If you want to move forward, you have to be willing to give up something in return by taking on some sort of risk and life is no different. Within our comfort zones, generally speaking, there’s little stress and it feels good. But, a little bit of healthy stress can actually act as a catalyst for growth and provide a powerful motivation to act. I believe that in this increasingly competitive and accelerated world, those who are willing to take risks and step out of their comfort zone and into the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards. As an entrepreneur, I know this first hand. I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not taken risks early on and throughout my career that enabled me to grow as a

Look, there’s nothing wrong with being in your comfort zone if that is where you are happy. But, you can’t be angry when others pass you by or get that promotion or become a better athlete if your residency in the comfort zone held you back from challenging yourself to learn, grow and try new things. Being slightly uncomfortable, whether or not by choice, can push us to achieve goals we never thought we could. But it’s important to remember that we don’t need to challenge ourselves and be productive all the time. It’s good to step out of our comfort zone. But it’s also good to be able to go back in. We develop and we grow then we level off and then we grow again. Think of how a kid grows. They seem like they are one height forever and then bam, they grow inches seemingly overnight. Nothing wrong with that type of growth either. Challenging yourself can help you perform at your peak because it is the only way to discover your capacity to do anything. How can we expect to evolve in our lives and careers if we only stick to habit and routine? Reaching new heights involves the risk of attempting something we might not succeed at or we might be embarrassed by. A famous experiment conducted on mice in 1908 by Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson found that stimulation could improve performance, but only to a certain extent. Performance was improved up to the level of “optimal anxiety” — beyond

How can we expect to evolve in our lives and careers if we only stick to habit and routine? 12 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

that level, there was too much stress, and performance dropped. This concept is now called the “Yerkes-Dodson Law” which refers to the curve of performance peaking at the point of optimal anxiety, and lowering with both too little and too much anxiety. As children, we’re more natural risk-takers. But as we get older and learn to fear failure, care what people think, we start holding ourselves back and attempting fewer new things. I think of teaching my two sons to ski two years ago along with my wife. While all good skiers now, it was a lot easier teaching my boys. They were 8 years old, immortal in their minds, and not afraid to try something that was uncomfortable or felt awkward. My wife, on the other hand, understandably was worried about getting hurt, what would happen if she got hurt, etc. etc. That worry made her push back against me (sometimes angry) and drift into skiing very slow and snow plowing the whole time---comfort zone. My kids immediately took the slopes by storm and while they fell a few times, they got up, brushed themselves off, and grew as skiers doing black diamonds their first day. My wife, just recently, made a major advancement as a skier when I finally got her to let go and try to ski right. While she

felt more out of control initially, she grew as a skier immediately by stepping outside that zone and pushing herself and having faith she could do it and she did! We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth, keeps people in situations both personally and professionally they are not happy with, and that leads to regret and maybe even depression. Fear assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure — all your life. It’s as simple as that. With that being said, in 2017 I am going to do something I never thought I would do. While I am not a stranger to stress, have stepped out well beyond my comfort zone in business many times and are always goal planning and trying to make myself better there are some things I simply avoid doing in public and one of those is dancing! While I speak publicly in front of large groups all the time and never really feel nervous doing anything, I will tell you dancing in front of a packed theatre makes me stressed just

writing about it. I honestly think I would be less nervous delivering a speech bare naked than dancing fully clothed in front of people. Does that paint the level of my anxiety for you? So, in the spirit of this article, I am officially announcing that while I pretty much permanently reside in a state of discomfort, I am going to go even further and take on one of my biggest fears. I have accepted an invitation to be a “celebrity” contestant in the 2017 Dancing with the Celebrities event benefiting Animal Friends of Westmoreland on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Palace Theater in Greensburg! Last year, they raised $50,000 and had over 600 people in attendance (GULP, cue puking). As a contestant I am also encouraged to get people to come. So, anyone interested in seeing me attempt this feat; please contact me as I have tickets to sell! Let’s hope what has been researched by psychologist for decades proves true and that this reluctant step leads to me finding synchronized steps I never thought possible before.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Palace Theatre

Food stations, wine, beer, and celebrity dance competition! You will even get to vote for the People’s Choice Awards! $75 donation per person benefits The Animal Friends of Westmoreland www.go2goalus.com 13



believe that glamour portraiture, especially of a woman by herself, is a long-lost art these days. I always remember seeing these beautiful photographs of the women who were my ancestors, grandmothers, and great-aunts. You know, the ones you find in a box in the attic... a tiny black and white print of that woman all by herself, hands folded softly in her lap and just a classic, timeless photo. An image that has been passed down and cherished for generations. I have always fell in love with photographs like that and wanted to bring it back. So, I decided I would photograph my mother, sisters, and closest women in my life to start. And decided to put my own modern twist on the photography style. From there, I reached out to my clients who loved the idea and started booking their own sessions for their mothers, sisters, and soon I even had a party of 10 friends coming in together. I truly feel that every woman deserves a bold, beautiful portrait. And although we're gorgeous every day, all the time, just being ourselves... sometimes we need a reminder that we can look as amazing as a queen,

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celebrity or rock star too. Most importantly, we women should have the guts to say "I want to be photographed in a beautiful way" without feeling selfish or awkward. And walk away from the session with an outcome better than just nice portraits...

And although we're gorgeous every day, all the time, just being ourselves... sometimes we need a reminder that we can look as amazing as a queen, celebrity or rock star too.

By Autumn Stankay

confidence. It just may take the right person or photographer to show it to you. So, I started a new campaign at my studio dedicated to this. It’s not about changing women, it’s about showing women what is right there inside of them. Giving women the opportunity and permission to shine with beauty. If I can create the most stunning image she has seen of herself in many years, I've hit my goal with that subject. No matter what age, size, or other "downfalls" we put on ourselves, no matter if you just celebrated sweet 16 or are in your 80's, a glamour portrait is for every woman.

For more information on Autumn Stankay’s award winning photography & Greensburg studio, visit her website SkySightPhotography.com

Shaffer's Landscaping! We provide ongoing property maintenance which includes lawn mowing, fertilizing, spring and fall cleanups, de-thatching, aerating, seeding, mulching, edging, herbicide application, plant health care, snow plowing, pruning, and tree care and removal. We also provide the design and installation of many landscape construction projects including walkways, steps, retaining walls, patios, veneer stone, planting, trans-planting, drainage systems, lawn renovation and installation, cobblestone edging, and excavation. Whether you are moving into a new home, or updating the grounds of the home you already live in, landscaping can dramatically change the look of your house and property. You may like a neatly trimmed lawn or prefer a wild and overgrown look, you may live in an arid climate and need to xeriscape, or you may like finely manicured rosebushes. The cost of landscaping varies greatly but most homeowners report spending between $1,586 and $5,017. Before you call the pros, though, here are a few things to think about that will affect your individual landscaping project's cost that may have you spending more or less than the average.

How large is your property?

The single largest factor in the cost of your new landscaping installation is the size of your property. If your house sits on a huge lot, and you're not sure if you can afford to

landscape the entire area, talk to your professional landscaper about the possibility of landscaping it in sections. Xeriscaping is a style of landscaping that utilizes plants, shrubs, ground covers and rocks that need very little water to thrive. The cost of installing a Xeriscaped yard is often more than simply planting grass and flowers. However, once established the maintenance and water costs are kept low by design. A professional landscaper and gardener will be able to tell you the best approach for this. For example, if there are plants that take a longer time to come to maturity you may be able to plant them first and when they are reaching their peak landscape.

Do you want a Design?

Lawns are not expensive to plant. Enough grass seed to cover your property is

far less expensive than exotic plants or other features. however, lawns need careful maintenance, and plenty of water, especially at the beginning to get them established. So, you may feel a lawn is a simple and affordable way to go, but it may take more money in the long run in terms of water, time and labor.

Water and Irrigation

Don't spend time and money on beautiful landscaping if you have not taken water and irrigation issues into account first. Installing a sprinkler system, leveling the ground to avoid run off, and planning which plants, shrubs or flowers will get more and less water are all precautions that may take more time and money in the short term but will benefit you in the long run. You want to give your lawns and gardens the best chance to thrive.

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ach year at this time, as we trudge into late winter, people are starting to “think spring.” It’s likely that they imagine colorful flowers, the season’s first round of golf and the end of snowy days. But this year, the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce is thinking spring in an entirely new way… as in springboard to a great 2017!


Spring! Despite gloomy winter days that have been the mainstay for the past several months, the Chamber’s year started off with a huge “spring in its step.” We’ve already enjoyed some wildly successful events so far this year. Teeing up 2017 was our annual “State of the County” program featuring our County Commissioners to local businesses with great insight as to how our community is moving forward. Our 42nd annual Westmoreland County Prayer Breakfast provided inspiration and hope to another huge crowd that walked away inspired by the notion that community leaders work better under the premise of unity for the greater good. Our monthly luncheons have been very well attended and the speakers have been quite informative. Business After Scheduled Hours are bursting at the seams with people looking to build their referral network. And at one of our recent morning networking group meetings we actually had to scramble for enough chairs to accommodate all the people. Talk about great problems to have. Westmoreland County Chamber members are “springing” into 2017 with tremen-

16 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

If you own or operate a local business, I invite you to become part of our county’s largest and most active business association to help your business pick up momentum well into spring, summer and beyond. dous enthusiasm. If you own or operate a local business, I invite you to become part of our county’s largest and most active business association to help your business pick up momentum well into spring, summer and beyond. If you’d like to know why so many other local businesses depend on the Chamber, I encourage you stop by our office to chat with a member of our staff. We’ve got a full schedule of exciting events and important programs to help businesses of all sizes on the horizon. In addition to our regularly scheduled events, we’ll soon be hosting the annual WANT job fair, Staff Appreciation Day, our prominent golf outing, educational programs, and much more. Visit the Chamber’s website (www.westmorelandchamber. com) to learn more.

We take pride in meeting our mission: Building Business. Connecting Communities. Empowering Everyone. In the meantime, here’s wishing you all a great case of Spring fever! All the best,

Chad Amond President

Qualifying for the Home Office Deduction By Bryan Kisiel, CPA Director of Tax Planning, The SecondHalf Coach CEO, Kisiel & Associates Working from home can certainly provide you with personal benefits, such as a flexible schedule and more family time. But increasing numbers of people are discovering the tax advantages as well. It’s no secret that you generally can’t deduct certain personal expenses (e.g., homeowners insurance, utilities, and home repairs) on your federal income tax return. But if you’re using part of your home as a home office, you may be able to write off part of these expenses. To qualify for the home office deduction, you must first understand the IRS requirements.

