RWO's August 2021 Edition

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So Much More...



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august e











BLACK WOMEN ROC Tara Banks Tiffany Porter Shamicka Joseph


IN HER OWN WORDS Stephanie Skinner


















































QUEEN OF ARTS Lorraine Staunch








SHE HUSTLES TALKS Yasmeen Gumbs Busy Bee Painting Diana Kleps Adenay Garner Antonia Wynter Tara Humphrey Bobbi Jo Dondorfer Angie’s Boutique The Local Current Rhea Parks Alexandria Hearn






august edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }












































“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”


am always excited to launch the newest edition of Rochester Woman Online magazine and this issue is no exception, especially when we have a 2x Olympic Gold medalist gracing our cover.

Women’s speed skating legend, mom of 2 daughters, Olympican, singer and more, Cathy Turner is a true Rochester celebrity and all around empowering woman. RWO was fortunate to be able to sit down with her and talk about her past, present and future and what it’s like living her dream. Read all about her starting on page [20]. Plus, you don’t want to miss our She Hustles Talks this month filled with ten aincredible women entrepreneurs and lady bosses including cover woman and 2020 Mrs New York America, Yasmeen Gumbs. Read all of their features starting on page [143].



Rochester Woman Online is excited to have 2x Olympic Gold Medalist speed skater Cathy Turner as the August 2021 cover woman. Turner was photographer by Brody Wheeler at Locust Hill Country Club. Hair and makeup by Maggie Culmone of Impossible Beauty. Styling by Kelly Breuer.

Who is join us for some of our incredible upcoming event and She Hustles Talks Shows? Check out the amazing list of what we have coming up including the October 21st Masquerade Ball to benefit the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for the Innocent and Against All Oddz Animal Alliance and then December 12th we will be in Syracuse for the Catwalk For Kidneys at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse. Ask me how to join us and promote your business to our amazing audience, or come and join us as a speaker and more! It has been an incredible journey so far and there is so much more to come... Just wait for 2022!

Kelly 12




Kelly Breuer


Kelly Breuer


Brody Wheeler


Brody Wheeler K. Victoria Photography Michele Ashlee Allison McDonald

Laura Marino Murray Yaravitz Julia Rabkin


Dr Pam Denton Robin DeWind Bonnie Floyd Alana Cahoon Lisa Wagner Judi Swanson Savon Holt Denise “Karma” Clifford Tracy Simone Dr Shanelle Benson Reid Johnny Williams Tammy Vreeland Rumella Cameron Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Bre Morris Angela McGhee Terry Daniele Kristin Bauer Gross Randy Agness Julie Mersereau Jennafer Kelly Jessica Fabus Cheng

Melinda Finn Amanda Ashley Annaliese Arena Matthew Albert Marie Adornato Christine Piacentino Yasmeen Gumbs Omenessa Akomolafe Alexis Craft Gabriella Rose Fiederlein Lauri McKnight Sara Pavia Allison Grace Harper Stephanie Skinner Katie Flaherty Tracy Simone Kelli LaPage


Kelly Breuer


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 © 2021 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.



Rochester Woman Online is very proud, and honored to have had the chance to sit down with 2x Olympic Gold medalist speed skater, singer, mother, local celebrity, and well the list is just endless of this ladies talents... Please welcome Cathy Turner as our latest RWO cover woman.

childhood dream was really coming true! I just kept saying to myself, “Wow, this is it! This is REALLY it! I won! I won!” Then I wish they could just play the anthem one more time…”Hey guys,

She has an incredible story, is a true inspiration and mentor, and well lets just say we had a lot of laughs during our eight hour photo session. From playing dress up, to talking about how I had a crush on Apollo Anton Ono and so much more. We hope you enjoy our Q&A with her and get to know more about this amazing Rochesterian that just happens to be an Olympian too! Tell us about who Cathy Turner is. Where were you born? Do you have brothers and sisters? Do you have any children? I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. I have a brother and 2 beautiful daughters, Britney (22) and Bayli (20). You are best known for being a 2x Olympic Gold Medal in short-track speed skating... What has that been like? It still feels like a dream to me. I do get really excited when I watch old videos of my races. It’s kind of like I’m cheering that person on that I’m watching and then I realize it’s me! LOL When I was on the podium, it was surreal. My 20


I get it now! Please, one more time!” It really does go by so fast and by the time you start to actually feel it, it’s over and you’re asking yourself, “What just happened?!” When I arrived home, there were thousands of people at the airport

to celebrate my return. Then came parades, appearances and non-stop travel all over the country to attend celebrity functions and dinners. The whirlwind had begun. I had become an Olympic Champion and I was one of only 4 gold medalists – all women - that year. Then it all happened again in 1994. You came out of retirement to capture a gold medal at the sport’s Olympic debut (1992). What made you decide to try and make a come back? It was the last Saturday in August after the 1988 Olympics that changed my whole life. That’s the day I decided, out of the blue, to skate again. I remember reading a newspaper article about a former teammate of mine who had just competed in the Olympics and I was like, “I can do that too! That IS me!” and that’s when my Mom said, “Maybe that’s what you should do.” I couldn’t believe it! I had just gotten the “go-ahead” from my Mom who had always believed in me. Thanks Mom! Today, we talk about that day and how I actually went on to win a real Olympic Gold medal….then I say, “OMG, Mom, I won TWO!” and then we both tear up and chills come over us. It’s still unbelievable. What made you pick speed skating? I was a bit of a Tomboy when I was young





“I think my greatest strength is that I know how to “Git ‘er done!” and make things happen. I’m not afraid of failure anymore.”









{ COVER STORY } “People used to tell me I would go to the Olympics one day (how did they know?!). I used to pretend winning a Gold medal and having it put around my neck, the whole nine yards.”

and I loved sports, I loved playing in the dirt and I loved to just keep moving. My parents had me water skiing and snow skiing when I was just 4 years old. When I got a pair of figure skates for Christmas, I couldn’t wait to try out a new sport. My Dad took me to the rink and there were some speedskaters there with their coach. When the coach saw that I was trying to race everyone, he talked my Dad. Next thing I knew, I had a new pair of speed skates, a uniform and was introduced to the sport of speedskating. I entered a novice race and won a blue ribbon! It made me feel so special. From then on, that became my life, my family’s life, as we travelled most weekends to out of town skating meets, where I usually brought home the overall prize trophy. I made the US Team when I was 16 years old. I did quit for 9 years or so, but I made a come back and trained for just over 3 years for the 1992 Olympic Games. Well, the rest is history. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? What about some of your weaknesses? I think my greatest strength is that I know how to “Git ‘er done!” and make things happen. I’m not afraid of failure anymore (I was when I was younger). I dive right into something that I get excited about, attack it head on and worry about the logistics later on. “Signing up” for something is the

first step! Weaknesses?! Huh? LOL #8 What have you been up to since the Olympics? What career path did you choose? I completed my degree while training

to pursue going to the Olympics? People used to tell me I would go to the Olympics one day (how did they know?!) and I used to pretend winning a Gold medal and having it put around my neck, the whole nine yards. I would get so excited about being able to dream about it. I even used to make a wish on every penny I could find to be an Olympic Champion someday, but then reality would set in. Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? My Mom for sure! She gave me a second chance. She knew me and empowered me to go be the best at what I loved to do. Even when I’m sure many others doubted me and thought I was nuts to start skating again after so many years away.

for the 1992 Games and I am now an Operations Engineer and a Database Engineer at Paychex. I’ve been there over 8 years now and I love my job. I get to troubleshoot and fix technical issues, learn new things everyday, share my own knowledge with others. When did you first realize you wanted

If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s the pursuit, the journey that makes us who we are today. You were the AMerican short track champion in 1979, but failed to make the 1980 Olympics. How did this make you feel? It was not my time. I was young then and I was not mentally or physically ready for those Games. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “I finally learned to face my fears by simply reminding myself that I LOVE to skate instead of being afraid of losing. This is when things turned around for me.”

You left skating to pursue a music career. What type of music is your favorite to perform? I loved to sing and write pop music back then. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to sing with some top, local bands such as CC and the Cats, Sky Coasters (Barcelona Spain for NBC Olympic closing ceremonies party), Nik and the Nice Guys (State Fair guest appearance), Roger Eckers, Henry Brennana traveling Vegas-style show group as the lead vocalist, among others. I sang on many jingles and also recorded background vocals on several albums. Other styles of music included Jazz, Country, R&B and Rock. I also really LOVE to sing Opera (no one knows that)! What do you think would have been different if social media was around when you won the Olympics? Wow, I’m sure there would’ve been a lot more opportunities. That would’ve been nice but, part of me can’t imagine how much busier I would’ve been trying to keep up with all the social media, as I wore myself thin after my Olympics. I even started growing nodes on my vocal chords from talking so much! Doctor’s orders had me spending time alone in the Caribbean just to rest my voice for a while. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you and why. When I won my favorite medal… the Silver! It was the first medal I ever won and that’s something you never forget. I kept waking up in the 26


middle of the night to look at it. I couldn’t believe it! Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night. My sports psychologist took my medal away from me the next day and told me I needed to focus on my next race, the 500m. The next day, I won my first Olympic gold medal! You are known for having an aggressive style on and off the track. Do you think that has helped or hindered you in your success professionally and personally? Being considered an “aggressive” athlete is a compliment and I say “Thank you!” If I had let those much bigger, much taller girls intimidate me, I may have taken myself out of the driver’s seat mentally, which could’ve jeopardized my focus. I worked way too hard mentally to ever let that happen at the Olympics. I trained myself to actually look forward to racing and enjoy every second of it. When you simply remind yourself that you love doing what you’re doing (for me, skating really fast), then you are in complete control and you will always perform at your best. What do you do today? I’ve learned that challenging myself in one way or another is what makes me happy. Today, I strive to be very good at my job as an Operations Engineer at Paychex. I’m constantly trying to master new technologies as well as help others by sharing my own knowledge. When I’m not working, I enjoy playing platform tennis, pickleball, golf and I also enjoy

getting out on the ice to help coach the Rochester Speedskating Team. How has being such a decorated athlete and Olympian affected your family life? When my daughters were young, I got to know many of their friends from school, since they would call and ask, “Are you really an Olympic Champion?!” Yeah, that happened! I eventually did several school assemblies and shared my and medals with the students. That set the record straight. LOL I can remember my girls running around with my medals around their necks when they were little. I was like, “Woah! Woah! Come here honey, take those off!” They had no idea. I love being a Mom and that’s my main priority. They are both natural athletes themselves. Bayli was a level 10 gymnast and Brit was on the high school tennis team when she was still in middle school. Bayli is now studying to be a veterinary technician and Brit is in her senior year at Ithaca College, majoring in Film Production. She is very artistic and loves to create characters. She hopes to pursue a career in animation. I taught my girls the importance of using imagery to achieve their own success. Bottom line, to my girls, I’m still just “Mom.” What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself and what lessons have you learned being an Olympic athlete? I feel fortunate to have learned how to overcome obstacles that I used





“It’s all about being mentally prepared and having a vision. You need to be able to see yourself accomplishing that vision and overcoming all the obstacles along the way.”









COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “I feel fortunate to have learned how to overcome obstacles that I used to impose on myself, such as “fear of failure.”

to impose on myself, such as “fear of failure.” I now know how to use imagery to turn scary situations into positive, fun, exciting challenges. I call it my “cognitive attitude.” It’s simply how we look at things. I can be nervous and scared to sing the National Anthem in front of 80 thousand people, or I can remember that I love to sing and allow myself the privilege to enjoy it and feel good about the accomplishment. Yup, that actually happened to me. What is something unique about you that others may not know? I starred in a movie called “High Stakes” with Tiny Tim and Jerry Mathers (the “Beave”). I was the 1992 Eastern Regional Water Ski Champion in tricks, slalom and jumping. I competed in the National Skeleton Championships and won a silver medal. I was on American Gladiators. I also attended a State Dinner at the White House with President George H. W. Bush. It was such an honor to be invited by the President. Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success? The “fear of losing” had such a grip on me when I was younger that I quit for 9 years. I finally learned to face my fears by simply reminding myself that I LOVE to skate instead

of being afraid of losing. This is when things turned around for me. How did you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the Olympics? What were some of the pros and cons?

It took me a long time to be able to see myself winning the gold and crossing the line in 1st place. I kept seeing other girls beating me in my head. Working with my sports psychologist taught me how to overcome my intimidators and other obstacles in order to be able to win the gold. I also trained with our men’s team. I knew that if I could keep up with the

men, then I was the fastest woman in the world and that helped give me more confidence to win. What was it like starring in the Ice Capades? This was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had! I got to star with Dorothy Hamill and Christopher Bowman and perform in 26 major cities on the “Made In America” tour. I got to sing, skate (on figure skates too!) and perform my own songs that I had written for the show. I can remember one special moment in particular. It was the end of an intermission, just before the 2nd half of the show was about to start. Frozen in my pose for my next number, the elevator had just taken me to the top of the stage. It was dark. A video was playing behind me on a giant screen. People could barely see me but I could see everything! I could see the audience with their little hand-held lights and other ice capades memorabilia. I couldn’t believe I was there, about to sing and perform this number all by myself at Madison Square Garden! When the spotlights finally came on, I owned it and loved every second of that performance. I remember it like it was yesterday. This is definitely one of the best memories of my life. Do you still skate? What about teaching the younger generation? Any chance we may ever see you as an Olympic coach? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Being considered an “aggressive” athlete is a compliment and I say “Thank you!”.

Who is your favorite athlete then or now and why? There were several athletes I admired but, I don’t think I ever had a favorite. I always felt that if someone else could something, then I could do it too. What advice would you give to other 32


athletes, especially now in 2021? It’s all about being mentally prepared and having a vision. You need to be able to see yourself accomplishing that vision and overcoming all the obstacles along the way. It’s not easy work and will take time, but it’s worth it. It’s what makes the difference between

being good at something and being the best. My motto has always been “See it, Believe it, Be it” and that kind of sums it up nicely.






T I F FA N Y P O RT E R AND HER QUEST FOR RADICAL HONESTY Described as “a tremendous leader, willing to grow and learn,” by one of her nominees, Tiffany is a powerhouse at the intersection of the All Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA and the disabled peoples’ rights movements. “People don’t know that when they look at me that I am disabled. I flair up for days and sometimes I can’t get up. I physically can’t. Other days I feel like I could run a mile.” Tiffany was diagnosed with fibromyalgia when she was pregnant with her first son, and has been dealing with it since. Despite the pain, Tiffany kicked it into overdrive this last year, amplifying Black voices and building anti-racist culture in the suburbs around Rochester. She’s been changing the discourse, for underrepresented groups, but the work she’s been doing has not been without backlash. People and hate groups have been angry enough to send her death threats and post her address online. “It’s disgusting. I’ve been getting attacked regularly. My youngest son has really bad anxiety, he says he’s afraid I’m going to die so I had to get a camera for my doorbell. It’s dangerous.” Despite the personal risks, Tiffany has been calling out racism where she sees it, calling in allies, holding food, clothing and bike drives, and hosting events, panels and organizing protests. She focuses 38


on mutual aid, food sovereignty, antiracist curriculum, and she advocates for mandatory anti-racist training at all levels of government, education and public facing positions. “She has been a bright light during a very dark year for so many,” said one nominee. “She is an unapologetic Black woman’s voice that is so needed in the suburbs.”

A little over a year ago, her activism shifted into full throttle. “My tipping point was when George Floyd was murdered. My boys were the first who told me about it because my older two are on social media, and they got it on their Snapchat. We were

watching the video together and crying. My youngest son kept asking me ‘Mom, why is he holding his knee on his neck like that? Mom? Why?’ and he had tears coming down his eyes.” Tiffany didn’t have an answer. “They looked completely depleted, they looked soulless, like someone had taken the light from their souls, and all I could see in that video was my brother or sons on that ground. I thought, ‘If I don’t do something, this is going to hit closer to home.’ People don’t care until it happens to them. It’s someone else’s issue, and it will never happen to them, but it can. It will.” Tiffany believes that empathy can be a powerful call to action. “When something shitty happens to someone else, just imagine that it happened to you, and ask yourself what you would need to make yourself whole or closer to whole again.” For Tiffany, that was activism. She started engaging in conversations in Fairport groups, but was censured and muted. “I tried to talk about the realness of structural anti-blackness in other groups, and they would delete my posts and tell me that the topic of race was too political. How is my Black life political?” She decided to create her own groups, founding Being Black in the Burbs and co-founding the Fairport Coalition for Justice and Equity. “I created these groups so I could focus on anti-blackness and focus on education and anything the hell I wanted to and also so I could organize protests.” Organizing







{{ BLACK BLACK WOMEN WOMEN ROC ROC }} “The one thing that scares Tiffany is the pushback teachers are seeing to exclude Black Americans from American history, cutting out mentions of slavery, civil rights, Jim Crow, redlining, the KKK and racism (to the minimal extent in which they are even mentioned).”

is Tiffany’s happy place and a calling. “I needed to protest, hit the pavement, and just do more. I knew it was not good for my soul to be sitting here, so I started protesting. And I’m thinking all these folks came from their suburban homes, me being one of them too, and we went and protested in Rochester, and came back to our suburban homes where it was peaceful and euphoric. I realized we need to be agents of change where we live too. That’s what Being Black in the Burbs is about, building anti-racist communities in the suburbs.” Tiffany’s work creating mutual aid programs is in part inspired by the community she grew up in. “I grew up in the apartment complex in Perinton Pines. We had a community of mutual aid before the concept even existed. In that apartment complex we were our own, because we all had something in common which was poverty. We looked out for each other. My mom liked to feed whoever needed a meal, and if you liked her food she would cook you more. We grew up with a lot of kids who were mixed, so sometimes their parents didn’t know how to do their hair. Before holidays, my mom would stay up until two and three in the morning doing hair.” Many of Tiffany’s friends were first generation immigrants. “In my friend group I was the minority, because I didn’t have an accent. My childhood friends, who I am still friends with to this day are Lao, Indian, Vietnamese, and Russian. We stood up for each other in school and out of school. Some of us had it harder than others, but

we were our own little community. If somebody didn’t have money to go to the local pool, or the amusement park, we would figure out a way to get their money up. So it was those kinds of interactions, taking care of each other that inspires me and pushes me. It’s that kind of community that I want for everyone.” It’s a community model of care that she believes could be scaled up to any city and even globally with enough awareness and intention. “I love my community. My community inspires me. I can point out the flaws and try to fix it and still love my community. That’s what people need to understand. People say I am trying to throw Fairport under the bus, but that’s not it at all. We all have flaws, nobody is perfect, but we need to get honest about what we can work on.” When people say they can’t imagine a society without police, Tiffany can help put that idea in context. “I say ‘Look at the suburbs now. They are only there for traffic. It’s not over policed.’ The suburbs are a model of how well a community can thrive when people have their needs met. All of the high crime areas are over policed and the crime rates are still rising, so the police are not deterring any of the crime, they are inflaming it. If community members have their basic needs met, crimes will drop, and there would be no need for policing. People are in survival mode, and they need to survive. It may not be right, but you can’t judge the things people

do to survive. My apartment complex in the Pines did not have that survival instinct kick in, because we took care of each other. If we put resources into community programs that focus on meeting the basic needs of its citizens, crimes will fall.” It’s not just Rochester that can benefit from a collective embrace, but the world. Lately, Tiffany has been listening to Angela Davis’s books on tape, “She is my hero,” says Tiffany. Davis’s philosophies have helped inform Tiffany’s perspective on how destructive racism can be for all people of all races who exist in the lower socioeconomic brackets. She believes racism only benefits the rich and that this and other social constructs only serve to divide the working class and ensure the wealthy continue to hold onto power. “I think the middle class right now is being wiped. It’s just going to be the poor and rich. We can’t even address that because there’s so much racism. And it’s intentional and it’s to keep us divided, because if the poor alone were on the same page, we would have all the power to make movements and changes. But that’s the thing, can we get over racism? That’s what my journey is right now.” APPROACHING RACISM AS AN INTERSECTIONAL, GLOBAL ISSUE Similar to racism, Tiffany believes homophobia is a construct rooted in white supremacy and introduced through Christianity to control and divide people. “Black people have ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } }} {{ BLACK WOMEN BLACK WOMEN ROC ROC “If we are living it, the least your kids can do is learn about it. They can learn not to be racist.”

“Black people have to be on the same page and not be homophobic, and not transphobic. We have to unlearn the parts of Black culture that are rooted in white supremacy. It took me 37 years to come out and say ‘I’m queer,’ and I’m 38. This is my first pride being openly queer. I never put any boundaries on love. Last week, my cousin told me if I got married, she wouldn’t come to my wedding.

born racist. I think the only way to end racism is by raising our kids better than the generation before them. That’s why I focus on education and getting the message to kids to be anti-racists. They have the power to eradicate this themselves. They don’t have the mindset of their parents, grandparents and so on and so on. I’ve got to focus on this next generation because if we don’t, racism will always curse us.”

I have to take a look at people telling me I’m going to go to hell for choosing to be myself. The most violent wars we’ve ever had were religious wars started by Christians and Catholics, killing people in the name of God. I can’t subscribe to that. I still believe in a higher power, but my God is not male. I find it funny that women are the ones that can produce, but a man made the woman? And you’re taught in Black culture never to question God, so I’m gonna question y’all then,” she says laughing.

WE MUST LEARN TO HOW TO BE RADICALLY INCLUSIVE The one thing that scares Tiffany is the pushback teachers are seeing to exclude Black Americans from American history, cutting out mentions of slavery, civil rights, Jim Crow, redlining, the KKK and racism (to the minimal extent in which they are even mentioned). The idea that teaching all of American history, about all Americans is somehow not patriotic feels like a dangerous path to go down. “The school board debate about removing Critical Race Theory (CRT) curriculum scares me. When you are messing with my kids, and you’re messing with other folks’ kids, you are messing with the future.”

“The issues that we have here in America, whether with homelessness, ableism, racism, homophobia; Angela Davis sees these as worldly issues. It’s happening in Palestine, it’s happening in Africa, it’s happening in China. Exploitation and oppression are global, so we need for this movement to be international. We have to make those connections and bring them there. People need to start thinking globally about our movements. The bigger we can get it, the more we can make out of it.” Tiffany’s hope for ending racism and building supportive community structures is anchored in the future. “People aren’t 42


To underscore the importance of addressing racism not just in textbooks, but in our school hallways, Tiffany organized an event where several Black students who came through the Fairport school system spoke about their experiences to the school board. “They talked about the aggressions they experienced on a yearly basis from kindergarten all the way through graduation, and I was the oldest sitting at that table at 37. The video is here on

our Being Black in the Burbs Facebook group page. The superintendent was in tears by the end and was shocked. She didn’t have any idea what these kids experienced every day in their school system. They wanted to speak, but it is traumatizing to have to give your lived experience of racism. That was the only event I’ve done like this, and it will probably be the only one, because I don’t like triggering folks. We had tears on that stage. Folks telling about how horrible it was, how little they felt.” “One of the things that parents keep saying in PTA meetings is ‘My kids don’t want to learn about racism.’ I think about all those kids at that event, and how I’ve been experiencing racism in this place since I was 5 years old. If we are living it, the least your kids can do is learn about it. They can learn not to be racist. I get a lot of feedback from hate groups out there that say, ‘You’re trying to radicalize our kids and make them little activists!’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I want these kids to learn how to be radically honest, radically inclusive, and radically loving. Yes, that’s the one thing you got right.’” You can find Being Black in the Burbs or the Fairport Coalition for Justice and Equity on Facebook. Join Tiffany in her fight for the future. Support Tiffany’s work today by making a donation: Venmo: @Beingblack-InTheburbs Cashapp: $Beingblackintheburbs PayPal:









TARA BANKS: IF YOU PUSH, I WILL PULL Tara’s nephew was killed by Rochester police the day before our interview. Her eyes are swollen, but she showed up. Tara always shows up. She has been showing up for 20 years, since the day she decided to do this work. She tells me “I really hope you can pull this story out of me.”

Having a friend on the other side of a difficult situation can make all the difference. “When I think about the community reaction to the 9 year old little girl who was maced by police, I think about what that would have looked like if she had a volunteer she could connect with, a volunteer she could call, a volunteer that could take

Tara believes that a simple human connection can be powerful enough to change lives. She is Director of Programs at Compeer Rochester. Compeer takes a nonclinical approach to behavioral and mental health, prioritizing relationships and coping skills over diagnosis labels and pharmaceuticals. Compeer combats the loneliness and isolation people with mental health challenges can feel by matching individuals with volunteers who can provide supportive relationships. “The biggest obstacle to mental wellness for the Black community is trust. There have been so many disappointments and stigmas put onto the Black community that people have found ways to self medicate and cope. Even if they know there are other options, they don’t access those resources because of the history of being let down. I work to build that trust by spreading the word through love and positivity. We look at people as people, not patients.”

her away, or that teach her coping skills and tools to de-escalate.” Tara’s journey to the heart of human services and the human connection began in her childhood where there were no volunteers to connect with her, or take her away. EMPOWERING COMMUNITY “At one point in my life I felt hopeless.

I grew up on the Northeast side on Berlin street in 14621. It was a nice community, but then the community changed. It became more violent. It became divided. As a little girl, I started to see the changes. I began to deal with direct tragedies in my family and in my life, and in my friends’ lives and witnessed some of the tragedies. I was put in foster care after my mom was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I was 11 years old. My father was absent because he had challenges with behavioral health. I grew up in foster care and started to look at my residential counselors and social workers. I saw the work that they did and the efforts that they put into me and the other youth that were struggling. I appreciated it. I grew up around a Whitney Houston song, ‘Greatest Love of All’ that talked about children being the future, and I said to myself, ‘Children are the future’. That song conditioned me to believe in myself.” “When I graduated, I knew I wanted to pour into the community and be a trailblazer for people like me; people who were impacted by the oppression and trauma in the Rochester community. I wanted to get to work immediately. There were things I had picked up from my own experiences, like navigating the social service and social security systems. I knew I could help those who struggled to access resources. Rochester is a very resource rich community, but the resources are hard to navigate if you don’t know where to look, or how to advocate for ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{{ BLACK WOMEN BLACK WOMEN ROC ROC { SHIFT+CONTROL } }} “I think we have to believe that there is hope. We have to believe that if you push, people will pull. ”

yourself. Once I realized I had that skill set, I wanted to empower other people to access services. I realized along my journey of being a teen mother that once I got my associates degree, it would be challenging to get further education. I wanted to see how far I could go without hitting a ceiling.” “The day I turned 19, I called the Hillside Family of Agencies. I had been placed at the Hillside Children’s Center as a child, and they promised me that when I grew up, they’d give me a job. I called them every day until they finally said, ‘Alright, we’ll give you Friday, Saturday, and Sunday overnights. It’s a crappy shift, but if you want it, we’ll give you your start.’” Tara has since become a leader in human services and as one nominee puts it, has “shown successful leadership to agencies like Center for Youth, Willow, HCR Care Management and Monroe County,” and of course Compeer where she is today. ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, EVEN WHEN OTHERS DON’T Tara made the decision to believe in herself when others didn’t. “I try to be careful not to let negativity rent space in my head. As a Black woman, I have definitely struggled with bias. I had a white woman tell me I was a horrible public speaker, that I would never be a leader, and that I would never have the opportunity to train because my tone was too deep, and I talked with my hands.” Despite the double paneled glass ceiling that Black women face, Tara kicked her way through. “Being solution focused is one of the 46


best tools I have. Solving problems has led me into my leadership roles. I was housing domestic violence survivors from homelessness, housing young teen moms with homelessness. I was providing skill building.” Tara has prioritized the needs of her community over pursuing the more traditional decorations of leadership with continuing education. One nominee points this out, “When asked if Tara was going to continue her education, she decided that there was too much work to be done in the community and that she wanted to devote her life to being hands on, actively supporting people that had similar struggles to her own. She is self taught and barely gets recognized for all of her sacrifices and accomplishments.” Tara wasn’t sure if her lack of higher level degrees would stop her trajectory, but realized it’s given people the chance to see her. “It has been an opportunity for people to believe in me; people like my current director Sara Passamonte who gave me my first admin role. I appreciate her so much for that because I knew that I could do the work.” Tara wants to see a battalion of Black women doing this work beside her. “I’m a big advocate for Black lives, and Black women trying to break that glass ceiling. I want it shattered.” When asked to speculate what a future beyond white supremacy could look like, Tara sees a place where people can stand shoulder to shoulder. “I want a community that’s united,

where everyone has access to resources. When I say resources, I mean equity. There would be appreciation of diversity and people would be inclusive with each other. In the future, I would want people to have more opportunities for job placement, professional development and more opportunity for independence. I would want everyone be able to have a life that’s worthwhile, where people are able to afford to take their family on vacation, to be off the system and independent and not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from, where you’re going to stay at, if your son is going to get killed – that type of unity, peace of mind unity. Unity and a healthy relationship between the people privileged to have the opportunities of leadership in our county and state, and the people they represent.” WE MUST HAVE COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS The loss of her nephew has plunged Tara back to the days before she was supporting the mental health of the community, to the days of being a person at the receiving end of the impact of violence. “I look through the lens of a person who has poured her life into supporting the community through their pain and trauma. I have been trained in trauma informed therapy, solution focused and patient centered care, in compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, and the list goes on and on, but when I am directly affected by someone in my own family who was killed by the police, I start to look through a different lens. What does this lens look like? I find myself asking,







{{ BLACK WOMEN BLACK WOMEN ROC ROC { SHIFT+CONTROL } }} “‘Is there compassion? Is there empathy? Are there people who understand the trauma that I’m facing?”

‘Is there compassion? Is there empathy? Are there people who understand the trauma that I’m facing? I just want more of that, and more people in these fields. I want the officials in power that are responsible for the livelihood of others to really pull their boots up and say ‘I’m going to get there with you. I’m going to come with you. I’m going to grab your hands and take you to a safe place, a place where people can thrive.’ The question becomes how can we ever find equity when we have been oppressed for so long?” Tara, ever the solutionbased thinker, finds her own answer. “I think we have to believe that there is hope. We have to believe that if you push, people will pull. We have to trust in the process that we will get to where we’ve got to go. We are all human, no one person is better than another. It takes courage to keep going. I understand. That’s why I am here today. I am so hurt right now but I like to think about what Lenora ReidRose from CCSI says. She says it’s important to have courageous conversations.” I ask Tara if there was something that she needed to hear when she plowed ahead in her life and tossed the detractors aside. “Be wild. Be fearless and understand that there is opportunity and when

you come across someone like myself, I am going to see you and try to open doors. I have to believe that there are a multitude of individuals fighting this fight alongside me in their own special

mentors so that we can match kiddos who have challenges with people who look like them. Although we are an international agency, our Rochester chapter is a small non-profit with limited resources. Right now we really have a wait list of young African American males. By default our young Black kiddos that are diagnosed with mental wellness issues are not being matched because we do not have enough Black bodies here to match them with someone who is relational. Go to www. to learn more or come to our office at 295 Monroe Ave. Need Help? Compeer takes referrals through service providers, therapists, case managers, and social workers. If you are challenged with a kiddo who could use the opportunity to connect with a volunteer, to go out and have a good time and work through their feelings, connect with Compeer.

way and that one day we will get there together.” CALL TO ACTION I need to get the word out that our Black community needs mentors. We need ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021




Shamicka was the first born child in her family, and as is usual for the oldest, she didn’t get to be little very long. “I didn’t have the best childhood. It wasn’t a fairytale or even standard of what you would want it to be. I grew up faster than I had to. I was the oldest child of 4 at the time, so I took that lead. I’ve always been mature and not easily influenced. I knew what I wanted life to be like.”

That’s why I fell in love with Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection as a youth advocate. I felt like I was doing what those teachers had been doing for me. I was that extra adult in someone else’s life.” At Hillside, Shamicka was able to plug in. “It was natural. I worked in the city

FAITH THAT IT’S GOING TO WORK OUT In school and in life Shamicka always tried to walk the high road. “I wasn’t the best ‘A’ student, but I was always a good student, and I always did the right thing.” Her self-driven determination surprised even her own mother, who still remarks in disbelief, “Oh my God. You were such a good teenager.” Shamicka’s grandmother was a North Star in her childhood. “My grandmother was a minister, so she taught me about God and faith and prayer, and that belief gave me an outlet when everything was not great.” Today Shamicka still calls on these tools when things feel rough. “Even when nothing feels right, I have faith that it’s going to work out. My faith keeps me from getting stuck in a bad space.” Shamicka also realizes how much her teachers at Edison Tech influenced her path. “I didn’t know it at the time, but they impacted my decisions and they still low-key impact me today. 50


MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IS PERSONAL When Shamicka accepted a position at East House to mentor and support people on their mental health journey, her breakthrough moment came later. “One of the questions they asked me when interviewing for the position was how I related to mental health and illness. I didn’t think that I really could relate.” It was all around Shamicka’s world, but at first she didn’t see it for what it was, or how it impacted her. “One of my close cousins struggled with mental illness. We all knew that he struggled from time to time, but it wasn’t a full-blown crisis. It was, ‘Oh he’s acting up again. Alright, someone go help him.’” Usually her family could get to him in time, until the one time they couldn’t. “In that moment, he was killed by the police. It was a tragedy and it was in the news. My thought was, ‘What if he received the help that he needed? What if he was really getting the services that could help him?’ His outcome would have been so different.”

with students that went to The City School District, and with students who went to the Greece Central School District. It was very normal to me. I could connect with the children because I remembered that person in me, or I had seen that person before in a friend. I was able to dive into that and be very present. It was simple.”

Shamicka sees many people who struggle with mental challenges, but fly under the radar and are afraid to get help. “The spectrum of mental illness is so wide that you would never know. We have clients that live in communities right next door to anyone, clients who flourish, who have families, who are parents raising their children, or who are in school and working.” Once she started seeing








{{ BLACK BLACK WOMEN WOMEN ROC ROC }} “Shamicka is the calm, the hope, the sprinkle of optimism that everything will be ok.”

its proliferation, she couldn’t unsee it. “East House made that connection for me and opened the door to that world. They helped me realize how close I am to mental wellness. I understand how much it really does mean to me. It is personal.” ACCOMPLISHMENTS LOOK DIFFERENT WHEN WORKING WITH MENTAL HEALTH You don’t get to a finish line with mental health where it’s over. You can manage it, and work at it, but it doesn’t disappear. “With mental illness, it is never ending. Someone can always go into crisis at any moment. Even though you work professionally during the nine to five hours, it’s just not a nine to five job. You’re talking about people, and life happens after hours.” One nominee admires how collected Shamicka is when dealing with patients in crisis. “People may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel. The work Shamicka does is not easy. It can take nerves of steel to help clients recoup from a crisis in real time.” Working at East House has changed her definition of success. “Yes, you have some people who are not doing well at all, who are in the hospital regularly, but you have some people who are doing great and living healthy productive lives all around us in the community. Being able to impact those outcomes is rewarding to me. How I defined rewarding work when I was working with youth was different. You didn’t see it right away, but you knew

what you poured into the youth would come back 10 fold, and I did see that. I’m getting older so a lot of the youth I worked with are now adults and are parents and run their own businesses and graduated college, or in the workforce, and we are still connected. That rewarding part looks different with mental health. It can be more immediate. When you’re working with mental health, success for some clients can be taking a shower that day, and that’s amazing. ” After years at both Hillside and East House, Shamicka has been able to identify where the gaps and synergies are in these organizations. She has reimagined a more powerful way to address human services that works out of a single community-centered source. CHANGING THE SYSTEM TO MEET THE ENTIRE SPECTRUM OF NEED “There really is something needed right in the middle to blend these organizations. There’s value in something that can tie services together and provide an entire spectrum of community support.” Shamicka envisions a central organization that could work as a catch-all operating under one roof. “Once you get the people in, you would be able to identify their needs and offer different services. You would have people from different professional backgrounds that do the footwork, mentors, life coaches, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. You have to have the whole gamut because it’s all needed. There are so many different collaborations that have to happen for

individuals. Having someone that you feel comfortable meeting with regularly is important. It might not look like you go into a building and sit on a couch, but maybe someone would feel more comfortable coming to a therapeutic session at a coffee shop.” “It’s about removing the stigma and changing the definition of what health looks like.” The amazing thing about Shamicka is that she is able to identify each person’s comfort level and meet them where they’re at. One nominee points to Shamicka’s super power as “supporting others and nurturing the light within all people.” However, they way our systems are set up, many people fall through the cracks. “Right now, a youth could be struggling and need mental health support, and people may not recognize the behavior for what it is. They might also be the child of a parent who is struggling with mental health support, but no one is recognizing it, and so the opportunity for support is completely missed. If you’re serving youth and it is recognized that something is going on just from the story they are sharing about what’s happening at home, you should be able to act and offer services and resources directly and immediately to the family.” If you are at a facility that does not offer services or resources for the issues parents may be going through, then intervening when you see red flags can be ineffective if you have nothing to offer but referrals to other places. It can also be a deterrent to have to recount traumatic situations ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{{ BLACK WOMEN BLACK WOMEN ROC ROC} }} { SHIFT+CONTROL “I do maintain a life of balance. I love working for people, so I pour 100% into it. I also love my family.”

our program, and you don’t have to tell your story to another person,’ this would remove a barrier.” There is of course also the obstacle of insurance that treat healthcare as a billable privilege instead of a universal human right. “In a perfect world everyone could afford health care, they would not think twice about going to the doctor because they wouldn’t have to make a choice between their wellness and the electric bill.” BALANCE AND BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT Human services can be as draining as it can be rewarding for empathic people. Some people take harbor in Shamicka’s energy. One nominee says, “In a world of chaos, Shamicka is the calm, the hope, the sprinkle of optimism that everything will be ok.” Shamicka is able to maintain this energy by setting boundaries around her time. “I do maintain a life of balance. I love working for people, so I pour 100% into it. I also love my family. I told myself I cannot pour everything into this and not pour into my husband and my children and my siblings. I still want to be everything for everyone, and every day you just can’t do that.” While you won’t catch Shamicka saying “No” outright, she will say, “Not today” or “This is not the time.” I try to be mindful and allow myself moments where I cannot and let that be ok. I allow myself a mental health day to not go into work, or work a half day. I allow myself the ability to tell my family, ‘I’m not cooking today. We’re going to order out.’ I give myself that moment to say ‘I’m going into my mommy cave and 54


I’ll see you guys in an hour.’ Trying to be everything all the time will get you burned out.” When you ask Shamicka about something in her life that is just for her, that she loves just for the sake of loving it, she will tell you ‘travel.’ “If someone presents an opportunity to go somewhere, I’m going to make it happen. I allow myself this moment where I can check out, but I do recognize once you check back in, everything else is still happening. I give myself that breathing moment still. I tell my husband all the time ‘We still have to live.’ We have to enjoy life because if you just work work work work work, it’s going to pass you by. I can’t believe my husband and I are 40.” “Life is going to continue to happen, days are going to continue to come, and if you don’t take the moment to smell the roses, you are going to regret it.” ENVISIONING A FUTURE OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND LEADERSHIP Shamicka has been thinking about the future lately and about revisiting a passion project she started when her daughter was seven. “There was a period of time when my daughter struggled with knowing her beauty. She went to school in Greece in classrooms with predominantly white students. She loved modeling clothes, so I started to put her in little shows, not pageantry, just little modeling shows and she began to flourish. I decided I wanted to do something centered around that. I created a program called Renee’s Journie. It was a youth modeling program with

etiquette classes, public speaking, and modeling training to prepare for shows and headshots. It was designed to help build confidence and self esteem in young girls who struggled the way my daughter did. I’d love to get back into that, but I promise you every time I started back into it, I ended up pregnant,” says Shamicka laughing. “Through some medical advances, that will not happen again,” she says. “It may be something I venture back into.” Shamicka is also looking to join different community boards to magnify her impact. “Higher levels of leadership interest me. I went through the African American Leadership Development Program with United Way and I aspire to go through Leadership Rochester next, but it’s costly. I know I can have an impact working one on one with people, however I know that I can do even more if I’m sitting at a table weighing in on the decisions where the dollars go and how they are spent.” She believes funding needs to be used to empower people and that investing correctly in communities can have a much larger ripple than what the monetary value of something can actually buy. She feels positive about the future of mental health for the Black community. “It’s been my experience that we (Black folks) don’t go to psychologists or psychiatrists. We kind of lean on our faith a little more. Right now we are in a time and a space where mental health is so out in the open and in the news. Everyone sees it. People are realizing that it’s normal, that it’s ok to seek help. Things are happening now.”








