CNY Woman Online's OCT/NOV Edition

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SHE HUSTLES TALKS

COVER WOMAN CORRIN STELLAKIS

Featuring: PLUS Enjoy:

- “LADY “O” - WOMAN WHO INSPIRES: KAYLA KENT-MORIERA - ALL ACCESS WITH DR SHANELLE BENSON-REID

- THE FAB 5: JASMINE COAN TAMICA BARNETT TANIKA JONES-COLE CAERESA RICHARDSON LATISIA HALL-CANNON

Tamika Goode-Otis

A PASSION FOR JUSTICE, INCLUSION & EQUALITY


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PUBLISHER TALENT & PROMOTIONS CREATIVE DIRECTOR/GRAPHIC DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHY

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Kelly Breuer LS Jones Kelly Breuer Laura Marino Brody Wheeler Taylor Mosley Dr. Shanelle Benson Reid Hillary Welles Dr. Pam Denton Angela Duncan Tammy Vreeland Tracy Simone Randy Agness Bonnie Floyd Savon Holt Tetia Torres Ellen Feldman Judi Swanson Kristin Bauer Gross Amanda Richie Terzian Gabriella Rose Fiederlein Amanda Ashley Kelly Breuer Michelle Horton Katie Flaherty Jessica Fabus Christine Piacentino Jennafer Kelly

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Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at networkrocqueen@gmail.com. Download our current media kit at www. rochesterwomanonline.com. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2017 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.





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REGULARS

REGULARS

48

WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Kayla Kent-Moriera

232

TAMMY’S TIDBITS

80

ALL ACCESS

98

LADY “O”

112

UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN

216

YOUNG & INSPIRING Diana Meyer

296

246

VOICES FOR IMPACT

SPECIAL FEATURES

222

ONE TOUGHT MOTHER

236

WOMAN ON THE RISE Alyssa Trahan

120

FAB 5

344

COLLABORATIVE LAW

244

FINANCIALLY SPEAKING

248

AGAINST ALL ODDZ

274

ANIMAL CARE SACTUARY CORNER

105

YOU MATTER

SHE HUSTLES TALKS Corrin Stellakis Shakeriah Smith Jen Cratsley Suagrpop Photobooth Stephanie Ide Unmatched Candles Jackie Monohan

FASHION & BEAUTY 218 DR. J’S BEAUTY 308 BEAUTIFYME

210 B-UNTETHERED 268

TRAVEL WITH AGNESS

288

KARMA SPEAKS

384

HEALTH & WELLNESS 306

MENTALLY THINKING

280

DIVI9 CHAT

B. MOR

318

WELLNESS 360

46

BEHIND THE CROWN

372

BLISSFUL BALANCE

74

HEAL EMPOWER RECLAIM

186

FIT TO REIGN

198

QUEEN OF ARTS

372

LIFE IN BALANCE

105 87

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{ FROM THE PUBLISHER } “To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” Hillary Clinton

F

or the October/November edition of Central NY Woman Online we have Tamika Goode-Otis, all around inspiring business woman and founder of Kabod Consulting. “When I think of women

who came before me, I think of those who look like me. Those who were told by the world that they weren’t valued or smart enough or light enough. Those who weren’t ever even considered simply because of the tone of their skin,” says Tamika. Her story begins on page [16].

T T

ON OUR COVER

On the cover of our October/November edition of Central NY Woman Online we have Tamika Goode-Otis, all around inspiring business woman and founder of Kabod Consulting photographed by . On the cover of our CNY She Hustles Talks women entrepreneurs special insert, we have the Fit To Reign “Queen” and the reigning 2021 Miss US International, Corrin Stellakis photographed by the amazing Laura Marino with makeup by Alexendra Axenfeld.

Then, you won’t want to miss ready about Syracuse’s very own FAB 5. Our cover woman Tamika Goode-Otis planned and executed this initiative in collaboration with local partners, as a business pitch competition across four markets in Upstate to offer Main Street businesses the same opportunity to pitch as high revenue generating companies. The program ended officially on 6/30/21. However, the Syracuse pitch was the very last pitch competition under the Boost & Build brand with a $10,000 Grand Prize award. We coined the finalists the Fab Five because five women of color secured their spots over 25 other impressive applicants. The theme of the pitch was “Pitch Your Pivot”. The Fab Five demonstrated not only a viable and profitable business pivot but also kept the community in mind and created products or services that greatly gave back to the community. Read all about the Fab 5 starting on page [26].

Then be sure not to miss our latest CNY She HUstles Talks cover woman, Corrin Stellakis. She has brains, beauty, and an incredible “Fit To Reign” business. Did I mention she is also the reigning 2021 Miss US Interntational? Read her story starting on page [105]. READ. ENJOY. SHARE.REPEAT. Until next time, don’t forget to stand behind your tribe and encourage and support others to grow!

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TAMIKA GOODE-OTIS YOU ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

Who is Tamika Goode Otis? I am a faith-filled, passionate and dedicated serial entrepreneur with a heart for God’s people. My personal and professional mission is to empower people to live their best lives. I am the proud mother of two sons, Christian, 19 and Braylon, 12 who are my biggest inspirations and motivators. I have a passion for justice, inclusion and equity and my portfolio of work shows my commitment to those causes in everything I do. I love to travel and within 5 mins of meeting me you will learn that sunrises or sunsets on the ocean are my absolute most favorite things. I also get my fuel from seeing other people win, manifest breakthroughs and maximize their success. What is your background? I was raised in South Jersey just outside of Philadelphia. I attended college for 2 ½ years before leaving to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. I was always a good student, but the idea of creating or being a part of creating new and innovative products or services pulled me hard. My very eclectic and vast experience stems from allowing life to be my teacher and completely immersing myself in every new experience or opportunity afforded to me. I studied both Social Work and Public Policy and Administration while in college. I am also a life-long learner and enjoy reading and attending conferences that assist in me expanding both my skills and 16

perspectives so I can be more effective in my work. Prior to becoming the Director for KeyBank’s Boost & Build program, I served as Project Director for the federally-funded Job Corps program for 10 years and as an Admissions Counselor for 3 years prior to that. My cumulative and multi-dimensional experience has positioned me well for the space I am in right now.

What makes you empowered? My desire to ensure that I and everyone connected to me are secure, stable, whole, healed and healthy. How do you balance work and life responsibilities, being a female entrepreneur and woman leader? This is a question I get often and my answer is always the same. There really is no such thing as work/life balance. The

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truth is sometimes work and business get 80% of my time and attention and my family gets 20% and sometimes the other way around. What is important to me is being intentional about how I use my time and energy wherever I am. If I’m coming off of an especially time consuming and demanding project, I am very intentional about the time I spend with my children afterward. I also learned the gift of ‘NO’ and no longer attaching that to shame. I learned the hard way that when I spread myself too thin, I cannot be effective anywhere. I’ve learned to establish boundaries and be honest with myself and others about what I am and am not able to do. Who inspires you to live your best life? I have so many amazing and inspiring people in my life starting with both of my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and some life-long friends. So outside of those closest to me, Sara Jakes Roberts is a huge inspiration in my life. She is the daughter of Bishop TD Jakes and who made many mistakes in life but used those challenges to fuel her passion and purpose. Whenever I listen to her speak I am moved, inspired and motivated to do and be more. What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? The willingness and desire to be an


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{ BLACK WOMEN ROC COVER STORY } }} { {SHIFT+CONTROL “I will honor and value people no matter where they are in life and I will always be intentional in paying it forward.”

eternal learner; Taking a peoplecentered approach; being a blameless problem-solver; being transparent; making equity and inclusion the foundation of everything done; valuing compassion and collaboration over competition; demonstrating and encouraging the act of gratitude. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be powerful and empowering leader in this day and age? 1.Empathy 2. Transparency 3. Vision What goes through your mind when you think of women who have done this before you? What would you do the same or differently? When I think of women who came before me, I think of those who look like me. Those who were told by the world that they weren’t valued or smart enough or light enough. Those who weren’t ever even considered simply because of the tone of their skin. So I don’t have very many examples; in many ways, I’ve been a trailblazer. But I understand and recognize that I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me. Those who could have been so much more if better positioned to receive opportunities. So much like the women who came before me, I will keep GOD at the center of all I do, I will honor my ancestors in my thoughts, words and deeds, I will honor and value people no matter where they are in life and I will always be intentional in paying it forward. What motivates you to work hard? My children and my desire to support

my family and close friends. What is your proudest accomplishment? Becoming and being a Mom. What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I had a management deal to become a recording artist. Singing and music are my first love. I also used to sing in a band. What is your favorite thing about the career path you have chosen? I love the excitement and risk associated with business. I love bringing something from an idea to fruition. Even more, I love working with entrepreneurs and business owners who are some of the most passionate, determined and resilient people out there. Having influence over changing policies that historically excluded marginalized people is the honor of my life. The intersection between DEI/Social Justice and Economic Development/ Entrepreneurship has proven to be my sweet spot. I love everything about the space I’m in and the impact that this work has on families and communities. What makes you laugh the most? Seeing and hearing joy and laughter in children If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why? Travel to Cape Verde (where my family is from) and discover the people, places and things that my Grandfather and his family loved.

What advice would you give to the next generation of minority female leaders? Be bold. Find your tribe and lean on them. Do not allow anyone or anything to determine your worth or value other than you and God. Always honor yourself first. Silence the noise around you and move knowing that the hands of the most powerful and resilient people on the planet are on your back. Be intentional about self-care and prioritize it. What family member do you call when you have good news to share and why? My Mom. She loves to celebrate my wins and hearing the pride in her voice when I share something special is priceless to me. If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? The ability to see and influence the future. What is your favorite childhood memory? Building sand castles on the beach with my Dad and riding on the back of his bike in my special seat for miles and miles. Adventures with my Dad are some of my most precious and favorite memories. What is Kabod Consulting? What is the mission behind the business? Kabod Consulting was formed in 2016 in response to a growing need for culturally competent grant writing in my community. In 2020, my very best friend and business partner joined and we rebranded and broadened our

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{ BLACK WOMEN ROC { COVER STORY } } “You will see me on international stages presenting on topics around Social Justice, Equity, Personal and Professional Growth and entrepreneurship/economic development.”

offerings with KABOD Consulting Group LLC. KABOD is a full-service consulting agency that takes a holistic and unconventional approach to business and organizational consultation as well as leadership and personal development. We specialize in DEI assessments and training as well as Trauma Informed Practice, Emotional Intelligence a n d Pe r s o n a l and leadership development. We also offer Entrepreneurial Alignment Support to early stage and seasoned entrepreneurs and small business owners which includes, Business Launch Readiness, Strategic Plan Development, Service Delivery Upgrades and more. To learn more about KABOD visit our w e b s i t e : w w w. kabodconsults.com Where will we see you in the future? You will see me on international stages presenting on topics around Social Justice, Equity, Personal and Professional Growth and entrepreneurship/economic development. KABOD will

have a brick and mortar that will include event space accessible to the community, a co-working space and business incubator. My vision is big and I have audacious faith that it all will come to fruition.

who have no hisgtorical or familial connection to me but pour into me and love me nonetheless. I would not be where I am today without the influence of Upstate NY and the people in it. In all that I do, my intention is to always to “use all I have to do all I can for everyone I’m able.” You can also learn more about my story and my work on a recent episode of Behind the Woman hosted by a close friend and colleague, Dr. Juhanna Rogers. You can tune in to my 25-minute episode at http://www.wcny.org/ behindthewoman/

What else would you like our audience to know about you? South Jersey nurtured my childhood, Philadelphia taught me to be an adult but I became a woman in Upstate NY, Syracuse specifically. I am so grateful for this moment in time to be in a place surrounded by people


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“I love the excitement and risk associated with business. I love bringing something from an idea to fruition.”

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Taking a Holistic Approach to: Organizational Change Management DEI Training, Assessments & Consultation Trauma Informed Practice Training Emotional Intelligence Training Entrepreneurial Alignment Support Business Launch Readiness Strategic Plan Development Marketing and Promotion Strategy Service Delivery Upgrade Support Personal & Leadership Development Customized & Pre-Designed Trainings Coaching

www.kabodconsults.com info@kabodconsults.com

@kabod_consults KABOD Consulting Group LLC


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SYRACUSE’S FAB 5 YOU ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

Tell us about the Fab 5 and how it was created. My name is Tamike Goode-Otis, and I am the former Director of KeyBank Business Boost & Build powered by JumpStart. As part of that position I planned and executed, in collaboration with our local partners, business pitch competitions across four markets Upstate to offer Main Street businesses the same opportunity to pitch as high revenue generating companies. The program ended officially on 6/30/21. However, the Syracuse pitch was the very last pitch competition under the Boost & Build brand with a $10,000 Grand Prize award. We coined the finalists the Fab Five because five women of color secured their spots over 25 other impressive applicants. The theme of the pitch was “Pitch Your Pivot”. The Fab Five demonstrated not only a viable and profitable business pivot but also kept the community in mind and created products or services that greatly gave back to the community. How were finalists selected? First, we partnered with CenterState CEO, UpState NY Black Chamber of Commerce, South Side Innovation Center, Upstate Minority Economic Alliance and WISE to form a review and selection committee and to also assist with promotion. We promoted the pitch application going live for two weeks before it did by leverage the networks and contacts of all of our partners. Then, we created a simple, online application. Businesses had to be in the city of Syracuse, be in business a minimum of two years, have less than $250K annual revenue, be for profit and demonstrate a viable pivot that kept their business operational through COVID. There were 6 individuals on the selection committee. We were intentional about

having at least 2 reviewers to live outside of the city with no affiliation or connection to the businesses. We utilized a rubric for scoring which served as the baseline for informed discussions to select our winners. Anyone who had a personal or personal relationship with any of the applicants, had to recuse themselves from scoring their application. We had a total of 30 applications. After one week or reviewing all applications and a spirited 3-hour long selection meeting, The Fab Five made the final cut. What did they get out of the pitch competition and how has it helped their business over and above the prize money? One component of our pitches is offering technical assistance and business advisory services as part of the process. All finalists were required to attend 2 virtual training sessions and a 3-hour in-person Pitch Training Bootcamp where they were given both individual and group training and attention on perfecting their pitch. Lekia Hill, Founder of www.3eslifestyleonline. com also offered monthlong promotions and a “Top Story” feature for our grand prize winner. Even more than that, the promotion and exposure that comes from such a public event like this is priceless. Our finalists have reached out to me to say the response has been overwhelming and so many members of our community are coming forward to actively support and promote their businesses. Finally, there is nothing like debt-free capital for your business. Between the Fab Five, and through grant funding from the KeyBank Foundation, we infused $20,500 in debt-free capital to their businesses. For small business owners, this can change the trajectory of their business.

What was the mission of the pitch competitions? As I mentioned earlier, historically, business pitch competitions were opportunities for primarily high revenue generating or potential tech companies. The mission of our pitch competitions was to provide access to these same kinds of opportunities to Main Street businesses. Because many women led or BIPOC led business lack the resources or services to assist them in maximizing their success, we made those services and resources available in tandem with the pitch competition. In fact, our training sessions were made available to every who applied, not just those that were selected as finalists. Something that impact numbers and stats don’t show is the sense of confidence that comes from being a part of something so impactful. The sense of now having a team and seeing how your community actively supports your business is such a boost of confidence. That often translates to even more success in business and the willingness to pay it forward to other upcoming small business owners. During the promo video shown at the pitch event, you alluded to continuing the work of holding pitch competitions, what are your plans? Well, there has not yet been a formal announcement, however myself and partners, Chantz Miles and Adie AkuffoAfful, are finalizing the legalities of our new corporation to serve and support Main Street businesses through business pitch competitions, technical assistance, business advisory services and eventually an Impact Investment Fund. Be on the lookout for impACT Equity Inc. very soon!





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ON THE ONE YOU ARE ENOUGH. JASMINE COAN BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

WINNER - 1ST PLACE $10,000 Who is Jasmine Coan ? Tell us about yourself and your background. I was born in Germany, raised in Brooklyn and moved to Syracuse, NY as a young girl. My parents relocated here to provide a better life to my sisters and I. I graduated from Nottingham High School, Cazenovia and LeMoyne College. Music has always been at the center of my life. After graduating LeMoyne College, I decided to pursue DJing. I attended a year program at Scratch DJ Academy in NYC and I’ve been DJing ever since. I am the official DJ for the Syracuse University Women’s Basketball team and Destiny USA. I also DJ’s for other amazing organizations such as the SU Men’s Basketball team, American Heart Association of Greater Syracuse, Gwen Inc., Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Hope for Heather, The Upstate Chapter of the ALS Association, Sisters Empowering Sisters, Girl Scouts of America, Inc. and many more. I am a mother to 2 amazing daughters, Nyla and Nadia. I also have a passion for cooking! Tell our audience about your business and how you came up with your business. I am the owner of On The One, a DJ center located in Destiny USA. The mission of “On The One” is to provide a safe space dedicated to anyone looking to explore the art of DJ’ing. My goal

is to educate and mentor aspiring DJ’s, and provide workshops for young girls and women to empower them to enter the DJ industry. On The One is a place anyone can go to when seeking to book DJ services and a center of resources for DJ’s in and around the CNY area. When I wanted to learn how to DJ, I found it difficult to learn from DJs that were already around. I searched online for classes and NYC was the closest place. I knew then that I would one day make the process easier for anyone that wanted to learn in CNY.

What does being the winner of the Fab 5 mean to you? Being a winner of the Fab 5 means the world to me! Not only has it connected me to amazing women but it provided my business with the support and resources it needs to be successful! What makes you hustle? My mother! My mother was a woman who made who made things happen. I think of her in all that I do and make it happen. How do you balance work and life responsibilities, being a female

entrepreneur and woman leader? Finding balance is continuous but there’s several things that help me. First and foremost, I focus on staying grounded spiritually. My daughters and I say: Philippians 4:13. My significant other reminds me I’m not alone and he helps me with anything I need. I also love to surround myself with women that can relate and I learn from them as well. Who inspires you to live your best life? My daughters! I want them to know that following your heart is always best and pursuing your passion is not easy but worth it. What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? Successful leaders today must be bold but humble. Be fearless with your ideas and confident in what you know but also understand where your weaknesses are. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be powerful and empowering leader in this day and age? Three major skills to be a powerful and empowering leader is practicing optimism, being relatable and teachable. What goes through your mind when you think of women who have done this before you? What would you do the same or differently.



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When I think of the women who have come before me I think of their mental strength. I think if it’s hard for me, it had to be harder for them. It pushes me to build resiliency within myself and my daughters. What motivates you to work hard? I am motivated by leading by example. I want other people, girls and women especially, to see me in pursuit of my dreams. That pushes me to work hard.

What makes you laugh the most? I love laughing! The television show “Martin”, Jim Carrey and Jerry Lewis make me laugh the most. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why? I would spend a day exploring the biggest castle in Germany. I loves castles and

What is your favorite thing about the career path you have chosen? Music has been therapy for me throughout my life. I love that I get to center my career around the very thing that gets me through everything!

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? I love that powers is plural! I would be able to run faster than anyone because that’s so important, time travel and be able to reverse anyone’s biggest mistake. Why did you choose Syracuse to start your business? I have always believed Syracuse is a place of opportunity. It never crossed my mind to start anywhere else. I do plan to grow my business to other places but Syracuse will always be home, my foundation.

What is your proudest accomplishment? I am most proud of opening On The One. It was just a thought for many years. To now see it in action has been the most rewarding out of all experiences in my career. What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? Most people do not know that I’ve been an actual clown several times in my life, LOL. I love making people laugh.

you have good news to share and why? My sisters! Growing up I was the most mischievous of the three of us. They’re the first to know I’m still out here doing good, Lol!

Germany has the most. What advice would you give to the next generation of minority female leaders? My advice is to give value to yourself first. Start doing it as early as you can and in every area of your life.

Where will we see you in the future? In the future you will see me operating as a franchiser, a motivational speaker, restaurant owner and founder of a nonprofit. What else would you like our audience to know about you? Follow me on Instagram: @ OnTheOneCNY and @DJBellaJ

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WHO WANT SMOKE YOU ARE ENOUGH. TAMICA BARNETT BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

SECOND PLACE - $5,000 Who is Tamica Barnett ? Tell us about yourself and your background. I was born on the East Side of Syracuse. I graduated from Henninger High School in 2002. Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from St. Bonaventure University in 2006. I am currently employed as a Syracuse Firefighter. I have 10 years on the job. I was recently promoted to Lieutenant, making me the first black female Lieutenant in the history of the Syracuse Fire Department. In 2019 I was elected as a Commissioner of Education for the Syracuse City School District. I currently serve as the Vice-President of the School Board. I have a 13 year old son named Aj, a 3 year old fur baby named Blanco, and I was recently engaged this past February to my best friend Vernon Williams Jr. Tell our audience about your business and how you started your business. Who Want Smoke BBQ & Catering was started because I recognized a true need in our community and for years I did it for free. I am also the commissioner and Director for a youth basketball league at the Boys & Girls Club- Biddy Basketball. Each year we would have a banquet with about 300 in attendance including

players and families. I and a few volunteers would prepare the food each year. Once I decided to launch my catering business, I knew the community would support me and my new adventure. What makes you hustle? Honestly, I hustle because I know what it’s like to be broke. I know what it’s like to be hungry, and over worked and underpaid. It’s hard to be a peace when you can’t make ends

meet, when you are unsure if you can feed your family at the end of the week. My parents worked hard when I was a child but the struggle is real. I don’t want my son to have to worry; I don’t want him to have to work as hard as I have to work. My goal is to set a solid foundation so that my future grandkids can rest easy at night. How do you balance work and life responsibilities, being a female

entrepreneur and woman leader? For me the balance is being a mother, a friend, and an entrepreneur and woman leader. I set boundaries, and prioritize. It doesn’t always work, there are days that I am still unbalanced but it gives me a basis to prioritize what most important to me. Who inspires you to live your best life? My son inspires me to live my best life. If he’s happy, I’m happy. Also, the youth in the community; they are always watching. I know this because when I was a child there were several individuals that I looked up to. What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? Integrity, Empathy, Networking, and Accountability What would you say are the top three skills needed to be powerful and empowering leader in this day and age? Interpersonal Communication, Active Listening, Collaborating What goes through your mind when you think of women who have done this before you? What would you do the same or differently. Honestly, I don’t know of any

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“Once I decided to launch my catering business, I knew the community would support me and my new adventure.”

other female Grill Masters. #WhoWantSmoke

government, so I can allocate funds to places I think its needs the most.

What motivates you to work hard? When you work hard for what you have, nobody can take anything away from you. I am working toward generational wealth. I need to break the cycle. I truly don’t want my son to have to work this hard.

What advice would you give to the next generation of minority female leaders? It may not be easy, but you can do it.

Where will we see you in the future? Possibly opening a restaurant once I retire from the Syracuse Fire Department

What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? Myself and my friend Rasheada Caldwell single handedly registered over 600 elderly residents in the City of Syracuse to receive their COVID vaccine.

What else would you like our audience to know about you? I’m an open book.

What is your favorite thing about the career path you have chosen? I am constantly breaking glass ceiling and creating pathways for more dynamic women to come after me.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why? I would like to be CFO for the federal 40

Why did you choose Syracuse to start your business? Because my grassroots are here, and I knew I would have a strong support system What does being part of the Fab 5 mean to you? It means a lot to be able to stand with other dynamic woman

What is your proudest accomplishment? Raising a well mannered, polite son while juggling a career, politics, and running a business

What makes you laugh the most? When I hear other people laugh. I laugh uncontrollably.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? I would want to be able to read peoples minds.

What family member do you call when you have good news to share and why? My father first usually, and then my sisters.

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IT TAKES A VILLAGE YOU ARE ENOUGH. TANIKA JONES-COLE BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

THIRD PLACE - $3,000 Who is Tanika Jones-Cole ? Tell us about yourself and your background. A native of Syracuse, NY, a mom of two adult daughters, my oldest daughter has a daughter although I refuse to be called “gramma” lol

How do you balance work and life responsibilities, being a female entrepreneur and woman leader? Ha Ha, what’s that? Being a female entrepreneur owning a 24hr childcare program the days never end. And even after the children go home, it doesn’t

Tell our audience about your business and how you came up with your business.. Families with children ages 6wks - 12yrs old who live or work in Onondaga county. It Takes A Village was birthed out of the need for safe, quality childcare that is open 24hrs a day 7 days a week, that provided transportation and aimed to meet the pain points of families who work and/or are continuing their education. What makes you hustle? I received two calls this week from large families who are currently staying in the homeless shelter and needed childcare during the evening and on weekends. It’s the moms like this who make me hustle hard every single day! That is just one of the many examples but of course the hugs from the children, the laughter, singing, dancing, and the milestones we get to be a part of truly make the hustle seem more like a lifestyle.

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that if one of the parents call me I am answering my phone even if we are on a Caribbean island sipping Pina coladas! Ha Ha! Who inspires you to live your best life? My inspiration comes from all those who are winning! I know that if they can win, I can too!! What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? I n t e g r i t y, H o n e s t y, Empowerment, accountability, and courage just to name a few

quite end there - you may get a text or call from a mom who needs some “motherly” advice, or to share some exciting news about them getting a new job, moving, or that the baby just took his/her first step. However I do try to find time to vacation with my family who totally understand

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What would you say are the top three skills needed to be powerful and empowering leader in this day and age? Active listening, team player, and the ability to delegate #8 What goes through your mind when you think of women who have done this before you? What would you do the same or differently. I think that every woman who has the ability owned and operated a business, raise a family and maintained good mental health are all SUPER HEROS!! What motivates you to work hard? Setting an example for my children is motivating. Creating generation wealth and opportunities motivates me. And impacting the lives of the


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“My inspiration comes from all those who are winning! I know that if they can win, I can too!”



{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { FAB 5 } “Setting an example for my children is motivating. Creating generation wealth and opportunities motivates me. ”

families we serve motivates me.

People who doubted me

What is your proudest accomplishment? I have many proud moments from raising two amazing daughters as a single mom building a successful business, but the most recent accomplishment I am most proud of is expanding my business during the most difficult time in history. We never closed, we continued to serve families in a safe manner when the rest of the world shut down. It Takes A Village Childcare Center was on the frontline!

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why? I would lay on a beach on an island

What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I became an entrepreneur at 8yrs old when I went door to door on my street selling free brochures I collected from the local unemployment office while there with my mom. I would sell them for a dime, a quarter or whatever but the most impressive part of the story is that PEOPLE BOUGHT THEM! Needless to say my mom was very embarrassed when she found out. Lol! What is your favorite thing about the career path you have chosen? That my family is a part of “The Village”. My daughters and my mom work with me and are just as passionate about the service we provide as I am. What makes you laugh the most?

What advice would you give to the next generation of minority female leaders? Invest in coaching and mentorship,

to positively impact lives every day through the work that I do. Why did you choose Syracuse to start your business? There is a huge need in Syracuse for quality childcare. There are more children who need childcare then there are childcare spots available, and when you throw non-traditional work hours into the equation there really is a need. What does being part of the Fab 5 mean to you? The Fab 5 are 5 DYNAMIC, Syracuse female entrepreneurs and I am honored to be one of them! Where will we see you in the future? It Takes A Village is continuing to enroll new families and has a waiting list on 1st shift… EXPANSION is definitely part of the discussion

it’s a game changer! What family member do you call when you have good news to share and why? Ahh man, you want to start a war! Lol! My daughters, my mom, dad, gramma, and my favorite cousin Nikki! Lol! If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? I am a super hero! I have the power

What else would you like our audience to know about you? In addition to owning and operating It Takes A Village I also mentor current and aspiring childcare owners across the U.S. Sometimes being a business owner can be a lonely role, your family and friends aren’t able to relate. In the childcare industry many feel they have little or no support. I am happy to be a resource so feel free to contact me.

