Page 1

Want to get involved with local nonprofits? See our guide on pg. 23!


Overwhelmed? We’ll help you get organized!

Talking the Talk

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Wake Up Your Workspace

Entering the Blogosphere Yes, a good blog CAN help your business Katie Abrahamson-Henderson Women’s Basketball Coach, UAlbany

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Publisher George Hearst III Editorial Janet Reynolds, Executive Editor Brianna Snyder, Associate Editor Design Tony Pallone, Design Director Colleen Ingerto, Emily Jahn, Designers Jennifer Stufflebeam, Design Intern Contributing Writers Kristi Barlette, Melissa Fiorenza, Silvia Meder Lilly, Stacey Morris, Anne Saile, Cari Scribner Contributing Photographers/Illustrators Jeanne A. Benas, Colleen Ingerto, Emily Jahn, Tyler Murphy, Jennifer Stufflebeam Sales Kurt Vantosky, Sr. Vice President, Sales & Marketing Kathleen Hallion, Vice President, Advertising Tom Eason, Manager, Display Advertising Michael-Anne Piccolo, Retail Sales Manager Jeff Kiley, Magazine Sales Manager Circulation Dan Denault, Home Delivery Manager Business Ray Koupal, Chief Financial Officer Paul Block, Executive Producer Women@Work Advisory Board: Anne Saile†, chair; Marri Aviza†, Kristen Berdar†, Debra Best†, Nancy Carey-Cassidy†, Andrea Crisafulli-Russo†, Kathleen Godfrey†, Ann Hughes†, Theresa Marangas†, Frances O’Rourke, Lydia Rollins†, Curran Streett†, Joella Viscusi, Karen Webley, Kirsten Wynn †

Advisory Board founding members

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 capregionwomenatwork. com. 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 2013 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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pg. 46

Contents July/August 2013

@ WORK 10 Bitstream Business tidbits for all

15 Tips from the Top Dreaming of starting your own business?

16 On the Cover Lessons from Katie AbrahamsonHenderson, aka “Coach Abe”

Is your company in this issue? 46 Entering the Blogosphere How having — and maintaining! — a good blog helps your business

48 Totally Overwhelmed? Here’s how to get organized

58 The Last Word The best way to follow up after an interview

19 We Did It The success story behind MicroKnowledge

23 Nonprofit Roundup Why volunteering is good for you and for the community

41 How to Give a Killer Speech Follow this advice and you’ll knock their socks off

44 “What Impresses Me” Want to really shine at work? Read on for motivation and ideas.

@ HOME 51 Moms@Work It’s Camp Mommy time

52 Meals on the Go Farm to table with Sarah Fish

54 Wake Up Your Workspace 12 items that will bring your cube (or office) from humdrum to happy

56 Getting Away Heading to Pennsylvania Dutch Country

It’s about empowering young people to believe in themselves. That’s what I’m noted for.

— Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, UAlbany women’s basketball coach   ON THE COVER: Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, UAlbany women’s basketball coach. Photo by Colleen Ingerto.

6 | women@work

American Red Cross of Northeastern New York..............................23 Best Western Sovereign ................................44 Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region.................................23 Buzz Media Solutions.....................................46 CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services...............23 Capital Region Theological Center....................58 Clear Spaces Organizing................................48 College of Saint Rose.............................. 41, 44 Deb Best Practices................................... 44, 46 Delaney Vero, PLLC.................................. 44, 58 Design Solutions ...........................................48 Direct Impact Associates, LLC...........................44 Double H Ranch.............................................23 Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York............23 Homeless and Travelers Aid Society................23 Hudson Mohawk Humane.............................23 Hudson Valley Community College................58 Hungry Fish Cafe............................................52 Integrated Staffing Corporation.....................44 Kimberley’s A Day Spa......................................44 Make-a-Wish Foundation...............................23 Make It Fit......................................................44 MicroKnowledge, Inc......................................19 Next-Act.........................................................46 Profitable Speech, LLC....................................41 Outspoken Media...........................................58 Saile Group, LLC.............................................15 Salon Onaj.....................................................44 Salvation Army of the Capital Region............23 Schenectady ARC...........................................23 Senior Services of Albany...............................23 The Third Zone................................................58 University of Albany.......................................16

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Getting Involved I Janet Reynolds Executive Editor

t’s easy to say you don’t have time to volunteer. You’re working, maybe you have children in multiple activities and, goodness knows, we all dream of taking just one hour in a week to actually do something for ourselves. Unfortunately, the arts groups and the many nonprofits helping those less fortunate can’t do it without us. With limited budgets, they rely on the goodness of the rest of us to help fill in the gaps. And the holes in New York, according to, are particularly wide. We currently rank 50th in volunteerism in America. Yup, 50th. It’s not a statistic to be proud of,

obviously. Women@Work would like to do its part to help move that needle if we can. Each month we feature a local nonprofit in the hopes that readers will find something inspirational that makes them pick up the phone and offer their help. And this month we’re featuring our annual nonprofit guide that highlights just a few of the area nonprofits who could use a helping hand. We hope you’ll read the guide and — most importantly — decide to get involved. If we all do even just a little, the result can be bigger than all of us. And maybe the next time publishes its annual report, New York will have moved in the right direction.  W 

BITSTREAM Compiled by Brianna Snyder

Social Media Dos and Don’ts


hen an Arizona restaurant’s two difficult owners were featured on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, the restaurant’s Facebook page was inundated with comments mocking and taunting the owners, husband and wife Samy and Amy Bouzaglos. Furious, the

1. Don’t reply to everyone. “Not only were the [Bouzaglos’] responses incredibly defensive, but in all caps, facilitating even more discussion and backlash. Had the Bouzaglos selectively responded to clarify the story (or even firmly defend their actions), there would likely have been much less backlash and aggression as they kept the fire going.” 2. Don’t respond to trolls. Trolls are commenters who intentionally try to get a rise out of you or other commenters.

They’re known to make shocking or inflammatory statements in order to elicit emotional responses. “Not only is it critical not to reply to everyone (especially those who are critical of your content), but it’s especially important to ignore trolls, as they will — as the Bouzaglos know — only make your life hell,” notes the Forbes article. 3. Don’t react right away. “If you do feel the need to respond to a critical comment — wait. You may be fuming, defensive, and angry that someone has insulted your hard work … but if you respond when you’re fuming, defensive, and angry you will likely only make the situation worse for your brand (whether that’s your personal brand or your actual business.)” 4. Don’t insult people. But you already knew that. “It’s an important skill in life to be able to process criticism without taking it personally.” Source:

Winning the Bread W

omen are increasingly becoming not just their family’s primary caregiver but also their family’s primary breadwinner, reports The New York Times. Four out of 10 American households with children under the age of 18 now include a mom who is either the sole or primary 10 | women@work

earner, according to the Pew Research Center and The New York Times. Compared with 1960 figures, the numbers of women breadwinners have quadrupled. Though attitudes about women in the workplace have changed -- it’s now more acceptable for women to be married moms

who also work full time -- the country is still divided over whether it benefits children to have their moms at home. Have of Americans say it’s better for kids for Mom to stay home, while just 8 percent of Americans say the same about Dad. Source:

Photos. Getty Images. Social Media, STOCK4B; Coins, Fuse; Chicken Panini, Robert Linton. Illustrations by Jennifer Stufflebeam.

two started firing back at the thousands of teasing commenters with all-caps obscenities and threats, calling commenters “trash,” “stupid people” and “punks.” This drew further taunting, catching the attention of blogs and news sites, who’ve all dubbed the whole event the “epic Facebook meltdown.” According to Forbes, there are a few things to be learned from this Facebook fiasco, should you ever find your own Web pages bombarded with criticism:

Layer sliced chicken breast, black forest ham, and Swiss cheese on a wheat roll and serve with marinara sauce on the side. Calories: 292 Chicken Goat-Cheese Quesadillas A standard chicken quesadilla with goat cheese, corn, and cilantro. Calories: 331 Roast Beef and Horseradish Wrap Mix mayonnaise and horseradish in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on one side of the tortilla. Place a lettuce leaf in the center of the tortilla, followed by roast beef and tomato. Fold the outer edges in, then roll. Calories: 194 Source:


of all employers who offer health benefits also offer at least one wellness program


of all employers offer Web-based wellness resources such as newsletters

30% Chicken Panini


of all firms offer gym memberships or on-site exercise facilities


Bored with brown-bagging? Here are some quick ideas to spice up your lunch hour:

e all know about the risks of obesity and America’s ongoing battle with the issues associated with inactivity and poor diet. But exercising, eating healthy and understanding nutrition are less and less something you have to do on your own time. Employers are more frequently offering health and wellness activities and information in addition to health care plans, according to GOOD infographics and Naked Juice. Here are some stats to show your employer if you’re trying to get your own workplace-wellness program going.

of all firms offer weight loss programs


Quick, Easy Eats


of employers offer smoking cessation resources


” — Martha Washington

a Leg Up

of all firms offered classes in nutrition or healthy living


I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.

Employers Offering

offered personal health coaching continued on page 12 | 11

BITSTREAM continued from page 11

Never-Ending Pay Gap


his should drive it home pretty hard: Bloomberg News reports that women CEOs in Washington, D.C., earn $600,000 less than their male counterparts. Women chief executive officers were paid an average of $1.31 million in 2011, compared with $1.93 million paid to the 42 male CEOs, which means they made about 68 cents for every dollar paid to a man — a bigger salary divergence than the 72 cents

women earned against every $1 paid to a man in the wider economy, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to Lisa Maatz, vice president of government relations for the American Association of University Women, a research group promoting female leadership, Washington is “the original boys’ club.” Source:

Maids and house keeping cleaners

Janitors and heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers

Automobile service technicians and mechanics



500 Maintenance and repair workers, general

First-line supervisors of constructions trades and extraction workers

Laborers and freight, stock and material movers

First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers

Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 12 | women@work

Business operations specialists, all other


Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.

— Elizabeth Gilbert

Photos. Getty Images. CEO Woman, Joshua Hodge Photography; Job Hunting, Echo.