In the latest edition of of sister publication, Central NY Woman Online, we were truly honored to welcome, fashion designer and woman entrepreneur Marie Adornato as the cover woman. We had the pleasure of talking with Marie about not only creating an amazing experience for brides looking for that perfect dress for their special day, but about her ALL NEW couture line of dresses, what her plans are for the future, family and so much more. We thought Rochester may enjoy reading her story as well.

I would spend summer days helping one of my neighbors in particular. Her son had passed away as a child and she would take me to the cemetery to pull the weeds around his tombstone.

and merged with Christian Brothers Academy. In my sophomore year, I became a student at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse and one of the first years of graduating females.

Since childhood, serving others has

What made you choose to be a female entrepreneur and open Spy Baby Bridal & Prom? Entrepreneurs naturally don’t choose to be one. We have a strong passion for not just one thing, but everything we do. Although I had an appreciation for couture gowns because of my experience in various pageant systems, especially the Miss America Scholarship Organization, owning a bridal salon and becoming a designer was not in my career plan. After the completion of my college education at Rochester Institute of Technology, I earned my MBA from the accelerated 11-Month MBA program at Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. I knew that the corporate career track was not for me when I attended a mentor event in graduate school. The required attire was a business suit. I was the only one in the room with a red bouclé suit with soft pearls dangling from the lapel. I looked and felt fabulous. But, I also knew that my freedom to create something special was more important than the security of a weekly paycheck.

Tell us about yourself, and your background. Who is the real Marie Ardonato? That is the trick question of the century! Who I am is continually evolving, but I can tell you that my fundamental character is probably a result of being the 6th child out of 10 children in a very energetic Italian family. My inherently independent personality made leadership natural for me. Before I ever thought I knew how to run a business, I inadvertently was already taught the values of hard work, perseverance, and good moral character. At age 6, my father taught me how to balance a checkbook. I remember staying overnight at my grandmother’s house, because my mother was in the hospital having another baby, I was holding my grape Hubba Bubba bubblegum and playing with my checkbook. When I was old enough to pull weeds for neighbors, 60


always brought me joy. After 8th grade, I was given the choice to stay in public school or attend Franciscan Academy in Syracuse, which was an all girls Catholic School. I chose to go to private school as I was able to practice my Faith on a daily basis. After one year, the school closed

After graduate school, I came back to Syracuse to accept the position of Operation’s Manager for my mother’s bagel company, Dewitt Bagelry. I was a 21 year old with an MBA and











{ { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Hard work is simply a lifestyle for me, so it doesn’t really feel like work.”


still competing in the Miss America Scholarship Program. Within a few years of moving back to Syracuse, I opened Spybaby Boutique as a fun hobby. I was featured shortly after on TLC’s, A Makeover Story. As I began selling pageant prom gowns, manufacturers pressured me to try selling bridal gowns since the sales representatives sold bridal gowns in addition to prom dresses. So I moved to a larger space that could accommodate the space requirements to stock bridal gowns. Spybaby Bridal was now born.

Couture... Where did the vision for this come from? The Adornato Couture brand was created over a period of about 4 years. I was seeing a unique need for brides to be able to have the freedom to work with their stylist to design the gown they envision wearing on their wedding day. Customization options at an affordable price were only available by a few manufacturers. Larger manufacturers have streamlined the production process to a point where custom changes are rarely available to the bride.

Tell us about your newly created custom bridal collection business Ardonato

Who and which things are the inspirations behind creating your looks?


Every bride has her own unique style and vision. She should be ability to work closely with her stylist to create a bespoke, custom gown produced to the bride’s measurements. What does the word fashion mean to you? Although some larger bridal manufacturers use google analytics to guide their design process, I look at every design as a special work of art. My first priority as a designer is to make the dress as flattering at the bust, waist, and hip as possible. This might me slight adjustments to bodice length or skirt fullness. I look to the past for inspiration







































“The word fashion in my opinion means using your freedom of expression to portray an emotion that you are feeling at that time.”

sometimes. I grew up watching my mother shop at the finest gown salons as my parents attended many galas and events. Sometimes mixing vintage styles with new innovative fabrics creates a unique piece. What does the word fashion mean to you? The word fashion in my opinion means using your freedom of expression to portray an emotion that you are feeling at that time. When people ask me what

is “in Fashion,” I always share current trends. But, then explain that your wedding is about YOUR fashion. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful female entrepreneur, especially in the bridal and prom worlds? The necessary skills for success as an entrepreneur include having a smart/ hard work ethic, highly organized, and committed to success. Hard work is simply a lifestyle for me, so it doesn’t

really feel like work. I return messages from brides at all hours of the night as I am normally sitting in my recliner designing gowns and communicating with my factory in China since they are 12 hours ahead. Staying organized in every aspect of your life is critical, especially during COVID. Entrepreneurs need to be able to be able to quickly make changes to adapt to the current business climate. Committing to your success means even on a challenging day, you have the consistent belief in yourself to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021





{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY }} “Although some larger bridal manufacturers use google analytics to guide their design process, I look at every design as a special work of art.”

keep moving your business forward. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? What about some of your weaknesses? My greatest strengths: Appreciating the blessings in my life keeps me humble, kind, and genuine. Being reliable is another strength that is further supported by having a great staff. A weakness that all entrepreneurs experience is the inability to give up some of the control in our businesses through delegating authority. This is tough for me, especially when I drive. I’m always in the driver’s seat. How would you define your own personal style? My own personal style would be considered sharp European, with jewel tone colors and adornments. People normally recognize me by my unique glasses. I get a lot of “I love what your wearing, you must be Italian.” Even when I renovated my current building, the floor refinisher asked me if I was Italian because I wanted an extra glossy coat. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion? I would say that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in fashion when I realized that I could use my passion for gowns to

create meaningful moments for brides with their families. Life is about special moments and business is about people. My brides will remember how my staff made their shopping experience perfect.

relationship with this special couple as I helped them with basic errands and doctor appointments. Their stories were chilling to me and made me further appreciate my life.

What was your first job and how old were you? Although I pulled weeds and babysat

Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? There have been some pretty wonderful people in my life who have inspired and empowered me. My parents never ending love story is an inspirational story of the power of love and commitment. My dad always taught me to educate myself, so I never had to rely on any man. When I was disappointed with something he always used to tell me to “cry a little bit, pick yourself up, and move forward.” Being the good Italian daughter that I was, I listened, and followed exactly what he said. I have shared his wisdom in my children’s book, Grandpa’s Special Note. My father was a Neurosurgeon for 42 years and passed away in 2010, when I was 6 months pregnant with my third child.

before I was legally able to work, my first job at age 15 was as a cashier at Wegmans. I was a proud recipient of the Wegmans Scholarship. This job taught me so much. Learning how to listen and properly communicate are skills that are essential in the Bridal Industry. Yet, I truly feel that I was meant to work this job to meet Isaac and Elvira Amar, an elderly couple who had survived the Holocaust and would come through my line every Saturday. I developed a close

My mother is an inspiration with her ability to juggle a million things at a time while raising 10 children. Although I ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021













“The Adornato Couture brand was created over a period of about 4 years. I was seeing a unique need for brides to be able to have the freedom to work with their stylist to design the gown they envision wearing on their wedding day.”

always saw my mother as “just a mom,” she really is a true boss. My father always encouraged her to pursue her education. She became a real estate agent and then the President of a multiple location bagel company. I wasn’t married when I started my business. My husband, Michael Egnoto is definitely the most empowering person in my life. He appreciates my independence and respects my attachment to my family name, as I have never changed it after marriage. As a fellow entrepreneur, he understands my passion to create and commitment to doing a good job. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? You can always look back and question certain decisions you made. I don’t do that because the business environment back then was a very different landscape than what it is today. How is your business and styles different today than from when you started out? My business style has somewhat changed over time as I have matured as a person. I was very young when I started my business. Conducting my business with a high level of professionalism is very important to me. How did working through the pandemic change your business for the better or worse? How did you get creative? Working through the Pandemic changed my business for the better. It allowed me to reconnect on a more intimate level with my customers. Virtual appointments without any distractions provided a

distinct opportunity to really get to know my brides. I sold the most expensive gown I’ve ever sold in a virtual appointment for a custom gown. I got creative by servicing a need for high filtration efficiency masks that even our local, state, and federal governments did not have access to. Through my production facility in China, I was able to secure KN95 respirators immediately after the Federal Government allowed them to be shipped to the U.S. Approximately 60,000 masks were distributed from my store. Medical facilities across the country were ordering these masks for protection. What role do you think social media plays in your business and what is your favorite platform? Social media plays the most important role in my business because it is so visual. Brides love to see photos of new arrivals. I am most comfortable with Facebook and Instagram. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. There have been so many special moments in my 25 year career. But, one that stands out shows more about the character of my staff than that of myself. We received a call shortly before closing on a Saturday from the aunt of a bride who was suffering from a very aggressive form of cancer that had created growths over the entire side of her body. The bride could barely stand on her own, but wanted to marry the love of her life before the cancer took her life. My floor manager had an instant connection to the bride and her family. She even

brought the gown to the bride’s home for alterations. The bride thanked her for making her feel beautiful. Within a few days from picking her gown, it was altered and the wedding took place. My floor manager watched from afar from her car as the bride and groom walked into their ceremony site. A few days later, the bride passed away. The entire staff felt the loss. It’s not always glam and sparkle. If you could only have 1 piece out of your collection what one would it be and why? If I could have one piece from the collection it would be the first dress I designed. Remembering where you started keeps you grounded and sometimes you need to go back to the beginning if you feel that you are losing direction. How do you want women to feel when wearing your collection? I want women to feel fierce in their wedding gown, even if it’s the softest looking style. The bride needs to feel that she is wearing the dress, not the dress consuming her. What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? For the naext year I plan to continue designing and sharing the collection with Spybaby Bridal brides and retail stores throughout the country. Once travel becomes less complicated, I will be traveling to China to work with my factory more efficiently when creating the collection season to season. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021




“Entrepreneurs don’t choose to be entrepreneurs, we just naturally are. We have a strong passion for not just one thing, but everything we do.”

Being an entrepreneur has definitely affected my family life. My schedule does not coincide with my kids schedules. When my kids have an opportunity to learn or grow from participating in an activity I will take the time needed to help them pursue their interests. Sometimes I have to hire services to help me maintain organization at home. Since my husband is also an entrepreneur, we many times will need to do things independently with our kids instead of together.

them in the best possible way. My gowns on the Adornato Couture collection are exclusive. So, you will not find the same styles when shopping from store to store. The affordable luxury of our custom gowns along with the personalized service makes Spybaby Bridal a sought after destination for brides from across the country.

What motivates you? I am motivated by my appreciation for the freedom to create something amazing. Whether is be a gown or experience, I pride myself in my work and my family motivates me and makes me appreciate my WHY. W h a t’s t h e m o s t important business or other discovery you’ve made in the past year? The most important discovery that I have made in the last year is the support of my staff and customers would get me through COVID. What’s unique about the service that you provide to your customers? The products and services that I provide are very unique because of our deep focus on building relationships with our customers so we can service 84


Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success? My perspective on failure is that it is not the end of an idea or project. As an entrepreneur, I do not use the word failure because every idea or project develops through positive and negative situations to lead me to something that becomes successful.

“What is your ‘why? ‘” My WHY is something that I continually evaluate and is constantly evolving. My commitment to providing the best possible opportunities for my children is definitely the basis of my WHY. It took me a long time to come to the realization that my WHY needs to actually include myself. Maintaining my health, creative energy, and ability to help others. I could write a book on the true essence of understanding your WHY because it truly is a much deeper journey into the reasons behind how we live our lives. Where will we see you next? You will continue to see me participating in local bridal shows, store trunk shows throughout the country, and at my children’s schools. My children and my husband always come first. Adornato Couture is participating in Syracuse Fashion Week on September 30th at Aloft Hotel, Syracuse Wedding Show at Holiday Electronics Pkwy on Sunday 10/24, and CBA Senior Showcase in October. Check out Spybaby Bridal at http://




COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Working through the Pandemic changed my business for the better. It allowed me to reconnect on a more intimate level with my customers.”










Name, Age, School Georgia Crane, age 15, Pittsford Sutherland High School What is your superpower? My superpowers are my self-motivation and self-discipline. I’m driven to pursue activities that will help me reach my goals. I always strive to get better at the things I’m passionate about and work towards personal growth, physically and mentally. What is your passion? My passion is dance. I fell in love with dance because I am able to express myself

through movement while entertaining and having fun. Whether it be ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, or hiphop, I love dancing with my friends in class and performing on stage. There’s the physical aspect of dance as a sport, but also the emotional aspect that elevates it to an art. Good dancing tells a story and makes the audience feel something in their hearts. What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are to pursue an education in the sciences and train for a career in medicine. I hope there’s time and opportunity after high school

for me to keep dancing in some way. I’ve been dancing since I was three years old — no matter what, I think dance will always be a part of me and my life. How do you inspire others? I’d like to think I inspire others through my work ethic and approach to teamwork. At school, my fellow students know they can count on me. I’m always happy to share notes or help with a problem. At dance, I hold my team close; they’re like family to me, and we succeed together.



Name, Age, School Kiara Perkins, age 22, Alfred State College What is your superpower? My superpower is my dedication, not just to myself, but to my teammates and coworkers. I work to better myself in any way I can by helping others and increasing my knowledge. I hope to inspire individuals to keep working no matter how difficult the road may be. What is your passion? My passion is helping other people 94


with their skills for the game and in life. I love the feeling I get when I see someone accomplish a goal that they have been working so hard to achieve. What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are to increase awareness of mental illness and the effect it may have on people. I also hope to help change the stigma that mental illness has and be a gateway for people to reach out when in need. How do you inspire others?

I think I inspire others because of the dedication I have when working toward my goals. Once I complete one goal, I am already thinking of what I want to complete next. While working on my goals I also try to motivate those around me and provide them with my support. I work to set examples as a leader on the court and in the comunity.






Name, Age, School Max Herbison, age 15, Pittsford Sutherland High School What is your superpower? My superpower is my work ethic and my willingness to listen to my coaches, make changes, and improve. I am focused on my goals and I work hard to succeed on the field and in school. What is your passion? My passion is lacrosse. I love the game and I love playing with my team. I enjoy

pushing myself to be better and I enjoy training and practice just as much as playing in a game. Lacrosse is exciting, fast moving, and a sport that requires strategy along with physical play and endurance. It combines everything I love to do. What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are to play lacrosse in college and study to become a doctor. I love science and math and want to pursue medicine in my career. My dream is to play Division 1 lacrosse

in the Ivy League. How do you inspire others? I inspire others by working hard, being a good role model, and being supportive of everyone. I was the team captain this year and I like to lead by motivating and encouraging everyone to be their best. I tru to inspire others by being a good role model and setting a good example in school and in loacrosse. I valeu learning and getting good grades and I try to inspire others to do the same.










Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Skinner. I am a rising high school senior from Upstate New York. I have always been very academically involved in my high school. From Student Council, National Honor Society, Leadership Core, Mathletics, French Club, etc I find joy in lifting others up in the academic field while furthering my leadership skills.

including themselves unconditional respect. Growing up I experienced severe bullying thus why it is so important to me to help others overcome the same struggles I once went through.

Outside of the classroom, I will either be on the dance competition stage, field hockey field, or out in my community. I was recently awarded with the Orlando Scholarship of $5,000 for completing over 500 of community service this past year. I work with different organizations, such as Gigi’s Playhouse, NY Special Olympics, Samaritan’s Purse, Ronald McDonald House Charities and many more! My real passion lies in helping others find their confidence and their voice. In 2019, I created my own organization, Hands of Hope in 2019 to instill confidence in today’s youth while spreading bullying prevention awareness. Through workshops, presentations, visual demonstrations, resources, social media initiatives, and Hand Pledge crafts, I strive to empower others to show everyone

passion, and determination. Jennifer Lawerance has stated multiple times in the press that she was bullied in high school and never felt as if she “fit in”. I relate a lot to her story and I am inspired by the way she uses her platform to speak out against bullying. I strive to use my voice as well as my “superpower” of confidence to continue making the change I wish to see in the world. So far, Hands of Hope has reached 5,000 students from 25 different states. I plan to reach all 50 states to share my story and the prevalence of bullying prevention in schools today. I recently traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas this past June to compete with the best of the best from across the country at the Miss High School America National Pageant. This scholarship organization offers high school female students an incredible experience at Nationals filled with excursions, Red Carpet events, on stage performances, and memories that will last a lifetime.

One of my biggest role models is the famous Hunger Games actress, Jennifer Lawerance. She is my role model not only because the Hunger Games is one of my favorite movies but because of her vulnerability,

The Miss High School America Organization cultivates leadership, communication, and life skills while supporting young women academically and through community service. I am grateful to say I won the National title of Miss High School America 2021. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021






{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR } } } { {INSHIFT+CONTROL HER OWN WORDS “I pair my B.R.A.V.E promotion with Hands of Hope to empower students while providing a proactive and reactive approach to bullying.”

The Miss High School America Organization has a National antibullying platform called B.R.A.V.E (building respect and values for everyone) which I will Nationally be promoting all year long. I pair my B.R.A.V.E promotion with Hands

of Hope to empower students while providing a proactive and reactive approach to bullying. Through my high school experience and my journey with the High School America Organization, I have learned that you are capable of anything you set your

mind to and your worth does not depend on the opinions of others. Now I hope to inspire others to see their true value as well!



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






I’m at 17k feet of elevation, somewhere in the Himalayas. My feet feel like they have glass shards in them. I am freezing and exhausted. I’ve been hiking for 12 hours, carrying 30 lbs in a 40% reduced-oxygen atmosphere, which has wreaked havoc on my ability to reason. I’m alone. Its dark and there are local bandits passing me in open-air jeeps hooting and cat calling, on the singletrack path I am traveling. This is a part of my midlife transition. You may not know me, but hopefully we’ll become friends over the next several months, as we share science, new learnings and stories from our collective Midlife Transitions via a monthly column entitled Midlife Transition: Mind, Body and Soul. Mine began in 2014 when both parents passed away, I divorced and sold a business all within 8 months. I was 47 years old at the time. I then made an uncharacteristic decision to spend 4-years traveling the world with a former UK pro-cyclist, climbing mountains, cycling volcanoes, competing in endurance races and living in airbnbs, RVs and tents. My life took a 180-degree turn. But this is not unusual, per research. Midlife change is real. A recent Harvard study concluded that midlife transition is “inevitable.”. We will all go through some form of this. Why?

The simple version is that we will re-evaluate our values and purpose. Kids leave, our marriage changes, we take on more in our careers and the list goes on. At some point, we begin to question whether we are we on track with what we want? Life looks shorter and we begin to care about how (or if ) we will be remembered. But also physically, we notice changes. This mortality thing isn’t a joke. Our bodies (and our brains) are changing and there doesn’t seem to be a manual for handling it. Or better yet…reversing it. The good news is that finally, we have science-backed findings to help us understand how and why hormonal changes impact our thoughts, feelings and actions and what we can do about it. START WITH PHYSICAL. Estrogen is a key component to muscle retention, blood sugar control and even cortisol management (stress hormones). When you no longer have Estrogen in your body, your body composition changes, blood sugar can get out of control, joint pain escalates and more. Fortunately, recent science has identified several actions we can take to reduce the impact of these changes – and they’re all small changes that we can make in our daily lives. Another key learning is that hormone depletion begins at least 5 years prior to menopause. This means that by the time you actually go through menopause (avg age 52), you have already realized most of your change. Said another way, if

you’re in your mid-40s, you are at the prime age to begin making small changes to help reduce menopausal symptoms and improve your aging process. COGNITIVE. During my life, I have worked for multiple large companies, run national marketing campaigns and started 2 of my own companies. A few years ago, I noticed that I could not stay focused on any particular task. Things that used to consume me for hours, now, couldn’t hold my attention for 15 minutes. This messed with my ego a bit, as I was used to tackling issues and moving on. Now, I couldn’t seem to move my brain from A to B to C. I actually wondered whether I had dementia? There’s much to share on this topic, over the next few months, as we now know that Estrogen is responsible for brain tissue health. History has us believe that there is nothing we could do about brain decline. That is simply not true. In fact, there is much you can do to help reduce the feelings of “brain fog” that many midlife women talk about. AND SOUL. Were you aware that midlife women between 40-59 yrs have the highest rate of depression over all other segments of society? Scientists believe that this is partly linked to our declining hormone levels. But current studies show us that we can take several steps to boost our happiness. One step is to re-evaluate our key values and priorities, and setting goals for our future self. This helps us feel less out-of-control of ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


B-UNTETHERED } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Were you aware that midlife women between 40-59 yrs have the highest rate of depression over all other segments of society?”

our lives. Also, certain supplements (adaptogens) have proven to be as effective as their pharmaceutical sisters in reducing depression. So stay with us as we begin to share key learnings for Maximizing Midlife 112


transition. We will also be holding a free webinar entitled “Midlife Intervention” on August 19th and September 9th highlighting insights on what midlife is all about and steps you can take to ensure you are managing your transition the absolute

best you can! You can register at See you next month and until then – Just B.U.










Jessica Fabus Cheng was recently crowned Mrs. New York America 2021. The 44th annual competition leading to the prestigious Mrs. America pageant was held at the RIT Inn and Conference Center in Henrietta, NY on July 18. Jessica held the local title of Mrs. Metropolitan for 5 years on her journey to becoming the state titleholder.

time leads to their deterioration. Life expectancy for a person with Duchenne is between 16 and 26, yet with technological advancements, cutting edge treatments and advocacy this number thankfully is on the rise. Shortly after her cousin’s diagnosis, the family learned that Duchenne muscular

“Every time that I didn’t win the crown, I decided that I was going to go back and give it my all, whatever it takes,” she said onstage as part of her final answer. Her staying power and dedication comes from her experience as a Nationallevel Taekwondo athlete, a Registered Nurse and her work as an advocate for the research and funding needed to end a fatal genetic disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a diagnosis her cousin received in 2003. “I will never forget the phone we received telling us that my cousin had been diagnosed with Duchenne at the age of 4,” she recounts. “It was like the rug had been pulled out from underneath us.” Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common form of muscular dystrophy diagnosed in childhood and is characterized by progressive muscle loss and weakness, affecting the skeletal, heart and breathing muscles which over

results, she was followed by multiple medical students and residents and my heart sank a little, because I knew they were not there to learn how to give good news,” Jessica says. Although being a carrier is not a fatal diagnosis, there are health implications for some women, such as an enlarged heart, fatigue and sometimes even manifesting the characteristics of Duchenne. The biggest effect tends to be in the realm of family planning, as being a carrier means there is a 50% likelihood of the disorder being passed on to a future child. “This diagnosis affected every area of my life and I actually felt a lot of shame about it for a long time,” Jessica recalls. “I knew I eventually wanted a child, but how do you start that conversation? It’s not exactly something you want to bring up on a first date.”

dystrophy was commonly passed through the mother’s line of the family. Women who passed the disorder on or those that had the potential to do so were called genetic carriers. “I remember having to go to the University of Chicago to determine if I was a carrier in my early twenties. When the doctor came in to give my

Despite the fears, Jessica met her husband Dan in 2012. “Funny story, I was 2 hours late to our first date,” she remembers. “I made the strange decision to drive into Manhattan from Brooklyn on a Saturday night which, needless to say, is a big mistake.” Faux pas aside, the couple began to get more serious the following year. “I knew I had to tell Dan about my carrier status. I knew that if we got married, he also wanted children, so I ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{{ BEHIND THE CROWN SHIFT+CONTROL } } “I decided to begin advocating several years ago because the whole idea spoke to me. I also made the connection between holding a local pageant title and using it to serve my community.”

I had to face my fears and tell him about my situation. He ultimately told me he loved me and wanted to be with me regardless, which was so special.”

advocates with the patient advocacy group Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) as an Advocacy Captain for the state of New York.

The couple married in 2016, and in 2019 decided to plan for a baby. They welcomed baby Coco in May of 2020.

“I decided to begin advocating several years ago because the whole idea spoke to me. I also made the connection between holding a local pageant title

“The first step for us was preconception genetic counseling and testing. I was a known carrier for Duchenne but testing for other genetic disorders that we could be a match for was important to us as well.” One of Jessica’s objectives as Mrs. New York America, in addition to working closely with the Duchenne community, is promoting the importance of making informed choices relating to a women’s reproductive health, and reproductive health in general. “As a nurse I know that there is a huge spectrum of beliefs and thoughts on this topic, and all are valid. My goal is not to tell you what is right and wrong, but simply to provide information. My husband and I ultimately decided to pursue IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and genetic testing to end this form of muscular dystrophy in our family. This is highly personal to disclose, but in order for me to relate and connect to others in a similar situation it is empowering and necessary.” Currently, Jessica volunteers and 118


and using it to serve my community. My experience advocating for patients at different times in my nursing career combined with the fearless mental strength martial arts teaches made me the perfect candidate. I’ve worked in the operating room for basically my entire career, and I also figured if I could stay cool and communicate with

surgeons in high pressure situations, I could easily handle Washington, D.C.” Each year in March Jessica leads a delegation of advocates from around New York state down to Washington, D.C. to speak directly with lawmakers in the House and Senate. It’s really critical that our elected officials get the opportunity to hear directly from families impacted by Duchenne. My platform, “The Power of Your Story,” is just that: our real experiences connect with congress on the human level, across the aisle, in a completely bipartisan way. My heart is for the first-time advocates and people who think they don’t have the strength to speak up. The reality is sharing your personal experiences can make a huge impact on securing the funding needed to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy. And if I’ve helped a family or individual to at least contemplate doing something they never thought they could EVER do, then I’ve don’t my job.” Jessica competes for the title of a lifetime: Mrs. America on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information please visit: www.







CHRISTINE PIACENTINO I have been advocating and fighting to end Duchenne for the past 23 years here in Rochester and in Washington DC. My son Jonathan was diagnosed at the age of 4 with Duchenne. He is now 27. With the current medical treatments, the lifespan of a Duchenne patient has increase to life into their 30’s. Not too long ago the prognosis was loss of life was prior to age 20. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder characterized by the progressive loss of muscle. It affects many parts of the body, which results in deterioration of the skeletal, cardiac (heart), and pulmonary (lung) muscles. Duchenne affects approximately 1 out of every 5,000 live male births. About 20,000 children are diagnosed with Duchenne globally each year. Currently there is no cure. I’ve served on the Board of Directors for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD). PPMD certified the University of Rochester a comprehensive Duchenne Care Clinic in February of 2019. This was a huge win for New York State. This is the only comprehensive care clinic in New York that would use and follow the best practices of care outlined by the CDC. Jessica and I met in during Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s annual advocacy conference. She was advocating for her cousin, and I was advocating for my son Jonathan. PPMD’s advocacy conference is the

only officially organized gathering on Capitol Hill for the Duchenne community. It grows each year, with more and more attendees meeting their representatives and staffers, giving a face and a voice to PPMD’s advocacy agenda. I started attending in 2001 when the MD-Care-Act was introduced. For the past 20 years

PPMD has convened families for regulatory events, including federal Advisory Committee meetings and summits. These are designed to inform regulators about the Duchenne patient experience. During this time PPMD has driven paradigm-shifting federal legislation and has passed federal bills and Duchenne Specific appropriations language. Both my son and my daughter Kathryn have traveled with me to Washington to advocate for Duchenne. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is

a cruel disease. When Jonathan was born, I was hopeful for my son’s future. I couldn’t wait until he was independent and could talk and walk. Some mothers are born to nurture babies and toddlers. Not me. I struggled to relate to a crying infant and a toddler who couldn’t fully talk. I just couldn’t figure what my children were trying to tell me. The crying felt incessant and never ending. When both Kathryn and Jonathan could talk, feed and dress themselves, I was delighted. But Duchenne had other plans for my son. It slowly robbed my son’s independence, now at 27 he relies on me or an aide for his all his basic needs. Luckily, he can still feed himself. It was a blow to receive the diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, in 1997 there were no standards of care. I really wanted to just curl up in a ball and not deal with the world. It took me a few months of research to understand that I had to figure out the best approach to my son’s care on my own. That’s when I found Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. I started attending PPMD’s annual care conference. This conference is the largest, most comprehensive, annual international conference focused entirely on Duchenne. Today it gathers nearly 500 families each year to learn the latest progress and approach to care in the fight to end Duchenne. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021



“Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder characterized by the progressive loss of muscle. It affects many parts of the body, which results in deterioration of the skeletal, cardiac (heart), and pulmonary (lung) muscles.”

Today it gathers nearly 500 families each year to learn the latest progress and approach to care in the fight to end Duchenne. They also gather for support, strength, and camaraderie, and to hear from families on similar journeys. Based on the information I received there I was able to come back to Rochester and build Jonathan’s care team. I don’t have a medical background. Jonathan’s pediatrician told me that I knew more about Duchenne than she did. I was in very unfamiliar territory educating doctor’s and specialists on the care my son should have. I was determined to make the lives of the families dealing with Duchenne a lot less scary and provide hope for the future and provide the best quality of life I could for my son. I did this all while working full time and raising my family. There is still a lot of work to do to extend the prognosis of this disease. There are still far too many Duchenne patients passing away in their teens and early twenties. Through my work with PPMD. My son’s quality of life greatly improved, 124


and his lifespan has been extended by 10 years. As a result, my son has been able to achieve his Eagle Scout rank, a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Toxicology and Chemistry. He has taken part in Clinical trials for medications that

and is currently serving as on the Steering Committee to update the Community Led Guidance for the FDA on Duchenne. My daughter Kathryn is 30 and has grown into a beautiful smart and compassionate woman. She ran the Chicago and New York Marathon’s twice to fundraise and raise awareness for Duchenne, through the Race to End Duchenne. Hope this provided a little background on me. Please let me know if you have any questions.

change the face of Duchenne. He and I have both presented to the FDA on benefit risk and provided the patient voice on Duchenne Specific Drugs. He has served on a Peer Reviewer for the Department of Defense – Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Programs (DMDRP)






Mark Ippolito, co-founder of Comedy @ the Carlson was enjoying an evening with his wife when something familiar caught his eye. On the wall hung a piece of art in the beautiful style of artist Lorraine Staunch. “I snapped a pic of it then I sent it to Lorraine. I was, ‘Look, we’re eating underneath one of your pieces!’ Ippolito knows Staunch’s art inside and out because every day he and partner Suresh Goel are surrounded by it. Comedy @ the Carlson is a m i c ro c o s m o f Staunch’s work from her faux finishes and set design to her portraiture. During her early childhood in Vermont Staunch was creating art, so when it was time for college she attended the Ringling School of Art and Design in Florida. She graduated with a degree in Fine Art then moved to North Carolina to work as an illustrator for a Christmas decorating company. She was adept at set and theater design and faux finishes. In the 1990s she moved to Rochester. Today, one only has to stop by Comedy @ the Carlson to get the full scope of just how talented she truly is.



“I did open mic for several years and tried my hand at that,” says Staunch when asked how she developed a professional relationship with the Ippolito. “I realized I was a much better artist, than I was a comedian. I decided I better stick with what I can actually feed my family with!”

have to make it look like it’s been there forever, that it’s got cigarette smoke on it, that it was used, old, and grimy.’ So, bringing that all together on the wall, that wasn’t even a challenge, it’s what I love to do. I like to make things that are flat and make them look dimensional.”

Despite not becoming the next Lucille Ball, Staunch did become good friends with Ippolito. So, when Ippolito and

Ippolito was impressed. “That’s like the cool thing that people don’t know about Lorraine. She can do stuff like that. You know obviously make it not just cost friendly, but actually make it really cool. So now I have this cool story to talk about. And she did such a good job there that we had to do it again in the foyer.” She also helped select their color palette, distressed the new stools to match the industrial theme, and added special touches throughout to make it a welcoming space.

Goel opened Comedy @ the Carlson and revamped the interior they knew who to turn to. The first task was to deal with sixty years of paint over the brick wall at the back of the stage. Removing the paint was going to be time-consuming and expensive. But Staunch had a plan. “I looked at that wall and thought, ‘Oh, that’s easy. It’s just one great big 12-foot by 10-foot canvas, and I just

She painted caricature portraits honoring comedians that have passed away. Eleven of these striking paintings hang at Comedy @ The Carlson and include such greats as Joan Rivers and Rodney Dangerfield. “When I walk in there, I feel a sense of calm, but I also feel that it has given joy to people, even if they haven’t even noticed,” says Staunch.







{ QUEEN OF ARTS } “Today, one only has to stop by Comedy @ the Carlson to get the full scope of just how talented she truly is.”

Staunch’s work can be seen all over the area – Get-It-Straight Orthodontics, Ontario Hearing Center, Smoking Hot Chicks BBQ, and GiGi’s Playhouse. But this is only a few of the satisfied customers in the area so don’t be surprised if you spy her work at other schools, homes, medical buildings, and restaurants, too. Currently Staunch is working on a set of large-scale landscapes, “bringing new light to some of the landmarks in the area. Every town has an old barn that is really gorgeous or a bridge like a lift bridge, or the bunkhouses down in Canandaigua where I’m doing a whole series on those but I’m doing them in a way where they’re 130


very big. You shout for joy when you see them!” says Staunch with glee in her voice. It’s this joy and playfulness that is Staunch’s true hallmark as an artist and a person. “I have never, ever, in the years of knowing her, ever seen her not smile,” says Ippolito. “She always has this huge smile that lights up the room. Everybody knows her. When she walks in the room it’s, ‘Hey how are you!?’ And it’s always followed by a nice big warm hug, and you can’t have a problem around her, because she’s the one that reminds you of the great things in life because she’s just

so happy and joyful.” Staunch’s art is known as “Art that makes you smile.” To learn more about her illustration, large (3’x4”) painted caricatures, murals, large commissioned paintings, performance art, and motivational speaking engagements visit lorrainestaunch. com.





It was a painful week. My soul was have had access to if I was well and able pained. My head was pained and still and in my busy mode. pained. My skin was frying and my It told me that I have done well in BY NICOLE WILLIAMS I and PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO mind was all HEROUX overBYthe place. I was I AKOMOLAFE controlling my anger and temper, but OMENESA ORUMA still am in a place of meditation. I came it now wants me to not just keep to myself to a breaking point in my life, where I but to still manage to mingle with others suddenly realized that I have been carrying and keep my personal matters at check. too much, wayyyyy too much. I have It told me to sleep. It told me to accept been carrying bills, insults, abuse, long people just the way they are. It told me hours, and a tired body. Usually when to listen without personalizing. It told I get tired, I just sleep for a few hours, me so many things. So many things. but this week, I shut down everything. I didn’t even type my school paper. I As I sat there with a fever and with so didn’t shut down because I wanted to, I shut down because life shut me down. I couldn’t move without being in pain. Pain in all that concerned me. It was a sign for me to attend to certain matters in my life, including my health. And so I went to work and came straight home to lay down, except for my doctor’s appointment. Otherwise, I allowed my mind and my body to lay down. As my body and mind laid down, it brought up memories, strategies, occurences and resolutions. It told me to smile more, because I don’t smile often. It told me to forgive So and So. It told me to ask So and So for forgiveness. It told me to completely cut off from So and So. It told me to change my company name. It told me not to contact So and So. It told me not to speak to So and So. It told me not to reply So and So. It told me how to speak and respond to So and So. I’m sure by now you know that So and So are different people. It told me how to tweak some things in my organization and business. It told me how to run my marriage and how to elevate my career and education. It gave me secrets. Secrets that I wouldn’t 132


POT OF GOLD ************ 1. Take some time out to rest. 2. Don’t just rest, reflect. 3. Implement what you reflected on. 4. Don’t rush your process. Allow your healing to run it’s course. 5. Smile at people. Don’t project your anger or discontentment on them. 6. Be quiet in spirit, and if you choose to be quieter in your everyday life, that’s okay. You can always change your personality for the best, just make sure you’re not making people uncomfortable in a negative way. You don’t want people to constantly ask you, “ Are you okay?”. 6. Don’t apologize for the boundaries you make. 7. Don’t placate when you are disrespected. Step back, then confront it later(if necessary), but don’t tolerate it.

many issues that need a resolve, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that I have grown. I have been stretched. Though I am weak at the moment, but for the knowledge in which I have acquired and willing to act upon, I am in charge. I am in control of my happiness. I am in control of how I am respected or disrespected. I am in control of how I show up. I am in control of how this story will end. Though I am weary, and I feel worn, but I am in charge.

8. You can be firm and tender at the same time. 9. Take advantage of the pain you feel. It is trying to tell you something. Listen to your pain. Listen to it allllllll the way, then do the needful. 10. Pray!!! Please talk to God daily. He is your friend. When you pray, you gain more power. You become incharge. Selah




“Be quiet in spirit, and if you choose to be quieter in your everyday life, that’s okay. You can always change your personality for the best, just make sure you’re not making people uncomfortable in a negative way. You don’t want people to constantly ask you, “ Are you okay?”.”



The word “become” means to undergo a change or a development. At some point in your life, you will have to decide who you want to become. I heard a speech by Steve Harvey where he made the following statement, “there are two types of people born in the hospitals every day. One is the person who is going to get a job, and the other is the person who is going to give that person the job.” At some point in life, you will have to figure out which one you want to be, the leader which I define as Heroic, Empowered and Refined (H.E.R). Or do you want to be the sheep, a follower with no sense of direction? Some women may feel that they are not good enough because of unexpected life circumstances or may feel underservant. But those life challenges set the blueprint for your success. Learning how to navigate through hardships brings forth a strength that you never knew existed. By showing great courage and resilience, your determination will inspire so many around you, sis, take that risk and bet on yourself. Be a rose that comes up from the concrete. You can’t wake up every day doing the same things but expect different results. You must become the woman 136


who takes the good and the bad and still strive for greatness. Set goals, meditate on your dreams, plan and execute. To become that woman, you must be willing to put in the work.

