RWO April 2022 Edition

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In This Edition...




Camille Conti


ARTISANworks… experience creativity Our unique venue creates a memorable experience for everyone. Choose from our 8 theme rooms to make your event perfect. We’ll take care of the details so you can enjoy the moment.

To find out more about our venue before you visit, call, text or email our event director to schedule a walkthrough. Jessica Pawlukewicz Cell 585.698.6240 Email



april edi






























WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Carrie Starr Dr Maria Karipidis








NEW IN THE ROC Neutral Ground Coffeehouse




















SHE HUSTLES TALKS Buffalo Bleached Rose Gabriele SpeakDance CNY Dana Edwards Colleen Commisso Shawntanique Coleman Andrea Scalici Michella Hand Robin Cortese Hope Brookshire












april edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }































“And just as the Phoenix rose from the ashes, she to shall rise. Returning from the flames clothed in nothing but her strength, more beautiful then ever before.”


IGHTS...CAMERA...ACTION! Announcing our amazing April 2022 Rochester Woman Online cover woman, Camille Conti!

Trademarked as New York’s Divine Channel, “Queen” of organic clean beauty, and a love and success coach, Camille can now add cover woman to her list of accomplishments. We are excited to be able to showcase all of her incredible accomplishments and business success along with her long lasting entrepreneurial spirit in our annual April women entrepreneurs edition. Read all about her amazing journey starting on page [18]. Let’s give a HUGE shout out to our amazing young cover woman for our SHE Hustles Talks special women entrepreneurs section, Hali Rockow the owner and creator of Buffalo Bleached!



On our annual April women entrepreneurs edition of Rochester Woman Online, we have Camille Conti as our latest cover woman photographed with her product line, Natural Image Care by Camille Conti at the beautiful Urban Euphoria located on 35 S. Washington St, Rochester NY by lead photographer Brody Wheeler. Hair by Tiffanie Tartaglia, owner of Salon Bella Vita and makeup by Camille Conti.

She is young, hustling in business, and has an incredible drive and story! A 24-year-old Rochester native, and as a full-time student at SUNY Brockport majoring in Public Health and Sociology, she started bleaching and tie-dyeing clothes for fun. A little over a year of doing business all online and hosting pop up events throughout Rochester, she made the jump to open her first brick and mortar store located in Greece. The rest is history! Be sure to check her out, along with over 10 other ladybosses featured in this edition starting on page [193]. We are also excited to announce some new additions to the team including Breast Cancer Confidence, the Sacred O, and Beauty Lies Within. We hope you continue to enjoy all of the amazing articles and women we bring to you each month. Want to join our amazing team? Contact us for more information at








Kelly Breuer Marisa Zeppieri Kelly Breuer Brody Wheeler Brody Wheeler L Shot Photography Michele Ashlee Laura Marino

Lindsay MC Photography M.A.P. Graphics Julie Oldfield

Dr Pam Denton Robin DeWind Bonnie Floyd Alana Cahoon Lisa Wagner Dr Jess Germano - Forkin Denise “Karma” Clifford Ellen Feldman Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Eric Farrow Dr Tunya Griffin Raquel Walker Christine Piacentino Michella Hand Marisa Powers Omenessa Akomolafe Tracy Simone Vincent DiGiorgio Marianne Warfle Amy Blum Krysle Ellis Rumella Cameron Shawntique Coleman

Marisa Zeppieri Camille Conti Sathya Callender Lisa Wagner Corrin Stellakis Stacey Cook Jena Lydia Dean Reese Robin Cortese Carrie Starr Melinda Thompson Tiffany Gray Dara Rennert Stephanie Ide Rose Gabriele Hali Rochow Diana Torba Marion Rodriguez Chevron Mason Michaela Raes Hope Brookshire-Hendricks

Kelly Breuer Sheila Young


Network Rochester


Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the Greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2022 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.



Trademarked as New York’s Divine Channel, “Queen” of organic clean beauty, and a love and success coach, Camille Conti can now add Rochester Woman Online cover woman to her list of accomplishments. We are excited to be able to showcase all of Camille’s accomplishments and business success along with her long lasting entrepreneurial spirit in our annual April women entrepreneurs edition.

across the globe including Amway, AAA, Artistry Skincare & Cosmetics, UPS, Hunt Real Estate and more. During these years, she appeared regularly on television as an expert and consultant when it came to “dressing for success”; it was a time when “business casual” was just emerging, and she helped others bring this new look into their

When you meet Camille Conti for the first time, prepare to be enamored with her lively, enthusiastic and charismatic presence. A strong woman raised in a Catholic middleclass background, who possesses many natural gifts and talents, Camille has been mak- ing her mark on the world from a young age. “My career in the beauty industry started from a young age, learning how to make organic beauty products right at home from my mother, a New York State licensed beautician,” she shares. “While attending college, I went to work for Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Paloma Picasso and Liz Claiborne to name a few as a model and top sales manager.” Using her experiences and knowledge, Camille’s first business, “Artistic Assets”, launched back in 1995 out of Buffalo, put her on the map and on people’s radar as a certified image, color and wardrobe expert and consultant, leading to many opened doors. She began speaking at the age of 25 for major brands and companies known 20


life and wardrobe in a way that worked for them. Holding a BA in Psychology and Communication from Canisius College in Buffalo NY, and naturally gifted in helping others learn how to showcase their “best self” when it came to styling and clothing, and skincare and makeup, it was clear to all that Camille had a knack for teaching others about non-verbal communication and how it isn’t just what is on our outer shell that

affects all of our relationships in life. Using these gifts, she began training with individuals and companies on communication techniques, personality training, achieving a productive and happy workplace by training employees to work with one another using the DISC Method, and also teaching “The Art of Closing the Sale.” USING HER MULTIPLE OF GIFTS FOR THE GREATER GOOD Continuing to move forward with her gifts, it was in 2000 when Camille started her cosmetics company, a result of an unexpected health crisis. Looking back on that time, she says, “Necessity is the mother of all inventions.” It didn’t take long for Natural Image Care LLC by Camille Conti to blossom and grow into an internationally respected and award-winning brand synonymous to healing, wellness and glamour. Together with her team at the time, Natural Image Care pioneered and invented one of the first certified organic skincare systems that repaired mild to severe skin issues and was, and still is today, unapologetically age defying. Camille describes this system as: “Life transforming head to toe, and inside and out.” She also adds, “I founded my clean beauty certified organic skincare and cosmetic company as a designer and inventor with many chemists and medical teams, and up to today, we continue to invent brand-new cutting-edge collections, including a


“I want to make sure that everybody is given a fair chance at personal success in life.”









{ COVER STORY } “Camille states that she uses the things that caused problems for them in the past, to become the strength and the courage in which they stand upon their platform for success.”

men’s collection which is coming soon.” And helping to transform lives through skincare, styling and makeup was just the start of it. Reflecting back to 2003, Camille shares: “I gave one of my favorite Keynote speeches alongside Jill Kelly (wife of Jim Kelly, former Buffalo Bills quarterback) at a church. We shared the lecture titled ‘Inner & Outer Beauty’ for the church’s women’s group.” It was an opportunity that allowed Camille to pour out her talents and knowledge with a group that was eager to learn. “Jill spoke about a woman’s inner beauty and how she found her perspective on life completely shifted after the birth of her son, Hunter. I spoke on the finishing touches of a woman’s beauty after she first has Christ’s love in her heart.” The experiences she was having in life were not only changing the lives of all the people she worked with, but simultaneously it was refining and growing Camille. At the time she spoke alongside Jill Kelly, she was a relatively new mother whose son was dealing with medical issues. His struggles led to some major shifting of perspectives on life for Camille. “Before my son was born, I had always taught that your first impression is everything and that we must dress for success in all moments,” she explains. “But raising my son, who had some skin issues, I began to teach people not to ‘judge a book by its cover’ and to give everyone an equal chance. People may have disabilities but

also have unique gifts and talents to offer, even though they may have differences from the mainstream. I like to refer to them as ‘twice exceptional’. It’s my desire to make sure that everybody is given a fair chance at personal success in life.” HELPING OTHERS GROW IN PERSPECTIVE AND LIFE About 10 years ago, as her training with individuals and companies involved not only on putting your best foot forward

style and image wise, but also how one’s inner desires, character and emotional/ mental state drives all of our relationships, she launched her coaching and healing business. Through the success of her private practice, Camille took it one step further about three years ago and founded the Camille Conti Agency thanks to the high demand from her clients who wanted to train under her and learn how to become a Certified Master Teacher Divine Channel NLP Life Coach.

Throughout her years coaching and training thousands of people, Camille shares, “I have learned that we must do the best that we can with what we have right now. I believe that we must not play the victim or make excuses for ourselves because we are simply self-sabotaging. Every disability can be overcome differently to create one’s notable victory.” Through her coaching and healing practice, Camille is known for helping people propel themselves from the life they are living right now and setting them on the journey to where they want to be, using their gifts and abilities to pull them forward. Speaking about her coaching techniques, she states, “We use things that caused problems for them in the past and transform these things to become the strength and the courage in which they stand upon their platform for success! If we can do better with our looks through the use of make-up, fashion and hairstyles, smiling, etc., then we definitely should take advantage of these. However, if we have a disfigured face or missing hair, limb, eyes, paralysis, or even mental health imbalances, we must highlight our assets and continue moving forward to be the best that we possibly can be in all moments. It’s vital to always look for the next right move, solution, teacher, coach, mentor, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “My career in the beauty industry started from a young age, learning how to make organic beauty products right at home from my mother, a New York State licensed beautician.”

program, and strategic plan that will help us achieve our goals.”

then can they manifest anything they choose to.”

When working with Camille, you can expect her to encourage you and teach you to move forward toward all of your goals through faith, not fear, as fear can paralyze and destroy so many goals. She tells her clients, “Love makes fear disappear.” And one of her favorite sayings on the topic of faith vs. fear is: Fear knocked on the door, faith answered, and no one was there.

HARNESSING HER FUTURE Building on the success of her previous endeavors, this married mother to a grown son who is now living away at college, and also mother to a cute 10-monthold puppy named Harley, decided to take her training and coaching abilities to the next level. Camille’s brand new signature course launched in 2021 titled, “Unleash your Fully Empowered Self

Nicknamed by her colleagues and clients for years as the “glass ceiling buster”, Camille shares, “My secret, that is not a secret, is that I teach people how to use their traumas, weaknesses, and difficult circumstances as their firm foundation to propel them forward to reach their highest levels of success.” She adds, “In the same token, I also teach people how to use their positive experiences, strengths, successes, and circumstances to pull them up higher and higher! When a woman or man is truly hungry for achieving their goals, has an intimate relationship with divine, uses everything that she/he has gone through and accomplished to her/his advantage, while operating in humility and compassion with the dominant intention for that which is in the highest and greatest good intentions for all parties involved, then they make no apologies, with a positive attitude and a confident mindset. Then, and only 26


& Happy Life,” which is showcased in her academy. The Academy of Divine Rich CEO TM has had over 25 certified graduates come through in its maiden voyage year from all across the globe. Anyone working with Camille, or just spending time with her in general, will quickly learn that Jesus Christ is the center point of the Conti Family and all they do. For anyone who is interested in working with Camille as their coach, she wants people to know: “I am a very driven individual, creating

high vibrational, up-to-date services and products, being in line with current market demands. It’s important to note that all clients and businesses are different, so our programs and products will be customized for that specific client, or for personal and business needs. I don’t do a cookie-cutter approach because one of the most significant things that’s important to remember is that people are seeking answers to problems. They’re stepping outside the status quo because they want to get to the bottom of what’s going on and move on quicker, get the answers they need, resolve whatever the issues may be, and move forward with a happy life and a successful business.” Today, the Camille Conti Agency offers “compassionate services” such as strategic planning, compassionate dissolutions, mediation, debt collection, business leadership, relationship reconnection, website building, product and service development, business branding and building, and personal and business coaching. “I am thrilled to provide an exciting, unconventional approach to problem-solving and getting to the core issues, all so that real solid progress can begin in someone’s life.,” she tells. “You start living your fulfilling life in divine order with your divine purpose (soul missions). Being a divine channel is a gift from God, and everybody can be one. However, not everybody awakens that part of themselves. My skills and abilities were awakened many years








“I am a very driven individual, creating high vibrational, up-to-date services and products, being in line with current market demands.”






COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “We’ve all had many failures; the key to success is through the failure. ”

ago with the untimely and early death of my younger sister when I was just 35 years old.” Throughout her life, Camille shares her inspiration has come from her sister and also her “mother, father, son, husband-wife, and even Estee Lauder, who started her cosmetic company from her backyard shed with her grandfather.” Having inspiration is key she believes, as it is needed to get through rough times personally or professionally: “We’ve all had many failures; the key to success is through the failure. Get right back up and work harder, and learn from those past mistakes, which everyone has had, whether in business or personal, and redirect yourself. Find out what went wrong, problem solve and move forward. This is what I can help you do,” she adds. Coaching someone through personal and professional struggles to help them achieve life goals is by no means, an easy feat. “I’ve been asked many times how you do what you do and not upset people. The answer to that question is that I do sometimes upset the apple cart. When I’m doing a divine channel and giving them the information that they per- mitted me to deliver, I engage them in wanting to problem solve, regardless of if they will feel uncomfortable or not. Most people want the information so they can feel better and move forward. I teach clients to be kind to themselves and receive, so they can be able to give,” shares Camille. “Being nice to yourself is a massive part of this. There are a lot of people who aren’t nice to themselves because they don’t feel they’re worthy of it, and as they receive the information

to improve their life, they eventually accept it and give it a chance, and they’re ecstatic with the results. At the end of the day, because they took the courage to take a chance on themselves, their experiences have greatly improved to have a better life.” When asked if her techniques or style of coaching changes depending on the person she is working with, Camilles shares: “Men and women are very different in their approach to asking for assistance in coaching them, whether personal or business. As a result of this difference, I handcraft programs to suit individual profiles, if need be, because it’s not one size fits all. I have a lot of men clients, women clients, married couples, corporate clients, groups, training seminars, and traveling speaking engagements all over the country, and more men are trusting themselves to get coaching, get to core issues, fall in love again, doing it right this time and attracting what works for them in their personal and professional lives.” Currently, Camille and her team are building CCN, the Camille Conti Network, which is a a group of entrepreneurs certified by her Academy of Divine Rich CEO by Camille Conti Agency. “Our brand ambassadors maintain their private practices, agencies, medical clinics, salons, spas, wellness centers, and all while working within our academy, receiving referrals from our network, appearing on The Camille Conti Show titled, ‘You Can Have It All with Camille Conti’ and or owning a Camille Conti franchise wellness clinic inspired by Aveda and Mary Kay Ashe.

This is where our franchisees provide the Divine Channel, NLP Life Coaching services and Exclusively Camille Conti Organic Skincare and Cosmetics, plus our other approved services and products.” Franchises are for sale with sales incentives for approved applicants (including 9 months of training, business materials, and ongoing bonuses and training). ENJOYING LIFE TO THE FULLEST When it’s time for rest and relaxation, Camille and her family enjoy a wide variety of activities including going to the spa, water sports, bicycle riding, family nature walks, tropical vacations, celebrating family and friends, and being culinary artists and foodies. “If you attend a Camille Conti event, you can be sure to be fed some good food,” she laughs. “I also love going to new cities and speaking when they don’t know what to expect. Live new audiences are fun, edge of your seat, repeat crowds are exhilarating with the noise of excitement because they know they’re going home with a fantastic experience at the end of the show. It’s great to see repeat audiences bring new people and get them all charged up with the knowledge they are about to encounter.” When she talks about the enjoyment and fulfillment she gets from helping others, she states, “I enjoy being New York’s Divine Channel and motivational speaker, seeing how people light up and being able to help them right there, in real time. It brings me much joy to do God‘s work.” When asked what she means by doing God’s work, Camille shares a ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, Philippians 4:13.”

a heartfelt story: “I promised God that I would make it my life‘s mission to help build his Kingdom, if He helped me heal my son when he was very sick as an adolescent. He has smashed many glass ceilings that doctors never thought he would be able to. Hence a miracle, and I have kept my word to God as He kept his word to me, and as a result, our companies thrive.” As for her greatest accomplishment or busness succesc, Camille says, “I launched my Camille Cosmetics brand by designing it in our first signature boutique spa, formerly the Chanel store in the Prime Outlets Mall in Niagara Falls, NY in 2002. This is the blueprint for our franchises. As a result of our spa presence, we were invited onto the shopping networks that were broadcast nternationally. I have to say that I’ve had several outstanding and memorable experiences in my career, however, being invited on QVC has probably been has been my most educational, rewarding, and empowering experience. We sold out in the US and in Canada on TSC, and then on the Canadian Shopping TV Network with my certified organic, clean beauty skincare and cosmetic collection every time 32


we were on. Now we are launching our own unique shopping network, CCN: Camille Conti Network with our franchisees participating and benefiting from our 22 years of experiences and methodical groundwork. She ends with, “I have always loved this mantra: You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you,

1. April 15 and 16, 2022: Unleash Your Fully Empowered Self and Happy Life (Ticket needed. Available at camillecontiagency/608051 2. April 24, 2022: Camille is the Keynote Speaker at the Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo (Free), being held at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse, NY. For more info, pull these events up on Facebook on a Camille Conti page. 3. You can also find the “You Can Have It All with Camille Conti,” her podcast, and “Dear Camille,” monthly column in several online women’s publications, along with course, classes, and private sessions. Visit www.CamilleConti. com

Philippians 4:13. I am confident, and I am resilient because I know in my heart of hearts that I am doing the right thing, and I keep moving forward and up in all that I do by the grace of God.” Contacting Camille and Registering for Future Events: Upcoming events this month include:

4.) Hire Camille as the Keynote Speaker for your group or event by emailing your inquiry to her directly at camille@camilleconti. com 5.) Apply to enroll in our training and coaching or purchase a Camille Conti franchise at




COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “What some would consider barriers; we see as opportunities to guide someone to a better platform in life instead of that dark energy that’s unhealthy for humanity.”






Event Coordinator & Host Kelly Breuer is the networking queen. She is an innovator, entrepreneur, workhorse, and master of re-invention. She has founded several successful businesses and is currently the publisher of three online women’s magazines, and soon to be launching 2 more this year. “I’ve been busting my a** for years,” Kelly says, chuckling. During that time, she has grown Rochester Woman Online to over 300 pages a month, launched the bi-monthly Central New York Woman Online, created a special section in the magazines featuring female entrepreneurs called She Hustles Talks with LIVE video feed for social media – and, now even a new platform called the Influential Woman which includes Expos, 40


LIVES, online publications and much much more to come. Her readership is upward of 100,000 subscribers across all platforms – social media, web, email, YouTube, email marketing and coming soon, podcasts. “I am responsible for all the sales, customer service, editing, layout and design, keeping the websites updated, the uploads that take hours…I work at least 70 hours a week. But, I love what I do and inspiring others, especially women.” The eldest of two children, she grew up in the small town of Geneva in New York’s Finger Lakes area. From the beginning, with her grandmother as a role model, she learned early on to appreciate hard work and the independence it could bring. As a young girl, Kelly performed children’s voiceovers on the local radio

station, babysat, and worked for Carvel Ice Cream throughout her middle and high school years. She set herself the goal of owning her own business by the time she reached 40. An overachiever, she started her first business at age 32. With a degree in graphic design and photography from Alfred University, she started her career working in advertising and printing, then moved on to Xerox, where she worked in the Industrial Design and Human Interface Department for several years. Even working for a large corporation, she showed her talent as an innovator and now holds more than 15 patents with Xerox. “I always try to think outside the box,” Kelly asserts. “I like to be forward-thinking and ahead of the game. If you’re not able to pivot when things don’t go your way and get creative, especially RIGHT NOW, you won’t stick around.”

FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”


Calling… and more!

ANNOUNCING OUR FABULOUS KEYNOTE SPEAKER for Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo, Camille Conti who will be Speaking on Business Leadership; Starting, Growing & Scaling your Divine Business in 2022 with Ease, Joy & Grace while being hugely profitable and soul aligned following your Divine

Trademarked as New York’s Divine Channel, “Queen” of organic clean beauty, and a love and success coach, Camille Conti can now add Rochester Woman Online cover woman to her list of accomplishments. We are excited to be able to have Camille join us as a keynote speaker and showcase all of her business success along with her long lasting entrepreneurial spirit.

Keynote Speaker



Women Entrepreneurs! STOP 🛑 Schedule Sunday 4/24 at 11 AM - 5PM EST to come to our FREE LIVE EVENT and learn, empower yourself, grow and network with other like-minded INFLUENTIAL women entrepreneurs! You will be receiving Natural Image Care by Camille Conti (A Full Size Product of Choice) and Influential Woman FREE SWAG BAGS for the first hundred women entering!




{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”

DR. PAM DENTON Co-Host & Sacred O

Coach trainer, international speaker, author, and healer Dr. Pam Denton is founder of Sacred O Evolution Coaching: SuperCORE Fitness, BreatheFit, The Mind Cleanse, GoddessCORE, ROAR, and Leadership Evolution. She is the author of numerous books, has appeared on TV, and is featured on many podcasts.

well known for her work with women in business and is the founder of many programs for women, including Project Woman Mastermind and the Rise to the Top Training. She served three terms as President of the Syracuse, New York chapter of the global network FemCity. In 2016-19, she created three successful conferences: The Intuitive Expo for Mind Body Leadership,

Dr. Pam works with business leaders to activate high performance by employing her powerful strategy of Nervous System Upgrades. Her intensively researched mind-body approach to empowerment has helped thousands of leaders plug into their innate power and activate the law of attraction for unstoppable success. She is the author of numerous books, including She Means Business, Leadership Evolution, Messages from Spirit and Journey to Female Power. Dr. Pam has inspired audiences for over 20 years with her motivational success-driven strategies driven by the science of transformation, she began her career as a chiropractor and integrative wellness practitioner, during which time she owned and operated two successful wellness and coaching centers. She went on to create her signature coaching programs in female empowerment, energy medicine for transformation, and heart-centered leadership, which evolved into her current Sacred O Evolution Coach Training for upgrading Leaders. She is

Inspire Leadership Conference, and Superpower Your Success Conference. Dr. Pam lives and breathes speaking. She feels that today’s seemingly insurmountable challenges and stressors require a new form of motivational speaking - one that delivers immediate relief and activates present time results with passion, determination, and follow-through. Dr. Pam’s formula

for speaking will educate, inspire, and give your audience the empowerment they need to shift immediately. Fitness, breathwork, and neurological upgrade expert Dr. Pam will motivate, educate, energize, and move your audience through a dynamic combination of motivational speaking, positive visualizations, SuperCORE movement, and BreatheFit exercises - done from a chair. Her powerful positivity, depth of knowledge, and authentic delivery will ignite your audience’s energy, release stress, stimulate connection between team members, and provide simple tools for achieving greater satisfaction and productivity. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Pam has led countless Superpower Performance coaching groups and has trained dozens of leadership coaches in the areas of women’s empowerment, business, and sports. She has brought her leadership coaching to a wide variety of corporations and organizations, including IBM, Athleta, Northwestern Mutual, MetLife, hospitals, the United States Air Force, and more. Currently, she consults and coaches high performance athletes and sports industry leaders as part of the New York-based Human Advantage team. She speaks globally about Superpower Upgrades and teaches business leaders and teams how to harness power of the mind-body to facilitate, empower, and sustain new patterns of leadership for immediate high performance results. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”

TRACY SIMONE Capital Woman

Tracy Simone is a long time IT professional. She is also a part-time model and actress with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), author, and member of the Teamsters Union. Being a single mom and homeowner with a wanderlust and need to continually 46


learn and grow, she feels it is equally important to also help others shine their light. She believes that women are strong, powerful, tremendous human beings capable of doing whatever they set their minds to and focus their energy towards. They are the essence of beauty and inner strength, the epitome of the true magic of the universe. From the youngest infant daughter to the

elderly seasoned female full of wisdom and grace, women are the definition of love and strength, limited only by their own imaginations. PLUS she can now add COPUBLISHER of Capital Woman Online Magazine to her list of professional accolades! WELCOME to the lineup Tracy!

{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “She will be talking fashion, styling and so much more as an influential woman, and you don’t want to miss it!”


Brand on A Budget Please welcome all the way from NYC, Neicey Josey to the Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo line-up of incredible speakers. Niecey Josey, is the owner of Vinrelo & Brand on a Budget Network who

created and filmed the FIrst Ever ‘Stylist Fashion Show’ S.F.S. The SFS Courses that she has created along with her incredible team are part of an innovative Business and Fashion Program that has a Capstone that ends with project placements just for you after the 8 week courses. She will be talking fashion, styling and so much more as an influential woman, and

you don’t want to miss it! Join them at their Program Ceremony Aug 26, 2022 and/or NYFW Stylist Fashion Show Sept 10, 2022 to see more of what the programs have to offer, but you can come and check them out on April 24th at their sponsor table too.






{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “After I crown Mrs. NY American 2022, I plan to focus on my career, myself, my marriage, and my family. After that, I trust in God’s plan! ”


Mrs NY American & Co-Host I’m a 25-year-old Rochester, NY native! I married my husband Josh in October 2020 and nine months later, I won the title of Mrs. NY American 2021. I’ve been competing in pageants since 2013 and I am proud to say that I was a Top 15 Finalist at Mrs. American 2021.

year Alzheimer’s diagnoses. I raised funds, advocated, and even played flute duets in memory care homes. I still share the gift of music through live flute performances and portable

they seek employment. I know what it’s like to feel like “the underdog” and I can sympathize with women who need to feel empowered with a new professional wardrobe and the influence behind one person believing in their potential!

I also have a Bachelor of Arts in media and communication from St. John Fisher College. Although I dreamed of becoming a news anchor, I love my job at Robert Half as a Talent Manager helping people find employment in accounting and finance. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my mom and sister, and I love making homemade pizza with my husband in our pizza oven. I’m also a fitness enthusiast and I run a 5k every day. I created “Unlocking Memories Through Music” 14 years ago in honor of my grandmother’s eight-

radio donations. However, I recently became compelled to volunteer with Dress for Success after noticing the heartache women experience when ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “GOAL DIGGER. One who utilizes ambition and persistence toward a particular achievement and won’t stop until the desired outcome is attained.”


GOAL DIGGER. One who utilizes ambition and persistence toward a particular achievement and won’t stop until the desired outcome is attained. Well this truly defines our next Speaker & Spoken Word Artist. PLEASE WELCOME Nina Purhenn! Nina lives in Syracuse, NY and is the owner and operator of her business, 50


The GoalLine. She is a certified personal trainer and goal coach, teaches group fitness and Zumba and outside of the gym is an incredible motivational speaker and spoken word artist. PLUS she is a mom, and even owns her own clothing line! She believes that motivating people toward their goals and healthier lifestyles is her purpose in life. The GoalLine Mission is all about Pushing Positivity with Purpose and Passion

through Motivational Collaborations, Fitness and Fashion. The focus is really just that, a positive lifestyle brand. You won’t want to miss her speak or perform, trust me!

{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “My goal is to educate and mentor aspiring DJ’s, and provide workshops for young girls and women to empower them to enter the DJ industry.”


A little about Jasmine Coan AKA DJ Bella J... I was born in Germany, raised in Brooklyn and moved to Syracuse, NY as a young girl. My parents relocated here to provide a better life to my sisters and I. I graduated from Nottingham High School, Cazenovia and LeMoyne College. Music has always been at the center of my life. After graduating LeMoyne College, I decided to pursue DJing. I

attended a year program at Scratch DJ Academy in NYC and I’ve been DJing ever since. I am the official DJ for the Syracuse University Women’s Basketball team and Destiny USA. I also DJ’s for other amazing organizations such as the SU Men’s Basketball team, American Heart Association of Greater Syracuse, Gwen Inc., Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Hope for Heather, The Upstate Chapter of the ALS Association, Sisters Empowering Sisters, Girl Scouts of America, Inc. and many more. I am a mother to 2 amazing daughters, Nyla

and Nadia. I also have a passion for cooking! I am the owner of On The One, a DJ center located in Destiny USA. The mission of “On The One” is to provide a safe space dedicated to anyone looking to explore the art of DJ’ing. My goal is to educate and mentor aspiring DJ’s, and provide workshops for young girls and women to empower them to enter the DJ industry. On The One is a place anyone can go to when seeking to book ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE }} “Tamika believes in the power of storytelling in encouraging others to use their pain to create purpose, power, and peace.”


and is skilled in facilitating learning experiences through curriculum and training design.

Welcome the dynamic duo of Tamika Goode Otis & Summer Fitch of KABOD Consulting Group LLC.

Currently Summer is the Sr. Partner/ Principal of KABOD Consulting Group LLC; an emerging consulting agency specializing in training and development, entrepreneurial alignment support, grant review and management.

Kabod Consulting

Su m m e r Wi l l ow Fi t c h i s a transformational leader with over 20 years of experience delivering measurable results in program and process management initiatives for diverse groups. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and Organizational Management from West Chester University, and an MBA in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from Eastern University. When she was 9 years old, she launched her first entrepreneurial venture - a maid service, and by age 25 she created a traveling mixology service affectionately called, In Good Spirits Bartending Service. Structuring and operating businesses and creating jobs lit a fire that propelled Summer to begin advising 100’s of emerging entrepreneurs. As Deputy Policy Director for the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (MOCEO), Summer bolstered her knowledge and practice in equity and inclusion. She was instrumental in building infrastructure for the West Philadelphia Promise Zone; one of the first five zones designated by the Obama Administration in 2014 to improve affordable housing, economic opportunities, quality education, health and wellness, and public safety. Summer now holds multiple certifications in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) 52


Summer Fitch: Her zeal for serving underrepresented populations sustained her pledge of time and resources as Co-

Founder and Vice Chairwoman of the Black Women Give Foundation whose mission is to engage Black women and families in philanthropy by joining the growing trend of collective giving. In addition, Summer was influenced to pen her first published book in 2015 titled, Let Me Tell You Like I Told Myself: Love’s Truth Never Changes; a compilation of candid reflections and advice she gave herself and subsequently her bartending staff and clients on love and relationships. Her literary contributions have been featured in major trade magazines, blogs, and published books. Summer is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,

Inc., obsessed with animals, traveling, and music. Tamika Goode Otis A multipreneur, equity warrior, and atmosphere shifter, Tamika’s mission is to empower people to live their best lives. Among numerous enterprises she had a hand in forming, Tamika’s most prized venture is the consulting firm she founded. Tamika founded KABOD Consulting Group LLC in 2016 in response to a growing need for culturally competent grant writing services in her community. In 2020, along with best friend and business partner, Summer Fitch, KABOD, relaunched as a full-service consulting agency that takes a holistic approach to business/organizational consultation and leadership/personal development. She is also Co-Founder of the Black Women Give Foundation based in Philadelphia, PA where the collective giving model is utilized to fund impactful grants to grass-roots nonprofit organizations serving communities of color in Southeastern PA. Tamika believes in the power of storytelling in encouraging others to use their pain to create purpose, power, and peace. Her unique and relatable way of storytelling not only ushers in healing, but deliverance for all who have the opportunity to hear and learn from her story. Tamika is a sought-after subject matter expert and speaker around the areas of Entrepreneurship, Economic Development and Racial Equity. She is the proud Mom of two sons, Christian, 19 and Braylon, 12.

{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE }} “Tunya has made a real, discernable difference in our community, positively impacting the lives of people not only in her neighborhood but throughout our city, exemplifying the spirit of community service that truly makes her a bright spot.”

DR TUNYA GRIFFIN Black Women Voices

Tunya has volunteered her time and skills to a broad range of causes, showing an extraordinary commitment to the city and community. In her many years of service, she has been a significant force for grassroots community-building and positive change, both as a visionary leader and pragmatic, hands-on activist. Tunya is a communityfocused pastor who h o l d s b a c h e l o r’s in organizational management, a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry from Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College. In her most recent role as Associate Director of University-Community Partnerships and coteacher of a course of “Community Sustainability” at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Tunya worked alongside community members, nonprofit organizations, public schools and governmental institutions to address the adverse structural, social and economic conditions that profoundly affect livability, education and prosperity — creating a stronger, more vibrant

city. Here are a few of her other notable accomplishments: • Founding Girl Chat (now Black Women’s Voices), a women’s empowerment initiative that provided mentorship to prepare girls and young women in Rochester to be future leaders and changemakers. • Leading a program that empowered

with the community. • Speaking on issues of civil rights, social justice, gender equality and pressing problems facing the community at numerous venues, including Rochester Cares’ MLK Day of Service event. From feeding families in need to founding and leading her block club to improve her small slice of Rochester, Tunya has made a real, discernable difference in our community, positively impacting the lives of people not only in her neighborhood but throughout our city, exemplifying the spirit of community service that truly makes her a bright spot.

high school students to get involved with converting vacant city lots into urban gardens. • Acting as a radio host who interviewed and provided a public forum for local leaders and other influential, high-profile individuals to connect with and share information ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


FEATURE }} {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “Finding Wholeness and Hope Living with Chronic Illness which combines her deep desire to help others become overcomers too with her love for all things culinary.”


If there was one word to describe Marisa it would be resilient. From an undiagnosed childhood illness and homelessness to being struck by a pickup truck as a pedestrian in her 20s, spending almost a year in recovery and officially being diagnosed with Lupus at the time, Marisa has learned to be, what she calls, an 54


overcomer. What started as a blog post in 2008, became Lupus Chick, Marisa’s platform, a NY nonprofit and online social community that supports and educates over 400K people per month who suffer from chronic illness or autoimmune disease. A former health journalist, she currently speaks nationwide and is also the author of the new memoir/ cookbook hybrid Chronically Fabulous: Finding Wholeness and

Hope Living with Chronic Illness which combines her deep desire to help others become overcomers too with her love for all things culinary. You can find her on Instagram @ lupuschickofficial, on FB under LupusChick, and at




{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “Let’s lift each other up + level each other out by continuing to Boss Up, Rise Above + Represent together.”


y name is Dr. Jess Germano-Fokin, but most of my patients + clients call me “Dr. J”. I am a mental health practitioner that specialize in sexual health and intimate wellness. I am also a Certified Sexologist + Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. My coaching + clinical approach is using an integrative model that focuses on four key areas: Mental Health & Wellbeing, Personal Health & Wellbeing, Sexual Health & Wellbeing, and Intimate Wellness & Relationships. In addition, I focus 56


on all overlapping aspects of the Selfemotional, physiological, behavioral, relational, and sexual. My motto is “You have to do you before you can truly do anyone else.” I am excited to be on this journey with you. SHE Boss will empower you to embrace your personal + sexual self. Including topics about dating, relationships, intimate wellness, confidence, sexesteem, body image, healthy boundaries, sexual and personal desire, holistic pleasure, what’s going on down there, getting your head in the game and your body between the

sheets, and creating the spark within you and in your intimacy. It will be real, raw and authentic because you are well-deserving of knowing your mind, body + soul and experiencing a healthy, fulfilling and pleasurable personal + sexual self. Explore.Experiment.Embrace Let’s lift each other up + level each other out by continuing to Boss Up, Rise Above + Represent together. Check out my new SHE Boss Collection + Coaching Platform https://power-of-a-she-boss.teachable. com

{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”


are considered high risk, but one of my favorite memories as Mrs. New York America so far was touring the Duchenne Care Center located in the Neurology department at the University of Rochester. It was incredible to connect with an entire force of physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists who focus on treating children with Duchenne in a teambased environment. That experience reminded me why advocacy work is critically important in securing funding that can advance treatment modalities, for example. Meeting others like me advancing important work - but in the clinical setting - was uplifting and empowering.

What is the true essence of being a woman? Accepting, believing in and feeling the power that burns bright within you. No one can stop you when you follow your true desires. Why is it important to be a multitasker?

What’s the best advice you have received that you want to pass on to other young women? Girl, go for it! Take the leap of faith if you feel it within you. There literally is nothing holding you back and you are limitless in your potential.

