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Are you a Women@Work Connect member yet? Learn more about the perks on pg. 52


20 Tips for Happiness AND Success

When Being Right is Wrong

Taking the Leap! From fulltime to freelance

Leanne Wirkkula Chief of Staff, University at Albany

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Capital Region Women@Work is published six times per year. If you are interested in receiving home delivery of Capital Region Women@Work magazine, please call (518) 454-5768 or visit For advertising information, please call (518) 454-5358. Capital Region Women@Work is published by Capital Newspapers and Times Union 645 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, NY 12212 518.454.5694 The entire contents of this magazine are copyright 2014 by Capital Newspapers. No portion may be reproduced in any means without written permission of the publisher. Capital Newspapers is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hearst Corporation.

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Contents November/December 2014

@ WORK 12 Bitstream Business tidbits for all

16 Tips from the Top What’s the big idea?

38 Classroom Days Keep learning if you want to stay at the top of the employee list

40 Against the Tide Paralympian turns tragedy into triumph

18 On the Cover Leanne Wirkkula helps make UAlbany’s vision happen

20 Negotiate Like a Pro

Tips to get paid what you deserve

22 I Did It Jeweler Drue Sanders on her rise to the top

27 The Right to Healthcare Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood celebrates 80 years of choice

30 Planning Ahead Create the retirement that you want by saving NOW!

32 From Fulltime to Freelance How to make the leap

36 Poly Your Glot Learning a second (or third or fourth) language increases your marketability

42 When Being Right is Wrong When to stand your ground and when to give in

58 The Last Word What is the best way to apologize after making an error (without overdoing it)?

@ HOME 44 Moms@Work We’ve come a long way, baby

46 20 Essential Life Lessons … for happiness and success

50 Meals on the Go Have celiac disease? You don’t have to suffer.

54 Getting Away Puglia, Italy

Is your company in this issue? Bethany Hospitality Center of Troy���������� 22 Capital District Human Resource Professionals��������������������������������������� 42 Capital Region Language Center������������� 36 Center for Economic Growth������������������� 38 CHA ������������������������������������������������������� 58 Colonie Youth Center, Inc.����������������������� 58 Deb Best Practices���������������������������� 36, 44 Drue Sanders Jewelers���������������������������� 22 Global Foundries������������������������������������� 36 Godfrey Financial������������������������������������ 30 Janitronics����������������������������������������������� 42 Park Playhouse���������������������������������������� 22 Pinnacle Human Resources, LLC������� 36, 58 Rose & Kiernan, Inc.�������������������������������� 58 Saile Group LLC��������������������������������������� 16 Saratoga County Chamber���������������������� 38 SUNY Adirondack������������������������������������ 38 Union Graduate College�������������������������� 38 University at Albany������������������������� 18, 22 Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood�������� 27 Valente Group����������������������������������������� 30 Women Presidents’ Organization������������ 22

If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.

  ON THE COVER: Leanne Wirkkula, chief of staff to the president of the University at Albany. Photo by Paul Buckowski. 8 | women@work

— Mother Theresa

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W@W Connect


he older I get, the more clear my worldview becomes. Not because I’m growing more myopic (at least I hope not!), but because with aging comes the ability to push aside the fluff and realize more clearly what’s truly important. Among the realizations I’ve had in this winnowingdown-to-clarity is that connections count and that everything — and I mean everything — is about community. Under that umbrella, creating a magazine is, therefore, not about the words or the pictures or the stories’ themes — although obviously they must be stellar and relevant. It’s about building a space for readers to feel connection, a place for them to recognize both themselves and their neighbors, friends and colleagues. It’s about building a community of support and opportunity. It is with great excitement, then, that we announce in this issue the launch of Women@Work Connect, an extension of the magazine that includes multiple ways for working women in the Capital Region to connect. Besides the magazine mailed to your doorstep, Connect will include members-only events, a bimonthly e-newsletter filled with unique content, a profile of a new member to showcase her business and special members-only discounts to local advertisers. That’s just a few of the perks. All for only $25 a year. For more information and to sign up go to I look forward to expanding our community together.

Janet Reynolds Executive Editor

BITSTREAM Compiled by Brianna Snyder

Going Green T

his fall, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in New York City, calling for action on climate change. It was inspiring to see so many people coming together on such an important issue. So we looked into ways we can be greener at work. According to the blog, here are some earthfriendly practices you can start right now to help save energy and reduce your own carbon footprint:

• Refrain from printing documents unless you really need a printed version. We’ve all seen the “save a tree, don’t print this email” signature at the bottom of some people’s emails. It’s good advice. Build your digital file cabinet; start to whittle away the analog one. • Buy recycled paper, and when printing, try to print on both sides. • Carpool! (But you knew that.) • Buy clothes with organic or recycled fibers. Seek out green dry-cleaners when you need to have your clothes professionally cleaned. source:


Once the number of times that most of the more than 25 billion cartons manufactured in the U.S. are used.

8 billion

the number of gallons of gas saved if every commuter car in the U.S. carried just one more person.


the amount of water saved by producing recycled paper as compared to virgin paper. Recycled paper also takes 60-70 percent less energy to produce than virgin pulp.


the number of tons of steel saved if every UK office worker used one less staple a day.

How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?

— EMMA WATSON, in a speech to the UN in September 12 | women@work

Art: Climate Change, Mel Evans/AP Photo; Speech Bubble, t_kimura/GettyImages.

• Change your computer settings to energy-saving, and make sure you shut down every night before you leave the office. (Putting your computer on standby or sleep still saps power overnight.)

Thanks, but

No Thanks I

t’s a strange, anxiety-ridden and downright awkward situation: You’ve applied for a job. You’ve gone through the interview. You’ve done the follow-up interview. Then … you’ve got the job! But, oops, you might not actually want it. And in this economy? Rejecting a job offer feels reckless, even ridiculous. But there are actually lots of reasons for turning down a job. Money, benefits, commitment, environment, commute. The people. Forbes Woman offers a few tip-offs that you might have just been offered a job you don’t want to take. • Communication with the employer is unprofessional, or distant. If the

9 to 5

manager is too busy or unavailable to answer questions, he or she will likely remain that way even after you’ve been hired. • The manager is really negative, or you sense the manager and you might not totally connect. • The offer’s terms are different from what you discussed initially.


If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu.

— ELIZABETH WARREN, U.S. Senator for Massachusetts

• The job description is different from the one listed when you applied. • The job won’t benefit your long-term career goals. source:

By Jeanne A. Benas | 13

Strike a (Power) Pose


f you haven’t seen Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, go Google it now. You’ll thank yourself later. Cuddy is the coiner of the “power pose”; she’s a big believer in holding yourself with confidence. It’s a bit of a fake-ittil-you-make-it approach to success, but it’s crucial if you want to send a message

of strength (which, of course, you do). Power posing “is the physical answer to mindfulness,” according to a New York Times piece on the concept. Women tend to “shrink” in public settings, Cuddy says. Power poses help you fill your space. The space you’ve earned. Here they are.





 hen speaking in a meeting, cross W your arms tightly in front of you and bring your shoulders back.


 hen chatting with your boss, W put your hands on your hips and puff out your chest. (Seriously!)


 hen asking for a raise, squinch W your lower eyelids. (It makes you look more confident.)


 hen you pitch an idea, kick your feet W up on the table, and lace your hands behind your head. (Business Insider calls this one “The Obama.” Awesome. Although it might be hard while wearing a skirt so plan ahead. )


 efore an interview, put your hands in B the air and spread your feet on the floor. Pretend like you’re soaking in applause from a killer performance. Hold the pose for two minutes, then go knock ‘em dead.


 hen closing a deal, put W your hands on the table and lean forward (or in, as it were).


 hen interviewing someone else, rest W your arm on the back of your chair, lean back, and keep your knees apart.


 hen sleeping, lie with your arms and W legs outstretched. (That’s right: power poses even work in your sleep.)


6 7 5



Spend It A

fter retirement, many people keep their money hidden away in order to pass it on to their children. But a New York Times article advises doing the opposite: Stop holding onto this inheritance. Studies show most kids don’t expect the inheritance anyway, and you’re better off spending your money with them, when they and you are alive, spending time together and making happy memories. source: 14 | women@work

Art: Power pose illustration and Kickstarter chart, Emily Jahn; Thanksgiving photo, kristian sekulic/GettyImages.


Go Fund You H

ere’s some unsurprising information: A paltry one in six venture-capital-supported companies were founded by women, reports the Atlantic. Of course. But here’s some surprising news: Women’s projects are more likely to succeed on the fundraising website Kickstarter than men’s are. And that’s not small potatoes: More than 90 percent of Kickstarter-backed projects go on to become businesses. And in every category of those businesses — tech, film, fashion, games, children’s book publishing and just overall, women did marginally if not significantly better than men. source:

Kickstarter Success Rates for Men and Women TECH

30% 65%





41% 32%




28% 30% 32%


37% MALE

FEMALE (Data: Greenberg and Mollick)

TIPS FROM THE TOP Anne Saile is an award-winning CEO, entrepreneur, executive coach, author and owner of the Saile Group LLC, a leadership and business consulting company. For more information, visit

What’s the

Big Idea?

Photo by Andrea Uvanni

By Anne Saile


hat’s the big idea?” Do you remember hearing that phrase when you were growing up? It was usually asked by someone in authority who was questioning what you were thinking when you got into trouble. It’s such a simple and powerful phrase — people ask that question of themselves well into adulthood. It haunts us when we are considering taking a risk and doing something we have never tried before. It’s there when we have a great idea but we don’t tell anyone for fear they will say we’re crazy or foolish. How many dreams do we put aside because we are afraid of what people might think if they saw us trying and it didn’t work out? No one ever wants people to witness them fail. I remember my friend, Chris, never learned to jump rope as a kid because she was so embarrassed every time she fell in front of her friends. That kind of hesitation doesn’t end in childhood — especially for women. Thanks to the fear of stumbling, women are less likely to negotiate for the promotion they want and the salary they need. I recently talked with a very successful woman who said she had an idea for starting her own company but she couldn’t get up the courage to tell anyone about it. She didn’t want people to know that she had absolutely no knowledge of how to start a business. She works at a senior level in a large corporation but doesn’t have exposure to actually operating the financial end of things. She felt

she should already have the information and that people would think less of her if she asked anyone for help. I know people who want to write a book, run for public office, change careers, learn to dance, but

time on if you want a different outcome. Too often the excuse, “I don’t have time,” becomes a barrier. If this is the case, make a list of five things you will stop putting energy into right now to free up your time to pursue your dream. If you can’t stop all five at once, commit to stopping one item each week and replacing it with tasks related to getting what you want.

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at something worth doing.

16 | women@work

— THEODORE ROOSEVELT they don’t. Why? Because the voice in their head tells them it’s not ok to even try. Because after all — Who do you think you are? What’s the big idea? Here are a few thoughts on how to make the voice of doubt go away:


Write down what everything will look and feel like once you have successfully achieved your goal. Describe in as much detail as possible where you will be living, who you will be surrounded by, how much money you will have in the bank, etc. Often the reason people feel foolish when they talk about something they want to do is that they haven’t really thought through what getting to the end goal really looks like. I’ve noticed that the greatest successes in life happen when someone can actually envision and describe what it is they want.


