RWO'S July 2021 Edition

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An endurance event like no other! Part Challenge. Part Self-discovery. Part Wellness Festival. Train and prepare your mind and body for 6 weeks, then test yourself for 36 hours on the mountain. Race as a team or individually. Compete to win or just against the Mountain. Either way, go home a winner, changed for life. Lorem ipsum

Vi s i t O u r S i te Fo r M o re D eta i l s

Did you know that New York Life was the first life insurance agency to hire women as agents?

For over 175 years, women have been making history at New York Life in agency and management. Today women need financial guidance from a New York Life agent now more than ever before! Women are living longer, and don’t want to outlive their retirement income. In a lot of households women are the primary breadwinner and the caregiver.

Are you looking to explore a noble career as a Financial Service Professional? Let’s talk!

Not only do women want to know that the people they care most about will be taken care of, they want to learn about the financial strategies and how to be financially prepared for the future.

Natalie Vallone Director of Recruiting, New York Life

New York Life is an Equal Opportunity Employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. ©2021 New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10010. All rights reserved. NEW YORK LIFE and NEW YORK LIFE Box Logo are trademarks of New York Life Insurance Company. MM0023.062021 SMRU1901440 (Exp.05.26.2023)



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WOMEN ON THE RISE Alyssa Trahan Rima el Masri






YOUNG & INSPIRING Annaleise Arena


































SHE HUSTLES TALKS Savon Holt Letitia Torres Abby St Kittchen Created By You Heidi Laduca Hands With Faith Impossible Beauty Breanna Blue


















july edition



































We are pleased to announce The Mrs. New York America, Mrs. New York American, and Miss New York for America Strong Pageants are scheduled for Sunday, July 18th at 1:30 p.m. at The RIT Inn and Conference Center in Rochester, New York!


Mrs New York for America


Mrs New York American


Miss New York for America

Tickets are $30 for adults $15 for children and teens 16 and under, students, and active military. Check or Cash only Tickets will be sold at the door Doors open at 12:30


“We need to women who are so strong they are gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.”


n the latest edition of the women’s magazine everyone is talking about and is always bringing you women who are inspiring, empowering and hustling to build our community of lady bosses, we have a cover woman who is daring to share her voice!

And of course, you don’t want to miss our She Hustles Talks monthly insert filled with incredible women entrepreneurs who are hustlin. We are creating a new platform of women empowering women and are growing bigger then ever! This month, we have the dynamic duo of Savon Holt and Letitia Torres as our cover queens. Read all about them starting on page [138]. Plus, don’t miss our latest monthly She Hustles Talks SHOW on Thursday, August 5th from 5-9pm at Urban Euphoria featuring special guest, Olympic Gold Medalist Cathy Turner!

Kelly T T


On the cover of Rochester Woman Online for the July 2021 edition, we have Annika D’andrea at her amazing home in Webster, NY photographed by Brody Wheeler.





Kelly Breuer


Kelly Breuer


Brody Wheeler


Brody Wheeler Christopher Cardwell K. Victoria Photography Michele Ashlee Deb McGwin

Sandy Arena Murray Yaravitz Rob Daniels Dan Doyle


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 Letitia Torres Angela Duncan Michelle Horton Julie Mersereau Theresa Jeffers

Hillary Welles Melinda Finn Amanda Ashley Annaliese Arena Matthew Albery Jeremy Wolfe Sharlyn Marquez Annika Tricia D’Andrea Talena Skye Samantha Lapointe Breanna Blue Alyssa Trahan Rima el Masri Nancy Bowes


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.



Who is Annika D’andrea? Well Rochester Woman Online asked just that questions as we sat down for our interview with our latest cover woman at her beautiful home in Webster, NY. This woman is the true epitome of inspiration, ambition and an all around empowering entrepreneur. I am sure this is not the last we will see or hear from this amazing woman and her evolving journey. Tell us about who Annika D’andrea is. I am a passionate, dedicated and ambitious entrepreneur from a small island with big dreams. I was born and raised in Westmoreland, Jamaica a rural area with little to no exposure to city life. I emigrated from Jamaica as a teenager and moved to the United States. Growing up in rural Jamaica, I was surrounded by hardworking, dedicated individuals and understood from an early age the importance of hard work. I was raised to respect others and dream big. I was also taught that I had the ability to achieve anything I dreamed as long as I worked hard. This is a belief I have carried with me throughout my life experiences, and have taught my own three children who are now young adults. What made you decide to create Tender Loving Family Care and become a female entrepreneur? My passion for caring and helping others. 20


I realized from an early age that I was born to serve a special purpose and I don’t believe there is any other way. The passion to care for others was born in me. I love to care, and doing what I love makes it possible to thrive.My personal and professional life is guided by the principles of integrity, honesty, quality, commitment, respect, and dedication.

At around six years old, I started helping and caring for those in need. At that young age, I would help people in my church and the community with any tasks that I was physically capable of doing. As an adult, I had first hand experience of what it’s like to care for a loved one, without having the resources

and support available to provide respite and other much-needed services. Tell us about TLFC. How was it created? What is the concept behind it? Tender Loving Family Care, Inc., (TLFC) is a New York State Licensed Home Care Services Agency, offering compassionate care to individuals who need extra help to stay independent. We understand everyone’s desire to remain independent, and we actively work with our clients to ensure they live a well-dignified life in the comfort and surroundings of their own home. TLFC offers in-home care for the young and elderly. Tender Loving Family Care, Inc. takes a comprehensive approach to providing home health care by offering complete solutions in the comfort of your own home. Our services and programs are designed to educate patients and caregivers on their medical condition, injury, or illness in an effort to maximize independence. More and more older people, electing to live independent, non-institutionalized lives, are receiving in-home care services as their physical capabilities diminish. Younger adults who are disabled or recuperating from acute illness are choosing in-home care whenever possible. As hospital stays decrease, increasing the numbers of patients who need services when they return home.





“I am a passionate, dedicated and ambitious entrepreneur from a small island with big dreams.”









{ COVER STORY } “I realized from an early age that I was born to serve a special purpose and I don’t believe there is any other way. The passion to care for others was born in me.”

Patients and families can feel confident that Tender Loving Family Care is committed to providing the best quality service and programs. Our focus is always our patients and families’ satisfaction. We provide service in Monroe, Orleans, Ontario, Livingston, Genesee, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties. Our company is based on the belief that our customer’s needs are of the utmost importance. We are committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner and in creating a highly successful business? We receive many referrals. We also utilize social media, radio, television and speaking at different community events. The most successful and rewarding are referrals it is a testament to the great work being done at Tender Loving Family Care as we find many families are spreading the word of how pleased they are with our services and recommending us to friends and other loved ones. Are you considering franchising in the future to other states? No, not at this time. TLFC has so much more to offer its local communities.

If you could interview one of your mentors, who would it be and what would you ask them? There are so many inspirational and influential people in my life that also act as mentors. That is one of the things I am so grateful for. I draw inspiration and strength from several of those individuals. In business, I have always

had great admiration and respect for Bob Fox, CPA. I don’t have a specific question that I’d ask him because as a close mentor and inspiration to me he has always shared his knowledge and experiences with me of how to be successful in business. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business especially during the pandemic?

Social media has definitely helped me to promote my business during the pandemic. I have been able to connect with so many amazing people that need care and support. Through social media we have also been fortunate to recruit so many caring and passionate caregivers - they are integral to TLFC thriving, especially throughout the pandemic. How do you juggle the fast paced schedule of being a woman entrepreneur with your family life? Juggling the demands of being an entrepreneur with a family has many challenges. There was never a blueprint on how to do both and there were many struggles. However, a strong family support system has been my saving grace. My family understands the demands of my profession and as such have always been available to support my needs. I have also had to learn that a strong, efficient team is key to sustaining a work life balance. Trusting my employees to lead the cause when I needed to prioritize family life has also been effective for me. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? My major challenges were keeping my employees and clients safe and sustaining ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “There are so many inspirational and influential people in my life that also act as mentors. That is one of the things I am so grateful for. I draw inspiration and strength from several of those individuals.”

COVID was a time of many uncertainties. Majority of my clients are considered to be the most vulnerable to the virus, and as a business owner my number one priority included keeping them safe and minimizing their exposure to the virus. In addition to keeping them safe, I had to ensure my employees were also safe. Simultaneously managing both was very challenging. We had to implement stringent policies for our clients which became a challenge to ensure adherence, and we also implemented policies for our caregivers that sometimes saw them being away from their loved ones for extended periods of time. What motivates you and keeps you moving forward ? My passion. My passion for helping my clients, my passion for caring. On days when I stumble upon challenges, knowing that the service I provide for my clients is what keeps them going, knowing my services is what gives their families hope. That is what keeps me going. Did anyone ever prepare you, or encourage you to own your own business? I had no preparation. Most of what I know now is through trial and error and learning as I go along. I knew my goals and what I needed to accomplish. With faith, dedication and a lot of research I prepared myself. My family has always encouraged me to start my own business as they understood my passion and knew my dedication for helping others. Where do you see yourself personally 26


and professionally in the next 3-5 years? Growing. We never stop learning, and with learning comes growing. I believe Tender Loving Family Care will expand to more markets and serve many more clients. I also believe we will develop innovative programs to keep our communities and our clients engaged and build upon our group of companies to offer a wider range of healthcare services. What makes your business unique and stand out from others? My business is unique because we pride ourselves on the exceptional services we provide. Our employees are great at what they do and are passionate about healthcare, caring for, and helping others. Having a strong team and consistently providing good services and a successful employee wellness program are what has helped Tender Loving Family Care. We are proud to be a successful minorityowned business and promise to always deliver the highest quality service to our clients. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? The pros of being a female entrepreneur is the creative freedom and personal satisfaction I gain from knowing that I am positively impacting the lives of others - I am able to inspire other women to own their own business through my experiences. One con is that you are sometimes challenged by your male counterparts who may try to discredit your success simply because of your gender. However, with determination and agility I learned how to navigate

the cons of entrepreneurship. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business? Go for it! It may seem overwhelming and difficult but if it is something you are sincerely passionate about , you will succeed. It will take a lot of work, but this is your business, so the rewards and personal satisfaction will far outweigh the hurdles. What type of schooling prepared you to be where you are today? I wasn’t sure exactly what my career path would be, but I knew it had to include caring for those in need. I started my career as a Certified Nursing Assistant and knew immediately that I needed to advance my career. I received my undergraduate degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and completed my Master’s degree in Business Administration from Capella University. If you needed to start it all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing to change, add or subtract, what would it be ? I wouldn’t change anything about my experience. I have learned so much along the way, I had so many failures and successes, I believe each one of them molded me into the entrepreneur I am today. It also helped me to build a strong foundation for my business - learning what works and what doesn’t. What makes you an expert in understanding the needs of individuals to age-in-place? My vast experience makes me an expert.












COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Juggling the demands of being an entrepreneur with a family has many challenges. There was never a blueprint on how to do both and there were many struggles.”

Which is one of the reasons why I wouldn’t change anything about my experience. I started my career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, I was at the bedsides of these individuals, I understand their wants and needs, I understand the importance of meeting their needs and ensuring they receive the care they need. As someone with such a significant foundation working with these individuals and gradually working my way up in this field, I have all the fundamental knowledge and more to be an expert in understanding their needs. Did you always know you wanted to be in this field and help others? Yes, caring for the elderly has always been a strong passion of mine. My story began as a young girl, helping seniors for countless hours in their homes after church with friends. We completed chores and served meals to the elderly. The feeling of seeing the difference we made in their lives was unforgettable. #21 Name one defining moment when you knew that you were going to be a nurse and help others. There wasn’t one defining moment for me. Caring for others has always been a core value of who I am. As I grew up, my father had great plans for me, urging me to become a lawyer. I spent two years trying to fit into his dream but could no longer ignore my true calling imprinted in my heart from childhood memories. As I explored my career

aspirations, I was led to pursue a career in nursing. I also realized that spreading joy and smiles became more difficult when loved ones faced the difficult task of caregiving without proper support services. Although many facilities have wonderful nurses, caregivers, and other caring staff, most patients feared being institutionalized. Tell us about one moment in your life

and had a lasting impact on me. When I wasn’t certain of my career path, these memories were constant and helped me to be who I am today. What do you attribute your success to? What advice do you have for others that you wish you knew prior to starting your business? I attribute my success to my upbringing. I was raised to never doubt myself, be passionate about what I love and always strive for greatness. Giving up was non-negotiable in my culture. If I started something, I had to do it to my best ability and never give up. My advice for others that I wish I knew prior to starting my business is that there isn’t a one size fits all plan. You have to create a plan that works for you and your business, and even if the odds are against you, keep trying. Failures are inevitable, but many are blessings. They help you learn and grow. Tell our audience one thing about yourself that not many others know.

that has had a lasting impression on you and formed who you are today. As a child growing up in rural Jamaica I would go to church every Sunday with the elders in my community. I remember constantly feeling compelled to help them with their activities of daily living. Even when I was not in church, I would find their homes, visit them and help them with whatever tasks they desired. These experiences were the defining moments

I am a big animal lover! If my family would allow me, and if I had the resources, I would have a house full of animals living happily ever after. If you wrote a book and could only use 1 word for the title of your life story, what would it be? Resilience. The story of my life has centered around being resilient and my life experiences have allowed me to master being resilient.



We’re the Extra Help Families Need to Stay Independent “Our staff truly makes the difference. We are dedicated, experienced, caring and compassionate.” Tender Loving Family Care offers compassionate care in the comfort of your own home. We understand everyone's desire to remain Independent at home and we actively work with our clients to ensure they do so in a dignified manner.

Tender Loving Family Care, Inc.


Nursing Service Physical Therapy Respiratory Therapy Nutritional Services Personal Care Aide Home Health Aide Equipment and Appliances Housekeeping /Companionship Social Adult Day Programs/Family-type Homes

We take a comprehensive approach to providing home health care by offering complete compre-hensive solutions. Our service and programs are designed to educate patients and caregivers on their medical condition, injury or illness in an effort to maximize independence. Our approach and process includes: • Thoroughly trained and caring professionals who understand the needs of our clients and recognize that every individual is unique • Thoughtfully match each staff member with each client to assure that we meet or exceed expectations • Utilize latest state-of-the-art systems to allow us to be proactive and accountable that our caregivers are providing each client with the proper care in a timely manner We keep your loved ones safe while maintaining maximum independence. We are experienced in a variety of home care settings, including private residences and independent and assisted living communities – so you are assured you are receiving the best possible care in the comfort of your own home.

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TLFC Senior Care off to help families care f loved ones. TLFC Companion Services, LLC provides non-medical care and services to clients who just need a little extra help to stay independent. We truly value the importance of compassion, dignity and respect for all our clients and their families. Our services include: Transportation and Escort Companionship Household Chores Home Monitoring Waiting Service Personal Assistance Meal Preparation Medication Pet Assistance

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• Furnished Room a • Delicious Meals an • Personal Care Assi Supervision • Activities and Soci • Flexible Hours and • Transportation Ser


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offers dynamic and Adult Day Programs to munity.

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Tender Loving Family Care understands our clients’ desire for receiving quality care and services in the comfort and familiarity of their own home. We can customize the service to suit your needs.

Nurses Available 24 hours–7 days/week

We can be there when you need us to be. Tender Loving Family Care assures you that our Care Givers: • Are subject to a criminal background check • Have their Social Security Number verified • Have their employment eligibility verified • Are appropriately licensed and bonded by Tender Loving Family Care • Have employment history verified with reference checks • Have at least two personal references verified • Are thoroughly interviewed Undergo competency testing as necessary • Are covered by workers compensation • Undergo a thorough orientation process • Undergo regular performance evaluations and continuing training • Have a valid driver’s license when needed • Are mature, caring, punctual, and reliable

Call Us Today for a FREE Consultation (585) 637-0333 At Tender Loving Family Care we never lose sight of the importance of customer service. We have grown to be one of the leading and most respected home care providers in our service areas. We have the perfect member of our family to love and support your family.

We Provide Licensed Services in the Following Counties: Monroe • Orleans • Ontario • Genesee Livingston • Wayne • Wyoming

TLFC is the proud recipient of this prestigious award as a top growing company in Rochester and surrounding counties.



It is with heavy hearts that we regret to share the news of our beloved friend and the CEO and leader of the Northeast Kidney Foundation, Carol Lefluer’s passing on June 22nd, 2021. For over a year she fought an incredibly courageous battle against colon cancer. She fought her disease with positivity and strength every step of the way. Carol joined the foundation back in 2002 and from there on out she dedicated her life to the Northeast Kidney Foundation and its mission. She helped so many suffering from kidney disease and other kidney related ailments. She was always giving back to her local community and helping others where she could. Our thoughts are with her family, particularly her son and beloved grandsons. We thank Carol for all she has done for the Northeast Kidney Foundation and the local kidney patients and their families. She leaves behind a wonderful legacy and she will be greatly missed by all. She was a friend, a mother, and most of all an incredible inspiration that will leave a long and lasting impression on all of those who had the pleasure of working with or meeting her. I know that all of us at Rochester Woman Online will miss her, and 34


we will go on helping to build the legacy she built for decades. We ask everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting her to donate to the Northeast Kidney Foundation in her honor in efforts to continue all

Carol A. LaFleur Memorial Fund will award patients, patient family members, or medical caregivers who are pursuing a degree, obtaining a professional certification, or learning a new job skill. This is individual will be recognized for their courage, strength, determination, and generosity of spirit. Given Carol’s display of courage, strength, and determination during her journey with cancer, we felt this was the best way to memorialize her legacy. It was Carol‘s wish to see the Foundation thrive and continue to help so many in the kidney community. Please help us keep Carol’s legacy alive. We also would like to invite you to Save The Date of Sunday, December 12th to join us in Syracuse, NY at the Marriott Hotel Downtown as we pay tribute to Carol with the 2021 Catwalk For Kidneys. Let’s make this one the biggest ever in her honor.

of the amazing work she has done throughout these years.


As a tribute to Carol’s commitment to the foundation and the kidney community, we are organizing an annual memorial scholarship. The

If you are interested in helping in any way, donating your time or services, or monetary donations for the NEKF, please contact Sharon Johnson at or visit the website for more information at




{ AASPECIAL SPECIALTRIBUTE TRIBUTE}} “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”







Welcome to our new monthly featured column, “What Is Your Superpower?”. The concept was created by Tiffanie Tartanglia, owner of Salon Bella Vita to showcase area High School students and promote what they are passionate about. Rochester Woman Online was excited to partner with her on this amazing journey and support our local up and coming youth. We hope you enjoy these incredible and inspiring teenagers, and stay tuned for more to come! Name, Age, School Rocco Prota, age 15, Greece Athena High School 40


What is your superpower? My superpower is my hard work and dedication to everything I do. I am always trying to improve on my ability on the court and in the classroom. What is your passion? My passion is basketball. I love being on the court and putting in work every day to make myself better. When I am on the court I like to surround myself with people who push me to be better and do my best. What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are to play

basketball in college. I want to study architecture because I love building and creating my own things. How do you inspire others? I think I inspire others by constantly pushing myself to be better and I am very supportive of other people. I like to motivate people to work hard and to do their best because thats what helps win games for us. Team work! I set a good example in both the classroom and on the court because I am always willing to learn something new and I always pay attention to my coach and others.






Name, Age, School Emma Prota, age 14, Greece Athena High School What is your superpower? My super power is being an awesome soccer player. What is your passion?

My passion is playing soccer and being part of a team. What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are to play soccer.

good education and then be a veterinarian and have my own dog shelter where any animal can have a home and feel safe.

How do you inspire others? I inspire others to go forward and be themselves. I want to go to college get a ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021




Name, Age, School My name is Michael Kirchgessner I’m am 16 years old and go to eastridge high school What is your superpower? If I had a super power I would want to be able to fly because I would never need a car or ask anyone for transportation.



What is your passion? My plans for the future is to become an electrician so I can make a lot of money and it seems like a east jobs, it fits all my strengths good What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are to play soccer. How do you inspire others?

I try to inspire other by being kind and making others around me just kinder to the next, to stop the hate and spread strictly love, cause at the end of the day. It’s all love.