It’s important to have this skill, but it is equally important to know how and when to focus on just one thing at a time, prioritizing your life on the things that matter most.

If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for? A definitive cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

What is the biggest challenge young girls face today? Believing that they are enough. Strong women leaders like titleholders and

female community leaders are essential components for helping young girls and boys to see their future potential. What is the most important lesson for us to learn from life and tell us one important lesson you have learned through being Mrs. NY America. There are many important lessons to be learned along the journey of life, and one of those for me is that people know and can feel what is genuine. I’ve learned as Mrs. New York America that having the crown compels me to only want to continue to raise the bar on my life after I pass it on to the next deserving woman. How would you define success? I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments. What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? I’ve had some health challenges this year and instead of focusing heavily on being a titleholder, I have decided to prioritize my health and family first. That is the beauty of competing as an adult and in Mrs. pageantry – ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “She is a culture broker who helps organizations and individuals with pulling out the best from within.”

KRYSTLE ELLIS Real Conversations

Owner of Ellis-K Consulting, this multidimensional powerhouse specializes in catapulting businesses to the next level through strategic leadership planning, fundraising, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a culture broker who helps organizations and individuals with pulling out the best from within. Inclusive and equitable workspaces where all are proactively engaged, educated, and respected should be the norm, yet in some cases hard to accomplish without personal responsibility. Through executive 58


coaching and policy management, Ellis assists organizations to embark on a journey of transformational change by examining hiring practices, employee and customer engagement, marketing techniques, and daily operations. Committed to the Rochester community, she sits on multiple boards and committees advocating for women’s rights, equal access to healthcare for children, and the international right to have clean water. She believes in having transparent and courageous conversations that inspire young girls to dream big and for women to soar higher. Krystle is an engaging conversationalist

who has the ability to connect with all women. Her essence is contagious, her voice is powerful, and her laughter can fill any room. Getting to the heart of things, her ever burning passion is to help women discover who they are, grow with the flow, monetize their experiences and flourish! Ellis forwards discussions that are deep, real, and sometimes daring. Featured in Nationwide publications like the Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today and so many more, her voice is considered one of power and influence. She will be talking about how to run your personal life like a business while giving you strategies to push past fear.

{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “Debbie has extensive experience in the establishment and growth of business.”


Debbie’s passion for senior care and elder care started at a young age. At 15, she volunteered at a hospital in Rochester, NY. The experience confirmed her calling to help others and work in the medical field. Debbie holds a Bachelor’s degree in nursing,

advanced education in geriatric care management, legal nurse consulting and life care planning. Debbie has extensive experience in the establishment and growth of business. Her awards and certifications include 2013 Up and Coming Businesswoman of the Year, Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare by International Association of Nurses,

Simon Graduate School of Business Simulation Scholarship Award, Certification in Case Management, and Healthcare Business Acumen Certification. Debbie serves as the Senior Care Expert for Fox Rochester, providing weekly appearances with important information affecting seniors, the disabled, and those that care for them. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”


Bloom Eve International Grace Nduka Iregbu is the founder of Bloom Eve International, a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides 60


a spiritual and emotional haven for mothers and empowers them to live out their God-given purpose in their families and society. She is a speaker, author, certified professional workshop facilitator, and Mom Empowerment

& Mindset Coach.

{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “Jessica, provides an extensive array of spa procedures and advanced customized treatments for the face and body, with the belief that skincare doesn’t come in a one size fits all.”

JESSICA ELIZABETH Jessica Elizabeth Skincare

Jessica Falcone is a New York State Licensed Esthetician and Certified Laser Technician. She founded Jessica Elizabeth Skincare located in Armory Square, Syracuse, NY. Jessica, has been studying and working with many different types of skin with the belief that no two faces are the same so therefore no two treatments can be the same. Although she is trained in many aspects of the esthetics industry, Jessica also holds certifications with BTL

Aesthetics, Inmode MD, Candela and has also furthered her education and career with Skin Pen, Zo Skin health, DMK Skincare and VI Aesthetics. She is a certified acne specialist, an ambassador with Skinceuticals Skincare, a certified master aesthetician with Hydrafacial MD and she is a member with the Associated Skincare Professionals. Jessica, provides an extensive array of spa procedures and advanced customized treatments for the face and body, with the belief that skincare doesn’t come in a one size fits all. Balance and respect for the traditional skincare is essential.

Whether its for anti-aging, acne, skin discoloration or maybe just a relaxing pampering session to give you that much needed boost of confidence, combining the traditional approach with modern techniques is Jessica’s signature way of having each and every one of her clients experience his/her own personalized result orientated skincare journey. When Jessica is not in the office she enjoys spending her time with her 2 children, traveling, hiking and biking.






FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “She is known for her heavy content and consistency on social media for “Emotional Healing”. ”


PLEASE welcome Omenesa Oruma Akomolafe to the Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo on Sunday, April 24th from 11-5pm at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown as one of our “Influential Women” that will be speaking and sharing her incredible story with our audience. OMENESA means “My Own is Unique”. Her middle name CHINWE means (God’s own). OMENESA has definitely lived a unique and inspirational life. Even with a rod

in her back from scoliosis, she hasn’t let pain stop her. Even after losing 8 embryos, she doesn’t feel incomplete. She is known for her heavy content and consistency on social media for “Emotional Healing”. She is an only child and has been married for 10 years. Her singing voice is that of an Angel. She is a recording artist with 4 albums under her belt. She’s published 8 books, and runs her company effortlessly. She is the Proprietress of Emotional Healing University and she owns a mentoring program THE ROCK COLLEGE. Her organization Pearls and Pauls

International hosts support groups globally and has be in existance for 10 years. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant. She holds a BA in Church Ministries, a Pendong Masters in Death and currently working on her PhD in Metaphysics. She is also an LPN student. A Preacher, Ordained Prison Chaplain, Pageant Queen, Professional Model, A Certified Confidence Coach, an Emotional Healing Practitioner. She is the Host of TV Shows (“Emotions” & “The Ring”). She travels world wide to sensitive the message that NOTHING HAPPENS IN THE GRAVE. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “ As a Self-Development Coach, Corrin connects with young women on a personal level to foster a deepened self-awareness and self-understanding.”


Corrin Stellakis, is a certified personal trainer and graduate of Liberty University with a degree in Communication, Psychology, and Christian Counseling. She is the founder of a self-development coaching business, Fit to Reign. Corrin is passionate about helping her clients become mentally, intellectually, socially, spiritually, physically, and emotionally Fit to Reign! She is dedicated to empowering her clients to reach their full potential as they pursue their purpose and passions in life. In 2014, Corrin began her pageant career when she won the prestigious title of Miss New York Teen USA. Since then, she has gone on to win 4 additional state titles, 3 national titles, and 2 international competitions. Currently, Corrin is the reigning Miss U.S. International and will represent the USA overseas in the Miss International pageant this November in Japan. Through pageantry, Corrin has traveled the world, made life-long friends, partnered with amazing organizations, and learned the importance of continued self-improvement and growth. Corrin uses her experience in the world of pageantry to coach other 64


women all over the country and best prepare them for their journey to the crown. Her pageant coaching services offer interview preparation, on-stage presence, competition wardrobe and image, platform development, public speaking, and modeling. Corrin knows what it takes to win the crown and she loves to share her passion and knowledge with her clients.

As a fitness enthusiast and certified personal trainer, Corrin works as a fitness coach with clients at her studio, Fit to Reign, in North Syracuse. She also writes personalized programs for women nationwide. Corrin works with her clients on endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility training. She believes in functional fitness! She also provides nutritional tips for her clients to help them maximize their

results. At Fit to Reign, her main goal is to make her clients feel confident, healthy, and strong! Corrin also serves as a makeup artist! Her business, Fit to Reign, offers makeup artistry for all special occasions! This includes weddings, proms, pageants, important events, date nights, engagement shoots, etc! Fit to Reign Glam works to enhance a woman’s natural beauty and instill confidence. As a Self-Development Coach, Corrin connects with young women on a personal level to foster a deepened self-awareness and self-understanding. Her clients learn tangible tools that can help them to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. They learn to form healthy personal boundaries, constructively make decisions about the future, have an increased awareness of personal responsibility, and improve communication and coping skills. Corrin is there for her clients and together, they build a unique relationship. She listens, advises, informs, respects, challenges, and supports her clients. Through Fit to Reign Self-Development Coaching, Corrin’s clients will learn to honor themselves, overcome obstacles, achieve goals, and grow into the successful, happy, and confident young women that they are meant to be.



















It’s hard enough for many women to love the body they were born into unconditionally. When a breast cancer diagnosis comes along and causes unwanted changes to their bodies, this challenge is significantly amplified for many women. Amongst the numerous hardships and losses brought about by a breast cancer diagnosis/treatment, our confidence should not be another casualty of this battle. Unfortunately, many Rochester women are at risk of experiencing these concerns due to the elevated incidence of breast cancer in our region. In Monroe County, the rate of new breast cancer diagnoses is 1.13 times higher than the national average. With an elevated rate of breast cancer in the area, many women in Rochester have either been personally impacted by the disease, or know someone who has. As a breast cancer survivor, I understand the selfconsciousness that accompanies this disease. With the help of a positive outlook, an incredible support system, and a phenomenal friend and photographer, I developed a sense of security in my changed body, and I want other women to be able to experience this life-changing shift in perspective. For this reason, I partnered with The Photography Experience to create the Breast Cancer Confidence Project, an empowerment campaign and community 70


of support. Our mission is to encourage other women impacted by breast cancer to develop love and appreciation for their bodies. My name is Michaela, and in March 2020 I was diagnosed with a rare and

While survival would seem to be a more pleasant thought to focus on, I often found myself similarly overwhelmed by the unknown physical and emotional challenges that could be awaiting me. Like so many women, I had spent much of my life fighting an uphill battle against my negative self-image, and one of my biggest fears was that my treatments and surgeries would compromise any progress that had been made. I remember worrying that I would never feel sexy or confident in my life – that I would never fully love and embrace my body, all because of my condition. Unfortunately, far too many women face similar challenges to their confidence or sense of self in the aftermath of a breast cancer diagnosis/treatment. As our bodies begin to change and we start to see the consequences of this disease appear on ourselves, the emotional burden can feel devastating and insurmountable. For some, these struggles may be ongoing and reappear throughout life after treatment.

aggressive type of breast cancer. I was just 28 years old when I received this completely unexpected news, and it prompted a surge of complex fears and uncertainties. As one would imagine, there was an overwhelming amount of anxiety that my disease could compromise my chances of having a future at all.

When we get caught up in this false and negative narrative about our bodies, it can make it difficult for us to recognize our strength. Continuously viewing ourselves with the same cracked lens makes it hard to change that script in our minds. Replacing that lens with a new one helps us see our bodies from a different perspective, which in turn can allow us to realign our











{ BREAST CANCER CONFIDENCE TRACY TALKS } } } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “With the help of a positive outlook, an incredible support system, and a phenomenal friend and photographer, I developed a sense of security in my changed body, and I want other women to be able to experience this life-changing shift in perspective.”

self-image. When we bring our bodies into focus with this more positive and artistic light, we begin to appreciate our true beauty and radiance. This is how boudoir photography helped me to cope with my body image issues after breast cancer; reimagining my scars in this different light helped me appreciate and admire my new body, which propelled me towards a higher state of self-love. It was this very experience that led me to start this project. When I first began this journey, I hadn’t planned on sharing my images for the rest of the world to see – I was still feeling vulnerable at the time, too buried in my self-doubts and insecurities. In fact, my first step towards starting this project was a boudoir photography shoot with Jolana (The Photography Experience), which occurred after my diagnosis, but before treatment had started. My motivations at the time were fear-based – that first session was strictly intended to memorialize my body as I had always known it. I had no intentions of documenting my body any farther – with the unknown changes my body was facing, I was certain at the time that I’d never feel comfortable in my skin. Despite my initial fears, as time went on I was surprised to find myself in awe of 74


the strength of my body. Even though some days were incredibly difficult and painful, every single day I pushed forward. Even though my mirror reflected a different image than I had been used to, I was still standing there fighting

this disease with everything I had in me. With these realizations, I began to see the beauty in every ounce of my being – the scars that were developing on my body marked my resilience, not my weakness.

As I grew more comfortable in my new skin, I reached out to The Photography Experience for more boudoir sessions – now with the more powerful and optimistic intentions of celebrating my body, appreciating the changes, and emotionally healing. For each major milestone of my disease/ treatment, Jolana used her talent to reframe my vulnerabilities as something beautiful and worth appreciating. For someone who had never felt like a strong person, it was cathartic to see myself stripped down by the consequences of this illness, yet still exude the strength of someone who continued to push forward every day. As I began to recover from the disease’s emotional consequences, I recognized the opportunity to help other women through my story. When I first received my diagnosis, I had seen images of women with various types of breast cancer surgeries, but the pictures that I found were very technical and made it difficult to imagine feeling comfortable with any of the potential choices. Those very clinical representations, while helpful, were not so productive when it came to my confidence concerns. But the elegant boudoir portraits showing my body with an array of interventions might be able to help another woman who found herself in the position I had been in months before. This opportunity to illustrate a spectrum of potential interventions to treat breast cancer using one body as a constant variable was unique, and the





{ BREAST CANCER CONFIDENCE TRACY TALKS } } } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “I remember worrying that I would never feel sexy or confident in my life – that I would never fully love and embrace my body, all because of my condition.”

attention Jolana paid to honoring each surgery and portraying the endurance of beauty throughout the process held the potential to be highly influential for another woman in need of reassurance. And so, in Fall 2020, we launched what was then known as the Breast Cancer Boudoir Project, which initially involved sharing photos from my personal boudoir shoots at each milestone of my disease/ treatment through social media. While I knew that there was value to sharing my own images, I also recognized that there may only be a small group of women who would truly benefit from my personal journey. As I had noticed in my own searches during those early anxiety-filled days, it can be hard to find 76


elegant, non-clinical images that show bodies which look like our own. And while viewing relatable body types cast in such an artistic light can be therapeutic in itself, it’s even more healing to see your own body through the lens of boudoir. For that reason, in October 2020 we started providing opportunities for local breast cancer patients, survivors, and “previvors” to have an affordable and transformative boudoir experience. To date, we have provided 10 local women with the unique opportunity for a “mini” (30 minute) boudoir session, followed by a group photo shoot with other survivors through our annual events. Over time, we have evolved into a support community dedicated to approaching confidence issues after

a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as promoting awareness and early detection techniques. We believe that every warrior and survivor deserves to love and have a healthy relationship with their body. This is why we provide a community of support and events intended to help women impacted by breast cancer to not only feel comfortable, but confident and sexy. This is especially important for women in our region, as Rochester has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in all U.S. cities. To continue promoting our message of self-love, we will be providing monthly columns on Breast Cancer Confidence and related topics for Rochester Woman Online.





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Tell us a little bit about Stacey & Jena, (or as we will now know you, the Cosmetic Queens) and your backgrounds. Stacey is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Jena is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner at Syracuse Plastic Surgery.

she loves facial beautification and enjoys bringing the patient’s visions to fruition by enhancing their existing natural beauty. The girls pride themselves on combining the science behind injections with an artistic eye to personalize treatments for each individual to achieve their esthetic goals.

Jena earned her degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She was also a member of Sigma Theta Tau – International Honor Society of Nursing.

Both providers keep their knowledge current by attending conferences and trainings annually. They love to read and learn about the newest techniques & procedures to provide the safest, most natural looking treatments.

Stacey also received her her degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University graduating Summa Cum Laude. She was her class President and served on the Upstate Student Government and Sports Medicine Club. She has been trained by multiple distinguished esthetic providers from all over the world.

The girls both enjoy spending time with family and friends. Jena is happily married with two beautiful children, Maddy and Jack.

Jena is the OG nNurse Practicioner at SPS since 2013, while Stacey joined her 2 years ago. It was a match made in heaven. We are affectionately known as the “Dream Team” (of course we couldn’t achieve this without our amazing staff) and would prefer to inject/treat our patients side by side daily if we could. Jena’s passion is cosmetic dermatology & she has caught many life threatening melanomas but is amazing when it comes to cosmetic injectables as well. Jena took Stacey under her wing to hone her derm skills and the two will most certainly educate you on SPF, skin checks, and the best skincare for each individual. Stacey’s passion is cosmetic injectables,

Per Stacey - she puts her heart into everything she does, finds it incapable to not be compassionate in every situation, and loves those lucky enough to encounter her with her whole heart. She has 2 cats & a dog. Per Jena - Stacey is a bachelorette looking for love (she deserves the best; so all candidates will also be judged by her BFF Jena) and has so much to offer her future husband: she goes above and beyond for ALL those she loves, her caring is like caring on steroids, she is funny as hell and has a GREAT booty. She also has two dog babies Daisy andDahlia (the_cosmetic_pup). Per Stacey - Jena injected my booty… ask us about that (lol). Where did you come up with the “Cosmetic PA”?

Stacey: I needed an instagram name and my friends/family all put in suggestions. We felt the definition of “Cosmetic” encompassed beauty treatments intended to restore or improve a person’s appearance and I’m a Physician Assistant so boom The Cosmetic PA was born. Jena’s handle is Injectablesbyjena. Stay tuned as we have some ideas in the future to make our brand cohesive. Tell us about what made you decide to get into the medical aesthetics field, and why you chose Syracuse Plastic Surgery ? Stacey: As a surgical PA, I was introduced to the world of medical esthetics when I started working per diem for a local plastic surgeon and then a medspa. I met Jena at a Master Conference (she was taking detailed notes with fun colored pens - I vowed to make her my friend at that moment), then I started an Upstate NY Injector group to discuss safety and all things injectable. Jena was one of the few that attended then Covid happened, we started chatting about going to trainings together. I wanted to go full time as an injector and Jena encouraged me to apply at SPS. The rest is history. Legendary. So in essence you could say I chose SPS bc that’s where Jena was practicing, but it also had two great doctors to mentor me. What was not to love? Jena: I started back when we were only a small family of 5 employees and our name was DeRoberts Plastic Surgery. When I first started, I managed the surgery center. This opened my eyes to the wonderful world of cosmetic procedures. Dr. DeRoberts took me under his wing and taught me anatomy, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


THE COSMETIC QUEENS TRACY TALKS } } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “There are many factors that influence what an individual defines “beauty” as.”

surgery, dermatology, suturing and cosmetic injectables. Syracuse Plastic Surgery is the ultimate experience. One stop shop for surgical, injectables and skin wellness services. At the Masters Conference Stacey mentioned, I wasn’t just taking notes on injectable content. Looking around, I realized I was actually missing something at work- an injectable bestie. When Stacey started, the injectable dream team commenced and to be quite honest so did my love for our work. With her by my side I feel like we can conquer any challenge. What is your most favorite service you provide to clients and why? Stacey: Oh wow - hard to pick just one. I think Jena and I both love to provide injectable services that help patients overcome some insecurity whether that be a birth defect, a trauma, an asymmetry, or age related changes. I love injecting the entire face as a whole “facial rejuvenation or liquid facelifts” & lips (smooch ). So many patients have told us how they feel more confident and that makes us so happy. Jena: In addition to Stacey’s comment on overcoming insecurities, I LOVE a good cheek POP (contour without makeup, yes please!). I am also super passionate about playing detective and finding abnormalities in your moles. What does the word “Beauty” mean to you? Stacey: I think the word “beauty” is different for everyone. For me it’s when I am or I see someone smiling because 82


they feel amazing/look their best - rested, youthful, glowing. What I think of as beautiful may not be someone else’s definition. There are many factors that influence what an individual defines “beauty” as. For instance different generations, different ethnicities, different opinions. That’s why we need to really listen to our patients goals so we can make sure we are on the same page. “We are the experts but it’s your face so let’s work together to tackle those concerns you have.”

Stacey:(Get yourself a bestie injector colleague delight of a human like Jena.) Ok so skills I think are necessary… knowledge of anatomy so you can be safe, collaborate & network with people who align with your style and morals, have a critical eye, be a good listener (to patients and mentors), ability to analyze, educate, and earn trust, build a team that you trust & can count on, learn & study new injection techniques and procedures, know your products, be competent & compassionate, be a leader when you can but help others shine too, learn about the business aspects but always treat your patients like family. Jena: Stacey nailed it. In addition, I think having a power house team like we do at SPS is essential. Having Dr. DeRoberts and Dr. Armenta’s surgical skills on top of our injectable skills and the skills of our estheticians, patients are treated with a holistic approach to anti-aging.

Jena: Beauty is having confidence in the skin you’re in. To get to this goal, it can be as little as starting a skin care routine, or receiving injectables for wrinkles or facial balancing, laser treatments or even as big as surgical route. Stacey & I are here to walk you through every little step, even if it’s holding your hand and reminding you of your own (sometimes forgotten) personal beauty. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming successful in your fields?

Who is funnier and who is more serious? Stacey: HA - we are both a hoot. We have been told so many times we need our own reality show. I think Jena comes across more serious at first but once you get to know her she is HYSTERICAL. She’s my fav person to laugh with… or at. We are both very serious when it comes to patient care & safety. Jena: Stacey is definitely way funnier. She is also more serious (bad cop). I am just awkward.





{ THE COSMETIC QUEENS { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “What I think of as beautiful may not be someone else’s definition.”

Stacey: She can be awkward it’s true. (Insert awkward turtle hands here.) However I think that only adds to the charm of Jena (good cop). How do you stay on top of the latest trends? Stacey: The patients tell us, the esthetic conferences we go to have sessions on trends, instagram (some trends we do not encourage or say no to!) Jena: We are constantly researching (Stacey’s favorite past-time actually). The challenge to always perfect our skills is always on our minds. Stacey: When I first started I would say to Jena well the literature on that shows or I read a study that said… she will never let me live it down. However she researches just as much as me so don’t let her fool you… she’s a nerd too. Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? Stacey: Jena - she’s my person. She has always supported me, encouraged me, and been there for me no matter what. She builds me up when I do a good job or when I’m having a tough day, reminds me why we do what we do, settles me when I’m too rambunctious, listens and then helps me come up with a plan or offers advice for whatever the situation is. She teaches me things I don’t know and never makes me feel silly or unintelligent for asking in the first place. Usually I don’t even have to ask for help because she knows & just offers it without hesitation. She’s a genuinely amazing provider, wife, mom, daughter, colleague, and friend. She has unconditional love for everyone in her life and strives to be the best for us all & be there for us all…patients, family,

friends. What’s more inspiring than that? My parents: they have been together 50 years and they have empowered me since I was a child. They always inspire me to be kind to others & pursue my passions. They also have adopted Jena and my nurse Emily as family. Jena: I feel like we are getting sappy, but Stacey has been my inspiration long before we started working together. I liked her aura from IG, in her posts she would support/uplift others without looking for anything in return. Her sparkle and energy are highly contagious. She would post a picture of her doing a spa day at home and I wanted to be there doing it with her. Then once we started worked together, she supported me in ways I didn’t know possible. Her passion for injectables is contagious. She has brought me outside of my shell in many ways by encouraging me and helping to grow my confidence. She is an amazingly knowledgeable teacher and makes everything look so easy. She’s always thinking of others and has the biggest heart, she even volunteers her time for people in need in our community!! Stacey & Jena: Our families, our friends, our colleagues and our patients (most of which have become like family) kind words & encouragement definitely empower us and that in itself inspires us to be the best we can. What sets you apart from your competition? Stacey: I have Jena and she has me & our assistants are top notch. We have an all star line up. Dr. Armenta, Dr. DeRoberts, Jena and I, our new PA Lindsay. We are one stop shopping. All your cosmetic/esthetic/plastic surgery/ feel good about yourself needs - surgical,

injectable, medical grade skincare, estheticians on site, lasers, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, vitamin injections, dermatology, scar revision, laceration/bite repairs and more. Our google reviews will tell a story about how all of that is housed in a clean office, staffed by people who care, that deliver outstanding results. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you guys do what you do? Jena: I love the happiness I bring to my patients. My favorite time is when I give them the mirror and they see the outcome they were looking for. I also love going back to original pictures and comparing them to the “now.” It is amazing to see how injectables build over time. And with Stacey and I, you know that progression will be natural and glowing. Stacey: I agree with Jena 100%. I do it because I finally found something that I’m good at that utilizes my artistic abilities, brings others happiness, and doesn’t feel like work when I’m doing it. Tell us a little bit about what are some of the things you both do that not many people know about? Jena: I have two adventurous children that keep me busy every minute outside of work. We love going on nature walks in our backyard, riding our snowmobile and building lots of forts. I actually grew up in Rochester, graduated from Penfield High School so I spend many weekends traveling to Rochester to visit with family and friends. I am also a very proud board member of the Waldron Rise family foundation that centers our efforts in caring for woman and children in need in the Rochester community. My goal is to expand our efforts into ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ THE COSMETIC QUEENS { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “I think Jena and I both love to provide injectable services that help patients overcome some insecurity whether that be a birth defect, a trauma, an asymmetry, or age related changes.”

“me time” activity is scrap booking and reading (nerd alert). Stacey: Oh good she admitted to being a nerd. She will succeed in expanding into the Cuse area for her charity but if you can help us move that goal along give my girl a shout. I was a competitive figure skater. I love to draw & paint. I drink bourbon & champagne. I won’t go in haunted houses or watch scary movies. I love hanging out with my niece & filming her “YouTube makeup looks.” I’m usually her model & I have to say she nails it & I would tell everyone to subscribe if it was a real channel. I love giving back to my community & drag all my people along with me to do events because they all have big hearts too. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you and why. Jena: Every time I diagnose a Melanoma it stands out to me. It hits me in a way I can’t describe. I feel for my patient’s like I feel for my family. Stacey: She’s a lifesaver. Not the candy… she’s sweet but she actually saves lives. How cool is that. On the other hand because Jena has such empathy this can take a toll sometimes bc she goes through every single step of the process with them and like she said feels every feel. I don’t know about you but that’s the type of provider I want in my corner… competent & caring. That being said there are so many special moments we share with our patients and each other. Just one? Ok - There was a patient who suffered a facial disfigurement and I was able to help correct it. She cried tears of joy and told me she had not gone out in public for many years 88


because of how she looked and this was life changing for her. I always worried I wouldn’t make as big of a difference in my patients lives in esthetics as I did in other career specialities but she is just one of many who Jena & I have impacted in a special & meaningful way. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful, and not only bring in new clients, but keep one’s coming back in? Stacey: Education & Honesty. We don’t try to talk people into things they don’t need. In fact we tell people no sometimes. We try and give our patients all the available options so they can make the best decision for them. We try to only address concerns & questions they bring up & only say yes to treatments that will result in excellent outcomes. This has led to patients putting their trust in us & being very loyal. Jena: Hands down-results. Most of our new clients come because they have friends or family members that have seen Stacey or I. Building a trusting relationship with our patients is so important to Stacey and I. We are kind and we CARE. We are also honest, which can sometimes be hard to handle. If we believe that a certain injectable procedure will not help, we will offer you other options in order to achieve your goals. Stacey: I just read Jena’s response (we were apart for some of these questions & had to send to each other). We are definitely connected and/or share a brain. What do you have planned for the next year? Stacey: What don’t we have planned!? We have some fun open house/events we want to host and attend. We want to

go to some more trainings & a cadaver course. We want to grow our social media. We want to show our patients more of who we are as people. Jena: I would love to explore more conferences. I love traveling and learning with Stacey by my side. Stacey will be training me on biostimulant injections (giving patients natural volume with the benefits of collagen stimulation) and I will be continuing to help her hone her derm skills. What has been your best form of promoting your services and what platform is your favorite? Jena: Although a very big challenge, being a job in itself, I would say IG is the best form. Being perfectionists, Stacey and I tend to over think our pictures and wording. We try to make things fun, yet informative. Many new patients come in saying that they feel like they already know us because of our instagram! Stacey: I agree with Jena (shocking… not) IG has def been the best form but TikTok is something we would like to do more of too. What is one thing that motivates you both? Jena: Ahhh, this is a hard ONE. Multiple things motivate me. My family motivates me, my husband has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and has always had my back the entire way. My parents are so loving and supportive and making them proud has and will always be a huge motivator for me as well. Stacey motivates me to be the best version of myself. She has encouraged me to move beyond my comfort zones in many areas of my life. I can always







{ THE COSMETIC QUEENS { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “As a surgical PA, I was introduced to the world of medical esthetics when I started working per diem for a local plastic surgeon and then a medspa.”

depend on her to sense when I am not myself and she will help me overcome the obstacle, whatever is may be. She is my bird’s eye view. Our collaboration and patient results motivate me. My patients motivate me; I love listening to their life stories and lending a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold or a pat on the back. Stacey: What she said minus the husband thing. Happy patients. Excellent outcomes. Parents. Jena. Assess, Inject or Excise, Repeat. What factors do you consider when selecting cosmetic products or new techniques? Stacey: SAFETY. The science behind them. Cost to our patient. Time to reach optimal result and longevity of those results. Ethnicity. Patient expectations. Jena: First thing to consider is patient safety. I also learned from my pal Stacey-question everything. Does this make sense? Will this give the results we are looking for? After we’ve researched it then I need to see it being done (and do it a few hundred times before feeling comfortable). Stacey and I like to trial new techniques or products together - our collaboration is powerful. Picking each other’s brains while examining our results with a magnifying glass. Stacey: Hehe another example of same brain. What specialty service do you feel you can provide clients that sets you apart from others? Jena: Not may people know that we perform skin exams! When we are

with our cosmetic patients, this gives us the opportunity to talk about how to care for your skin in its entirety (it is the largest body organ we have). When we discuss SPF use or stopping tanning beds, they usually are thinking of scheduling their skin exam alongside their next injectable procedure. Another procedure we offer is Vaginal Rejuvenation! Let’s face it ladies, our vaginas are not getting any younger either. This painless procedure helps tighten, restore lubrication, enhances pleasure during sex and stops the pesky stress incontinence (ever pee when you sneeze?). Stacey: What she said AND dissolving old filler. People (patients & providers alike) are always shocked when we tell them we have seen filler last 12+ years. Sometimes we can work around old filler, sometimes we prefer to start from scratch for best results, sometimes we want to upgrade you to filler that has better technology, and sometimes it’s necessary for safety or to prevent irreversible damage to tissues. Jena andI know this may cause some emotional discomfort when having this discussion with you but you deserve providers who care about giving you safe, optimal results. Do you have any special training or degrees to provide the services you offer your clients? Stacey: TONS!!! Jena and I have both assisted in surgery so our understanding of anatomy is strong. We have gotten invited to many Master Conferences and been able to attend 1 on 1 trainings with mentors we look up to. We have two amazing surgeons to run things by who take the time to educate us on interesting cases or things they know

will increase/elevate our skill set. Jena: The masters conferences we attend set us apart from other injectors. My next personal endeavor is to become officially certified in dermatology (I would still do the same things, just more letters to add to the end of my name). Stacey: Jena and I both have Masters degrees but we didn’t actually have to pass any specific standardized tests to inject faces or excise moles. We have talked about this frequently and would like to see this part of our industry become more regulated for patient safety and outcomes in the future. Just because you have a degree in Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, etc doesn’t make you a safe or skilled provider. Just like any other profession it depends on your experience, education, and talent. When they have a specialty degree or standardized certification to test our skills you can bet your bottom dollar (or bet your Botox wrinkles?) we will be signing up. Where will we see you next? Jena: We have had many requests for more content of Stacey and I on IG. So hopefully some more reels and hoping to go live more often! Stacey: On the big screen… ha just kidding! But, definitely on the small screen - YOUR small screen doing IG lives and more stories. Then, hopefully at one of the events Kelly is hosting!



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This past year has been monumental for Robert’s Wesleyan College’s, Carrie Starr. In addition to reaching a milestone birthday (turning 50), welcoming her first grandchild, and being named a 2021 Rochester Business Journal Women of Excellence honoree, Starr also took the helm of a critical division of the college when she was named the new Executive Director of the Community Institutes. Recently, Rochester Woman Online had the pleasure to interviewing Starr about her vision, being the Executive Director of the Community Institutes and her plans for the future. Tell our audience a little about who Carrie Starr is and your background. I’m charting new paths as the executive director of the Community Institutes at Roberts Wesleyan College — a new initiative making skills-based learning accessible to the public. I’m an educator, an entrepreneur, an author and a bridge-builder. I married my best friend from college, have three adult children and two grandchildren, and I live in a 200-year-old barn. What credentials do you have that prepared you for your current position as the new Executive Director of the Community Institutes? I’ve served as a professor at Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary for 16 years. I also served as the Hoselton chair of ethics and free enterprise for 10 years, mobilizing Roberts’ students to craft outreach projects that improved the quality of life and standard of living for Rochester residents. This work received national recognition and opened doors for key partnerships across our community. I have a doctorate in leadership, scripture and spirituality, and my dissertation focused on women in executive leadership in faith-based higher education. Name one person who has inspired you in your career and why. President Deana Porterfield has been a true inspiration to my career. When she arrived 94


at Roberts as the first female president in our 150-year history, I took notice. She was not only our top executive leader — she was down to earth and genuine. She used her leadership to empower others. She was authentically herself, which made following her example accessible and inspiring. How did you get to where you are today? I was raised by a strong, single mother who is the epitome of optimism and compassion. I was taught to always give my best and care about the welfare of others while also respecting myself. I’ve always had hustle, creative ideas and a lot of love for the people I work with. I believe being optimistic, passionate, innovative and collaborative has opened doors of opportunity for me. Being in the unique position of being a female leader, and working at the college for over 15 years, what do you feel is the most important message to provide other young leaders who look up to you? Your voice matters. When everyone else thinks differently than you do, that is the exact right time to speak up and stand out. It’s hard to be different. Whatever makes you unique is the very thing that makes you valuable. Don’t hide it or be ashamed of it. What challenges have you faced since taking on this position and how have you pivoted? We are on the cutting edge of higher education with the Community Institutes. What I’m trying to do doesn’t fit into our current processes so I’m regularly disrupting systems and frustrating people. That makes me uncomfortable but it’s also essential for innovation. We can’t get somewhere new using old ways of doing things. It takes a lot of faith and confidence to stand up for your ideas and build something revolutionary. I pivot by helping people understand why I’m breaking things as I go, providing key data and clear results. What motivates you and keeps you moving forward, especially in 2022 after being in a pandemic for 2 years?