Make a list of what is in the way of your dream and consider all the actions you can take to overcome them. You have to change what you are spending


Your idea, passion and desire to try something different need to be let out of your head. Isolation kills dreams. Dreams not shared are seldom realized. Seek out someone who successfully did what you are thinking of doing. It won’t be surprising to learn that they wrestled with the same doubts and fears. Since they are successful, they will most likely be enthusiastic. To make the leap from “Who do you think you are” to “ I can do anything” you need encouragement and affirmation. You need to change the conversation in your head.


List the worst things that can happen if you try what you want to do and it doesn’t work out. Then ask yourself if you think you can live through it.


Eliminate the following phrases from your vocabulary: I’ll try, I wish, I can’t, I should. Instead use more of these: I will, I can, I did. Here’s the big idea: Live a life that you love — you deserve it.  W 

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Serving the Mission

Leanne Wirkkula helps make UAlbany’s vision happen

By Steve Barnes  |  Photo by Paul Buckowski


eanne Wirkkula went from a fresh college grad working for a nascent NBA team in Minnesota to the chief of staff for the president of the University at Albany by making herself indispensable to important people for over 25 years. “I built my network as much as I could, and at each step, when I needed it, there was somebody in the network to help me,” says Wirkkula, who has been chief of staff for UAlbany President Robert Jones since early 2014. “It was always my goal to take on whatever I could: Go ahead, throw it at me.” But her career took paths even Wirk18 | women@work

kula, now 48, couldn’t have foreseen a few years before they happened. “Nobody is a 7-year-old or a 12-yearold and says, ‘I want a Ph.D. in higher education because I want to be a college administrator.’ Nobody says … they want to be what I am,” says Wirkkula with a chuckle. And nobody, when they’re 22 and part of the sales team of the brandnew Minnesota Timberwolves, imagines that they’ll one day write a doctoral dissertation titled “Human Perspectives on Planning: The Lived Experience of Deans at a Public Research University.” She continues, “But the more you get

into it, the more you realize what a rewarding career it can be. I believe in and love public research universities. There’s nothing else like it. This is where my heart is.” Wirkkula’s work life has been guided by thematic strands, the interwoven demands of career, education and motherhood pulling at one another, each in some way guiding her next steps. A native Minnesotan and the product of a hearty stock from Finnish communities near the North Star State’s border with Canada, Wirkkula was a first-generation college student. She loved literature, but her practical-minded parents

wanted a significant change. She reached out again to her network — the one that helped her move from the UMinn athletic department to the alumni association, from the alumni association to the provost’s office, and so on — and found a position with a Manhattan consulting firm that specialized in higher education and cultural nonprofits. During a project for the State University of New York system, Wirkkula interviewed Jones, and they began a conversation that would lead her to Albany. “I like to be in the background,” says Wirkkula, “but I want and need to work for leaders who have vision and integrity. … I heard [Jones] articulate a vision” for UAlbany. “I needed someone who could come in and immediately see the challenges and well as the opportunities,” says Jones. “I needed someone who could hit the ground running and was tough but fair. That was Leanne.” What Wirkkula found when she arrived, she says, was a university still recovering from being unsettled after having had five leaders of varying titles — officer in charge, acting president, interim president, president — in the decade before Jones arrived in January 2013. “There are great people here who want to be motivated, but it was almost as if they were afraid to be hopeful after the repetitive turnover in leadership,” Wirkkula says. “I firmly believe [UAlbany] should be the crown jewel of the SUNY system. It can be. Everything is either already here to achieve that, or it’s being planned — it’s part of the rich vision for our academic enterprise,” she says. “I want to be here for that.”  W 

Leanne Wirkkula’s career path: 1988 B.A., journalism, University of Minnesota 1988-90 Account executive, Minnesota Timberwolves NBA team

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1990-94 Marketing director, men’s athletics, University of Minnesota 1994-95 Program director, Alumni Association, University of Minnesota 1995-99 Program advisor and coordinator, College of Education, University of Minnesota 1999-2006 Assistant to the provost, University of Minnesota 2006-12 Assistant dean, School of Management, University of Minnesota 2012-14 Director of finance and operations, AKA Strategy, New York City 2014-present Chief of staff to the president of the University at Albany

photography by Joann Hoose

didn’t understand the purpose of majoring in English if she didn’t want to be a teacher. Thus her degree in journalism. “It was such a great foundation for most of what I later did, up to what I’m doing now. It gave me a basic understanding of marketing, PR, strategy, communications,” says Wirkkula. As Jones’ chief of staff, she’s responsible for running his office and helping him realize his vision for the university’s development, and she also handles a portfolio of responsibilities of her own. The university communications and marketing teams report to her, for instance, and she supervises governmental relations as well. “I don’t have an agenda of my own; my agenda is to advance the president’s agenda, to achieve the mission,” Wirkkula says. “She has a deep understanding about issues in contemporary higher education, … she’s decisive and she has good instincts about critical decisions and crisis management,” says Jones. He and Wirkkula were both at the University of Minnesota for decades — Jones for more than 34 years, she for more than 25, as student and employee — and were familiar with one another from her years in the provost’s office. But they hadn’t worked together extensively, and her route to UAlbany went via New York City. In 2012, after seven years as the assistant to UMinn’s provost and the following six as assistant dean of the university’s business school, Wirkkula was restless. “I was ready for a move,” she says. “I don’t call it a midlife crisis; I call it a midlife exploration.” Her daughter, Mariah, was a senior in college, majoring in broadcast journalism, and Wirkkula, who is single,

Negotiate Your Salary

Like a Pro Tips to get paid what you deserve By Penelope Trunk


he job market may be tight, but you should still negotiate your salary. Yes, there are probably other qualified applicants for any job you’re interviewing for. But at the point you’re in a salary negotiation, you already know that a hiring manager has chosen you over an impossibly gigantic group of candidates. Here are a few strategies that can improve both your salary and your career prospects. There are two ways to look at salary negotiation: short-term and long-term. While most people focus on the shortterm (“How much should I ask for?”), I want to start with long-term, because this is where most people make mistakes.

Long-Term: Make Big Jumps Your salary tops out at age 40. This is true for everyone except the tiny percentage of people who are climbing a ladder to the very top, or people who are exceptionally lucky. That’s probably not you, statistically, even if it’s your goal, so it’s a safe bet, for your own planning, to figure that you will reach your maximum salary at age 40. This means that you want to plan very carefully for the window that starts in your late 20s, when you finally figure out what you want to do with yourself, and 20 | women@work

ends when you are 40 (for most women, this is also the time when you have kids). Planning for that window means thinking of salary negotiation in terms of things that create big jumps in salary, rather than small percentage points or a couple of thousand dollars here or there. You cannot nickel and dime your way to your maximum. You have to leap there. There are three basic ways to get a big jump in salary: 1. GET A MENTOR.

Mentors have an enormous impact on your salary trajectory. In fact, probably they matter more to your career than the

company you work for. First you need to find a mentor, and then you need to persuade the mentor to stay. Among other things, when the time comes, they can use their experience to tell you how much to ask for in a salary negotiation. 2. GET A BETTER TITLE.

The jobs you get are only as good as your resume. A title is going to be on your resume for the next five to 10 years. At least. Your salary never shows up on a resume at all. Your title and achievements, those are visible on a resume, so focus on the title when you negotiate. Make more of a long-term impact on

Research salary data for your industry and job title. Don’t let there be any surprises!

Illustrations: GettyImages. Reaching for money, Meriel Jane Waissman; Dollar in hand, blankaboskov.

your career by negotiating for a title that will make your resume show a pattern of increasing responsibility. Another option is a title that will enable you to have big impact in your organizations, which translates to bullets on your resume. Either way, you need to think in terms of visible gains. The better you are at writing your own resume, the better you will be at negotiating for what you need at each inflection point in your career. Learn to write a resume like a professional resume writer — it’ll save you a lot of wasted job hunt energy. Also, learn essential rules of resume writing and don’t break them. This is the type of knowledge that should create a foundation for your salary negotiation strategies. 3. CHANGE DEPARTMENTS OR AREA OF SPECIALTY.

Some types of jobs are good for making a lot of money and some aren’t. As a rule, if you are making a profit for the company you are likely to also make more money for yourself. For example, human resources has no profit and loss responsibility, so you will always be very limited in your earning power in HR. If you are a cost center to the company you are going to be paid less than if you create revenue for the company. Being the best person in the cost center doesn’t do you any good unless you leverage that standing to move to a different department, one with profit value for the company. Take a pay cut to do this, because in the long run it will create a better salary trajectory for you.

Short-Term: Do Your Homework Long-term strategy doesn’t mean you take whatever insulting sum you’re offered in a salary negotiation. For one thing, your long-term success depends in part on whether people at your company respect you, and they won’t if you act like you don’t know how to handle your business.

So when you’re asked, “What are your salary requirements?” it really pays to be prepared. Here are three tips: 1. DON’T EVER GIVE THE FIRST NUMBER.

The person hiring you has a range they can pay for the job. They want to know how much you want in order to see if they can offer you the low end of the range. If they tell you their range, you’ll ask for the high end. If you tell them your number, they’ll tell you they can pay a little bit below that. This is why you never benefit from telling the number first. 2. KNOW THE STATISTICS AROUND THE SALARY FOR YOUR JOB.

You want to minimize surprises in a salary negotiation. Salary data is available for both the employee and the employer. So there should be little discrepancy as to what everyone thinks the given position is worth. You can go online at PayScale and search a job by size of company, location, type of company, title and your years of experience. That’s pretty specific. But in general, you will need to have a few tricks up your sleeve for using the data. For instance, the pay is often linked to the title, so you might be able to negotiate the title to one that typically receives more pay. That serves both your longterm and short-term goals. Or you might be able to make the case that you have skills that warrant being paid additional salary because you will be doing work outside the scope of the title. Fortunately, you will be in a good position to speak to this idea since you are more likely than the hiring manager to have an understanding of the realm outside the job description. 3. UNDERSTAND NEGOTIATIONS FROM THE OTHER PERSPECTIVE.

The best negotiators only present plans

that will make everyone happy. I learned this when my husband and I got negotiation training in couples therapy. The key part of good negotiating is to understand the other person’s perspective so clearly that you are able to think of solutions for their problems that they themselves did not consider. In this case you need to understand the constraints the hiring manager faces. How much leeway is there for making a new title? For changing the level of the position? For increasing base pay? Each company has different constraints and each person you negotiate with has a different relationship with the person who holds the purse strings. You will do best at negotiating if you understand the other person’s position and you help come up with a solution that meets everyone’s needs. The message here is that the best salary negotiators always give it a try — asking for more never hurts. But being prepared is very important. Think through your rationale for getting more of what you want, but also prepare to describe how what you want will help the person you are negotiating with. In salary negotiation, you have the power to make everyone feel good about the resolution.  W  To learn more career advice from Penelope Trunk, visit her website at Article available through | 21


Designing Woman

By Cari Scribner  |  Photos by Lori Van Buren


ome people have business acumen. Others are known for their artistic flair. It’s the rare person who has both. Drue Sanders, owners of Drue Sanders Jewelers, is one of the few. From her formal yet comfortable office in a room behind the showcases of stunning jewelry, with her beautiful, well-behaved Great Dane, Slater, by her side, Sanders reflects on the journey that’s brought her to her 42nd year of her business. Born and raised in Albany, Sanders 22 | women@work

was encouraged to attend law school by her parents. “My passion has always been my art, but my father worried it wouldn’t support me,” Sanders says. “He didn’t want to see me starve.” Nonetheless, Sanders earned her BA in Studio Art and English from the State University at Albany, apprenticing with a silversmith in Hyannis, Massachusetts. During her graduate work, studying Metal Sculpture to Wear, Sanders split her time between Albany and Hyannis. “I lived in a tent in Truro,” Sanders says, laughing. “I lived in a tent in winter. I was that determined.”

