Central NY Woman Online September 2018

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Local Business Matters THE RED ROOM SALON

A Total Transformation KAYLA CODY

Visionary Minds



Ashley Michaelsen








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QUEEN OF ARTS Laura Marino

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ON THE WAY UP Shanna Baccarri

FOR A GOOD CAUSE Sseko Designs






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“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” - Bill Blass.


onquering the world is just what the Diva’s of Rochester Woman Online plan to do...the world of online publishing that is!

In this month’s edition we have the beautiful, for Rochester native turned LA fashionista, Ashley Michaelsen not only on our cover, but also as a new monthly columnist! We are very lucky to be able to work with such an amazing and talented young woman entrepreneur. Read all about her starting on page [14] followed by her new column, “Stylin With Ashley” on page [26]. Last month we started a new adventure for us when we began featuring small town businesses and communities. Our first, Caledonia was a huge success, so this month we decided to venture elsewhere, to another incredible town know for “Where Life Is Worth Living”, Webster NY. It was so much fun meeting so many wonderful business owners, talking about their community, and being able to showcase them to you, our audience. This is only Part 1 as we had such a huge demand we are creating a Part 2 for October! Make sure not to miss anything when reading about these great businesses starting on page [ ], or better yet, stop in and visit them!



On our cover, former Rochester native now model/actress/ fashionista and unique PR Boutique entrepreneur, Ashley Michaelsen was shot on Hollywood Blvd in California by Drew Dailey Images. She is wearing a blazer and dress from Alice and Olivia with shoes from Schutz available at revolve. Hair and makeup and styling was done by herself.








Kelly Breuer Cheryl Kates-Benman Kelly Breuer Drew Dailey Images Marisa Nicodemus Laura Marino Chris Conlon Rob Daniels Photography Sarah Salvilla Joe Pruitt Christopher “Goodknews” Cardwell Cheryl Kates-Benman Ashley Michaelsen Liza Pabon Phyllis Haberer Alana Cahoon Audrey Avirett Joan E. Lincoln Kim Hill Karen Messina Corrin Stellakis Mary Kay Tandlmayer Olga Monacell Heather Hunt Ralph Merato Mary Bushey Michael Kohne Elizabeth Chatterton Akilah Moore Dana Gamache Mary Ellen Dance Nicole Lambert Michael Kohne Jessie Marie Naoiti Roberta Goheen Kelly Breuer, Katie Adkins


The Next Design


The Next Design

Central NY Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the Central NY 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 6 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2018 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 Central NY Woman Online and will not be returned.





315.451.8553 | INFO@AMSMODELS.COM | AMSMODELS.COM 2018_Full_AD_v0001_AMS.indd 1

6/20/18 2:17 PM




Ashley Michaelsen



{ COVER STORY } “Home is where the heart is, and I definitely carry my small-town roots wherever I go. My Dad sparked my entrepreneurial spirit, as he is a business owner.” BY CHERYL L. KATES-BENMAN, ESQ. I PHOTOS BY DREW DAILEY IMAGES

Ashley Michaelsen is originally from the Rochester, Ny area growing up in Pultneyville bordering Lake Ontario. She finds herself now as the owner of AMPR in Hollywood, California where she developed a unique PR boutique agency specializing in marketing and social media strategies.

the doors, I knew I belonged and this was my new community. I’ll never regret any challenges I’ve faced big or small, as it always gave me insight and strength. I face the normal challenges of being an entrepreneur at 31 years-

She feels that “Home is where the heart is, and I definitely carry my small-town roots wherever I go. My Dad sparked my entrepreneurial spirit, as he is a business owner. He always had different businesses and shifted when things didn’t go as planned, never giving up. At the age of 25, he built his first custom home. My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders and supporters but having a Dad who I could always call and run my business ideas by was most helpful. My Mom always handled my modeling career from my first commercial when I was 6-weeks-old to around age 20”. Having awesome parents contributed to the woman she is today. Ashley indicates growing up was tough and she struggled academically. This was discouraging when she was denied admission to the Fashion Institute in NYC. This was always her dream. She was never a quitter. On her second application, she gained admission. She recalls, “The day I walked through

old. The rollercoaster of the highs and lows. The busy months and the slow ones. I am still learning the ropes and understanding everything is simply a part of the process of life and achieving business. Half of my friends are married

and about to have children, where the other half are only business-focused and building empires. I find myself in the middle wondering which path to choose and its confusing.” Ashley believes her career chose her. She grew up as a child model and actress and followed in her parent’s footsteps. As she matured, she felt she wanted something of her own and ventured on the other side of things going into fashion design. She created her own clothing line at the age of 20. Her clothes sold in boutiques on the east and west coast. She used modeling as a back up to provide financial means, when she saved to finance her line. In doing this, she found another interest, marketing. Ashley loved her life, the fashion shows, the campaigns, the look-books, launching the websites and managing her social media. She was living her dream life. She decided to shift gears and she focused more on developing her skills in marketing and PR work. She entered a stage of life where she was engaging in side hustles; doing social media as a consultant, fashion styling, and still doing some modeling. This made her reflect on her life and she felt a little but like she was all over the place. By delegating tasks to a team, enabled her to do it all and then diversify her clientele. People she was modeling for also became marketing clients. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018


As a young woman ready to take on the world, Ashley loved Rochester but knew she had to broaden her wings and see what the fashion world was about. Rochester lacked much of a “fashion industry” so to be successful it was time to explore what the world had to offer. Ashley started off in NYC. She shares by saying, “I am so excited to see all these fashion endeavors happening in Rochester and female entrepreneurs. It is so funny when you are younger, you can’t wait to get out of your hometown and move far away from your parents. It’s a part of growing up. Life is such a 16


beautiful cycle, because now I can’t wait to come home and just watch a classic movie in my pajamas, bake cookies with my mom and see the rest of my family”. As a woman entrepreneur, Ashley is excited by the endless opportunities at your fingertips if you really understand the entrepreneurial mindset. Everything you come across is an opportunity, but it is up to you to mold that into something you can benefit from. She spends her days thinking about how she can grow her business and how she can help others. There is no end to what you can achieve and knowing this creates

the endless possibilities where we can prosper without limitation. Ashley indicates there are challengesand says, “I don’t get a paycheck every Friday. I get paid depending on my performance and this makes it so you have no choice but to always put your best foot forward. You can’t rely on co-workers to help you coast. If they fail, so do I. The clients communicate with me, so if I don’t double check and keep an eye on everything that’s happening at the agency, it will always fall on me. That can be a lot of pressure at times, but for sure it keeps you motivated.

{ COVER STORY } “The day I walked through the doors, I knew I belonged and this was my new community. I’ll never regret any challenges I’ve faced big or small, as it always gave me insight and strength.”






{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “I am so excited to see all these fashion endeavors happening in Rochester and female entrepreneurs. It is so funny when you are younger, you can’t wait to get out of your hometown and move far away from your parents. It’s a part of growing up.”

think no matter if you own your own company, or if you are working for someone else, it honestly doesn’t matter at the end of the day if you are truly happy. I used to think owning a business was cool and the end goal for me. In reality, I am paying bills like everyone else and still looking for that true thing that makes me happy. Yes, business makes me happy, but balance in all genres makes me happier.

being a female entrepreneur is finding balance. “Without having a balance and taking care of yourself,” she says, “it will be that much easier to fall into the trap of being burnt out or exhausted”. As a business owner, people tend to prioritize

I really need my personal time. I need my family and I need my quality friends to feel balanced. I urge everyone to stop caring where the grass is greener and figure out what kind of water your grass needs” Ashley warns women we must stop comparing ourselves to other people. Instead, spend the energy “watering your own garden, build your own community, career and help others”. Ashley find her balance by writing out a plan and not getting caught in the “hamster wheel”. Don’t work just to pay bills, make a life or business plan. Doing this gives you perspective on your future and goals to work towards every day. She tells us all not to ever give up. If you aren’t happy in your current situation it is “just a stepping stone to get to the happy chapter.” Ashley plans to be married with kids over the course of the next five years. She has aspirations to expand her network establishing more contacts back on the east coast, so she can be closer to family. Ashley finds the most important part of

work deadlines and business issues above other things in their lives. Ashley warns us to not get caught up, she emphasizes finding time for you by telling RWO, “Every week I give myself a nice wake up call. I try to do something for myself. It can be something as small

as taking time out to watch a movie or go for a nice car ride. Write this “selfcare” into your agenda like any other obligation you have. Treat it like it is as important as anything else you must do. I also think “creating a tribe that has your vibe” is a must. You need people surrounding you who understand you, support you and encourage positivity. You need peers who live in your same lifestyle so when days get tough, you know you don’t have to get through it alone.” Ashley suggests we all do the following by saying “Make a business plan. Put numbers to that business plan. Make progress on it every single day, even if it is a small step, just move forward. Never take no for an answer. My mom was always a good example of this, she would call a bank or an airline and ask for a “special request” and they would decline her. She would hang up and call again. Maybe this time, she would get someone else and ask the same thing and eventually after persistence and being aggressive, most times you can get a yes. I think people don’t like this strategy because it is easier to accept a no. It takes more energy to and more determination to get a yes. Its always easier to get a no”. Ashley encourages any of our readers to reach out. She loves to share in her success by mentoring others. If her story can help another be successful, she finds joy in offering encouragement and uplifting others.





How to beat the end of summer blues through autumn fashion styling We all tend to get the blues when the seasons change especially when you are going from bathing suits, summer dresses, and a straw hat, to colder weather that demands winter jackets,scarves and winter hats. . If it’s not enough to deal with the drop in the heat (and vitamin D) we also now need to rethink our wardrobe and get ready for the colder weather. Here are some tips to make the merge seamless and have you look forward to the crispy Autumn season with items you most likely already have in your closet. Black on Black- We know this is an easy go too for most but sometimes it can appear slightly traditional. Next time try bringing in some color with accessories and with your makeup. Try a black duster or oversized sweater over faux leather leggings and over the knee black boots. Pop a red lipstick and even 22


a red patterned scarf to bring it in all together. You can also try a plum lipstick with a plum like sweater if your not into red. Some of my favorite over the knee boots are from Charles David called the Debuntante boot

maxi dresses, so here’s a way to get use of them through Fall. Take a maxi dress even if it has a lighter palette and throw a black faux leather jacket over it with black booties. Boots with dresses are one of my favorite combos. I also love wearing a messy bun and adding a scarf around the bun for a more polished on- the- go look. 3) Keep your mini or knee length skirts out this season, add some tights and a dress bootie to bring in some warmth and autumn trends. Pair with a short sleeve blouse and finish with a blazer for a perfect work ensemble.

available at Nordstrom.com. These boots always bring any look together.

4) Date night- I always feel trying not to hard is the best approach for a first date. High waisted skinny jeans are always my go-to. I like to pair it with a shirt where I can “half tuck” the shirt into my jeans. Pair with a belt, classic pumps, and some small hoop earrings to conclude a effortlessly chic look. To add a layer of warmth add a leather jacket.

If you’re anything like me, you’re not ready to completely get rid of your

5) Knowing we have shorter days coming up, we are forced to cram the




“We all tend to get the blues when the seasons change especially when you are going from bathing suits, summer dresses, and a straw hat, to colder weather that demands winter jackets,scarves and winter hats. If it’s not enough to deal with the drop in the heat (and vitamin D) we also now need to rethink our wardrobe and get ready for the colder weather.�



{ STYLIN WITH ASHLEY } If you’re anything like me, you’re not ready to completely get rid of your maxi dresses, so here’s a way to get use of them through Fall.

to do list with less hours. We need apparel that’s fashionable, functional but also comfortable. My favorite go to item for this is an A-frame dress. It’s lose enough to get us through the day but classic and fashionable to get through those mondays. Try keeping the dress simple but playing with accessories and block heels for more support. I’ve racked up some of my favorites. Zara Dresses https://www.zara. com/us/en/woman-dresses-l1066. html?v1=1074622 1) Mini Dress with bow 2) Contrasting lace dress 3) Lace insert printed dress 4)Dress with ruching 5) Buttoned dress 6) Dress with contrasting piping. 7) Casual Fridays-Keep your tanks and T-shirts around this season. I love to use t-shirts as a layering item that also keeps the outfit casual. Take a crisp white T and add a colorful blazer over it and pair with denim jeans and a pair of pumps. This is a great time to play with lots of accessories.




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The perfect event for CNY Business Owners and Professionals in Marketing. Network with like minded people, educate yourself with the ever changing advertising solutions right in your backyard! Attend informational seminars including a keynote speaker from LinkedIn! One Attendee will win a grand prize Marketing Package worth 10K including a Digital Billboard from Lamar Outdoor and Park Outdoor a Free TV Spot and Campaign withNBC3, CBS5, CW6 and CNYCentral.com , a Free Promo Video from Dunne Marketing, Front row seats to a Cuse’ Basketball and more!! Oh and get out of the office for the day!!

September 18 • 9am-3:30pm • Once



Some of our Speakers

Rebecca Vertucci Senior Customer Success Manager LinkedIn

Miranda VonFricken

George Kuhn President Drive Research

Jesse Tyree

Dony Kuriakose

Mike Kite

Marketing Campaign Manager

Digital Solutions Director

Business Journal News Network

Advance Media NY

Anthony Vertucci

Adam Rombel

Mastermind Coach




Life & Career Coach

Black Dog Designs

Vertucci Group

Business Journal News Network

enter Convention Center • Syracuse, NY



You may have never experienced racism or discrimination. You may have never been or known a racist person. You may experience racism often or you may be in denial that racism is a modern era issue. In the world we live in today, we are constantly hearing about racism. The nation has slowly become divided due to points of view regarding politics and social issues within various cultures. Either if racism doesn’t affect your day to day life or even if it consumes your life or thoughts unfortunately racism does still exist today. Rather than continue pointing out who is racist, and what is racism. How about we individually or collectively find resolutions of ending racism. Let’s change the narrative and uplift our communities as Visionary Minds has began to do so. Visionary Minds is a Publicity and Entertainment Media Company based in Syracuse, NY beside providing services in film production, and promotion the team spreads awareness on topics of concern through the arts. 46


A current campaign Visionary Minds CEOs Michelle DiBernardo and Tammy Reese has embarked on in collaboration with John Carter of West Rock designs who created T-shirts with the phrases “Why Hate?”, “#EqualityUnityDiversity”. The three took part in a photoshoot

Gender, social or economic status, heritage, political beliefs, and religion doesn’t change the fact that as a global tribe we all can be successful in our own ways, we can help our loved ones and even a stranger in need. We can learn from each other and master our own destiny without being isolated to sticking to our own. We can embrace every culture and accept differences. It starts with togetherness. United we stand and divided we fall. Haven’t we heard that phrase a lot? It is so true! There is no need to hate another race or gender.

all shot by themselves taking turns on camera to capture the importance of male and female equality, also diversity amongst different races. The teamwork to produce this symbolic photoshoot defined unity for the common goal of uplifting a community. Visionary Minds and West Rock wants to use creativity to rise above any negativity in the world because we are all apart of the same human race.

There should be equal opportunity for everyone no matter where you came from or how you look. Take the time out to say hi to someone who has a different ethnicity than yours. You are already on the road to equality, unity and diversity by allowing an open mind to read this article. Let’s end racism!





In the world we live in today, we are constantly hearing about racism. The nation has slowly Either if racism doesn’t affect your day to day life or even if it con




y become divided due to points of view regarding politics and social issues within various cultures. nsumes your life or thoughts unfortunately racism does still exist today.




THE RED ROOM SALON The Red Room Salon I’m Lisa Chelenza and I designed The Red Room Salon to be the perfect place to recharge your batteries. Red is the color of power, energy, beauty, life and love. Red feeds the spirit and that positive energy flows from us into our lives, touching our families, our careers and our loved ones with powerful feminie vibes.

The Red Room Salon is a planet friendly salon experience where you can recharge your battery, refresh your look and relax in peace.



Select local artisans also grace the shelves with unique jewelry, gifts and art! W i t h certified vegan and organic options as well as natural beauty solutions that will leave your hair, skin and nails feeling healthy as well as beautiful.

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I started my journey a few years ago. At my heaviest I was 280lbs, smoking cigarettes, drinking a lot socially and very depressed. I needed a life change, so I decided I wanted to get gastric bypass surgery. To be approved for the surgery I needed to complete 6 months of nutrition, along with various evaluations. I quit smoking and drinking right away and changed my diet because there was nothing I wanted more than the surgery. After 3 months of learning about nutrition and how to properly count calories, I lost 30lbs without much effort. At that point, I decided I didn’t want the surgery and I could lose the weight on my own if I just worked at it. Over a few years I lost 60lbs. It was up and down because I would lose 20lbs, get comfortable and then gain some of the weight back, so it took a few years for me to keep it off. In January of 2017 I was extremely active and on schedule with my weight loss journey when I was in a car accident. I was out of work and unable to workout for 6 months and gained some of my weight back until I was back to 220lbs. When I was cleared by my doctors to workout again, I jumped right back into exercising and dieting. I stuck to my diet and exercise regimen strictly because I never wanted to gain the weight back that I worked so hard to keep off. Since then, I have been sticking to a healthy, balanced 56


diet and regular workout regimen and am now 140lbs.

and when I would reach that goal, I would set a new one.

My diet isn’t anything too crazy. I count my calories and eat foods that I like. Right now I’m consuming 1500 calories a day eating eggs, oatmeal, chicken, greens and other foods that are low in calories and part of a well rounded diet. I weigh out my food and make sure I calculate my calories accurately.

My ultimate goal is to be able to inspire other people to do the things I’ve done because there is nothing special about me and if I can do it, anyone can. I also want to compete in women’s physique competitions, however with all of my weight loss, I have extra skin on my body that multiple physicians have told me I will not be able to lose without skin removal surgery. Insurance will not cover this surgery because I didn’t get gastric bypass, so skin removal is not considered a medical necessity.

As for my workouts, I go to the gym 1-1.5 hours a day, 5 days a week and balance my workouts. They are about 20 minutes of cardio and the rest weight training. Every day I work out a different muscle group to give my body a chance to recover. I didn’t go through my weight loss thinking I needed to lose 140lbs. I would set small, realistic goals to motivate myself and when I reached the goal, I would set a new one. I’d aim to lose 10-20lbs by a certain date

Because I’ve gone too far to let the skin removal surgery get in my way, I have gone ahead a taken on a part time serving job to save for the surgery. On top of this, I am currently a full time student in a paralegal certification program and working full time as a litigation assistant in a law firm. To get additional help to afford the surgery, I have also started a GoFundMe page to share my story to the world and ask that if anyone wants to help me in my final step, they donate. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. I’d be happy to provide additional pictures or anything you may need. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. We will talk soon!