We have all been traumatized by this pandemic, in ways we don’t even realize yet. The needs in our community are great. This is the perfect time to serve the community with our unique learning opportunities and mental health services available through the Community Institutes. I believe we are launching this model exactly when it’s needed most by our neighbors who are trying to pivot their careers and recover from their pain. My heart for others motivates me to accomplish this work. Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in the next 3-5 years? I would love for the Community Institutes to be a model for private, faith-based colleges and universities across the country and around the world. Higher education is changing so fast. I’d love to be a leader on the cutting edge of what is new and necessary for transformational education that can truly pivot and adapt to community needs. And I’d love to be doing that while maintaining the flexibility to enjoy my adult children and grandchildren. What do you feel makes you a successful leader and how do you coach others to empower themselves? The key to my leadership is my faith in Christ. He is my ultimate role model and inspiration. When I run into a problem I can’t solve or feel overwhelmed with a burden too heavy to bear, I remember that Jesus said “my burden is easy and my yoke is light.” I’m not meant to carry all the weight of my work myself. I have God to lean on. I coach others to lean on their faith and to lean on other team members. No one gets it done all by themselves. Sustainable, scalable work requires a team. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female leader, and what is your favorite part of what you do? I’m grateful to be a woman in leadership and I regularly remind myself to lean into my strengths. I love that my job requires me to collaborate with others. Discerning the needs







{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } { TRACY TALKS } “I was raised by a strong, single mother who is the epitome of optimism and compassion. I was taught to always give my best and care about the welfare of others while also respecting myself.”

of the community is critical to my success. That strength ultimately comes from valuing relationships and caring about people. While some may see being a “heart-led” leader as female weakness, I believe emotional intelligence is an incredible strength that most women bring to leadership roles. What role do you have within the community as far as volunteering? I serve as a small group leader at my church, mentoring young women and married couples across the Rochester area. I also serve on the board for Campus One80 and Stewardship Advisors, providing them with fundraising help, marketing assistance and leadership development opportunities. I also enjoy volunteering with Flower City Work Camp. What are some of the growing custom training and education solutions Roberts offers that other colleges do not? Some of our most unique training and education solutions come from our Intellectual and Spiritual Humility Institute. Our world has become so polarized during this pandemic. We’ve forgotten how to learn from others who have a different opinion. We offer customized training to turn conflicts into opportunities to foster curiosity. Our Business Solutions Institute also offers a Side Hustle Series for new entrepreneurs, revealing the key steps to entering some of the fastest-growing small business opportunities. Tell us about one moment in your life that has had a lasting impression on you and formed who you are today. I was in Guatemala leading a service project with 20 of our Roberts students. A volcano erupted, closing the airport, a hurricane flooded the streets and a sinkhole swallowed a three-story building just blocks from where we were serving. We couldn’t fly home, but we were out of resources to stay in the country. Everyone was looking for me to make decisions and keep them safe. I did not feel ready or qualified to lead in these extreme circumstances, yet I successfully pivoted our plans, finding us valuable service

work to do in exchange for safe housing, food and transportation. It all felt miraculous while also growing my leadership courage and confidence. That trip really showed me what I’m capable of in a crisis. Tell our audience one thing about yourself that not many others know. I hate shopping. I know most women find it fun, but I don’t enjoy it at all. I’d rather put my decision-making power elsewhere. And I’d rather spend my time outdoors on a bicycle or paddleboard. How do you balance work and life responsibilities, especially with such a demanding career? I start every day with prayer and reflection. It reminds me of who I am and what’s important to me as I go about my day. It keeps me grounded in what I believe is important. I also make time for my family, for being outdoors and for exercise. If we don’t make space for relationships and reflection, there is no space for creative ideas to be born. Rest is essential to innovation. As Executive Director, what community partners are you currently working with helping you to navigate your mission and goals? I’m so grateful to the local business community and nonprofit community who help guide our work. Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is a key partner for us, as is United Way, the Rochester City School District, IBERO, the Genesis Conference and the Education Success Foundation. We’re also grateful to our many corporate partners who help guide our work. What gives you strength, especially during such trying times in our world today? My strength comes from my Christian faith, great female role models and my family. One of my heroes in the Bible is Deborah, a judge and military leader for the nation of Israel who was victorious in battle after 20 years. Her role was completely uncommon for a woman, yet she rose to the occasion, trusting

God as her strength. While my new role is a hefty challenge, I trust the Lord to be my strength and guide. What are your plans for leading Roberts Wesleyan’s Community Institutes into 2022 and beyond? I plan to empower our Rochester neighbors with the tools they need to advance their careers with assurance and certainty through the Community Institutes. Not everyone can afford a degree, but everyone can afford to take an institute class, workshop or certification. (Some are even free!) I hope to continue adapting and improving our offerings to meet the growing needs of our community in the acutely felt areas of mental health, workforce development and restorative practices. What was it like being named a 2021 Rochester Business Journal Women of Excellence honoree? It was surprising, encouraging and humbling. I’m so grateful for the work I’ve been privileged to do throughout my career and I’m so thankful for the many men and women who have invested their time training and mentoring me. If others hadn’t pushed me, I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be where I am today. I also hope this recognition inspires my former students to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, believing they can truly make a difference. Where will we see Carrie Starr next? In December of 2022, you’ll see me move into our brand new Golisano Community Engagement Center! I’ll take the work we’re currently doing online and in the local community and expand it to in-person trainings, workshops, conferences and events. This new space will create a unique opportunity for our students to learn side-by-side with business owners, mental health professionals and community leaders. I hope to be facilitating training that isn’t taking place anywhere else — opening new doors for healing dialogue, transformational learning and meaningful careers for our students and our Rochester neighbors. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


Meeting Needs with Innovative Learning Experiences & Services Connecting to Greater Possibilities Welcome to community-focused education, services and training designed to fit your needs. Where you are sparking significant conversations and sizeable ideas. And where you’re embracing transformation in an environment that values you.













The Community Institutes at Roberts Wesleyan College provides continued learning, skill development, resources and classes to the broader community. Clients will benefit directly from the services offered, available online and in-person in five key areas: • • • • •

Business Solutions Justice & Security Psychological Services English Language Intellectual & Spiritual Humility

Our approach is custom, not “cookie cutter.” Each of the institutes provides a unique set of solutions and services, they also collaborate to offer creative solutions to complex challenges. The Community Institutes serves as a hub, connecting businesses, organizations, leaders and neighbors in our community with resources to help them grow and thrive.




Rochester Woman Online is very proud to be able to showcase Dr. Maria Karipidis Pouria as a woman who inspires in our latest edition. We hope you enjoy our interview with her as she talks about what inspires her, her amazing career, and what led her to this moment. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. I am a Rochester, NY native who obtained a bachelor’s of science in neuroscience at the University of Rochester. I completed my medical school training at the AUC School of Medicine, followed by a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Illinois in Peoria. My fellowship, or “specialty training” in primary care sports medicine and orthopaedics was completed at the University of Rochester. I served as an attending physician in the department of orthopaedics at the University of Rochester for 7 years before joining Longevità Medical in Victor, NY, where I currently practice as an interventional sports and regenerative medicine physician. I have also served as a team physician for collegiate and semi-pro level athletes. What made you decide to go into sports medicine? During both my medical school and residency rotations, I was drawn to 100


the complexity of the musculoskeletal system and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that allowed for interventional procedures. Being in a fast-paced and highly procedural combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency provided me with the opportunity to contribute in the

care of patients of all ages. Choosing to specialize in sports medicine was an innate decision. I was able to see the immediate and long-term impact that treatments had on improving patients’ mobility and restoring their quality of life after acute and chronic injuries.

You are known for your expertise in non-operative sports medicine. What exactly does this encompass? A primary care sports medicine physician has significant specialized training in both the treatment and prevention of illness and injury. They are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams, or active individuals who are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Primary care orthopaedic physicians also use the same expertise to provide comprehensive medical care for the non-athlete, from the weekend warrior, industrial athlete, to active retirees. We can determine the need for physical therapy or surgery and provide interventional treatments which can include corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich plasma, or bone marrow concentrate injections under ultrasound guidance. Who inspires you, especially in your area of medicine? My patients are my primary inspiration. Whether they are driven to getting back into their sport or hobby, or simply wish to play with their children or grandchildren; I feel compelled and motivated to fulfill their goals by ensuring them high-quality, trusted, evidence-based care. As an interventional sports medicine and regenerative specialist, I believe it is a privilege to be able to alleviate one’s pain to allow for an active lifestyle.








{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL TRACY TALKS } } } “As an interventional sports medicine and regenerative specialist, I believe it is a privilege to be able to alleviate one’s pain to allow for an active lifestyle.”

Do you find it challenging being a Physician? The ability to practice sports and regenerative medicine is gratifying but can also come with its challenges. I am grateful to provide care to vulnerable patients of all age groups who are in pain or have sustained an injury. It can be cumbersome and frustrating to argue for necessary treatments, procedures and imaging, however I take pride in advocating for what is optimal for my patients. Athletes are often eager to return to their sport as quickly as possible after an injury. Patients may have acute episodes of arthritic pain and wish to be seen urgently. I am truly fortunate to be in a private practice at Longevità Medical where I am able to see and treat these patients in a timely manner and provide a quality experience in a comfortable setting. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming successful in your field? Sports medicine physicians are typically energetic and passionate individuals who are or were athletes themselves. We are able to empathize with our patients, and knowing how to communicate with the patient that wants to get better as soon as possible is vital. It takes compassion to work through whatever ailment is prohibiting them from doing their activities. Diligence, interpersonal skills, and manual dexterity are invaluable attributes of an interventional sports medicine and regenerative physician. What educational background did you need to get to your current position? To become a primary care sports

medicine physician, it requires several years and over 15,000 hours of vigorous clinical training. This journey begins with 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 4-5 years of residency, followed by 1-2 years of fellowship specialty training. Examination requirements include 4 United States medical licensing exams in medical school, 1 internal medicine board certification examination, 1 pediatric board certification examination, and 1 sports medicine/orthopaedics certification examination with additional certifications in ultrasound. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you guys do what you do? I strongly believe movement is medicine. It is truly gratifying to enhance a patient’s mobility and quality of life through non-surgical interventions. You develop a rapport and inherent trust with your patients in their most vulnerable times as you are able to partake in their recoveries. Tell us something that not many people know about you. Although I was born in Rochester, NY, most people do not know that I come from an immigrant family and my first language was Greek. I learned to speak English by playing basketball and sports with the neighborhood children. From a young age, I was taught to develop a strong work ethic, perseverance, and compassion for others, which carries me to this day. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you and why.

The two most notable moments in my career were when I became a mother to my two daughters during my demanding residency and fellowship training. As a woman, wife, and mother, I bring a level of caretaking and compassion to the doctor patient relationship. My patients feel that difference, and I am grateful to offer them that experience at Longevità Medical. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful, especially in a field that is more male dominated? I have never let my gender prohibit me from pursuing my aspirations. I am passionate about medicine and taking care of people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Throughout my training and career, I have been focused on what I do best which is to provide optimal care for my patients. I have never focused on being a woman in a male dominant field, I have kept my focus on being the best physician I can be for my patients. What have you found to be your biggest challenges over the past few years, especially being a physician and most communications being virtual? At the onset and peak of the pandemic, in-person office visits were transitioned to telemedicine. In the field of musculoskeletal medicine, diagnosis is not only through history, but through a hands-on physical examination of the joints. The interpersonal experience of physically examining, diagnosing, and treating patients’ ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


TRACY TALKS } } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “A primary care sports medicine physician has significant specialized training in both the treatment and prevention of illness and injury.”

pain with interventional procedures was unfortunately limited. What are your goals for the future? Regenerative medicine is continuously evolving and expanding with scientific advancements. In the field of orthopedics, regenerative treatments have evolved to capitalize on the unique healing qualities of our own cells to stimulate healing, reduce inflammation and decrease pain for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. It is remarkable to harness this potential, and I am excited to provide these evidence-based. cuttingedge treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), for patients with injured or degenerative joints, tendons, or ligaments.







Dr. Maria

Karipidis pouria Dr. Vito Quatela is excited to announce the opening of Longevità Medical featuring board-certified physician, Dr. Maria Karipidis Pouria. Dr. Karipidis is a Rochesternative who specializes in non-operative sports medicine, encompassing the care of athletes and weekend warriors, to the geriatric population. Dr. Karipidis Pouria completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and earned her medical degree from AUC School of Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Illinois in a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics program. Following her residency, Dr. Karipidis Pouria completed a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Rochester, where she then worked in non-operative orthopedics for 7 years before joining Longevità Medical. As an athlete herself, Dr. Karipidis understands the value of leading an active lifestyle no matter your age. Her conservative approach to treatment is designed to enhance the well-being and quality of life of patients suffering from acute or chronic joint pain, such as osteoarthritis. That path begins with properly diagnosing the cause of the pain and then combining rehabilitation and nonsurgical techniques as part of a tailored treatment plan. Dr. Karipidis’ practice includes innovative regenerative medicine techniques, including using the body’s own healing abilities with platelet-rich plasma and bone marrow concentrate therapies to treat joint pain. She also manages acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries caused by overuse, trauma, or sports-related injuries using cortisone and hyaluronic acid injections.

Dr. Quatela and Dr. Karipidis are also joined by Family Nurse Practitioner, Julie Chatt, who will be offering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.


Longevità medical

Longevità Medical, the Quatela Vitality Center, is dedicated to helping patients optimize aging, regenerate vitality, and live younger, by offering the latest in regenerative medicine. Through the use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and injections such as cortisone, hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich plasma, and bone marrow concentrate under ultrasound guidance, our providers treat the unwanted effects of agerelated hormone changes and chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis, sports injuries, and tendonitis.

Optimize Aging

regenerate vitality 585.244.1506 7255 STATE ROUTE 96, SUITE 110 VICTOR, NY 14564 WWW.LONGEVITAMEDICAL.COM

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AFTER FEELING LIKE YOU MIGHT HAVE LOST YOUR SENSE OF SELF Hi SHE Bosses! Welcome to my SHE Boss Column. Where we talk about anything from being the boss of your own true self to living your best WHOLE self + relationship to getting your head in the game and your body in sheets and how to (re)create the spark in your intimacy. Where we have true, real, raw and authentic talk because you are well-deserving of knowing what’s going on with your WHOLE self, mind + body. I want to focus on a topic that we all are dealing with on a daily basis right now with constant changes, and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon…this pandemic. Can you believe it’s been two years already? Stop for a minute and be true to yourself when you ask “How am I doing?” We often check in with others and ask “How are YOU doing?”, but we don’t often check in with ourselves. Take a moment and really think about it. “How am I REALLY doing??” “How have I REALLY been doing through all of this??” “Am I feeling ME??” It’s OK to take a moment and be true to yourself…you deserve it! Since this global pandemic began, I’ve been emphasizing 110


the importance of being mindful of mental health + wellbeing, not just personal health + wellbeing. Many of my patients + clients are bringing up the same struggles they are continuously having with their sense of self, their relationship/s, work, family, and so on. Many are inquiring how do we adapt to this new normal? How do we adjust? How do we mourn the loss of what once was? Or even embrace this new way of being?

and on. Whatever “it” might be, it’s important to know you are not alone with these feelings and to know we are in this together and will continue to be in this, as well as other crises’ together. It’s also important to note that the aforementioned is impacting all ages + stages of life, so be sure to keep checking in with your kiddos. I will be writing more about the importance of this in upcoming column articles.

Many are feeling triggered by these sudden changes that have now created what seems to be this rollercoaster ride of ups and downs over the past two years. This feeling of a loss of control, fear of the unknown, the unpredictable, and feeling forced in so many different directions to name a few. Those that have never experienced struggles with mental health + wellbeing or even their relationships before are now all of a sudden finding themselves feeling these unfamiliar thoughts and feelings, not to mention having no idea about what to do with them or how to manage them. And those that were familiar with these feelings, are now experiencing them at a more heightened or exacerbated level. Those feelings of being more anxious, depressed, fear, hysteria, paranoia, irritability, anger, distress, loss of control, insomnia, restlessness....the list can go on

Some key points I’ve been sharing with my patients + clients to be able to manage and maintain a healthy sense of self + healthy relationships include: - Pull the Positive + Recognize the Glimmers: Slowing down from the day to day hustle or stressors and being able to now recognize the importance of focusing on yourself, your relationship, your family, and maybe even those goals or projects we’ve been putting on the back burner. All those things that we promised ourselves that we would someday get to them. Well…now is the time! If this pandemic has taught us anything, it has shown us how those things that we might take for granted can change in an instant, so it’s important to live + embrace each moment to the next. - Regulate or Turn Off Media







{ SHEBOSS } } { TRACY TALKS { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } “All those things that we promised ourselves that we would someday get to them. Well… now is the time! ”

Intake: If you are looking for information about something important, go to a credible source, not snippets from other sources that can easily heighten emotional responses or provide inaccurate information. - Open the Lines of Communication and Check In: ASK, LISTEN, GAIN UNDERSTANDING, VALIDATE, SUPPORT, and IMPLEMENT. These can be applied to any system or relational dynamicyourself, your relationship, work, family, friends, etc. - Balance Home-Work Life: This means your personal and your professional lifestyles. Many of us are now finding working from home as this new way of being, and also trying to balance so many other roles: Mama or Daddy, Hubby or Wife, Caretaker, etc. It’s important to create a divide between your personal and your work life. What I mean by that is trying to work outside the bedroom (or even other family common areas). I emphasize the bedroom in particular is your personal place for the 2 S’s: Sleep and Sex. If you must, switch up the look of the room for “work mode” and “personal/play mode”. If you are able, work in a different area in the home that is not often used much for personal use, such as an office, the den or create a new space, in order to be able to “close the door

and walk away when outside of work hours”. And yes, it’s sooooo important to keep a structure of your work hours. When you are are done!!! It’s time for your personal time. This is just as important, if not MORE important! Remember my motto, “Do You, For You”. If you are not present for yourself, then you cannot possibly be present and focus elsewhere. Most of us are balancing so many “Jobs”/roles right now, ones in which we never thought we would be in or never signed up for. I, myself, was and still am trying to manage seeing patients from home via Telehealth, be an educator to my two boys, be a wife to my hub’s whom has continued to work out in the field full time since the start of the pandemic, which leaves me as the primary caregiver to my boys, the dogs, household tasks on a daily basis and so on. So yes, ME Time is an absolute! I joke by saying running (and working out) is my saving grace because it’s the only time no one is calling my name and needing something. Yes, I did say I was real, raw + authentic, so I am going to tell you like it is with no bullshit. :) - Stay Active in Your Brain + Body: Movement is medicine + healing. By keeping both the brain + body active, you are activating the good hormones, enhancing blood flow and oxygen, as well deactivating

your amygdala, which is responsible for stress responses, anxious brain, and trauma brain to name a few (more to come on this in upcoming column articles). In addition, the immune system and the emotional system are both channels facilitating our adjustment and regulation to a highly dynamic and demanding world. - Enhance Meaning + Purpose: Be sure you are doing the things that help you to feel a sense of meaning and purpose and build confidence. It could be anything from making sure you are showering and grooming to connecting virtually with people, places, and things that are a part of your life. Staying connected with your sense of self and others will help you to stay grounded and feel a sense of fulfillment and pleasure. We all need it right now as we continue to adjust back to our lifestyles and/or create new ways of being. - Be Attentive in Your Relationship (with yourself + your partner/s). If you are needing more on this, please check out my SHE Boss + Sex Talk with Dr. J podcast on “The Importance of Being Attentive in your Relationship”, as well as my podcast on “Ways to Practice Self Care + Boss Up.” Again, you have to do you before you can truly do anyone else! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ SHEBOSS } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Can you believe it’s been two years already? Stop for a minute and be true to yourself when you ask “How am I doing?” ”

Let’s continue to Boss up, Rise Above + Represent together! You got this, and we WILL continue to get through this. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need help with any of the areas talked about. You are not alone in this, and your mental health + wellbeing, sexual health + wellbeing, intimate wellness + relationships is just as important as your personal health + wellbeing. 114


Again, thank you for tuning in and taking the time to focus on YOU. Please feel free to submit any questions and topics of interest on my Coaching Platform at https:// power-of-a-she-boss.teachable. com or follow me on Instagram @shebossdrj. You can also check out my new SHE Boss Collection + Courses on my Coaching Platform (link above). Remember, there is no silly question...we are real, we

are raw, and we are authentic, and so is this column. Stay tuned in, in touch + turned on. I look forward to being on this journey with you. Love to all my SHE Bosses.♡ Xo, Dr. J






Competition is not a four letter word. There are few more competitive environments in business, than in the world of fashion. Every season new designers inundate the market with their new wares. Everything from popular t-shirts and jeans to the exclusive world of European high fashion. To put it politely, it’s a cut throat war of up doing and out doing your nearest competitors. So, after having been in business for the past 35 years, you would think I would dislike having competition. As a matter of fact, I despised having competition when I first started. I wanted more clients and more business for myself. The simplistic mentality of more is more, is hard to break, and even harder to conquer. So, do I dislike my competitors? Are they hindering my business or taking my clients? The short answer is “no”. I actually feel bad that they have to compete against me. I must be a real thorne in their side. Why would I think that? In fact my business has grown exponentially because of them. Competition is one of those things that on the outside might seem like a bad thing but I can tell you today, that it’s one of the best motivators you can have. I know, without a doubt, that my business would not have grown as much as it has without them.

Fifteen years ago a tragic thing happened. I lost my business partner. It was devastating to me because not only was he my partner, he was also my father. He was an amazing man that taught me all I know about my craft. Months after he passed, I had an epiphany regarding our business. I needed to change. Not only the way I was thinking about my personal life, but especially in my business. So I decided to change the way I did business. The way I took care of my clients and also the way I viewed my competition. I had already been in business for 20 years but I decided to make some very significant changes. I changed the location of our store, made it smaller yet more exclusive. Changed the quantity of clients we had, concentrating on our core customers and decided to use our competitors’ negative business practices to our advantage. Biggest of all,we changed the name of our company to better represent our values.

inside and out, it shows in the way you take great care of your customers. We have maintained the same number of clients but have tripled the quality of what we have offered them. We have stayed true to our main products that are the backbone of our business instead of chasing fashions that are fleeting. We are simply doing the opposite of what our competitors are doing. In the things that we have in common, we are doing better than they ever have. So, when you are faced with competition, embrace it, study it and create a formula that makes you the smarter choice to do business with. This way you will no longer need to work alongside them, rather you will be soaring above them.

I’m happy to say that we have doubled our business since then, but we were able to do it because of our competitors and not in spite of them. We used their weaknesses and made them our strengths. We used our experience to continue to educate ourselves and pass it on to our prospective customers. With experience comes confidence and when someone knows their craft ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022




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“Intimacy: Into me I see” -The Love Guru Your story and the words you share in your marketing, speaking, and selling are an intimate window into your influencer soul. Your story sells and influences change because it has a direct connection to who you are - at the soul level. In the age of marketing through social media, where your number of followers seems to be the only value, many female leaders are realizing that in order to have a successful business presence they have to sell from the heart and soul of their truth. I am one of these evolving leaders. And I know that in order to have a successful and sustainable business presence the path is through sharing your story to influence change. You, yes you, can become real and authentic in your influence. I have spent many years coaching women to step forward confidently and lead her business from her story and to share her story in aligned spaces - speaking, books, blogs, podcasts, and even job interviews. I know you can take down your emotional walls and begin to lead with your story. You already have all of the information inside of you, it is ready to be shared! When you are intimate with your words and message and use your soul truth to influence change and sell, your story becomes a portal to being seen, understood, and valued. And your story is an amazing way for your business to

attract the right clients who see you and realize that what you have to offer is valuable. This is an aligned client and she becomes a relationship rather than a commodity. Once your aligned client sees herself in your story, intimately, you have created a trusted client. An authentic and intimate story influences at a very deep level and is a sustainable influencer path that has holding power. A real and raw story creates long-term influence because it immediately affects your clients at a somatic level, in other words, it has depth of feeling. A masked story or message is superficial and temporary. It is something that lacks depth and follow through. It does not stick, hold, or last in value. So why is it so hard for women to share their story - struggles to triumph, trauma to healing, and pain to victory? Most women are taught and conditioned as young women to turn off emotion, shut down the tears, and eliminate sensation. Even when we go through a trauma or pain we are taught to “be strong and put up a good front.” As we continue to do business and influence from this shut down position, we numb ourselves out and close ourselves off from powerful opportunities. We might be a “success”, but there is a world of opportunity waiting outside the shutdown zone we live from. We think it is easier to share the superficial positive rather than feel the deep pain and struggle of our story. Although

this is so far from the truth, the path of feminine flow and least resistance is in our story and feelings, we are also riddled with fear…… We fear being: Judged Shamed Criticized Blamed Persecuted These are real feelings to overcome and my exercise below will help! You, an influencer, can change lives through your story and build a lifetime of trust-ers rather than superficial fans.Your story is the magic sauce to becoming a real and authentic influencer of change. You can change lives, inspire healing, and influence deep and sustainable change.The world needs your story! If you are with me and you want to begin changing the world of business, let’s get real! Here is a foundational coaching formula I have used in my coaching practice for writing books, marketing content, podcasts, speaking, and for social media marketing. It’s Magic in Your Message time! Grab a journal! Let’s write your story. This is a soul contract, it will change you from the inside out and you will begin to feel stronger with this three step exercise. It speaks to the aligned client, and says “I am here!” And watch what appears. There is magic in this formula and it will open gateways of opportunity. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ SACRED O } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “You can change lives, inspire healing, and influence deep and sustainable change.”

Start by sitting with a small candle, choose the color that aligns with your message. Some suggestions are white for spiritual downloads, yellow for power, red for financial or family, blue for communication, green for healing, purple for intuition, or orange for female sexuality. Choose from your intuition and feeling, there is no right or wrong. Remember this is your path and your story to share…so you choose! Imagine on the other side of that candle is the aligned client you seek, a truster. Breathe deeply, feel her, she is there waiting for your story and message. 1. Ask yourself, what was the challenge, trauma, or pain that got me to where 126


I am today that I want to share? Write some of the details of the story as if you are speaking to the aligned client. 2. Describe the feelings and emotions inside of this story. Put some feeling into it and get as RAW as possible. 3. What was the lesson you learned and how did you grow, change, and evolve? Allow the candle to burn to the bottom and as it goes out notice what you feel. Imagine the smoke is your story! It’s going out into the world now!! (Candle Credit: Mandee Moon Practical Magic CNY) You are on your way to a new form of influence called aligned soul influence.

Now you have the beginning of a story and an influential speaking platform, a book, a blog, or a podcast. You have social media content! You have so much more that will attract people through your ROAR: Radical Opportunity Appearing RightNOW. Your story matters! And learning to express it is key to your success. Start today by saying “I am a changemaker, here to share my story!” There is more to this exercise that you can access in Sacred O Evolution Coaching and on Magic Moon Retreat with Mandee and me. A retreat is an amazing space to download your story and message - 5 days of magic!







As seen on by Marisa Powers As many people with Lupus know, your life changes dramatically when you begin having symptoms – even the medications can wreak havoc on your lifestyle. But your friendships seem to be one of the first things affected when you have any chronic illness. There was a time when I used to be the “fun” friend. I would go to bars and concerts, spending time out with my friends on a regular basis. Even after having my child, it was a priority to me to be a good friend. I was the one that you could put a few drinks into and I would make everyone laugh. I really didn’t care what people thought of me, nor did I feel the need to criticize or judge on my part either. There were a few times that my friends had something going on with their health and I was always understanding. You see, I am the one that people open up to and I seem to have a gravitational pull to people with a need to talk about what’s bothering them. I was the go-to reliable person. So when I was showing symptoms of Lupus, I didn’t quite catch on to the reality that I was going to have a great change in my life. Many symptoms began including fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and in my case regulation problems with my body temperature. I went to a concert a month after my diagnosis and paid terribly for two days afterward. I couldn’t handle the heat or what drinking alcohol did to my body the day after, when I couldn’t get out of bed and could hardly walk. I figured it was isolated and still acted like the “old me”. I would be invited to gatherings, show up, and again pay the consequences. I would

sit there trying to keep a smile on my face but deep down inside, I was hurting. I can’t stand for long periods of time and I can’t sit either. I would get very uncomfortable pretty quickly. I kept telling myself that I can handle it, but always proved myself wrong. The next day I would wake up crying from the pain, and the fact that I was not who I once was. My husband would warn me that I would end up hurting myself, and the stubborn independent person I am would hurt myself in order to try and prove him wrong. I began to see that I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t have control over my body anymore. WHEN LUPUS GIVES YOU A BAD RAP… I am now losing friends because I am that “bad friend”. I have pushed away people because I am afraid of hurting them by not following through. One friend deleted me entirely out of her life because I was too sick to follow up with her daily when she was going through a health scare. I know it was quite selfish of her, but if I was well enough I probably could have been that friend she needed. That really made the reality of it all set in. I have a really hard time telling people “no” and I don’t want to be that person that is not involved. I was not coming to the reality that I am not who I was before Lupus. People don’t see me as dependable now and that really hurts. They see me as a dropout. I am now the one that is unreliable at work because I call off so often. I am asked to do things, and when I remind people that I may not make it, I hear the sarcasm in their voice when they say “Ok, let me know.”. Lately, I made a new friend and had to back out of her wedding. Not

because I wanted to, but because my body decided to attack itself the week of the event and I couldn’t shake it. I am forever grateful that she looks past it, but for how long? T H E I M P O R TA N C E O F CONTINUED CONNECTION Lately, my best friend has noticed that it isn’t really my fault. At first, I could tell she was resentful and would stop inviting me. Over time, she started seeing that although I cannot be there, inviting me to the events still included me and kept our connection alive. I am so grateful that she looked past it all and kept in touch. So I carry on and continue to keep in contact with the people I love. I hope that they see that I’m really not that “bad friend”, I just have a bad disease that makes me not as dependable as I would like to be. I remind them that I still care about them and our relationships, even if I may not be able to participate in every event. Lupus may have control over many things in my life, but it doesn’t have to have control over the people I love and care about. Marisa Powers was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 2016 at the age of 35 after a major flare trigger by the birth of her child. Since then she has become an advocate with the Lupus Foundation of America and the US Pain Association to try to inform others of chronic illness and chronic pain issues. While living with Systematic Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and Panic Attacks, Hypothyroidism, and Reynauds Syndrome, she has written for The Mighty talking about everyday issues with being a survivor and now is a contributor for Lupus Chick. You can read her other articles at








One of the most interesting and inspiring people I know is Tonya Dreher. I’m so thrilled to introduce the Rochester Woman Online Community to this empowering woman! Tonya lives in NH with her husband Steve and three children, Isabel, Abe, and Gus. She is the founder of Everest to End Duchenne ( and the Hope for Gus Foundation (https://

foundation Hope for Gus? Our son Gus was diagnosed with DMD at age four, and we quickly realized that there was no effective treatment or cure. As a parent, that is such a horrible and helpless feeling – we felt like we had to do something. I’m not sure I’d be able to get out of bed every day if I wasn’t actively doing SOMETHING to help improve Gus’ life and the lives of everyone who lives with DMD.

I grew up in NH, hiking, backpacking, and camping through the White Mountains of NH. I thought those expeditions were challenging. Traveling to Nepal and hiking to Mount Everest Base Camp was never a wish on my bucket list; it might be yours. If it is, you are not alone. Approximately 40,000 people a year make the trek and Tonya might be able to help you have a truly inspiring experience.

When most people start a Non-Profit, it becomes overwhelming, and they give

Tonya is taking my son Jonathan to Mount Everest Base Camp symbolically. Tonya has led the Trek to Mount Everest Base camp four times since 2014. On her trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, she carries prayer flags and a flag with the names of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) patients living and who have passed away as a tribute to all patients from around the world. This year the flag has over 800 names on it. I had a chance to talk with Tonya before she left for Nepal. What was your inspiration to start the

up. What is your driver to continue? At first, it was my son, Gus. After over ten years of getting to know so many families and friends in the DMD community, we are stronger together. I have built a community with the Duchenne Families in Nepal. Each year, some of the proceeds from the trek go to support Nirmal Khadka’s amazing Muscular Dystrophy Organization of Nepal and his home for kids with Duchenne. As a result of my love for Nepal and my passion for trekking, I started a for-profit trekking

company, Hope Treks Nepal (https:// My lead guide Adhish Rai is my 2nd family. I asked friends in the States for donations to raise money for the Shree Chheskam Secondary and Primary Schools in Adhish’s hometown of Chheskam. Hope Treks pays its guides well, continues to support the schools in Chheskam, and, most importantly, it cycles its profits back into medical research and cares for kids with Duchenne through Hope for Gus Foundation. What is the “Hope For Gus” organization’s most outstanding achievement to date? Everest to End Duchenne, for sure. We created this fundraiser from the ground up. We were the first DMD organization to go to Everest for the cause, and we have even trademarked the name. People love this event because it is 100% about the boys (and some girls) who have DMD. We bring them and their families with us, and they can feel our love and support – it is such an honor. What are your greatest strengths or superpowers? I think I have a lot of perseverance (some might call it stubborn). I don’t know why I felt I could trek 80 miles to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world because I am not even close to being an athlete. But I did it, and I’ll do it again for Gus and everyone who lives with Duchenne. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


SHE HUSTLESMOTHER TALKS }}} } {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS { {ONE TOUGH “I think I have a lot of perseverance (some might call it stubborn). I don’t know why I felt I could trek 80 miles to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world because I am not even close to being an athlete.”

Climbing the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal to Mt Everest Base Camp is on many people’s bucket lists. How did the Everest to End Duchenne Trek begin? I ran our foundation for about six years, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that we weren’t doing enough. I also felt a bit burnt out on the same old fundraisers. I had this feeling that I wanted to do something bigger. After a while, the idea of walking or climbing a mountain for those who cannot do it themselves felt symbolic, and while we could have just chosen a mountain here in NH, the phrase “Everest to End Duchenne” stuck in my head.

Describe how it feels when you make it to Base Camp, and you begin calling out the Duchenne names on the flag to the wind? It is such an honor. It is usually a solemn event – it’s incredibly emotional when we finally get there and have the flag with hundreds of names. Our fantastic Nepali guides carry a thermos of tea for the ceremony and place white Khata scarfs

The next thing I knew, I was googling trekking to Everest Base Camp and shouting out that I was going to Everest on social media. That first year seven others joined me. What made you believe that you could turn this trek into a successful fundraiser for your non-profit? I wasn’t sure that the fundraiser would be successful, but as soon as we announced the flag that we were taking with the names, everyone in the DMD community was so excited and supportive. They absolutely loved the idea of us taking their boys to Everest with us in spirit. 136


around our necks before we begin. These scarfs symbolize respect and good wishes. The team takes turns reading every name, and we offer up a prayer to protect those living with DMD and remember those who have passed away. What makes you go back to Everest

every two years? Everett to End Duchenne was supposed to be a one-time fundraiser. But the first trek in 2015 was so successful, and people asked me if I would go again, wanting to join and support the expedition. Our sponsors have been fantastic – Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Sarepta Therapeutics, Full Circle International, and JB’s Keys to DMD have supported and partnered with us every year. As long as people are willing to take this journey with me to raise money and awareness, I will keep going. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to join this trek to Mt. Everest? Anyone is welcome to join Everest to End Duchenne if they are willing to raise money and awareness for Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and the cause or research that we choose to support. If I can do it, ANYONE can do it. It is never about us, the trekkers – the spotlight should always be on the disease and the families who live with Duchenne.









Neutral Ground Coffeehouse is a simple concept really, we strive to provide a great product in a beautiful setting and location, all with a big ol’ smile on our faces. We love it here, we love this community, the other local businesses surrounding us, we love dogs, we love bicycles, joggers, walkers, kids, and of course the historic Erie Canal.

this new business, but also want you to come and join us as we team up with Neutral Ground on Thursday, May 26th from 5-9pm for a POP UP Launch Party on the Canal. Tell us about a little about yourself and what made you decide to open Neutral Ground Coffeehouse in Pittsford, NY.