They are okay with being sheep and living mediocre. No one understands how hard it is to be a sheep. A sheep follows the crowd and is easily led and distracted. You are more than a follower, channel your confidence and influence to become the leader you were meant to be. Plant your seed, nurture it, and blossom. Don’t be afraid to become that flower. Even a seed must undergo a change and a development to become a flower. When cared for properly, with nourishing soil, sunlight, and water, the seed will transform and bloom into a flower. To truly experience positive change, you must let go of your past and embrace the transformation that’s about to take place. Have confidence in yourself and know you will take on a better form, even if it takes some time.

Eliminate distractions, stop old and bad habits, and end toxic relationships. We must create new patterns to produce new outcomes. Many women are scared to live up to their potential.

After the seed blooms into a flower, everyone appreciates it for whatever it has to offer because of its authenticity and radiant beauty. Each seed has something to contribute. Go out there, start planting seeds in your life, speak things into existence, and believe they will come to fruition. No matter how challenging or pointless it may seem at that very moment, trust the process. With time, patience, and hard work,







{{ SHIFT+CONTROL SAVON SPEAKS } } “The word “become” means to undergo a change or a development. At some point in your life, you will have to decide who you want to become.”

what seems like an empty flowerpot will grow and be filled with beauty. Like beautiful flowers that attract butterflies and bees, your life will become a magnet to the right kind of people that will genuinely add value to you. You can’t be afraid to Become H.E.R. It takes courage to stand on your own and lead your own way. Fear works two ways when connecting it to success. You can fear failure or fear the responsibilities that come along with success. I’m not saying the process won’t be bumpy. I’m asking you to trust the journey although challenging moments occur along the way. Use your momentum to plow through those rocky moments. Moments of feeling defeated do not last long. Failure is merely a detour to success. Reaching a new level of success will be mentally stressful, but I would rather be successful and learn how to sustain it than failing and staying down. I hope that as you travel through this journey of life, that you find your

way and create your own lane. Be the lion and not the sheep. Please make your own rules and live by them. Create your happiness and

with like-minded people. Become that leader you are destined to be. Don’t allow anyone to take away your happiness. Remember, you are a seed in moments of darkness, planted beneath the dirt, where it’s dark, but surrounded by what you need to grow, soil. Always remember, a little rain doesn’t hurt a flower. Become H.E.R and own your boldness. You can find out more at WWW.SAVONSPEAKS. COM/ or send a message to

dwell in it. Never be afraid to be in a room, surrounded by people smarter than you. Seek those opportunities to gain knowledge and personal development. Make connections ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021














This month’s edition of She Hustles Talks features Mrs New York America 2020, Yasmeen Gumbs gracing our incredible cover. She is clearly hustling, considering she is not only a corporate attorney and legal consultant, but also and international model and even a social media influencer.

I am a Corporate Attorney and Legal Consultant, admitted to the New York State Bar, United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York State. I defend high exposure cases against corporations in court and during mediation. I also volunteer my time

We couldn’t have asked for a better queen to help straighten all of our lady boss crowns! Hope you enjoy our Q&A with her and stay tuned because this is just the beginning of her journey and we are excited to see where it all leads. Tell us about yourself, and your background. What do you do when you are not Mrs. New York America 2020? I was born on the beautiful island of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Island. I relocated from St. Thomas to New York City with my family at a very young age. I attended college on a Division I Track & Field Scholarship. I have been recognized as a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Leadership recipient and Sunbelt Conference Track & Field finalist in the 100-meter dash, 4x200 and 4x400 meter relays. I furthered my education by attending law school in Virginia. I was recognized as Who’s Who Among Law School Students, Vice President of the Black Law School Association and winner of the Appellate Advocacy Competition.

as an American Bar Association Law School Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition Judge. I was recently recognized by the American Bar Association for my contribution to the practice of law and being crowned Mrs. New York America 2020.

What makes you hustle? Living in New York City instilled perseverance and dedication to serve others. I surround myself with positive and professional individuals, which allows me to continue striving to achieve all my goals. Tell us about what made you decide to run for the Mrs. New York America pageant. In 2017, I unexpectedly lost my father and best friend, the late Basil Gumbs. My father dedicated his life to serving his community, specifically his military family. Members of the United States Virgin Island Coast Guard spoke about the positive impact that he made. That was the moment I asked myself what kind of legacy I wanted to leave. I have a longstanding partnership with the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club and the Salvation Army of Greater New York. It was a lifelong dream for my father to see me compete in a pageant and I knew that winning the title of Mrs. New York America would afford me a greater audience to advocate for my platform #ConfidenceComesFromWithin. What did you choose for your platform and why? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


“I have been told that when I walk into a room, I command attention. One of the first questions people always ask me is “Who are you? You are somebody.”




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “ I discovered how important it was to become vulnerable in sharing my personal story, which inspired others in the process.”

M y p l a t f o r m #ConfidenceComesFromWithin was formed based on my personal story. My platform focuses on building confidence through mentorship in all children, especially those living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods. With mentorship programs, there’s a greater probability that children living in these neighborhoods will become successful both academically and professionally. I have a longstanding partnership with the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club where I actively serve as Council Member, volunteer, and mentor. I also proudly serve as Board Member, volunteer youth mentor with the Salvation Army of Greater New York (Harlem Temple Corps). It is important for me to volunteer because I truly believe in the importance of giving back to your community. Sharing my personal story have a direct positive impact on the future of many inner-city youths living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods and experiencing economic hardships. What does the word empowerment mean to you? When I think of the word empowerment, I think uplifting others. Uplifting others so that they can see their potential and achieve personal greatness. Achieving greatness both personally and academically. What was it like hearing your name called as the Mrs. New York America 2020 winner? Hearing my name called as the Mrs. New York America 2020 winner was

one of the best feelings I have ever experienced. I was very excited! I remember waking up the next morning looking around to see if I was dreaming. It took a week before it fully hit me that I had won. The year of 2020 has definitely been a challenge worldwide and wearing the crown during that time is not something that I took lightly. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? What about some of your weaknesses? My greatest strengths are the ability to appreciate professional criticism and public speaking. The ability to take professional criticism and turn it into professional growth and success is a great skill to have. I think when you train your mind to think that way, you will become more successful. Some of my weaknesses are being critical of myself and a perfectionist. However, I have learned how to find a balance between them both. What have you accomplished during your reign? As a result of Covid-19, my hometown of New York City was tremendously impacted. It was important for me to use my voice and crown to reach a greater audience and spread awareness for those living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods. During my reign, I helped raise thousands of dollars for the Boys & Girls Club members, served as a mentor, volunteer and Council Member. In addition, my daughter and I volunteered with the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club Thomas Murphy Clubhouse Summer Literacy Program.

I served as a special guest speaker during the Camp-in-a-Box counselors and campers meetings hosted by Captain Antonio Rosamilla of the Salvation Army of Greater New York. I volunteered and appeared as a special guest during the Salvation Army of Greater New York (Harlem Temple Corps) Back to School event. I mentored youth members virtually, by providing professional and college development. I also served Thanksgiving meals to New York City residents. As a result of my service, I was recently named a Board Member of the Salvation Army of Greater New York (Harlem Temple Corps). What did you take away from your pageant experience? Pageantry can be a wonderful experience if you align yourself with positive women and use your voice to make a difference within your community and beyond. I was fortunate enough to have gained lifelong friends through the Mrs. America and Mrs. New York America organizations. Having a hands-on director, Diane Hardgrove (Mrs. America 2006 & Mrs. World 2007) helped steer me into the path of success. Despite the challenges that were brought in 2020, I am proud to have won the title of Mrs. New York America 2020 and I am forever grateful for all the wonderful experiences I have gained during my reign and beyond. What was your first job and how old were you? I was in my senior year of high school when I got my first job at a shoe store in the mall. It was a perfect excuse to buy new shoes at a discount rate ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I have impacted the lives of hundreds of families by raising funds for the clubhouses, creating events and activities for the clubhouse members.”

Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? Growing up, my late grandmother Idalia taught me the importance of giving back to my community and making a long-lasting positive impact in the lives of others. She would always say to me, “Yasmeen it is better to give than to receive.” Those exact words remained in my heart and helped shape me into the successful woman and advocate that I am today. Being able to positively impact the lives of others throughout the state of New York, America and the United States Virgin Islands. In addition to my grandmother, my 154


sister Nailah Gumbs-Fahie is a living testament to putting others first for the greater good. By profession, my sister is a forensic licensed social worker in the state of New York and successfully help those incarcerated land back on their feet after being released from jail and prison. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? My life experiences helped shape me into the woman I am today. I would not necessarily change my past experiences if I could start over from

scratch. However, I would change the methods and strategies that I used in the past to achieve my dreams and goals. “What is your ‘why? ‘” My road to becoming successful was not an easy journey. This led me to creating a mentorship program (#ConfidenceComesFromWithin) directly after graduating from the University of New Orleans. I have impacted the lives of hundreds of families by raising funds for the clubhouses, creating events and activities for the clubhouse members. As a board member with the Salvation Army of Greater







{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “The year 2020 has definitely been a challenge worldwide. But if there is anything that the pandemic has taught me is the importance of family, which is what the Mrs. America pageant system stands for.”

New York, I am a strong effective contributor and leader. I help steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting ethical and legal governance as well as making sure the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission.

looking up to me. It is important for me to lead by an example. Therefore, I am very cautious about what I post on social media platforms and the partnerships that I commit to.

How did working through the pandemic change you for the better or worse? How did you get creative? How did it effect your reign as Mrs. New York America? The year 2020 has definitely been a challenge worldwide. But if there is anything that the pandemic has taught me is the importance of family, which is what the Mrs. America pageant system stands for. Despite the challenges that were brought in 2020, I am proud to have won the title of Mrs. New York America 2020. I was fortunate enough to have my long-standing partnerships with the Boys & Girls Club and The Salvation Army of Greater New York prior to winning the title of Mrs. New York America 2020. Therefore, I was able to continue my obligations, just in a virtual manner for the most part. What role do you think social media plays for you personally and professionally and what is your favorite platform? Social media plays an instrumental role in my daily life both personally and professionally. As an advocate for my platform #ConfidenceComesFromWithin, I have young children and aspiring attorneys

winning a case where the odds were stacked against your defense. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful as an attorney? I am a very focused and goal driven woman. When I set my mind on achieving something, I give it 110% and make it my obligation to see it come to fruition. What was it like handing off the crown this year the new Mrs. New York America? My goal during my reign was to leave a legacy that far outlives my reign with a commitment to highlighting all the joys and blessings that were prevalent in 2020. I accomplished that and more as Mrs. New York America 2020 and was excited to hand off the crown to a new queen.

Name the one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. Winning my first trial was by far a special moment in my career. There is no greater feeling as a litigator than

What was your favorite moment of the 2021 Mrs. New York America pageant and why? My favorite moment of the 2021 Mrs. New York America pageant was spending time with the Mrs. New York America pageant family. Especially my sister queens Miss New York for America Strong, Gabby Wright and Mrs. New York American, Marjorie Vail. We have a special bond that I am grateful for. What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? I am in the process of creating my own

{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “My life experiences helped shape me into the woman I am today. I would not necessarily change my past experiences if I could start over from scratch.”

non-profit organization founded on the beliefs and principals of my platform #ConfidenceComesFromWithin. Five years from now, I project that my non-profit organization will expand throughout America and the United States Virgin Islands. I am also signed to two modeling agencies and have been working on some upcoming national projects. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make? One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make was leaving my corporate job as a partner in a national law firm. At the time, it was difficult to feel like you have achieved something most attorneys aspire to become and to just walk away. Looking back, it one of the best decisions that I have made. I am forever grateful for the opportunities that continue to be presented before me. What motivates you? Being a mother to my amazing seven-year-old daughter, Saige Olivia motivates me. I know that she watches everything that I do so I make sure that I am setting an example of the woman that I would like her to aspire to become and more. What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself in the past years during your pageant journey? I discovered how important it was to become vulnerable in sharing my personal story, which inspired others in the process. 158


Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success? One of my biggest failures was not making it to the finals in the 200-meter dash Sunbelt Conference during my collegiate athletic career. I place most of the blame on myself in terms of training on the level that I needed in order to elevate to that level of success which I had tremendous capability to achieve. That experience taught me the importance of preparation, which I transferred to my personal life and legal career. How do you make sure people see you as more than just a pretty face? I have been told that when I walk into a room, I command attention. One of the first questions people always ask me is “Who are you? You are somebody.” It’s really funny to me because I don’t see myself that way. Being personable is a character trait that I have been blessed with. For the most part, people that I meet have already read my biography or looked at my social media pages so they are aware that by profession I am an attorney. Where will we see you next? Although I passed on my crown this past July, my passion and mission for building confidence through mentorship of children and young adults who live in low socioeconomic neighborhoods has not stopped. I will continue to be a lightening force throughout America and the United States Virgin Islands through my

national partnerships and non-profit organization. As mentioned above, I sit on the board of the Salvation Army of Greater New York (Harlem Temple Corps) and will continue the work that I started in addition to branching out internationally. I will also continue branding myself as an international model, social media influencer and attorney.








“I am a very focused and goal driven woman. When I set my mind on achieving something, I give it 110% and make it my obligation to see it come to fruition.”








Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background, and why you decided to open your own business with a painting company. I am a mother of three beautiful boys. I am a pretty easy going person who enjoys the simple things in life. I enjoy the great lakes and visiting family down south. Shopping is a fav of mine too, but finding good deals is the best part. I am an avid supporter of small business and people persuing their passion in life. That is ultimately why I followed my dreams and started Busy Bee Painting Company. I truly enjoy making things look nice for others and ultimately helping my customers turn their houses into a place to call home is one of the most rewarding parts of what I do. How did you come up with Busy Bee Painting as the name of your business? I grew up in N. Chili, N.Y., growing up my grandparents were always doing some sort of DIY project. My grandfather was a self taught carpenter and my grandmother is a realtor. We spent a lot of time together and every time I would come to visit them I looked forward to seeing what new project they had completed. My family is full of artists. We all have our own unique abilities when it comes to being creative. My mom is a culinary genius and my aunt is also as equally talented. As I grew up it made sense to me as to why I ended up owning a painting business. I got started early on I was seventeen and I started that job while in college which was with a local paint company. That

business was woman owned. I always admired my boss for being able to do all the things a man could do. I honestly thought it was a cool job that I could do while I finished my nursing degree. I didnt think much about it being a career at that point.

I also saw a need for more women in the field. As a business owner, what are your top three priorities for your business that set you apart from your competition? Customer satisfaction. We want to always be transparent throughout the entire process Quality workmanship. We want to always provide the best service possibilties Customer relationships. We want to create customers for life How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful, especially during a pandemic over the past year and a half? We use a multitude of including facebook and google. I have learned over the years how to market and create adds that are desirable. We also have a lot of referalls from previous customers and realtors that we work with frequently.

What made you decide to open a business lin such a male dominated field? I wanted something different that kinda represented me and made it obvious that I was a female. I also stay pretty busy so that came into play. It was fun and catchy so I went with it. I loved painting and was good at it.

What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur? I had three children who were depending on me and a desire to be the best I could personally be! I never gave up and they ultimately where what kept me going when times were tough. I think after going thru a lot of personal trials I just decided one day I only wanted to depend on two things and that was God and my own talents/abilities. I was consistent with doing all the things I knew would help grow my business. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


“I think a lot of people define success in dollars, but for me its about being happy and at peace with what you have achieved.”

{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I am a mother of three beautiful boys. I am a pretty easy going person who enjoys the simple things in life.”

I know we all have our beliefs, for me I know I am not lucky, but truly blessed. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My mother she went thru a lot trying to raise me as a single mom and was always a voice of reason when I was struggling to believe in myself.

new build on conesus lake !

we are finished.

Have you always wanted to paint and create amazing spaces for people? How did you end up here?

Do you think being a minority (being a woman owned business), has helped or hindered you in business? I have had so much support from the community ! So for the majority it has helped, but I also know I have also lost jobs because of it.

How do you define success and being a successful woman owned business? I think a lot of people define it in dollars, for me its about being happy and at peace with what you have achieved. I think that might vary for others, but for me I feel like I have achieved becoming a successful woman owned business.

What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I am also a nurse but decided after having my youngest I wanted more flexibility and that also another reason I started Busy Bee! For more information, please contact Justina at: busybeepainting4@gmail. com

Is word of mouth working to your advantage, or is social media where it is at now? I think its a good amount of both. Social media undeniably helps and we all can benefit from a good business profile. What has been your favorite project to date and why? There has been quite a few but right now we are working on a beautufil 166


I never thought as a child I wouid be doing this but my side job turned into a huge passion of mine and I love seeing the final outcome when









Tell us about yourself, and what exactly it means to be the Head of Business Development Operations for an international company like 33Floors? I am the Head of Business Development Operations for 33Floors.

Some of the firms I’ve worked for include J.P. Morgan, HSBC Bank, and Capital One Bank. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. I am an immigrant and English

33Floors is a consulting firm specializing in designing, implementing, upgrading, and supporting the industry-leading Yardi real estate investment and property management software. Yardi is the property management software leader for all-size real estate clients worldwide. As the Head of Business Development Operations, I am responsible for revenue growth initiatives for the organization, overall business development strategy, and sales process execution for the company. Additionally, I manage the sales team, oversee special projects, and lead marketing initiatives. 33Floors has offices across the United States and has it’s also international. We also have offices in London, Sydney, and Ireland. My career started in the financial industry thanks to a great mentor who advised me to apply to a teller job when I was in college. After working in retail banking I transition to commercial banking where I moved through the ranks to earned the Vice President Business Relationship Manager title. During my years in banking, I managed hundreds of commercial clients across all industries.

a minor in Phycology from Baruch College from the City University of New York. I also have an A.S. in Cinematography from Borough of Manhattan Community College. I am Afro-Latina and Dominican- American. The combination of physical traits, attributes, my gene pool is all thanks to my African, Native American, and European ancestors. I am many things, and I come from many places. I am married to an extraordinary man and we have two amazing active and outgoing children ages 4 and 6. What makes you hustle? My constant desire for growth and my family. I believe in the power of now, resiliency, and making progress, not excuses.

is my second language. At the age of 14, I moved to the United States to live with my dad. I earned a B.A. in Communications, with a concentration in Corporate Communication and

Tell us about what made you decide to get into this field and what exactly are the services you provide. My current field is a mixture of consultancy, Protech, and Real Estate and it combines negotiation, sales a relationship building. I graduated from Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan. At the time it was one of the first specialized business schools in New York City, and inclusively, the entire nation. There I learned leadership concepts, aptitudes, and was exposed to a curriculum that geared my education and passion towards a business career. From an early age I’ve been interested in working with ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


“My constant desire for growth and my family is what makes me hustle. I believe in the power of now, resiliency, and making progress, not excuses.”




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “ I believe in fostering the right environment where everyone can excel without the notion that someone needs to allow for that to happen.”

people at the corporate level and that’s exactly what I’ve done throughout my professional life.

in terms of revenue, deliverables, team collaboration across the organization, and meeting deadlines.

At 33Floors we provide solutions to our client’s needs as it relates to their Yardi system usage. Our expertise and broad Yardi knowledge benefit clients in the commercial and residential management markets as well as in the development, asset, and investment management industries, including multi-family, singlefamily, office, industrial and retail market segments. Some of our clients include small and large investment funds, as well as publicly traded REITs and global real estate investment corporations with billions of dollars of assets under management.

Personally, the fact that situations can always improve and you can always get better regardless of the level of expertise you possess.

We are highly experienced and our reputation has contributed to the success we have today. 33Floors’ experience spans more than 60 countries and five continents. We work with companies of all types and sizes that utilize Yardi. We provide Yardi implementation, upgrades services, reports, data visualization, data science services, training, documentation support services, and more. This broad exposure, coupled with our dedication to custom-tailored service, is what makes 33Floors a great place to work and unique in its services. What motivates you both personally and professionally? I am motivated by the dynamic team of people I surround myself with. We always aim to make each other better and encourage constant development. Also, I’m motivated by tangible results. For example, I have lead business deals that have surpassed all goals and expectations

What does the word empowerment mean to you? To me empowerment it’s when you allow someone to decide, act or choose. It’s when you give someone permission. I believe in fostering the right environment where everyone can excel without the notion that someone needs to allow for that to happen. We need to own our voice and will and know when and how to use it. Not because someone should empower us, but because we already have that ability. My focus is on creating opportunities where individuals can be themselves, a culture of continuous growth, where I can add value, assist others to thrive, provide guidance where needed and where everyone matters. What is one word your clients would use to describe you and why? Character. I believe my character fuels all components of who I am and how I collaborate with my clients while delivering results. Possessing the ability to do the right thing, being accountable, and being able to navigate through different situations including challenging ones, being resourceful is how I believe the clients we work with would describe me. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? What about some of your

weaknesses? My desire to help is definitely one of the areas I will continue to work on. At times I submerged myself in situations where my help could be needed but not wanted. In terms of strengths, I will say my ability to influence. I do not focus on the problem but rather on solutions, what works and what could work best. I think my relatable persona; I can be in any setting and find someone to talk to and make connections with. Adaptability, decision making, time management, and looking at the world and my environment with an open mind would top my list. How did you reach your level of success, especially in your leadership role? Valuable help has been key. Having the right people by my side and knowing how and when to ask for help has been essential. I’ve been exposed to a great deal of learning and setbacks, where persistency and adaptability have taken what seemed difficult, to achievable and doable. The support I’ve received in my personal and professional life is beyond measurement. My father brought me to live in the United States. Thanks to my parent’s sacrifices I was able to study, live and start my career in New York City. Creating possibilities for me, exposing me to a vast network of industries, contacts, ideals that would not have been possible otherwise, and the contagious grit I have often seen in other New Yorkers have been part of my success. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “My desire to help is definitely one of the areas I will continue to work on. At times I submerged myself in situations where my help could be needed but not wanted.”

#9 How do you balance work and life responsibilities? Can that be done? (smiles) It’s never balanced! Some days work takes priority, late nights, late meetings, missing dinner with the family to attend conferences that are required, and some days health takes priorities, and other days family takes priorities for example when you need to take a half-day off to attend your child kindergarten graduation or to be there for a friend when they need you. We can never have everything on the same scale, it’s more about setting boundaries and prioritizing what is important at the moment than balancing. Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you. Many industry leaders inspire me. But my greatest inspiration comes from those people I spent most of my time with while growing up: my mom, step-mom, and my grandparents. My grandfather worked in the Tabaco fields from sunrise to sundown and taught me the pride in earning things yourself and staying goal-oriented. His passion for hard work stills motivates me to always aim high. “What is your ‘why? ‘” My why is What if I try? Why Not? Why not get better? What if it’s possible? If the upside is an opportunity to get better at anything, that becomes the why. My why is always changing and evolving, and that’s what works for me. How did working through the pandemic change you for the better or worse? How did you get creative? How did it affect 176


you personally versus professionally? I have to admit that we all have had our struggles through this pandemic. We canceled all interactions with the outside world and went from being active and social to not. My father-in-law passed during the pandemic, and also my uncle. The sadness and heartbreak we have suffered due to their absence in our lives will never be filled. I didn’t know how to grief, or how to support my family during those moments of hardship when we didn’t see each other. The pandemic has been a reminder to me to use my time wisely. Say more thank you, be more gracious, and remind those around me why they matter and why I love them. The pandemic affected all families, and in my community parents needed help with their children’s schooling. I developed a program for children ages 4-8 to assist them in their reading needs; The Ready to Read Initiative. It opened an opportunity for kids to safely interact with other children, for us to support each other and learn to read together. This is an ongoing program that I hope continuous to offer the help many children entering grades K-2 need. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. When I earned my first real paycheck. I used the money to help my mother fixed her house. That moment will stay with me forever. As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career? The executive’s titles have been dominated by males counterparts or other individuals not from a diverse background, in the

finance and consulting industry. Too often I’ve been the only woman in the room when decisions are being made. Now I’m in a position to change how we do things in the boardroom to knock down barriers and make sure that the only barriers there are those we tend to set for ourselves. What makes a good woman leader? Embracing who she is. For an individual to demonstrate leadership qualities it has to be genuine. Everything you are is what’s needed for you to be a leader. Leaders have different styles, different approaches, abilities, and capabilities. It’s about finding what works for you, and what works for your setting, those around you, and the environment you are in. What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? Hopefully a vacation (more smiles)! I am an avid hiker and hope we can go to some awesome peaks over the next 12 months. I plan to stay present and in the moment. For the past year, I have developed a few interests and hope to get better at them. I’m working on my golf swing for example and I’m working on building a 5-year plan for my team where we can continue to excel at what we do best. I hope my family can start a foundation one day. Volunteering is a big part of my life and also necessary. I volunteer for several local non-for-profits organizations including Children Awaiting Parents where I have served as a photographer, Meals on Wheels where I’ve assisted in







{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ I believe my character fuels all components of who I am and how I collaborate with my clients while delivering results.”

meal preparation, The Center For Youth Rochester Fashion Week for which my family has been active participants, especially my daughter Kennedy who has been a model for them since age two. I’ve also worked with Upwardly Global assisting the organization get job placements for refugees, we participate in fundraisers for local nonprofits such as Intervool and Borinquen Dance Theater among others. We are blessed in so many ways, and sharing my time and resources with others, partnering to raise awareness, leading events, and being part of meaningful causes are of utmost importance to me. My interest to work with and for others has pushed me to be involved with different organizations and advocate for causes that impact my community and why I started the Ready to Read Initiative. My family as whole volunteers, my children support the causes I’m passionate about and they also want to get involved. I hope they have a cause of their own very soon, where we can participate together and get others to get involved as well. What do you want your life to be about? I am the first in my immediate family to graduate college and the first one in my maternal family history to do so. We are talking about years, decades of hard work, and not much education in my family history. I want to be different and explore the options that those that came before me, couldn’t. Progress while embracing my history and ability to turn around and motivate and help others. I want to continue to show my children that their focus should be the direction

they are headed in life. That you can be and achieve anything is a constant motivator for me. Being decisive while analyzing the outcomes and making choices that would help me achieve the life I want has allowed me to accomplish many things. Knowing that you need to be flexible with your timeline, goals, and dreams has helped me in my career, my relationship, and my life as a whole. What goes through your mind when you think of women who joined the workforce before you? Gratitude. If it wasn’t for trailblazer women who dared to challenge the status quote I wouldn’t be here talking to you today. Or have the ability to be in a room implementing strategies and leading with vision. I think of strength, courage, and the network that those women built to make things happen. Just amazing. Where will we see you next? The focus today is on my current role, as head of business development for an international firm. I would like to continue surpassing our revenue projections, brand expansion, and increasing our global footprint in the Asia Pacific region, North America and Latin America. I know that’s something that I’ll have an opportunity to do here. I’m also really excited to continue my involvement with causes that are closed to my heart. One of my goals and dreams is to build a library in the village of Navarrete, Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, and also in communities in Haiti. Currently, the closest library in Navarrete is one hour away in a community where we desperately need more access to books. I never had access

to a library when I was in elementary or middle school, and decades later we still don’t have a safe haven for children to get together and explore the wonders of books and the benefits of reading. What would you tell young women who are just starting to work? What would you like them to know? Don’t do it alone. Successful individuals that operate effectively, and that makes it far admit to themselves that they can’t do it alone. Think about corporations, world leaders, no one does it alone. Why would you? Ego and fear have no room if you want to succeed. Regardless of your path, you don’t have to do it alone. If your relationship needs help, get help with the kids if needed, ask a relative, a friend and go out and talk things through. If you are on a mission to get yourself into a healthy lifestyle get a trainer, coach to motivate you. If you need emotional support or mental help get a therapist or a good friend you can count on. If you are switching careers get someone to advise you. Communicate what’s needed, and find the kind of help you need. Wherever it is. Find allies that are willing to support you. When you get where you needed to be, turn around, and help others. You are now a champion and others need you.







Tell our audience who author ArDenay Garner is and what makes you hustle. ArDenay Garner is a woman over 40 with a passion, purpose, and mission to empower 79,000+ women to develop their purpose through writing their personal story. I am a personal development trainer, motivational speaker, and bestselling author. I am the owner of ArDenay Innerprize LLC and founder of Develop Your Purpose Academy. Although I have earned several degrees and certifications, my greatest accomplishment is surviving a 10-year domestic violence relationship. I AM A SURVIVOR!


book and it took me seven years to do it. What is the inspiration behind your new book “Divine Invitations”? My inspiration for writing this book is that I want to teach women how

to take responsibility for their feelings and LEAD: Let go of hurtful memories from the past; Express compassion for yourself and others; Awaken your inner creativity and entrepreneurial spirit; and Discover lessons in self-betrayal that are counterproductive to the life you desire.

My desire to please and obey God is what makes me hustle. As soon as I discovered my life’s purpose, working a “job” ended and I began to work in my ministry. When I’m operating in my purpose, I consider that to be my ministry and the beauty of it, is that I get paid to do what I love.

What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? At this stage in my life, being a fulltime female entrepreneur has allowed me to be the most authentic, creative, courageous, purposeful and servant leader that I could possibly be. I am no longer restricted or confined in a ‘corporate’ box. I get to flow with the spirit and build my business and brand according to my spiritual vision. My passion, purpose, and mission are finally in alignment, and I am truly living the life of my biggest dreams. I am grateful for this level of freedom and the ability to profit from my purpose.

What made you decide to become an author? God put it on my heart to write a book about the lessons I learned from my significant relationships with men. I journal, so I had more than fourteen years of journal entries detailing my emotional landscape, lessons, prayers, and blessings that occurred throughout my life. After God gave me the vision to write a book and the book title, I made a commitment to complete my assignment. I knew the book was supposed to be written to encourage women to transform their pain and suffering into meaningful work that promotes healing. I had to write the

The biggest challenge with being a female entrepreneur in 2021 and in general is the expectations, specifically gender roles, that society assigns to women. We are expected to maintain the home, rear the children, push others forward, and sacrifice our dreams and goals until our spouse’s career is established, our children are grown, our household can be maintained with minimal effort from us, and we’ve established a nest egg to absorb the financial risk of pursuing our ambitions. Unfortunately, this is significant for many women to overcome, in addition to the fear of failure, overconcern with other people’s opinions, and the guilt women feel for


to practice the spiritual principles of forgiveness, passion, unconditional love, honesty, trust, faith, and courage to move through the daily challenges of intimacy. In Divine Invitations, I use examples from my life along with specific strategies to foster spiritual and personal growth. I teach women how




“My desire to please and obey God is what makes me hustle. As soon as I discovered my life’s purpose, working a “job” ended and I began to work in my ministry.”

{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “In Divine Invitations, I use examples from my life along with specific strategies to foster spiritual and personal growth. I teach women how to take responsibility for their feelings.”

for wanting “something more” than what they currently have especially when it appears that they already have everything. Add a pandemic coupled with children being home schooled unexpectedly and it magnifies the challenge for women to become entrepreneurs. However, in 2021, I’ve noticed more women taking a leap of faith to start a business because they have had the opportunity to develop a new talent or strengthen their current skillset while they were in quarantine. What are some of the things you find help you to be successful? Reading personal development books, following the guidance of other successful people, investing in myself, allowing myself to make mistakes, hiring a business coach, and sharing what I’m learning about myself and business with others. At the end of 2020, I adopted The Miracle Morning routine, based on the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, that includes, sitting in silence and prayer, reciting affirmations, visioning my completed activities for the day, exercise, reading, and journaling for at least one hour before I start my workday. What do you want to achieve next? I want to raise $42M dollars for my Campaign 42 Foundation to award $42,000 scholarships to one thousand Black students in college pursuing a degree to become a licensed social worker or other licensed mental health professional. What author/s do you get inspiration from?

Most of my inspiration comes from legendary authors Iyanla Vanzant, Brenẻ Brown, Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki, Gary Keller, Hal Elrod, and Napoleon Hill. However, I am just as inspired by the less known authors like myself that I meet on Clubhouse and Facebook that are diligently working to share their message of hope, perseverance, and survivorship with the world. Have you ever been discriminated against? No, I can’t recall a time when I have been discriminated against. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your books and who is your ideal audience? Word of mouth marketing has been the best strategy so far for me selling my books. I know it’s simple, but it works for me. When I connect with people, in-person or virtually and talk about the spiritual principles that I teach in Divine Invitations, people can relate to my story and they feel connected to me – a woman driven by a personal mission to empower other women as a result of surviving abuse and becoming an entrepreneur. My ideal audience is high achieving women over 40 who have a burning desire to fulfill their purpose before it’s too late. These women typically feel misunderstood, undervalued, and is used to putting other’s needs before their own. They have overcome trials and triumph and are now willing, ready, and able to STAND UP and reclaim their personal power to create the life of their wildest dreams by serving others with their gifts and talents.

What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? My challenge has always been defining my niche and understanding my ideal client. Back in December 2020 after I started working with a coach, I finally felt crystal clear on my niche and avatar and started running Facebook ads. My ads were effective in getting people to watch my webinar and schedule a call with me, but after talking with many prospects, I realized my niche was still too general and I wasn’t attracting prospects who needed my specific service which meant that I wasn’t making any sales. So, how did I overcome it? I cried, prayed, and begged God for guidance and on June 12, 2021, He answered my prayer and told me to pivot my business. He instructed me to coach aspiring nonfiction authors who want to develop their purpose through writing their personal story. I listened and began following’s God’s instructions exactly as they were given, and I have acquired 16 new clients. My suggestions for anyone who is struggling as an entrepreneur would be to pray, meditate, consult your higher power, ask for help and support and TRUST and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit that dwells within you. How do you balance your entrepreneur life with family life? After reading The ONE Thing book by Gary Keller, I discovered that being in “balance” is unrealistic. We like to think that we are balancing family, chores, business, recreation but we are not. It becomes a matter of prioritizing the one thing or area in your life that needs your



“ Most of my inspiration comes from legendary authors Iyanla Vanzant, Brenẻ Brown, Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki, Gary Keller, Hal Elrod, and Napoleon Hill.”

r immediate attention so that you can move on to the next important thing. My answer to this question is I don’t balance being an entrepreneur with my family life. I am grateful that I can focus on my business for excessive periods of time and my family supports me and then when I reach a point when I can pull back, I am then able to give my family my undivided time and attention for a while. It’s like a game of ping pong, I go back and forth to each side, never neglecting any side for too long. But this is something I’ve had to learn and accept over time, that my life will be unbalanced for me to get things done and achieve extraordinary goals. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated? When I need encouragement or motivation, I ask for support from my close friends and prayer warriors. I watch inspirational movies and documentaries, listen to motivational speakers, and do walking meditations around the lake. But when all else fails, I get my favorite salad from Chipotle and dose it with three vinaigrettes and all becomes well with my soul. How many hours a day do you work on average? I work an average of 10 hours per day, Monday through Friday. What are some of the challenges you feel female writers face, especially minority women? Whenever, I’m asked a question about “challenges” I really have to pause and think about what is being asked. Oftentimes, I don’t see challenges. As an 188


extreme optimist, I am trained to see the opportunities, lessons, and blessings. So, in thinking about this question, I want to respond based on the opportunities I think nonfiction female writers have. Nonfiction female writers have an opportunity to heal at a deeper lever with their writing. They get to reflect on their experiences, write about their transformations, and share their process with others. And in sharing their story, they are encouraging others to continue living, trusting, learning, loving and to persevere even when they want to quit. This is true for all nonfiction female writers. However, in the case of minority women we get to relinquish the superwoman cape in our writing. As minority women, we have had to work twice as hard to prove ourselves and our worth to others. And writing our story allows us to be the judge and the jury because we are the author of our own story. No one can take that away from us. How do you generate new ideas? God created me to be easily inspired and at times, I consider it a gift and a curse. I’m a visionary so ideas flow to me easily and often when I least expect it. I keep a journal, notebook, and I use the notepad on my phone to record my constant influx of ideas and visions. If you can’t tell already, I am very spiritual and I don’t apologize for that. I believe that all people are spiritual beings having a human experience. And my new ideas are generated by listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice within. I read personal development books, listen to motivational speakers, watch

documentaries of great women and men who fulfilled or are fulfilling their purpose and take note on the ideas and inspiration that I receive while doing these activities. I also sit in silence and pray for divine guidance and wisdom. The main thing for me is just being open to receive new ideas, visions at all times from anyone without judgment or dismissal. When have an idea, I accept it, record it and don’t attempt to figure out the details of how to bring it to fruition. I trust that when it is meant for me to move forward with the idea, the resources, tools, support, and provision will be provided. I’ve learned that not every idea or vision is meant for me to act on immediately, which is why I record everything so that I can refer to it later. Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? In 2022, I will expand my personal development training division to include the Me, Myself & God tour with the co-authors of my upcoming anthology book, STAND UP! Resilient Black Women Who Are Shaping the World With Their Faith. God gave me the vision for this tour seven years ago. We will travel to different cities presenting and facilitating workshops and seminars on various personal development topics and entrepreneurship. In the next three years, I will open an institute for spiritual growth and personal development training. How do we expand women’s networks to accommodate all women entrepreneurs?




{{{WOMEN SHE { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER HUSTLES WHO STORY TALKS ROC }}} “ My ideal audience is high achieving women over 40 who have a burning desire to fulfill their purpose before it’s too late.”

You may laugh and I’m going to suggest this practical tip anyway… download the Clubhouse App on your phone and start listening and joining the millions of conversations and rooms on this powerful audio app. I have met some phenomenal women entrepreneurs and have partnered with several amazing women from all over the globe on this app. This is the NEW way to network in the 21st century. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then google Clubhouse to learn about the app. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in becoming a published author? Write. Write. Write. Write your story. The only way to become a published author is to write. If you have a different ability and you are unable to write, there are devices that can support you. If you don’t want to write your story, but you still want to become a published author, hire a ghostwriter and let them write your story for you. Now, if you are unsure what to write about, you can answer the following questions: What is my message? Who do I want my message to reach? Why do I want to share my message with others? What are my unique perspectives on life, love, relationships, spirituality, food, violence, community, etc. Record your answers in a journal or notebook. Determine how you want to publish your book; do you want to self-publish on your own? Do you want a hybrid publisher, where you pay to have your

book published? Or do you want your book to be published traditionally? Don’t get stuck here because it can be a distraction. My best advice to someone interested in becoming a published author is 1) Make the decision to become a published author, 2) create a writing schedule, 3) determine your reason for writing (this will be your motivation to stay the course), 4) ask for help when you need support. Get an accountability partner, coach, or mentor, and 5) finish your writing project. No matter how long it takes you, finish it.

next book, what would it be called? I am currently writing my next book; which is an anthology that I am collaborating with 16 authors. The title of the book is STAND UP! Resilient Black Women Who Are Shaping the World With Their Faith. This title exemplifies the truest reflection of what my life is today. I am standing up to accept and activate my new unique purpose.