Name, Age, School My name is Anthony Raimondi and I’m a graduate from Irondequoit High School.

best that I can be as well as trying to make the world a better place in any way I can.

What is your superpower? My superpower is helping others and trying to improve myself everyday no matter what I’m improving at.

What are your plans for the future? My future plans are to go to college for Business management and hopefully some day run a business as well as pursue sports in some way.

What is your passion? My passion is business and being the

How do you inspire others? I inspire others by spreading positivity

and being kind to all and showing people no matter what you’ve been through, there is a purpose to keep moving forward and to never give up no matter what it is at.





Name, Age, School My name is Zoe Sagen and I am 17 years old and am a student at Penfield High School. What is your superpower? I don’t see myself as having superpowers. I am good at singing and enjoy photography and creative writing. 48


What is your passion? I have a strong interest and passion in fashion right now. What are your plans for the future? I haven’t settled on a life direction yet. I am considering fashion, interior design or maybe even being a realtor. How do you inspire others?

I try to help my friends focus on things that they are good at rather than something they see as a negative about themselves.






Name, Age, School My name is Amani Polizzi. I am 13 years old and a student at Eastridge High School. What is your superpower? I think it would have to be endurance strength and resilience.



What is your passion? Definitely cheerleading and dance right now. What are your plans for the future? I want to become a veterinarian. How do you inspire others? I inspire others by encouraging them

to do their best in anything they want to do.








So tell us about country singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and audio engineer, Alyssa Trahan. I grew up in East Rochester, NY, and have always loved music. I have been writing songs in my head for a long as I can remember, and I thought everyone did that sometimes! But when I got older, I realized that not everyone did that and I was actually writing songs! My dad played guitar around the house when I was growing up and one day I asked him to teach me to play so I could add music to my songs. That really put things in motion and soon I was recording my original music at local recording studios, playing gis at coffee shops and bars around town, and uploading covers on YouTube from my bedroom. I didn’t really know where my music fit in until I heard artists like Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift on the radio. Then it all clicked for me. I remember seeing programs on TV of artists and songwriters in Nashville and they all said if you wanted to make it in country music, you had to be in Nashville. So, one summer I asked my parents if we could go to Nashville on summer vacation. They said yes, and I remember the second I stepped foot in Nashville I had this feeling that I was supposed to be there. Fast forward a few years later, my music was getting more serious, and I asked my dad to take me back to Nashville on “business trips” as we called them. We took

probably dozens of trips to Nashville over the course of a few years, while I was attending college at Finger Lakes Community College for audio recording, and in 2016 I finally made the move. It’s been a whirlwind ever since, but I think that feeling I had the first time I visited Nashville with my family was spot on. What made you decide to become a musician/singer? I always say that you don’t choose music, music chooses you, and I really believe thats’ what happened to me. It’s in my blood, literally, my whole family is pretty musical. So I was surrounded by it growing up. When I was old enough to know what songwriting and performing were, I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life. I’ve never had a backup plan. Tell us one story about someone who has inspired you whether it be personally or professionally. One person who has continued to inspire me throughout my career is Dolly Parton. Not only is she so talented and massively successful, but she does everything with such intention and grace. I haven’t had the chance to meet her myself, but I know countless people who have met her and they have all said how kind and down to earth she is. She’s a true artist and has stayed true to herself even with massive fame. I love everything she does and often find myself saying “what would Dolly do?” regularly.

Your career has really taken off over the past few years, what would you say attributes to your becoming so successful? I work hard and don’t really take vacations. Even on my days “off”, I’ll be writing, booking shows, working on a new track, planning things, etc. Music is my passion and it’s all I ever want to do, so even though I’m constantly working, it doesn’t always feel like work. What are some of the things you find that help you to stay grounded in such a high-paced environment? I think it’s really important to surround yourself with like-minded people and the connections I’ve made in Nashville have definitely helped make things feel more “normal”. If you had to pick just one thing that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why? I would say my specialty is melodies. I love catchy, hooky melodies that get stuck in your head for days and I’m known for that in writing sessions in Nashville. What sets you apart from your competition? I think the biggest thing that sets me apart is that I do it all myself. I write, perform, play the instruments, produce, and handle most of my website/social media/booking/etc. I don’t need to rely on anyone else when it comes to my music. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


“I didn’t really know where my music fit in until I heard artists like Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift on the radio. Then it all clicked for me.”

{ WOMAN ON THE RISE} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “One person who has continued to inspire me throughout my career is Dolly Parton. Not only is she so talented and massively successful, but she does everything with such intention and grace”

your business, especially during the pandemic? I think it’s a little of both. It’s a great tool to reach new people and expand your audience, but social media can be so incredibly toxic and damaging. It’s both a blessing a curse for creatives! During the pandemic, it definitely helped me continue to get my music to people with livestreams and online streaming. What would be one piece of advice that you have learned that you would give to an aspiring singer? I would say to stay authentic to you. Don’t try to be what you hear on the radio and don’t try to follow in someone else’s footsteps. Be original and be you! What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? The biggest challenge for me this year has been trying to get back to “normal”. I’ve gotten pretty used to staying home, working remotely, and just locking myself in my studio. Getting back to writing in person, playing shows, traveling, it’s been exhausting and I feel like I need to work my endurance back up. I’m just trying to remind myself that it’s OK to be tired and overwhelmed. We all just went through, and are still going through, an incredibly tough time. I’m doing my best and that’s all that matters. How do you balance your music career with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges 58


you experience? If someone doesn’t understand or support my music career, I tend to distance myself from them. Being in music is so different from everything else and you really need a strong support system to make it work. I understand if someone doesn’t understand what I do, and that’s fine, but I’m in this for the long haul and have never been more sure of anything, Where is your most favorite place you have performed and why? My favorite place I have performed would be opening for Charlie Daniels at the Steuben County Fair. It was just such an incredible experience to open for someone that was an icon and the crowd was just unbelievable. Charlie and his whole team were also incredibly kind to us. I’ll never forget that day! What is one word that perfectly describes you? Hardworking! Where do you see yourself in 3 years? Five years? I honestly have no idea where I’ll be in 3 or 5 years, but I try not to think about that too much. I do know I’ll be in music, but I’ll let it take me where I’m meant to be! What makes you hustle? Music is my passion and the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life. I don’t have a plan B and I don’t have a safety net. It’s this or nothing.

What made you decide to be a country artist rather than, lets’ say a pop star? To me, country music isn’t about the boots, the hats, the banjos, or the fiddles. It’s not about the beer, trucks, or daisy dukes. It’s about the songs and the stories. It’s about the truth. My music has also been focused on songwriting and the story in a song, rather than samples and loops. When I heard Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, etc I felt seen and understood. And even though some of my music may sound modern, it still comes down to the songwriting. All my songs start with just me and my acoustic guitar. “What are people saying” about you... I hope good things haha! A lot of people have been asking me about my new record, “Baby Blues & Stilettos”. I am a writer on every song, produced the album myself, and played around 95% of the instruments on it. It also charted in the top ten on iTunes. That’s not very common for female artists in Nashville, so it got some conversations started. People also call me a crazy cat lady all the time because I have two cats! Where will we see you next? I’ll be hitting the road on my Baby Blues & Stilettos Tour starting July 1st and will be touring all around NY and TN including opening for Maddie & Tae, Tracy Lawrence, and more. I’m so excited to finally get back to playing music for people and hope everyone is ready to sing and dance and have a great time!





{ SHIFT+CONTROL { WOMAN ON THE RISE} } “Music is my passion and it’s all I ever want to do, so even though I’m constantly working, it doesn’t always feel like work.”











Recently Rochester Woman Online had the opportunity to sit down with the current reigning Mrs. Pittsford America, Rima el Masri. We talked about being from Lebanon, a new american citizen, her new life here in Rochester, NY, what is important to her and more. She is strong, inspiring and very confident in her own skin, and is truly a woman on the rise!

My mom is my greatest inspiration. My mother is a wife and a mother of 6 children in Lebanon. She did all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and care taking while she worked as a tailor to provide for and support our family while we were growing up. She is a very strong woman and

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? What was your family like? When did you come to the United States? I grew up in Lebanon in a family of 6 children, 4 girls and 2 boys. I came to the United States on March 17, 2017 after getting married.

Tell us one story about someone who has inspired you whether it be personally or professionally and why.

What made you decide to join the MRS New York pageant? First and foremost, I wanted to show other women that they can do anything they put their mind to. I want to empower and inspire others with disabilities big or small that they to can do this too. I am proud to be a US citizen and proud to be a strong, confident woman. I would like to also bring awareness to the subject of organ donation, and through my platform the Northeast Kidney Foundation, I am able to get the word out to a big audience at the pageant. I also would like to bring more awareness to the Victoria’s Voice Foundation.

What made you decide to come to Rochester, NY? I came here after getting married to my wonderful husband Sam. He is a dentist and owns his own business here in Rochester called Liberty Dental Arts. So I left Lebanon and I came and made my home here with him four years ago.

but with minimal use. I immediately had a physical handicap that changed my life, but never let it stop me.

a true inspiration. Tell us about one moment in your life that has changed everything for you. I was in a motor vehicle accident in 2001 that almost cost me my left hand. After fifteen surgeries over a period of 10 years, I kept my hand,

I would be honored to hold such a position where I can impact and influence people in a positive way, especially other young girls and women. What do you think sets you apart from your competition? I do not let life’s obstacles stop me from achieving my goals. I have had ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


“First and foremost, I wanted to show other women that they can do anything they put their mind to. I want to empower and inspire others with disabilities big or small that they too can do this. ”

{ WOMAN ON THE RISE} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “It is important to be able to be a good wife, but also to pursue my own goals.”

to go through a lot, and have had many people telling me I couldn’t do it. I did it all! My strength sets me a part from others because once I set my mind to something, there is nothing that can stop me.

very hard trying to learn everything, having to do so much remotely and not in person, and trying to understand everything when I wasn’t face to face with the teachers. But, I came in first in my class because I studied many

What has been your biggest challenge being in the US versus your home country of Lebanon? Overcoming the language barrier and adjusting to the different cultures traditions has definitely been my biggest obstacle so far. But, I am learning quickly.

Lebanon’s beaches are by far my favorite because they are so beautiful and clean. What is one word that perfectly describes you? Fighter.

Being able to be diverse and adjust to change quickly.

Getting my degree in cosmetology during the pandemic has definitely been my biggest challenge to oversome especially over the past year. It was 66


I follow a strict schedule and regimen as to balance all of my responsibilities equallty. It is important to be able to be a good wife, but also to pursue my own goals. My husband has been very encouraging and understanding through all of this which makes balancing everything easier. Where is your most favorite place in your home country and why?

What would be one piece of advice that you have learned from being from a different country that has helped you here?

What are some of the challenges you have faced this year and how have you overcome them?

responsibilities as a wife?

Where do you see yourself in 3 years? Five years?

long hours and was determined to get through it no matter how hard it was. How do you balance the pressures of the pageant world with your

In 3 years I plan on having my own SPA and in 5 years a franchise with many more! What makes you hustle? Trying to achieve all of my goals.







WOMAN ON ON THE THE RISE RISE }} {{ WOMAN “Always being positive, standing up to challenges, and not letting problems get in the way I would say make me an inspiration to others.”

What qualities would you say that you have that make you an inspiration to others? Always being positive, standing up to challenges, and not letting problems get in the way I would say make me an inspiration to others. If I can do it, even with a language barrier and a disability, you can too! I seek to empower others to live life to their fullest.

and spend time studying everything. It will take time, and not always be easy, but learning the language and how to communicate with people is

Where will we see you next?

I chose the Northeast Kindey Foundation because I believe that they are doing so much good in the community to help create awareness for organ donation, and helping organ donors, recipients, and their families live good lives and giving them the money they need for support.

Learn the language and the culture

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would that be? I would tell myself to stay strong and no matter what life throws at me that I can overcome it. I would also tell my younger self to never give up. You can do anything!

What platform are you using for the upcoming Mrs pageant and what made you select it as your mission?

Do you have any advise for young women that has helped you in acclimating to a different culture, language and lifestyle?

I love to work out, belly dance, go for walks along the canal and staying in shape.

Come and join me, along with the other Mrs and Miss New York America contestants on Sunday, July 18th at 1:30 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center.

very important. What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ WOMAN ON THE RISE { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “My husband has been very encouraging and understanding through all of this which makes balancing everything easier.”





FINDING TRUE SELF LOVE AND WORTH IN MY JOURNEY OF PAGEANTRY I competed in the Miss High School America (MHSA) national pageant this past June. I’ve been competing in various pageants since I was eight years old and when I tell people that, I often get questions about what they’re like and what I do. I’ve given the “What is a pageant anyways?” spiel countless times, because they are sometimes perceived as strictly beauty contests. To put it simply, they are definitely not.

about sharing your goals, ambitions, and heart with the judges. It’s also a chance to share about what you’ve done to volunteer in your community leading up to the competition and about your platform. My personal platform is called “Scars to Hearts” and is all about turning life’s hardest

My biggest project of the year was hosting a Miss BRAVE Self-Love Showcase where I shared my self-love message and at the end of the day, there was a show and each girl had their moment in the spotlight in a beautiful gown to showcase the self-love we built up throughout the day. As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into this one week of competition and it’s much more than just a pretty face.

We are judged on communication skills, how we present ourselves on stage, the volunteer work we do, creating a platform that supports a cause we want to make a difference in, and we usually spend about a year doing this all this in preparation for the actual competition to happen. Every pageant system is different, but the particular pageant I just competed in consisted of three areas of competition: Interview, Evening Gown, and Fun Fashion. Evening gown and Fun Fashion are the onstage events where we walk with poise and confidence to showcase our skills and personality to the judges. I have always loved being onstage so these events are particularly fun for me. Interview is all 74


sharing. The platform is BRAVE, which stands for Building Respect and Value for Everyone. It’s an antibullying message and it’s our main job to focus on spreading it. For me, BRAVE was a lot more than just a job I was required to do. I have my own story of being bullied throughout high school, so sharing the message was very meaningful to me. I not only shared about building respect and value for others, but about building that same respect and value for yourself through self-love.

moments into something beautiful. It was based on my journey with my mental health and how I’ve used that to advocate and help others. For MHSA, we also have a national platform that every girl has the responsibility of

I did not walk away from the week with a national title or even a top 15 placement. Every pageant girl has had their wins and had their losses, and throughout my years of competing, I have always taken my losses very hard. But this time, I didn’t, because it was not a loss. I truly had a self-revelation. I realized that I had spent an entire year working hard and doing meaningful things. I had put my best foot forward on







{ YOUNG & INSPIRING } “After the pageant was completed, I felt like I finally had accomplished what I set forth to do and that was love myself.”

stage, so what else could I possibly need? During this year, I spent hours and hours sharing about the importance of loving yourself, but I was simultaneously battling with my own ability to love myself and that has been a struggle of mine for years. As I said above, pageants are a lot more than just a pretty face, but it’s easy to get caught up in finding yourself “not enough”. After the pageant was completed, I felt like I finally had accomplished what I set forth to do and that was love myself. The peace I felt was better than any 78


crown, trophy, or plaque to hang on the wall. I put it best in this text I sent to my mom from backstage while crowning was unfolding: “I honestly don’t even feel bad about myself. This is the first time I’m walking out of this, not getting the results I wanted but still being really proud of myself. I know it’s just the opinion of a group of judges. It doesn’t define me. I’m crying right now - but happy tears. I feel very free and confident with myself.” To all the pageant girls out there right now who are struggling because they

didn’t walk away with a crown or anyone who is a competitor of some sort, or even if you are just a person struggling with self- love, I want to tell you this: you are already enough without that crown or trophy, and you are so much more than winning that competition. It is all about the moments that lead you there, because those are the true accomplishments and the true moments of growth to becoming the person you were exactly meant to be.












“To all the pageant girls out there right now who are struggling because they didn’t walk away with a crown or anyone who is a competitor of some sort, or even if you are just a person struggling with self- love, I want to tell you this: you are already enough without that crown or trophy, and you are so much more than winning that competition. ”









Tell us a little background about you and Vanessa for those who haven’t followed your story. I have been involved with the local municipal animal shelter, Rochester Animal Services (RAS), in a volunteer capacity since 2014. I initially started out as a dog walker and more recently have been involved as a trainer for new volunteers and working in the play-yard. The play-yard provides dog on dog socialization in large fenced yards that allows the shelter dogs to have enrichment from a social perspective and allows staff to evaluate the resident dogs behavior in a social setting. Vanessa came into the shelter (RAS) in 2017. She was picked up as a “stray” from a vacant residence and at the time had a broken leg which had not properly healed. Someone luckily heard her or saw her there and called animal control. That is where the two of us met at RAS. Initially I took her in as a medical foster for her post-surgery recovery and then I later ended up adopting her. How did Justice For Vanessa get started? The JusticeForVanessaRochesterNY Facebook page was started by a 86


close friend and coworker of mine. JusticeForVanessa has evolved well beyond a single Facebook page though and has turned into an animal rights and breed bias movement that has a global following. We have thousands of followers on our social media pages and a petition with over 100,000 signatures to date. In our preliminary story we released

6 months ago, Vanessa was in confinement with no human contact, and you were fighting the Town of Ogden for her release and appealing a euthanasia order. It was a long, drawn out fight, but after 10 long months, Vanessa was released to the Against All Oddz Animal Alliance in Darien, NY. Can you tell us a little bit about how this all came about? Yes, so we appealed to the higher

court, specifically the Monroe County Court, and the euthanasia order was vacated by the higher court. It took 10 months and never should have taken that long but we did end up prevailing and getting her released from the Town’s clutches in the end. We never could have done it without the help and support of Vanessa’s thousands of supporters. These dedicated people literally were supporting this dog like she was their own and we love every single one of them for it! How was AAO chosen? During the appellate process Against All Oddz was suggested by my legal team as an alternative temporary place of housing that would offer Vanessa more humane confinement during the period of the court proceedings which progressed along at a snail’s pace. It is documented that during the Town’s Court Ordered confinement that Vanessa was not being socialized and/or removed from her kennel at all during the 10 months of her confinement. That solitary confinement obviously would take its toll on any living being, be it human or K9, so we wanted to get her some relief. After reviewing her medical records during her confinement, we have also confirmed that she was not receiving appropriate




{ {WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR { SHIFT+CONTROL } }} JUSTICE FOR VANESSA “Advocating for change takes public support. We need to continue to grow the JusticeForVanessa movement.”

medical care as evidenced by the poor shape she was in when released. What was meant to be a temporary housing solution for the welfare of Vanessa during trial was twisted by the Ogden Town Court into a Decision that she needs to be remanded to the sanctuary permanently for the remainder of her life without ever having the opportunity for release. We obviously disagree with this ruling, and have filed a notice of appeal, and will once again be taking this matter to the higher court. Rochester Woman Online had the pleasure of visiting you and Vanessa in her new condo at AAO, and she seems like she didn’t miss a beat (except for her now grey muzzle). What was it like to see her for the first time in 10 months? I had been denied access to Vanessa for the entire time of her internment by the Town of Ogden. Even my vet was denied access, so we had no idea what shape Vanessa was in. Luckily as a testament to Vanessa’s fortitude and temperament she was mentally still very stable upon retrieving her from the kennel. She recognized me instantly, went into her leash very quickly, and honestly was ready to get the heck out of there. Even though she is a young dog, her entire muzzle turned grey during her internment, which is evidence to the emotional strain, in my own words abuse, that she endured during her court ordered confinement. There was no reason for it, and she could have been housed in a much more humane manner which the Town of Ogden repeatedly refused to do. 90


Vanessa seems very happy and like she settled in nicely. What type of training/nurturing is she receiving at AAO to help her adjust? Vanessa is now able to receive appropriate medical and mental care and her body has thankfully responded accordingly. Her videos and photographs speak for themselves! Vanessa and I are working with a trainer at AAO and the folks there are wonderful and have welcomed her with open arms. They are not supposed to have favorites, but I suspect Matt and Kim (at AAO) have taken a special liking to her 😊. How often do you visit Vanessa? Three to four times a week. It is about a 45 min drive to the sanctuary. What are the next steps being taken? I know there is an appeal in the works. What does that consist of? Vanessa deserves to be home, she never should have been seized from her home in the first place, so we are exercising our right to appeal. My legal team has filed the appropriate notifications, and this is something that will evolve, and I will post updates about in the coming months as we progress through the appeal process. Vanessa seems to have created a movement for change, especially against pitbull bias. What has been your biggest accomplishment with Justice for Vanessa to date? Getting her released from the Town’s custody is obviously our number one accomplishment. Secondly though this movement has brought a wonderful

group of people together. We have had several public events, gatherings, and fundraisers on Vanessa’s behalf, and I can’t tell you the number of selfless good-natured people that I have met at these events. The animal welfare community in Rochester is a strong dedicated group and I believe the horrible circumstances that Vanessa has endured has helped to bring that group together. I have met some wonderful people as the result of this whole thing and I cannot thank Vanessa’s supporters enough! Vanessa is a hero, she unjustly endured something horrible to bring a group of people together to elicit change on a larger scale and that is still something that is very much in play. We do not want other dogs and other families to go through what we did. And ultimately specific to Vanessa, we will get her home! The injustice in this case is astounding, but this just shows one dog’s resilience, and her owners too! If Vanessa could talk right now, what do you think she would be saying? Thank You for never giving up on me. What can we as the public do to help? Advocating for change takes public support. We need to continue to grow the JusticeForVanessa movement. Town elections are coming up in November, we have upcoming actions in Court and Court appearances, the Town of Ogden has not made any changes, the same group of cronies still sit in Town appointed and publicly elected positions. Advocacy takes numbers, we ask people to continue to follow us on social media and spread the word







{ JUSTICE FOR VANESSA { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Vanessa deserves to be home, she never should have been seized from her home in the first place, so we are exercising our right to appeal.”

about this. Most importantly please educate yourself about what went on here and come to your own conclusions. The Court transcripts and filings are posted on our Facebook page. What is one thing people may not know about Vanessa that you would like to share? She loves peanut butter, although at this point I think everyone knows that! Many do not know that she has a steel plate and screws in her rear leg that was put in when the repair was done to her broken leg in 2017. That surgery cost well over $7,000 and was funded by Verona Street Animal Society (VSAS) due to her exceptional disposition during her tenure at the shelter. She was a trooper through all of that. She required weekly bandage changes and cleaning of the wound and she always was a perfect patient at the vet through it all. How can our audience join the fight? Follow and like us on social m e d i a . O n Fa c e b o o k a t @ JusticeForVanessaRochesterNY o n I n s t a g r a m @ JusticeForVanessaRochesterNY, and Twitter @JusticeForVanessa.