Jeweler Drue Sanders on her rise to the top

 Amber Liegot, Jeweler, attaches studs to the inside of a ring so it doesn’t spin on a customer’s finger.

Sanders opened her first store in 1973 in Provincetown on the Whaler’s Warf. Two years later, she returned to the Capital Region, hiring another staff member for her store in Menands. In the span of two years, Sanders expanded three times, then relocated to the Clifton Country Mall in 1977. Her next move was to Stuyvesant Plaza, which was undergoing a Renaissance in the mid-1980s. In 1995, Sanders relocated her store and design studio to Western Avenue, where she now owns the building. Along the way, Sanders studied computers and took MBA courses. She was president of the Clifton Country Merchants Association from 1979-1983; president of the Stuyvesant Plaza Merchants’ Association from 1989-1993; and served on the board of directors for the Millay Colony of Arts from 1995-2001. In 2010, Sanders was asked to be part of The Women Presidents’ Organization, a prestigious group of women business

Drue Sanders’ 10 Tips for Success:  1 Believe in yourself and picture what your success looks like.  2 Treat others as you wish to be treated. This will lead to employee and customer loyalty.  3 Think before you speak. The given word is very powerful and has lasting ramifications.  4 Absolutely love what you do, if you do it’s never “work.”  5 Strive to do your best; then you will be the best.  6 Keep learning, reading and growing.  7 Hire and surround yourself with positive people.  8 Lead by example.  9 Share your success by giving back to your community. 10 Listen. | 23

Drue and a customer, Ann Mataraso of Guilderland

owners or presidents of organizations doing over $1,000,000 in sales. In 2010 she became a member of Professional Women’s Network. “It’s very difficult to make a business out of art,” Sanders says. “You have to stay on top of everything, from the price of gold and profit margins to your staff.” Sanders glows as she discusses her jewelry designing, which is done on sketchpads and using 3-D CAD. “I love working with inherited pieces that aren’t really working for the new owner,” Sanders says. “They want beauty and functionality. I get to take them apart and put them back together.” Sanders gains inspiration in her travels, studying European art, architecture and sculpture. She stays fit and trim by bicycling on 15-mile or longer trails in fair weather and downhill skiing in winter. She is also caffeine-free. “I’m the kind of person who jumps 24 | women@work

up early in the mornings and says, ‘let’s go,’” Sanders says. Sanders lives fewer than 10 minutes from her shop. “This business is my baby,” she says. “I’m the manager, designer, new product developer. But my job is never a chore.” Throughout her career, Sanders has received dozens of awards and has been commissioned to design pieces for some of the area’s most prominent places and events. In 1998, Gov. George Pataki asked Sanders to make a sculpture honoring the opening of the new Albany International Airport. In 2000, Sanders designed the president’s medal for her alma mater, SUNY Albany. In 2006, after being elected to the board of directors for The Park Playhouse, Sanders created a lapel pin based on their logo, with 50 percent of proceeds funneled back to the theater. Sanders is also a staunch supporter of organizations assisting people with

disabilities and the homeless. In 2011, she became secretary of the board at Living Resources and board member to The Bethany Hospitality Center of Troy, where she chairs the fundraising committee. In 2012, Sanders was elected to serve on The Foundation Board of St. Anne’s Institute. That same year, she received The Bishop Hubbard Award for her charitable work and support of people with disabilities. Sanders brightens visibly when a regular customer comes through her doors on a recent workday. He shows her a silver necklace, tarnished by hard water, voicing that perhaps he needed to replace it. “Let’s see what we can do,” Sanders says soothingly. “We can take care of this for you.” “I absolutely love what I do,” Sanders says after helping the customer. “My friends ask me when I’ll retire and I say ‘never.’ I make people’s dreams come true.”  W 




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The Right to

Healthcare Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood celebrates 80 years of choice By Laurie Lynn Fischer

Photo courtesy of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.


bankrupt storekeeper’s wife who had 10 miscarriages, 10 induced abortions, a baby who died at birth and three surviving children. A farm wife with eight children who suffered severe toxemia during her last three pregnancies. A 29-year-old mother whose husband was treated for syphilis. During the 1930s, these were typical patients for Frances Vosburgh, a physician recruited by the newly formed Albany Birth Control Committee, according to three-time Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood board chairwoman Mary Kahl, author of Controversy and Courage: Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood from 1934 to 2004. “A dozen or so well-to-do people who felt they had significant backing from the Jewish and Protestant churches” founded the group to help “desperately poor married women who were physically, mentally and emotionally overwhelmed by multiple pregnancies and had neither the financial nor the physical strength to support these families,” says Kahl. The charity took the name Planned Parenthood and became an affiliate of the national organization in 1947, she says. Staffed initially by volunteers, its clinics professionalized in the 1960s, when the first contraceptive pill hit the market and the feminist movement flowered, Kahl

says. “Women from all levels of society and all walks of life were looking for reliable contraception,” she says. In the 1970s, New York State legalized abortion. “Picketing in Albany and Troy was fierce for years,” Kahl says. “They broke windows and surrounded the building, physically blocking people from entering. They would come right up and shove pictures of aborted fetuses at them and take pictures of them and their license plates. They’d wear sandwich boards telling everybody what kind of Hell and damnation they’d go to for aiding and abetting Planned Parenthood.”

Today, UHPP serves 10,000 people per year in Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties. The Troy and Hudson clinics still are picketed regularly, but the Albany headquarters is more secure because it’s set back from Central Avenue on private property, says President and CEO Chelly (Michelle) Hegan. “The weirdest thing about coming to work for Planned Parenthood is how many people say, ‘Planned Parenthood saved my life,’ “ Hegan says. “Total strangers, when they find out where I work, will say how important it is.” continued on page 28 | 27

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT continued from page 27

We asked CEO Chelly Hegan a few questions. Q: Are you ever scared? Rarely. I worry more about the political side of what they’re trying to do to us and how they try to shame our patients just for seeking basic health care. Q. What does reproductive healthcare encompass? We provide safe, caring, non-judgmental services for women and men — everything from breast, ovarian and cervical cancer screenings to finding the best method of contraceptive for you so that you can delay having children until you’re ready. Sexually transmitted infections are rampant in this country. The majority of men who come to seek care here want to have a check-up and make sure everything’s OK.” Q. Do you encounter rape victims? We see people in all sorts of situations. We do a tremendous amount of work in educational programs around healthy relationships. The Albany County Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center does domestic violence training for our staff every year.

28 | women@work

We see people at all income levels. However the majority of our patients come from at or below the poverty level. There are still plenty of people who need low cost access to care, either because they are uninsured or because they can’t afford their deductibles. We have a sliding fee scale. Q. What misconceptions do people have about Planned Parenthood? That all we do is abortion. Less than 10 percent of what we do is abortion care. Some people think of our health centers as grimy, low-cost public clinics. Actually, we run beautiful health centers. I also think there’s a misconception that no one who works for Planned Parenthood is religious. There are plenty of very spiritual churchgoing folk who work here. There are plenty of churches and clergy who support what we do and who we are. Q. Where do you see Planned Parenthood heading in the future? What we’re working toward right now is making sure that we have a longterm sustainable future. Healthcare is changing so rapidly, it’s impossible to know exactly what it’s going to look like. I would hope that in the future, we’re not politicized as we are right now, that reproductive healthcare is just seen as the part of the continuum of care for people.”

Photos at left, Collleen Ingerto; Services photos at right courtesy of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood; Chelly Hegan, Colleen Ingerto.

Q. Do you tend to work with low-income clients?

Get involved You can help Planned Parenthood by: BEING OUTSPOKEN. “It’s important to speak up in support of what we do and who we are because the media and the people working against us have done such a good job of making their position seem more popular than it is,” says Hegan. VOTING. “Cast your ballot for pro-choice candidates and candidates who will support

continued access for reproductive healthcare,” says Hegan. VOLUNTEERING. “We always need people to work in community outreach and help in our fundraising efforts, our education efforts and our health centers,” Hegan says. DONATING. Do it at or mail a check, payable to UHPP to: UHPP, 855 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206. For more information, please call (518) 434-5678.

The Download on

Chelly Hegan AGE: 47 HOMETOWN: Liverpool, NY BEST DECISION: To marry my husband. We decided to get married within about 6 weeks of meeting and eloped about eight months later.

Some of the services that UHPP provides include counseling, health screenings and, of course,contraception.

SURPRISING FACT: In college, I played spoons in a band called the Country Bobs. There were three guys named Bob and me.

EDUCATION: BA in art and sociology from Hartwick College; Masters in art and fine arts from SUNY Albany. GUILTY PLEASURE: Vampire novels and bingewatching bad TV online. HOME LIFE: Husband, 17-year-old daughter, 2 dogs, a cat and 4 chickens. FIRST JOB: Tour guide at the Salt Museum in Liverpool, NY TOUGHEST JOB: This one. | 29

Planning Ahead

By Kristi Barlette


hh, retirement, a time when the weekends and weekdays blend together and alarms are as necessary as high heels and makeup. These days, the average age Americans retire at is 61, according to Gallup’s most-recent Economy and Personal Finance survey. But before you can hit the golf course at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday or go for a week-long spa retreat with your girlfriends and really savor your retired years, you need to plan, and that planning should start early. “Retirement planning should start with 30 | women@work

your very first job,” says Kathleen Godfrey, president of Godfrey Financial in Colonie. “Join your company retirement plan — even if they don’t offer a match.” And if they don’t offer a retirement plan, open a Roth IRA and fully fund it. Every year. You can contribute $5,500 per year, Godfrey says. “Make it a priority. Invest in stocks,” she says. Just as it’s never too early to start investing in your retirement, saying “it’s too late to start” is also never a valid excuse. Even if you’re approaching 50

and have yet to plan beyond Social Security and — if you’re lucky — a pension, experts suggest you don’t get too anxious — as long as you take some kind of action. Using the tips of Godfrey and Salvatore T. Valente, president/C.E.O. with The Valente Group in Johnstown, you can start building that nest egg no matter what your age.

Art: GettyImages. Lit candles, Image Source; Small candles, wmiran.

Create the retirement that you want by saving NOW!

need to retire, and that will take money.


• Don’t put your retirement in jeopardy by taking on excessive debt for college for your children. Get professional advice to see what you can afford to pay.


• Contribute at least 5 percent of your salary (or more); every time you get a promotion, increase your contribution by that percentage.

• Contribute the maximum annual amount to your employer’s retirement plan. Every year. No excuses.

• Invest in stocks. You can afford to take more investment risk at this age.

• Start adding bonds to your mix. Diversification is important.

• Don’t focus too much on paying off student loans as the money you save now can really put the power of compounding interest and the Rule of 72 (see note at end) to work for you. By all means pay your loans, but don’t try to pay them down too aggressively and limit your ability to put away for retirement.

• Starting at age 50, you can contribute more to your retirement savings plan(s). It’s called “catch-up.” So, start catching up. Now.

• Live below your means.


• Add bonds or bond funds to your investment mix. Keep adding to your Roth IRA. • Begin planning your legacy: write (or update) your will and other estate planning documents. If you haven’t already, consider long-term care insurance. You’re going to need some sort of plan for long-term health care.