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

Green Technologies and Practices Employment

Occupations with the Largest Number of Green Technologies and Practices Jobs, August 2011

Need a Job? I nterestingly, many small businesses in the U.S. are having a hard time filling open positions, reports the New York Times. Recruiting agencies are usually reserved for executive-level hiring, and so small companies with dozens of openings find themselves unsure of where to look for qualified candidates. So where have they begun to turn? Yep. LinkedIn. It’s there that businesses can reach “passive candidates,” of whom LinkedIn comprises 80 percent, the New York Times reports. Companies who’ve had success with this approach recommend reaching out to people with profiles matching qualifications you’re looking for, doing a little extra research on the potential candidate (does she have a website?) and making sure your own brand is established. A fully-functioning and updated website will show recruits you’re on top of your game and serious about success. Source:

9 to 5 By Jeanne A. Benas | 13



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To reserve your booth, contact your Times Union Job Fair representative, or call Erin Rosa at (518)454-5493 or e-mail



of Starting Your Own


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 Photo by Joan Heffler.

By Anne Saile


ave you ever thought about quitting your day job to start a business of your own? Here are some things to think about before you take the plunge. 1. Make sure that you’re leaving your job for the right reasons. I have heard so many people say that they wanted to start their own business because they were tired of working for a specific company or person. Starting your own company is demanding work and requires a type of attention to detail that is very different from a job where you are not the owner. Make sure that you have the passion to start a business and that you aren’t viewing the change as an escape from a job situation you are tired of. 2. Spend time developing your plan; then spend time writing down the plan. This might sound like obvious advice but it is surprising how many people don’t ever write down their vision. I have a friend who likes to say that if we don’t describe what we want to do, we risk having things we don’t want begin to happen. Remember: It will take longer to get a business off of the ground if you haven’t created a clear description. 3. Consider your time frame. Many people who’ve started their own business talk about how many years they went without taking a paycheck. Develop a budget for your new venture and make

sure that you have the money to invest in it or can find an investor. Don’t rush into anything without a safety net; stay at your day job long enough to save for your living expenses as well as the startup of the business. 4. Know your competition and figure out what will set you apart. What will make your company more desirable to do business with? Study the demand for the type of business you are thinking of opening. 5. Consider having an advisory board. Ask some of the people you know who have expertise that you don’t to help you brainstorm about your business. Even the greatest of minds can’t think of everything. Asking people to help you and having them share their experience can help you get on the road to success much faster. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. 6. Try your business on for size. Many business owners I know started their business while they still had their day job. Once they felt comfortable and had a revenue stream, they felt more confident in leaving their full time job. 7. Picture yourself in your new business. Considering what you want to be doing one year from now will help you formulate the list of everything you’ll need to do to get where you want to go.

8. Fear is not the handmaiden of success — they simply don’t go together. It’s nearly impossible to start your own business if you are fearful. Take a hard look at what scares you the most about going into business for yourself and see how you can deal with that. Are you afraid your business won’t work? Get help developing a detailed, sound business plan. Afraid you won’t have enough money to live on? Develop a personal budget that you can live with and stick to it before you leave the security of a job. 9. Beware of just creating a job for yourself. We have all seen people who start a business because they have expertise in a certain area and they think they can make more money if they go out on their own and sell their service. This could be true, but it is simply a different type of job and not a business. A business is much more complex than a job, and requires not only selling a service but keeping a consistent stream of revenue coming in. 10. Remember that being dissatisfied with your current company, boss or job is not a good enough reason to quit and start your own business. You really have to want to run a business and be OK with filling all of the roles — from taking out the trash to doing the billing — unless you have enough money right from the start to hire the right people to help you.  W | 15

ON THE COVER The SUNY Albany women’s basketball team has had its best seasons ever under the leadership of Coach Abe.

Girls to Women Coach Abe makes her basketball players stars on the court, in the classroom and in life By Brianna Snyder  |  Photos by Colleen Ingerto


ou don’t even have to be a person who follows sports news to know that the SUNY Albany women’s basketball team had a great season this year. In fact, the Great Danes had their best three seasons ever under the leadership of Katie AbrahamsonHenderson (who is almost universally known as Coach Abe). And this year, Abrahamson-Henderson signed a fiveyear contract to stay on with the school, which has everybody excited. When we met Coach Abe in her office, the spring semester was coming to a close and players from the team filtered in to say goodbye for the summer. “Text me!,” the coach told them as she hugged them and told them she’d see them soon. “I grew up a tomgirl,” AbrahamsonHenderson says, noting that she prefers tomgirl over tomboy — there’s nothing boyish about athleticism. She began as a great swimmer and casual basketball player, shooting hoops with her dad whenever she could. “My father played college basketball and he got me into it,” she says. But when she was 12, her father passed away, and after that she began playing basketball in earnest. (“Coach Abe” is a sort of tribute to her dad, who went by “Abe.”) At 6 feet, 2 inches, the 46-year-old Iowa native has a lot of basketball on her resume: an all-star player in high 16 | women@work

school and college, she went on to play and coach in New Zealand. After that, she bounced around from Pittsburgh and back home to Iowa, to Michigan, Missouri, Seattle, Wash., and Indiana before landing in Albany in 2010. She and her husband — also a basketball player who played professionally for several years — live in Guilderland with their two daughters, Savannah and Brooklyn. If you ask Abrahamson-Henderson how her “girls” are doing, she’ll assume you’re asking about her children. “Oh, my kids?” she’ll say. “They’re great.” Were you referring to the women’s basketball team? They’re great, too. “They’re not girls,” Coach Abe says of her team. “They’re women. I’m constantly [correcting that mistake].” The coach’s focus for her team is to empower them, educate them and boost their self-image. “I teach them to play basketball, how to stand up for yourself as a woman, and to have self-esteem

What It’s Like to Be

Coached by Coach Abe • “No nose rings, tongue rings, no rings in your face,” she says. “I don’t want to see it. I’m training women to be professionals.” • When it comes to clothing, “we have a BBB policy,” she says. “No boobs, no butts, no bellies. No professional or CEO wants to see that and if [he] does want to see that, you don’t want to work for them.” • “Be a girl with a mind, a woman with an attitude and a lady with class.” • “Our players have to be 15 minutes early for everything,” she says. “Your boss isn’t going to be waiting on you if you’re late.” • An old standby: have a firm handshake. “If you shake a man’s hand with a firm handshake, they think, ‘OK, I can’t mess with her.’”

The Download on

Katie AbrahamsonHenderson  (“Coach Abe”) Title: Head coach, SUNY Albany women’s basketball team

easy chic comes to  rhinebeck

Age: 46 Hometown: Cedar Rapinds, Iowa Family: husband, Michael; daughters, Savannah and Brooklyn Guilty Pleasure: “Eating ice cream, but that doesn’t make me feel guilty.” Sources of Inspiration: Jordin Sparks’ “I Am Woman,” or Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)”


Biggest Challenge she had to overcome: “The death of my mother when I was a head coach and finishing a season. You have to stay in character and take care of your team.”

handbags clothing

and be proud of who they are and don’t try to be like everybody else,” she says. “I came in right away and celebrated their differences.” Women in sports face many challenges. The continuing lack of professional options for women is just one major obstacle. But Coach Abe’s team doesn’t let that stop them. “It’s about empowering young people to believe in themselves,” the coach says. “That’s what I’m noted for. They know I believe in them. They can trust me. … If women don’t trust you, they are not going to play for you or work hard for you.” Abrahamson-Henderson is also a big believer in maintaining a good attitude. With no shortage of hardship in her life, Abrahamson-Henderson has had to stay optimistic or risk losing sight of what’s important: her work. “I’ve had a lot of deaths in my life,” she says, noting her father’s death 30 years ago and then the death of her mother a decade ago. “I’ve had to learn how to evolve from that. Either I was going to be miserable or find a way to have a great life and enjoy my life and deal with pain and sorrow. There was

too much of it in my life. And [after] those moments you have to say, ‘Thank God we went the right direction, not the wrong direction.’” Not surprisingly, Coach Abe teaches her players to look to the future rather than focus on the bad things in the past. “I don’t let them accept the negative. I tell them to stop looking in the rearview mirror,” she says. “I hate to see women insecure about who they are. I think circumstances bring them to that. I don’t think they’re born like that.” While Coach Abe loves success on the court as much as the next coach, she also wants her players to learn how to succeed off the court too. She teaches them to make eye contact when they talk and to shake hands firmly with people they meet. “These women will be equipped” for the real world, the coach says. “I’m trying to get [them] an $80,000-a-year job. … I can get [them] an interview, I can help, but once they get in there, there are 30 other people who want that job too.” “They come here and they’re girls,” she says. “Here, they become women with an attitude, and when they leave they should be a lady with class.”  W 

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The success story behind MicroKnowledge By Cari Scribner  |  Photos by Colleen Ingerto


athleen Pingelski and Lisa Hebert Ryan are both outgoing, smart problem-solvers. From there, their skill sets diverge: Pingelski is a stellar sales person, while Ryan is up to speed in the latest computer technology. As leaders of MicroKnowledge, Inc., a Tech Valley computer training and

Lisa Hebert Ryan and Kathleen Pingelski of Microknowledge

consulting firm, Pingelski serves as president and Ryan as executive vice president. Together, they make a powerful duo running the dynamic, successful company that’s a New York State Women-Owned Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise. Elizabeth (Beth) Coco founded MicroKnowledge, Inc., in 1986 with 50 clients in the Capital Region. At the time, MicroKnowledge was the singular company in the region dedicated solely to computer training and technology teaching. The computer field was vastly different back in the mid-1980s, something Pingelski and Ryan laugh about when asked to stroll down memory lane. “Mobile computers weighed 50 pounds and took up half a desk,” Ryan says. “Things

were just starting to get into DOS and Enable. Everything was done by command prompts; there was no such thing as drag and drop. There were constant error messages. It was the time of dot matrix printers.” The path that Pingelski and Ryan took to eventually take the reins of the company begins with their college degrees and early career plans. Pingelski has a degree in elementary education, and worked as a teacher for a year or so after graduation, acquiring skills she would later use at MicroKnowledge. “One day I saw a tiny 1-inch ad for a computer information trainer,” Pingelski says. “I had basic knowledge of Windows 1993-94. I was hired, and learned to be a trainer by being trained myself.” continued on page 20 | 19


continued from page 19

Ryan earned a degree in computer science, and also answered an ad for a job at MicroKnowledge, but was turned down due to her lack of experience with computer programming and hardware. To boost her background, Ryan went to work selling computers, mastering them from the outside in. The next time she applied to MicroKnowledge, she was hired. In 2005, Pingelski and Ryan bought MicroKnowledge. Today, the company has a team of 10 people, the majority of whom are women. A decade ago, the Latham-based company had 9 classrooms to bring clients in for computer training. Once again, things have changed. “As technology evolved, everyone wanted training at their location,” Pingelski says. “Now we have 50 laptops; we walk in and deliver training to their staff. We also have webinars where we teach in an empty room with delivery to many remote sites. Technology has brought great opportunity.” 20 | women@work

MicroKnowledge teams now provide training, consulting and documentation to businesses small and large, as well as to government agencies and non-profits across Tech Valley and throughout the country. Pingelski and Ryan look at each other as they prepare to answer questions and frequently finish one another’s sentences. When asked if many of their clients are less than computer savvy when they call for help, they smile and refuse to throw anyone under the bus. “I have a saying, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know,’” Ryan says. “There are so many companies out there with people spending so much time trying to run the business. We show them how software can make them efficient. We save companies so many work hours, and that’s satisfying to us.” Follow-up support is always provided after a company’s employees are trained on specific software. Pingelski recalls a

Kathleen Pingelski and Lisa Hebert Ryan’s

Top 10 Tips for Success: • Have a sense of humor. • Treat everyone fairly. • Reflect often on ways to improve. • Listen more, talk less. • Appreciate the talent of those around you. • Provide customers with outstanding service. • Never compromise integrity. • Have a positive attitude. • Be a nice person. • Invest in your community.

client who telephoned after spending two hours in EXCEL trying to solve a problem. “I was able to tell him the solution in about a minute,” Pingelski says. “I felt so bad for him and all that time wasted.”