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CAERESA RICHARDSON YOU ARE ENOUGH. ECODESSA LLC BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

FOURTH PLACE - $1,500 Who is Caeresa Richardson ? Tell us about yourself and your background. I’m from Buffalo, NY and relocated to Syracuse as a college student. I’ve lived in plenty of cities for work but have made Syracuse home with my husband and daughter. My professional background is in engineering but I have a diverse career path which has ultimately led me into pursuing entrepreneurship. Tell our audience about your business and how you came up with the name Ecodessa. Ecodessa is a concept boutique based in Syracuse that carries women clothing and accessories from sustainable fashion brands around the world. The name is based on my grandmothers name, Odessa, and the ecofriendly values that myself and my customers have. What makes you hustle? My family, my community, and my faith are the two main motivators in life. Knowing that there are other young girls, particularly Black girls, who are looking at me and seeing their face in mine inspires me to continue pushing boundaries and breaking ceilings in the spaces that I am in for them.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities, being a female entrepreneur and woman leader? Taking time to reconnect with my values and my sense of self is important. I understand the importance of hard work but also appreciate having fun and knowing when it is time for me to get quiet and recharge. Who inspires you to live your best life?

My daughter. It is important that she sees a woman who enjoys her life and enjoys having her in her life. What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? Resilience and collaboration What would you say are the top three skills needed to be powerful and empowering leader in this day and age?

Communication Resourcefulness Innovation What goes through your mind when you think of women who have done this before you? What would you do the same or differently. One woman from the past who inspires me is Shirley Chisholm. I admire that she put herself out there in a way that was very brave; knowing that she would most likely fail. In doing so she inspired generations of women to continue her efforts which I believe has contributed to where we are today, having the first woman of color as Vice President of the US and many other “firsts” for women in politics. I would not do anything she did differently. What is your p r o u d e s t accomplishment? Having my daughter. I never saw myself as a mother or thought this was something I would be capable of doing. Seeing her grow everyday and knowing that she is a piece of me created by me is incredible. What is your favorite thing about the career path you have chosen? The personal freedom it has given me to chart my own course in life.

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{ FAB 5 } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Ecodessa is a concept boutique based in Syracuse that carries women clothing and accessories from sustainable fashion brands around the world.”

What makes you laugh the most? I laugh & smile a lot but my husband can usually get the loudest laugh & brightest smile out of me.

What does being part of the Fab 5 mean to you? I am truly honored to be a part of this group. I think it is just representative of

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why? Hang out on a carribean beach with my family. I love the sound of the waves and the mixture of the sun and seasalt breeze is just pure magic to me.

Where will we see you in the future? I am still charting that course but I do hope that it includes the level of happiness & freedom that I currently have.

What advice would you give to the next generation of minority female leaders? Go for it. Remember to have fun. Also, everything will be ok. What family member do you call when you have good news to share and why? My oldest sister. She’s always been my “person” If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? I would have wings and would be able to fly Why did you choose Syracuse to start your business? The simplest reason is because I live in Syracuse however, ultimately I have found that it is a great place to easily test ideas which is important in the early stages of your business.

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of color. Each of us represents the large amount of talent that exist in community’s around the world. Most of this entrepreneurial talent is untapped and unrealized due to lack of financing and capital.

the huge need to create opportunities that finance and provide access and capital to startups led by women

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What else would you like our audience to know about you? I love helping people achieve their goals. Particularly in leadership and business. Because of this I am a career coach for emerging leaders at Gwen Inc and a business coach at the WISE women’s business center. Through Gwen’s company I have led the You Can’t Fail Leadership Learning Community, a cohort development program for professional women of color, and this year we graduate our 4th cohort. It is something I am immensely proud of because it allows me to help an incredible woman in our community, Gwen Webber Mccloud, establish a legacy through this program and her nonprofit profit You Can’t Fail, Inc.


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{ FAB 5 } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “The name is based on my grandmothers name, Odessa, and the eco-friendly values that myself and my customers have.”

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LATISIA HALL-CANNON YOUURBAN ARE ENOUGH. T SYR BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

FIFTH PLACE -$1,000 Who is Latisia Hall-Cannon ? Tell us about yourself and your background. Latisia Hall-Cannon is a wife, mother of 2, STEM professional, entrepreneur and change agent. She is a Syracuse native, City of Syracuse School District and Syracuse University graduate that is still living her best life right here in Syracuse, NY.

grants exposure to those things that are important to and have an impact on the urban community. Tell our audience about your business and how you came up with your business.. Latisia started her business as a way to solve the problem of diversifying

How do you balance work and life responsibilities, being a female entrepreneur and woman leader? Latisia balances being a Mom, career-woman and entrepreneur by setting priorities based on her values and on the immediate needs of her roles and responsibilities. She is relentless about ensuring that her family is well cared for, her career stays in progression and her business flourishes. All of these things don’t happen all at once and at the same intensity but with time and effort spent on each, she believes it is possible.

Latisia has had a longstanding career in in the field of biotechnology having worked for the majority of her career for a global fortune 500 biopharmaceutical company serving in roles of increasing responsibility as well as within different functions. Latisia is now a Product Quality Engineering Manager in the defense industry. She is a leader for Diversity & Inclusion within the corporate spaces in which she works. Latisia is also the CEO of UrbanT which is a media production company that serves as the center of connection for the urban community. UrbanT promotes social activities, cultural celebrations, and meaningful conversations as a way to elevate our collective urban experience. It is the go to source of information on social, cultural, and educational events in and around Syracuse and 62

What makes you hustle? She hustles because she is passionate about ensuring diversity, inclusion and equity for the Urban community. She understands the power of having information, networking with those outside of your immediate circle and in taking ownership of ones own life and accountability of ones own community.

spaces and opening them up to her community. After being frustrated by not seeing people that looked like her at various personal and professional development event she decided that she would start UrbanTsyr, a subsidiary of UrbanT, to provide visibility to her community.

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Who inspires you to live your best life? Latisia’s children inspire her to live her best life. She often talks to them about the capacity and capabilities that they have and then she leans into that message by internalizing that for herself as well. She moves in a way that is in direct alignment with what she is teaching and wants them to see.


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{ FAB 5 } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Latisia is now a Product Quality Engineering Manager in the defense industry. She is a leader for Diversity & Inclusion within the corporate spaces in which she works.”

Her effort to be authentic leads her behavior and her children are privy to not only hearing about how they can rule the world, the get to watch their mother do just that. What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? Speaking of authenticity, I believe that it is the most important attribute of a leader or successful person. These days, anyone can discern when someone is being less than truthful and people are hesitant to follow or buy-in if they feel that they cannot trust you. People revere others that show that they are not always right or know all of the answers but are moving forward in that truth anyway. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be powerful and empowering leader in this day and age? Three skills that a powerful and empowering leader must have are communication skills, emotional intelligence (exhibit empathy) and resilience. All are needed for the variety of challenges that a leader may face at any given time. What motivates you to work hard? I am motivated by the pursuit of excellence. I feel an obligation to be and do the best that I can because I was given unique and special gifts to share with the world. If I don’t work hard and give it all that I have, I feel like it was an effort wasted. Excellence is a way of life for me and I bring that essence into every space.

What is your proudest accomplishment? My proudest moments have to be when I am told how kind and supportive and generous my children are. Not smart or talented, but kind. It matters to me that they show everyone love and respect. I appreciate that they have learned that no one is above them and that they are not above anyone else. It pleases me to know that they value people of all walks of life and accepts everyone as equals. I am happy that they can look beyond what may be obvious to see the beauty that undoubtedly everyone has. What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? Most people don’t know that I am overcoming severe insecurity, imposter syndrome and severe fear about my worth. I have evolved so much over the years that this part of who I am may no longer be evident but it exist in a tiny corner of my mind and slam the doors to those unhealthy thoughts daily but pressing myself to stretch. What is your favorite thing about the career path you have chosen? My favorite thing about my career path is that it allows me to show up as a leader in spaces where people who look like me are few and far between. I don’t mind being a trailblazer as long as I can demonstrate my value and the value that others with diverse experiences can bring to the table. What makes you laugh the most? These days my children make me

laugh the most. They are hilarious! Whether I am laughing because they did or said something silly or they experienced a new thing and their take on it was laughable or they light me up with joy seeing how they love and care for each other. I laugh a lot, this is my happy place. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why? If I could choose to do anything for a day, I would surround myself at an event where I interviewed all of the major Black and Brown movers and shakers from all around the world and in each industry. I am inspired by success and excellence and want to share the secrets to being at the top of any game. What advice would you give to the next generation of minority female leaders? I would advise the next generation of Black and Brown women female leaders that they are worthy, they were born that way and no one or nothing can change that. I want young women to come to understand that they have inexplicable value that early in life so that they can get to the business of building their confidence to breakthrough and share their unique talents, unapologetically with the world. What family member do you call when you have good news to share and why? I call my Mom and sister to share good news. They actually hear good news and bad news first. They are my

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{ FAB 5 } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Latisia started her business as a way to solve the problem of diversifying spaces and opening them up to her community.”

best friends and trusted confidants. I know that they forever have my best interest at heart, want the best for me and are tireless supporters of all of my crazy ideas. If you were a superhero, what powers would you have? If I were a superhero, I would have the power to change minds. My work largely centers around growth and elevation. Having the power to change minds would enable me to show people the power that they can activate if they would only believe. Why did you choose Syracuse to start your business? I chose Syracuse to start my business because this is my home. It has always been and for the foreseeable future, will be. This was the community that raised me and now I am in a place to nurture it, the harder question to answer would be why wouldn’t I start a business in Syracuse? What does being part of the Fab 5 mean to you? Being a part of the Fab 5 was a 66

whole experience. I am so inspired by the other 4 women and their commitments to their businesses and to the community. I and am glad to have had the opportunity to share in the Pitch Your Pivot event

a global media powerhouse celebrating the diverse voices and perspectives from all around the world. It will be renowned for its original creations and series and it’s impact on culture through futuristic media. What else would you like our audience to know about you? The audience should know that I am in it for the long-haul. I find purpose and passion in sharing information and I no matter where the road takes the UrbanT business, I am dedicated to always contributing to my community in positive ways.

with them. Where will we see you in the future? In the future, I see UrbanT growing to

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315-752-6585 urbantsyr@gmail.com urbant.biz Urban Community




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KAYLA KENTENOUGH. - MOREIRA YOU ARE BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO PHOTOS BY BRODY WHEELER

In the latest edition of Rochester Woman Online we welcome Kayla Kent-Moreira, affectionately known as “Mama Monies” to SoccerSam Fantauzzo, founder of the Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria franchise and Rochester Lancers soccer teams. “Kayla helped us save soccer in Rochester. Our city was in limbo with the Flash and Rhinos leaving. Kayla kept the kick going for many. She’s an amazing mom and now is our CFO, or as we call her, Mama Monies,” says SoccerSam. Her smile lights up the room, and RWO has had the true pleasure of being able to work hand in hand with Kayla for the past few years, so it was just fitting that she would be our latest cover woman. She is inspiring, passionate and is truly dedicated to not only her work, but her beautiful family. We hope you enjoy her story as much as we enjoyed interviewing her! Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background and how you ended up working for the infamous “Soccer” Sam Fantauzzo. Most importantly, I am a mom of two (Jilliana and Thiago) with one more baby girl on the way and I have the most incredible and supportive husband, Marcelo. I have always loved sports, especially soccer so right out of college when I saw a job opening for 72

the Rochester Lancers I just knew that I had to land the job. Little did I know that job would bring me to the role I am in today working for SoccerSam. Not only did this job bring me to work for SoccerSam but in 2014 it also brought me to meet my husband who at the time was playing for another soccer team in the same league that the Lancers played in. Outside of my full time job working for

Salvatore’s and the Rochester Lancers I also run a business with my husband that offers high level soccer goalkeeper training. MoreKeepers.com Where are you from? Tell us about where you grew up. I grew up in a very small town called Lyndonville, NY. Raised by mom, Lisa and dad, Keith and I have an older brother, Aaron. Whenever I tell someone where I’m from they always

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say they can’t imagine growing up somewhere like that. However, I’m here to tell you… don’t knock it until you try it. The best of times and the very best of friends come from that small town! What exactly is the role you play within the multiple companies including Salvatore’s Pizzeria, the Lancer soccer teams and Donuts Delite? If you ask SoccerSam he will tell you I’m his CFO and Director of Operations, he calls me Mama Monies! I started off as a ticket sales rep in 2012 for the Rochester Lancers and my career within Sams companies has just taken off since then. The best part in my opinion of working with a (smaller) organization like ours is that you get to learn it all. Never did I think in 2012 that one day I would be handling all that I do for Sam. I learn something new everyday and I am continually challenged to take on new things and step outside of my comfort zone. I run all aspects of the Rochester Lancers soccer teams including game day operations, team travel, social media, sales, sponsorship, etc. For Salvatore’s I work in the Corporate/ Marketing office where I fulfill all my Mama Monies duties. Donuts Delite is one of our franchised locations and I run there social media.


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“I’ve always had the drive from within to get to the top, win the game and never fail. Whether while playing sports or now within my career, I naturally always want more and I’m determined now more than ever for my children to become successful.”

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “My family. They support me and my dreams and I pray everyday that I will always be able to support them.”

What makes you hustle both professionally and personally? I’ve always had the drive from within to get to the top, win the game and never fail. Whether while playing sports or now within my career, I naturally always want more and I’m determined now more than ever for my children to become successful. How do you balance work and life responsibilities? Not very well. My husband gets on my case all the time about turning work off. It’s tough. I’m passionate about everything I do and that I’m involved in but now with the kids I

also remind myself that the days are long but the years are short and my time with them is precious. I have to sit back and enjoy them while I can. Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship? That’s easy. Definitely SoccerSam. I had no clue who Sam was when I first met him in 2012, so basically I had no clue what I was getting myself into After knowing his story and seeing how hard he works day in and day out it’s hard not to look up to someone like him. In my Personal and professional life he guides me through most all of my decisions.

What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? To be a successful leader you have to be willing to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and those of others and then work together to get the job done. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in your business and as a female business owner in general? Confidence in your own abilities and not allowing anyone to crush it. Work Ethic. You need to be willing to

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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Do you love what you do everyday? If yes, then you are successful.”

put in the hours to get the job done. What is 9am-5pm? The day is done when the work is done. Integrity. You want those around you to respect you and your leadership. Don’t ever jeopardize who you are or your beliefs for a job.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Adding “Mom” to my resume. No better job, no better accomplishment.

What makes you laugh the most? My coworkers, SoccerSam and Ashley. We probably should start our own YouTube channel!

How do you define success? Happiness. Do you love what you do everyday? If yes, then you are successful. What is your biggest fear? Failure. Probably true for many but so important to remind ourselves that “when we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, gives ourselves to excel”.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why? Take a nap. I am tired as a mother. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? Dont hold back. Keep pushing forward. You and only you will create your own destiny.

What would you change about yourself if you could? My approachability. Sometimes I think that people may find it hard to approach me because when you don’t know me I can seem to have a tough outer shell. Once you crack it though, you get to find out that I am a fun and loving person! What motivates you to work hard? My family. They support me and my dreams and I pray everyday that I will always be able to support them.

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What is your favorite thing about your career? I learn something new everyday. No two days are the same. Who else gets to say that they work with Soccer, Pizza and Donuts on daily basis - name a better combination!

How would your friends describe you? I hope that they would say I’m fun, adventurous, loving and would do anything for any one of them What is one thing that many people don’t know about you? I have two step sons in Brazil. Igor and Pedro.

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Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? My kids (and candy). If you were a super-hero, what


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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “I learn something new everyday and I am continually challenged to take on new things and step outside of my comfort zone.”

powers would you have? To change the divide in the world so everyone loves each other. What is some of the advice you share with young women entering a male-dominated profession? Don’t be afraid to speak your mind 82

or bring your ideas to the table. If a male ever makes you feel like you are inferior to them, it’s just because they are intimidated by you so keep going girl and do your thing. Where will we see you in the future? Right now I’m just taking life one day

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at a time, raising my babies, being a wife, working a full time job and running my husbands business. Who knows what blessings the future will hold for my family.


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THE GREAT, THE GOOD, AND THE DOWNRIGHT AWFUL BY DR SHANELLE BENSON REID

LIFE HAPPENS

Another day filled with frustration, long hours, and very little sleep. I know at some point, it is going to get easier, just not today. I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel but right now it feels like a freight train!

in areas of Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Cultural Competency, Social Awareness, Equity and Community / Individual Empowerment. I considered my wildest dreams and I brought them to fruition.

I was never the type of person who believed I could have it all. Growing up, I remember wanting to get a good job and I decided being a pediatrician would be great. However, I did not know any pediatricians personally. But life has a way of happening and I was thrown off-course. If I am being honest, I can say, when I entered college, I was undecided. I was probably unsure of my future until entering my senior year. I decided to pursue a degree in sociology because it seemed general; basically, still undecided, undeclared, and extremely unsure. Eventually, I realized I loved sociology and from that point I knew I would attend graduate school. But like I said, life has a way of happening and my son started having academic problems. That was when I decided to become a teacher. I love education and all my success is due to education. Earning a bachelor’s degree, a teaching credential, a master’s degree, and a doctorate, convinced me that I could accomplish anything. So, I decided to become a Consultant, Coach, Author and Professional Speaker with an expertise

the building. However, consulting has been my life’s work for over ten years. When I started my business, I had dreams of grandeur. I thought people and organization would magically appear, craving advice and guidance. I was delusional! I could not afford my business the first seven years; in fact, I am surprised I was able to weather the storms. I spent a lot of time throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping something would stick. Now, going into year twelve, I know I am here to stay. I created ACCESS Global Group to operate as the parent company of ACCESS Coaching and Consulting. ACCESS Coaching and Consulting is a firm that focuses on cultural competency, social awareness and equity in education and employment, and we are here to stay.

ACCESS DENTAL LABORATORIES

ACCESS GLOBAL GROUP

The hours are long, the research in extensive and most times, I am the person most disliked in the building. Typically, people with the organization, are not overjoyed by seeing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant in

As of today, this is my greatest achievement and my greatest frustration. From angry tears to silent screams, I have never, and I mean never work so hard to bring a dream to fruition. Of course, I am fully equipped to bring this dream to reality, but words cannot detail the amount of labor required. Every day is filled with new challenges, roadblocks, and frustrations, but every day we get a day closer to fulfillment. He is Mr. Todd R. Reid, I am Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid and together we are ACCESS

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{ ALL ACCESS } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “You may need to rest along the way, or even scream, but greatness awaits.”

Dental Laboratories. ACCESS Dental Laboratories is a full-service dental laboratory that specializes in the design of crowns, bridges, partials, dentures, night guards, implants, and veneers.

FRIENDS OF DR. SHANELLE

I do not have the words to honestly articulate the difficulty in running for public office. Better yet, I have the words, but I am choosing not to

GLOBAL SAGE WELLNESS

As I move to this stage of my life, I recognize my need for spiritual development and growth, yet somehow my “doing” life has not listened to my “being” life. Truthfully, every day, I hope that my businesses slow enough to allow me to fully-birth my wellness company. The hustle and bustle of owning multiple businesses has encouraged me to seek calm. I formed Global SAGE Wellness to serve as the parent company of my Health and Wellness Enterprise., my calm The Ethereal Yoga Parlour offers a wide array of yoga classes, guided mediations, and reiki sessions, while Elaborate: The Body Shoppe features, adornments, candles, lotions and potions from local artisans and Euphoria: The Jazz and Java Bistro serves plant-based cuisine options and offers plant-based nutritional programs and coaching. My health and wellness empire is in its infancy but this venture feeds my soul. 88

and advocating for the residents of District 14 and the County of Onondaga. My name is Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid and I’m running for Onondaga County Legislature, District 14.

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE

Contemplating my early years, I do not remember setting goals. I remember wanting to get good grades and working for them, I remember wanting to be in the starting lineup for basketball and I practiced daily and lastly, I remember wanting to make a decent living, so I went to college. However, I could never fathom the notion of having it all because I grew up experiencing lack. As an adult, I’ve come to learn, I may not have it all but what I know for sure is everything is possible. You may need to rest along the way, or even scream, but greatness awaits.

share them. What I will say however, is this process is grueling, exhausting, and thankless! I made the decision to run for office in January 2021. I’ve spent most of my adult life serving and advocating for students and families, now I commit to serving

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MRS NEW YORK AMERICA PHOTOS BY: NEW YORK - WWW.JMOSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM I WASHINGTON, DC - WWW.HIGHERLEVELPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

This month we will feature a Q & A with the current Mrs. New York America, Jessica Fabus Cheng. Who is your greatest inspiration?

Duchenne Awareness Month, so be on the lookout for that! Speaking of inspiration, do you have any favorite quotes you live by?

As I have gotten older, this has undergone a few changes. I’ve noticed that as my life’s journey has gone on, I find myself inspired by selfless, authentic people who just tell the truth in love and keep it real. That said, my greatest inspiration is Pat Furlong, the CEO and founder of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. The reason she inspires me is because she is a mom and an everyday woman who refused to take “no” for an answer when her two sons were diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Duchenne is a fatal genetic disorder that is often passed on by the mother, and when her sons were diagnosed there was not a lot of advocacy or care for these children.

Yes! One of my favorites is a quote by a champion of Duchenne, the

Sitting around a dining room table with other families in her community, Pat formed Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, which has since become a world leader in Duchenne advocacy and is a hub for families contending with this disorder. My good friend Christine Piacentino wrote an amazing piece about Pat in this month’s magazine honoring

late Senator from Minnesota Paul Wellstone. He said, “Let there be no distance between the words you say and the life you live.” It is really important to me that I live an authentic and transparent life, and represent who I truly am, in pageantry and beyond. I see pageantry as a vehicle for good and for change. I want my words to reflect the reality

of what I am trying to do to represent the Duchenne muscular dystrophy community and the state of New York. What do you want people to know about the Duchenne muscular dystrophy community? I recently attended an event in Westchester called “Be Fierce Against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy for Conner” put on by the Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy organization that took place on September 11, 2021. I believe the timing was significant, as September 11th was one of the most tragic days in history for New York and our country yet produced a level of kindness and goodwill that transcended the event. Although Duchenne is a diagnosis, it runs along the same lines of being one of the most devastating days in a family’s life. The most important thing for people to understand about the Duchenne community is that despite getting such a devastating diagnosis you gain one of the most welcoming, open and empathetic community. People that have literally walked in fire and may currently be walking in the fire yet are somehow able to hold out a hand in support and kindness. It makes me incredibly emotional to think about and gives me hope in the human spirit. Just

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SHIFT+CONTROL } } {{ BEHIND THE CROWN “Emotion is not a weakness, but an absolute strength. The most empowering thing you can do is speak your heart’s desire and say what is on your mind.”

when you think you are done, you are not, and far from it. The Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy event raised more than $258,000 for Duchenne research. And on a day that is often pretty hard for many New Yorkers, including myself and others throughout the country and the world, a group of individuals chose to come together to take action and be kind. And these are the people of the Duchenne community. This is who they are and what they do on a regular basis. Why do you personally advocate for Duchenne muscular dystrophy? Advocacy for me combines two things: 96

speaking up for those that are not able to speak for themselves and supporting those that are just starting out on their personal advocacy journey. My heart is for those individuals who have the desire to advocate but don’t think that they can do it. Having a family member or child with Duchenne is very emotionally charged, as you might imagine. I often hear, “I love what you are doing in terms of advocacy, but I couldn’t do it.” In that sense, I feel like I am the bridge between their heart’s desire and reality, and this is why my platform is what it is: The Power of Your Story. Everyone has a story, and it is vitally important that our lawmakers and other people in positions of power hear the humanity behind our asks. That comes from hearing our real,

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human stories: the joy, the pain, the difficult things yet also the victories, and even the emotion. The emotion is not a weakness, but an absolute strength. The most empowering thing you can do is speak your heart’s desire and say what is on your mind. That is my goal as an advocate and a titleholder, to allow people in the Duchenne community and beyond the freedom to do that. But that means I must do the work first and face my personal fears with confidence. It is only after I’ve done that that I can truly serve someone else in a meaningful way. For more information please visit: www.parentprojectmd.org www.mrsnyamerica.com


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LIFE IN TRANSITION BY DANIELLE MENSING

Life in transition. There has been a collective transition since the pandemic began. Transitions like entering a new job, building a business, changing careers, moving locations, ending bad habits and starting good ones… For many, the pandemic was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. We all started to look inward at our lives and make changes for the better.

a reminder to us all that life is fragile. For me, it has reinforced being a woman of clear pur-pose and how powerful purpose transforms… How could I make a bigger impact? Do more with the time that I have?

the world that have made significant accomplishments in their lives and have gone through their own adversities but have made it through those challenges and made positive impacts through their work.

I had conversations with entrepreneurs,

In the last year and a half, I matriculated into a two year grad program and then boldly graduat-ed with my MBA in one year, while working full time and growing my podcast. Talk about transitions…

“The Great Resignation” and “remote or hybrid” work are popular buzz words. Proud to be among this group seeking better opportunities as I started a new job as a Regional Director of Advancement for a University. I love the work I get to do! My passion for fundraising has aligned with my personal mission as well as introduced me to the most amazing individuals and organizations that impacted lives. I am also the Founder of Voices For Impact, the podcast. Last year, I created a podcast to help people thrive by creating content that encourages a growth mindset and reimagines how people can find their purpose. At that time, I did not consciously realize that I was building meaning into my life along with building a platform. I was being redirected to a new purpose while helping others find theirs. I have always maintained a personal mission and every decision I have made in my professional and personal life has aligned with that but I was searching for something deeper. The pandemic is

I recently came across this quote: “Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties… out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something.” - John Gardner

artists, educators, athletes and changemakers about how they found their purpose and what gives them meaning. Voices For Impact turned into a platform that gives people tips on overcoming challenges and keeping a positive mindset by sharing real stories of leaders in our local community and from around

Isn’t that the truth? “Meaning is something you build into your life.” A common mentality that is expressed in almost every Voices For Impact episode is bravery and going after what you want in life without fear of failure. Enjoy the process, enjoy the journey, and while building on your goals, entering a new chapter, starting a new job — you are building meaning.

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{{ BEHIND THE CROWN SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Emotion is not a weakness, but an absolute strength. The most empowering thing you can do is speak your heart’s desire and say what is on your mind.”

You may believe in karma, you may believe in God’s plan, you may believe in the scientific laws of nature. Know this as you are going through life’s changes — Today’s low point sets us up for tomorrow’s high. “He who has why to live, can bear with almost any how”. - Viktor Frankel I hope you feel motivated to take on the day after reading this article and for more daily inspiration listen to Voices For Impact on Apple, Spotify, and iHeart Radio podcast platforms. Subscribe and stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn @ VoicesForImpact. 100

DID YOU KNOW? Podcasts are really effective at selling, spreading awareness, and building good reputations for companies. It’s an intimate medium where listeners develop real relation-ships with hosts, so when hosts recommend products in their own voices, audiences are more likely to try their product. Voices For Impact has attractive demographics for advertisers, with listeners that are more of an affluent, educated consumer than average, according to Edison Research. My current list of sponsors include Always Chasing Better Coaching, Kefi Market-ing, EmPowered Nutrition, among others.

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Email voices4impactcuse@gmail.com if you would like to get your message out to a new audience by sponsoring an episode or sharing your story to help encourage people to find their passion and purpose. Danielle Mensing, MBA currently resides in Syracuse NY and works as Regional Director of Advancement at a University. In addition, she volunteers for several organizations in the community, is a Board Member for Skaneateles Festival and Association for Fundraising Professionals. She is also a Central New York Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty honoree.