We also focus on partnering with local family-owned businesses with high-quality, unique offerings, supporting our local economy and keeping it all close to home. Neutral Ground thrives on ”everybody is welcome, let’s all keep it neutral” with all kinds of positive vibes here in Pittsford, it’s where people can meet in the middle. We want our customers to use our place to meet with friends, family, neighbors or colleagues and always feel welcome. We plan on becoming a cornerstone of the community so help us make that dream a reality. A simple concept really… Recently Rochester Woman Online had the pleasure to sit down with Marianne Warfle and talk about opening the new coffeehouse, being a female entrepreneur (or business person in general), community support and so much more! The event venue space is truly beautiful and been a labor of love for Warfle, and we are so excited to not only be showcasing

Life threw me some curveballs a few years ago, and I knew when I was on the other side of them I needed to totally refocus on myself, which I hadn’t done in years. My whole career has been spent making others successful, in printing, advertising, the restaurant industry, even as a marina manager, and I have always put my heart and soul into everything I tackle. Sometimes to a fault, I have volunteered time as president of a

business association, started a farmers market, been on boards, the list goes on and on (and on!). This premier location in Pittsford was just the right place to do something for myself and my soul, I love this area, and my vision for a coffeehouse and venue space seemed to really fit in here. What is the mission behind starting this business, and how did you come up with the name? Neutral Ground is actually a historic term still used in New Orleans, referring to common areas such as grassy medians between streets where people of all classes, races, religions etc. would meet to trade goods. Locations where all were welcome, where people would “meet in the middle” without judgement, agendas, or opinions. This is the whole concept behind Neutral Ground Coffeehouse. We welcome and love everybody, and have created a cozy place for folks to meet their friends, family, colleagues, and feel comfortable and a part of the Neutral Ground family. How do you find the products you use? I do everything in my power to source my products from local family-owned businesses. We small business owners need to support each other and keep the profits here in our region. My coffee is roasted in Geneva, my ice ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022








{ NEW SHIFT+CONTROL IN THE ROC } “Neutral Ground is actually a historic term still used in New Orleans, referring to common areas such as grassy medians between streets where people of all classes, races, religions etc. would meet to trade goods.”

cream is made in Ithaca, my breads, pastries and bagels are all from right here Rochester. I am always encouraged by consumers who recognize the importance of supporting local and patronizing the little guys, the big box places have enough money that often leaves our region anyways. If you could pick just one “must have” on your menu what would it be and why? Oh geez, that’s a tough one. We have an amazing breakfast chowder that our regulars crave, amazing breakfast sandwiches that we serve all day, and of course our coffee people are raving about. Chili? A cronut? Avocado toast? Don’t make me pick Kelly! How did you decide on the decor, especially on your venue space? The venue side deco is really a shout out to my Mom, one of the most creative people ever. She was and art teacher her whole career and could pick up an old chair on the side of the road and refurbish it into some beautiful. She loved the Impressionist Masters: Renoir, Van Gogh, Monet, and Neutral Ground on the Canal features some of their art and the French country provincial style Mom loved. I owe a lot to her and channeled here every day while designing the interior here, she is definitely felt here and think she would be proud. What hoops did you have to jump through from deciding to open the business, selecting the location to actually opening? Ha, there was a lot of hoops, the 142


biggest was finding the nerve to actually do it, especially during a pandemic. It was a huge personal investment, a total lifestyle change, and a big responsibility to take over a prime location and do it “Pittsfordworthy”. The location was a no-brainer, its perfect here and if it wasn’t for this location I don’t think I would have done it. Getting equipment was a challenge and caused a lot of delays, Covid was full-on and scary, and doing most of the work myself with the help of family was exhausting. Permits, contractors, vendors, staffing, oh there were many hoops, so many hoops. What is your why? Why did you open a coffeehouse? Why do you do what you do? Ah, the age-old question, why. I had so many days second guessing myself, I called them my WTF moments, and there were a lot of them. But I needed to do something that I was in complete control of at this stage in my life, and create a business that was a reflection of me, nobody else. Friends and family provided a lot of input and I will be forever grateful, but at the end of the day Neutral Ground reflects me and what I am about. I have always been a doer, but always contributing to somebody else’s success, to the point of sometimes just being stupid. This feels good that this is mine to succeed or fail. Do you feel your products resonate with customers, and why? I’m all about quality, not quantity. My menu is simple with very high

quality ingredients, and I honestly think people appreciate that. I often feel there are too many choices out there in life, if you can make several things exceptional, instead of a ton of things just good, your in such a better place to succeed and keeps customers coming back. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? Word of mouth, hands down. People leave here after a great experience and share it out there through many avenues. It is sooooo appreciated. What is some of the best business advice you have ever received that you live by today? A dear boss from years ago in the peak of my career was a firm believer in saving money for the future, investing in your retirement, starting at a young age. Most people in their 20’s and 30’s don’t think about things like that, 401k’s, IRA’s etc., but I am so grateful for his advice, it has helped me be able to take this leap. A small financial sacrifice when your young if managed right makes a huge different. What would you say truly excites you about what you do? The people, the kids, the dogs that thank me for opening Neutral Ground. Folks really love the feel of the place, the food, the coffee, the staff for which I am so proud of. It never gets old hearing all the positive reinforcement, so keep it coming! How do you handle work - life




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ NEW IN THE ROC } “Neutral Ground thrives on ”everybody is welcome, let’s all keep it neutral” with all kinds of positive vibes here in Pittsford, it’s where people can meet in the middle.”

Not well, just yet. My mind is always thinking about improvements, events, ways I can support the community, ways I can improve the customer experience, the list goes on. But when you love what you do, proud of what you accomplished it is so different than “working for the man”. Yes, Neutral Ground is my life right now, but it’s getting less and less stressful as I work through each little challenge 144


that presents itself. What are you planning for Neutral Ground? Oh boy, so many ideas! I am waiting for my beer/wine license to be approved (ugh), we will be extending our hours at least on the weekends when the weather breaks, and plan to host some live music maybe one night a week, craft fairs, and some

other special events like murder mystery dinners, holiday brunches, etc. All the local businesses here in Northfield Common want to team up for some events as well, it’s going to be a great summer!

A new coffeehouse right on the Erie Canal in Pittsford, Neutral Ground offers amazing coffee with a full espresso bar, breakfast served all day, delicious lunch sandwiches and the best ice cream you’ve ever had. Enjoy our cozy atmosphere with free wi-fi, outdoor seating on our huge front porch in one of Rochester’s premier locations. We focus on quality, good vibes and partnering with local family-owned businesses to bring you the best our region has offer!

Looking for a venue to host a special event right on Schoen Place overlooking the Erie Canal? Consider Neutral Ground on the Canal, a beautifully decorated private room for up to 50 people. Perfect for showers, rehearsal dinners, Celebrations of Life, classes, seminars or any event you can think of, with versatile menus to fit any occasion or budget. We have the flexibility to set the room in many different configurations, and an experienced event planner will help with every detail, guaranteeing your event will exceed your guests expectations. We can also include the coffeeshop for bigger evening events! For any inquiries and all the details please contact: Sherry Grugel, Event Coordinator 585-610-5393 (texting is great too)




LOCAL NONPROFIT CALLING FOR COMMUNITY PARTNERS He l p i n g Ho m e l e s s Wo m e n and Children Transitioning to Independent Living Home Start Hope is looking to expand their community partnerships and serve more women in Rochester. Community partners play a key role in referring women who are ready to transition from shelters or community living to independent housing. Throughout the year, Home Start Hope is looking to connect with more organizations who believe in their goals and mission. Over the past decade, Home Start Hope has provided essential items for women who are transitioning from local shelters to independent living. Many of these women havesuffered from domestic violence or homelessness. By partnering with various local nonprofits and shelters, like Willow Domestic Violence Center who has seen an uptick in displaced women and children since the pandemic, Home Start Hope is able to be part of the solution that gets women and their children into a safe environment. “Doing our part to help women and children get to safe environments has been our sole purpose since we opened in 2010,” said Kristin Mathis, President of Home Start Hope. “With

more community partnerships, we’ll be able to help more women and their families.” To learn more or refer an organization, please visit Home Start Hope has also announced their Inaugural Tablescapes luncheon

with Home Start Hope’’ featuring a shopping-for-a-guest experience at Target, and a VIP Private Dinner with a professional chef and bartender at Home Start Hope for the tablescape designer and 6 of their friends. The event will also feature a raffle, touching narratives, live bidding, and more. Be sure and check out our Winner’s Choice raffle for a chance to win a trip to Sonoma, Nashville or Mexico. Money raised from this event will aid Home Start Hope in achieving their goal — to provide local women and families with the new, essential household items they need, completely free of charge .

event will take place Sunday, May 1, 2022 from 11am - 2pm at the Locust Hill Country Club. This unique and inspiring event will highlight the table settings of interior designers, florists, event planners, boutique shop owners and other creatives to raise money for Home Start Hope. One of the beautifully-designed tablescapes will be voted on and selected for the Audience Choice Award, resulting in the Grand Prize of a “VIP Experience

“We are especially excited for this year’s luncheon and to show off the impressive collection of creatives who have registered to participate. It’s wonderful seeing members from our community come together to support such a great cause and make such a huge impact in the lives of the women and families we serve right here in our community.” - Kristin Mathis, President of Home Start Hope Sponsorship packages are now available, ranging from $500 to $3,000, to help further support Home Start Hope. Packages include recognition on the Home Start Hope event ticket page, social media pages, and event signage. Additional ways you can support Home Start Hope ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ SHIFT+CONTROL { FOR A GOOD CAUSE} } “Home Start Hope is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides brand new, essential household items to women and their children transitioning from local shelters around Rochester, to independent living.”

Sponsorship packages are now available, ranging from $500 to $3,000, to help further support Home Start Hope. Packages include recognition on the Home Start Hope event ticket page, social media pages, and event signage. Additional ways you can support Home Start Hope are available:

living, please visit, https://homestarthope. org/donate.

● To donate a gift card, please contact Kristin Mathis at mathis@homestarthope. org.

○ $750 provides for one woman and 4 children. Additional details on how to purchase tickets or become a sponsor can be found at tablescapes-2022.

● To donate the cost of a shopping list for women transitioning to independent 148


○ $500 provides a full list for one woman and her child. ○ $600 provides for one woman and 2 children.

### About Home Start Hope Home Start Hope is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides brand new, essential household items to women and their children transitioning from local shelters around Rochester, to independent living. Home Start Hope works to build foundations for independence, provide support for a fresh start, and create new beginnings for women. With incredible community support, these courageous, strong women can see their dreams become realities. Learn more at



Did you ever wonder why some of the packages that get delivered to your house are mangled beyond recognition? In these days of stores closing and people ordering most of their products online, the supply chain is busier than ever. The companies that deliver products to our homes and businesses have a higher volume than ever. I was able to see the inside of a major UPS hub and now I understand why some of the packages that get delivered do not make it unscathed through the process. What I think surprised me the most was the number of women who worked there, especially at night. Several of the supervisors and managers were women and, in fact, the CEO is female. Of course, most of the workers are men, but women certainly have a lot of opportunities there too. UPS moves over 25 million packages per day. In order to do that, there must be a very efficient process in place. There is a series of conveyor belts, chutes, rollers, trucks of various sizes, airplanes, and people…all working together to get your packages to you as quickly as possible. I am assuming that the same things happen at FedEx, DHL, the USPS…. anywhere that deals with a high volume of packages. It becomes about speed 150


and accuracy. With people in the mix and all the heavy machinery, it’s amazing that as many packages make it to their proper destinations without issue as they do! Challenge #1: Get all the packages onto the trucks by the time the shift is over, and the drivers show up. Challenge #2: Get the trucks out of the plant and on the road without needing to overflow to a second set

of trucks, which would increase the cost of the process. Packages are scanned and sorted at each point in the system so that they can arrive to you as soon as possible. The job is to keep things moving…… keep that belt moving and get these packages out of there! It is kind of like Lucy with the chocolates, but instead of candy, it might be air conditioners or dog food or something.

So, while Lucy and Ethel started hiding some of the chocolates on their belts by eating them, stashing them in their clothing and pretending that everything was alright when the supervisor came along…..the packages in the big operations like UPS cannot be hidden. They must be moved from point A to point B and in a hurry. The reality is that regardless of how your package may be labeled, ‘Handle with Care’, ‘This Side Up’, ‘Fragile’, or otherwise, the fact remains that it is going to be traveling the network of belts and chutes that will tumble them throughout the system. As they travel, they will be tossed about and mishandled by the machines. Some are shaped oddly, some leak, some of the packing tape will let loose, etc. If you ordered a nice outfit, let’s say, that is in a wellsealed box, but it is followed on the belt by a gas grill or flat screen tv, your box will get crushed and there is nothing that anyone could have done to prevent it. Conveyor belts cannot read and the packages travel one at a time, dozens at a time, etc. It all depends. So, all those signs trying to tell people




{ TRACY IS TALKING { TRACY TALKS } } “Did you ever wonder why some of the packages that get delivered to your house are mangled beyond recognition? “

how to handle the packages are lost on the machines that are also part of the operation. The only exception to this is when hazardous materials (hazmats) come through. The scanners will point them out and demand special handling. Other than that, sorry folks. The people are under pressure to ‘keep it moving’, so they too will place a package upside down or sideways at times. You place an order and then patiently wait for the package to be delivered. You get all excited when it finally arrives, right? Now, please remember that your package has been through 152


Hell and back. Don’t just rip open the box. Understand that you should open it carefully and then promptly not only wash, but SCRUB your hands after touching the outside….. and then dispose of it immediately. It has most likely touched the floor, been sweated on, maybe has touched something else that was leaking and, at a minimum, was in contact with the liquid waxy substance that is sprayed on the chutes to keep things moving. It may also have been next to something considered hazardous. Maybe it was accidentally stepped on, opened mistakenly during transit because the tape or a label got caught

on equipment, or flipped end over end while moving rapidly through the process. It may or may not have needed to be re-packed by people along the way. I guarantee though, that it was delivered to you as quickly as possible and with as much care as the system would allow and that multiple human beings have touched it. During my time at UPS, I saw false teeth, cadaver bags, clothing, pharmaceuticals, guitars, pillows, laptops and just about anything else that you can imagine travel through the system. This side up? Maybe.

Assisting Clients with their P Busines 200 Canal View Blvd, Suite 102 Rochester, NY 14623 W W W . B L A K E T

Purchase, Sale, Refinance, and ss needs. Phone: 585-299-4240 Fax: 585-299-4209 W E B B E R . C O M



WHAT IS A HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT? AND WHO/ WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is a type of home equity loan – basically, a second mortgage. It allows you to draw funds as you need them and repay the money at a variable interest rate. Much like a credit card that allows you to borrow against your spending limit as often as needed, a HELOC gives you flexibility to borrow against your home equity, then repay and repeat. HELOCs are great for people who are planning home improvement projects, have a large expense, want to consolidate a loan, or who need more time to pay down an existing debt. HELOCs generally have lower interest rates than home equity loans or personal loans, and the interest may be tax deductible (check with your tax advisor). However, you do need to have a high credit score, a low debt-to-income ratio and available equity in your home (the amount you owe on your home must be less than the value of the home). You can also get a HELOC if you own your home outright. In this case, the HELOC would become the primary mortgage, rather than a second one. How does a HELOC work? With a HELOC, you are borrowing against the available equity in your home and the house is used as collateral for the line of credit. At The Summit, you can generally borrow up to 95% 156


of the value of your home, subtracting the amount that you owe. Just as when you first got your mortgage, a HELOC lender will review your credit score and history, employment history, monthly income, and monthly debts. With a variable interest rate on your HELOC, the rate can change monthly. The rate is calculated from an index (a financial indicator used by financial institutions to set rates on consumer loan products) and a margin (added to the index, the margin is the same throughout the life of the line of credit.) Paying back your HELOC As you withdraw money from your HELOC, you’ll receive monthly bills with the minimum payments that include principal and interest. Payments may change based on your balance and the fluctuation of the interest rate and may also change if you make additional principal payments. Making additional principal payments when you can, will help you save on the interest you are charged and help reduce your overall debt more quickly. A HELOC has two phases: the draw period and the repayment period. As you repay your outstanding balance, the amount of available credit is replenished – much like a credit card. This means you can borrow against it again if you need to and you can borrow as little or as much as you need throughout your draw period (typically 10 years) up to the credit

limit you establish at closing. Monthly minimum payments are often interest only during this time, but you can pay the principal if you wish. At the end of the draw period, the repayment period (typically 15 to 20 years) starts. You won’t be able to borrow against the credit line during this time. You will pay back the loan in monthly installments that include principal and interest. At the end of the loan, you could owe a large amount – or “balloon payment” which includes any unpaid principal. Your lender may consider negotiating a term extension or refinance option if you can’t afford the lump sum payment. What’s the difference between a Home Equity Loan and a Home Equity Line of Credit? A home equity loan works like a conventional loan, with a lumpsum withdrawal to be paid back in installments. Home Equity Loans usually come with a fixed interest rate. A HELOC generally has a variable interest rate and acts like a revolving line of credit, letting you tap into your home’s value in the amount you need as you need it. As with a credit card, you only pay interest on the amount you use, not the total credit line available to borrow. The Summit’s knowledgeable and friendly Mortgage Department can help you find out which one is right for you.



{ FINANCIALLY SPEAKING } TRACY TALKS } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “A home equity loan works like a conventional loan, with a lump-sum withdrawal to be paid back in installments. Home Equity Loans usually come with a fixed interest rate.”

Helpful HELOC Tips: Ask your lender if there are any fees associated with your HELOC. There may be upfront fees (application fee, annual fee, cancellation, or early closure fee, etc.). The Summit’s HELOCs don’t have any application fees, or annual fees. Don’t assume that the price you paid at closing is what your home is worth. Your lending may ask for an appraisal to confirm the value of your home. If home prices in your area have appreciated since you have owned your home, you’ll have 158


more equity (the difference between the property’s higher value and the amount remaining on your mortgage will be larger). If you plan on moving soon, a HELOC might not be a good option for you. When you sell your home, you’ll have to pay off the balance of the HELOC. Paying off the HELOC could cut into the profits of the sale, and you might have to pay a cancellation fee to the lender. The Summit makes it easy to apply for a HELOC!

Apply before June 30 and get an introductory rate of 1.25% for 6 months (fixed rate), 3.25% thereafter. Apply online at, set up an appointment at your nearest branch, or schedule a Zoom appointment with our Virtual Branch ( virtualbranch). The Summit’s website contains a helpful loan calculator to determine your payment options or how much you can afford to finance. Dawn Kellogg is the Public Relations and Community Engagement Specialist at The Summit Federal Credit Union:






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Make a ZOOM appointment with our Virtual Branch from wherever you are.

HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT No hidden fees. No surprises. Details available on specific line limits.

Introductory rate

1.25 for six months




Rates as low as




No Closing Costs1 and No Annual Fee

after promotional period

Ask us how you can get started today! Learn Call 585.453.7000 Visit your local branch Zoom

THE SUMMIT IS AN EQUAL HOUSING LENDER. Membership eligibility required. Limited time offer. Subject to change without notice. 1. Loans subject to credit approval and certain limitations may apply. Closing costs (when applicable) include a title search, mortgage tax, filing fees, flood certification fee, and title insurance and are estimated to range from $495 to $1,500 (usually 3.0% to 5.0% of the amount borrowed). Property insurance required. If you opt not to pay the closing costs associated with your home equity line of credit (HELOC), you must reimburse us for all costs we paid to third parties to open your HELOC unless you keep account open for at least 3 years from the HELOC open date. 2. APR as low as 3.25% available for line limits greater than $50,000. For line limits between $15,000 and $50,000, the APR as of 3/16/2022 was 3.75% and for line limits of $15,000 or less was 4.00%. The introductory APR used during the first 6 months after the open date is not based on the index and margin used to make later adjustments. After the introductory rate expires, account subject to a variable rate based on the highest Prime Rate as published in the Wall Street Journal’s Money Rates Section in effect on the day that any introductory period expires and subsequently on the last Tuesday of the calendar month immediately preceding each change date plus a margin. As of 3/16/2022, on a minimum of $50,000.01 HELOC, the fully-indexed APR was 3.25%, based on a Prime Rate of 3.50% minus 0.250%. Thereafter, variable rate subject to change based on the highest Prime Rate and a margin of minus 0.250% to plus 0.750% depending on the line limit. Maximum 18% APR. Ask for details.








Why do they call you the “Queen of Commercial Real Estate” It was actually a name that was coined for me! There have historically been few women in commercial real estate and I worked so hard to build a name and a reputation in a male-dominated industry, unapologetically being a mother, woman and businesswoman. I was fortunate to be well received by the industry professionals and my clients. It took me a few years to realize the name had actually caught on and now I have adapted it into my business! Tell us a little about your background and history with Real Estate I was very committed to being in commercial real estate. I was turned down by the first brokerage I had interviewed with because I was a woman. I was accepted to join their residential team, but not their commercial because “women don’t succeed in commercial real estate”. I remember walking out of that interview feeling both defeated and deflated. I then interviewed at my current brokerage of Keller WIlliams and I was encouraged to join commercial because there was an unmet demand for women in the field. I signed on the spot and began learning and studying the field. What has been the biggest problem in commercial real estate over the past year? There isn’t enough inventory for people to buy! The government had given tremendous incentives through the Small Business Administration to encourage people to buy properties and

start businesses. So many landlords and sellers opted to maximize their portfolio and sell or lease at that time. Here we are a year later with greater demand for purchasing and there are so few buildings available.

What makes commercial real estate interesting? There is no monotony! Each transaction is different and each requires me to be forward-thinking, strategically planning and protecting my clients.

Who are some of the key people you work with as a commercial real estate agent? Being a commercial real estate broker, it’s crucial that I have a team of people to support the various components of a transaction. Key people range from commercial real estate attorneys, business and franchise attorneys, bankers, insurance brokers, credit card processors, accountants, payroll specialists and so many more. Each transaction is so different that it may require only 2 other referral partners, yet others may require a dozen. I refer only to those that I trust with my own family!

How do you interview a commercial tenant? I will always ask what type of business it is, how is the operation currently situated, how many years have they been in business, how will being in a new space affect them...all my questions are geared towards gaining a deep understanding of their business and what their needs are.

What geographic locations do you specialize in? I will comfortably cover a 3 hour radius of Rochester.

Is commercial property good investment? Absolutely! It is just critical that numbers be accurate for income stream and expenses, ensure there are no major health or safety defects and that you have worked with a professional to formulate your exit strategy.

Where do you see the market going right now? We have seen tremendous growth in most sectors of commercial real estate. Covid provided companies an opportunity to restructure operations, people to start their dream business, people moving out from a home office to a professional’s been a strong and constantly changing market. All indicators point to a robust market for the next 2 years and I am excited to be a part of it!

What is a major downside for a business to own its own building? There is no downside! It’s great for owners to be in charge of their building and maintenance, all while building wealth!

Can you share some of your recent success stories? I take sheer pleasure when my clients are so successful, they need additional space! I have helped 3 tenants expand into additional space this year, currently helping 2 tenants expand into other cities, placed 2 new businesses into locations and have 7 buyers under contract for their dream locations! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ THE QUEEN{OF COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE } SHIFT+CONTROL } “There is no monotony! Each transaction is different and each requires me to be forwardthinking, strategically planning and protecting my clients.”

It’s been a busy last few months and we haven’t even hit tax day yet! What is the one main thing a client would need to know about you that sets you apart from your competition? 164


I don’t view others in commercial real estate as competition, but rather colleagues. There are some really great brokers in our region and we work together to collaborate for the needs of our clients. It’s so important because so

many locations are not publicly listed, so the opportunities happen between brokers. This is a career where truly, relationships matter!








One of my favorite things to do as a little girl was to go to a fair or fun park. Since I was plagued with motion sickness even on rides as benign as the merry-go-round, I would often gravitate to the games. With tickets clenched in one hand and cotton candy in the other, I’d stand there wide-eyed, eagerly scanning all the lights, bells, and whistles to find one of my all-time favorites: Whack-A-Mole.

“Who has time?”, or eyes that well up with tears and a sigh of, “Not enough.” This running-on-empty, no-time-forself-care way of life is the very definition of stress. We know this. We also know the answer is to slow down, exercise, get more sleep, eat better and do all the things. If we know these things, how is it that

This Whack-A-Mole game of futility sat at waist height and had several holes patterned across the top; each filled with a plastic mole. Armed with a hefty rubber mallet, the mission was to quickly whack each mole on the head as they randomly popped up, before they popped back into their hole. The more moles you bopped on the head, the more points you got. The more points you got, the faster the moles popped up and down. You missed a mole, no points. I loved the fun, frenzied nature of the game. Life can be a lot like WhackA-Mole, can’t it? As a business owner and mom, most days I feel, even with careful planning, that I’m spinning in circles and bouncing left to right, reacting to every.urgent.thing. Except there’s no rubber mallet and it’s not fun. Most of the women I see in my practice describe life in a similar manner. When I ask them what they do for themselves or for fun, I usually get one of two responses: Either a huff of,

as women many of us have become convinced that self-care and taking time for ourselves are too self-indulgent? Too selfish? Just one more thing to add to our To-Do list? I’d like to propose that self-care is not about doing more, it’s about doing different. But first, let’s dig a little deeper on stress. You’ve probably heard that food can

affect your mood (dark chocolate anyone?). Equally important though, is that food also affects your body’s ability to be more resilient to stress and recover from it. Minimizing stress is important, and so is resilience and recovery. Our body responds to stress through what’s called the HPA axis. This stands for Hypothalamus-PituitaryAdrenal axis. The HPA axis perceives a threat (aka stress) and responds by releasing hormones like adrenaline (also called epinephrine) and cortisol. These hormones equip your body to adapt to a stress by raising your blood sugar, heart rate and blood pressure along with other physiological changes. Once the threat has passed, all these physiological responses and hormones should return to normal. The problem occurs when stress is ongoing, and the release and effects of these hormones never shut off. Over time, the HPA axis can become dysregulated, and we can lose the ability to adequately respond to and recover from stress. This can look like excessive mental or physical fatigue that doesn’t improve with sleep. It could be an inability to stop worrying. Maybe for you it shows up as poor sleep, anxiety, depression, decreased immunity, impaired reproductive function, or disease. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ NUTRITION DONE RIGHT } “What can you do differently to combat the harmful effects of stress and improve your resiliency and ability to recover?”

The main culprit here is something called oxidative stress. Much like the energy required for your car to run produces exhaust as a byproduct, the energy required by your body to live and breathe every day produces its own by-product, known as free radicals. Likewise, just as the exhaust from your car can damage the environment, free radicals can damage your body. Under normal circumstances the body can neutralize free radicals to render them harmless, however certain conditions like poor diet or chronic stress can cause excessive production of free radicals. When this happens, the body can’t make enough antioxidants to neutralize the large number of free radicals being produced. This leads to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress damages multiple things in the body, including your cells and DNA. The effects of oxidative stress can contribute to inflammation, accelerated aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, neurodegenerative conditions, cancer and other chronic conditions. So back to doing differently. What can you do differently to combat the harmful effects of stress and improve your resiliency and ability to recover? Since we all must eat, eat differently. I mean color. Lots and lots of it. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain both antioxidants and phytonutrients-substances that in addition to acting like antioxidants, provide multiple health benefits that prevent and counteract the effects of stress. 170


There are certain phytonutrients, called polyphenols, that also give fruits and vegetables their color. The red, blue-and purple-colored fruits like blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and red grapes contain a wide variety of phytonutrients. One of them is quercetin, an antioxidant which supports cardiovascular and immune health—and is especially supportive if you are prone to seasonal allergies. Resveratrol, another antioxidant that rose to fame when it was also discovered in red wine, can protect against aging, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Also found in the red, blue-and-purple-colored fruits is anthocyanin, which has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. If you’re a fan of elderberry syrup during cold and flu season, you’ll be happy to know that it can contain some of the highest amounts of anthocyanins over any other fruit. The darker the color, the higher the anthocyanin content. The orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain carotene, a phytonutrient that supports the immune system and can also help stimulate repair of damaged DNA. Carotene is also considered to be a form of vitamin A known as provitamin A, meaning the body can use it and convert it to usable Vitamin A, a natural antioxidant. The sulfur containing, stinky, green and white vegetables like broccoli and broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, turnip and collard greens contain vital

phytonutrients called glucosinates. These are antioxidants that support blood sugar control and cardiovascular health, help with DNA repair and are needed by your liver to make another of the body’s primary, highly prized antioxidants: glutathione. Another family of phytonutrients known as flavonoids can be found in fruits and vegetables of all colors. Flavonoids support the immune system, are anti-inflammatory and can inhibit oxidative stress. Vitamin C is an other antioxidant ubiquitous in the fruit and vegetable world. We often think of oranges and other citrus fruits as a source for Vitamin C, but it is also found in a variety of red, blue, purple, and green foods. Remember the HPA axis I mentioned earlier? The tiny, walnut-sized adrenal glands in the HPA axis use more vitamin C per weight than any other organ in the body--making Vitamin C a must-have nutrient for stress support. With April being Stress Awareness Month, I encourage you to simply choose differently. Instead of packaged, highly processed, and low nutrient foods, choose to add a variety of colorful, whole foods to your shopping cart and to your plate. This is one nutrition strategy to help your body cope with stress; adequate protein, specific vitamins, minerals, and adaptogenic herbs are also significant. While nutritional needs should be individualized for each person, one thing can apply to




{ NUTRITION DONE RIGHT { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “With April being Stress Awareness Month, I encourage you to simply choose differently.”

just about everyone: If you look on your plate and see a rainbow, you’re off to a great start. Amy Doyle is a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist and is the owner of White Stone Wellness, a 172


private practice in Fayetteville, NY. She received her Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from the Northeastern School of Health Sciences in 2014. In addition to her practice, Amy also works in various capacities as an educator and content

writer for the nutrition and integrative medicine world. Amy believes in empowering individuals toward their best health by addressing them as a whole person, with a patient-centered, personalized approach.


Nutrition is not one-size-fits-a ll. Amy Doyle Board Certified Nutrition Specialist

§ Personalized, patient-centered, functional nutrition to help you take back your health. White Stone Wellness 7030 E. Genesee St. #103 Fayetteville, NY 13066 Phone: 315-527-1453 Email:

§ Specializing in: Women’s Health Gastrointestinal Health Mental Health

§ When you feel better, you live better.






Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background. My mom taught me to be kind. I am a thought leader who delivers. I challenge people to pay attention to what matters most. I bring all of myself to everything I do. I am an honest and realistic forward thinker. I love people and believe that the special talent that each person brings to this life is an invaluable gift to others. What makes you “hustle”? I have always been a hustler. I have had many fulfilling careers that pay the bills, but the hustle is what really matters in life. What gets me up in the morning is wanting to do something to help someone else. What is the mission behind What Moves You and how did you start the business to help support formerly incarcerated women? ?MUVSU? What Moves You? was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to combat my depression caused by isolation. My talent enables me to create something beautiful, unique and purposeful. The idea of gifting a handmade bag to a formerly incarcerated women is extremely important because when women are incarcerated, they are stripped of their possessions; every woman carries a bag, every woman has baggage. ’The bag’ also represents money, material wealth, larger goals in life, and keeping the focus. Every bag that is gifted contains a handwritten note from me and the customer with words of encouragement. It is an empty bag for a reason and represents a fresh start.

Who inspired you to start the business, and become a female entrepreneur? My daughter encouraged me to go into business and invite people to support my cause and buy my bags because they are meaningful and beautiful. ?MUVSU? is philanthropic social justice art. What is your why? Why do you do what you do? ?MUVSU? strengthens my activism for currently and formerly incarcerated people and their families. Incarceration is a result of a lack of investment in our community and the people who live there. I want to continue to creatively change the minds, hearts and lives of justice-impacted people and help them realize their personal power. I have been very fortunate to have participated in different advocacy and organizing trainings that have helped me to create a healthy, trauma-informed pathway to success. Opportunities like these are viable alternatives to the negative lifestyles that lead people to incarceration in the first place, and they reduce recidivism. Philanthropy is an acknowledgement of privilege and utilizing it to better the world. Through philanthropy we have a unique opportunity to change mindsets and to champion new solutions. ?MUVSU? is philanthropic social justice and social impact art. ?MUVSU? enables people who are not directly affected to be purposeful givers to those who are. ?MUVSU? also empowers people who are more well off to use their resources to help

others who are not as well off. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming successful after being incarcerated? How can the public help more? After incarceration being connected through doing service is a key to staying out. Volunteering with advocacy and organizing groups led by directly affected people and formerly incarcerated people is a first step to build relationships and get information about employment, housing, etc. Some grassroots organizations in Syracuse that I have supported are OG’s Against Gun Violence, The Women’s Opportunity Center, Writing Our Lives (Believe in Syracuse) and Mercy Works @ The Vision Center. The public can help by learning about the Prison Industrial Complex from people with lived experience. Join us at The Freedom Agenda or the Beyond Rosies’ Campaign with WCJA (Womens Community Justice Association) https://www.womenscja. org/. What do you feel are some of your greatest strengths? I am an altruistic giver. I engage people from all backgrounds. My follow-up skills are impeccable. Who are some of the people that empower you and why? People in my life who tell me the truth empower me. My daughter and her children empower me to be a positive role model. I exist to inspire them to live meaningful lives by showing ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{SHE SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS HUSTLES {{WHAT MOVESTALKS YOU?}}}} “?MUVSU? strengthens my activism for currently and formerly incarcerated people and their families.”

them how to live with integrity, optimism, hope, determination, and compassion. It is an honor that I hold in the highest regard that my daughter trusts me enough to allow me to have such an essential role in her children’s development. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? No, not at all. Every single decision I have made has had an immense impact in creating who I am in this very moment. Name one special moment in your life that has stood out to you and why. My family is my rock and my foundation. I am so fortunate because of how individually amazing they all are. They have never NOT loved me. There are too many moments that stand out for me to mention just one special moment. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you expand your idea into creating this business to help others? Acknowledging that nothing can be done alone. Yes, one person can make a difference but, it takes a team of like-minded people to invoke long lasting change to systemic issues that oppress. I am always learning. I created the MUVSUment to heal trauma and it’s been so good! I feel good creating the bag and arranging the gifting. The buyer feels good: carrying a 1-of-a-kind handmade bag, gifting a woman returning home from incarceration a bag (and writing a 176


personalized notecard with words of encouragement), and telling the story behind the bag she carries. The woman gifted feels good: receiving a 1-of-a-kind bag, made especially for her, that is gifted to her from a circle of people who support her reintegration into the community. What has been your best form of promotion for you and why? My website was created by a 16-year old student that I met at a local vending event called the Ubuntu Market in Dallas. Zackyia approached me and admired my work. We got to talking and she asked if I had a social media presence. I said I did not. She said she could help. I asked her to send me a proposal and we exchanged information. When I got home that evening there was an email with a proposal from her. Needless to say -- she was hired! I had a lot of questions and since I am from NY I may seem a little bossy, but Zackyia was knowledgeable, professional, courteous and most of all, she was patient with me. After several in person meetings and facetime calls was up and open for business. Zackyia also created my IG and Twitter pages. I am forever indebted to this powerhouse young woman. What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself and the services that you can provide? The most important discovery I have made about myself is that people support the Person they believe in. Every time I explain MUVSU’s vision I am humbled by the extent of appreciation and praise that I receive.

Since 2020 MUVSU has gifted and sold over 400 bags to women. Here are quotes from a few organizations that were gifted: @ProvidenceNY posted: “There’s nothing quite as exciting as getting a package from @ whatmovesyou_ Like the recipients of these bags, each is bold and beautiful and no two designs ae alike. These items will be gifted to the residents in our Women’s Justice Program! Thank you to ?MUVSU? and all who have purchased bags and shirts to make this gift possible.” Pivot Purposefully wrote: “When I say that my heart is overwhelmed with joy! Marion made these beautiful handmade bags for each of her classmates. Unfortunately, when being released from prison many people are sent home with a garbage bag to carry out their belongings. Imagine the difference knowing that there is a beautiful bag to place your belongings in” College and Community Fellowship, Women Influencing Systems and History wrote: “I wanted to extend my gratitude for your generosity and support. Marion is one dedicated, fierce and powerful advocate and her talent is a testament of the myriad of gifts she brings to the community. ‘What Moves you?’ … this moves me. Thank you for believing.” I resided in Texas in 2021 and am proud to announce that ?MUVSU? Bags can be purchased in these three stores in Dallas, Texas: Well Grounded Coffee Co. https://







SHE HUSTLES TALKS HUSTLES {{WHAT MOVESTALKS YOU?} }} {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “?MUVSU? What Moves You? was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to combat my depression caused by isolation.”