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The Legal Needs Of American Families Study1 has collected information and input from a large subset of the population to demonstrate that working Americans and their families face a myriad of legal issues on a very regular basis. Household income doesn’t have a great bearing on how often these needs arise. The study shows that 57 million full-time working Americans experienced at least one significant legal event in the past 12 months. Despite this, only 60% of those individuals actually sought out the services of a lawyer to help them. Think of yourself. How many times have you needed the help of a lawyer and either faced the extraordinary cost or not made the phone call to avoid the financial hit? Have you ever been faced with a landlord who wanted to keep your security deposit, even though you left the place in great condition? Have you have received a traffic ticket that was unjustified or unnecessarily harsh? Have you ever had trouble with an airline giving away your seat, failing to honor rewards points, or losing your luggage? Have you ever found yourself faced with a contract written in what seemed to be a foreign language? Have you ever adopted a child or gone through the process of filing for divorce? Have you ever lost a loved one only to be faced with a complicated estate to manage? Have you ever bought or sold a home and had to make sense of the many pages of contracts and mortgage documentation? These are just a few of the examples of legal issues that can plague Americans in their everyday lives. Yet, legal advice can often be financially out-ofreach. According to the same survey referenced above, those who sought legal counsel in the past paid an average rate of $284 per hour. In many instances, the costs mounted to over $400 per hour. These rates can put legal assistance out of reach for many Americans. 60


There is also a great deal of mistrust surrounding the law community. Are you among the majority that find it difficult to believe in the good nature and positive intentions of lawyers? According to the survey, 72% of surveyed Americans believe lawyers are always hard to reach by phone. Sixty-three percent call lawyers ‘not responsive’. Nearly three-quarters said that they outright dread contacting a lawyer and nearly as many felt that they would be taken advantage of. Given all of these statistics, it isn’t surprising to find that the majority report not knowing a lawyer to call when legal issues arise. Many said that they had to find legal representation via an internet search, Yellow Pages, or through some form of advertising. While the issues above are troubling enough, costing time and money, there are bigger legal problems that can arise, which may find you scrambling for the assistance of an attorney. Would you know who to reach out to if you were faced with an IRS audit? Who would you call if your parent or spouse passed without leaving a will? What would you do if your child was arrested for shoplifting? What number do you dial if you discover that you are the victim of identity theft? Fortunately, there is a solution. There is an app that can take all the worry and uncertainty out of the legal process, while keeping your investments of time and capital to a minimum. Just as you keep insurance policies to protect your home, vehicle, and health, you can invest in this service so when you find yourself in need of legal assistance, it is just a click away. The great minds behind LegalShield are making great strides in changing the legal landscaping. They are putting reliable, trustworthy lawyers in the hands of average Americans at very reasonable price points. They are removing the worries and mistrust, with a system that can provide necessary legal advice in a timely manner from a network of vetted law firms. Would you pay $20 per month and download an app if it meant having instant access to legal professionals whenever you needed it?

Last year alone, LegalShield firms fielded more than 2.1 million calls from its members concerning issues as straightforward as traffic violations to issues as serious as wrongful arrest. Among the common concerns brought to the LegelShield firms is identity theft. This is a growing concern in this country, and elsewhere in the world, and LegalShield recognized another unanswered need. My wife Michelle and I have been victims of Identity theft. That is why I am so passionate about helping others protect themselves. Thieves are no longer looking to steal your money or rob your home. They can take much more by claiming your identity. Fifty-seven percent of victims had new accounts opened in their name. Sixty-two percent had warrants issued for their arrest. The average cost to identity theft victims was $1,865.27 and 157.87 hours. Although it is easy to believe that this is a problem that happens only to others, it is essential to understand that you are not invincible. You could be one of the sixty-three percent who cannot get their credit reports cleared, the twenty-two percent who have their SSN stolen, or the nine percent who had their fraud alerts ignored completely. LegalShield firms are equipped with licensed investigators and dedicated attorneys ready to go to work for you. The partnering service, complete with its own app, is known as ID Shield. There are six designated divisions of identity theft in this country—Drivers License, Social Security, Medical, Character Criminal, Minors, and Financial. ID Shield covers you on all six bases with a 5 million dollar guarantee. Now, with the help of LegalShield and ID Shield, you can rest assured. You will know that you have all the help you need in your pocket. For less than a dollar per day, you can have security worth millions. What are you waiting for? Follow this link, download the apps, and protect yourself today!





Losing weight is hard but here’s what I found. For years I struggled. I gained 80 pounds and completely lost myself. Between drowning in debt and fighting to provide for our family. I was at my lowest point in life. I was overweight and depressed. I ate my stress and unhappiness. It was a struggle for years. I had no energy, couldn’t keep up with the house work, and I was lagging on keeping up with the kids. I tried eating better but I constantly craved food. You know the struggle.... it’s real.

amazing products and the weight just keep coming off. It was then that I realized that I was instilling my passion to promote a healthy lifestyle. You can do anything you put your mind to. I knew in that moment I had to give it my all. My why is what drove me daily. If you try to fix your weakness

Motivation gets you started, but it is discipline, persistence and consistency. Consistency isn’t always glorious, but it is the most important thing you can do for yourself. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about effort. When you bring effort every single day, that’s when transformation happens. That’s when change occurs. You need to learn to love the lifestyle. Living life with no regrets. Be open about the changes you are making and the process it takes to do so.

When I started my journey (and yes, it is a journey) I was fed up at that point. I had to do something. I mean this was just ridiculous. I no longer looked in mirrors or rarely took pictures because I didn’t like what I saw. I had to do this for me! I mean, let’s face it, experiencing your best results depends on you! I came across a post on social media. I was inspired and motivated as I watched my friends’ journey. I said “self, if she can do it so can I”. I changed my mindset and I had a huge why on why I needed to change. I WAS WORTH IT! So, I decided to start working out, changed my diet and took amazing supplements. I wasn’t consistent, don’t get me wrong, I had setbacks. I cheated here and there but I NEVER gave up on myself. It is crucial that we know how to deal with minor failures positively, so we can avoid long term destructive effects. One setback is not the end of the world or your journey. Regain focus and continue the plan of a healthier you. I continued to be consistent with my regime. I started using 62


can feel has become my purpose. Selfish isn’t a dirty word. I am a Mother of 4 and a Grandmother of 2 and I needed to take care of me first so that I could take care of everyone else. My children where part of my why! It gave me my confidence back. You must realize that you must make yourself a priority if you want to make changes. See the result and work hard for it. You must learn to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.

Know what your goals are, and you can reach them one month at a time. I had passion in becoming stronger, leaner and a healthier person. When the going gets tough, you must make a choice, whether you are going to stick it out or quit. Do not doubt yourself or your journey as doubt kills all dreams. Success starts with you. Believe in Yourself.

you will set yourself up for failure. Instead, I focused on what I was naturally good at and I thrived. Feeling the best, I

Know that you can do it and you are worth it. I admire body builders. They have a strong work ethic. They do what they need to get the results that they are after. So why wouldn’t we have the same work ethic? It’s hard! Don’t you




{ THE REAL KIM HILL } “When I started my journey (and yes, it is a journey) I was fed up at that point. I had to do something. I mean this was just ridiculous. I no longer looked in mirrors or rarely took pictures because I didn’t like what I saw. I had to do this for me!”

agree it is much easier to give up then to fight for something that seems impossible!? Earlier in the year, I felt so confident in my new body that I did a photo shoot for a gift to my husband. I was amazed at the photos and how AMAZING I looked and felt. It inspired me to begin focusing on my goals to become a model for fitness and fashion. It also gave me the confidence to do a commercial and walk a few runway shows. On my 50th Birthday, I was in Florida for 64


the American Dreams Pageant as Mrs. Elite New York 2017. Because of my new-found passion, I was confident in myself. I was 1st Runner Up and most Photogenic. I am currently pursuing my Personal Trainer certification to help other people who are struggling with their selves, like I have. I know the struggles us moms face. I wanted to do this article to inspire all of you who are doubting yourself. It is

possible. You just must be persistent. Please follow me on Instagram and Facebook at @therealkimhill You will find loads of FREE information. Feel free to message me directly for some free helpful tips, a food list that I stick to and some exercises on my website. I would love to help you reach your goals and become the person you see yourself as!! Kim Hill 315.418.0036 www.therealkimhill.com



The story I am going to tell you is the truth. Ariemsfaith is a product of love a mother has for her children. I the founder, and mother of Ariemsfaith, started to make shea whipped products for my first born, Ariana. Who had eczema as a child, and eczema seemed to also pass down to my other two children, Emmanuel and Faith. Once the eczema disappeared on their bodies, I didn’t focus on creating products after that. It wasn’t until my daughter Ariana, decided to go natural and not perm her hair anymore, she struggled with finding products to help her tame her natural curls. She would buy “natural” products but couldn’t find anything to help keep her hair moisturized for long periods of times, and she didn’t see much growth. So she asked if I could make a product to help her hair grow. My first batch she documented and was happy with the result, and I continued to make my daughter’s product’s. Not realizing how much progress my daughters then had with their hair, and how much it could help others. About six years ago my life was changed drastically, Ariana was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and my perspective on what product’s I should bring into my household changed forever. Not only did I change what foods were being put into our bodies, but I also changed what products were being put on our 68


bodies. With our skin being our biggest organ, the products being put on our skin, also can make a difference in our lives. Instead of making products, I sought them out, I began to read all ingredients, on everything. Studying those “big” words, and came to the conclusion that, these so called natural products. Aren’t natural at all and aren’t even good for our bodies.

That’s when I began to make products for my children and close relatives. As they would come back and tell me how much better their skin was doing and how their hair was growing back. I never thought to promote my creation’s or to even sell them, because it was really just a hobby for me. Instead I was promoting another passion of mine, music production. My cousin Preech and I, had our own radio show and magazine

called B’Discovered, where we would give a platform to artist who weren’t able to get the exposure that they wanted. My cousin who is one of my biggest supporter’s always said “you have a talent that needs to be known, and because you have helped so many already, why not try to sell it.” Fast forward to January of 2018, I was ready and I called Ariana and said “let’s see what God has in store for us concerningthis.” “This”, wonderful gift that brings joy to others, that brings a smile back on people’s face, that can make a little girl not cry anymore, “this”, was something I was so proud of, but there is nothing that makes me more proud, than my children. I started creating products because of them, and I now do this for them. So, the name of my creations had to be them. That is where the name Ariemsfaith comes from, my Ariana, Emmanuel, and Faith. We started selling at local flea markets, our first day was great, we made 60 bucks. The fact that people other than my family saw some type of value in my products brought so much joy to my heart. As we continued to do more flea markets, more people inspired me to make more than what was originally





{ PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT } About six years ago my life was changed drastically. Ariana was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and my perspective on what product’s I should bring into my household changed forever.

to make more than what was originally planned, and now we have about 15 products that have to always be in stock. We now have an arsenal of healing whips and oils to help everything from eczema, growing your beard out, removing acne and blemishes, and more. I tell my customers if you are going to buy my product and not use it, do not buy my product’s. I know the impact that my whips can have on a person life, 70


and it has a bigger impact on your life rather than your shelf. I have helped people gain their confidence back, the most amazing word’s a customer can say to me is “thank you.” I didn’t know my little hobby would change so many lives, and I didn’t know that this was something I even wanted to do in life. What I do know is that I am tired of these big businesses making money off of hard working people’s skin. Instead

of complaining I decided to take a stand and do something about it. Why would I continue to harm myself or my children? Why would I promote a natural product that isn’t really natural? My question for you today is, “Why Let Your Skin Finish Last?”

Ariemsfaith is a family run business based out of Yonkers, New York. We have been making these products at home for generations and recently decided to share our natural beauty secrets to the world. All of our products are 100% organic and are all hand whipped. We have created a natural formula to enhance healthy growth within the hair and rejuvenate the skin. We guarantee once you try our products, you'll be wanting more. There are so many products out there that guarantee satisfaction, but yet you seem to always fall short. My question for you is, why let your skin finish last?




As a business owner, you probably know everything about how your company works. But maybe not what it’s worth. If so, that might create problems in the eventual sale or transfer of your business, especially if the sale or transfer is sudden.

make decisions on whether to expand or stay the course. Valuation serves as an important management tool that can give you insights on how to reposition your business to enhance its marketability. So how do you determine the value of

Proper valuation of your business helps you better protect your interests and the welfare of your family and heirs; it also eases the transition. By taking the guess work out of the valuation process you can avoid disagreements between the different parties. S u b s e q u e n t l y, valuation may help you in planning and saving taxes. Since valuation helps the IRS determine estate taxes and the tax basis for any future sale, with proper planning you may be able to put financial strategies in place that may save you money in the long run. Now, even if a sale or retirement is years away, understanding what your company is worth today can have multiple pay-offs; it’s information that can help you secure financing or 74


your business? There are generally three approaches used to calculate a business valuation. The asset-based approach is balance sheet-focused using the difference between a company’s assets and liabilities to determine its value.

The second is the market approach which values the business, based on pricing multiples derived from the sale of comparable companies. And finally there’s the income approach, which establishes a figure from capitalizing or discounting the company’s projected economic benefit stream. Remember that as your business changes so might your valuation, so be sure to keep it up-to-date. The best way to do that is to make it a standard part of your annual financial review. For instance, you can make it a habit to have your valuation reviewed by a specialist each year right before you meet with your agent to review your insurance policy. That will also help you ensure that you maintain just the right amount of insurance coverage for your business. Valuation is a simple idea but one that’s complex to execute. Certified financial experts who specialize in valuations are uniquely qualified to determine which valuation methods



{{ #BOSSBABE }} So how do you determine the value of your business? There are generally three approaches used to calculate a business valuation.


Business owners have many complicated issues that they need to navigate day in and day out. The sooner you address the needs of your business, the better off you’ll be.

Company nor its Agents or affiliates provide tax or legal advice. Consult your legal or tax advisor to find out whether the concepts in this essay apply to your personal circumstances.

Neither New York Life Insurance

This educational third-party article is


provided as a courtesy by Jessica Naioti, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Jessica Naioti at (315)561-7861

Shanna of SHERO – The Pop Sensation



Shanna of SHERO – The Pop Sensation Shanna Baccari, who prefers to be referred to simply as “Shanna”, is a Pop singer, dancer, and actress who was born and raised in the Greater Rochester Area. Shanna is a part of the singing duo, SHERO, with her duo partner, Meredith Doyle. If you have attended the Rochester Fringe Festival within the past few year years, you have more than likely seen Shanna in action with SHERO. S H E RO w a s selected to perform during the past three years of the Festival. Shanna shared her memories from last year’s Festival with us: Through their music, they told the story of a domestic violence relationship – each song was a stage in the relationship. The show finished with the officially release of their music video, Comet, which features five courageous women sharing their personal accounts of domestic violence. The video depicts how these brave women ultimately freed themselves from their abusive relationships. “After the show we asked the women from the video to stand up in the audience. I remember watching their faces as the entire auditorium cheered for them – for their courage, strength, and freedom. It was truly one of the greatest moments of my 80


life.” SHERO released the video alongside their single, Comet, to share a message: “Although domestic violence is pervasive, it IS conquerable! Through the video we want the men and women who have been impacted by this epidemic to know - you are strong, you are worthy, and ultimately, you are free.” At last year’s Festival, they partnered with two domestic violence organizations here in Rochester – Willow Domestic Violence Center and RESOLVE

of Greater Rochester. “It was an honor to give a portion of our ticket sales to two organizations that are working every day to make this community a better and brighter place and to make our audiences aware of the amazing work that they are doing every single day. I hope to continue to be able to partner with organizations with inspiring missions throughout my career.” OBVIOUSLY, we at Rochester Woman Online were inspired by this message and mindset.