Where do you see the “Justice for Vanessa” movement in 6 months or a year? It will continue to grow. Short term goals are to prevail on appeal, get Vanessa home, and we want those that are currently in office in the Town of Ogden ousted. The Town Justice and Town Supervisor will be on the ballot

this coming November. I expect there to be a strong campaign against the incumbents and who knows perhaps we will organize a successful write in campaign. We are short on time on that front but there will be more to come publicly soon. We will certainly ramp up the social media campaign again and have used billboards to get our message out locally.

Longer term the laws in NYS need to change. This case was based on a flimsy conflicting testimony yet those in the Town Court were able to hide behind the confines of the current law under the guise that “the law says we can”. Animal owners should be concerned, the outcome of this case (as it currently stands) sets horrible case precedent and we expect the higher Courts to get involved to right that; h o w e v e r, ultimately more needs to be done to give animals and their Owners stronger rights. Per current NYS Agriculture and Market Law (AGM) it only takes an accusation to enable a Court to seize your dog. Due process is what this Country was founded on, and those rights should extend to animal Owners and their pets. Lofty goals but we will continue to chip away at it.








Against All Oddz is not just an animal sanctuary. It is not just a rescue. Nor is it just a legal based animal advocacy resource center. While it is all those things, founder and attorney Matthew Albert says it is more than just that. It is a state of mind. “The two core tenets of Against All Oddz are the sanctity of life and the power of redemption,” said Albert. “We believe in empowering people, empowering animals and empowering people through the gift of animals.” Founded in 2015 as a rescue, Against All Oddz, a 501c3 registered New York State not-for-profit corporation, took the next step in its growth last year by purchasing 30 acres of land out in Darien Center, New York. From there, they have built structures to rescue and rehabilitate animals. With the legal background of its founder and its members, Against All Oddz’s niche and focus is animals that are ensnared in the legal system and providing those animals with both legal representation and rehabilitative assistance. They have also served as consultants for other attorneys to advocate for animals, and now have

a sanctuary and place of refuge for courts to place animals from their cases as a humane alternative to euthanasia. From that standpoint, Against All Oddz is the first of its kind in the United States to have such a holistic approach in dealing with court case dogs. The most famous resident is Vanessa,

a dog designated dangerous in a controversial case that captured the attention of animal advocates around the nation arising out of the small town of Ogden, New York. With animal advocates around the country hounding for her release, Vanessa’s death sentence was ultimately vacated due to Albert’s appeal and then placed into Against All Oddz as an alternative measure. She is now

thriving, with her loving owner, Jeremy Wolf, visiting her multiple times a week. Hers is but one of countless fascinating stories of dogs’ journeys through the system and into a path of redemption through Against All Oddz. However, Against All Oddz does not just take on court case dogs. They also serve as a rescue of last resort and have assisted other animal rescues who have nowhere else to place dogs that do not have any other options or places to go. With that in mind, the biggest obstacle for Against All Oddz faces is developing an infrastructure to deal with the ever rising demand. “We try and assist everyone who calls us with an issue, whether that be by linking an owner up with a certified trainer in their area, finding legal representation for an animal, and everything in between,” said Albert. “We are in desperate need of fosters and/ or volunteers to handle the ever growing demand for our services.” Visit them at




{ AGAINST ALL ODDZ }} “Founded in 2015 as a rescue, Against All Oddz, a 501c3 registered New York State notfor-profit corporation, took the next step in its growth last year by purchasing 30 acres of land out in Darien Center, New York.”








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 :: JULY 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 108


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!










My father was never in the picture and I never understood why. My mom would tell me that it was because he wasn’t a good person. She shielded me from him for good reason, and I would quickly learn for myself just why. When I was 10 years old, after my father got out of prison (for what seemed to be the 500th time), I begged my mom to let me spend my summer break at his house. She hesitantly agreed to let me go stay with him and his wife at the time, against her better judgement. I was there for about a month, and one day my stepmother and stepsister went out somewhere. It was just my father and I at home. I remember very clearly a man knocking on the door. My father let him in and I watched as they exchanged something. Drugs? Money? To this day I’m still not one hundred percent sure exactly what it was. But, after the exchange I remember my father allowing this man to take me into my father’s room and rape me. At 10 years old my innocence was stolen from me by the hands of my father. He allowed this to happen to me. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I knew it was wrong. I just cried. Then when my stepmom got home, I asked her to bring me back home to my mom’s house. I never told my mom what had really happened that day. I just told her that I just wanted to come home.

Throughout junior high and high school, I looked for love in all the wrong places and often got hurt. School was never my strong suit. At the age of 17 I convinced my mom to let me drop out of high school. She told me that If I was going to drop out I was going to work and also get my G.E.D. I worked two full-time jobs, and tried taking G.E.D. classes.

pregnant with my son Alex. Eight months after starting at Job Corps, in October of 2005, I graduated with my Culinary Arts degrees, my G.E.D. and even got my drivers license. I came back home, and began working to save up for my new baby. My son’s father graduated and moved to my hometown too. I then had my son at just 19 years old. While that seemed great at the time, I learned that it was all about to change. We got our own apartment, and then things began to get even more toxic with my son’s father than I previously thought they even were. He began to cheat on me with multiple women, and then became extremely physically and mentally abusive. We eventually got evicted from our apartment as a result of the police being called so frequently from the abuse. While he found himself a new apartment, my mother wouldn’t let me come back home. So I ended up in a shelter with my son. I was there for 4 months.

The G.E.D. classes weren’t for me. So, at 18 years old my mom signed me up for Job Corps. I went to Job Corps in February of 2005 and I began my trade of Culinary Arts, and took my G.E.D. classes there. It’s at Job Corps, where I met my eldest son’s father. That had quickly proved to be a toxic relationship, but before I knew it, I found out I was

In the 4 months that I was in the shelter with my son, I began talking to my youngest son’s father. He knew a homeless shelter was no place to have a child, so he asked me to move to New Jersey to be with him. My mom caught wind of this and did what any other supportive parent would do [insert sarcasm here], she took me to court for custody of my son and tried to paint an ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR { {INSHIFT+CONTROL HER OWN WORDS } } } “It gives me such pride and pleasure to look back, and to see everything I’ve gone through. To be able to give my kids a better life, and a mother that they can be proud of. ”

and tried to paint an awful picture of me as a mother. The judge saw right through her bogus claims, and ruled in my favor. I moved to New Jersey and began working immediately. Then after about 6 months, I found out that I was pregnant with my youngest son, Angel. We moved into a bigger apartment, and I was working at a job that I hated. At the time, this job was all that I could find. The area that we moved to was predominantly Spanish populated. While I spoke Spanish, it wasn’t perfect, so I couldn’t find any jobs to hire me. So I decided to enroll in Beauty School. Angel has severe Asthma, and would constantly get bronchitis and pneumonia, as a result of the air pollution from the city. So, I would have to miss a lot of school and stay with him in the hospital for weeks at a time, while his Father worked. I began to get behind in school, and would often have to stay late and go to classes on the weekends, to make up for the hours I was missing. I was 14 days away from graduation, when my son’s Father dropped the bomb on me, that he wanted to seperate. I didn’t have enough money saved to cover another month of rent, so I had to move back home to my Mom’s in NY. A while after I moved back, We could tell there was something going on with my son Alex, but we couldn’t figure out what it was. He would throw himself down screaming uncontrollably, and was unable to use his words at the age of 3, to tell us what was wrong. He was also extremely hyper. My Mom got fed up with it, so in the middle of the night, she told me to get my kids and get out of her house (to put it nicely). I went 114


back to the shelter, this time with 2 kids, instead of just 1. I worked my butt off, and saved as much as I could. After about 6 months, I was able to get me and my kids our own apartment. It was really rough starting out. I had nothing for my apartment, no couch, no beds, nothing. But little by little, everything seemed to be falling into place. I was able to get everything I needed for my apartment, and also a car! By this time, it was time for Alex to start school, and the doctor suggested having him evaluated by the child study team at school. He was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD at the age of 4. I got him into the proper programs for him in school, and on some medications that would help him to be able to function better, and he started doing much better. At the age of 13, I took Alex to his pediatrician to get some bloodwork done, because I could tell there was something else wrong with him. He was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. I beat myself up over this for so long, until the doctor said to me one day. “You know this isn’t your fault right? Alex was born with this, but it doesn’t always present itself until later in life. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this.” I’m often still found questioning myself on that. But I try to not let it get the best of me, and I just thank God that we’re getting his diabetes under control, and managing it better now. I began going to college full-time, on top of working 2 full-time jobs, as a single mother. I was studying Spanish and general studies. While I loved knowing that I was doing something, no one in my immediate family had ever done, it became increasingly overwhelming.

I never imagined working, going to school and taking care of 2 kids on my own would be such a daunting task. I finished my first year, and had to take some time away from college. I barely ever got to see my kids, and my mental state was really suffering. So I had to make that sacrifice. I guess it wasn’t a huge loss. My Spanish is pretty great now. So I don’t know why I felt the need to go to college for it. One day when I brought my boys into the barbershop to get their hair cut, I met Alex, My (Now) ex-husband. The relationship was great, until it wasn’t. After about 6 months, it began to get very toxic. We stuck it out and managed to hold on to things for about 5 years, and ultimately decided to divorce. We seperated and I moved into a new home with my boys, and bought myself a brand new car! In addition to everything Alex was already going through, Angel had now been diagnosed with ADHD & O.D.D. He has severe anger issues at times, as well. When Angel was 8 years old, he lost his very Best friend in a house fire. This hit our whole family very hard. They were extremely close, like Brothers even. Angel began to spiral down after the loss. Angel gave me the scare of a lifetime one day while I was driving. He pulled up his sleeves to show me that he had cut his arms all up. When I saw this, I nearly crashed my car. I immediately got Angel to the ER, where he was admitted for a 24-hour psychiatric hold. Then transferred to a children’s Psychiatric hospital on Thanksgiving day. I had Thanksgiving dinner in there with my son that year. He was in that hospital for 1 month,









{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR } } } { {INSHIFT+CONTROL HER OWN WORDS “Contrary to what you must be thinking after having read this, My Mom is all I have. She’s the strongest, most amazing woman I’ve ever known.”

then was able to come home. School and home life have both been extremely difficult for Angel ever since. He’s easily one of the most intelligent kids I’ve ever met, well beyond his years. However, his anger and aggression often cause him extreme difficulties in school. He’s often getting into fights and suspended from school. So as a result, I’ve lost a couple jobs in the past. But day by day, we continue to work harder at managing his difficulties. I began working as a full-time Residence Counselor, and also got into Photography and Modeling. I also found a love for makeup, as well. I opened up a photography studio with my (now former) business partner. Soon after he professed his “Love” for me, and I didn’t feel the same way. He then thought it best for us to part ways as business partners. So, what does one do when this happens? I started my own Photography business, and I also began working as a freelance Makeup artist, on top of my full-time job. Doing this all as a single Mother is most definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I know seeing my Mom go through everything she has, has definitely helped me be the best Mother that I know how to be. Contrary to what you must

be thinking after having read this, My Mom is all I have. She’s the strongest, most amazing woman I’ve ever known. And the best Mother I could ever ask for. She helps me immensely with my kids, and has for quite a few years now. I could never repay her for everything

seen many hardships throughout our relationship. But this has only helped us to become closer. It has also shown me things that I would do differently in being a Mother to my kids. I didn’t come from much, but I couldn’t be more grateful for the life my Mother has given me. It gives me such pride and pleasure to look back, and to see everything I’ve gone through. To be able to give my kids a better life, and a Mother that they can be proud of.

that she’s done for me. Seeing her as a parent going through her struggles and accomplishments, has taught me to work hard, and to truly appreciate my life and everything I have in it. Mine and my Mom’s relationship has definitely had its ups and down. We’ve ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021




There is no greater adventure than life itself. Locally or abroad, the opportunity to spread your wings, to connect with new people and places, to explore and to reconnect with yourself awaits. Early in my life, my mother instilled the beauty and significance of travel. A part time travel agent for as long as I could remember, (and still to this day even in retirement) she and I shared experiences that I’ll forever cherish and be grateful for. Throughout my youth, we’d spend nearly the entire month of August traveling together.

fullest, and to provide herself and her family with the rich experiences that she was never granted in her youth. With every journey, I’d get to learn and see my mother for the woman she truly is. She was happy, free, and adventurous. She had a willingness to learn, and an agenda to take in all of her new surroundings. As a child, I couldn’t understand the drastic difference in her demeanor. As an adult now, I understand

On a big map, she’d circle and highlight the places of interest, and would collect brochures and magnets from each place we visited. We traveled by Amtrack, car, plane, and cruise ships, and each destination was packed with history, a taste of the culture, good food, and exploring new territory. My mother’s greatest splurge in life has always been her vacations. Her worldly interest developed in her early years growing up in the Bronx, as the eldest of four girls. The responsibility of her three younger sisters often fell on her shoulders, and limited resources kept them from exploring life beyond the concrete jungle of New York City. Becoming a travel agent was her one way ticket to experience life at its 120


spread thin with time and commitments; I remember thinking my life was over when I first became aware of my pregnancy. I never envisioned myself as a mother, and once vowed to never become one. Motherhood seemed like a wrecking ball to my dreams; limitations, restrictions, time consuming and not very cost effective. I couldn’t fathom how a child was going to fit into my life. I candidly write this, as I know there are many other women out there who fear and think the same as I once did. I will tell you first hand, that yes, life certainly is not the same, but for other reasons than those listed above. Naturally as we progress through life (and more than once) we’ll experience a shift that’ll require a concerted effort to not allow ourselves to be entirely thrown off course.

Life can weigh heavy, and our responsibilities thicken as we grow. That caged bird within is released when we feel alleviated of our everyday stress, and allow ourselves to explore with fresh eyes, and an invigorated spirit.

Just as the pandemic has taught us all, life can change in an instant. It all always boils down to two things; our choices and decisions. Deciding what’s important to you, and knowing what is detrimental to your mental health and overall wellbeing is the first and most important self assessment to make.

Career and travel obsessed, and already

What makes you feel whole, and what

more than ever.




{ AFTERNOON COCKTAIL { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “YOU contain the key to happiness, connection and adventure; all it takes is a willingness to see life with loving eyes and an open mind.”

aren’t you willing to part with? What makes you proud to be YOU? What can you live without, and where can cut backs be made? Having a child didn’t end my life. Having a child made me realize time and again the significance of prioritization. Not all was or has been lost, but ENHANCED. With extra cargo, we continued to travel. Our careers didn’t end, but blossomed and different avenues have presented themselves as my child has broadened my perspective and definition of what it means to live in this world. Adventure is beyond travel, jumping from planes, climbing the highest mountain, etc. Adventure is a mindset; and embracing it as a mindset can 124


be unequivocally life enriching. It’s about escaping traditional life for a moment to do something out of the ordinary. Reward yourself daily by unleashing your curiosity, and by granting yourself an hour in your day to explore your HAPPY. Get lost on a hike somewhere new nearby, take an hour trip away to explore a nearby city, take a stroll around a new neighborhood, art gallery or public market, explore a new hobby, try your hand at a new game or activity, go to an open mic, ride your bike off a beaten path, take a trip to a state Park, visit something historical/ learn the history of your area, try a new exotic food/restaurant you haven’t tried, etc….. Ask yourself:

What makes me feel happy and free? What gives me relief? What do I find interesting, and what more can I find out about it? What’s something cool I’ve always wanted to try? The answers lay within your heart, always. Follow your intuition, reprioritize, and create the necessary space for the people and things that resonate with who you truly are at your core. YOU contain the key to happiness, connection and adventure; all it takes is a willingness to see life with loving eyes and an open mind.






As an actor, commercial model and business coach to models and actors, my column here often shares auditioning tips, acting advice, confidence building strategies, and projects related to my “Courage to Dream” mission which is to empower women and girls to go after their dreams. This month, I am excited to share an interview with Erin Hurley. Erin is an actor, model & advocate based right here in the Rochester area! Erin, what do you want Rochester Woman readers to know about you? My name is Erin Marie Hurley - Actor/Model/ Advocate. I was born with Down Syndrome. It’s not an illness. It means I have 47 Chromosomes instead of 46, but being a little different is not a bad thing. I am more like you than different. I live with my parents and dog Minnie. I have an older Sister, Kerrie. I have tremendous family support. I was born prematurely and had a lot of medical issues as a baby. I was completely tube fed through my stomach and learned to eat by mouth at age 3. I stayed at a special feeding institute in Baltimore MD. The hole in my stomach was closed surgically at age 8. I also had major stomach surgery and heart surgery. I have survived a lot of medical obstacles. I have dreams and goals for my future

like anyone else. I’d like to attend college for meteorology as well as be an actor/ model. My ultimate acting goal is to get a part on Disney or Nickelodeon Channel. I love to be active and social. Some of my accomplishments include: Playing the trombone, piano, Hip Hop and Jazz dance lessons: dance recitals, Therapeutic horseback riding, acting in productions with Bristol Valley Theater

in Naples, NY, and the Cobblestone Arts Center in Farmington, NY. I have interviewed with Nickelodeon and Disney Channels. A snip it of a video I submitted to Disney was on a “Girl Meets World” episode at the end of January 2017. My photo was recently on EWTN Global Catholic Network for World Down Syndrome Day. I was on PBS Homework Hotline and featured on the “Move to include” segment. I am a Big advocate for inclusiveness. I’ve been a lector at

church and an Ambassador for Best Buddies Rochester, NY. I have spoken at several of their events. I was also in the first integrated fashion show in the Rochester area held at Nazareth College. I have my own golf cart that I drive independently. I might have to work harder but I enjoy my life and having Down Syndrome hasn’t and won’t prevent me from accomplishing my goals. Who are some of your role models? My mom and my sister, Kerrie are positive role-models that influence me. They help me to advocate for myself so I can succeed in life. My mom brings out the best in me. She doesn’t like to hear me say “I can’t”. She’s always telling me to say “I can.” To be more confident! My mom gets me involved in many different activities. She doesn’t want me to be treated differently. She’s understanding and wants me to believe in myself. My sister Kerrie loves me and never treats me as having a disability (she’s actually a little hard on me but in a good way). I look up to her because she’s a hard worker, achiever, and successful in her job. She’s also very fashionable. She inspires and motivates me to work to my true potential. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021




{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN B. } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “My mom and my sister, Kerrie are positive role-models that influence me. They help me to advocate for myself so I can succeed in life.”