Try to describe yourself in 3 words only. Encourager. Purposeful. Grateful. Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? Are/were your parents entrepreneurs? I received my entrepreneurial spirit from God. Although my dad owned several businesses, I always wanted to be a lawyer or psychologist. I never considered owning my own business until I experienced a spiritual awakening in my pursuit of a male exotic dancer. And boy did that pursuit open my eyes to something greater, more meaningful than I could have ever imagined. If you want to know more about my spiritual awakening, I reveal it all in my book, Divine Invitations – The 7 Spiritual Lessons of Relationships. You can purchase it on Amazon or at www. If your life was the title of your ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021










ANTONIA WYNTER Tell us about yourself. What is your background? I’m a mother of four, culturally my parents are Jamaican and those roots were vital to shaping me as the woman I am today. There was lots of discipline, self pride and cultural awareness. I was raised by my grandmother and my father who is a Pastor. I grew up in the prestigious 19th Ward and still have connection with neighbors & childhood friends. Somewhere along the line it was embedded in my mind, at a very early age, that if you didn’t like what was going on or how you were treated you should speak up about it. I especially didn’t like to see other people get bullied and picked on. I guess I became an activist a long time ago. In my educational background ground I majored in communications and studied psychology. I also studied business administration. In 2018 I also saw a need for change amidst a tragic event, and started a campaign called “Trevyan’s Law”, a law that I proposed to Albany in honor Trevyan Rowe. Trevyan was a child with special needs, who lost his life in March of 2018. If passed, this new law will be inclusive where alerts such as “Amber Alert”, are exclusive. It will change the way in which the public is notified within a 25 mile radius when a child goes missing. It would be made to include children with disabilities, using various forms of technology. I also started a petition

on the website in 2018 to get 1,000 signatures for this cause.

giving our youth these tools we teach them about things such as:

Professionally I am the owner and founder of Enhanced Business Outlook Global Media, a Public Relations & Consulting Firm est 2013. In 2018 I founded the F.A.C.T.S Youth Program

F.inancial Literacy A.griculture/Nutrition C.ommunications T.rades/Entrepreneurship S.T.E.M. As many of us are well aware, traditional education as it stands does not fully equip our children with the tools that they will need to navigate their way to success. Dropout rates are on the rise while students and families are crying out for change.

What is it that makes you “hustle”? I want to leave a legacy for my kids. I

Many educators have also voiced their opinions about how desperately our schools need a change to antiquated curriculums and processes. But for the most part it’s fallen on deaf ears. So I decided to make an impact through programs like this. What was the deciding factor in running for City

want to improve the condition of things in my community and neighborhood and inspire others so that the work will continue this is why I hustle.

Council? Before I decided to announce my candidacy for city Council I took several things into consideration.

What made you decide to create the FACTS Youth Program and what is its mission? The F.A.C.T.S. Youth Program is a program that I started in 2018. It teaches youth in the urban community key elements that traditional education has omitted from today’s curriculum. By

#1 do I have enough time and energy to devote to my community; the city of Rochester? #2 can I support my campaign myself financially? I realized I have to invest in myself before asking anyone for a dime in donations. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021








{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I want to leave a legacy for my kids. I want to improve the condition of things in my community and neighborhood and inspire others so that the work will continue this is why I hustle.”

#3 While winning is the goal I wanted to walk away satisfied that I ran my campaign well and gave everything I had put ahead into the race. Not by mudslinging or focusing on the shortcomings of others but winning based on my sheer talent love for community and desire to implement change through policy and engagement. #4 Most importantly I prayed. After checking off other boxes on my list I wanted to make sure this was what God wanted me to do that was when I made my announcement. What does the word empowerment mean to you? Empowerment to me is not being defined by trauma, mistakes, or your past. But using your experiences, good and bad as tools for the future. It’s being able to see someone who needs help while you are in need and understanding that you can help each other. What is your “why”? Well, why not? I mean who knows what you can accomplish if you’re bold enough to explore the greatness of what you idea could become. In the great words of Dr. Martin Luther King “Keep Moving” What are some of the things you have you accomplished during your journey? I am a writer at heart. I communicate and engage strongly with words. I recently had an interview and was featured in Time magazine, that was a huge honor.

If elected to City Council, what changes would you like to see implemented and what are some of the things you want to accomplish? I would like to see more economic development go into subsidized homes and into programs that will assist people into becoming home owners. I would like to see them bring back the PACTAC community policing program. I would like to see a new shopping center rebuilt in the downtown area the only way we will have a thriving economy locally is by offering people and opportunity to not only spend money but create jobs. I would like to see more money go into programs for the elderly and people with special needs. We also need more cleaning efforts in our city streets and engage residents because people who care about how the streets look or also care about crime in their neighborhoods and this is one way to reduce crime. I also plan to implement “Stop Wait Think” a gun diversion program abs I’m working on a bill to prohibit manufacturers from selling gun parts that are bought to assemble (untraceable) ghost-guns. Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? My grandmother, my Aunts, sisters, while there are celebrities or famous people who have impacted or inspired me along the way, the everyday moms and dads who wake up and push through day after day, the tenacity and will power they show is a driving force for me. How do you balance work and life responsibilities? I know it sounds cliché but “self care”

I had to set boundaries and learn to decline certain jobs or say no to people. I think about what yo do and when to do it. I also think of the effects of how rushing through a project will affect it in the long-run and manage my time productively that way. As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career In a world traditionally run by men it can be a challenge to have your research or your work taken seriously. One of the reasons I started using “Toni” as opposed to Antonia, is because some people assumed my name was short for Anthony lol. It got me into a few doors which allowed me to demonstrate my ability to navigate and at times supersede people’s beliefs about women who run companies or manage businesses. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful both personally and professionally? I have an open mind and I’m a chameleon which basically means I can adapt very easily to environments and I have the ability to adjust my personality to align if necessary. How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles? I’m really good and mediating and positive reinforcement. I can remember a person’s favorite color name of their dog and their grandmother’s bday! Basically making them feel like I take time out for them makes a person feel special. Alit of times conflict arises from miscommunication and individual perspective. Letting others know that their individual truth is not necessarily ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021




“ I am a writer at heart. I communicate and engage strongly with words.”

right/wrong, but valid goes a long way in team building. What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? Next year, if it’s Gods will and the people will have me, I’ll be your next City Councilwoman. In 5 years or less we will be opening a school. The F.A.C.T.S. Youth Program will be housed in the school and young people will have the luxury of continued learning about those concepts close at hand. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make? Choosing myself over other people. I had to unlearn burning myself out. I thought I was being selfish. It was hard because I was raised on self sacrificial acts thinking that equated to love & care. What motivates you? Number one my children being the mother of four, everything I do is for them (and all of our kids) to have a better life not only in the future but especially right now. Number two knowing that I used my time here (on earth) wisely. I want to use my talents and wisdom and

gifts that God gave me (gave us) to change someone’s life for the better, give them hope, inspire them to dream. I was born full of compassion & kindness and love. I want to pour it all out. So when I die my vessel is empty. That’s my motivation. What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself in the past years during this election

time you truly fail is if you don’t take a chance on yourself! Where will we see you next? Everywhere and anywhere that new innovative ideas are needed or change needs to happen I’m there. I’m currently working on a financial literacy software although I can’t disclose details, it’s a huge money maker. What are the most important attributes of successful leaders today? Knowing how to delegate and not micromanage. Understanding people on individual levels and balancing personal & business relationships. Be i n g c o n s i s t e n t and having integrity. Understanding the right decision(s) may not always be the most popular one, but you have to make it anyways.

journey? I’m on a life long discovery of self. I learn something new about me every day. I’m ever evolving. Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success? My biggest failures weren’t the things I was unsuccessful at. It was the things I was too afraid to try. That’s the only

Tell our audience something they should know about you. I love the out doors. I was a big tomboy growing up and although I’m very ladylike I love throwing a football around and I’ll still kick off my shoes and race you down the street….lol. Also I wanted to be an attorney growing up but I took another path I’m still considering taking the bar exam just to see how I make out. Who knows?








BOBBI JO DONDORFER Tell us about yourself, and your background. Who is Bobbi Jo Corino? -Bobbi Jo Corino is a woman who has continuously answered the knocks of opportunity. Some have said I live the charmed life; I say I live I life I choose. I’m an only child who grew up in a small town with hard-working self-employed parents. I learned early on what it meant to work hard and play hard. My parents provided an amazing childhood for me, never wanting for anything but knowing I had to earn it. I graduated 9th in my class with honors. I attended Niagara University and studied Criminal Justice and Political Science with the dream of one day being a prosecuting attorney. Life happened and opportunity knocked and I found myself taking an internship with the Brother Wease Morning radio show. I made many connections and found many open doors. Again, life happened and opportunity knocked and I found myself living in Buffalo and starting a career in Ophthalmology as a technician. 14 years later I have a successful career as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant, married to man in law enforcement and a mother to an amazing little boy. I have evolved beyond Bobbi Jo Corino; I am Bobbi Jo Dondorfer, Paul’s wife and I am a mommy. What makes you hustle? I was taught at a very young age you earn your accolades. If I want success,

I have to work for it. Being a better person than I was yesterday, a better leader for my team at work, a better wife, mother, daughter, friend. I hustle because it’s in my blood to work hard and have progress and success in life. Tell us about what made you decide to

York Teen All-American title in 2001. It was a wonderful experience where I was able to go to various grand openings, make appearances at different events and show the state that it takes more than a pretty face to hold a title. I was a high school senior, on High Honor Roll, a member of National honor Society, and graduated 9th in my class! I had an internship at the Ontario Cunty District Attorney’s office and also worked part time. After placing in the finals at nationals I was excited to move on. I competed in the Miss division while in my early 20s and then went on to coach and judge in the pageant industry. I was thrilled when I got married and was able to compete again! This time it was to help promote the various platforms and organizations I was involved in. The Mrs. NY America pageant seemed like a great outlet for my love of pageants and volunteer work.

run in the MRS NY America pageants and some of your pageant background experience. I have been competing in pageants since I was 18 mos old. I love the performance, being on stage and the glamour of it all. More importantly, I love the friendships I have made over the years. In fact, I am still friends with people I met when I was just 4 yrs old. I held the Miss New

What is your platform and why did you choose this to promote and educate people on? My platform while holding the title of Mrs. Rochester was the Ronald McDonald House Charities. At 9 mos old our son needed a major bladder reconstructive surgery and we spent 3 days at Golisano Children’s Hospital. During our stay my son had soiled every piece of clothing I had packed ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I have been competing in pageants since I was 18 mos old. I love the performance, being on stage and the glamour of it all.”

and I was wearing my last tank top and a pair of scrub pants the nurses let me borrow. We used the Ronald McDonald House lounge at the hospital to do my laundry and have a hot cup of coffee. They took the worry and stress out of my situation and let me focus on my baby healing up. With that experience I knew I wanted to help other families who really needed the Ronald McDonald House and all it offers. As parents we never want to think about our babies being ill but if we do find ourselves in that situation, we need to focus on them and not worry about the other things. The Ronald McDonald house takes that worry away! What does the word empowerment mean to you? To become stronger and more confident. I look for things to help empower me such as seminars and books and even overcoming adversity! To empower others, I help them find their passion and provide the tools they need to succeed. As a leader in my career, I’m able to do this with me team. What do you do when you are not running for Mrs NY America? My husband and I are involved with many different charities in town. We golf in several charity tournaments, attend galas, auctions, and events to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital, Juvenile Diabetes, Wilmot Cancer Institute, St. Jude’s, The Boys and Girls Club, Ronald MacDonald House, and the Blue and Gold Foundation to name a few. I work full time as an ophthalmic assistant and run the lasers for LASIK eye surgery. I’m a mom to a dinosaur loving, handsome 210


superhero 5-year-old boy. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? What about some of your weaknesses? -Strengths are that I can balance and prioritize all of the crazy schedules we have. I keep our house on track and make sure we are all where we belong. My weaknesses are that I’m a perfectionist and when things don’t go the way I envision them I get very frustrated, I’m

especially hard on myself in this regard. I don’t like making mistakes. What are some of the things you have you accomplished during your journey? -Bringing awareness to the various charities we are involved in has been a huge accomplishment. Philanthropy is easy if you care. Giving back to the community and helping others is so fulfilling and rewarding; knowing that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life. When did you take away from your pageant experience? Every pageant is an opportunity to

open your mind to new people and new ideologies. It’s wonderful to meet different women and see their viewpoints on marriage and motherhood. The new friendships are a bonus and I made few of those! Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? My husband inspires me every day! He has seen hell and the devil’s work, yet every day he continues to put on his badge and serve and protect the people he took an oath to serve. He has endured physical, mental and emotional pain from his 21 years as a police officer and yet he comes home with loving arms and makes sure his family is taken care of. He empowers me to still have faith in humanity and inspires me to be a better person. “What is your ‘why? ‘” My WHY is my family. I have always been a show dog and have always wanted to make my family proud, starting with my parents. And now I work hard to help provide my husband and son with someone they can be proud of. I hustle every day to make a better home and life for us. How did working through the pandemic change you for the better or worse? How did you get creative? How did it effect your family? Since I work in the medical field there was no shut down for our practice. It was ‘get creative, think outside the box and help get patients seen in a safe manner!’ I found myself becoming an expert on the ever-changing mandates, protocols,






“ I have evolved beyond Bobbi Jo Corino; I am Bobbi Jo Dondorfer, Paul’s wife and I am a mommy.”

\and statistics. I became a go to person at work and helped guide our staff throughout the chaos. My husband also worked through the pandemic, so not much changed in our family dynamic. Thankfully our parents still watched our son and we could still function in our expected capacity. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. I was relocating from Buffalo back to Rochester and a few of the drug reps who knew the area actually recommended me to my current practice. They knew my skills and abilities and the type of practice I was used to working in. They put their own reputations on the line for me and that truly meant a lot. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful both personally and professionally? Tenacity. I don’t give up. When I was little my grandmother taught me to say ‘I can do it, I can do it!’ I have taken this with me in every aspect of my life. Failed relationships? I can do it; I can move on and be better. Changing jobs? I can do it; I can make a new start. My mom and dad constantly remind me of this and now teach my son the same motto! What was your favorite moment of the 2021 Mrs NY America pageant and why? -Winning the Visibility Award! This was given to the contestant who stood out the most on social media for their platform and community involvement. I take pride in the charity work I am involved and love sharing my experiences. I also love getting other people involved! This award proved I did that!

What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? This next year is big for our family, as my husband is up for re-election as County Legislator. We are working hard on the campaign and look forward to hopefully winning in November. 5 years from now? My son will be double digits and we will be navigating all that that means! And who knows? Maybe more politics. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make? I would have to say becoming an advocate for our son during his medical issues as an infant. I quickly had to learn about his diagnosis and options and that I had to speak up for what we felt was right. I had to trust my maternal instincts on the path we were taking for him and that I couldn’t let any stone go unturned. What motivates you? Success! Life is about getting up, being a contributing member of society and having successes because of that. Success comes in many forms and I have to say that I’m motivated every day to lead my team at work and help provide great patient care. I am motivated to contribute 100% to my marriage and have a successful relationship. I’m motivated to love and nurture my son to give him the foundation of being a successful person. It can be a little win or a big win, but find the win in everything you do! What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself in the past years during your pageant journey? I have learned that as a Mrs. contestant I will not waiver on my beliefs, convictions, morals, or values. I am who I am,

regardless of what people want. I have become the woman who I wanted to be when I was competing as a teen and miss. Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success? I’m not sure I can call it a failure, but not completing my degree in criminal justice/ political science would be a regret. However, the fact that I pursued different opportunities because I knew I was meant for something else in life is how I have found my success. I knew I wanted to eventually be a wife and a mother and not spend 80 hours a week in an office and court room. Where will we see you next? I’m always in the community at various charity golf tournaments, galas, and events. Right now, my focus is helping my husband, Paul, get re-elected to County Legislator in Penfield. It has been an eye-opening experience to be involved in politics and knowing that we are in it for the greater good makes me so proud of my husband. What is something our audience may not know about you? I have performed stand-up comedy on several occasions! With my internship on the Brother Wease Show, I met several hilariously amazing comedians who helped me put together a set and I had the opportunity to perform with the morning show a few times. I would honestly say I’d rather get on stage in a bathing suit and be judged than get on stage and try to make people laugh! Man, that was fun but nerve wracking!





ANGIE’S BOUTIQUE Tell us about yourself, and Angie’s Boutique. Hello, I’m Angie’s of Angie’s a city country girl. Multicultural raised by my Italian Grandmother not knowing my Jamaican father. I’m a entrepreneur in heart and spirit. A mother of 12 (8 dogs 2 step children, 2 maternal) I established Angie’s Boutique 2019. It’s started with a single sweatband and blossomed into a much larger entity focusing on weightloss and body the positive body image as a whole.

try on and purchase a suitable waist trainer without complications and headaches. I don’t want people to go through what I did. What types of services and products do you offer and what is your favorite? I offer waist trainers and waist training

What does owning your own business mean to you? Freedom!!! To make your own, manage your own and commit to your own. Your the cause of your rise and you can also be the cause of your fall.

Tell us what makes you “hustle”? My origins drive my “hustling ambitions” watching my grand mother struggle taught me what not to do. I made it my mission never to be without or struggle. I learn my lessons through others experiences. Through there victories and there failures. What made you decide to start Angie’s Boutique and become a female entrepreneur? Prior to opening Angie’s Boutique I’ve remember vaguely ordering 56 waist trainers. None fitting! Some to big,some to small some to short and some to long. I had to continuously order online. There weren’t any local store to where in which I could make a physical purchase and physically try on. I wanted to present the masses of people the opportunity to tangibly

My husband inspires me. He to has had his share of trials and tribulations but he still keeps going! He is a strong motivational force. He is very consistent and straight to point. I wake up daily to motivation speeches from YouTube. His positivity can some times be overbearing but it truly is a blessing!

accessories, Fajas and weightloss products and supplements. I also offer laser Lipo Cavitation, Emsculpting, wood massage therapy and teeth whitening. My favorite I would say are all. They all make customers smile and feel good about themselves. That’s satisfying within its self Who is one person who inspires you and why?

According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful woman owned business? You must be a people Person. I deal with adversely different people hourly. You must learn to tailor your demeanor and appeal to different people and different natures from different cultural backgrounds What is the best advice you have ever been given? No Matter what when and where it will always be ok time heals everything so go hard and conquer failure. How would you define your own personal style? Eccentric and different. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


“When I first opened up my shop online. Someo had told me don’t try and make everybody happ because it will never happen. Always stay true t yourself, and what you believe in.”

one py to

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “Social media is the life of my business! Without social media advertising and exposure would be relatively limited.”

What’s the most important business or other discovery you’ve made in the past year? I think the most important business this year that I have made it’s still open a shop here in Rochester! What is the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur? I would say negative personalities

Which of the treatments you offer is your favorite of your clients and why? I will say my clients favorite treatments would be the cavitation, they love the cavitation because it attacks the stubborn fat and you can see instantly

What tips do you have for other women who would like to start their own businesses? Grind grind! Advertise over and over!! Live in your craft. Eat breath and sleep in your craft.

Name one moment in your career that left an impression on you and why... When I first opened up my shop online. Someone had told me don’t try and make everybody happy because it will never happen. Always stay true to yourself, and what you believe in. I did not understand that at first but now I do!

Has working during a pandemic helped or hindered you? The pandemic has been a blessing. People where home and isolated so they wanted to improve there body image. What role do you think social media plays in your business? What is your favorite platform? Social media is the life of my business! Without social media advertising and exposure would be relatively limited. My favorite platform is Facebook. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? Fishing, working out spending time with my dog I also own and operate a dog kennel (alpha z kennels) 218


what helps you to stay motivated? I think what works best for me is that I said goals and when I achieve my goals I set bigger goals so I just keep going and going and going and that just motivates me because my goals are so reachable all it takes is determination and a little discipline to myself and I meet my goals.

after one session. What’s a typical day like for you? A typical day for me would be waking up at 7AM. Helping my husband with the dogs. Hitting the gym for an hour come home cook breakfast and lunch for me an my husband, and then off to work! How do you motivate yourself and

What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of? I would say my marriage. I can truly say I have the perfect us and and perfect marriage. It comes as ease being that he is my best friend. I would love to operate on a platform counseling people on marriage. Where do you see your business 5 years from now? international. I want to have a location in every state. Catering to the needs of all woman every where trying to improve there body image and there perception of there body image.

39 Saginaw Rochester, NY 14623 (585) 453-9748





TARA HUMPHREY Tell us about yourself, your background and what made you decide to become a female entrepreneur? My employment has always been in hospitality. I’ve worked in many high end hotels and restaurants. Through the years my skills have included working through all the positions to become part of the management teams. I learned that I enjoyed giving a personal touch to each person I incounterned. This is what brought me to want to become an entrepreneur.

it! My Mother had the opportunity to open a manufacturing plant in mainland China and she insisted that I come for at least six months. This experience taught me that I can do anything as far as adapting to foriegn language and the ability to work in a five star hotel. After that experience I am not afraid to try new opportunities.I love to push myself and have the family support to do so.

faith , problem-solving skills along with passion behind your service or products. What is the best advice you have ever been given? “ Put your all into everything you do and the universe will provide what you need.” • Show up • Punctuality • Be Honest • Be open to change How would you define your own personal style? • Practical • bohemian • functional

Tell us what makes you “hustle”? My ongoing desire to help make women feel comfortable in their own body. I was brought up to continually push myself to reach my goal.

When did you first realize you wanted to be your own boss? I realized this when I achieved management level in my early 20’s . 10 What is the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur?

Is there a mission behind the “essentials” brand that made you decide to promote their items? I was shocked when I tried on my first bra. This bra has given me my confidence back, better posture and the right foundation. I learned that 85% of us are wearing the wrong size and I felt a need to help women obtain the right foundation. . What is your one MUST HAVE item? Our Abbie is our best selling T-shirt bra!

What does owning your own business mean to you? It means I have the ability to help my family gain financial security along with more free time for them. I stand behind the products and feel good when I can make a woman feel as good as I.

Who is one person who inspires you and why? My mother taught me at a young age to make a goal and to push myself to achieve

According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful woman owned business? Empathy, risk taking, assertiveness,

I have my own Cleaning business as well as the bra business so challenging myself to juggle both businesses has taught me alot about my own strengths and opportunities. What tips do you have for other women who would like to start their own businesses? Take the time to learn about the product Ask questions Get involved Patience ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} { { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “My ongoing desire to help make women feel comfortable in their own body. I was brought up to continually push myself to reach my goal.”

Has working during a pandemic helped or hindered you? It was a tough year for all of us and I was not able to maintain many of my cleaning clients. I needed additional income and this business came at a perfect time for me. Also it sells itself when women couldn’t even try on clothes.

and have good problem solving skills. I strive for perfection on every sale I make

• Review inquiries on social media and email for cleaning, fittings, bra parties

What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? I plan to continue both businesses but hire some people to help clean so this can enable me to put more time into

• Head out to clean any homes scheduled from 1-4 houses daily • Return home • Cook homemade dinners always • Homework, email • Call regarding new inquiries • Set appointments • Relax with family

What role do you think social media plays in your business? What is your favorite plattform? My favorite platform has been Facebook it has helped obtain new clients in both businesses. My reviews have helped to promote additional clients. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? My favorite thing to do when I get time is to enjoy my family. This is very important to me. Camping Movie night My animals (4) Outdoor activities What do you think helped you the most to make a career as a woman? What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful? My mother inspired me think I can do anything. I have the ability to work with and for a diverse set of people I love meeting people from different walks of life. I can adopt well to different situations 224


How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated? My daughter is my main motivation for security and financial reasons I want to show her how consistent hard work pays off for personal growth as well as financial. She enjoyed many summer rentals around the area and better understands what hard work can provide, the Bra business. My five year goal is to be learning everything I can about the Bra business. My desires have always been to move up to the next level of management. What’s a typical day like for you? • Up at 6am • Breakfast with my family

Tell us something about yourself people may not know? I’ve reached the hearts of people in 11 different countries and my goal is to reach many more in the future. For more info: https://www. m y e s s e n t i a l b o d y w e a r. c o m / TARASBRASOLUTION/content/shop.aspx


{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ My mother taught me at a young age to make a goal and to push myself to achieve it! ”






A new way to experience your community, The Local Current curates the 585 Subscription Box which brings products from the greater Rochester area right to your doorstep. Co-founders Alexis Kraft and Ashley Chambers are Rochester, NY natives who take pride in their roots. The idea of creating this subscription box sparked during a yearlong “event drought”, as the pandemic resulted in cancelled festivals, concerts, pop-up shops, closed retail stores, etc. Over breakfast and mimosas at The New York Beer Project located in Victor, NY, the two friends were reminiscing over the 2019 festivals: Park Ave Fest, The Lilac Festival, The Fringe Festival, Jazz Fest, and so many more. Then Ashley perked up, she had an idea, what if Rochester, NY had a subscription box that had the ability to highlight businesses and makers from those festivals? Their mimosa filled glasses clinked and Alexis and Ashley decided to go into business together, creating a quarterly subscription to feature local businesses within the 585 area code. Their minds were set and they hit the ground running, opening their website to

the public on January 1, 2021. The 585 Subscription Box is delivered four times a year and includes four to five products from unique businesses.

Each quarter, Alexis and Ashley thoughtfully curate a mix of items for customers to enjoy. Food or drink, home goods, and self-care items are three, always present, categories for the subscription. To give an example,

the Spring 2021 delivery featured a Rohrbach Brewing Company’s reusable tumbler, Scents by Design candle, Another Lonely Day linen spray, Simply Simone just a dab moisturizing balm, and Fuego Coffee Roaster’s coffee. In addition to physical products, each delivery includes a variety of coupons to provide customers with the opportunity to purchase items at a discount or explore experiences around the area, such as a free class to Compass Cycle Studio in the Summer 2021 box. How do the boxes get packaged? Alexis and Ashley spend one full weekend, collecting the product, gathering box supplies, and packaging right at their residences. Together they package each subscription or gift box by hand, this includes placing two unique cards inside which provide detail on the product and featured businesses in the box and thank each customer individually. Once they are packaged, local deliveries are hand delivered and out of town deliveries are brought to the Post Office. The Local Current ships to any location within the United States of America.



SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} { { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “A new way to experience your community, The Local Current curates the 585 Subscription Box which brings products from the greater Rochester area right to your doorstep.”


The mission of The Local Current is simple: provide the community with access to a variety of local businesses in order to lift up the Greater Rochester, NY area. Alexis and Ashley meet with business owners and local makers on a weekly basis to discuss potential collaborations and ideas for upcoming subscribers. Customers have three options to choose from when ordering from The Local Current, quarterly subscription, annual subscription, or gift box option. The annual subscription guarantees four deliveries and includes a 10% discount as compared to a quarterly subscription. Each subscription may be paused or cancelled at any time the customer chooses with no penalties.The gift box option is a great gift for holidays, events, going away gifts, welcome to the 585 gifts, corporate gifts, the list is endless!

juggling full time jobs, they have a huge appreciation for small businesses and local start-ups. Building The Local Current in their home city is a way they are able to support these businesses as well as the neighborhoods around them. Both co-owners reside just north of center city and have

Alexis and Ashley are always finding excuses to go exploring in Rochester, NY, meeting new local business owners and makers to develop deeper relationships and support within the community. A powerful duo, Ashley takes the lead on social media as a graphic designer and Alexis uses her skills as a CPA to ensure they can keep the business going. Also

enjoyed watching the streets come alive this summer.


The two have noticed the resilience of the Rochester community over the past year and are excited to be a part of the action, doing what they can to help spread the word on new businesses and existing businesses a new way to reach customers.

The next steps for The Local Current are to work on curating the 585 subscription boxes for 2022, make their plans for the future, and continue to grow their subscriber base. With less than one year under their belt, Alexis and Ashley are continuously coming up with new ideas and action plans that they hope to bring to fruition next year. In addition, they hope to someday expand into nearby cities such as Buffalo and Syracuse, adding 716 and 315 subscription box options to the mix. They would love to hear from existing or potential customers on questions or suggestions for upcoming deliveries. Contact them directly at thelocalcurrent@ The Local Current is just getting started, follow them @thelocalcurrent to see what they will be up to next!









Tell us about yourself and your business Mind Body Spirit MFT. I am originally from Syracuse, NY. Together my husband and I parent 5 sons, ages 7-14. I love fashion, shoes, and sneakers in addition to helping others. Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy is 100% virtual practice. The practice focuses on helping women overcome depression and anxiety. We also work with couples experiencing a variety of issues.

What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner, especially with working with mental health therapy? Just being authentic. Clients can spot a fake so I’m never fake. I also work really hard to create an extremely safe environment so clients feel comfortable to share what they have going on.

What made you decide to create your business and become a female entrepreneur? I wanted to create a practice that provided a holistic approach to therapy for women by women.

What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business, especially during a pandemic? Honestly, speaking for me it’s been word of mouth. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? My practice doesn’t accept insurance, so I’ve had to get crafty with attracting my ideal client for the practice.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur? I’ve worked for other companies and could never achieve the type of work-life balance I was looking for as a mother. So, I decided to step out on my own to create the type of work-life balance I was looking for. Where did the idea of your business derive from? I am a group fitness instructor and licensed minister in addition to being a therapist so the concept around Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy comes from that. I truly believe in a holistic approach to our healing. It’s all connected mind, body and spirit.

Which mental health or counseling issue do you find people come to you for most? A lot of women experience anxiety and depression, but I’ve noticed once we begin to peel back the layers there are a lot of insecurities and a lack of self-esteem.

What do you want to achieve next? I want to create a 100% virtual practice and expand to other states. What makes you hustle? What is your why? The thought of having to go back to corporate America and work for someone else’s dream keeps me hustling.

Considering the fierce competition in today’s world, how would you highlight your company’s competitive advantages? What makes it stand out of the crowd of other therapists and specialists? What makes the practice stand out honestly, is my relatability. I also don’t look like your typical therapist either. I just recently cut all my hair off and dyed it blue. What are your hidden inspiration sources? How do you generate new ideas? It’s the little things that inspire me I ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021






“I’ve worked for other companies and could never achieve the type of work-life balance I was looking for as a mother. So, I decided to step out on my own to create the type of work-life balance I was looking for.”



HUSTLES TALKS } } } { {IN HER OWN WORDS { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “ I wanted to create a practice that provided a holistic approach to therapy for women by women.”

love taking walks and it’s been during some of my walks that I’ve had some of the best ideas. What best motivates you? How have your entrepreneurial motivations changed since you first started? I’m fresh on my entrepreneurial journey so I can’t say much has changed yet. I can become very tunnel vision. Once I’ve set my mind on something, there is very little that will deter me. What book has inspired you the most? ( What is your favorite book?) Fearless Faith + Hustle: 21 Day Devotional Journey by Arian Simone Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? Next year, accepting clients in one other state. In three years accepting 240


clients in 4 states. Have you found being minority owned and operated has helped or hindered you? It’s definitely helped me. Many of my clients are other African American women that are looking specifically for a black female therapist. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business? It’s very simple. Never give up. Surround yourself with other successful people. Ask questions. Try to describe yourself in 3 words only. Helper, peacemaker, fashion lover What are the main principles you follow to build a successful patient

relationship? Authenticity and transparency. I always allow patients to ask me questions. It’s never just one-sided. We are working together toward their goals. What are some of the challenges you feel female entrepreneurs face, especially minority women? And how do you work through them? For me personally, I look younger than I am so sometimes clients are taken aback and worry....” can she really help me”. I tell them to try and trust the process and never hesitate to ask questions along the journey. Tell us one thing people may not know about you. I have a master’s degree in Sports Administration that allowed me to work for the Buffalo Bills & ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL.






ALEXANDRIA HEARN I’ve always been a grandma’s girl, from the day I was born it was the Susan and Lexy show. My mom was a single mom for a while, my biological father didn’t want anything to do with us and my “real” dad didn’t meet my mom until I was three. I consider him my real dad as he loves me like his own and has always been here to be the father I need. Anyways, while my mom had work my grandma watched me. This continued well into my youth, when my parents had to work or my dad was out on tour with his band Gram would be watching me. She took me to cemeteries, to the county fair, on random adventures across the state. She was the most incredible woman. So when I moved away from my hometown at 7 it was devastating to leave her. I still went back constantly, and every summer she had me a majority of the time. We’d play Webkinz and go swimming at the casino nearby. One time she made me take some of the cookies from the buffet out of the restaurant in my bag! I didn’t know the hotel didn’t care so at the time I thought I was some sort of criminal! She’d come up for holidays and important events like my dance recitals, even when I did the school musical she’d be there. I know she would’ve been here for my pageants too had she still been alive. She’d think I’m crazy but she still would’ve came.

Part of why I started in pageants was to honor her and my late uncle. I’d always watched them on tv and thought it seemed cool but I didn’t have a reason to join, what would my platform be? My grandma loved me and it was clear I was the favorite ( sorry other grandkids!! ) even though she tried being subtle. We did everything we could together and she was always my biggest cheerleader. Unfortunately when my uncle overdosed In 2017 it

really hurt her. Ricky was her youngest child, she never thought she’d outlive him. He’d been in recovery for months, it was completely unexpected. She started her journey to becoming an addiction recovery advocate shortly after, doing everything she could for that community and with her I did the same. We lost her to lung cancer in 2019, two days after my eighteenth birthday. Losing her was the hardest thing I’d ever had happen, especially since we were so close. A year later the pageant walked into my life.

Fast forward to the present day, I’m twenty now, I hold a local title under the Miss New York For America Strong pageant,I love pageants, have made amazing memories and friends, and on top of this I’m out there advocating for the voiceless in recovery from addiction . Mostly though I’m a death positive influencer, trying to teach people about their rights as a corpse. Death is so complicated, but if you plan ahead it gets so much easier. I also advocate for more eco-friendly death options to be more accepted! It’s a little unusual but it works because I am also unusual. I’m autistic, and a big part of that is having special interests, which for me presents as a passion for death, amongst other wide interests. So if I ever ask you what you want to happen to your body after death don’t be alarmed! It’s just me thinking you’d be cool with the question. The more we talk about death the more comfortable we get with it! Trust me, I used to be so scared of death, wondering what would happen after. I started talking about death and before I knew it, I wasn’t afraid anymore. I hope to become a funeral director someday so that I can help people more directly. When you’re grieving your mind isn’t always in a good place, and unfortunately people might take advantage. If I’m a funeral director I can help people get through these painful moments with compassion ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021



“In pageants we have platform dying’ I’m able to lend advice deaths of famous historical figu beautiful cemeteries off and




ms, and through mine ‘Living after e about grief and share interesting ures. It also allows me to show some d teach the history of cemeteries.”



HUSTLES TALKS } } } { {IN HER OWN WORDS { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “ I love pageants, have made amazing memories and friends, and on top of this I’m out there advocating for the voiceless in recovery from addiction .”

and empathy, maybe even make them feel everything will be okay. I won’t make them spend any more money than necessary on their loved ones death. As someone who has seen so much death ( I’ve had 6 close family members die within 5 years ) and is constantly surrounded by it I believe that we don’t need to embalm everybody for viewing. Nor do I think cremation is the cheapest and only disposition option. Natural burial is! Natural burial is just your body wrapped in a shroud ( or wicker/wood casket ) 3ft deep. Then we decay and feed the earth the nutrients in our body! Someday when I’m a funeral director I’ll own an eco-friendly funeral home where we specialize in these burials! It’s a controversial practice in the modern world even though this is how we’ve buried our dead for years! I just don’t like embalming because it’s invasive and I’ve had bad experiences with embalmed bodies. In pageants we have platforms, and through mine ‘Living after dying’ I’m able to lend advice about grief and share interesting deaths of famous historical figures. It also allows me to show some beautiful cemeteries off 246


and teach the history of cemeteries. I just launched my 62 graves in 62 counties project which takes me across the state visiting unique or cool graves! You can check that out on Instagram. I encourage and invite everyone to go spend some

how peaceful they are. Living after dying was created so I could be that hand in the dark for someone suffering through grief, to be that person who helps someone else feel like their interests aren’t weird. it’s for everyone who has that morbid curiosity to come and feel welcome. When I first created this platform I was told it was too morbid and depressing, that I was just that weird death girl. Those remarks only fueled my passion and now many months later I’ve had multiple messages from people who’ve been helped by my words. It’s been really mind blowing to see the impact my tips have had on others. In any walk of life you never know the Impact you have until you start talking to others, I certainly didn’t. So to anyone out there struggling because they don’t fit in, I didn’t fit in either. Leave your haters behind and stay close to your supporters, you’ll be more successful then you will ever know.

time in their local cemetery soon. I promise it isn’t scary! Bring a friend or a book and take an hour to soak in the peaceful environment. I’ve had many friends who never went to cemeteries before they met me and now go all the time because of

You can find me on Instagram if you’re interested in my wacky death ideas, or just want to see what life brings me next. My Instagram is @ AlexandriaHearn & @Living.after. dying






Did you know that Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives? Nearly a quarter (24.8%) of men in the U.S. experience some form of sexual violence. Most female victims (42.2%) experienced their first completed rape before the age of 18 years. More than one-quarter of male victims (27.8%) experienced their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger.

voice, with no support as you are being reminded daily to not share these experiences with anyone as you will be sent to hell with no way out. Being 5 years old, you have no idea what hell means. But you do know it is a bad place where nobody will

Imagine going through your life as child, through the eyes of an innocent little girl. A little girl that loved making mud pies, playing with rollie polies, swinging on the swing set, taking long walks with grandma, dressing up in grandma’s dresses, skirts, heels, pearls and pretending to drive in her 2 door maroon 1970s car. One who was being sexually assaulted by an outside member of the family and being too young to understand what was happening. Nobody knew what was happening and there were no signs of unusual activity. As a child, being rewarded with every act as if it seems like it’s supposed to happen. So, it must be normal right? Even if it seemed normal, these acts were not only horrifying but they make you feel isolated and alone…. with no 250


ever find you again. When you get older and understand, you feel as if you have done something wrong and since you are in so much fear and suffering, you feel as if you are unworthy. Unworthy to deserve love, respect, safety, and even hope. This story not only reflects my life, but so

many others who have fallen victim to being sexually assaulted. Sexual Assault doesn’t discriminate or have boundaries. It can come in many forms, affects men and women of all ages. Many forms of abusers could be a friend, neighbor, family member or even a stranger. Sexual abuse can create emotional and physical consequences. So many times, we feel we must do it alone. First there are the emotional consequence. You deal with guilt, unworthiness, self-hatred, depression, lack of purpose, trust issues, anxiety, affecting relationships first with yourself and then creating healthy relationships with others. It creates constant fear and no matter how many good things happen you are always waiting for something bad to happen. This causes so much anxiety daily. About 33% of women have contemplated suicide and 13% attempted suicide. Depression is the number one effect of suffering from a sexual disorder or dysfunction. Mainly because you feel inferior to others, not able to make your spouse or significant other happy, feelings of being a failure, loss of purpose and fear of rejection. Never in my life did I feel so ashamed













{ HEAL. EMPOWER. RECLAIM. } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Sexual Assault doesn’t discriminate or have boundaries. It can come in many forms, affects men and women of all ages.”

and I fell in the 13% statistic of trying to take my life. I attempted suicide twice in my lifetime and considered it on numerous occasions. Why? All because of one condition that seemed like not a lot of professionals were aware of and unable to help. All this from the sexual abuse when I was just a child. Traumatic events stay with you for your whole life. It can take years to heal and reclaim your life.