The Pan African Connection Bookstore https://www.panafricanconnection. com/ The Alkaline Hour Herbal Store What is the bigger picture for you behind What Moves You? 5 year plan – I will hire exclusively formerly incarcerated or criminal justice impacted people to frame and further the mission of ?MUVSU?. One vision we will accomplish is to drive around the U.S. and gift bags to organizations that support formerly incarcerated women. We will also pull up on jails and correctional facilities that house women so that when she walks out of that door and into her new beginning – she will be gifted a ?MUVSU? bag. Where did you come up with the name for the business? ?MUVSU? acronym is Motivate Uplift and Vigorously Support Uniqueness. The concept came about 5 years ago when I completed the WISE (Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship) program in Syracuse NY through a collaboration with Vera House/ Project Phoenix and Syracuse University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at The Whitman School of Business. I did not have a solid business plan at that time but I kept the business name ?MUVSU? What Moves You? I learned that successful communication is best started by asking a question. ?MUVSU? is

a question, an invitation, and a call to action. What moves me is working together with people to uplift and support women. An intimate conversation is guaranteed to happen with every Bag that is purchased and/or gifted. People are engaged and feel comfortable sharing. We may talk about my fabric choices, or

home who will be gifted a Bag. Those moments truly take my breath away, they are so beautiful. Besides the therapeutic value I receive from creating, selling and gifting the Bags, these are the moments that really move me and keep me inspired to keep doing this work. Any advise you have for someone strating a business like this, that is to help serve others? Be genuine, honest and integral. Ask questions. Listen to learn. Follow through. Where will we see you next? Any big plans? ?MUVSU? is a regular vendor at the Witness to Mass Incarceration Annual Suitcase Sunday Event in New York City https://www. witnesstomassincarceration. org/ Last year New York State Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer came out to support us.

my artwork on the Bag and what it represents to them. Then I will ask them to pose for a picture carrying the MUVSU bag for my website; and finally, I invite them to handwrite a notecard with a personalized message of support for the woman returning

It is my hope that YOU will be a part of the big plans in the future by collaborating with ?MUVSU? What Moves You? and inviting us into spaces that are helping to support women. https://www.muvsu. net/about. Thank you so much for this opportunity and exposure!








Tell us about Tiffany Gray and where you are from, your background, family, etc My name is Tiffany Gray and I grew up in the city of Rochester, NY. I am the oldest of my mother’s four biological children and seven adopted children. I am the second oldest of my fathers five children. Education, accountability and responsibility was high on my mother list for all of us. With that being said, “doing hair” for a living was not going to cut it with her. She was old school, so of course I went to college (Suny Morrisville) to find out it wasn’t quite for me. I took course to become a certified nurses aide (CNA) after my first year and kept that title until I became a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in 2016. I married early at the tender age of 20 years old. My husband enlisted in the marines after high school, once I was married June 2001 I booked a flight to join him in California which was supposed to fly out 9/12/2001. Needless to say, I didn’t take that flight! I took the greyhound for 3.5 to California the first week in October of that year and we lived there until he was deployed for the Iraq war. I returned home and worked in the corporate world for at RCSD main offices. As my life grew and continued, I was always a hair dresser. I would do my classmates hair when in high school, college mates’ hair while in

college, had an in-home salon when I lived in California and when I returned home to Rochester while he was away. I didn’t obtain my cosmetology license until 2004 from continental school of beauty thus the reason I worked from home from state to state since graduating high school in 1999. God gave me these wonderful hands, this huge heart and brains! I will be forever grateful for these gifts and the blessings he

continues to bestow upon me. What made you decide to open your own business, Phli Divas? Once I graduated from continental school of beauty and passed my state exam, I immediately found a salon to work in. A class mate of mine opened a salon with her father and asked would I like to rent a booth. I was excited and couldn’t wait to be in the hair industry fully. After about 10 months, I moved to a salon closer to home so I could walk to and from work. Both salon experiences

taught me more than I ever could imagine about business etiquette, customer service and the entire salon experience in a whole. I was a client for years before I became a beautician. I already knew the kind of experience I wanted to give my clients and once I was in the field, I realized there was a serious lack of the professionalism and respect in the industry, especially for African American women, which led me to open my own salon April 1, 2006. 2 years after graduation her I was stepping out on faith to become an entrepreneur! What would you say is your specialty service? My specialty is hair care. I like to make sure the scalp and hair is properly taken care of to promote growth and strong hair in all my clients! I am a very versatile beautician, I fell in love with the way short cuts frame the face, the way colors make people skin pop my ultimate wow is adding any type of extensions to someone’s hair and making it look like its growing from the scalp. I am also a great human hair wig maker. In my opinion, the most important thing I provide to my clients is a wonderful salon experience (customer service) while educating them about their hair. I love making women feel gorgeous. You never know what someone is going through ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022





{BEAUTY SHIFT+CONTROL } } {{ BLACK WOMEN ROC LIES WITHIN “I didn’t choose this profession it chose me! My hands are my gift from God! Being a beautician comes so easily and naturally.”

making them feel good and allowing them be able to destress when they enter these doors is my priority and passion in life. I LOVE IT HERE!! When you become a client, you become extended family! I provide a comfortable environment which allows all clients to relax, unwind all while enhancing their beauty. I am a counselor, friend, nurse, shoulder to cry on and confidant to everyone that sits in my chair! All while blessing them with these gifted hands. How do you stay on top of the latest trends? Continued education is how I stay on top of the latest trends. When the lace front installments became popular, I went to NYC to take a class with Arrogant Tae (Nikki Minaj hair stylist) My nieces and hair family also keep me updated just in case I missed something new that might have come to the scene. My brother and I always look for things and bounce ideas off of each other, he owns a barber shop not far from my establishment. Things change so fast in this industry you have to try and keep up as much as you possibly can! What makes you “hustle”? Making my parents proud, being the greatest beautician, and being the wealthiest entrepreneur, my family has ever encountered is my main reason why I do what I do. Building generational wealth for my future children and my nieces and nephews

is what makes me hustle also. We didn’t grow up with many monetary luxuries. My mother always provided everything we needed. She was an awesome single mother who ran her own in-home daycare for years when we were younger. She was the first example I personally encountered that showed me the meaning of a strong black woman! What made you choose this profession?

I didn’t choose this profession it chose me! My hands are my gift from God! Being a beautician comes so easily and naturally. No matter how I feel or what I may be going through when I walk through the door of my salon my spirit becomes at peace. This is my all-time happy place. Do you walk your talk as a lady boss? Meaning do you own the advice you give to others? Yes, I do walk my talk as a lady boss.

The advice I give when asked by anyone I keep it brutally honest. I try to uplift as many women as possible on a daily basis. I offer any and all information I can to help others get ahead and feel great about themselves. I love seeing woman power forward in life making a better life for themselves and their families. We have to set a awesome example for those coming up behind us and looking up to us. Afterall, we are all a role model and inspiration to someone daily. Do you find it helpful or hard being a minority owned business woman? I find it both helpful and hard (sometimes) being a minority business owner. The hardest part about being a minority business owner is being viewed as such instead of an entrepreneur or small business owner. I can recall this one nurse said to me, “ I seen your little commercial for your salon on tv last night.” I just smiled at her and said “ Funny, I haven’t seen yours yet.” Her face turned beat red as she held her head down and apologized for air quoting “my little commercial.” Its the condescending way that we are spoken to and about that makes it hard, while keeping our heads high, smiling and pushing forward. Its helpful because I am able to show young men and women, just ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{BEAUTY SHIFT+CONTROL } } {{ BLACK WOMEN ROC LIES WITHIN “Making my parents proud, being the greatest beautician, and being the wealthiest entrepreneur, my family has ever encountered is my main reason why I do what I do.”

because you may have grown up in the rough part of the city doesn’t mean you can’t excel . My first salon was located on Jefferson ave (where I grew up), my second location was on Chili ave which was a slightly better neighborhood but not great. When I found my current store front located in a small plaza I was excited that I finally was going to be able to make the salon I always dreamed about into a reality. No loans or handouts just plain hard work, sweat and tears. I have designed my own floors, painted my walls and decorated with just my husband and support team by my side. So its definitely helpful when we can all come together to help and support one another with our business ventures. We have done appreciation cook outs, book bag and school supply give aways, free cuts and free food for the children of the community! “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because I love it. Helping people feel good about themselves and enhancing their beauty on a daily basis makes my heart smile. There is nothing like a stimulating scalp massage (shampoo) after a long week of work. In a kid free, relaxing, beautiful and comfortable environment. “My hands are heaven sent, talent unmatched and my personality is awesome” is what my clients say to me on a weekly basis! Giving people a reason to smile and be 186


happy even if its just for the time we are together. Who are some of the people that have inspired you? Who are some of the people that have inspired you? The ladies in my family have been the most inspiring in my life. My mother taught me strength, perseverance, humility and the importance of education. My grandmother (who recently passed) wouldn’t let me give up no matter how

hard things got or how many times I cried. My god sister helped me perfect the art of doing hair from grade school to high school and my lovely aunt (who recently passed) taught me the hustle and grind!! All of these women have inspired me to be the best I can be at anything I chose to do. Watching the elders take care of home, running a business and/or having full time employment while raising what turned out to be awesomely educated children is the greatest inspiration any child can have. Its starts at home! My

ultimate hair mogul is MADAM C.J. WALKER, first African American woman self-made millionaire! Born December 23, 1867, she invented the hot comb and other hair care products while running her beauty salon. Taking care of hair has brought great wealth to many of us, we used to have to fight for recognition. Oh they can see us and hear us now Madam Walker! What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? The best form of promotion for my business is word of mouth. I have done 3 television commercials, billboards and countless adds on social media. People like to talk to other about their experience with you and if they loved their results. No amount of advertisement can really express the personal experience. Showing your work will intrigue them but someone who has experienced you will get them to book! Are you a born leader? Having a great idea is one thing. Being able to communicate that idea and convince others to jump on board is another. Do you feel you have what it takes to be successful? Are you a born leader? Do you have what it takes to be successful? I do believe I am a born leader! The oldest of 12 plus kids I think I never had a chance to be a follower. Then who




{ {BEAUTY LIES WITHIN} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My specialty is hair care. I like to make sure the scalp and hair is properly taken care of to promote growth and strong hair in all my clients!”

\look up to and what would they turn out to be? I have always felt like I was someone to look up to every since I was young. I never let my voice go unheard when it mattered. I have the heart, strength, focus and work ethic to be very successful. Even when I’m on vacation I go to different salons and hair supply store to see what I can learn. My husband knows it 2 days that are for me when we vacay, one day is a hair day and the other is shopping! I am never not at work mentally, even on my days off until I can get every dime of my money working for me effortlessly. What does the phrase “Beauty Lies Within” mean to you? What does the phrase beauty lies within mean to you? Self-explanatory really, you are as beautiful as you feel on the inside. Is there any advice you would give to 188


the young entrepreneurs starting out in the salon industry? Is there any advice you would give to the young entrepreneurs starting out in the salon industry? The person that sits and creates the business plan when you first start your business will not be the same person you see 10 or 20 years down the line in the business. Allow your self to grow and except the change that comes with it! Don’t put high expectations of support on anyone but yourself. You have to be the main person to believe in you. God gave you a gift and a purpose and it may not be the same as your sisters or neighbors. What is for you is really just for you. You are the only one who has to live with you 24 hrs. a day so do what you love and what makes you feel good. You will be surprised at how far your business can actually take you. Never give up. There will be bumps in the road because life

happens, just don’t let it discourage you. Keep at it and stay true to your dreams! Where can we find you and where will we see you next? Where can we find you and where will we see you next? You can find me in the City-Gates plaza at 1460 Lyell ave, Rochester, NY 14606. You can schedule your next visit @ phlidivasbeautysalon. or just find me on google and read the reviews before booking! My next venture will to become a after cosmetology school educator. Cosmetology school teaches you the basics and I would like to assist with the business plans, pricing plans, advertisement and ethics of the industry in order to ensure wealthy success for as many as I possibly can. It’s a large world out here and there is hair to be done and money to be made, I just want to help people secure it while enjoying the craft!







Hali Rockow






In the latest edition of She Hustles Talks, women entrepreneurs highlight, we have a young “ladyboss” hustling her way to the top! Please welcome Hali Rockow, owner of Buffalo Bleached. And no, she is not located in Buffalo, NY, she is right here in Rochester! Tell us about yourself, your background, and how you started Buffalo Bleached. My name is Hali and I’m the owner and founder of Buffalo Bleached! I’m a 24-year-old Rochester native. I’m a full-time student at SUNY Brockport majoring in Public Health and Sociology. Shortly after making the decision to go back to school and finish my degree, the business happened on complete accident! I was layed off during the pandemic and started to find fun things to do and take away the stress of it all, I started bleaching and tie-dyeing clothes and that’s how I started. I bleach dyed a random Bills shirt I bought at Walmart and the rest is history! A little over a year of doing business all online and hosting pop up events throughout Rochester, I made the jump to open my first brick and mortar store located in Greece. What makes you “hustle”? I think I have always had natural “hustling” qualities. As soon as I was able to work at 15, I got my first job and honestly loved to work! I’ve always had a strong worth ethic and I strive to always do more. It makes you hustle even harder when the business is your own!



What is the mission beyond Buffalo Bleached? The mission behind Buffalo Bleached is that being cute and comfortable should be celebrated! I call my customers my “besties”, and I want to be a safe space for them and anyone who steps foot into my store. I want to feel like I really am your bestie! Buying clothes and accessories you feel comfortable and cute in is the driving force behind bb.

The atmosphere is welcoming, bright and fit for anyone. How did you get started and decide to open up your own business and become a female entrepreneur? It wasn’t even really a decision, more of a happy accident! My business was my version of a “pandemic baby”. It was born during the pandemic and flourished in a time when I think

people needed it most, and since then it has stuck! Who inspired you to become an entrepreneur? There are so many people that inspired me. In this day and age of social media it’s easy for women to find business babes to look up to and that is just what I did. I lost my dad as a kid, he always dreamed about having his own business, so in many ways I feel like he was a driving force in the back of my mind pushing me to own my own business. What fascinates you about your business? My customers fascinate me the most about my business. They are honestly the bright spots of my day and are always around when I need it. It fascinates me that they are still interested in the things I sell and things I do, I really don’t feel worthy of their support and sometimes it doesn’t feel real. There will be times I’m shopping at the pet store or in Wegmans and someone comes up to me and asks, “if I’m the girl from Buffalo Bleached” and that is so surreal to me still! I appreciate that they know I’m still human and not just a face behind the screen or counter. Why did you choose to open a physical storefront? I needed more space! I was traveling all over for pop ups and making clothes in my basement and it became claustrophobic. I have always wanted





{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “A little over a year of doing business all online and hosting pop up events throughout Rochester, I made the jump to open my first brick and mortar store located in Greece.”

a storefront to offer my own eclectic taste to others, and this just seemed like the perfect chance! What is your most favorite service to provide, or product you offer and why? Any of the Bills inspired gear is super fun and definitely a crowd favorite. My style is more in the front of the store in the clothes with funky prints and colorful sunglasses and all of the candles and housewares. My style really comes through in the merchandise that I sell and you really don’t find anything else like it in the area.

I love getting to meet new customers and see the way people smile when they walk into the store and see all the fun items and bright colors. Coming to work doesn’t feel like work to me because I truly enjoy the store and it has become my passion.

Since I opened the storefront, just simple word of mouth has been my best form of promotion. I never thought this would be the case because we rely so heavily on the internet these days but spreading the word has helped me so much!

Who were the mentors that encouraged you to fulfill your dream?

What are your plans for your business for the future? I would love to be able to open a second location one day! I hired my first employee as of recently and that has been a big step for me so I’m just going to keep dreaming!

As a business owner, what are your top three priorities in running a successful business? Customer service is definitely number one! My years of working in the service industry have taught me that. My second priority is staying involved in my community, that’s where my heart is. And my third priority is buying, I always want to have a cute selection of gifts and treats for my besties! Do you walk your talk as a lady boss? I think I do! I hope I do. I think that is important and leads to a more successful and honest business. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because I love it! Getting to show up to “work” every day at a place I built, designed, curated and have put my all into is one of the most rewarding things one can experience.

When starting your business, did you ever ask yourself “WILL CUSTOMERS ‘WANT’ OR ‘NEED’ MY PRODUCT OR SERVICE?” All the time! I never would have believed this would have caught on and people would be interested and want my products. I think that goes through ever business owners head at some point. It even still crosses my mind today, but I know I have created a store and a brand that people love! I learned a lot at my old job from the woman that owned it. I tried to carry the wisdom and things I learned from her and give my own touch to it when I opened my storefront. Without the things I learned, I don’t know if I would have been confident enough to open my own place. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business?

Are you a born leader? Having a great idea is one thing. Being able to communicate that idea and convince others to jump on board is another. Do you feel you have what it takes to be successful? I know I have what it takes to be successful! It took me a while to see that in myself but what I have done so far is working and I don’t have any plans to let up! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “My customers fascinate me the most about my business. They are honestly the bright spots of my day and are always around when I need it.”

Does your business currently have a social media presence? What platform do you find to be the best response for you? Yes! You can find us on Instagram at, Facebook and Tiktok. I have found Instagram to be the best, but I love how creative you can be on Tiktok!

true. Never make yourself smaller to fit into the room! Who do you look up to for inspiration? I look up to my mom, she has taught me what it means to be independent and the power you hold when you

What do you think is the biggest factor that has helped you be successful? I think the belief in myself that I had the ability to be successful has helped me stay successful. Owning a business, especially at 24, is not an easy task but it’s rewarding. I have built such a loyal community and brand and being successful has just been natural because of that. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given and what is one piece of advice you would want to pass on to a young entrepreneur? I would say to never let anyone make you feel like your ideas are too crazy or impossible. You can do anything you put your mind to, you are never too young to make your dreams come 204


teach yourself to do things on your own. I also look up to Karen Iglesia, the founder of Primetime Ballers (a not-for-profit organization I am a board member of) for her strength and ability to have others gravitate toward

her. Both of these women have kept me on my toes and helped me to learn so much about myself. I also look to my sister for inspiration. She is so strong and she is younger than me so she helps to keep me young and trendy. Where do you see yourself both personally and professionally in the next 3 years? I will have graduated with my bachelor’s degree, hopefully opening up the second bb location and just continuing to grow my brand and using my platform for good. If you could have one wish for your business what would it be? To continue to grow and be a safe and fun place for people to come and shop and just feel at home. I love the vibe of the store and I’ve worked hard to create it so my wish is that bb never loses its charm as we continue to grow.









Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background that led you into the real estate field. I have always had a strong interest in real estate. My dad owned a number of investment/rental properties and was always looking for real estate to purchase. He also got into new home construction and built a small subdivision of single-family homes. Hence, the value of owning and investing in real estate was part of my upbringing. Before I made a career move to get into the real estate business, I spent time in real estate related activities such as purchasing and managing a family-owned rental property, land development, and new construction. In 2003, I contacted a real estate broker to inquire about an investment property she was selling, and she encouraged me to get my real estate license and join her brokerage firm—that was the beginning of my real estate career. When did you decide to go out on your own? As a real estate agent, you are an independent contractor working with a brokerage firm. However, you never really work alone. My company, RE/MAX Plus, has an amazing administrative staff and a marketing department that provide support to its agents. I also work with a business coach and use several independent contractors to support my business. I am not part of a real estate team, but the next step for me

would be to hire my own administrative assistant and a buyer’s agent to help manage my current business and grow my business. What makes you hustle both personally and in the real estate market? I honestly love what I do so I don’t feel like I’m working! I enjoy meeting

people and helping them make transitional changes in housing based on their specific needs & goals. Every person’s situation is different and it is like a fact finding and problem solving mission—I love helping folks find the solution! How do you find new clients? What

has been your biggest success? In the beginning, I worked with many cold, online leads who developed into trusting clients. I learned early on in the business the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with the people who have sold or purchased real estate with me. Consistently staying touch with my clients is one of the most important keys to my success. I do this a number of different ways— phone calls, flyers, emails, faceto-face visits, and my favorite— Client Appreciation Events! Who were mentors that encouraged you or inspired you? I have always been a big believer in coaching. Coaching helps push you beyond what you believe you are capable of achieving. It provides you with an objective view of yourself and your business. More importantly, coaching gives you accountability—a good coach keeps you focused on achieving your goals and provides you with feedback to make changes when necessary to achieve those goals. Throughout my real estate career, I have always had a coach! Where do you see your business in the next three years? Five years? I have been in the real estate business for 19 years. Most of my career has been with the RE/MAX brand. My business has grown steadily over the last five years. I plan to continue ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “As a real estate agent, you are an independent contractor working with a brokerage firm. However, you never really work alone.”

that trend by adding staff to grow the business and to continue to provide great service to my clients. What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur especially in the real estate market? What makes a successful female entrepreneur is pretty much the same for anyone in business—know your product, set goals to track performance, and know how to manage your money. The most important one, though, is having great people skills. Even with all the technology in real estate, this is still a people business. Having great interpersonal skills, I believe is critical element to real estate success. What is the number one misconception in real estate right now? That all real estate agents are created equal—so NOT true! Real estate is a relatively easy business to get into. Once you’ve taken the real estate licensing course and passed the tests, you can join a real estate company and begin to sell real estate. However, that doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing. In many cases, you are handling most people’s largest financial investment. This is not something I ever take lightly. Selling real estate requires knowledge, skill, and hard work. It also requires experience—every real estate transaction over the past 19 years has added to my expertise. 210


What do you think are the top 5 qualities of being a successful real estate agent? 1. Make sure people know who you are and what you do. Don’t be a “secret” agent! Maintain consistent communication with past clients 2. Know how to ask great questions and be an active listener. The real

professionalism and integrity. 5. Always be honest and sincere— people will do business with you if they trust you. What is your favorite part of the business? I love meeting and working with people and finding out about where they are on their journey. I A: also love real estate so being in the real estate business is the perfect blend of these two favorites. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why? I would stay right here where I am, in Rochester, NY. The people I know live here. My clients are here. My family and my friends are here. Relationships are important to me so I want to be near those people who I value.

estate transaction is all about the client--their needs and their journey. 3. Stay on top of your game. The business and the industry are changing all the time so it’s important to stay current on the market & trends. Continuing education is also important to hone skills. 4. Treat everyone with highest level of

W h a t w o u l d yo u s a y i s your greatest professional accomplishment to date? I was the proud recipient of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame award in 2017. This award is given to affiliates who have earned at least $1 million in commissions during their careers with RE/MAX. The most exciting part of receiving the award was having it handed to me directly by the co-founder of RE/ MAX, David Liniger, at a convention in Las Vegas. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Not sure if this is advice or just something really important to




{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I have always been a big believer in coaching. Coaching helps push you beyond what you believe you are capable of achieving. “


remember. That is, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!

goals are tied into my whys—the things that are most important to me.

What did you do before becoming a real estate agent? Other than being a mom to three amazing children, I spent about 12 years working in Marketing and Customer Service at Eastman Kodak Company for the Motion Picture & Audiovisual Marketing Division.

What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? I enjoy staying fit and healthy. I’m an active member of Golds Gym in Webster and enjoy riding my bike and walking the nature trails in Webster. I also love to shop and cook and enjoy entertaining family and friends with my husband, Larry.

How do you stay motivated? My goals keep me motivated. My

What’s unique about the service that you provide to your clients?

Every client has unique needs and goals. I create a personalized plan to provide the services needed to meet those goals. What is one piece of advice you want to give to an up and coming real estate agent? Always treat everyone how you would like to be treated. What goes around, comes around.







“I honestly love what I do so I don’t feel like I’m working! I enjoy meeting people and helping them make transitional changes in housing based on their specific needs & goals.”








Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Who is Diana Torba? Diana Torba was born and raised in Oswego and came out of the womb making dances. After 2 decades in NYC studying, choreographing, and performing, she is very happy to bring big-city vibes back to the CNY. What makes you hustle? Beauty. If there aren’t original works of art in the world, we forget why we are here.

Inspire audiences to be his/her own best self. The height of a jump or the intricacy of a combination should always inspire others to attack the calling of their own lives without fear. If you could interview one person who has inspired you, who would it be and what would you ask them?

What is Speak Dance NY and how did you start your business? SpeakDance CNY exists to create regular professional modern dance performance in a region where artistic flight to larger markets is, sadly, normal. We started last year when I moved back from New York City and began recruiting dancers. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business woman, especially within the dance community? Authenticity and discipline: care about everyone you meet; listen and bring a smile to your dancer’s day. Always get in your daily workout, watch what you put into your temple because it’s the discipline of the daily that leads to goal accomplishment. What is the mission behind your business model?

Social media is everything. Super helpful. Gets the word out in a way we used to have to H.U.S.T.L.E. back in the day. The thought of handing out show postcards on foot makes me giggle a bit now. How do you juggle the fast paced life of being a female entrepreneur and having a personal life and being a mom? I barely do! Singlemomming 4 boys and 1 girl is no joke! But, I’ve learned to set very clear boundaries with my personal relationships; positive people only, I have too much to get done for me and the kids to entertain any negative energy.

St. Joan of Arc: I would ask about how the angels dance in heaven and if she could share some moves.

What challenges have you faced since you started your business and how have you overcome them? Getting people away from their screens, and also not to be afraid of the spreading of germs, etc. A great way to do that was to hold our first concert outside at the Manlius Swan Pond Pavilion last summer.

Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business, especially during the pandemic and how did you learn to pivot when you couldn’t be in the studio?

What motivates you and keeps you moving forward ? The fear of no one doing anything beyond sending their kids to dance schools. Grown people who have honed their craft, giving a gift back ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022








{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “Again, locally there is not much dance literacy beyond the movement of juvenile bodies, so, like teaching Spanish or Chinese, we want to help the average person “speak dance” and have a growing understanding that dance can actually be a lifetime engagement.“

to the culture, matters. Did anyone ever prepare you, or encourage you and give you advice as to what opening Speak Dance would be like? If so, what did they say? I wish! No, this is a very unique thought and business, but therein lies the magic, so it’s okay. Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years? Just growing, booking performances, and helping people understand why they should come out and watch professional dance, that they will feel inspired and happy doing so. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female business owner? Men love women, especially women who are on a mission, so just blow through this world on fire, and all will work out. Do you have any helpful advice to someone just starting their career in dance? Any tips that helped you along the way? Believe in yourself and use the haters as fuel. Practice your technique AND be creative. Make up things no one has ever seen before. 224


What prepared you to be where you are today? Determination, great teachers, American freedom that allows us time to work on artistic things. If you needed to start it all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing to change, add or subtract, what would it be and why? I would have cut the negative people

out of my life sooner. What makes you an expert in understanding the needs of your students? I’ve seen and experienced so very much, yet I remember being young, so I equal parts explain and push to new movement heights. What made you come up with the name “Speak DanceCNY”?

Again, locally there is not much dance literacy beyond the movement of juvenile bodies, so, like teaching Spanish or Chinese, we want to help the average person “speak dance” and have a growing understanding that dance can actually be a lifetime engagement. Think of Merce Cunningham creating and touring until he left this earth; this way of life should not just be in NY and LA, and I’m not talking about just teaching, but performing. Again, it matters. Name one defining moment in your career that was your ah ha moment. African dance class at Barnard College with Maguette Camara. I still get teared up thinking about it. I am a muscular girl, so understanding that Euro-centric ballet was not the only fundamental way of studying dance blew my mind and gave me the creative base I needed to understand MY BODY. Tell us about one moment in your life that has had a lasting impression on you and formed who you are today. Car rides as a child listening to Phil Collins on the radio. The drum drop from “In the Air Tonight” alone makes me want to never stop creating dances. So beautiful.







SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “ Lighten other people’s days while asking them to join you in the highest achievement standards..”

What factors do you feel impact a woman’s ability to lead others? Humility. Know your weaknesses and strengths and be a goofball about it. Lighten other people’s days while asking them to join you in the highest achievement standards.

Tell our audience one thing about yourself that not many others know. My childrens’ and my favorite date is to go get bubble tea together. Also, I have a hot boyfriend whom I adore.

The Influential Woman Expo at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse, NY on Sunday, April 24th from 11-5pm.

Where will we see Speak Dance NY next? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


ELECORA www.instagram/elecora_designs







DANA EDWARDS Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. My name is Dana Edwards, from Toms River, NJ. I am a wife and the mother of 6 beautiful kids, and our youngest son Tanner suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. My husband Brian is a licensed Master Plumber. I’m the Ambassador of NJ for the JETT Foundation. I am the inventor of The Perfect Lift. (https://www. and creator and founder of a support group called Porch Nite. What makes you “hustle”? I have a mind that doesn’t sleep! I’m constantly thinking of ways to improve people’s lives with disabilities and make changes worldwide. Tell us what made you decide to create your Perfect Lift and what exactly it is? My first thought about creating the

Perfect Lift was when we were on a family vacation. I was looking down over the balcony at the pool, and I saw a mom and her two young kids trying to slide their wet father off a pool lift onto his wheelchair using a sliding board, but he didn’t budge. A few people came to help the mom get him into his wheelchair. Once they got him on, they brought him around to go on the beach. The resort had a beach wheelchair, and again they tried using the sliding board, but they couldn’t budge him because his shorts were wet. Watching a family trying to do this transfer was heartbreaking for me. I felt so bad for the helpless father and the mom and kids who were exhausted trying every way to move him; they never made it to the beach that day. Then I was home for about a week and got our son out of our pool using a little manual lift we had. He weighed about 200 lbs carrying him from the swimming pool to

his wheelchair because the lift we were using retained water. When I got him into his power wheelchair, I pressed the side of the lift down to release the water. I burnt out his wheelchair battery. My son cried like we broke his legs. That was the day that changed everything! The Perfect Lift is a transport sling that allows two or more individuals to quickly and safely move another individual who needs assistance. Caregivers or family members can use The Perfect Lift for any transfer necessary for bathing, toileting, or recreational use ( beach, pools, ocean, and boats). It is invaluable for airplane transfers, escaping dangerous situations and emergency evacuations (fire, tornadoes, and floods), medical procedures for care, and clinical trials. One of my favorite uses of the lift is to ride a rollercoaster! It’s foldable, water-resistant, drains thoroughly, and has a commode cut out. The



{ HEIDI’S LAW } } SHIFT+CONTROL { {SHE HUSTLES TALKS “The Perfect Lift is a transport sling that allows two or more individuals to quickly and safely move another individual who needs assistance.”

Perfect Lift weighs about 1 lb. We have three sizes, and all are engineer tested and patented. What was it like to have an idea and then see it come to fruition with a Kickstarter campaign? It took us months to figure out the design. Our son has compression fractures, so I knew we needed back and neck support. I knew the lift had to be strong but lightweight and comfortable to sit on all day. I knew I wanted it to drain completely. I then thought about traveling to the airport, going on vacations, and using a bathroom, so we made it with a commode cut out. We made it so you could easily transport an individual up and down steps and get into and out of the pool or ocean. There are endless applications for the t Perfect Lift. I took all my ideas and hard work and went to my friend who sews and told her what I wanted, and she made the first lift prototype. I showed it to my closest friends, and everyone cried to see it brought to life. I’m not computer-savvy, so Kickstarter I did not navigate well. In addition to the Kickstarter campaign, I met with the Minnows on Shark Tank. The Shark Tank Minnows loved my idea. I was number 66 out of 700. 232


They only allow for a one-minute pitch; they spoke to me for 15. It was an incredible experience, but I didn’t make it. We only sold 40 lifts at the time. What does the word “Influential” mean to you? The word influential means helping people with all types of disabilities see and enjoy the world. Hopefully, I’ve helped fill that gap and turned

Determination and not quitting! Don’t give up! What do you feel are your greatest strengths, personally and professionally, as a businesswoman? I’m compassionate and creative, and I have an attention to detail. I think outside of the box, and I give 150%. #8 What has been the hardest thing to accomplish since starting this mission? It is getting the Perfect Lift the recognition it deserves. We now have three different sizes, and it is a powerful tool. All people with mobility issues can use the Perfect Lift. It has many uses in areas like fire trucks, EMS, boats, planes, pools, ocean, rides, camps, adaptive sports, veterans, lifeguards, funerals, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, veterinarians, FEMA, and hotels. The list goes on and on.

the “what we can’t do” into the “look what we can do .”I’ve helped so many lives worldwide, including children and adults who couldn’t or wouldn’t leave their house because they were afraid to go. The Perfect Lift has given them happiness and Joy! According to you, what skills are necessary for becoming a successful female entrepreneur?

Who are some people who empower and inspire you, and why? First, my husband Brian always supports and encourages me in all I do. My dear friend Mike Murray listened and believed in me and helped me bring it to life and make my prototype. Don Gioia, the owner of Gioia Sails, who manufactures all my lifts, said, “The Perfect Lift is the best thing his hands have ever




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “ I’m compassionate and creative, and I have an attention to detail. I think outside of the box, and I give 150%.”

If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? Eliminate all the people that took money from me to help me and did nothing. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? Social isolation is a real thing for people in wheelchairs. There are roadblocks the minute you leave home. The brutality occurs when rescuing a person with a disability is disgraceful from broken bones, fractured spines, and even death. It’s unfair that in 2022 people in wheelchairs have been pushed aside, or the people trying to change their world don’t live it. My WHY is because we can do better. Tell us a little about the mission behind creating the Perfect Lift? I was determined to make a better life for anyone and everyone who has a disability that wants to engage and fully live life. Name one special moment that has stood out to you during this journey. The first time we used the Perfect 234


Lift to get out of a pool while on vacation. A woman came over and asked where we got it. I told her I made it for my son, and she asked me if I would be making more. I told her yes. Two months later, she was my first customer.

before. A family told me they got their child into the basement during a tornado. All of these testimonies are priceless! What is one thing that motivates you? Setting people with disabilities free! What made you decide to create “the Perfect Lift”? I needed to do something. I couldn’t accept the situation. We needed to live again! What are your next plans? Get the Perfect Lift to everyone and anyone in the world that can benefit by owning one. Safety is the number one goal!