• If you haven’t started saving for retirement, get started. Right now.


• Live within your means and don’t look at retirement savings as a way to buy a bigger house than you can afford on your salary(ies). It is important to leave retirement savings for retirement. At this stage, the temptation can be the greatest to dip in to your retirement nest egg. • Be careful of debt. It’s a bad habit to start and a harder one to break. Get one credit card. Just one. Pay off the balance every month. Be mindful of your credit score; a higher score means you’ll qualify for lower interest rates on mortgages, auto loans, etc. • If anyone depends on your income (spouse and/ or children), don’t skimp on life insurance.


• Save, save, save and make the final push for your retirement goal. Remember this: You can still afford to take some volatility and risk as you won’t be depleting your entire nest egg the first year you retire. Many pre-retirees think they need to put their money in the mattress, at this point, and forget if you retire at age 65 for instance, you will probably need 20+ years of retirement income. Let the equity markets and compound interest work for you.



• Hopefully, you’ve been doing everything listed above for a long time now.



• Sometime in your 60s you’ll begin reversing the process. This is the time to get professional help. Retirement plan withdrawals have tax consequences, so proper planning is crucial.



• Walk the fine line between helping children with their education, but remember you

• Re-think your personal legacy and update your estate documents. • Don’t go through your money too quickly. Again, you will likely need your money for 20+ years. You will probably spend the most

money in the first 10 years of your retirement. • Enjoy your retirement, but be realistic. The early 50s on through retirement are hyper critical to getting comprehensive financial advice on things such as when to take Social Security, which accounts to tap first for retirement (taxable, non taxable, tax deferred), whether or not to take a part time job, health insurance needs in retirement, etc. At this point flexibility is a big plus as a big plunge in the market can suddenly leave a big gap in retirement income. W NOTE: The ‘Rule of 72’ is a simple way to figure out how long an investment will take to double, given a fixed annual rate of interest. By dividing 72 by the annual rate of return, investors can get a rough estimate of how many years it will take for the initial investment to duplicate itself. Under the rule, $1 invested at 10% would take roughly 7.2 years ((72/10) = 7.2) to turn into $2.

What Every Woman Should Know


Women live longer as a rule, so they need to save more for a longer retirement.


Many women spend fewer years in the workforce and in many cases earn less than men even for the same job, which contributes to lower pension and Social Security benefits.


Lower pension and Social Security benefits mean many women may need to invest more aggressively and begin contributing to their retirement savings as early as possible.


Since females tend to outlive males, they should be actively involved in the retirement/ financial plan for the family to ensure joint assets will not be wiped out should their spouse incur significant medical expenses, leaving them with little to live on. ­— Source: Salvatore T. Valente, president/C.E.O. with The Valente Group in Johnstown. | 31

You can be your own boss — with the right business plan in place.

From Fulltime to Freelance


our out of five non-freelancers say they would be willing to do paid freelance work, and 36 percent of moonlighters say they would like to quit and freelance full time, according to a new study by the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, a platform that connects freelancers and employers. These stats may not be surprising considering the benefits of freelancing, such as a flexible schedule, which 42 percent of freelancers said was one reason they chose this lifestyle (the second-highest reason after earning more money). Who wouldn’t want to 32 | women@work

By Laura Shin

be able to take a mid-day nap if that’s what you need? But freelancing may not provide a stable income and work may be hard to find — problems experienced by half the freelancers in the study. If you’re a full-timer itching to freelance but held back by financial fears, here are tips to successfully making the leap.

Before You Quit: The Financial Prep Going from full-time to freelance is really about launching a business. Even

if you think you’re going to be teaching yoga or coding mobile apps or designing websites, first and foremost, you’ll be running a business. This is a really important point. If you don’t adopt a business mindset, you may end up worrying so much about your finances that you don’t even have the mental space to focus on your yoga teaching or coding or designing. Setting up systems in place to keep the business going will free up time and energy for you to focus on your actual work. With that in mind, here’s what you need to get in place for your big launch.

Photo: StockLib/GettyImages.

How to make the leap

1. Get your basic finances in order.

This means you should have: ❏ Emergency savings, most likely six months’ worth of essential expenses like housing, transportation, groceries and insurance since, in an actual emergency, you probably wouldn’t be spending money on things like shopping or dining out ❏ A retirement plan with accounts and contributions in place, even if you pause the contributions during the transition ❏ Disability insurance (you can get a policy giving you greater coverage now while you’re full-time; check out professional associations to see if they offer better rates than you can get on an individual plan) ❏ A plan for covering your health insurance once you quit whether that’s buying COBRA, signing up on a health exchange or getting on your spouse’s plan 2. Redo your budget.

❏ If you’re single, you may need “startup savings,” which is the money you’ll live on during the first few months, says Mary Beth Storjohann, a certified financial planner and CEO of Workable Wealth. And your startup savings is not the same as your emergency fund — it’s in addition to. If you can line up regular gigs before you quit, you may not need the startup savings. (I didn’t have startup savings but used a combo of steady gigs and cutting my expenses by moving to another country temporarily to manage the transition.) ❏ If you’re part of a dual income household, talk with your partner to “make sure you can cover the expenses with the other income coming in, and meet the need and wants for your lifestyle — or what sacrifices you’re willing to make,” says Storjohann. ❏ To calculate how much startup savings you need, first figure out how you can bring money in during those starting months and how much it will be. Could

you cut down your hours at your current job so you retain some percentage of your salary while you build up clients? Can you start freelancing now during your spare time so that when you quit, you already have a few clients? Be conservative in your projections. ❏ Then, take your monthly budget and subtract your projected income in those months to see what your monthly shortfall will be. Multiply that by the number of months you think it will take you to begin earning your normal income, and that’s the amount you need in your startup savings. ❏ If that number seems daunting, trim your expenses and then redo the calculation. “When I made the jump, I knew I needed $10,000 and then we made a conscious decision to reduce our lifestyle,” says Storjohann.

Before You Quit: The Non-Financial Prep Since you’re launching a new venture, it’s important to get the word out so that business will be good from day 1. Here’s how: 1. Create a business website or online portfolio, and flesh out your LinkedIn profile.

Set up a webpage, portfolio and LinkedIn profile to make it easy for people to find you. You can also create a profile of your experience with a portfolio on Odesk, Elance or on the websites of professional associations in your field that have databases of freelancers. (For instance, freelance journalists can post a profile at the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Mediabistro and more.) 2. Spread the word.

Tell people you’re setting out on your own, or that you’re available for freelance work. And also, be open to new opportunities — whether you find them at traditional networking events or through your family and friends, your alumni networks

or former colleagues. The people who know you will be your best advocates. 3. Start moonlighting.

Many full-time freelancers began freelancing while they were still employed. (It’s how I got started.) As the work builds and clients recommend you, your freelance work just may get busy enough that you have enough confidence to strike out on your own. “Eventually [moonlighters] reach a tipping point where they would be more fulfilled and make more money by full-time freelancing. We’ve seen a lot of people start freelancing a few hours a week and then over a period of time, be able to switch to full-time freelancing,” says Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance-oDesk. 4. See if you can get your employer’s support.

Some enviable workers are able to talk their current employers into hiring them as freelancers. But judge your current situation and your relationship with your boss before aiming for this setup. “If you walk in and say to your boss you want to start a freelance career and you think there’s a chance they’ll fire you for that, then don’t do that,” says Horowitz. “Instead, engage in a conversation about how the work could be done with you taking a piece of it as a freelancer. Is it a project? A significant part-time thing? Do you want to take the responsibility for something and hire subcontracted freelancers?” If you think they’d be game, try to work out a plan together.

Once You’ve Made The Leap: Your Finances Remember, once you start freelancing full-time, you become a business person. Here’s how to keep your books straight. 1. Set up business bank accounts.

As you’ll quickly discover, taxes are a pain when you’re a freelancer. There are a few ways you can make them easier | 33


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Regularly devote time to marketing your services, which includes updating your online portfolio and website.

2. Set up a system for your taxes.

Be sure to get a good accountant, one who specializes in freelancers, and talk with her/him right away to find out what counts as a business expense and what receipts you need to keep. Then, sign up with a service like FreshBooks or Wave to stay organized.

Photo: Odilon Dimier/GettyImages.

3. If you’re not earning money, be wary of debt.

for yourself, such as having a separate savings, checking and credit card solely for business expenses. “That’s for ease of tracking, tax purposes and that’ll make your life a lot easier to not be commingling funds,” says Storjohann. (I haven’t done this so far but likely will set up a separate checking account; however, I’ll stick with my current credit card, to rack up the most points on it.) Having separate business and personal accounts isn’t 100 percent necessary, but not having them might make your taxes more difficult, and you could lose out on deductions. For instance, says Storjohann, “if you’re traveling, and you go out for meals, those are business expenses if you’re talking about business or with a potential client. They’re not fully deductible but half deductible.” If you do have business and personal checking accounts, all your freelance checks go into your business account, and then you can transfer money to your personal checking account to create a “paycheck” for yourself. Use your business savings account to save for big business expenses like a computer or attending an expensive conference or upgrading your website, etc.

“Based on calls I’ve done with other entrepreneurs, a lot of them have no problem going into debt with their business,” says Storjohann. “But be cautious — if taking on debt is part of your plan, then what’s your plan for paying it off?” A lot of entrepreneurs and freelancers find materials or coaches online promising to help them grow their business — but a lot of these services cost money, so beware.

Once You’ve Made The Leap: Everything Else When you start freelancing, “you’re shifting from being an employee, which is really about landing the job and then being told what to do and doing it really well to building your own brand and building your own business of one and thinking like a business owner,” says Rosati. Here’s how to build your brand: 1. Market your services.

Just as you did before you quit, make sure to regularly devote time to marketing your services, which includes updating your online portfolio and website. Your online presence is a form of reputation, and keeping it fresh means that when people in your network forward it to others, you’ll be putting your best foot forward for every potential client. 2. Kick butt on every job.

Whenever you get a new client, do the best job you can for them to ensure their repeat business — and referrals. “Recog-

nize you’re now in the service business and deliver your services as efficiently as you can to delight those customers, and by delighting those customers, they’ll introduce you to other customers and keep you busy,” says Rosati. 3. Constantly analyze your productivity and figure out ways to improve.

Analyze how you spend your time and see how you can cut inefficiencies or spend less time doing low-paying work and more time doing well-paid work. 4. Find support networks.