The home office deduction is really a group of deductions First of all, what is a home office? A home office is a room in your home, a portion of a room in your home, or a separate building next to your home (such as a converted garage or barn) that you use exclusively and regularly to conduct business activities. This definition is important, because you may be able to deduct part of your housing expenses (such as rent, utilities, and insurance) on your federal income tax return if you have a home office. This deduction (or group of deductions) is known as a home office deduction. To take the deduction, you’ll need to file Form 8829 with the IRS. To even consider the home office deduction, though, your at-home business activities must involve a trade or business--a hobby won’t do. Now let’s consider the IRS requirements. To qualify for a home office deduction, you must meet two threshold tests--the place of business test, and the regular and exclusive use test.

The place of business test is somewhat flexible To pass this test, you must show that you use part of your home as: • The principal place of business for your trade or business, or

• A place where you regularly meet with clients, customers, or patients In some cases, you can also meet the principal place of business requirement if you conduct substantial administrative and management tasks for your outside business at home and have no other fixed location where you conduct these activities. These tasks might include billing customers, keeping books and records, ordering supplies, setting up appointments, or writing reports. For example, assume you’re a doctor at a local HMO who’s been given examination space but no office space. You use a room in your home regularly and exclusively to correspond with insurance companies, bill patients, and read medical journals. You have no other fixed location for conducting these types of activities. In such a case, your space would likely pass the place of business test for a home office deduction. What if your home office is in a separate structure next to your home, like a shed or garage? In that case, it needn’t be your principal place of business. However, you must use that office regularly and exclusively in connection with your trade or business. Be sure you use this structure only for business purposes--you can’t store your car there.

You must also meet the regular and exclusive use test In general, you must also pass the regular and exclusive use test before you can take a home office deduction (exceptions apply for

taxpayers who run day-care facilities from home and for sellers who use part of their homes for storing inventory). As you might expect, this test requires you to show that you exclusively use a portion of your home for business purposes on a regular basis. For example, assume you set aside one room in your home as your home office. You also use this room as a playroom for your children. Here, you wouldn’t meet the exclusive use test. Now assume that you use one room in your home exclusively for your side business of selling insurance. You engage in this business only occasionally. Because you don’t use the office on a regular basis, you still won’t qualify for the home office deduction.

Telecommuters might also qualify for the home office deduction If you telecommute or are an employee who works at home, you may also qualify for the home office deduction. You’d have to meet the above requirements. In addition, though, your home office must be for the convenience of your employer. In plain English, this means that your employer must ask you to work out of your home. The arrangement must serve your employer’s business needs, not vice versa. The home office deduction for an employee who works at home is taken as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A of Federal Form 1040. This deduction is subject to the 2 percent limit for miscellaneous itemized deductions.

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The home office deduction for an employee who works at home is taken as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A of Federal Form 1040. Having a home office can be a factor when you sell your home

If you qualify for the deduction, you can deduct all direct expenses and part of your indirect expenses You can deduct both your direct and indirect expenses regarding your home office. Direct expenses are costs that apply only to your home office. You can deduct these costs in full against your business income. Some examples include the cost of a business telephone line and the cost of painting your home office. However, no deduction is allowed for basic local telephone charges on the first line in your home, even if that line is used for the home office. Indirect expenses are costs that benefit your entire home. You can deduct only the business portion of your indirect expenses. Some examples of indirect costs include rent, deductible mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and homeowners insurance. The business percentage of your home is determined by dividing the area exclusively used for business by the total area of the home. For example, assume your home is 2,000 square feet and your home office is 200 square feet. Your business percentage is 10 percent (200 divided by 2,000). In such a case, if you rent your home, you can deduct 10 percent of your rent as part of your home office deduction. Even if you don’t qualify for the home office deduction and are unable to deduct home-related expenses (e.g., homeowners insurance), you can still take a deduction for your regular business expenses, such as the purchase of file cabinets, business equipment, and supplies.

Some of your home office expenses may be limited If the gross income from your business (the one associated with the home office)

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equals or exceeds your regular business expenses (including depreciation), all expenses for the business use of your home can be deducted. But if your gross income is less than your total business expenses, certain expense deductions for the business use of your home are limited. The deduction isn’t lost forever, though. It’s simply carried forward to the next year.

Can you spell “audit”? Historically, the IRS has closely scrutinized home office deductions. Here are some steps you can take to substantiate the existence of your home office: • Use your home address on your business cards, stationery, and advertisements • Install a separate telephone line for your business • Instruct clients or customers to visit your home office, and keep a log of those visits • Log the dates, hours spent, and type of work performed in your home office • Have business mail sent to your home

Unless you’re careful, deductions today can cost you money when you sell your home. Homeowners who meet all requirements can generally exclude from federal income tax up to $250,000 of capital gain (up to $500,000 if you’re married and file a joint return) when a principal residence is sold. You may end up paying some taxes, though, if you have a home office. That’s because when you sell your principal residence, an amount of capital gain equal to certain depreciation deductions you were entitled to (as a result of having your home office) won’t qualify for the exclusion. Specifically, the exclusion won’t cover an amount equal to depreciation deductions attributable to the business use of your home after May 6, 1997. Note: In addition, where the business portion of the home is separate from the dwelling unit (e.g., an office in a converted detached garage) any capital gain on the sale of the house has to be apportioned; only the part of the gain allocable to the residential portion is eligible for exclusion. For example, assume a self-employed accountant bought a home in 1998 and sells the home several years later at a $20,000 gain. Although the house was always used as his principal residence, the accountant used one room within the house as his business office. Over the years, the accountant claimed $2,000 of depreciation deductions for his office. Under IRS regulations, $18,000 of the capital gain will be tax free. Only the $2,000 of the gain equal to the depreciation deductions will be taxable.

If the accountant’s office had been located in a converted detached garage on his property, he would have to treat the sale as two separate transactions and pay tax on any gain allocable to the converted garage. Because this area is complex, you should consult a tax professional. Also, you might want to read IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home.

Optional simplified method of calculation available For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, you’re able to use an optional simplified method of calculating your home office deduction. The simplified method doesn’t change the requirements for claiming the deduction, it simply changes the way the deduction is calculated. Instead of

determining and allocating actual expenses, under the simplified method you calculate the home office deduction by multiplying the square footage of the home office (up to a maximum of 300 square feet) by $5. Since square footage is capped at 300, the maximum deduction available under the simplified method is $1,500. You cannot use the simplified method if you are an employee with a home office, and you receive advances, allowances, or reimbursements for expenses related to the business use of your home under an expense or reimbursement allowance with your employer. Each year, you can choose whether to use the simplified method of calculating the deduction or to use actual expenses. There are two things to keep in mind, though:

• If you use the simplified method in one year, and in a later year use actual expenses, special rules will apply in calculating depreciation • If you are carrying forward an unused deduction (because your business deduction exceeded your business income in a prior year), you will not be able to claim the deduction in any year in which you use the simplified method--you’ll have to wait for the next year you use actual expenses to claim the unused deduction. Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016

Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.


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Benefits for Military Families By Anthony E. Slezak, Managing Partner/Financial Planner, The SecondHalf Coach, Inc.


s the father of an Airman in the United States Air Force and a financial planner I have been faced with a new challenge in my life. What benefits are available to a service member, and how does a family member or service member get these benefits? Military families face plenty of financial challenges. If you're saving for college or retirement, buying a home, or wondering how to help secure your family's financial future, don't overlook these five important military benefits.

the combat zone and are no longer eligible to participate in the SDP, although emergency withdrawals while you're deployed are allowed in some cases. To find out more or begin participating in the SDP, contact your local military finance office.

3. Post-9/11 GI Bill 1. Thrift Savings Plan Retirement is something you need to plan for, whether it's far away or just around the corner. Even if you can rely on a military pension because you've stayed in the service for 20 years or more, it's probably not going to provide all the retirement income you'll need, and neither is Social Security. That's why it's important to save for retirement on your own. One option you have is to contribute to the government's Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

If you're contributing a percentage of your basic pay, you can also contribute a percentage of your incentive pay, special pay, or bonus pay (but you can't make catch-up contributions from these types of pay). And if you're deployed and receiving tax-exempt pay (i.e., pay that's subject to the combat zone exclusion), you can also make contributions from that pay, and your contribution limit for the year is even higher; the limit for total contributions from all types of pay is $54,000 for 2017.

Education benefits are one of the most valuable benefits available to servicemembers. If you're entitled to benefits, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay up to the full cost of in-state tuition and fees at public colleges for up to four years, or up to a certain maximum per academic year if you attend a private college or foreign school. The maximum for the 2016 academic year (August 1, 2016 through July 31, 2017) is $21,970.46. But if you don't need to use your entitlement, the Post-9/11 GI Bill can provide a great way to pay for your family's education. Servicemembers who make a long-term service commitment have the opportunity to transfer unused education benefits (up to 36 months' worth) to their spouses and children.

The TSP is a retirement savings plan for federal employees, including servicemembers. When you make traditional contributions to the TSP, you get the same types of savings and tax benefits as you would if you contributed to a 401(k) plan offered by a private-sector employer. Contributing to the TSP is simple--your regular contributions are deducted from your paycheck before taxes (which can lower your taxable income for the year), and your contributions and any earnings accumulate tax deferred until withdrawn in retirement. You can also opt to make after-tax Roth contributions. They won't reduce your current tax liability, but qualified withdrawals in retirement will be tax free (assuming IRS requirements are met).

When you leave the military, you can't continue to contribute to the TSP, but you have the option of keeping your money in the TSP or rolling it over to another retirement account, such as a traditional or Roth IRA or an eligible employer plan. For more information on the TSP, visit tsp.gov.

You can enroll, change, or cancel your contributions whenever you'd like. You can contribute as little as 1% or as much as 100% of your basic pay (or a designated dollar amount) each pay period, up to what's called the elective deferral limit for the year. In 2017, you can contribute up to $18,000; if you're age 50 or older and are making catch-up contributions, you can contribute up to $24,000.

The SDP pays you 10% interest on deposits up to $10,000 while you're deployed, and you'll earn this interest rate on your money for up to 90 days after your return. You may deposit all or part of your unallotted pay. Interest compounds quarterly and is taxable.

If you opt to transfer your unused entitlement to your dependent children, they can use the benefits only after you've completed at least 10 years of service. In addition, they must have attained a secondary school diploma or equivalency certificate or have reached age 18, and they can use the benefit entitlement only until age 26.