First, BECOME YOUR GREATEST ADVOCATE: Listen to your body and maybe identify what you are experiencing, signs & symptoms, paying attention to yourself. You

The message I would like to share is the following:

If you have gone through this experience and feel you are in a place of helping others, please feel free to contact me through Shine with Courage Foundation as I am seeking mentors that can be there for others. You are NOT alone! Resources: statistics www.shinewithcourage. org

Next, there is the physical consequences: physical scars, pain, suffering, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain and disorders, medical conditions and not sure where to seek help. C u r r e n t l y, a s President & Founder of Shine with Courage Foundation, I have found that there is a reason for everything that happens in your life. As a sexual assault survivor, I didn’t have resources available to me.

professionals. You can reach out to my Non-profit that can provide resources at

are the expert of your body, listen to your body and identify signs. Secondly, seek support, reach out to qualified organizations & healthcare ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021







T H RO U G H Y O U R BODY, BECAUSE THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD IS FEMININE! It is time to dive deep into your inner Goddess power, feel your desire, and excavate passion! Dig deep inside your soul and your desire will appear. Move your body and release the stress and the shadow side of your soul will not control you. Step into the light of your Goddess power and you will feel free to express yourself!

It is time to reclaim your throne. The world has never needed your empowered female leadership more than it does right now! Your community, your team, and your family need your strength and positivity. You are a motivational force, a voice of hope and guidance. But how can you be a positive

Stop avoiding your power! Stop abusing yourself with criticism! Stop doubt! Stop the madness of drama!

You have given ENOUGH and it is now time to RECEIVE. BIG TIME. Without you in your RECEPTIVE power the world will not change. Women are the change-makers, the transformers and the creators. We hold the keys to the kingdom of power!

GoddessCORE teaches you energy activations to help you claim your female power.

GoddessCORE will activate your authentic female form while filling you with energy and power from deep inside your core intelligence.

Stop denying your success!

Goddesses don’t accept lack.

GoddessCORE gives you the next level of female fitness designed to build your Goddess superpower.

GoddessCORE is an embodied practice of breath and movement - all done from your throne (a chair or cube) and standing.

You deserve this moment to reclaim your throne.

And definitely STOP THE LACK!

You may ask why the GoddessCORE? Why feminine energy rising? Why reclaim my body?

influence when you are stressed beyond measure? When your hormones are constantly yanking you around? When you don’t feel good in your own body? You may feel depleted, like you have given and given until you have nothing left to give. You, Goddess, are not alone! It is time to reclaim your FEMALE body and ACTIVATE your GODDESS ENERGY!

GoddessCORE will awaken the internal operating system of your Goddess. You will remember your power, recall your strength, build core intelligence AND become the prosperous leader you deserve to be! Reclaim your throne NOW! The fitness practices you will learn in GoddessCORE include: ● BreatheFit for GoddessCORE activation. Breathing exercises specifically designed to activate the ENERGY of your Goddess and ignite HER power in your body. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN } “It is time to reclaim your FEMALE body and ACTIVATE your GODDESS ENERGY!”

● Communication from your GoddessCORE. Learning to use your true expression to influence change. ● Intentional movement to ACTIVATE and ENERGIZE your inner Goddess wisdom. Conditioning on all levels physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual. ● Goddess activations that resolve old hardwired patriarchy patterning and increase the inner awareness of your goddess power. ● Targeted coaching and Inner Goddess Upgrades that help you EXPRESS 258


yourself fully without holding back! What you will get out of GoddessCORE: ● Recharge your vital life force energy. ● Release emotional sludge and mental fatigue. ● Ignite feminine power. ● Detoxify and heal your body. ● Reclaim your female form and condition your body. ● Become fearless and FIT! Isn’t it time you said NO to the crazy and said YES to DESIRE! The time is now to reclaim your throne, put on your crown and lead from

EMBODIED WISDOM! You have it inside WOMAN now let’s do this! Dr. Pam Denton is a fitness expert, international speaker, healer, coach, and founder of SuperCORE Leadership and Fitness. Her intensively researched mindbody approach to female empowerment has helped thousands of female leaders plug into their innate power and activate the law of attraction for unstoppable success. She is the author of numerous books, including She Means Business, Leadership Evolution, Messages from Spirit and Journey to Female Power. Join








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

wildest dreams and I brought them to fruition. ACCESS GLOBAL GROUP Consulting has been my life’s work for over ten years. When I started my business, I had dreams of grandeur. I thought people and organization would magically appear, craving advice and guidance. I was delusional! I could

not afford my business the first seven years; in fact, I am surprised I was able to weather the storms. Now, going into year twelve, I know I am here to stay. I created ACCESS Global Group to operate as the parent company of ACCESS Coaching and Consulting. ACCESS Coaching and Consulting is a firm that focuses on cultural competency, social awareness and equity in education and employment, and we are here to stay. GLOBAL SAGE WELLNESS

As I move to this stage of my life, I recognize my need for spiritual development and growth. The hustle and bustle of owning business has encouraged me to seek calm. I formed Global SAGE Wellness to serve as the parent company of my Health and Wellness Enterprise., my calm The Ethereal Yoga Parlour offers a wide array of yoga classes, guided mediations, and reiki sessions, while Elaborate: The Body Shoppe features, adornments, candles, lotions and potions from local artisans and Euphoria: The Jazz and Java Bistro serves plantbased cuisine options and offers plant-based nutritional programs and coaching. My health and wellness empire is in its infancy but this venture feeds my soul. ACCESS DENTAL LABORATORIES As of today, this is my greatest. Of course, I am fully equipped to bring this dream to reality, but words cannot detail the amount of labor required. Every day is filled with new challenges, roadblocks, and frustrations, but every day we get a day closer to fulfillment. He is Mr. Todd R. Reid, I am Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid and together we are ACCESS Dental Laboratories. ACCESS Dental Laboratories is a full-service dental laboratory that specializes in the design of crowns, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ ALL ACCESS } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “I do not have the words to honestly articulate the difficulty in running for public office. Better yet, I have the words, but I am choosing not to share them.”

bridges, partials, dentures, night guards, implants, and veneers. I AM THE CHANGE I do not have the words to honestly articulate the difficulty in running for public office. Better yet, I have the words, but I am choosing not to share them. What I will say however, is this process is grueling! I made the decision to run for office in January 2021. I’ve spent most of my adult life serving and advocating for students 264


and families, now I commit to serving and advocating for the residents of District 14 and the County of Onondaga. My name is Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid and I’m running for Onondaga County Legislature, District 14. WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE Contemplating my early years, I do not remember setting goals. I remember wanting to get good grades and working for them, I remember

wanting to be in the starting lineup for basketball and I practiced daily and lastly, I remember wanting to make a decent living, so I went to college. However, I could never fathom the notion of having it all because I grew up experiencing lack. As an adult, I’ve come to learn, I may not have it all but what I know for sure is everything is possible and greatness awaits.






Ever hear the saying “Dog Days of Summer”? Is it just a random saying or does it actually mean something? Believe it or not, it means something. It means it is the hottest and most uncomfortable part of the summer! Historically, it was the period following a star system known as Sirius, which also is known as the Dog Star. This saying is not something new but has been around for a long time! In Hellenistic astrology, this time is associated with drought, heat, sudden thunderstorms, mad dogs and bad luck. Not a particularly popular time of the year. When can you expect the ‘Dog Days of Summer’? Anywhere from the beginning of July to late August. It can range from 30 to 61 days. Whew! That’s enough time to make anyone dog tired of summer! Speaking of dogs, we need to be aware of the dangers this time can cause our dogs. We need to make sure our best friends have plenty of cool water at all times! Certain breeds of dogs cannot handle heat as well as others. Take my two, Edgar & Grayson. French Bulldogs are known not to be able to handle the heat. They have a hard time regulating their temperature. I am fortunate to have a setup where they can venture out of the central air into a fenced area any time they wish. However, even then, I have

to monitor their play time as well. Making sure they have plenty of shade, for they love to be outside!

blood vessel constriction and even lead to hypothermic shock if you cool them too quickly.

Unfortunately, this year I lost a lot of big trees that was their natural shade. To rectify this, I put up a canopy for them. Which actually worked out well for their little kiddie pool. It not only stays cleaner but also cooler.

But that’s not to say they can’t enjoy a nice cold treat, as mine do, once in a while. Whether it be ice cream, popsicles, or yogurt, they love it just like we do.

Grayson loves his kiddie pool! Sometimes, all you see are his little ears perked up while he is lying completely in the water. Edgar tolerates it but prefers the AC. Another important thing to remember for our little guys is the pads of their feet! Too often we do not realize how hot a surface is for we have shoes on! A nice rule to remember is to place your hand on the surface you are going to walk them on. If it’s hot for you, it’s hot for them! And water, did I mention water??? No matter what kind of dog you have, give them plenty of water during your walks and at home! Dogs pant to cool themselves down, they do not sweat like a human. When a dog pants, they rapidly inhale, humidify, then exhale the air which increases evaporation of water from their nose and lungs. So, having plenty of water re-hydrates them! You may have noticed earlier I mentioned “cool” water. Where it may be tempting to give them ice cold water to cool them down quickly, be careful! Ice cold water can trigger

One trick I have used for years is taking gravy from their soft dog food and mixing it with half water into ice cube trays. A treat that lasts a little longer than most and they love it! ‘Dog Days of Summer’ may instantly remind you of a hot time in the summer, but I also want it to remind you of our dogs and how they look to us to help them get through this difficult time. With August here, what types of National Dog Days can we expect? Here’s a couple… August 23rd - National Ride The Wind Day - Take a page out of a dog’s life and enjoy the wind in your face! Whether it be on a boat, on a motorcycle or simply hanging your head out the window. Sometimes feeling the wind lifts you on those hot days! August 26th - National Dog Day Convenient that this happens in this month. A perfect excuse to pamper your best friend. Take them to the lake, beach, or nearest garden hose and enjoy the water with them! They are always there for us, make sure we ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ TAMMY’S TIDBITS } SHIFT+CONTROL “Take care, enjoy your babies, and make the most out of ‘Dog Days of Summer’!”

are there for them. While this could be the most miserable time of the summer, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it simply challenges us to make the best of a bad situation. Try to slow down during this time, pace yourself. Be kind to yourself 270


and know your limits. Also try to know the limits of others around you, whether it be human or animal.

spoiling them (and me) with frozen treats and playing in the water with them.

I guess I missed the memo about being miserable during ‘Dog Days of Summer’. I always thought the saying meant spending more time with your dogs! Enjoying lazy days,

Perhaps it still can be, since they need us more during this difficult time. Take care, enjoy your babies, and make the most out of ‘Dog Days of Summer’!






ROLE BRAND AMBASSADOR AND PROMOTIONAL MODELING PLAYED And there I was, bikini clad, on a humongous yacht off the coast of Key West watching celebrities and NASCAR drivers land via helicopter onto the yacht’s helipad. I was working as a Promotional Model for a major beer brand sponsoring the annual boat racing events. Working just a few hours per day meant considerable time off. Therefore, I sunned myself and lounged about relaxing on the largest yacht I’d ever seen in my life. I kept thinking about how different this was compared to my first booking as a Promotional Model, which was handing out shampoo samples in an aisle at Walmart for $18.00 an hour.

your schedule. Simply put, a 9-5 job is out of the cards. Unfortunately, that leaves you with the conundrum of how to earn plenty of income while maintaining the flexibility and financial stability needed to invest in yourself and your goals. One option? Promotional Modeling…Check. Another option?

Within the modeling industry, Promotional Modeling and Brand Ambassador work is often poo poo’d and looked down upon within the industry. However, I beg to differ! My personal experience has been one where I’ve seen many small-town girls, myself included, use promotions as a launching pad. If your dream is to become a model, actress, artist, or some other type of creator or entertainer, this will require an abundance of flexibility in

Brand Ambassador…. also Check. Of course, there are many other options such as donating blood, selling a kidney or even becoming a professional “Plogger” (Hehe Thanks Mom). But why choose anything else as your first option when you could be gaining great experience

in your intended field. I moved to Miami Beach in my early 20’s to pursue modeling and acting full time. I arrived in town with my car and boxes of my belongings (which may have included my favorite red stuffed squeaky mouse). Not knowing a soul and with $300 left in my bank account after relocation costs. A week later, my car got towed for an innocent parking violation and I was officially broke. To start earning right away, meet other people in the same industry, and learn the ropes, I started pursuing background work in movies and Promotional Modeling and Brand Ambassador jobs. Working as a film extra is often 12+ hour days with not-so-great pay and it quickly burned me out. To avoid “Starving Artist Syndrome” and avoid a full-time job that would make it impossible to pursue my dreams, I took to working live events as a Promotional Model and Brand Ambassador. This type of work typically pays $20 to $40 an hour at live events for Brand Ambassadors and $30 to $150 an hour or more for Promotional Models. You’re probably asking yourself “What is a Promotional Model and Brand Ambassador?”. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021




{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN B. } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Most brands are looking for reliable polished people who will show up on time, can stand on their feet all day speaking with consumers, all while maintaining a positive and upbeat attitude.”

Brand Ambassador – a person hired on behalf of a company or brand to represent that brand in a positive light and leave the consumer with a good impression of the brand. While brand ambassadors (BA’s for short) are used predominately at live events, today in the age of social media many brands additionally use social media Brand Ambassadors who have amassed an online following to reach their target consumers virtually. Promotional Model – A promotional model is typically hired not only for their promotional expertise and charismatic personality but also as someone whose image reflects a look which the brand wishes portray at live events, trade shows, product reveals, and campaign launches that they feel embodies their mission, corporate identity, and/or brand message. How does one get started earning income as a Brand Ambassador and/ or Promotional Model? I commonly get asked how I got started traveling the nation as a Spokesperson, Corporate Presenter and Product Specialist for major automotive companies for global vehicle reveals and international auto shows. I got started by being a Brand Ambassador. Promotions and Live Event work can lead to several related careers or be the way you get nicely paid for flexible work while pursuing some other dream or goal. 276


Steps to getting started as a Brand Ambassador or Promotional Model: 1.) A smiling professional headshot that reflects your current look 2.) Hone your snapshot taking skills so you can take quality snapshots of

5.) Join promotional and event staffing agencies (some modeling or talent agencies also may staff promotional models and brand ambassadors). 6.) Keep good records, I suggest keeping a log-book of all assignments and keeping a folder of photos of yourself on the job. 7.) Create a client list or resume for the future, this way when companies conduct interviews you are ready with a typed bio or resume and have a few brands at your fingertips that you’ve successfully worked for in the past that you can rattle off like the pro you are. What are most brands looking for? Most brands are looking for reliable polished people who will show up on time, can stand on their feet all day speaking with consumers, all while maintaining a positive and upbeat attitude.

yourself on demand to send to agencies when requested 3.) Sharpen people skills and improve ability to speak with ease to the public. 4.) Be able to convey a brand message in an easy to understand and relatable way.

How to find work: New or just getting started as a Brand Ambassador or Promotional Model? Connect with a friend who does this type of work or an acquaintance or seek out a mentor or coach. Conduct a google search by typing in search terms like: “promotional agencies” “event staffing” “event talent” “promotional modeling agencies” “talent agencies” and “promo talent”. Many




{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN { SHIFT+CONTROL } B. } “If your dream is to become a model, actress, artist, or some other type of creator or entertainer, this will require an abundance of flexibility in your schedule.”

national promotional event staffing agencies now allow you to submit online and then once accepted create an online talent profile. These agencies will then send you opportunity notices via email for events they are staffing. Availability checks are important, try to avoid changing your availability once you agree to being available, to be seen as reliable. Focus on developing a quality reputation and developing repeat bookings from clients who appreciate your performance and work ethic. When on the job get to know others, once you’ve created rapport ask other people booked on the job what agencies they like and can recommend. This is often a nice way to get a personalized agency referral as the person meets you in real life and gets to see you working firsthand. They might be willing to send a referral note on your behalf. Brand Ambassadors and Promotional Models are typically approachable, upbeat, enthusiastic, reliable and project a polished professional image. They speak to consumers with ease and may share talking points about the brand. 278


I’ve seen many talented Brand Ambassadors and Promotional Models move into careers as: • Marketing Managers

• Event Staff Booking • Product Specialists • Product Demonstrators • Emcee’s • Corporate Presenters • Spokesperson • Influencer • Model • Actor • TV Host or Podcast Host • Entrepreneur As a business coach for small market models and actors it has been so much fun watching my coaching clients succeed and reach their goals! I love writing a column here because I can share answers to many frequently asked topics. Catch my free IGTV series “Model Tips” on Instagram @ KristinBCoaching & @KristinBauerGross Get the FREE Printable Checklist to make Packing and Preparing for Photoshoots a breeze at: checklist

• Tour Managers • Event Coordinators • Start their own event staffing companies • Go full time with their original passion






In the dictionary, one of the definitions of the word ‘friend’ is ‘a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard’. If we are lucky, we get to have one or two of these folks as part of our lives. These are the ones who are special; not the acquaintances but the ones with which we have a soul tie. You know…true friends. These are the ones who would do absolutely anything for us and we would gladly reciprocate with no hesitation. They are those one or two people from whom no secrets are kept. On the flip side, they also are the ones who can keep your deepest secrets when you confide in them. I sincerely hope that you have had at least one person like this at some point in your life. Sometimes, we look at the friends that someone has and then make a judgement about them based on the company they keep. This is never good. Sure, birds of a feather do flock together, but we also have cases where some of our closest friends may seem to be nothing like us. On the surface, they may not look or act like someone we would know. We hold these tried-and-true relationships in a special place in our hearts. Maybe they came from our childhood and to someone on the outside, these comrades now seem so different from who we have become. These long-term friends are the ones who can honestly tell us when we are

getting carried away or going too far with something. They are also the ones to whom we listen when no one else can seem to get through to us. They are the first to be happy for us when something good happens and the first by our side in times of sorrow. Your real friends will let you be who you are and will appreciate you for your uniqueness. They can see things in you that you sometimes cannot see in yourself. They will share in your life

and will become an important part of your journey. The real ones will go along with you even when they don’t agree with what you are doing or how you are doing it, but then still be there to pick up the pieces if your plans fall apart. They may not have agreed with what we were going to do, but they loved us enough to encourage us to at least give it a try and they allowed us to be ourselves. They are also the ones who will talk sense into us if we are just a bit too far out there. There are certain people who can say

things to you that no one else is allowed to. Once we get that real friendship bond with someone, it can never be broken. No amount of time or distance can weaken that connection. If life gets busy and you don’t get to speak to each other for a while, once one of you picks up the phone it’s like the conversation picks up right where it left off the last time. These are the people we cherish because they feel like home. They mean the world to us, and we hope for nothing but the best for them. There is no pain like the feeling we get when we mistakenly thought that someone was a friend and, in our corner, only to find out in the end that they were not. People come in and out of our lives and their purpose is to teach us things so that we can grow. Our true friends are just that. True. Trustworthy. Reliable. There is no jealousy. There is no envy. There is love and patience and kindness. There are only good intentions. Sometimes we may need to agree to disagree, but real friends always maintain respect for one another. Sometimes, being a great friend is just being there to listen. No words required. These are the ones who come first to help set up and leave last after they help you clean. They listen to you when things don’t go well on your job or in your other relationships. These are the ones on the speed dial. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ SHIFT+CONTROL TRACY IS TALKING} } “Some people think that they should have lots of friends but that has never actually been for me. One or two real friends is all that you ever really need.”

If you should fall, they will catch you and you know that they will. Some people think that they should have lots of friends but that has never actually been for me. One or two real friends is all that you ever really need. I’m still in touch with those couple of folks from my childhood. Someone is 282


always digging up an old picture that no one even remembers and then we laugh and even make fun of how we looked back in elementary school. Everyone either had that punch bowl looking hair cut or the 2 braids. We enjoy each other’s company and reminisce about the good old days.

Back then, we didn’t wear seatbelts in the car or helmets on bikes. We wonder where the time went and how we ever got to be this age. These folks are our foundation. Friendship is everything.






Success in this labor market starts with a look inside yourself. Every summer I take an annual restorative trip to Lily Dale, NY. This year, I stayed for about a week in order to attend some workshops, not feel like I was missing out on anything, and have the extra time to relax and breathe in the space. Lily Dale was established as a Spiritualist Camp back in the late 1800s. Although it’s gone by a few names, the Lily Dale Assembly is responsible for all the goings on in the small village that never stops celebrating Spirit. Even today, after all these years, when you enter the gates it’s almost like you’re transported into another dimension - the energy is so peaceful and calming. To be surrounded by like-minded individuals, no matter what your passion is, is always a comforting feeling. If you’ve had any discussions with me, or even visited my About page, you’ll know that for a long time I struggled with the polarity of my psychic abilities versus my business sense. It’s two very different worlds. Blue Moon Growth Co was established to bring together those two worlds for others out there feeling like they’re split into 2 beings - one spiritual, one professional. This year, I set an intention to become more connected to my spiritual self and help guide success for Blue Moon Growth. HOLY shit, did the 284


universe deliver. As I sat in a group reading at Inspiration Stump, I had a realization: “This is exactly how intuitive business guidance should work.” How many times have you been to a business seminar, sat in the audience, and thought, “Oh wow, great question - I better listen because this definitely could apply to me…” or alternatively, “Oh wow…. what a question… definitely never doing business with that guy.” This isn’t all that different from spirit readings. We listen in for evidence and messages that could apply to our own situation. Whether or not that message was directed at you, there are still pieces that apply, or at the very least provide some guidelines as a takeaway. And hey, when it is specifically for you, that’s kind of an amazing feeling. Guidance from outside ourselves, especially from a loved one who’s passed, is miraculous because it’s intangible to most. However, it’s never far away and sometimes we just need to learn ways to tune in. When it comes to business, every organization has a particular vision, strategy, and make up - not two are identical. There’s a ton of business consultants out there, but they’re often focused on marketing strategy, specialize in compliance without consideration to culture or human behavior, or give generalized advice on your day to day (schedule blocks of time to review emails? Ok, noted.) Don’t me wrong, these things have their place and are beneficial

partnerships and advice. But, how many out there are really connected to you - owner, operator, leader - the energy of the business itself, and can apply your soul energies into your business operations. Imagine working with a consultant that is the best of both worlds (shameless plug for Blue Moon Growth Co, hello!). But for real, imagine, for a second, you’re a professional working for an employer that truly values this holistic side of business without getting all weird with it. How much more fulfilling would your days be if you clocked out and felt like your authentic self was embraced and you were made available to practice your skills - even if just for a few hours. This labor market is insane. Employees are looking for support in many areas, not limited to a livable wage, affordable benefits, flexible working hours and remote work opportunities. Pizza Wednesdays, birthday cakes, and Jeans Friday’s aren’t gonna cut it anymore. Employees seek real holistic support financial, mental, social, and spiritual. And I have breaking news. This is an employee’s market. Candidates have endless opportunities available, and they are being picky, as they should be! Next time you’re driving down main street, go ahead and count the “Now Hiring” signs. Tables are turning, folks. Employers need to seriously step it up. I’ll spare you from my long astrological explanation of why this massive shift




{ ONCE IN A BLUE MOON { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “But for real, imagine, for a second, you’re a professional working for an employer that truly values this holistic side of business without getting all weird with it.”

t is starting to take place, but a lot of what we consider ‘generational differences’ can also be attributed to the stars. We’ve just exited a long period where stability, material wealth, and recognition reigned. We’ve entered a new time when the focus is on the whole… individuals are making choices both consciously and subconsciously for fulfillment for themselves and for their communities. What choices are you making in your business to match this new mindset? Maybe the single most important piece of advice I might give is as the business operator, this change starts with you. Owners, operators, and leaders absolutely need to bring their passion to the table in order to foster an environment of productive and joyful employees. When you are passionate, your people will be passionate, and your customers and clients will flock to that level of energetic service. If you’re in the service business, you likely already have a bit of focus on customer/client experience or satisfaction (you should!) If you run a product based company, you’re likely pouring your focus into the quality of your product. Regardless of your deliverable, product or service, start 288


expanding your strategy towards creating quality of your people and your environment. You’ll start to realize a shift in success when incorporating your vision and passion into your output. So, I’ll ask you a question (ok, two…):

Lindsay Mastrogiovanni is the CEO & Founder of Blue Moon Growth Co LLC. She is an intuitive medium, professional and career development guru, HR extraordinaire, business mentor, and leadership coach with over 10 years’ experience in HR operations, management, and consulting. She is passionate about leveraging partnerships, t e c h n o l o g y, a n d situational analysis to drive employer success in an ever changing business landscape. She is a humanistic leader who believes in bettering communities through small business and individual success. She is a champion of passion, intuition, and optimism in the business world.

What is your passion? Why aren’t you infusing your passion into your business or career strategy? If the answer is “I don’t know how” or “I didn’t know I could”... give me a shout. *Heavy wink* Your future fulfillment depends on it! ---

With Blue Moon Growth Co, she’s bridging the gap between woo woo and the workplace. Sh e h e l p s c a re e r professionals develop their business intuition, and helps spiritual business owners create an intuitively guided business plan.

One on one guidance and consultation

Self guided courses and learning resources

Intuitive tarot and mediumship readings

Build your business plan

Add some magic to your work

Infusing your soul with your every day

BlueMoonGrowthCo Lindsay Mastrogiovanni

BlueMoonGrowth LindsayMastro






When I first was diagnosed with cancer, little did I know that it would lead me to my life’s purpose. I have a cancer that’s considered to be rare but is truly just misunderstood and, sadly, misdiagnosed. It is neuroendocrine cancer also known as carcinoid or NET. My particular affliction is Recurrent Paraganglioma Syndrome. Paraganglioma and it’s kissing cousin Pheochromocytoma are slow growing but deadly. Many people receive their diagnosis on the autopsy table. This includes President Dwight David Eisenhower. We are losing beautiful people around the globe to this monster and I really want to call attention to it. The attention it deserves. The attention it needs!

tumor had enveloped my carotid and vertebral arteries as well my jugular vein on the left side. The experiment was to see if the jugular and carotid, and vertebral if necessary, could be removed sacrificed surgically on one side. All humans have a structure in the back of our incredible heads called The Circle of Willis. The hypothesis was that if the jugular and carotid were removed from one side, The Circle of Willis would take over for the impaired side leaving the patient to live instead of succumb to the disease. The plan worked and Dr. Brackmann wrote about four times in The Journal of the American Medical Association and took the film of the surgery around the globe to teach other surgeons his technique.

The first time I was diagnosed was when I was 21 years old. I had been misdiagnosed so often and for so long that I was at fourth stage or end stage. It was 1988 and my incredible saintlike doctor, Dr. Paul Dutcher at the U of R, wouldn’t give up. He sent my scans and reports to doctors all over the world. There were only two doctors who agreed to take me on. One in Switzerland and one in Los Angeles. I chose Dr. Brackmann of the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles. He wanted to try an experiment but hadn’t found a willing guinea pig because the process would most certainly cause death if it failed. I knew my time was at hand so I thought, no matter what, this would be a good decision. If I lived - hooray! If not, they’d learn how to help the next person with such an advanced case. So in August of 1988 I was 22 and I made medical history. The

I’m very proud that I made that decision. Every time I hear that somebody has had an embolization or a carotid artery or jugular vein or both - removed, it makes me very happy indeed! That being said, all these years later, I’m hearing similar stories to mine. People are still being misdiagnosed and given the run around. This isn’t the doctors’ fault. The medical community hasn’t been educated and trained to treat this disorder. It’s left me feeling like all the suffering and pain I went through all those years ago hasn’t brought us any further. We still have people being misdiagnosed. Being treated for symptoms and not looking for the cause. And, tragically, passing away before it’s discovered. I myself am fighting my third battle with it and have undergone just about every kind of treatment or therapy available to get rid of the dread cancer.

I’ve been a patient advocate and have tried to support and be there for as many people as I can. At this moment, I’m not allowed to work in a cancer center because I have cancer. I understand that policy but I dearly want to help others. That includes patients and their caregivers. Caregivers are suffering too and need help coping. Ive always given my personal phone number and email so people can have access to me if they are in need. I’ve taught journal writing workshops and facilitated groups at the Gilda’s Club of Northern Jersey. I was elected to the Wilmot Center’s PFAC, which stands for Patients and Families Advisory Council. It is my life’s mission to help others dealing with this nasty thing we call cancer. I will always make myself available to anyone who needs that help. Always. Some time ago, I came up with what I call the 3 R’s of cancer. They are as follows: RECOGNIZE - Don’t deny your feelings and emotions. Own them. Acknowledge them. Don’t be intimidated by those who say that nobody should say “Why me?” because that’s ridiculous. We’re human and of course we’re going to wonder and react with emotions such as that. RESPECT - Respect what all those emotions are there for. They are an alert system to get you prepared for battle. And thank God were equipped with these reactions. They’re preparing us to take on a serious threat! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ {YOUNG & INSPIRING} } SHIFT+CONTROL “When I first was diagnosed with cancer, little did I know that it would lead me to my life’s purpose. I have a cancer that’s considered to be rare but is truly just misunderstood and, sadly, misdiagnosed.”

RELEASE - you must find a way to release these so called negative emotions. They only become negative when they’ve out served their purpose and we keep them buried within us. We have to let them go so we have all the positive strength we need to take those challenges on. There are just as many ways to release 292


or let go of these reactions as there are people. It doesn’t matter how you do it - meditate, scream, write in a journal, go kickboxing or running - whatever you need to do! Do not bottle it up or it will join cancer’s team and leave yours. Please look up the Pheo Para Alliance.

We are trying to spread the word about this nasty demon and we need all the help we can get!







Your brand should reflect what your business stands for and what sets it apart from your competitors — it expresses the qualities, strengths, and ‘personality of your business. Creating a strong brand involves indepth market research to work out why customers should be attracted to your business. A strong brand will help customers to remember your business and feel greater confidence that your products or services will suit their needs. Customers tend to be loyal to a brand they trust. WHAT IS BUSINESS BRANDING? Branding is a way of identifying your business. It is how your customers recognize and experience your business. A strong brand is more than just a logo — it’s reflected in everything from your customer service style, staff uniforms, business cards, and premises to your marketing materials and advertising. Branding is one of the most important aspects of your business. Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be. BRAND STRATEGY Your brand strategy is how you communicate, what your messaging is, where your message is being seen, and to whom you’re delivering your 294


message. Map out how you’re different, trustworthy, and memorable.

that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds.

The brand strategy comprises many parts including where you’re advertising, your distribution channels, and how you’re communicating verbally and visually. You must be consistent with your messaging so it’s clear to your audience what you do and the problems you solve.

Building a positive brand image can bring in consistent sales and make product rollouts more successful. A brand identity consists of the business values, and how the brand communicates those values through its products and services. Do your research, survey your customers to see what they like, and what your customers think about your business.

Building a strong brand allows you to showcase your purpose and mission.

Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. BRAND IDENTITY Your brand identity is the way you convey your image to the public. Defining your brand is a critical step to the success of your business. It can be difficult, time-consuming, and uncomfortable. Brand identity is the visible elements of a brand, such as color, design, and logo

BRAND MARKETING Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? How do you connect your company’s values and voice to the right audience? Identify your target market. Target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. Look at your current customer base, look at what your competitors are doing and analyze your product or services to see how you can meet those needs. What is the key message you want to communicate to your audience? Branding extends to every aspect of your business-how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear at sales meetings or networking events, your e-mail signature, everything. Write a memorable, meaningful, and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand. MARKETING MEDIUMS Marketing mediums include a blend




{ {SHIFT+CONTROL BUSINESS TALK } } “When delivering a promotional message, the types of marketing mediums you choose are the key to success.”


of options companies have at their disposal during the promotional phase of marketing. While traditional media, such as TV and newspapers, remain prominent, the 21st century integrated marketing strategies that have emphasized the use of interactive, real-time engagement through new media.

at a time. The three main factors to consider when choosing your medium are; your message, your audience, and your budget. If your budget is tight you can lean towards Earned Media, it’s when the news is looking for people to speak on certain topics. Try to be available for these opportunities.

When delivering a promotional message, the types of marketing mediums you choose are the key to success. It is important to remember it’s about establishing the right marketing mix, it’s not about just using one medium

Conversance Business Solutions is a full-service administrative support, and consultancy firm, serving businesses from small to mid-size nationwide. Our team specializes in various virtual assistant services and onsite support tailored to meet each


of our client’s needs. Whether we work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements, we bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. We hope these tips were helpful. Get in touch with us today at 585-484-0038 or visit us online at www. for your business needs.

WE DELIVER SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR PROBLEMS WHO WE ARE? Conversance has been providing virtual assistance to businesses of all types from small companies to enterprises since 2015.

WHAT WE DO? We are specialized and efficient service providers who ultimately become valued business partners. We work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements.

SUPPORT We offer solutions and customized plans.

STRATEGY Define your vision and your goals.

ANALYSIS A better service for your company.



Get in touch 585 484 0038 510 Clinton Sq, New York, USA



Medicare is a federal program that offers health insurance to American citizens and other eligible individuals based on age, disability, or a qualifying medical condition. Medicare is individual insurance and doesn’t cover spouses or dependents.

Original Medicare (Parts A & B) is provided by the federal government. It helps pay for hospital stays and doctor visits, but it doesn’t cover everything. You may add coverage by enrolling in one or more private Medicare or Medicare-related plans.

Who can get Medicare? U.S. citizens and legal residents Legal residents must live in the U.S. for at least 5 years in a row, including the 5 years just before applying for Medicare.

STEP ONE First, you need to enroll in Original Medicare provided by the federal government.

You must also meet one of the following requirements: • Age 65 or older • Younger than 65 with a qualifying disability • Any age with a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease or ALS

Go to to enroll online or call or visit your local Social Security office. Medicare coverage options 298


And, you can also add: Medicare supplement insurance(Medigap) Helps pay some out-of-pocket costs that come with Original Medicare OPTION 2 Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) Combines Original Medicare Part A & Part B coverage in one plan Usually includes prescription drug coverage (Part D) May offer additional benefits like vision and dental coverage

Eligible with a disability? Your Medicare eligibility begins after 24 months of receiving Social Security disability benefits. How do you enroll? If you are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits when you become eligible you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. You’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail. If you’re not receiving benefits, you need to sign up for Medicare when you become eligible.

OPTION 1 Medicare Part D Plan Helps pay for prescription drugs

PART A Helps pay for hospital stays and inpatient care PART B Helps pay for doctor visits and outpatient care STEP TWO Now, you can look at additional coverage options offered by private insurance companies

Maust & Leone is a full-service Medicare insurance agency. We help clients become more knowledgeable about all things Medicare related including Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans as well as prescription drug plans. We assist clients in selecting and enrolling in a plan that best fits their needs. Maust & Leone offers every plan available in Monroe County, western NY and additional states. Our agents are fully licensed, extremely knowledgeable, and always mindful of our focus which is complete client satisfaction on every occasion. We look forward to assisting with your Medicare related needs!










Hey everyone! So, many of you know Vanessa but did you know that I was AAO’s first? Not their first ever dog… his name was Sammy back in 2015. But I was AAO’s first sanctuary dog… I was their xmas present last year! My name is Buster, and I am a 7-year-old lab/ pitty mix. Fixed, utd, and single and ready to mingle! I like men, women, and I love kids!! After being here for a few months with them, they had thought they had found me the perfect forever home. Unfortunately and alas… they did not. I know they tried very hard but sometimes, people are just people. One thing I have learned in my 7 years on this earth is inevitably, most of them will disappoint you. But these guys here! I have to say that everyone here is just so nice to me and they have helped me become the calm, perfect, wonderful gentleman that I am now. I love belly rubs, and I do this thing where if I really like you… I paw you to pet me. You gotta see it.

Unfortunately, I must say that recently I was dumped. I didn’t do anything wrong. I was loyal and loving and the perfect companion. My adopter had adopted me at a low point in his life and I helped him get back on his feet. He even thanked AAO in saying that I had given him a purpose. In fact, I gave him so much confidence that he was

able to meet the girl that he says is the one of his dreams…and I got left behind. For whatever reason, they immediately had to get an apartment together and they did not even look to find one where I could come with them. I know my sanctuary dad was pretty pissed off about the whole thing but they took me back in with open arms and he hugs and tells me every

night that he will get it right this time for me. I hope so! As I said, some of you could probably relate to my troubles. Some bad luck, some bad choices, and next thing you know… you are middle aged and you don’t have a family to call your own. I have been abandoned in vacant houses, thrown into the system, and even sentenced to die by a judge….then AAO came along. They said they were going to make it right for me, and so far, minus the one adoption that didn’t work out, they have. Just like Vanessa, they reversed my death sentence, taught me how to deal with some of my reactivity, and helped me become the man that I am now. I now walk almost perfectly on leash, love children, love long walks on the beach, love long movies on the couch, and long naps in the bed or any variation of the above. I don’t do little dogs or cats, if you know what I mean. But other than that, I am single and searching, waiting for my AAO miracle to finish and finally come true.




{ DIVI9 } } { DIVI9 CHAT


My body screamed at me all week and as if in a final stand of displaying it’s dismay my ovulation was a painful one. I have noticed this to be the case for the past few months. Today, I paid careful attention. My energy levels became low, I barely wanted to make use of my energy to speak. I was engaged in a conversation about the choice between resting or being productive. Once home the dog hoped for her walk and my husband called for team work in folding laundry. I continued to pay close attention, though not making mention of the pains I began to feel, that is until they no longer allowed me to pretend. I finally told my husband I wasn’t feeling well and went to lay down with my defeated dog by my side. What’s the matter? Discomfort is your body’s way of bringing your attention to a matter. The problem is we don’t bring conscious awareness to our discomfort. One of my most repeated conversations is how we often rely on the expertise of others and hold them responsible for our healing, while they are in fact to play a supporting role, responding to our needs as we jointly sort through the signals of our body. It’s not often that pain forces me to rest, forces me to check within, forces me to acknowledge its presence in such a loud manner. I quiet my mind so that my body could speak, my mind going deeper with each breath. I felt fluttering within my womb; my pelvic floor was in spasm. The last time this

happened the sensation of pain lasted two days. It was an awful two days, especially because discomfort of this kind also makes shared company and space challenging. Massage supports the elevation of mood, The science is simple, massages lower the production of cortisol produced under stress and increase the production of hormones such as oxytocin. Client 1 shared, “The emotions that you experience during the healing process, for example, of lipo or Brazilian butt lift (bbl) are not talked about. It’s depressing to have to lay on your stomach all day for weeks and months waiting to heal.” According to American Psychological Association (APA) depression is known to suppress the immune system which affects an individual’s overall health. A second client is notorious for mentioning that each time she comes in for a massage someone lives a day longer. I laugh, but I know just how significant her massage is. It is a matter of peace; restoring a sense of balance to life’s ever changing demands. She says, “I always leave in a better mood.” Yes, I get massages Recently a third client said “When I decided to begin to get massages I wasn’t sure if it was something Black people did. I wondered if our culture knew about and believed in the benefits of massage, even now in groups I’m in, people ask why I get them and comment that I don’t need them.” It is quite ok to receive support, that is what your massage therapist provides,

regardless of the style of massage that is needed, ranging from swedish to lymphatic. My husband saw the pain I was in and though he felt compassion for me he didn’t know how to care for me beyond that. As I prepared to continue to deal with the pain myself I watched him exit the room. I decided to call out to him and ask him to help. I know that stopping the spasm requires pressure. Often when you are in pain the last thing you feel capable of is applying steady firm pressure yourself. However, being superwoman and all, I’m sure I was quite capable. However, it was comforting to receive his support and he helped me to apply pressure as I directed him. Over the years, I have realized that one of the most harmful things I had done was to downplay my need for support. Additionally, my failure to express my physical pain had produced counterproductive outcomes. As the physical pain dissipated in less time than I would have experienced had I worked through it on my own, tears began to flow as I explained my realization and appreciation of the moment. It has been my experience that massage elevates the feelings of connectedness which boosts the immune response leading to a greater sense of well being. Emotional releases are also common and beneficial. The therapeutic benefits of massage to all the systems of the body is truly remarkable. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ DIVI9 CHAT } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “When I decided to begin to get massages I wasn’t sure if it was something Black people did.”