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SPECIAL INSERT WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES

FEATURING:

- SHAKERIAH SMITH - STEPHANIE IDE -JEN CRATSLEY -SUGARPOP PHOTOBOOTH - JACKIE MONAHAN - UNMATCHED CANDLES

Corrin Stellakis FIT TO REIGN


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CORRIN YOU ARE STELLAKIS ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO PHOTOS BY LAURA MARINO

Tell us about yourself, and your background. When and how did you get into pageants? My name is Corrin Stellakis and I am the owner of Fit to Reign, a business dedicated to empowering women. Fit to Reign is located in North Syracuse, NY, but I also coach women from all over the country virtually. My pageant career started at a local level with the Miss Jr. Oz pageant. I was 14 years old when I won the title of Miss Jr. Oz and that experience inspired me to continue in pageantry. In 2014 I competed in my first large pageant, Miss New York Teen USA. I won this title at the age of 16 and it completely transformed my life. As a girl who grew up on a horse farm in central NY, I was thrown into the world of beauty, modeling, and pageantry. I found a passion for it and have competed ever since.

in Communication, Psychology, and Christian Counseling from Liberty University and I am a certified personal trainer. Fit to Reign services includes pageant coaching, personal training and programming, self-development coaching, model coaching, interview, and public speaking preparation, and makeup artistry.

What was it like hearing your name called as winner for your first pageant title? I felt surprised, humbled, overwhelmed, blessed, and full of joy! It was such an exciting moment!

What makes you hustle? The desire to improve myself and help others discover their purpose and pursue their passions. Tell us about your business “Fit to Reign”. How did it start? What is the mission behind it? Fit to Reign was developed in 2016 to help women become mentally, intellectually, socially, spiritually, physically, and emotionally fit! My goal is to empower women from all walks of life to become the best possible versions of themselves. I have a degree 108

What does the word empowerment mean to you? Empowerment means emboldening others, motivating them, and helping them to believe in their ability to make an impact! When I empower women I instill confidence in them and inspire them to declare victory over their lives!

What did you choose for your platform for Miss US International and why? My platform is Fit to Reign. I am dedicated to inspiring and motivating other women to rise above. Miss USI’s motto is “cheer all women!”

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What do you feel are your greatest strengths? What about some of your weaknesses? I would say that some of my greatest strengths are communicating, living in faith, prioritizing what is most important, and staying organized. I love socializing and I enjoy deep conversation. I love to talk, but I also love to listen. I have learned how to trust God with everything that goes on in my life. A strength of mine is letting go and letting God! I believe that if you prioritize what is most important, that you will find that you have an abundance of time for other things that tend to come up. Lastly, I am good at keeping order in my life. I arrange my schedule and I plan ahead so that I can maximize my time. I am always on time if not early to my events.


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“Empowerment means emboldening others, motivating them, and helping them to believe in their ability to make an impact! When I empower women I instill confidence in them and inspire them to declare victory over their lives! ”


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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “My clients always inspire me! Their dedication, commitment, and hard work push me to be a better coach.”

My weaknesses you ask?… Cannolis, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, and Kit Kats ;) What do you to hope accomplish during your reign? I hope to travel to as many places and attend as many events as possible! I want to make the most out of this year and impact lives by instilling confidence in everyone I meet and empowering individuals to reach their destiny! I hope to be a voice for many in need, and create more awareness on the Miss International pageant system, and what opportunities it presents to women. What do you take away from your pageant experience each time you compete? I learn more about myself every time I compete in a pageant and I gain wonderful, lasting friendships after each pageant experience. I have met most of my closest friends through pageantry. Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? Priscilla Shirer is a huge inspiration to me! She is a strong, bold, knowledgeable woman of faith that leads others into a close relationship with the Lord. She makes God her first priority and because of that experiences great blessings! She has inspired me to lead my own women’s Bible study on Monday nights! I love getting together with a group of women who want to grow closer to their Lord and Savior. My clients always inspire me! Their

dedication, commitment, and hard work push me to be a better coach. I love their passion for their platforms and their heart for the organizations they represent. I am honored to work with such amazing, empowered women from all over the county. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you compete? Why did you create Fit To Reign? I compete to challenge myself and develop myself. I compete for the opportunities pageantry offers and the friendships I can create through the process. I compete to network and gain connections with people from all walks of life. I created Fit to Reign because of my love for pageantry and what it does for women. I wanted to encourage all young girls and women in the pageant world, and give them the tools they need to succeed. I created Fit to Reign because I wanted to help women reach their fitness goals, and feel confident in their own skin. I created Fit to Reign because I wanted to spread the message that we are Queens because we are daughters of the One True King, Jesus Christ. How did working through the pandemic change you for the better or worse? How did you get creative? How did it affect your reigning status? The pandemic took a toll on all small businesses and mine was no different. I took the extra time that I had while I was not working with clients and I stayed productive. I worked on my personal development so that when the world started running again, I would have more to offer my clients!

Fortunately, while the gyms were closed down, I was still able to work out in my fitness studio throughout the pandemic so I did not skip a beat! I also had more time to connect with people over social media and post often. I helped people with at-home workout programs, and I transferred most of my in-person clients to virtual sessions. The pandemic was a challenge, to say the least, but when you are Fit to Reign, you keep striving toward your goals and you make things happen! What role do you think social media plays for you personally and professionally and what is your favorite platform? Social media plays a huge role in my business’ success! I connect with women from all different pageant systems, all across the country via social media. I have a much larger outreach thanks to social media platforms. Most of my clients I have never met in person. Social media makes it possible to get to know my clients and what their needs are without ever seeing them in person, face to face! Social media helps me spread my message and share what Fit to Reign is all about. It also allows me to stay connected to members of my Fit to Reign family and stay updated on all of the fun, and exciting things happening in their lives. Instagram is my absolute favorite platform because of its versatility and easy use. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. The moment I was announced as Miss Earth USA in 2016 will always be a

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “I learn more about myself every time I compete in a pageant and I gain wonderful, lasting friendships after each pageant experience. I have met most of my closest friends through pageantry.”

highlight in my pageant career. As I hugged my runner up, the clasps on my gown broke open! The hook and eyes went flying! I caught my dress and saved myself from exposure. Women from backstage and other contestants rushed to help me, but there was no saving it. The sash was at first placed on the wrong shoulder, and the crown did not fit! Thinking her crown was smaller, my predecessor generously took her own crown off of her head and tried placing it on mine. Proving to the world that the crown was not too large, but rather my head was too small, the crown fell over my head and onto my neck. Flowers in hand, holding my dress and crown up, I celebrated my moment, and was overwhelmed with excitement! This moment has become a YouTube sensation with nearly 16 million views! It was a beautiful disaster, a moment I will never forget! What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful both in and out of the pageant world? Being well-rounded and grounded. I work on my strengths as well as my weaknesses. I am always growing and learning. I aim to be relatable and authentic in everything that I do. What do you have planned for the next 114

year? What about five years from now? Over the next year, I will be preparing for Miss International 2022! Next November I will be competing for 3 weeks in Japan representing the United States of America. I will be spending

My goal is always to reach more and more women in the pageant industry and help them become Fit to Reign. I am currently working on writing my first devotional/Bible Study book for women! I hope to have that published in the next 5 years. I may also further my education through Liberty University’s online programs. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make? Taking a leap of faith, becoming an entrepreneur, and opening my business Fit to Reign at the age of 19! It was a huge investment of time, energy, and money, but it was all worth it! I love what I do so I never have to work a day in my life. What motivates you? Embracing my full potential motivates me to work harder, invest in myself and my business.

this next year traveling and attending as many events as possible to represent the USI pageant organization. Five years from now I will still be competing in pageantry and expanding my business.

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What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself in the past years during your pageant journey? You are only ever competing against who you were yesterday! There is always room for improvement. Keep setting the bar high! Prepare like you have never won, and perform like you have never lost!



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“I created Fit to Reign because of my love for pageantry and what it does for women.”


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“Five years from now I will still be competing in pageantry and expanding my business. My goal is always to reach more and more women in the pageant industry and help them become Fit to Reign.”

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MENTION RWO AT CHECKOUT AT RECEIVE A 10% DISCOUNT ON YOUR ORDER! WWW.TCOSTACOLLECTIONNYC.COM


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SHAKIERAH SMITH PHOTOS BY BRODY WHEELER

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background and who is Shakierah Smith. Who is Shakierah Smith? Well, that’s quite a complex and rather loaded question. But I would say Shakierah Smith is an unapologetic, revolutionary, ambitious, hard-working, empathetic, sensitive, intelligent, down to earth, humble, quirky, funny, dramatic, forward thinking, aspiring attorney and judge. I’m somewhere between Elle Woods and Thurgood Marshall, which is why I like to call myself the Female Thurgood Marshall and Melanated Elle Woods. Where are you from? Tell us about where you grew up and your family. I’m from the inner city of Rochester, NY. I’ve lived in almost every part of the city but I primarily grew up near Emerson and Dewey. Growing up in Rochester was definitely a different type of experience. I was surrounded by immense poverty, death, despair, hopelessness, heavy policing, and worndown buildings and homes. Luckily, my parents did everything they could to shield me from this morbid reality. I was born into a working-class family. I’m actually the first in my family to get my bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and attend law school. My parents were teenagers when they had me. They gave

up their youth, dreams, and aspirations to make sure that my sisters and I were taken care of, regardless of their limited resources. Education has always been a top priority and primary value in my family. My parents wanted me to thrive, become the best version of myself, and go farther than they ever did. In elementary school, my father actually came up to my school

every day on his lunch break to check on me and talk with my teachers to make sure I was doing well. He came to my school so much that my teachers gave him an award and blow pops since that was his favorite candy at the time. Those kinds of moments meant the most to me and ultimately made me into the successful young woman I am today. What makes you hustle? Have you ever watched your grandmother suffer from depression, battle diabetes,

and wear a colonoscopy bag due to health complications? Have you ever slept at the hospital after she went into cardiac arrest hoping she’d wake up, but she never did? Have you ever watched your parents work numerous jobs to make ends meet? Have you ever had to visit your uncles in prison or talk to them on a jail call? Have you ever had to help your older sister heal after being hit by a motorcycle and molested by someone you trusted? Have you ever watched your grandmother suffer from alcoholism and a gambling addiction? Have you ever had to stay in a home with your mother and sisters so she could qualify for government assistance? Have you ever had to light candles because the gas and electric bill was not paid? Have you ever been in an emotionally, physically, financially, and verbally abusive relationship? Have you ever been depressed and anxious? Have you ever wanted to give up and questioned your mere existence on earth? Have you ever been hopeless? Pain. Poverty. Adversity. Hardship. Death. That’s why I hustle. There’s no other option. How do you balance work and life responsibilities, especially when you were going to school full-time as well? God. School. Family. Everything else. I order my life this way so there’s never

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SHIFT+CONTROL { SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “ I would say Shakierah Smith is an unapologetic, revolutionary, ambitious, hardworking, empathetic, sensitive, intelligent, down to earth, humble, quirky, funny, dramatic, forward thinking, aspiring attorney and judge.”

any confusion about my top priorities. I will say, though, that I’m usually all work and no play. I’ve been in school for almost eight years straight and I’ve never attended a college party, gone on vacation, or indulged in spring break fun. I’m a nerd and home body at heart. But next year I definitely plan to travel more and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Who inspires you to live your best life? Beyoncé. Hands down, hands up. I unequivocally loveeeeee and adore her! She is so fierce and poised, and an all-around powerhouse. She’s an amazing singer, actor, business woman, philanthropist, mother, and wife. She’s a phenomenal woman and a constant reminder that you can do and have it all. That’s what I want. All of it. What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? Successful leaders are great listeners who constantly seek out intellectual stimulation. They look for opportunities, and are not afraid to take risks. They are genuine, hard-working, focused, determined, and understand that no just means next opportunity. Leaders are confident, humble, transparent, and authentic. They also welcome opportunities to learn from, and at times, follow others. Where do you see yourself a year from now? 3 years? 5 years? A year from now, I see myself working in NYC at the top real estate law firm after graduating from law school and taking the NYS bar. Three years from now, I see myself continuing to work hard at my law firm while also opening

new businesses, investing, traveling, and potentially teaching criminal procedure at a university as a visiting professor or adjunct. Five years from now, I see myself still working at my law firm, looking into judgeships, engaged, and the mother of at least one child. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be powerful and empowering leader in the judicial system? Integrity. Impartiality. Righteousness. Who would you define as your hero? Thurgood Marshall is my hero. He was the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and as I like to say, the GOAT of the legal system. He paved the way for young minority law students, like myself, and attorneys in the legal field. He fought tirelessly for equality, and used the Constitution as his weapon against injustice. He was fearless, even after receiving numerous threats, being verbally abused and berated, and almost lynched for representing African American defendants who had been condemned and deemed guilty solely on the basis of their skin color, not the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence. He is unquestionably the epitome of black excellence, and what I hope to one day become; a revolutionary attorney and judge who does what’s right while “let[ting] the law catch up.” What made you decide to want to go on the journey to become a judge? I was initially exposed to the legal system by watching crime shows with my grandma. We absolutely loved watching Law & Order: SVU, Monk, Criminal

Minds, CSI etc. We also watched all of the courtroom series like The People’s Court, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Mathis, The Hot Bench and so many others. It was our guilty pleasure. But my perception of the legal system went from positive to gravely negative after my uncles were incarcerated. My family, especially my grandmother, was devastated. It took a toll on all of us, and still bothers me today. Despite all of this, I only became interested in becoming an attorney and eventually a judge after my older sister was molested by someone close to my family. The perpetrator was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. The verdict divided my family, and has had a long lasting, negative impact on my sister. This experience made me want to become an advocate for survivors of molestation. That’s still one of my primary passions. What is your biggest fear? Fear itself. What goes through your mind when you think of women who have sat on the bench before you will? What would you do the same or differently? For starters, I think there’s a common misconception that overly successful women, whatever that means, can’t hold such high positions while also simultaneously being bomb mothers and wives. I think there’s also a misconception that women who sit on the bench have to exhibit stereotypical male-like characteristics, like assertiveness and dominance. Well, I want to change all

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Education has always been a top priority and primary value in my family. My parents wanted me to thrive, become the best version of myself, and go farther than they ever did.”

of these misconceptions. I want to be immensely successful while also being an amazing mother and wife. I want to be a judge who is impartial but also personable, respectful, humanistic, and authentic. I want to wear a pink robe and bring optimism and hope to my courtroom. I want to be me, and not the person society or the legal system thinks I should be. I wasn’t created to fit in a box, and I don’t want to start now. How do you find strength when you are going through hardships? I find strength through prayer and selfreflection. God has always been with me in my darkest moments and when 128

I felt like I had no one or nowhere to turn to. As far as self-reflection, I love siting in complete silence and thinking about how far I’ve come. It gives me so much motivation to keep going despite my hardships. What motivates you to work hard? Watching my family struggle. Struggling myself. That within itself has been enough to ignite a fire in me to hustle hard. I also do not want my future children to ever know the struggle or experience what I went through. What is your proudest accomplishment? Every accomplishment and accolade I’ve

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received in my lifetime makes me proud. However, I’m most proud of all of my degrees, and both advocating for and becoming the first Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion of the Buffalo Law Review. What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I founded the First-Generation Law Students Association at the University at Buffalo School of Law. I am now the first President of this student organization. What is your favorite thing about the career path you have chosen? The law is constantly changing, and if you disagree with something, you can


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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “Successful leaders are great listeners who constantly seek out intellectual stimulation. They look for opportunities, and are not afraid to take risks.”

always advocate for change. That’s what I plan to do, especially with regard to no-knock warrants, but that’s another story for a different issue. What makes you laugh the most? Funny memes, quirky jokes, and dry humor, kind of like what you’d see on The Office.

I definitely call my parents as soon as something positive happens. I love making them proud. I also want them to feel like everything they sacrificed for me was well worth it. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why? I would choose to be a doctor. Honestly, if the process of becoming a doctor wasn’t so lengthy, I’d probably be an attorney and doctor. It’s actually something I’m still kind of considering. That was one of my passions, too. What advice would you give to the next generation of minority female leaders? Believe in yourself, and know that you are worthy of whatever opportunities you’re seeking. I know that sounds super cliche but I missed out on so many opportunities because I was afraid and doubted my own capabilities. Let’s stop doing that. Also, know that you will end up exactly where you’re supposed to be in life. “No” simply means to seek out a new opportunity. Lastly, remember that you make the opportunity, the opportunity does not make you. No matter where you go or what you do, be an absolute BEAST at it. What family member do you call when you have good news to share?

What is some of the advice you share with young women entering a maledominated profession? Girl, you got this. Own your greatness. Walk into each room with confidence and show everyone why you are the best thing since sliced bread. Don’t be afraid to speak up and never allow anyone, regardless of their gender, to silence you. Your voice matters. Your opinion matters. You matter. What is your favorite childhood memory? My favorite childhood memory is watching my grandmother cook for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. She was from Alabama, and let me tell you, southern women know how to throw down in the kitchen. I actually wished I would have helped out more in the kitchen. Nonetheless, I just loved watching her cook, and secretly eating food while she wasn’t looking. Where will we see you in the future? In NYC working at a big law firm. Maybe in ads, on television, billboards, all over the place. The sky is not the limit for me and being an attorney is not the only thing I want to do in life. Basically, expect the unexpected.

My phone. I literally need to check my email like every five seconds and talk to my loved ones when I can. If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? To heal people, not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and psychologically.

What else would you like our audience to know about you? I’m a foodie, like ridiculously obsessed with tacos, a hopeless romantic, gosh, I love, love, and I’m looking forward to changing the world. The end.

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“Girl, you got this. Own your greatness. Walk into each room with confidence and show everyone why you are the best thing since sliced bread.”


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STEPHANIE IDE PHOTOS BY BRODY WHEELER

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. I grew up in a small town outside of Utica, NY. My family is still there and they are awesome! I think they are the best thing about me. We are all entrepreneurs and I grew up with that environment and mindset. At the age of 10, I started working 3 days a week as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. This was my decision. I loved working and I still do to this day. I felt empowered when I worked hard. It really propelled me into a future that craved more success. I was hungry to get the best grades too! I chose to obtain my Bachelors degree from RIT in International Business. While I attended college, I sold Hondas full time. I didn’t experience free time but I managed to have lots of fun in between working and studying. After RIT I became an insurance agent. It was while I was promoting this business I met my ex Husband. This transitioned my life back into the auto industry and I spent a decade enjoying it. I’m beyond blessed to have found my passion in real estate. I’m absolutely in love with what I do! I truly believe that every day is a gift and I enjoy and appreciate everything that life has to offer. It is all about the journey.

I fell in love with real estate while I was shopping for my first home in 2008. I was hooked!! Since that moment, I’ve been studying the housing market. After the divorce, I really did some soul searching. I was torn…do I open up an insurance agency again or try something new? I decided to take a leap of faith and follow my heart; I got my real estate license. When I got started, I chose to work for a small, local

What made you decide to get into real estate? How did you choose Howard Hanna?

What makes you hustle both personally and in the real estate market? I joke, but I think I was born selling

boutique brokerage. I really enjoyed my experience there. However, taking my business to another level was something that was on my mind. Howard Hanna is a large brokerage and they provide admin support, a full marketing team and they have the latest technology in the business. I was ready to learn everything that they had to offer.

out of the womb. I’ve been a go getter since I could talk. My competitive spirit is what drives me to succeed. When I’m negotiating for my buyers, I always want them to get the best deal possible. I fight for them with every fiber in my body. When I am listing a house, I do everything in my power to get them top dollar for their home. Creating a bidding war is my goal. I’m incredibly passionate about what I do. I want my clients to feel comfortable every step of the way. They know I’m there for them 7 days a week, even on vacation, even at 11pm at night…I am available to answer a question. Buying and selling homes are typically the largest financial transactions someone will have in their lifetime. It’s crucial for my clients to know that they supported. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? Word of mouth referrals are the best thing in ANY business. This holds true with real estate. I’m honored when a client sends me a referral. It really is the best compliment. In addition to referrals, I purchase leads from Realtor. com and Zillow. I decided to invest in my business and it allowed me to grow at a pace I’m happy with. My biggest success is my conversation rate on these leads and how I turn them into clients. I follow up with these leads that are very


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SHIFT+CONTROL { SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “The females in the real estate industry are incredible! We have to know how to negotiate and have the knowledge about the mechanics of homes and contracts.”

difficult to transition and I’ve gotten to know many wonderful families. These leads become clients and clients become friends. Who were mentors that encouraged you? Nick Sollame with Carriage House Realty by Nick encouraged me to start my journey in real estate. Knowing that I had his support, it gave me great confidence to start my career. Nick was there for me every step of the way. He’s a great person! We are still friends. Where do you see yourself and your business in the next three years? five years? I’d like to continue to grow my business. Over the next few years I’m looking forward to growing a larger client base so that I can get even more referrals and spend less on lead generation. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know families. It’s a wonderful thing to have so many amazing people in my life. Personally, I would like to get married again. I could see that possibly happening within the next 5 years. I hope I can continue to challenge myself. Trying new things is something that I love to do. I’d like to continue on this fabulous path I’m on. What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur especially in the real estate market? The females in the real estate industry are incredible! We have to know how to negotiate and have the knowledge

about the mechanics of homes and contracts. Real estate isn’t all about making a home pretty. It’s a very complex business. Sometimes it can be an intimating industry for people to enter. Those that are successful have made it a priority to fully understand all aspects of the real estate world. Who is your hero? I’m obsessed with music. It has been my oxygen in life. Rick Allen from Def Leppard is my hero. He is the drummer for Def Leppard and he lost his arm in a car accident. Instead of giving up on his career and dream, he found a way to continue to play. He created more foot pedals and made his dream a reality. Quitting wasn’t an option. I admire him so much!!! I love to say, be stronger than your excuses! Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? Marc Mingoia has inspired me in my profession. He is kind and talented and his business has grown tremendously. I admire how he grew his team. He highlights EVERY team member. If I do decide to have a team some day, I would model it after Marc’s. What do you think are the top 5 qualities of a good real estate agent? 1) Truly care and be genuine 2) Be a fierce negotiator 3 )Stay current on market trends 4) Be available when your clients need you 5) Fight for your client’s needs throughout the transaction

What is your favorite part of the business? Hands down its the negotiating. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? I really do loving living here in Fairport. The village has everything that I’m looking for and more. The seasons are so beautiful. Experiencing the changes makes my life full and complete. I think winter might be my most anticipated season. I wish we had a big snow storm every weekend. Haha, I’m being serious. Nature and the outdoors makes me happy, so having a variety of that here is a wonderful thing. If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? It doesn’t happen ofter but sometimes you have a wonderful client and you will show them dozens of homes and then they no longer want to use your services because their new boyfriend’s sister is an agent (as an example). The hours lost of family time for zero financial compensation was very heartbreaking. It still is, except I’m more mentally prepared for it when it happens now. Realtors only get paid when a home closes. There isn’t any salary or any form of compensation until that closing date. I’d tell myself to be aware that it can happen and toughen up.

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HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “I joke, but I think I was born selling out of the womb. I’ve been a go getter since I could talk.”

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? My greatest professional accomplishment in my life was when I became the youngest State Farm agent in the nation at age 23. I had to overcome being a young woman with “not enough experience.” I knew the business inside and out. My selling techniques were on point and sales were amazing. When I presented my business plan to the local Rochester office they were blown away with my presentation but said I needed more time in the industry. I remember being hurt and wanting to be an agent more than anything. I felt like I was declined purely because of my age. The hurt built and built inside of me, I decided to test my theory. There was a rep who believed in me and set me up with an interview in Albany. Here people would only know my face, my resume, how I spoke and delivered my business plan. I went to Goodwill and bought clothes to dress in a more outdated look. My hair was up in an out of style bun I had blue eye shadow on. I nailed the interview and got approved to be a State Farm agent! Words cannot describe how much gratitude I felt.

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Love what you do and you won’t work a day in your life. What did you do before becoming a real estate agent? I answered this is #1 How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated? I wish I could do a better job answering this question. I was born motivated. The best audiobook I ever listened to was Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. I encourage you to give it a listen if you are in need for motivation. I felt like I could run through a brick wall after I read it! What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? My favorite thing to do is to spend time with my children and my family. I’m sappy and I cry thinking about the kids going off to college some day. We love to explore nature together. They can get as muddy and as adventurous as they want, I promote it! We actually have a hole in our backyard where I let them dig, fill with water, play with small homemade boats, you name it.

The company was proud! I became the youngest insurance agent with them in the entire nation. I even earned the travel trip in my first year, that’s the achievement that agents strive to make.

What’s a typical day like for you? No one day is alike. I work non stop and try to fit in grocery shopping, workouts and chores. In the summer, I start work around 8am and I will be work until 1am if I need to. My days in the winter allow for much more free time.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?

What’s unique about the service that you provide to your clients? I’m a dedicated Realtor. I don’t have

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any boundaries, haha, I really truly want my clients to feel comfortable reaching out anytime. For example, when I have a listing…I bring my phone in the shower with me. I do this because if I have to approve an appointment I don’t want to have a delayed response or if another agent is touring the home and they have a question, I want to be able to answer it. I’m the Realtor that when I get a massage, I check my messages when its time to flip over. These are examples of how dedicated I am. What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? I got my dream job offer out of college. But it was in PARIS!! I was too afraid to move that far away and I didn’t know how to speak French. I always wonder what my life would have been like if I was braver and took that chance. Tell us one thing we may not know about Stephanie Ide? I’m not a girlie girl. I jump for joy when I pass by a Bass Pro Shop! My shotgun is one of my favorite things I own. Rochester Brooks is where I bring it and use the sporting clay course. Heavy metal is the kind of music I listen to. I go crazy over muscle cars and I like NASCAR. What is Betty’s Butterscotch and where did the name come from? I make a butterscotch sauce that I love and decided to create a food company. My grandma Betty loved butterscotch so much! One year for


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“I’m absolutely in love with what I do! I truly believe that every day is a gift and I enjoy and appreciate everything that life has to offer. It is all about the journey.”


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “. I felt empowered when I worked hard. It really propelled me into a future that craved more success.”

a Christmas present I experimented with making her a homemade sauce and EVERYONE loved it! I named it Betty’s Butterscotch in honor of my grandma. I just made a batch at Craft Cannery in Byron and sold out of it at the Purple Painted Lady Festival. This winter I will make some more with the goal of getting it into 144

stores. It is a delicious topping that you can dunk apples in, pour over popcorn, pancakes, waffles and more. I’m looking forward to this next journey with my butterscotch sauce! What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year as a female entrepreneur?

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In the next year I’d like to focus on freeing up time to give back to the community and volunteer more.