Generally, you can withdraw funds and close your account only after you leave

If both your spouse and your children are attending school, you can opt to split your

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2. Savings Deposit Program Are you trying to save money to buy a vehicle or make a down payment on a home? Do you need to set aside money for a rainy day? If you're deployed to a designated combat zone for at least 30 days, you have a unique chance to save for your goals at a guaranteed interest rate by participating in the Defense Department's Savings Deposit Program (SDP).

To transfer your unused benefit entitlement to your spouse, you must have served at least 6 years, and generally commit to serving 4 additional years from the date a benefit transfer is approved (some exceptions to this added service requirement exist). Once the transfer is approved, your spouse may begin using benefits immediately and has 15 years after your last separation from active duty to use up the benefits.

benefit entitlement among them. To learn more about GI Bill benefits for you and your family members, visit benefits.va.gov.

4. VA Home Loan

existing home loan (including a non-VA loan) while borrowing extra money, which you can use to pay off debt or make home improvements, for example.

Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles to homeownership. Fortunately, military families can often benefit from the no-down-payment requirement of a VA loan. This type of loan, which can only be used to finance a primary residence, also features another money saving benefit: borrowers aren't required to pay mortgage insurance.

A VA loan is often a good choice for military families, but it's not the only game in town. You should compare the terms, interest rate, closing costs, and fees against other mortgage options. One drawback of a VA loan is the funding fee that's generally required. This funding fee which you pay at closing (it can be financed into the loan) is a percentage of the amount you're borrowing.

Despite its name, the VA loan isn't handled by the government. Like other home loans, VA loans are offered by private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies. The VA guarantees a portion of the loan, which may make it easier for you to obtain a loan or qualify for more favorable terms, including lower closing costs and appraisal fees. Not all lenders offer VA loans, so you'll need to ask potential lenders whether they are VA-approved lending institutions.

For more information on VA loans, including how to qualify and how to apply, visit benefits.va.gov.

One lesser known feature of the VA loan program is the opportunity to do a cash-out refinancing. If you have substantial home equity, this feature allows you to refinance an

5. Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Knowing that your family will be protected is extremely important, and affordable term life insurance coverage is available through the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program. Eligible servicemembers are automatically enrolled in SGLI, and spouses and dependent children are generally automatically insured through a related program, Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI).

When you leave the military, you can apply to convert your policy to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI), which provides renewable term coverage. An SGLI policy may also be converted to an individual policy sold by a participating commercial company. (Deadlines apply to both types of conversions.) However, you should carefully evaluate your options to determine whether VGLI will meet your life insurance needs. Points to consider include premium costs, plan features, and whether term insurance is your best option. For more information about these and other life insurance programs for servicemembers, visit insurance.va.gov. With all of this being said, I have a new found respect for the families of servicemembers who are trying to navigate this bureaucracy. It’s not enough that they worry about their loved ones wellbeing while they are deployed. The sleepless nights, lack of information and communication. But on top of that the benefits process is confusing, frustrating, and demoralizing at best. Information available to a planner is nothing short of sketchy so we do what is recommended by the advocates. Don’t stop asking questions until you get the answer you need.

The Carriage House on Slope Hill

Your Home Away From Home Do you have friends or family visiting and there’s no room in your house? Or maybe someone you know is coming to town for a family reunion, wedding or class reunion? The Carriage House on Slope Hill sleeps six, has a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining room and a living room.There’s cable TV, a playhouse, swing set and a trampoline to entertain the little ones. Relax on the patio and enjoy the gardens.

4182 Slope Hill Road • Mount Pleasant, PA 15666

Call 724-244-5457 or visit BOOKING.COM to reserve your dates! www.go2goalus.com 21

Scott Ludwick

Real Estate Professional Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty

Gray Goes from Gloomy to Glam Watch out, white. There’s a new kid on the block in the land of interior design colors – gray. Once commonly seen as a dreary color, gray is quickly becoming one of the hottest neutrals in town. Experts are seeing grays emerge in different areas of interior design, including bathrooms, kitchens, carpeting, and even “investment pieces” like sofas. And when manufacturers offer gray in “hardscape” items like cabinets or bathroom fixtures – which consumers expect to use for many years – they say you know the trend is going to stay. One reason gray is such a great choice is that it’s compatible with almost every other color. And it offers a lot of versatility, because very rarely is it a 50/50 mix of black and white. Most grays are actually a blend of other colors and can reflect different shades depending on what they’re paired with. For example, in a room with blue furnishings, a gray wall would give off a slightly bluish cast, while it could appear slightly greenish in a green-themed room. If you think you’re ready to try gray in your home, walls are a good place to start. London-based interiors blogger and author Kate Watson-Smyth says you should start by choosing a shade of gray that matches your furnishings. She also suggests considering the time of day you most use the room. A room with natural light that you use during the day, like a kitchen, will look bigger with a lighter shade, while a room used mostly at night, like a home office or den, would probably look better in a darker shade.

If you have questions about this, or anything real estate related reach out to Scott Ludwick at 724-838-3660 or Scott@ScottLudwick.com

Bear’s Top Suiting Tips

For The Modern Gentleman your jacket sleeve, then you need to make adjustments. Further, eliminate “shirt fat” on sleeves and body of your shirt. “Shirt fat” is that extra fabric that billows and adds nothing but perceived weight. This can be eliminated altogether either with a custom shirt or off-the-rack shirting that is finished at the tailor just for you.


t’s all about the fit! In real estate, the advice is: location, location, location. In dressing for your best look it’s: fit, fit, fit! To ensure a great fit, consider custom shirting and made-tomeasure suits, jackets and formal wear. When a garment is made to the measurements of your body, the impact is tremendous. Simply add three zeros to your perceived net worth! Know your tailor. Regardless of where you buy your clothing, ensure it fits your frame. Added fabric that hangs or poofs will simply add weight and not panache. If you wear custom clothing, you have this tackled. If you’re buying off-the-rack, then knowing a talented tailor is going to be your secret to a great fit.


Your shirt sleeve length needs to be between 1/4 to 1/2 inches longer than your jacket sleeve. If you can’t see your shirt or it’s shows more than 1/2 inch out of


If you wear a suit or jacket and slacks, you want to select a silhouette that flatters your frame. If you’re a larger guy, you can wear a double breasted or a singlebreasted jacket with two or three buttons and a classic fit which will give you a bit more ease through the chest and body. You can consider a peak lapel or standard notched lapel. For those men with a more compact build, you'll want to conform the jacket to your body with a closer tailored fit. This guy will look great in a double or single breasted jacket with one or two buttons depending on his height. In most cases a notched or narrow notch lapel will be best. And finally, for the gentleman with a European build who is fashion forward, this man will want to consider a shorter jacket cut in a slim European fashion - a look that is current and on trend globally.


When it comes to dress slacks or suit pants there are several options depending on your physique and personal preference. Pleats or reverse pleats are a more “old

school” look that is simply a matter of preference. Pleats do add the allusion of weight so keep that in mind. Flat front pants remove any extra fabric and tend to have a more sliming effect on just about any body type. For those men going five days a week to the gym, you have the option of wearing a flat front trouser with a narrow leg opening. In terms of the break, with fuller pants you’ll want a single break (dimple in the fabric where the hem hits the shoe) and no break for slim leg looks. Cuff or no cuff is simply your choice.

Make it personal.

There are so many ways to personalize your look. From fabric selection to choosing a color palette that is most flattering to your eyes, hair and skin tone, you can make your wardrobe a reflection of who you are. Want to stand out? Consider mixing patterns in your best color way. For casual days that might be wearing denim, a button-down shirt, V-neck sweater and sports coat all in a single tone of say blues or grays but with a striped or checked shirt and subtle complementary pattern in the jacket. Add a pop of contrast with your shoe and belt. For dress, you might consider creating “your look” such as always wearing two-piece suiting with a colorful tie and pocket square. Shoes are also a great way to share your sartorial tastes. Add a mid-tone brown shoe to any suiting but black and you have a very modern look. Match your belt to the shoe and wear a sock matched to the shoe (not the pant).

For advice on men’s wardrobing and styling, or to update your personal wardrobe, contact Bear at: stylestrategy@bearbrandegee.com www.go2goalus.com 23

Modern Gentleman - Style Curated by Bear The Modern Gentleman displays the values of hard work and leadership; he holds himself to a high standard of performance and morality and honor.

Bill Urbanik, Billy to his friends and family, defines what it means to be a Modern Gentleman. He exudes confidence, professionalism and compassion. Bill approached me to help him step up his game as it relates to his professional style. And I, in turn, invited him to be my model for this installment of Style Curated by Bear where I focus on men’s dressing.

As Bill turns 40 he has turned up the heat on achieving his goals for the next 40 years. In this interview, he gives us a no-holds barred view into his world at 40 - what got him where he is and where he plans to go from here.

Tell us about your style and personal brand and what it says about you. I believe my style is an authentic reflection of my personality. I’m not afraid to be unique and try to balance professionalism with style and I always wear blue and see it as a color that is bold and strong but also inviting and fun. What life lesson has had the greatest impact on you?

Bill, Aidan, Jacob and Jessica Urbanik

In a very short time, I watched both my father-in-law and father pass away at the ages of 62 and 59 after courageous battles with cancer. Within that same time frame, both my children were diagnosed with high functioning autism. The deaths of my father-in-law and father reminded me how very short and precious life is and to enjoy each moment. My particular experience as a dad has given me tremendous perspective on what is most important in life and has opened my heart in a variety of ways. I’m less ridged and more open minded with regards to a number of issues than I used to be simply realizing that if I expected people to accept my children and give them a chance then I needed to be willing to do the same for others. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? President of the United States has been my dream job since I was four years old watching President Reagan deliver speeches on TV. I’m fascinated by the opportunity to do so much for so many and the dream of something so extraordinary kind of keeps a childlike excitement present.