The actor-role models that are significant to me are some Disney actors/actresses: Sofia Carsen-American actress and singer, the late Cameron Boyce a very talented dancer and entertainer, Meg Donnelly who has acted in movies with positive messages of acceptance and to “just be yourself”-- don’t try to be something you are not.

in front of a camera. This is when I started acting lessons at Bristol Valley Theater in Naples, NY. What would you say to women and girls who feel like something is holding them back from pursuing any dream that feels impossible?

What is your dream assignment? My dream assignment would be to portray a new character in a Disney movie such as: A princess or Super Hero with Down Syndrome (yes, this should be acknowledged). Also, I am a big fan of John Stamos! So, having an assignment on Fuller House would be a dream! Where do you see the model and acting industry going in the next 10 years? I think the acting and model industry is changing. In the next ten years, I would like the industry to include people of all abilities. The industry needs more representation of diverse talent. It needs to be all inclusive. What got you interested in modeling & acting? Since I was 12, I have always tried to imitate and memorize lines from Disney Channel shows and movies. I would always dance and sing in public. People would tell my mom if I didn’t already take acting lessons that I should because I am very friendly and outgoing and appeared comfortable and confident 130


I would say “never give up”. To keep on trying and do your Best. Nothing is impossible despite being difficult. It does take a lot of hard work and perseverance to succeed. What are you most looking forward to in the coming years? I am looking forward to the pandemic

ending and getting back to doing my normal activities. I want to do in person acting classes and theater productions again. Also, I am looking forward to being selected for some acting and modeling jobs. What role has Kristin Bauer-Gross played in your career? It has been such a pleasure working with Kristin Bauer-Gross. At first my mom was hesitant about committing to such an expense, but she has had no regrets. Kristin is so knowledgeable and honest about the acting/modeling industry. She has shared so much of her experience with me. Kristin has shown tremendous support and excitement for me to further my acting/modeling career. My mom was very impressed that Kristin made an effort to learn about and understand Down Syndrome so she could help me better. She was always attentive and listened to what I had to say. She’s very patient and responded quickly to any questions my mom or I had. My mom and I cannot say enough wonderful things about Kristin. We like her style of teaching and appreciate all her help with being in a fashion show together, having a professional photo-shoot, professional make-up lessons, informative on-line classes, getting started on a business Instagram page, and this feature in Rochester Woman Online. Thank you very much Kristin-- You are Amazing, and we look forward to




{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN { SHIFT+CONTROL } B. } “I have dreams and goals for my future like anyone else. I’d like to attend college for meteorology as well as be an actor/model. My ultimate acting goal is to get a part on Disney or Nickelodeon Channel.”

working with you more in the Future! Follow Erin and her adventures as an actor, model and public speaker on Instagram @Erin.Marie.Hurley Have an assignment for Erin? She is represented by Tamara’s Models & Talent Interested in getting started or leveling up your modeling or acting endeavors? 132


Looking for part time, full time, supplemental or retirement income or a fun hobby you are passionate about? Drop Kristin Bauer-Gross a message on to learn about her classes and coaching programs. Catch my free IGTV series “Talent Toolbox” on Instagram @ KristinBCoaching Get my FREE Printable Checklist

to make Packing and Preparing for Photoshoots a breeze at: www.KristinB. com/checklist



















This month’s edition of She Hustles Talks features the dynamic duo of Savon Holt and Letitia Torres as our amazing featured cover women. Where do I start with these two “queens”? They are empowering, inspiring, influencing and the true definition of what it is to be lady bosses who are hustlin! Stay tuned for lots more to come from these ladies as they join our She Hustles Talks Show team in the coming months and take over the world one achievement at a time.

myself out there. I started with a podcast called Women Winning Wednesday, which interviews successful women, then I published my book called “My Truth” and SavonSpeaks grew from there. SavonSpeaks mission is to motivate

As women, many of us are responsible for being a mother and wife or significant other while juggling many other things in our life. So, trying to create a balance between other commitments and being a female entrepreneur can be an issue for some.

Tell our audience who is Savon Holt and what makes you hustle. Savon is a Licensed Practical Nurse., author, life coach (Becoming H.E.R Coaching Academy), columnist, podcaster of Women Winning Wednesday /show host of The Savon Show, and entrepreneur. What makes me hustle? My visions- I know that if I see it, I can achieve it. If I want it- I have to go after it. What made you decide to create your business and become a female entrepreneur? What made me decide to start my business and become a female entrepreneur was my drive, passion, and gift to help others. How did you create Savon Speaks, and what is your mission behind it? I started SavonSpeaks by just putting

in 2021? What has helped make you successful? One of the pros of being a female entrepreneur is social networking. I feel we are naturals when it comes to networking. Another pro is multitasking, freedom to do your own thing, flexibility, and profits. Some of the cons are the risks, workload, and responsibilities.

and empower women to overcome adversities and setbacks in their lives and to discover their purpose that will allow them to create the life they deserve. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially

What has helped me be successful is including that margin in my planning. Life is full of hiccups; therefore, I created a margin in my life. Margin is when you leave room for trial and error, downtime, and wiggle room. I had to look at my workload coupled with what’s my limit. How much can I take on for the day that will not put me over the edge? Doing so has allowed me to be consistent and persistent as a female entrepreneur- helping me be successful. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


“SavonSpeaks mission is to motivate and empower women to overcome adversities and setbacks in their lives and to discover their purpose that will allow them to create the life they deserve.”




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “ One of the pros of being a female entrepreneur is social networking. I feel we are naturals when it comes to networking.”

What are some of the things you find help you to be successful in building your brand? Some things that help me be successful in building my brand are being consistent, bold, fierce, and honest.

spirit? Are/were your parents entrepreneurs? My father has a side hustle selling cars, my mother was a go-getter, and my maternal grandmother was a businesswoman herself, owning her day care.

What do you want to achieve next? Landing my own talk show on television.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur and for starting your platform Savon Speaks? I look at entrepreneurs as problem solvers. People usually get into business because they feel that there is a problem in the world that need to be solved coupled with gaining the opportunity for financial freedom. For instance, I felt like there weren’t enough women helping each other and too many women suffering in silence from childhood traumas, abusive relationships, toxic families and etc.- I felt that was a problem. Therefore, I created a business designed to help solve those problems or to help women start their journey to healing by doing my life coaching, writing my book, interviewing successful women for other women to see and create their own blueprint for their journey to success. I understand I can’t save everyone or help everyone find their purpose in life, but even if I can help just a corner of the world, then I have served my purpose and the purpose of my platform.

Try to describe yourself in 3 words only. Describing myself in three words is easy, Loyal. Honest. Driven. Have you ever been harrassed or discriminated against? Yes, I have but more so in my nursing career. As an entrepreneur not so much as of yet. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing tools for your business, and who is your ideal audience? Facebook is my go-to marketing tool, and my ideal audience is women between the ages of 18-40. Women who are broken with low self-esteem and lack of confidence due to their past- but wanting to get back to loving themselves again. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? A challenge I faced the feeling of defeat. But when I felt this way, I prayed and went back to the drawing board. We often feel defeated when things don’t go our way. But where there is a wheel, there is a way- I just had to find another way to accomplish the mission. Where did you get your entrepreneurial

#Where did the idea of your business derive from?. The idea of SavonSpeaks just came to me during the Pandemic. God just had me sitting there in silence, reflecting on my life and said, my story needs to be heard- someone needs to hear it in order to speak their own truth. Someone’s voice needs to be heard, but they will not

speak up unless I speak up. So, in that moment of reflecting, I knew in order to walk in the assignment given to me by God- I had to let myself go- all my worries about what people will think, and truly be selfless and intentional with what I was about to release into the universe. What are some of the challenges you feel female entrepreneurs face, especially minority women? I think women in general always had the short end of the stick compared to their male counterparts. Traditionally men are portrayed as being more successful and maintaining a business compared to women. Female entrepreneurs struggle with being taken seriously, especially minority women. We have to walk, talk and act a certain way that society feels we have to robotically become in order to be accepted. Black/brown women specifically have to work twice as hard than their white female counterparts in many cases just to even be recognized. A robust support system is important for a businesswoman success but can be hard to build that trust worthy team. Considering the fierce competition in today’s business world, how would you highlight your company’s competitive advantages? What makes it stand out of the crowd? Honestly, I don’t think about competition. One, because I feel like it is enough room for all of us, I am for women empowerment. I can’t represent empowering women if I’m worried about another woman outshining me. The goal is to salute, be inspired by one another, and help each other get to the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “As women, many of us are responsible for being a mother and wife or significant other while juggling many other things in our life.”

next level the best we can. What is for me, no man or woman can take and vice versa. My hard work, consistency, and dedication speak volumes and aids me in standing out. Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? I see it becoming a million-dollar company. How do we expand women’s networks to 146


accommodate all women entrepreneurs? We can expand women’s networks by supporting them. For instance, our dresses were made by designer Tania Casini in our photoshoot for She Hustle Talks magazine cover. And for my solo picture, my dress, fanny pack, and accessories are from Beauty By Gauthier. Both are women entrepreneurs. To expand women’s networks, we must not be afraid to support one another without feeling like we’re competing

because we all bring a different flavor to the table. I know myself; I want all women to win. It’s okay to support, promote, congratulate, encourage and recommend amongst many other ways to support other women. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business? Yes, my advice would be to go for it. But first, make sure it’s something you




{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “Some things that help me be successful in building my brand are being consistent, bold, fierce, and honest.”

are passionate about because, without passion, the thrill of having your own business will quickly die. With passion, you will keep finding innovative ways to get better at what you love doing so if can have a more effective outcome. Also, remember people will always remember how you treat them, and word of mouth is the most powerful promotion a business could have. So, make sure you have good customer service skills when entering the entrepreneur world. What are your hidden inspiration sources? How do you generate new ideas? Ideas could come to me by having a general conversation with someone, listening to music, or watching something inspirational. Even my moments of failure provide me with more opportunities to be creative. Because if failure is not an option for you, you’re going to find another way. W h a t’ s y o u r g r e a t e s t entrepreneurial achievement to be proud of? My most outstanding entrepreneurial achievement to be proud of is when I do speaking engagements- women come up to me after saying how much my words resonated with them. To achieve the goal of positively influence women is an achievement all in itself. What book has inspired you the most? (What is your favorite book?) Besides your own... Besides my own book (lol)….A book that has inspired me is Dear Solani, 148


Letters to the Daughter I Never Had by Lynn Toler. It is a book written by Judge Lynn, the Divorce Court Host sharing wisdom from her motherly perspective to us (female readers) as if we were her daughters. I love it because she talks from a practical, methodical, and motivational standpoint- such as she had done on her show. I have not been married yet, but the advice she gave women was real and powerful. What do you do on a daily basis to

grow as an entrepreneur? To grow as an entrepreneur, I pray daily, take my time, be intentional, and not afraid to be different. Also, must be open minded. Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours? I think there is a winning formula to becoming successful- that is, let things happen naturally. Just put in the work and dedication, and everything else will follow. Doing good by people and good

will come back to you, whether it’s on a personal or business level. There is a saying I like that goes” you may not like me, but you’ll notice my ambition and will have no choice but to respect my grind.” I love that saying because, you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ll have no choice but to acknowledge the hard work you’re putting in. Grind season is every season with no days off. If you ask me, that’s success right there. What is your definition of hustle? My definition of “hustle” is someone going after what they want by any means necessary. Where can our audience see you next? Your audience can see me on October 15, I will be a guest speaker at “Healher healedher” event hosted by Tiffany English. Also, on October 16th I will be hosting guest interviews at the 2nd Annual Black Business RocBlack Tie Gala “Year of The Black Businesswomen.” Founded by Chad Grimes. It will be a fun and classy event; make sure to get your tickets. Tickets are available now at Embellish 757 Genesee St., Beads & Bangles 733 East Main St. Come out, support, and celebrate all the beautiful businesswomen and their accomplishments. Follow my Facebook and IG at SavonSpeaks so you can stay updated with the latest I have going on. My book “My Truth: Building My Foundation With the Rocks Has Thrown At Me” is also available on Amazon or on my website at WWW. SAVONSPEAKS.COM.






Tell our audience who Letitia (Tetia) Torres is and what makes you hustle. I am a self-proclaimed “multipotentialite.” I AM an author, business owner, columnist, speaker, and roadmap coach. I am a “Kingdom Kid.” I am a purpose pusher. I am a wife to my husband, Will Torres, a mother to our five children, Giovannie, Mekhi, Noah, Mi’Amor, and Naima.

that I created 4 years ago. The mission behind Me2U Coaching is to uplift, inspire, encourage, empower, and equip women through my workshops, workbooks, training, and seminars.

Knowing that I’ve assisted another young woman on her journey to discover her purpose is one of my greatest joys. Living my life to inspire other women to be their best authentic selves is what makes me hustle. What made you decide to create your business and become a female entrepreneur? My father is a serial entrepreneur and owns three businesses. So it was almost indoctrinated in me. As a little girl, he would talk my ears off for hours about his business and the importance of working for yourself. So while my entre pruner journey is not a typical one, I always knew I’d be one. I would have to say it was my destiny. My husband and I own 2 businesses and will have 2 more by the end of the year. How did you create your business, and what is your mission behind it? Me2U Coaching is a coaching platform

think my generation has sensationalized entrepreneurship. With that, I think for every pro, there’s a con. Some of the pros are: being in control of your schedule, limitless income potential, and being able to help and employ others in your community. Now on the other side of that coin are the cons: while you may be in control of your schedule, being an entrepreneur often involves long days and long nights sometimes. Although I have 17 employees, there are days I may have to work when I don’t necessarily feel like it or want to. In the beginning, my husband and I worked a lot. Five years in, and now I operate my business about 10-12 hours a week. People often say, “it cost to be the boss.” I believe this to be true with your time and finances. As the boss, you may be the first one in the door and the last one out. Financially you’re the one taking all of the risks, and during hard times, you may also be the only one who doesn’t get paid. During the shutdown, I had gone 30 days without paying myself because I had to make payroll. It’s the behind-the-scenes sacrifices that no one sees, but it’s definitely worth it.

What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? What has helped make you successful? I love this question. While I believe in entrepreneurship and feel everyone should own at least one business, I

Lastly, I would say, “to whom much is given, much is required.” In addition to my husband and children, 17 other people and their families depend on me and my business. With that is a great deal of responsibility, and I don’t take that lightly. So as an entrepreneur that ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Networking with other businesswomen has definitely helped me be successful. ”

employs people from my community, I have to make sure I’m running my business correctly. Because we’re the first in our families to do what we’re doing, the pressure can sometimes be overwhelming. Networking with other businesswomen has definitely helped me be successful. “- I have about 15 Clients, all of who were referred to me. I’ve never advertised or handed out a business card. My business is all word of mouth. For five years, it’s been that way, and it blows my mind. What are some of the things you find that help you to be successful in building your brand? What has been helpful thus far is being authentic and staying true to my purpose. I call this staying in your YES. What do you want to achieve next? My ultimate goal for 2021 is to publish my workbook, The Pace of Grace®: Vision Planning and Goal Mapping. I’ll also be conducting training and seminars based on the book. Try to describe yourself in 3 words only. I Am Bold HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HARASSED OR DISCRIMINATED AGAINST? I’ve experienced discrimination when I worked in corporate America, not as an entrepreneur. The good thing about owning your business is that you can choose who you work with. What have you found to be the most successful marketing tool for your business, and who is your ideal 156


audience? While I should be using IG, I would have to say just being me on Facebook has been all of the “marketing,” if you can call it that, that I’ve done. So while I feel my audience is vast, my ideal would be women, ages 28 - 50. What challenges have you faced this year, and how have you overcome them? I decided to come out better on the other side of the pandemic. Keeping a can-do attitude and positive mindset has allowed me to overcome my challenges this year. Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? Are/were your parents’ entrepreneurs? I mentioned my dad earlier. He’s definitely the reason I’m here doing this interview. My dad is the Ultimate serial entrepreneur, and so am I. However, he has always made sure that I knew my work ethic definitely came from my mother. What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur and author? The key driving force for me becoming an entrepreneur and author was knowing that another young woman is waiting for me to show up! I know young women are watching me. I know someone near and far needs to hear my story to believe that they can overcome sexual abuse, fear, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and poverty. Where did the idea of your business derive from? Two things. My commercial cleaning business came out of desperation. I had

quit my job from corporate America and needed to replace that income. My husband decided to start the cleaning business, and it’s doubled every year for 5 years in counting. My coaching business, Me2U Coaching, came about because I was desperately looking for a mentor and kept running into one of two issues. Either I couldn’t afford to pay for a coach or find anyone to take the time to sit down and have coffee or lunch with me. I remember God telling me to stop looking for the woman I thought I needed and become her! Both businesses were birthed from a problem and a need. I created a company to provide financially for myself and 17 other families. And I birthed a business to coach and mentor women through classes, seminars, and workbooks for low to no cost. Unlike most coaches, I don’t charge for a conversation. This is because I believe it’s my calling and duty to help other women. What are some of the challenges you feel female entrepreneurs face, especially minority women? I think the foremost challenge female entrepreneurs face is an unhealthy competitive spirit. As women, we compete in counterproductive ways. We also don’t collaborate like we should. This is what I love about my relationship with Savon. We are in the same industry, but we understand that we reach different audiences and collaborate in many projects to inspire as many people as possible. I believe we can achieve so







{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS} } “ Knowing that I’ve assisted another young woman on her journey to discover her purpose is one of my greatest joys ”

Also, as women, sometimes we have to juggle many different things. For example, we’re the boss at work, mom and wife at home, which is also the boss at home. So finding a healthy life-work balance can sometimes be challenging. Considering the fierce competition in today’s business world, how would you highlight your company’s competitive advantages? What makes it stand out from the crowd? What makes my business stand out is that my husband, Will, and I am a team. I know that people love to see that we are a duo. Where do you see your business growing in the next year? Three years? Within the next year, I see my business doubling in size. So within the next three years, I’ll definitely be running a multi-million dollar operation and several companies. How do we expand women’s networks to accommodate all women entrepreneurs? We can expand women’s networks to accommodate all women entrepreneurs by understanding not all women own glamorous businesses. For example, some of us own daycares and, like myself cleaning companies, I feel too often there aren’t platforms to celebrate those “traditional” businesses. Do you have any helpful advice for someone interested in starting their own business? Yes. Whatever you want to do, girl, just do it! Be clear about what you want to do. Discover your purpose and stay true to that. Be authentic. Most importantly, PRAY and walk by FAITH.

What are your hidden inspiration sources? How do you generate new ideas? Prayer is my source. This is where I find peace and clarity. This is where my new ideas are birthed and where solutions are created.

Prayer encourages us to connect to a higher power and get in touch with our own authentic power.

What’s your greatest entrepreneurial achievement to be proud of? My greatest achievement so far is that I am helping my community by offering employment opportunities. Five years ago, I worked as a Product Marketing Manager for a direct sales company struggling to make ends meet, and now the number of hours I would work in a day I work in a week and make more than triple what that company was paying me. That is the blessing. Achieving financial freedom and having control of my time!

Devotion and Intention allow us to see the results of remaining committed and dedicated to the call on our lives. Being intentional leads us to a meaningful life and fulfills our purpose in life.

What book has inspired you the most? ( What is your favorite book?) Besides your own... The book that has inspired me the most is the BIBLE. My favorite books are the Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, Goals by Zig Ziglar, Sometimes You Win-Sometimes You Learn by John C. Maxwell, and Hello Tomorrow by Cindy Trimm. What do you do daily to grow as an entrepreneur? Reflect. Pray. Affirmations. Devotion and Intention. The reflection process is what helps us grow. I’m constantly looking at the previous 24 hours and identifying what I did well and what I could have done better.