Beauty habits are essential to look polished and feel great. There are always unwritten beauty rules you should be following and habits you should implement into your life that will elevate your self-care routine. The daily stressors of life, work, school, and family may easily distract you from paying attention to your beauty habits. So, if you do not have a self-care routine to maintain your beauty habits, your skin, and body will regret it sooner than later.

favorite Cellular Laboratories® De-Aging Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+. You should also reapply with the Defense Refresh (Re)setting Mist SPF 40. Your skin will thank you in the future. Try the Cellular Laboratories® De-Aging Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ with discount code: 15OFFMA www.motivescosmetics. com/anikasimone HABIT 4: REMOVE MAKEUP

HABIT 1: DRINK WATER This is a simple one you may not adhere to daily. Drinking enough water helps your digestive system, releases toxins from the body, and keeps your skin clear and glowy. Many certified trainers and doctors have indicated drinking water half your bodyweight in ounces each day is key to staying hydrated. HABIT 2: EAT MORE FRUIT For your morning breakfast always start with raw fresh organic fruit which helps the body to remove waste, mucus, and toxins. Fruits are the most hydrating of foods which helps your organs stay healthy and jump starts your metabolism. Fruit sugar (glucose) is the optimal form of energy for your body and cells. The body does its heaviest detox between 7am - 11am every morning. Fruit, instead of coffee or a fatty meal, will give you energy for the day, cleanse your body, keep your brain sharp and energized. HABIT 3: SPF Adding sunscreen to your skincare routine is vital to your beauty habits. Sun exposure is incredibly damaging especially on higher temperature days if you do not protect your skin properly. Do not solely rely on your foundation that contains SPF, this is not enough. Apply SPF everyday with my

There is no excuse for falling asleep with makeup on. This is such a crucial part of your skincare routine. Leaving foundation on your skin or mascara in your lashes overnight can be detrimental - it can really cause harm to your face. Always take your makeup off every night even when you are sleepy or exhausted. You can try two of my favorite makeup removers. Motives® Makeup Remover Towelettes gently remove makeup, dirt, and oil in one easy step or The Cleansing Oil - Balancing PreCleanse

Treatment - dispense a generous amount of product into the palm of your hand and use your fingertips to gently massage onto the skin for a minimum of one minute. Rinse with lukewarm water. Try the Motives® Makeup Remover Towelettes with discount code: 15OFFMA www.motivescosmetics. com/anikasimone HABIT 5: WASH YOUR HAIR A clean scalp promotes better hair growth and washing your hair is vital to maintaining healthy hair. We have different kinds of hair and shampooing may vary for your hair type. Oily hair could be washed every day to prevent buildup of dirt. Dry/damaged hair could be washed every 5-7 days to allow some of your hair’s natural oils to be retained on the scalp. Fine/ thin hair could be washed every other day to provide your hair with enough moisture. Do your research, be consistent and take good care of your hair. Be sure to consult with your cosmetologist for specialized hair care advice. HABIT 6: CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES Clean and disinfect your makeup brushes to prevent infections (and pimples!). We use makeup brushes daily, yet we tend to overlook an important fact that makeup brushes need to be cleaned regularly, free of build-up and bacteria. Bacteria build-up can happen almost instantly, so it is necessary to at least spray some alcohol-based solution or 70% alcohol on your brushes daily. If you adopt this habit, you will only have to shampoo your makeup brushes every week or biweekly. Remember clean makeup brushes allow you to apply makeup smoothly because they are not drenched in excess products and oils. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021



“The daily stressors of life, work, school, and family may easily distract you from paying attention to your beauty habits. So, if you do not have a self-care routine to maintain your beauty habits, your skin, and body will regret it sooner than later.”






{ HEIDI’SBYLAW { { SHIFT+CONTROL BEAUTY DR J} } } “ There are always unwritten beauty rules you should be following and habits you should implement into your life that will elevate your self-care routine.”

HABIT 7: THROW AWAY OLD MAKEUP Every three months/four times a year, make it a habit to go through your makeup bag and get rid of weird textured, smelly, or discolored makeup products. Any foundation, concealer or creamy makeup product that changes over time should never touch your skin. You should make it a habit to keep track of how long you’ve had a foundation, concealer, and mascara. This is imperative to 316


maintain clear skin as these can cause skin irritation, breakouts, or allergic reactions if they are expired. Remember you’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to your success is found in your daily routine. #KeepWinningOnPurpose Stay connected to All Things Dr. J. Beauty for more beauty habits.

Follow us on IG: and FB: All Things Dr. J. Beauty. Visit us










Many women choose to manage their own investments. This includes women who have always been doing so and women who are relatively new to the world of investing for a variety of reasons. Regardless of your level of investing experience, there are certain investor traits that can prove advantageous for anyone. Traits such as patience and recognizing when help is needed can benefit portfolio returns, particularly for a longterm investor. Even risk aversion, sometimes a problem for women who are concerned about their investing abilities, can be an advantage if it is applied wisely. Do you believe you aren’t as knowledgeable as you should be about investing? Chances are you’re in good company. Many people know less than they should but are not willing to recognize or admit it; as a result, they may not be saving what they should be. Recognizing what you don’t know can be an asset, as it can be a catalyst to taking action. Being willing to ask questions and understand some basics will serve you better than ignoring financial concepts that may seem overwhelming. Also, being a good investor doesn’t mean you need to do all the work yourself. A

financial professional can help you set a strategy based on your goals and manage your investments in accordance with your financial plan. When choosing a professional, the focus should be on finding someone who works in a fiduciary capacity, which means that they are not financially incented to choose investment options and will invest with your best interests in mind. Are you risk averse in the right way?

When people feel unsure about their investing skills, they sometimes take the path of least resistance and invest very conservatively. In some cases, this can be helpful. For example, avoiding big risky bets that can single-handedly drag down a portfolio can sometimes lead to better risk-adjusted performance. However, this trait can also be a doubleedged sword if you are investing far more conservatively than is appropriate for your goals and circumstances, either out of fear of making a mistake or

from not being aware of how risks can be managed. Being unaware of how inflation can affect investment returns or how to balance various types of risks can leave you vulnerable to a shortfall in your retirement savings or other financial goals. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful. But perhaps the biggest risk of all is not taking the necessary steps to try to secure your financial future. Can you be patient? Excessive trading costs historically have been one of the reasons individual investors often underperform the stock market. As trading costs have declined over the years, a more common reason investors underperform is that they attempt to time the market. In other words, they try to sell when the market is up to prevent losses. This strategy usually fails when picking a re-entry point—or timing the optimum exit point—causing an investor to miss out on a few good days in the market. Studies consistently have shown this can have a large negative impact on a portfolio. A portfolio is—or should be—a means to an end, not a competitive sport. Being patient means accepting the gyrations of the market, investing more when the market declines and keeping the focus on achieving your long-term financial goals. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ FINANCIALLY {{ SHE HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS}} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Regardless of your level of investing experience, there are certain investor traits that can prove advantageous for anyone.”

STEP UP YOUR GAME If you’re afraid to make decisions because you don’t know a mutual fund from an exchange-traded fund: • Get some basic information. Your retirement plan at work might provide educational materials or assistance, and there are plenty of books, magazines and websites that can help. Don’t be afraid to talk to friends who may have similar questions, but do your own research, too. • Take baby steps and learn as you go. You don’t have to do everything at once; even a small step is better than none. • Don’t postpone getting started; the longer you wait, the fewer options you may have. Even if you don’t make your own financial decisions now, the odds are good that someday you may have to do so. • Recognize that you are not alone. Others may have the same doubts as you about their investing abilities. If you’ve already started working toward your goals but aren’t sure you’re on the right track: • Clarify your investing goals, your time horizon, and your level of risk tolerance and make sure you’re properly diversified. Memorializing all your goals, i.e., putting them in writing, will give you a better chance for success. If you’re not sure how your money is invested, get whatever help you need to develop an asset allocation strategy that’s appropriate for your goals and risk tolerance. 320


• Make sure your expectations for a return on your money are both realistic and sufficient to give you the best chance of achieving your goals. Don’t focus solely on risk but also on potential reward and ways to try to manage risk. And remember that an investment’s past performance is no guarantee of its future results. • Some investments offer potential growth, some focus on protection of your initial investment, and some provide regular income payments. Understand what you own and what role each investment fills in your portfolio. Though asset allocation and diversification cannot guarantee a profit or eliminate potential loss, they can help you manage the types and levels of risk you take. • An investment club can be a way to explore investing in a social setting. The National Association of Investors Corporation can help you start or find one. If you’re money savvy: • To ensure that you’re making the most of your money, benchmark the performance of your investments and your portfolio against relevant indices, and, most importantly, against your goals on a regular basis. • Make sure your asset allocation adjusts to changes in your life circumstances. • Don’t underestimate the impact of taxes, fees, expenses and trading costs on portfolio performance. If you’ve amassed substantial assets, you might benefit from expert help in dealing with issues such as taxes, estate planning and

asset protection. • Have a game plan to keep yourself from panicking during volatile markets. Equipping yourself to pursue your financial goals is time well invested. Before investing in a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund, carefully consider its investment objective, risks, fees and expenses, which can be found in the prospectus available from the fund. Read it carefully before investing. One of the best things you can do for yourself and/or your family is to be prepared to manage your finances responsibly. Even if you see investing as overwhelming or complicated and boring, you need to know the basics behind a well-thought-out investment strategy—at least enough to protect yourself from fraud and/or communicate effectively with a financial professional or spouse. If you need some advice to get started, a professional advisor can help you build the framework that will ensure you meet your financial goals and can provide meaningful advice as you move through the many phases of your financial life. Laurie A. Haelen, AIF®, is Senior Vice President – Manager of Investment and Financial Planning Solutions, CNB Wealth Management, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at (585) 394-4260 x41970 or by email at






Why do I need a Travel Advisor? I have traveled before, and I can do it! Sure, you can do it, but why would you want to when you can have someone handle all the planning details, the stress for you and it is free? Here are four important reasons to consider using a Travel Advisor for your next weekend away or vacation! NUMBER 4: TIME MANAGEMENT AND SAVINGS: Depending on the destination, you could have to decide between as many as 30 to 50 different hotels or resorts. Depending on the cruise destination as many as 8 different cruise lines with several different ships and itineraries. Which ones are in your budget? Which ones sleep a family of 5? Which ones have king beds and which ones only have doubles? Which ones offer a dining plan or free breakfast? Which have a gradual entry pool? Which ones are closest to the destination or attractions? Which is in a safe area? Which one would be best for my family? Which one is more adult only? Which restaurants would we like the food at? What does “all-inclusive” mean for this resort? What amenities are included? What ports does this cruise stop at? What happens if Covid causes my cruise to cancel? The list of questions that you must consider could be very long and the time it takes to research and find answers to all of them takes away from the time that you could be spending with family, working, or doing a thousand other things! A skilled and experienced Independent

Travel Advisor takes the time to get to know the group going on the trip and then selects hotels/resorts or cruises to best meet the needs of their clients and to keep them on budget. They are knowledgeable about all the resorts and cruise lines, as well as the other components to the destinations that they specialize in. They also have the connections and resources to find out about areas that they are not as familiar

with quickly and efficiently. The advisor does this all while you are able to go about your daily activities and not even have to give it a second thought! NUMBER 3: UPDATES, CHANGES, AND NEW PROCEDURES! In the age of Covid, everything is changing and almost daily! It is a good Travel Advisor’s job to keep up on the latest changes and developments, the latest openings, closings, and new procedures. Then it is our responsibility

to help our clients navigate and learn about those changes and how they may impact your vacation. This is a very real example that happened recently: A bride was planning a getaway bachelorette party with herself and 15 of her closest girlfriends. They decided to go to Walt Disney World for 5 nights. The bride, not wanting to deal with any of the details or stress contacted a colleague and had her find the perfect house nearby and handle the tickets for her and 10 of her friends. The other five girlfriends had been to Walt Disney World in the past and thought they could handle their own tickets. Fast forward to the weekend of the trip. My colleague gets a phone call from a very upset bride that while her and those that went through the Travel Advisor are good to go, the 5 who purchased their own tickets did not know about the new covid protocols. Because of that they never made park pass reservations and now they cannot get into the parks at all as they are booked due to capacity restrictions! Unfortunately, this meant that those 5 ladies had wasted a great deal of money and while their friends were drinking around the world in EPCOT and celebrating the bride’s upcoming wedding with Mickey Mouse and his friends in Magic Kingdom, they had to stay behind at their rented house. If they had used a Travel Advisor from a Disney Earmarked Travel Agency, who specialized in Disney destinations (like the bride had), they would never have had ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { TRAVEL WITH JESS SHIFT+CONTROL “A skilled and experienced Independent Travel Advisor takes the time to get to know the group going on the trip and then selects hotels/resorts or cruises to best meet the needs of their clients and to keep them on budget”

that issue! In a world where everything is changing at a rapid pace, use a Travel Advisor! They are required to stay up to date on trainings from the destinations they specialize in as well as all changes for any destinations they book! NUMBER 2: PERSONAL CONCIERGE (EXPERT): In addition to knowing the latest updates, changes, procedures, etc. a good Travel Advisor will also be able to answer any questions you have and be on top of promotions that are released, dining reservation booking dates, transportation arrangements, and any other deadlines or components that are part of your trip. For example, in the past when the famous “free dining” promotion or “buy 3 get two free tickets” promotion at Walt Disney World has been released, I often have the promotion applied to qualifying clients and an email or text message sent informing them of how much money I just saved them before they have even begun their workday! I have also been on hold for over 6 hours to purchase tickets for a client when a special event is released! I have had a 3-hour meeting over zoom to work out a budget, pick the best resort packages and help a wonderful set of grandparents plan an amazing dream vacation for their children and grandchildren! I have typed up itineraries, sent gift packages, handled “after hours” travel emergencies, and done last minute changes to dining, transportation, or hotel accommodations. I have arranged for changes of vacation 324


dates, covid cancelations and cruise changes. I have set up and managed payment plans, arranged car rentals, booked ASL Interpreters, arranged for medical equipment, oxygen deliveries, and found out answers to policies on everything from military benefits to emotional support animals. How am I able to do all this? Primarily because unlike a typical Travel Agency business, as a Travel Advisor, I can set my own hours and I do not work from 9am-5pm Monday thru Friday. Like many Travel Advisors, this is not my full-time job, and I work it around my full-time career and my family’s schedule! Which, in the long run is usually a perfect fit for my clients as they all have jobs and crazy schedules of their own! My busiest hours during the week are between 6am and 8am and then again from 5pm until 10pm at night! Weekends and evenings I can arrange my schedule to be available to meet with clients in person, over zoom, or through a simple phone call to work on plans and answer questions. My job and joy is to be there for my clients from the moment they ask for a quote until they arrive home from their dream vacation! It is my honor and joy to help each client make amazing memories that will last a lifetime!! This means I am never more than a text or phone call away! When you book through a skilled Travel Advisor you are getting your own personal concierge! NUMBER 1: FREE!!!! The best part about the services

provided by a good Travel Advisor is that the services are ALL FREE for anyone who books their trip through the agent!!!! There is no cost difference between booking through a Travel Advisor or directly through the resort, destination, car rental, or cruise line. Each company (cruise line, resort, destination, car rental etc.) has a contract with the licensed travel agency and they agree to pay the agency a commission for the business that the Travel Advisors bring in. The Travel Advisors earn a percentage of that commission for each booking. So, you get all the services listed above (and more) for FREE, a whole lot LESS stress and you are supporting a small local independent personal business too!!! It is a win-win for everyone!!! Jess Meissner is an Independent Travel Agent with Mickey World Travel, living in Canandaigua, NY. She specializes in Disney destinations, Universal Parks, Sea World, and several cruise lines, but books just about anywhere! Jess is a Deaf friendly agent and can communicate in spoken English or American Sign Language. If you are interested in a free quote for your next getaway or vacation, please contact her at or visit her at mickeyworldtravelJessMeissner




We have just finished an election many people considered the election of their lifetime. At the same time most of us are happy our social media accounts and televisions are now free of election ads. One thing candidates emphasized in those ads was any endorsement received from a union. Rochester Woman Online decided to investigate the thinking behind the endorsement of candidates by unions. To do this, we approached five (5) incredible women who are members of different unions.

what is in it for the union? Certainly, they hope for an elected official with a friendly attitude toward labor unions and labor in general. It turns out though, that somewhat cynical view is unfair to these union women. As we spoke with these union reps, we realized that while their obligation

They were Candace Rubin, Kendall Bell, Montina Scott, Christine Kinsman and Maria Fisher. The women hold different positions in their unions, but they all agreed that the most important items for selecting and promoting a candidate are the candidate’s ethics and platform. Once the union decides to help a candidate’s run for office, these women work with the union members to provide that support. The members can help the candidates introduce themselves to the voters he or she hopes to serve by bringing campaign literature to the homes of district voters. Sometimes a financial contribution is made to the candidate’s campaign fund and there is the promise of the union member votes. It is easy to see why a candidate would hope to be endorsed by a union. But 326


was to their union members, they also had a strong commitment to their communities. As so often happens, as we spoke with them, their stories and their union work were more compelling than their political activism. Kendall Bell is a Union Staff Representative for IUECWA, and second vice Chair for Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

-CBTU. A second-generation union member, her involvement in her union extends to making sure the marginalized communities within her union are as well represented as other interests. “This is the every day fight that guides my work” Bell says. Bell works against the scourge of institutional racism and inequality. In an organization that claims equality for all, this is the cause she wants to champion. She is very proud of the work and knows that whatever she can do to help inside her union will eventually work its way to the community. Bell has assisted in community food drives and fund raising. As we spoke, she talked about the pride she has in her family. Kendall mentioned her daughter and her face lit up. “My daughter can advocate for herself and knows what is right and wrong in her work place”. That is from being raised in a home that practices what it preaches. Candace Rubin is a teacher in the Rochester City School District, a member of a New York State United Teachers – NYSUT and The Rochester Teacher Association - RTA, a Political Action Coordinator for NYSUT and the chair of the Rochester Labor Council’s Committee of Political Education (COPE). Rubin has strong convictions about education and the betterment of education in the Rochester City School District. She believes selecting education friendly politicians is of the utmost importance





SHIFT+CONTROL { {WOMEN IN POLITICS} } “My daughter can advocate for herself and knows what is right and wrong in her work place. That is from being raised in a home that practices what it preaches.”

to educators and their students. Law makers can make all the difference. Laws must be carefully considered and crafted. An example of this is the way teachers have to “teach to the test”. Some years ago, legislation was passed that would evaluate teachers not on the content of what students could take away from a class but on the grades that the students achieved on a required test. The result, teachers found themselves teaching the method the test was administered as well as trying to teach content. Had teachers been involved in the legislation establishing Common Core and their performance evaluations, this type of approach to teaching may have been avoided. This is why she works to endorse candidates who will invite input from all stakeholders in education. Asked if she felt her involvement in her union impacted her community, she said this, “I have seen many examples of people who are elevated by union membership into stable and secure positions. These are the people who are more likely to make investments in the community, buy a home, and support the community through their taxes and community involvement. Unions strengthen communities and give workers the tools for work which bestows dignity”. Kristine Kinsman, United Auto Workers – UAW Local 1097, Chair of Community Service Committee, Co-Chair of Civil Rights committee, on the Political Action Committee and is a member of the Committee for Black 328


Trade Unionists. She serves as the work families EAP Representative (Employees Assistance Program). The program she organizes helps members with a variety of different life events that often happen outside of an individual’s workday. She assists making connections and referrals. Often those who need help might not be aware

where to go or be so overwhelmed they have no idea where to start. She was asked, aside from her work in her designation/endorsement committees, what was the favorite part of her job. “Helping someone with a problem and getting them through the issue”. Understandably, this is helpful in the work place, but possibly even more

important outside of the workplace and in the home. Even with a union job, families may struggle to pay bills, need breakfast/lunch programs for students and need help from SNAP programs. Kristine’s work helps the individual or family and strengthens the community at the same time. Helping people get through stressful situations and reducing the pressure makes life a bit easier. Helping any family positively effects the whole community. Montina Scott is a Union Benefits Representative Local, UAW - 1097 Chair of the Civil Rights committee, Co-Chair of Community Service committee, and on the Political Action committee. Her responsibility in her local is to help active and retiree members with questions pertaining to their benefits. Through her work to designate and elect candidates she has lobbied in Washington, worked on political action committees and is a member of the Coalition of Black Trades Unionists. Montina feels the current right to work climate misses the point. Unions help not just their own members, but all workers. As union jobs get better pay and benefits, other jobs must improve to keep up. That is a driver for her and our other women to work with political candidates who support unions. Maria Fisher is a Representative for the Public Employees Federation – PEF, member of Labor Council and United Steel Workers – USW Local 9265. Maria is a third-generation union family member. During World War II her







{ WOMEN IN POLITICS } “As we spoke with these union reps, we realized that while their obligation was to their union members, they also had a strong commitment to their communities.”

Ukrainian grandparents were rescued from a Nazi concentration camp in Austria and brought to America. Her grandfather was able to secure a union job and later her father did as well. After years of service to his union and his employer, her father found himself sent to Poland to train people to do his job, because the company started to out-source the work. Maria, who at the time worked for the City of Rochester, wrote an article about her father’s dilemma that received national attention. Not long after, PEF recruited

her. In addition to her tireless work to support her union family and her political action committee work, she volunteers for Rochester’s own Blind Baseball team, the Pioneers. She works to support ROC MAPP which is an organization that supports apprenticeship programs for people of color in the building and construction trades. When asked what drives her work in union support of political candidates, she said “It’s not about Republican or Democrat. It is making sure the candidate has a strong sense of justice”. She credits her family

history for her commitment to her work. Each of these women knows that promoting candidates who support unions helps all Labor. As we talked to them, what became more interesting than their support for Labor was their passion to help others in and out of the workplace. These dedicated women help fellow employees and their entire community. They make our community a better place. It was truly a pleasure to spend time with each of these women.






I’ve talked about a lot of travels around New York State and haven’t really mentioned my hometown to often. This is where it all started so five years ago. I decided to start producing wine specifically Riesling. And many things haven’t changed. It’s been all about personal relationships with visits on-site and selling on taste as literately no one anything about us. That’s completely fair. All I could toute was that we were the newest Riesling in the Finger Lakes. I determined that we weren’t going to be everywhere and we definitely needed to create distinction from among the several hundred New York wineries already existing and beyond that the thousands of those across the nation. It’s not an easy market to crack into. Where to start? Right here in my backyard! So we did just that. Many of the first restaurant clients are still with us today. When you want to test the waters, why not try selling the best locations for fine dining. I felt our Riesling matched up to the best in the Finger Lakes and we were spired on by a few nice acknowledgements including being voted best new wine in America by Beverage Industry magazine’s reader’s poll and being awarded high enough wine rating point scores by the renown experts at Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast placing us in the top five Semi-Dry Riesling in the Finger Lakes. That quite an accomplishment for the first vintage. And that attracted the eyes

of Bartender magazine coming from being non-existent into an exclusive groups among those that have been producing for many years and even decades. We became the featured wine of the month. Now we at least had

something to talk about. I made a cold call to the Food & Beverage Manager at the Strathallan Hotel about setting up a samplings that would be a convenient day and time. The manager at the Stath mentioned they had one

of the best wine lists in New York as a Wine Spectator Where to Drink Well Restaurant called Char. And stated that he had never heard of us. But I was able to convince him to spend a few minutes on their patio. I arrived and the manager grabbed a few wine glasses and headed outside. I ask if he would do the honors of opening the bottle. He pulled the cork and said so you guys are serious upon glancing at the cork. After chatting about wine. The manager asked so how many cases are we taking. Char at the Strathallan regarded as a outstanding steakhouse flame to plate, yet maintains delicious seafood items including a flurry of appetizers including PEI mussels, Oishii shrimp cocktail and blue crab croquettes and main menu items such as Hokkaido scallops and flame-roasted Oyster based Chimichurri. I had dropped off a bottle of our Riesling at Lento Restaurant in City Gate. Owner and Executive Chef Art Rogers offered our sample during a staff meeting for evaluation. Afterward, Art called me to say that he stood up holding the glass up to say “This is one of the best Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling I’ve ever tasted.” I said back to Art, that’s a big statement. Art replied, “Quote me.” Why did I pursue Lento? Art Rogers created a wine list to include some of the best Rieslings from the Finger Lakes and renown for excellent entrees featuring top seafood options. “We also go out of our way to track ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ TRAVEL WITH AGNESS WINE }CELLARS } { SHIFT+CONTROL “The Pavilion is both unforgettable and a perennial favorite at the same time at Bolton Landing offering scenic view of the lake.”

down sustainable seafood and practice whole fish butchery to use the entire fish instead of just the filets. We make seafood charcuterie, pates/dips and such with the scraps and soups and stews with the bones.” “We use wild Gulf shrimp for a form of traceability and to promote human rights and environmental sustainability,” mentioned Rogers. He continued, “Our menu changes daily based on what fish/seafood we can procure that meets our standards. This also goes to the menu in general with our support of local farms and serving what is in season at its peak.” Don’t be surprised to find soft shell crab and fried squash blossoms seasonally.

I still dine at Max simply because it very very good food. My favorites include items that are not on the menu. As you know, the only way to get access to these menu items is to have a knowledge of their historical offerings like Scallops, Oysters, Clam Chowder, Bluefin Tuna and Lobster Bisque, but you’d be surprised with chef specials and off the menu treats

As far as the role of wine and seafood pairing. Lento does of course Riesling provides a wide listing of white wines. “Riesling is a go to choice with almost every seafood option I can imagine as well as the plethora of other amazing whites and sparkling from our region,” commented Rogers. Max Rochester has been a major upscale player in the restaurant business in Rochester. Owner and Executive Chef Tony Gullace has probably trained many if not most of the chefs making an impact around greater Rochester as well. Max Rochester includes both Max Bistro and Max Chophouse and a great catering operation. Tony gave us a try-out at each location as his staff adopted our Riesling until switching to a French Bistro orientation. Of course, 338


like an Atlantic off Nova Scotia Halibut, shrimp and lobster pasta carbonara or my absolute yum appetizer Little Neck Clams with Chorizo garlic, parsley, white wine, lemon and chives as a savory broth. If you can image it, Max most likely will have it and be absolutely fresh as the catch of the day rotates daily. When you venture into Max Chophouse. Yes, Chophouse you will also find an outstanding assortment of delicious seafood options as well.

A few years ago, I found a great listing of BYOB restaurants (Bring Your Own Bottle) with a corkage fee across greater Rochester along with those who offer discounted Oyster days. One such place began appearing on a number of significant restaurant lists. There’s a very nice restaurant called Revelry Rochester on University serving American cuisine the traditions of South Carolina including high level emphasis on hospitality and putting a passionate focus on delicious menu items to please their guests. Based on recommendations, I decided to pursue a relationship with Revelry. The general manager offered a opportunity to sample their staff with our Riesling. Shortly after, a call came in to order. The first thing you notice is a clear glass window viewing below the host station revealing their wine storage. Very cool feature. Beginning with small plate specials like Oysters on the Half, Peel and Eat Shrimp, and Spanish Octopus you immediately realize this is a cool place to dine. The large plate menu including Cashew Crusted Salmon along with Shrimp & Grits. Until Covid, Revelry featured a tremendously popular seafood bar. Where will that go? I can only think a return in the near future if not already planned. Revelry has become a player in the Seafood in Rochester. Sometimes you only have to check out into your local community to find exactly what you’re looking for. Who says that you can’t mix business with amazing food.





Rather than going to the beach today to relax & recharge, I used my day off to drive this sweet girl 5 hours to The Animal Care Sanctuary in PA. The beach will always be there, but Bridget’s opportunity for a new life may not.

to take Bridget. Next issue- Jacquie & Karen are going on transport that night, Bridget needs a place to stay until she can take the 5 hr journey to PA

HERE IS BRIDGET’S STORY: Bridget was living on the Amtrak Railroad tracks in Philly for months. Jacquie’s neighbor works there, he noticed her a few months back and started to leave her food & water. It took two months for Bridget to trust him enough to even come close to him.

She was the perfect passenger during our long drive, she slept, she played with toys in the crate, she did great in the car, she walks well on a leash & she is lovable ❤️ It’s obvious she belonged to someone at some point, Lord only knows how she ended up living on the tracks. She is just a gentle soul . If she would have been picked up by Animal Control her chances would not have been good.

On Wednesday he was able to catch her. Now what??? The rescue that committed to take her stopped answering Jacquie’s calls, Matt could not take her home & Jacquie was leaving for Georgia that night. In steps Karen Lasasso to work yet another miracle. It is not easy to find a rescue for a pittie, especially if its temperament is unknown, since Bridget had been living alone on the tracks for a few months it was even more difficult to make a determination. The Animal Care Sanctuary agreed 340


to this point we thought Bridget to be feral, it turns out she was just terrified. In the past 48hrs she totally decompressed at AAC, this morning she made a bee-line to Kathleen’s son and was just loving him up, we now know that she is kid friendly and dog friendly.

Two points1. Things aren’t always as they appear, this girl is the sweetest pup ever Kathleen Leary offers to keep Bridget at Animal Adoption Center until Jacquie finds transportation for Bridget to PA. I then offer to drive Bridget up to PA, 5 hrs there and 5 hrs back. Now here is the BEST part - Up

2. It takes an ARMY to save one dog, please don’t just assume it’s easy to get a dog into rescue. There is always a way someone can help out rather then just passing the buck Adopt - Donate - Foster - Volunteer



{ TRAVEL{ WITH AGNESS WINE} CELLARS } SHIFT+CONTROL “ The beach will always be there, but Bridget’s opportunity for a new life may not.”






As a children’s advocacy and placement agency for nearly 50 years, Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) has always been on the front line to advance the critical need for parents, adults, mentors, guardians, and families to support the large number of children in foster care locally and nationally. We publish the numbers, we share the data, we emphasize the severity of these children’s trauma on a regular basis. But the need continues to exist. To assist in reducing these numbers, providing less traumatic experiences, and build forever families, CAP has the opportunity to provide adoption services as an avenue for children to leave the foster care system, having found their forever family. But agencies like CAP—although making a difference one child at a time—cannot have a vast enough impact to change the trajectory of the 440,000 children waiting in foster care for a permanent family of their own. Of that population, the majority are under 18; many will be raised in foster care and leave the system without a family. So how does a small, local Western New York organization do more, reach more children, reduce the time in foster care while seeking permanency through a myriad of options? As we processed this in 2019, we reached a conclusion as to what was most needed in Rochester, NY and the surrounding regions. Our research uncovered the hard facts as to who was remaining in care the longest: older youth, youth of non-White cultures/races, and sibling sets—many of whom have challenging “behaviors” or disabili-ties. This we knew, but what

could CAP do to make a difference to the foster care system in reducing length of stay and promote permanency through return to family—or adoption, when that was not possible? One solution meant we had to go back to the beginning. We weren’t prepared to develop a preven-tive program as it did not really fit CAP’s mission. But Foster Care is where it starts for our adopted kids. And with a new Family First Prevention Services Act ready to commence as of October 1, 2021, we, as a team sought a deeper solution to address this national epidemic. Our response was to develop our own CAP Foster Care program, governed by New York State, to offer family services to Monroe and the surrounding counties. There is a desperate statewide need to pro-vide a quality program targeting the harder-to-place, more challenging, and older youth. With a thera-peutic foster care (TFC) program, CAP could assist many local counties by offering more foster homes, beds, and most importantly, more caring families, therapeutically trained to care for those challenging youth. And thus, the work began. CAP is dedicated to finding permanency (a child welfare term for perma-nent stability) for all children at any level that best fits the youth and their situation. Permanency comes in many forms, including: • remaining with a family member • temporary foster care to return to a family member • foster care to adoption (through foster home or family member or other) ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ UNSTOPPABLE { SHIFT+CONTROL WOMAN } } } { CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS “We weren’t prepared to develop a preventive program as it did not really fit CAP’s mission. But Foster Care is where it starts for our adopted kids.”

• guardianship by a caring family or acquaintance • another planned living arrangement (APLA) once ready to discharge from foster care at 18 years for independent living Whatever the outcome, the goal is, and will always be, to provide youth with a family environment and support system. Throughout the pandemic, the CAP team worked diligently to prepare, write, and develop a program that would benefit youth, counties, and the state to provide quality foster care services. While devel-oping the program, we were already recruiting foster families, locating space, and working closely with our local region of OCFS (Office of Family and Children Services). The year 2020 came and went, and we continued to work in earnest, never giving up hope for the program. Our staff member Stacie Dailey, LMSW—with a heart and passion for foster care, and who has been waiting patiently for the program since 2019—continued to develop a plethora of forms and narrative compositions, all while recruiting foster parents. I hired Stacie early in the foster care application pro-cess with a bare bones outline. Stacie took the helm and ran with her passion. Stacie is a trauma trained licensed therapist and social worker, with what I always call an alphabet after her name. Her credentials as a CCTP (Child Centered Trauma Professional) has enabled CAP to provide trauma thera-py and training for our youth and families. She has a long history 346


of working with youth in foster care, and her drive to open a foster care program was consistent with her passion for youth and families. In January 2021, CAP relocated to a larger space on Anderson Avenue to accommodate families. In June 2021, the program was finally completed and submitted to the state. Our anticipation grew, but believing that we would be approved and open soon, we continued to recruit, train, and inspect fami-lies and homes, and prepare our new space for family visitation. On August 10, 2021 our local OCFS called to tell us that CAP is now an official NYS-approved Therapeutic Foster Care. Therapeutic means that CAP is trained and approved to serve those youth with a higher need for supervision due to their behaviors, diagnoses, family situation, physical, or emotional needs. CAP staff is trained with a trauma-informed background and therapeutic crisis interventions. Stacie Dailey has been named Foster Care Program Manager, and as such, is trained in trauma evidence-based therapy skills and can provide both training and counseling for foster families, birth families, and youth. In addition, we hired two amazing internal staff for the open positions to build this quality team. Toni Marrocco-Helwig—previously the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter— will be our new Home Find-er/ Recruiter. Toni brings a wealth of experience with her personal and professional history in foster care. As a MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) trainer, with

experience in Permanen-cy Round Tables, Family Meetings, adoption, and as a foster parent herself, Toni will bring incredible training support to our foster families. Our last hire to date is Case Manager Lizbeth Carrasquillo. Liz-beth comes to this position as a recent MSW, having completed an internship with CAP, bringing expe-rience working with children, and a passion for youth, refugees, and family service. This dynamite team is well-prepared for a program of excellence to make a big impact on foster care! The story of CAP’s Therapeutic Foster Care program wouldn’t be complete without including our commitment to continue striving toward the ultimate goal of reducing lengthy stays in care and ensur-ing that youth have a family to support them in the end. This is certainly an exciting and pertinent part of this story. As we open our TFC program, we also continue to recruit families to care for, mentor, or adopt youth. Becoming a foster parent is a challenging but rewarding experience, one that will change your life for-ever. To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please reach out to us at (585) 232-5110, email, check our website at childrenawaitingparents. org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, and sign up to receive our eNews at https://bit. ly/3z9vZmT.

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } } { UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN { CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS “As a children’s advocacy and placement agency for nearly 50 years, Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) has always been on the front line to advance the critical need for parents, adults, mentors, guardians, and families to support the large number of children in foster care locally and nationally.”








In all my years of dealing with cancer, both within my own body and with others suffering from it, I developed a system to cope with it that has proved to be alarmingly effective. There is so much that goes on in the mind of a cancer patient. The whole world loses its shape. It’s incredibly overwhelming. The patient is t the only one suffering however. The caregivers are also. Getting a cancer diagnosis forces the question of mortality. A question nobody enjoys confronting. That’s how I can up with the three r’s as a way to carry people through the troubled waters. The first one is recognize. You have to recognize the emotions you are feeling and not deny them. It’s easy to deny emotions it see them as negative. Or even deny a situation because it’s too overwhelming. But denying those feelings can only make things worse as they will linger until you can’t ignore them. I really wouldn’t recommend that. There’s too much to deal with for that to happen. So instead of ignoring how you feel, own it. Say it out loud. If you’re feeling angry or anxious or sad or scared - whatever it may be. Declare it! You will be surprised at how liberating that is. Just saying it out loud, whether it’s to yourself or to others, is a giant relief. A relief you need and deserve. Which leads to the second step, respect. Although these feelings are considered negative, they’re really not unless you 350


hang onto them. That’s why need to respect them for what they are. These are not just emotions or reactions, they’re instincts. They’re meant to be temporary. They are there to put you on high alert! Warnings to get you to be aware and pay attention. Respect that. We, as humans, have a built in alarm

busy people with a plethora of patients. Sometimes they slip. That’s not that their fault, they’re human. It is up to you to make sure you’re being heard.

system. So be aware! Pay attention! Do some research on whatever you’ve been told. Talk to cancer agencies or other friends or family members. Advocate for yourself. You know your own body better than any physician because you’re the only one living in it. If you think your doctor is missing something, demand attention to it. Doctors are incredibly

The unofficial fourth “r” is repeat. This may not be the only scary, shocking thing you hear on your journey. Repeat the three “r’s”! It’s remarkably liberating! You have so much to live for. It’s worth fighting for, trust me. Trust you!

Perhaps the most difficult “r” is release. Sounds easier than it may be. Because these emotions are temporary, you need to let them go. If you hang on to them, just like a delicious fruit, it will become rotten. Try to imagine a rotten fruit. What do you think would happen if you ate it and put inside of your body? Your body now needs your full on attention. Positive energy will help you get ready for battle and armor you to fight the enemy - cancer. People have different ways of releasing these feelings. Find yours. For me, it’s writing in my journal. For others it’s some kind of physical exercise. Some watch a sad movie and cry it out. Others watch a funny movie and laugh it out. Whatever you need to do - do it! Cancer is one thing that’s going on your life. You are made up of many, many things. Don’t let this disease own you or it will.