Referrals and word-of-mouth testimonials are MicroKnowledge’s only necessary advertising, and business is buzzing. “We build relationships with people and companies,” Pingelski says. “We love going in to new places and learn how companies run. We spend so much time with the people who work there, we become part of the organizations.” Pingelski and Ryan say they don’t keep track of the number of hours they work per week, but they are always on the go. “In one week I travelled from California to Indiana to Georgia to Chicago doing training,” Ryan says. Both women rely on daily exercise to boost energy and banish stress, as well as spending time with family. Ryan has an 8 yearold son; Pingelski has 3 children ages 9, 12 and 13. Since many of their trainers are also on the road, Pingelski and Ryan carve out time for team building.“Six or eight times a year on a Friday, we all get together,” Pingelski says. “We have a casual lunch, go to one team member’s camp; one year we carved pumpkins. We have to be conscious to regroup because we’re not always in the same place at the same time.” The company’s employees participate in community fundraising walks and runs, make donations at holidays, and serve on the boards of non-profits. One of the key organizations they support is the Capital District Women’s Employment & Resource Center. “The center is designed to elevate women to get back into the workforce,” Pingelski says. “We focus on improving their skills and value in the workforce. We’re invested in the local community; we live and breathe the Capital Region.” Knowing the strengths of their company also includes knowing what they can’t do for clients. “We can’t be the end-all-andbe-all,” Pingelski says. “Our clients come to us for everything. They want to know if we can fix their broken printer. We tell them that’s something we just don’t do.” With no plans to sell the business or put new leaders in place, the executives say they look forward to going to work every day. “It can be daunting, but we embrace change,” Ryan says. “Every day is a change for us and we adapt to movement every day.”  W 

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society

Double H Ranch

Working to

Make a Difference Make a Wish Foundation

A look at a few of the nonprofits making the Capital Region a better place to live

Homeless and Travelers Aid Society

story begins on page 25

The Salvation Army of the Capital Region

American Red Cross of Northeastern New York

Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York

Senior Services of Albany

Schenectady ARC

CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services


Established in 1924, the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society of the Capital District, Inc. (HATAS), is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to proactive solutions which will end homelessness. In addition to meeting a homeless household's immediate need for shelter, food, and clothing, HATAS is committed to long-term solutions which will insure that the children of today are not the homeless adults of tomorrow.

These solutions include the development of affordable housing, employment services assistance and educational assistance. In keeping with our long-term goals, HATAS opened the Housing & Employment Center and Kids Zone on September 7th, 2012. With three "work stations," two phone lines, and access to a fax, scanner, and copier, the Housing and Employment Center insures access to jobs for homeless and low-income persons. Within the first six months of operation, thirty homeless adults secured a full-time job. The Kids Zone entertains children while Mom or Dad look for work and we are thrilled to offer these type of "wrap around" services as part of our mission to end homelessness. In addition to the Kids Zone and Housing & Employment Center HATAS offers the following programs; homelessness prevention, 24/7 emergency services,

supported housing for persons with a mental illness, jail diversion, and rapid re-housing.

The number of homeless families (in Albany County) requiring an emergency homeless shelter referral tripled between 2000 and 2010.

However, between 2011 and the end of 2012, the number of new homeless family cases dropped from 873 to 678, a decline of 28%. A recovering economy and a focus on longterm solutions like prevention, employment, and education are having positive results however for this trend to continue, we need the public's help. By supporting programs like the Housing & Employment Center, you are making a concrete positive impact on a homeless household and we appreciate your ongoing and dedicated support.

SAVE THE DATES! Saturday November 9th, 2013

Gingerbread Builder Competition at Crossgates Mall in front of the Apple Store

Thursday November 21st, 2013

Evening in Winter Wonderland Cocktail Reception at Yono's Restaurant in Downtown Albany

2013 Champions in Compassion Daniel P. McCoy, Albany County Executive Peter & Marilyn Newkirk, Owners, Newkirk Products


Working to Make a Difference

continued from page 23

By Brianna Snyder


ome embarrassing volunteer news for us New Yorkers. According to, New York is 50th in volunteerism in the entire country. That’s second to last, right above Louisiana. (The count is 51, factoring in Washington, D.C.) And the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only about 64.5 million people volunteered between September 2011 and September 2012 — about 26.5 percent of the American population. That’s only a quarter of us! Chalk it up to the still-weak economy, unemployment, general life fatigue. We’re all so busy. Some days we wonder

how we’re going to get dinner on the table, much less devote a few hours to the local animal shelter or soup kitchen. The good news, of course, is that we can find ways to give back to our communities without piling on the stress. In fact, studies by the Corporation for National and Community Service show that people who volunteer live longer, have greater functional abilities and are less depressed than those who don’t volunteer. If that doesn’t move you, here are a few more reasons to volunteer: It looks great on your resume. It lets you exercise skills you never knew you even had — as well

as meet new people, help new people, get involved with your community and improve your self-esteem. Part of the mission of Women@Work is to promote community involvement, and we’re thrilled to present our second NonProfit Expo to give our readers to connect with local nonprofits and charities. We’ve profiled a handful of organizations in the area we hope you’ll look closely at and visit at our Connect event June 25 at the Desmond. Let’s all work together to bump up those volunteer statistics for next year. continued on page 26

What’s Inside


• Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region • Homeless and Travelers Aid Society


• American Red Cross of Northeastern New York • Double H Ranch


• Make-a-Wish Foundation





• Senior Services of Albany


• Mohawk Hudson Humane Society • CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services


• Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York • The Salvation Army of the Capital Region • Schenectady ARC | 25

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT continued from page 25

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region 1698 Central Ave., Albany (518)-862-1250 ·


26 | women@work

Homeless and Travelers Aid Society 138 Central Ave., Albany (518)-463-2124 ·


omelessness in Albany is down by 20 percent, according to Liz Hitt, executive director of the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society in Albany. Though HATAS is not a shelter for homeless families and individuals, it is a full-time operation that refers people in crisis to various area shelters and programs, which can provide services such as providing funds to prevent eviction. HATAS employs a “housing-first” model that seeks to prevent and divert household members from needing a homeless shelter placement. By concentrating on housing first, consumers in crisis are then able to address additional concerns related to mental illness, substance abuse, and so on. And this year HATAS has opened a “housing and employment center,” Hitt says, which includes computers and phones people can use to find jobs. It’s been a huge success. “Over 30 adults have found a job through the housing and employment center, which, I’ll be honest with you, I never imagined,” she says. “So we’re super thrilled about that.” Seekers of Internet access are usually limited by library time limits and restrictions that hamper a person’s ability to really dig deep and apply for jobs. These days, almost all job correspondence is online, which can make finding employment that much more challenging for a person without a home or a computer. The center also houses a new “Kid Zone” so that parents can focus on job-hunting while their children are safe and occupied. And finally, Hitt says, unlike other programs offering Internet services, HATAS doesn’t require I.D.s and Social Security numbers from the people wanting to log on. Everyone’s privacy is respected. “We just wanted to open up that opportunity not just for homeless people but any low-income people in the neighborhood,” Hitt says. “Homeless people already have to give up more information [than they should have to]. We just wanted to make the process easy so folks could just come in and sign in and they’re good.”

continued on page 30

HATAS photo by Colleen Ingerto.

ig Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) is an affiliate of the national Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, an organization that pairs volunteer adult mentors with particularly vulnerable children. They’ve been in the region for close to 50 years, says Chief Executive Officer Sabrina Houser. Bigs and Littles, as the adult mentors and the children they work with are called, attend community events, play or watch sports, go to movies, take hikes, or even cook together. “We hold ourselves accountable for helping children who face adversity achieve measurable, positive outcomes and we demonstrate outcomes in three critical areas for our Little Brothers and Little Sisters,” Houser writes in an e-mail. “1) Socio-emotional competencies (e.g. higher aspirations, greater self-confidence, and better relationships), 2) avoidance of risky behaviors, and 3) educational success.” Ninety-eight percent of the children served by the organization come from single-parent homes, low-income households and/or families with an incarcerated or military parent, according to Houser. Children eligible for the program are between the ages of 6 and 14, though their Big Brother or Big Sister partnerships can continue through high-school graduation. “We provide quality one-to-one mentoring relationships for children in need, based on a proven model that includes careful matching and ongoing support for mentors, youth and parents/guardians,” she says. The organization is always looking for volunteers (who must be 18 years old or older and willing to commit for at least one year), committee members and board members.

a h t i w g n i l a e d d To a chil SS, E N L L I G N I N E T LIFE-THREA the n a h t t f i g r e t a there’s no gre MP... A C R E M M U S MAGIC OF Here’s your chance to make Double H Ranch history: Due to their diagnoses, Double H campers aren’t able to attend a traditional summer camp. This is their chance to make lifetime memories. By sponsoring a summer camper for a week or even just a morning, your donation will make more of a difference than you could imagine. Call or visit our website to donate.