Affirmations reveal our capability to command our day by speaking life into our situations.

Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours? There is no formula for success. I believe you have to define success for yourself. The aim should be to live a life of substance. When you discover purpose and walk in it, that is the true definition of success. What is your definition of hustle? I always say, “grinding isn’t fun and hustling ain’t cute, but it’s necessary.” To me, hustle is a relentless attitude to achieve your purpose and to walk into your God-given destiny. Where can our audience see you next? The ladies can expect to see the release of my workbook this summer, The Pace of Grace®: Vision Planning and Goal Mapping, keep an eye out for my column in Upstate NY Gospel magazine, and I’ll be speaking at local seminars and events. Hair: Dolores Wiggins Makeup: Faith Powers-Phelps Dress: Tania



“I am a self-proclaimed “multipotentialite.” I AM an author, business owner, columnist, speaker, and roadmap coach. I am a “Kingdom Kid.” I am a purpose pusher.”


UITE 104 I ROCHESTER NY 14625 I 585-205-5969





HEIDI LADUCA Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background and what made you decide to become an attorney 27 years ago? I actually decided to go to law school on a whim. I was graduating college with a criminal justice major and psychology minor and I was truly unsure of my direction at that time. I decided to take the LSAT and see how it went. It ended up going pretty well. :)

when I have a client who is suffering after the loss of a loved one. Sometimes I believe that legal part of what I do is only a fraction of what I have to offer. I am truly empathetic with each and every client who is going through a difficult loss. I would like to believe that my compassion helps me to be a better attorney.

Your specialty seems to be in wills/probate and real estate law. What made you decide to focus on this? I started my real estate and estate practice by default mostly. When I first started practicing I was a partner in a firm with my husband, Tony and father-in-law, John. John practiced primarily criminal defense and Tony was handling civil litigation. I began taking the real estate and estate work by default, but also because I really enjoyed those areas. What makes you hustle? My kids for sure, my clients and my practice. I am also very self-motivated in an effort to maintain a level of physical fitness and I’m always pushing myself in that regard as well. What legal service would you say is your favorite to provide to your clients? I love helping my clients plan for their futures and for their children or grandchildren’s futures with respect to estate planning. I also firmly believe in lending a listening ear, especially

What do you think are some of the qualities you possess that have made you successful? I work hard. I also have a play hard ethic as well. When I’m in my normal routine I work more than most people know. I have learned (through some trial and error) that I need to turn off work mode as well and spend quality time with my family. I also beleive in

working hard in order that I am able to take opportunities several time per year to travel with my family, whether it is a week away or a weekend, I love to travel and experience things with my family and friends. What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur, especially with being an attorney and working with small business owners? I started practice in a partnership but after a few years later I discovered that I truly wanted to be a sole practitioner. I did not want to work downtown and honestly I try to avoid socialization in the workplace in order to stay more focused on what I am doing. Being a small business owner, I truly enjoying offering my services to other small business owners. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why? This thought has honestly never even entered my mind, so I’d guess that is a firm no. I truly enjoy being self-employed, setting my own hours, having flexibility and taking on only what I choose to take on from a work perspective. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful as an attorney and as a female business owner in general? A strong work ethic, solid organizational ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021





{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “ I also beleive in working hard in order that I am able to take opportunities several time per year to travel with my family, whether it is a week away or a weekend, I love to travel and experience things with my family and friends.”

skills and the ability to balance career and family. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My parents. They taught me a strong work ethic and to always treat others with kindness and compassion. How do you define success both for yourself personally, and in general? My greatest success is seeing my own children (four of them) grown into responsible, respectful and simply good human beings. Does word of mouth advertising work to your advantage, or is social media where it is at now? I have never advertised and in recent years I have seen great success through word of mouth on social media. It is really incredible (and flattering) to see my name recommended on various social media pages for my services. What is the most common question your clients ask you? That might be confidential? Just kidding.. I get a lot of questions regarding the basic estate planning documents, Wills, Health Care Proxies and Power of Attorney documents. I know family is very important to you. How have you juggled being a business woman, wife, and mother, especially with the high demands of being an attorney.? How has the dynamic changed over the years? It has and is honestly always a struggle. Despite the fact that this is 2021, the majority of parenting and household responsibilities have always fallen on me. I think the fact that I don’t sit still

a lot, I generally don’t watch television (and really never have) and I always try to stay productive has helped me get by. Again, I have learned that sometimes, however, I just need to set the phone or the laptop aside and concentrate on spending time with family. The fact that I have had a home office (along with a more traditional office location) has given me a lot of flexibility to always be there for my family when I needed to be. Where do you see your business 5 or 10 years from now? Any plans for your children to follow in your footsteps? I would like to think in 10 years or so I will be seriously contemplating retirement. I do plan to potentially hand down my practice to my daughter who is planning to attend law school either this fall or next. My son, who just graduated from law school last month, will most likely take over my husband’s practice. Do you walk your talk? I’d like to think so! What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I think most people know this, but I’ve run 9 marathons over the last 4-5 years, including 4 Boston marathons. I’ve also been a fitness instructor since 1991! What is your ‘why? ‘ Why did you become a lawyer? Why did you build your practice here in Rochester, NY? Again, I sort of feel like law school just seemed to work at the time, it wasn’t a life long ambition as a child or anything like that. I simply didn’t know where I was headed with a criminal justice degree and it seemed logical. I am so

glad that I was led in that direction. I met my husband in law school and he brought me back to Rochester to practice law here with his father. I feel that I was so very fortunate to have such an incredible mentor as a new attorney coming to Rochester (my father in law, John LaDuca). As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career and how did you overcome it? Despite the fact that law school seemed to be about a 50/50 male to female ratio, the reality of practice was not the same. There have been times in my career when I’m sure that my abilities have been underestimated just because I was a female practicing in a primarily male-dominated court. I have felt quite frustrated by what I felt to be a strong “gender bias” many times over the years. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? I strongly believe that a female can do anything a man can do, and possibly even do it better. It is possible to juggle a career and family successfully, it is not always easy but it is possible. Work hard, care about the people you work with and work for, always stay humble, be generous and kind and success will follow. And take time for yourself as well. :)





Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background and what made you decide to become a woman entrepreneur? I have been doing makeup since I could pick up a brush. My mother has always been a classic beauty; She always has the best makeup and style. I grew up watching strong women around me take on the world, whether it was the intelligent women in my family or empowering women in the media. These women around me made me who I am today. These examples of strong women made me reach for goals I never thought were attainable. Their legacies have pushed me and now I am currently working with some of the top photographers in Rochester, about to be part of a killer team for the Mrs. New York Pageant, have been published in multiple magazines, and get to create looks for brides on their special day. For me this is a dream, it’s an expression of who I am, and it is my art. What exactly makes you hustle? Honestly, as cliché as it sounds, my daughter makes me hustle more than I have ever hustled in my life. She’s about to turn two in a few weeks and is the reason for everything I do. Having a daughter is a huge responsibility and I am her prime example of what a woman should be.

Growing up as a female is difficult as it is and if I can show her that she can do anything she sets her mind to then I have done my job. Hard work isn’t everything though. Being a good human, empowering those around you and being true to yourself gets you so far. I hope these are the things she learns from watching me.

What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur, especially in such a competitive field? I feel like in the beauty industry a lot of the competition is in our heads. We all have something to bring to the table. I feel like all of us have room to grow and lots to learn from one another, but being part of this community is very rewarding. I love being able to make people feel unstoppable and confident by just enhancing what they

already have. There’s nothing better than seeing a bride walk in so nervous for her wedding day and after sitting in my chair feeling peaceful and beautiful. It’s the transformation of the human spirit and the power of makeup that drives me. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why? I would have started earlier and gotten out of my own way. I’ve spent too much of my life second guessing myself and letting other people’s opinions stop me from living my best life. If I could, I would go back in time and tell my high school self to quit messing around and go for it. This is what you were meant to do. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in your business and set you apart from your competition? Personal skills, being able to connect with your clients, help them feel comfortable, and feel like they are heard and are beautiful, are at the top. If you can’t listen to the person in front of you, make them feel comfortable, and take direction as a makeup artist then you will not make it very far. Being open to criticism is also key. Understanding that you will never please everyone and knowing that’s OK! I like to write down any changes people want from me and sit down and compare them




“Nothing is Impossible, the word itself is I’m Possible.” Audrey Hepburn.

{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “I love the human I’m becoming on my journey through motherhood and business. I think both are making me stronger and confident.”

to other clients’ notes... After a while you start to see similarities and that can help you tremendously for the next client. Lastly, knowing that you will never stop learning is also a must. Fashion and fads are always changing, but there’s always room to grow and new techniques to learn. Who has been your greatest inspiration? Just about every woman in my life. My mother has always been an amazing force in my life and has given me strength and fearlessness over all. Jolana Hollister

gave me my start on her boudoir shoots. Without watching her take on her own business I wouldn’t have the courage to do this myself. She has introduced me to amazing people and I cannot thank her enough. My sister is my rock and she has always been my biggest support. She listens to my frustrations and keeps me moving when I hit roadblocks. I also could sit here all day and name off all of the models, artists, and every photographer I work with. My circle is strong and so amazingly positive. You guys astound me every day on the love

you send out for one another. What is your definition of success? Success is knowing that you made a positive impact on someone’s life. If I get to make a difference, even in the slightest of ways, than I feel the most successful. Is word of mouth working to your advantage, or is social media where it is at now for growing your business and getting new clients? I think you have to have both to be



“ I’m very open to changes and just want to make my clients’ lives easier and more comfortable.”

successful in any business. That’s how we communicate now. You throw your work up on social media and people can share it with their friends. I think connecting with the people you work with also helps spread your work around. The response from people I work with has been overwhelming and it has made business bigger than ever expected.

In 5-10 years? Who knows?! Maybe I’ll step out into the world of cosmetics and create an affordable, all inclusive brand. That’s the dream.

you know? But I’ve been learning to not do that and always want to help my clients see the beauty in themselves. My chair is a no negativity zone!

Do you walk your talk?

What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I love working with charity groups. My favorite one that I have had the pleasure of working on was Breast Cancer Boudoir. Michaela Camille is the founder of this charity group. She is a beautiful breast cancer warrior and has brought so much awareness to the hardships that the human body goes through at every stage of treatment, but also the beauty of its resilience. She works closely with Jolana Hollister (a Rochester photographer) to showcase this and let women know that you can still be strong and beautiful at all stages of cancer treatments.

What is your favorite service to provide your clients? Consultations are always my favorite part of what I do. I get to showcase my skills and see their first reactions. I love getting to watch my clients see themselves for the first time. To me, the best moment is watching their eyes sparkle when they see just how breathtaking they look. Where do you see your business a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years? I really hope to open my own beauty bar. I want to create a great space for people to come and relax. I also would love to build an amazing team of people that could provide any beauty service in a safe and loving environment.



I 100% believe I do. I feel authentic and true to myself and I always show that to my clients. I’m a straight shooter and very open. I’ve struggled with picking myself apart. We’re all our worst critics,

What is your ‘why? ‘ And what is behind the name you chose for your business, Impossible Beauty? Audrey Hepburn is one of my idols. She is classically beautiful, talented, and has contributed to making the world a better place. She is the outline of what I want my business to be and why I chose the name Impossible Beauty.



“ I feel like in the beauty industry a lot of the competition is in our heads. We all have something to bring to the table. I feel like all of us have room to grow and lots to learn from one another.”

“Nothing is Impossible, the word itself is I’m Possible.” - Audrey Hepburn. How do you balance work and life responsibilities? Having a great partner like I do is lucky. We have pretty good communication and work like a team to help each other. Being a parent is hard but I have such a great support system within my family and together we make it work. I don’t think I could do all of this without my partner, Ian Troup. He’s an amazing father and a great cheerleader. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? Go for it. Don’t do anything halfway. Educate yourself completely in whatever field you pursue. Know the ins and outs of the business so that you are a force to reckon with. Build others up and support others’ work. Never let anyone dull your sparkle. What do you love most about yourself? I love the human I’m becoming on my journey through motherhood and business. I think both are making me stronger and confident. I feel like I have learned a lot in the past two years 180


that I may have never learned without my daughter. I love that I’m staying professional even in the toughest of times and that I’ve been rolling with the punches. I also love that I’m constantly pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, growing it larger everyday. How do you market your business, and

which tactics have been most successful, especially during a pandemic? In all honesty, working closely with photographers so that I can collaborate and showcase my work has been the best. I get quality photos to show future clients and the photographers get me to help enhance their vision. Plus we both get to promote each other in the end and that’s amazing for both businesses.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business? Seeing my work published in my first magazine that was printed in Paris! Just getting to open up a high fashion magazine and seeing my name in print. It was mind blowing. Using only one word, what would you pick that describes you best? Flexible. I’m very open to changes and just want to make my clients’ lives easier and more comfortable. Where will we see you next? I am currently working on my own collaboration that will be published in KOTH Magazine! Paige Pellizzeri is a local photographer who created an amazing Alternative Magazine. She and many others are working very hard to publish a spooky photoshoot that will be a first for me. I’m so excited to work with everyone to make my love of Halloween into a beautiful magazine issue. Please stay tuned for some amazing shots!









Tell us about yourself and what is the mission and inspiration behind your business Hands with Faith? I am single mother of one beautiful daughter. Her name is Takiyah. I am very ambitious, strong minded, a woman of faith, a deep thinker, caring, inspiring, understanding, and creative. I struggled with hair loss and decided to do a side business in 2018. I was helping other women in those two years making tieknot blankets and crochet wigs for mothers and those struggling with hair growth. In those times it was just for therapy, which got me through hard times. My mission is to help and educate single mothers so they do not have to endure the same struggles. What made you decide to create your business and become a female entrepreneur? I still was not feeding my vision. I’ve always had the heart of giving and just finally fed up with being over worked and under paid. I always knew I could do more and had more to offer. The mission of my business is to send a message to those who need to be encouraged and reassured. I have always desired to be affiliated with business for years. I’ve had an interest in typing, organizing, speaking, teaching, and writing. My first leap of faith was quitting my job and work full-time with my home-based business. “MY WHY” came from the eagerness to

be home with my daughter. 2020 was among the years of hard labor, hardships, and tough obstacles. I knew I had to take action in order to make a positive impact in people lives. The only thing I knew how to do was work and had been doing that since I was 12 years old. My desire to build generational wealth is what kept me going. Tell us one story about someone who has

inspired you whether it be personally or professionally. This was a very tough question to answer. Because God has truly blessed me along the way with amazing individuals. Honestly, I wouldn’t be at my current progress if it wasn’t for my best friend Cotillion the CEO of two businesses. Just launched his website check it out you won’t regret it. We’re both entrepreneurs and we share a

common vision. He introduced me to Lynn Richardson’s platform. He also taught me a variety of information that I was able to utilize to benefit my daughter and I. Additionally, what got me into the vendor platforms was supporting a close friend of mines. Her name is Angel Hagan. Her artist name is Golden a #1 local rap artist in Rochester N.Y. At that event I was introduced to many opportunities, when I came across another CEO who offers amazing take out & catering services in Rochester N.Y. You can find her on Abby’s St KittChen on Facebook. My journey this far involved this King & Queens that motivated me to grow and conquer and I’m very grateful. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? In my experience of being a female entrepreneur some pros in this century are advance technology. I mean there is literally a mobile app for everything. If you need assistance with editing and software, you can access it with just a tap of your finger. Another pro will be networking, because you are more likely to gain information you are seeking in that area and build connections. The cons I would say the limitations of access to resources depending on your financial circumstance. In order for you to promote and build revenue ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021








{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “One of my favorite quote’s states; Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see.”

you need cash flow. Another, is your fan base because most people support the person and not just their products. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner? Some things that I found very helpful was; positive criticism, policies, trial and error, networking with others in the same lane as me, people skills, marketing/ managing, and the benefits of being an entrepreneur. This way it helps me to understand what works and what doesn’t... If you had to pick just one thing that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why? My specialty would be my faith because without it, I wouldn’t be doing any of this. What sets you apart from your competition? What sets me apart from my competitors is my determination, how I’m willing to work for my future and build my Legacy while supporting others. My story is what sets me apart from others because I am different from the average entrepreneur. My mindset is in an entirely different spectrum. I am willing to sacrifice by not allowing fear to control me. I believe your mindset is what will lead you to success, and if I had to bet on mine, I guarantee you that my greatness would be beyond this world. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business especially during the pandemic? I have found that social media has helped in a way of exposure to my desired

audience. One of my top customer orders came because of social media. However, my overall sales this far were established in person. Even though my viewers increased, it didn’t necessarily increase my conversion sales. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? My most successful in marketing my business is being engaged with people face to face. Getting to know other people story, as well as sharing my own. My ideal audience are people who need or want to be motivated, inspired, or just to be uplifted in any way. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? I have faced many challenges becoming who I am today. I’ve recently had a time where my car broke down around the same time, I had vendor events paid for and had to cancel. Or had to make arrangements to downsize. There was a time during a customer order, my machine broke down so refunds had to be made. I have a best friend and huge supporter that has helped me to still make it to my events. Overall, I did not stop creating, I continue to craft, research and network no matter the circumstances. How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges you experience? Because my business is home based, I believe my balance with my family and friends were more convenient. Being that I am home it doesn’t separate from

me and my daughter because she is able to be apart of it as well. How I balance is being organized with a schedule. Therefore, I am able to still be a mother and have time to do the important task throughout my daily routine. Most of friends that supports me understand my ambition to succeed, so there is not much lack of consideration in that area. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated? Glad you ask!! I complete many tasks throughout the day. • Exercising • Mediating • Reading variety of books on credit, finance, healthy relationships/marriages, residual income, destiny & manifestation. • Listen to inspiring music & motivational speakers • Write & speak affirmations What is one word that perfectly describes you? If I can think of just one word to describe myself. Although there is many. Lol I would say “AMBITIOUS” What makes your business unique and stand out from others? Glad you ask!! My business originally started from just wanting to make a difference in people lives by becoming a motivational speaker. I realized how great I was using my hands and the willingness to learn new things. Since during the Covid-19, organizations were shut down or limited. So, I decided to motivate people with items they typically purchase anyways. However, with intimate, related and more deep connection with spiritual, motivational, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021




“ My business originally started from just wanting to make a difference in people lives by becoming a motivational speaker. I realized how great I was using my hands and the willingness to learn new things.”

and inspirational quotes on variety of products. These products vary from, mugs, glasses, masks, bibles, clothing, hats, file organizers, tote bags, and drawstring bags. Last, I create to inspire all men, women, and children. Because no one should be limited to being encouraged. We all face challenges in our lives so, you never know how a few words can brighten someone’s day.

good with mine and faith because I believe I could. One of my favorite quote’s states; Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see. Do you have any helpful advice to

What makes you hustle? My hustle comes from my “WHY” W h e re d o yo u see your business growing in the next year? three years? I can definitely see businesses growing for me in the next three years. And for the reason for that is because of the potential I have. As well as my mindset. Where did you come up with the name Hands with Faith? “Hands with Faith” is exactly what it states! Because my entire business has been operated around faith. Putting my trust into God completely doing a variety of things I am passionate about. Most of the passionate comes from my works and speaking. Therefore, decided to use Hands because I’m very

someone interested in starting their own business? My first advice will be to ask God for guidance and be open to the changes or challenges that comes with that. Many people don’t have patience and have a

high expectancy of the now. For example, I want to be wealthy in 30days but not willing to cut old/bad habits. You have to step outside your comfort zone. You have to get out of the mindset of scarcity. You have to be willing to take chances in life. You have to be willing to invest into yourself. I would also suggest to do research on legal requirements, networking, cost efficient inventory/supplies needed for your business before immediately spending. This would save much time and cost. Especially if you are a startup business. “What are people saying” about you... I’m not quite sure actually. But I would say through my participation in vendor events, every person was touched by my positive spirit. This far I have been told from customers to keep going, don’t quit, and how my craft product inspired them or relates to someone else they are connected to. I was told that we as people of all nationalities’, ages, and gender need inspiration.