24 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

What is the most satisfying thing about your work? The people! I'm blessed to have been trusted by so many great people to play a role in their lives. The relationships that I have formed have been so rewarding and have given me a tremendous life experience. I have conversations every day in which I get to step inside somebody else’s shoes and see the world and various situations from other perspectives. It’s truly a personally enriching experience. How do you like to spend your off-duty time? I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids and being surrounded by our friends. I like to be busy and always need to be socializing because I don’t handle boredom well and don’t find enjoyment in rest or sitting around. I’m most happy when engaged in activities and surrounded by the people that lift me up and know how to enjoy life. We love to ski as a family with friends and I still play soccer, love to golf, enjoy attending Penguin and Steeler games, boating, and thoroughly love to travel. If you could give your kids one piece of advice (that they would remember) what would it be? The same advice my mother always gave me which is to realize the most important job you’ll ever have, and the most important thing you’ll ever be, is a father. I sincerely hope that someday when I’m no longer around that if someone asks my sons about their dad, their first thought would be that nothing meant more to me than them and there was nothing I tried harder at than being a great father. What three goals are you set on accomplishing going forward? Most importantly, I want to maintain my health so I can share a long life with my wife Jessica and see my boys grow up and see them discover and apply their talents. Second, I really want to expand on the GOAL brand and it’s very important to me that we

I believe my style is an authentic reflection of my personality. I’m not afraid to be unique and try to balance professionalism with style and I always wear blue and see it as a color that is bold and strong but also inviting and fun.

continue building The Second Half Coach and want to see our employees build a great life and see their aspirations fulfilled. Third, I would eventually like to address my one regret in life - that I never had the honor of serving my country. While the time has passed to be a soldier, there will come a time when I can use what I’ve learned and experienced to serve my country in positions of influence while still maintaining my career. Then one day when I retire, I would love to take my shot at higher office. What is the secret to your success? The people in my life! I’m a big believer that you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I have been very fortunate to have such a great family, wonderful friendships, and get to serve and advise so many people with a team of professionals I truly admire and love as family.

Life is good for this modern gentleman!

PHOTO CREDITS Bear Brandegee Style Strategis Bill’s suit and shirting is from J.Hilburn men’s clothier and was designed and curated by Bear Brandegee and personalized by Bill. For more information on custom shirting and made to measure suiting contact Bear at 412-877-0464. To be considered for Bear’s next column in an upcoming issue of GOAL Magazine please write to Bear at stylestrategy@bearbrandegee.com. Photography by Autumn Stankay of SkySight Photography.

www.go2goalus.com 25

Do you know your

General Health Index? By Reed Nelson, DC, BS

26 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017


n business, we have the opportunity to focus on improving any aspect of our organization. In most cases your health is no different. When you focus on any aspect of your health you can typically improve it. All human beings have both genetic and acquired strengths and weaknesses which affect their health. For instance, imaginary Joe eats near perfect but has a physical anomaly. Mary, struggles with staying fit but she maintains an outstanding state of mind. Rocco, takes both prescription and non-prescription drugs but, gets plenty of therapeutic exercise and his financial health is Primo.

I have developed the General Health Index (GHI) to look at 7 categories of general health and wellness in just five minutes. The GHI applies honest reflection using self analysis to produce a subjective score. More important than your score is the process of getting real about where you currently are with your general health. Where do you fall? You know your blood pressure and maybe even your cholesterol but what's your GHI?

Let's find out!

Read the following questions in each of the 10 categories. After you read all of the questions in a category, give yourself a 0 to 10 rating. 0 = I am terrible in this category 10 = I am outstanding in this category Of course, rate yourself anywhere in between.


Do you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day? Do you eat a lot of processed foods? Do you eat small portions of quality and nutrient rich foods every 3-4 hours? Do you supplement essential nutrients? Do you frequently eat red meat? Do you eat or drink refined sugars? Are 1 you2excessive 3 4 with 5 6coffee? 7 8 :( 9 1 0

Adequate rest

Do you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night? Is your sleep frequently interrupted? Do you sometimes struggle to fall asleep? Do you get to "power nap" for 1-2 hours a couple times each month? Are you forced to sleep in poor positions or a noisy environment? Does your job cause you to work hours that you would naturally be sleeping? Do you need drugs to fall asleep? Are 1 you2excessive 3 4 with 5 6coffee? 7 8 :( 9 1 0

continued on page 28

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Stress Do you commonly feel tense? Does stress build up in your neck and shoulder muscles? Do you sometimes feel scatterbrained or do you frequently run late? Do you take time to meditate, reflect or pray? Have you ever had an anxiety attack? Does your schedule feel overbooked? Do you have frequent headaches? Do you have time to relax and read a book? Are you relaxed when you eat? Are 1 you2excessive 3 4 with 5 6coffee? 7 8 :( 9 1 0

Chemistry Is your water intake 60 to 80 ounces each day? Have you been exposed to toxic environmental conditions? Are you on mind altering prescription drugs? Are you taking multiple drugs at the same time? At times do you drink alcohol in excess? Do you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco? Does your job expose you to chemicals or do you often consume chemicals in your food or drinks? Do you commonly inhale dust particles during your day? Do you actively detox or cleanse 2-3 times a year?

Financial health

Do you frequently argue about money? Could you retire tomorrow and live well? Do you fall short paying your bills or live paycheck to paycheck? Do you have a tendency to spend too much? Do you have a financial advisor with whom you meet two or more times each year? Have you been investing a portion of your earnings into something that will bring you residual income? If you weren't able to work for a year, do you have enough in savings? Do you have successors ready to continue your business? Do you have bad credit? Do you have ample life insurance if a key person in your family dies? If you had to, could you pay your house off today? Are 1 you2excessive 3 4 with 5 6coffee? 7 8 :( 9 1 0 To calculate your General Health Index (GHI), add each score together and divide by seven.

Are 1 you2excessive 3 4 with 5 6coffee? 7 8 :( 9 1 0

How did you do? Zero is a disaster! Ten is dishonest! We all have areas we can improve. So now it's time to take action. First, become clear on at least three things you would like to improve. The best way to do this is the old fashioned way, write it down but of course you may use your device. It is important to be specific. The more specific you are the more likely you are to change.

State of mind

Secondly, give yourself a timeline! We all need leverage to take action so why not start immediately.

Do you generally enjoy life? Are you quick to anger? Are you patient with family and coworkers? Does the first thing that goes wrong in your day upset you? Are you good at forgiveness? Are you less confident then you should be? Do you use positive language to communicate? Are you a good listener and avoid using hurtful words? How well do you interrupt a negative state of mind? How often do you feel unstoppable - Once a day, once a week, once a year?

Finally, If your GHI is a mess, find mentors! if you are unsure where to start (Hint hint)

Lets go! Reed Nelson, DC, BS is a Founding partner at Westmoreland Chiropractic & Rehab Associates.

Are 1 you2excessive 3 4 with 5 6coffee? 7 8 :( 9 1 0

Therapeutic exercise Do you breathe and stretch each day? Do you have a hobby that gets you moving? Do you attend an organized exercise class? Do you dance or practice yoga? Does your job put you in a prolonged position? Do you go to the gym 3 to 5 days a week? Is your pattern to work, come home, eat and watch TV? Do you swim, hike or bike? Do you sit more than you move? Do you regularly walk or run? Are 1 you2excessive 3 4 with 5 6coffee? 7 8 :( 9 1 0 28 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

Top left to right: Dr. Mike McClure, Dr. Reed Nelson, Dr. Wes Orvosh Bottom left to right: Dr. Dan Lovette, Dr. David Nicols

Vulna-what? By Jessica M. Marazza, Financial Planner, The SecondHalf Coach, Inc.


ulnerability is defined as capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, open to moral attack, criticism or difficult to defend. We’ve all been there.. whether it was failure of a test, loss of love, a job, a family member or some other random act, that pain you feel for putting yourself out there and failing damages you. It builds walls and secludes people and is just about as counterproductive as you can get to growing as a person.

So what should you do? Embrace it! Vulnerability doesn’t always have to be viewed as opening yourself up to attack for being open to life experiences. It can instead be the driving factor that makes you stand out from others, garnering truly genuine life experience because you allow yourself to feel and express those feelings appropriately. I think too many times people allow themselves to close off and turn away better life experiences because they have been disappointed in the past. Our world has turned into a place where vulnerability is a negative and an unbreakable persona is what’s expected. We view those who don’t have strong opinions as weak and millennials have completely transformed the definition of independence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much a supporter of being independent, especially as a young and single female, BUT you can still be unpretentious while being so. It’s ok to ask for help from those you trust, yet a skillset I feel is being lost as new generations reach adulthood because the vulnerability of someone questioning their judgement is horrifying to them. We now react emotionally with passive aggressive texts and social media meme’s instead of speaking directly to others. Take your investments for example. Are you the person who sits across from us guarded and unsure of how much you want to divulge? Or are you the person who lays everything out there so no details are missed when we create a financial path together?

I’ve seen both extremes as well as a happy medium of both. My personal stance is cautiously open. If I pick up on certain cues I can trust a person in a more personal setting I slowly open up to them, letting them slowly learn the quirks that make me so Jess. In the case of professionals such as my cardiac doctor, I research the person to pre gain trust so I am forthright with information in all of our visits.

My generation is plagued with having to get creative with setting up a financial path, because unlike our parents and grandparents, social security is not a guarantee for us ... You should view our relationship the same way. If you’re afraid of a particular product or life event coming your way, tell me. I won’t judge or lecture you on it, I’ll help you understand what options you have and why I feel the way I do in my stance. Don’t disclose half of your financial picture either. If you’re embarrassed you have a substantial amount of debt or are the only party playing into your financial picture, don’t be. I’ve seen friends unable to apply for mortgages because their student loans were so outrageous their debt to income ratio was off the charts

and others my age who think bulking up multiple credit lines is acceptable as long as they pay the minimum balances. It’s mind boggling at times and reminds me of an ever modernizing world at others. My generation is plagued with having to get creative with setting up a financial path, because unlike our parents and grandparents, social security is not a guarantee for us and debt no longer applies to just mortgage and car loans. Pensions are no longer there and many people are funding their own retirement without the guarantee of a spouse. That’s perfectly acceptable, but all the more reason to open up and be vulnerable with your financial professional. Build that relationship that we can discuss your personal situation, investments, politics, everything. Treat your financial advisor like your doctor or even spouse, because let’s face it, not many things are more personal than money and that is what drives our relationship. The way I get through awkward conversations like this is to focus on the silver linings in a situation. When the markets go haywire, I find comfort in the fact clients trust me enough to call and ask why and what we should do. With politics, though I differ from many in my stances, I remember this country is built on democracy and therefore it’s a beautiful thing we can all be so opinionated, within respectful boundaries of course. No matter what the situation is, don’t allow your emotions to overtake you and become afraid of or act counterintuitive to the possibilities of your future. Be vulnerable, embrace change, grow as much as you can as a person and create the best version you can of this game called life.

www.go2goalus.com 29

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RUSBOSINFURNITURE.COM 30 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

e h t g n i t tar s u o y Are a h t i w r a New Ye

The Hammer Reports from ICC the Builder


By Inselmini Construction Company

1. Is there a firm timetable for getting the job done? When will the project start, how long will it take and when is it going to be done?