We HAD to share this message with our readers, so we decided to get to know SHERO from within. Shanna was more than happy to share her story with us so that we could share with all of you. Shanna started singing, acting, and dancing when she was three-years-old. “I am not sure where a 3-year-old gets inspiration from, but I felt it at such a young age. It has always been this fire burning inside of me.” In her early years, she was involved mostly in musical theater. She loved that she was able to use all three of her talents at once and she hoped to always be able to do so. Shanna explained that the turning point for her was the day that she auditioned for Hairspray - The Musical on Broadway years ago. “Despite doing extremely well at the audition and entering into the final group, I was sent home because I chose to wear a black leotard that day. I remember calling my best friend afterwards and having one of the most amazing revelations of my life. I told her what happened and realized that I no longer wanted to play the role of somebody else. I wanted to be ME! That’s when I decided to move into recorded music. I wanted to write and perform my own songs…and that is where I am today.” After high school Shanna toured the world performing with Up with People. “Touring the world with Up with People was one




{ ON THE WAY UP } “While my music is the heartbeat, performance is my pulse. I believe performing allows an artist to connect so much deeper with their audience. How amazing to be on the same frequency as thousands of people at one time? “

of the greatest adventures of my life. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel through the U.S., Japan, and Europe for 6 months – performing for different communities while immersing myself in those various cultures.” According to our research, Up with People is a group who inspires youth to use their voices to be positive agents of change. In our ever-changing global world, hope is the foundation for uniting people and communities - this is the heart of Up with People. Shanna has always shared these same ideas, so she clearly fit RIGHT in with the group.

purest soul. She has supported me through every voice class, thousands of auditions, and countless hours of, ‘Mom, how does this sound?’ as I practiced over and over again. She is my light on this journey.” Shanna’s greatest achievement thus far has been the song, Comet, that her duo partner and her wrote with their incredible producer, Justin Passamonte, as well as the music video that they created for the song

On this journey we call life, she found her way toward furthering her education. After touring with Up with People, she attended Point Park University (a small musical theater Conservatory), then transferred to Syracuse University – where she earned her BS in Communications and Minored in dance and music business. Shanna wholeheartedly believes in embracing the journey and trusting that it will take her wherever she is meant to go. “My path is perfect. Everyone’s is… Sure, there are always going to be surprises and most likely our paths will be windy and very confusing, but you just have to embrace it and trust the journey.” Her world revolves around her husband (Angel), family, friends, and new puppy (Hank). “They keep me grounded and never let me take life too seriously.” Her greatest inspiration is her mother, Dena Kropman. “She is the strongest women I have ever met, with the kindest heart and the

which was directed, filmed, and edited by John Marianetti. “I am forever grateful to my production team and the five courageous women who shared their stories and bared their souls to the world. Watching those five women retell their stories and freeing themselves once again through the video is a moment that changed my soul and a moment that will undoubtedly change so many more.” Shanna believes that positivity can change things in an instant and that gratitude is essential. She believes that giving thanks for

what we already have and for the lessons we learn are the best way to get to where we want to go. Shanna values family and friends in her life, and knows that without them she would not be where she is today. She feels blessed to be on her journey and cannot wait to win her first Grammy! She is excited for her music and her performances to take her and her audiences to new heights. “While my music is the heartbeat, performance is my pulse. I believe performing allows an artist to connect so much deeper with their audience. How amazing to be on the same frequency as thousands of people at one time? As I continue to evolve as an artist I hope to continue to be able to make people truly FEEL through my music. I don’t think that in today’s world we allow ourselves to truly experience what we are going through. I hope to allow people those moments to feel and ultimately heal.” A message FOR YOU from Shanna, herself: “Your wildest dreams are your reality if you believe! Don’t let the twists and turns of the journey make you stop believing. Embracing and ultimately enjoying the journey is just as important as accomplishing your goals. Don’t worry…you WILL get there.” *Connect with Shanna and SHERO* Website(s)Link to Comet by SHERO – https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S5QVm7TC _o&feature=youtu.be CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018





When was the last time you did something for the first time? I typed this question down in the notes section of my phone about a year ago. I came across it a couple months ago and found that the words really resonated with me- specifically, for where I am right here and now. I’m not much of a risk taker so it was all about stepping out of my comfort zone and living life to the fullest. The reminder made me think about some of the things I wanted to accomplish. The quote makes you think about taking chances and doing something you wouldn’t normally do and something that’s totally out of the ordinary for you. The quote really made me sit down and write out a list of things that I want to do that I’ve never tried! I have had a very charmed Entrepreneurial life. In the early ‘80’s I was free-agent model walking many runways for the likes of B. Forman’s Vogue Show, McCurdy’s and Sibley’s - if you are old enough to remember those Department Stores when Rochester was a Fashion Mecca. In the 1990’s I started my own JL Promotions Company, moving on to an extremely celebrated Free-lance Career as a Makeup Artist. The MUA industry allowed me the opportunity to connect with numerous individuals and corporations to sustain my entrepreneurial spirit for more than a decade and beyond. Fast forward to this spring when GEVA Theatre Educational Department reached out requesting I consider being an honorary “Cast” member for the GEVA Theatre Summer 88


Curtain Call Cast. They asked if I had any theatrical talents, for which I answered “No” but I would have a great costume whomever I was asked to portray. Bring on “These Boots were Made for Walkin” by Nancy Sinatra. Cue cards in hand (no pressure to memorize script) Sequin, teased hair, pink lipstick, fishnets and of course black boots!!! I made it to the BIG time!!! Scared to Death...my daughters along with family & friends said I “Dazzled” with Panache!!! Inline image

So the saying “One thing leads to another”...is so true. Bring on Fringe Festival 2018 Blackfriar’s Theatre an original play by Candid Carraso Mademoiselle Petit Pas teaches Dance and other Passions. You guessed it, my character is Dawn an aging former member of a dance troupe known as the “Mermaids”. The setting is in YBOR CITY in Tampa, FL in a dance hall for the evening Gala. Chaos ensues and passions are exposed all the while preparing for the annual Gala. I have never had a speaking part in a theatrical performance ... so this

was another first for me. As I write this I am rehearsing for Opening night. What does all this mean? A stimulated brain is a happy brain! Introducing new activities into your life is essential for mental and physical health, and can bring you joy and enthusiasm that lights up your soul. I love this quote, because it reminds me that I need to be learning new things and experiencing new adventures. What does all this mean? A stimulated brain is a happy brain! Introducing new activities into your life is essential for mental and physical health, and can bring you joy and enthusiasm that lights up your soul. “Exploring the side roads” along this journey saves me from the boredom of being stuck in a rut, it brings anticipation and excitement to every day, and it makes me a much more interesting person to be around. Living out my true purpose with all the new adventures it brings has introduced me to a life I never even imagined. Who knew that becoming an entrepreneur would open so many doors in the Greater Rochester Community. Joan E. Lincoln Panache Vintage & Finer Consignment, Inc. Trilogy Fashion Foundry 1855 Monroe Avenue ~ Brighton Commons Rochester, NY 14618 www.panacheconsignboutique.com Today’s Posh Daily Sale! Warm 101.3 Fashion First 585-473-5343 (store)






PODCASTING 101 – THE FUTURE STARTED 14 YEARS AGO In 2004, I was experimenting with this new broadcasting medium: Internet Radio. I’ll wait until the end of this article to tell you what the name of the station was. I was playing my own music – because I didn’t want to mess with the legal quagmire of playing published music and have to deal with Lars Ulrich (See Napster Legal Battles). As I was toiling with my scant amount of listeners and awkward web-design, a friend of mine was messaging me about something called “Podcasting”. Huh? “Yeah, remember that dude Adam Curry? The guy with the big hair from MTV? He invented this thing called a Podcast. It is like a radio show but you record it and attach it to your blog and anyone who reads your blog will automatically get your Podcast.” Huh? Yeah, I really didn’t get it. First of all, there wasn’t much information on how to go about posting a podcast. Sure, I knew all there was (at the time) to know about recording a radio show or writing a blog. Even the idea of a blog was kind of new at the time, so I was approaching it with a lot of caution – mostly because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing! I wrote many a Blog and tried many a platform in my tenure. Today, it is so easy compared to 14 years ago, I really don’t want to bore you with the details. But I will say 90


that posting a podcast 14 years ago was a real investment. This is why the pioneers were people who had the time and money on their hands. You’ve heard of Kevin Smith and Adam Carolla, right? A filmmaker and a comedian, both famous, both able to invest time and money into the newest indie thing: “podcasting”. Smith had the Smodcast and Carolla had his podcast. Joe Rogan was another celeb who jumped in early. Folks like you and me…with full time jobs and kids and spouses and whatnot,

there was no time to mess with that coding and figuring out the “enclosures” and all of that techy nonsense. I wanted to record a cool show and then “make it so”. Well, now we can all do that. Do you find that you can speak hours on end about a subject you hold a passion for? Can you answer any question thrown at you about a topic or regurgitate quotes on cue? Have you listened to radio shows and thought: “I know more about this than he or she does!”? Maybe a podcast is your next big thing! It’s really a logical step for you. Think about being able to talk for around

30 minutes with someone or by yourself and if you mess up, it can be edited out. Then, all you have to do is upload it (you know how to upload things by now, right?) to a podcast platform (there are many) and then share the link via social media or email. It is that easy. Yeah, there’s more to it of course, but simplified – it is seriously that easy. For my own podcasts, I use Spreaker. It give me the ease of sharing to platforms like iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify and others with a simple click. Obviously, the more places you can share your work the better. It will auto-share to Facebook and Twitter too. I’m not saying this platform is any better than any other, because I get nothing from that, but it works for me and this is the one I went with. You can choose anything you want. The point is, this is a heck of a lot easier than it was 14 years… heck, even 5 years ago. So, how can it help you? How can it not? Well, I guess it won’t help you if it sounds bad or is not properly prepared. Just like the radio shows you listen to, your podcast needs some preparation and research. Don’t turn on the microphone and start talking with no direction. My advice to you is make it engaging, relatable and specific. Just like you would not argue if someone “in the know” told you that you had to put some money into your TV or radio spot, you have to do the same for your podcast. There are few who can do it all perfectly themselves. I know how to do those things and I know plenty of folks who also know. I can help you! Also, the name of my internet radio show was ScottyMouth.

{{ PARTNERS CRAZY, FITIN PREGNANCY A JOURNEY }} My advice to you is make it engaging, relatable and specific. Just like you would not argue if someone “in the know” told you that you had to put some money into your TV or radio spot, you have to do the same for your podcast.







There are no words to describe that feeling I had carrying Alle Shea outside for the last time. All I can think of saying is forgive me. Forgive me for not being strong enough to hold you as you left this world. I hope your daddy forgives me too as I know this is something he holds onto with so much pain. Forgive me for not being able to carry you back downstairs, or give you your bath. Nurse Maureen took such loving care of you as she bathed you and dressed you without causing any pain. I almost forgot what had happened when I saw her holding you, rocking you, like I had always dreamed of doing.

watch him wear himself out with worry over things we cannot control. Forgive me for being glad the roller coaster of emotions turned back into an oblivious fog – a fog similar to the one I was in before you were born Forgive me my sweet baby girl, I love you. Nine years ago, my husband and I had to take our five week old daughter off of life

Forgive me for not being able to protect you, causing you pain, either before you were born or afterwards. I should have spoken up louder when what I saw on the ultrasound looked like broken legs. Forgive me for being tired of being at the NICU and leaving you only to have to rush back to you and pray the nurses and doctors could keep you alive for us to see again Forgive me for having so many silent tears, fake smiles, and “I’m fine”s. I am not sure how I can ever be “fine” with a huge hole in my heart, my life, and my family. Forgive me for letting daddy do so much in your memory and me taking more of a bystander role. There are times when I 96


support, by far it was the hardest and most painful decision of our life. Our daughter, Alle Shea, was born with the rare bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (also known as Brittle Bones). We had no idea she had this disease (or what it was) until the day she was born; all we knew was something was “wrong” during the pregnancy. Our journey began after our IVF procedure was declared a success. After previous attempts, we were

finally going to have a baby. The evening of my 18 week appointment, my OBGYN called us at home, at almost 11pm to talk to us. Not a time doctors usually call you at home. We knew how far along Alle should be, because of IVF but her arms and legs were measuring 4-6 weeks behind “schedule”. I was referred to the specialists at Strong, and began visiting them every 2 weeks. This meant more ultrasounds and doctor appointments for me. I would go for non-evasive tests, like ultra sounds and NST exams. We declined any evasive tests as we wanted nothing that would potentially harm Alle. I would see a different doctor who would cross maybe one or two “prognosis” off our list and add a few more; dwarfism, downs, clubbed feet, limbs missing, and so many more. Having never been pregnant before, I had nothing to compare this pregnancy to; I did not know what I “should” be feeling with Alle in utero. I did not know it was not “normal” to have multiple ultra sounds and rounds (and rounds) of blood work completed during the pregnancy. I was excited ever few weeks to see my baby, see the measurements being carefully monitored (in millimeters) and listening to the updates on my pregnancy. Being of advanced age, I was already at risk and was asked repeatedly to have an amniotic fluid test to diagnose fetal defects and genetic diseases. Looking back, if I had had it, it would not have answered any of our questions as the gene testing for OI is not






{{ IN IN HER HER OWN OWN WORDS WORDS }} “Our daughter, Alle Shea, was born with the rare bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (also known as Brittle Bones.”

that is routinely completed. OI will appear with equal frequency among males, females and among racial and ethnic groups, it occurs in approximately 1 in 20,000 that is a 0.005% chance of having an OI baby. At 37 weeks I agreed to have the amino testing to see if Alle’s lungs were developed. If they were, we were going to schedule a c-section and Alle’s birth – and hopefully find a diagnosis. My testing began with the ultra sound. I was asked to lay on my side for a few minutes as the tech was rolling the wand around my abdomen. When I was told to roll back over, there was a second tech there with a nurse and a wheelchair. They rushed me to the other side of the hospital saying the baby was “in distress” and if she continued to be so, I would have a c-section. When I say they ran, they RAN and took me right into an operating room. Again, not knowing what to expect, I was not really too scared or nervous. As they were getting things ready I asked if I would use the bathroom. When I was told “No”, is when things started to sink in that this IS serious! I was scared, Alle and I both could be at some serious risk. Alle’s stats calmed down a bit and the whole room seemed to relax. I was moved to a birthing room and was watched for complications. Doctors and nurses were in and out of the room. They were talking about c-sections versus emergency c-sections versus natural birth. I was given some medicine to help the labor to progress naturally. Alle’s stats elevated again, but settled back rather quickly. The nurse said one more of these “episodes” and the doctors will do the c-section. Again, I

being what I call “blissfully ignorant” was just excited that she was possibly going to be born that day. One more dip in Alle’s stats and we were wheeled to the delivery room for a c-section. This time things were not as urgent, but progressed along normally. Hearing her cry, seeing her adorable face, seeing that she had all her limb, fingers, and toes was a feeling that I cannot describe. Alle was taken away for more examination and I was wheeled back

to my room. I did once again not know that this was not the norm. However, I knew it was not a normal thing though when 10 doctors came into my room to speak with us and let us know their diagnosis for Alle. We had never heard of OI before, and the reason for so many doctors was that they have not seen it as is was so rare. A blood test would confirm the diagnosis but with the blue tint to her sclera (the white part of your eye) and breaks, they were almost positive it was Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Looking back it is a good thing we did the

c-section. Alle’s arm was broken from just removing her from my womb. At birth her skull looked like a cracked egg on the x-rays. She also had broken ribs, arm, legs, wrist and her skull had many fractures. With so many breaks, both fresh and healed Alle was connected to a palliative care team to make sure she was not in any pain. They mentioned multiple times that Alle would not have survived a natural birth due to the number of fractures and stress that is in the baby during delivery. We then began the NICU life, an experience that I would not wish upon anyone. It is a place filled with so much hope, excitement, anxiety, and tragedy that is incomparable. We had amazing nurses, and set teams came into place to care for Alle’s special needs. I quickly found myself monitoring her “levels” and learned how to change, feed, and clothe her without moving or forcing her limbs in any way as it would cause a break. Many of these every day things took a lot of time, patience, and more than one person (sometimes 3 or 4) to be sure she stayed as comfortable as possible. Spending so much time there was mentally and physically draining, but it was my job to do as her mommy. I felt overwhelming guilt if I was not there; if I did not hear doctor’s rounds and Alle’s progress in their eyes; if I did not change her diapers, feed her (either through her tube, or a bottle); or not being there for whatever Alle needed. There are times I still the alarms and buzzers in my head. Alle graced our lives for only five weeks. The day Alle was leaving us, we were able to take her outside on the hospital deck

{ IN HER OWN WORDS } There are no words to describe that feeling I had carrying Alle Shea outside for the last time. All I can think of saying is forgive me.

and hold her in our arms until she passed away. She opened her eyes one last time, and looked at us. It was the first time we got to hold Alle without pillows and cushions between Alle and us. Now, we had two choices that day: we could have let the grief over take us, or we could take that grief and turn it into a positive. The Alle Shea Project was formed and since that day, my husband and I have worked tirelessly volunteering our time hosting fundraising walks, special events, and talking to students and the media about OI. Over the nine years, we have volunteered thousands of hours, and we fund just about everything with our own money. We are (as far as we know) the only constant awareness for OI in all of New York State. Many children with OI experience broken bones, surgeries and hospital stay, multiple times a year, which can be scary. Therefore, in February 2016, we started a new program called “OI Care for You.” The care packages include a small stuffed animal, stickers, coloring pages, and other ladybug themed novelties, sent free of charge to anyone that requests one for a child with OI. Our family either purchase the items themselves or people have donated directly to this special program.

The idea behind the “OI Care for You” program is that everyone should have a little something to hold, to snuggle, and to help bring comfort and a smile during difficult times. Anyone, anywhere in the world who has, or knows of a child

gmail.com) or The Alle Shea Project Facebook page. To date, the we have sent over 161 packages to OI children in 40 State and 10 countries. This new project is just one of the many things the Collazo family has done in memory of their daughter. As part of their advocacy, they have held various activities including raffles, local group nights at Rochester’s local sports teams, & comedy shows fundraisers. Over the 9 years, the Collazos has hosted 20 fundraising/ awareness events, raised over $70,000.00 for the OI Foundation, did TV & radio interviews, had the Town of Irondequoit, the City of Rochester, State of New York to proclaim a week in May as OI Awareness Week, and started the I Break for OI egg challenge. All of these because we promised our precious little girl that we will keep her fight alive.

14 and under with OI that had a recent break, surgery, or treatment, is welcome to ask for “OI Care for You” package. Requests may be sent via The Alle Shea Project email address (allesheaproject@

The Alle Shea Project’s next event will be a comedy show on September 30, 2018 at Comedy and the Carlson. Door open at 5:30pm and the show begins at 6pm. Tickets are available on our website, or at the door. Our web page www.allesheaproject.org has all the needed information along with updates on all our events. All the money raised in memory of Alle Shea goes to aid in research and to grants to help people living with OI.



Imagine waking up one day, a convicted felon rotting in a 6 x 9 jail cell, and your whole life flashes before your eyes, because you were just convicted of a crime you did not commit. Your loved ones, your worldly possessions, everything you worked for, your entire life is now a thing of the past. It can happen to you and it has happened to many people. They sit in prison with little or no resources to try to prove their innocence. Basically, once you hit that gate in a NYS prison, life as you knew it, vanishes before your eyes, no one cares, and you will choose to give up or fight for your life. The sad reality is, you will serve most if not all, of your sentence before you even get another shot at freedom. If you even do. In the last few years, in Brooklyn alone, 23 cases were reversed due to tainted convictions (1). Where is the accountability for prosecutors who break the law to get a conviction? Coaxing witnesses, withholding evidence from the defense, etc. How is it that these government officials basically have immunity for anything they do, in the course of their employment? Police officers set people up with the mindset, they are criminals they’ve done something, let’s get them off the street. Brooklyn, recently discovered a series of murder convictions all involving retired detective Scarpella, which were wrongful convictions. This is issue is so prevalent in NYS, 102


the Bar Association published a report analyzing the phenomenon. In studying 53 cases, they found the root of wrongful conviction stemmed with six issues; government practices, identification procedure, mishandling of evidence, false confessions, jail house snitch testimony, and defense attorneys who fail to represent their clients zealously. (2). So basically,

the entire process is flawed. Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature in the past few years are beginning criminal justice procedure reform. It is not enough. Any day someone sits in a prison cell for a crime they did not commit is a day too long.