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CRAFTED AROUND YOU Tell us about yourself and your business Crafted Around You. We’re Eliza and Cathy, a dynamic duo bringing professional wedding services in photography, event planning and design that are truly Crafted Around You. What made you decide to create your business and become a female entrepreneur? From a young age, becoming an entrepreneur was never mentioned as a possibility. We want to motivate and inspire other young females that if they don’t see what they want to do in the world already then they can create it.

business owner? Relationships with other business owners are key. When we started this we were fresh to the entrepreneur world and found ourselves searching for the best ways to serve our industry. Other wedding vendors came beside us and provided encouragement and direction. Now we try to invest in businesses just starting out as our way to give back! What do you want to achieve next? There has been so much growth in the first few years. I think at this point it’s

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur? After working in a variety of professional and corporate cultures we both felt our creativity was being limited. We’re thankful for all the skills we gained in past jobs although we were ready to pursue our passion and do something we love every day! Where did the idea of your business derive from? We have always loved weddings, and decided to use our skills and backgrounds to help each couple with their wedding day. We believe that each couple is unique and each may need something a little different, so we craft our skills to fit their needs. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful

about keeping great relationships with vendors and streamlining our work so that we can serve each couple to the best of our ability. What makes you hustle? What is your why? Our couples. In the beginning we developed our tag line, “You’re why we’re here. You’re why we’re doing this.” If it wasn’t for the couples we wouldn’t

love what we do! Seeing their dreams and visions come to life in an unmatched way is something we strive for. How did you decide on the location for your business? We both work out of our homes, but we service the Upstate NY area for weddings. We like the flexibility of work-life balance that working from home provides, and love to find small businesses in the greater Rochester area to promote to our couples. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? We’ve found much success in face-to-face interactions, referrals, and social media. We love designing a dream wedding and then having guests approach us to see if we would be a part of their day next! We love helping couples planning weddings in the initial stages and who are ready to invest in their special day. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? As of January 1st, we both went fulltime for our business. This was a very uncertain time, as we met with business advisors who advised against it given that we were in the midst of a pandemic and the world of weddings was so uncertain. We also knew that if we didn’t go for it we would have to say no to some large opportunities and run our business ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “We’re Eliza and Cathy, a dynamic duo bringing professional wedding services in photography, event planning and design that are truly Crafted Around You.”

on a smaller scale. We prayed for the business and prepared ourselves to take the leap! Since going full time, we have been more than busy with weddings and are now having to turn some away with the world of weddings opening back up. We are extremely thankful that we have been able to find success during such a rough season. How did you come up with the name for your company? Honestly, we have seen so many businesses that have one set package and they feel one size fits all. We have a very different approach. No two weddings are alike and we seek to bring the couple’s vision to life. Each of our services are truly...Crafted Around You! Considering the fierce competition in Today’s business world, how would you highlight your company’s competitive advantages? What makes it stand out of the crowd? Through the pandemic, we have found that community trumps competition. No matter what, we work to find ways to collaborate with other wedding vendors to better service our couples. And through the pandemic, they have been our source of sanity, inspiration, and encouragement. Our goal is to be client-centered in all of our work so that we can serve each of our couple’s needs in the best way possible. What are your hidden inspiration sources? How do you generate new ideas? My initial thought is Trey Kennedy because we love comedy but in reality we are constantly reading blog posts, checking social for the latest trends 198


while having a brainstorm session to see how we can bring our own unique twist to the trends. What best motivates you? How have your entrepreneurial motivations changed since you first started? There is something magical about the moment when the couple walks back down the aisle, married for the first time. Eliza and I both share a tearful look, as we know that months of planning have been paid off in that moment alone. During our 9-5, we keep each other going with a great playlist filled with

Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton, and Monday morning coffee chats about what we hope to achieve during the week. What book has inspired you the most? ( What is your favorite book?) In reality, Cathy and I usually are running around and therefore podcasts are our alternative to books! A few favorites are Ask the Planner with Desirée Adams, Made For This with Jennie Allen, and of course Correct Opinions with Trey Kennedy. Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? We hope to make great connections with

our couples and work on streamlining our business to see how we can service our clients best. In the next three years, we hope to find a better balance and be more intentional with the work we take on. How do we expand women’s networks to accommodate all women entrepreneurs? We hope to create a pathway for other females to pursue their passions. We never want to hold our cards close to our chest, and are always looking to share the things we’ve learned about running a business so that others won’t have the same pitfalls or difficulties that we went through. We hope that by sharing our experiences, it breaks down the idea that if it’s not perfect or if someone is already doing it, you can’t do it. In reality, there are a lot of challenges, and it is only through our faith and strength in each other and our community that we are able to get through it. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business? Ensure you have a support system and ignore the influences telling you you’re not capable! Try to describe yourself in 3 words only. Unique, Passionate, Genuine What are the main principles you follow to build successful customer relations? Genuine connection, great service, and if something goes wrong, address it.








Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background and what made you decide to become a woman entrepreneur? I am a mother of 3 ,Wife Making something out of nothing wanting to show my children that our culture being black and especially a Women can do anything you set forth to do in life . I wanted more , I became a women entrepreneur by taking all risk necessary & believing in those risk that I took . With my passion for cooking and catering to people , I knew this was something I can do effortlessly and actually love and enjoy

From customer reviews it would be my twice baked seafood potato. But there are also a variety of other dishes that have become more popular like the pasta and vegan dishes too.

Who has been your greatest inspiration or someone you aspire to be like? I would have to say it would be my self. I believe in me just that much . What is your definition of success? My definition of success is completing my purpose and to me that is being able to leave a legacy for my kids and my business. Also, accomplishing all the goals I set for myself defines my success. Going hard by any means necessary understanding that my failures and flaws will keep me on my toes .

What exactly makes you hustle? I hustle to accomplish the goals I set for myself , elevating my way up to become a Successful Chefpernuer . I believe in going hard by any means necessary because failure isn’t a option. How did you come up with your business model for Abby St Kittchen? My background and culture brought me my business model that I work from. My Dad being a St.Kitts so that’s where the name comes from. What is your signature dish?

The three skills I would say I have are that I am strong minded, always prepared for risks , and a team leader that is willing to always learn . Brand and market your business to its fullest. I set myself apart by my creativity always doing something different and New that brings that Wow factor .

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in the food and catering business and sets you apart from your competition?

Is word of mouth working to help grow your business, or is social media where it is at now for getting new clients? Word of mouth works well, but having a nice social media platform since that is the new trend now is really important. I am working on ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Yes I walk by faith and know that everything coming to me will be for me. Staying positive and humble is my motto.”

since that is the new trend now is really important. I am working on that more and more. What is your favorite dish to make and why? Vegan dishes are my favorite because I like to eat plant based in my diet and I enjoy spreading awareness for those around me and my customers to have better eating options. Also, it helps me express my creativity knowing I can make a mushroom taste like something you’ve never had before.

I go hard by any means necessary .

is what I love most about myself.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders, especially in the food service industry? My advice to young women would be to be stay strong minded, target your own audience, and always be

How have you marketed your business, and which tactics have been most successful, during this crazy pandemic? Through social media , word of mouth and having a website. During the pandemic I took on offering family meal catering options that would help with families as they adjusted to the pandemic lockdown . What has been your most satisfying moment in business? Networking myself and not limiting myself.Being able to do lots of different diverse events, pop ups, festivals, weddings ect. With the outcome being awesome customers loving my dishes brings me joy that I’m doing something good .

Do you walk your talk? Yes I walk by faith & know that everything coming to me will be for me . Staying positive and humble is my motto . What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I worked at the University of Rochester for 13 years, plus went to culinary school at MCC and I have a food cart called Geeway Street Grill. I’m also making a name for myself in D.C with some of my collaboration projects. So there is a lot people don’t know about me yet. What is your ‘why? ‘ Why do you do what you do? My why is my kids and for myself. I enjoy cooking this is my passion. This is my why. I believe in me and 206


If you could only use one word to describe yourself what would it be? Extraordinary

willing to learn and grow . Support and uplift other women in business. We are all striving to be successful business women and need to support one another.. What do you love most about yourself? I am different. Being uniquely different

Where do you see your business a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years? Expansion and passive income with my products offered at wholesale. I created a Healthy Wellness Line that offers a variety of all natural juices, detox teas, immune boost tonic shots and more. I’ll be launching it this Fall as I go into my 5th year anniversary of being in business . Also I’ll branching into a full catering company. I can see my company being global some day soon.

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Making something out of nothing is why I became an entreprneur. I believe in taking risks and hopefully those risks will bring big rewards.”



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Tell the audience who Breanna Blue is and what makes you hustle? I am a strong willed mother of six that will do anything in my reach to help my friend and provide for my family. My family makes me hustle I just wanted to break generational curses and be financially stable. I can honestly say I have. What made you create your business and become a female entrepreneur? A workplace that didn’t appreciate what I had to offer. I’ll never forget getting the call while at work that they were cutting our pay then later finding out it was because they had taken the entire office staff to Paris. Really one of those game changer type of days I’ll never forget making sure my client was off to program then letting her family know I wouldn’t be returning. They weren’t the happiest but understood. At that point I didn’t have a plan just knew I wasn’t accepting what they were offering I was working 60+hours overnight and just couldn’t settle for minimum wage. Tell us one story about someone who has inspired you whether it be personally or professionally. My parents and grandmother inspired me the most. No matter what they dealt with in life they never let anyone’s judgement stop them and they always kept pushing with their heads held high.

What are some pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? Pros are absolutely being able to take time off whenever to just spend time with my family and just be present. Cons the only one I’ve run into so far is being counted out but it’s not really a major con. Sometimes working twice as hard makes the reward and appreciation better.

around me grow and succeed with their business ventures. I have a vision of all of us running successful businesses. What sets you apart from your competition? It’s more then money for me. I don’t care about being popular either. I’ve always done things from the heart my biggest motivation has always been wanting to be the person I needed when I was trying to find my way. I’ll help anyone literally it’s just how I am. Have you ever been harassed or discriminated against? In business not that I can recall. My personal life when I wanted to move one of my businesses to a different area the town gave me a lot of pushback. My way around it was just using my space for multiple different businesses.

What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner? Staying grounded and true to who I am and where I’m headed. Plus I have an amazing support system and my staff are truly thee absolute best. What do you want to achieve next? Expansion in every aspect of my life. I want to grow and also help anyone

What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? Word of mouth literally. It’s been my best and largest marketing tool. How I treat people truly matters. My target audiences are families in all three businesses regardless of the makeup they are the ones who need my help. Primary caregivers, single moms, new moms, veteran moms, dads and even grandparents.



{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ My parents and grandmother inspired me the most. No matter what they dealt with in life they never let anyone’s judgement stop them and they always kept pushing with their heads held high.”

What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? The loss of my mother and father eight months apart. It literally left a whole in our hearts. My team truly held me together so I could focus on healing not just for me but for my kids and daycare families. That’s a pain I don’t wish anyone to experience it’s apart of life but truly a hard part. How do you balance your entrepreneur

life with friends/families that don’t understand the challenges you experience? I’ve been at this for five years now they know its always something I’m trying to figure out or change lol. Usually we have family nights where we all can relax and talk then my kids and family we plan vacations where I can unplug and make memories. But everything is about having good communication.

What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated? Prayer and meditation have always been my go to first. I also journal and word dump a lot. How many hours a day do you work on average? Per day 10-20 just depends on what I’m focused on that day. Once I’m in the zone it’s hard for me to move out of it.

“I am a strong willed mother of six that will do anything in my reach to help my friend and provide for my family. My family makes me hustle I just wanted to break generational curses and be financially stable. I can honestly say I have.”

SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} { { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “In order to expand women’s networks to accommodate female entrepreneurs there has to be more collaborations, more network opportunities and more willingness to teach.”

What are some of the challenges you feel female entrepreneurs face, especially minority women? Not being taken seriously. They look at you and either think you’re in it for the money or don’t know what you’re talking about. Then when I start to speak they know that I truly know my stuff. I’ve learned a lot these last few years and as I grow I continue to learn so all of my businesses remain viable. How do you generate new ideas for your business? Based off my passion. If it’s something you love you’re more likely to give it your all. My daycare is because I love children and have a heart for family, companion care agency is because I love helping people at different stages in life and being a doula/ lactation consultant was something I’ve always wanted to do everything about birth and breastfeeding warm my heart. Where do you see your businesses growing in the next year? Three years? In the next year I plan to have expanded everything to have more space and offer more programs. Three years from now 218


I’ll be a franchise. How do we expand women’s networks to accommodate all women entrepreneurs? In order to expand women’s networks to accommodate female entrepreneurs there has to be more collaborations, more network opportunities and more

willingness to teach. That leaves less space competition and malice. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business? Don’t give up it’s not an easy road to travel at all but stay focused. You can do it better days will come.

Try to describe yourself in 3 words only. Free spirited, strong and driven. Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? Are/were your parents entrepreneurs? I don’t know if I’d consider it an entrepreneur but my dad was a master of many trades. There wasn’t much he’d put his mind to that he couldn’t do. My mom on the other hand was a pure bookworm. She graduated high-school at 14, was in the service and worked as a paralegal then office assistant. My entrepreneurial spirit came from wanting to be more present for my children and knowing that punching a clock for a company that didn’t care about me wasn’t going to give me that.


The Steam Police is calling YOU! August 20, 2021 1:30-6pm Spry Middle School 119 South Avenue, Webster 14580 Come prove who GIVES the most: cops, firemen, EMTs, 911 dispatchers If you don’t wear a badge, vote for one with your donation of blood or money. Everyone who donates will be entered to win raffle prizes thanks to our local businesses! For an appointment, please visit Or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Steam Police BLOOD DRIVE August 20, 2021 1:30-6pm Spry Middle School 119 South Avenue, Webster 14580 Help us saves lives by donating blood (or money) and you will be entered to win tons of great raffle prizes. We will provide food, drinks, tee shirts and a whole lot of gratitude! For an appointment, please visit Or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).





THE WICKED STEPMOTHER: HOW TO STOP HER CONTROL AND RESET YOUR BODY IMAGE Body issues, anyone? Hell, yes, sister! I’ve had them all. Well, maybe not all, but a pretty good overall sampling. Let’s take an inventory, shall we? Body dysmorphia, bulimia, “borderline anorexia,” yo-yo dieting, binge eating, exercise addiction, orthorexia (obsessive calorie counting – I just learned there’s a word for it), fear of consuming fat (is there a word for that?), hating my belly, hating my thighs, hating my butt, hating my neck, and, for good measure, general self-loathing. Have I left anything out? Now that I’m in my 50s I can gratefully say I’ve moved beyond most of that. Most days, I can generally love and accept myself (even though, if I’m being totally honest, I still wish I had the body of a Victoria’s Secret Angel). I’ve spent upwards of 30 years working on healing my relationship with my body – and I still have “fat” days where I spend hours morbidly contemplating the ripples on my thighs or finding angles in the mirror that don’t show my (perceived or real?) spare tire. But in general, I just don’t care as much anymore. I am done investing my energy in self-loathing and the pursuit of perfection. Through years of struggle 226


and exploration, I have now developed ways to accept my body, FOR REAL. It’s one of the perks of getting older. I’ve realized that there are so many better uses for my energy than worrying about how I look or how others perceive me. When I told my therapist I cared less and less about anyone’s opinion, she said, “Congratulations! Welcome to your F**k You 50s!” So…how’s your body image today? This column is all about keeping it real, so I’m going to be brutally honest. It’s for your own good and for the good of ALL of us. Because if you ‘re like me – and over 90% of women in the United States – the reality is that your body image is SHIT. According to, approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and go on diets to achieve their ideal body shape - even though only 5% of women have the body type portrayed as “ideal” in mainstream American media. https:// Know this: Your shitty body image is NOT YOUR FAULT. I blame the critical voice in our heads that blooms the moment we realize we are no longer the perfect infants everyone croons over and praises – the moment we realize that we are walking, talking beings who DON’T LIVE UP to the IDEAL. The voice grows louder every time we get that disappointed look from our parents. When our friends make fun of us. When our teacher shames us. When we’re told we’re “too”: too loud, too ugly, too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too shy,

too, too, too…. I call that voice the Wicked Stepmother. Here’s the truth: You will NEVER be good enough for the Wicked Stepmother. She doesn’t WANT you to be good enough. Like Cinderella sweeping the hearth or Snow White banished to the forest, she wants to keep you small, worried, uncertain, timid, scared, selfsabotaging, self-doubting, self-criticizing. She poisons you every day with her toxic judgments to make sure you will be so consumed with trying to live up to an unattainable ideal that you won’t have the energy to step into your authentic power. Because what could be more threatening to the Wicked Stepmother than you, the princess, stepping out of your horsedrawn carriage, dressed in all your finery, wielding the uncompromising power of your true influence? Unfortunately, you can’t do that until you overcome your fear of the Wicked Stepmother’s criticism. I’m not going to lie and tell you that she will shut up or that you’ll get rid of her. She is a part of you and she likely always will be. She was created, in a twisted way, to keep you safe. Young “you” thought you needed to conform to people’s judgments to avoid criticism, punishment, and ostracism, and the Wicked Stepmother made sure you knew just how you were doing. But now that you are an intelligent, functional, influential adult…what can you do? You’re going to have to beat the Wicked Stepmother at her own game. Trick her into working FOR you instead of



{ {INFLUENTIAL HUSTLESWOMAN TALKS}} } { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “As you inhale, take charge of your life force energy. As you exhale, breathe out toxic thoughts and beliefs.“

AGAINST you! Here’s how. Two Easy Steps to Tricking the Wicked Stepmother 1. STOP. A dear friend and mentor of mine once told me there are only three words that matter in life: Yes, No, and Stop. I’ve found STOP to be the best ally in combating the Wicked Stepmother’s incessant chatter. When she starts in on me, telling me I’m too fat, I need to lose weight, I shouldn’t have eaten that, or I should work out harder, I just say, “STOP!” She’s so surprised that I stood up to her that she actually does stop!

2. BREATHE After you’ve temporarily silenced the Wicked Stepmother with STOP, thank her. This is important. Remember, she was originally created as a protection. She really thinks she is helping you. So, say, “Thank you, Wicked Stepmother, for making me stronger.” Then, close your eyes and BREATHE.

Practice the Stop Chop with me NOW on this video! [add video link] 228


As you inhale, take charge of your life force energy. As you exhale, breathe out toxic thoughts and beliefs. Sense your body and your posture. Sense how it shifts as you breathe. Picture the breath traveling in waves up and down your spine. Do this for at least one minute, then slowly open your eyes to a calmer, energized, centered YOU! Great job confronting the Wicked Stepmother! As you move on into your day, remember: No matter how thin, toned, sculpted, starved, curvy, or fabulous you are, you will NEVER live up to her impossible standards. Trying to please her is a waste of your precious life force energy - energy that you could be using for sharing your powerful influence with the world. And the world needs YOU!

Building a powerful STOP takes practice. The Wicked Stepmother is persistent, and she will resent you for shutting her up. You’ll have to commit to telling her STOP every time she starts in on you again. To supercharge your STOP, add movement! In SuperCORE Fitness, we have a move called “Stop Chop” that is super-powerful for setting boundaries and breaking toxic thought patterns. Take the side of your hand and chop down like you’re chopping a piece of wood. Repeat this with alternating hands, saying “Stop!” out loud. Repeating this exercise for 30 seconds every day will help you break the cycle of the Wicked Stepmother’s criticism.

your body image!

Closing your eyes turns your energy inward toward the higher wisdom that lives inside you. Breathe long and deeply, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. In SuperCORE we call this “Connect Breath” because it connects you to YOU. The ESSENCE of you that is confident, authentic, and wise. Connect Breath calms your nervous system and re-centers you into the present moment. The Wicked Stepmother has no power here. Now that you’re HERE, you can reclaim

I am here to help you to develop tools to build a healthy relationship with your body, just as I have done. I’m always exploring and seeking greater health and understanding, and I am excited to share it with YOU! I also want to hear YOUR stories and questions. Please feel free to write and share your own struggles and triumphs at Come join me for a SuperCORE Fitness class and discover more about how breath and movement can heal, re-energize, and condition you to be your most powerful self!







UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN! UNLOCK YOUR CHAINS & SET YOURSELF FREE! You have the power to live from limitless possibilities. You can channel the power you need to attract abundance. It will require activating the energy of your feminine power.

with unstoppable passion. This woman in chains was one of the lessons that built my SuperCORE Program for Leadership. She found me somehow. I believe someone, somewhere had told her I could help her. She entered my office fully wrapped

In order to get the full scope of this unstoppable message, rewind with me to the year 2001 and my business operations…...

In this clinical moment, as with many, I had to learn quickly how to hold sacred space and look for a solution to the restriction of feminine power.

I relied on referrals, word of mouth, and occasionally an advertisement in the local paper.

With my open attitude, the universe would usher in new lessons, experiences that have contributed to the programs I use to guide women to expand business, increase money making power, and lead

As with many of the women I have worked with over the years, the woman in chains had limited resources and felt that she could not move away from him. She believed that she had no way to protect herself. Many thoughts raced through my mind. “Had she been chained by this man in her past lives?” “Was the torture a real representation of the trauma she had once felt as a child?”

I was a new mom, a new doctor, delivering a new age healing technique in a very conservative town.

In order to grow my business I had to network, make immediate connections. I learned quickly that in order to make money I needed to be open, caring, and non-judgemental. I truly believed in naturally attracting the clients that would help me grow a transformational business. I opened myself to the power of the universe and learned to receive higher source guidance. I became a very spiritually driven business leader.

was being psychically attacked by her neighbor, an evil man with very dark energy. She felt energetically violated and unsafe. She felt controlled, frozen in her pain, and trapped in the darkness. A space that I could relate to.

from her shoulders to her ankles in industrial sized chains connected with padlocks, and no keys. Her pelvic area was the most protected area. I quickly ushered her into a private room and with a deep breath we were on our way into discussing her dilemma. I asked “why the chains?” She informed me that the intense fear of a dark energetic attacker had caused her to protect herself with heavy metal chains. She shared with me that she

The woman in chains represents many of the energetic and physical cases I have worked with over the years. I realized many years later that a fast way out of the darkness of fear and control is through channeling a higher energy. Women have been through alot of historical pain, domination, and control. We have fears that hold us captive. The unstoppable woman can break this cycle through a higher vibrational energy channeled in the body through breath, intuition, and movement. The lower energy wants you to be stuck in fear. The higher energy that can be ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN } “You have the power to live from limitless possibilities. You can channel the power you need to attract abundance.”

generated through your core wants to break you free you from your limitations. It is what I like to call expansionary energy and this energy will break you free from pain and suffering once you learn how to build your Core Intelligence (CQ).

I was the light. I held the light that the woman in chains needed to protect herself. I now know women need to channel the higher vibrational light.

SuperCORE will re-ignite that spark of vital life force energy within you and will help you begin to channel the light, open to new intuitive guidance, empower your actions, and download higher self information. Every SuperCORE technique is scientifically designed to reboot your nervous system, stimulate your metabolic fire, and strengthen and condition your body and mind from the inside out. The techniques build on each other to create an overall strategy that stacks results when practiced regularly. As you build the core transformer you will begin to break free from the heaviness of your past, break free from fear, and step courageously into your future success and prosperity.

The protection she wanted was something we now teach in SuperCORE classes. The classes and sessions are designed to guide women to build transformative

In order to break free, the darkness and low vibration needs to be transmuted. Your beliefs need to be changed. Your vision can become expansionary and

Releasing the pain and torment can set you free forever! And it will open doorways of possibility. The woman in chains came to me because I believed I could help her. I knew that she could shift her perspective and begin to manifest a new life, free from the darkness of torment and pain.


energy that releases the negative and generates positive energy.


you can begin to see, feel and use your higher self guidance for your advantage. And, you must be willing to use the keys, unlock your chains, and set yourself free! The moral of this real story: You own the keys to your freedom. You can set yourself free from the chains holding you back. To get there, to move into expansion, you will need to begin to move the stagnant and stuck energy, shift into a new vibration and embrace your inner power to transform and break free! Ask yourself, what will it take for you to break free? Dr. Pam Denton leads regular classes in SuperCORE to help women build core intelligence. Her visionary energy medicine has guided thousands of women to cross over from fear into empowered action. For more on Dr. Pam visit and






Recently, I was target on social media “Dr. Benson Reid needs to be asked about teaching Critical Race Theory within our K-12 schools. She is very much into equity within the schools and training projects. I’m all for diversity but not teaching children that the color of their skin makes them immoral, indoctrination.” As we grapple with how to respond, we must first understand now is the time to design our new normal and if hearing diversity, equity and inclusion causes you to think in terms of Black vs White perhaps you are the real problem. When it comes to designing workspaces, let’s be intentional about cultivating organizations that are diverse and all inclusive, for those who are less informed, this is not Critical Race Theory. Creating environments that embrace people from diverse backgrounds and situations is a complicated process that requires broad thinking and deliberate actions; at minimum, these environments need to foster an understanding of local, regional, national and global cultural and social conditions (ageism, ableism, sexism, racism, etc.). S.E.L.E.C.T. METHOD The S.E.L.E.C.T. Diversity and Inclusion Method was designed to address these needs. The S.E.L.E.C.T. Method identifies strategies for creating environments that promote connection, compassion and community. These S.E.L.E.C.T. institutions prioritize the well-being

of members of the organization. Furthermore, environments that promote connection, compassion and community are able to confront crises with innovative solutions and diverse perspectives. Settings that adopt this method adjust to changes in the economy and the environment and are able to recover from unforeseen situations. When organizations are motivated by connection, compassion and community, the outcomes benefit everyone. This leads to solving problems constructively and collectively. The S.E.L.E.C.T. Me t h o d ( So c i a l Aw a re n e s s , Equity Advancement, Leadership Development, Employee Retention, Cultural Receptiveness and Team Dynamics) emphasizes the importance of relationship building, authentic communication, skill acquisition and collective inclusion.

thus enhancing collaboration and compassion.

SOCIAL AWARENESS Social Awareness allows people to view and comprehend the perspectives of others, despite differences. Being socially aware encourages and empathetic view of people who represent diverse backgrounds and situations. Professional, it promotes understanding and compassion among members of the organization. Understanding the social conditions of others fosters inclusiveness, responsibility and emotional intelligence. This allows members of the organization to constructively communicate as they pay attention to body language and listen with intent. In this manner, socially aware people become advocates for one another,

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Leadership Development, now more than ever, must be teamdriven rather than individual driven. Leadership development focuses on creating leaders who emphasize collaboration, adjust to situations, share decision-making and appreciate the knowledge and abilities of their coworkers. Leadership development reinforces bonds between workers by acknowledging the value and perspective of each team member, which leads to understanding and inclusiveness. With this dynamics, leaders motivate and inspire team members and thus promote the growth of other leaders in the organization. This ultimately

EQUITY ADVANCEMENT Equity is the assurance of being treated fairly, access to opportunities, and advancement for all people, while working to recognize and get rid of obstacles that prevent people from diverse backgrounds and situations to fully participate in any organizations. Equitable learning and advancement is one way of making sure that people form various backgrounds are included and supported in the organization. Equity advancement encourages connection, compassion and community in the organization by applying the full capability of human creativity, talent, and innovation needed to drive education, research, and service, which sustain the institution.



{ ALL ACCESS } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “, I would also like to say, if hearing diversity, equity and inclusion causes you to think in terms of black vs white perhaps you are the real problem.”

y increases employee retention and promotes an organizational culture where communication, innovation and creativity are key. Leadership development ensures that leaders of a team are equipped with the entrepreneurial, social and cultural tools necessary for self-efficacy and increased productivity in an ever-changing and diverse business environment.

more vital. Cultural receptiveness provides the base for accepting and understanding people from diverse backgrounds and situations. It promotes empathetic and active listening, acceptance and respect for cultural differences through

EMPLOYEE RETENTION Employee retention is when employees choose to continue working with their current company and do not intentionally look for other employment opportunities. Benefits to employee retention include decreased spending on new-hire training / development and increased productivity. Employee retention promotes connections and collaboration by minimizing high turnover rates and encouraging work place relationships, which allows the organization to be more attentive to product and service delivery. Creating an organizational climate that values employees improves retention and therefore advances the organization. CULTURAL RECEPTIVENESS Relationship building, whether with employees, customer and or community; is key to the success of an organization. As the world becomes more diverse, building relationships has become more challenging, but 236


perception. Culturally receptive companies create policies that promote diversity and inclusion, and train their employees to develop cultural competency skills. When employees are culturally competent, they form better relationships within the organization, which leads to increased efficiency and employee

retention. Cultural receptiveness promotes collaboration, creativity and innovation, which ultimately offers the company a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. TEAM DYNAMICS Te a m D y n a m i c s i s t h e unconscious, psychological forces that influence the direction of a team’s behavior and performance. Teams bring people with diverse skills, perspectives and experiences together to create ideas, innovations and strategies. The dynamics in teams are created by personalities and interactions, which grow and evolve over time. Teams with positive group dynamics tends to have team members who trust each other and are accountable to one another; they tend to operate as a single unit. Effective team dynamics are vital to the growth and development of the organization. SUMMARY For the person who questions my work and my motives, I hope this offers a greater understanding. Furthermore, I would also like to say, if hearing diversity, equity and inclusion causes you to think in terms of black vs white perhaps you are the real problem.






THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SIDE According to the Stanford Center on Longevity, children born in the year 2000 will likely live to be 100 years old. Moreover, there is a direct link between education and life expectancy, the more educated you are the longer, healthier life you’ll live. You can see the trend in financial planning models which now use 93 as a standard life expectancy for females and 91 for males. That means you have about 30 years or one third of your life to plan for after work. In her lectures on longevity, Dr. Laura Carstensen founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity says that as a society, we need to plan for living longer starting in early childhood years. Think about the obesity crisis, children in poverty are experiencing early onset of diabetes, and diabetes leads to dementia. Compare this to the more privileged, highly educated population where the dementia rate has declined globally by 24% in recent years. There is a lot of work to be done. Dr. Carstensen describes the timeline of life, where the first 50 years we are “taking” from parents, educators, and employers, then the last 50 years we are “giving back,” sharing our knowledge and experience. As we age into our fifties, striving for healthy foods, the

right amount of sleep and exercise, it becomes even more imperative if we want to live our last year’s productive and with less pain! Equally important is our mental health. The place to start is by trying to get more out of life outside of work. Diversify your social network. Reach out to family, friends, and individuals whom you share common interests. Go back to school, explore hobbies, or join organizations that are meaningful to you. These are investments in your

emotional wellbeing. In the United States we have a more difficult challenge because of the five-day work schedule. Our society really needs to re-evaluate and consider a four-day work week. Marc Freedman, author of “How to Live Forever” published in 2009, warns us about the devastating effects of loneliness, it is the primary cause of illness in seniors

today. He believes in the enduring power of connecting the generations. If you think about it, age segmentation is relatively new in society. The Happy Birthday song didn’t exist until the 1930’s. Before then, no one knew their age, it wasn’t important. Then Social Security came along and brought with it the expectation that when you retire you become “old” at age 65. When you look at our society, the children are in schools, the parents are in workplaces and the elderly live in senior facilities, the three are separated. In his book, he talks about the importance of proximity – bringing people of all ages together in their daily lives. He highlights an example, where Singapore government officials in 2018 legislated that all new developments of senior centers must have a child daycare on the premises to bring the generations together. Another heartwarming example is the story about a senior apartment building near the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve called Judd Manor. The culture loving residents offered free room and board to university music students in exchange for playing free concerts. The web of relationships generated was ever lasting. One of the viola students was ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ FINANCIALLY {{ SHE HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS}} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Instead of planning for retirement, we ought to plan for our “second middle age” with freedom and independence.“

marrying another student and asked one of the residents (90 years old) to be their matron of honor. The more integrated we are, the happier we will be. To stem the bias of “ageism”, Freedman founded and Experience Corps with the idea of linking career ”second acts” to the greater good and to mobilize people over fifty to improve the school performance and prospects of lowincome elementary school students in 22 cities. This led to the creation of the Encore Fellowship program, a oneyear fellowship helping individuals translate their midlife skills into second acts focused on social impact. There is even an annual cash award of $100,000 for those individuals who really make a difference with their efforts. These programs are now coordinated through AARP and you can go onto their website to learn more. Instead of planning for retirement, we ought to plan for our “second middle age” with freedom and independence. Dr. Bill Roiter* explains how the transition of a “career” focused life to a “meaning” focused life after retirement relies on the same skills 242


we used during earlier transitions in our life, such as entering the work force, getting married, or starting a family. We need to evaluate our own skills and focus on the parts of our job that we really enjoy in order to figure out how to apply those talents in retirement. If you have strong organizational skills, you can help in coordinating a project in your neighborhood. If you’re a good

communicator, you could publish a community newsletter. If you are wondering about your own life expectancy, there are several longevity calculators available online, including (1) Living to 100, (2) Blue Zones Vitality Compass, and (3) Blueprint Income. Lifetime expectancy calculators use data to help assess the likelihood of how long you are going to live. These calculators offer no guarantees of

accuracy, but they might help with a life expectancy that is more realistic for you. Retirement planning is not just worrying about saving enough money. We must envision a long life. We cannot do what our parents did, and we must consider more than just staying out of a nursing home. If you are getting close to retirement and you don’t know what you’re going to do, treat it as a worrying sign. Don’t assume it’s going to be oaky and that it is all going to work out. Figure it out now before leaving your job so you don’t waste time during your h a rd - e a r n e d retirement years with disappointment and boredom. Get busy. Remember, the biggest risk of failure in retirement is setting the bar too low. Nancy E. Bowes, CFP®, is Vice President – Wealth Advisor, CNB Wealth Management, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at (585) 419-0670 x50673 or by email at NBowes@



Rochester Women’s Online magazine wondered what life was like for the spouse of a local politician. We reached out to two wonderful women to chat about their life partners and what life looks like living with someone involved in public service. This month we bring you Karen McArthur and Tina Maffucci. Karen McArthur’s life partner is Michael Yudelson. Michael Yudelson is Monroe County Legislator for District 13 (Henrietta, Pittsford). Tina is married to Howard Maffucci, Monroe County Legislator for District 10 (Pittsford, East Rochester, Brighton). Karen invited us to her and Michael’s home in Henrietta to talk. She told us she and Michael have known each for 41 years and have been a couple more than 20 years. Between them they have 6 children. All are adults now and some have their own children. Karen readily admits that being Grandma to four grandchildren (number five is due in the fall) is one of her favorite roles. Karen and Michael met in 1981. At the time, Michael was the Recreation Director for the town of Henrietta and Karen was the Director of Winslow Elementary after school and summer programs in Henrietta. The focus of each of their positions was to enhance quality of life in the community. Karen was focused on young children and Michael focused on all age groups. They discovered their convictions were similar 244


and, from that, grew the wonderful partnership that they share today. As a result of their jobs, holidays and special occasions were often spent not just with their own children but also with other families and children. Their own children came to know and expect holidays were meant to be shared with the community, especially those who did not have the same advantages they

did. Everyone was welcomed. Karen hopes there are many adults and older children in Henrietta who still feel like the Yudelson/McArthur clan is their extended family. In time, Michael made a successful run for Town Board of the Town of Henrietta. Six years after that, when Michael was considering a run for Town Supervisor, it was a decision that Michael and Karen made together. Karen had concerns about the impact of that more high-profile job on their family. Michael ran and was elected to three terms as Supervisor. Karen found that though the

experience was mostly positive, especially Michael’s positive achievements, she was bothered by some of the negative and unfair characterizations of Michael. She also found some viewed her only as Michael’s partner. Though she had her own career and accomplishments, she found her own record was not the basis for some people’s view of her. Looking back, Karen realizes that she grew strength from noting the practices of women who were married to more national elected officials. Each of those women was deeply supportive of her husband but also carved out and maintained her own path and goals. She was able to be happy for Michael and to take pride in her own work. Karen says that while politics has played an important role in their lives, it is only a part of who they are. Caring for others and giving back to the community is what brought them together, sustained their family and will always be paramount for Karen and Michael. We next went to the home of Tina and Howard Maffucci. While there we learned a little about Tina and her own career. She had worked with a professor identifying and working with autistic children and special needs children during her college years. That became her focus as she moved into regular classrooms.




{ {WOMEN IN POLITICS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “We reached out to two wonderful women to chat about their life partners and what life looks like living with someone involved in public service. This month we bring you Karen McArthur and Tina Maffucci.”

She and Howard were both in the teaching profession but did not know each other until they met on a blind date. Their meeting turned into a life commitment, 3 years after they met when they were married. They have two adult children and now grandchildren. Tina continued to teach and, like Karen, carved her own path while being fully supportive of her husband. Howard went on to become superintendent of the East Rochester School District. They were both involved with the community as teachers and Howard also as a coach. Time together as a family was important so they always made sure the kids were part of whatever they were doing. Howard and Tina made the decision that 246


Howard would run for county legislator four years ago. Tina and their daughter Amy ran his successful campaign, Tina mostly behind the scenes. As Howard’s tenure has progressed, Tina is more and more comfortable in a more active role. The Maffucci’s had their own family but they shared an extended family as well, the community. This does seem to be common among people who are willing to devote their time to public service. Like the Yudelson/McArthur’s, the Maffucci’s worked and dedicated themselves to their community and instilled the ideal in their children. Both families have raised successful children and some of whom are in public service. Being in the public eye all the time and subject to the scrutiny it brings

has not always been easy for either Tina or Karen, but the gift of making a difference has made the few struggles they have had easier. It is clear that when someone wants to devote a portion of their lives to help their community it is not a one-person investment. It takes a family with love and support to make it happen and these two families have accomplished exactly that. RWO would like to thank the Yudelson/ McArthur family and the Maffucci family for allowing us a look into their lives.






The rule for wearing makeup has always been that if you can see it, then there is too much. Some people grow accustomed to seeing themselves a certain way and then anything different or less than that is uncomfortable. The reality is that makeup should really enhance your features, and not mask your beauty. It should also make you feel good about yourself. Sure, we can cheat a little. Cheekbones lacking? Draw some in. Eyelashes too thin? Get the mascara.

are times that it just makes sense to hire someone who specializes in this area. Too many of us shave off our eyebrows just to draw them back in. I have never cared for that look, but I will certainly fess up that I am not the best at doing my own makeup. It has always amazed me how different

Remember that no matter who you are, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, and you do not need any makeup. Some women do not believe that about themselves and would not get caught dead without it. There is a true art to being able to apply it well. Those who have mastered it can pile it on in a way that the facial features are brought to life, and the makeup itself is not even visible. The face is the star of the show, not the products that were applied to it. Ladies spend a mint on having their faces painted so that those wedding pictures come out right. We go to great extremes to make our faces look the way we want them to and not the way God gave them to us. Many women pay a professional makeup artist to ‘hook them up’ for their corporate pictures. Admit it, there 248


the same person can look based on the makeup that is applied. Some people are so talented at this and can create a look, flawlessly, even on someone else. In each of the pictures in this article, Dashawn Russell was my makeup artist. He is someone I met a few years back at a fashion show. There was some type of mixup, and the other artists did not show

up. He ended up having to do the makeup for all the models in the show. Not only did he make every single person look beautiful, but he did it quickly, effortlessly, and with such skill. Each person looked perfect, and it was as if he made the brushes obey him. That did it. This was the artist for me. We have worked together many times since then. He can be found on Instagram at @dashawnrussellbeautypro. There is a challenge in finding both products and a makeup artist who can get darker skin tones correct. People of color have different undertones and it is not easy to match the foundation properly. This is a common complaint among women of color. So, it becomes a lifelong journey to find the right products for each skin type. Everyone has this issue, not just women of color, but it is certainly a harder task for those with darker skin. There is less availability of the products in general and sometimes, the companies that produce them do not stay in business because the market is sometimes difficult. These tend to be smaller companies that cannot compete with the larger ones. So, they do not always have the same advertising budgets or abilities to supply their cosmetics in the same places as the big ones. The makeup displays in most stores is usually limited for those with melanated skin. Makeup for darker skin is not just a darker version of the same product.



“Always keep in mind though that YOU are the diamond, and the makeup just adds some sparkle.”