UNITIES T R O P P O S S E OUNDL B O T L I A R T BLAZE A Founded by Charles R. Wood and Paul Newman 97 Hidden Valley Road, Lake Luzerne, NY 12846 Main Office: tel: (518)696-5676 fax: (518)696-4528 Development Office: tel: (518)696-5921 fax: (518)696-7186

Faith, 9 cystic fibrosis I wish to swim with dolphins



As a volunteer for Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York, you can help us in our mission to grant wishes for local children facing life-threatening medical conditions. Our more than 200 volunteers, ranging from board members to wish granters, are key to the 90 wishes we grant each year to children and teens across the 15 counties of the 518 area code. We’ve granted nearly 1,400 local wishes since our founding in 1987, and each wish starts with a volunteer dedicated to helping make a positive impact on children and families with the Power of a Wish®. Wish granters are trained to meet with a qualified child to discover, plan, and fulfill the child’s one true wish. Wish granters commit their time to make the wish as unique as each child and a lasting memorable experience for each wish family. We have regular training sessions throughout our chapter territory, and we’re happy to talk with you about the rewards of being a Make-A-Wish volunteer wish granter. Just call us at (518) 782-4673, or email

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT continued from page 26

American Red Cross of Northeastern New York 33 Everett Rd., Albany 518-458-8111 ·


ince Superstorm Sandy last year, which left thousands of people homeless all along the East Coast, Red Cross has had more work than ever, says Gary Striar, regional chief executive officer for the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York (NENY). The Red Cross is still in New York City helping with the recovery process, he says. And, having had back-to-back major disasters with Irene and then Sandy, NENY is bracing itself already for the next catastrophe. He says the organization is focusing on preparedness now and community resiliency. The American Red Cross is known for its blood drives, which provide 40 percent of the U.S.’s donated blood supply, but in addition to blood banking, NENY provides many other community services, including disaster preparation and response, health and safety courses, swimming lessons and even babysitting classes. As the Red Cross continues to aid Sandy victims by helping to provide deposits on new apartments and hot meals to those who are still displaced, blood donation remains very important. When storms and disasters hit, blood drives in affected areas are inevitably suspended or cancelled, and the blood supply goes down. The best thing to do in a disaster, according to the organization, is to donate blood.

Double H Ranch 97 Hidden Valley Rd., Lake Luzerne (518)-696-5676 ·


hen Charles R. Wood and Paul Newman founded Double H Ranch, it was decided that Double H would never charge for services, says Chief Executive Officer Max Yurenda, who’s been with the program since its inception 21 years ago. The services are for children who are usually dealing with life-threatening illnesses. The program has a medical presence — which is a necessity, Yurenda says, for the kinds of illnesses Double H campers contend with — and works year-round to offer children a place to play, be creative, meet friends and even offer respite to parents. And it’s entirely free, funded by the community. About 900 children are served in eight one-week-long summer camp sessions at the Lake Luzerne ranch. In the winter, volunteers teach kids to ski. Spring and fall programs are family-inclusive; children, siblings and parents can join special groups and participate in educational sessions to learn to cope with the effects of life-threatening or -altering disease. Yurenda says over 1,500 volunteers help support and sustain Double H every year. Their next initiative is to spread the word about their organization, recruit more children and volunteers, and alert potential donors to the important work Double H is doing. continued on page 32

30 | women@work


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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT continued from page 30

Make-a-Wish Foundation 1 Mustang Dr., Cohoes (518) 782-4673 ·


he Make-A-Wish Foundation got its start with one little boy: In 1980, a 7-year-old with leukemia named Christopher James Greicius, from Arizona, had expressed his desire to be a police officer when he grew up. To make his wish come true, a group of people from the Arizona Department of Public Safety brought him a police uniform and swore him in as “first honorary DPS patrolman in history,” the story goes. He died the next day. Since then, Make-A-Wish has granted hundreds of thousands of wishes all across the world; the Capital Region chapter of Make-A-Wish has granted 1,400 wishes since it began formally in 1987. Chief Executive Officer William Trigg says Make-A-Wish’s mission is to find more wishes to grant this year. “We’d like to grant more than 100 wishes [this year],” Trigg says. “That’s going to require a more intensive outreach effort on behalf of my program staff.” As it stands now, children who qualify must be under the age of 18 and over the age of 2 and a half. And — this is important — they must be facing a life-threatening illness. But Trigg says they’ve stricken terms like “terminal illness” from the general Make-A-Wish vocabulary — about 80 percent of the children whose wishes they’ve granted over the past 27 years are still alive today. “We’re looking to raise awareness about our mission so that we can grant more wishes,” Trigg says. “In simple terms that’s our business cycle: raise awareness, grant more wishes, then raise more money to grant those wishes.”

32 | women@work

Senior Services of Albany 32 Essex St., Albany 518-465-3322 ·


enior Services of Albany is committed to expanding services to the elderly to help improve their quality of life. Since the organization’s beginning in 1952, it has provided food, socialization opportunities and other assistance. Monika Boeckmann, executive director, says along with feeding and caring for seniors, Senior Services also tries to support caregivers. Mostly, though, Boeckmann says she just wants people to know the program exists for them. “Our focus is to expand those services to as many people as possible, because that population is growing,” she says. “We’re always working on expanding our services to reach as many frail elderly as possible,” she continues. “We’re trying to focus in on the people who are at the most risk of having to go into a nursing home but don’t want to.” In other words, the organization is interested in and committed to keeping seniors in their homes as long as possible, even if that means taking them to doctors’ appointments, bringing them food and helping and visiting with them to just keep them company. Boeckmann says Senior Services is always looking for volunteers to help with some of these tasks, especially with visitation. At the organization’s daycare program for seniors, Boeckmann says they “love to see new people and be exposed to new things. We’re always looking for people to volunteer.” continued on page 36

126 years matching pets with people who love them.



n o i t p o d A

Become a volunteer, walk dogs, socialize with cats, foster a homeless animal, help plan a special event, plan an adoption event or pet supply drive, hold an Empties for Animals bottle & can drive, help at off-site adoption clinics, adopt a pet and more. Learn how you or your company can become involved and help homeless and abandoned animals by calling Nancy Laribee, Marketing & Development Director, at 518-434-8128 ext. 206 or Mohawk Hudson Humane Society 3 Oakland Avenue, Menands, NY 12204 518-434-8128

You can help make a difference in the lives of homeless animals.

Join us for AN UNBRIDLED AFFAIR Celebrating Travers Through The Years Monday, July 22, 2013 • Saratoga Polo

Please join Gala Chair, Mary Lou Wheeler and Honorary Gala Chairs, Gary and Jennifer Contessa and Special Guest Auctioneer, Tom Durkin Monday, July 22, 2013 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Saratoga Polo Fields, Saratoga Springs

to benefit

Please RSVP by Thursday, July 11 seating is limited Cocktail Attire Suggested For more information, please call 518.371.1185 or email


supports and empowers youth and families in their journey to personal growth and self-sufficiency.

“Not just from building our cookie sale businesses, but from the essence of all Girl Scout programs which enabled us to develop our full individual potential and enjoy many levels of success.”




For over 100 years, Girl Scouts, the nation’s premier leadership development program for girls, has been building girls of courage confidence and character to make the world a better place. Rediscover Girl Scouts or become involved for the first time. Join • Invest • Volunteer

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Melody D. Burns,

Idea Practitioner LLC & Radio Personality Talk 1300 Sandra Dollard,

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CFO/COO EmUrgentCare, PLLC Kathleen Godfrey,

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President, TLMetzger & Associates Chandler M. Ralph,

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Learn more at GSNENY.ORG email us! info call us! (518) 489-8110

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT continued from page 32

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society 3 Oakland Ave., Menands (518) 434-8128 ·


he Mohawk Hudson Humane Society is the largest animal-care facility in the Capital Region, and takes in nearly 6,000 animals a year. And that isn’t limited to cats, dogs, hamsters and bunnies. They also receive snakes, birds, fish, horses and, if you can believe it, llamas. With satellite locations in Glenmont, Latham and Clifton Park, executive director Brad Shear says, “We’re constantly working on adoption.” They run spay, neuter and vaccination programs for low-income owners to ensure pets stay healthy and out of the cages of the animal shelter. And Mohawk Hudson — which has been saving pets since the late 19th century — has also launched a new program called STAR, or Steps To Adoption Readiness. With STAR, untrained dogs are brought to local prisons, where prisoners are taught to train them. This is mutually beneficial to the dog and to the prisoner; studies have shown that working with animals facilitates rehabilitation, and a trained dog is ultimately a more-adoptable dog in the eyes of wary potential adopters who may worry about taking on an unruly shelter dog. And when disaster strikes — such as Superstorm Sandy — Shear says Mohawk Hudson sets up pet-friendly shelters so that people aren’t faced with the impossible decision of having to leave their pets behind. “What we found is a lot of people won’t leave [their homes in times of crisis] unless they can bring their pets,” Shear says. “And then first responders have to go and rescue them.” That puts not just those people and their pets in danger, but first responders too. You can help by donating or volunteering, or, of course, adopting your next pet from a shelter.

CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services 5 Municipal Plaza, Suite 3, Clifton Park (518) 383-4680 ·


APTAIN (an acronym for Community Action for Parents, Teens and Interested Neighbors) Youth and Family Services began with a group of parents in 1977 who were concerned about troubled teens in Clifton Park. Today, CAPTAIN runs many programs and initiatives to keep runaway teens safe, fed and educated. “Our job is to lift them up and help them build their lives and futures,” says Sue Malinowski, executive director. In the beginning of this year, Malinowski says, CAPTAIN had 40 kids in its runaway shelter. Thanks to the donated supplies from the food pantry they also run (they’ve served more than 260 families this year), the organization is able to keep the kids fed and housed and in school whenever possible. Then they try to reconcile whatever problems the teen is having with his or her parents. And if those problems are unresolvable and a child’s safety is at risk, CAPTAIN finds another solution. “For the most part, [the kids] really strive for normalcy,” Malinowski says. “They want to succeed. They want to do well. Our goal with our kids is to get them back with family whenever possible and appropriate. If that’s not possible, we’ll get them to another safe place.” CAPTAIN also provides miscellaneous services to families who are struggling. They teach budgeting classes and, through donations, provide toys and bicycles to children who’ve never had them or whose families can’t afford them. All this improves relationships between families, teens and the community. “It’s also very rewarding to help these kids find their way,” Malinowski says. continued on page 38

36 | women@work

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT continued from page 36

Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York 8 Mountain View Ave., Albany 518-489-8110 ·


38 | women@work

The Salvation Army of the Capital Region 20 South Ferry St., Albany (518) 463-6678 ·


he Salvation Army provides hope to hurting individuals who come through the doors every day,” according to an e-mail from Christine Gray, director of communications for the Salvation Army Empire State Division. The organization provides several services to those in need: emergency shelter and disaster relief, after-school care, clothing, summer camps and even music lessons. “The Salvation Army is meeting critical hunger needs in the region, providing over 250,000 meals annually through soup kitchens, food pantries, Albany’s mobile feeding unit, free food distribution and holiday meals,” Gray writes. She notes that two shelters in Schenectady and Albany have offered more than 22,000 nights of shelter to men in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. (The S.A. also has an Adult Rehabilitation Center, and a shelter for women and children called the Booth House in Schenectady.) More than 200 children from the Capital Region also participated in a Salvation Army camping trip in the Finger Lakes, part of the many youth programs the S.A. offers, along with after-school activities, youth development and character-building. The Salvation Army welcomes volunteers to lend a hand with its many programs and services. That includes everything from ringing the bell during the holidays to delivering food and packing groceries.

Girl Scouts photo by Emily Jahn.

e often associate the Girl Scouts with cookies and young Brownies. But Chief Development and Brand Marketing Officer Nancy Bielawa says the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York organization has plenty more going on. “We continue to try and get people to understand the change that we actually made five or six years ago in terms of the leadership-development program that we offer through Girl Scouting,” Bielawa says. “Troop participation is not the only way we offer Girl Scouts.” In other words, young women and girls can take on the Scouts a la carte, if they like. They can join various summer or school-year programs (which look great on girls’ portfolios when they’re applying to colleges) without having to commit to a troop. Last year was the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York chapter. Today, there are close to 11,000 Girl Scouts across 15 counties in the Capital Region. Each has the opportunity to earn enough merit badges in various categories of study and activism — environmental issues, healthy living, global leadership — to win a “gold award,” presented to a handful of top-performing Girl Scouts in the country. “We don’t want do things in a troop model anymore,” Bielawa says. Most girls have been Brownies, but few have moved up into the next levels, and Bielawa wants that to change. “I want [girls] to pick and choose programs that are of interest to them,” she says.

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Schenectady ARC 52 Market St., Scotia (518) 372-1483 ·


t used to be that when a child was born with a certain kind of impairment or disability, her fate usually was to end up at an institution for the rest of her life. “A doctor would say, ‘Your best choice is to put your son or daughter in an institution,’” says Schenectady ARC executive director Kirk Lewis. Children with developmental disabilities were considered futureless and a drain on the wallet. So, in 1952, a group of families with developmentallydisabled children got together to form the ARC — “advocacy, resources, choices.” Today, the organization supports hundreds of families, operating residences, work programs and support groups. Lewis says the ARC is facing new challenges every day as a generation of kids enter their senior years and face issues such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Lewis says the picture today is very different than it was 60 years ago: schools have special-education programs and people are more aware of developmental disabilities than they ever have been. But awareness is key to ensuring everyone gets fair treatment and access to resources. “The people we support have challenges,” Lewis says, “but they have a lot more in common with everyone than they have differences.”  W 

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How to Give a Great


Follow this advice and you’ll knock their socks off Source illustration: mustafahacalaki/GettyImages.

By Melissa Fiorenza


ou could be in that notorious camp that fears public speaking over death, or you could be the most cool, calm and collected woman this side of the Atlantic. Either way, when you’re tasked to talk in front of a room full of people, it never hurts to remind yourself, or learn, how to make it good — and why it matters. “There are immense benefits to being a good speaker,” says Dale Klein, corporate communications and speech specialist, Profitable Speech, LLC. “The better you

get at these skills and own these skills, here is what you can expect: You could potentially get your dream job. You could get promoted. You will have relationships that are more rewarding. And you will be viewed as a leader, a change agent — someone who is highly respected and sought after for your opinion.” Now who doesn’t want that? Grab your index cards and take notes. We learned from the best about what it takes to nail your next speech. continued on page 42 | 41

Uh oh! Don’t know the answer to a question? Afraid of getting stumped? First step: Be sure you are crystal clear on what is being asked, says Klein. Have the questioner clarify, and in those few moments, you may come up with the answer. If not, tell them you’ll do the research and get back to them within a reasonable time (say, 48 hours). “Shame,” says Klein, “is pretending you have the answer to everything when you don’t.” Bonus tip: Have your audience send in questions beforehand, or try to anticipate the more challenging ones. continued from page 41

BEFORE THE BIG DAY Make sure you’re the right person. As soon as you’re charged with making a presentation, find out why you specifically were asked, suggests Klein. Not only will you ensure that you’re the right match, but it’ll give you an initial confidence boost knowing that you have something to offer.

that the intro should be compelling and pull people in. … You might start with a story or a tantalizing question.” Decide on visuals. Thinking of including a PowerPoint, a flip chart or something else? Klein’s advice: Ask yourself if the visuals will enhance or help clarify your message. If they will, go for it and be creative but clear.

Start writing. Research as much as you need, then write your information and ideas down on paper. “Though I may be tempted to put off writing a speech, I force myself to put just 10 minutes into it starting ASAP rather than leaving it for the last moment,” says Kate White, career expert, speaker and author of I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. “The sooner you’ve written the piece, the sooner you can rehearse. You will feel more relaxed just knowing you’ve gotten things in hand.”

Now rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Practice makes perfect, right? Not so, says Klein. It’s erroneous to say that, she says, because if you are practicing in the absence of feedback, you may be actually be reinforcing bad habits and mistakes unknowingly. “Purposeful practice,” she calls it, “is when you record yourself — ideally both video and audio — and then analyze and dissect it.” Ask yourself specifics, such as, “How was my opening? How was my closing?” Based on your answers, focus on sharpening those sections.

Organize it. The better written the speech is, the more in command you will feel, says White. One point she’s learned from speech coaches is that a great structure has three parts: Tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them what you said you’d tell them, and then tell them what you just told them. “People like to know where they’re headed. If you lay it out, they won’t get restless and they’ll be full of anticipation,” she explains. “So early on in the speech, you might say something like, ‘Today, I’m going to share three ways to actually double your sales through social media.’” But keep in mind

THE DAY OF Bring notes. Period. No matter how well you think you’ve memorized your speech, you can’t account for unexpected distractions — a dropped tray, a car alarm outside — that could throw you off your course. That’s why Klein wholeheartedly believes in having notes, should you need to recover from said distraction. You may not use them, but they’re there. “It’s like having insurance,” she says. Get there early. Make sure the microphone works. Make sure the computer, if

If you have the time… One of the smartest things White says she ever did was take a public speaking class in her 20s. Everyone has room for improvement, she says, so “find a one- or two-night class when you’re first asked to give a speech and get some training.” 42 | women@work

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you need it, is correctly hooked up. There’s nothing worse than a technical glitch getting in your way, so that you lose your flow before you even get started, says Mary Grondahl, who, as the vice president for enrollment management at The College of St. Rose, often gives speeches. “Know the space, and feel confident in the space,” she says. “Try to talk to some of the audience members beforehand. Introduce yourself, and ask what they hope to get out of this.” Start off strong. “I always open up with a huge smile, looking at the whole audience,” says Grondahl. She adds a good point: The audience doesn’t want you to fail. “They feel really uncomfortable if you do. Act more confidently than you might actually feel, and that will come across. And it will help you in your actual speech.”

The night before, I often say a mantra to myself, like ‘I’ve got something good to share.’

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End strong. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of ways to end a great speech. Klein has advice for the “bookend close,” “the title close,” “the sing-song close,” how to close to with a famous quote… However you choose to close, just remember that last words linger. “Don’t regurgitate your presentation. Make it poignant,” she says. (And by the way, you should have already thanked your audience and had time for questions. Do that earlier on or just before your close, suggests Klein.)

AFTER THE SPEECH Give out your contact info. If there’s time afterward to meet with people, which is often the case, Grondahl suggests having business cards for that reason. Have a leave-behind. Klein says she always has a handout — something they can use to take notes during the speech and review long after it’s over.  W 

Photo: ©

Be careful about body language. White’s tips: Stand up straight. Keep your hands away from your face, and use your hands to punctuate certain points — but try not to have them moving at all times. “Holding notes cards or the sides of the podium can help you keep them still.”

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Look around. Grondahl tries to look directly at people in all parts of the room. The right side, the left side, the center — and especially at the first few rows. It can be hard for audience members to sit up front, so they should be rewarded for that, she explains. Show that you’re really with them and that — KATE WHITE the message you’re conveying is for them. And, when you make eye contact, do this: “Really hold it for at least a few seconds per person. People love that,” adds White.

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going above and beyond strong sense of showing up prepared, organized and ready to give 100 percent

self, a clear vision and alignment of goals and values

“What Impresses Me”

any employee who takes that extra step to simply help her coworker/ boss always impresses me

projecting positive energy

taking ownership and responsibility

personal accountability

someone who comes in early, stays late, never hesitates to cover shifts and always has a positive attitude and a smile

By Melissa Fiorenza  |  Illustration by Emily Jahn

Want to really shine at work? Read on for motivation and ideas.


ake an impact. Go above and beyond. Color outside the lines. If you’re reading this magazine, you know all that. You already know that it’s important for you (and/or your kids, your friends, your interns, anyone you respect) to impress people at work. But the why part of that bears repeating. What does that come down to? “You never know who’s going to end up where, especially in a 44 | women@work

small market like Albany,” says Debra J.M. Best, Albany-based HR subject matter expert and consultant, owner and principal of Deb Best Practices. After relaying a story of one young woman she worked with years ago, who treated everyone as if they were a customer and always went above and beyond, Best says, “I will always be a mentor for her. I will always be a reference. Those are the people that get ahead.” It’s all about impressing everyone — your coworkers, your boss, your customers — because when it comes to the business world, our reputations are

everything, she says. You can’t control everything, but how you present yourself at work is something you absolutely can. So we asked other local working women — company presidents, bosses and owners — to tell us what impresses them in general or what an employee has done in the past that really wowed them. And here’s what they said. And yes, you should take notes.