One of the problems with seeking exoneration is that many of the wrongful convictions do not involve DNA (2). According to the Innocence Project, NYS presented with the largest number of wrongful convictions in cases where they could use DNA to prove innocence (3). This was based on a 2009 report and only Texas and Illinois had more (3). In 2018, we are starting to see some movement in the direction of reform, interrogations will now be recorded, standardized procedures will be mandated for line ups, and other measures will be taken to prevent false confessions and eyewitness wrongful identification (4). But is this enough? There currently are 224 cases which were overturned in NYS (4). That is way too many innocent people going to prison. Nothing that is done after can ever make this issue right for those people. You cannot give them back the many years of their lives they lost. While, these reform provisions are a step in the right direction, they ignore one of the biggest problems failure to hold prosecutors accountable for their role in all of this. Recently, RWO editor Cheryl L Kates-Benman Esq. travelled to Albany, NY to attend the minority caucus hearings. Here reformists gathered to hear testimony from a panel of experts on police and prosecutorial misconduct. Cheryl works frequently with two of the panelists, H. Bosh Jr, and Jeffrey Deskovic. H. Bosh Jr. is one of the few people in NYS who after spending




{ LAW & HIPHOP } It Could Happen to You is an organization which is located in Rochester, NY and run by William Bastuk, an additional wrongfully convicted individual. Jeffrey is an advisory Board member of ITCHY. This organization is state-wide and is made up of a coalition of many criminal justice reform organizations, individual advocates, exonerees, falsely accused but acquitted and other concerned citizens.

$200,00 on legal fees was able to prove his innocence, earning an acquittal, when being prosecuted for an arson he didn’t commit. Jeffrey convicted at age 17 of a rape and murder he didn’t commit, was not so lucky. He spent close to two decades in prison before he was able to win his acquittal. The men now reach back and help to exonerate others.

happen to him. He spent 16 years behind bars from the age of 17 to 32. He was convicted despite a pre-trial DNA test which clearly proved he was not the perpetrator. The DA continued in their

Additionally, they work tirelessly to assist in shaping reform efforts in NYS to prevent others from experiencing the awful circumstances they did. Jeffrey, after proving his innocence went on to start a foundation to help others and he enrolled in law school. He is currently in his 2nd year. Jeffrey attended the hearing in his role at the “It Could Happen to You” Coalition. It Could Happen to You is an organization which is located in Rochester, NY and run by William Bastuk, an additional wrongfully convicted individual. Jeffrey is an advisory Board member of ITCHY. This organization is state-wide and is made up of a coalition of many criminal justice reform organizations, individual advocates, exonerees, falsely accused but acquitted and other concerned citizens. Jeffrey believes in the work he is doing and he is committed to it, as it did 104


real perpetrator, confirming what the prosecution already knew, Jeffrey was innocent. His conviction occurred as a result of, prosecutorial misconduct, fraud on behalf of the medical examiner, and an inept public defender. This experience is instilled in Jeffrey and he is now on a life mission to assist others fighting wrongful convictions nationwide. Jeffrey began this quest as an individual advocate, He spent 5 years while attending school assisting people. He began engaging in public speaking engagements to spread the word… this can happen to you. Once Jeffrey received financial compensation, he decided to take this to the next level. He started his organization by donating 1.5 million dollars. This marked the birth of The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice. Jeffrey is proud to announce the Foundation has assisted 6 people to gain their freedom.

prosecution despite knowing this and Jeffrey was convicted of raping and killing someone. He was exonerated later after a DNA test identified the

Jeffrey wants us to know currently there is no oversight of prosecutors, no deterrent and no punishment. Every profession has oversight even a barber. The grievance committee established to review attorney’s conduct is ineffective in Jeffrey’s opinion in addressing prosecutorial complaints.

. Evidence clearly shows prosecutorial misconduct plays such large role in many of these wrongful convictions. The bill Jeffrey and other advocates are pushing, currently has bi-partisan support. Senator DeFransico sponsored the bill in the senate and Assemblyman Perry sponsored it in the Assembly. The purpose of the hearing at the minority caucus was to further this agenda. There were representatives from many agencies providing testimony and the Bronx, NY District Attorney was present in the audience to share her views that NO additional oversight was needed. As the editor and as an attorney I pointed out the picture being missed is that the entire criminal justice system in NYS needed

an overhaul and it included the entire process from police, to DA’s, Public Defenders and the NYS Parole Board. If you would like to get involved in this movement to seek justice for those who are wrongfully convicted there are many things you can do. Reach out to the agencies fueling the work. Donations are accepted by individuals and corporate giving to help the foundation in their work exonerating people. Jeffrey Deskovic can be reached at the Jeffrey Deskovic Justice Foundation, 3148 Tremont Avenue, 2nd floor Bronx, NY 10461 or by email info@deskovic. org. Bill Bastuk and It Could Happen to You can be contacted at 1900 Empire Boulevard #337 Webster, NY 14580 or

contact@itcouldhappentoyou.org 1. Feuer, A. (August 8, 2017) Wrongful Convictions are Set Right, But Few Fingers Get Pointed, The New York Times. 2. NYS Bar Association (2009), Final Report of the NYS Bar Association’s Task Force on Wrongful Convictions. 3. Salzberg, A. (2009). NY Leads Most States In Number of Wrongful Convictions, Innocence Project Report. 4. Innocence Staff (2018). NY Passes FY18 Budget With Powerful Reforms to Prevent Wrongful Convictions. Innocence Project.





I never thought in a million years, I would hear a story where a man’s life was ruined because an insurance company did not want to pay out a policy. That’s exactly what happened to H. Bosh Jr. In 2005, Bosh was the owner of the largest minority moving company in upstate NY. He had 12 workers and 3 trucks in service. His company grossed a-half-amillion dollars in sales. He was a successful businessman and a respected man in the community. In April 2005, his house caught on fire. He lost everything. You can only imagine how devastating it is to lose all of your memories, your personal belongings etc. If anything remains imagine most of it is ruined by water damage from the fire company. We all know when a disaster happens we usually don’t have to worry insurance covers the damage. The loss still affects us, but we know if we pay the deductible we will be able to buy new things etc. That is not how it went for H. Bosh. A month later, he was arrested and charged with 3 felony counts; Arson, Insurance Fraud and Indifference to Human Life. The maximum penalty he was facing was 35 years in prison. He could hardly believe this was happening to him. He was a hardworking man. He provided for his family. He was shocked, bitter and in utter disbelief. Two years later, after an 106


upwards of $ 200,000 in legal fees, and after a four-week trial, he was acquitted and found innocent of all charges against him. But this was something he would NEVER forget. What about all the people this happens to who can’t afford an attorney? This experience changed the direction

of H. Bosh Jr’s life and business forever. He was faced with starting over and reinventing himself. He now speaks, educates, and brings awareness and exposure to what happens to people who are wrongfully convicted. He emphasizes

on the need to have legislation in place to protect against prosecutorial misconduct. He is also a radio personality, with an emphasis on particular shows, highlighting wrongful convictions and prosecutions. H. Bosh Jr’s current career is working as a speaker, entrepreneur and radio personality. He serves as the President of Made to Believe LLC, which is a personal and professional development company which empowers people to make productive and significant changes in their life by overcoming adversity. He defines himself as an overcoming adversity specialist. He’s also a very active community organizer. He reaches out to local and state-wide politicians often to share his story. Hi s e x p e r i e n c e i s different from most as he was able to provide the means needed to fight his arrest. This experience gave him a purpose to try to change things for people who come after him. H. Bosh Jr. hopes the bill in Albany passes for a commission to be in place one day to protect all people and their rights from being wrongfully prosecuted and convicted. The bill is important because it creates a commission to oversee prosecutors who up until this point had no oversight. The commission will create a place to evaluate mistakes and force review of these issues.



Policing DA’s: Much Needed Reform Achieved in NYS As a defense attorney, I can attest oh so well, the reform sought in NYS was desperately needed as activists call for reform to stop wrongful conviction. I was heavily supportive of this movement and attended the hearings in Albany, NY at the capital in February, 2018 when Rochester Woman Online first shared with you the stories of fellow activists Jeffrey Deskovic and H. Bosh Jr. The fellas have poured their blood, sweat and tears into pounding the pavement to see this day happen and we all celebrate what it means being the first state in the nation to pass legislation to set up a watchdog for rogue prosecutors. Despite claims it is not needed, it is. If one innocent person sits in a NYS prison because a DA sought re-election on their back it is needed. If one person wasn’t fairly convicted because a prosecutor wrongly withheld evidence to obtain their conviction, it is needed. Our work is never over but the passing of this legislation is the first of its kind in the nation and we in NY are leading the way, instead of being the last state to jump on board. This is a huge accomplishment. The legislation allows for an independent 108


commission who will be granted the power to conduct investigations of wrong-doing (1). In NYS, 11 of the 13 people who were exonerated involved prosecutorial misconduct (this number includes police and judicial as reported) (1). Complaints filed against prosecutors are rarely acted on, of 151 complaints only 3 were acted on (2004 to 2008) (1). The change is needed. A local Rochester agency founded by Bill

Bastuk, “It Could Happen to You” aka ITCHY was very active in supporting this effort and was instrumental in educating legislators regarding the necessity. On August 20, 2018, in their press release, Bill Bastuk shared, “The bill was sponsored by Senator John DeFransisco (R- Syracuse) and Assemblyman Nick Perry (Brooklyn). It will hold prosecutors accountable for misconduct and withholding evidence by

creating a prosecutorial oversight commission. This is the first commission in the US. (Bill Bastuk, 2018) (2). Jeffrey Deskovic, exoneree and founder of Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation (served 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he didn’t commit) and ITCHY advisory board member shared“By signing by saying, this bill, Governor Cuomo took a significant step, though hopefully not the only one, at preventing wrongful convictions of New Yorkers, while also sending a strong message that prosecutorial misconduct is unacceptable in New York. Honest prosecutors who go about their job lawfully while observing legal ethics have nothing to fear while rogue prosecutors now have to think twice” (Jeffrey Deskovic, 2018) (2). H. Bosh Jr. ITCHY advisor y board member, CPLC and also wrongfully accused in NY state indicated, “I am extremely happy Governor Cuomo approved this important law. I am hopeful it will spread throughout the United States. Prosecutors in NYS have enormous power. Judge Sol Wachtler, the former Chief Judge of the NYS Court of Appeals, once said, “A prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich!” Well, I lived through one of those sandwiches, when I was indicted and tried in 2005 for Arson, Reckless Endangerment and Insurance

{ { SHIFT+CONTROL LAW & HIPHOP } } “Being apart of this movement and sharing the journey with these awesome people is something I cherish. The hard-work and commitment everyone had in making this reform a reality is something even I cannot describe in words.”

Fraud. I was falsely arrested and charged for burning my own house. I was lucky. Through a long and hard trial, I was able to prove, yes, prove my innocence. I know the law says every man and woman who is arrested is presumed innocent. But the truth is, often a person charged with a crime must prove his innocence. There are many who were not as lucky as I was. I was able to avoid prison. There are many documented cases of persons who were convicted and served many years in prison, because of the suppression of exculpatory evidence or the improper presentation of evidence. Let me be clear. I am NOT claiming that all prosecutors engage in the suppression of evidence! The majority of prosecutors, like the majority of law enforcement officers in NYS and the United States, are dedicated, hard-working and honest. This new law is intended to root out the wrong doing of the few who will use whatever means, no matter what, despite indications of innocence, to convict. What this new law does is send a message to those prosecutors in NYS who will push to convict, no matter how unjust the prosecution might be. This law does not take away any power from the prosecutors. This law just tells prosecutors to be fair. I am not a lawyer, but I read there is a US Supreme Court decision stating “While prosecutors have the right to strike hard blows, they have no right to strike foul blows”. This law Governor Cuomo approved today, makes very clear that prosecutors in NYS will have consequences, if they strike foul blows! Thank you, Governor Cuomo”. Pam Booker of Prison Families of NY, ITCHY Board member and wife of a 110


wrongfully convicted man stated, “My husband sits in prison serving two sentences of “life without parole”, for a murder the District Attorney knew he didn’t commit. But when your only concern is getting a conviction, you will do whatever it takes including violating the law and sending an innocent man to prison. The Commission means no other family will experience the horrors my family is going through”. Marty Tankleff Esq., exoneree shared saying, “Governor Cuomo has restored some faith to those that have suffered horribly by our criminal justice system. However, this legislation will

not deter us from pushing forward on other fronts to eradicate wrongful convictions”. Tiffany M. Garriga, Majority Leader, 2 Ward, Hudson City Council indicated: “As majority leader, 2 Ward, Hudson City Council, I’m extremely proud we were the first city to take the lead to support the first commission bill on prosecutorial conduct, through a resolution. Passing our resolution along to cities such as Syracuse, Yonkers, and Albany which passed unanimously. For years, people complained about local

prosecutors, including right here in our backyard. Now, ordinary people have the opportunity to seek redress when prosecutors don’t act in good faith. With other professions there is accountability and now the time has come for prosecutors to have accountability as well”. Cheryl L. Kates-Benman Esq., activist and former president of CURE NY shared, “This is monumental in establishing a watchdog to help lower the prevalence of wrongful convictions in this state. It should also serve as a warning “Anything goes is no longer going to be tolerated”. Once you take twenty years of someone’s life by sticking them in a NYS prison no amount of money is going to account for that. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people who still languish and fight for their freedom every day. This is one step in the right direction of preventing this from happening. Our work is far from finished in NYS, but this is a major victory!” Being apart of this movement and sharing the journey with these awesome people is something I cherish. The hard-work and commitment everyone had in making this reform a reality is something even I cannot describe in words. Watching Jeffrey and H Bosh Jr. along the way reinforced in me as an attorney why I do what I do every day. To see two men who had their lives stolen from them by prosecutors who needed oversight and to see them reach back for their brothers and sisters they left behind is phenomenal. There are people who sit back and complain and then there are people like all of the people mentioned here who have faith and get up and do something about it. RWO salutes them!





Everyone knows I am the owner and Master stylist at Mario’s Hair Studio. But I also serve as the official stylist for Rochester Woman Online’s Diva 1 ( Cheryl L. Kates Benman) and Diva 2 (Kelly Breuer), the hosts of Dishing with the Diva’s Podcast at ROC VOX Studios. In February 2018, I was able to hit the road with Diva 1, Cheryl L. Kates travelling to Albany, NY, where we were scheduled to make an appearance at the Minority Caucus hearings being held at the Legislative Office Building ( as audience supporters) and Cheryl was a guest on H. Bosh Jr’s radio show. I was lucky to meet two comrades, Jeffrey Deskovic and H. Bosh Jr., men who were victims of the system who were exonerated/acquitted, who advocate on behalf of NY’s wrongfully convicted men and women in NYS prisons. It was an honor and great learning experience to be able to watch state government in action and to be a part of the movement to assist criminal justice reform. I’d like to share the story with our readers because as a stylist it is not an everyday occurrence to be witness to something as spectacular as watching the team in action push to what became a victory of changing the system. In August the Governor signed the bill into law making NYS the first state to establish a prosecutorial misconduct commission. Watching the hearings and seeing the Capital was quite an experience. I didn’t know what to expect. The process was much more than the average person can ever comprehend. Watching the testimonies of Jeffrey Deskovic and H. Bosh Jr. you could see and feel 112


the passion in their testimony and the personal impact their experiences had on them. Watching this from an outside perspective and trying to follow the politics of it all was sort of confusing. What one would think is cut and dry really isn’t. Attending these hearings really gave me a whole different perspective on the criminal justice system in NYS and the differing views and opinions. People speaking included politicians, the wrongfully convicted, District Attorneys and defense attorneys among others. Fighting for reform is such a necessity. There are so many things which should be considered that aren’t. Even for the people who have actually done wrong, who aren’t given the chance to grow and learn how to be productive individuals. It seems they are treated as a whole (criminals) instead of as individuals. Knowing Cheryl and seeing her in a whole different light, standing up fighting for these forgotten people stating her opinion, facing off with the Bronx District Attorney and seeing her face and demeanor as she did this was almost an out of body experience. She stood up and was quoting law and procedure and to see the respect she was given by everyone there including the politicians which she earned from her legal work was simply amazing. She is not only a fashion diva and respected lawyer, she is an amazing individual who believes and fights for the rights of all those people locked away in NYS Correctional facilities and facing wrongful persecution. Although we have worked together

for years, this was the first time I was present at something she was doing in the context of an attorney. We spent some down time with the guys after the hearing and at the radio show, so I was able to really hear about their stories and what the system did to them. It was really an eye opener, as the organization they work with” It Could Happen to You” is really a true fact. It can. Hearing H. Bosh Jr. speak about how he had to sacrifice everything he earned as a business man to fight to prove his innocence when he was wrongfully accused of arson made this tragedy a reality. It was surreal something like this could even really happen. Jeffrey served close to two decades in prison for something he didn’t do. These stories and this experience really impacted me as a person and changed what I thought about how NYS government is run and the criminal justice system. It was exciting as a stylist to go on a road trip and be exposed to so many different things in the span of the weekend as we topped it off with a hip-hop show. You can’t judge a book by its cover. That is one thing I know for sure. We as individuals miss out on learning so many things if we stay confined to just the business we are used to. It was an overall life-changing experience to go on this road trip and experience all of this in my travels as Diva 1’s stylist. Sharing it with you will hopefully make all of us really pay attention to what is happening around us.