What has been your best form of promotion for this product, and what platform is your favorite? Word of mouth and the beautiful testimonies we receive almost daily. Stories of people getting out and living and taking trips that weren’t possible





COLLEEN COMMISSO Tell us a litt bit about yourself, and your background. My name is Colleen Commisso and I have lived in Syracuse, NY my entire 45 years of life. I have an amazingly supportive husband who deals with my constant insanity and ever evolving entrepreneurial journey. I have 3 children Rylyn 17, Nicholas, 16 and Reese 12. I am right in the throws of teenage life and college researching. It is never a dull moment. I was an elementary teacher for 16 years and never imagined doing anything other than that. Seven years ago I started a “side gig” to help make a little extra cash. Never did I imagine that business would far surpass my teaching salary and change our family’s future! Stepping out of my comfort join and starting that business was the single most important financial decision. It taught me that nothing big can happen inside our comfort zone. Growth comes from change and that is always uncomfortable. A few years later, I wanted another business and I now had the mindset that if I put my mind to it, I could make it as big as I wanted. It just takes determination. That is when I started Inspired Beauty Boutique. What makes you “hustle”? Initially it was definitely my family and being financially secure. When you have struggled financially it is a very stressful experience. I don’t think you ever forget that feeling. I was determined to never experience that again. I didn’t want to say no when my kids asked to

join a travel team because we couldn’t afford it. I didn’t want to wake up at night not knowing how we’d pay the bills. I wanted to be able to take my family on vacation without feeling sick about how much it cost. I wanted to be comfortable and not constantly worry about money. That was my initial drive. If I’m honest now… it is about proving to myself that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. I guess I’d have to say it’s not just proving it to myself, but showing others that they have so much more potential than they think, and they can accomplish anything as well. I drive this in my kids daily. And

let’s be honest, in this industry we get to know our clients on a very personal level. Our conversations always come back to what we are capable of and how we feel about ourselves. The name Inspired Beauty was intentional. We want everyone who walks through our doors to feel inspired and know their worth! Unfortunately, we as woman wait way too long to realize we need to take care of ourselves and it’s not selfish to put ourselves first sometimes. Tell us about what made you decide to open your own business in the skincare industry?. My initial side gig was with a skincare company. I joined at a time when I was

too busy with little kids and working full time to even wash my face. I was too tired most days to even think about it. Once I hit 40 I realized how important skincare is, and that I should have made it a priority a long time ago. I became obsessed with learning about it and all of the newest technology out there to improve our skin. What is your most favorite service you provide to clients and why? It’s very hard to answer this one hahahaha! Let me put it this way. I was recently ask how I decide which services to add. My answer was simple; if I want the services done for myself, then I add them! That may sound too simple, but that is literally how I have added my services. My absolute favorite is the Cryoskin. I have never seen a fat eliminating and cellulite reducing treatment that even comes close. It is perfect for all ages and sizes! Our clients (as well as all of us that treat them) are completely obsessed with it! Our HIFU, non-surgical facelift treatment is another one of our absolute favorites! It gives the tightened, firming and lifted results without surgery. Laser Hair Removal is always a go to with clients! Who doesn’t want to throw out their razor? What does the word “Beauty” mean to you? I am a firm believer that beauty comes from within. Let’s be clear here… if you are a nasty person then it doesn’t matter how you look on the outside. That being said let’s also be real here. Everyone wants to look good. I have so many clients come to me and apologize ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022











HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “When you have struggled financially it is a very stressful experience. I don’t think you ever forget that feeling.”

about being vain and wanting to improve their appearance. The truth is we are all a little vain. This isn’t a negative thing. Beauty comes from feeling good about yourself. That is different for all of us. When a client asks me if they should do a treatment my response is always the same; if it will make you feel good then do it. My husband and I have always lived by that. Even when money was tight if there was something that was going to make us healthier or feel better than we did it. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful female entrepreneur? The single most important skill is constantly working on your mindset. I could go on forever about this. Every single person who starts a business is scared to death. I don’t know anyone who knew for certain they would start a business and it would be hugely successful. One guarantee you will get is that it will absolutely not go the way you planned. That doesn’t mean you won’t get there. You absolutely will if you have the mindset to get you through the incredibly curvy path it will take. It’s not easy. Everyone wants to feel accepted and validated that what they are doing is right. As an entrepreneur you better be ready for that not to happen. This is not for everyone. And those that don’t have the stomach for it will be more than happy to tell you that you shouldn’t do it either. This is not to be negative. Most people like the comfort zone and that is great for them. But it also makes them uncomfortable when others go out of that comfort zone. As long as you know that and can talk yourself through

it then you will be fine. Know that you will second guess yourself on a regular basis. You just keep going and going and you will absolutely find success! How do you stay on top of the latest trends? I am constantly looking at social media for the latest trends. That may sound simplistic, but the ones who are up on the latest happenings are the social media gurus. This is not me, lol, but I know I can scroll and find the latest treatments and techniques out there. From there, I do my research on the technique and see if it is legit or just a passing fad. I determine if it truly works, and if it works with my business and what my clients want. Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? This is a question I always struggle with. I don’t have some incredibly inspirational answer to this. I don’t have a specific woman or two that I look up to or that has pushed me to accomplish what I have. Those that empower and inspire me are the every day ladies who are overcoming obstacles on a regular basis and still kicking ass. Those that were told they were out of their element and didn’t back down. Cheers to all of you that are doing what you believe and ignoring the noise. Those are the people that empower and inspire me! If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? Nothing. I know, I know that is a bunch of bull. But honestly I can’t say I would have done anything differently because

if I had it wouldn’t have let me to exactly where I am. If I hadn’t failed at things then I wouldn’t have tried new paths. It truly is a journey and that crazy, curvy path leads us to where we are supposed to be. Ok, I do have one thing. Knowing what I know now, I would have saved A LOT of money on marketers that were not very good. For me I had no way to figure out what was decent marketing unless I just gave some people a try. I blew a lot of money that way. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? 3 reasons: - To show my kids they can truly achieve anything they want -To prove to myself that I can achieve anything I want -To show other woman they are capable of way more than they think Tell us a little about the mission behind Inspired Beauty Boutique? I want everyone who walks through our door to feel like they belong. Most people that go to a spa for a treatment do so because they are self conscious about something. I want them to feel comfortable and know they are with a group of people that can completely relate to how they feel. I want them to believe they are worth feeling good about themselves. Through our conversations while they are there, our hope is that they will not only feel better about themselves, but also know their worth. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “Seven years ago I started a “side gig” to help make a little extra cash. Never did I imagine that business would far surpass my teaching salary and change our family’s future!”

This is a tough one. There is one that always rings in my head. I had a client in for a beauty treatment. She messaged me the next day and said she just wanted to let me know that it was one of the best days she has had in a long time. Not because of the treatment (which she loved) but because after our session she went home and decided she was going to pursue her dream and start a new course she’s been thinking about for years. She said I made her realize that she can accomplish anything and life is too short to not try. To me that was just a moment of clarity that we were doing things right. And I had chosen the perfect name for the business. My goal is to truly inspire people. #14 What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful, and now expand from Central NY to Rochester as well? Hard work and being a little bit crazy, hahahaha! I think just having the mentality that I can do it and I can do it even better than I imagine. Once I have that belief I will do whatever I need to in order to make that happen. It’s all about believing and envisioning it. Once that happens, nothing can stop you. #15 What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? Over the next year I plan to open one more location. I’m thinking that may be in Webster. I also plan to help 3 others open their own locations around the country. In 5 years I want to expand 244


even more and have Inspired Beauty well known as a place women can come to just “be” and feel inspired and motivated by others. What has been your best form of promotion and what platform is your favorite? This is the area I struggle with the most. As I said, I have wasted a lot of money learning the hard way. I don’t enjoy social media or creating flyers, ads, etc. I’m not creative and it takes a lot of effort for me to navigate this

area. That being said, I have found a great marketing guy. He mainly runs Facebook ads for me. This has been my main platform for promoting the business so far. What is one thing that motivates you? Always seeing what more I can do! What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself in the past few years during the pandemic? No excuses! I had really just started rolling when the pandemic hit. Like

everyone it shut me down. I used that time to plan out how to reopen and what I wanted it to look like when we did I had a clear vision of how I wanted it run and what I wanted it to feel like for people when they came to us. What sets you apart from your competitors? I believe our culture sets us apart. I can name very few spas or salons that I have gone to in my life where I felt truly welcome and comfortable when I walk in for the first time. Every one of the employees has the same mentality and believe when it comes to how we run our business. Everyone that comes in that door is to be treated as if they have always belonged there. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference. #20 do you have any special training or degrees to provide the services you offer your clients? Well one thing I have learned on this journey is that NYS is very laxed in their requirements for a lot of beauty treatments. It has actually scared me how little is required. That being said, we over train at Inspired Beauty. If you need one training and certification to perform a treatment, we will do 3 different trainings. We are extremely cautious and prepared for any and all treatments we perform. Where will we see you next? I believe my next event will be with you in Syracuse on April 24th! I’m looking forward to it!










Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background. I used to be a dreamer. Always thinking about different ways I could live my life out of the norm - different ways I could make my mark in this world - and different ways I could inspire other people to do the same thing. I used to be a dreamer - until I actually started making my dreams happen. Now as a Certified Life Coach, I am constantly evolving myself and growing as a person. I am constantly setting new goals and achieving them. I don’t look back much anymore. I look forward. What makes Andrea Scalici “hustle”? I will only “hustle” if I like my reasons. I have to feel that HELL YEA energy or it’s just a no for me. That HELL YEA energy tells me I’m in integrity with myself. As an example, if one of my clients asks for help with something that goes way beyond our contract, and I feel like I would lose that client if I didn’t provide the additional help, then it’s just a no for me. But if one of my clients asks for help with something that goes way beyond our contract, and I feel excited to help him or her, I would definitely make it happen. I would definitely hustle. I am always in integrity with myself. This is what I teach my clients too. What does it mean to be a life coach for business owners? Tell us about what made you decide to make this your career. I help Business Owners feel more satisfied and fulfilled in their personal lives. Whether it’s focusing on their health or weight, relationships, or

work-life balance. We work together to help them feel better in their daily lives at home - which always affects their businesses in a positive way too. I was inspired to make this my career because I was my first client…a Business Owner who felt frustrated, stuck, and alone. My mind was constantly thinking about my business and my personal life started to suffer. When my personal life started going downhill, so did my business. These two things are connected and aligned. When I realized what was happening, I knew exactly what to do to reverse things. I hired my own Life Coach and got myself back on track. When my personal life got better, so did my business life. No more feeling frustrated, stuck, or alone. And I knew I had to help other Business Owners do the same thing. Who are some of the people that have inspired you in your journey? There are a lot of people who inspired me but I’ll just name a few here. My family is definitely first. More specifically, my Dad. He was a Business Owner my entire life. I watched him work hard, stay focused, and build a successful business that he was proud of. I always knew I wanted to do the same thing. Other people who inspired me were… - Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School - Samantha Siffring of Samantha Siffring Coaching - Dave Moreno of Dave Moreno Coaching - Michelle Joiner of Michelle Joiner Coaching - Megan Hopkins of Megan Hopkins Copywriting

- Felicia Broccolo of Create Your Impossible Life What type of services do you provide? I’m a Life Coach for Business Owners. I help my clients get back on track with health and weight loss, relationships, work-life balance, and anything else that comes up for them. My clients get results and more. They get what they came for and they learn how to look in the mirror and like what they see. On the outside, with their bodies and the way they look. And on the inside, with the way they feel every day and the way they think about themselves. I currently coach my clients one-to-one via Zoom. My clients love coaching with me privately because they feel safe when they share intimate details of their lives - which we work through together. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful business owner, especially as a female? Constrain your focus. Keep things simple. Empower yourself. Understand that your thoughts cause your feelings. And your feelings fuel your actions or inactions. Work with a coach or learn how to self-coach so you are always in control of what’s happening in your emotional life. What do you feel are some of your greatest strengths? Listening to my clients. Keeping things simple. Showing my clients how to create better results. And empowering them into action.



“I used to be a dreamer - until I actually started making my dreams happen.”

{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I will only “hustle” if I like my reasons. I have to feel that HELL YEA energy or it’s just a no for me.“

You teach people how to feel satisfied and fulfilled in their lives. How did you accomplish this for yourself in order to teach this to your clients? Simple. Thoughts cause feelings. So the only way to feel more satisfied and fulfilled is to focus on what you’re thinking. It’s a daily practice. I coach myself everyday. I work with my own Life Coach every week. And I work with my own Business Coach. I get into the nitty gritty of my own mind so there are no thoughts hiding in there. I deal with them head on - instead of pretending they aren’t there. What does the word empower mean to you? Empower means taking responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. It means not blaming anyone else for things in your life - especially your results. It means looking in the mirror and feeling proud, accomplished, and in control. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? Nope. Not a thing. I love my journey to this point in my life. There were dark times and light times and everything in between. I truly believe that everything happened exactly as it was supposed to. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? There are many different reasons I do what I do. But if I had to boil it all down to one - I would say this…my life was forever changed by coaching and I want to help as many people as I possibly can be forever changed by coaching too. 250


Name one special moment during your career that was your “aha” moment. The day I learned that my thoughts cause my feelings was one of the best days of my life. At that moment, the moment I learned this from a podcast, was the moment that I stopped blaming external things in my life for how I felt. At that moment, I took responsibility for my life. I took control of it. And I knew it was up to me to create any life I wanted to create. If I dreamed it, I could create it. What are some of the secrets to being a successful female entrepreneur? The best secret I can share with you is to listen to yourself. You know what’s best for you and your business. You know exactly what step you need to take next. You know when you need help and when you’re just scared to take action. And when you know you need help, get it. Don’t waste a single second feeling stuck. Working with a Life Coach just might be the best option for you. What has been your best form of promotion and what platform is your favorite? My business has changed a lot over the past 3 years. Referrals, word-of-mouth, and the directory listing at the school where I earned my Coach Certification have been my main forms of promotion. I’m just starting to get into social media. I’m really loving Instagram right now. It’s super fun to connect with people there! I’d love to connect with YOU. Follow me at andrea.scalici.coaching and DM me to say hi. What is one thing that motivates you?

When I think about all the Business Owners out there who are passionate about their businesses and want to grow - but feel stuck in their personal lives - I feel extremely motivated. I know when they find me, I will help them. Whether they find me and follow my Instagram account for free advice or sign up to work with me, I will help them out of their funk. I will teach them all the tools and strategies that I’ve learned over the years to keep myself balanced and in control and moving forward. I truly believe we can all create the lives of our dreams. And I truly believe we should. What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself during your career? I love this question. My most important discovery I’ve made about myself during my career is how much I have avoided the feeling of embarrassment. I used to hide from the crowd, play small, and hope no one would see me. I thought hiding would help me avoid failure or embarrassment because I knew I wasn’t perfect. Through coaching, I’ve learned to embrace failure and embarrassment and put myself out there. I’ve learned that embarrassment is just an emotion - and I’m strong enough to feel any emotion. What sets you apart from other life coaches? The combination of my training and direct, yet funny nature set me apart from other life coaches. I’m a Certified Life Coach, an Advanced Certified Weight Coach, and I’ve got my MBA. I’m super direct, which my clients appreciate. And I like to keep things light, funny,




{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I help Business Owners feel more satisfied and fulfilled in their personal lives. Whether it’s focusing on their health or weight, relationships, or work-life balance.”

and interesting. The combination of all of these things is why my clients love working with me and why my clients get results. Do you have any special training or degrees to provide the services you offer your clients? Yes. I’m a Certified Life Coach from The Life Coach School. I’m an Advanced Certified Weight Coach from the No BS Advanced Weightloss Coach Certification Program. I’ve also got my MBA which comes in handy working with Business Owners. These special certifications and 252


my MBA have taught me high level tools and strategies to get my clients feeling better fast and creating the life of their dreams. I teach these tools and strategies to my clients so they can use them in their own lives after our work together is complete. Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I’m a creative woman. I love visualizing things in my mind. I’m talking about seriously detailed fantasies. Sometimes I take action and create them in real life and sometimes I don’t. Lately I’ve

been building a new life for my family in my mind - where we sell our house and most of our belongings, we live in a tiny house, and travel around the country. It’s been super fun to build this in my mind. My husband and I have started to talk about it together. We’re still deciding if it’s something we want to do in real life. If you have ever lived tiny or plan to in the future, I’d love to connect with you! Follow and DM me on Instagram. I’m at andrea. scalici.coaching.






Tell us about Shawntanique Coleman, and how you started Melanin Mixologist. I am a mother of a beautiful teenager. Rochester born and raised. I left in the year 2000 to attend college first at Baltimore, MD, then transferred to school in Huntsville, Alabama. I began working as a waitress in a bar for what I like to call fun money as a college student. While waitressing there was a need for a bartender. I called back home to Rochester, NY and asked my aunt how to make popular drinks. The first drink I made at the age of 21 was a “Long island”. From that night forward I was bitten by the bug. It became my passion.

to feel they are connected to me on a positive note. What’s your favorite drink to make? I don’t have a favorite drink to make. All my signature drinks are special to me. I love creating new drinks.

What makes you hustle? My daughter makes me hustles because I want better for her. I want to show her your passion can make you money. We can build generational wealth. The want to build an empire makes me want to hustle. I am on the go. The need to want to always make moves. The elders say “Idle time is a devils playground”. I never want to sit idle until I am dead. What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide? The most important quality in my business is TOP tier personal service. Without great service I wouldn’t be in business. My customers need a smile, they need me to listen, and they need

if we were having a gathering to mix something up, or work a bar for any given even. Usually under someone else name, or just as the help. My chosen sisters said to me multiple times I should do it as my side hustle. I made every excuse as to why I could not do it. But having a conversations with my chosen sisters and they always gave me an answer as to why I could. So this year I knew I was turning 40 (March 6).. I knew it was time to hustle for my OWN, under my own name. To begin the journey towards generational wealth. I came up with the name while listening to a song on Pandora Music. The word Melanin came popping into my head. I use to only call myself a bartender. But then someone said you I was a mixologist. There for the name MELANIN MIXOLOGIST was born. As a female entrepreneur, who has inspired you? I can say I am inspired by any woman running her own business. This is not easy. To see woman putting our own stamp on any & everything we can is inspiring.

What made you decide to start your own business, and how did you come up with the name? I made the decision to start my business after a LOT of encouragement from my chosen sister friends. Being the bartender I was always the friend they would call

What is a mixologist, and What are your top three priorities for being a successful one? A mixologist is someone that puts together a drink. Not just with a simple powder drink mix. But someone who is able to mix the flavors, to make it the drink savory and memorable to keep people coming back for more. Top priorities ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My customers need a smile, they need me to listen, and they need to feel they are connected to me on a positive note. ”

are you must be able to use your senses (smell, look, and taste), knowing how to measure your ingredients properly, and giving your drink, and service persona touch. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? I do what I do it because I love it. It puts me in a different head space. I get to turn my alter ego on. I get to step out of being Shawntanique for a moment. I get a rewarding feeling when my customers take the first sip and smile cause my drink has taken them on a journey to a magical place. What do you do when you are not working in/on your business? When I am not mixing or bartending I am being a mom, expanding my modeling 258


portfolio, traveling. Living my personal best life. What kind of training did you have to go through to become a mixologist? I learned how to bartend over the phone from my aunt while working at a bar. I received my license to bartender online in 2004 while living in Alabama. I became a MIXOLOGIST by working on the science of mixing the flavors, and by gaining a team of great mentors who are mixologist. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? The best promotion I have is word of mouth from those who have experience my services. What things have you found to be

success in getting your business out to the community and being booked? I have found to be successful since starting my business I have to seize every opportunity, continue to learn, and grow. What was the first place you bartended at? The first place I ever was a bartender was CLEM’s in Huntsville, Alabama. Where will we see you next? You can find me every Friday at Urban Eurphoria 35 S. Washington Street, behind the bar at your next occasion. You can contact me at ROC MELANIN MIXOLOGIST on facebook, or MIXING_MELANIN_MODEL on Instagram, or just call (585)286-8667. But shoot me am email at LADYCHOCLIT@








MICHELLA HAND Tell us about yourself and what made you decide to start your own business as a blogger. My blog was created out of the pandemic in May 2020. I was working from home full-time and wanted to invest my extra time into something that could help and inspire others during a time that felt so helpless. I have a lot of passions, so it was difficult for me to pinpoint what it was exactly that I wanted to focus on until one day I decided to feature a small business in my town that I loved and knew was struggling. The response I received from my followers and the business were so heartfelt that I knew this is what I wanted to focus my efforts on moving forward, small businesses and the hardworking people behind them.

me, and I wouldn’t have this platform without them. What has been the hardest part of starting a blog? The hardest part of starting a blog is honestly staying up to date with the technology. Most of my audience comes from Instagram which I then filter to

Now, almost two years later, I’ve had the pleasure of featuring over 100 small businesses and entrepreneurs on my platform. Sharing with others the talent, hard work and passion these businesses and entrepreneurs have has kept me inspired and driven to keep doing my blog to this day. What makes you hustle? I always tell people that my blog is my “side hustle”. I love it when a business shares with me how my feature on them has generated new customers and has provided them with marketing and exposure into a new audience. Not to mention, my “hype crew’s” support and encouragement means everything to

my website. To stay relevant and to keep growing my audience, it’s important to be in the know of what new updates and trends are coming out. This can be challenging to juggle since it can be very time consuming and blogging is not my full-time job. What has been your most successful post?

Why do you think it was appealing? My blog features have ranged from businesses who make apparel and beauty products to entrepreneurs in the hospitability industry. What might be interesting to one person may not be as interesting to another and what I’ve found that makes a post more successful than others is directly related to social media. People love to support other people’s successes and hard work and the power of social media has helped with this tremendously. Businesses and entrepreneurs who share their blog feature on their social media are always more successful in sharing their stories than others who don’t. What made you decide to start blogging? I touched on this in the first question but supporting small business and entrepreneurs is something that I’ve always been passionate about. Not only do small local establishments have amazing, handcrafted, one-ofa-kind products and services, but the stories and faces behind these businesses are even more captivating. By creating genuine relationships with entrepreneurs and small businesses, I can empower them to tell the authentic story behind their self-made brand while sharing it with others. Who has inspired you? When I featured Valatie Bar and Grill for the first time in my Small Town Sunday series, the owner Tina Driscoll ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “Stay true to yourself, all feedback is constructive feedback, and take the time respond and engage with your audience.”

reached out to me to let me know how much it meant to her that I featured her restaurant that had been struggling deeply during the pandemic. Ever since that feature, I can say that my inspiration truly comes from the people behind these small businesses. Their hard work and dedication is what fuels my passion to help share it with others.

can. It’s amazing the people, places, and businesses you can reach and learn more about on social media platforms. #What makes you and your content stand out? I’d like to believe it’s because of the

#9 What are your top three priorities for being a success? Being a success isn’t my priority. My priority is advocating for and “hyping up” local small businesses and the everyday entrepreneurs. If I gain success along the way, I’d just say that’s a bonus.

What is the best advice for blogging? Stay true to yourself, all feedback is constructive feedback, and take the time respond and engage with your audience. Afterall, they are one of the main reasons why your platform could be so successful.

How do you attract new readers? Every time I feature a new business or entrepreneur, I gain a new reader. I also share my travels with my audience, including where I’m staying, eating, drinking and exploring, which always attracts new readers as well. What would you do to improve our current content? The Rochester Women Online content is very similar to what I push out – we are both looking to inspire, inform, empower, and build our community. The only piece of advice I would give to other businesses is to utilize social media, especially Instagram, the best you

know, which helps promote support, encouragement and engagement. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? Instagram is my largest platform and the best form of promotion for my business. Although, in 2021 my Husband surprised me by designing a t-shirt with a local small business I had featured, Flying Eye Press, for my year anniversary and the amount of people who wanted to buy and wear my brand was mind-blowing to me. Since then, I’ve sold over 100 shirts, sweatshirts and hats with my brand on it that my hype crew is representing all over the country.

authenticity and relatability of my content. I’m not featuring businesses that sell products and services that are unobtainable to my audience. I’m also featuring people they might even

What is something you wish more people knew about you? I’m navigating this whole blogging thing as I do it! I’m no expert in blogging, marketing, or running a small business, but I’m learning it as I go and hope to eventually take what I’ve learned to help others with their own business endeavors in the long run.

{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My goal is to expand the reach of my platform and work more closely with businesses and entrepreneurs on the ways I can help promote, engage, and support them.”

What are your plans both personally and professionally over the next year? My goal is to expand the reach of my platform and work more closely with businesses and entrepreneurs on the ways I can help promote, engage, and support them. I’d also like to get more involved with community events and do more traveling. As I heard on one of my favorite TV shows Ted Lasso, “There is no greater education than travel”, and I couldn’t agree more. What has been your most favorite 266


idea to blog about? Last Spring I started a series called Family-Owned Farms. Here in NY our farms are everything. From farmers markets, to apple picking season, to Cidery’s and craft beer – farms are the reason we have all of these wonderful things we love to enjoy! In this series, I feature a variety of farms that produce some of our favorite things – apples, pumpkins, veggies, milk, cider donuts, herbs, fruits, you name it! Some of these farms have even evolved into being a

place we all love and enjoy spending time at. This series gives my audience the opportunity to learn first-hand from the family themselves on how their farm was established, the peaks and pits, the future of the farm, and various other facts you never knew. h t t p s : / / w w w. i n s t a g ra m . c o m / michellahand/













ROBIN CORTESE Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Robin Cortese? Proud of my ancestry, I’ll lead with being Native American, Mohawk. Much of what I have learned concerning building my own personal and professional network, I credit to the teachings of my Grandparents. After all, this inherently is where building on a tribe came from. I am a Collector of people, a connector. I’m a promoter of stories being told by others. I feel that’s the true essence of a person’s core. In turn, I’ll share. We will then support one another in the future and champion each other, and grow. I’ll take the underdog every time, referred to as a minimalist, and I like that. Saying no to me or that something can’t be done ignites my fire, and now there is a challenge. Surrounded by the best of minds and spirits is where I call home. If given the choice of location by the water or in a forest is where you will find me for some downtime and self-reflection. Hardest on myself because I know exactly what I am capable of. Event Planner of big fun with a surprise factor because who doesn’t like a surprise? Jazz enthusiast due to the gift of my Father, Last but certainly not least, I’m the dog’s pet. What Makes you “hustle”? Competition all that life has to offer. Let’s start with that. I want to push the envelope and move toward new adventures—building on a legacy, showing people that anything is within their grasp. I’m surrounded by examples of people that have

stretched themselves and have become so incredibly successful that they don’t see it because they’re still working. I am on the pay it forward plan, like many other like-minded people I hold close. The team spurs on the hustle like a well-oiled machine. Show me your grit, and I’ll show you mine. The question is, are you ready to go? What is your background? What made you decide to open an AT&T franchise? Sales is my Love, and I found my

space initially within Mobilecomm, which was a paging company before Mobile phones. My manager was recruited out of our business, and one day unexpectedly, I received a call simply saying these words “I accepted a new position as General Manager at a new company named CellularOne Ithaca Telephone Company, today you’re going to give your notice and join my team.” Frankly, when a call like that comes in from a person that you highly revere, there are no questions; you go and do. That was the beginning of what I liken to a

Cinderella story. I’ll say this, there is no more great story for all of us that have taken this Mobility journey. Most will tell you, the years at CellularOne were the absolute best of times and work experience. It created a core belief system for all involved where the adage of “Treat people the way that you want to be treated” was the case. My career started there in 1992, and then fast track to 2005, a familiar entrepreneur, David Mueller, extended an invite to meet with himself and his partner Mark Peters. Both were well respected within the Indirect channel space, and we were all aware of the work one another did. The offer came from Dave to join them and build on something unique together, to build a legacy. This is where it’s important to emphasize that growth often happens this way and when work ethic is seen. That there are people who are watching you work and respect how you operate; that is, the possibility of other alignment is just around the corner. Understand this; if you have the drive and skillset, all there needs to be is an opportunity. That is my background, and I seized the opportunity while people took a chance on me, and so I say that I am an Intrapreneur turned Entrepreneurial. What is your why? Why do you do what you do? “She believed she could, So she did” that’s the quote right there! It’s self-talk, with the reality of people relying on ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “Give back in every way, support the community you serve, listen, and hear what isn’t being said.”

my support daily. I am one of many that can make a difference. How exciting is that to know that every day you can inspire the change in anything you want to see! That’s my why in everything I do. According to you, what skills are necessary for becoming a successful and inspiring woman? Give back in every way, support the community you serve, Listen, and hear what isn’t being said. Have grit, help those that want to learn and grow and be there to catch them when they need an assist. Keep a watchful eye on those living your dream; these are your mentors. Reach out to them and tell them how they have impressed you. Invite people out for a smoothie. Hey, it’s a 2022 thing! Learn from those living the life that piques your interest or has created something that you think is awesome that you must know more about. Network and have deeper conversations that tap into the depths of others’ thoughts. Read, choose your words continually, and if you think something you are about to say might be hurtful, hold back. Pay compliments to people and be grateful that they are helping you and others daily. We know things change, so be thankful for their time with you. Take things less personally and know in work, people make decisions for many reasons, some of which have absolutely nothing to do with you. Lead with a smile, have fun doing what you do, or get out. Strengthen your Tribe, and be open to allowing those that may need to have their 272


exit because not always should we be together at that time. We do the best we can, which will always be good enough. What do you feel are some of your professional and personal greatest strengths? If it matters to you, it matters to me; I sincerely want to help, so I actively listen for how I can. I will be your biggest champion if you need me. This is the support factor, both personally and professionally. Additionally, I try to keep things light and fun, as work should not be so hardcore. Lastly, connecting people that is my absolute favorite thing to do. Who are some people who inspire you, and why? I could undoubtedly name many local people, from Musicians to Owners of Businesses; however, I will say this, every day, I am inspired by several people. These people are typically ones that I have met with for the first time via a virtual meeting. Here I learn more about them, and I understand their reasons. Why they are looking for work, who they are looking to support, and what their background was that now has propelled them into this search. There are countless heroes and great champions who again help regain my faith in humanity. Here’s the best part, maybe they will continue to inspire all of us now by joining Premier Technologies and the AT&T Family. Okay, I’ll drop some CNY folks on my radar; here we go; Dr. Zulma Spinoza.

If you don’t know who she is, search her out and understand she saves lives every day as a pediatric brain surgeon. Stephanie Crockett is the definition of GRIT, working her way up the ladder to now Mower Presidential spot. Laura Serway is a pure force in all the good ways. She should be wearing a cape! Gwen Webber Mcleod for radiating positivity and empowering women. Jacqueline Colello for sharing her story via her art and following her path while helping others gain strength because they see her doing it. Just a few, but know that my list is long, and it also includes some dynamic Men. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? There are no do-overs for me. I have learned from each misstep and won. I would not do over one single thing! Name one memorable moment in your life that has stood out to you and why. On September 12, 2019, I read “12 Thoughts on life,” which was on a daily email I subscribe to called Inspire Me Today. I took in all of what was in front of me and shared it promptly with a group of my friends. Following the share, I sent a message to the Author, Dr. Shellie Hipsky. Minutes after my sent message came a reply. Then a LinkedIn connection arrived and a request to speak via the phone. Days later, a two-hour heartfelt call, complete with tears and bonding, reflecting on how we had both experienced tremendous







HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL ““She believed she could, So she did” that’s the quote right there! ”

loss in 2018 and the belief that our angels may be at work connecting us. That day Dr. Shellie invited me to meet her that weekend at the Baccarat Hotel in Manhattan with a group of women. She was being honored with a Mayor’s Proclamation for the work that she had been doing. Yes! Was my immediate answer with no hesitation; however, then there was the concern of attire because the invitation stated formal festive India Attire in celebration of Diwali. There was not only so much to do but some much to learn, and I could not wait for the adventure. It was like going to school and meeting all my new friends. I had no idea what to expect, but I was going and opened to this tremendous opportunity. That same day I was invited to my neighbor Anne Messenger’s home after work. While telling her about the plan, she stopped me and said, “hold on, I have exactly what you need.” She walked out with a garment bag filled with a custom outfit she had purchased while visiting India. This was my attire for that day. Realizing that all things happen for a reason, I continued with my excitement, and finally, the day came to arrive at the hotel. Walking into the lobby, standing in front of the Elevator door, was the ever so lovely Rachi Parikh. She looked at me and smiled while holding open the elevator, nodded, and said, “We must be going to the same party. Come join me”. So we walked in together, and it was that day within a group of 8 fabulous human beings my great other adventures began. This High Tea

was hosted by the Corporate Diwali owned by Manisha Mundhra Beriwala, honoring Dr. Shellie Hipsky. I was greeted by everyone with no pretense and zero judgment and welcomed with open arms. I just had to type that as it’s not the norm and is the reason for a move to change. These women, that time, their stories, their passion, and energy, along with a shared lust for life, are how we all know together we can evoke change. This remains to be my most enlightened of moments. So much more has happened since that day and continues to come from that initial meeting. We have jointly created spin-off events from that initial time together. Another one will be taking place this September with Manisha here in CNY. So the saying goes, if it’s meant to be, it will happen. There is no question about when you are meant to connect with specific individuals, and there is no denying fate and what can happen. People are brought together to create time and space for others to enjoy, and I believe throughout all, this was the reason my fellow Indian Sister Manisha was brought into my life. Now I am a Corporate Diwali Ambassador. How have you built confidence and resiliency throughout your career? That’s easy to answer, and I put myself into positions that challenge me. I volunteer to do things that I have never done before, I stretch myself by saying yes often, and that gives me the confidence based on my commitment that I can make things

happen. Experience has also taught me that sometimes you have to say no to get it right truly. What has been your best form of promotion for you, and why? Being asked by David Mueller to join his Company as a Partner. That inspired tremendous growth for me professionally in a profound way. One of the very first things he did to ensure we were all on the same page was sign us up for Entrepreneurial Bootcamp at Syracuse University. Doing this together gave Dave, Mark, and I the foundation and confirmation we needed to move forward and know we were a team. The actual roles we would assume remained to be seen with the understanding the business would continue to evolve, and so would we. There are always things to learn and risks to be taken, but without both, the reward and ultimate growth will be minimal at best. Together we strive to be the Best there is with no limitations. How do you balance your career, personal life, and passions? If anyone can answer that question without cringing, have them call me. I wish there were a clear-cut answer other than making solid plans and choices, putting them on a calendar, and sticking to them. All of my close friends have big careers. They are responsible for many people and have built beautiful businesses. I’m single, so it’s me and my dog she loves me, understands if mom doesn’t work there is no food and she isn’t ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Surrounded by the best of minds and spirits is where I call home.”

incredibly needy, she deals with late work nights. I like that about her! Seriously, I schedule the things that are truly important to me with family and friends as I do appointments. You carve out the time for the people you love and that is it, we have but one life. What are the ways you stay grounded and take care of yourself? Every morning I have a daily meditation practice, it includes daily inspiration and I make a call a day or send an email to a friend or two+. I journal, I also love to draw and paint. Additionally, I have found so much inspiration and care for myself in planning events with Manisha. We are currently working on t w o n ow, o n e in September in Skaneateles and another in November in India. This past week I took a long weekend away to Sea Island, GA with a group of girlfriends it was just what was needed. So much fun and a quick recharge. What sets you apart from your competition? The people in Premier Technologies separate us from all others. They truly embrace client care first, it’s the value system we pride ourselves on. 276


We are a service based business, and here to support customer’s needs first and foremost. Additionally, just how important it is to grow to know who we are speaking with. In order for us to effectively help any one Individual, Family or Business we must first know as much as we can about their needs, their interests, what their future plans are etc. We represent AT&T and they expect nothing but the best in first

impressions and beyond, we strive to exceed their expectations as well. How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles? There is a tremendous amount of passion in this business, people that truly love what they do and enjoy who they work with and how driven we all are. We are also hyper competitive internally as well, which makes work fun. So for those that are of like mind

this business checks the box for that sales personality. I believe staying stimulated by being the person in the know with new technology and having people see you as the expert to connect with when in need is what keeps our teams driven. They sincerely want to help and be they’re own form of connectors. We are fortunate to have longevity in our Business, some dynamic colleagues who have made this business their very own. We are family, that is where being privately owned and operated truly shows value, when the ownership knows you by name and is grateful that you showed up and that we are. What do you have planned over the next year? GROWTH! In t e r n a l l y f o r people who have the desire to build on their careers we will promote into leadership roles. Hiring, as with those promotions will come the need to find new partners to join our team. New locations, we look forward to further expansion from our current 34 locations to a hopeful 50 within the next years to come.


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EXQUISITE SELF CARE Tell us about yourself and what made you decide to start your own business, Exquisite Self Care. My name is Hope Brookshire and I am a mother of five I also have 7 Grands. I have always had a business mind set but seemed to only help others with their business. I am also a writer which is my first love. I have four unfinished books with a goal to complete at least of them within the next 12 months.

had purchased and jokingly said I need to start making my own candles. A week later I started researching how to make candles and body butter. Four months after that I started ordering supplies & ingredients to make them both. Sixteen months later here I am.

I have always had a thing about never going to bed ashy (lol) I always felt that extra 5-10 minutes of lotioning up really good was medicine for the body as well as helping you have a good night’s sleep. However, I have been that person who was too tired and just wanted to shower and go to bed skipping that part of my nightly ritual. I want people to take that extra time to take care of their skin. Our bodies need that extra TLC. Our body need to be scrubbed down 2-3 times a week, getting rid of those dead skin cells that we don’t realize are there. Followed by massaging some good ole Exquisite Self Care Body Butter that melts right into your skin, leaving you soft and super moisturize.

Unfortunately, life has always gotten in my way. Rather it was something with my kids that needed my immediate attention or my health. I have been at a point in my life where I need to fully accomplish something that I can leave to my children and my grands one day. More importantly something that I can be proud of for myself, something that I can smile about. Not to mention enjoy and reap the benefits of for years to come. I started this business because I hate being ashy (lol) I have bought so many lotions over the years that I haven’t been happy with. So, I wanted to create a product with healthy more lasting results. I mixed some stuff together one day to make my own lotion however it took a few years for me to pursue it further. One day I looked over to one of my shelves and noticed all the candles I

Time To Take Care Of You” Skin being the largest organ we have it has a lot of responsibilities. It creates a barrier between the vital organs and the outside world. So many people are unaware of just how important the skin is as whole. As well as to our mental health.