2. Will the adjacent areas be protected

Maybe you’ve thought about this renovation for a long time. You’ve anticipated the project, the problems, and the outcome. You’ve saved some money, interviewed a few different contractors (hopefully) and gotten more than one price. You’ve spoken to the contractor’s references and seen examples of the type of work the contractor does. The decision is made and you are ready to go! Here are a few things you may NOT have thought about ……or questions you may want to ask your contractor (if you haven’t already).

during the renovation and will the area be left tidy at the end of the work day? Don’t forget you still have to live in the house and renovations are a huge disruption in the flow of living.

3. Will the contractor be on-the-job

daily or just the workers? Who is your communication point?

4. What time do they start in the morning? Most contractors are on the job site and prepared to begin at 7:00am.

5. How can the contractor be reached during the project or afterwards?

6. Have you reviewed the entire contract?

Is it clear what will be done and what it will cost?

7. Did you ask your contractor for a

Certificate of Insurance? If the contractor has employees the Certificate must show there is Worker’s Compensation Insurance as well. Don’t be afraid to ask. It’s not being pushy….it’s being prudent!

8. Good luck. NOW you are ready to go.

www.go2goalus.com 31





Cruise, a chance to win $1 Million, tickets to a major sporting event, and more! More Details to Follow


MAY 5, 2017 WHERE:



The Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation. Net-proceeds to be Granted to the Autistic Support, Learning Support, and Life Skills Classrooms.

Lead sponsor

32 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

Start your year off right with a great dental exam At the start of a new year, almost everyone makes a resolution, whether it is to lose weight, get organized or travel more. Staying healthy should be your top priority to enjoy life, and a big part of that should be better oral care. Everyone wants to have a great smile, which is why good oral hygiene is so important! Having poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems including gum disease, tooth loss, heart disease, strokes and more. The first thing you need to do is have a thorough evaluation by a dentist. My team and I are trained to guide you through the initial exam process, not just with a tooth examination and cleaning, but a thorough periodontal examination, oral cancer screening, X-rays and the latest information in oral hygiene. • We want you to have a great dental experience when you come to see us. The first thing we do is sit down and listen to you! We want to know your concerns, your vision for a healthy and beautiful smile and discuss treatment options available. We want to work with you to create a pleasant experience. • We offer oral cancer screenings as part of a routine dental examination by using the latest technology. An Identifi Light Wand enables the doctor to recognize abnormal tissues even before they are visible to naked eye. The treatment for oral cancer is very successful, if detected early. • As part of your examination, we also take digital X-rays, which immediately appear in your chart for evaluation. We use the digital x-rays as opposed to conventional X-rays because

they produce approximately 10% of the radiation of conventional X-rays. • We then evaluate the patient for periodontal disease. It is believed that 60 to 70% of adults have some form of periodontal disease. If not treated this can lead to tooth loss. After we evaluate your gums, we are able to design a customized cleaning schedule that will help you improve and maintain your periodontal health. With so many great products on the market to assist us in our home care such as Sonicare tooth brushes, Waterpiks, and quality dental floss, our patients do a great job of maintaining their oral health. We offer these and other products to our patients at the time of the examination. • We also offer early morning and evening appointments for your convenience. Our office will text or email you to remind you of upcoming appointments. We participate with most insurance companies and also office Care Credit to pay for out-of-pocket expenses.

Some other services offered: • Custom crowns in a single visit: We understand that life is busy. With our state-of-the-art imaging and technology, in most cases, we can offer the convenience of a single visit for a crown. A digital camera takes a 3D scan of the tooth, so no more uncomfortable impressions. Our 3D technology designs the crown while you wait and then is bonded in and you are finished.

• Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Has anyone in your family been affected by snoring or sleep apnea? Do you lay awake at night wishing you had fallen asleep before your partner? Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, given a C-Pap to use and are unable or refuse to use it? Our office has extensive training to help screen for sleep apnea, and we work with Certified Sleep Medicine Doctors to determine what treatment is best for the patient. In most cases, we can fabricate an oral appliance that will replace the C-Pap to help treat sleep apnea and eliminate snoring. • Sedation Dentistry: Do you or someone you know put off necessary dental treatment because of past dental experiences or just can’t stand the sound of the drill or smells of the dental office? Maybe your schedule is so busy, you don’t have time for multiple visits? We provide sedation dentistry, which is a very safe way to have your dental treatment completed in one easy and convenient appointment. • Mouth Guard Appliances: Most sports require the use of a mouth guard for athletes during games as well as practices. However, mouth guards aren’t just for sports. They are great for recreational use – roller blading, ice skating, biking and skate-boarding. We can custom fit a mouth guard to properly fit your mouth. We can make them in any color to match your favorite team!! Please call today for an appointment or if you have any questions 724-537-3314 or visit our website at ScottELearnDMD.com to learn more about us.

www.go2goalus.com 33

Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce Re-Elects Board of Directors, Officers


n any business or organization, consistency is a very highly-valued commodity.

The Board of Directors of the Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce has consistency and, following recent elections, will continue that into the future. Because there were no vacancies and no new nominations, all 20-members were re-elected to the board and all of the officers will continue for another year. “We are very proud of the composition of our current board of directors,” said board chairman Don Orlando, who is the Director of Public Relations at Saint Vincent College. “It is representative of businesses and organizations large and small, a good cross-section of our membership.” Many board members have been seated since 2013 when the GLLV chamber began its resurgence and have helped guide that process to the present. Now a vibrant entity with approximately 500 members, the chamber has benefitted greatly from the knowledge and expertise of the board.

“This is a board of dedicated individuals who care about the chamber and the communities we serve,”

The breakdown of the 2016-17 board is: Officers: Chairman – Orlando (Director, Public Relations at Saint Vincent College) Board Vice-Chair – Andrea Cuda (Co-Owner of Ramada Ligonier) Treasurer – Maryann White-Helfferich (Kelly, Sparber, White & Associates LLC) Assistant Treasurer – Jerry Supko (Commercial Bank & Trust of Pa.) Secretary – Madalyn Kalning (Gutchess Hardwoods, Inc.)

Members: Melissa Blystone (Valley Dairy Restaurants) Bob Demangone (Arnold Palmer Enterprises) Roxann Donahue (Mullen Refrigeration Services, Inc.)

“This is a board of dedicated individuals who care about the chamber and the communities we serve,” Orlando said. “That’s the mission we’re committed to and the direction we’ll continue to take moving forward.”

Brian Edmiston (Tech Spec, Inc./TSI Titanium) George Fetkovich (Saint Vincent College) Marshall Haines (Pace Industries – Airo Division) Eric Huttenlocher (Carpenter Technology Corporation) Jeff Minkovich (DiSalvo’s Station Restaurant) Gabe Monzo (Westmoreland County Airport Authority) Gary Siegel (Latrobe Bulletin) Maryann Singley (Excela Health Latrobe Hospital) Judith Swigart (Greater Latrobe School District) Cheryl Waters (Derry Area School District Superintendent) Todd Weimer (Eastern Westmoreland Career & Technology Center) Brian Maglosky (Kennametal Inc.).

34 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

From Undergraduate to Career By Coby Detar, Director of Public Relations and Education, The SecondHalf Coach, Inc.


hen it comes to utilizing your time during your undergraduate career, it’s hard to tell which moments will actually prepare you for your future career. Will it be that research paper, the group project, that elective class or the clubs and organizations that will help me? I say, it’s a combination of it all.

Life is about learning from your choices, and although they may not always be the right choice, use that moment to learn from mistakes. I believe those are the moments that mold you to become who you want to be. The following are three pieces of advice I have for anyone who wants to capitalize on their time as a college student to set them up for success later: The first thing to do as a student is to get connected. Get connected to everything the university has to offer. Get to know your peers on different levels, in different classes and even different majors. I have always felt that when you get to know people with different backgrounds, you become a more understanding person. In addition, get connected to the faculty and staff. Although universities vary in class size, getting to know your professors can be a valuable tool. In most cases, the professors will offer office hours where they allow students to stop in and ask questions and get answers on

a variety of subjects in the course. Use this time wisely to get to know them on a more personal level along with getting tips and tricks to exams and notetaking. Along with the professors, getting in touch with the staff is equally as important. Each school provides resources like resume experts, internship centers, tutors and more. Use each resource as a stepping stone to connect with the people around you. You never know what could happen; you may meet your future employer by doing this. The second thing to do as a student is to be smart. I don’t mean that you have to be the smartest person in the room (although you should strive your hardest to do so), but be smart about your choices. Life is about learning from your choices, and although they may not always be the right choice, use that moment to

learn from mistakes. I believe those are the moments that mold you to become who you want to be. Furthermore, be smart about who you surround yourself with, because if you have people who want to be better and do better, you will want to do the same. Being around people who aspire to do more, will help you take the steps necessary to push yourself to the next level. And be smart about your level of ability. Sometimes the best thing to do is to be humble enough to ask for help when you need it. You may find a new and improved way of doing something.

www.go2goalus.com 35

Invest In Our Greatest Asset,

Our Children By Judge Anthony Bompiani


t first blush, you may be thinking, “What is a Judge doing writing about investment advice?” And I have to say, you are correct. I am in no position to be doing that. However, through my term on the bench, and my 14 years as a trial and family law attorney, I have had countless discussions with addicts, dealers, and families affected by the drug epidemic in Westmoreland County. Unfortunately, I have seen first hand the horrors that this problem imposes on our families, and I want to share some of the information with you in an effort to educate you. Specifically, in this article I will provide you with some causes of the problem and things you can do to attempt to minimize your family’s exposure. Every year, more and more people in Westmoreland County are dying due to drug overdoses. The statistics are staggering. In 2015 alone there were 126 confirmed overdose deaths in our county. The statistics for 2016 will certainly surpass that amount once confirmed. Unfortunately, our young people make up a large number of the death statistics. But make no mistake, our children are impacted by nearly every drug overdose death suffered throughout the county. I see it every week in my courtroom. Our children are torn apart by any overdose death, as most of the addicts in our communities are also mothers, fathers, cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles. The effect is destructive and felt throughout our entire legal system. To be clear, the current drug epidemic affects our family courts just as much as our criminal courts. Families are destroyed.