Going above and beyond your job title, and it may be something very simple, asking ‘Is there anything I can help you with’ when they see me stressed or overwhelmed. Any employee who

takes that extra step to simply help her coworker/boss always impresses me.” — Janette Nammour, owner/ stylist, Salon Onaj in Albany

I have found that projecting positive energy plays a large part in creating a solid, positive and lasting impression. Looking and acting as if you’re happy working with the team and interested in collaboration while remaining positive despite external factors, you will inevitably impress both your managers and coworkers.” — Dhianna Yezzi, president/owner, Integrated Staffing Corporation

The qualities that impress me with people in any given work environment, be it at the office or in a volunteer situation, are confidence, clear vision and being a team player with a dash of humor. I’ve worked with many teams of people throughout my career and in volunteer activities. These qualities always stand out in individuals and keep the projects moving forward successfully with esprit de corps. At the end of the project, everyone is pleased with the outcome because it is successful and was achieved together using everyone’s strengths. Camaraderie is important.” — Colleen Geary, assistant to the president for community and donor relations, The College of Saint Rose

dedication and outstanding work ethic

One of the things that impresses me the most is employees who are willing to go above and beyond their duties to help a guest and/or fellow employee. The attitude of ‘it’s not my job’ will always be an alienating statement. Most employers are looking for a well-

organized team with the same goal. Ours is to make sure that our travelers have an outstanding experience. I am always impressed when our housekeeping or front desk staff come out of a room, or away from the desk, to walk a guest to specific location. Whether it be a guest room, meeting space or pool, it exemplifies customer service and that is a big part of our industry.” — Kim Spiak, director of sales, Best Western Sovereign in Albany

As a business owner of an expanding fitness company, I have seven personal trainers that teach my boot camps and Kids Kamps for my company, Make It Fit, LLC. Nothing impresses me more than self-motivated, responsible trainers. My trainers are responsible for waking at wee hours of the morning to be at their camps by 5 a.m. In the past five years, I have never had a trainer call in sick or sleep through his/her alarm. They show up prepared, organized and ready to give 100 percent to their clients. To me that shows true dedication, motivation and responsibility: everything I look for when hiring trainers.” — Melissa Grattan, certified personal fitness trainer/owner, Make it Fit, Upstate NY Boot Camp Challenge and Kids Kamp Challenge

Dedication and outstanding work ethic definitely impresses me ... someone who comes in early, stays late, never hesitates to cover shifts and always has a positive attitude and a smile. Michael Werner, the manager of our massage department, is a great example. Along with his daily work as a massage therapist, he takes it upon himself to take care of the building as if it were his home. He manages inventory, trains the staff, washes floors on his hands and knees, cleans carpets, and does so much more — all without asking and just doing. That’s what impresses me.” — Kimberley Comiskey, president, Kimberley’s A Day Spa in Latham

What impresses me the most about an employee is personal accountability. I have a sales professional on my team who is a good example of someone who ‘walks the talk,’ even when it requires him to step out of his comfort zone and to be gutsy. I attribute this to a strong sense of self, a clear vision and alignment of goals and values, and the willingness to take action even when it is not something he wants to do. Ambition and drive in my opinion are critical elements to success and growth in any position.” — Lorraine Ferguson, president, Direct Impact Associates, LLC in Albany

confidence, clear vision and being a team player, with a dash of humor

I work with Capital Region employers on a daily basis, and much of my work is focused on managing those things that do not impress employers. Based on this experience, I can say that supervisors are impressed when employees take ownership and responsibility for their work. Employees who impress do what they say they will do, keep their supervisors aware of where projects stand, and let their bosses know ahead of time of any problems in meeting project deadlines. They understand that their work impacts the team, their supervisors and the organization, and they can be depended upon to carry their weight. Supervisors are not looking for, nor expect, perfection, but they are impressed by employees who they can count on to take ownership and responsibility of their work in the same way their supervisors do for the overall team or project.”

— Sarah Delaney Vero, Esq., owner, Delaney Vero, PLLC  W | 45

Entering the Blogosphere Home








 1



4 

By Kristi Barlette


o you blog? There’s a good chance the answer is yes since 31 million Americans are “online authors,” according to But here’s another statistic for you: 65 percent of bloggers haven’t updated their blog in the last year. Sixty-five percent. This statistic is particularly problematic if the blog is business-related, say experts. Because not blogging means you’re 46 | women@work

missing out on a key way to connect with current and future clients. “It’s a key platform to share important nuggets which support the success of your current and prospective clients,” says Debra Best, founder of Deb Best Practices in Albany. “It can help build your reputation as a go-to resource for your current and prospective clients. When your blog meets

your clients’ needs consistently for key information and advice, your blog in turn will only reflect well on you, and help your business.” A blog can also strengthen your brand, says Dan Moran, president of Next-Act, a career management company in Colonie. And, these days, thanks to social media, everyone — no matter what they do for a living — has their own personal brand.

Photo/Illustration: GettyImages. Women on laptops, Jamie Grill; Blog Illustration, cajoer.

How having — and maintaining! — a good blog helps your business

Building a successful blog takes patience, and work, but here are some tips that can help make yours a regular must-read. • Show me, don’t tell me: as with a play or a movie, share a story to illustrate your point. Reading other writers’ stories illustrating their key points can be invaluable. • Pick a pattern that works for you, and stick to it: Maybe you work on an entry for your blog every Sunday night, and then share in social media channels periodically during the week. • Write about what you know best; write about what moves you. When you don’t, it definitely shows.

• Stay targeted. • If you don’t like to write, find a writer in your business to write on your behalf. • Proofread your blog, and have someone else proofread it for you. Proofreading and editing demonstrates attention to detail. Clients like that. Even after all those proofreads you — or a reader — may find a typo. Rather than getting defensive when someone corrects you, appreciate that people are reading and noticing.

“A Web page is informational, but a blog brings your personality, insights, opinions for good or bad and more,” Moran says. “Facebook is a quick hit and often doesn’t define a person on a professional basis.” However, a blog only works, Moran adds, if you post consistently enough to develop a following. Otherwise, readers will think you’re not serious. And, of course, clients want to work with people who are serious and dedicated to what they do. That means blogging at least once a week, although three times a week or more is ideal. Susan Bardack, owner of Buzz Media Solutions in Clifton Park, encourages clients to blog because it keeps them — and their business — at top-of-mind in much the same way commercials, or word-ofmouth, do. A blog lets your clients — and potential clients — know you’re there and reminds them of what you do best. It also helps people better understand who

• Write at least once per week, but three to five is better. • Give your blog your personality.

• Keep your topics interesting and fresh. Tie into current trends or news items.

• Don’t write a novel. Entries that are 200-300 words are most effective.

• Create topics that will lead to comments and interaction.

• Respond to comments and have a strong back; not everyone will agree with you and don’t take anything personally.

• Promote your blog through social media to increase your audience.

you are as a person, and may make them feel more connected and therefore more apt to work with you. Of course, blogging is not risk-free for a business. Negative comments that are not properly managed (aka are ignored) can be problematic. Also, heavy negative conversation within the blog can be detrimental because, most likely, those thoughts and ideas are being shared in the community as well. Of course, it’s not always the readers or those commenting who are spewing the negativity. “If you use it to rant, for politics or for a vengeance, don’t bother,” Moran says of a blog. “It will be a losing proposition.” Fear of negative comments, however, is not a reason to prevent comments. After all, Best says, a good blog is a conversation, one where the author talks with readers/clients rather than at them. Comments are just another important part of that equation.

— Sources: Susan Bardack; Deb Best; Dan Moran

“When your blog is a constant one-way advertisement for your business, not in line with the social media success factors of humanizing your brand and being of service, no one will come back to read your blog,” Best says. “Or worse, no one will want to work with you, because only your needs are being met through your billboard blog.”


o now you know why you should have a blog and what works and what doesn’t. But, if you don’t already have a blog, how do you get started? Experts agree WordPress is an excellent platform. Not only is it simple to use and free, but it does well in search. “WordPress has built-in search-engine optimization, so I get the baseline support in tagging my posts to appear in searches,” says Best. “I’m amazed at how well it works, and how quickly my individual blog posts show up in search engines.”  W | 47

Totally Overwhelmed? By Brianna Snyder

Here’s how to get organized

48 | women@work

Photo: Rich Legg/GettyImages.

Towers of paper cover your desk. You can’t find the file you’re supposed to be working on. Your blinking voicemail light shows you have eight messages. And your boss just e-mailed: Something needs addressing immediately, but your to-do list runneth over and three coworkers are knocking on your door with questions about other projects. How are you going to manage all of this?

Stop. Take a deep breath and read on. We talked to local organization experts about how to take down the paper towers, get your e-mail under control and manage your workflow without losing your mind. “Time management is the first issue,” says Leslie Rolnick, professional organizer and owner of Design Solutions in Woodstock. “People can get easily distracted by putting out the fire of the moment and so if you don’t have your day organized into specific time slots for what you’re doing, then that right there can back you up. Papers pile up, you get distracted by e-mails.” So what do you do?

Get organized. Rolnick suggests starting and ending every day with 15 minutes of planning and organizing. When you get to the office in the morning (or, if you’re working from home, when you sit at your desk) don’t check e-mail, don’t check your voicemail, don’t look at your phone. Use the first 15 minutes to look over your to-do list and make a by-the-minute schedule for your day. “Write it all down. Make a list of everything that is weighing on your mind,” says Lisa Higdon of Clear Spaces Organizing in Albany, “just to bring clarity and perspective.” Then from there, craft your to-do list.

Get used to scheduling — in time slots. “What are the most time-sensitive things that you must get done that day and within the next day?,” Rolnick says.


“If you have the type of job that’s going to require you to respond to multiple demands at once, try to set aside two or three specific times of the day” to address various concerns. For instance, if you have five projects to complete today, give yourself an appropriate amount of time for each task. Be honest with yourself about how much time those projects will take, Rolnick warns; otherwise if you don’t give yourself enough time you’ll rush and if you give yourself too much you’ll procrastinate. Then, between those scheduled project times, schedule an hour or two for other items that inevitably pop up during the day. Your coworkers will start to learn that you’re available every day at, say, 11 and 1 if they need you to tend to a problem or a project. “They’ll come to know that they’re going to get an answer to whatever it is within two hours,” Rolnick says.