“What we see time and time again is if you stay isolated or just see yourself as an individual, you really will not thrive,” says Horowitz. Find a coworking space or participate in online communities for other freelancers in your field. You may not see it yet, but these networks will get you through the dry spells. Your connections will help drum up more work for you, and when your cup runneth over, you’ll have good people to refer your clients to. Storjohann has found a good network with a few “mastermind” groups of entrepreneurs with similar interests and goals to discuss what they’re working on, get advice on dealing with problems and challenge each other to get to the next level. As I discuss here, I’ve found several good groups of freelance journalists that I connect with online, through Skype and in person to help me think through issues. But I also find myself giving help in addition to getting it — and Horowitz says this is exactly why your networks will be key in your career. “You have to be able to give and to get,” says Horowitz. “Karma really does work.”  W  Laura Shin contributes to and SmartPlanet, among other publications. Her most recent ebook is The Millennial Game Plan: Career And Money Secrets To Succeed In Today’s World. Article available through | 35

Poly Your Glot I

t’s a common New Year’s resolution: learn a new language. And this year, we say stick this one out. Aside from just being generally good for the brain, learning another language can be beneficial for your career. As the economy continues to globalize, you’re increasingly likely to run into someone who’s not a native English-speaker. Plus, opportunities abound if you’re able to expand your market and pick up clients in different countries. You become more marketable, overall, and U.S. News reports that fluency in a second language can lead to a 10 to 15 percent increase in your pay. 36 | women@work

Rose Miller, of Pinnacle Human Resources, says many of her clients request a bilingual agent. Global Foundries, for instance, is a big recruiter in Germany, so people with fluency in German and English are highly sought after. And of course Spanish-speakers are an asset in every industry in the country. In the Capital Region, about 12 percent of the population comprises non-Englishspeakers, an increase from 10 percent in 1990. (New York State overall jumped from 21 percent in 1990 to almost 30 percent in 2014.) “I think any of the places or industries

By Brianna Snyder

that service the public are going to find a big advantage to having bilingual employees,” Miller says. “You see it in hospitality, supermarkets, banks. If you’re bilingual, you have an edge.” And while studies have shown the best time to learn a language is when you’re very young, Kimberly Andersen, founder of the Capital Region Language Center, says it’s fine if you don’t have any background in another language. She adds that adult students who did take language classes in school often find a lot of what they learned stuck after all. It’s just a matter of resurfacing it. So pick-

Art: GettyImages. Chalkboard, btrenkel; flags, Booka1.

Learning a second (or third or fourth) language increases your marketability

ing up another language later in life “is definitely something people are capable of doing,” Andersen says. The Capital Region Language Center offers multiple classes in several different languages, including French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Italian and German. “We always have Chinese classes running,” Andersen says. “We often see people wanting to learn Chinese because of work.” But any language is suited to the global marketplace, she says. “As [students’] language skills become more refined, they realize suddenly you can use your second language in almost any line of work.” Deb Best, founder of Deb Best Practices, is an expert in business, management and human resources. She says knowing another language is invaluable. “Being multilingual is a vocation,” Best says. And, in fact, when Best has done recruiting internationally, the requirement has been that new hires speak English fluently. (Several other countries teach English in schools along with their native languages, which is just one more edge much of the world has on the U.S.) Best says being bilingual “is really a benefit, not only to the individual but also the company,” especially in IT and sales. “Every place is just a plane ticket away,” says Andersen. “Everything is just one second away. Think of how you can help somebody, whether you’re a retail associate or an attorney or anybody. Just being able to cater to someone in their first language really makes a difference in the relationship.”  W

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Finding the Time You’re busy. And learning a language — and learning it well! — is tough. Universities and places such as the Capital Region Language Center offer courses, but they might be too much of a commitment. Sure, you can get tapes from the library or drop $600 on Rosetta Stone, but Andersen says the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Go to a market, a restaurant, or a festival where the language is being spoken. Pick up books in different languages and read them. Watch foreign-language movies and TV. Every little bit helps. Andersen says some people spend years learning a new language — and it takes years to really become fluent. So keep your eye on the prize.


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ou paid the price, did the homework, got the degree and now you have a job. You’re done with school, right? Wrong. In today’s marketplace, continuing education is important for both finding and building a career. “I spent 25 years in real estate development, and when annual review time came, if the employee hadn’t attended a seminar or done something along that line, we didn’t think he or she was an A+ employee,” says Michael Tucker, the president and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth. Tucker says continuing education — a class, seminar or workshop that refreshes or furthers your knowledge — is valuable not only for how it may improve your job-related skills. It also shows you have an inquisitive mind. “We are the sum total of our experi38 | women@work


[W]hen annual review time came, if the employee hadn’t attended a seminar or done something along that line, we didn’t think he or she was an A+ employee.

By Leigh Hornbeck

ences, but anything we learn, directly or tangential to our jobs becomes part of who we are,” he says. Continuing education has three components. For many careers, it is a requirement. Doctors and nutritionists must keep their licenses current with several hundred hours of education each year, as do lawyers. In other professions, employees must renew certifications every year, to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, for example. The third component of continuing education is the “just for fun” end of the spectrum — learning Spanish at night through a class organized at your local school district, for instance. Caelynn Prylo, director of continuing education at SUNY Adirondack, says she fields requests from individuals and from

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If you can fit one class into your schedule, make it about statistics, says Laura Schweitzer, president of the Union Graduate College. “Everybody is talking about data, no matter what sector you’re in,” Schweitzer says. “If you’re resume building, learning how to find data, how to interpret data and how to act on it is worthwhile.”

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Continuing education has a continuum, Schweitzer says. Medical professionals need it most so they are up to date on the current best practices in their fields. Anyone in the technology field also needs workforce education. Careers with less change, less innovation are at the other end of the spectrum, Schweitzer says — a history professor, for example. But even someone who deals in facts centuries old can benefit from refreshers on research methodology, or how new technology might affect how historical documents are interpreted, Schweitzer says.


“I’m a believer in lifelong learning and intellectual stimulation,” she says. If you’re feeling stagnant, Schweitzer suggests the first step is to attend a professional conference within your discipline. While there, go to sessions you might not otherwise choose about topics that make you uncomfortable. If you find a subject you want to know more about, pursue it at a local college. Most colleges will allow you to take one or two classes as a nonmatriculated student, and try to make it easy for you to do so, Schweitzer says. “At the graduate college we allow people to take up to three so you can sample before you fully commit, and I highly recommend that.”

human resources managers on behalf of employees for specific classes. Often the requests are computer related because an engineer needs to learn the newest version of Revit or CAD software. Sometimes continuing education is necessary for a veteran employee who finds his job shifting under his feet because of changes in the industry. Computers often run factories now, Prylo says, meaning the employees have to learn how to manage the computer. Prylo says she is seeing a growing demand for classes in health-related fields as demand for care from the aging Baby Boom population grows. People in low wage jobs seek classes for specific needs so they can advance their careers, whether it’s learning how to be a health aide or how to care for dementia patients. Tucker suggests looking at the day away from the office as a “mental health day,” an opportunity to compare experiences with other people in your field and draw inspiration from them. Webinars suffice if there’s no opportunity to step outside the office, but Tucker recommends exchanging ideas in person. A class, seminar or workshop is also a chance to network for your next job. Leadership Saratoga, a program run by the Saratoga County Chamber, teaches professionals the skills they can use to take the lead in community issues. The program also maintains an alumni association that is at the disposal of Leadership graduates.  W

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Swimming Against the Tide

Paralympian turns tragedy into triumph


t was an injection that paralyzed Mallory Weggemann from the waist down. She walked into the hospital to receive her third — and final — shot to relieve postherpetic neuralgia back pain — and left in a wheelchair. She was 19. Four months later, Weggemann entered the pool for the first time. Four years later, she set 15 world records and 33 American records, and won gold and bronze medals at the 2012 London Paralympics. Clearly Weggemann is not a woman to 40 | women@work

let adversity get her down. Weggemann will be sharing her story this month as the keynote speaker for Women Against MS luncheon (see sidebar). While it might seem as if speaking in front of a crowd would be a fairly easy task compared to some of the other obstacles Weggemann has overcome, in fact she says learning to speak publically has been one of her biggest challenges. She blames her dad for getting her into motivational speaking. Her father’s com-

pany was looking for someone to speak, and her father offered Weggemann’s services without even asking her. “At the beginning it was terrifying. I’ve never enjoyed speaking,” she says. “It was nerve-wracking for me to speak in front of a classroom.” So no one was more surprised than Weggemann when she immediately fell in love with public speaking. Not only did telling her story help with her personal grieving about the accident but she also

Photos from The Factory Agency.

By Janet Reynolds

discovered inspiration from others’ stories. “I believe everything happens for a reason,” she says. “I realized that maybe by sharing my story that’s how I can show everything happens for a reason and make a difference, inspire others.” “It’s been a powerful thing for me and selfishly for my grieving process,” Weggemann adds, “but also for the people I’ve met and the stories I’ve been so fortunate to hear. I’m vulnerable when I speak so the audience feels they can be vulnerable with you. It’s an inspirational high. It’s so incredible to hear other people’s story.” While Weggemann does not have MS, she hopes to show those suffering from it that having a disability does not have to be seen as negative. “I try really hard to humanize the term disability. We all have disabilities,” she says. “Mine has been physical, but it can range from financial to familial to all these different things. Disability is something that can hold us back if we let it.” “I’m proud to have a disability at this point,” she adds. “They can be empowering but we have to find a way to make them empowering.”  W 

THE WOMEN AGAINST MS LUNCHEON sponsored by Women@Work magazine will be held Friday, Nov. 7, at the Wolferts Roost Country Club in Albany. WNYT NewsChannel 13 anchor Benita Zahn will emcee the event, and Paralympic swimmer Mallory Weggemann will speak. The WAMS Luncheon is a nationwide educational and fundraising event that helps to increase public awareness of multiple sclerosis and the National MS Society. For tickets and information, contact Katie Wells,, (518) 464-0850

You can find Mallory Weggemann at, on Twitter @malloryweggeman, and on Facebook.

Multiple Sclerosis Facts • Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. • Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. • The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. • Nearly 75 percent of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are women. | 41



Sometimes Being Right is Wrong


Good idea When to stand your ground and when to give in

By Brianna Snyder  |  Illustration by Emily Jahn


t can be frustrating and anxietyinducing to butt heads with someone at work. You want to stand your ground; you want to be strong. Nobody pushes you around. Plus, you know you’re right. But maybe being right isn’t as important as it seems. According to the Washington Business Journal, the typical manager spends 25-40 percent of his or her time dealing with workplace conflicts. That’s one to two days of every work week. And research shows that 60-80 percent of all difficulties in organizations stem from strained relationships between employees, not from deficits in an individual employee’s skills or motivation. It seems as if we’re wasting 42 | women@work

a lot of time disagreeing with one another. Chris Patrie, human resources director for Janitronics, a cleaning and facilities service based in Albany, says when you’re faced with conflict ask yourself, “What is the end goal? What’s really all that important? From there, it comes down to negotiating.” Say, for instance, you’re locking horns with a colleague over the color of a promotional brochure. Blue, you believe, is a cooler, more inviting color. Red, he insists, is bolder, stronger. So, who wins? The key is to keep in mind the big picture. What is your relationship with this person? What are his background and skills? Ann Reis, founder and president of Capital District Human Resource Professionals, says you need to constantly ask yourself “How important is this?” If it’s

not terribly important — and often it’s not — you gain a lot by giving in. “By giving somebody that latitude or that choice or giving them the control in the decision,” you build a stronger relationship with that colleague, she says. “You have to be willing to make those compromises for the sake of the whole team, the whole organization and maintaining relations with your customers.” At the root of these conflicts isn’t usually just a difference in sensibilities. Control and power also play a big factor. It’s a complicated and jumbly mess of psychological warfare based on egos, boundaries and territory, Reis says. “Control is a big issue,” she adds. “It has to do with [a person’s] sense of entitlement and the real or unofficial lines of power and authority that they have.