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I


am always here for you! 585.755.5775 Contact me today! cell:

Your Neighbor ∙ Your Friend ∙ Your Realtor 33 S Main St ∙ Pittsford, NY 14534


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(315) 516-0727 I VANDYKENOR


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SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} {{ SHE


SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} {{ SHE

JEN CRATSLEY PHOTOS BY MURRAY YARAVITZ

Tell us about yourself, and what your background is. I grew up in a small town in Niagara County. I participated in sports and clubs in school. I also was very active in 4-H doing sewing, flower arranging, crafts, woodworking, electric, and baking, showing my creativity and talent. At the age of thirteen I found myself intrigued with the medical field. So, I began my medical field journey as a candy stripper at a local hospital. I quickly learned I liked to interact with patients. At the end of my high school days, I enrolled into college to complete a medical secretarial degree. I excelled in this career and obtained a position within the field before completing my degree. Life was great! In the mist of finishing my degree I was introduced to medical coding and billing. I really grasped this well and was told by my professor I should continue my education to work as a medical coder/biller. I loved working with numbers and decided it was the right path to choose for my professional career. I continued my education and obtained my degree in Health Information Management from SUNY Alfred State. I worked in the coding profession for six years. However, I missed the interaction with patients. I then opted to seek my new career, and very exciting

woman-owned business, of being a health and life insurance agent and agency owner! What makes you hustle? Hustling in life seems to be my passion because I do not like to sit around and do nothing! I am an insurance agency

owner and agent. I serve many and gain friendships while doing my job. My agency makes me hustle…I want my clients to know that I care about them. I want them to be my extended family. I do not want them to worry that they do not have the right coverage or are going to be stuck with huge medical bills. I care! I bring my education into my position as an agent. I can answer

questions that most agents cannot. Another reason I hustle is my story…. and my daughter’s story. I struggled watching my daughter almost lose her life from a tragic accident that happened when she was 16 years old. I lost her on the operating table six times during her surgeries to get her well. I prayed and dropped to my knees pleading with God to take me instead of her. Faith kept us going as I told her right from the beginning that God is watching over her and he wants her to stand out to make this type of tragedy stop, proving that she can make a difference for others. Then in the mist of taking care of her, I watched my hero and soulmate dwindle from Agent Orange lung cancer from Vietnam. I helped him fight for compensation from the Veterans Administration. I found the records that stated the cancer was there and started asking numerous questions to his team at the VA, but it was too late. I held his hand to his last breath, watching my beloved husband become an angel in heaven. Now I had to take care of our children all alone. I do not want to see this happen to another family…I want to fight for change. As an angel he is telling me to start a Gold Star Wives of America chapter here in Upstate New York to help other widows through their fight.

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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “As a female entrepreneur, the most significant barriers in my career have been seed capital and my health. It is hard to getting a business up and running.”

Tell us about what made you decide to open your own business the Cratsley Pane Agency and why you chose this particular field. I decided to open my own business, the Cratsley Pane Agency, to help others gain more control of their healthcare costs, understand the benefits and errors that can happen, and help them through the insurance maze. I also want to leave a legacy for my family and veterans and their families. Leaving a legacy for my handicapped daughter so she does not struggle to have an income for supporting her family; For my son, additional supportive income; for my grandchildren, supporting them as they excel in a career choice in the future. And for the veterans and their families, showing appreciation for what they sacrificed for my freedom. What motivates you both personally and professionally? Personal motivation: my past influences what I do. I do not want someone to struggle in life. I want to help them with resources and empowerment to keep going. Professional motivation: Proving to myself that I am strong and can beat a challenge. I want to make a difference in this crazy world, making it better for others. I want to be known for making that difference and I am not giving up until I succeed! What does the word empowerment mean to you? The word “empowerment” means strength to me. Even in the tough times I still pushed through showing and proving to others and myself that I am strong! 154

What is one word your clients would use to describe you and why? One word my clients would use to describe me would be that I am passionate about what I do. I will go out of my way to take care of that client. I might even give them a gift from the heart, like vegetables because they cannot go to their garden, just to show I care and prove to them that whatever they need I am there. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? What about some of your weaknesses? My greatest strengths are medical knowledge where I can break down terms for the average person to understand what was billed; patience especially working with different audiences; compassion, going the extra mile for someone; imaginative and creative-putting pieces of a puzzle together; examining and investigating something thoroughly; analytical and interpret data well by visually seeing what the end result is; coordinating different job aspects well; a strong leader; detail-oriented; handle stress by bringing humor into situation; and lastly reaching and sustaining goals. My weaknesses are using a paper cutter and keeping up with filing! I can never cut straight line with a paper cutter and hate to file information timely into the file cabinets. I do my best but these are the least favorite parts of my job… How did you reach your level of success? Did your college degree push your current roles and services? I reach my level of success by overcoming all the challenges in my life. I learned my strengths along the way and gained

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as much knowledge in every position I held I could. But you never stop learning! My college did push my current and past roles in my employment. Each position I held I would refer to as a stepping stone to how I got to where I am now. How do you balance work and life responsibilities? Balancing work and life responsibilities comes naturally. I do not like to sit around and do nothing. I am a gogetter. People say I cannot sit still. I do take a little “me” time once in awhile but will always help someone else any chance I can get. Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you. I have drawn professional inspiration from SuZanne Gates, a dear friend of mine that I grew to know since I moved into Canandaigua this summer. I call her “Mom”. She inspired me to start the Gold Star Wives of America chapter in Upstate NY. I listened to her story about being a POW’s wife and now a surviving spouse. A story that is hard to share just like my own. It quickly made me realize that all of us surviving spouses need each other. SuZanne and I share the same compassion for others. I never thought I would meet such a caring person who goes out of her way to support our veterans. Now I am following her footsteps and working hand-in-hand with her and our local auxiliary and legion to start a supportive, extended family for surviving spouses. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do, especially with your role with veterans services.


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{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Strive for success. Let your voice be heard and make a difference in this world. Failure gives you a lesson. Learn from that lesson and get stronger!

My “why”…easiest question to answer! To leave a legacy for my family and for veterans and surviving spouses. I want to be known for years for making a difference and I am on my way to attaining my goal. How did working through the pandemic change you for the better or worse? How did you get creative? Working through the pandemic changed me for the better. My fiancé, Michael, influenced the change and guided me through the change. He opened up my eyes to see my inspiration for starting my own business. I was stuck where I was in life. I felt unappreciated. Technology was enhancing. I knew my job was changing in many ways because of it. It was becoming more data cleanup and getting away from what I really enjoy, helping others. Michael made me make the move and now there is no turning back! Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. A special moment during my career that has stood out to me is having a patient, client, or just a person walk away knowing the answers to all their questions. It shows on their face they understand now. That gives me complete satisfaction. I know I helped them the best I could and would help them over and over again without faulter. As a female entrepreneur, what has been the most significant barrier in your career? As a female entrepreneur, the most significant barriers in my career have been seed capital and my health. It is hard to getting a business up and running. It takes years and dedication to keep it going before you see wealth. Next, people do not realize that you cannot buy your

health back later in life. My family and Michael have been helping me through my health challenges and getting better. And I am getting there one step at a time. I would recommend to anyone who is or thinking about becoming an entrepreneur to stay healthy and take care of yourself. A balanced life will help you be wealthy!

away from them. I guess it was because I was afraid to let go. I love them so much. But it is time for me…and making the move has been the right thing to do!

What do you feel makes a good woman leader? I feel a good woman leader is a strong person. She leads by example. She is knowledgeable in her career. She leads a balanced life and is compassionate about what she does.

Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success? One of my biggest failures was being a shadow for someone who gets acknowledged for what I did. I learned that I should take pride in what I do and get the credit for it. It contributed to a greater success of being where I am today, a leader. I am not a shadow….I am making a difference!

What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? In the next year I want my business to be in all 50 states and to grow like hell! I also want the Gold Star Wives of America chapter to evolve into a strong, extended family for surviving spouses and their families. I want to make change for them and guide them through being strong.

What would you tell young women who are just starting to work? What would you like them to know? I would tell young women who are just starting to work to not give up! Strive for success! Let your voice be heard and make a difference in this world! Failure gives you a lesson. Learn from that lesson and get stronger!

In the next five years I want people to say they know me by name for my business and Gold Star Wives of America. I want to share my knowledge with current and potential agents. I want to continue to serve others. And lastly, take my dream vacation to Hawaii for a little r-n-r! Soak up the sun, see the sights, have some cocktails, and sit by the beach and watch the sunset!

Where will we see you next? Lastly, where will you see my next… honoring our fallen veterans and supporting their families through the Gold Star Wives of America Upstate NY Chapter. I am organizing an Inaugural Ball (formal event) to be held at the Strathallan on April 9, 2022 in Rochester, NY. I will be famous for making a difference in my community for veterans, their surviving spouses, and their families.

What was the hardest decision you ever had to make? The hardest decision I ever made was uprooting myself to Canandaigua, leaving Buffalo, and letting go of my children who are adults. We have been through so much as a family. And now I am hours

I also will be well known for helping veterans with health and life insurance, specifically Medicare. And attaining my goal of building a legacy for my family to last forever!

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YOUSUGARPOP ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX BY WILLIAMS I PHOTOS MELANIE RIVERA BY NSP STUDIO

Tell us about yourself, and Sugar Pop Photo booths. Sugar Pop Photo Booth is a woman owned modern photo booth company located in Rochester, NY. Sugar Pop is an open air digital entertainment booth ideal for any event. Our booths differs from a traditional photo booth with the variety of innovative features that captures event memories in a fashion unlike any other. Sugar Pop Photo booth offers instant upload of photos to mobile devices for immediate social media sharing. The booth provides filters and digital props for added fun and entertainment. Use features to turn the booth into a video confessional to send a special message to the guest of honor. Each event is customized, using overlays, templates and LED light show to add a “WOW” effect to your event! Our booth is slim enough to fit in any size venue, with a modern appeal to attract the eye. What makes you hustle? Being an entrepreneur, while running a business and providing a service that I am passionate about. Being my own boss while developing a flexible schedule that allows me to spend more time with my family. Seeing how my business and services creates beautiful memories and keepsakes for

my clients is what makes me hustle. Where did you come up with the idea for your business and the name Sugar Pop? I’ve always had an interest in photography. Being able to capture some of the happiest moments of my clients lives in a fun and engaging atmosphere is what inspired me to

and it was she that put the two words together to develop the business name of SUGAR POP! What does being a female entrepreneur mean to you? Being a female entrepreneur means being a strong, passionate, hard working and independent woman who is persistent and consistent. One who is always striving to be a better version of herself . A woman who looks in the mirror and only sees herself as competition while working on growing into a better person than she was yesterday. What are your tips for growing a business like yours? Focus on continued education in the field. Learn as much as you possibly can about the industry. Networking is key! Work everyday towards your business goals. Never give up! What are the secrets to your success? Work hard, stay consistent and always remain humble.

pursue a business in the photo booth industry. When brainstorming a creative business name, I thought about what is one thing that is almost always present at parties and events? Cake, sweets, candy...SUGAR! I wanted to develop a trendy and fun business name that was catchy and just “popped!” . I brainstormed with my 11 year old daughter at the time,

What do you want to achieve next? I’d love to be able to showcase my business, equipment and services at a large bridal shows to be able to target more weddings and large events. Hoping to be able to start networking into the field with corporate businesses. Engage in “pop up shops” and network with similar businesses in the industry.



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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “I’ve always had an interest in photography. Being able to capture some of the happiest moments of my clients lives in a fun and engaging atmosphere is what inspired me to pursue a business in the photo booth industry.”

How do you balance work and life responsibilities owning your own business? Time management and organization is a must! What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? Having complete control of my life, the freedom, sense of adventure in the limitless creativity the challenge and level of accountability placed on myself.

social media and revamping our website. What is some of the advice you share with other young women wanting to start their own business? Just go for it! Don’t allow fear prevent you from reaching your full potential.

How have your priorities changed from when you first started? I’d personally say I’ve become even more focused and determined when it comes to priorities. But one major priority that has shifted in the way we provide out service after a pandemic is ensuring and promoting the health and safety of our clients at their venues with use of our photo booths. We have now incorporated a new feature known as the “touch-less” booth. Providing a fully functional photo booth that is operational with the use of a QR Code, so that clients don’t even have to touch the booth if they choose not to.

“What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? Our clients are our “why.” Many people book events to celebrate a special milestone or success in ones life. Having a business that people trust to provide a service and be apart of is actually quite an honor. Being able to see the joy and happiness on the photos in our booth that will forever be a cherished memory for our clients is really something special! What have been your most significant failures, and what did you learn from them? During the pandemic was a significant roadblock for the business. The business could not progress and grow as venues and events were shut down. But we did not get discouraged with the lack of bookings. Instead we were able to focus on marketing, advertising,

What do you feel makes a good woman business owner? A successful business woman is one who is able to make bold decisions and tackle challenges. Accept responsibility and delegate gracefully. A woman who is always seeking opportunity to learn, adapt and grow.

What differentiates you from your competition? I honestly don’t think about competitors. I see myself and my business as my only competition. It’s me against me, striving to become a better version of myself within my business.

What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? I am focused on expanding my business, purchasing more inventory and booths to be able to provide a variety of photo booth options to Rochester and surrounding areas.


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“ Many people book events to celebrate a special milestone or success in ones life. Having a business that people trust to provide a service and be apart of is actually quite an honor.”


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JACKIE MONAHAN Tell us about yourself, and your background. After graduating from HS (a year early), I borrowed someone’s car and drive to “Kodak and got hired on the spot. This was supposed to be one year then go to college. 28 Years later I left Kodak to go to RIT full time and LOVED school. Next, I did many jobs but never really found something that I loved as much as Kodak as a “National Accounts Corporate Trainer.” UNTIL I dipped my toe into AVON As a District Sales Manager covering the east and west districts in Rochester. Both companies gave great corporate experience and my hard work was recognized by winning with The Circle of Excellence Award. I now realize my success in both those positions was because my goal was to help people and improve their lives. This all prepared me for my current career as a Hypnotist.

natural and healthy life style. But most of all what I really deserved: A clean healthy medicine- free life. Besides losing weight, Alternative Hypnosis provides one of the most important products that is near and dear to me: “Helping people live a happier and healthier live but also make it fun.”

What made you decide to join Alternative Hypnosis? As someone who has struggled with weight after two miscarriages and one still born. Then a radical Hysterectomy to remove Cancer. I dealt with a lot of stress issues. Then I started with tremors, which had me going to all kinds of doctors, even Neurologists and I was tired of all the meds. I became desperate to get “ME” back. So, I checked out “Alternative Hypnosis.” AND GUESS WHAT Happen? My Tremors went away and I started losing a lot of weight. The more I learned about Alternative Hypnosis, the history and the success rate, I did not want to stop going and really wanted to be a part this whole world. I love how it teaches people a

What motivates me personally and professionally? Personally – I love to take on challenges, such as recently restoring our 170-yearold Victorian home which included a lot of interior and exterior challenges. However, the results are very rewarding. Professionally - I want to feel like I’m really making a difference and help make improvements. At Kodak; I loved monitoring and training teams to accomplish their sales goals, across the US for Kodak’s National Accounts. I consistently monitored the numbers to insure we were consistently making measurable improvements. It was very motivating to continue growth within each account.

Tell us about what types of services you offer at Alternative Hypnosis. Alternative Hypnosis offers several programs: Weight Loss, Smoking, Stress issues, Tinnitus, Wart removal, Sports improvement and too many other options to list. This is why we first offer a FREE screening to determine how bad you want to make that change. Sometimes clients do need to provide a doctor’s approval for specific needs. Fortunately, Hypnosis popularity is growing and now being recognized by the medical field.

As a Corporate employee at Avon, I loved helping people realize their strengths to become independent. When people became financially independent it increased their overall self-worth and that is what motivates me. Now with Hypnosis, “My Accomplishment feelings” are off the charts. When someone tells me they have no desire to smoke, then after a few quick sessions, their smile says it all and shows me that I am in the right place. I love listening to people tell how much better they feel and I am grateful to be able to help people daily to improve their lives What does the word empowerment mean to you? Empowerment means having a clear path/plan with steps towards an accomplishment. It first takes being given freedom to take the ball and run with the project. Going towards a preset goal without any road blocks. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently? I would have jumped right into the natural healing world. I’ve always had a strong interest and study in how the brain works and Hypnotism uses many of those abilities that people don’t even know about. My life would have been so much easier if I only knew then what I know now. I grew up in a world where you went to one company and stayed with that company till retirement. I wish I did that with hypnosis. Better late than never What do you feel are your greatest strengths? “Training, Teambuilding

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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “My life would have been so much easier if I only knew then what I know now. I grew up in a world where you went to one company and stayed with that company till retirement. I wish I did that with hypnosis. Better late than never.”

“Training, Teambuilding and People skills,” especially now that I’m a hypnotist because it is a partnership to improve someone’s life and create a healthier future. I also love constantly learning more, by reading so that I can continue to learn and grow Who has been your greatest inspiration or role model? I love when women over come challenges and always turn lemons into lemonade. Instead of dwelling on the negative, they strive to overcome. Katharine Hepburn who created change by wearing pants in public and from then on, women were able to have a choice. It was a huge step for women back then. The woman that we all admire for her strengths is Oprah. Nothing was handed to her but she continued to strive for what matters most: helping people accomplish more than they realize possible. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why did you decide to become a female entrepreneur and why now? I am tired of working for people whose goal is to earn an income from my work. I spent many years working with people who might do less but get paid more. I now realize that the more you show you can do- The bar will continue to rise higher. At Alternative Hypnosis I consistently feel great knowing positive results. How did working through the pandemic affect you for the better or worse? I did get VERY caught up in the pandemic and embarrassed to say I 172

was on unemployment. The situation created so much stress, that I needed help – That is how I ended up going for Hypnosis for proven natural help. The pandemic was/is the worst but it put me on the right course to Alternative Hypnosis. I have learned so much that I am sure God was creating this path that landed me with this best rewarding team and career as a hypnotist. I choose to look for the rainbow after a storm. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you and why. While I was training – One of my best friends, in the Rochester area landed in the hospital with a heart-attack. Doctors told her it was a “Heart Break – Heart Attack” because of the stress she was dealing with. At first, I felt helpless because I was so far away- But while I was talking to her on the phone, while she was at the hospital. She was telling me about the incident and her stressors. The more she told me I could tell she was getting more and more stressed – I said: “Lena, stop! – Let me hypnotize you over the phone to get you to relax.” One of the things I did was tell her to keep her eyes closed tightly. I continued talking until I assumed she was resting, by the sound of her breathing. The next AM I called to see how it want. We were both so thrilled that it worked and she got a great night sleep. However, the nurse came in during the night and woke her up. At first, she could not open her eyes (I left out the part that you can open your eyes if you need to, which I do for face-to-face appointments.) Eventually she talked with the nurse but peacefully fell right

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back to sleep. If you were to write a book about yourself, how would you name it and why? “Surviving the Storm and always looking for a silver lining.” I have been in some rough situations and yes, they have all made me stronger. I wish I had a dollar from everyone who told me: “You need to write a book.” Hopefully my experiences could be educational if shared with others. I now realize that I need to accomplish what I want because I am important too. Many times, my big heart gets in the way and hopefully my book will help others learn from my mistakes. And pay attention to the roadblocks. What do you feel makes a good woman leader? Being a Role-model and share goals with others. Identify needs, train, guide, partner then monitor, delegate and train more if needed. What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now for your business? My goal is to completely take over the E. Syracuse location before 2022, then open satellites in the Rochester area. I have always had a 2nd job. However, this does not feel like a J O B. Having a 2nd or 3rd location will keep me busy as something I really love doing. As things with the pandemic changes our lives, I will also offer Zoom sessions (Per requests) however that would be a last resort. Though, there are no boundaries with Zoom.



SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “I love when women over come challenges and always turn lemons into lemonade. Instead of dwelling on the negative, they strive to overcome.”

What was the hardest decision you ever had to make? The hardest decision I had to make was when I decided to leave Kodak after 28 years, to go to School/RIT full time. The standing joke was: If I ever cut a finger, I would squirt Yellow Blood. (Yellow as a Kodak Trademark color) Kodak was more of a family type atmosphere -vs- Work. How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else? Business success requires, research, planning and the ability to be drive and committed to accomplish goals, while remaining flexible. Being able to go home at the end of the day no matter how many hours, I need to feel like I really made a difference. This will respond to the above question: “Have I accomplished Business Success?” What education or experiences did you have that prepared you for being a female entrepreneur and business owner? Many years with very diverse experiences in Corporate America and going to 174

Rochester Institute of Technology, with an extensive and aggressive curriculum. I have always felt customer service and people skills were extremely important. Customer satisfaction is the best kind of advertisement for business growth. I also earned a variety of certificates along with my Bachelors of Science degree - with honors. Most were related to People skills such as Leadership,

Change, Management, etc. What is something not everyone knows about you? I’ve always had a need for speed and feeling the wind in my face is so freeing. With that: I once drove a formula continental at Road Atlanta where I was invited to change careers. I was all signed up for Skip-barber driving school and had sponsors. However- I

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could not leave Kodak to be a racecar driver. In the winters, I was able to arrange my work schedule so that I could ski daily, which I absolutely love. I loved my old MG. With all those things in my history, when I turned 60, I did something really outrageous for me and it REALLY did not fit my lifestyle. I worked on my bucket list and bought a Harley after taking a class. It is very thrilling. H o w h a s alternative hypnosis affected your life? Alternative Hy p n o s i s h a s affected my life 100%. I do most everything healthy now. I now take better care of ME and realize that if I’m not emotionally or physically well, then that is a dead end. I’m the only one who can make changes and improve my life and I do. I now realize that I deserve more – I deserve the Best and so do YOU. And most of all: It with helped open my mind and eyes to what I really want to do for a career.



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UNMATCHED CANDLES Tell us about yourself, and what your background is. My name is Kadejrah Riggins. I am 28 years old with three children August(8) Jahir(4), and Winter(2). I am a proud mother first, and then I’m all about my business. What makes you hustle? Simply my children and the lifestyle that I dream to live are what makes me hustle.

use any time of the year it would be Caribbean Haven because it’s very calming and and the smell is amazing and leaves you thinking you are relazing on a beach somewhere. What sets you apart from other candle companies? Unmatched Candles brings unique candles to people who enjoy aromatherapy and self-care. Our

Where did you come up with the idea for your business Unmatched Candles? I’ve always loved candles since a little girl. I never thought of being a candle maker though. When the pandemic first came about I was struggling to decide what to do. Then, my fiancé came up with this brilliant idea. He purchased a starter kit and we watch videos on YouTube. Unmatched Candles was born. W h a t d o e s t h e w o rd empowerment mean to you? Empowerment to me is having the ability to motivate and ultimately having the aptitude to make a change. What is one word your clients would use to describe you and why? Memorable. I don’t just make and sell candles. I make them so that you won’t ever forget me or my candles. What is your favorite scent and why? I have different favorite scents for every season. If there was one I’d

fragrances are carefully chosen so anyone can enjoy them. Our candles are made from soy, coconut oil, and clean fragrance oils so we always have consistent candles and lastly the candles are made with love and poured by hand. How do you balance work and life responsibilities being a female

entrepreneur? Being consistent and having a schedule. Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you. It’s a few women who have inspired me, shout out to all of them I’d like to personally speak on two first my best friend Fynesse She is so smart and always willing to learn. She can remember numbers so she is so good at math, Fynesse is who I call for advice. I have also seen her become a mother and she is a wonderful mom. She inspires me to be better every day. We have been friends since we were children and her loyalty is unmatched. The other person is my friend Roxanna, it’s so much I can say about her but I’ll just say that she is a wonderful mother, a Sargent in the army a chef and much more. She is the head of her family her strength is remarkable. I’ve never met anyone like her she is someone that will inspire anyone she comes across “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? The reason I do what I do, the reason why I get up every day is that I put myself in a position to be responsible for three little lives. They made me into the woman I am. My children are the reason why I do what I do.

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SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} { { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I’ve always loved candles since a little girl, I never thought of being a candle maker though.”

How did working through the pandemic change you for the better or worse? How were you able to get creative? Working through the pandemic changed me for the better, I was able to gain new knowledge and learn a craft and make a business of it. I’ve always been a creative person so it was very easy to step into creative mode.

next year? What about five years from now? In the next year, I will be in my store with my business expanded into a few more things I want my store to have an area for self-care such as massages. In the next five years, I will have two locations! What was the hardest decision you

What is some of the advice you share with other young women wanting to start their own business? Just do it. You won’t know until you try no matter what it is. As a female entrepreneur, what has been the most significant barrier you have faced in your career? So far I haven’t faced any barriers being a female entrepreneur, I think women are substantial with becoming entrepreneurs every day I see more women than men becoming business owners and hustling to get their families in a good position in life. What do you feel makes a good woman business owner? A good woman business owner in my opinion will be strong, independent, caring, and responsible What do you have planned for the 180

My biggest failure was probably giving up on ideas I had years ago that I now see others doing and making it profitable. I’ve learned to take risks in life. This helped for greater success because now I know that if I don’t try I’ve failed. What are the secrets to your success? There is no secret for me, I continue to be myself… genuine, loyal to my beliefs in the quality of my candles, having wonderful customer service skills. Where will we see you next? You will see me in my candle store helping people get more in tune with candles and self-care.

ever had to make? The hardest decision I’ve ever had to make was choosing to continue to work for someone else or to become an entrepreneur because it’s not an easy choice. Instead of 8 hours a day with a traditional job you are working all day every day to become successful. Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?

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MEET JESSICA FABUS CHENG BY CORRIN STELLAKIS

​Hi ladies! My name is Corrin Stellakis and I am the owner of Fit to Reign. What is Fit to Reign? It is a business that is dedicated to helping women achieve their goals and become the best possible versions of themselves. It is a place where women inspire and empower one another.

can help them to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. They learn to form healthy personal boundaries, constructively make decisions about the future, have an increased awareness of personal responsibility, and improve communication and coping skills. I am there for my clients and together, we

F ​ it to Reign is about helping women become mentally, intellectually, socially, spiritually, physically, and emotionally fit. Everyone struggles with one, if not all, of these areas, and I am here to help in every aspect. I am a self-development coach, make-up artist, pageant coach, and personal trainer. I work with women on a one-to-one basis. Fit to Reign Studios is dedicated to creating a comfortable atmosphere where women can reach their goals and feel confident with their progress. ​I lovingly refer to Fit to Reign as “The Beauty and The Beast.” I believe that women are both strong and beautiful. On one side of Fit to Reign Studios there is “The Beauty.” This is where I help women develop in many different areas. ​As a Self-Development Coach, I connect with young women on a personal level to foster a deepened self-awareness and self-understanding. My clients learn tangible tools that

build a unique relationship. I listen, advise, inform, respect, challenge, and support my clients. Through Fit to Reign Self-Development Coaching, they will learn to honor themselves, overcome obstacles, achieve goals, and grow into the successful, happy, and

confident young women that they are meant to be. ​Do you know of a young lady that struggles with social anxiety, organization, negative feelings about herself, choices around dating/sex/breakups, the formation of healthy personal boundaries, decision-making about the future, setting life goals, communication, coping skills, or a sense of personal responsibility? Do you find that she is over critical of her appearance? Is she struggling with school, friends, and finding a balance in life? Is she concerned about “fitting in?” Does she have a difficult time managing stress or finding joy? Does this young woman need a better understanding of who she is and how valued and loved she is? Does she have leadership potential, but does not know how to utilize and channel her spiritual gifts? I would love to help her develop into a strong, confident, and capable young woman. With degrees in communication, psychology, and counseling, I am well equipped and prepared to help her grow and develop. I enjoy building a bond and relationship with my clients founded on trust and respect. Fit to Reign SelfDevelopment Coaching will be the best decision you have made for her. ​Another area of concentration is interview preparation where I teach

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL { FIT TO REIGN } } “My clients are in all different states, of all different ages, and all have a unique personal goal. I love seeing each of my clients meet their goals and achieve their dreams by helping them become Fit to Reign.

women techniques on how to create a lasting impact in any interview and how to communicate their ideas through verbal and nonverbal means. The interview philosophy at Fit to Reign creates focus, helps to increase vocabulary, instills confidence, helps you create a presence, express your personality, connect with the interviewer, and helps you to leave a lasting impression in any interview. You will gain interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, be able to communicate your ideas more effectively, and increase thoughtprocessing speed.

and fluid movement patterns. ​One of the most popular areas of coaching at Fit to Reign is pageant coaching! Pageants allow women to gain life experience and new skill sets, as well as make lasting friendships,

​At Fit to Reign women also learn how to speak in public with confidence. I assist my clients in writing, editing, and performing their speech. How you communicate with the audience is very important, so I will teach you how to create that personal connection with the audience while you are speaking. You will learn techniques on how to ease your nerves, communicate your thoughts thoroughly, inspire and command an audience. ​As a professional model, I offer model coaching for young girls and women looking to create a profession in the modeling industry. It is important to learn a model walk, and techniques to get the best angle in front of the camera. During your training, I will work to develop your confidence, a strong walk, striking poses, facial expressions, great posture, 188

and professional connections. As a 2-time international, 2-time national, and 4-time state titleholder, I know what it takes to prepare for and win the crown. During the preparation process, I will assist clients with filling out the necessary paperwork, work

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with clients on interview and public speaking skills, fitness level, walking and posing, image/wardrobe, and platform development! ​On the other side of Fit to Reign is “The Beast.” This is where I coach my personal training clients. The “Beast” is where women transform their bodies and become physically Fit to Reign. In the personal training studio (“The Beast”), I assess each client on their current fitness level and then construct a personalized program to help them reach their goals. Each client is different, therefore each client will have a different fitness plan. I work with my clients on endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility training. At Fit to Reign, my main goal is to make you feel confident, healthy, and strong! ​Although I have a physical location in North Syracuse for Fit to Reign, I also know that sometimes it is not convenient for many women to come to my location due to proximity, or simply time restraints. For this reason, I offer video chat sessions all over the country! My clients are in all different states, of all different ages, and all have a unique personal goal. I love seeing each of my clients meet their goals and achieve their dreams by helping them become Fit to Reign.