Clean off your desk at the end of the day. Be sure to end your day with another 15 minutes — even if it means you have to stay a little late — to organize and set up for tomorrow. And make sure your desk is clear before you leave. “Do not start your day with a desk that’s got piles spread out everywhere,” Rolnick says. “When I was a classroom teacher there were many times that I just wanted to walk out when the bell rang, and leave the day’s chaos until morning,” Higdon says. “I literally would set a timer for 15 minutes and make myself stay long enough to straighten up my classroom and desk, and leave myself a few notes as reminders for the morning.”

Do not start your day with a desk that’s got piles spread out everywhere.

— LESLIE ROLNICK, Design Solutions

Don’t pile papers vertically, and label, label, label! The definition of being organized, experts say, is being able to find something (easily) when you need it. When papers and files start to stack up, finding one particular thing gets more and more difficult. Therefore: “Papers should not be piled horizontally,” Rolnick says. “They should always be vertical, in a folder. Even if it’s on your desk, it should be on your desk in some kind of container or a desktop file holder. And every folder has to be labeled. Even if it’s for one piece of paper it needs to be labeled.”

And please forget the word “miscellaneous.” “There’s almost nothing that’s actually miscellaneous,” Rolnick says. Have six different pieces of paper that have nothing to do with each other? Find the common denominator, Rolnick says. Maybe they’re all relating to projects due this month. Maybe they’re all from last year. Whatever they have in common, figure it out and make a folder for it. And if there really is nothing? Make a folder for each. But don’t get stuck in the “miscellaneous” trap: It’s a euphemism for “junk drawer” and you know it.

Self-evaluate. “Keep a record of how you spend your time for a week or so,” Higdon says. “It’s not a planner, but [it] tracks what you did during the day. It’s similar to the trick of writing down everything that you eat. It increases awareness, and just keeping track can make you eat better — or, in this case, use your time better.” This can make you face some ugly truths: How much time do you spend lost in e-mail? How much time do you spend looking for things? How much time do you spend on Facebook? Be honest with yourself. Cut the fat.  W | 49

Enjoy the Times Union magazine experience. Online.

Flip through the virtual pages of our Times Union magazine titles, accessible from anywhere online. The same award-winning layouts. More photos. Links that take you where you want to go. All from the comfort and convenience of your own device.

body. mind. spirit.


Silvia Meder Lilly, an Albany resident, enjoys the challenges of dual careers in the education and restaurant fields and is the mother of three boys. Other passions include friends, food, travel, books, writing and running.

Camp Mommy Time By Silvia Meder Lilly


don’t know about you, but when I drop off my children at summer camp I experience an array of emotions: worry (would they be homesick?), sadness (I’m going to miss them!), excitement (no PBJs to make!) and envy (why is camp just for kids?). I’ve come to learn over the years that they will make friends, and missing home and family aren’t necessarily bad for them. What I still struggle to accept, however, is the fact that camp is only for kids. I wanna go! What would you do with a week, even if it is just a “camp week” of five nights? Learn a new skill? Explore your surroundings? Step beyond your comfort zone and physically challenge yourself? Now that summer is here, let’s think about some activities you might like to see at Camp MommyTime. Remember your days at summer camp? I have memories of Reveille at what felt like dawn, usually in a damp fog. Instead of suffering through that experience again as an adult, I’d much rather begin the day by stretching my body, preferably in a warm, maybe even hot, place. Have you tried hot yoga? It’s not for everyone, and I wouldn’t suggest starting with 90-minute Bikram class, but no other exercise makes my muscles feel so fluid and limber. Sweating out toxins and emptying the mind of almost every idea other than holding a pose is a wonderfully clarifying start to the day. One of the best things about beginning the day with physical activity is the healthy feeling you have for the rest of the day. Ride that healthy high to your nearest farmers market and pick up some seasonal produce to refuel your body. Or maybe spend a little time taking a

cooking class. Here in the Capital Region we’re fortunate to have numerous opportunities for connecting with your inner locavore, buying quality ingredients and mastering the art of preparing them. At this point in the afternoon, body stretched and nourished, a little time spent with a book might be just what your camp counselor ordered. This is summer, though, so let’s place Lean In to the side for now and pick up something a bit fluffier. Maybe grab the latest by David Sedaris for a dose of witty fun or the new Khaled Hosseini for an escape from upstate. If you need a little something to inspire ghost stories around the campfire, Stephen King, James Patterson and Dan Brown each have new offerings. After a bit of reading (the English language), it might be just the right time of the day to actually learn a new language, be it foreign or musical. Maybe you take piano lessons without the pressure of parental approval or brush up on your high school French. Now is the time to become fluent — you can do it, Je vous le promets. Responsibility and cooperation are basic tenets of camp so to wrap up your long day, why not take a few minutes to help make your community a better place? Get involved and help maintain a public garden or park by volunteering some time to weed flowerbeds or sort recyclables. Sharing your time or talents is one of the best gifts you’ll ever bestow.

What better place to start than in the beautification of sustainability of your own neighborhood? With the day almost over, the only thing left is to round up the essentials to make some s’mores (which pair perfectly with a glass of tawny port), and gather around the firepit for some stargazing. Merit badge earned.  W 

Set up your MommyTime Camp with these helpful links: Hot yoga • • • Cooking classes • • • schedule/summer/noncou.html Learn a language • languages/summer-classes-adults • Take up an instrument • recreational_piano.cfm • lessons/piano.shtml Volunteer •

Working can be challenging for any woman. Add children into the mix, though, and the formula changes again. In Moms@Work, Silvia Meder Lilly shares her insights on working and raising a family. You can also find her blogging in between issues of the magazine at | 51


Farm to Table with Sarah Fish

The local chef talks about the importance of eating fresh, locally grown food By Brianna Snyder  |  Photos by Tyler Murphy


hen Women@Work spoke with Chef Sarah Fish recently, she was in the middle of cleaning 1,200 eggs down on Buckley Farm in Valley Falls, where she spends a whole lot of her time. Fish is a major of-the-Earth person -- she says she believes we should know where our food is coming from. And she practices these beliefs in her breakfast-and-lunch restaurant, The Hungry Fish Cafe in Troy. “I’m working with food at a much closer level,” Fish says of her work on the farm, where she hopes to eventually move and help run a restaurant there, too. All of the cafe’s protein comes from Buckley, she says, which means the food she makes and sells there is all local, farm-fresh and hormone-free. 52 | women@work

Top Tip for Healthy Cooking “Use real food. Use whole butter and whole milk and get it locally so you know it’s not tampered with or loaded with preservatives or antibiotics. … The big health risk is we’re not eating real food. You should be able to identify your food. Even after you’ve cooked it, it shouldn’t change much from how it grows. Don’t eat anything gross.”

Dinner in 30 minutes Cool Summer Soup Ingredients 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon cumin seed 1 teaspoon minced garlic ½ cup diced onion ½ cup diced celery ½ cup bbq sauce ½ cup Worcestershire sauce ½ tsp minced garlic Splash of olive oil Dash of salt and pepper Splash of balsamic vinegar 4 cups chicken stock 4 large chicken breasts A handful of grape tomatoes, halved A handful of baby portabella mushrooms

Method Sauté the first six ingredients in a pot then add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook the chicken in a pan with the olive oil, salt and pepper, balsamic, bbq, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. When chicken is nearly done, add the mushrooms and continue cooking until soft. Add the halved grape tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, tomatoes and diced chicken to pot, remove from heat and let cool. Add sliced radishes to garnish and serve at room temperature or cooler.

Fish just celebrated the two-year anniversary of her restaurant’s opening, and she says she couldn’t be happier about her busy business. “I find that I perform at my best when I’m borderline overwhelmed,” she says. “I think that’s what makes me a good business-owner: my mind’s always going. The mental activity in my head is ridiculous.” A self-taught cook, Fish says she learned about food from gardening and gardening magazines. She’d thought for a while she’d be a writer (she studied creative writing and journalism in college, and even interned and published articles for the Times Union), but eventually found her way to cooking. “I started cooking by gardening, really,” she says. “I was doing that and had a sur-

plus of food … so I taught myself how to can and pickle and preserve and it got out of control and now I own a restaurant.” In fact, it wasn’t until pretty recently that Fish took her first cooking class. “The first cooking class I ever took was after I started my restaurant,” she says. “I just took one to see how someone else structured a class because I want to be teaching.” Soon, Fish hopes to begin teaching cooking classes at the cafe. Today, though, Fish is cleaning eggs on the farm to get her foot in the door. The farm is already in love with the ketchup Fish homemakes at the cafe and they’ve asked her to make it on a larger scale for the farm to sell. “Taking this job [at the farm] is more or less an extension of my cafe,” Fish says. “I couldn’t ask for any-

more, man. I feel so lucky. I don’t know how it happened, how this great stuff happened. I’m just going with it. I’m not going to question it.”  W 

Sarah’s Must-Have Pantry Items ƒƒ CHICKEN STOCK: homemade, from-scratch chicken stock ƒƒ ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR ƒƒ GREENS, some sort of leafy green ƒƒ “CELERY and ONION go hand in hand for me and POTATOES are an absolute must, no matter what, for everything.” | 53

We rounded up 12 items that will bring your cube (or office) from humdrum to happy. By Melissa Fiorenza


herever you spend the majority of your working hours — your on-site office, a tiny cubicle or a computer room at home — there’s no rule that says that space can’t be cheerful and inviting. Here’s a roundup of 12 items that can help do just that. After all, everyone could use a good pick-me-up at their 9-to-5.

Sort it out Sometimes a stack of papers on your desk is simply inevitable. At least have them perfectly organized. Task Clip Set, $9.95, Pier 1 Imports.

Tweet, tweet Slice open envelopes with a knife opener that sits pretty when it’s not in use. Birdie Paper Knives, $11,

Special W@W discount! Use code POUIFREE for free shipping. Expires 8/31/13.

Tack this on Brighten up your bulletin board with fabric-covered thumbtacks. $6.95 for pack of six, 54 | women@work

Special W@W discount! Use code WOMEN10 for 10 percent off. Expires 8/31/13.

Memo to self

Go for the gold

Mark your calendar

A nice idea for jetsetters, this reminder globe won’t fly off the desk or get buried in papers. Umbra Memosphere Dry-Erase Desktop Globe, $16.97,

Made of gold-toned hardware, this device is a staple for any fancy lady’s fancy office. Acrylic & gold stapler, $24,

Deadlines aren’t nearly as scary on these letterpress calendars with convenient stands. Desk Calendar, $28,

Special W@W discount! Use code SHOP25 for 25% off. Expires 11/1/13.