What is the mission behind your business? My mission is to promote healthy skin for men & women. Self-care doesn’t stop at taking a bath or shower nor does it start or stop with getting your hair and nails done or going to the barbershop. My slogan is “Take

What makes you hustle? Having a strong desire to want something, to own something. Have you ever wanted something so bad you can taste it? That’s how I feel about success, growth & accomplishing something I can be proud of. Rather it’s my skin care line, being an Arthor or both. Success isn’t just about the riches, it’s also our mental. Being able to have that peace of mind that your ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “Mixing together fragrances to come up with a signature smell and someone telling me how good it smells just lights my face up. I love it!”

bills will be paid no matter what, not having to calculate meals to last until your next paycheck. Not having to decide which medications you can get this month or this pay and which ones can wait until the next time. Trying to decide which two or three kids out of five needs a new pair of shoes the most and which kids can wait until next paycheck. I have always hustled in life trying to stay above water. I’ve had good and bad moments in life. The one thing I have been using to remind myself of every chance I get to push myself to be great is a conversation I had with my oldest a few years ago. We were talking about life past and at that time current stuff. She Said, “Ma I can remember when we stayed at such and such you cooked dinner for us but you didn’t eat that night after we ate, we 282


all went to bed” My mouth dropped she was probably ten at the time and I had no idea that she paid attention to that. It broke my heart that she knew that her mother went to sleep without out eating dinner. Having to experience these types of struggles at some point of my life alone, should make a person hungry for more and hustle for more out of life. If you could pick just one product that would be your “must have”, what would it be and why? Wow, it’s hard to pick just one, because I love all of them. They are all homemade with love and with consideration of my customers need. My candles are full of fragrance that will radiate throughout your home. My butters and scrubs will have you trying to figure out

what smells so good until you realize it’s you. I can’t leave out that they are full of vitamins and nutrients that does wonders for your skin. Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? I honestly don’t know. I have always had a business mindset and would help people in one area or another with their stuff. Learning how things worked along the way. Trying to figure out how I properly fit into the business world on my own. Throughout the years I would get different ideas of business I would have liked to invest in or pursue. Years later here I am the CEO, Marketing, the cook, secretary, production, cleanup crew, shipping the list goes on and I’m here for it all.







HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “There is nothing like having a job you actually enjoying doing from day to day. It makes you work harder and smarter.”

What is your background and how did it lead you to where you are today? My background starts at 12 years in the factory world with a bad back and carpal tunnel. I then shifted to office work for 16-18 years ie office clerk, receptionist, collections, Customer service. Retired and now making Candles, butters scrubs & lotion from scratch. There is nothing like having a job you actually enjoying doing from day to day. It makes you work harder and smarter. Who is your ideal customer? Everyone! It doesn’t matter your age, gender, or race everyone needs and deserves healthy skin. At the moment I do not have as many masculine fragrances as I do women’s however, I am making it a priority to add more. The Momma Hopes Body butter is safe for kids and people with eczema or sensitive skin. it doesn’t have and fragrance oils or color pigment. What product that you have created do you feel is the one that best resinates with your customers and why? As of right now, I would say my Body Butters. It was my first product to be popular, loved and requested. I didn’t start out promoting it in regard to what some of the components was designed to do. I just asked everyone to be consistent with using it. Before I knew it, I started getting phone calls and text messages saying “hey this butter is lightening up my scars and stretch marks”. I know they didn’t expect that benefit at all. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business?

The good ole fashion way, word of mouth is always good because if a person mentions your product, they usually follow up with good things to say about it. Now new age technology or social media if you will, has been the best avenue. With social media you can advertise and reach an audience of people you don’t know and will never have the opportunity meet. This avenue will allow you to expand to a higher customer base, that will multiply with each platform that you have. What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? My biggest challenge has been finances. I was complaining to a good friend of mine saying “I can’t wait to see my money grow. Soon as I make it, I have to reinvest it or use it for something.” We then had the conversation about it taking up to three years to see a profit. He then said you know what your biggest problem is Hope? You’re using your own money when you supposed to be using the banks money. I couldn’t do nothing but smile and say your absolutely correct. Far as overcoming that, hopefully that turns around for me this year. What are your secrets to your success, especially with self care, and beauty products? For me being confident in my work, doing my research not just throwing stuff together. Knowing for myself first why its important to take care of your skin along with being able to relay that to my customers and potential customers. Being able to explain why

people should use my products. Striving to be a little different with my line. Some folks may look at Exquisite Self Care and think “oh somebody else making body butter or candles” There are a lot of different ingredients that can go into body butters and scrubs and the important factor is what combination of ingredients I chose to use to set my brand apart. To have several people reach back out to me and say “hey this butter is lighting up my scars or stretch marks” is a blessing to me. If I continue to be detailed with my ingredients I can’t lose. My products have over 7 ingredients I only list so many of them, because if I tell all my secrets I lower my success rate. I try to be different with my candle scents and I try to make the scent a little louder than most candles. What would you say truly excites you about what you do? I actually have fun making these products. Seeing the outcome of me starting from scratch putting together the ingredients for each product and watching them create something healthy for our skin and know someone has enjoyed the way it makes them feel and or smell is very exciting and rewarding. Mixing together fragrances to come up with a signature smell and someone telling me how good it smells just lights my face up. I love it! How do you handle work-life balance? It’s not always easy. Some days I have to push myself a little harderthan others. One will say starting a new business you really can’t afford to rest ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “My mission is to promote healthy skin for men and women.”

or out something before your business. You have to stay on your grind. But, I feel slightly different about that. I always say, “you have to have a balance in life or you will tilt over.” Having something else to focus on outside of working your butt off or starting a business brings balance to your mental state. You have to be able to unwind from time to time, and that’s what brings you balance. What would you say are the key skills needed to be a successful female entrepreneur in 2022? 1)Discipline 2) Commitment 3) Determination 4) Communication 5) A Vision 6) Confidence 7) Leadership 8) Great Work Ethic 9) intelligence 10) Flexibility What do you want to achieve next? I have been jokingly saying since day one that I want to become the next Madam CJ Walker but of skin care. Lol Once I have reached her level and surpassed it, I will be satisfied. That’s my dream, but my passion is in writing and becoming an established author. Once Exquisite Self Care Grows enough to hire some people, I can fall back just enough to finish one of my books so stay tuned.










JEAN ADORE Tell us about yourself, and how you started JeanAdore? My name is Chevon Mason. I am the owner of JeanAdore. I was born in Lockport, NY, a small town known for its locks on the Erie Canal. I am the single mother of a 13 year old son. I graduated with a degree in Business Administration and in Visual Communications from Monroe Community College in Rochester NY, and I am an Army Veteran. JeanAdore was an outcome of a previous clothing company that I owned called ShoeVonDoo. During my ownership of ShoeVonDoo I realized that the products my customers liked most were denim and I myself, also have a personal love of unique denim clothing. I decided to focus more on denim and JeanAdore was born. What is behind the name “JeanAdore”? For JeanAdore I wanted to go with something simple but unique. Something that would tell what my company was about just by looking at the name. What makes you hustle? Over the years this answer has changed. Initially when I started selling clothing it was kind of a hobby of a housewife. When I divorced, my business kind of fell to the wayside. I moved my son and myself from Georgia back to New York, where we had to start all over again. In Georgia I sold to other housewives and women in the

community. Moving back I had to find work and a home for us. Once we got that established I was able to slowly focus on ShoeVonDoo but it was still a part time thing because I worked overnights almost 6 days a week. That went on for 7 years, during that time JeanAdore was born. During covid I lost my well paying job and refused to put my all into another company that was not my own. Now I hustle

I love fashion. I love unique clothing. Individual style. I love that fashion can create a mood. That it can make you feel beautiful or comfy or both at the same time. Who are the inspirations behind creating your business and your fashionable looks? Fashion in general is its own inspiration. I am a Pisces so I love visual things. Colors, depth, shiny, unique. Fashion is all of this. What does fashion mean to you and your team? For JeanAdore fashion is freedom. Freedom of expression and speech. It’s nostalgic. It brings groups together. We focus on trying to create that energy for our customers.

for me. To be the best me that I can be. I hustle for my son. I want to be more than just a mom. I want to leave my mark. My, I was here. I want to be a role model for my son. I want to leave him with not just a company but with that knowledge and drive to go out there and take control of your life. Why did you choose fashion as a career?

According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful woman entrepreneur in the fashion industry? There are many skills necessary to become successful in the fashion industry, but the ones that I think are dire are to NEVER give up, watch, look and listen to your audience and fellow boutique owners and PLEASE put yourself out there. They won’t know you exist if you don’t stand up and show ‘em what you got. What do you consider good customer service? To achieve great customer service you have to always be willing to go ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022



“I love fashion. I love unique clothing. Individual style. I love that fashion can create a mood.”





{FASHION SHIFT+CONTROL { BLACK WOMEN ROC} }} FORWARD “My personal style would be the statement “dress how you feel”

that extra mile. You have to listen to concerns with concern. Although all customers should be treated with the same respect and consideration, make sure to pay special attention to your regular customers. Those customers are the ones who can help your business succeed. Treat them special because they are. Also don’t skim on your family and friends. By that I mean don’t leave out little things because it’s your sister or cousin. Give them that free item or make sure to let them know that their purchase is truly appreciated as well. How would you define your own personal style? Oh my goodness! My style is all over the place. You can see me on Monday and I will have on a long floral maxi and then Tuesday have on a pair of combat boots and a baseball cap. I love that fashion gives you the freedom to go from glam to gritty in seconds. My personal style would be the statement “dress how you feel”. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion? Thinking back I want to say I showed my first real interest in fashion in about the 6th grade when I would 294


throw little fashion shows with my sister and cousins. They would let me dress them up in clothes I would cut up, draw on or “non” matching items I would put together. It was so much fun. What is your favorite style to wear? My favorite style to wear is anything

Stretchy perfect butt jeans. Usually dark wash. Your favorite pair of jeans go with everything. I mean it. Long sleeve top, short sleeve, tanks, boots, sandals, sneakers or jackets. You can dress them up or down with little to no effort at all. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be? Don’t wait, stop planning and jump right in. What are your favorite jeans? My favorite jeans are still in my closet. They are a size 5. A size I have not been in years. About 20! I will never get rid of them though. I love them. They are by a company called Virgin Only. They are straight leg, distressed, stone washed, 100% cotton, with metal embellishments and a floral back pocket. Definitely have that updated vintage look.

fun and unique. I also like vintage items that have been altered in some way to mimic the current fashion trend. If you could pick just one MUST HAVE item of clothing, what would it be and why?

Has working during a pandemic helped or hindered you? I know a lot of people have said that it hindered them and for those people I am truly sorry. In the beginning I felt as though it was a hindrance because in the winter of 2019 I just opened up a store that I had to close down. I realized though that what




FASHION FORWARD FORWARD }} {{ FASHION “For JeanAdore I wanted to go with something simple but unique. Something that would tell what my company was about just by looking at the name.”

happened, happened and I learned to use that time at home wisely to be more attentive to my business. It helped me realize that I wanted to do this full time.

Who are some of your main fashion influencers? I love stylish looks like Rihanna, Tracee Ellis Ross and other small business boutiques like Murrswagg.

What role do you think social media plays in fashion today and what is your favorite platform? I think social media plays a huge role in fashion. You can reach markets and also follow others in fashion that you would not have heard of without social media. You can quickly connect with others in fashion and learn about many things as well. It also shows you that you are not the only one doing or feeling or experiencing what you are doing, feeling and experiencing in this industry. How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes? When a woman wears an item from JeanAdore I want her to KNOW that she looks good! I want her to feel that she is unique, she is stylish and she is the belle of the ball. She doesn’t even know what mundane is. 296


How do you select the merchandise you want to sell? Our merchandise is selected mostly by customer input. If our customers are into jumpsuits or jackets, we find those items but on an amped

up lever. They have to be unique in some way. We also study the trends so our customers can keep that unique fashionista look. What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? A year from now we have plans to re open up another store front and to be better known throughout Western NY. So when there is an event happening and you see JeanAdore’s name you know exactly who we are and what we are about. In 5 years from now we plan to be well known nationwide online, will offer custom made items and will have branched off to extend our market into mens or childrens items. So stay tuned!






FEDERAL FILING CONSIDERATIONS Current options Today, married couples can file as married, either jointly or separately, at both the federal and state level. But does simply checking a different box on your tax forms guarantee a better outcome? Maybe but maybe not. If you and your spouse earn roughly the same amount of money, filing jointly could bump you into a higher tax bracket. On the contrary, if there is only one primary bread winner, filing jointly may result in paying less taxes. In other words, getting married, could reduce or increase your tax bill to Uncle Sam.* Domestic partnerships and civil unions While a handful of states recognize domestic partnerships and civil unions, unfortunately the IRS does not. While these designations may offer some of the same rights and responsibilities available to married couples, it is only at a state level and on a state-by-state basis. Tax benefits that apply to all There is no one size fits all solution for married couples grappling with how to file their tax returns; I always advise my clients to consult with their tax advisor to ensure the most efficient method is chosen. However, here is what you can count on assuming both spouses are U.S. citizens:* • The ability to transfer an unlimited amount of assets to your spouse, free from federal gift or estate taxes, either

during life or at death. • The right to leave your spouse property upon your death that doesn’t come with a heavy estate tax bill due to the unlimited marital deduction. • More tax-planning options upon inheriting your spouse’s retirement account. • The right to open an Individual Retirement Account on your spouse’s earnings record if you are unemployed. Still the federal tax benefits afforded to same-sex spouses are on par with those of heterosexual spouses. In the eyes of the IRS marriage is marriage, so if you are married or thinking about getting married, you may want to consider taking the time to talk with your tax advisor to see how your marital status might impact your income tax and your financial future as a married couple. Need additional guidance? Our team can help Our firm can help you lay the groundwork for your financial future. We are qualified to assist LGBT couples with key financial issues affecting same-sex spouses and domestic partnerships. Timing truly is everything. Timing your marriage to help minimize taxes Choosing a wedding date that accommodates family, friends, and employers—not to mention the

church and reception hall—is a newly engaged couples’ greatest challenge. Perhaps you should consider Uncle Sam when choosing your wedding date. Tax filing status is determined on December 31 of each year. For tax purposes, that means even if you wait until the last day of the year to walk down the aisle, the IRS will consider you married for that entire year. If there is a notable disparity between your and your partner’s income, then getting married by December 31 could benefit your tax situation. However, if your combined income pushes you into a higher tax bracket, you may want to marry January 1 of the new year to avoid a negative impact on your current-year tax bill.* Still, income is not the only factor that influences whether marriage could impact your tax situation. Discussing questions such as who incurs deductible expenses, who can claim children as dependents, and what tax preferences you might qualify for can also help you gauge the potential effects of marriage on your tax situation—and help you and your partner to determine the best time to exchange vows. *Our firm does not provide legal or tax advice *source: US Tax Code








FOR ADOPTABLE ANIMALS In like a lion, out like a lamb. That old adage has rung true for generation after generation. And this March, we’re highlighting one of our little lions, who found a loving forever home.

for the precious feline. He was even the star of his very first zoom meeting, and who can blame him? The students have been so hopeful of helping Dandelion find a home of his own. On December 31st, a

Meet Dandelion, whose life story isn’t cut and dry. Dandelion is feline leukemia positive, but that’s not exactly what you think it is. Feline Leukemia is nothing like its human counterpart. For cats, it means their immune system is not as robust as a regular cat, but it has nothing to do with a cancer diagnosis. It also does not decrease a cat’s life expectancy, and if treated properly, a cat can live long and normal lives. Dandelion came to us back in April 2021 from a rehoming situation. He knew his perfect family was still out there somewhere, it was just a matter of time and circumstance before finding the right home. Through our Humane Education Program, Dandelion was virtually adopted by a local kindergarten class, who made treats and created posters

mom and daughter came to Animal Care Sanctuary looking for a unique ‘dog-like’ cat.

He plopped next to the curious mom and daughter and immediately asked for belly rubs, like any dog would. He chose them, and they immediately chose him despite his test results. Here at ACS, we take the time to educate any family and answer all questions about any long-term medical care that may be required with a pet adopted from our shelter. We also provide lifelong counseling whenever needed. Nothing, however, can keep a family from that instant connection with one of our loving animals. Dandelion was a resident with us for 250 days, and gave us all the love he could before leaving for his fur-ever home. We’re grateful for the time we got to spend with the Dandy one, and even more grateful that he had a full class of kindergarteners love him, and a family to call him theirs.

Dandy took that as an opportunity to take center stage. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022







LANDMARK RULING: Admin CT: Nearly five years ago, then Town of Ogden, NY resident Guy Pietrantoni shot and killed a beloved companion animal, a two year old Dalmatian/ pitty mix, aka Keeno. Keeno had not bitten anyone, he had just briefly escaped from his residence and ran into the street. Evidence shows Pietrantoni had threatened other dogs in the neighborhood and walked down the block with his sidearm in tow. He shot his wife in the process. https://13wham. com/.../police-manshoots-kills-neighbors... Mo n r o e C o u n t y Deputy District Attorney Bill Gargan promised Keeno’s family, the Forte’s, that he would present this matter to a Grand Jury and try to obtain justice for Keeno. He looked in their eyes and lied... he never did. Keeno’s death and subsequent treatment took a huge toll on his family, two of whom have died since this tragic incident. The tragic and sudden loss of a beloved animal can damage a person or family immeasurably. Yet, in New York State, the general law was that the damage to an animal, including death, can only be measured by way of the fair

market value of the dog. Meaning, the death of a pitty mix such as Keeno was worth only slightly more than the death of a pet rock and less than the destruction of a decent pair of headphones. Not anymore.

ultimately help make for a safer and more humane environment as animals’ worth has become recognized by the Courts. We can’t make keenos death any less tragic. We can and did make sure it was not in vain. Please consider becoming a foster, adopting, or donating to Against All Oddz Animal Alliance. EV E RY PE N N Y COUNTS! ! Amazon Wishlist: https:// shlistls/10R68Q1DAD0 6A?ref_=wl_share Chewy Wishlist: https://www.chewy. com/g/against-alloddz-animal-alliance_ b75990160 PayPal: paypalme/againstalloddz For more information visit www.againstalloddz. org

In a landmark ruling and in a case being argued by our attorney and founder, Matthew Albert, New York State Supreme Court Justice Gail Donofrio ruled that one CAN recover damages for the emotional pain and distress relative to the death of a dog, including Keeno. Such a ruling should ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022









My morning routine starts with my alarm screaming at me. My response may differ based upon how well I slept the night before. I could be a snail or a bursting can of colorful confetti. My colorful confetti days are filled with productive calls, rapid-fire emails, and an end of day gourmet dinner made by yours truly. I finish strong, feeling like I am on top of the world and accomplished. On the flip side of the coin, my snail days will almost always follow a night of zero rest. The tasks of the day feel more like chores. Everything seems rushed and I find myself daydreaming about escaping to a remote island. Those are the days I despise and in the mode of complete transparency, in my young and impressionable days, I found myself in that place more often than I would have liked. So, what did I do to get out of that slump? To avoid a life of reels on replay, I dug my toes into the sand and read books and watched videos on the power of intentional living. I found living with intention means evaluating how our choices will shape our tomorrow and our decisions are structured around our core beliefs and values. While every new day grants us the opportunity to do something different, if we aren’t intentional about our time, we will get a lot of the same ole’ same ole’. To take this lifestyle of intentional living to the next level, I conducted a self-discovery reflection exercise. I listed all my known values, beliefs, and goals. There was something

about coming face-to-face with those things. They were no longer filed away like an old vinyl record waiting to be dusted off. Instead, they were up close and personal like the first few apps on the main screen of our smartphones. Usually, the most used apps remain on the home screen because we find value in them and they help us to accomplish our goals. On the flip side, when we delete apps we are saying they no longer serve us and it is taking up unwanted space. What in your life is taking up unwanted space, hindering you from living an intentional life, and blocking you from getting closer to your goals?

• What manageable tasks can I complete to get closer to my goals? On the next day, I am able to hit ground running, without wasting the better part of my day trying to figure out the course of action. My mind is clear, my path is set, my values are incorporated, and my day has now become intentional. For it is true, it’s better to have more purposeful days than those that leave us wandering and unfulfilled.

Producing the answer to that question may be challenging, overwhelming, and debilitating, but no worries, there are still a number of things we can do today to change our tomorrow. With your goals in mind, I suggest creating a list of all the steps you would need to take to accomplish them. Now make the execution of those tasks manageable. Personally, every weeknight for at least 15 minutes, I take the time to identify my top three tasks for the following day. I then structure it around a few of the following questions: • How will I contribute to the world tomorrow in a positive way? • What can I do to exercise self-care? • What should I be learning and what should I avoid? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022




Note: Not all Pastors. But MANY!!! One day I’m going to preach a sermon on THE PRIDE IN THE PASTOR, and how the world is fooled by the external and beauty of ugliness. This is a very ugly animal. Many just can’t see it. I see this animal and I see some Pastors. Don’t shoot me. One’s examples or references are predominantly used from One’s experiences. Tooooo many Pastors, Ministers, Gospel Singers have UGLY spirits they contend with. Some don’t even contend, they are comfortable with it. Jealousy, Competition, Insecurity, Inadequacies, egotism, PRIDE!!! Pride comes from fear. Fear of admitting INNATE traumas(Childhood Wounds Mostly, Hurts, Gaps in Childhood & Adulthood, Skipped Progression, etc) Pride is a security blanket. A blanket is used to PREVENT & PROTECT a threat. So when you see someone with pride, ego, cocky, eratic, double standard, recalcitrant , unreachable, unteachable, don’t be alarmed. You’re only staring at a very scared boy or girl, though they are chronically grown with titles. They are still undeveloped babies. They are crying very loudly on the inside. If you look closely, you can see it. You can hear it. Some of them are practically SCREAMING for help. That’s why once a teacher notices such traits in a student, she notifies the social worker in school, and they begin to investigate if “ EVERYTHING is okay at home,” The child seems STUBBORN 312


AND UNRULY. But when they adult is stubborn, we find IT MACHO but not unruly? These are signs of deep rooted FAMILIAL/ CHILDHOOD JUNK!!! BLEEDING WOUNDS! They are humans with painful realities. Seeking Revenge Aborting Babies Killing People(Oh Yes) Stealing From People Beating & Neglecting Their Spouses

of hurting, please seek PROFESSIONAL Counseling. Some insurances cover it. A LICENSED OR CERTIFIED THERAPIST OR/& PSYCHIATRIST. Jesus had Luke as a Team Member. Smart Guy. You can’t contine to walk around with hidden wounds. You are bleeding on your parishioners. You are bleeding on your family members. This blood is infected, it ain’t even clean. Please STOP!!! Pride is ugly, and it’s okay to be ugly, but it is not okay to make it seem beautiful. I’ll let it rest here #OMENESA

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a judgement call. I was raised in the church. I have been a victor of ministry, and a victim of unattended wounds. There is sadly a relationship with the two.

Suggested Therapists/Coaches HOT LINES

I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. This is why the world CANNOT and WILL NOT take some of us SERIOUSLY!!! This is why MANY organizations have an embargo on religious and political sharing.

Love Ambassador Denise Turner Headd (Cleveland)

This is a call to those who use their titles to hide their pain and to fool themselves and their congregation. The world claps and gives them more reasons to be puffed up, which causes them to hide more, hence more pride, more fear. The worse thing you can give a proud person is MORE!!! That’s why there are some denominations that will force a man or woman to SIT STILL until they’ve come of age in their INNER MAN. If you are a Pastor, a Minister , and you are tired of deceiving yourself, you’re tired

Marriage Dr Nephetina Serrano (Philadelphia)

Licensed Psychiatrist Dr Tola T’Sarumi (Boston) Behavioral Therapist Dr James Komolafe (Abuja) Prayer Warrior: Anita N Maurice (Cleveland) Trauma, Narcissistic Abuse, Spiritual Alignment, Anger Management, Inner Child Work, Marriage Reconciliation, Self Discovery, Singlehood, Purpose Finding, Grief Counseling, Self-Esteem, Inferiority & Superiority Complex, Confidence, Speaking & Pageant Coaching: Yours Truly(OMENESA)




{ LADY “O” } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “They are crying very loudly on the inside. If you look closely, you can see it. You can hear it.”










Greetings Gems! My name is Lydia Dean-Reese and I am your fashion stylist! So much has prepared me for where I am today in my styling business; from textile courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), to working at Daffy’s (Clothing Bargains for Millionaires) during college, to attending Opheila Devore charm school, and coordinating my first fashion show at 25.

say is that I am precise in identifying their body type and they loved the items that I selected for them. Many indicate that the style articles

I’m enthusiastic about collaborating with all of you and with Ro c h e s t e r Wo m a n Online Magazine! Do you have styling questions? Don’t be afraid to ask. Connect with me at www. 240-863-2762 And of course IG @ lydialifestylecoach

I’m grateful for each and every experience and the people I’ve met, the clients I’ve served and the paths that I’ve crossed. This has all culminated in a rich, rewarding experience as a Stylist and Closet Coach. I ’v e w o r n m a n y hats in the Fashion Industry,while working retail, and then on to being an event planner, a designer, and even a seamstress. I’m passionate about what I do and eager to share my experiences and offer some pro tips that I’ve learned along the way. One of the things my clients often

assisting them from looking status quo to giving them mood boosters. The services LLC offer are: Body Shape ID + Tips, Personal Style ID, Personal Shopping and Wardrobe Planning and Closet reorganization.

that I select are pieces that they would never select for themselves. In addition, testimonials include me ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022




The Journey Back to Our Inner Light Feeling unconditional self-love as an adult can sometimes feel out of reach. Yet at our core, something we all hope and wish for. Taking a journey back to our inner light and our truest essence isn’t always an easy path. Frankly, it can be the hardest, scariest road we’ve ever taken. In today’s technology-based world, where we are continually given messages about “perfection,” whether it be internal or external expectations, it can deflate even the most positive person. We’ve all been there and, especially as women, internalize the falsehood that we are not enough “as is.” Many of my art students have come to me feeling as though they are truly not worthy of being a creator or artist. Most of them, when asked how they came to this self-belief tell me that there was someone in their lives that made them feel shame around their work. That it didn’t live up to societal expectations of what a “good artist” looked like. They put their art supplies away, sometimes for decades, internalizing this falsehood as a truth. One student was once told by his sixth-grade art teacher that he had “wasted all that paint.” Six decades later, he is valiantly and quite beautifully working towards undoing the damage that that one sentence did to his love of creating. Countless numbers of us have had a similar experience that veered us off our given path and made us feel ashamed and deeply embarrassed when that thoughtless sentence was spoken. Others have endured years of verbal abuse indicating their unworthiness. No one had no right to put that into our psyche. Yet, it stays inside of us, 318


festering and becoming a hardened part of our self-belief system when left unchecked or challenged. Mel Robbins talks about this in her latest book, “The High Five Habit.” She asks readers which belief about themselves would they truly like to believe? I, for one, do not care to ever believe what my art teacher told me in 10th grade about being on the side of the room for students that “weren’t talented.” But that takes work and consistency, let alone a decision to do better by me and my heart. Each of us are the only ones that decide that. The hard work must be deemed worthy and important, if not critical to our emotional well-being. If it is not, you will fizzle out by 10am every day and go back to that negative self-talk and feelings of shame and unworthiness. It’s a powerful choice. As a kid right up through my early twenties, I had received so many messages of worthlessness and feelings of invisibility. I was only seen when I did something wrong by a major figure in my life or for my external flaws by classmates and neighborhood kids. So, I turned to hiding away in my closet or in the woods behind our house and learning to become small. It was the easier route that seemed safe and soothing. As adults, we adopt new ways of coping with our trauma that aren’t so pretty and serve absolutely no one. Especially not our hearts. Addiction, avoidance, procrastination, self-harm, clutter and overworking all become ways that we practice in order to survive what feels daunting or overwhelming (which may just be life, in general). This leaves us stuck in patterns that reinjure us and

reinforce the negative beliefs we harbor in the depths of our souls. Our hearts, despite our negative actions, never relent because they know our genuine essence better than we do on our worst days. They continue to call out to us, asking that we nobly honor it and step out of these patterns of behavior, which can feel intimidating when we erroneously believe we lack the courage and/or strength to proceed. Here’s the thing; you are infinitely stronger than you know. You were given and have always possessed everything you need to be your highest self. It just takes the willingness to break old, negative habits and beliefs. With my students that come to me thinking they’re not talented, we begin by delving into why they stopped creating. Invariably, it’s an external source such as a parent, sibling, friend or especially a teacher that undermined their joy with a simple sentence they internalized years ago. When I ask them if they believe what this person told them, most do not when pressed. They just don’t know how to undo the damage and find their way back to joy in the act of creating. They are afraid that they will be embarrassed by what they produce in front of me, their teacher, or fellow students. Providing them with loving guidance in a safe environment to feel all their feels as I listen without judgment (and loads of empathy), is my way of allowing their fears to sit out in the open to be observed and given deep compassion. We then move forward in small, manageable steps learning basics, even if we need to do it for multiple lessons. We look for the parts that went well or were absolute breakthroughs to buoy




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “Remember that your life isn’t a social media, unrealistically filtered highlight reel, thank goodness.”

them as they continue onward. These simple steps can be applied to your everyday life. Find that safe person or therapist that can just be a soft place for you to fall. You can then begin to look for the easy things to believe about yourself, like knowing your heart/inner voice as your guidance system always leads you lovingly. That it has your best interests at heart. This proves to your deepest self that there are answers that can and will honor you. Trying that for a week can begin to build your resilience and your self-esteem. Notice when you follow that guidance and how well it served you that week. Keep a journal of those little gems as proof that you are capable of turning that ship around towards the sun again. Because you are! As students begin to master the basics through persistence and self-loving inner dialogue, it allows them to begin opening their hearts and minds to infinite possibilities that their 7-year-old self always knew were possible. It starts to feel easier and even joyful, just through the simple act of jubilant connection to self. Their pencil lines and brushstrokes slowly become more confident and purposeful. There is a real sense of thoughtfulness to each application 320


because they’re now invested in a beautiful outcome. Sometimes that means a failed piece. Those students that have put in the work know that their failures, although painful, have brought more information than any successful piece ever could have. It’s like a scraped knee that they quickly get up and brush off from, never forgetting where that crack in

the sidewalk was and a better place for their future footing the next time they journey down that road. They can more easily navigate those obstructions. It allows for grace, so as not to inflict more pain. It’s a brilliant misstep. Gabby Bernstein’s quote, “Obstacles are detours in the right direction.” is one of my favorites for

that exact reason. Life is helping you move in a better, more loving way. Remember that your life isn’t a social media, unrealistically filtered highlight reel, thank goodness. It’s at times, bumpy and messy and disorienting. And that’s okay! Honoring our deepest selves through shifting erroneous, unkind beliefs opens us up to boundless possibilities. We can venture down paths less taken and not be quite so quickly shaken by what lies ahead. Owning a true knowing that we are beautifully enough and capable of shifting into that light that resides within all of us empowers all of us. The world needs your light and wants to watch you shine it, inspiring all of us to do the same. Becoming beacons so that others may dig deeply into all their worthiness is a noble, divine effort that reaps countless rewards; most of all joy and contentment in your own life. You are worthy of that, my friend and merit the breaking of old habits and untruths. It is a level of higher self-consciousness that will give you an unshakeable foundation to build your new life upon with the grace of self-forgiveness that honors the offering of your uniquely beautiful gifts.






{ DIVI9 } } { DIVI9 CHAT


My client stated that they don’t talk about this part as she reflected on her journey. She was referring to the emotional aspect of surgery. The stress, the pain, the worry. “I thought I studied up on everything I could; I thought I knew what to expect. “Client Z. Reality after surgery is one I have come to observe, from the other side of the table, can only be experienced. These emotional states require patience and support. EMOTIONAL SIDE EFFECTS OF SURGERY “There are too many people in the world today who live disappointed rather than risk feeling disappointed.” ATLAS OF THE HEART Going into surgery with great expectations is always a great way to begin. Coming out can bring a varying reality, which can only be expressed as a disappointment. Client X said, “it felt like a meat shop .”I expect quality customer service and great products when I enter a typical meat shop. However, you honestly never get the perspective of the meat; I will just leave that there as food for thought and reflection. Disappointment also comes up in other ways, such as “my curves are not where I expected them to be” Client Z or “there wasn’t enough fat for the transfer, so why did they tell me this was possible?” Client H The headlining quote attempts to express the other side of disappointment that must be highlighted. Some clients begin this journey with a sense of disappointment, and despite the risks, they choose to no longer live in that space; for many, the frustration they begin with is transformed into gratitude for a fresh start. “Worry and anxiety go together, but

worry is not an emotion; it’s the thinking part of anxiety” Atlas of the Heart. Many clients experience the effects of a cycle of worry and anxiety. Unfortunately, this often occurs due to feeling disconnected from the one person they believe holds all the answers to their experience in and out of surgery. My first response to troubling questions is to take them back to the advice of their surgeon or provide supporting explanations and examples that provide clarity and understanding. Here is my advice to minimize this emotional state: ask as many questions about your surgeon’s aftercare recommendations as possible upfront. I often state that every surgeon has a slightly different philosophy of the entire process and procedure, which helped you choose them in the first place. Take that advice and add self-awareness and self-trust. Then, honor yourself as the first and primary expert on your body. “Perfectionism is not self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance.” Atlas of the Heart “I am wondering why I did this in the first place; I think maybe it was motivated by x. I loved my body before this, but still, I gained weight just to do this.” My theory is that motivation and level of grounding play a role in how a client processes through and experience their emotions post-op. However, despite their varying levels of pain or discomfort, internally motivated clients often accept the results of their surgery, are more positive in their expressions, and heal well. That is not to say that upbeat, internally motivated clients have not experienced challenges.

NEW SERVICE ALERT! Since becoming trained in the Graston technique, my first post-op client settled onto the table. I prepare to run through my protocol when I palpate uneven tissue beneath the surface of her skin. I explained that I would be using an instrument to support the realignment of the tissue, and I also had her palpate on both sides of her abdomen just below her ribs. After the application of the instrument to the areas, she was amazed! This technique is an addition to the services that I have been patiently waiting to provide. How do you know all this, she asks? I reply that I strive to ensure that I provide as comfortable of an experience as possible for my clients, which motivates me to seek effective treatments that are also gentle. Gentleness is an essential factor for my services. Clients have been through so much; I believe each individual should be treated with the least amount of adequate pressure required for them as an individual at each stage of healing. Graston instruments allow me to do just that while accelerating the results of my treatment. If you have met the tool affectionately referred to as the “blue tool” during the treatment of scar tissue, you will see much less of it. A B I T A B O U T G R A S TO N INSTRUMENTS “...Stainless steel instruments amplify abnormalities­in the texture of the tissue,” says Mike Ploski, P.T., A.T.C., O.C.S., director of strategic planning at Graston Technique. ... “Patients can also feel the same abnormal tissue through the instrument as the clinician, and can feel the quality of the tissue improve.” How the Graston Technique Can Heal Stubborn Scar Tissue | Muscle & Fitness ( ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ DIVI9 CHAT } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “There are too many people in the world today who live disappointed rather than risk feeling disappointed.” -Atlas of the Heart








Why should you use a tax professional? 1. The knowledge that I know 2. There won’t be any mistakes

2. Additional child tax credit money was taken up front from return, and then portal was closed for nonworking people until 4/18/2022. So, they had to come see a professional 3. Childcare amount went from

5. If you were between ages 19-24 and was not a specified student, you received Earned Income Credit this year based on income!

Tax Tips

3. I look for ways to get my clients their maximum refund

1. Make sure you have ALL necessary paperwork to file.

4. By paying upfront cost to me you will receive ALL your refund!

2. Make sure you file quickly and don’t hesitate 3. Business owner’s you guys need to purchase a bookkeeping book titled “Dome simplified monthly bookkeeping record!”

5. Being a tax professional I can give you tax tips to prepare you for the following year 6. I keep accurate records so whenever you need a copy of your information it will be readily available 7. One on ones with me are personal, not a full office so we are able to discuss not just tax tips we discuss life!