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YOU ARE ENOUGH. DIANA MEYER BYPHOTOS NICOLE BY HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO SLZ PHOTOGRAPHY & EASTWAY PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell us about yourself, and your background. I am a 25 year old newly-wed to my husband Sergeant First Class Joshua Meyer. Although I’m a COVID bride, we couldn’t wait to get married in October 2020! After nine months of marriage, I was honored to win Mrs. New York American. I’m also a Talent Manager at Robert Half, helping people find employment opportunities in accounting and finance. I quickly realized that women often feel incapable of finding a job and this is why I became a Dress for Success Career Coach. When women are empowered and supported on their journey to find employment, the circle of impact expands. In my free time, I love to run my daily 5k, work on my lifestyle blog www.dialoguebydiana. com, bake my grandma’s Italian pizzelle cookies and make my mouth watering homemade pizza. What makes you hustle? My goals make me hustle. It’s important for me to deliver my best self or work in everything I do. My high expectations keep me on track because I know so many people are counting on me. Tell us about what made you decide to run for the MRS NY America pageant. The opportunities in pageantry are endless and Mrs. America is the longest standing pageant for married women. Its prestige is unmatched and I have always 190

been in awe of the pageant our New York State Director Diane Hardgrove produces. Although winning isn’t always everything, doors seem to open when you win a pageant. Because of pageantry, my career flourished, I met lifelong friends, I became a better woman and I have made an even greater impact in my community. Being Mrs. New York American brought those blessings into my life and I am so thankful for that.

What made you decide to start your own non-profit organization? What is its mission? Why did you pick this for your platform? I created my initiative “Unlocking Memories Through Music” 14 years ago in honor of my grandmother’s eight year Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The disease eventually consumed my grandma in every way possible. She was comatose most days and as a professional musician, I knew I had to use music to bring out her caring and vivacious personality. My

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mom and I loved to play Christmas flute duets for my grandma and when she heard Jingle Bells, she would start to remember the lyrics and she even used to dance with my grandpa! By sharing the gift of music through live flute performances or portable radio donations, I accomplish my goal of enhancing senior’s lives. I am proud to say that I have performed my flute countless times and donated over 400 radios to memory care homes across New York. What does the word empowerment mean to you? Empowerment means feeling worthy and capable of anything because you believe in yourself and better yet, someone else believes in you too. It’s knowing that you can accomplish anything because you have the skills and support system to do so. I recently interviewed a candidate at work who started crying because she was overwhelmed about her job search. Several women often feel similar emotions and I am honored to be the person who brightens their lives every single day. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful female entrepreneur? Just like the great state of New York, you must have grit! Everything in life requires hard work and sacrifice. Believe in yourself and let your passions fuel your motivation. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? What about some of your weaknesses?


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SHIFT+CONTROL } } {{YOUNG & INSPIRING “As Mrs. New York American, it’s crucial to stay relevant on Facebook and Instagram because I’m an ambassador for the pageant!”

I’m proud of my gregarious personality. Not only does it help me thrive in my job and role as Mrs. New York American but I can easily create relationships with people from all different walks of life. On the contrary, I’m a people pleaser and I’m often hard on myself. As a former competitive gymnast always striving for a perfect ten, this is no surprise. But, I learned to give myself grace and live in the moment. How would you define your personality? In short, I have a Type A personality. I know what I want and I’m not afraid to do whatever it takes to make it happen! I’m also sincere, inquisitive, fun and adventurous. If I’m not making someone else feel valued, I’m probably asking them a question about anything that comes across my mind! I also like to let loose and try new things like hiking a mountain or scuba diving in Hawaii! What did you take away from your pageant experience? Pageants can be intimidating and it’s often thought that you need to look, walk, talk and act a certain way. Instead, you need to be the best version of yourself. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people, especially in pageants. You will find joy and peace when you learn to stop worrying about the things you can’t control. Although I knew this prior to the pageant, it became more apparent afterwards. What was your first job and how old were you? You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! I was 16 when I started my first job at Yolickity Frozen Dessert Zone. I met so many great people and I 194

learned a lot of great lessons too! Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? I am in awe of my mom’s strength to raise my sister and me as a single mom. She supported me as a competitive gymnast, flautist, scholar, pageant contestant and wife. She never missed an important milestone in my life and she continues to support me. I’m blessed to have a strong female figure in my life that showed me the importance of women needing a successful career, having a strong value system and what it means to put family first. My husband Josh is also one of my greatest blessings. I’m inspired by his confidence and ability to stay calm in life’s most stressful moments. He motivates me to be a better person and he is my perfect counterpart. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? I was a perfectionist growing up. I was focused on getting good grades and working hard because I wanted to set myself up for future success. However, I often missed out on life’s sweetest moments and didn’t enjoy my teenage years. I wish I had more grace growing up so I could balance life better. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Life is beautiful and since I know it’s fleeting, I don’t want to waste any moment of it. I want to leave a big impact and take advantage of what life has to offer. Whether that’s through my career, family, pageantry or volunteering, I hope to look back on life and feel fulfilled.

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How did working through the pandemic change you for the better or worse? How did you get creative? Working through the pandemic taught me how to slow down. I’m always on the go and life instantly stopped because of COVID-19. I have no doubt that having a healthy work life balance is here to stay. Additionally, I planned a wedding in 2020! Every day was unpredictable and since I like to have a plan, I had to be flexible when planning our special day. What role do you think social media plays for you personally and professionally and what is your favorite platform? I have a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication from St. John Fisher College. Being media literate is important because you’re now expected to have an in-person and online brand. You must be active on social media to establish your place personally or professionally. For example, I post on LinkedIn weekly about topics related to my job at Robert Half. I also like to use Instagram to post life updates and share engaging content. As Mrs. New York American, it’s crucial to stay relevant on Facebook and Instagram because I’m an ambassador for the pageant! Before you post anything, you must consider the medium and your audience. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. I help dozens of people every day find a job and I often wonder if I’m making an impact. Out of the hundreds I recruited, two women continue to update me about their job. I receive a weekly email with a life update from one and a daily phone


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“I quickly realized that women often feel incapable of finding a job and this is why I became a Dress for Success Career Coach.”

call from the other. This reminds me that I have the power to permanently change someone’s life and these moments are life changing for me as well! What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful? I never gave up on myself and I have a great support system. I’m only hurting myself if I decide to slack off. The world is my oyster and I know that if I work hard and surround myself with good people, opportunity will come knocking! W h a t w a s yo u r favorite moment of the 2021 Mrs NY America pageant and why? I competed in pageantry for ten years and I never thought I would participate as a married woman. When I was practicing for the pageant, I felt a lot of pride and joy. Those moments were my favorite because they reminded me of why I decided to compete in a pageant and I felt worthy and ready for whatever opportunity awaited me. What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? Right now I am practicing for the Mrs. American Pageant in November 2021! If given the honor of Mrs.

American, I will spend the next year preparing for the Mrs. World Pageant. I will also use this opportunity to create a nationwide circle of impact for women seeking employment by expanding my efforts as a Dress for Success Career Coach. Since my husband and I didn’t have a honeymoon because of COVID, I also want to plan a special trip in the

What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself in the past year during your pageant journey? As a former competitive gymnast, I always sought the approval of others. But this pageant journey taught me that it’s okay to not be perfect and do what makes you happy. I now make decisions that I feel confident with, instead of seeking the approval of others. Where will we see you next? Yo u c a n k e e p i n touch with me and stay up-to-date with my volunteer work and journey to Mrs. American on Instagram at @dianammeyer and @2021mrsnyamerican.

next five years. It’s our goal to also invest in property! What was the hardest decision you ever had to make? I’m not sure I can pick one decision as the most difficult because I have been fortunate. But with any big life decision (buying a house, getting married, changing jobs), you question if you’re making the right choice. Regardless of the choice made, I’m happy with my life’s direction. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER EDITION 2021

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QUEEN OF ARTS }}} } { WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR {{{ SHIFT+CONTROL SHIFT+CONTROL

MAYA BEN-MEIR Tell us about yourself, what your background is, and what brought you to this moment in life. I was born in Israel in the 80’s, but my mom moved us to Los Angeles when I was nine. I lived there with her for a few years before returning to Israel to live with my dad, finish High School, and enlist in the Israeli Defense Forces (mandatory military service). I’ve been going back and forth between Israel and the US every few years for most of my life, and I’m a dual citizen. Both of my parents were influential in my music choices through the years. My mom introduced me to classical music, and my dad took care of the rock side of things, as well as Israeli music that we both love very much. Almost ten years ago I made the decision to move to NYC permanently. I’d discovered that I’m more suited to the East Coast and New York just drew me in. I was feeling stuck at that point in my life, and that the performance side of my career wasn’t going in the direction I’d wanted it to go. I felt like I really needed to kick myself in the butt and I was ready for a big change. I figured New York could be that change, so I gave it a shot. Best decision I’ve ever made. I feel like anyone who wants to find an audience for their work can find one in New York. You just have to look. What made you decide to become a singer, and a kazoo player? I’ve been studying music since the age of five when my mom asked me if I

wanted to learn how to play the piano and I said yes. She bought a beautiful upright piano from friends of the family whose kids didn’t play anymore, and that became the instrument on which I learned the beginnings of music, and I also sang at school and briefly at a children’s choir. When we moved to Los Angeles I picked up the violin, and when I entered Junior High School I took both orchestra and chorus. I was also accepted into the madrigals, a chamber ensemble that performed extra concerts and a cappella (without accompaniment) works. Singing ended up being my favorite way to express myself musically. The kazoo entered into the picture about 10 years ago when I first decided to perform Queen’s song ‘Seaside Rendezvous’ in a show. I’ve always loved this fast-paced, quirky song, and I thought it was funny that Queen chose to use kazoos when they recorded it. I don’t know any other mainstream band that made such a choice, so naturally I had to get a kazoo so that I could do it justice. As far as I know, Queen never performed this particular song live, and it’s the only song they’ve recorded with kazoos (which I believe were played by Roger Taylor, Queen’s drummer.) Where did you receive your education? What is your profession when you are not singing? I went to The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance for both my B. Mus and M. Mus degrees, as well as countless

private lessons and coachings, workshops and seminars. When not singing I’ve done a variety of things including admin work, office management, social media marketing, event production, and more. What motivates you both personally and professionally? The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this question is love. My love for music, my passion for nuance and lyrics, melodies, harmonies, the whole shebang, and my want and need to share it with people. It’s hard to translate it into words. Having common experiences with people and being able to convey feelings through music is just the best feeling. The times in my life when I’ve managed to do that have been the most profound in my life, both as a soloist and as part of an ensemble. What does the word empowerment mean to you? Empowerment means being able to trust yourself. Being able to stand tall in front of people and be true to yourself while still respecting others and your surroundings. It means knowing that you’re capable of everything you’d like to achieve, no matter how long it takes and how hard the road. Who is one person that has inspired you in your music career and why? Freddie Mercury has been an enormous inspiration in my music career. I talk about him a lot at my show, ‘Not The Queen You Know’. The show is about the band, Queen, with a focus on Freddie Mercury as the magnificent performer and musician that he was, and my own journey as a performer through that lens. His voice was exceptional, with a very

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“Empowerment means being able to trust yourself. Being able to stand tall in front of people and be true to yourself while still respecting others and your surroundings.”

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{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR QUEEN OF ARTS }} } {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “My strengths as a musician - and personally - lie in my own versatility and ability to adapt to different genres, and my emotional intelligence.”

wide range and versatility both in complexity and style. He could hold audiences in the palm of his hand and make the person standing furthest from him in a 200,000 seat stadium feel as if they were right next to him. What’s not to like? What do you feel are your greatest strengths both as a musician and personally? My strengths as a musician - and personally - lie in my own versatility and ability to adapt to different genres, and my emotional intelligence. I’ve had to move across the world several times in my life, whether by my own choice or other circumstances, and that has taught me to be flexible and take things as they come, as well as introduced me to different cultures that I might not have known otherwise. All of these components led to my empathy towards people, as well as empathy in my music. How did you reach your level of success? Just like everybody else - hard work over many years. You don’t get to be a professional musician without it. There have been many lessons learned over the years, a few faux pas here and there, and experiences that have taught me to listen and absorb more than anything else. When I first moved to NY I didn’t know a lot of people in my field, just a few school friends from Israel, but they weren’t singers. Little by little, through word of mouth and new connections I made, I carved out a path that I’m still

on in order to continue becoming the performer I want to be. What skills have you learned that will help you in your singing/music career? As I mentioned before - listening. Whether it’s in a rehearsal room or a conversation amongst colleagues, listening is the best tool to get ahead. When you’re on stage, unless you’re a solo performer you’re never alone. It’s always a joint effort. I would actually argue that you’re never alone even if you’re a solo performer, because the audience is still there and they’re a big component of the show. So listening is super important, so that you can tune into the mood as well as help create it and invite people into your experience. What kind of singer would you classify yourself as? I introduce myself in the show as a classically trained mezzo-soprano with a fetish for rock music. It’s really a deep love of rock music. If I had to sum it up I would call myself a multi-genre singer and performer. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why motivated you to pursue a music career? I was pretty young when I decided that whatever I ended up doing, music would have to be a part of it. It was before I’d made the final decision that singing would be ‘it’, but I just couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. I always saw myself, and wanted to see myself, up on a stage. What has been the best performance of your career so far? That’s a tough one to answer. As a soloist

I have to say it’s these recent shows of ‘Not The Queen You Know’ at the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. Airigami, the wonderful balloon artists, have been the most awesome hosts over at ‘Made On State’, and the shows have been amazing. The original performance of the show at the famed ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ in NYC two years ago is also high up there. As an ensemble singer it’s also tough to pick just one. It would be a toss-up between getting to perform with ‘The Tallis Scholars’, one of the premiere renaissance ensembles in the world, after a weeklong workshop with them at Carnegie Hall, and being a chorister at a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘A Sea Symphony’, also at Carnegie Hall. What accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next five to 10 years? I see myself growing as a solo performer as well as a chorister, working with premiere ensembles and collaborating on projects, performing on bigger stages and reaching a wider audience. My life partner, Christopher Whipple, and I have a project called ‘FKITYES’ that we began during that pandemic and are planning to relaunch next year. It’s a web-series centered on stories of bravery and courage, big or small, of everyday people, as well as our own journey to create the show. I see this project as central in both of our lives to become better creators and bring more positivity into the public eye. You can find us at: fkityes.com What first got you into music?

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{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR } { QUEEN OF ARTS } “I feel like anyone who wants to find an audience for their work can find one in New York. You just have to look.”

I just love it. Listening to music when I was a child made me want to participate in it. I always liked to sing in music class, and when offered the chance to learn formally, I immediately took it. Melodies tend to draw me in. I’m fascinated by how they move and what kinds of emotions they can evoke. When I’m happy, I sing. When I’m sad, I sing. There’s something for every feeling under the sun. What do you feel makes a good woman leader? I feel like a good woman leader is holistic. She should be compassionate while decisive. Knowing how to listen to others and take note of their requirements but at the same time having a vision of how things work. She needs to be able to see herself in others’ shoes while acknowledging who she is and where she comes from to try and achieve a collaborative environment, with herself at the helm. Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music? I read a lot. Fantasy and sci-fi are my favorite genres, but I also read romance with strong female characters. I love to cook, but I love baking more. I totally got into the sourdough phase during the first part of the pandemic. When I have more time, I plan to

return to that particular hobby. I have a big love for bread. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make? When I first moved to LA with my mom, I didn’t like it at all. I had a hard time making friends and there was a

that point, but it remains one of the most difficult and meaningful decisions I’ve ever made. What kind of music do you like? I love classical music. Mozart and Verdi are favorites, as well as Vaughan Williams, Aaron Copland, Benjamin Britten, and Samuel Barber. I love a lot of older rock music such as Queen, The Police, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and also some alternative bands like The Barenaked Ladies, Fastball, and Guster. And a whole lot of Israeli artists.

lot of culture shock, and I just wanted to go back home to Israel. Five years later my parents gave me the choice to go back to Israel, if I still wanted. That ended up being a much harder decision than I had anticipated, because I didn’t realize how I had grown into that place. I had made friends by then and was active in the music program. I did end up moving back to Israel at

Where will we see you next? Next you will see me back at Made On State (510 State St) this Saturday, September 25, at 4PM and 9PM for my final ‘Not The Queen You Know’ shows of this Rochester Fringe Festival run. I’m beyond excited and happy with how this show is turning out and the experiences I’m having with people. Performing in front of a live audience again is unbelievable. After that I’m planning more shows in NYC, to be announced on my website: mayabmusic.com and on social media.





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YOU ARE ENOUGH. BE STILL BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY OMENESA ORUMA AKOMOLAFE

My over achiever type A personalityreally set me up for major disappointments in the past. I am a Fixer. I am always DOING. Every thing I do ends with an “ING”, and so moments I had to wait on God, were extremely excruciating, because I’d always been in a continuousstate of accomplishing, moving, results. That’s the word, Results!!! When one plus one has always equaled two, it’s hard to fathom when you calculate it again and it equals NOTHING, or it gives you a different answer, like 5. An odd number for that matter. I have had to wait on God for children. I have had to wait on my dad and my husband’s immigration. I have had to wait on better job offers and I found myself praying for a shift to take place, miraculously. Living in New York has made being “Still” even-harder. But I try everyday not to take matters into my own hands, because that’s what ended up happening for so long. I experience with forcing God’s arm, and all that does is expose you to the RIGHT people, places or promotion at the WRONG time, rendering you inept and irrelevant. It wasn’t until late 2020, that I began to get comfortable with God’s plan. I lost my job and accommodation in the covid season, and I found myself sleeping on the floor. In a few months God blessed me with over 3 jobs and got me a home for my family. I started to trust that God knew what He was doing. I’m coming from a place of God not healing me from scoliosis to watching my mother die from cancer ,when God healed others through g her. I have had to face Cultural shock and abuse from many quarters ministerially, all these experiences brought out a violent side 208

of me. A side where I fought with all my might, and even my hands. As I got older in age and in my relationship withGod, I realized that aggressionsaps power. It takes alot of energy to be in control, to be angry(even if justified), and justice is still not served, as your emotions would have caused you to misrepresent yourself, AGAIN! I eventually saw that my anger and aggressio was coming from a place of deep rooted resentment.

I have had to watch people get ahead while I seem to be in limbo. But I’m a daddy’s girl. You know how you just trust whatever daddy says and whatever daddy does? You know how when you think and look back on those words he once spoke that didn’t make sense? Suddenly you find yourself saying, “ Mmmmm, Dad was right”. That’s where I am now with God. I trust Him. I trust that He is right. I trust that He has been right. I trust that He is right. I trust that He will be right. I trust Him because I have

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nothing to lose, neither does He. He wouldn’t benefit from my pain or from his “Punishment”, neither would I. So would He hurt me? He can’t, and He won’t. I trust Him because He created me. I trust Him because He created my father. I trust Him because He has utilized me in the past. I trust Him because He gave me a miracle before, surely, He will do it again(You can listen to me singing this song on my YouTube page and on my 4th album) He will do it again. Yes!!! I trust Him. I didn’t say it’s easy to trust Him, because it is not, and it’s even harder to be still, but stillness and trust are synonymous. When you trust where your husband is at an odd hour and the company of friends he’s with, you’d be still, because you trust where He is. You trust that he isn’t where he shouldn’t be. Even if where he is where he shouldn’t be,, because your psyche is so full of trust in him, you wouldn’t change the narrative in your head. I just trust that God will do what He said He would do in my life. I choose to trust that He is telling me the truth, plus He has a track record of faithfulness towards me. A record of His consistent presense. Even the time you didn’t feel Him or see Him, He allowed and or orchestrated all that concerned you. He has shown up one too many times, though at very odd and late times, but He showed up, and it panned out to be just on time. Being still means to trust that God knows what He is doing. While you are being still, go ahead and do all He has called you to do. Don’t fixate on what you don’t have or on where you are not at, just focus on where you are, and be grateful for the


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“I have shifted my energy and my attention towards what is tangible, that is the crown that has given me a year’s assignment to fulfill. I don’t have time for distractions, even if they are legitimate distractions.”

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“Be still. Forget about what you don’t have, and focus on what you do have.”

opportunity. To be still doesn’t mean to be lazy and wait. It means to WAIT on Him for that specific thing, while you DO other things. It means to be patient to get that car when you’re 18, because right now you are 13. You will crash into a wall. You will kill somebody. You will slide off a bridge, so make do with the bicycle you own and BE STILL. Ride that bicycle like your life depends on it, just knowing that a day will come when you’ll get to drive that car. I was at the airport heading to Alaska to celebrate my birthday. I saw this couple wheeling their baby in a stroller. As I admired the baby, I noticed the husband was holding a child that seemed to be about 3 or 4 years old. I found myself coveting. I literally had tears in my eyes and my temperature became warmer. I wondered when I will have my children. With a slight pain in my soul, I walked up the escalator saying to myself, “ Omenesa, your time will come. You will have your children, from your womb. Oh , and you will not die during childbirth. There will be no complications”. You just won a competition. You are a queen. You get to travel all over the world. You have the voice and command of someone who has been seasoned for years. Bask 212

in where you are. Use up all your tears and energy in this thing that is already in your hand. As of today, your assignmen is not to be a mother, your assignment

I have shifted my energy and my attention towards what is tangible, that is the crown that has given me a year’s assignment to fulfill. I don’t have time for distractions, even if they are legitimate distractions. When it’s time for a baby, God will give me children. All 4 of them. For now, the truth is, I have so much work to do, and my work, my building stage, cannot accomodate children. Who will babysit them? Who will bath them? You see, God knows what He is doing. God knows I live alone. It will be a disaster. There is an alignment, an equilibrium, that must take place both spiritually and physically, for such a gift to be birth. God is not an Author of confusion. This is a humanbeing we are talking about. Be still. Forget about what you don’t have, and focus on what you do have. As long as you have breath, you have alot.

is to show up, smiling and giving hope to people everyday, with this crown on your head, and raising funds for Fertility and hospice patients.

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Now here is something that would keep you encouraged. Prayer!!! Being raised as a PK, I learned the rudiments and religious routines very early. I fasted a dry fast every Thursday as instructed by my Father and I was baptized in the holysooort when Inwasb9 and when I was 12, I was baptized by water. I knew the peripherals


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{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN { SHIFT+CONTROL } }

ARE YOU CRUSHING IT – OR BEING CRUSHED? BY DR. PAM DENTON

Susan has always been a fitness enthusiast. For years, she would go to the gym with her workout girlfriends and work out as hard as she could. After every workout, she and her friends would exchange a high five and say, “We crushed it today!” Fast forward a decade to Susan working in a high-stress leadership job where she literally feels that the stress is crushing her. Her workouts no longer help to relieve stress – in fact, her body begins to give out under the toxic load of mental, emotional and physical stressors. She suffers from back pain, insomnia, headaches, and weight gain. Peri-menopause starts to set in and her body is stuck. Susan’s ability to be strong and fit shifts to frustration. She barely recognizes her body. And she feels CRUSHED! Why aren’t Susan’s workouts dissipating or resolving her stress to a degree that her body bounces back and remembers its fitness intelligence? Because she doesn’t possess the CORE intelligence – “CQ” – to process and release stress effectively. Women need to release stress. And do not need to follow a crushin it workout. This is the masculine form of working out. CORE intelligence is the ability to use a workout to consciously engage with your toxic stress load and release it from the body, mind, and emotions. When we entered into this work as fitness instructors and healers, we saw this pattern of crushing stress causing dis-ease in our female clients. They suffered from fatigue, anxiety, pain,

weight gain, and depression. Most of all, they lacked the ability to consciously connect with their stress to release it. They were carrying their toxic load into the gym and driving the toxins deeper into their bodies because they lacked the inner neurological technology to mindfully connect, let go, and pull in new, healthy energy. The American Psychological Association states that stress negatively affects “all systems of the body including

as a chiropractor, I’d have my hands on their spine and a voice in my head would scream, ‘Get up and MOVE!’,” says Dr. Pam Denton. “They needed to take action and move through the stress that showed up as stuck energy in their body.” But they wouldn’t. Instead, they would return week after week for Pam to “fix” them. Ultimately, she closed her chiropractic practice to open a Zen fitness spa where she could help everyone, especially women, learn to heal themselves through movement, meditation, coaching, and other forms of self-care. This inside-out approach (vs. the Fix-It mentality of outside-in, putting a BandAid on a problem and hoping it goes away) eventually became SuperCORE FIT. So what does SuperCORE FIT mean? Let’s break it down.

the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.” [https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/ body] It’s no wonder that stress is often cited as the number one killer in our modern world. Look around. Listen to the news or read it online - and ask yourself if we as a world and a society are “crushing” our stress – or is it crushing us? The answer is obvious – stress is winning. “When I was working with women

● SUPER: Going beyond our current ideas of what it means to get and be fit. Super means surpassing the fitness “Fix-It” mentality – “If I crush it at the gym, I’ll be the best.” It mAeans moving beyond trying to achieve a physical ideal and moving into a new, expanded belief system where fitness incorporates all aspects of being our best – physical, mental, emotional, and, yes, spiritual. ● CORE: The core is the center of your body that is accessed through the central nervous system where your major energy centers are located. The core is both the physical center of your body connected by your spinal cord and a metaphorical center where you can

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{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “CORE intelligence is the ability to use a workout to consciously engage with your toxic stress load and release it from the body, mind, and emotions.”

increase and harvest your inner strength and power to amp up your CQ. The core is the physical space in your body that represents your energetic balance with respect to health, wealth, and emotions. The core also represents our ability to be connected, hold positive energy in the face of change, and put personal health first and foremost. ● FIT: Focused Intentional Training. When you focus on the energetic core as you breathe and move with awareness, you break through the stress cycle to become stronger than your stressors. When you consciously add intention to your workout through imagination and positive motivation, you build a core transformer that transmutes negative to positive. When you train consistently, your body learns how to effectively find, build, and release stress so you can be your healthiest, most centered, calm, happy, and productive self. So what can you do RIGHT NOW to ditch stress, ditch menopause, and begin building your CORE transformer? Drop your ego at the door and don’t judge what we’re about to tell you! Drop the weights that overstress your muscles. Drop the long-distance runs that beat up your body. Drop the intense classes that beef up your muscles while stressing your joints and connective tissue. Drop the comparison and competition. (Don’t worry – you can pick all these things up later if you want them.) For now, sit tall in your chair, plant your feet on the ground, close your eyes…and breathe. Why? Because your breath is the most efficient pathway for you to access the CQ you’ve been missing this whole time. The basis of SuperCORE is breath. 216

BreatheFit is the breathing practice that we use in SuperCORE. As BreatheFit coaches, we direct our students to breathe while they work out, using certain breath techniques and rhythms to achieve a higher level of cardiovascular fitness than they would through movement alone. We also help them to connect with conscious breathing – breathing with awareness and intent to achieve a desired outcome. And one of the outcomes is, you guessed it – stress relief! Conscious breathing will allow you to: ● Activate body awareness ● Access and release stored stress or tension ● Move through emotional, mental, or physical obstacles The first step to conscious breathing is to pay attention to your breath. And the first step to paying attention is to close your eyes. To connect with your breathing, it’s essential to remove external stimulus and begin to listen inward. When you are staring at computer or phone, eyes open, your energy is pointed outward. When your eyes are open, sensory-neuro stimulus is constant. Closing your eyes turns your energy inward toward yourself and allows you to sense your body (yes, we said it – SENSE your BODY!) EXERCISE: Checking in with Your Breath ● Close your eyes. Notice your breath just the way that it is, without changing anything. ● Are you breathing? ● Are you holding your breath? ● Can you feel the breath move through your body? ● What is the rhythm of your breath?