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When I was 3 months old, I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia. Im sure my parents were surprised. You see, they had been tested for SCD before my mother became pregnant.Neither parent had the trait or the disease. Sickle cell is an inherit blood disease. In where there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body. So here I am, alone with this horrible pain. My support system was my Mother, Father and Grandmother I have a wonderful family. Even though I had a supportive ,loving family, I also had pain .I’m not sure at what point the doctors told my Mom I would not live past the age of 12. Even still, my parents made sure I lived a somewhat normal life. Living with extreme pain as a child was not easy. Living with a illness as a child is confusing, lonely and challenging. Because of SCD, pain can happen anywhere in the body, because blood flows throughout the body. My knees, hands and arms caught the brunt force of what I call the silent bully. I call it that because on the outside you “seem” to be fine, healthy and “normal”. When on the inside you are being tormented with pain. The bully is mean and hurtful. No one knows, no one sees, no one understands. So you put on a good front. The I’m not sick face, operating in a what you think is normal fashion. That is until you are alone. Then it’s just you and the bully. as a child, being hospitalized a lot took a toll on me mentally and spiritually. Sickle cell brings on feelings of isolation, abandonment and loneliness. Not being able to do some of 116


the things that normal kids do is hard. Knowing you can play, but not to hard or to long. You can’t play in the snow or go swimming. All of this combined with the looks and the treatment from people not understanding contributes to shame and guilt. The pain is ugly and unpredictable. People often ask, “What does it feel like”? Imagine someone hitting you in your arms, hands, knees and feet, or even your stomach and back. Every time the pain hits, it like being hit with a sledge hammer. Or how about a hole being drilled into your hip

or shoulder, and then pouring ice water down the hole. Sounds intense? Imagine living it. I didn’t understand it. So how could I help anyone else understand what I was going through? I couldn’t, so I hid it. I even tried at different times in my life to hide it from myself. I would feel so guilty about the inconvenience and unpredictability of sickle cell. My parents where always right there, always ready to advocate and support me. It was the bully that made me feel and think those things,

not my loved ones. I needed a safe place, a hiding place. So school was my hiding space. I would go to school with a temperature of 102,103 sometimes higher. I went to school to hide. I went because I knew if I stayed home I would end up in Dr.Kotok’s office, and with me in the hospital. I’m not sure when the doctors told my Mom that I would live to see 12, but I would not make it to see the age of 18. Even with a few encounters with death, I received an extension on life; however, something’s just became harder as I got older. I was what my mom calls a “social butterfly” in middle and high school. I had lots of friends. Friends who didn’t know I had Sickle cell. In my world I was the only person I knew who had SCA. So, yes I hid it. In fear of being looked at or treated differently by my peers, I became a master at hiding my pain. I will admit, I was good at it. My family sometimes struggled to tell if I was sick. I began to convince myself that not talking about it or hiding my pain was for the benefit of others. I was helping them by suffering in silence. It was for their own good, they can’t handle it. Having sickle cell was only spoken about when I was sick or in the hospital. I have always had a strong belief in God. I have always had as sense of how blessed I was. I just didn’t see the magnitude of the grace I was given. I’m not really sure when I realized that I was beating the odds. Sickle cell brings with it various health issues. Heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism organ damage, leg ulcers, just to name a few. Of which at almost forty, I had not suffered. It was at this point I began to shake off




{ SPECIAL FEATURE } Knowing that I am beating the odds, and I am strong! I also win everyday by doing my best to be pro-active with my health. Everyday I stare that bully in the face and say I am a WARRIOR!

the shame, fear and insecurities of living with Sickle cell. I began to have a different outlook when I accepted an invitation to attend Grand rounds with a family friend who is a pediatrician. The topic was sickle cell,transitioning from child care to adult care. I was introduced to the presenter, Dr. Susie Noronha. From that meeting we met again and Dr. Susie introduced me to another woman living with SCD named Keshia Little. Together the three of us co-founded the Roc-City Sicklers a grass-roots, non profit advocacy group. Forming the Roc- City Sicklers gave me a different prospective on living with SCD. You see even though I never complained or asked why me, or looked for pity, I was living under a cloud of shame and embarrassment. I wasn’t living in my truth, or in my strength. It takes a strong willed person to coup with any chronic illness and not give into it. Instead of being ashamed and living in silence, I decided to stand tall and be heard. I am no longer afraid to or embarrassed to tell people I have Sickle cell. Not only do we have to fight to live, but we also have to fight to maintain life. Meaning, nothing is easy for us to obtain. We go to emergency rooms and are faced with discrimination and ignorance from some medical professionals, lack of care, miseducated doctors and nurses, being accused of being drug-seekers. The opiod crisis is affecting how our pain is managed with pain 120


meds. It sometimes is hard to obtain adequate health care.. Sickle cell is the number one inherited blood disorder in America. Even with that, the understanding and public perception, along with feeling towards the disease, and the people who suffer from it, are filled with misunderstanding, lack of knowledge and misconceptions. There

are great organizations around the country dedicated to educating, supporting and advocating for the Sickle cell community. At the age of forty-two an age I was never suppose to see, an age that mothers are told their child most likely will never experience. At forty-two I feel it is my duty to advocate for my fellow Warriors plight. Some haven’t found their voice yet or are still ashamed to

speak about what they go through living with an invisible bully inside them. In effort to continue to be part of the change, I will continue to be a Sickle Cell Warrior. There is a saying that goes: God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. This battle, battles on everyday. Fighting an invisible bully that is extremely strong and strategic. Figuring out, how do I win today? How do I push through when my body is fighting against me? For me it is my faith in God. It is knowing that I can turn to him and he will be there when it gets hard, and he has my back. I do it by living in my strength. Knowing that I am beating the odds, and I am strong! I also win everyday by doing my best to be pro-active with my health. Everyday I stare that bully in the face and say I am a WARRIOR! You may win this time, but I am strong and I will not back down from you. My spirit is strong and I was born for this fight. I will take that strength and use it for those who can’t fight or don’t have the voice, or who have become weary from the battle. I hope that those small things, encourages them to keep going. They have to keep going, because someone is looking at them, drawing strength for the battle that they fight. The more of us that become warriors for sickle cell, the more we will be heard. I need the support of our community’s. Community’s that include medical professionals, donors, funding, research, etc. There is no universal cure for sickle cell. So while we wait for that day, we have to fight to live and be heard, together.



10 SUCCESSFUL F U N D A M E N TA L SKILLS OF WOMEN EXECUTIVES In today’s world much of leadership training is about understanding, engagement, and synthesizing the concepts of others to achieve the goals and needs of the customers.

areas to be addressed. This ability allows them to always be heard, understood, and followed. 3. LET GO TO GROW – this is a skill that is fundamental to the growth of any woman who moves to the executive level in a company. It is the ability to let go of the management of areas she once managed, to focus on “the what (result)” and not the “how” ( the process), to make sure there is a dashboard to monitor the right controls vs being controlling. Also, to

Many women leaders already come skilled and adept with listening, understanding and connecting skills. Given this truth and reality the skills women leaders need to practice are a bit different. And when they practice these skills, they soar.

2. ORGANIZED STORY TELLING – successful women leaders are prepared to communicate the key ideas and focus of the goals and vision. In addition, they are capable of responding in any moment the salient pieces of the goal, the background, the vision, and the 122


5. HEART CENTERED VOICE – when the voice is in sync with the heart beat it moves, touches and inspires others. The ability to breathe deeply, especially in tense moments, and relax your voice so it is solid, centered, and resonant with your heart beat quickly captures the attention of others and gains their interest. This ability to center and speak from a place of calm and strength is integral to the success of women leaders. 6. FEAR MANAGEMENT – everyone has fear. Women leaders learn to understand their fears, define multiple options, set realistic goals, have a plan B, and know they will can handle whatever comes their way. They plan for the knowns so they are prepared for the unknowns. They know they will find a way, and it may not be perfect…. and it will work. They got this.

Below are a fe w fundamental skills necessary to be a woman executive in today’s world: 1. OBJECTIVITY – the ability to stay focused on the objective, result and outcome in any conversation is crucial. Effective women leaders maintain poise and inspired communication regardless of the feeling or treatment of others. Staying calm, objective, and centered is allows women leaders to navigate through a myriad of situations with clarity, confidence, and effectiveness.

and strong performance. This practice of learning, applying, and strong performance while building great team work along the way are crucial and necessary each stage of their career. As an executive the ability to be in sync with the world or ahead of the curve requires the ability to dedicate oneself to continual learning… in all venues.

know others will make mistakes which they will develop and grow from those errors. They let go so others can grow. Effective women leaders keep the drum beat on the vision, results, and deadlines. This shift/focus allows them to lead large initiatives and organizations to achieve positive changes for all. 4. BE SMART – when we see women move to executive roles they have a background of consistent success built on learning, applying,

7. MANAGING THE OLD AND NEW – the ability to understand where “the tried and true” are necessary and when to adapt and blend “the fresh and new” are a hallmark of successful women leaders. The world is changing all around us all the time and to know when to release the old for the new is integral to the success of any leader in today’s world. 8. THE RIGHT WAY VS THE BEST WAY - the ability to read a situation quickly and see

{ WOMEN { {SHIFT+CONTROL DIVA’SLEADERSHIP REPORT } } } Many women leaders already come skilled and adept with listening, understanding and connecting skills. Given this truth and reality the skills women leaders need to practice are a bit different. And when they practice these skills, they soar.



{ WOMEN LEADERSHIP } Leadership and executive management are not easy work and it is rewarding work for the consistent hard work and effort you put in.

what is holding the progress back is one of the most important skills a leader can have. The capacity to help others let go of the perceived “right way” for the ‘best way” is a gift of influence and communication necessary to create positive and forward focused objectives. 9. ENGAGED FEEDBACK – when you are in a senior leadership role and/or on your way to it, the most important skill a woman leader must develop is the ability to get and give feedback. There is an art and science to giving feedback, that takes leadership development and coaching. In addition, the ability to gain feedback from others without getting defensive is and will always be the secret to a leader’s success. This is perhaps the hardest trait for many. Most women leaders have good intentions and are trying their best. Yet in leadership you have to be willing to hone your skills to be the best for the people and the situation. This capacity to listen with understanding and focused leadership communications is the foundation to executive leadership and strategic decision making. 10. RESPONSIBILITY – leaders are individuals who understand they are their own sovereign nation. This means they have attained the emotional and intellectual maturity that they choose who they are in the world and how they are in the world. They don’t place blame on others or themselves. They take responsibility for their wins and failures. They see failures as lesson learned and they look to improve their skills going forward. This sense 124


of personal empowerment is what separates them from others and ultimately why others follow this kind of leader. Additional practices are understanding emotions of self and others for uncommon outcomes, staying centered in all scenarios, bold vision and

actions to support positive growth, empowerment to grow great talent around you, managing media to support your vision, multi-scenario planning, self-care for strength in leadership, living and leading in alignment with your core values, maintain a strong center for growing and adapting with the needs of the world, and staying in your nature, authenticity, and femininity as you move through a competitive world.

If you wish to lead and be an executive you can do it. Apply the practices and skills from above. Create a baseline and measure your improvements. Leadership and executive management are not easy work and it is rewarding work for the consistent hard work and effort you put in. To lead means you want to make a difference, can bring others together to achieve a great goal, and believe in yourself and others to find a way to make it happen with people becoming better and stronger together through their efforts. Women leaders who excel at this in today’s world are Mary Barra, Regina Dugan, Ursula Burns, Indra Nooyi, Christine Lagarde, Bridget Shumway, Patricia Larrabee, Anne Zimmer, Amy Castronova, Dawn VanDamme, Reenie Feingold, Mona Samaan, Dawn Aprile, Rachel McCooey, Melissa Geska, Andrea Fitzgerald, Kathie Cahill, Kathy Palokoff, Diane O’mara, Donita Anderson, Haley Locey, Emma Visnic, Pamela Heald, Leslie Mauro, Laurie Broccolo, Gayle DeRose, Libby DiMarco, Whitney Baniewicz, Sitima Fowler, Robin Flaherty, Diana Augsperger, Moira Moldenhaeur, Jill Knittle, Nicole Savage, Debbie Bastow, Autumn Wyda, Nicole Mahoney, Karen Zandi, Joyce Schwob, Joyce DeLong, Catherine Pera, Michelle Ashby, Mary Wynne, Amy Christieson, Lynne Bona, Lynn Siegel, Donna Scalfaro, Heather Rowland, Teresa Bianchi, Josephine Greco, Beverly Foit – Albert, Maria Cristalli, Kimberly Slusser, Laura Loomis, Lori Drescher, Mary Lou Lunt, and many more.

“Bobbie is the first person I go to when I need clarity in making a difficult business decision. She listens to the factors complicating the decision process, makes sure that all aspects of the situation have been fully considered, and challenges me to find the truth inside myself that is preventing me from seeing the correct path forward. At the end of the discussion, I have more than advice about what to do - I have certainty that I am making the right decision for the right reasons.”

Anne Zimmer, CEO Black Button Distillery

Fusion Leadership For people making a path not following one.

“I am always amazed at Bobbie's ability to take abstract business discussions and then verbally package into concise clear objectives that can be implemented. Great personality and integrity is obvious to anyone that meets her, but take a few minutes and find out what she can do for your business and you will also be amazed at the depth of her experience and advice.”

Laurie Broccolo, Environmental Landscape consultant at Broccolo LEEDS

“A Fusion forum is a pool of talent and experience, of

camaraderie and brutal honesty, of integrity and friendship. It is a place to learn, teach and share, to empathize, challenge and push.” Tony Harris, CEO E&I Electronics & Innovation n




3123 Main Street I Caledonia, New York 14423 (585) 294-3013 I pastiquecaledonia.com





Thank you for coming back and reading my column! As promised, we are going to start talking about decorating for the holidays. You may have noticed that many stores had their Fall merchandise out before the kiddos even went back to school. Before I was a shop owner I never really appreciated why stores did this. But what I’ve learned is that retailers are always competing to get the best items on their shelves so they order early to insure we can offer our customers the best selection. And as it turns out not everyone is a procrastinator like me. A lot of shoppers actually do start shopping early to make sure they have the pieces they feel will make their decorative items stand out. So, whether you have started thinking about decorating your home for the Fall or you wait until the last minute like me, there is plenty of great Fall décor to be had! Fall decorating in my family starts with a trip to the pumpkin patch. Not only can pumpkins and gourds serve as the foundation for Fall décor it can incorporate your family into the spirit of decorating. We set aside a few hours on a Saturday each September and start at Coyles Pumpkin Ranch & Farm which is only minutes from Caledonia (3464 Oatka Trail Rd Wheatland, New York). You should check them out when you come to visit us, you will be delighted by their selection and prices! After we’ve had our fill of cider and pumpkin picking we hop back in the car and head to a couple of my favorite shops to hunt for Fall décor. Well at least we used 128


to until I opened my own shop. We all have those old decorating standbys that we recycle year after year which become part of our tradition. But adding a couple of unique items each year, and if you can stomach it discarding a couple of old items, can keep your look fresh from one year

wreaths still set the tone. But if you’d like to add a little extra fun to your facade a really popular item at Pastique has been our Arrows & Replacements. The arrow, which is essentially a decorative sconce, is attached by your front door or porch and the replacements are wood carved figures that you hang from the arrow and you can easily change them with each season. For Fall we have cute little scarecrows, lanterns with LED lights, and a Trick or Treat signs. Some of you may cringe at this but one of the things I’ve recently started doing is using synthetic flowers for a pop of color throughout the house. These aren’t your grandmother’s plastic flowers mind you and I don’t use them in big arrangements. A simple small vase or mason jar with 3 Fall colored flowers on your entry or end table sitting on a few old books is a quick hit decorating win. By the way if you do have faded plastic flowers or greenery throw them away immediately. Lastly, a really simple way to add holiday color is with new soaps in the kitchen and powder room. Not only do they bring holiday colors into the home they can also bring in Fall smells like pumpkin spice. Happy Fall Y’all !!! Next month’s column will feature transitioning to Christmas (shopping, socializing, decorating, & then organizing after the big day).

to the next. I was asked recently what areas of my home I focus on for seasonal decoration. Well let’s start with the most visible space in almost any home. The front door. And if you want to get the most bang for your decorating budget seasonal

Check out Pastique @ 3123 Main Street Caledonia, NY 14423 ~ Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 10 – 4  www.pastiquecaledonia.com  www.facebook.com/pastique






Sseko Designs is an ethical fashion brand based in Uganda. Through the sale of beautiful handcrafted handbags, accessories and leather sandals, we create opportunity and community for women globally. We believe that every woman has a dream. When she has the opportunity to pursue those dreams, we are collectively walking towards a brighter, more just and beautiful world. Sseko was started to enable high potential, talented young women in Uganda to continue on to university. In Uganda, there is a 9 month gap between high school and university. During this gap, students are expected to work and earn enough money to pay for university. However, in a patriarchial society, male students are often hired over the females, leaving them with little to no opportunity to pursue their dreams. This is where Sseko steps in! These young women work for Sseko during that 9 month gap, saving part of their income for university. They receive life skills training, are paired with professional mentors and get valuable formal work experience. At the end of their term, Sseko matches their savings 300%. Every woman who has graduated from Sseko has gone on to pursue higher education and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place. In 2018, Sseko will enable our 107th woman to attend university! 132


In addition to our university-bound team, Sseko hires full time staff primarily from non-profit partners. These women come from all walks of life, and face a challenging job market. Sseko is bridging the gap. By creating an environment of dignity, honor and dedication, Sseko Designs provides the opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a

Through their Sseko businesses, they are able to create opportunity for themselves, their families AND their sisters in East Africa. As a Sseko Fellow, you are paired up with one of our Sseko Sisters in Uganda. My Sseko sister is Grace Sr, who works as part of our Veteran Team. She’s a proud momma of 5 who hopes to have her own small business some day. Grace Sr is the financial contributor to her family and she is also working to help her husband earn enough capital for a small library in their community. Grace, What does it mean to you to be Brave? “To me, being brave means having the capabilities to face any challenges that come my way.” What are your dreams for the future of Uganda? “I dream of the day Uganda has a female president! I also want to see employment opportunities created for ladies in Uganda everywhere.” If you could travel anywhere in the world...where would you go? “I would head to the USA to see Chicago and Miami!”

more equitable society. We enable Impact Entrepreneurs to join Sseko’s story while creating their own social enterprise! Sseko Fellows are a community of women who are taking giant leaps and small steps towards using their talents to make an impact felt across the world.

What books are you currently reading? “I spend most of my time with my children, so these days it’s really any children’s book that I think they’ll enjoy!” Every handcrafted Sseko piece sold helps to ensure that women like Grace Sr and our university-bound students are given



{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE } “I believe that each of us holds the power to make a positive impact in the lives of those in the world around us and beyond. I believe in the pure strength, joy and grace that comes from accessing this power. The power to empower.”

the skills, knowledge and opportunity to pursue their dreams through dignified work. We use high quality, ethically sourced materials for all of our products. Each piece has a tag signed by the woman who made it. You can ‘meet’ the woman who made your piece on the Sseko website and know that it was made with high attention to detail and a huge source of pride.

collection is truly global: We scoured the world for the finest materials and the most skilled artisans and partnered with them to create a collection that is sophisticated, timeless, versatile and oh-so-chic.

YOUR PART OF THE STORY Thank you already for being a part of this Sseko story! If you feel drawn toward making Sseko more a part of YOUR story - whether it’s through purchasing ethically handmade Sseko pieces, hosting a trunk show with your friends, or joining a community of like-minded women empowering each other - I welcome you to contact me so I may help you be a part of our story. We have a saying at Sseko, that there is a place for everyone at our table. We’d love to have you at ours!