d a

NO There are all kinds of reasons for them to get up on their pedestal or even talk to you in a way that makes you feel subordinate to them, and they may not even be aware that they’re doing that.” It requires some mental and emotional agility to see things from the side of the person with whom you’ve locked horns. Why is this person so adamant? Why are you so adamant? Is this a personality conflict or is it something deeper? Giving in on your end might be one answer to the problem. Maybe you’re holding fast to blue because you’ve always known blue to be the go-to color. But maybe red holds some interesting possibilities. So why not try it? Having a sometimes-difficult conversation with yourself about your own strong feelings is sometimes enough to resolve a conflict with someone else. And sometimes it’s not, Reis says. Giving in isn’t always the answer. “Understand off the bat what’s important to this person,” she says. “What matters most to this person? And how can I work within that to, number one, show them that I understand them and, number two, help them understand me? It’s about creating a dialogue where people understand and hear each other.” The most important point, however, is to know thyself. “You have to know who you are, what you’re willing to give and what you’re not willing to give,” Patrie says. “Know your emotions, wants and needs. Know how to manage your emotions and keep those disruptive influences under control. Once you lose track of your emotion you lose track of the goal because you’re not thinking clearly.” Building healthy relationships with your colleagues is a longterm process, Reis stresses. That jerk with the ego bigger than the office building? It’s going to take a lot of work, patience and reflection to get to a place of understanding with him. But it’s not as impossible as it seems. Keep in mind the golden rule, Reis says. “Are you taking them into account? Are you honoring who they are? Are you treating them respectfully? A lot of people get caught up in the rush, rush, rush and the bottom line and they forget the people involved. If you forget them, the bottom line’s not going to happen.” So keep your mind open and your ego in check. “You don’t have to win,” Patrie says. And sometimes it’s better if you don’t.  W 

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MOMS@WORK Deb and her mom Shirley, home for the next 11 years together. Dig those Liz Taylor eyebrows! „

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby… By Deb Best

Historically speaking … I thought I remembered my mother telling me during the ‘60s and ‘70s that several months before giving birth to me in early 1961, her office mates threw her a baby shower before she was summarily fired from her secretarial job at CBS Radio in Manhattan because she was pregnant — not an atypical occurrence back then. Because it’s 40 years later, I called my mother a few months ago to confirm this memory. “Oh no, I resigned when I was 5 months pregnant with you,” she factchecked. I was confused. “Why would you resign. Did your manager make you resign because you were pregnant?” I asked “No,” my mother clarified. “He was very nice to me, always telling me to take it easy and rest.” “Then why did you resign? Was there a policy that said you had to resign when you were pregnant?” My mother continued to clarify. “I don’t know. I never heard about any policy. I lived in Queens, and it was getting too difficult physically to commute from Queens to Manhattan. So I quit.” Interesting. “And you didn’t return to work until Rob [my brother, who’s 5 years] was in school full-time, in 1972.” “Correct,” my mother confirmed. Factchecking complete. It sounded like personal preference; however, my parents — with one step into pink-collar and white collar jobs, respectively — were more recently and mostly blue-collar folks who had limited financial resources. So in all likelihood, my mother’s 44 | women@work

career hiatus made more financial sense than trying to procure and pay for child care, which was not widely available during my childhood.

Is she coming back from maternity leave? Fast-forward to the beginning of my HR career. I was in the plant GM’s office, and he asked me about one of our engineering managers, who had just left for maternity leave under the auspices of the Family Medical Leave Act. “Do you think she’ll come back?” he asked. I was puzzled. “Why wouldn’t she come back?” The GM smiled knowingly. “Women never come back from maternity leave; they want to stay home with the kids. Look at my wife, for example. She never went back to work.” “I’m pretty sure she’s coming back. She’s committed to her career,” I responded, using my best diplomatic HR tone. “My wife was committed to her career too, but she never went back to work,” the GM replied smugly. I put the cards on the table, still maintaining my best HR professional tone. “Believe me, I’ll bet you lunch she’s coming back after her maternity leave — she’s the majority wage-earner in her family. If her husband made the type of money that you earn, perhaps she would stay home. However, that’s not the case here.” The GM caught my drift. “Listen, I hope you’re right — I like her, she does a great job,” he replied. “Me, too,” I

agreed. And, by the way, the engineering manager did return to work.

Rocking that maternity leave! Nine years later, after six miscarriages, I was happily pregnant with our son Noah. I was one of only a few women directors in the history of my company; and the only woman director who had been pregnant at work. I had two weeks of sick time. Four months before my due date, I proposed a maternity leave work plan to my boss that allowed me to work from home for six weeks on a strategic project that our company needed completed, and that no one had time to work on. My boss accepted that proposal, for several reasons. I did a great job for him, and the company — I had the credibility. The project needed to be done. The majority of my HR employee-relations work for the company was already conducted by phone. My husband Joel worked from home, and was the designated stay-at-home parent. I didn’t miss a beat during my maternity leave, and received one of the biggest raises and bonuses of my career at the end of that fiscal year, the year Noah was born. I was lucky that I had the type of job that allowed me to put together a maternity leave work plan. I also made my

Deb Best, SPHR, is owner and principal of the consulting firm Deb Best Practices, providing outsourced human resources and corporate recruiting services. Deb and her husband Joel are the proud parents of Noah, age 13.

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own luck by creating a maternity leave work proposal at my company where none had existed before.

Walking the motherhood walk for mentees… A few years later, one of my more talented mentees gave birth to her first daughter. She lived almost an hour away. Her husband worked nearly two hours away from our office. Their future childcare provider was 10 minutes from their house. So I was not surprised when she called me when her daughter was three weeks old to tell me that the commute was not going to work with their daycare arrangement, and she needed to get an HR job closer to home. She was upset, as was I. However, she was also my mentee. “Thank you for giving me a heads up. I really do appreciate it,” I replied. “I have a proposal. Send me your CV, and I will forward it to every head of HR within a 15-mile radius of your house.

In the meantime, we’ll work together to hire your replacement.” Working together, we got her an unadvertised HR job five minutes from her house that was a promotion; we hired her talented replacement; and there was a week of overlap for training. A great win-win.

We now interrupt this meeting for a breastfeeding break… My first business meeting with my friend Chrissy earlier this year at her office included her daughter Addy-Kate, beaming from a wrap on her mother’s hip. It was clear to see why Miss Addy-Kate had earned the title of Chief Smile Officer at Chrissy’s workplace, Outspoken Media. Chrissy and I made fast work of our meeting agenda, and then Chrissy excused herself and Addy-Kate for a breast-feeding break in the company’s designated breast-feeding room, while I waited in their office, inspired and joyful.  W 

Deb Best shares writing the Moms@Work blog with Corey Jamison. Join Corey and Deb’s conversations at blog.timesunion.

com/momsatwork, and in the collective social media channels: Corey on Twitter: @CoreyJamisonLLC | Deb on Twitter: @debmbest Follow us @CRWomenAtWork

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20 Essential Life Lessons

‌ for happiness and success

46 | women@work

By Laura Shin


recent birthday got me reflecting on my journey to this age, and I’m happy to say that, compared with the younger me, I’m much more at peace with myself, content with my life, confident of what I want and sure of how to get there. I often write about how to attain career and money success, and while many practical tips can get you ahead, your personal approach to professional and financial matters, as well as your way of dealing with your own demons, will take you to even higher heights than any amount of knowledge can. Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the years. Hopefully they’ll prove as useful to you as they have been to me.

Photo: Vincent Besnault/GettyImages.


Know that what you focus your mind on grows bigger.

This tip, which I learned in an incredible course called Something Different for Women (currently on hiatus), helped get me out of a funk and turn my life around — simply by changing my mindset. If you constantly think about bad things in your life, like your annoying coworker or a recent mistake, then she/ he/it will take up a disproportionate amount of your mental space. On the other hand, if you focus instead on your recent successes, your new goals and your fun coworkers, not only will your days be more pleasant and the irritating coworker or temporary defeat fade to the background, but the positive things in your life will grow and flourish. As the unattributed quote goes, “Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become actions, watch your actions for they become habits, watch your habits for they become your character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” Having a mind filled with negative thoughts will lead to a negative life, and a mind filled with positivity will breed a positive one.


Don’t take things personally.

Many freelance writers pitch story ideas to editors and then, if the editor doesn’t respond, immediately assume that s/he hated the pitch and hates the writer — and 99.9 percent of the time, the editor is just busy. Even when people aren’t busy but mean, it’s not about you; it’s about them. They had a bad day, a bad childhood or haven’t eaten lunch yet. I once worked with someone who was mean, but I knew she would have been mean whether I was there to be the victim or not. Your life will be much happier if you don’t mentally wound yourself by making other people’s actions about you.


Express gratitude — daily.

The first two guidelines are not easy to follow. But one habit that will smooth their adoption is taking a moment daily to acknowledge the good in your life. (Swallow any temptation to resist because you think it’s cheesy. It takes courage to not give a damn about what others think of you and instead be sincere.) Write a gratitude list of at least five things that you email to yourself, or before dinner, have each family member say what he or she is each grateful for. Pick a method that works for you — writing it down or sharing it with others. (Just don’t do it mentally to yourself, as the ritual won’t stick.) Expressing gratitude exercises your positivity muscle and makes it easier to remain even-keeled during bad times. When you get laid off, a practice of gratitude will remind you you still have your health, or if you have a bike accident, you’ll be especially grateful for your friends and family.


Stand up for yourself but don’t act entitled.

There’s a fine line dividing the people who think they are owed everything

and the people who are scared to ask for everything. Don’t be on either side of this line. If you’re not sure if you’re being exploited or treated poorly, ask your friends and family or others in your line of work what’s appropriate. If you think the other party is taking advantage of you, speak up. On the other hand, be aware when you haven’t earned something. Others will be less inclined to help you if you act as if you are owed the world on a platter.


Ask for 100 percent of what you want from 100 percent of people 100 percent of the time.

I got this amazing advice during an incredible writing workshop held by my fellow Forbes contributor David Hochman, who learned it in David Richo’s book How to Be an Adult. As long as you know you are not on the entitled side of the line mentioned above, being upfront about your needs and wants eliminates a lot of angst and inconvenience and discomfort in your life — and makes room for ease. Just ask for what you want instead of wringing your hands over whether to, how to or what’s reasonable to. Unless your request is outrageous, which you should know in your gut (or from asking friends and colleagues), the worst that can happen is that the answer is no. Reasonable requests shouldn’t damage the relationship, and if someone thinks less of you because you dared state what you need, find better people to work with in the future.


Learn to like rejection.

Every rejection means you’re one rejection closer to the next yes. As Hochman says, “You’ll never write for the New Yorker unless you pitch the New Yorker.” So, always put yourself out there, and get used to being rejected. No one will ever have a perfect batting average, so pile up the rejections in order to get the yeses. continued on page 48 | 47


Flooding your mind with these distractions uses mental energy and depletes your brain power for important undertakings.

continued from page 47


Recognize that money gives you freedom.

I used to be interested in pretty much everything but money. If that describes you too, remember that if you don’t take care of your money, you could become a slave to debt and lack the freedom to pursue your goals. Get a budget and learn the basics of personal finance so you don’t fritter your money away on things you don’t value. You’ll be happiest when you spend in line with your values, but doing so takes conscious effort.


Always negotiate.

Every little bump in salary or fee you negotiate for yourself will mean bigger future boosts and more money over your lifetime. And that will make it much easier for you to accomplish your goals, whether related to your career, buying a house, getting married, sending your kids to college or traveling. Learn to ask for more money than you’re comfortable asking for.


Start investing early.