36 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

Unfortunately, it is like a perfect storm right now. I have comprised a list of four causes I have personally observed through years in the legal system and many discussions I have had with people who are affected by the drug problem. Custody battles ensue. Grandparents become parents once again. Emotions run high. Mud is slung back and forth between families. And all the while, the child is left broken and wondering why. There are various causes of the epidemic. Unfortunately, it is like a perfect storm right now. I have comprised a list of four causes I have personally observed through years in the legal system and many discussions I have had with people who are affected by the drug problem. Please remember, this list is not exhaustive, and there could certainly be other causes. But, here are the four that I have seen that are really taking a toll: 1. Medications overly prescribed and/or overused Unfortunately, many individuals fall into drug addiction through the opioids and narcotics prescribed to them. They are

either prescribed too much, or take too much on their own and become addicted. Once the prescription runs out, they buy pills on the street to get their fix. Because street pills are too expensive, they eventually turn to heroin which is much cheaper but has the same effect on the human brain as other opioids; 2. Poor choices and peer pressure Sometimes, drug addiction is caused by one bad choice or a number of bad choices stacked together. This can be caused by an experimental personality or a living on the edge attitude. Many times, these choices are made in the presence of “friends” or at parties. With regard to heroin and many opioids, it takes merely one “try” to get addicted. And from there, the addict is on a highway to destruction and death.

3. A false cure for stress, depression and other mental or emotional issues Sometimes, our young people experiment with drugs in an attempt to mask internal issues they are experiencing. Unfortunately, this is not an appropriate therapy and only leads to addiction. 4. Out of town dealers preying on our susceptibility Due to the three causes listed above, our communities are susceptible to drug slingers from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The problem is that the availability of the drugs simply causes more addiction and more demand which brings more dealers into the area. It really is a vicious cycle. Right now, many dealers are giving the drug away to young people for free to start because they know addiction is inevitable. This MUST be curtailed by high bail and strong sentences through our courts. What can you do to invest in your children and protect them? The truth is, there is nothing you can do that will 100% guarantee that they remain healthy and unaffected. These tragedies have hurt the best of families and have destroyed the greatest of parents. There is no hard fast way to prevent it. However, I am not a fan of sitting around and doing nothing so here are five recommendations if you are looking to be proactive: 1. Communicate with your children Communicate with them not only about the dangers of drug use and abuse, but talk to them about what is going on in their lives. Listen to what they are feeling and why. Do not let them feel ashamed about what they are going through. Everyone needs help in life. Let them know this; 2. Show them the dangers

drug epidemic. Parents and students, middle school age and older can participate. I highly recommend this program as I have participated with my wife, Kristi, and our son, Domenic. You can find more information on the county website. Also, think about taking the older and more mature children to court to see the dangers first hand. Our court in Youngwood, like most courts, is open to the public. Our criminal court day is Tuesday. You can come in at any time in the morning to see some real life cases; 3. Communicate with other parents One thing that young people are doing right now is breaking into medicine cabinets and sharing pills. They do this at their own homes and homes of others. Unfortunately, not all parents are aware that this is happening. It is a great idea for all parents of your child’s friends to be on the same page;; 4. Lock your medicine cabinet A medicine cabinet can be just as dangerous to children as a liquor cabinet. Protect your children by keeping your medicine locked and inaccessible; and

5. Research the medications prescribed to them Educate yourself on opioids, narcotics and other medicines. Learn about the effects they have on the brain. Learn about the side effects and the likelihood of addiction. Many medications are beneficial, but casual use can turn into abuse VERY quickly. The bottom line is if you feel there is an issue in your family, do not be embarrassed by it. Do not cover it up. Be honest with yourself and your family and address it early. The stigma merely adds gasoline to the flames of the problem. I always say human beings can overcome anything, but we cannot do it alone. Do not hesitate to ask for help. You would be surprised how many people are willing to help you and your family. Together, we can help eliminate this problem facing our communities.

Judge Anthony Bompiani is a Magisterial District Judge from Hempfield Township. Prior to taking the bench he practiced in the areas of family law and criminal law throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.

In Westmoreland County, Candle, Inc. runs the Reality Tour which is an educational and real world look at the

www.go2goalus.com 37

Alliance of Hope....

Yesterday December 7, 1941, a date that will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and airforces of the Empire of Japan.”

With these words, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and the American people via radio. He asked for the recognition of a state of war that he felt obviously existed as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack took

38 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

place simultaneous to ongoing peace negotiations between the two countries in Washington, D.C. The official declaration of war against Japan was signed by the president some three hours later. In turn, As members of the 1940 Tripartite Pact, Germany and Italy responded by declaring war on the U.S. on December 11, 1941, vowing unity with their “Axis” partner, Japan. The attack on Pearl Harbor marked the end of America’s policy of neutrality and thrust her and all her resources into the Second World War. President Roosevelt had been attempting to maintain a foreign policy of neutrality while also strongly supporting his friends, the Allies, fighting against Germany, Italy and Japan. The United States

desperately wanted to avoid another costly European war, yet, ironically, her invitation came out of Asia. With the declaration of war, the United States officially joined the Allies. The Americans initially went to Africa and assisted with the defeat of the Germans and Italians. Shortly after, the Fascist Italian government officially surrendered in 1943, and a pro-Allied government was installed. Nazioccupied Europe was liberated starting with the Allied invasion of Normandy in the summer of 1944, while Allied troops also entered Rome. Eventually, in the spring of 1945, the Germans capitulated and their surrender brought about Victory in Europe (VE-Day); only Japan remained.

As war progressed in Europe, the Allies were advancing at a much slower pace in the Pacific Theatre. By design, the vastness of the Pacific Ocean proved to be a much larger logistical obstacle than that of the more familiar landscape of Europe. Islands had to be conquered so that airstrips could be built to facilitate bombing missions and the movement of troops and materials. Only when American soldiers reached indigenous Japanese soil on the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, did they began to fully appreciate the level of fanatical resistance they were facing. The invasion of mainland Japan projected millions of casualties for both sides. The United States’ use of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would bring about an abrupt end to the most destructive war in history. The two atomic bombs, dropped three days apart, forced the warlords of Japan to sue for peace. For the first time in Japanese history, their emperor, regarded as divine, addressed his people. Surviving an assassination attempt, Emperor Hirohito led his country to surrender unconditionally in the fall of 1945. America would eventually occupy Japan and assist with writing their modern day constitution. ****** It was a warm July day in the summer of 2015 when I first strolled through the entrance to the World War II Valor in the Pacific monument at Pearl Harbor. The monument is located on the island of Oahu near the capital city of Honolulu. Visiting the Hawaiian Islands with my family to fulfill my mother’s life long dream, I was also hoping to fulfill my

own childhood dream, to visit the USS Arizona and pay my respects. I first learned about the Pearl Harbor attack during a “show and tell” in kindergarten when my classmate shared his grandfather’s experience of surviving the attacks. Finally, 35 years later, I was going to visit Pearl myself.

war and has encouraged it in this reevaluation. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also pushed modern Japanese politics to an uncomfortable level. Although meeting with protests in his own country, Abe has used a supportive legislature to redefine its military’s role on the world stage.

With great anticipation, I awoke early for our guided tour of the island which would include a brief stop at the memorial. While waiting to depart, I checked the online news. News sources were reporting that for the first time since World War II, Japan’s government had approved offensive military action. Ironically, a Japanese military directive the day I visit Pearl Harbor.

In May of 2016, President Barack Obama, also not skirting controversy, visited Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bomb detonation, and called for an end to nuclear weapons. This visit marked the first time a sitting US president has visited that city Critics of the president cite a revisionist view of history claiming that Obama was apologizing for the use of the bombs.

Visiting the Hawaiian Islands with my family to fulfill my mother’s life long dream, I was also hoping to fulfill my own childhood dream, to visit the USS Arizona and pay my respects. December 7, 2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The lasting effects of that attack, and subsequent war, are still felt today. Unlike 1941, Japan is now a close ally of the U.S., while former partner China suffered a Communist revolution in 1949, forever straining its relationship with the U.S. The neighboring Korean peninsula, which was temporarily split as a result of the war, hosted an international war from 1950-53 before a cease-fire agreement left the country divided and in a state of perpetual cold war.

On December 27, 2016, Prime Minister Abe visited the World War II Valor in the Pacific monument at Pearl Harbor. He offered his deepest condolences for the souls lost in the attack. While he did not apologize for the actions of Imperial Japan, he did symbolically strengthen Japan's relationship with the U.S. by being the first Japanese prime minister to visit the site. As new chapters are being written in the history of the attack on Pearl Harbor, so too, are new relationships in an ever changing world. Jerry Ferraro is the contributing history consultant for GOAL magazine. He teaches history at Greater Latrobe High School and has over 19 years of classroom experience. He travels throughout Europe and the U.S. for both professional and personal development. He lives with his wife and daughter near Latrobe, PA.

In recent events, Japan, looking for more involvement in their own regional security, has attempted to redefine its American-drafted constitution. America has been Japan’s protector since the

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t a h W g n i D e ci d o w it h to D an l P ) k ( 1 Your 40 Y o u W h e n Jo b s Ch a n ge

By The SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management Team

When you change jobs, you need to decide what to do with the money in your 401(k) plan. Should you leave it where it is, or take it with you? Should you roll the money over into an IRA or into your new employer’s retirement plan? As you consider your options, keep in mind that one of the greatest advantages of a 401(k) plan is that it allows you to save for retirement on a tax-deferred (or in the case of Roth accounts, potentially tax-free) basis. When changing jobs, it’s essential to consider the continued tax-deferral of these retirement funds, and, if possible, to avoid current taxes and penalties that can eat into the amount of money you’ve saved. Take the money and run When you leave your current employer, you can withdraw your 401(k) funds in a lump sum. To do this, simply instruct your 401(k) plan administrator to cut you a check. Then you’re free to do whatever you please with those funds. You can use them to meet expenses (e.g., medical bills, college tuition), put them toward a large purchase (e.g., a home or car), or invest them elsewhere. While cashing out is certainly tempting, it’s almost never a good idea. Taking a lump sum distribution from your 401(k) can significantly reduce your retirement savings, and is generally not advisable unless you urgently need money and have no other alternatives. Not only will you miss out on the continued tax-deferral of your 401(k) funds, but you’ll also face an immediate tax bite. First, you’ll have to pay federal (and possibly state) income tax on the money you withdraw (except for the amount of any after-tax contributions you’ve made). If the amount

40 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

is large enough, you could even be pushed into a higher tax bracket for the year. If you’re under age 591⁄2, you’ll generally have to pay a 10 percent premature distribution penalty tax in addition to regular income tax, unless you qualify for an exception. (For instance, you’re generally exempt from this penalty if you’re 55 or older when you leave your job.) And, because your employer is also required to withhold 20 percent of your distribution for federal taxes, the amount of cash you get may be significantly less than you expect. If your 401(k) plan allows Roth contributions, qualified distributions of your Roth contributions and earnings will be free from federal income tax. If you receive a nonqualified distribution from a Roth 401(k) account, only the earnings (not your original Roth contributions) will be subject to income tax and potential early distribution penalties. (In general, a distribution is qualified if it is paid after you reach age 591⁄2, become disabled, or die, and you have satisfied a 5 year holding period.) Note: Because lump-sum distributions from 401(k) plans involve complex tax issues, especially for individuals born before 1936, consult a tax professional for more information. Leave the funds where they are One option when you change jobs is simply to leave the funds in your old employer’s 401(k) plan where they will continue to grow tax deferred.