I have not been invited to an out-oftown wedding in years. My girlfriend’s daughter was getting married and she invited me and another friend to come as guests. She did not say it, but it was implied; significant others are staying home so us girls can have some fun. My married friend jumped at the idea. The three of us spend hours on FaceTime laughing and talking about fashion. Both of my friends work in retail, and it is what bonded us from the beginning. I would shop and they would sell. One night, we decided to meet in the mall after work for a glass of wine (another common denominator) to talk about cloths. We have been buddies ever since. The wedding was in Delaware in an affluent area with upscale venues, restaurants, and hotels so my friend and I saw this as a girls get-away weekend and a chance to up our shopping game. I had six-weeks to get ready for the three-day extravaganza, and I could not find anything to wear. I attempted to order from my go-to shops first, but sizes and styles were limited. I perused every store at the mall, stalked Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube nightly looking for inspiration. Desperate orders on Amazon left me heading to the UPS Store each week with returns. With proms and weddings already underway, I was about three weeks too late. This was supposed to be fun, but I felt like Goldilocks; everything was too

tight, too short, too tacky. Would I have to resort to wearing the boing black jumpsuit that was hanging in my closet from the last “event” I attended? Why was shopping suddenly so hard? I have two large closets full of jeans, blouses, blazers, and work dresses. Have I forgotten how to get really dressed up? It was my last stop with a week to go before the event and I found myself back at Von Maur; not in the younger trendy section downstairs, but up upstairs, where the ladies shop. In the last week I had morphed into “mother-of-the-bride” mode and convinced myself that my days were numbered when it came to feeling stylish ever again.

It was simple, safe and on sale. Maybe I was growing. With my remaining time, I bought jewelry, shoes and decided not to spend the money on a purse, I knew I had an old one in my closet. The task was over, and I headed home. My 17-year-old fashionista daughter who is hip, cool, and effortless took one look at my decisions and simply said “no.” I replied, “it’s classic.” She quipped back, “it’s frumpy.” The “F” word; boring, drab, the opposite of fabulous.

With a half-an-hour to go until closing, a salesperson who was at least ten years my senior said she liked one dress of the five dresses I tried on. “That dress fits you like a glove and it’s so appropriate.”

I was stuck at a style crossroads, and I did not even know it until I saw myself in the mirror looking like I was heading to a press conference rather than a swanky country club wedding with a cocktail in hand.

I flinched.

Maintaining your sense of self and style is tricky after age 50. Our bodies do not always cooperate, daily responsibilities stack up and our self-confidence gets diminished every time we pull on a pair of exercise tights to go to Wegmans.

My inner voice was telling me to run as fast as I could to get away from this woman who offered no real fashion sense of her own but was trying to convince me that that my dress was good enough. I felt so beaten down by own thoughts of feeling too old for sexy and trendy that I took her compliment right to the register. The dress was comfortable, and I did not even have to contort my body to get into shapewear to camouflage my middle-age middle.

We do not even realize we have gotten retail lazy until we are taking advice from strangers who clearly do not see staying current as anything beyond being ‘age appropriate’. While I was shopping all those weeks, all I could think about was what I ‘couldn’t’ ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ HER EDGE } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Instead of dressing my age, I am choosing to celebrate the years it took me to finally get to a place where I am quietly confident with myself.”

or ‘shouldn’t’ wear rather than celebrating the chance to feel comfortable in my own skin. In every mirror I saw the flaws and not the beauty. For the first time my age was bothering me more than my dress size, and it had to stop. The next day my daughter and I found a small boutique that was not bridal, formal or a department store. It was 354


upscale, unique, and elevated. Six items hung in my dressing room, all fit, all were stylish but one, made me feel like I was myself again. No sucking in, special bras or Spanx needed for this colorful, flowing dress that indeed, fit me like a glove. Instead of dressing my age, I am choosing to celebrate the years it took me to finally get to a place where I am quietly

confident with myself. Someday I will have to thank my daughter for her vision; she saw me more clearly than I did. And yes, I am grateful for the woman in the department store, who reminded me that age is just a number, and you do not have to settle or be safe or worse, appropriate when it comes to your own personal style.







Contrary to popular opinion, the days of email marketing are not over. As a business owner, when budgeting and coordinating your marketing strategies, it’s essential to develop effective campaigns that attract, delight, and engage your consumers. As a result, these campaigns achieve a positive return on investment, while simultaneously building the brand voice that carries out the message your brand stands for. I believe one of the most effective ways to do this and to reach existing customers is through regularly scheduled email marketing campaigns.

Indicators (KPI’s) perform better in open rates, revenue, transactions, and leads when you segment your email list. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can be used to best optimize segmentation. A few ways you can segment your customer base is by industry, by sales cycle, or by company size. Segmenting your email subscribers by industry is an effective

This means of communication outperforms all online marketing strategies including PPC, SEO, and content marketing. In fact, on average, for every $1 you spend on email campaigns, you can expect a return of about $50. One of the main factors to consider when crafting an impactful email marketing campaign is to create personalized, targeted messages to reach your different customer segments. Let’s take a closer look at this. CUSTOMER SEGMENTATION As an email marketer, segmenting your customer audience should be your top priority. Research shows that email marketing Key Performance

B2B marketing strategy to identify where your brand can provide service to their brand and vise versa. Segmenting by sales cycle keeps your customers engaged throughout the year for unique promotional deals or free trial offers. Segmenting your email subscribers by company size helps increase response rates by determining if you are sending messages to a larger or small company. Whichever segmentation strategy you

decide to use, the important thing is that you are segmenting. 9/10 email marketers don’t take the time to segment and as a result end up blasting out the same content to a variety of different groups and the messaging then becomes less impactful. Invest in segmenting and you’ll be sure to position your brand above the competition. PERSONALIZED MESSAGES Creating personalized messages is easier than you might think! Personalization is simply using customer data to integrate personalized messages into email campaigns. Almost every company has access to customer information and past purchase data that can be used towards CRM to discover valuable customer insights. For example, it could be as simple as beginning an email with “Dear (First name),” rather than “Dear (Valued Customer).” In fact, personalized email subject lines that address the reader by name can increase open rates by up to 16%. Accessing customer data also allows you to recommend certain products in the campaign based on their past purchases and likes/dislikes. The most recent research found that email marketing generates roughly $0.08 in revenue per email, but if you use personalization in your emails, you ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{{SHE SHE TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL }} } HUSTLES {HUSTLES B. MORTALKS } “Remember to design your email to be both desktop and mobile friendly. Up to 61% of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device.”

can generate $20 ROI for every $1 invested. Fun fact: 70% of brands do not use personalization in their email marketing strategy. Don’t be like other brands, stand out by personalizing your communications! Designing the Email

the most important information at the top of the page. Using specific call to action messaging and bulleted lists will help divide up your content into sections to make the messaging clear and easy to understand for subscribers that skim the email.

Presentation is everything, so once you know what message you want to relay, designing the email properly is an important step in making the message clear, concise, and enticing. Here’s some tips: • Don’t include too many promotions, stick to focusing on communicating one message. • Keep your email concise by reducing the length. According to a HubSpot blog, “Data suggests the ideal length of an email is between 50 and 125 words. Emails this length had a response rate above 50%. A similar study found emails with approximately 20 lines of text, or about 200 words, had the highest clickthrough rates. When in doubt, keep emails short and under 200 words.” • Establish a hierarchy for the information in your email by adding 358


• Don’t be afraid to add links as much as possible. Be sure to use this opportunity to link to a page on your website, a recent blog post, your brand’s social media accounts, and any other content that may be relevant for further engagement. • Remember to design your email to

be both desktop and mobile friendly. Up to 61% of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device. These are just a few tips for creating an impactful email campaign. Not sure where to start? There’s lots of free templates on sites like MailChimp that will help you get started! Keep in mind that your customers will need to opt-in using a landing page on your new site such as MailChimp. Start by creating some achievable goals in terms of how many customers you want to add to your list and build slow and steady. When it comes to email marketing, it’s a process that you just have to trust!



SUSTAINABLE HOT SUMMER You know what they say, what goes around comes around – whether it’s trends from another era or the way we treat others and our planet! And this summer nothing is hotter than focusing on new ways to fulfill our wardrobe and home décor needs than with sustainable, secondhand fashion.

upcoming seasonal looks are influencers online. They research and scour retailers and runways to see what is up and coming. What you can do is take their recommendations and then buy the items at your local thrift. After all, transitioning your wardrobe each

- This fall you’ll see lots of sequins – what better option than grabbing an actual vintage sequin top or coat from the thrift store? - Fall will also bring you tailored and androgynous looks – as said above, blazers (And vests) can be found fruitfully in the men’s section - You’re also going to be seeing a lot of the “ski sweater” trend as the weather gets cooler – think a weekend in Aspen. To grab that sweater look, head to the thrift store and scour for your best vintage style

Some of the hottest trends this year are just recycled from bygone eras. And the greatest part about shopping and thrifting at secondhand stores is you can find those trends, but the authentic version of them. Ask any millennial these days and they’ll tell you vintage is IN. Events like The Lucky Flea are popping up throughout our region because the desire to have original styles and less fast-fashion influence is real. But it’s not just about buying secondhand, it’s also about knowing which trends to follow and when.

season with new items can be expensive; especially when it’s incorporating trends that may only be around for one season. With thrifting, you can get the “look” not only for less but for REAL – skip the fast fashion duplicates and go for the actual thing!

The best people to show you the

Some of the hottest trends right now


- Street casual style – think a hoodie under a blazer - Oversized blazers (be sure to shop in the men’s section for these!)

Around this time every year, students go back to school shopping for the hottest trends – but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking we ladies don’t like a wardrobe refresh as well! The excitement of new pencils, pens, and paper gets all of us craving a fresh wardrobe for the transition into the fall season. But when you’re considering shopping for those fresh styles, remember to think secondhand first.


of summer and leading into fall are: - 90’s/early Y2K. Think mom jeans, and crop tops. We’re talking Wild Fable at Target but the real deal at the thrift

- Satin is making a comeback as well – satin dresses or even vintage nightgowns, paired with the right shoe and jacket When you’re thinking about rounding out your summer wardrobe and begin building for the fall, consider adopting the trends with a trip to a secondhand store (Secondhand means thrift store, consignment and more). What’s even hotter than wearing the trends, is wearing them secondhand. Sizzle and stylin’! Join for more secondhand style, tips and fun at Second Look @secondlookstyling












“Reserved For Karma” is what the bold red letters say on the white sign at the dock. It’s where I dock my little 1973 vintage project boat, in between those times I get to take her out. This was the year I decided to give myself the pleasure of enjoying the lake where I grew up every chance I could. She sits among the other bigger, newer, better boats.right next to the diners at Abe’s Mai Tai Tiki Bar, who get a birds eye view of why I call her “lil Smokey”. When the engine decides to fire up, she announces it to all in view and I can troll out in a puff of smoke that smells of oil and gasoline. Although I always thought she was magnificent, with her olive green bow that screams 70’s all over again and rustic interior that I began replacing this year. She has character and charm beneath that beat up old shell and much like myself, she draws the attention of strangers right to her. Maybe she too is a gypsy and that’s her true name. I once showed up to work on her and to my surprise the little boy who was eating with his grandparents was so excited. As “that lady is here for the green boat!” I was told it was all he talked about during lunch and said he loved the green boat. I would have asked him to come in, and fire her up but didn’t want to be that creepy old lady who once had wide eyed little boys of her own.



Even though I know I’m not, they may have found it bizarre. So instead I stopped what I was doing and stood chatting with a little boy, and his grandparents about the project on the green boat. I ran into them the very next day, and of course the little boy knew exactly who I was,“there’s the green boat lady!” Was shouted out with his wide eyes

and pure joy. I stopped and chatted and let them know if they ever come back and I’m there, I’ll let him start it up. They didn’t find that creepy at all, in fact they were overly grateful that I even took the time to talk. On another occasion I was approached by a gentleman who was admiring my boat on his way out to his bigger newer boat with his young family. He told me about his similar project boat on the other side of the bay and gave me

tips on when I tear up the floor and lay a new one. He asked me about the engine, and was impressed it’s a 1975 Chrysler 75 horsepower. We chatted a bit and he told me he had breakfast at my food truck that day, he said “your Karma,right?” Yeah I told him with a half smirk. I’m Karma. It always surprises me when strangers know who I am, and humbles me. It reminds me that even when we aren’t aware, we are still being watched. It keeps me in check with the way I want to be portrayed, and to do things which keep my universe balanced. The spot is reserved for Karma, and I sometimes feel it’s more than just my boat. You see, when I went away for vacation I received word that my boat sank. I was in the middle of Pennsylvania, in a flash flood warning which seemed like a monsoon. That’s when I got word she came untied. “You better get down here with some ropes” was actually the message I received first. The stress of this seemed immeasurable but I was told that my friends at the dock got her tied back up but, I need new ropes. I was thankful and relieved. Until the next morning when my good friend Jamie called me. “Your boats at the bottom of the bay” he said. I was in Virginia, and my stomach dropped. What the hell do you do when your boat sinks? I hadn’t the first clue. I didn’t know who to call, what to say




KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “Reserved For Karma” is what the bold red letters say on the white sign at the dock. It’s where I dock my little 1973 vintage project boat, in between those times I get to take her out.”

or how to even think. Most would think this an omen, or Bad Karma. Wonder what it was they did to deserve this. but that’s not how the universe works. You need balance in life, and Mother Nature has her own agenda. And I personally fail to think this way. Bad things have to happen but perception is everything. I made calls, And texts and was worried sick. I heard the DEC fines you when your boat sinks. I felt at a loss and was told at this point my little green boat would be a total loss. Even if I get it lifted, and pay this huge fee there’s a chance the weight of the water could snap her in half. I was told the engine would now be ruined. And even after paying out the required fee, lil Smokey would be no more. But then, the universe does what it needs to, as the balance I spoke of has to even itself out. I try to present myself in a manner that exudes a positive aura, and in doing so believe that will keep the flow in return. What happened next is one of the many reasons I trust in if you do good things, good things happen. This was a crisis for sure, yet within this I was able to witness the good of people in my circle first hand. The people at the dock may not be my closest friends, but they are a circle of individuals who give when 366


needed. Who help without asking, and who without a doubt keep an eye out for you. My boat sank, but not because anyone let it. It was a monsoon, there was nothing they could have done to prevent it. But what they did was pretty amazing. Jamie called me to let me know to wait on hiring anyone to lift it. He was going to see who was at the dock and see what

they could do. He found Rocco, who seems to always be there when I need any help on my little green boat. He personally has been my boat macgyver and Mr fix it. I owe him meals at Karma’s for life. These two guys spent hours in the water lifting my boat with long poles And draining what Rocco said was tons of water. They put their own Well being at risk and spent time they could have done anything else and instead spent it lifting out my boat. During my panic I

had also texted my step cousin Jordon who without a doubt went down to the docks to see what he could do to help. All the while I was in Virginia silently saying goodbye to the fabulous little boat I was going to renovate into a spectacular sight. I thanked her for the sunset cruises, the sandbar outings, the one time we almost died on the lake fighting them waves. I got her worth and then some, she had served me well. But I honestly wasn’t ready to let her go. And that’s when I got a text. “Your boats above water” is all it said. Then another message with a video, “your boat still runs”. I was in shock and in awe. Not only did these guys work at least two hours lifting this boat, they also worked the engine and got her to run. Where most people would have seen a horrible incident, I will always see it as one of those good things that leaves you breathless in life. The balance that the universe needs to keep flowing correctly. I can’t even thank these guys enough. The sign says Reserved for Karma, and I don’t think it means just me, or my boat. I’d like to think that little spot means a whole lot more. A little place where good things happen, even if at first you have to weather the storm.










happening in the home-life so the doctor can take that into consideration when evaluating the child. In addition, it is important to keep track of the children’s regular physical health checkups and vaccinations. When there is so much going on in a parent’s life during the divorce process sometimes the normal

Children are impacted by their parents’ divorce on every level. Divorce is stressful for parents. The children feel it and carry their own stress as well as the impact of the parental stress. We see this in their physical health, emotional health, behavior and academic performance. They are also impacted by the change in the financial status of their households and even by the change in their physical environment. Physical Health: Children often have the stress and confusion of divorce show up in physical symptoms. These physical symptoms can include: • Decreased appetite, other changes in eating habits • Headache • New or recurrent bedwetting • Nightmares • Sleep disturbances • Upset stomach or vague stomach pain • Other physical symptoms with no physical illness Parents should be sure to watch what is happening with their children for signs of these symptoms. If they appear, it is important to address the symptom with the child and consider speaking with the child’s pediatrician about what is

see what is happening with the children. The child may think they caused the parents separation. They may think that they were “bad” so mom and dad fight and can’t stay together. This is a significant burden on children and can cause physical symptoms as identified above. Some parent’s turn to their children for support during the divorce, they treat the child more like a friend and relay on the child to make them feel better. This puts incredible stress on the child. The child needs to feel that the parent is caring for him/her, not that he/ she is responsible for caring for the parent. The child may be experiencing the abrupt loss of one of the parents, who is not longer living in the marital home. The child may believe that s/he won’t ever see the parent again. This raises issues of abandonment and anger.

scheduling of health care can be lost in the confusion. Emotional health: Divorce is scary, the child’s world is changing, and they don’t have any say in what is happening. They can feel helpless, alone, angry, scared and sad. Very often parents are engulfed in their own emotional turmoil and are unable to

Academic performance: The child’s homelife and stress impacts their ability to function at school socially and academically. Parent’s may see disruption in school performance and attendance. The school may need to be informed of what is going on at home so they can help address symptoms that show up during the school day. All children are different, some hold their feelings inside and the parents may not see the impact of the divorce on their children. Other children may ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ COLLABORATIVE LAW { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Children are impacted by their parents’ divorce on every level. Divorce is stressful for parents.”

show outward signs that are more easily interpreted. All children deserve to have their issues and concerns noticed and considered. Parent’s should be attentive to their children and remember that what happens in the parent’s life happens in the children’s lives. When keeping the children in mind please consider the following Children’s Bill of Rights.

affect your life; for example, when one of your parents is going to move or get remarried. 7. The right to reasonable financial support during your childhood and through your college years. 8. The right to have feelings, to express your feelings, and to have both parents listen to how you feel.

Every child whose parents’ divorce has: 1. The right to love a n d b e l ove d by both of your parents without feeling guilt or disapproval. 2. The right to be protected from your parents’ anger with each other. 3. The right to be kept out of the middle of your parents’ conflict, including the right not to pick sides, carry messages, or hear complaints about the other parent. 4. The right not to have to choose one of your parents over the other. 5. The right not to have to be responsible for the burden of either of your parents’ emotional problems. 6. The right to know well in advance about important changes that will 370


9. The right to have a life that is as close as possible to what it would have been if your parents stayed together. 10. The right to be a kid. Talk to your children. Let them know what is happening. Even though talking to children about a divorce is difficult it must be done. The following tips can help both the child

and parents with the challenge and stress of these conversations: • Do not keep it a secret or wait until the last minute. • Tell your child together with your spouse if possible. • Keep things simple and straightforward and don’t share more information than your child is asking for. • Tell them the divorce is not their fault. • Admit that this will be sad and upsetting for everyone. • Reassure your child that you both still love them and will always be their parents. • Do not discuss each other’s faults or problems with the child.

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


{ WELLNESS 360 }


Exercise has many proven benefits for the body, but what about the brain? When you exercise, you feel great. Why is that? Studies show that exercise can improve your mood, improve your memory, and reverse or prevent brain atrophy. As we age, we lose brain cells, and we lose neuron connections, causing the brain to shrink in size. There are different types of atrophy. One type is when the brain shrinks in its entirety. This type of atrophy happens with unhealthy habits like stress, alcohol, and eating processed food-like products. The second type of atrophy is focal atrophy. This type of atrophy attacks specific areas of the brain. Focal atrophy can occur after an injury, infection, or certain underlying medical conditions. The natural aging process can also cause brain atrophy or loss of neuron connections. Certain diseases can cause neurodegenerative changes in your brain, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and many more. These neurodegenerative changes can lead to mild, moderate, or severe cognitive impairments. There is good news; there are many changes we can make in our day-to-day life to decrease our cognitive decline. • Adopt a healthy lifestyle— including a nutritious, organic diet, regular exercise, hydration, mental stimulation, adequate sleep, and social interaction. These can slow 372


the progression of symptoms due to this normal aging process. • Stress management—Stress is not only harmful to your body; it is harmful to your brain. There are many ways to manage stress, including meditation, exercise, yoga, breathwork, or being in nature. • Healthy eating and hydration— Chemicals, pesticides, and genetically engineered foods wreak havoc on the body. B12 deficiency and excessive

alcohol intake have both proven to shrink the brain. Making small changes to you’re eating and supplementing when necessary can be very beneficial to your brain health. • Exercise—Exercise is one of the best ways to reverse or prevent cognitive decline. Exercise, in general, will boost the production of your “feel good” hormones. It increases the release of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins improving your sleep, decreasing chronic pain, and boosting your mood. Exercise can

improve your memory and lower your risk of cognitive impairments. So how does exercise improve your brain? As your heart rate increases through exercise, your blood flow will increase throughout your body and brain, bringing improved oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Some studies show that exercise improves the neuroplasticity in your brain. Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to grow and change. There are two ways the brain can change. One way is to produce new neuro-pathways through repetition. The second is to override and compensate for the damaged areas. So, if exercise is good for the brain… what is the best way to exercise? AEROBIC TRAINING Aerobic training has been shown to improve the cognitive function of the brain. The cognitive function includes improved memory, decision making, problem-solving, and attention. Aerobic training is excellent for the endorphin release and your “runners high,” where your body releases the feel-good hormones. Any form of aerobic exercise will light up the brain creating new neuropathways. STRENGTH TRAINING: Studies show that strength training is excellent for improving the executive function of the brain. The executive functioning of the brain controls reasoning, planning, and problemsolving. Incorporating strength training into your workout will




{ WELLNESS 360 } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Regardless of which exercise style you choose, it is essential to challenge the brain. Just as the saying goes, “If it does not challenge you, it will not change you.””

improve your ability to accomplish daily functional tasks like standing up out of a chair, getting out of a car, or carrying things around the house. MIND-BODY EXERCISE Yoga and Tai chi programs are great for balance training, improved posture, and improved pain management. Studies have shown that participants that incorporated yoga into their workouts have less stress, less anxiety, and report an overall reduced pain level. Regardless of which exercise style you choose, it is essential to challenge the brain. Just as the saying goes, “If it does not challenge you, it will not change you.” It is essential to 374


challenge the brain by increasing the intensity, duration, incorporating reaction training, or dual-tasking. Challenge both sides of your brain by moving your arms and legs at the same time or alternately. Another way to challenge your brain is to complete interval training. Interval training is a small burst of high-intensity exercise with shorter rest breaks. You can challenge the brain by challenging your balance throughout your exercise, standing on an uneven surface, one leg, etc. Reaction training can be agility training, throwing a ball, and trying to catch it while balancing. When dual tasking, you can incorporate brain teasers or cognitive challenges during your workout. By adding these styles of training to your workout,

your brain will respond over time to the new repeated stimuli. The good news is that almost all types of exercise provide benefits to your brain health. Just switch it up and keep your brain guessing. Wellness 360 specializes in training the body and the brain. We offer multiple types of exercise treatments to build neuropathways and create improved brain function. Our different classes include balance training, posture training, boxing, agility, yoga, strength, cardio, and so much more. For more information on how Wellness 360 can support your needs, check us out at








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

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

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

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




Sometimes in life during moments of reflection the Universe will guide you to the place where you are supposed to be next. This is what happened to Jennifer Young, owner of What’s Good in Fairport, New York. Jennifer had taken the summer of 2018 as a needed time of restoration after leaving a toxic work environment. After spending much needed time to care for her spirit and soul, which included adopting two beautiful rescue dogs, she pondered what was next for her. Over the years Jennifer has kept a “Notebook of Ideas” where she keeps her musings for possible projects. As she was going through her book of ideas she reflected on things she felt passionate about. Family, dogs, skiing, cycling, and gardening. One idea stood out. It was Jennifer’s life-long commitment to earth and peoplefriendly products. Her friends tease her about being the Eco-queen and her family tolerates it! At the same time Jennifer was focusing on having her home outfitted with healthy Earth friendly products. She thought about her own frustrations and experiences in trying to find better products. Having to purchase these products from multiple stores, navigating false eco claims, lack of transparency and detailed product information, along with inflated prices. Jennifer, being Jennifer, thought she could solve these problems and make it easier for other like-minded shoppers.



Jennifer was also recognizing the impact her mother truly had on her. Jennifer’s mother, who died in 2016, had always believed in all the potential Jennifer had. When Jennifer was small her mother owned a health food store during a time when society did not support these endeavors. It took a lot of guts to be a female entrepreneur, especially a divorced single mom. Her mom struggled to find work and even an apartment to rent. This did not stop Jennifer’s trailblazing mom. Her mom was fierce in her determination to be

with an occasional in-store shopping experience. Each product offered at What’s Good was carefully vetted by Jennifer before being offered for sale. Jennifer researches who is making the products, how the products are made, where the products are made, the packaging, and even the downstream effect. She takes the time because there are some products retailers sell as being “green” that are not green. The term I learned from Jennifer is called being “greenwashed” where labeled eco-friendly products are not truly green. At What’s Good each product is fully curated before it is placed for sale. The products for sale at What’s Good are all green. Yes Jennifer, one woman, will take the time and effort to complete the research needed to certify that the products she sells are green.

an entrepreneur. While the business closed after a few years, it’s success may have been in what her mother modeled for Jennifer. “Don’t take no for an answer, follow your passion, do good. When it came time to open her own business, Jennifer realized just how much of her mom’s spirit was guiding her. Jennifer’s mother always made sure that part of her income, which was not very much, went to help others in need. The actual date this business opened was October 14th which was her mom’s birthday.

Another distinctive feature is that Jennifer believes all shades of green are welcome, which simply means we are all at different points in our green journey, we all have different comfort levels, budgets and commitment to swapping our traditional products for greener versions. What’s Good strives to give the consumer the choice of three options in product choice so depending upon the type of green living you can buy a product that fits your green lifestyle. Maybe you’re super green and use soap nuts to do your laundry, or maybe you’re just weaning yourself off of tide pods, or somewhere in the middle. That’s okay, What’s Good has the right product

So what is What’s Good? It is an ecommerce business, mostly online





{ LOCAL BUSINESS MATTERS } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “This is truly a labor of love. Jennifer works seven days a week. She manages her selfcare in flexibility with her time, building in breaks with answering emails and walking her dogs along the canal.”

for you. Also there is a range of prices depending upon your budget. Jennifer believes strongly that by changing one thing in your living to more green helps our precious Earth. Jennifer wants to make a difference in the lives of customers and the lives of suppliers. To quote her “we are all in it together” and together, we can do more good. Jennifer is fierce in her commitment to give back. She donates 1% of her revenue goes to 1% to the Planet, in addition to giving to local and national causes such as the ACLU, Equal Justice Initiative, Feeding America, and Save Our Monarchs. When customers agree to receive their order in a gently used box, she plants one tree with her partner, One Tree Planted. She refuses to muddy any of her messages and stands strong for social justice. This scrappy and gritty woman who can make homemade bread from scratch approaches life in a curious manner. She works every day and loves what she does. Jennifer likes to learn and is always asking questions. Her optimistic personality feels there is always a solution to a problem. She is sensitive to the fact that people are feeling overwhelmed these days and partners with her customers to guide them in choices that help them to feel good. This is truly a labor of love. Jennifer works seven days a week. She manages her selfcare in flexibility with her time, building in breaks with answering emails and walking her dogs along the canal. Her family continues to be a priority and she cherishes spending 380


time with them. In her pursuit to find more balance she practices the 88% rule. Which is based on NOT giving 110 percent to everything, understanding that sometimes 88% gets the job done, leaving her time and energy for the other parts of her life. Personally I stumbled upon What’s Good from a friend. After a wonderful online shopping experience and an opportunity to shop in the store where Jennifer helped guide me to make choices of gifts for a new mom I was buying for, I needed to find out more about this entrepreneur who focuses carefully on details while bringing joy and exuberance to doing what she does. As the business grows Jennifer wants to do more to help others. Fundraisers, increase her giving back, the variety of products available are all next steps as the business grows, she would like to hire like-minded people, expand her giveback programs, and free up more time so can so that she can cheerlead and empower young entrepreneurs as they begin to blaze their path in the world. When Jennifer was out with her mother’s best friends, whom she calls “Aunties” sharing with them the beginning of What’s Good and showing them her business card her mom’s favorite song “I’ll fly away” came on at the restaurant where they were dining. It seems that Kathy Gardner, Jennifer’s mom, continues to watch over her trailblazing, entrepreneur daughter, celebrating her accomplishments. Jennifer is

her mother’s daughter. The lessons she learned as a child and growing up continue in how Jennifer lives her life. Determined and passionate to provide an online market that offers curated eco-friendly socially responsible home products and gifts as a woman owned small business who also gives back to the greater good even when doing so offers challenges. Kathy Gardner you must be so very proud. h t t p s : / / w w w. i n s t a g ra m . c o m / hereswhatsgood/ h t t p s : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / ShopWhatsGood/?modal=admin_ todo_tour






I know firsthand that when you have an ever-mounting to-do list, taking time to go to therapy or take a yoga class can seem unrealistic. Here’s the good news – if you can set aside even 10 minutes out of your day, there are yoga therapy techniques that can help you clear your head, increase your productivity, make you more connected to your family and friends, and even make your food taste better! What comes to mind when you hear the words “Yoga Therapy?” The official definition from the International Association of Yoga Therapists says: “Yoga therapy is the professional application of the principles and practices of yoga to promote health and well-being within a therapeutic relationship that includes personalized assessment, goal setting, lifestyle management, and yoga practices for individuals or small groups.” Simply put: Yoga therapy takes a holistic view of one’s overall health and happiness. Unfortunately, most yoga classes offered in the US predominantly focus on the physical limb of yoga (postures or asanas), but there is so much more to it that can improve your overall quality of life. So, do you have 10 minutes? Yoga therapy can be incredibly individualized, but I’ve compiled a few all-purpose exercises that have proven to be most helpful for myself and my yoga therapy clients. There are several holistic methods for approaching yoga therapy, but for this article, I’m going

to use “the five sheaths” -- or koshas in Sanskrit. PHYSICAL: You’re using your brain all day long, have you tried using it less? Even if you can only do it for a few minutes, try getting out of your head and into your body with vigorous movement. Stand on your tip toes and stretch your arms over head on an inhalation. On your exhalation come into a squat: let your heels lower to the ground, stick your glutes back as if they were finding a chair behind you and fly your arms back behind you – almost like you’re ski jumping. Inhale and return to balancing on your toes with your arms over head, exhale return to the ski jumper position, be sure to use your thigh, glute and core muscles. Go as fast as you can in a pain-free range of motion. Some other options? A brisk walk, or kick your shoes off, back away from the desk and balance on one foot for a minute before switching – because what your body might be up for one day won’t necessarily be the case very day. ENERGETIC: How we breathe can often reflect what we’re feeling on the inside. Simple awareness of how we’re breathing can create a major energetic shift within us. The next time you’re typing as quickly as possible or white knuckle driving from client to client, notice what your breath is doing. Is it light and easy, deep and full, or short and choppy? Is there expansiveness or constriction? Awareness is key. If it seems like your breath is not easily changed, try pausing and practicing at least five long inhales though the nose and exhales out the mouth. Another activity for high-

stress days: hummingbird breath. Gently plug your ears with your fingers. Inhale through your nose. Keeping your lips closed, exhale out the nose to create a humming sound. Repeat 10-20 times. Pause and notice now. MENTAL: Put down the multi-tasking. I thought I could do it all for a long time. Work emails, while on a video conference, off the video conference and onto a podcast, while plugging away at a spreadsheet, the incessant ding of my inbox. Oh look I’m on Facebook! How did that happen!? While it might seem extremely productive, you’re wasting your own time. Multi-tasking is really just fast brain-switching which creates unnecessary micro-chaos in your already hectic day. Challenge yourself to focus on just task for 10-30 minutes. One task. Then if you want to check emails, check emails – but nothing else. If you can train yourself to focus on one thing for a few minutes at work… now imagine when you don’t have to rewind your TV show three times, or say to your spouse “what did you say again?” WISDOM: Notice it’s called wisdom and not knowledge or ability. Yoga therapy won’t necessarily change your daily tasks, but it can change how gracefully you handle them. We’ve all experienced feeling overwhelmed at work, or maybe you’ve felt like you’re fighting your way through the day. Sometimes we just need a shift of our perspective. Take three minutes and practice a loving kindness meditation. Close your door or go out to sit in your car and say to yourself: May I be safe and free from danger. May I be healthy and free of disease. May I ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “Simply put: Yoga therapy takes a holistic view of one’s overall health and happiness.”

be healthy and free of disease. May I be happy, peaceful and content. May I be free. Take a long inhale and exhale. Then picture someone you love and admire. Picture them and say to that person, May you be safe and free from danger. May you be healthy and free of disease. May you be happy, peaceful and content. May you be free. Pause and breathe. Thirdly, picture someone that makes your life difficult. Say to that person: May you be safe and free from danger. May you be healthy and free of disease. May you be happy, peaceful and content. May you be free. Notice if you feel less reactive or stressed now. Bliss: Do one thing a day that brings you joy. I had an interesting experience 384


the other day. Another yoga therapist and I exchanged sessions and he asked what would make me feel better – it was simply that I wanted to get back to my daily workouts. I had realized that I was physically putting myself at the bottom of my to-do list. Productivity all day and night, until 10 PM rolled around and there was no room left for what I wanted. No fun, no bliss! So, I moved my running and yoga up to the top – first thing in the morning. Whatever it is that makes you happy - quality time with your pet, watching a movie, eating really delicious cheese – make time for it daily! If you can practice bliss with small things, chances are it will trickle into larger parts of your life, too.

Take 10 minutes, try these out, and let me know what you think! Do you have another favorite yoga therapy exercise? Drop a comment below. Kaitlyn Vittozzi, Yoga Therapist is now practicing virtually and at Roc & Soul Fitness in Webster, NY. Interested in diving deeper into your body and finding more happiness? Email Kaitlyn@ to schedule your no-risk phone consultation to see if private yoga therapy sessions are right for you.



Dubai was a beautiful land nestled along the rim of the Persian Gulf lined with sand & palm trees. Although there was a strict dress code to be adhered to when I lived there, many long & flowing silk-skirted women were seen walking to and from the souks. I was not one of them. Having just moved there from NYC as a singer/ songwriter/actress, wearing modest clothing was not my strong suit. That hidden reserve from Catholic School days was brought back into my wardrobe.

You can find it right here whether that’s Upstate NY or Upstate Nevada. Meet MARY MONROE, Queen Goddess of Belly Dance You may know Mary as the Multitalented musician, strumming her harp or singing sweet vocals with her partner and band on stage. Or you may have studied any of the following instruments with her: harp, guitar,

and bellydance to her musical stage performances with Nate & Mary’s World Music Quartet. Opportunities to teach began to show up effortlessly. “People in the audience would light up! Women were inspired to dance themselves. Three women approached me and asked if I would teach them.” That’s how it began. But her love for dance started much earlier in life. Mary’s first passion in life was not music but dance. She started ballet at the age of seven with the dream of becoming a ballerina some day. Eventually she shifted her focus to modern dance, then ballroom and latin dance, salsa being her favorite.

I did, however acquire a beautiful silk sari & choli top, the traditional clothing of India. The only time I’ve had the opportunity to wear it was at a halloween party! Similar to the Indian sari is the Arabic costume of the belly dancer. The bedia is a fitted top and belt both decorated in beads or sequins with a flowing skirt or harem pants. The fabric is often made of mesh or sheer material in every color of the rainbow. Belly Dance (Oriental Dance or Raqs Sharqi) or is an appreciated art form that visitors can admire at the many 5 star hotels and restaurants in Dubai. But wait! You don’t have to travel across the continent to experience the exotic beauty of not only the flowing garments but of the classic moves of the dance, and of course, the bellydancer herself. 386


“There are a few myths about bellydance. One is that it is a sexual dance. This myth needs to be

piano, ukulele, voice, violin.


Or you just may have learned how to bellydance from her.

Admittedly it appears sexual with strong and deliberate movements of the hips and torso. But sensual is a more accurate description.

Mary admits that bellydancing is a new form of art for her but one that the Universe has clearly guided her to lead. “During the pandemic I began to study bellydance online. I immersed myself in it. I loved the way it made me feel.” Once the world began to open up, Mary added a combination of salsa

“It is a kind of dance that tells a story between the drummer and the dancer. Often, you improv according to the rhythm.” “It’s such a spiritual form of dance. It’s freeing, not restrictive as compared to ballet.”

{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT } “This dance form is moving to the audience, not just the beauty of the movement but joy in the dancer’s expression.”

She sometimes feels like she’s having an out of body experience, similar to a runner’s high or the effect one has during trance dance. “It made me feel much better about my body.” Like many of us, Mary has faced eating issues. Bellydance has improved her health and wellness and overall body image.

People feel it. Its’ contagious. That’s how you connect to others. When you’re aligned with the energy of joy.” I started dancing with Mary this summer. Magically a dance troupe was formed! You can enjoy the mystique and beauty of performances online and throughout NY.

“It makes me feel beautiful! Even having extra weight is desirable. I used to think my arms were big. Now I love them and show them off.” Mary especially appreciates her hips, and knows how to move them! “This dance form is moving to the audience, not just the beauty of the movement but joy in the dancer’s expression.” Mary admits that she’s not a master belly dancer. “Several people tried to put me down. Told me I was a musician not a dancer.” She just let it go and followed her bliss. She wasn’t going to let that stop her from bringing joy to others. “The joy is what’s most important. 388


“Now we have a dance troupe! The Glowing Goddesses. We have gigs statewide and are now dancing with Buddahood.” On a final note: “You’re doing it because you like it. It makes you happy. Not to get approval or attention. When you’re doing it for the pure joy of it, I think that’s when it opens up.”

Thanks Mary. See you soon ~ Mary Monroe & The Glowing Goddesses Upcoming performances Aug 21 G Lodge. Hannibal, NY w/ Buddhahood Aug 22 Keertana Music Video Online Release Party Sept 3 Estival Festival. Caneadea, NY w/Buddhahood Oct 16 75 Stutson S t r e e t Ve n u e . Rochester, NY w/ Nate and Mary’s Wo r l d M u s i c Quartet & Special guest Bakithi Kumalo and friends (bassist for Paul Simon) Nate & Mary’s Wo r l d M u s i c Quartet performs statewide combining the sounds of World, Ambient, Pop, and Americana. More familiar names in the music scene join her with Nate Coffee on guitar, Tommy Gravino on flute and Steve Imburgia on percussion. Alana Cahoon is the Amazon #1 Best Selling Author of Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditations: 55 Inspirational practices to Soothe the Body, Mind & Soul. www.



“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt Given that Teddy Roosevelt wrote the above quote in 1898 it seems that people have been comparing themselves to others for quite a long time. Maybe the first cavemen compared the size of their caves to neighboring caves. But back to Teddy, while obviously people were affected by comparing themselves in his time, I doubt he foresaw the level comparisons would reach with the onslaught of social media.

see notifications, I just have to look. Then I start scrolling. The next thing I know I have lost 5, 10, 20 minutes. Not that social media is in and of itself negative. I love being able to keep in touch with friends and family who live in other areas of the country or who I just don’t see often. That is a super fun and wonderful thing.