Investing early makes saving money, especially for the difficult task of amassing a retirement nest egg, much, much easier. If Person A saves $5,000 a year from age 25 to 40 for a total of $75,000 and then never invests another penny, and Person B invests $5,000 every year from 40 to 65 for a total of $125,000 invested, assuming 5% growth, Person A will end up with more than $400,000 by retirement, while Person B will only have $256,000, simply because Person A started saving earlier, even if she put away less. Just by starting earlier, you could have $150,000 more by retirement! 48 | women@work

This is the equivalent of someone offering you a free $150,000 right now with the only catch being that you have to wait for the money till retirement. If they did, you would take the offer, yes? Then, start saving and investing ASAP and make it a lifelong habit.


Do one thing at a time.

This bit of Zen wisdom is more relevant than ever. Eat when you eat. Walk when you walk. Enjoy the flavors and textures of your food. Pay attention to the feel of your bare foot on the wood floor. Don’t multitask. This takes conscious effort. Sometimes I absentmindedly pick up my phone to check Facebook just to walk from one room to another. Flooding your mind with these distractions uses mental energy and depletes your brain power for important undertakings. Set rules around your gadget use, single task as much as possible, and appreciate the extra energy you have.


Accept and enjoy where you are right now.

Life is always changing and soon the current rhythm of your days will morph into something new. There was a period when I was upset about being unmarried, but then I realized that I might someday miss my single days. Now I make sure to enjoy every one.


Get a regular dose of nature.

Every day, connect with nature in some way, large or small. Even if your schedule is packed, spend a minute observing the patterns the raindrops make against your window. Watch a tree as it bends and moves with the wind. And yes,

smell the roses. Studies have shown that nature has a rejuvenating effect, and appreciating it is an easy way to be present in the moment.


Sweep your side of the street.

Another pearl of wisdom from the Something Different course. If you have a problem with someone and need to air it out with them, first figure out what you did wrong. You can’t find a solution to the problem until you also know how you contributed to it, and they won’t make peace until you acknowledge your role.


Know that people who talk about other people behind their backs are also talking about you behind yours.

These people aren’t real friends. The world has plenty of non-gossips from among whom you can choose true friends.


Don’t hold a grudge.

In the spirit of asking for 100 percent of what you want from 100 percent of people 100 percent of the time, if you need to cut someone out of your life, do so. But holding a grudge saps your energy. (Remember — what you focus your mind on grows bigger!) So, set boundaries but don’t stew over the reason you had to establish them. Learn your lesson, then move on.


Always put in your best effort, so that you never have regrets or wonder “what if.”

Sometimes, special opportunities come along in life. Whether or not you get any particular one is not that important, because even if you don’t get this one,

another opportunity will come along. But what will leave a lasting effect is not trying your best, not getting the gig, and being left wondering, What if? Don’t do that. Put your best foot forward so you know whether you were judged on your true merit and not a half-baked effort.


Lasting change in life starts with daily habits.

If you imagine a different future for yourself, don’t think that you’ll suddenly shed your current life one day and become an entirely new person. What can you do now to get there? Start incorporating that into your life today. Eventually that habit will snowball, and through a combination of persistence and luck, you’ll find yourself in the life you once dreamed of. As E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”


Ask yourself, “Will this matter in a year?”

Another Hochman gem. When you face certain decisions — i.e. taking a couple days off work to take a trip with your aging parents or turning down social events for a couple weeks to do a stellar job for your dream client — go with the course that you’ll be glad you chose a year from now.


Treat others with kindness and understanding.


Know that how you use your mind is in your power.

Everyone has his or her own baggage, problems and worries, and is also striving for happiness and the freedom to pursue his or her own dreams. It’s not a winner-take-all kind of situation. Helping someone out, being nice to them or even just smiling at a stranger will have ripple effects. If you’ve ever had someone do something nice for you, you’ve probably felt the compulsion to pay it forward, so set that chain in motion yourself. Kindness costs little but pays rich rewards to everyone.

Underlying all the above principles is the fact that at every moment, you have a choice as to how to use your mind, and that, in turn, gives you control over the course of your life. You can act with love or hate, kindness or meanness, bigheartedness or pettiness, mindfulness or absentmindedness — and the more you opt for the first of those choices, the more love, kindness, big-heartedness and mindfulness you’ll have in your life.  W  Laura Shin contributes to and SmartPlanet, among other publications. Her most recent e-book is The Millennial Game Plan: Career And Money Secrets To Succeed In Today’s World. Article available through


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The Gluten-Free Life Have celiac disease? You don’t have to suffer.

50 | women@work

By Brianna Snyder Photos by John Carl D’Annibale


lizabeth Barbone has always had severe food intolerances and allergies — treenuts, sesame, a childhood allergy to eggs — but that didn’t get in the way of her love for cooking. “Cooking has always been a part of my life,” Barbone says. “My mother cooked; I come from a whole family of cooks. I know folks have these a-ha moments, but I remember making cinnamon toast. That was the first thing I learned to make and I loved it. Right from the get-go I loved it. [Cooking has] always been a part of who I am.”

Top Tip for Healthy Cooking “It’s so basic but really have lots of fresh vegetables, on-hand, that are prepped and easy to get to. I love that fruits and veggies are gluten-free.” Though Barbone’s first love was toast, she discovered later in life that she has celiac disease, which changed her relationship with toast and food in general. “When my allergist found out I was headed to the Culinary Institute of America, he was not happy,” Barbone says. “He thought I’d be in a potentially dangerous environment. But I wanted to learn to cook for people who were on a restricted diet like I was.” Barbone is the author of two cookbooks: How to Cook Gluten-Free and Easy Gluten-Free Baking. She also teaches cooking classes at A Different Drummer’s Kitchen in Albany, gives seminars on cooking and eating glutenfree, and maintains a popular site, And Barbone is an advocate for people who are struggling to adjust to their gluten intolerance, which can be really challenging. “I call folks who aren’t gluten-free but have a gluten-free friend, ‘honorary celiacs’ — because without love and support, [people with celiac disease]’s diet would be harder.”  W 

Five tips everyone should know about eating gluten-free

1 2

Be careful of hidden gluten. It can pop up in places you wouldn’t expect: soy sauce, salad dressings. Be an avid label-reader and question-asker. If you’re eating out, ask lots of questions. The diet can be challenging at first, but breads, pastas, cakes and cookies are not off limits. They’re only limits if they’re made with wheat. Many wonderful gluten-free pastas are available as well as good pre-made products.


Compliance on the diet is really critical, but don’t deprive yourself. I’ve had lots of people over the years — I’ve been cooking gluten-free classes for at least 10 years — and people will say, ‘I know I shouldn’t have but I cheated because I missed macaroni and cheese,’ or something. It’s really kind to yourself if you can find ways to make or create replicas of the foods you love and miss. I think that’s really important. In my first book I have an entire ‘tastes-like’ chapter.

Things that people don’t like to admit often that they miss but they really miss. Food does lots of different things to us.


Learning how to set boundaries is so important, saying to a friend, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t partake in this lovely cake that you brought in.’ It’s really hard for some people and my heart goes out to them. So learn to set boundaries around your diet. Ask your friends if you can go to a different restaurant, one that accommodates you.


Forgive yourself. Be kind. One of my friends was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. After 2 weeks of being really good, feeling like she’s following a diet, she ate at her mother’s. Her mom prepared a gluten free meal and didn’t realize the gravy wasn’t glutenfree. And she poured it all over her dinner and just beat herself up over it. It’s just a mistake. You’ll do better next time. —Elizabeth Barrone

Must-Have Pantry Items ƒƒ PASTA: “I always have pasta on hand because even on a really busy night, even if it’s as simple as throwing

some garlic and oil into the pasta and adding some veggies, I can get it on the table quickly.”


see recipe on page 53 | 51



Congratulations to Make-A-Wish

Kristen Berdar SaxBST

Northeast New York’s W.I.S.H. Honorees!

Join us for our inaugural W.I.S.H. Honoree Luncheon! Wednesday, November 5, 2014 12:00-1:30 pm

Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York is introducing W.I.S.H. (Women Inspiring Strength and Hope) to recognize a select group of women in our region for their career success, contributions to the community and their personal commitment to Make-A-Wish. Together, W.I.S.H. Honorees are joining forces with our Make-A-Wish chapter to support the wishes of local children battling lifethreatening illnesses in our community.

Carla Kolbe

Nathan Littauer Hospital

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The Wagner Group at Merrill Lynch

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7th Trailblazers Awards HONORING


Retired Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Affirmative Action, University at Albany


First Vice President, The Quinn Wealth Management Group, UBS Financial Services, Inc.

MILINDA REED, ESQ. Service Director, Unity House Domestic Violence Services Program

Wednesday, November 12th Glen Sanders Mansion

11:00 a.m. Registration & Women’s Marketplace • Tickets from $75 Presenting



MVP Health Care UBS Financial Services, Inc.

The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region is a collaborative effort of more than 300 women, donors, volunteers, community and business leaders to help women become financially independent. The Women's Fund is a component fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.


25 Minute Garlicky Pasta Prep time: 10 minutes  |  Cook time: about 15 minutes  |  Total Time: about 25 minutes  |  Serves 6 Ingredients


4 7 1 1

1. Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Set a colander in the sink for draining the pasta.

tablespoons olive oil, divided ounces baby spinach (about 7 cups) tablespoon salt pound penne pasta (traditional or gluten-free) 4 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press (reduce to 2 cloves if a less garlicky pasta is desired.) ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) ½ pound mozzarella, grated (2 cups) ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 1 pint grape tomatoes, washed and sliced 1 can (15.5 ounces) great Northern or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 1 can (8.5 ounces) quartered artichoke hearts About 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried, or to taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

olive oil in the same pan you cooked the spinach. When the oil is hot and shimmering but not smoking, add the garlic and pepper flakes, if using. Cook until the garlic is light golden brown. Once it reaches the desired color, turn off heat.

2. While you wait for the water to come to boil, cook the spinach. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in large frying pan. Cook, tossing with tongs, until wilted and tender. The spinach will shrink in volume an incredible amount. Remove from the heat and set aside spinach aside. Wipe out pan with a paper towel.

7. After about 10 minutes of boiling, check the pasta for doneness. When the pasta is tender, ladle out about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water into a small heatproof bowl and set aside. Drain the pasta in the colander and return it to the cooking pot over very low heat.

3. When the water reaches a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds, then stir occasionally while the pasta cooks.

8. Pour the olive oil and garlic over the pasta. Toss with a wooden spoon to coat. Stir in the mozzarella and parmesan. When the mozzarella begins to melt, stir in the spinach, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.