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● Is your breath shallow and quick? ● Are you breathing through your mouth or through your nose? ● Is your chest rising and falling, or is the movement only in your belly? ● Do you care about your breathing? Think about it – you wouldn’t be alive if you weren’t breathing. You can live for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without breathing. Breathing is your body’s natural way of building energy, releasing toxins, and letting go of stress. And you won’t believe how conscious breathing will amp up your overall fitness, health, and well-being! Dr. Pam Denton is a fitness expert, international speaker, healer, coach, and founder of SuperCORE Leadership and Fitness. Her intensively researched mindbody approach to empowerment has helped thousands of leaders plug into their innate power and activate the law of attraction for unstoppable success. She is the author of numerous books, including She Means Business, Leadership Evolution, Messages from Spirit and Journey to Female Power. Join Dr. Pam and connect to your core! www.supercorefit.com


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PAT FURLONG BY CHRISTINE PIACENTINO

I am thrilled to introduce the Rochester Woman Online community to one of the most empowering people I know. I began navigating the hard and rocky trail called Duchenne MD 24 years ago. Early in my journey I met Pat Furlong the founder and president of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD). I received a call from Pat on a cold wintery day in Rochester. She invited me to the PPMD conference. The conference convenes parents, physicians, and researchers from around the world. Pat is nearly 6 feet tall and thinks as fast as she walks. I must race to keep up with her. Her knowledge and leadership provide hope to many families like mine. Pat’s two sons Christopher and Patrick lost their battle with Duchenne in their teenage years. Today Pat continues to lead the organization and is considered one of the foremost authorities on Duchenne in the world. Pat also has two daughters; her perseverance is in honor of her two sons who continue to motivate her efforts. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I had no intention of being part of the Duchenne community this long. When we started PPMD in 1994, I naively thought we would have a cure and I would be spending

these years with my sons and daughters and a ton of grandkids I would spoil rotten. When my sons were diagnosed in 1984, I went to the library to find everything I could on Duchenne. This was before the internet. We’re talking microfiche and a card catalog! My husband and I are both medically trained – he’s a retired family doc and I was in nursing – but Duchenne was something we might have covered

in a half-day course on neurological diseases if that. It was hard to find a community, to build an army to fight this horrible disease. We needed to unite all the families that, like ours, felt alone. What is the biggest achievement in Duchenne since PPMD has been founded? There are many things I could talk about here to include research, care, policy the words Impact, influence, and change. But the most important is perhaps that we have formed a COMMUNITY. We have

found ‘our US’- a community of stakeholders with a common goal. Looking back through years of PPMD is there anything you would have changed or do differently? It is difficult to look back, but the one thing I might have wished for is to have long-term vision. While PPMD, which suggested ‘parents’, a longer view would have been more inclusive of all stakeholders in the field – parents, people with Duchenne, Becker, females with dystrophinopathy, sibs, friends, academics, clinicians, companies – every single person or entity that was or could be interested in moving the field forward, improving both quality of life and life span and develop therapies that would change the trajectory for all. In 2010 the New Yorker did a story on you entitled “Mother Courage”; how did it feel to be the inspiration of an article in the New Yorker Magazine? We all have so many stories and I think we learn so much from story. I felt incredibly honored when the New Yorker reached out to me. John Colapinto was assigned to write the story and I was at once comfortable that the story would be both honest and respectful.

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“When we started PPMD in 1994, I naively thought we would have a cure and I would be spending these years with my sons and daughters and a ton of grandkids I would spoil rotten.”

I was most grateful that a publication like the New Yorker would feature Duchenne. From the day of diagnosis when we would hear people confusing Duchenne with MS and others suggesting they had never heard of Duchenne, we wanted to spread awareness, to have others learn and hopefully to impact a number of areas – primary healthcare, where the diagnosis is often missed and for patients, the diagnostic odyssey taking years; for academics with interest and others who could be recruited; for policy makers to take notice about the need to invest in Duchenne and rare diseases; for companies to learn about Duchenne and commit people and resources to develop therapies and for the whole world to stand up and take notice. What is your greatest superpower or strength? In my head, it is the wish for magic which never, ever goes away. Often, I hear the echo of my father, often frustrated with my behavior growing up. He would say, YOU CANNOT ACCEPT THE WORD NO and YOU WILL ARGUE with GOD HIMESELF. At the end of the day, two things come to mind. The first is resilience. I have fallen on my face more times that I can count, and I suspect I will continue to fall or misstep. There are times when I think ‘walk away, this is too hard’. And then I close my eyes and see my wonderful boys sitting in their chair and smiling, carrying so much that comes with the diagnosis and 224

never, not ever complaining. The second is persistence. I continue to dislike the word NO, but have added additional context, and that is WHY because I have learned that understanding the WHY piece enables additional questions or workarounds if that means something positive could happen, something could change or move in the right direction. When most people start a Non-Profit to help cure a disease for a family member, it becomes overwhelming, and they give up. What is drives you to keep fighting? It is easy to give up. Research takes time, people and money and often good ideas go right into a wall. It is frustrating to watch someone you love decline. The devastation of the diagnosis, the grief and sadness you feel, the wish to change places and the knowledge that time is the commodity, the exchange rate for progress. For me, Duchenne is equal parts – frustrating, painful, fascinating from a scientific perspective. Still, to this day, when walking on the track and watching the soccer team practice, my internal discussion is around ‘this is how muscle is supposed to work’ and to that end, want to better understand and be one of the spokes in the wheel of progress. The lesson we all need to take to heart is that it is HARD, but worthwhile to be part of something bigger than yourself

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and for the person you love, to continue for them, with them and for all others along the way. To join the fight to End Duchenne please visit https://www.parentprojectmd.org/


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{ TAMMY’S TIDBITS }

GET YOUR CON ON BY TAMMY VREELAND

Not what you may think. In this case, I’m talking about a “CONvention”. Now you may wonder, how does this tie into National Holidays? But to be fair, National Holidays are not only something to celebrate but also something one can actually do, when you can’t think of anything else for the weekend! And you noticed I said “weekend” so we’re not talking business conventions! There are other conventions out there and one of the first thing that comes to mind when you hear a “Con” is perhaps ‘Comic Con’ but did you know there are other types of cons? Now, before you roll your eyes and think - ‘so not for me’! Give me a chance to tempt you into trying it! First, what is a con? A con is a gathering of people with common interests. Or, so you would think. Personally, I never had an interest in going to a comic con because simply I’m not into comic books, superheroes, or let alone dressing up like one! So, I figured I would not enjoy it. But let’s nip that preconceived idea in the bud and explore the alternative ...what to do for the weekend? This is exactly how I discovered the wonders of a con! We were bored, and I saw someone post on Facebook that they were going to the NJ Horror Con in Atlantic City. Not understanding what it was, on the spur of the moment we hopped in the car and saw for ourselves. We did not know what to expect, but I like scary things, so that was a start. Plus, how could we go wrong? It’s in Atlantic City! Plenty of parking, lots of good food and the

boardwalk! Now our boring weekend suddenly became something exciting! But what to wear? We had no idea! We opted for the safe course of looking normal. Nervous that we’d look like the newbies we were, we bought our tickets at the door (which we were fortunate we could) and ventured in. Yes, there were people dressed in horror theme costumes but there were just as many not - which put us right at ease. No longer did we worry about them all pointing at us and screaming... ‘not one of us’! In fact, it was so laid back and friendly, it made us want to be a bit more involved! There were professional cos players such as Mike McManis with the Disturbed Cosplay from Jenkintown, PA who is the amazing Frankenstein behind me in the picture! Then you have the very talented Shelby VanValk who helps design some of his costumes and comes up with amazing ones for herself! There were Deadly Grounds that had ‘coffee to die for’. Gemini Crow for hot sauces and jerky. And so many other vendors anywhere from new toy ideas to strange oddities. The vendors alone seem to put on a show of their own! Then there was the euphoria of meeting actual movie celebrities! There I was, talking to an actress I saw on the big screen when I was in High School! Trying desperately not to be too star struck, her and I had a very normal, pleasant conversation. Meanwhile, inside my head I’m going oh my gosh, oh my gosh, wait till the girls hear about this!

I admit, we were a little timid to approach the celebrity’s tables at first because we weren’t sure if we had to pay to talk to them? However, we quickly realized they loved talking to us as much as we did them! Sure, you could buy their photos signed or possibly a photo with them, but no one ever pressured us to buy anything. The option was ours to take home a memento from them (which I admit I couldn’t resist) and most took credit cards! Whew! But that’s not all! We realized there were actual viewings of Indie movies, included in the price! You could come and go, as you please. In fact, there were lots of events going on! Costume contest, awards, photo events all happening throughout the weekend! Among all of that, you had other tables where Directors, Authors and Podcasts were on display. We instantly became hooked! So much so, that the very next New Jersey Horror Con, I too became part of it and have a table of my own. And let me tell you, what a rewarding event for me! Not only was I able to display my books, sign my books, but actually interact with the very people I had always wanted to write for! To hear their thoughts and ideas, what they enjoyed reading. It all gave me more insight, to help me write my future projects. And did I mention you can bring kids? At first, you my shudder at the thought of bringing kids to a ‘Horror’ Con. And yet, there are quite a few things the kids will enjoy and actually know. Often you will find Ghostbusters, Spaceballs and even Beetlejuice there!

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TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “You find yourself caught up in their whirlwind and before you know it, you are enjoying it just as much!”

I too have a display of my children’s book ‘Urie learns about Halloween’. Which in fact, it almost feels like a Halloween for adults, giving you the chance to get dressed up right along with your kids! And as I say in my children’s book - Halloween doesn’t have to be scary but spooky is fun! All costumes are appreciated and enjoyed. Many times, when I am telling people about the con, they had never heard or thought about going. Before you know it, they start either planning for the whole family to go or an awesome weekend with their friends. It’s an event that is so easy to make an enjoyable weekend! In fact, with October coming up, maybe we could look at a couple National Days to put us in the mood for the big New Jersey Horror Con that is coming up on November 12th, 13th & 14th! 228

October 17th - National Holiday - Pay Back A Friend Day - What a perfect way to pay someone back with a surprise weekend to Atlantic City for the New Jersey Horror Con! October 31st - National Holiday Halloween - Of course, we all know what day this is! But, this year did you have an awesome costume? Just think! You can wear it again for the New Jersey Horror Con! Although I may be partial to New Jersey Horror Con, I quickly came to realize I needed to give other cons that I thought I’d never want to go to, a chance. And I am so glad I did! Because what you quickly learn is the people going to these events - no matter what con it is - are out to have fun and socialize! You find yourself caught up in their whirlwind and before you know it, you are enjoying it just as much!

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So, remember November 12th, 13th & 14th is the New Jersey Horror Con located at the Showboat in Atlantic City, NJ - and yes, I will be dressed and even have a table of my own! Come on down and see me! We can talk horror, or perhaps my children’s books or even about this article here. Meanwhile, you will also get to experience a con, one that is trusted and true presented by Ryan Weber for several years! And honestly, something different to do on a weekend. But be careful, once you go we may hook you into coming back, for we welcome all to become ‘one of us’! Check out their website at www. newjerseyhorrorcon.com they have events in Pennsylvania as well!



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{ SHIFT+CONTROL { DIVI9 } } } { DIVI9 CHAT

THE STORY YOU’RE TELLING BY RAQUEL WALKER

Seek the puddles, ponds, lakes and streams in life where uncomfortable emotions reside. Seek them out that you may understand them, observe them and if far too often you endure the fortunate misfortune of falling victim to them. The goal, always, is to observe, learn and heal. Yet after the fall, you must reason with yourself to rise. These emotions are the tributaries of the ocean that is the soul. The clarity of which is improved each time you settle in to do this work. INTUITIVE GUIDANCE I first began to consciously seek a greater understanding of my existence at around age 15. I was such a bookworm, and as I find the time to read once more I recall easily the joy of sinking into a book that simply seemed to understand me, or excite me page after page or led me to far away places I dream to explore in person. Books have always been the gateway to the soul for me. So it is fitting that one of the most influential books, and maybe the only book I recall the title of with little to no effort from my younger days is “The Seat of The Soul” as I sit rereading my original copy I am giving attention to the areas I highlighted. The thoughts I extracted to guide my younger self. I am in awe of my younger self, she has done an amazing job carrying and passing the torch of my soul. My teenage self got it done, ok! Before heading out on vacation this week

I complained to myself about how tired I was. With such attitude, self determination and power my teen self replied, “no you’re not, this is what you wanted. This is what you have worked for.” I stopped in my tracks at the clarity and strength of her presence. THE STORY YOU’RE TELLING I chat with a client during what I call a table talk session recently. These talks usually occur with intention during reiki, they may authentically form with any service if that’s the way the client engages. This client wanted to understand why so many negative responses were attracted to them. As they talked about a recent incident I began to observe the pattern of words. I can’t x, I don’t have y, I never z. The story that we retell, it is simple to perceive that it is just a story of the past. However, I have personally experienced through doing this work within my marriage, you continue to experience what you continue to create. Storytelling is a process of creation. Each time you tell the story you also engage those emotions. Your emotions are a powerful tool of creation or manifestation.

and get that they are not about the trigger or the other person. They are about you, parts of yourself that are asking to be seen by you. GROW ON THE GO! No captain goes to sea thinking that they will never make it to shore. Endure your journey with confidence and joy. Take it at your pace and be as patient as possible with yourself. Think of your emotions as water on the deck of your ship. It can’t all stay there, you must work to clear it, know where the breach is and mend it, maybe you are passing through a storm, you don’t anchor into it, get through it. This is life, we grow on the go. It is my dream that every person, women especially, possess an unshakable awareness of their inner strength, their higher self that calls them deeper into the ocean of the soul. Follow your guides and understand your purpose. Everything else is a distraction.

We are in a stage of growth collectively where it is necessary to stop. Stop reacting in the way you always have. Observe that you are feeling, question those feelings, imagine yourself as an art exhibit musing over the intentions of the artist, the medium used etc. Become curious about your emotions CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER EDITION 2021

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UNDERSTANDING TRUST BASICS BY RAMONA GREEN

WILL HELP YOU TO BUILD A BETTER ESTATE PLAN

Trusts can be an extremely helpful tool in accomplishing your estate planning goals. Whether you wish to control how your assets are distributed upon your passing, provide protection of governmental benefits or planning for incapacity, the use of a trust can accomplish all of these desires. Trusts are powerful vehicles due to their versatility, many types of trusts exist and depending on what you wish to accomplish they can be designed to satisfy your specific intentions. What is a trust? A trust is a legal entity that holds ownership of assets for the benefit of another party. Basically, it’s like a container that holds money or property for the benefit of somebody else. You can put practically any kind of asset into a trust including cash, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, real estate, and artwork. The assets you choose to put in a trust depend largely on your goals. For example, if you want the trust to generate income, you may want to put income-producing securities such as bonds, in your trust. Or, if you want your trust to create a pool of cash that may be accessible to pay estate taxes due at your death or to provide for your family, you might want to fund your trust with a life insurance policy. When you create and fund a trust, you are known as the grantor (or sometimes, the settlor or trustor). The grantor specifies who will benefit from the trust, this person or entity is known as the beneficiary. Beneficiaries are typically your family and loved ones but can be anyone, even a charity. Beneficiaries may receive income from the trust or may have access to the principal of the trust either during your lifetime or after your death. The trustee is responsible for administering the trust, managing the assets, and distributing income and/or principal according to the terms of the trust document. Depending on the purpose of the trust, you can name yourself, another

person, or an institution such as a bank to be the trustee. You can even name more than one trustee if you wish.

• Maintaining the trust and complying with recording and notice requirements can take up considerable time

Trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. With a revocable trust, the grantor can amend, add to, or even terminate the trust during his or her lifetime if he or she chooses to. However, with an irrevocable trust, the grantor generally does not have the power to amend or revoke the trust.

• Unfavorable tax consequences - Due to compressed marginal tax brackets, trust funds are taxed at a much higher rate than assets not own by a trust

Why create a trust? Trusts can be used for many purposes; therefore, they are popular estate planning tools. Trusts are often used to: • Plan for families with special needs • Protect assets from potential creditors • Avoid the expense and delay of probating your Will • Control and Direct distributions (this is very helpful in cases where there are minors or spendthrifts beneficiaries) • Asset Management • Set up a fund for your own support in the event of incapacity • Plan for tax savings - such as the ability to shift part of your income tax burden to beneficiaries in lower tax brackets and Medicaid planning • Privacy The type of trust used, and the mechanics of its creation will differ depending on what you are trying to accomplish. In fact, sometimes in order to accomplish all of your goals you may need to create more than one type of trust in your estate plan. Although trusts have many advantages, it’s also important to be aware of additional aspects associated with establishing a trust: • Set up and maintenance fees such as, trustee fees, professional fees, and filing fees that must be paid • Depending on the type of trust you choose, you may give up some control over the assets in the trust

The duties of the trustee The trustee of the trust is a fiduciary, someone who owes a special duty of loyalty to the beneficiaries. The trustee must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries at all times. The duties of a trustee are not to be taken lightly, such duties include, protecting and investing the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries, keeping complete and accurate records, exercising reasonable care and skill when managing the trust, prudently investing the trust assets, and avoiding mixing trust assets with any other assets, especially his or her own. A trustee lacking specialized knowledge can hire professionals such as attorneys, accountants, brokers, and bankers if it is wise to do so. However, the trustee can’t merely delegate responsibilities to someone else. Although many of the trustee’s duties are established by state law, others are defined by the trust document. If you are the grantor, you can help determine some of these duties while the document is in the drafting stage. When designing your specific estate plan, you can work with a bank Trust Officer or Financial Planner to bounce your thoughts and ideas off, however, you will need to hire an attorney to draft the document. Since trust law can be complex, consider working with a specialist such as an estate planning attorney. Ramona Green, CTFA, is Vice President, Trust Officer, CNB Wealth Management, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at (585) 419-0670 x50616 or by email at rgreen@cnbank.com.

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{ {AGAINST ALL ODDZ} } SHIFT+CONTROL

HELLO, MY NAME IS ACE BY ACE

I’m Cold. It’s getting cold again. That warm August summer day when my advocates brought me to Against All Oddz Sanctuary and I got to walk trails and eat ice cream?? That seems so long ago. Winter is coming, and already, stuck in this junkyard… I’m getting cold. And I’m still alone. My advocates get here when they can and take me for walks, but sometimes those walks just remind me of the world as it passes me by as I see the homes that everyone else has. I have a junkyard and a couple bowls. The mean streets of Rochester outside my junkyard might as well be Disneyland compared to my world. Rochester Animal Control and Lollipop Farms say that my “shelter,” is lawful and legal. It’s not but they don’t care about dogs like me. Rochester Police Department is too busy with other things, and noone seems to care about dogs like me. I’m just a big

black pit bull, and not a priority. There’s no money to be made off of me. This world, this system isn’t designed to care about a dog like me. But, I’m cold. I wonder if I ever won’t be. Even those that care about me like my advocates and AAO would be lying if they

didn’t wonder the exact same thing. Time is beginning to work against me. I’m a good dog… I am! I can walk well. I can listen. I do listen. But, there is so much I don’t know and haven’t seen… How could I? This junkyard is both my home and my prison. It’s all I know and all I’ve seen.

to be patient. They would have to teach me things. They would have to let me decompress. But I know in my cold bones that I can do it… that I can be the best dog anyone can ever ask for. Against All Oddz will pay for a three-week board and train for me as well as continued training sessions. I’m two years old. I’m not yet fixed or up to date… my owner won’t let me in the house, yet alone take me to the vet. And I live in a junkyard. BUT, AAO will cover everything for me and will get me fully vetted by the time I’m ready to move in. I know there might be a lot of easier dogs out there than me. But more than anything, I know I’m cold and getting colder. I know that without a hero… this winter could be my last.

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30 FREE WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF-CARE BY DR. ANIKA SIMONE JOHNSON

September is self-care awareness month and my 41st birthday month. I honored my own desires to do absolutely nothing. I took time to relax, rest, sleep and enjoy home cook meals. It was absolutely invigorating. Then I realized how happier and more healed we would be if we gave ourselves permission to indulge in a self-care birthday practice. I am excited to share 30 free ways to practice self-care. Let this be your nudge to take better care of yourself or think about your birthday as a soothing celebration rather a loud busy day.

7. Eat raw vegetables every day. My favorite homemade salad: butter lettuce, spring mix lettuce, pico, guacamole or avocado, black beans, cucumbers, red onions, sweet peppers with olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette.

12. Take a long, luxurious bath. Listen to a jazz playlist.

8. Stretch your body. Who says you must do a whole workout to show your muscles some love?

14. Play with your cat or dog for at least 10 minutes when you arrive home.

17. Cook or Bake. Many find joy and de-stress in the kitchen preparing a lovely meal for themselves or their family.

2. Stand in front of the mirror and recite your affirmations. Positive self-talk is key. Try these .1. I will only compare myself to myself. 2. I love myself. 3. I believe in myself. 4. I am on a journey, growing, and developing. You can find “I AM AFFIRMATIONS” videos on YouTube.

4. Go for a walk, hog, hike, or bike ride in nature.

15. Watch a motivational TED Talk. Anything with Brene Brown should do. 16. Watch a Netflix movie or comedy show that always makes you laugh. Might I suggest David Arnold and Michelle Buteau.

1. Make your bed. It takes two to four minutes and makes you feel infinitely more put together.

3. Celebrate yourself, even your small wins. Simply eating 3 healthy meals a day is an accomplishment.

13. Read an uplifting self-care book. A best seller by Lalah Delia, Vibrate Higher Daily: Live Your Power.

18. Dance for at least 30 minutes. 19. Curate a self-care, self-love playlist. Listen to Dr. J. Beauty Self-Love & Meditation Music on YouTube. 9. Drink lots of water. At least 64 ounces a day. Add lime and it will change your life!

5. Rest always - take a nap or go to bed earlier than normal.

10. Create a gratitude list. Write down 10 things you’re thankful for and it will make you appreciate them even more.

6. Meditate morning, midday, or before bed.

11. Cry it out. The best ones are in the shower after a long day.

20. Paint your nails and your toes. Take your time. It’s cheaper and often longer lasting than a salon manicure. 21. Turn your phone off Friday night to Saturday night and enjoy a relaxing Sabbath. 22. Practice yoga. Try Aarianna Elizabeth and Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. 23. Clean out your closet. Try on all


{ HEIDI’SBYLAW { { SHIFT+CONTROL BEAUTY DR J} } } “ Let this be your nudge to take better care of yourself or think about your birthday as a soothing celebration rather a loud busy day.”

your clothes. Donate the old, make a list for the new. 24. Create calming morning and nighttime routines. Think about the things that set you up for a happy day and a restful night and turn them into habits. 25. Grab your adult coloring book, colored pencils or crayons and just let your creativity flow. 26. Watch the sun set. Without taking 242

any pictures, stay in the present. 27. Start journaling. You’ve been meaning to do it for ages, now’s the time. 28. Give yourself a facial. Pamper yourself and enjoy your skin silky softness. 29. Clean up your social media follows. That model whose filtered beauty always sends you into a downward spiral, you officially have permission to unfollow her. Or even just mute her posts.

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30. Do absolutely nothing. Stillness is a virtue, beautiful people. Need more help? I’m thrilled to open the doors, windows, and chimneys to assist you with elevating your beauty, wellness, and self-care lifestyle. Available for bookings via info@drjbeauty. com. #KeepWinningOnPurpose With Gratitude All Things Dr. J. Beauty. www.drjbeauty.com Follow socials IG @ allthingsdr.jbeauty FB: All Things Dr. J. Beauty



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METRO NEW YORK READY FOR VISITORS? BY RANDY AGNESS

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. The United State Postal Service creed seem to apply to my recent trip to the Big Apple. What do you mean? You don’t deliver mail right. No, but I do deliver wine and smiles. And visited with many existing clients and potential new clients as well over the course of the five-day business trip. But back to the creed; I drove down Sunday on what appeared to be a nice sunny day in Rochester and that changed dramatically fast. The first encounter was on the NYS Thruway where tracker trailer laid across the east bound lanes just outside of the Canandaigua. When things like that do happen the delays was an unexpected consumer of time as you crawl forward at a snail’s pace. Then suddenly there was a rush of cars zooming past the accident. It was like a glimpse of the trucking TV show with a multitude of wrecker up righting the vehicle. So I continued onward until making the turn from 90 on to 87 south. I thought I’d have no issues the rest of the way. Instead, I met with the outer edge of the hurricane the blasting Rhode Island and the shores of eastern Connecticut. The rain experienced was tremendous and continued until reaching New Paltz and the meeting place with the owner

of our distributor in Metro NY for a late dinner. My hotel was supposed to be in Poughkeepsie about half hour east. But it was quickly agreed to stay put for the evening.

Day 2 After a nice diner breakfast, I headed out with their salesman covering the nearby counties of Putnam, Ulster and Dutchess for the day. The pace was fast and furious hitting more accounts like following a dot to dot on a coloring book. This guy knew his

accounts and on a well-traveled path. It included a stop where I joined a live broadcast with the owner of this tavern / country store. Very rural setting but very high standards on the wine lists. Over the pandemic, most everyone now knows the housing prices were going thru the roof and selling nearly immediately. The executives and staff went to the countryside to remote work, but with desires of the quality of NYC life. I was amazed at the social media attention and the number viewing. A new customer and new friend resulted. It’s not often a winemaker from the Finger Lakes showed up for sales calls. This was like it at almost every stop that day. In the Mid-Hudson region, almost all the owners of the restaurants, bars and wine shops were onsite that day. The food service business had been dealt a severe blow and those that survived the repeated body blows on not opening, partial opening, etc. had become even more protective of their businesses than ever before. The guy I traveled with took a minor break to grab some gas and quick grab and go sandwich. He doesn’t get to present an owner / winemaker to his clients that often and was taking advantage and I was very willing to help. The day ended with a train ride on Metro North from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central to prepare for Manhattan. A late dinner at the Irish Pub Restaurant.