Being disconnected for a week gave me some space to be present. I basically spent the week just hanging out around the pool with my family, reading books, doing water aerobics, and taking walks. I didn’t even use my phone to take any pictures. It was a totally relaxing week. I felt calmer and more grounded than I have in some time.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… today practically every minute of every day is documented. Certainly, every major life event is posted. As the jokes go, I hope your life is as good as it looks on Facebook / Instagram, or, If it wasn’t on Facebook / Instagram did it even happen? It is easy to get lost scrolling through your feed, looking at the pretty pictures. I know that I have lost more time than I want to admit to just scrolling my feeds. That’s why I decided to take a one-week social media break during a recent vacation with my family. For the entire week I did not look at Facebook or Instagram. I didn’t check my email. It was so refreshing not to be tied to my phone with its ever-present notifications. Maybe I am a little obsessive, but when I

me a little envious. The home design sites especially give me house envy. I love my house. But it is almost 200 hundred years old. Consequently, there is always something that needs to be done. I am still waiting to get to the point where we have completed all of the structural stuff and I can make some aesthetic changes. Looking at Instagram gives me ideas, but also makes me discontent.

When it does become a negative is when you start comparing yourself – how you look, what you have, where you go, what you do, what you wear – to others that you follow and feeling bad about yourself. Some of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow are interior design, home renovation, event planners, cooking, travel, and fashion. While they don’t exactly make me feel bad about myself, they do make

There is a lot of research demonstrating the negative effects of social media. Everything from unhappiness and discontent with your life to depression, anxiety, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts. On the other hand, there are also positive effects including: making friends, fostering empathy, building relationships, communicating, and making the world seem smaller. When I returned to my social media accounts it was with a new perspective too not take it all so seriously. It’s great to keep up with friends and family. It’s ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “There will always be someone living a more fabulous life than I, but it is mostly an illusion on Facebook and Instagram.”

fun to look at posts of the beautiful people. There will always be someone living a more fabulous life than I, but it is mostly an illusion on Facebook and Instagram. Essential Oil Tip of the Month: If you find yourself distracted by social media, diffuse doTerra Lemon Essential Oil. 394


Lemon is the oil of focus. It fosters clarity and mental presence and dispels confusion. At Blissful Balance LLC our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook @ blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram @ blissfull_balance.

PS: Since I didn’t take any photos during my digital detox vacation, I am sharing photos from a few past vacations. I hope you enjoy them!

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

Please contact us for a complimentary consultation 585-532-6060 or Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance





We’re all finding ourselves dealing with increased anxiety symptoms these days, for a very wide variety of reasons. New variants of COVID-19 are heightening our anxiety levels. First, we are living in unprecedented times, due to the enormity of dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a clinical psychologist, I strongly believe that the single most stressful aspect of this pandemic is that it has no definitive endpoint. Put another way, none of us knows how much longer we will need to cope with what we’re coping. Our nation also finds itself dealing with continued unrest due to political divisiveness. These factors all contribute to the increased severity of anxiety. Individuals without histories of anxiety disorders are developing these disorders for the very first time. Those with preexisting histories of anxiety are noticing that they’re experiencing increased severities of symptoms. A recent study has asserted that fully one in three Americans currently meet the diagnostic criteria for a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety. Contrary to popular opinion, depressive disorders are not the most prevalent type of mental health disorder. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of disorder affecting our mental health. Anxiety may manifest in multiple different ways. We may find it much more difficult to fall asleep, for example. We may also experience changes in our appetite, such as developing a reduced appetite or overeating to obtain brief

emotional relief. Rates of smoking and substance abuse are also correlated with increased anxiety. n addition, we may develop nervous habits, such as compulsive nail biting, when our anxiety level becomes excessive. Anxiety typically impairs our focus and concentration, too. By not paying sufficient attention to material, we may fail to adequately encode it, or place it into our memory stores. Subsequently, such information is not accessible at a later point in time. Therefore, what appears to be a memory deficit may more accurately reflect impaired attention. A certain degree of anxiety is certainly adaptive. For example, feeling anxious about an upcoming test motivates us to be better prepared to take that test. Feeling anxious about the possibility of getting into a car accident motivates us to drive defensively. Feeling anxious about incurring late fees motivates us to pay our bills on time. The key is to maintain an optimal, rather than an excessive, level of anxiety. There are a wide variety of anxiety disorders. Individuals may suffer from panic attacks, with or without agoraphobia. Some individuals develop Generalized Anxiety Disorder, where they develop increased anxiety about a very wide range of situations. Sometimes anxiety is manifested in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. Some individuals develop specific phobia as a manifestation of anxiety. Others develop obsessivecompulsive disorder. Furthermore,

increased anxiety may manifest as social anxiety disorder. Each of these types of anxiety disorders require professional intervention, through use of psychotropic medications and/or reception of psychotherapy. The best results are achieved with a combination of these treatment modalities. Short-term, solution-focused psychotherapy sessions can equip individuals with the development of improved skills to manage anxiety more effectively. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another effective treatment modality for a variety of anxiety disorders. I’m currently encountering many online clients who are seeking therapy for the very first time in their lives, due to their experience of heightened anxiety levels. Many online clients are anxious about trying to juggle the competing demands of working from home and assisting their children with online instruction. The geriatric residents with whom I meet each week are also feeling increased anxiety; many of them are very worried about the possibility of contracting COVID-19, given their pre-existing conditions. The nursing home personnel are also more anxious than usual, given their increased work demands during our global pandemic. Psychotherapeutic interventions ae diverse for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Individuals with specific phobias benefit from systematic desensitization, which allows for the development of a hierarchy of an ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ MENTALLY THINKING} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Maintaining regular physical activity has shown to be effective in lowering anxiety levels, too. Meditation is effective for reducing anxiety.”

individual’s specific fears. These fears are faced one at a time, beginning with the least threatening, and progressing to the very most threatening. Those with obsessive-compulsive disorder may achieve benefit through cognitivebehavioral therapy. This therapeutic approach targets one’s maladaptive thoughts (obsessions) and problematic behaviors (compulsions). On a short-term basis, anxiolytic medication is often useful to reduce 398


symptoms. However, there is a high potential to develop addiction with the use of this type of medication. The lowest possible dose should be prescribed, for the shortest amount of time. Maintaining regular physical activity has shown to be effective in lowering anxiety levels, too. Meditation is effective for reducing anxiety. When we’re anxious, we typically develop a pattern of rapid, shallow breathing;

practicing diaphragmatic breathing on a regular basis is helpful for lowering our overall anxiety level. Journaling our thoughts and feelings is yet another useful means of managing increased anxiety, due to it being cathartic.



Many people in this world like to feel beautiful or want to be beautiful. There are services that can be performed on c clients in order to make them feel and be beautiful. People care about makeup, their skin features, their eyes, and their hair. People feeling secure about their looks and themselves are all always going to matter. Feeling beautiful it all makes us feel empowered, and flawless… until we lose hair. Hair loss can occur for various reasons. Age, genetics, pregnancy, diseases, and stress. Hair loss can be temporary or permanent and can happen overtime or very quickly. For many people this is a traumatic experience. This is why the hair loss industry alone is a billion dollar industry. It is essential for cosmetologists to comprehend hair loss and to help out clients with advice. I.HAIR STRUCTURE: The hair shaft and the hair follicle are different parts of the hair structure. According to google the term “hair” defined is “any of the fine threadlike strands growing from the skin of humans, mammals, and some other animals”. The term “structure” is defined as “the arrangements of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex”. Together the two words combined are arranged hairs that have specific functions and are specifically 400


structured in order to represent their part of the scalp. Starting off with the broad category of hair structure, it has been scientifically proven that an individual will never have 100% of hair on their head growing at the same time. Each second, each minute, each hour, while 85% of each strand of hair strand on

our heads are growing, the rest is in the resting stage. The hair structure is made of three main layers: the outer cuticle, the middle cortex, and the central medulla. Through all of those layers, the whole head of hair is naturally composed of the protein

keratin. Keratin is a building block or protein which creates the presence of melanin. Melanin is just a term for the pigment of hair. Most hair is naturally pigmented. Why is that? What if we do not have a natural pigment, what happens then? Well natural melanin- the pigment of the hair- would give off a natural base color, which would be either black, brown, or red. If an individual is born with the base color of red, that’s called pheomelanin. There is also yellow, but that is not a natural melanin. If the color yellow is seen, that would be the hair cortex. Sometimes there may not be pigment at all. There may not be melanin or pheomelanin, this means that the hair is white. The term for white hair is “canites”. This hair is white even though it may look grey because grey hairs do not exist. Hair follicles are a small “tubular cavity or sac containing the root of the hair”. Every hair strand grows from a hair follicle. What is the function of a hair follicle? “The function of a hair follicle is to produce a hair shaft. The function of human hair depends on the part of the body from which it grows. Human hair performs several functions”. A hair follicle could be compared to the claw in a game arcade. It has a thin tubelike structure on top, then the claw would be the sac or cavity towards the bottom. Supporting the hair follicle is a wall which is called the outer “root





“As a cosmetologist, I know it is important to always keep up-to-date with treating hair loss and to learn new things as today’s technology and services become more modern. Having my future clients being able to trust me is the most important thing to me.”









{ BEAUTIFY ME } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Hair loss appears in many different ways depending on what’s causing it. Many things could potentially cause hair loss. Some types of hair loss are temporary, and some are permanent.”

steath”. What does a wall do? Walls protect, they block, they cover, and they shield. Inside of the outer root sheath -wall- are the sebaceous glands and the bulb. The bulb is a settling place for the hair stem cells. It collects fluid. The sebaceous glands lubricate the skin in order to keep the hair follicles alive and hydrated. The lower part of the follicle has the function to widen out to form the hair bulb which contains the germinal matrix. The germinal matrix is the source of hair growth. The hair shaft is the hair that we can sede. It’s dead hair and is made up of three layers of keratin. The hair shaft has three layers, the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle. Each of those layers are very important. Each layer has a specific function. The medulla is the innermost layer of the hair shaft. Depending on the type of hair, the medulla may not always be there. The cortex is the middle layer and makes up the majority of the hair shaft. Both the medulla and the cortex contain pigmenting cells which are responsible for the natural hair pigment. The cuticle is the outermost layer formed by packed scales in an overlapping form. Here is a fun fact: hair conditioning products are formulated to even out the cuticle by smoothing out its structure. Their hair grows to a maximum length, the hair sheds and gets naturally replaced. That is the cycle. Every second, minute, hour, day of our life we only have 85% of our hair on our head and the rest of the hair is in

resting stages. The hair growth cycle has three stages and/or phases which are catagen, telogen and anagen. The anagen phase is the period of active growth. The cells are constantly dividing as new cells are formed, they push the older ones upward where they change shape eventually. When the cells are one-third of the way up the follicle they are dead and full of keratin. Eighty-five percent of follicles are in the anagen stage. The telogen stage is the resting stage before resumption of growth. Fourteen percent of hair follicles are in the telogen phase. Remaining hair sheath still in contact with the papilla is known as the secondary or the root germ. From the root germ, a new hair follicle can grow. Shortened hair follicles rest for about three months. After the telogen stage, the cycle returns to the anagen state and root germs grow downwards forming the new bulb surrounding the dermal papilla. The upper part of the germ forms new cells that lengthen the follicle below the club hair. The new hair can be able to push out old hair which is why some people are able to see two hair follicles on one same strand. The catagen phase is a changing stage where 3% of all hairs in the head are in this stage at any time. The catagen phase lasts 2-3 weeks and during this time, growth is not as fast and the outer root sheath shrinks. It then attaches to the root of the hair, formingt what is called a ‘club’ hair. II.


Hair loss is never a good thing. Hair may thin, fall out, break off, or grow slower. Dandruff, itching, and peeling may appear. Hair loss appears in many different ways depending on what’s causing it. Many things could potentially cause hair loss. Some types of hair loss are temporary, and some are permanent. Some types of hair loss cause gradual thinning on top of the head, circular or patchy bald spots, sudden loosening of hair, full body hair loss, or patches of scaling that will spread over the scalp. Gradual thinning on top of the head is the most common type of hair loss. It affects both men and women. Age can also cause this. Circular or patchy bald spots can also occur in bears or eyebrows. They can be coin shaped and sized. Skin may become itchy or painful. This type of hair loss usually only affects the scalp. Sudden loosening ofd the hair is another type. Handfuls of hair may come out when washing or combing the hair. A physical and emotional shock could cause this to happen. This type of hair loss usually causes hair thinning and not bald patches. Full body hair loss could be caused by medical treatments, conditions, or chemotherapy. However, hair will usually grow back. Patches of scaling can spread over the scalp, there are signs for that. Signs of ringworm, or random redness, swelling, broken hair and oozing are signs of this. There are also diseases that could cause hair loss such as androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, trichotillomania, traction ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ SHIFT+CONTROL { BEAUTIFY ME } } “Hairstylists want their clients to feel amazing about themselves and full of self-esteem. A hairstylist who wants to help a client build self-esteem must have a relationship with that client.”

alopecia, tinea capitis, cicatricial alopecia are some examples of diseases. Some things that can cause hair loss are childbirth, high fever, sudden weight loss, surgery, severe stress, and lastly serious illness. III. MEDICAL ADVICE, TESTS, AND DIAGNOSIS: Anytime that someone experiences any signs or symptoms, they should see a doctor or dermatologist. Any sign or symptom can range from very mild to highly dangerous. Signs and symptoms can be redness on the scalp, patches of baldness, irritation, hair fall out, etc. Anytime when someone’s hair falls out in excess amounts or 406


when something unusual happens, an individual should seek medical attention immediately just to make sure that everything is okay and safe. There are many tests that can be done such as blood testing, urine testing, or scalp sampling. Scalp sampling is used to determine the presence of scalp irritation or infection. If symptoms are severe then the patient could get a possible x-ray. A doctor can find a cause of the loss so the patient can begin proper treatment. Hairstylists want their clients to feel amazing about themselves and full of self-esteem. A hairstylist who wants to help a client build self-esteem must have a relationship with that client. The

most successful stylists form excellent relationships with their clients. When people lose hair, no matter what the cause is, it can crush their confidence and self-esteem. As a cosmetologist, I know it is important to always keep up-to-date with treating hair loss and to learn new things as today’s technology and services become more modern. Having my future clients being able to trust me is the most important thing to me. I need to show them that no matter what hair problem occurs.. I will always be there to help beautify. @Beautifyme247









YOUR MAN IS NOT A LIGHTSWITCH: MEN’S SEXUAL HEALTH There is nothing as socially constructed as our expectations of sexual experience. Culturally, we have this idea that men’s sexuality is like an on/off switch, easy to access and operate, and women’s sexuality is a deeply intricate and complex switchboard requiring an engineer’s precision management. Well, in actuality, male sexual function is simple when it is simple and complex when it is not so simple. When addressing the sexual concerns of men (defined here as those who selfdefine as male) we must consider sexual response (desire, arousal, orgasm) as well as the domain of sexual satisfaction and psychological harmony with sexual expression. In the domain of sexual response, the last 25 years of sexual science indicate that despite anatomic differences sexual response is actually not so different among biological sexes (while it may be vastly different among individuals). Many cisgender males, about a third, encounter challenges in their pursuit of sexual function. While erectile function concerns are well known to the general public, male sexual problems also include concerns about orgasm with a quarter of men concerned about early orgasm/ ejaculation, and approximately a fifth concerned about delayed orgasm . About one in five men are struggling with distressing desire concerns. Four million American men have low testosterone which can affect sexual functioning in a

variety of ways. There are less frequently reported entities such as post-orgasmic illness syndrome (flu-like symptoms for days after each orgasm) as well as pelvic floor dysfunction (tightness or weakness of the muscles in the pelvic floor) affecting men as well as women. Almost every penis can be treated to produce an erection. Some lifelong early ejaculation remits with oral or topical treatments. Desire can be enhanced with testosterone therapy or with medication adjustments. Treatments directed toward improvement of sexual function, such as erectile dysfunction medications, sometimes lead to satisfaction (aka when it’s “simple”) and sometimes, despite restored sexual function, sexual satisfaction may be elusive. Sexual satisfaction and wellbeing are influenced by factors beyond the biological-- psychological, cultural, and relational aspects-- and sexual concerns may need treatments on several or all of these levels (aka “not so simple”). Sexual satisfaction and pleasure are important for overall health and wellbeing as well as for relational wellbeing. Relational wellbeing, especially for men, is correlated with improved overall health and longevity. In a 2021 study, sexual satisfaction was identified as one of the five most influential positive factors contributing to relational satisfaction. So, what are some of the “not so simple” barriers to sexual satisfaction for men? Performance pressure can cause serious problems. Societal expectations about performance and masculinity may be directly responsible for a variety of sexual

function concerns. A performance orientation makes it hard to focus on what is arousing -- leading to problems with erection and orgasm (both early and delayed). Some men fear losing an erection and this physiologic anxiety (anxiety as it is experienced in the body) leads them to orgasm quickly. Other men can’t keep an erection until orgasm because they can’t stay focused on the sensations and feelings of physical arousal. Mood disorders may be consequences of living with this pressure and consistently failing to achieve sexual goals. Subsequently, in a vicious cycle, both mood disorders and their treatments can worsen sexual functioning. Additionally, there is almost a total lack of information about pleasure in sexual education, for both male and female bodies—and this may leave many men feeling broken, alone, and hopeless about contributing to pleasure in their partner as well as their own. Another hidden reality: the prevalence of sexual violence against men and boys is in the vicinity of 3% of the population and this may be an underrepresentation. We need to take care regarding assumptions that men are comfortable with touch and sex, that they have not been abused, and that they wanted all the sex they have experienced. Past sexual traumas can influence a variety of sexual and relationship concerns, including difficulty with sexual satisfaction. Pleasure is an integral aspect of male sexual functioning. Men often find themselves performing with partners rather than enjoying. One ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021


{ SEXUALLY SPEAKING} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Often, when sexual concerns are addressed sooner rather than later, it is easier to resolve them.”

way to help men direct their attention toward pleasure is to let them know how destructive this performance focus can be. Encouragement from a partner that presence and enjoyment is desired rather than performance can be healing—however, this message is hard for many men to take in fully given how powerful the social messages about sexual performance can be. In the words of sex researcher, Peggy Kleinplatz, PhD “Great lovers are made, not born.” In order for people of all genders to have satisfying sex, it is important we unlearn the many harmful social messages about how sex is “supposed” to be. Another critical tool is being able to speak frankly and without shame about needs for emotional intimacy and sexual satisfaction. This can have some unexpected impact, for example, men who seem to have very 410


high desire for sexual contact or use of sexually explicit media (i.e., pornography) may have little ability to communicate their needs for intimacy or what turns them on. Individual or relational sex therapy may be useful when satisfaction and pleasure continue to be elusive. Often, when sexual concerns are addressed sooner rather than later, it is easier to resolve them. When people wait ten (or more!) years, it may take longer to ‘fix’ the problem than facing it head-on. So sometimes it’s not so simple, helping men get better at having the sex they want to have. And sometimes when a man feels compassion for himself (and his partners) he will take the courageous step and take his shame and feeling of inadequacy out of the closet, open the door, and say hello to a better, bolder

sex life for everyone involved. Pebble Kranz, MD FECSM and Daniel Rosen LCSW-R, CST are the co-founders of the The Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness. The center is comprised of certified sex therapists and a Fellow of the European Committee on Sexual Medicine (FECSM) and serves patients of all genders with a multidisciplinary, systemic approach. Delivering expert sex and relationship therapy and sexual medicine evaluation and treatment, RCSW aims to use the best available medical and social science evidence with a focus on interventions with proven efficacy and safety. In addition to direct care for patients, the center provides training for medical and mental health providers on the path to becoming certified in sex therapy and sexual medicine.






As I sit here waiting at the drive-in to watch Black Widow, I am thinking about how these superhero movies showcase what it is we all secretly hope to be but believe we can’t ever be something so larger than life in its presentation or affect. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Granted, we aren’t going to be running around in a skin-tight costume and looking flawless as we save the world. But our gifts are equally as powerful as theirs and actually do heal the world. You just have to be willing to use them and do it unapologetically. As children, we all have huge dreams about who it is we think we will be when we grow up. I was sure I would be either a famous artist, a supermodel or Tina Turner’s backup singer. I told everyone who would listen with complete confidence I could do it all. That they would all one day be telling their friends “they knew me when…” It’s pretty incredible how limitless a child’s mind is. Then society comes along and tells us to limit our beliefs and our hopes we had carved for our future lives. They imprint their own insecurities on our growing minds and make us question ourselves and our dreams. The joy then begins to fade when we think about what adulthood will look like for us. Were we just being silly? Were my parents and teacher right when they said I was just a daydreamer that couldn’t concentrate? That it would hamper my dreams because it affected my schoolwork? I began to believe I wouldn’t be any of what I had dreamed a few years earlier and suddenly became withdrawn, sad and afraid of what I had wanted for my life. Their own fears had seeped into my pores like 412


a deadening poison. I believed I had no superpower after all. But then I read a story about how a man came about a tribe living in the mountains. The tribe’s shaman showed him around and introduced him to their leaders. The last tribe’s person they came across sat alone on a hill, gently moving his arms to one side as he looked up at the sky. The visitor asked what this person’s job was. The shaman replied, “He creates our weather.” The visitor was taken aback and replied that “this was not a possible thing. The weather was a scientific phenomenon. Why does this man believe he creates the weather?!” The shaman simply said, “Because no one ever told him he couldn’t.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. Why does anyone tell us we “can’t” do anything we dream of? It felt like a release of the decades of fear I had harbored and that my soul had reached the surface and taken a gulp of glorious air. Our own limiting beliefs that society, family members or friends help to shape are what cause us to have shame around what it is we know down deep we are capable of creating. How many of us keep quiet that we love to sing, write, paint, act…anything that can go under the heading, “Creator”? I used to hate it when people asked me, “So, what do you do?” I envied my husband, who owned a business. His answer came easily. I felt apologetic when I said I was an artist. It was always followed up with being a mom and helping my husband run the business and doing his bookwork. It felt more legitimate an answer than having people look at you sadly as the

wife whose husband supports her hobby. It took me decades to take ownership of who I truly am and paving my own way in the art world. It’s like we think they’ll ask us to break out all our work for their judgement and approval. No one’s done that to-date, by the way. If anything, it inspires them to step into their own creative vision with less trepidation. So, what happens when we get really brave and suit up into our superhero dreams and try them out for size? We not only give ourselves permission to be who we were out on this earth to be. We also pass on that courage to someone who may never have used their gifts without your taking that leap of faith in you and your abilities. Therefore, they’re meant to be shared! When we do that healing work, we begin to not only build our resilience; we help someone else do the same. Women especially tend to put themselves on a timeline and the back burner. If we don’t know what we wish to be before we hit 30 (or maybe 40), we tend to get in a rut that’s hard to pull ourselves out of. Life gets in the way, as do financial and familial obligations, but also our own negative self-talk. The older we get, the more engrained our beliefs squash out our soul and all its dreams. Thinking we are too far along in life to shift into our light is erroneous and detrimental to our mental well-being. What would happen if today you decided to just try what it is you’ve been called to do for as long as you can remember? What would it hurt? Nothing. We only hurt ourselves and those we love most when




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “What would happen if today you decided to just try what it is you’ve been called to do for as long as you can remember? What would it hurt? Nothing.”

we decide to bury our heart’s desires. Shouldn’t we shine brightly for them, too? Becoming a beacon is the greatest gift one can give others. It’s that beautiful ripple that’s steeped in love. As the movie just finished (don’t worry-I wrote the above before it started), I saw these women stand up and be their own 414


superheroes. We live in a time where our messages are changing. We truly are limitless. Your potential to create a life of your truth and power is what will bring out the best in everyone and everything. This is what will truly save the world. Now go put your creative thinking cap on and become who you’re meant to be. We need your expression of love

that aren’t your kryptonite any longer. They are what makes you magnificent and worth celebrating by just showing up and honoring your gifts.










is going to sting a little.....

You are right!

When did you lose that power?

Nothing works for you if don’t work for it.

When did you stop being your own person?

Sorry, not sorry.

When are you going to realise that you cannot fix anyone but your damn self. When are you going to wake up and really

I remember the feeling though.. Trying a “new” diet every other week and attempting” a workout that I had no clue what was going on feeling guilty when I gave into pizza or other delicious carbs feeling like a failure because I didn’t see results immediately. Look ... you didn’t gain weight overnight and you certainly can’t expect to have the scale magically drop 20 pounds overnight, ok? BUT, IF you LEARN how to change your mindset. And that’s where I come in The BIGGEST mistake I hear people make when they talk about their journey is not loving themselves FIRST. The other is assuming they should know it all on day one or better yet… Be able to DO it all, and have the results in a week! REAL progress? That takes time, effort and consistency. Mental health is not talked about enough You cannot lose weight if your mind is in a constant stressed out,victimized state producing massive amounts of cortisol. Do you know what it’s like to want to wake up happy and live free? Free of others opinions free of your own thoughts.... If your answer was yes my next question


I want to see everyone eat and be joyful There is a seat for all One rule. You leave your demons at the door and BE LOVE. “live and let live” Fear is a liar. YOU are the super power. QUIT your way to happiness by choosing love. Treating your body like a temple. Nurturing it and loving it back to health. QUIT being afraid of the what ifs. QUIT poisoning your body to hide your trauma and process your emotions accordingly so you can truly experience freedom. Be the creator of your own story. It’s ok to question yourself. It’s never ok to lose yourself in others opinions of you. If you can’t keep going its ok to quit, take a breath find another approach and try again. That’s the universe telling you that chapter is over. Don’t ever settle for less than you deserve. Remember there is at least one person that wants you here. Look in the mirror let that be the first person that loves you.

I hated when I put on a mask at My job that requires if we do not have proof of vaccination we have to wear one.... that I immediately I feel like it’s my ex abuser putting his hand over my mouth to suffocate me.... that my friends is no way to live.

You cannot get healthy if your environment is toxic. Doesn’t always mean you have to physically move but you need to shift your mindset, nurture your surroundings and decide what you want to spend your energy on. Fixing the soil around you because you bloom where you are planted.


Change your story, you hold the pen.

I QUIT my way to happiness.

How do you want your day to look?

Some people say you can’t quit and consider yourself a winner. I QUIT allowing others to take my power. I realized love and kindness are my super powers and I spread love and light to all willingly at my leisure.

You cannot empower others with an empty cup. Treat your body right, be your own best friend. Love the skin you’re in and focus on making yourself better everyday. Baby steps are still forward movement. Trust the process. Be kind. Rise above. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2021




This month marks 13 years since I started my entrepreneurial journey with WellTrail, Inc. The previous 15 years saw me embark on several career journeys including where it all started- in the athletic training rooms at Washington University (St Louis) and Syracuse University. I remember my first days, nervous and unsure, but also filled with excitement and anticipation of what would lie ahead… the growth, the learning, the relationships that would be built along the way. But I know starting off as a fresh eyed newbie, I was not thinking about what struggles might lie ahead. And perhaps that is the good part about being young and optimistic, and certain that the world is always good and fair and just. Because you just take the leap. You trust yourself - you still trust those around you - and you believe in dreams. Fast forward to my first career shift. Leaving my chosen path as an athletic trainer at a prestigious university where I was surrounded with world class practitioners and athletes, and colleagues, remains the hardest decision I have ever faced. It was the right decision. I was the single mother of a new baby, and I simply could not justify the long hours and amount of time travelling that I would need to be away from my baby girl. I knew my life had gained something far more important than my career dreams - for now I held the ability to support another life through their journey. By this time, I understood the power that decision would have over the trajectory for the rest of my life- although I was unclear what that 418


trajectory would be. But I stepped into the world of corporate health and wellness still fresh eyed and excited, but this time with the added weight of knowing that my decisions and their consequences, and my success or failure, were no longer mine alone. And with that realization, for the first time in my life, came doubt and hesitation. This was new to me, I had always had the confidence to try new things, to take calculated risks and

to reach for the stars- but with a child at home dependent on my outcomes and no other fall back, I started to second guess myself. I worked harder than anyone else, took multiple classes and certifications while working 70-hour work weeks and being on the road 60K+ miles a year. I hired a nanny so I could be mom 100% and employee 100%, but I forgot to be ME 100%. At age 35 I was moving up the corporate ladder raising an outstanding young human and coaching soccer and still

being athletic trainer for a local collegiate program- and I was happy (I thought). But I was tired. I was sleeping 3 hours a night and I felt like I couldn’t stop because if I did, all the balls I had in the air would drop- and I couldn’t bear the thought of letting the people around me down, most of all my daughter. So, I kept pushing. I kept doing more. And I kept getting further and further from myself, until finally fate stepped in front of me- with a roadblock I had not anticipated. One day I was superwoman- and the next day I could barely walk. I couldn’t pick up my daughter, I couldn’t sit for more than 5 minutes at a time. I couldn’t do all the things I needed to do. At first it just seemed like another challenge I had to overcome, but this was different. While I kept moving forward and somehow found ways to still perform at the level I was accustomed too - my body simply kept getting in the way. I had to change my travel frequency, I had to find accommodations so I could be functional all day until I would go home and lie down in bed unable to move until I took 1600mg of ibuprofen in the morning and forced myself back up. And I thought this was normal. I thought this was being strong. Until the day my daughter told me she was scared every time I was out of her site that I was going to get hurt again - or worse- that I would not be able to come home. And that was when I took a step back. And when I did, what I saw altered me for life. For I saw that as I was pushing myself to every limit, to be everything to everybody, I had actually




{ WELL TRAIL } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “For I saw that as I was pushing myself to every limit, to be everything to everybody, I had actually been setting an unrealistic, unhealthy and anxiety inducing precedent for my young daughter.”

been setting an unrealistic, unhealthy and anxiety inducing precedent for my young daughter. I saw her start to struggle not only with separation anxiety from me, but she had been so hard on herself. She had to be the best, and she would work so hard which of course can be a good thing, but not when it is always accompanied by fear. I could not believe that in trying to model a strong independent role model for her, I had actually set her up to constantly feel that she was not going to be enough. This broke my heart. So, I took my next big leap of faith, and started WellTrail. This leap 13 years ago was different. While I still believed I myself, I now had the wisdom of experience, the clarity of what was most important In my life, and what I was most grateful for, and therefore where my focus had to be. Entrepreneurialship for me was the best of all worlds. While I worked tirelessly and often with long hours, I could adjust those to be there for my daughter, and to take time for experiences for us to share. I could work my schedule around being there for HER, without feeling guilty about not being there for everyone else. I could prioritize my workflow so that when I was focused on work I could be my best, and I learned to shut it down when it was time. It gave me freedom, it gave me peace and it gave me the opportunity to control my own destiny. At least that is how it started. As time went by and I gained more clients, and more employees, and more vendor partnerships, I slowly fell back into old patterns. It happened gradually. I signed up for more boards and booster clubs. I started providing more pro bono services - just because someone would ask. I never said no to anyone or anything, 420


and as I did… I actually started saying no to myself more and more, letting go of the things I had worked so hard to regain that brought me peace and happiness. But I didn’t realize how far back I had slid until the next big roadblock reared its head. COVID was the great equalizer again in my world. As with many small businesses, COVID hit us hard. Lockdowns, travel restrictions and financial constraints caused us to go from full capacity to less than 20% of our previous years book of business and revenue. At first, I didn’t worry. I had a cushion, and how long could it last - right? Famous last words… COVID forced many of us to reevaluate what is important. What we can live without, what we need to be whole, and what we refuse to tolerate any longer. While much of the “Reset” was a true hardship, there were some parts that I plan to retain as I re-evaluate and shift gears again in my life, realizing I don’t have to be everywhere and say yes to everything was a refreshing reminder. And having time for the simple things, time in nature, time with my daughter just ‘being’ instead of ‘being on the run’. Clear times to work and clear times to rest. And time to pay attention to my body and be my own advocate - in addition to still being an advocate for so many others. So, on our 13th Anniversary, it is with that focus that I am kicking of my new column - WellTrail: A Guide to Living “Whole-istically”. Each issue we will focus on an area of our world where we can refocus energy - proactively- before we are forced to do it with our backs against a wall. We will examine how priorities, and capabilities and goals and restrictions will constantly ebb and flow, sometimes

gradually and almost unnoticeably, and others in such a dramatic fashion that it can knock us off our feet. But if there is one thing I have learned through my journey so far- is that it’s OK to be knocked down. Its ok to take a minute to catch your breath. And each time you do you will rise stronger, more resilient, with a clearer mind and a purer heart and with more belief in yourself than you had the day before. We will learn, we will grow, and we will persevere. And in doing so we will set an example for all those who are witness to our journey, and be better prepared to offer them support as they face the ebbs and flows of their journey as well. As I celebrate WellTrail completing 13 years of service, I look forward to taking the next phase of this journey with you. If you would like to share your stories of personal growth, perseverance, and resilience to be shared on our ‘Guide to Living Whole-istically” page on WellTrail and the WellTrail Facebook page (both coming soon) we will share stories, address questions for our group and continue to learn and grow together. Stories, questions and comments can be sent directly to my email at Stay true to your journey and stay true to yourself. WellTrail has been a leader in corporate and organizational health and injury management and consulting for 13 years. Specializing in both one on one and customized programming and training options in areas such as nutrition, disease state management, activity and habit cessation, WellTrail has supported 1000s of lives reach their health and well-being goals. Learn more about us at or reach out to us at info@






ARIES AUGUST 2021 August will be an extremely active month for you. It is time to be your true self and shine those great attributes. Your sex appeal attracts like bees round a honey pot. Someone special might emerge amidst these newcomers by the second part of the month. You will be like the cat thats got the cream. Time to feel all loved up. TAURUS AUGUST 2021 If your feeling down, lonely or sad? Now is the time to take a leap of faith and take that first step snd get out there. Try a new image. Make small changes and start challenging your self again. Try an new image . Enhance what your have , use your artistic talents once again. Take a well earned time out to renew yourself. Your worth it. Party invitations snd celebrations are in the offer . GEMINI AUGUST 2021 You will need extra energy for the coming weeks . It’s like life will be on full throttle . This month you will get the travel, there’s a great desire to go on holidays to explore pastures new in the strangest of places. Anywhere is a change and a rest . Start slowly and work up to the fast pace that is coming. Happy is the Gemini who has variety around them. It keeps that verve alive. Multiple choices to make this month which 422


will land you in good stead.

back in motion.

CANCER AUGUST 2021 You are over-tired with your workload. Time to have a quiet word with the boss. Take time out from your schedule and treat yourself kind. Children are over demanding making you pressured too. Time to treat and look at them from a different perspective. You will get more harmony and better results with a new outlook. A month to harmonise your home once again.

LIBRA AUGUST 2021 You are feeling more fulfilled and content this month especially with the affairs of the heart.A new era begins for you concerning long term relationships they are about to get deeper. Your looking at new work or maybe just sprucing up your work place. A time to balance those scales and find more harmony around you. Clearing out what no longer serves you is a good idea. Maybe a declutter is in store.

LEO AUGUST 2021 It’s time to really think and plan your projects.You will hold a lot joy and drive from the first day of the month. A lot of your burning optimism will win the day. Good news regarding family is on the horizon. Saying goodbye to certain situations from your past can be a good thing. Moving forward is your focus right now. Keep going.

SCORPIO AUGUST 2021 Don’t loose your cool whilst taking to others Listen and take a deep breathe. More can be achieved this month with your steadfast hard work . You are at a well welcomed turning point with many possibilities on offer August will be the month when doors full of possibilities will open up for you. Be cool, stay collective and watch how you progress forward. You are aligned for great achievements.

VIRGO AUGUST 2021 It’s time to clear the air with misunderstandings and to find out who your friends truly are.You can move forward knowing you have a good circle of people around you. There is success with a work project, time to get the recognition you deserve.Your hard work pays off. Time to analyse your health regime and put your good habits

SAGITTARIUS AUGUST 2021 Your intellect shines. You are bursting with new found energy this month. A period where you are overrun with work meetings. Your social diary is full. You could be making new associates, some of which will have life changing influences.Your close ones could need some extra attentive care.

{{ SEEING THE SIGNS}} SHIFT+CONTROL SHIFT+CONTROL “ Scorpio August 2021- Don’t loose your cool whilst taking to others Listen and take a deep breathe.”


{ {SEEING THE SIGNS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Aries August 2021 - August will be an extremely active month for you. It is time to be your true self and shine those great attributes.”

A little one surprises you. Enrol in some relaxation classes -Don’t forget to feed the soul! CAPRICORN AUGUST 2021 You are a bright spark this month, you are full of innovating ideas. Your path will be crossed by someone similar. You may have found someone has the same adventurous attitude to life. Like the goat jumping from field to field and pastures new. A month not to turn down invitations. Dance with life as it could lead you to somewhere unknown where you might be prepared to settle. New study is likely. AQUARIUS AUGUST 2021 You may of f been feeling low of late there are still some new experiences and challenges to face . But stick to a plan to increase youself worth. 424


You may even want to boost the look of your environment. Blues skies are ahead.Take extra care either your spending , double check on figures. You may have a little money coming your way at the end of the month, something that may have been overlooked. PISCES AUGUST 2021 You have to stop for a moment and stop going with the ebb and glow of the tide. Big decisions have to be made about which way you want to go in life. Follow your natural instinct. Your creativity is essential to work on. Your artistic talents will get noticed by a number of new people. August is set to lay down the foundations for future success and security. Your sensitivity is being noticed by someone who finds it so attractive. New friends on the horizon.




Articles inside

WELL TRAIL article cover image


pages 418-421
SEEING THE SIGNS article cover image


pages 422-430
EMPOWERING EACH OTHER article cover image


pages 416-417
SEXUALLY SPEAKING article cover image


pages 408-415
MENTALLY THINKING article cover image


pages 396-407
LIFE IN BALANCE article cover image


pages 382-385
LOCAL BUSINESS MATTERS article cover image


pages 378-381
MIND, BODY & SPIRIT article cover image


pages 386-389
YOU MATTER article cover image


pages 376-377
WELLNESS 360 article cover image


pages 372-375
KARMA SPEAKS article cover image


pages 364-371
B.MOR article cover image


pages 356-359
SECOND LOOK article cover image


pages 360-363
TRACY TALKS article cover image


pages 280-283
HER EDGE article cover image


pages 350-355


pages 340-343
FINANCIALLY SPEAKING article cover image


pages 318-321
DR J’S BEAUTY article cover image


pages 312-317
DIVI9 CHAT article cover image


pages 306-311
AGAINST ALL ODDZ article cover image


pages 302-305
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON article cover image


pages 284-289
MEDICARE MINUTE article cover image


pages 298-301
BUSINESS TALK article cover image


pages 294-297
TAMMY’S TIDBITS article cover image


pages 268-271
ALL ACCESS article cover image


pages 262-267
UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN article cover image


pages 256-261
SAVON SPEAKS article cover image


pages 136-225
HEAL. EMPOWER. RECLAIM article cover image


pages 250-253
LADY O article cover image


pages 132-134
ONE TOUGH MOTHER article cover image


pages 122-125
QUEEN OF ARTS article cover image


pages 126-131
WHAT IS YOUR SUPERPOWER? article cover image


pages 90-99
CNY INSPIRING WOMAN article cover image


pages 58-89
B-UNTETHERED article cover image


pages 108-113
BEHIND THE CROWN article cover image


pages 114-119
IN HER OWN WORDS article cover image


pages 100-107
BLACK WOMEN ROC article cover image


pages 38-57
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