4. While the pasta is cooking, heat remaining | 53

Getting Away:

Puglia, Italy

By Stacey Morris

Photos: Alberobello, Kathrin Ziegler/GettyImages; Masseria Torre, Italian National Tourism Board.


rift for a moment past the tourist meccas of Rome and Venice, beyond the well-worn trails of the statues in Florence, the wonder of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the simmering awe of Naples’ Mount Vesuvius. Italy has plenty of seldom-explored regions. Puglia may be a virtual unknown compared with Tuscany, but it’s no less intriguing. It possesses Baroque history, Romanesque churches, a tropical climate, and a Mediterranean cuisine that has inspired cookbooks and restaurants alike. Located in the “heel” of Italy’s “boot,” Puglia is a narrow swath of ancient history that counts Greece, Croatia, and Albania as neighbors. As natives will happily tell you, Puglia’s most prevalent (and popular) feature is sunlight. The region and its more than 700 miles of coastline have it in abundance. Winters aren’t as balmy as those in Florida, but they’re mildly pleasant, and spring and fall yield summer-like weather. Whether it’s touring ancient churches, art galleries, or the cobblestone streets of medieval villages, there’s plenty of on-foot activity to be found to offset Puglia’s sumptuous cuisine. Fortunately, much of it is healthy. The region’s tropical climate yields a bounty of produce ranging from fresh persimmons and figs to just-picked zucchini and broccolini. Olive groves extend through every corner of Puglia, from Gargano in the north to Salento in the south. The region is home to an estimated 60 million olive trees, (some nearly eight centuries old) bearing the cornerstone of three main varieties of oil: delicate-fruity, medium-fruity, and intense-fruity. Olive oil is considered “the gold of Puglia,” so it’s the perfect place to sample all strengths and shades of the healthy green elixir. On the more decadent end of the spectrum, Puglia abounds with homemade pastas of every shape, including the regional favorite, orecchiette (Italian for “little ears”). Wander through the quiet backstreets of Bari, the region’s capital city, and you’ll come upon the unofficial

  Exterior of Masseria Torre Coccaro

“Orecchiette Trail,” where apron-wearing grandmothers and housewives set trays of freshly made orecchiette out on their balconies to dry in the afternoon sun. Orecchiette is probably the most commonly served pasta in the region. Also prevalent at any Puglian spread is its other culinary invention, Burrata, a snowy-white ball of fresh Mozzarella cheese with a creamy center. Interspersed with the local cuisine are plenty of sightseeing activities. In other words, calorie counting won’t be necessary. The only thing you’ll need to keep track of in this part of the world is making sure there’s enough camera space on your phone.

Must-Sees Monte Sant’Angelo Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo One of the most frequented Christian pilgrimage sites in Italy sits within a mountaintop village where thousands flock each year to the Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel. The sanctuary represents the highest and most significant point of the Lombards’ religious history in Italy, and is known by devotees as the “door to the sky.” It is said that the archangel appeared three times to Lawrence Maiorano, Bishop of Siponto, between the years 490 and 493. Reaching the subterranean sanctuary is a treasure hunt in itself. Upon entering the basilica, it’s necessary to cross a large square called the Superior Atrium, on

which stands a bell tower commissioned in 1274. Then an 86-step staircase leads to the sanctuary below, a dimly lit, marblecarved grotto, which has a statue of the Archangel Michael. Alberobello This historic region in central Puglia is known as the “Land of Trulli,” for its more than 1,000 white-washed houses built in accordance with the prehistoric technique of constructing homes directly onto rocks. The tiny white homes look like miniature castles with their coneshaped roofs that sit atop blocks of stone leaning on one another without bonding materials. A serene silence prevails when exploring the steep streets of the Monti and Aia Piccola districts. It’s a quiet community where the bicycles seem to outnumber the cars. The Trulli of Alberobello have been on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List since 1996. Though the principal tourist activity centers on viewing the hundreds of Trulli, the town also has a few historic churches, including the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio. There’s also the Museo del Territorio, an amazing structure of more than 10 combined Trulli that houses agricultural displays as well as period rooms to give visitors a sense of how villagers lived centuries ago. Santa Cesaria Terme Located at the very bottom of Italy’s heel on a peninsula that juts into the Adriatic and Ionian seas, the tiny town of 3,000 is known for its healing thermal baths and

ƒ The white-washed Trulli of the Alberobello region of Puglia. | 55

ƒ At top, a Puglian olive grove. Below, trays of just-made Orecchiette pasta dry in the sun along the “Orecchiette Trail” on the backstreets of Bari.

mud treatments that are said to help combat ailments ranging from everyday stress and skin problems to respiratory and rheumatoid issues. The sulphurous thermal waters spring from four natural caves at about 80-85 degrees. Set literally at the water’s edge, tourists love flocking to Santa Cesarea for al-fresco meals at the pizzerias and restaurant terraces overlooking the sea. Beaches include the Bagno Marino Archi (

Outdoor Activities Gargano National Park Gargano, Puglia +39 088 456 8911 The largest natural park in Puglia is known for diverse topography that ranges from forests and marshes to the five Tremiti islands that surround the park. The naturally eroded seabeds and caves attract hikers and scuba divers alike. Inland areas of the Gargano Promontory contain the last traces of the Umbra Forest, an extensive habitat in prehistoric times. The ways to explore Gargano are many, thanks to the activities run by the visitor centers in Manfredonia and Lesina and the 40 footpaths and cycle tracks. Visitors can discover the impressive range of the park’s botanical species, admire the majestic beech trees, turkey-oaks and holly trees and catch a glimpse of deer, foxes and hundreds of other wildlife. And from just about any vantage point are unforgettable views of the Adriatic. Cycling Touring Puglia by bicycle is one of the most comprehensive and scenic ways to drink in the region. It’s also excellent calorie insurance. Whether it’s the mountainous northern region, the scenic flatlands of the olive groves, the beach towns of Salento, or the Alimini lakes region, Puglia is filled with bike-friendly routes. Consider downloading the 56 | women@work

Lonely Planet guide: “Puglia by Bicycle: 404 kilometers and Five Days of Riding” at

the heart of the historic district. Also check out St. Claire’s Church and the nearby ancient Roman Theatre.

Best Family Attractions


Zoo Safari

Borgo Egnazia

Moorish castles and ancient cathedrals can only go so far with the kiddies. Give them a break with this combination amusement park and safari. Driving through the safari park, visitors can view lions and gorillas in their natural habitat. Later, merry-gorounds and roller coasters wait in the distance.

To some, it’s the fabled resort where Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel tied the knot in 2012. Those who’ve experienced the sprawling property overlooking the Adriatic know it to be a world unto itself that features a luxury hotel, private villas, oceanside golf course, spa, and two restaurants, one of which holds regular cooking classes. Even if you go for just a meal or a spa treatment, Borgo Egnazia’s elegance is worth the trip from anywhere in Puglia.

Photos: Olive grove, Italian National Tourism Board; Orecchiette pasta, Stacey Morris; Roman Theatre, Stacey Morris.

The Basilica St. Nicholas The basilica is one of the most revered Christian sites of worship in Bari and was built in the heart of the historical city in the 11th century. The Basilica is more than a house of worship, however. It entombs the remains of the historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop Nikolaos of Myra (now part of Turkey). His reputation for secret gift-giving became the model for what is now known as Santa Claus. The well-lit crypt on the basilica’s lower level, which houses St. Nicholas’s tomb, is still used to celebrate the Orthodox Divine Liturgy.

Hotel Oriente A four-star hotel in the heart of Puglia’s capital city featuring 75 well-appointed

rooms, and proximity to attractions such as beaches (it’s only a few blocks from the Adriatic), the Bari Cathedral, theaters, museums, and night life.

Dining Masseria Torre Coccaro Both a five-star boutique hotel and a restaurant, the Torre Coccaro was built in the 16th century and features a bounty of local specialties, including fried squash blossoms, paper cones filled with golden fava beans, bejeweled bowls of oil-soaked olives, and orecchiette pasta topped with a pungent turnip sauce. For dessert try the globes of fried dough drizzled in local honey or the pinwheel cookies drenched in fig sauce. The campus includes a courtyard, chapel, olive groves, and a sighting tower built to ward off invasions from Turkish pirates.  W 

Best Time To Visit

Try to Avoid

With its palm-lined coast and tropical climate, Puglian springs and autumns are rich with sunshine and balmy temperatures. Winters require light-jacket attire, but are a world away (literally) from the biting cold of upstate New York.

The biggest climate advantage to Puglia in the summer is that it’s a dry heat, but the mercury spike makes it no less intense. Unless you’re a fan of high temperatures coupled with intense sun, it’s best to visit the region post-August.

Best Places for Couples Historical Museum of the City of Lecce

‚  The Roman Theatre in Lecce.

Known as the Florence of Puglia, Lecce is filled with quaint cafés, boutique restaurants, dozens of galleries, and several museums, including the Historical Museum of Lecce, which blends modernity with ancient history. Once a stone monastery, the ancient complex reveals the city of Lecce’s history while showcasing contemporary, as well as classic, Italian art. Lecce is the perfect walking city and the museum is set in

For more information on Puglia, visit Getting there: Puglia’s international airports at Bari and Brindisi have daily connecting flights from Rome and other major cities in Europe. | 57

THE LAST WORD Everyone makes mistakes at work at one point or another. It’s how we learn, grow and eventually succeed that counts. When a mistake is made it’s important to acknowledge it right away. Honesty is the best policy and always wins out in the end. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Simply apologize, keep it brief, assure the party affected by the error that it won’t happen again and move on. Stay confident and don’t let it get you off track. — Sarah Johnson, Assistant Vice President, Rose & Kiernan, Inc.

Compiled by Katie Pratt

A sincere apology requires some selfreflection. What exactly happened and how were you a party to the negative result or reaction. In other words, describe the cause and effect. This analysis will help you form the right words for your apology. Next, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How did the person feel? How was the person impacted by error? The apology should address this. Last, pick the right time and location for your apology. You’ll want to avoid place and times where the recipient may have multiple distractions. A face-to-face apology is generally the most appropriate way. The old fashioned, written note can work too. Both examples differentiate themselves from a regular exchange. The apology doesn’t have to be lengthy; it just needs to contain each element. And don’t readily promise to never do it again unless you sincerely believe you can stick to that promise! In fact, be honest. You may admit to the person that you are a ‘work in progress.’ — Rose Miller, SPHR, President, Pinnacle Human Resources, LLC 58 | women@work

What is the best way to apologize after making an error (without overdoing it)? It’s important to apologize as soon as you realize you’ve made a mistake. You should be sincere and take full responsibility. One of the worst things is to apologize and then make excuses or blame someone else for the mistake! Another challenging aspect of issuing an apology is knowing when you’ve said enough. Don’t over-apologize! If you find that you have a tendency to run on and on, try crafting your message in advance. You want to acknowledge the error, offer a reason why it happened in a manner that is free from blame, explain what steps you’ve taken to insure it will not happen again and, if possible, make-up for the mistake. Try rehearsing your message so that you stay on point. — Nikki A. Caruso, MSW, Executive Director, Colonie Youth Center, Inc.

1. Recognize and acknowledge your error. Owning up to your mistake shows great self-awareness, and is much better than making excuses or blaming someone else. The quicker you acknowledge the problem, the sooner you can correct it and move past it.

2. Genuinely apologize. The key word here is “genuinely.” Apologizing just for the sake of doing so helps no one, and could even escalate the situation. Be as honest, upfront, and sincere with your apology as possible.

3. Learn from the mistake. Without this step, you can easily keep repeating the same error over and over again. Learn what you need to do differently in the future, and be committed to not making the same mistake twice.

4. Let it go. Sometimes this can be the hardest part about making an error. Many of us have a hard time moving on from mistakes, and can become crippled with anxiety about repeating them. Don’t be too hard on yourself; remember that mistakes happen to all of us, and the fear of failing will only hold you back from becoming truly successful. — Paula A. Heller, SPHR, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, CHA design/construction solutions

Illustration: ©


Mistakes are unavoidable; we will all make them at one point or another. However, those who reach their highest potential both personally and professionally are able to follow some key steps to apologize and move on successfully:



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Women@Work November/December 2014  

The Capital Region Women@Work community is an innovative support network of women who hold executive and managerial positions in the 518 are...

Women@Work November/December 2014  

The Capital Region Women@Work community is an innovative support network of women who hold executive and managerial positions in the 518 are...