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{ TRAVEL{ WITH AGNESS WINE} CELLARS } SHIFT+CONTROL “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Day Three – After a delicious bagel breakfast I was off to meet the Manhattan salesman starting with a wine shop a flurry of wine shops. The most unfortunate situation was present everywhere. No clients! Manhattan had become a virtual ghost town as the Covid lockdown emptied those who would shop before heading out on the trains, subways or bus. No workers anywhere in the office towers and no workers to staff the restaurants. The difference between the wine shops and restaurants upstate versus one’s in New York City were in stark contrast. Was it all this way? Entering restaurants without a vaccination card was not allowed, eating outside was. I was prepared having my card with me specifically having priority information. Over the course of the day, we covered 20,000 steps with the temperature reaching 90+ degrees. It seems like the sidewalks were melting my shoes. Another miscue was not wearing sneakers. By the late afternoon, we had more stop to the Tuscany Steakhouse. I simply asked how many more block from we were away. He indicated only a few blocks, then asked again – probably four to six blocks. And I asked one more time as the inflation 248

of distance occurred all day. The final answer was twelve. I responded as I was hailing a yellow cab if he wanted to join me mentioning the cab has air conditioning. He jumped in. On arrival, the owner was running late

ordering a glass of Riesling. Upon finishing, the owner came by and sat down. I offered him the bottles to open as he set up six glasses for the both of us and the bar manager to taste. He poured for us to try. After a quick cheer and routine preparation, a smile appeared. The owner looked by way and a said the Riesling you’re serving doesn’t deserve your entrees. He smiled again and said “you’re right. I have to clear some inventory, but we’ll start your Semi-Dry Riesling by the bottle, then by the glass after.” Day Four – Was a return the Mid-Hudson region for a repeat of the visit frenzy and back to Manhattan Hilton West 57.

so I told my partner to head home to Connecticut and I’d take care of this one. So the practical side of me decided to stay for dinner which was a great idea. I had a wonderful ribeye and wedge salad as well as

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Day Five – A nice meal at the Brooklyn Diner and off to meeting with Hilton Club. A final stop in Poughkeepsie to eat at The Derby talking to the owner about Riesling of course before driving home. He suggested that we consider participating in the Dutchess County fair in the future.


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Agness Wine Cellars Tasting Room

NOW OPEN 265 NY 14 Lyons NY 14489 AGNESS

@ Toganenwood Estates

A Tradition of Excellence Are you ready to go out and have fun again? OPEN: Saturday 10 - 2 pm, Sunday Noon to 5 pm

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MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS? THINK AGAIN…MAYBE NOT BY ANISSA BUCKLEY

My friend is biking up a hill and I can’t keep up. This same friend is the one I used to beat on any cycling route, anywhere, anytime, hills or not. She’s waiting for me at the top. “Are you ok?”, she asks, with a slightly concerned look on her face. “No”, I reply, between gasps of air. It is not like me to whine. At least not about physical endeavors. The fact is, I had found myself slowing more and more, seeing decline in my cardiorespiratory fitness level, almost on a monthly basis now. In addition, my hair had continued to thin, I still couldn’t concentrate to save my life, my head sometimes felt like it was going to pop off and I was now having heart palpitations throughout the day. I had continued to tell myself that this was menopause and that eventually it had to stabilize and I’d feel “normal” again. But somehow, something inside of me said differently. For starters, I felt that I was getting a way bigger dose than all of my other friends. I mean, sure, everyone gained a little weight around the middle but I had put on a full 15 lbs. And yes, one or two friends had complained of hair loss or hot flashes, but heart palpitations? My resting heart rate had jumped 20 points in the last few months. Blood pressure problems? Made no sense. Had I underestimated the impact of Menopause? Back to the friend on the hill. I’ve

now regained normal breathing but my friend’s question was still circulating in my brain. What the heck was going on? Was I really ok? Just 2 years ago, I had competed in a Half Ironman race – a 70 mile race - and now, I could barely run 2 miles without bending over from dizziness. My first thought: This is not normal, menopause or not. Back at home, I started researching the symptoms. I pulled up recent bloodwork and recalled that over the past 3 years I have had “elevated calcium blood levels”. To be specific, my blood calcium levels were > 10.1. And, for these same 3 years, my general doctor continued to tell me that it was “insignificant” and “probably because I was dehydrated”. Fast forward through another round of bloodwork and many hours of Googling and I find that any woman over 40 with calcium levels above 10.1 is highly likely to have a parathyroid tumor. Ok, so now we have a name. But how does this concern you? First, because since I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve found three other friends, within a 3 week period, who’ve all experienced the same thing, at this same stage of life. Second, because the very symptoms that help identify parathyroid disorders can also identify menopause, namely: weight gain, lethargy, inability to focus, bone and joint pain, VO2 Max decline (cardio

decline) and more. So, friends – take note: this is a disorder that occurs mostly in women >45 and that presents itself as a bad case of menopause. The parathyroid glands, of which there are 4, are situated in your neck behind your thyroid gland. The two have nothing to do with one another. The parathyroid gland is responsible for controlling all calcium in your body, which regulates heart rate, blood pressure, and bone density. When one of the parathyroid glands goes haywire, it begins to leech calcium from your bones (hence the bone pain) and dump it into your bloodstream. This of course contributes to increased blood pressure because it thickens or calcifies the walls of your arteries and veins. UUGGGHH. I urge you, my peri-menopausal friends, to ask for your calcium blood levels the next time you see your doctor. Particularly so if you are more fatigued than normal, dizzy, and just not feeling like yourself. And push like hell to have your parathyroid checked out, if your calcium levels are above 10.1 Treatment, you ask? The good news is that an overactive parathyroid means there is a tumor on your gland. The positive is that 99% of the time, that tumor is benign, or not cancerous. The bad news is that they have to remove that parathyroid gland and the only way to do that is surgery.

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B-UNTETHERED }} { {SHIFT+CONTROL “So if nothing else, my hope is that we can start to spread the news that “menopause symptoms” can be more than just that.”

So, to level set on the chances of you having this, let me first say that the prevalence of this is 2-3x more likely in women versus men. Then, research has found that Black women are slightly more likely than Caucasian women, who are slightly more likely than Hispanic women who are more likely than Asian women to have this. 252

The net-net is that you cannot ignore this because, over time, it will damage your vital organs to a point of death. Your heart and your kidneys will be the first to stop performing.

than just that. And if your doctor tells you that your “out of normal range” bloodwork is “insignificant”, you push him/her for more tests or you find a new doctor.

So if nothing else, my hope is that we can start to spread the news that “menopause symptoms” can be more

Stay well and BU! Anissa

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A.I. AND MARKETING IN THE FUTURE BY BREANN MORRIS

How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect Marketing in the Future? Have you ever bought something very specific through an online store, then later that day you see an ad on Instagram for that exact product? It’s not just a coincidence! Technology continues to advance to help brands personalize advertisements targeting individual customers in a meaningful way, through the power of artificial intelligence (AI). Using AI, brands can track customers’ product searching history and past purchases to recommend similar or equally popular products on their website or through social media. Companies continue to hire more and more big data professionals, like programmers and data scientists, for they will soon become the backbone of most marketing campaigns. Artificial intelligence uses machine learning and big data analysis to gather customer profile information for companies to enhance the customer experience and remain competitive in the market. Before diving into what this means for marketing in the future, let’s take a closer look at just what makes AI so powerful. What is Artificial Intelligence? Overall, it’s one of the many great examples of technology evolving to

improve the lives of digital marketers. Artificial Intelligence is essentially teaching a machine to perform tasks that normally requires human intelligence. In terms of marketing, it’s a method of using technology to its fullest potential to both gain customer profile insights as well as improve the customer experience. AI is used to increase the return on investment (ROI) of marketing

One of the many ways companies can take advantage of artificial intelligence to improve their digital marketing ROI is by gaining a better understanding of what the target audience’s interests, preferences, and most importantly, needs are. As we have previously mentioned in our blog about creating a customer persona, characterizing your ideal customer profile and buyer persona is crucial for segmenting your messaging and content to the proper consumers. Allowing AI to collect, analyze, and process large sets of data will help your marketing team gain stronger insight into consumer purchasing habits and spending motives. This specific profiling lets companies send incredibly personalized content and product recommendations directly to their audience. Personalized Product and Content Recommendations

campaigns. Companies see this practice supporting the advancement of customer profiling, the improvement of chat bot communication, the personalization of product recommendations, and so many other benefits to this new digital marketing technology. Advancement of Customer Profiling

Artificial Intelligence takes personalizing customer recommendations to a whole new level. A great example of how companies successfully use AI to influence customer buying decisions is Amazon recommending products to customers that they know they will appreciate through utilizing past purchasing data and product search history. A whopping 35% of products bought on Amazon are

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{{ SHE SHE TALKS HUSTLES {HUSTLES B. MORTALKS } SHIFT+CONTROL }} } “As companies continue to grow with larger social media presences, keeping up with comments and reviews, and addressing the positivity or negativity, will get more challenging.”

AI-driven recommendations, without the help of extraneous marketing investments. Using this tactic, companies can take advantage of AI to continue growing the customer shopping experience and earn brand loyalty. AI has already advanced to automating content, using complex algorithms and large data sets. High-Performing Chat Bots Enhancing the customer journey by providing support whenever necessary helps improve overall customer satisfaction and in turn helps companies earn brand loyalty. When customers have questions or concerns about the product or service available, transparency and communication will impact the buyer decision-making process. If a certain fault or question is not addressed in a timely manner, potential customers are likely to feel frustrated and opt out. Excellent online customer support available 24/7 is the most ideal way to avoid these issues, but having employees cover this task would be difficult to manage and costly. Thankfully, AI-powered, high-performing chat bots can use predetermined and canned phrases for customer’s commonly asked questions. Low-cost AI-powered assistants can solve nearly every customer dilemma in a way that makes it difficult to distinguish these bots from human customer support agents! Check out 256

this article from our friends at Social Media Examiner with their top chatbot recommendations. Social Media Listening Some may say the most important aspect of digital marketing is protecting and building the company reputation

throughout all platforms in not only the content created, but also the social interactions with customers. On social media, it’s vital that the company addresses comments and reviews promptly to increase brand engagement and earn customer retention. Receiving comments online can be empowering and insightful, but there are times when dissatisfied

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customers will try to communicate their thoughts and feelings publicly. Marketing teams need to react to negativity properly and in an efficient manner to avoid the possibility of a domino effect. As companies continue to grow with larger social media presences, keeping up with comments and reviews, and addressing the positivity or negativity, will get more challenging. Social media tools using AI-driven technology can help spot brand mentions across the internet and provide insight for the marketing team on trending comments that could be addressed collectively. Companies can gain sentiment analysis, spot an influx of positive or negative comments, and even recognize tone of voice using AI tools like Mention. These advanced social media tools will improve the lives of digital marketers and help protect company reputations. In my opinion, AI has the potential to create a positive impact on marketing campaigns in the future, if utilized correctly. There’s a powerful balance between earning your customer’s trust by respecting their space while also meeting their needs and as a result becoming the brand they know they can turn to. Overall, I look forward to further AI innovation and its role within marketing strategies in the coming years! -Bre


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SO YOU WANT TO BE A FOOD CRITIQUE BY DENISE “KARMA” CLIFFORD

So, you want to be a food critique, yet you have never even tasted my food. I don’t shy away from criticism, in fact it’s how I learn and evolve with my business. I listen to what my loyal customers have to say to me, I process it and I use what is relevant to make my business more desirable. Any smart business owner knows that in order to be successful, you have no choice but to take the good with the bad. People love food, no doubt about it, but they also love to give advice. If there’s anything I’ve learned, is listen to your customers, and understand that there are also individuals who never plan to be a customer, yet they will follow you on social media, and let you know that “I would never eat that, it’s called garbage.” Or “your prices are way too high.” Or the classic “every time I come there, your closed.” The information is a non-stop influx of what I’d do if I were you, and how bad the food looks, and advice on how to run my little family owned eatery and food truck. These are the comments from people who haven’t even been to my place. Not once. I once had a woman post on my social media that my $10 burger and fries was way too expensive, and so I took it upon myself to publicly ask her where she was getting this meal for less. To my surprise she continued the conversation and let me know about a food truck selling hots and burgers for $3. I had never heard of them, and that

must be why. She continues to go on about eating McDonald’s for less, and I could only then imagine her capacity to understand how ignorant she was sounding. As my loyal customers then chimed in. I of course graciously invited her to become my food critic, even the first meal is on the house. She ended up deleting her comment thread and privately apologizing. I guess she was under the impression she would bait

me into some uneducated disrespectful banter on a public forum and make me feel bad about something in life. As when I searched her profile up she is one of the friends of the pedophile I didn’t name but the whole town knows about in one of my last articles. So, I’m sure his horrible cult followers have me on the list of who to heckle. It didn’t work tho, I never back down. And I won’t stoop to a public forum where individuals like that chop up and screen shot what you say, only

sharing what incriminates you. I’ve seen it first hand. I have plenty of this. As a woman business owner moving back to a small town. Everyone wants to be my critique. Rate my food, my business etiquette, my articles. Feel free, but only if you have experienced it first hand. People prey on trolling these days.I’ve even had hate mail about my articles. Articles where I wrote about personal experiences and how they pertain to me. IveI even had someone create a fake account to try to troll the business. He was a 70 year old man from Tennessee who had about 6 friends. He wanted me to know that my food had no taste, I’m homophobic and racist and wanted everyone to know so they wouldn’t come eat my food. I had to remind him that even bad food has a taste, I’m not even straight and my lineage isn’t completely white, so his (or her) claims were all 100 percent false. I’m sure that one was one of my “haters” fake profiles. Sad that I even have to say that sentence, based on the fact that I use my voice and share my opinions. I have people who spend time trying to make me feel bad. Wasting time to make another person feel bad. Think about that. If that’s you, you should definitely get out the self help mirror and have a Stuart Smalley talk with yourself. You have deep seeded issues that trolling and heckling others isn’t


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KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “I don’t shy away from criticism, in fact it’s how I learn and evolve with my business.”

going to fix. It may help make you feel validated for a moment, but truth be told, these types of people need serious counseling for those daddy issues, and distorted self images they have of themselves.

I acknowledge it, fix it and go out of my way to make up for it. But what I won’t do is get belittled, and told my place or food is crappy just because it isn’t what you would eat normally.

On another note I’d like to debunk the old saying “the customer is always right.” I’ve worked with the public for many years and as a young adult emerging in this industry, I feel that was the worst bit of advice I was ever given. Let’s face it, the Karen’s have now used this as their mantra to degrade the customer service workers. Just because you wouldn’t eat this type of food, doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Or, to be disrespected when those occurrences happen that a mistake is made. We’re all understaffed these days. Good help is hard to find. My

It’s like me going to a restaurant and letting them know liver and onions is disgusting and how dare they serve this crap? I don’t like it, it isn’t my cup of tea, but someone does. You can’t base your dislike on an establishment because your a picky eater, or it isn’t something you personally would eat. That sounds like 3 year old mentality. The customer isn’t always right, and a little respect and common courtesy goes a long way. To err is human, and we all need to recognize this. I’ve made mistakes at my place and whenever this happens 260

my critic. I welcome this with open arms and a full belly. Critique my food, but you have to come in to eat it. Critique my business etiquette, but also tell me again the businesses you ran successfully. Critique my writing, it actually fuels my brain and leads to my next best article. Even the haters who read it are supporting my writing career, and are then left with my words echoing in their thoughts. So critique me please. I’ll set the table for you at Karma’s Eatery 8495 Ridge Rd. Alton, Ny. “We make the best plates, bite me!”

son Roan and I welcome you to our place. I list where and when we are open on social media. The consistency is tough these days as help is scarce. I know if you ran it, it would be different. But that’s the difference, you don’t. And you really wouldn’t. You can only be one person, in one place. Remember we have two. So, to the people who want to be

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DIY DIVORCE BY JULIE V. MERSEREAU

The “Do it yourself ” Divorce- It’s possible, but is it wise? It is not as easy as you may think. Every year, I have numerous clients calling me desperate for help with their DIY divorce. Some have been trying to complete the divorce for years and keep getting stuck on the papers, others thought they completed the divorce and found out that it was never finished, and still others may have completed it and realized after that they missed several important issues which are now creating problems in their lives. They thought they could handle it, but it has gone out of control. People try to do their own divorce for many reasons. They often think it will be cheap, easy, and fast. They may feel uncomfortable trying to find a lawyer to help them. They have heard horror stories about bad divorces and out of sight lawyer fees. They have talked to friends, neighbors, even strangers who have told tales of their divorce getting out of their control and feeling taken advantage of by the system. Most think they know what they want to happen, they think their spouse is on the same page, and it that it can’t be that complicated. In New York State you can find the divorce papers online, you can fill them out and follow the instructions in the packet, and still find yourself without your divorce, or divorced in a financial situation or parenting situation that is not what you anticipated. You also

may waste valuable time with rejection by the court. All of the decisions that need to be made and forms and procedures that need to be followed to be granted a divorce are very specific and can be confusing.

(a) the cruel and inhuman treatment of Plaintiff by Defendant OR Defendant by Plaintiff pursuant to D.R.L. §170(1); and/or (b) the abandonment of Plaintiff OR Defendant by Plaintiff OR Defendant, for a period of one or more years, pursuant to D.R.L. §170(2); and/or (c) the confinement of Plaintiff OR Defendant in prison for a period of three or more consecutive years after the marriage of Plaintiff and Defendant, pursuant to D.R.L.§170(3); and/or (d) the commission of an act of adultery by Plaintiff OR Defendant, pursuant to D.R.L.§170(4); and/or (e) the parties having lived separate and apart pursuant to a decree or judgment of separation for a period of one or more years after the granting of such decree or judgment, pursuant to D.R.L. §170(5); and/or

It takes a lot of time for one person to figure out how to handle all of the issues when they have no background or training on how to get it done. The decisions that have to be made in a divorce begin with choosing the ground for divorce. In New York, the grounds are set forth in the law as follows:

(f ) the parties having lived separate and apart pursuant to a Separation Agreement dated in compliance with the provisions of D.R.L. §170(6); and/or (g) the relationship between Plaintiff and Defendant has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months pursuant to D.R.L. §170(7);

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{ COLLABORATIVE LAW { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “The “Do it yourself” Divorce- It’s possible, but is it wise? It is not as easy as you may think.”

The most commonly use ground for divorce is letter (g) above; irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for a period of at least six months. Using this ground allows the court to grant a divorce even if the Defendant doesn’t want to be divorced. But the Divorce does not just happen. In order for the court to grant the divorce all of the ancillary issues in the divorce must be determined by agreement of the parties, or order of the court. The outline below is a very basic list of the issues that must be determined and put into an agreement in order to get an uncontested divorce. 1.Parenting Arrangement -if there are children you need to decide: a. Time-sharing schedule b. Decision making c. Communication d. Access to information e. Relocation considerations f. Transportation 2. Property Issues must be determined a. Marital or separate property b. Marital residence – mortgage, home equity balance(s) c. Pensions, profit sharing, 401(k), IRA, deferred compensation, options d. Business interests, educational degrees, professional licenses e. Personal property (cars, furniture, etc.) – title, loan(s), insurance f. For all property – fair market value, cost to valuate or appraise, valuation date(s) g. Equitable division of marital property h. Marital debt – identify and apportion responsibility i. Tax consequences – e.g., adjust when 264

trading after-tax for pre-tax dollars j. Estate rights 3. Health Care – the children must have health insurance and you must decide who will provide it. a. Insurance – provision and cost b. Uninsured medical expenses 4. Cash Flow to Two Households- Child Support and Spousal Support/Alimony a. Child support needs to be decided and who will be paying for what for the children b. You need to know both Husband and Wife’s current income, employment status and opportunities for each spouse c. Marital property and separate assets available to each spouse d. Education needed for full employment of either spouse – time and cost e. Retirement planning f. Allocation between child and spousal support for tax purposes 5. Life InsuranceDoes either spouse have life insurance to cover the support of children or of a spouse should they pass away, can they get life insurance? 6. Income Tax Issues- Child tax credits and dependency benefits. These must be decided. a. Dependency exemptions/ head of household status b. Filing status for future years, and if divorce, for last year of marriage All of these issues are important and decision-making around these decisions are complex. It is important to make sure

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you have all the information you need to make these decisions and understand how they can impact the other decisions that need to be made. Your divorce is one of the most important decisions and factors that will affect your future and that of your children. Doing it yourself is risky business. Before you begin trying to do it yourself, please consider Divorce Mediation as a process to make sure you and your spouse are covering all of the issues and let an attorney file the divorce paperwork for you after you have your agreement. It is less costly than you may expect and there are resources that do not charge for their services if you qualify. Many Divorce Mediators also work on a sliding scale, and can refer to attorney’s who are willing to file uncontested divorce paperwork for a minimal fee. If you would like further information about Divorce Mediation or other divorce options or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your options, please call me at 585-377-5487 or email: julie@jmersereaulaw.com - Written by Julie V. Mersereau, Esq., Attorney Mediator and Collaborative Law Attorney. Ms. Mersereau focuses her practice on Family Mediation, including Divorce Mediation, Marital Mediation and Elder Mediation, and Mediation regarding other family system issues. She is also a trained Collaborative Lawyer.


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“RESOLVING DISPUTES PRIVATELY WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT.” Julie focuses her practice on Separation and Divorce, and other Family Conflict issues. She is committed to helping people through difficult transitions and to providing options to stay out of court and in control decisions affecting your family. Call Julie to discuss your options or visit her website at Resolvefamilyconflict.com for more information. Julie believes in personal attention and guidance through these difficult family circumstances and life transitions.

585-377-5487 I JMERSEREAU.COM I OFFICES IN ROCHESTER AND SYRACUSE CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER EDITION 2021

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COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS AND SMILE! BY MELINDA FINN

Count your blessings and smile sounds cliche but there’s a great deal of truth to it and it’s easier than you may think. There are pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, good and bad aspects to every decision we make and situations we find ourselves in. Another benefit is that it loosens us up to solve problems. We spend more time focusing on the negative because our brains are built in problem solvers. Which is wonderful! But let’s not get stuck there!

about something that’s making you upset, make a mental list. You can put anything on it you like! No boundaries. Think about the good in your situation. Think about people, pets, places that make you happy. By the time you’re done with the list, you’ll feel much better!

needed a new pair of sandals because my old ones were shot. I had gone out with friends to a fun event and we were each given lovely umbrellas! I was all prepared.

For example, a couple of years ago, I was in New York City. I had an appointment I needed to get to. I’m notorious for being late and I really wanted to be on time. The night before, I had gone shopping with my brother. It was summer and I

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, count your blessings and smile! It really works and you’ll feel great!

There is so much beauty within us and around us. We need to take the time to appreciate that and cherish it. In order to do that, we have to make ourselves aware. Re-train our brains to a degree! For some, it may easier said than done. But if you try it, you may become addicted to it! Start with small things. I guarantee you that, even in spaces you dislike, you can find things to be grateful for. Find one thing, at least, and concentrate on its beauty. It’s exhilarating! Then, wherever you are, if you’re feeling blue or mad or can’t stop thinking

That day, I went out to catch the shuttle but it left! I took the subway but, in my panic, got off at the wrong stop. As I walked onto the street, it started raining. It became a veritable cloudburst but I thought ‘Hey! I’ve got an umbrella! No problem!’ Number One on the list! Number Two: The water on the sidewalk was getting deeper and I thought about how I had new sandals. If I were wearing the old ones, I probably would’ve slipped and fallen! As I headed to the appointment, I had several things on my list and I felt great! I even have a picture of me from that day and I’m genuinely smiling.

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GROWING UP BY JUDI SWANSON

Growing up I had some friends who were cheerleaders for the sports teams at school. They could jump, somersault, cartwheel, flip and do all things cheerleader. I was more a tennis, badminton, ping pong person. The other part of cheerleading they did well was to vocally support the team they cheered for. According to Dictionary.com cheerleading “the enthusiastic and vocal support of someone or something.”

Maine football season had one cheerleader. Her name is Katie Berthiaume. When there was no one else to join her what did the incredible Katie do? She cheered by herself. Katie said “I love the sport, I’ve always loved it and it’s my senior year. I didn’t want to give up on my school or myself, so I decided to keep on going.” Katie made a decision to do something she loved to do and to support her school as a cheer squad of one.

As day as I was washing dishes lost in thought, I realized the value of cheerleading. Yes cheerleading. Think about it. Cheerleaders who cheer and support a sports team do so regardless of the score. Think about the variety of cheers like “go team” “we can do it” “S-U-C-C-E-S-S that’s the way we spell success.” Cheerleaders also get the crowd involved in cheering on the team. They facilitate getting the energy of more people to support a team to do its best.

An article in Lifehack written by Kyle Robbins states “But helping others isn’t limited to these grand gestures or times of tribulation. Helping others can be done each and every day. And contrary to what you may have heard, helpings others doesn’t always have to be a selfless act. It’s important to understand that helping others can actually help you yourself. No matter what the motivation, getting out and helping others is the key.”

“One of the greatest gifts a person can give another is support.” Unknown As I reflected upon my life I realized that along the way I have had a variety of individuals cheerleading me on. Being vocal with their words and taking action in the belief in me. Sometimes this was due to a personal struggle I was working through. Other times it was to show their support for a new challenge I was going after or a something cool that had come my way. Their words helped me. Their actions made a difference in my belief in myself. The thing about cheerleading others is just like the cheerleaders who support sports teams, it occurs for all things positive and all things difficult to deal with. Cheerleaders cheer regardless of the weather conditions, that their team is losing, or that things are going well. In 2018 the Messalonskee High School in

I have had moments where I did not celebrate the success and joys of others. My own insecurities and fears were gremlins in my spirit and soul that I let hold me back from being joyous for the positivity of another person. I never felt good about not celebrating the achievement of someone else. It felt dark and gloomy. Once I realized that regardless of what my inner gremlin voice was saying I would use the sunshine of celebration in my support of another person for all the good things coming their way the gremlin voice got quieter and quieter. In case you were not aware the main weakness of a Gremlin is “exposure to direct sunlight.” (Imbd.com) The powerful hold that inner gremlin had on me lessened as I became more supportive for others. My internal sunshine for others squashed it. Even in times I was not feeling the joy I became the joy for someone else. Doing so it felt right and good. It is a powerful, freeing moment when you realize you can change the internal dialogue in your head. You have the power to defeat your Gremlin.

When we cheerlead for others we share the belief in betterment for another human being. Even when the chips are down and life it hard we can give hope and encouragement to others. When we cheer for others we share the belief in betterment for ourselves. Tracee Ellis Rose said “I cheer for people…I was raised to believe there’s enough sun for everybody.” An article in verywell mind states social support is a factor that minimizes the effects on stress. “Not only does social support help people feel less stressed, but it can improve your health and decrease your mortality risk.” When we cheerlead and support one another it is good for our health. All of that support we give to others we need to give to ourselves too. Especially when the chips are down, especially when we feel unworthy, especially when we have accomplished something super cool. When you cheer for someone else it’s good for them and it’s good for you. When you cheer for you it’s good for you and it’s good for others. Positivity, encouragement, and support can make you a happier person. Happier people make the world a happier place. So get your cheer on. If you are a squad of one, like Katie Berthiaume go for it. When Katie was standing out there cheering away with all of her motivational cheers she was so compelling that the school’s band joined her. Applause has a “social contagion” so when you highlight others chances are others will join you. By celebrating your personal accomplishments it can inspire and motivate others to pursue some of their heart’s desires. What you do and who you are matters. Thank you for being you. Thank you for bringing your awesome to the world.