THE FALL/WINTER 2018 SISTERS COLLECTION This collection is a continuation of our 2018 theme of sisterhood. The Sister Collection represents one sister from our team of Dreamer & Doers here in the U.S. One from our team of Makers & Shakers in Uganda. And the last one represents the space we’ll hold for the sister who we don’t yet know who we will welcome with open arms into our global sisterhood, either here at home or across the world. We spent hundreds of hours designing the perfect trousers, the only blazer you’ll ever need and the boots for every occasion. Our handbags are more versatile and sophisticated than ever. With every piece, form and function are held in equal esteem. And like the Sseko Sisterhood, the 134


staples in your closet throughout the year, silhouettes that will never go out of style with details that will surprise and delight and prints that are classic and chic while adding just the right amount of boldness to your look.


In this collection, we’re celebrating the Parisian chic belief that less is more. Every detail thoughtfully considered. We chose colors that are rich enough to add dimension and depth to your wardrobe and timeless enough to become

http://ssekodesigns.com/ heather_vitticore Find me on Facebook and Instagram at TakeTimeTo_ To hear our Founder, Liz Forkin Bohannon, speak more about Sseko: https://youtu.be/WBeGvkgxgyo






My name is Dana M Gamache Steinmetz and I have been a hairstylist for 21 years. I specialize in color and cutting hair in the village of Pittsford, NY at a studio called Higher Ground Colour Studio since December 2011. I have always been a creative person since I was a little girl. It especially amazed me when I would win awards for the artwork I had created. I never really thought of myself to be at that level. I eventually fell in love with hair when I was 12 years old and was even more surprised to learn people would let me do their hair at such a young age!

him. My son at that point was 19 years old. I eventually learned through searching for him myself, phone call after phone call, what no parent would ever want to hear. My son had died in a terrible car accident! As anyone could imagine, that changed my path in life forever! I figured I could either have no hope and fall into despair or reach deep and find the

I thought this is too good to be true! So, as like anyone else, I didn’t give it a thought.

I worked in Irondequoit, NY for about 9 yrs in a couple of salons and ended up on University Ave at Daniel Ward Salon. I loved being downtown in the hustle and bustle. I was very successful with my craft through out the years, until I hit a huge bump in the road.

hope my heart was feeling, and allow what this can teach me.

I was getting ready to start my day at the salon, when I received a phone call from my son’s girlfriend frantically looking for

Especially all the clients that have stuck it out with me through the years, along with my husband, Mark. I am so grateful and lucky!


I would risk losing clients with every move I had mad. Now, 7 years later, I am proud to say, I have been a successful stylist, colorist, & salon owner. About a year ago, this tall, beautiful woman, Jennifer, walks into my salon with her own shampoo, conditioner, and styling aides. At first, I was kind of bothered by it. She went on about how awesome this hair product is, how it heals the hair from the inside out, and it’s clinically proven to regrow hair!

Fast forward to 1997. Being a single mother of a 6 year old boy and working in the restaurant business to make ends meet, I decided to go back to school at the age of 27. I have always had the nack for hair, so I thought I would give it try. School was very challenging. Bartending 3 nights a week and hair school 5 days a week, I scraped through it! I was bound and determined to make this my career. I just LOVED IT!


So, about 16 months after my son’s funeral, I decided to open up Higher Ground Colour Studio, in the village of Pittsford. It was so exciting and scarey all at the same time. First beacuase of the investment, and Secondly, because of moving for the fourth time.

I found strength and courage I never knew I had. Plus, I have an incredible support group of family and friends that would help me along the way.

Fast forward six months, and I’m see a couple of posts on Facebook about this Monat produc line. I finally inquired about it. That beautiful young woman, Jennifer, reached out to me, and said she would bring in samples for me to try on my hair and my clients hair. As to my surprise, she brought in full bottle sizes! That impressed me tremendously, because this line is expensive at retail value! Well, it took one wash! My hair totally transformed with one wash! You see, I have dry, brittle, hypo-thyroid hair. I have not been able to grow my hair longer than shoulder length for the past 10 years. Plus, it was thinning out so much, my hairline was receding.




{ PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT } So, about 16 months after my son’s funeral, I decided to open up Higher Ground Colour Studio, in the village of Pittsford. It was so exciting and scarey all at the same time.

It has been very challenging for me to find a professional hairline that not only would heal the hair, but regrow new hair! I was so excited to have finally found something not only for myself, but to share with anyone else who would listen!! I was turned off by it being a multilevel marketing company, but when I finally read what it had to offer, it was a no brainer! Plus, I would never put my 21 year reputation on the line, unless I did the research and truly believed in it! I welcome for everyone to do the research and ask me any questions. You can reach me at dmg2070@gmail.com or (585)944-3942 140


Here is what is has to offer:

1)$19.99 one time fee for a VIP membership for free shipping, 15% discount off retail and exclusive, monthly offers 2)30 DAY MONEY BACK GARANTEE 3)$29 cancellation fee If canceled before 3rd order within your first year of enrollment (for Monat to recover the retail discount) 4)order ANYTIME!!, No Obligation to order monthly 5)Monat will send an emailo notification A WEEK IN ADVANCE, when next shipping date is coming up A)Choose to modify order B)Or choose to push out the order to a later date

6) Monat’s Website system allows to for a 60 day Extension 7)If you want to extend more than 60 days, call Monat SUPPORT @ 1(888)867-9987 Monat support is very responsive and very helpful! I am so proud to be a part of a company,( with my MP Laurie Abbazia) that is family owned, that took the time to do the research necessary for an incredible line, and takes care of the people who work for them! I hope I can inspire others to try Monat and see what it truly has to offer for their hair needs and as a business opportunity.





Mental health therapy has unfortunately been stigmatized for many years for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, in more recent years, the stigma against therapy has started to lessen with movements towards mindfulness and self help. Although every therapist is different in their style and it’s important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable with, there are some common myths that I would like to note. Even with the increasing mental health movement, therapy can still be intimidating, especially for people who have never been to therapy before. It is always interesting the types of questions that I get when people find out that I am a therapist, it turns our everyone has a different idea of what it means to be a therapist and what therapy is really like. I wanted to share some common misconceptions that I have personally heard about therapy as well as shed light on what therapy is really like. - Therapists are not elderly white men with big beards and glasses. There are some therapists that fit this description however that is not the case. Many psychologists that developed theories/ 142


treatments used today are old white men (Sigmond Freud is a great example) and this is where the stigma began, however it is not this way any longer. People who come see me for the first time are often shocked by how young I am (of course, that could also be related to the

fact that my name is Maryellen). Of course, there are some older men who are therapists but it is important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable with and get along with. If you are looking for a therapist, any therapist

in the community can recommend the type of person you are looking for (ie: older/younger, male/female). - You do not have to lay down on some type of chaise lounge while I analyze your dreams (again, you’re thinking of Sigmond Freud). I do have a couch in my office, as most therapists do, but I do not think that I have ever had someone lay down on the couch. A big part of therapy is the relationship between the client and therapist and it’s hard to develop a relationship if one person is lying down and you cannot look at each other. That being said, I want people to feel relaxed in my office and I will often take off my shoes or put my feet on my chair just because it’s more comfortable! - I am not going to sit and just ask you “How does that make you feel”? I actually do not think I have ever asked that question. Therapy does involve delving into feelings and I may ask questions similar to the above, but I find that question very annoying since it is so commonly used when describing therapy. Hopefully whatever therapist you go to will find a clever way of asking that question. That being said, it is up to you how much you disclose in therapy. The more you share, the more you will get out of therapy, but it is also okay to let your therapist know that you are not ready to share or talk about something.




- Therapists are just people. Therapists are not someone to be afraid of or nervous around. I often find myself in social settings where someone discovers that I am a therapist and will respond with something such as “Oh, don’t judge me” or “Are you diagnosing me”? The answer is no! Therapists have their own struggles and concerns just like everyone else. Although therapists have great education and continue their education throughout their career, we are not experts on your life, you are!!

Therapy is most often a conversation with someone who you feel comfortable with and have developed a rapport with. Hopefully therapy will help with learning self awareness and creating positive life changes in a comfortable and confidential setting. Therapy should also be focused on you, your goals, and what you want to accomplish. I am biased, but I think everyone could use some therapy because it’s a great form of support, plus you get to spend an entire hour just talking about yourself without being judged, doesn’t

that sound great? For more information about therapy, questions about mental health, or comments contact Maryellen Dance, Licensed Mental Health Therapist at maryellen@maryellendancelmhc.com.

Do you Þnd that while you strive to be physically healthy and strong, your emotional and mental health is suffering? My aim is to help you Þnd a balance between your mind and body; to create a still mind for your active body. My name is Nicole Lambert. I am a: - Licensed Mental Health Counselor - Nationally CertiÞed Counselor I specialize in: - Body Image Issues - Emotional Eating - Weight Loss Goals & Maintenance - Self-Esteem - Depression - Anxiety - Athletes/Student Athletes - Those who are active/want to be more active

I work with: - Adolescents - Teens - Adults of all ages I also work with a wide range of individuals with other emotional or mental health challenges. What ever it is you are going through, don't hesitate to reach out. I’d love to learn more about you and I’m happy to help!


(585) 257-0529



How do you grab your Gutsy Woman Self and thrive? How do you learn those empowering, live-your-life-on-yourterms strategies for getting up off the couch of complacency, and stop cheating yourself? This applies to every aspect of creating your own “life by design”, whether personally, professionally, politically, spiritually or whatever arena you’re focused on. Here’s the first step:

legitimate challenges - and even serious traumas, because I have. It’s that I was so traumatized and bogged down by them that I shut down completely, and had to dig deep to find the resources to meet life head on, and move on. Can you relate? That’s where finding your Gutsy Woman comes in. She’s in there. We just have

Get Up. Then Say Yes! That’s what it means to go GUTSY! It’s not complicated. It m i g h t s e e m elusive. In fact, it is ridiculously simple. Not always easy, maybe, but shoot-from-yourhip simple. Here’s a little exercise I do - one that I’ve done a gajillion times. Just for fun, I imagine myself at a “Going Gutsy” support group meeting. When it’s my turn to introduce myself, I grab my Gutsy Woman and say, “I’m Joy, and I’m a Sometime Moper.” A self-confessed, prone-to-moping woman who has every reason to say thank you and no reason to complain. But complain she has, about her lot in life. Woe to those who have had to listen to my laundry list of woes in the past. It has cost me dearly in some instances, and that was no fun. It isn’t that I haven’t had my share of 146


to be willing to dive in and find her. I was thrown into the pit in 1997 when my then-fifteen-year-old son suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, and twenty-one years later, I am able to say that he - and we as his family - not only survived, but we are here to thrive, and live life fully, brain injury and all. But there have been many, many times when

I’ve asked those despairing questions: how do I do this? Where’s my mojo? I’ll tell you where it is: it’s inside. It never comes from outside of us, I promise. But, you have to be willing to answer the one question that only you can ask, and answer: Am I willing to do what it takes to dive within and find my voice, whatever it wants to say? As a life coach, I am committed to helping other women find their voices, guide them as they take the leap into the (s) hero’s journey, muck around in the depths, and pluck the good stuff from the rubble. Having delved into my own swamp and survived to tell, I’m passionate about connecting with other women; bringing encouragement and guidance to those who are stuck in some place where they cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel without thinking it’s the train. If you can identify with this scenario - feeling stuck somewhere you don’t want to be, feeling like there’s no way out, stay tuned. Going Gutsy is not for the faint of heart: but women are not willing to stay stuck anymore, and we are

Get Up. Then Say Yes! That’s what it means to go GUTSY! It’s not complicated. It might seem elusive. In fact, it is ridiculously simple. Not always easy, maybe, but shoot-from-your-hip simple.



{ GUTSY WOMAN } As a life coach, I am committed to helping other women find their voices, guide them as they take the leap into the (s)hero’s journey, muck around in the depths, and pluck the good stuff from the rubble.

Yelling about it, globally. I’m excited to be sharing with you in coming months proven strategies that will not only support you, but give you opportunities for life-altering aha-moments that will enliven you, and renew your sense of “I am ME and I’m worthy of thriving!” The GutsyWoman Coach has some kickass courses coming up this fall, starting in mid-October. Some are easy-peasy, self-directed intros to traveling inward - to allow you to dip your toes in the waters of self-exploration. Others will

take you deeper - further away from your safe-harbor, perhaps, where the bigger fish swim. You’ll have a Navigator on those journeys to guide you along the way. And then, there will be the all-in, “I want to take on the Big Fish” - the Moby-Janes of your psyche, and wrestle with them until you make it clear that YOU are the Queen of your own Realm. And your own Gutsy Woman rules. Email me if you have any questions, at thegutsywomancoach@gmail.com. I can’t wait to dive in with you!

Joy Leccese, Author, Speaker, Life Coach Author of the soon-to-be-published book: Walking Toward Bliss, November, 2018 www.thegutsywomancoach.com 585-317-8870



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How many times has that fear crossed your mind? Your version may be, what if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t understand what I’m trying to say? What if I’m wrong? What if I look stupid? This fear of failure kept me stuck in a negative cycle for years. On paper I was a success, continuing to check off the personal milestones, advance professionally and look the part. Internally though, I was a hot mess. I was living for other people and was more worried about what they wanted and what they thought, than about what I wanted and needed. So much so that after being fired from a job (that I initially believed to be my dream job) I stayed for an extra week and a half to wrap everything up because internally I was so driven and dedicated. I also stayed because I was mortified at what people would think and I was so afraid of disappointing others. Living my life rooted in fear and trying to appear externally perfect took a major toll on my confidence. I eventually recognized this and realized that taking risks and being authentic were much better ways to build confidence. Our confidence and self-worth are often tied to career titles, financial stability, relationship status, parenthood or advanced degrees. The challenge is when we achieve those goals and we still fear we’re not good enough or we keep moving the end line further away, so we never really reach it. Or perhaps worse, we don’t achieve those goals and then feel worthless. We create a construct where we’re never able to release 150


our fears and enjoy our successes. We can never win. The challenge is that all of those metrics are external, it doesn’t positively serve us to define our worth or manage our fear through external circumstances because nothing is promised forever (we can be fired at a moment’s notice) and we’ve left our worth up to someone else (that person can always change her or his mind.) I’ve found such freedom in using my own metrics to define myself and my

success, rather than adhering to someone else’s agenda. When our baseline is that we should already know or that we should be an expert with everything we do, then failure cannot be a positive opportunity. This fixed mindset results in a narrative where failure is not a chance to learn or grow, rather failure is positioned as proof that we’re not good enough, we don’t know enough, we’re not an expert. We use failure as proof that our

greatest insecurities have come to fruition. To avoid those insecurities, it seems safer to not even try because we’d rather not show up at all than show up and fail. We have so much more to offer though and when we live this way we limit our capabilities. I’ve explored failure personally and with my coaching clients and one of the most powerful things I’ve learned is that when we refuse to be vulnerable and let down the veil of know-itall perfectionism then we’ve created a reality where it is nearly impossible to grow and failure of a different kind manifests, failure to progress or move forward. It is in our best interest to embrace curiosity as a means to learn and grow. Being curious doesn’t mean that we’re not good enough or that we don’t know enough. Rather it means that we’re interested in something we haven’t yet had much experience with. When we give ourselves permission to ask questions and be interested in new things, we’re setting the stage to develop and achieve even more goals. Some of the most successful and enjoyable people I’ve met are the ones who value learning and seek out opportunities to gain knowledge from others. I invite you to empower yourself and experiment with these new intentions to shift from a fixed to a growth mindset and to increase the ways you use your inherent strengths. Join me and embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow and start to feel more confident in your own skin today! 1. Create a daily routine that includes reciting positive affirmations that are focused on a



{ CONFIDENT { SHIFT+CONTROL IN YOUR OWN } SKIN } How many times has that fear crossed your mind? Your version may be, what if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t understand what I’m trying to say? What if I’m wrong? What if I look stupid?

growth mindset. Your affirmations may include: “When I fail, I learn and grow.” “My effort and attitude determine my success.” “I am able to learn anything I want to.” “I am open to challenging myself.” “I cultivate curiosity and am willing to ask questions.” Set reminders for yourself in your phone and calendar to repeat your growth mindset affirmations multiple times throughout the day. 2. Make a list of your top 10 strengths. Try not to overthink this, rather write down the first things that come to your mind that describe you. Some examples include: open-mindedness, gratitude, forgiveness, humor, persistence, spirituality, leadership or citizenship. These are things that come easily for you and that you already embody 152


each day. Once you have your top 10, circle 4 of your favorite or strongest strengths and write down how you’re already using them. Now that it’s crystal clear that you’re good at using these traits, brainstorm the other areas of your life these strengths could be applied. Make a list of specific actions you’ll take to use your best strengths in new ways. With every repetition of your growth mindset affirmations and with every new action using your inherent strengths, work on treating yourself with kindness and continuing to stretch and grow into your most authentic self. Every moment is an opportunity to make a conscious choice that gets us closer to achieving our goals. Let’s create an internal environment that supports that growth by being open to the

benefits of failure and to the benefits of trying new things with old skills. We each have within us the capability of achieving our goals by resetting our mindset to one that values our experiences and strengths and uses all of those to learn and grow. --

Meg Burton Tudman helps successful women who feel stressed and exhausted (yet are still striving for more!) master their mindset for a complete inner and outer transformation, that empowers them to live authentically and actually enjoy the life they’ve created for themselves. Click here for your free Reset Your Mindset Toolkit with 7 quick reset strategies, plus a weekly checklist. https:// www.megburtontudman.com/reset-your-mindset Website: https://www.megburtontudman.com/ Fa c e b o o k : h t t p s : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / MegBurtonTudmanCoach/ Private Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/ groups/confidentinyourownskin/

by Mark St. Germain


OCTOBER 6–21 The story of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, America’s favorite radio and television sex therapist. Starring Karin Bowersock at Dr. Ruth.