However, you may not always have this opportunity. If your vested 401(k) balance is $5,000 or less, your employer can require you to take your money out of the plan when you leave the company. (Your vested 401(k) balance consists of anything you’ve contributed to the plan, any employer contributions you have the right to receive, and any investment earnings on these contributions.) Your employer may also require that you withdraw your funds once you reach the plan’s normal retirement age. Leaving your money in your old employer’s 401(k) plan may be a good idea if you’re happy with the investment alternatives offered or you need time to explore other options. You may also want to leave the funds where they are temporarily if your new employer offers a 401(k) plan but requires new employees to work for the company for a certain length of time before allowing them to participate. When the waiting period is up, you can have the plan administrator of your old employer’s 401(k) transfer your funds to your new employer’s 401(k) (assuming the new plan accepts rollover contributions). Transfer the funds directly to your new employer’s retirement plan or to an IRA (a direct rollover) Just as you can always withdraw the funds from your 401(k) when you leave your job, you can always roll over your 401(k) funds to your new employer’s retirement plan if the new plan allows it. You can also roll over your funds to a traditional IRA. You can either transfer the funds to a traditional IRA that you already have, or open a new IRA to receive the funds. There’s no dollar limit on how much 401(k) money you can transfer to an IRA. You can also roll over (“convert”) your nonRoth 401(k) money to a Roth IRA. The taxable portion of your distribution from the 401(k) plan will be included in your income at the time of the rollover.

If you’ve made Roth contributions to your 401(k) plan you can only roll those funds over into another Roth 401(k) plan or Roth 403(b) plan (if your new employer’s plan accepts rollovers) or to a Roth IRA. Generally, the best way to roll over funds is to have your 401(k) plan directly transfer your funds to your new employer’s retirement plan or to an IRA you’ve established. A direct rollover is simply a transfer of assets from the trustee or custodian of one retirement savings plan to the trustee or custodian of another (a “trustee-to-trustee transfer”). It’s a seamless process that allows your retirement savings to remain tax deferred without interruption. Once you fill out the necessary paperwork, your 401(k) funds move directly to your new employer’s retirement plan or to your IRA; the money never passes through your hands. And, if you directly roll over your 401(k) funds following federal rollover rules, no federal income tax will be withheld. Note: In some cases, your old plan may mail you a check made payable to the trustee or custodian of your employer-sponsored retirement plan or IRA. If that happens, don’t be concerned. This is still considered to be a direct rollover. Bring or mail the check to the institution acting as trustee or custodian of your retirement plan or IRA.

funds when you make your rollover deposit, the 20 percent withheld will be considered a taxable distribution, subject to regular income tax and generally a 10 percent premature distribution penalty (if you’re under age 591⁄2). If you do choose to receive the funds through an indirect rollover, don’t put off redepositing the funds. If you don’t make your rollover deposit within 60 days, the entire amount will be considered a taxable distribution. Which option is appropriate? Is it better to leave your funds in a 401(k) plan (your current plan or a new employer’s plan), or roll them over into an IRA? Each retirement savings vehicle has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some points to consider: • A traditional IRA can offer almost unlimited investment options; a 401(k) plan limits you to the investment options offered by the plan. • A 401(k) may offer a higher level of protection from creditors.

Finally, no matter which option you choose, you may want to discuss your particular situation with a tax professional (as well as your plan administrator) before deciding what to do with the funds in your 401(k).

Have the distribution check made out to you, then deposit the funds in your new employer’s retirement plan or in an IRA (an indirect rollover) You can also roll over funds to an IRA or another employer-sponsored retirement plan (if that plan accepts rollover contributions) by having your 401(k) distribution check made out to you and depositing the funds to your new retirement savings vehicle yourself within 60 days. This is sometimes referred to as an indirect rollover. However, think twice before choosing this option. Because you effectively have use of this money until you redeposit it, your 401(k) plan is required to withhold 20 percent for federal income taxes on the taxable portion of your distribution (you get credit for this withholding when you file your federal income tax return for the year). Unless you make up this 20 percent with out-of-pocket

• A 401(k) may allow you to borrow against the value of your account, depending on plan rules. • A 401(k) plan may allow penalty-free withdrawals if you leave your job at age 55 or later. Penalty-free withdrawals are generally not available from IRAs until age 591⁄2. • You must take required minimum distributions from traditional IRAs once you reach age 701⁄2.You generally don’t need to take required distributions from 401(k) plans until you retire. • Unlike Roth 401(k) accounts, you don’t need to take any lifetime required minimum distributions from Roth IRAs. • Employer stock may be eligible for more favorable tax treatment if distributed from a 401(k) plan rather than an IRA. • Both IRAs and 401(k) plans may involve investment related expenses or account fees. In addition, both may provide services such as investment advice, education materials, and retirement planning. Be sure to understand what your plan provides, and what you may be giving up or gaining by transferring your funds. November 23, 2016

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

However, think twice before choosing this option. Because you effectively have use of this money until you redeposit it ...

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016

www.go2goalus.com 41



s y a w h t Career Pa


hanges have been happening for the ninth grade students of Greater Latrobe this year-the transition into high school, the changing bell system, the new bus schedule. One aspect of this newness includes the ninth grade as high schoolers is a stronger emphasis on exploring future career opportunities and ideas. This year, the ninth grade students visited one of six colleges geared towards their interest in a specific “career pathway”. Greater Latrobe’s Career Pathways program organizes the sixteen career clusters adopted by the PA Department of Labor and Industry and PA Department of Education into five categories: Arts and Communications, Engineering/Industry and Manufacturing Technology, Health and Science, Human Service/Hospitality and

Public Administration, and Financial and Business Services/ Informational Technology. Each ninth grade student was given a six question survey about future career goals and were placed into groups to visit a local institute of higher education focusing on a different pathway. St. Vincent College, Westmoreland County Community College, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania and St. Francis University are the six colleges partaking in the program. The students left after homeroom, spent the day with professors and students who explained careers and opportunities available to them and what this leg of the path looks like... Ninth graders Sadie Wetzel and Isabella Kaecher both were assigned to University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, focusing on Engineering/ Industry and Manufacturing Technology and Health and Science. “We got to go to different

places - dorms, the library, the gym,” said Sadie Wetzel. “They talked a lot about what it would be like our freshman year, and the school itself.” “It was a really positive experience,” said Kaecher. This program was made possible with the help of 9-10 principal Mr. Krehlik, guidance counselors Mrs. Kuhn and Mr. Burkley and teacher chaperones. An emphasis is being placed this year on gearing students thinking about their future goals and helping a young adult to understand that the future isn’t set and stone and that there’s always opportunity to change. “The big message is we want students to know that it’s okay to change your mind now. This is a time to explore, ‘What do my interests and my aptitude align to, as a potential career?’” said Mr. Krehlik. ”It’s just as important to find out what you don’t like as it is to find out what you do like. We want our students leave here knowing what career they want to focus on, rather than going through two or three years of college and deciding they don’t really like that career.” It’s never easy to decide exactly what the best career is as a high schooler, and the career pathways program was put in place to help students along through the process.

List of businesses that Greater Latrobe High School teachers attended for Teacher in the Workplace: Eric Glod, Westmoreland County Cartographer Kennametal Inc. Saint Vincent College George R. Sweeney Water Treatment Plant Innate Fitness Latrobe Ridgeview HVAC

42 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

Alternate Sc hedules


s a stepping stone into the real world, high school students have options to education. Several different alternate scheduling options are available when it comes to scheduling as a senior - and in some cases, junior - year. Two options worth exploring to get a step into the post-graduation experience are work study and dual enrollment in the college atmosphere. Work release is the option to go to school to take the classes needed to graduate and then leave to go to work for the rest of the day. This alternative lends itself to various benefits. For one, it is a great way to save up money during the senior year for future needs such as college. Committing to a work study experience builds good work ethic and discipline for working while getting an education. Many college students have to work during the school year to afford schooling, housing, books, etc. In order to be eligible for work study, some guidelines need to be met. 1. the employer must guarantee employment for the entire semester/school year 2. the student must attend school for not less than four periods per day and schedule at least three credits 3. students must work during school hours no less than four days of the

Unity Township Building Bookdale Assisted Living, Astley Precision Machine Company Kennametal Latrobe Westmoreland Mechanical Testing and Research, Inc. Latrobe Public Works Dept., Sanitation Division, Capital Healthcare Solutions and Harmony Home Healthcare

school week. The school will periodically call the student’s place of work to ensure they are working. Senior Capri Cable not only holds one job, but two. Five days a week, Capri leaves school and goes to work, spending three days at Charter Oak United Methodist Church as a social media and communications intern and two days at Chick Fil A. At her church, Capri help manage the Instagram and Facebook pages, running the posts and doing the graphic design that goes into our social work. I really like the atmosphere and the people that I’m surrounded with are huge blessings to me, because I can seek advice from them. It’s really great going to work in the morning, it’s really supportive,” said Capri. “At Chick Fil A, I handle fundraisers, do promotional graphics, and build relationships with guests. Half of my job is working in the back, doing computer work, but half of it is trying to build an emotional connection with people - so that they want to come back. That’s the difference between Chick Fil A and other food chains, we make sure the guests are enjoying their time. We make it so they want to come back,” Capri said. Dual enrollment is another option that a total of twenty students partake in this

DEP Office in West Newton "Little Debbie" Distributor/Greensburg Markosky Engineering Group Barnes & Noble/ Salvation Army Thrift Store Master Lee Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County Arnold Palmer Regional Airport Gutchess Lumber, Inc. Hayden's Pharmacy Vinegar Hill Creative

year. Dual enrollment allows students to leave school after completing traditional high school classes and attend higher education courses at colleges in the area. Classes are offered at St. Vincent College, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Westmoreland County Community College, and Seton Hill University. With dual enrollment, credits needed for college can be gained that can give a college graduate a “leg up” on college credits and monies before going to college. Senior Rachel Saula utilizes dual enrollment, by attending specialized dance classes at Seton Hill University in the fall. “On days I don’t have class, I either work or finish homework. It’s nice because I only needed two credits to graduate,” she said. ”I want to go into musical theater and there really weren’t many classes that would help me on that path. Dual enrollment gave me the option to spend my time in what I think is a more productive way.” Senior students make the most of their time in high school and beyond by either having a work-study job or attending college classes while in high school - both a great kick start to their future. A quick talk with a guidance counselor can help you start on that path.