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THE HAPPINESS LAB BY JUDI SWANSON

One my favorite podcasts is called “The Happiness Lab” with Dr. Laurie Santos. It is one of those podcasts where time melts as you listen along. I always get tidbits of useful information that I can apply somewhere in my life. One of the more recent episodes I listened to was “Lao Tzu”. The guest speaker, Solala Towler, talked about the lessons of the Chinese speaker Lao Tzu. One of the parts that resonated with me was to be like water. “A river cuts through rock, not because of it’s power, but because of it’s persistence.” Jim Watkins Yep water. When you are like water you keep all the main parts that make you, well you, yet regardless of being frozen, boiled, used to make something, used to clean something you are water. When you are like water you keep flowing cause you have your flow on. The gorgeous Grand Canyon was formed because the Colorado River flowed through rock, for a super long time, and made the Grand Canyon. Water keeps flowing when it’s flowing. Have you ever been in a swimming pool with other people and kept circling around and around until there was this incredibly strong current? That is what water can do. Water does not use its water energy to fight the challenges coming. It keeps flowing and goes over, around, or chisels is way through, to continue upon its path. Water is like you cannot stop me hurdles because I am coming through. I am water! “The mind is like water. When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When

it’s calm, everything becomes clear.” Prasad Mahes Water keeps it’s hydrogen and oxygen properties regardless of being in a cup, bowl, bottle or anything. H2O is always H2O. Even when unexpected things come at water, some of them pretty intense, the core of water is always there. So as I listened to this episode, well quite a few times, I reflected upon my life. My ups and downs. Times where the stormy seas of life was tossing me all over the place. Times when I used the majority of my energy to fight whatever storm was going on. While hindsight is 20 – 20, I wonder what would have happened if I had not used so much energy to fight and instead decided to climb aboard my drift chaise chair while I floated along, still moving forward, while the turbulent seas were crashing around me. I have some people in my life who fight well, pretty much everything, even the good. When positives come their way they are on guard, holding their breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. For some their personal history plays a role in how they receive life. It can be difficult to accept positives when you have experienced many crappy moments. Yet sometimes you need to take a risk. Surrender the best you can to embrace life using your precious energy to have faith and trust in yourself. That no matter what comes your way, who you are and how you engage in the world, will help you navigate those still moments and any turbulence in your life.

Water can chisel and change things. Water keeps coming no matter how you try to stop or block it. Water can be calm, gentle, can cleanse and hydrate, and throw you around. In listening to this podcast and taking from it pieces of information to apply to my life moving forward I am going to be more like water. I am going to keep in mind that no matter what is going on in life that I am me and I can adapt to any situation while remaining myself. When turbulent seas come my way I am going to not use so much energy to stop them as I cannot stop it. What I can do is use my energy to see how I can go over, around , or continue to cut through the challenge at hand. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of the missing drop.” Mother Theresa Most amazing person ponder the ways in which you move through life. Are there times you use all of your energy to fight your stormy seas or perhaps the calm ones? Could you put hope and faith in yourself that whatever comes your way you can, and will figure it out? That you will use your powerful water ways to go over, around, or chisel through any obstacles in your path? This might involve taking a step, getting just your feet wet for starters. That’s okay as we all need to begin somewhere. You matter and how you do you matters. You are the only you there is in this world. May your water ways be with you.

“There is a hidden message in a waterfall. It says if you are flexible falling will not hurt you.” Mehmet Murat Ildan CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER EDITION 2021

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HIP PAIN BY BETH PARRY

Your hip flexors play an essential role in your daily function. Some say your hip flexor muscles are the “seat of the soul.” I am not sure I would go that far, but I will tell you that having an imbalance in your hip flexor can lead to many low back and hip dysfunctions including, bursitis, arthritis, tendonitis, and all of the “itis” issues. These issues can be frustrating and debilitating. Most hip pain goes undiagnosed and untreated. We tend to “push through” until we can no longer. Unfortunately, “pushing-through” only leads to significant postural imbalances and chronic pain/weakness. The hip flexors’ primary role is bending and rotating at the trunk. The hip flexor is a combination of 3 muscles. As a unit, they are called the iliopsoas (a combination of the illiacus, Psoas (silent P) major, and minor muscles). The iliopsoas connects your low back (lumbar spine) to your femur via your pelvis. This makes your hip flexors an essential muscle in stabilizing the back. When the iliopsoas is tight or weak, we have chronic muscle imbalances and pain in the back, hip, and groin. So how do you know if it is your hip flexor is the culprit of your pain? “Snappy” hips? Lateral knee pain? Achy low back? Groin pain? Bowel Problems? Hamstring strain? SI joint dysfunction? If you answered Yes, to any of these questions...read on! 272

There is one leading primary cause of weakened or tight hip flexors... Sitting. In today’s world, we are sitting more than ever. We spend long days at our computers, watching TV, and driving. Sitting for long durations will create postural imbalances, such as shortened hamstrings, shortened hip flexors, and weak glutes. This can be a “pain in the butt,” no pun intended. The good news is that with some consistent stretching and strengthening, this is a very treatable

3. If the back of your Left leg is hovering the bed and not in contact, then your iliopsoas muscles are too tight and short 4. Repeat with the other side Is your hip flexor weak? 1. Place your right foot on a chair or an elevated surface. Be sure that your knee is at least waist level. **safety first, be sure to hold on to a wall or surface for balance 2. Now lift it off the chair up toward your chest. 3. Can you lift your leg without difficulties? Now try it on the other side.

condition. Let’s start by seeing if your iliopsoas weakness or tightness is the culprit for your hip or back discomfort. Is your Hip flexor too tight? 1. Start by lying down on the edge of your bed. Pull your right knee toward your chest. Make sure your pelvis stays neutral. 2. Let your Left leg hang over the end of the bed while you squeeze your Right knee tight to your chest.

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Your treatment for your discomfort will vary based on hip tightness or hip weakness. We need to lengthen your hip flexor if it feels tight and strengthens your hip flexor if it is weak. If your hip flexor is tight, here are some great ways to improve mobility, decrease tightness, and avoid hip flexor injury. 1. Move more. Get up frequently from your desk and move. You can purchase a standing desk for work. If you are driving for long durations, make sure to get out of the car and move every hour. Just be sure that you are moving regularly. 2. Dynamic warm-up before exercise. The purpose of the dynamic warm-up is to increase blood flow to the areas


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WELLNESS 360 } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “It can be frustrating to have hip or back pain and not know the source. Physical therapy is a great place to start.”

that will be working. This avoids muscle tears and strains. A dynamic warm-up includes walking at a slower pace, jumping jacks, high knees, leg swings, etc. 3. Stretch. There are many ways to stretch your hip flexor. Here is one of my favorites: • Kneel on your Right knee • Drive your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your right knee • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on another side 4. Massage therapy: Find a massage 274

therapist that is familiar with doing iliopsoas work. There are multiple deep tissue techniques to release your hip flexors. If you found that your iliopsoas is weak, here is a great exercise to strengthen your hip flexors. 1. Straight leg raises: Lie on your back and bend your left knee. Flex the right foot and lift the right leg straight up into the air. Lift ten times and repeat on the other side. If this becomes too easy, you can add ankle weights.

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It can be frustrating to have hip or back pain and not know the source. Physical therapy is a great place to start. A physical therapist can run you through tests to determine where your hip or back pain is originating. At Wellness 360, we have a Physical therapist and medical massage therapist on staff to work toward your well-being. If you would like to learn more about Wellness 360 and the services we offer, check us out at www.wellness360fitness. com


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FROM RESTLESSNESS TO RETREAT BY KAITLYN VITTOZZI

WHAT VACATION FEELS LIKE AFTER 18 MONTHS “There is no rest in a mind like a windchurned pond” – Gil Fronsdal I had not taken a true vacation since August 2019. For the last 10+ years of my life I have traveled a lot. Blessed and awed by scenes from around the US and Europe. Quaint fishing villages, gritty cities. During the pandemic I took joy in not needing to go anywhere or be anywhere. While so many folks were itching to get back to normal, I had no interest. I wanted simpler. But at some point in the last 18 months simpler became busier, just inside my condo instead of outside. As if nobody could see it, there was no evidence. In December 2020 one of my long-term and favorite teachers Sarah Webb of Rochester (@tobejustsew) announced she would be hosting a meditation retreat in Monhegan, Maine. I knew in my gut in that moment that I had to join. Another favorite woman and long-term travel buddy, my sister, agreed to come with me; our time away together had been overdue. Monhegan is a village where hearty fishermen and artists coexist seamlessly. It’s island life mixed with fresh northeast air. What wasn’t to love? Everything was perfect, except for me. The first night, I was lying in bed, restless for three hours. Not at home, but on the Atlantic Ocean, on retreat. The week was supposed to be my sacred time to rest.

I work seven days a week in the summer. In love with what I do in the finger lakes, I don’t mind waking up early each day June-September to teach SUP yoga, but the weeks are long. I looked forward to retreat. To be able to get good sleep. To reconnect to myself. Why do we think we can package and compartmentalize what is essential and schedule it 8-12 months out?

understand, you may not have a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to go on a lavish retreat. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out.

In bed, staring out the window at 11 PM– damn it, why am I not relaxed. My mind and my body had been so busy the last few months. My life was out of balance. As someone in a healing profession, I had never felt more fraudulent. I made a list of everything that was wrong with me. I do not recommend this as a late activity.

#1 Pick an evening to go to bed early and wake up with the sun: After nearly no sleep, my alarm went off for an early morning run at 6. I wanted to go back to sleep – but was terrified to oversleep and must repeat the previous night. Remembering my sweet Ayurveda instructor who always said get up with the sun and don’t hit snooze, I threw the covers off. I got dressed, no coffee, no water, not thinking about it and my sister and I went for a run. It was step one.

While I was angry and embarrassed in the moment, the contrast was powerful. Like smooth ocean that buts up against rocky terrain or the three houses with lights on in the pitch black, once you see it you can’t stop seeing it. In a perfect world, how do we prevent ourselves from getting to this point of so far removed from center? There’s nothing wrong with earning a living, with striving. But what happens when that fills all of the space? In the yoga community, it’s so common to go on retreat at least once a year. (Yea, it sounds bougie but it’s such a necessary reset.) From a number’s perspective I thought how much could 5-10 days out of a 365 day year do? It does a lot. Woman to woman, I urge you to plan a break, as soon as possible. Now I

In less than 48 hours I went from achy in bed, with a racing mind to joyful, contemplative, optimistic. Do this right at home, on your next few days off. You’re worth it. No days off? Take them.

#2 Move: Move, move, move. The research on exercise is proven for a reason. I knew I was hurting on the inside but that moving my body has always been the first step in making me feel better. The run began, straight up hill. A shock to my system. It also made me keenly aware that I had been at the bottom of my to-do list. Yoga, a brisk walk, some heavy weights, take some time to get out of your head and into your body. #3 Meditation: Practicing meditation each morning can also be incredibly helpful, though I know when you’re restless it feels like the last thing you want to do. Try inviting more calm in.

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{{ LIFE IN BALANCE }} SHIFT+CONTROL “We all only get 24 hours in the day. What gets in the way? What do you want to make time for? “

Inhale, and then take a longer exhale than your inhale. Repeat. If mind wanders away from breath, it’s ok. Be patient with yourself. Take five minutes each retreat day for this. #4 Self-Study: As we ran back down the hill, we passed a fishing boat. Its name was reliance. What had I been relying on? I had used busy as a distraction. My business and busy-ness as a replacement for my true self. This short life had started to circle money as my axis. I looked at my darling sister running in front of me. My axis is supposed to be connection. Some of us rely on alcohol, or food, or pills to numb. Mine was work. An excuse not to dig deeper and make a 278

shift. What are you relying on that no longer serves you? #5 Connect to Nature: In the heat of the afternoon sun, we took a walk down to a beach to hunt for pebbles. This is where my shift finally came. I admitted to myself I was tired. In the safety of other women – and quite frankly – an extraordinarily safe island – I lied down on a giant rock. It was not perfectly shaped, I felt the curve of large rock not match the curve of my spine but I let myself relax into it. I could have adjusted and shifted but I let it be. Even in the cool upstate winds, bundle up and be outside. Take a trail walk or beach walk around Rochester or

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the Finger Lakes. Bring someone with you. Look for unique stones, flowers, mushrooms, leaves. Really touch nature in a quiet space. Hug a tree, lie down in some grass, or consider just touching your hands to the earth. We all only get 24 hours in the day. What gets in the way? What do you want to make time for? To work one-on-one with Kaitlyn or find out about how to take your yoga off the mat and into the world, visit TozziYoga.Com.


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HOW I FEEL ABOUT FALL BY CINDY DECAROLIS

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby I once read something where the author said that (I am paraphrasing here) she doesn’t like writers who use quotes from great writers because it makes it seem like the writer thinks that their writing is great, and it is disappointing when it is not.

This morning when I went for my walk / run I felt the first crisp morning. I love wearing shorts with a long-sleeved shirt and breaking a sweat that comes from exertion and not humidity. When it is hot and humid, I sweat while sitting still. When the weather turns colder it feels like I have earned the sweat. I love the smell of the air in the fall,

I often use quotes from great writers, not because I think that my writing is great, but because a good quote on the topic I have chosen gives me a starting point. It serves as a writing prompt that helps me to focus my thoughts.

• Hurd Orchards, Holley • Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards, Lafayette • G r e e n L a k e s , Fayetteville • Skaneateles • Letchworth State Park

I chose this quote from one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors because it sums up perfectly how I feel about fall. It has always seemed to me that the new year should begin in autumn. Autumn offers a time of transition. My dad’s birthday was September 14th, my sister’s birthday is September 15th, and my grandfather’s birthday was September 20th. Every year right after their birthdays, as the last days of summer passed, the weather would transition to fall. In mid-tolate September we start to get those crisp days that I love.

living. The weather is hot, the days are long, and the living is easy. Fall is a time to transition to the coming season of short days and cold weather. My dad and my grandfather are both gone now, but my sister’s birthday still marks for me the coming of autumn. Even though it has been a long time since I was in school, I still feel excitement in September that it is a new year with limitless possibilities. I am looking forward to enjoying autumn. Here are a few places in upstate New York that I always try to visit for leaf peeping:

Finally, I would like to leave you with three simple strategies for transitioning from summer to fall:

the taste of the first apple, and the changing foliage. The spectacular beauty of the array of rich colors is just spectacular to me. This is the best time of year for hiking. The weather is perfect, the scenery breathtaking, and best of all, there are no bugs! Summer is a time for more relaxed

• Hydrate: when the weather gets cooler you still need to stay hydrated. Aim for drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day. • Keep your immune system strong: Strive for five; seven is heaven; nine is divine (fruits and veggies, that is) as you begin cooking heartier meals keep them healthy. Soups and stews

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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ BLISSFUL BALANCE} } “I love the smell of the air in the fall, the taste of the first apple, and the changing foliage. The spectacular beauty of the array of rich colors is just spectacular to me.”

can be bulked up with vegetables and fresh herbs. Use doTerra On Guard Protective blend aromatically, topically, and internally to support your immune system. On Guard Touch in a 10ml roller-bottle blended with fractionated coconut oil makes topical use no muss, no fuss. On Guard soft gels and the new On Guard tablets are great ways to take it internally. The new On Guard tablets include both Vitamins C and D, as well as zinc; they are vegan, gluten282

free, and sugar-free. • Keep moving - make time for exercise every day: Whether you just walk, do yoga, join a gym, or even dance in your living room, get your heart rate into the aerobic zone, 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate, (220 minus your age) for at least 20 minutes a day. And bonus points for getting some fresh air if you exercise outdoors.

is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook @ blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram @ blissfull_balance. Listen to Blissfull balance’s podcast on Spotify. Contact me at cindydecarolis62@gmail.com for health coaching. If you would like to order any of the doTerra products I mentioned, you can go to my doTerra website https://www.doterra.com/US/ en/site/blissfullbalance or contact me for more information.

At Blissful Balance LLC our mission

Namaste

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“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” - Buddha At Blissful Balance our mission is to help you to live life healthier. Let us help you to author your own health. Offering wellness workshops, individual health coaching and essential oils.

Please contact us for a complimentary consultation 585-532-6060 or cindydecarolis62@gmail.com www.blissfullbalanceroc.com Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance


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TRACKING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH BY BONNIE FLOYD

In our society, it’s very common for us to spend enormous amounts of time, as well as money, looking after our physical health statuses. We’re careful to purchase organic produce, to weight ourselves on a regular basis, and to take our daily multi-vitamins. We allocate time for physical activity, whether by going to the gym, playing individual and/or team sports, or simply walking around the block for exercise.

questions about our daily habits and health practices. They carefully review our family medical histories.

We make sure to have annual physicals with our primary care providers, as well as to complete routine screening examinations, including mammograms, pap smears. and colonoscopies. If necessary, we take our prescription medications when needed, for a shortterm illness, or a chronic condition. We routinely schedule appointments to have our eyes examined, and our teeth cleaned.

However, for most of us, the concept of having an annual check-up for our mental health status appears somewhat foreign, even intimidating.We find it very difficult to comprehend that we would schedule an annual assessment of our mental health and well-being right?

Just as important as the proactive steps that we take to guard our physical health, we carefully avoid habits and practices that are known to be deleterious to our health. Of course, this includes not smoking cigarettes, avoiding excessive drinking, refraining from eating unhealthy foods, and limiting unnecessary weight gain. While it is very important to take excellent care of our physical health, it’s also essential to be regularly mindful of our state of mental health. The concept of having an annual physical is easily understood to us; our primary care physicians evaluate our overall physical health status.They ask us detailed

Our primary care physicians also inquire about any problematic symptoms that we may possibly be experiencing, as well as how long we’ve had such symptoms, their relative intensity, and their duration. They prescribe a course of treatment to address such symptoms, as well as provide a prognosis.

As a clinical health psychologist, I’ve received specialized training that highlights the critical role that our emotional well-being plays, both In the development and the course of diverse types of physical illnesses. I’ve chosen to subspecialize in maximizing psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness. My clinical experiences have shown that emotional factors are critically important to predicting how well diverse individuals will uniquely respond to the multiple demands of coping with chronic illness.Pre-existing diagnoses of anxiety or depressive disorders will impact how well individuals are able to deal with the long-term challenges of continued medical conditions. Personality characteristics will also exert

a profound influence on the ways in which individuals react to receiving their initial medical diagnoses, how they will choose to react when their symptoms possibly worsen, and the coping strategies that they employ when illness impacts their pre-existing lifestyles. I’ve spent many years observing the significant impact of emotional factors on overall adjustment to illness. As a result, I’m convinced that all of us need to regularly take inventory of our mental health and well-being. Physicians will agree that it’s easier to prevent an illness, than it is to treat one. I strongly maintain that there’s a parallel effect for the development, as well as the treatment, of mental health difficulties. It’s much easier to successfully treat symptoms of anxiety and depression when they are relatively milder. Failing to address symptoms of emotional distress at a less serious state of development will ultimately require utilization of much greater resources, of both time and money. In addition to taking excellent care of your physical health, stop to think about the current status of your mental health. Are you basically satisfied with your quality of life? Do you have meaningful, mutually supportive relationships? Are you engaged in the type of work that you find valuable and rewarding? Do you allocate adequate time for rest and relaxation? Do you make sure to budget time for hobbies and recreation?


{ MENTALLY THINKING} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “More days than not, do you awaken with a sense of purpose in your life? Do you have interesting, meaningful ways to spend your time? ”

Furthermore, it’s important to periodically assess your level of selfesteem. Are you genuinely struggling with the same types of areas repeatedly? Have you truly made peace with your past, if it’s necessary to do so? Are you perhaps struggling with any form of addiction, whether it be to alcohol and/or other substances, working, 286

eating, shopping, engaging in sex, or gambling? More days than not, do you awaken with a sense of purpose in your life? Do you have interesting, meaningful ways to spend your time? Are you basically satisfied with where you happen to be at this point in your

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life, or are you always thinking that happiness is yet to emerge, at some future point? It’s certainly critically important to take excellent care of your physical health. While doing so, please don’t needlessly neglect your overall mental well-being.


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A NEW PODCAST BY KATHY GLEASON AND STEPHANIE KENDRICK

As I Live and Grieve is a rather new Indie podcast, launched in November of 2020. The concept struck Kathy as she was contemplating the return of a bereavement group she had facilitated for a Penfield, NY, comfort care home, Shepherd Home. The thought of a virtual bereavement group seemed somewhat sterile and awkward to Kathy and as discussion continued around her, the word “podcast” flashed in her mind. Divine intervention? Perhaps it was exactly that, since her career in the hospice-related, death-related field was just as curious. Decades ago, Kathy was thanatophobic. In short, she feared death, whether in someone near to her, near to someone else, or even in discussion. Her single coping method was avoidance, much to her mother’s chagrin, as her mother had made all of her funeral plans and wanted to discuss them. Kathy avoided her mother if the engagement included this discussion. One thing led to another, and Kathy took a job in a comfort care home as a consultant for a transition of their donor database. She thoughtfully planned to avoid the resident rooms and loving family members by entering and moving quickly to her basement office. Friendly office chatter revealed to others that Kathy was avoiding the very substance that made these homes so very special. Slowly, and probably deliberately, a nurse started asking for assistance. First to hold a resident on her side in position so the nurse could change a dressing. Then another time to aid in repositioning. Each incident took a bit longer and

each incident helped Kathy realize that in this field dignity, kindness and love were the priorities – not oncoming death. Life is strange. As Kathy was to retire from this position, it was her daughter, Stephanie, that interviewed for her position and was hired. A similar metamorphosis occurred. So, as Kathy, a social work intern and Stephanie all discussed the rebirth of a bereavement group, Kathy uttered the word “podcast” aloud. Stephanie quickly said, “I’ll help,” and we were off. The challenge? We knew absolutely nothing about starting and maintaining a podcast, other than having listened to a few. If you know either of this mother-daughter duo, that really isn’t a challenge. Research started. Equipment was purchased (for approximately $500), and name was chosen, and guests were invited. Four short weeks later, As I Live and Grieve was launched, and has been steadily growing, now claiming an international audience numbering in the thousands. The name is a play on the phrase, As I Live and Breathe. The podcast has established that it is likely one may grieve for the rest of your life. Your grief will change in intensity, you will learn to adapt and build your new life around it, but you may live and grieve for the rest of your life. The goal? To make death a bit more comfortable to discuss. By hosting a different guest each week, topics have covered finding signs from our departed loved ones, types of grief, personal experiences, authors discussions, therapists offering suggestions, etc. The podcast covered grieving for a pet, hosting a specialist from Scotland, how one can

grieve from life changes unrelated to death, and a new concept for the States (but currently popular in Great Britain), the Energy Alignment Method. Episodes launch every Tuesday, usually available first thing in the morning. The entire podcast operation is handled by Kathy and Stephanie, from searching for and inviting guests to editing recorded sessions in preparation for launch. Stephanie took the time to become a self-taught audio editor and is now a pro at this. As the episode launched, Kathy and Stephanie watched the analytics, delighting as the downloads increased in number, passing 100, 500 and now in the thousands. They became almost ecstatic when they realized there were listeners on every continent except the Arctic ones. The greatest challenge now? Keeping time zones straight when scheduling meet and greet or recording sessions with guests. Yet it seems any obstacle encountered becomes merely another challenge to conquer for this team. As their intro says, “Welcome to As I Live and Grieve, a podcast that tells the truth about how hard this is. We’re glad you joined us today. We know how hard it is to lose someone you love, and how well-intentioned friends and family try so hard to comfort us. We created this podcast to provide you with comfort, knowledge and support. We are grief advocates, not professionals, not licensed therapists. We are YOU.”


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EACH INDIVIDUALS STYLE BY GABRIELLA ROSE FIEDERLEIN

There are many generations such as the “Baby Boomer” generation, “Generation X” and “The Millennial” generation. I am a Millennial. Between these generations, generational ethics have been continuously changing. There are many reasons for that. These reasons include priorities, attitudes, things that inspire us all which cause us to change. As a Millennial, I see this whole generational ethic ideal very clearly. No matter what generation people come from, everyone should be treated with respect and individuality. It is important to know each individual’s style regardless of their generation. It will always be important as a Cosmetologist to know my client on a personal level and maintain a relationship with them. The “Baby Boomer” generation is a generation that did everything the old-fashioned way. Why? There was no advanced technology like there is today in the “Millennial” generation. The birth control pill was not invented yet so a lot more people had babies, especially after World War II. Today we have many different forms of birth control, examples like a nuvaring, the shot, the implant, a patch, even the pill itself. Today a lot of teenagers are on birth control due to the fear of teen pregnancy. This created the lowest teen pregnancy rates in U.S. history in the last few years. Girls in the Millennial era do not have to be married today to have a baby. Back then people stayed home and had family dinners more 290

often. This was because moms were stay at home moms and had all of the time in the world to cook dinner for their families. Nowadays, there are fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Dunkin’, Panera, Chic’ Fil A and much more. Today a lot of the time, both parents work so there is not a lot of preparation time for

nine to five jobs although today the price of a Chevy Coupe has increased dramatically. Currently the starting price is $25,700. Just saying the price difference, shows how the cost of living has increased. Today we are listening to satellite radio while back then there was a very old fashioned radio. That’s a huge technological advance. When it comes to makeup and cosmetics… back then it wasn’t as great quality or a big variety of options like it is today. Today we don’t just have natural shades with minimum pigment, or everything matte. We have every shade and undertone there ever could be and light thin pigment to thick bold pigment. We have waterproof, we have tints, we have dewy. Just so much more. During the short span of my twenty two year lifetime, a lot has changed.

cooking a full meal. Back then there were no house husbands, computer dating, dual careers and commuter marriages. Today we have them all. Nowadays, there’s been a huge increase in finding love online due to not having time to go out and find a date. There is also a big difference in the cost of living from back then to now. For example, back then the price of a Chevy Coupe was $800. Today people could easily afford that, even sixteen year olds who have

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One example would be how the Apple company had deeply affected not only mine, but many other lives with the Iphone, the Ipod, the Ipad, the Apple Watch, the nano, and lastly the Macbook. The constant evolution of these items are an example of how fast anything, anywhere can change. Now that’s just in the technology world, but think about the Cosmetics world. Without Apple, I would not have my very first Ipod Touch, and my Macbook. Today a lot of homework or paperwork are completed and done online but imagine if we were all still typing on typewriters? Today we live much easier because things are made easy for us for the most part,


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{ BEAUTIFY ME } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “As a Cosmetologist, I will treat each and every individual client with full respect no matter what generation they come from.”

to live easier. We don’t have to fight as a family to use the one and only main computer or typewriter in the house when everyone wants to use it. Back to makeup. Around age twelve when I was just starting to wear makeup. I wore the most simplistic kind, which was the lightest of pink eyeshadows, face powder and the tiniest bit of brown mascara. I was only beginning back then. I am twenty two years old now and my makeup game has changed throughout time with different trends continuously changing and new techniques coming out. Today I am doing makeup for New York City Fashion Week. Big difference, right? If it wasn’t for certain Makeup Artists, companies, and products coming out or being produced, I would not have learned any techniques that I have learned throughout time or been able to practice. Also a huge thanks to technology and Youtube! Some of my favorite makeup techniques that have been new within the past few years are contouring, highlighting, baking, and dramatic crease cutting. I feel like without the new makeup trends and techniques and new products that 292

have come out, makeup would not have a variety of options with looks, techniques. It always feels good to use the new softer makeup brushes on our faces, that light new “BB” cream to make ourselves feel more appealing, or that new triple black mascara that has

an angular brush to make out lashes “bolder, longer, natural”. It feels good. As a Cosmetologist, I will treat each and every individual client with full respect no matter what generation they come from. It doesn’t matter what generation

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people come from, there is an obvious difference in styles or preference of style with people because of it. This is what makes that person unique and different from other people. Each client is different. It is important for good Cosmetologists to understand generational ethics and differences in order to provide excellent customer service and build a relationship with them. As long as that generational difference doesn’t affect others rights or lives.



Help Us Find Forever Families for Children Waiting the Longest in Foster Care. At Children Awaiting Parents we provide: Pre- and post-adoption services Support services for youth aging out of foster care MAPP training for prospective adoptive parents Support groups childrenawaitingparents.org I 585-232-5110 or 888-835-8802


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