Changes In 2022 1. Concerning the Stimulus if you received it, please make sure to disclose that information and not lie because it will hold up your return!

4. For all selfemployed & LLC prepare early for tax payments!

maximum $3,000 to $4,000. Form 2401 4. Tax brackets went up for each filing status. Head of Household: $450 Single Individual: $325 Married Filling Joint: $650 Married Filling Separate: $4700

5. Homeowners keep up with ALL receipts of repairs that you do during the year. 6. Make sure you keep your exemptions the same for each job which it should be 0 or 1.









EASY DOES IT } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Concerning the Stimulus if you received it, please make sure to disclose that information and not lie because it will hold up your return!”









Stress. We all have it. We’ve all talked about it and I’m sure you have read plenty about it. And yet, it’s not a subject we are comfortable dealing with, is it? In light of what has happened to us, is happening to us or is about to happen, maybe we should? You might have automatically assumed you know what I am talking about. Don’t. That is the first thing we need to throw to the side. We should not assume what each other is going through. It is different, just as we are different, for each of us. Let’s start with the basics. Our jobs. For some, staying home with the children is a dream come true! For others, a nightmare. It’s no different from a 9 to 5 job. You may have picked a career you love. Good for you! And yet, your co-worker may have a sense of dread every day, going to the same job.

or vacation. Parents enjoying children’s or grandchildren’s events. Neighbors holding parties. Co-workers getting promotions. Best friends enjoying time together. You could be the happiest go lucky person out there, but in one way or another, at one point in time, you will have to deal with stress. It’s inevitable. How we deal with stress is essential to how we deal with life. I’m no doctor. I have no quick cures for stress. Then why am I writing about it? Being aware of your stress may make you aware of the stress others are going through. As I said, we all deal with stress differently. Your friends or family may be dealing with stress you are not even aware of. Whether it be over money, career choices, or illness, who knows? They do.

Stress applies to a relationship, too. There are relationships out there every one envies and yet I guarantee you, there is still stress about something, somewhere, along the line!

I’m not saying we need to delve into other’s personal life to know about the stress they are going through. Maybe they are a private person who doesn’t want anyone to know about their stress. And that is fine. That may be a way they deal with it.

And again, try not to assume I am only talking about a couple’s relationship. Relationships also envelopes a relationship with your parents. Your children, perhaps grandchildren. Neighbors and co-workers. Even your best friend.

There is nothing wrong with that. But how can you help if they are not asking for it? Or, it’s possible, you are so wrapped up in your own stress, there is no way for you to help. When in fact, you are the one that needs help!

All relationships can be envied, especially if they look like there is no stress in those relationships. A couple enjoying a date

A vicious cycle, to say the least. Are there really any answers? I find one that comes quickly to mind. Kindness. When I am

dealing with stress, I try to think about something that took my stress away. Even if it was for a brief second. Every time I tried to pinpoint it, I started to realize it was through an act of kindness. And not just from concerned family or friends. Co-workers or neighbors. Which don’t get me wrong, they help immensely! Simple kind jesters from complete strangers also helped release my stress briefly. Did it solve my problems? Of course not. But maybe, just maybe, that act of kindness gave me enough of a push - to continue to deal with my stress instead of giving up! My point is, while even during my most stressful time, maybe some random kind act I did for another, may have helped them too? I really hope so. Is kindness too simple of a concept? You would think, but I’m not so sure. I’ve seen situations where others simply have no kindness for their fellow man. Too wrapped up in their problems, they become bitter or even resentful of others. Granted, maybe they are in a career that stresses them out. Maybe they have children or grandchildren that are at home they are worried about. Money or relationships are not going to plan. Does those very real, painful, often intense situations let you off the hook for not being kind to another who may be dealing with the same or perhaps worse? Does a simple act of kindness cost you anything? Absolutely not. In fact, often ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


TIDBITS } {{ TAMMY’S SHIFT+CONTROL “Awareness becomes kindness. It really is that simple.”

times when we do an act of kindness in return, it makes us feel good! Not too many things in life are free. But listening to someone or noticing someone may benefit from our help, still is! If someone is kind enough to ask you how you are, should you not do the same in return? And actually, listen to what they have to say? Of course, we are focused on our own problems. But remember, so are they. Whatever their problems are, even though they may be different from yours, are still their problems. Do not minimize them by trying to compete with who 334


has the most stress to deal with. That does neither one of you any good. Stress is not something we want to compete for, it’s something we want to relieve! Even if for a brief moment. Stress can be physical as well as emotional. And this is where acts of kindness kicks in. Don’t assume others may be stronger or healthier than you. Appearances can be deceiving. Try to keep in mind, two helping is always better than one. Open that door for someone, whether you are a man or woman. Help someone load something

in the car. Take a cart inside someone just finished using. Saving them time, putting it away while giving you a cart you may need on the way in. Simple jesters of kindness can go a long way. Even a simple smile, which may seem impossible on those harder stressful days, can help others as well as yourself. We craved those smiles for so long, now that we can see them - show them! Kindness may not be the cure all, but it certainly helps. How? By letting others know, no matter who they are, they matter. They are not alone.



There are Differences in the types of Home Care Home Care provide a wide range services and assistance that allows individuals to remain in their own homes. There are three business structures of providers who offer in-home care: employment based agencies, registries, and independents . Each is substantially different in how they staff and charge for services as well as who assumes the role of employer and the associated responsibilities of the employer.

- Caregivers are trained prior to being placed in a client’s home and there is ongoing training to ensure caregivers are educated and prepared to deliver quality care

Employment Based Agencies The first option is an employment based agency which may be a corporation. The greatest benefit to hiring a caregiver from an organization that employs its caregivers is the oversight provided and convenience for everyone involved. Once you have met with the company and made the decision to work with the company, the “back office” details are not your responsibility. Tender Loving Family Care, Inc. is an Employment Based Agency.-

Registries The second option is a Registry. Registries build and manage databases of caregivers, but do not actually employ the caregivers. The caregivers often act as 1099-contract labor, but the employment arrangements can vary. If you opt to hire a caregiver from a registry, you should know who assumes the role of employer and who is responsible for employment tax withholdings and the appropriate insurance coverage? Generally, they do not provide training, nor do they ensure a level of caregiving proficiency prior to placing the caregiver. Registries act as a “match maker” and provide viable caregiver personnel options for consumers to consider.

Tender Loving Family Care, Inc. Is a NY State Corporation and a Department of Health Licensed Home Care Service Agency. We employ our caregivers providing oversight and convenience for everyone involved. Once you have met with us and make the decision to work with us, the “back office” details are not your responsibility. The biggest distinctions with our organizations are: - We employ the caregiver and clients are not burdened with the laws and requirements associated with being an employer - Employees have undergone rigorous background checks, interview process, and reference validation - Caregivers are covered by Workers’ Compensation, general liability, and bonding insurance 336


- A large roster of caregivers are available and prepared to “step in’ in the event the regular caregiver is unavailable - Ongoing oversight and involvement from the coordination team

If you choose a registry to provide an inhome caregiver, make sure you understand: Who employs the caregiver Who is responsible for employment tax withholdings What kind of background checks have been run on the caregiver and the outcome of the checks Any and all insurance coverage that may apply to the caregiver in the home The type of training the caregiver may have received and certifications the caregiver may have secured How the caregiver is paid The type of caregiver oversight Independent

Then there is Independent as the name suggests; an individual who is not part of an organizational structure. An independent may be someone you know personally or from the community, or it may be someone who advertises in-home services in the classified section of the newspaper. No matter the source of the independent caregiver, there are implications surrounding hiring an independent that should be considered before securing the relationship. A “plus” in hiring an independent is the hourly rate. Generally, you pay the caregiver less than what you will pay a registry or an employment based agency. However, a lower hourly rate does not always translate into the most cost efficient solution. If you secure an independent to provide in-home care, you are now the employer. That means you are responsible for all employment taxes and deductions for your employee, the caregiver. You also become responsible for securing the appropriate insurance coverage such as Workers’ Compensation in case the caregiver is injured while providing care in the home and general liability insurance in the event the caregiver causes property damage. Most homeowners’ policies do not cover the expenses associated with an injury or damages sustained while a caregiver is in your employ. Beyond the finances, is there a backup caregiver in the event the primary caregiver is ill or unable to care for the individual? Is the individual trained or does he/she have access to training, to accommodate the changing care needs of a client? A lower rate does not always translate to a more cost efficient, or highest quality, care solution.









The past two years are behind all of us. Who knows what is in front of us? After a long season of navigating uncertainty, I am hopeful something more beautiful will grow. Miraculously It always does. If you are reading this, you might be feeling like the new season cannot get here fast enough. I hear friends say they are feeling bored, stifled, or overlooked while sitting at their desk. They are constantly wondering, what is next. Flexible schedules and working from home offers options considered unheard for most employees not that long ago. Is that enough? Women juggle home, kids, groceries, the dog, meals, laundry meetings, deadlines and then do it all over again the next day. We accept our hamster wheel and grumble about it to our girlfriends over wine and Bunco. Now there is a new game, and the rules are changing if we want to play. Being home gave us time to think about how we wanted us professional and personal life to work better. Balance became an option. Our pause from the normal allowed us to enjoy fresh air, walks with the dog, desserts, and binge worthy television without guilt. The rat race slowed down, and it felt good. Now it is time to decide if we want to get back on track or try something new. My ‘great resignation’ was not an epiphany. It was during the recession when employers had all the leverage. I thought if my head stayed down, my talent and experience would keep me

“safe.” I was wrong. My boss asked to leave, or take a significant pay cut and work nights which would have been difficult as a single parent with a young daughter. I left, and I felt lost. It had been thirty years since I had to look for a job and it was paralyzing. Months of applying for positions left me rejected by the corporate world and doubting my abilities. Fed up, I decided to create my own job. My dining room table became my office. Working remotely was not so common when I started my business. It was lonely. Most days, l only needed my phone and the internet. I quickly learned that beyond sending an email, I was awful with the computer. I spent 8 weeks, every Wednesday night at the Brighton library taking a Word and Excel class for beginners. It was embarrassing, until I realized it was liberating. It was my first step towards being a solopreneur. Taking a leap of faith is scary. It is easier to stay comfortable. This is what I have learned. You are prepared for change. When you reach a certain age, you have a resume of life experience. We managed college, career, marriage, divorce, children, menopause, loss, all while shouldering the load every day for the people we love. Our toolbox is full of accumulated hard lessons. As a result, women are resilient, qualified, compassionate, creative, and equipped to pivot. Comfort zones are okay, for a while. Do not let the voices in your head tell you, no. You have been preparing for this next shift your entire adult life.

Women are natural connectors. As we get older, reconnection is essential. Talk to women who have made the jump from their desk to doing something they love. Reach out, have coffee, send an email. Isolation is over. Share your ideas about what you want your next life to look like. Your sisters are waiting to hear from you. My accountant friend left her job to start a business helping seniors with their finances. She realized her volunteer work with Meals on Wheels was more fulfilling. She met me for wine to talk about her decision to leave her job. She thought I would think she was crazy. Think again. You are not too old! Do not let anyone tell you, you are getting too old to still be in the game. Societal norms push employees into retirement too soon. Even Tom Brady is changing his workplace by proving that you can still contribute at an elevated level beyond your “retirement” age. You can even change your mind after you retire. I was just shy of my fiftieth birthday, when I changed careers. I am thankful every day that I did not get any of the jobs I applied for. You can build something of your own Admitting what you are good at takes effort and confidence. I knew I loved making videos and telling stories. It took time to figure out how I could monetize my skills in the business world. There was no reinvention needed, just a redeployment of what I already knew. I promise, creativity, independence, and accomplishment will give your life new meaning. Money and success naturally follow. Freedom over structure is more important than a salary that strangles you. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022



“Now there is a new game, and the rules are changing if we want to play. ”







They say time heals all wounds, yet I’m not so sure I believe that. I think a better statement is that time moves you further away from the place where your heart broke. Time doesn’t seem to want to heal the hole And the empty place that’s left. Itisn’t healing, as much as it is coping. Within one month, I lost two of the most influential people in my life. If you have read my articles in the past, you know I’ve told about both my mom as well as the only father figure I had. And now, within one month, I had to say good bye to them both. We all know that as humans we are not immortal, and have a clear conscience that our parents will die, yet it doesn’t mean when it happens it isn’t going to knock the wind out of you. Because it does all this And then some. Especially when it’s very unexpected, like the loss of my mom. My mom lived alone, in an apartment in Chili. I always made comments as to her being the crazy cat lady, as it never failed that somehow she was always “taking in a stray.” If someone moved out, and left their cat behind, it would most definitely find its way to Shirley’s house. This was also true about people as my mother had the innate ability to attract and make friends with the kindred lost souls. She chalked it up to being part gypsy, and I never doubted 346


this. My mom was always a text or a call away, and was never shy of doling out her expert advice to me. It wasn’t always this way, as a teenager I took out the majority of my ill emotions on mom, but she explained to me when I grew up, that it was ok. She said to me that we take out the worst on the ones we love. I never stopped apologizing to her for the years in my youth that I blamed her for not being the mother

she was supposed to be, in my eyes. Lucky for me, I matured and saw my mother for who she truly was, she was all that a mom should be, And more. Charismatic, caring, strong and there whenever I sought her out. She knew how to raise kids, who aren’t assholes, which I wish she could have taught this class to others. I wasn’t ready to let her go. She didn’t let me prepare. Not like anything prepares you. My mom’s death happened unexpectedly, and very quickly that I’m still wrapping my head around her loss. I am fortunate to have

been able to spend the last hours with her, telling her how much I love her. When I finally told het it was ok, I would take care of everything, as I held her hand, she left. I was left to clean out her apartment of 20 years, bring her cat home and mourn her loss. At the same time my father was living with the recent diagnosis with cancer, and already at stage four. As I’ve written about before, he has always And will forever be the strongest man I know, so maybe somewhere in the back of my mind, I felt that cancer really had no chanceagainst him. I held that in the background, but in all honesty I knew what the truth was. Even knowing, there is no preparation for that call, or those words. “Get over to the house,” knowing exactly what it meant. It was just two weeks and five days since I lost my mom, that I got that call. I was still in shock. My dad still lived in his home where he let me live as a child. I was lucky enough to be included and remain in the family, even after he was married and had two more children. I was given the chance to be an older sister, and share the man who taught me so much, with my own children. He was the grandfather they would have never had. If not for him, I would never be able to show kids where I grew up. Never had younger siblings, never became “aunt Karma” or inherited a





“They say time heals all wounds, yet I’m not so sure I believe that.”

a “second” mom. I wouldn’t have learned how much I love the country, or how to work as hard and find pride in my work, if I hadn’t followed him around as a child. I told him how important he was to me and in my life. That he had given me the one and only thing I had needed as a childa dad. And even though he and my mom had split up years ago, he never stopped treating me like his own. I was there to say goodbye to him as well. But before that, I was able to thank him, to joke with him, to ask his opinion and seek his approval. To let him know I loved him. He hugged me after my mom died, and I said, I’m not going to cry. We had coffee Ans I told him about my new endeavor with a new opportunity, and he listened like he always does about all my ideas and changes that I brainstorm about. I expressed I felt I was failing as I was closingthe eatery and selling the food truck. And I felt a little bit like a failure, and how my mother would have said that opportunities don’t just fall in your lap, there’s a reason. His response was that I’m not a failure, I never was. He believed in me, every crazy idea I talked about, I realized he believed I could do it. That was the last topic we 348


talked about, that and the purchase of a newwashing machine. One where I told him I took his advice on. The next day, he found his peace and his pain is no more.

Time won’t heal this hole in my heart that I have for the two people who taught me how to be strong when you want to give up. How to stay true to your word, as your word is your signature. How to be humble, how to be compassionate. The two people that have a plethora of different skills and

life lessons that shaped me into a person that others believe in. I want to call my mom, and tell her all about the new things she is missing. I want to stop and see my dad come out of his garage and show me the newest project he is working on. I don’t want time to make them just a memory. So for me, I will not let time take you away. I will have conversations with you and seek your advice And approval. I will tell stories of days gone by to keep you alive. I will never let you down, as I know the pride you both showed in me, even with my craziest of ideas. I will use the best of each attributes o took from you both, to recreate my life where you exist Jist out of reach. And I will mourn the loss of you in my life, but not stop living. I will remind myself that you both would say “celebrate my life” and not to be sad. Time will not heal all of this, time will only make me miss you more. In remembrance of : My mom Shirley A Clifford And my dad Kerry J Almekinder






Massage therapy has been used for thousands of years, originating in China in 2700 B.C. This form of treatment is one of the most common forms of holistic medicine practiced today. Some may view massage as a luxury service. Massage therapy is becoming more accepted as a form of preventative care and non-invasive medical treatment. Let’s discuss what massage therapy can do for you and your health, what type of massage is right for you, and what information you need to know next time you schedule your massage. How is massage beneficial to your health? Massage is non-invasive and has minimal side effects. It has both mental and physical benefits. Physically, massage can decrease chronic pain, improve range of motion, improve the immune system, improve workout recovery time, reduce swelling, decrease scar tissue post-surgery, and so much more. Mentally, massage therapy reduces anxiety, improves depression, and helps with post-traumatic stress disorder. Massage therapy is an excellent option for treating multiple diagnoses, including fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, headaches, auto-immune disease, diabetes, hypertension, postsurgical intervention, to name a few. Trying to decide what type of massage is right for you can be overwhelming. Most services are add-ons and can get confusing and expensive. Let’s review some common massage modalities: Swedish massage: If you are looking for an excellent way to relax, Swedish massage is for you. Generally, Swedish

massage is light pressure, but you can request firm or gentle pressure. It uses long fluid strokes to increase your lymph and blood flow and leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Deep Tissue Massage: Deep tissue massage is used for musculoskeletal injuries. It uses deep, sustained pressure working on muscle knots, sprains, and strains in deeper layers of muscle tissue. While deep tissue massage and Swedish massage use many of the same strokes, the intention is different. This modality can be uncomfortable but should not be painful. Myofascial Release: This style of massage works with gentle pressure focusing on the connective tissue layer of muscle. This type of stroke feels like a deep stretch of the fascial layer of tissue. This modality is excellent for post-surgical treatments, postural abnormalities, chronic pain, or fibromyalgia diagnosis. Medical Massage: This type of massage is not a precise technique. Medical massage is typically a treatment with multiple styles of massage incorporated together to treat a specific diagnosis or condition. Sometimes it is completed by a medical professional that is dual-licensed. Chair massage: Chair massage is a style of massage that requires you to sit in a chair and remain fully clothed. It is typically shorter in duration but great for those just needing a quick pick me up.

Thai massage: This type of massage stretches your body from head to toe. It is a great way to relieve muscle tension and improve range of motion. Shiatsu, Acupressure, Reflexology: These modalities include placing pressure on specific points on the hands, feet, and body. These specific points are energetically connected to organs in the body. Placing pressure on these points helps balance the nervous system and provides relaxation. Each massage therapist has their own style of treatment. Massage therapy is not a one-size-fits-all. Not all therapists will be able to offer you the same treatments. It is dependent on additional training and certifications by each therapist. Talking to your therapist is the key to receiving your best treatment. If you have not tried massage therapy before, here are some tips to get the most out of your treatment sessions. First and foremost, do not be afraid to tell your therapist your needs. Let your therapist know if the pressure is too firm, too light, the table warmer is too warm, etc. This is your appointment and you can be honest with your treating therapist. The therapist will ask you to undress down to your comfort level; what does this mean? You can leave whatever clothing on that makes you feel safe and secure. Feeling safe is an essential part of your massage. Your massage therapist can work on most areas of the body. Each state has differing restrictions on which body parts can be worked on, dependent on the therapist’s training. A standard ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{{SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES { WELLNESS 360 } }} } “Massage is non-invasive and has minimal side effects. It has both mental and physical benefits.”

massage can include your head, face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, back, glutes, legs, and feet. You can pick and choose which areas you would like additional attention to and which areas to avoid. Remember, this is your massage, you choose! Be sure to drink plenty of water after your massage. You will want to hydrate and flush out your body. You may be sore up to 48 hours after your massage. This is entirely normal. Drinking water can decrease the amount of 352


soreness you experience. How often should you have a massage? This is also subjective and dependent on your goals. Sometimes it is appropriate to make weekly appointments at the beginning of your treatment and then spread out to monthly appointments. Massage therapy can be a great compliment to many other modalities. Massage pairs great with physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and more. The best way to get the most healing out of your treatments

is to keep an open dialogue with your whole team. This ensures that your team is working together for you and your health. Wellness 360 Is a great place to start. We offer massage therapy and Physical therapy in one location. This ensures there is open communication toward your treatment goals. For more information, check us out at








In mostly no order, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite self-care tips. Many come from Yogic, Ayurvedic or Buddhist traditions. Some come from psychology and neuroscience. Many more come from trying to juggle an overscheduled life. Try on a few, see which ones work for you and stick to them. While I know many of us are overscheduled, you may need to schedule these for a few minutes per day at first before they become a habit. Of course check with your doctor before making any exercise or dietary changes. 1. Practice Saying No. 2. Start the morning with hot lemon water. 3. Have some go to comfortable clothes in natural fibers. 4.Take deliberate time to put your phone down each day. Too much too soon? Try airplane mode. 5.Stop multitasking. Even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. Give attention to one task at a time, it’s just easier. 6.Really, Say No to what you don’t want to do. 7. Move your body every day. Five minutes a day is great. 8. Practice moving gently every once in a while. 9. Taste your food. Slowly. Smell it. Savor it. Experience it. 10.Don’t guilt yourself for eating something you liked. 11.Don’t guilt yourself for saying the wrong thing. 12 Pay attention when you’re hugging someone you love. 13. Find time each day for something that brings joy. 14. Set embodied intentions.

15. Stretch. 16. Make seasonal changes to your routine. 17. Go to bed with the sun. 18.Wake up with the sun. 19.Just rip the covers off in the morning, ditch snooze. 20.Find what brings you comfort when you need it. 21.Tongue scrape in the mornings to get rid of any leftover ama (gunk). 22. “We can only love others as much as we love ourselves” Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection 23..Spend time barefoot. Bonus points for outside. 24. Moisturize or oil your skin, especially in fall and winter. 25. Notice where you feel your emotions in your body. 26. Be kind to your knees. Massage, lotion, love. 27. Schedule some time each week to do NOTHING. 28. Self-massage. Consider oiling before the shower. 29. Find an accountability buddy. 30. Let your eyes rest. 31. Practice candle gazing. 32. Apologize to yourself when you catch your inner critic speaking up. 33. Create a gratitude journal that you write in each night. Everything that went right for you that day- a call from a friend, a favorite meal. 34. Don’t stuff down emotions for too long. 35.Eat an orange or drink a cup of coffee with all five senses. 36. Listen to your body, not external validation. 37. Stop shoulding on yourself. 38. Realize there is no supposed to.

39. Massage your feet, or have someone else do it. 40. Physical Therapy isn’t only for the injured. 41. Notice when you’re getting burnt out before you get there. 42. Schedule time for the people that help fill your cup. 43. Don’t overextend yourself socially. 44. One screen only on at a time please. 45. Notice the impact of noise on your ears. 46. Go outside and listen to nature. Even when it’s quiet, there is lots to hear. 47. Find ways to get out of your head and into your body. 48. Doodle to music. 49. Learn to be OKAY with quiet. 50. Bedrooms are for sleeping and sex only. 51. Hug a tree. Talk to it. 52. Take time to rest that isn’t just sleeping. Just rest. No screens. Schedule it. 53. Practice being outside in all four seasons. 54. Focus your attention when you feel wishy washy. 55. When you’re doubting yourself, just keep to the path. 56. Try to meditate in the morning, 60 seconds of paying attention to your inhale and exhale, add 30 seconds each day. 57. Go for a walk. 58. Find a mix of effort and ease in your activities and routines. 59. Notice when your posture is slouchy. 60. Tell someone what you’re feeling. 61. Stop grasping for a quick fix. 62. Your thoughts might feel like a runaway train, but remember you are the conductor. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “While I know many of us are overscheduled, you may need to schedule these for a few minutes per day at first before they become a habit.”

63. Try something more than once before you decide you hate it. 64. Get more sleep. What do you have to put into place to get more sleep? 65. Pay attention to your body. Don’t judge it, listen to it. 66. Prioritize presence over productivity. One will assist the other. 67. Tongue scrape. 68. Find something you like about each season. 69. Stay hydrated. 70. Journal. 71. When the mind gets busy, notice what feels quiet or busy in the body. 356


72.Try Nassya Oil for your nasal passages. 73. Less human doing, more human being. 74. Whatever stupid thing you said, let it go. Move forward not backward. 75. “If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” - Lao Tzu 76. Make your life easier when you need to. 77. Cook for yourself at least occasionally, it’s grounding, and maybe creative 78. Find what grounds you for when you need it.

79. Be present to who is in front of you if it’s someone you care for. It will fill you up. 80. You can’t change everything, so change your relationship to it when you need to. It’s less exhausting. 81. Stoke your internal fire before you start fanning the flames to others. 82. When you’re stressed, take longer exhales than inhales (ex. Count to 3 on an inhale and 5 on an exhale). 83. What do you want to add? To work one-on-one on with Kaitlyn Vittozzi, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist visit






Reducing your Toxic Load, and doTerra Essential Oils I love this time of year when winter begins to yield to spring. The first day that the temperature rises enough to turn off the heat and open the door is a joy – the air sweeping through the house brings a feeling of clean and freshness. I like to do some deep cleaning in the spring, you know, do those things that you only do a few times a year. Clean all of the windows, clean out closets, clear away the clutter. Cleaning can be good for our health. But did you know that using the wrong cleaning products can be bad for our health? According to environmental experts, the average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals. Some of the health implications of using toxic cleaning products include skin burns, irritations, or allergies; dermatitis; eye damage; and asthma and breathing problems. The most harmful household cleaning products include: • Air fresheners • Fabric softeners and dryer sheets • Products with artificial fragrances • Antibacterial products • Drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and

toilet bowl cleaners • Bleach and ammonia • Soap products (shampoo, bubble bath, laundry detergent) Cleaning up your cleaning routine is a wonderful place to start if you are trying to reduce your toxic load. One way to do this is to buy “cleaner” products; that is, products containing

Group’s (EWG) app to determine the safety of the products you purchase. EWG uses a scale of A to F to rate cleaning products. Ratings of A or B indicate that the company provides complete and specific information on the substances in the product and that the product doesn’t contain ingredients deemed unacceptable by EWG. Even products labeled “e c o - f r i e n d l y” o r “organic” can still include harmful things. Remember, marketing claims are on the front of the package and ingredients are on the back. And personally, I never buy a product that states check the website for complete list of ingredients. I figure if they won’t put everything on the package, they are trying to hide something and why should I have to go looking for the complete list?

fewer chemicals and toxicants. Read the labels – avoid Parabens, formaldehyde, PEGs, dyes, Triclosan, synthetic fragrances, silicones, petroleum-derived substances, and propylene glycol. Use the Environmental Working

Last September doTerra launched its abode cleaning line, natural home care and cleaning products that are simple and effective. The line includes a multi-purpose surface cleaner, liquid dish soap, dishwasher pods, laundry pods, and a hand wash and lotion, as well as an essential oil that you can diffuse to leave your home smelling fresh and clean. And it’s sustainable. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “Cleaning up your cleaning routine is a wonderful place to start if you are trying to reduce your toxic load.”

The new line uses no plastic. It features beautiful glass bottles that you purchase once and refill from refilling pouches.

disease.” Reducing your toxic load by taking control of what you put into and onto your body and your environment is a big step towards

Another way is to make your own cleaning products using doTerra essential oils and other natural ingredients. You can use things you already have in your kitchen, such as baking soda, vinegar, unscented soap, lemon, olive oil and hydrogen peroxide. I love to make a furniture polish using olive oil and lemon essential oil. Also, a multipurpose spray cleaner using distilled water, vinegar, and essential oils. I tend to use the citrus oils, but fir oils are also good. Essential oils high in limonene, terpinene, and pinene will be useful in cleaning. Buddha said, “every human being is the author of his own health or

Peace, bliss, and balance… At Blissfull Balance LLC our mission is to help you to live life healthier. Follow us on Facebook @ blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram @ blissfull_balance. *The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

authoring your own health. As a certified health coach and a doTerra Wellness Advocate I can help you to make lifestyle changes for better health. Reach out if you would like to chat.






How do you build rapport with a new client? This happens organically and naturally. For listing appointments, sellers invite me into their homes. Here I can get to know them and their taste. I’m an extrovert and I thoroughly enjoy getting to know people in my community. When I work with buyers it’s very easy to get close to people, you tour many homes and there are a lot of opportunity for conversations. How do you prepare a property for an open house viewing? In this market, open houses happen shortly after a home is listed. Therefore, homes are typically in their best condition. There isn’t much to do with prepping a property for an open house. The majority of the prep is educating myself and memorizing as many of the home’s details as possible. How do you stay up to date with current trends and best practices? I’m a full time agent so daily I’m living the real estate life. I witness trends and the market changes as they happen. I work with Howard Hanna and they provide continuous education for the best practices and mastering the latest technology. What are the essential pieces of

information for an MLS listing? There are thousands of questions Realtors have to answer and fill out when we list a home. The most essential pieces of information are the price, square footage, number of bedrooms, acreage and the location of the home. What criteria do you use when

buyers that have searches set up will get notified when a new home gets listed. What process do you follow when first meeting with a buyer? I like to get to know them. I need to understand what their budget is and my goal is to get them a home that they are in love with that suits their wants and needs. Do you work with both buyers and sellers? Yes, I sure do. What are concessions? They are used when a buyer would like money back from the sale to use at the time of closing. For example, if a home sells for $210,000 and the buyer wants $10,000 in concessions…the seller would only net $200,000 on the sale of their home. That $10,000 is given to the buyer at the time of closing.

assessing a property’s estimated value? The property’s condition, square footage, acreage, school district, number of bedrooms, location and improvements. What is the most effective advertising method for private real estate? Getting your home on the MLS is hands down the best way to market your home. Real estate agents and

Is Rochester a buyers, or sellers market right now and why? It’s a seller market. We have the lowest inventory of homes in the entire country right now. It’s insane! Sellers are getting top dollar and most buyers aren’t asking for inspections.




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Undoubtedly, stress is a part of our everyday lives. There are so very many daily demands that compete for our attention. We typically juggle many different types of responsibilities, both at work and at home. On a regular basis, there are bills to pay, laundry to wash, groceries to buy, and gas tanks to fill. At work, we face important deadlines for projects, phone calls to return, and decisions to make. We may face the unique challenges of finding ourselves as members of the sandwich generation: we find ourselves torn between caring for our own children, as well as addressing the demands of aging parents. How we choose to cope with this diverse range of stressors makes a critical difference for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Excessive stress levels are downright dangerous if they are sustained for prolonged periods of time. Our minds and bodies are wellequipped to deal with acute stressors that occur. They are much less prepared to deal with the negative consequences of high levels of ongoing stress. Sustained stress levels cause our bodies to oversecrete cortisol, a hormone that allows our body to respond effectively to an immediate stressor. In turn, excessive cortisol levels are associated with a diminished immune system response. Whereas we may have minimal control over external stressors, we do retain control of how we choose to respond to such stressors. Placing our specific stressors into perspective makes a huge difference. Very often, the things that we find ourselves feeling very stressed out about won’t necessarily matter in

the long run. As one popular book states, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Women frequently have the tendency to place their own well-being at the bottom of their extensive to-do lists. We typically serve as the primary caregivers for our children, whether we are also employed outside the home. Attempting to competently manage such diverse roles is very demanding. After all, we all possess finite resources. None of us has an unlimited amount of physical energy, time, or financial resources. Very often, women neglect adequate self-care when juggling their home and work responsibilities. However, you can’t pour from an empty vessel. It’s essential to take the best possible care of ourselves, so that we’re able to competently fulfill the multiple roles that we face as women. Women sometimes struggle with feeling guilty for taking adequate care of themselves. They may erroneously conclude that doing so is selfish. Practicing good self-care is essential, as opposed to optional. If we have children, engaging in good self-care is also a very important form of role modeling, both for our daughters and sons. An essential component of adequate self-care is stress management. To prevent the development of more serious consequences, each of us needs to learn how to better manage our overall stress level. How we specifically manage our stress levels is different for each woman. What works for your friend, neighbor, or co-worker may not necessarily be

effective for you. Some women relax by choosing to exercise, engaging in meditation, or practicing guided imagery. There are several different strategies for achieving more effective stress management. One of the most important rests upon being fully honest with ourselves about just how much we can achieve in any given day. When we take on more than we can comfortable manage, our stress levels invariably rise. It’s not possible to simultaneously be the perfect partner, mother, caregiver, employee, neighbor, volunteer, and friend. Another effective method for improved stress management involves learning to feel comfortable with asking for help, whenever necessary. Our society remains heavily oriented towards the importance of individualism, as opposed to connectivity with others. Consequently, many of us struggle with asking someone else for help with completion of a task. We may view doing so as a reflection of some degree of inadequacy on our parts. However, we are all interdependent upon one another to some degree. Enlisting others’ help may serve to powerfully lessen our overall stress level. Those women with perfectionistic tendencies are particularly susceptible to experiencing the negative consequences of high stress levels. This is true whether they find themselves facing demands at home, or at work. Perfectionism depletes our finite resources, since attempting to complete a task perfectly exhausts both our minds and our bodies; in turn, this creates an even high stress ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2022


{ {MENTALLY THINKING} } SHIFT+CONTROL “An essential component of adequate self-care is stress management.”

levels. This is true whether they find themselves facing demands at home, or at work. Perfectionism depletes our finite resources, since attempting to complete a task perfectly exhausts both our minds and our bodies; in turn, this creates an even high stress level. Consequently, women with such tendencies find themselves in a 368


downward spiral. A final method of effective stress management concerns our ability to say no to excessive external demands. We may fear disappointing others by turning down their request for assistance. Nevertheless, effective stress management demands that we fully appreciate the

delicate balance between our demands, and our capabilities of meeting those demands. After all, just how effective can we possibly be if we find ourselves over-extended?




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ade Italian sub bread!


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Articles inside

MENTALLY THINKING article cover image


pages 366-367
WELLNESS 360 article cover image


pages 350-357
BLISSFUL BALANCE article cover image


pages 358-361
REAL TALK WITH STEPHANIE article cover image


pages 362-365
HER EDGE article cover image


pages 340-345
SERVICES FOR SENIORS article cover image


pages 336-339
KARMA SPEAKS article cover image


pages 346-349
TAMMY’S TIDBITS article cover image


pages 332-335
EASY DOES IT article cover image


pages 326-331
DIVI9 CHAT article cover image


pages 322-325
LET’S GET SYLING article cover image


pages 316-317


pages 318-321
LADY “O” article cover image


pages 312-315
AGAINST ALL ODDZ article cover image


pages 306-311


pages 302-305
FASHION FORWARD article cover image


pages 290-301
LIFE IN BALANCE article cover image


pages 264-289
BUSINESS TALK article cover image


pages 230-263
TRACY IS TALKING article cover image


pages 150-155
COACHING WITH KRISTIN B article cover image


pages 196-229


pages 162-167
NUTRITION DONE RIGHT article cover image


pages 168-179
FOR A GOOD CAUSE article cover image


pages 148-149
FINANCIALLY SPEAKING article cover image


pages 156-161
WOMEN WHO INSPIRE article cover image


page 147
NEW IN THE ROC article cover image


pages 138-146
LUPUS CHICK article cover image


pages 128-133
SHE BOSS article cover image


pages 110-111
WOMEN IN FINANCE article cover image


pages 112-115
ONE TOUGH MOTHER article cover image


pages 134-137
THE COSMETIC QUEENS article cover image


pages 80-97
LET’S GET SYLING article cover image


pages 98-109
SACRED O article cover image


pages 124-127
BREAST CANCER CONFIDENCE article cover image


pages 70-79