Oct 6

8 pm


Oct 7

2 pm


Oct 11

7 pm


Oct 13

8 pm


Oct 14

2 pm*

Thursday, October 18 - Pre-Show Event: Rochester Woman Online Diva’s Nite, 5-7pm


Oct 18

7 pm*


Oct 20

2 pm

Reserved Seats: $33 (JCC Member: $29) Students: $20


Oct 21

2 pm

SPECIAL EVENTS Thursday, October 11 - Post Show Discussion with Pebble Kranz, MD, FECSM

*Live Open Captioned Performance

CENTERSTAGE THEATRE at the JCC 1200 Edgewood Avenue | Rochester, NY 14618 (585) 461-2000 | www.jcccenterstage.org





Sometimes extraordinary things happened to ordinary people. Sometimes extraordinary people make things happen for ordinary people. In the case of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, both of those things are true.

of Bristol Valley Theater in Naples, NY. CenterStage Artistic Director Ralph Meranto selected Bowersock for the role. “We were both at a wedding for a pair of actors we had both knew.” Says Meranto. “I was watching her body language across the table and was reminded of her diminutive size and stature being similar to Dr. Ruth’s. I had seen Karin in performances before and knew her to be an incredibly gifted actress with a talent for accents, so I gave her the script to read and the project

blossomed from there.” Becoming Dr. Ruth is now a co-production between CenterStage and Bristol Valley and will make an appearance on BVT stage in Naples next summer. Becoming Dr. Ruth is the untold story of a remarkable woman who refuses to accept the status quo. See it on stage October 21-21 at CenterStage Theatre at the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Ave.

Becoming Dr. Ruth by Mark St. Germain OCTOBER 6-21, 2018


Saturday, October 6 at 8pm


Sunday, October 7 at 2pm


Thursday, October 11 at 7pm


Saturday, October 13 at 8pm


Sunday, October 14 at 2pm*


Thursday, October 18 at 7pm*


Saturday, October 20 at 8pm


Sunday, October 21 at 2pm

*Live Open Captioned Performance Special Events October 11 - Post Show Discussion: Because of Dr. Ruth...Trends in Sex Education, Therapy and Medicine with Pebble Kranz, MD, FECSM October 18 - Preshow Event: Rochester Woman Online Diva’s Nite: 5pm-7pm. More information at Rochesterwomanonline.com<https:// jccrochester.org/Rochesterwomanonline. com> Tickets at jcccenterstage.org. (585) 461-2000





Inspire Me to Walk to End Alzheimer’s® Alzheimer’s is a brutal disease. I can say this with the utmost certainty and conviction because my favorite person, my maternal grandfather, went through a difficult battle with Alzheimer’s disease that spanned the better part of a decade. Up until the end, he was “with it” enough to know that he wasn’t entirely “with it.” He was acutely aware of how many things he just couldn’t remember, which was incredibly frustrating for him. It was also heartbreaking for my family. We felt just as powerless in the situation as he did. When my Papa passed away, there were only a few things of his that I asked for. The most important was a hardcover book of photos and memories that I made for him when I was 25, as a gift for his 86th birthday. For years after my Papa passed, it sat on a shelf in my living room, mostly collecting dust. I would occasionally notice the picture of us together on the cover, and smile but I hadn’t actually read any of the memories in a very, very long time. That all changed when I got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association earlier this year. Becoming an Alzheimer’s Association volunteer has inspired me to think of my Papa a lot more often than I might otherwise, and my photo book “The Things I’ll Never Ever Forget” has since been dusted off and given a new meaning. I think it’s worth 156


sharing a few excerpts of what I wrote almost ten years ago. The first page reads, “My Dearest Papa, I am so incredibly happy and so very thankful to have you here with us for an 86th year. As your long, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s makes it harder and harder for you to remember, I wanted to share a few things that I will never forget.” Turn the page and you’ll see a photo of my

Papa with his wife, my beautiful grandma, who passed away 15 years before he did. I wrote, “I will never, ever forget the way you looked at Grandma. Your admiration and love for her was always obvious to me, even when I was a little girl. As I begin to think about marriage more and more and prepare to choose the man I will spend the rest of my life with, I can only hope to find someone who looks at me the way you looked at her.” A few pages later, you’ll find my firsthand

account of the worst interpretation of Italian food I’ve ever tasted. I would say regrettably tasted, but the truth is, I’d eat 100 more servings of the blue-cheese lasagna my Papa made for me if it meant I got to spend a little more time with him. Flip again and you’ll get to a picture of my Papa with his arm around me, at my college graduation. We’re both beaming but, looking back, I think he may have been more proud of me than my parents. You see, my Papa was brilliant but he left school when he was a teenager to work in the coal mines. He never had the opportunity to finish high school or go to college. Ensuring I had that opportunity was always a top priority for him. On the opposite page I wrote, “I will never ever forget the unconditional support you provided when I went away to college. The financial support you offered made my education possible and your constant words of encouragement kept me motivated. Your amazing generosity and selflessness are nothing short of incredible. You helped me open so many doors and I will be forever grateful.” There are many other memories I shared in that book that wouldn’t mean a lot to you but each of them means the world to me. I closed my gift with the following message, “I will never ever forget how much you have taught me about life, about love, and about happiness. You teach by example and I truly



believe that many of my best qualities are a direct result of being your granddaughter. I wanted to share these things with you now, as we celebrate another year of you. I realize that words will never be able to express my love, my gratitude, and my sincere admiration for you but I thought I should try. Happy Birthday with Love, Elizabeth Anne” Reading these passages now, I pick out words I would change. I think of memories I regret not sharing, and I wish that I had been a better writer then. Now, that I am a better writer, I don’t feel that I said what I wanted to say quite as well as I could 158


have. Regardless, I am glad I shared those memories when my Papa could still read them. And he did read them – often. I believe that, in a lot of ways, having a good life simply means being able to look back on a collection of happy memories. Unfortunately, until we find a cure for Alzheimer’s, there will be a lot of people, like my Papa, who may need help remembering theirs. Every time I see that book on my living room shelf, I feel more connected to my Papa and more motivated to be a part of the efforts to find a cure. It’s terrifying to think that someone in the United States

develops Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds and as many as 16 million Americans are expected to be living with the disease by the year 2050. That is why I’m participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, October 20. There are far too many people who can’t remember and countless people who love a person who can no longer recall the memories they have shared. That is something I will never ever forget. Please join me in registering to Walk so, together, we can take the steps to a world without Alzheimer’s.

Join the world’s largest fundraiser to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Register today at alz.org/walk. Canandaigua: Oct. 6 at Granger Homestead Elmira: Oct. 13 at Eldridge Park Rochester: Oct. 20 at Frontier Field

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3/9/2018 2:35:25 PM



Today’s major cruise lines are introducing new innovations, technology and amenities to bring their ships into the 21st century and beyond. With the integration of unique culinary dining options, an exciting array of entertainment choices and modern technology they have created a more personalized and dynamic experience for their guests. With seven new cruise ships debuting in 2018, these are a far cry from the cruise ships of yesterday. If you haven’t cruised in a while you might be surprised by how much these ships have changed and the new features they now offer. These new capabilities are not just on the new ships, as many older ships are being renovated and updated. Cruise lines are continuing to, not only create bigger and better ships but to, incorporate new and innovative experiences at sea. Many cruise lines have introduced celebrity chef restaurants onboard to give passengers a more elevated culinary experience. These specialty restaurants run the gamut from multi-course gourmet offerings, like 150 Central Park, on Royal Caribbean, with locally-sourced menus developed by James Beard and award-winning Chef Michael Schwartz and Share by Curtis Stone, a six-course fine dining experience on Princess Cruises to casual fare from Guy’s Burger Joint, by Guy Fieri on Carnival Cruises and Jamie’s Italian by James Oliver, on Royal Caribbean. If you are looking for seafood, there are many choices like Ocean Blue on Norwegian by Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian and Silk Road by renowned chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa on Crystal Cruises. 160


The cruise lines haven’t stopped with just updating their dining experience onboard. They have continued to transform the way we are entertained and the many activities available onboard with modern and innovative technologies. Many of the major cruise lines have introduced new and exciting experiences that appeal to both young and old alike. With the introduction of the Oasis and Quantum class ships, Royal Caribbean is

arguably, the leader in new experiences at sea. They have introduced many cruise ship first’s like Flow rider, their surfing simulation, rock climbing walls, Ripcord by iFLY, a skydiving simulator, Two70 a cutting edge theater that transforms floor to ceiling windows into an ultra-HD screen more than 100 feet wide and 20 feet tall , bionic bartenders, Aqua theater, SkyPad, a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, and SeaPlex a space onboard that converts from a roller skating rink, to bumper cars, to a circus school and then back to a full

size basketball court depending on the day. Many other cruise lines are also updating their activity and entertainment choices onboard. Norwegian Cruise line boasts the largest go-cart race track at sea, an Aqua park featuring Free Fall the fastest waterslide at sea, Walk the Plank, an adrenalin rush walk down a narrow plank suspended over the ocean, bowling at sea, and the Sports Complex, featuring a three-story ropes course. Carnival has introduced several new activities: Skyride, a pedal-powered go-mobile suspended high above the top deck, Waterworks with side by side racing water slides, and SkyCourse, an exhilarating ropes course. MSC offers passengers innovative design in their wide boardwalk promenade on MSC’s Seaview, Slideboarding, a slide and video game mashup, a bowling alley and one of the longest zip lines at sea. Celebrity Edge features a “Magic Carpet” a tennis courtsized multipurpose platform that climbs up and down the outside of the ship’s hull creating a unique expanded veranda. At the top of the ship it becomes Dinner on The Edge a 90-seat dining venue. When on deck 2 it serves as a boarding station for Edge Launch tender boats. As the cruising industry has tried to keep up with today’s digital age, they are transforming their ships to handle the ever-increasing demand for newer technology onboard. Most cruise lines have incorporated many current technologies to appeal to an endless array of new and existing passengers. ‘ High tech services are being introduced



{ CRUISIN WITH RWO } “If you haven’t cruised in a while you might be surprised by how much these ships have changed and the new features they now offer. These new capabilities are not just on the new ships, as many older ships are being renovated and updated.”

by all four major cruise lines, Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises. Each are now launching apps or wearables that will greatly improve the whole cruising experience. Carnival Corporation has introduced “medallion”, a wearable, quarter-sized disc that is personalized with each passenger’s name and sailing date. Medallion uses geo-location services to sense where a guest is onboard. Medallion can unlock your stateroom door as you approach, have your personal photos appear on a digital photo wall and allow a server to bring you a drink after ordering it from your smart phone anywhere on the ship. 162


Royal Caribbean & Norwegian both have apps that will offer many similar services with Royal Caribbean’s using facial recognition which will be partnered with their WOW band, similar to Disney’s Magicbands. MSC Cruises is using a little bit of all these new technologies, with an app, interactive screens around the ship and a wearable with geo-location connected to the app. Many of these new apps and wearables will streamline the process of embarking and disembarking the ship, allow guests to make dinner reservations, purchase excursions and drink packages. All these new technologies will create a much more relaxed and personalized experience by reducing the need to wait in long lines.

Guests can be relaxing pool side while making reservations for dinner or booking an excursion for the next day. As cruise lines continue to try and out-do each other, the future of cruising may look a lot different than today. So whether you are an adventurer looking for new thrills, a fun-loving family, a foodie searching for new culinary delights or a couple wanting a romantic getaway, new innovations and experiences onboard will continue to keep you coming back for more.


Carol Montevecchio Land& Sea Specialist Dream. Explore. Discover. 585-310-2220 Carol.Montevecchio@cruiseplanners.com • www.DreamEasyTravel.com www.facebook.com/cruiseplannerscarolmontevecchio FLST# 39068 • CST# 2034468-50 • HST# TAR-7058 • WAST# 603-399-504



6 Reasons Your Brand Needs Professional Photography AN IMAGE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS. Visual communication is important in any business, and it’s what really helps to sell a service or product, or helps tell the story of your brand. For that reason, photography is becoming more and more important, especially when marketing your brand. Research has shown that visuals can increase your audience’s willingness to continue reading your content by 80%, so here are 6 other reasons why photography matters: 1. PHOTOGRAPHS GRAB ATTENTION FASTER Text is great, but it takes quite a long time for people to read a caption, an about page, or a pretty Instagram quote. Researches in the US found that the human brain can interpret images that the eyes see in just 13 milliseconds – a rapid processing speed. Ultimately, when it comes to marketing your business, your brand photography is going to grab the attention a lot faster, so it needs to attract prospects for the right reasons, as well as being memorable. 2. PHOTOGRAPHY INCREASES ENGAGEMENT As visuals are a lot easier to consume than long bodies of text, photographs are extremely effective when used for social media. Campaigns that use images generate more engagement on social networks than campaigns without. By sharing strong brand visuals online, you’ll improve your reach and set your photography apart from competitors. 3. PHOTOGRAPHS EVOKE EMOTIONS Do your visuals convey the emotion that you want them to? Photography is a powerful tool for evoking emotions in consumers. Use darker, more contrast-y light: you’ll get something moody. Use a really light, bright room: happiness. Lots of blues: tranquility. When it comes to buying your products or services, they often let emotion influence 164


{ STRATAGEM } An image is worth 1,000 words. Visual communication is important in any business, and it’s what really helps to sell a service or product, or helps tell the story of your brand.

their decision-making, and are more likely to part with their cash for a brand with strong visuals. Your photography should match the tone of your brand; whether that’s comical, emotive or formal, it’s important your visuals portray the same. 4. PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY C R E AT E S A F AV O R A B L E IMPRESSION First impressions are important – especially in business. If your brand photography looks professional and established, consumers will believe that your brand is one they can trust. This in turn leads to strong, valuable relationships and an increase in sales. But photography can also create the opposite effect. Bad quality imagery results in a harder time earning loyalty and trust. 5. PHOTOGRAPHY IMPROVES UNDERSTANDING Photographs can really help your target audience understand your brand better by communicating what your brand is about, your brand’s tone, what your services or products are, and what your overall message is. 6. PHOTOGRAPHS CAN GO VIRAL As visuals perform better on levels of engagement on social media, they are also more likely to go viral if your audience shares it online with different communities and on different social channels. Going viral helps to build brand credibility, brand awareness and customer loyalty. Photography really does have the power to improve your brand’s credibility and really make a positive impact on your audience – so, get snapping now! Looking for high quality photography? Visit us at www.followstratagem.com or call us at 585-204-7974 to set up a FREE photography consultation. Let us help you tell the story of your brand.



M 168




6 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT HOME BUYING & MORTGAGE RATES Buying a home can be frustrating and intimidating, especially if you’re relying on advice from friends and family members who purchased their homes years ago. I recommend turning to a professional instead if you want the home of the dreams and affordable mortgage rates. Financing a home is a complex process that depends on professional insight and accurate information. Unfortunately, buyers are surrounded by pervasive myths and misunderstandings on almost every aspect of the industry, from negotiating a sale to securing the best mortgage rates. Today I’d like to debunk 6 of the most common myths surrounding home financing. With these tips, homebuyers will have a much more pleasant experience, with as few complications as possible! If you’re in the market for a home, you might have heard a few of the following myths:


MYTH #1: Find a Home First Some people might tell you to find the home you’re looking for first. After all, how else will you know you’re really serious until you find a property you love? Unfortunately, you might get your heart set on something, only to find that you don’t qualify or someone else can make a higher offer. Your best bet is to apply for pre-approval instead. With a Pre-Approval from Premium Mortgage, not only will you have an understanding of how much you can afford, but you will show credibility to real estate agents, who will want to know that you are serious about purchasing, and can qualify for financing.

MYTH #2: Go For a Longer-Term Loan While the monthly payments for a 30-year loan may be lower, you’ll almost certainly wind up paying more for your home in the long run. Another option is to go for a 15-year

fixed-rate loan if you can afford the monthly payments. There are dozens of mortgage programs available, and everyone’s situation is different. Talking with a professional loan originator such as myself will help determine the term that’s best for your own unique circumstances. Give me a call to learn more!

MYTH #3: You Need to Put 20% Down Of course, the more you can put down on your home, the better, as your monthly payments will go down and you’ll end up paying less in interest over the life of the loan. But sometimes a 20% down payment is simply impossible, especially if you live in a hot market with steadily climbing property values. Fortunately, some lenders such as Premium Mortgage will offer mortgages with as little as 3% down, and there are even a few products that require no down payment! Give me a call – there are a number of home financing programs with a multitude of options for down payment. Your options might surprise you!

MYTH #4: A Down Payment is the Only Up-Front Expense Buying a home involves a long list of costs and fees, which may amount to thousands of dollars. For instance, you may be liable for the closing costs — which could be as much as 2-5% of the purchase price — as well as the home appraisal, processing, underwriting, and variety of additional expenses. I’d be happy to sit down with you and go over your individual circumstances, so that you have a better understanding of what your closing costs might be.

MYTH #5: You Need Excellent Credit While this may be the case for securing a traditional loan, FHA loan programs, for example, offer homebuyers with less-thanperfect credit a chance to invest in their futures and allow you to start with a much lower down payment. Also note, your credit score is can be improved over time with the proper steps taken. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018


! From the first time homebuyers just starting out, to experienced homeowners refinancing or upsizing, each individual’s circumstances are unique and require special attention to meet their needs.

MYTH #6: You May Skip The Inspection In short, while it is not mandatory, we never recommend for a buyer to waive the home inspection. Purchasing problems you don’t know about could wind up costing you thousands of dollars to fix in the not-so-distant future, easily offsetting the few hundred dollars you save waiving the inspection. Don’t take shortcuts! You will be a lot better off, and with much less stress if you take my advice and go ahead with the home inspection before you purchase! _____ Now that we’ve busted these common myths, I trust that you’ll go into the home buying process with more confidence, better information, and

the professional resources you need to make the process as easy (and affordable) as possible! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced investor, I am committed to helping you secure the financing you need. As I mentioned earlier, a Pre-Approval from Premium Mortgage is the best place to get started, and it’s totally free! To learn more about our services and current mortgage rates, call give me a call at (585) 314-8511, or visit our website to find your nearest location and apply for a loan: www.premiummortgage.com. You can also connect with me on Facebook (/ MtgageGirl ) and Twitter (@MTGAGEGIRL)

Phyllis Haberer (@MTGAGEGIRL on Twitter) Senior Loan Officer | NMLS# 58078 (585) 241-0000 x104 Premium Mortgage Corporation 2541 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14618 Equal Housing Lender | NMLS# 3254 | Licensed Mortgage Banker NYSDFS


Autumn Find out why

is a great time to puchase a new home! At the end of the summer, the real estate industry gets a swift breath of life. And with only a couple short months before the snow hits, buyers had better be prepared to act fast. Start by giving me a call. I’m happy to help safely guide you on this journey toward home ownership.