That’s a wrap

Name game

Need a gift for a movie buff? These cinematic bookends are just the ticket. Typographic bookends from Goodwin + Goodwin, $35,

Dress up your to-do paperwork (or anyone else’s) with a neatly patterned paperweight encased in crystal. Monogrammed paperweight, $42.50,

Fresh fragrance Sweeten up the smell of your indoor space with a scent of the outdoors. American Samoa: Sweet Coconut & Island Palms Air Wick Reed Diffuser, $5.99, any drugstore.

Picture it No view of the outside from where you sit? A faux window printed on cardstock will do just the trick. Cubicle Window Office Decoration, $30, WoodNTrezzures.

Take note Have the teacher in your life scribble on a slice of paper from this adorable pad. Apple Note Pad, $6,

H2O on the go Designed by a team of former Apple engineers, this stainless steel water bottle won’t roll away, is easy to clean, and hip-lookin’, too. The Square, $44.95,  W | 55

Getting Away: Lancaster

County, Penn.

By Stacey Morris


ennsylvania Dutch Country has long been a place of myth and legend. Anyone who saw the 1985 Harrison Ford thriller Witness remembers the imagery of verdant farmland, undisturbed four-corner towns, and a quiet community of religious pilgrims who want little more than to be left alone to raise their families and do their work. Witness did more than generate blockbuster profits. It shed light on the customs and nuances of a religious culture renowned for guarding its privacy. The Amish and Mennonite communities of Lancaster County are actually as enterprising as they are camera-shy. As a whole, they go beyond tolerating the thousands of tourists from around the globe who flock to their neighborhoods for a closer look: Many welcome these visitors with open arms. The Amish now own and

A HORSE AND BUGGY travels along Lancaster County country roads.

operate hotels, bakeries, gift shops, and restaurants throughout the county. They also offer — for a fee — interactive experiences such as horse and buggy excursions and tours of Amish farms, homesteads, and one-room schoolhouses. Amish ancestors came to Pennsylvania from Switzerland and Germany in the late 1600s, fleeing religious persecution and seeking a peaceful way of life as part of William Penn’s “holy experiment” of religious tolerance. Their tenets of plain attire, an iron-fisted work ethic, and separating themselves from worldly trappings still stand, but they’re also accepting when the curious want a glimpse of their culture ... if only for a few days’ vacation. Amish cooks are renowned for their wizardry in the kitchen, and you’ll find some of the best comfort food on the planet in Lancaster County. Beyond the Amish influence, the county offers museums, amusement parks, live entertainment venues, and plenty of outdoor recreation options. Late summer and early fall when harvest is in full swing is the perfect time to visit. So what are you waiting for? The Whoopie Pie Festival is just around the corner.

Must-Sees The Amish Village 199 Hartman Bridge Road, Ronks (717) 687-8511 · There’s no need to gawk at Amish culture from afar with this interactive experience: a 12-acre community set up for tours of farms, a blacksmith shop, smokehouse market, and a one-room schoolhouse where an Amish teacher is on hand to answer questions. Also available is a guided tour of an 1840s farmhouse and a 90-minute countryside bus tour. Admission prices start at $8.50 for adults and $5.25 for children, and vary depending on tour packages. 56 | women@work

The Amish Experience at Plain and Fancy Farm 3121 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand (717) 768-8400 · What better way to experience a culture than through food? The unforgettable, family-style dinners here include freshbaked breads, chicken pot pie, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles, apple dumplings, and Shoo-Fly pie. There are also farm tours, buggy rides, luxurious overnight accommodations at the Amish View Inn & Suites, and a barn-siding-constructed theater where 400 Years of History in 40 Minutes and the critically acclaimed film on Amish culture, Jacob’s Choice, are shown. Admission to the campus varies with types of tour packages. Abe’s Buggy Rides 2596 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand (717) 392-1794 · Abe’s has been offering buggy tours of Amish country since 1967, propelled by the philosophy that “like humans, horses feel good about themselves when they work a little each day.” Five different tours are offered, ranging from 20 to 75 minutes in length.

Outdoor Adventures Refreshing Mountain Zipline Tours 455 Camp Road, Stevens (888) 353-1490 · Get your daredevil on by ziplining over the treetops of this wooded retreat. Refreshing Mountain recently doubled the size of its Zipline Canopy Tours when it added seven new ziplines and three sky bridges. With an Olympic-size pool, waterslides, and cabins for overnight stays, it’s a bona fide destination. Reservations for zipline tours are recommended as they often book to capacity during peak season.

 “GALLERY ROW” along Prince Street in Downtown Lancaster is part of the city’s vibrant arts scene. Shank’s Mare Outfitters 2092 Long Level Road, Wrightsville (717) 252-1616 Kayak or paddle board the placid waters of the Susquehanna River or hike along its banks. Kayak lessons and guided tours are available, as are guided nature hikes, some of which include a meal at the end. Friday nights feature live music with dinner in the dining room. The Lancaster Bike Club Lancaster County’s rolling hills offer the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of cycling tours. Choose from 26 mapped-out tours of the region that range from moderate to challenging.

Horse & Buggy photo courtesy Ross. Gallery Row photo courtesy Whoopie pie courtesy Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Dining Good ’N Plenty Restaurant Route 896, Smoketown (717) 394-7111 · This family-owned and -operated restaurant has been serving Pennsylvania Dutch favorites such as roast beef and mashed potatoes, BBQ meatloaf, Chow Chow (an Amish three-bean salad), and fried chicken since the ’60s. All-you-can-eat and a la carte options are available. There’s also a bakery brimming with pies, cakes, cookies, and jars of homemade apple butter. Bird-in-Hand Bakery 2715 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand (800) 665-8780 · If ever there were an official homage to pies, this would be it, whether it’s a towering lemon meringue, glistening cherry with a flaky lattice crust, the famously gooey Shoo-Fly, or the pumpkin ... made from the bakery’s own home-grown pumpkins. The bakery also features red velvet layer cakes, oversized apple dumplings, and Lancaster’s signature dessert, the Whoopie Pie. Miller’s Smorgasbord 2811 Lincoln Highway East, Ronks (800) 669-3568 · As the name suggests, it’s a full-on buffet not for the faint of heart, though a la carte options are available. For those with more

adventurous palates, a wonderland of comfort food awaits, ranging from Swedish meatballs and creamy potato soup to baked cabbage in cream sauce, golden fried chicken and baked ham with cider sauce.

Lodging Australian Walkabout Inn 837 Villager Road, Lancaster (717) 464-0707 The inn was built in 1925 and originally the house of Amish cabinetmaker Hans Herr. Thoroughly modern amenities include Jacuzzi soaking tubs, DVD players, and inhouse massage therapists. The Hurst House 154 East Farmersville Road, Ephrata (717) 355-5151

THE WHOOPIE PIE Festival is an annual tradition.

Set on a hilltop in Amish farm country, you’ll have a birds-eye view of farmers bringing in the tobacco and corn crops in the fall. Each of the five rooms has a private balcony.

Try to Avoid: Winter offers plenty of Christmas craft fairs and holiday pageants in Lancaster, but the season can be harsh.

Willow Valley Double Tree Resort 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster (888) 251-4379

Whoopie Pie Festival Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn 240 Hartman Bridge Road, Ronks (800) 827-8635 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7

Set on a 9-hole golf course, the hotel features an indoor pool and fitness center, and a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When To Go Best Time to Visit: The Lancaster region is known for its seasonal beauty but the most temperate and picturesque times to visit are spring through fall, when outdoor activities and festivals abound.

Upcoming Events

Celebrate Pennsylvania Dutch Country’s most famous dessert with a day of Whoopie Pie treasure hunts, races, 100 different Whoopie Pie flavors, and other tributes.  W  Want to know what’s in Lancaster for couples and families? Head over to | 57


Sending a thank-you note after the interview is important. A handwritten note is impressive, but an e-mail is also acceptable and often more convenient. Sometimes during an interview subtle or obvious cues will be given as to the preferred method of communication, and should be noted. I think it is important during the interview to ask what the next steps in the process will be which will also help guide the candidate in further follow-up. — Gayle Healy, Director of the Center for Careers and Employment, Hudson Valley Community College Thank-you letter addressed to everyone they interviewed with.

What’s the best way for a job candidate to follow up after an interview?

Compiled by Brianna Snyder


nowing what to do in sticky situations is one of the hardest part of being a manager. Each issue of W@W we’ll feature a tricky issue with answers from area HR professionals, managers and business owners. If you have a question you’d like answered, drop us a line on Facebook,, or send an e-mail to Your question will be kept confidential.

— Theresa Petrone, foundation administrator, CAP COM

“A personal note is a nice touch. Another great thing is if anything comes out in a business journal or a magazine that pertains to the industry [you’re interviewing for], forwarding that article on and saying ‘I saw this and thought of you’ I think is an excellent way to stay relevant in an interview process that, a lot of times, can take a long time.”

Take a nice deep breath and shake off the anxiety/adrenaline. Jot some notes on content of the meeting along with what you think were your strengths and weaknesses in the interaction. Note your gut reaction to the interviewers. Does it ‘feel’ like you really want to work in this organization?

— Sarah Delaney Vero, Esq, owner, Delaney Vero, PLLC

— Cheryl Lasher, grants associate, Capital Region Theological Center

58 | women@work

The rule of follow-up is you want to get a feeling of how long their decisionmaking process is going to be. Ask “How long before I should expect to hear from you?” If they say, “I’ll give you a call within two weeks,” and two weeks goes by, go ahead and call them. If they tell you two weeks, don’t call them in two days. And absolutely you should follow up with a thank-you immediately afterward. E-mail is great, but if you e-mail, it should definitely be that same day. Handwritten cards are nice too and they make you stand out but with the mail and the time delay, you have to [mail them] that day.

Write a handwritten thank you note within 24 hours. Take care that spelling and grammar are correct, most especially the name of the person with whom you interviewed. Make note of one thing about the company that was impressive to you. Be genuine. — Barbara Wisnom, executive coach of business development, The Third Zone

Illustration: ©


— Rhea Drysdale, CEO, Outspoken Media

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Women@Work July/August 2013  

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