Michele Butler - Chick-Fil-A 535 Media Ragged Row Audio/Lighting at TBD Performance Venue Heinz History Center Heinz Conservation & History Museum Bank of NY Mellon

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Snapshot 2016

The year 2016 likely will be remembered for the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States and the Brexit vote. This year also saw the Fed raise interest rates for the first time since last December, noting that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace since midyear. While inflation remains below the Fed's target of 2.0%, the Committee expects inflation to rise to its target level over the medium term on the heels of anticipated improvements in energy and import prices and continued labor strengthening. Equities began the year hitting the skids as receding oil prices and a plummeting Chinese stock market pushed stock prices down and bond prices up. By midyear equities had recovered, despite Great Britain's decision to exit the European Union. Following the results of the presidential election, stocks surged to new highs. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue in 2017 following President-elect Trump's first few months in office.

The Markets



• Equities: The year didn't start off well for equities,

but by the end of 2016 each of the indexes listed here posted year-over-year gains, some reaching alltime highs. The Dow recorded its best performance since 2013, gaining almost 13.5% from its 2015 closing value. Stocks weathered several financial crises, including China's economic downturn and the Brexit vote. The large-cap S&P 500 proved less volatile during the year, yet closed 2016 up almost 11.0%. The Russell 2000 proved to be the year's biggest gainer, soaring almost 20.0% over last year's closing value. Most of the gains in equities happened during the second half of the year as favorable corporate earnings, resurgent oil prices, and accelerating consumer income and spending encouraged investors to trade. Without doubt, the presidential election proved to be a pivot point for the stock market as expectations of looser regulation, fiscal stimulus, and tax cuts fueled the market rally. The Dow (19974.62), S&P 500 (2271.72), Nasdaq (5487.44), and Russell 2000 (1388.07) each attained record-high closing values during the latter part of the year.

Annual Market Review Provided by The SecondHalf Wealth Management Team

44 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

• Bonds: Volatility best describes the

long-term bond market for 2016. Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose for the second straight year as prices fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note closed at 2.44%, up from its 2.26% yield at the close of 2015. During the early part of the year, bond prices rose as yields sunk below 1.40%. However, as investors saw a strengthening economy, higher inflation, and rising interest rates, a period of bond sales occurred, which peaked during the last quarter when the Treasury yield gained almost 0.85 percentage point, marking the largest quarterly gain since 1994.

• Oil: As oil producing countries flooded

the market, oil prices fell below $30 per barrel during the first quarter. However, by the end of the year, crude oil prices had achieved their biggest annual gain since 2008. With OPEC pledging to cut production, oil prices surged to almost $60 per barrel, finally settling at $53.89 (WTI) per barrel on December 30.

• Currencies: The dollar

remained strong throughout the year, affecting imports and exports in the process. Falling oil prices, coupled with the expectation of higher interest rates, helped boost the U.S. dollar, which continued to rise over the course of the year. The U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the dollar relative to the currencies of most U.S. major trading partners, gained about 3.67% over last year's closing value. The dollar also benefitted from interest rates abroad, some of which were even lower than those for Treasuries. Tightening trade restrictions proposed by President-elect Trump may curtail continued growth of the dollar in 2017.

• Gold: Gold rose over 8.5% on the year,

closing 2016 at $1,152.00. Much of the gain was seen during the first half of the year, as the price fell following a lengthy period of sell offs. Gold prices dropped seven of the last eight weeks as the stock market surged.

• Inflation/consumer spending: Based

on the growth of consumer income, spending, and inflation, the economy for 2016 may be described as stable at best. Inflation remained below the Fed's stated target rate of 2.0%, but indications are that it is expanding, albeit at a deliberate pace. Personal income through November increased 3.5% compared to November 2015. After-tax income (disposable personal income) over the same 12-month period rose 3.7%. Consumer spending, as measured by personal consumption expenditures, climbed 4.2% from November 2015. The personal consumption price index, an inflationary gauge relied on by the Fed, rose 1.4% year-over-year, while core PCE (PCE less volatile food and energy prices) increased 1.6%. The prices consumers pay for goods and services saw a moderate 1.7% increase from last November.

The Economy • Employment: Improvement in the U.S.

job market was slow but steady, with employment growth averaging 180,000 new jobs per month in 2016, compared with an average monthly increase of 229,000 new jobs in 2015. The unemployment rate ended the year (as of November 2016) at 4.6%, lower than the 5.0% rate at the close of 2015. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 7.4 million unemployed persons in November 2016, down from 7.9 million unemployed in November 2015. The employment participation rate remained relatively the same — 62.7% in 2016 compared to 62.5% at the end of 2015. The employment to population ratio also remained relatively unchanged (59.7% in 2016 to 59.4% in 2015). In 2016, the average workweek was 34.4 hours. Average hourly earnings in 2016 increased $0.62 to $25.89 — a 2.5% gain over 2015.

• Housing: The housing market had

• GDP: The economy maintained a roughly 2.0% average growth rate through the third quarter of 2016. Economic growth has maintained this pace since 2009. The first-quarter GDP rose 0.8%, followed by a 1.4% gain in the second quarter and a 3.5% increase in the third quarter. Personal consumption expenditures, the value of consumer purchases for goods and services, increased an average of about 3.0% through the first three quarters of 2016. Gross domestic product measures the cost of production of U.S. goods and services. Gross domestic income, which is a measure of all income earned from the production of goods and services, rose 4.8% in the third quarter of 2016, compared to a 2.5% increase in the third quarter of 2015.

Housing: The housing market had been relatively strong for much of the year. Through November, existing home sales are up 15.4% over a year ago.

been relatively strong for much of the year. Through November, existing home sales are up 15.4% over a year ago. The November annual sales rate of 5.61 million is the highest since February 2007. The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $234,900, up 6.8% from November 2015 ($220,000). November's price increase marks the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Total housing inventory was 1.85 million existing homes for sale — 9.3% lower than last November. Coupled with a shortage of rental units, home prices and rents are outpacing income in much of the country, according to the National Association of Realtors®. New home sales jumped 16.5% above the November 2015 estimate of 508,000 annual rate of sales. The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2016 was $305,400 ($317,000 in 2015); the average sales price was $359,900 ($376,800 in 2015). The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 250,000. This represents a supply of 5.1 months at the current sales rate compared to a 5.4-months supply a year ago.

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2015 Close

As of 9/30

2016 Close

Month Change

Q4 Change

2016 Change















S&P 500







Russell 2000







Global Dow







Fed. Funds




25 bps

25 bps

25 bps

10-year Treasuries




6 bps

85 bps

18 bps

• Manufacturing: Manufacturing

and industrial production were not consistently strong sectors this year. The Federal Reserve's index of industrial production revealed that total industrial production in November was 0.6% lower than its year-earlier level. Overall industrial capacity utilization, a measure of efficiency, decreased 0.4 percentage point in November to 75.0%, a rate that is 5.0 percentage points below its long-run average. Capacity utilization for manufacturing was 74.8%, a rate that is 3.7 percentage points below its long-run average, which contributed to the decline in overall industrial capacity utilization. Evidencing stagnant manufacturing activity, new orders for manufactured durable goods (expected to last at least three years) declined 0.3% year-over-year, while shipments fell 0.8%. Capital goods — tangible assets used by manufacturers to produce consumer goods — also fell back as shipments decreased 4.5% and new orders dropped 3.2% from last year.

• Imports and exports: For the year,

the goods and services trade deficit decreased $8.8 billion, or 2.1%, from the same period in 2015. Exports decreased $58.7 billion, or 3.1%. Imports decreased $67.5 billion, or 2.9%. The strength of the dollar directly affected both import and export prices. Import prices fell 0.1% while export prices dropped 0.3% over the 12 months ended November 2016.

• International markets: The big news

on the international front was the United Kingdom's referendum vote at the end of June to exit ("Brexit") the European Union. After the vote was announced, Prime Minister David Cameron, an opponent of the push to leave the EU, resigned, with

46 GOAL: A Publication of Go2Goal, LLC | winter 2017

The strength of the dollar directly affected both import and export prices. Theresa May becoming prime minister. Domestically, equities took an immediate hit following news of the vote, but recovered fairly quickly. The value of the pound remains near a 30-year low and Britain lost its AAA credit rating, increasing the cost of government borrowing. However, both the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 closed the year trading higher than before the referendum. Depending on negotiations, the UK is expected to leave the EU by the summer of 2019. In other parts of the world, China's economic growth slowed during the year, but later stabilized following further government stimulus. Central banks in Japan and Europe continued lowering interest rates to negative values, intending to motivate more lending and investing.

Eye on the Year Ahead As the year came to a close, the Fed raised interest rates based on some favorable economic news, particularly on the labor front and expanding economic activity. The Fed is expected to consider three more rate increases during 2017. New economic policies promoted by President-elect Donald Trump during his first year in office will likely impact the economy and equities markets, both domestically and abroad. Will stock prices, which rose dramatically in the weeks following the election, continue

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.


their bull run in 2017? Will oil prices reach $60 per barrel as OPEC attempts to curb production? Will the dollar remain strong, impacting import and export prices? Next year may ultimately prove to be as eventful as 2016. Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment. Disclosure applicable to The SecondHalf Coach, Inc: Securities and advisory services offered through SagePoint Financial, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through The SecondHalf Coach, Inc. which is not affiliated with SagePoint Financial, Inc. SecondHalf Coach and SagePoint Financial, Inc., are not affiliated with any third party entities, sponsors or contributors included in this publication. 2519 Ligonier Street, P.O. Box 421, Latrobe, PA 15650. 724-537-2799.

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