The Local Expert in Home Financing

Phyllis Haberer Senior Loan Officer | NMLS#58078

C: 585.314.8511 D: 585.363.7087 O: 585.241.0000 x104






2541 Monroe Ave. Rochester NY 14618 | Equal Housing Lender | Licensed Mortgage Banker NYSDFS | NMLS#3254 Premium Mortgage Corporation does not intend to solicit business away from other mortgage banking professionals. If you are currently working with another mortgage banking professional, this communication is not intended for you. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018



Finger Lakes Mediation BY MICHAELE C. GANTZ

I have always been a “people person” and enjoy individuals from varied backgrounds and experiences. I was a transplant from the west coast to New York State as a small child, and grew up on my family’s horse farm in Williamson. Music and horses were always my passion and summers were often spent showing my beautiful Arabian horses. I studied flute at the Eastman and while in high school started the beginning flute students prior to their forth grade year. My daughter is carrying on my love of both horses and the flute. My work involvement has offered me the opportunity to assist people often in times of their greatest need or crisis. My degree in Psychology certainly was put to use in my first job after graduation a s a Ps yc h i a t r i c Technician in an inpatient psych facility. In facilitating group therapies, flexibility and compassion was always necessary. My responsibilities also included working with the doctors in establishing treatment plans for the patients. My sincere concern for people was put to the test on a number of occasions as at times the setting could became quite volatile. My love of horses grew into a business and ownership of my own horse farm. I studied dressage and was blessed to have found and purchased a phenomenal Morgan stallion, Master Suite. For 16 years I managed a Morgan breeding program, a training barn and taught beginner through advanced riding students. The farm was always 172


well represented at Morgan horse shows throughout the Northeast and it gave me great joy and fulfillment to see my students excel in the show ring and fulfill their dreams. I served as president of the Newark Rotary, was on the board of Newark Fest and was a campaign coordinator for United Way. I taught Anger Management for the courts and was asked for two years to teach Conflict Resolution at the regional level for Rotary. These experiences gave me the opportunity

to “give back” to the community which I have always felt was an important thing to do. It gave me an even greater desire to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2010 I established Finger Lakes Mediation after making the difficult decision to sell the farm. All my experiences dealing with people from all avenues made helping others through mediation a natural fit. I firmly believed in the mediation concept and I found that there was a need in the

tri-county area for more mediators. During the training process, I realized that this was a tremendous way to assist people to resolve conflicts without their going through litigation and the lengthy court process. I received training in divorce, custody and visitation and community mediation in 2010, and am available for any family, business or divorce issues. I’m certified to mediate for any court in the 7th Judicial District and also have a private practice with offices in Victor and Brighton. The mediation process usually takes 4 to 5 sessions during which the clients arrive at agreements on all aspects of their divorce or dispute. It is definitely a kinder and less threatening method than litigation. I guide my clients through the decision making process and make sure they have access to the legal information they may need. My clients feel empowered because they are the ones making the final decisions. I have developed a range of acceptable and appropriate compromises while negotiating which eases my client’s experience and saved them valuable resources. I focus the discussions to define the issues and then explore fair settlement options. I remain neutral throughout the resolution and have true compassion for the emotional turmoil the clients may be experiencing. When a divorcing couple have children, especially young children, I go over the “Children’s Bill of Rights” with them. The Custody and Visitation agreements must

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } I have always been a “people person” and enjoy individuals from varied backgrounds and experiences. I was a transplant from the west coast to New York State as a small child, and grew up on my family’s horse farm in Williamson.



{ SHIFT+CONTROL } The mediation process usually takes 4 to 5 sessions during which the clients arrive at agreements on all aspects of their divorce or dispute. It is definitely a kinder and less threatening method than litigation.

just a fraction of what a litigated settlement would cost, is faster and certainly less combative. Upon completion of the mediation process, my clients are given a Memorandum of Understanding which is notarized and then, in the cases of a divorce, submitted to the courts in order to obtain a final Divorce Decree. My clients have said: “I found Michaele to have both common sense and wisdom to help people navigate through sticky personal times in their lives. The feedback that she gave me helped dramatically reduce the stress of the situation with a very positive outcome. Michaele is a great listener, asks fantastic questions and ultimately will help you with your situation. I 174


highly recommend her to any person who is in need of mediation services.” - Greg “Finger Lakes Mediation took a very vulnerable time in my life and reframed it into an experience that focused on support and empowerment. At the end of it all, though some discussions were difficult, I walked out of Michaele’s office feeling heard and that my spouse and I were both in the drivers seat of our divorce. Michaele remained neutral and supportive to us both ensuring that we both would be successful individuals at the end of our divorce. Her experience in psychology and social work was evident in her ability to mediate the conversation between my spouse and I enabling us to hear each other

and remain productive towards our goals. She has a clear understanding of not only the law but of human behavior and relationships that provided not only an outlet to accomplish our divorce, but an opportunity to be counseled and walk out of there with mutual respect of each other.” - Jen I welcome anyone dealing with a family, neighbor or business dispute, or facing a divorce to contact me at 585-750-6530. I look forward to working with you and easing what may otherwise be a difficult situation.



Have you ever had one of those moments where you thought you couldn’t take it any longer? Where you’ve just had enough? Received devastating news or suffered a debilitating injury? Most of us have. We’ve survived. Sometimes only by a heart string. Imagine, then the 12 boys and their 25 year old coach visiting a tourist spot in a cave in Thailand when suddenly, the rain became so intense that they couldn’t leave. In fact they were forced to move further and further into the depths of the cold dark cave. The rains didn’t stop. The waters rose.

out. It was a silent retreat located 8,000 feet high in the mountains of Pagosa Springs. Praying for the boys’ survival became part of our 12 day training. At the time, no one was aware that the 25 year old coach had been a Buddhist monk. Now, in retrospect I realize what a coincidence that was! Of course, you didn’t need to be at a spiritual retreat to close your eyes and send loving prayers to the boys. The world was on it.

For 18 days they were stranded. With no food or water. Here’s what they did have. A young coach who knew how to quiet the mind. He taught the boys how to meditate. “Ekapol (name of coach) helped keep the boys breathing and emotionally balanced during the crisis, and also readied them for their hours-long treacherous escape guided by expert cave divers. In the process, he also gave them vital tools they needed — specifically, teaching them how to tap into their own tranquility and inner stillness. He taught them how to keep themselves calm; a minor but magnificent distinction.” Thai soccer coach meditated with boys to calm them in the cave. We can all learn from them. The Washington Post July 11, 2018 I was at Tara Mandala, a Tibetan Retreat Center in Colorado when the news broke 176


How do you survive? To what means? How creative can you be? How ruthless must you be? What do you value? What do you do?! Meditate. Yes! This is truly a decision I can swear by. Because once we are ‘out of our heads’ meaning out of the possible storylines of what if’s, we can start to breathe again. Begin to trust. Move more slowly, deliberately. Calmly. This is truly what it means to stay steady in the midst of the storm. While this is an extreme circumstance, one that most individuals or corporations only hypothesize, it is a wake up call to all of us. How do we manage stress? Extreme circumstances? Overwhelm? Getting lost? I Got Lost In Hong Kong This is a perfect segway into my really true - no lie - experience of getting lost in the rural regions of Hong Kong just 7 months ago. And yet, here I am to speak of it!

From the US to Europe to Asia, people flooded in to help this soccer team survive. And, thank God & Goddess, they did! Here’s the thing. What would you do if you were stranded in a cave for an unknown length of time. With no water. No food. And no real certainty that help was on its way? This is a classic survival skill exercise used in team-building workshops and retreats for corporations and business organizations. What do you do? Who lives? Who doesn’t?

I was traveling with my husband to Hong Kong. A beautiful place! Although breathing was difficult. The smog was more than I could handle, and by the end of our 2 week journey, I was hoarse with laryngitis. That’s not the story I want to tell, however. I’ve always been one for adventure, so, I decided to explore the city. Truly there was only one place I wanted to visit, and that was called the ‘Big Buddha’. An elaborate setting of a buddhist monastery hosting one of the biggest buddha statues ever built. I asked the concierge how to get there. Several hundred dollars by cab, but only


a couple bucks by bus & subway. I was a NYC girl. Give me a subway map and I’ll be all set. There were no subway maps but I wrote down the lines. M4 to C7 to L5 …. or something like that. More like, ‘take the bus out front till it stops and get on the subway when you get there and hop on the Buddha bus’.

Yes. Meditation helped me here. To trust, to be aware, to make it back safely. To be aware and see the beauty in every step. So much so, that I decided to try it again. this time with a tourist group that took us door to door. Perfect! I thought.

What was I thinking?!

The tourbus made an impromptu stop at a remote Fisherman’s Village. I wasn’t prepared for this but got off the bus and ventured out. Eventually, the sun began to set and I realized that I didn’t recognize anyone. And NO ONE spoke English. The bus was gone. I was alone.

I made it there, eventually, realizing that English was not the commercial language and was not spoken by many if any, and that most signs were also in Chinese. But I followed the crowd and found my way from bus to train to bus again. And then, there it was. The most beautiful statue I had ever seen since visiting the Vatican. 200 steps climbing and I was at the top. All was well. I even made it home backtracking every step.



But then …. there was a detour.

I breathed. I backtracked. I stayed calm. No one answered my calls. No taxis in sight. I used all of my senses. And alas I found a bus terminal. Scanning the crowd I noticed a young adult. “Do you speak English?”

“A little.” “Will this bus take me to the train station?” “Yes.” And 3 hours later I was back, in the dark, happy to have made it to my hotel. Breathing. Calmly. With gratitude. Alana Cahoon is a Creative Coach with a Holistic Approach, guiding professionals in transition, leadership & entrepreneurship. Her signature program, ‘Mindfulness for Professionals’ trains the mind to achieve calm, clarity and balance. Her group program, ‘Body Mind Connection’ provides a holistic approach to weight loss and body image. She teaches meditation, reiki and yoga. Alana can be reached at (585) 953-0503 - alana@ alanacahoon.com - www.alanacahoon.com.

Grow 2 B U, LLC

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Leading professionals to bring balance, joy & prosperity to their lives Alana Cahoon Creative Coach with a Holistic approach



Hello Hello Everyone! Long time no talk! To all of you who have been following my column from the get-go will know I was expecting a baby end of July. For folks who are just tuning in this month, I will give you a quick rundown! Originally Kelly (the fabulous editor of RWM) had me writing a column about health and fitness and then when I found out I was expecting my first child we changed it to “Crazy, Fit & Pregnant” where I documented my pregnancy and how I continued my healthy lifestyle. Now I am excited to announce that my husband and I were blessed with a gorgeous healthy baby girl July 21st, 2018!! Mina Elizabeth graced us with her presence and we have been infatuated with ever since. Therefore, I have decided to change the title of my column once again to now “Diary of a Crazy Fit Mama” OH My God Motherhood! Where do I start? Holy Moly I do not have enough space to even hit the surface about what being a mom is all about, so I will just touch on a few things. For starters- you change. Not just your body but your mind and soul. Everything stops for this baby. You stare at her while she sleeps because you just can’t turn away. The sun, the moon and the stars revolve around this little one and honestly, I would not want anything else. I would not want a nanny to take care of her at night no matter how sleepless my nights have been. I don’t want anyone holding her for too long because she is not in my arms at that time. It’s a crazy beautiful obsession. You are love sick. For once I am not love sick over a man but over my baby girl. Anyways enough about baby snuggles and staring at your baby like a creep; we need to talk health here!!! When I say health I am not just talking about crunches and cardio, I mean mental health. You need to take care of yourself just as much as your baby. If you are breastfeeding, you need to be extra careful and really pay attention to eating enough healthy food and taking your prenatal vitamins. You need to

make sure you are getting enough nutrients to keep producing milk for that tiny human. AND even if you’re not breastfeeding, you are still healing inside and out and need to pay attention to your body at this crucial time. Here are a few tips I recommend that I should also need to constantly remind myself to follow!!


If you are tired please rest or try. If you can’t catch up on ZZZ’s at least lay down to relax to unwind and quiet your mind. If you have a partner that can take turns feeding the babytake advantage of it and nap whenever you can! You need to conserve energy because being a parent is a 24-7 gig! It never stops- weekends are not really weekends and sleeping in will be only a distant memory! I am learning to live on very little sleep but some days I struggle hardcore to keep my eyes open and try to throw a nap in here and there if possible to stay afloat.


You should eat healthy before you are pregnant, when you are pregnant and after the baby! Honestly you should always be eating healthy no matter what. Yes, it is something you have to constantly be aware of and there is never “a break from a healthy lifestyle.” Or. There shouldn’t be, but the rewards are endless. Living a healthy lifestyle gives you a clean mind and body as well as a sharp looking shape! You can’t go wrong with that-can you? Now to get back to what I was saying, you need to be aware of what you eat. Right now, more than ever. While breastfeeding, whatever you ingest will affect baby in some way shape or form-good or bad-mind you. I love spicy food but forgot who also would feel the effects when my husband surprised me with Indian food. With all that curry and spice the poor baby got diarrhea and I felt like the worst mom in the world!! But you live and learn and become even more aware of what you are putting in your body since the baby is now eating what you’re eating and she’s out of your tummy and experiencing the outside world!


All I wanted to do was get back into my old workout routine, my favorite jeans and just my old life as soon as I could, but the doctor says you need to wait at least 6 weeks to get back to your normal grind-kinda sorta. Ultimately life as you know it will never be what it was or “back to normal” sort of speak, but at the same time- you wouldn’t want it to be because of this little angel you have. SOOO 6 weeks till sex or any strenuous activity to give your body time to properly heal, sounds like a hell of a long time, right? Before I couldn’t have imagined no sex for 6 weeks or not being able to work out, but after having the baby I realized I needed that to rest; it was essential and if I didn’t abide by that, I would just prolong the time it would take to feeling like myself again. Everything hurt, and I did go to the gym a few weeks earlier doing light cardio and left sore knowing it was just a little too soon, therefore I didn’t go back till I got the A-OK by the doctor. I look forward to documenting this journey as I learn and grow as a mother. I hope I can inform folks and share my thoughts and experiences and possibly help anyone along the way. Being a parent is one of the most amazing things one could ever be. Creating the human was just the beginning and then growing it inside was another journey. But when this child comes into this world and it looks to you for every single thing, you come to realize how small your world was before he or she came along. How you thought that big job you had or promotion you got was the best thing but then come to find- most of that didn’t matter and now is what matters. This baby that you will embrace every second whom you will love, you will also mold into an adult one day. It is a huge responsibility that is really hard to comprehend and instead of even thinking it through, you just need to jump head first with your eyes closed and pray you’ll make it out with only a few cuts and bruises. Those cuts and bruises won’t show on the outside though, they will be on your heart. Much love to you all!! Tracy~

OH My God Motherhood! Where do I start? Holy Moly I do not have enough space to even hit the surface about what being a mom is all about, so I will just touch on a few things.



Matter is defined by Dictionary.com as “a particular kind of substance, something that occupies space, something of consequence, importance, or significance”. Importance and significance are powerful words. These words automatically convey strength, character, value. Yet why is it that too often, we feel small, insignificant, devalued, worthless? People, places, experiences can take a toll on our spirits and souls like a pair of shoes that walked many miles and are worn out. The critical voices in our own heads can judge, blame, and put us down. I was reading on Twitter there is an increase in people going to plastic surgeons because they want to change their features to look like their Snapchat filters. That feels sad, wrong and missing the point. of what is going on. If core values of feeling confident, valued, essential are not residing in your spirit and soul this will be a momentary fix. Changing your features will not put to peace how to feel about yourself. The real issue will linger, lurk, and haunt you. Taking positive action to improve your sense of self is a wonderful thing if a solid sense of self exists. If not these actions are often in vain. It’s time to get our matter on. Time to consistently be something of importance and significance. 182


“Cool Runnings” is a 1993 movie about the Jamaican bobsled team. This movie is based on the authentic story about the team going to their first Olympics. The bobsled team was in their third run (up until this point they had little support), yet everyone was coming around. So much excitement and cheering for the Jamaican’s. They got in their sled and were speeding along with an incredibly

fast time. All of a sudden you see a small bolt on the bobsled wriggling loose. This tiny bolt was holding together all the essential parts needed to steer the sled. The bolt came apart and the sled crashed. Not because of the runners or the steering mechanism. It crashed because of the bolt. Take a moment to think about what makes you matter, make a list of ten things. In

my experience as a therapist the hardest question for anyone to answer is when I ask them to tell me positive, wonderful qualities about themselves. When I ask them to tell me why they matter. A few years ago I struggled with how I mattered, how I had a meaningful voice in this world. It sucked! This challenging experience also became a gift and freed me. When I turned off and shut down the critical voices in my head and listened to my intuition, gut, spirit, soul a whole new world opened up for me. Changing my thinking changed my feelings. Listening to the inner voices of good, strength, and love gave me this inner sense of peace and calm. Every day I am grateful for the gifts this experience taught me. Perhaps you are struggling with how or why you matter. You can figure it out. You can change how you feel about who you are. Even when there are stressful, challenging things going on with you or your life you can take action. This is a power we all possess. It will require work and effort. Yet, like anything in life, the more you do the work the easier it gets. Think about the valued relationships in

You matter. You have a spirit, soul, personality and brain that only you can have. Your smarts, savvy, strength and passion are unique to you.

your life. Your parents, siblings, friends, children, coworkers, students, clients. How you nurture and support them when they are sad, unsure, lacking confidence. Do you empower and encourage? Tell them how incredible and amazing they are? That everything will be ok? That you have their back and support them while they work things out? I call this the best friend talk. This best friend talk you give to others is the same talk you need to be giving yourself. When you are criticizing yourself for your choices, appearance, or anything under the sun you need to be your very own remarkable best friend. The same guidance, positive, and strong affirmation you need to be telling yourself. Words we say to and about others 184


are reflections of who we are or want to be. The other day I was meeting with a young woman in her twenties. We have worked together for years and she shared with me an “aha” moment. In addition to our other work, I had been telling her to immerse herself in repetitive, consistent, positive, strength based, best friend, be kind to yourself thinking. I would explain how changing your thinking changes your feelings. She would roll her eyes (which always made us laugh), do something here and there, then tell me it didn’t work. Her “aha” moment was she got it. She understood what I was saying and the importance of doing the work. She recognized her personal power and value by becoming her own best friend. Focusing on changing her thinking thoughts about

herself to positive and strong empowered her feelings to follow along. She understood why she mattered. You matter. You have a spirit, soul, personality and brain that only you can have. Your smarts, savvy, strength and passion are unique to you. If you are struggling with how you matter work on it. Ask for help, do the work, fire the critic in your head, and get some peace. When you follow your heart life becomes easier. Your voice and presence is needed. Sometimes it’s not clear what part we have in our bobsled called life. What is crystal clear, is that every single, solitary part has a place and holds everything together.