{ { TRACY IS TALKING } } SHIFT+CONTROL “Feel free to play with your look. Explore lots of options and really have a good time with it.”

There is really a science to it. the search continues.


Wearing makeup can be fun and interesting but if we face it, some of us go overboard. I cannot get over some of the fake eyelashes that I see online. Someone wearing some of these monsters could bat her eyes in New York and the breeze would be felt in Los Angeles! Makeup is great but it should be realistic. The exceptions to this, of course, is if it is for art, or if it is for theatrical or editorial purposes. Many people do not realize that there are different techniques and coloring needed depending on the reason for applying it. For instance, it should be different if the resulting pictures will be in black & white versus being in color. Also, makeup for television and movies is also a unique challenge. The hot lights can wash out a face if the correct makeup is not used. The main thing to remember about cosmetics is that no matter what you do, NEVER SLEEP IN YOUR MAKEUP! This is the quickest way to ruin your skin. Skin is meant to breathe, and it should be cleansed, toned, and moisturized regularly. Feel free to play with your look. Explore lots of options and really have a good time with it. Always keep in mind though that YOU are the diamond, and the makeup just adds some sparkle. You do not need it, but if you use it, enjoy!








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 SemiDry 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 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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ TRAVEL WITH AGNESS WINE }CELLARS } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Sometimes you only have to check out your local community to find exactly what you’re looking for. Who says that you can’t mix business with amazing food.”

to find soft shell crab and fried squash blossoms seasonally. 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, 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 like an Atlantic 260


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 your local community to find exactly what you’re looking for. Who says that you can’t mix business with amazing food.





Animal Care Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States once again teamed up in our collective mission to end the dog meat trade abroad.

adults had lingering health issues, but most notably were suffering from behavioral issues. Nearly all of them were immovably terrified and shook uncontrollably when

Last month, HSUS rescued 170 canines from a dog meat farm in South Korea. These animals were desperate for medical care after being discovered living in deplorable conditions. After some recovery time, the dogs were flown to the United States and dispersed to emergency placement partners across the country. As a result, Animal Care Sanctuary received 10 adult dogs as well as a mother and her four two-weekold puppies. These canines came from a traumatic, inhumane situation, and needed special care as they get ready for what a loving home should feel like. We reached out to amazing swath of supporters and quickly found a foster home for the mom and pups, as shelter life is no place for puppies so young. The remaining 262


Over the following weeks, our staff worked carefully with the canines to make them more sociable and help them realize that their nightmare was over. Many have since recovered enough to find their new, loving homes, although the psychological effects of their previous lives will stick with them for a long time. As one of the select few emergency placement partners with HSUS, we are extremely proud that our rural shelter on the hill is having an impact across the world, and we could not do it without your support. Please consider donating via our website, www. animalcaresanctuary. org, and help us continue to make the world a better place for animals.

approached. The conditions these dogs were discovered no doubt left them with a canine version of post-traumatic stress.



{ TRAVEL{ WITH AGNESS WINE} CELLARS } SHIFT+CONTROL “Animal Care Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States once again teamed up in our collective mission to end the dog meat trade abroad.”









Not that long ago, I was a high school principal in a small rural community in northern New York. It was an interesting place where my students struggled with blending the traditions of the past with their emerging excitement about the power, freedom and accessibility technology offered them. They had tremendous pressure on them from the community to stay after graduation or at least, to return after college to enrich the community with their new knowledge and skills while starting a family and living among the generations of families who have remained there.

memories from my past experience as a high school principal. There are a lot of reasons to put our past behind us and move on. In my past for example, besides this cute little story of swine love, there are years and years of self-sabotage; events that looked so promising for me and yet, I made decisions that cost me a lot. For

That event is long gone and holds a tiny space in my brain with lots of other

In each of our pasts, there is a lot of pain, disappointment, and shake your damn head disbelief over some of the things we did and said. It hurts to go back into that place in our brains where we store the memories that we’d rather avoid completely. When I think back about the self-sabotage in my career, my stomach tightens and I am immediately, emotionally transported right back to the very moment that the sh*t began to hit the fan. It doesn’t feel good, and my first reaction is to avoid it, run, hide, and hope that I never end up there again.

I knew, as a role model for them, that they needed to see risk taking behavior and that people, like them, can have the audacity to put the expectations of the past aside and launch into the uncertainty of the future with confidence. So, I kissed a damn piglet. Yep, I did it in front of the whole school, during a Homecoming pep rally, including students, faculty, staff, board, and community members. I stood in front of about 800 cheering people, sweating, and thinking a fire drill might be a better idea. Instead, though, I took that little beast’s face into my hands, and I kissed his whiskery little pink nose as if it was the highlight of my day.

Most of us barely escape high school without creating some type of embarrassing memory of ourselves that will undoubtedly show up in someone’s phone scroll at your next reunion or worse yet, remain the topic of discussion over and over again each time there is a family get together.

example, my then undiscovered need for chaos led me to create constant change for my staff and my colleagues making it difficult for them to support me or projects I led because of the uncertainty and unknowing I was continually creating for them. In all likelihood, you’ve done the same thing to yourself, in your own unique way.

I don’t have to avoid, run, or hide anymore because I have finally learned some mind-blowing truths about my past: 1. The past happens for us, not to us. That’s right. A big ole’ present customized and uniquely crafted by you and for you! We are so used to looking at ourselves as victims of our past. Instead, I’d like you to challenge yourself to look to the past for the GIFTS she has brought you... experience, wisdom, knowing...even while shrouded in pain and discomfort. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


UNSTOPPABLE { SHIFT+CONTROL WOMAN } }} { {ALWAYS CHASING BETTER “It hurts to go back into that place in our brains where we store the memories that we’d rather avoid completely.”

Let’s normalize seeing our past as a gift. 2. The past is our path to everything good in our lives and the goodness we want for our future. It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? How can the past, which is behind me, be the path to my future? And it’s good? Yes. Every experience we’ve had, every hardship we have overcome, every piece of sh*t partner we chose... each one has led us right here, to this very moment where we have an opportunity to step into the best damn version of ourselves possible. Here’s the reality of our past in a nutshell, your past is driving your present and future. Find the value in it and use it to propel you instead of to hold you back. 3. The sh*t in your past can be healed. All that pain, humiliation, and powerlessness we feel when we resurrect some of our past, can be revisited in a healthy, safe way so 270


that we can begin to experience it in a whole new way. When we look back on our past with an open heart and new eyes, the past can be transformed and become fuel for

when we re-engage with it in a purposeful way designed to move us boldly and proudly into the future as the best damn version of ourselves. I coach smart, successful, inspired women to become the best damn versions of themselves at Always Chasing Better Coaching. Your future is one phone call away. Credits: Hair - Crystal Lewis Makeup - A-List Artistry Clothing Shopgypsyfreedom Photo - Alice G Pa t t e r s o n Photography

us instead of an obstacle. Our past can be a powerful tool






Today we live in a got to have it now world instead of waiting and believing in faith. God’s word says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Without faith it is impossble to please God. Everything we need from Christ is required by faith. When we need to buy something in this world, we use money to get what we need. Money is the currency to complete the seller buyer transaction. Faith, in the kingdom of God is the Christian’s currency. When we pray for something, we can be rest assured that if it’s found in God’s Word, we can have it as long as we employ our faith to receive whatever we asked for. The same works with sickness and disease. Jesus made it possible for us to be healed from the redemptive work on the cross. When we use our faith while confessing healing scriptures over our lives, it will bring healing to our bodies. However, we must understand that to receiving anything we want from God. The enemy hates when we use our faith while believing God’s Word because he doesn’t want us to receive our blessings from God’s promises. Healing and deliverance is God’s will for our lives. God’s healing medicine is the Word of God! 272


When we allow sickness to rule our lives by not fighting it using the Word of God, we allow the enemy to gain power over us. Jesus stripped the enemy of his power when He shed his blood for us by laying His life down on the cross. When we don’t fight against the enemy using God’s Word for any battle in our lives, as well as sickness and disease, It gives him power over us to wreak havoc. Scripture tells us...”No weapon formed against us shall prosper” Isaiah 54:17

Sickness is a work of the devil, Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil. Through His name, we have power over hell. Sickness is also a weapon the enemy uses to destroy humanity. One powerful weapon in scripture to use when sickness attacks our bodies is...”By the stripes of Jesus we are healed” Isaiah 53:5 Some people ask why would God allow sickness and disease in the world? Answer? When Jesus is not the God of the world there will be chaos, corruption, sickness, and all sorts of hell! Satan is

the God of the world, the bible says, which is the reason for the born again experience. When we are born again, we are spiritually adopted into the family of God. This allows God to be Lord in our lives but we must invite Jesus into our hearts to receive God’s promises. I became a Gospel rapper/writer to speak truth into the lives of others because the kingdom of hell wants to destroy God in the minds of people. As a child of the most High God, my mission is to share God’s love and truth with everyone I meet. I am a survivir of a brain tumor, car accidents, and the effects of abuse that without God’s healing word, I would be lost or dead. What are you dealing with today? Jesus, Lord over all, loves everyone even though everyone doesn’t love Him! Let Jesus heal you completely from the inside out! Make Him Lord over your life today! There is nothing you can do to stop God’s love for you. His love endures forever. Please visit my channel Talena Skye YouTube Instagram-@talenaskye Facebook-Talena Skye







{ DIVI9 } } { DIVI9 CHAT


In a talk I listened to recently, Sadhguru asked the question: how do we grow? There was a quiet contemplation before he said we eat and therefore we are an accumulation of food, and therefore an accumulation of earth. We are also an accumulation of experiences. I thought about this for a while. In fact it has been days, maybe weeks now since viewing that video and the image has burned its way into my mind. Truly it brings a certain tangibility to the common phrase “you are what you eat”. Who we are is the accumulation of our consumption.

not be to be relevant. In the book “A Radical Awakening” Dr. Shefali writes “we have been brainwashed with the idea that our existence can only be fulfilled by fitting an impossible standard of goodness and beauty, which for many of us, happens to be perfection.” She continues with the clarifying statement; this “basically means feeling the pressure to be more of what you aren’t” If you can relate, please know, you are not alone! Continue to question the thoughts you have accumulated and trust the process of whatever path you have chosen.

AN ACCUMUL ATION OF THOUGHTS As creative beings we have the power to shape and reshape our perspectives and our realities. One thing I am, as most are, is an accumulation of thoughts. When I first began offering services for lymphatic drainage one of my thoughts was, “how do I, as a woman who has never experienced this procedure herself, provide this service?” Would surgery make me more credible and valid to my clients, would it add perspective to my business? As I continue to progress what I have come to realize is that my knowledge, compassion and experience places me squarely in the midst of the tensions of two sides of an argument in which my own experience as a mature woman, mother of two and growing entrepreneur provides a qualified and unique perspective. I am an accumulation of a set of experiences that like all women will never be identical to another and need

AN ACCUMUL ATION OF MOTIVATION “I have never been one to workout. When I needed to lose weight I mainly diet. However I do use exercises I have learned to help me to maintain along the way.” “Working out wasn’t working for me, I was discouraged, I wanted to change, I wanted to do this for myself. I have lived my life, raised my kids, it’s time I live for me.” “I am working with a trainer, I’m not where I want to be and a part of me knows I won’t look exactly the way I see in my head” “It’s hard for me to stay consistent, especially when I have to go to the gym alone when people flake. I wish I could love my body more.” I specifically did not make a distinction with the comments that are from post

op versus non post op clients As I selected my samples I realized how much they sound alike from the perspective of change, the reclamation of self, overcoming physical and mental barriers and most importantly the prioritization of self. AN ACCUMULATION OF LOVE Client: They say that women who get surgery don’t love themselves, if we did, we wouldn’t change anything. This statement highlights the central theme of self love that permeates our social conditioning and deeply affects predominantly women on both sides of the conversation. Regardless of the journey you are on, the best thing you can invest in is yourself. This investment may come in the form of meal prep services, trainers, massage therapist, talk therapy, aesthetic surgeons or dieticians. Seek out trained professionals. Yes, there are many self taught individuals who have supported great results for themselves and others, however, a trained professional is required to not only test their knowledge, but grow in knowledge. They also have access to associations, networks and regulations to which they must adhere. Love yourself enough to seek qualified support in attaining your goals. An accumulation of perspectives Here’s a practice that I find impactful. Have a friend or family member with whom you are deeply connected write you a list of the qualities and traits that they find most attractive and beautiful about you. Read their ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ DIVI9 CHAT } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “There was a quiet contemplation before he said we eat and therefore we are an accumulation of food, and therefore an accumulation of earth.”

list aloud repeating each quality three times. As you repeat each of the qualities, dispel any feelings of doubt or disbelief you might have and accept that this beauty is true and radiates from you. Our bodies are ours to care for and maintain, however much of the work begins in our minds. Being mindful of the perspectives we accept. Being aware of the perspectives we attach meaning to, as they shape not only our minds, they shape our bodies. MORE ACCUMULATION Most clients wish that they had more information. My post op clients work to accumulate a ton of information about the surgery process and yet feel under-prepared for the reality of the healing process. Lymphatic treatments are a piece of the puzzle my clients find most beneficial. As the series of treatments progress, clients physically feel better, walking more upright and experiencing less pain and inflammation. They also calmly step into a deeper sense of self awareness as they observe and report on the daily changes experienced within the body and mind. Making the key connection that the focus of the mind greatly amplifies the healing process. This is the magic of the process that anchors me to my purpose as a healer.







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 :: JULY 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 280


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 :: JULY 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 284


• 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!



Money can only hold secrets for so long. Especially secrets that can shatter a child’s whole world. Paid silence becomes useless when children who are worth more than the dirty money, grow up. A traumatized sexually abused child who is manipulated by a trusted adult, eventually becomes a broken untrusting resentful adult, who didn’t get the pay out. Who, if they learn someone was paid to look the other way, will affect them just as much as the hands of the dirty old man who hid behind his crooked smile and inherited money. Hiding outside of the shadows in plain sight where an entire town knows, yet does nothing. Placing himself amongst all the things that children will do. Sports functions, events, treats that children long for on a hot summer day. These are places where the snake amongst innocent prey will linger. Watching, observing and staking out his next victim to add to a long list of lives ruined by his perverse way of life. I recently met such a person, and have learned of his skeletons that he doesn’t even hide in his closet. He flaunts them as if his money will keep him safe, even at death’s door. Where I know if this life doesn’t pay his dues, the evil spirits will be lurking amongst the shadows waiting to dig their talons into his weak rotten flesh. Waiting to unleash all 286


that is deserved on a soul filled with nothing but pure evil. Yet, I have faith in a universe that brings what you deserve full circle and so as much as I feel the pain for those children, My hope is that at least one of them will find the courage to break free of the chains that torment them and let justice break this pitiful excuse of a man.

Let it be the domino effect of the silence being broken and I can witness the demise of a corrupt sociopath pedophile who slinks amongst us. Smiling and leaving his money trail in his wake along with confused hurt children taught to trust him and his devil hands. Until then I will refuse to pretend I do not know. I refuse to lower myself as the people he has paid off. A clique of followers, much like a cult. Praising him for

good deeds here and normalizing the crimes against children he is still committing. shame on the families who think money is greater than the well being of the child who will now suffer PTSD. Who will have anxiety and trust issues. The list will go on and on as to what sexual abuse does to a child’s mind. The outbursts in school and disrupted behavior issues. The once innocent child, now looking to act out perverse acts themselves. Innocence has been stolen by tainted money. How dare a mother take a payout, because if I was that mother whose child got pregnant by a pedophole, or the son who was given alcohol to loosen up so he could play. Let’s just say, he better call the cops on himself. if I got to him before them, well I probably shouldn’t write down in what I’d do. But taking a payout would not even make the list. How does a community that knows of the intent he has with its children, surround themselves with such filth? Is greed and money that much more important, and if so you are just as guilty at ruining lives as he is. And you too will have to pay the price for that. I will not associate with these types of people. I will not pretend this person is a “great leader “ in a corrupt cesspool of fake minions. I will not be quiet.




KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “You see, I am Karma and I have a voice. And one day every child ever touched will find theirs too.”

I will not be quiet. I will not ever do business with this person. I see you and so do many other people who think like me. And Remember, money keeps secrets until the secrets grow up and find their voice. And I hope that every night when you lay your head down on that pillow you 288


hear the voices of the children and they haunt you. Haunt you until they come out like ants from the woodwork, and drag your ass right down to the pits of hell. You see, I am Karma and I have a voice. And one day every child ever

touched will find theirs too. May you meet your maker. You know who you are.









When you are having difficulty in your marriage and are not sure if you can keep moving forward, it can be all consuming, not to mention stressful and scary.

separate or divorce, you have already acknowledged that you are in trouble in the marriage. It is very important to get outside help to determine whether separation and divorce is your only option.

Deciding if you need to separate or divorce is one of the most difficult decisions that a person can make. Most people get married and dream of living together for the rest of their lives. They create the “story” of how they want their lives to be. If your story is not moving forward as planned, you may think divorce is the only way to get out of the bad situation. You may be told by family or friends that calling a lawyer is your first step to figuring out what to do. I would ask you to consider the possibility that divorce is NOT your only option, and calling a lawyer isn’t necessarily the place to start.

You need a process that helps you focus on identifying the problems in your marriage and creating a plan that works toward healing the marriage. Help may be available through counselling, religious support, family assistance, or Marital Mediation.

Lawyers are not in the business of keeping families intact. If you are not sure that you want to end your marriage, then you need to seek out an alternative way to address your marital problems. You do not want to start a divorce process if there is a possibility of saving your marriage.


Ending a marriage has emotional, financial and legal consequences. Divorce “fall-out” touches not only the couple that is divorcing, but it also impacts the children of the parties, the parties’ parents, extended family, friends and religious relationships. Staying married has emotional, financial, and legal consequences as well. If you are at the point of asking whether you should

Marital Mediation can also be called “Mediation to Stay Married”. This is a relatively new method to help people improve their marriage and avoid divorce. It uses mediation techniques in a series of meetings with the couple and a family mediator experienced in marital mediation.

Marital Mediation is not counseling or therapy. If a couple is already in marital counseling, religious counseling or any other kind of counseling or therapy marital mediation can still move forward. Marital Mediation is more goal directed. It is a process that is led by the couple with the guidance of the mediator. It is voluntary, private and client driven. It is a practical approach to resolving the marital disputes using dispute resolution techniques. The trained mediator creates a safe and private place for the couple to identify and discuss the issues that are hurting the marriage. The goal is

to create a plan that the couple can use to change the behavior that is hurting the marriage. DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO DO MARITAL MEDIATION? You are not required to have your own attorney to do marital mediation. Your first call should be to an experienced mediator who will provide you information about your options when you are thinking of Divorce. Some Mediators, like myself, are also Attorneys. The attorney mediator is neutral professional who will work with both of you to teach you how to communicate about the issues that bring you to mediation, and help you build a path toward a future together. If in the process of marital mediation, you want more information about your own legal rights and obligations, you may want to consult with an attorney to advise you. WILL MARITAL MEDIATION HELP ME DECIDE WHETHER WE NEED TO SEPARATE OR DIVORCE? Marital mediation can help you explore what the problems are in your marriage. If you and your spouse cannot reach an understanding about a plan moving forward together, then you may choose to end the marriage. It is not the Mediator’s role to tell you what the right thing is to do. You will learn about options and potential consequences so you can decide for yourself what you want to do. WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF MARITAL MEDIATION? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ COLLABORATIVE LAW { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “When you are having difficulty in your marriage and are not sure if you can keep moving forward, it can be all consuming, not to mention stressful and scary.”

• To help the couple examine the root cause or causes of the conflict in the marriage and then make a plan to change things. • To teach the couple constructive ways to communicate, so they can be open to hearing the other party’s concerns and suggestions so that they can gain a better understanding of each other. • To assist the couple in finding a way to stay together, address their problems, and keep the family together. • To allow the couple to have fully explored whether they can commit to the changes that need to be made to keep the marriage intact. • To create a written agreement for the parties that will be their game plan 292


going forward. WHAT IF WE AREN’T ABLE TO FOLLOW THE PLAN OR IT DOESN’T HELP AND WE NEED TO GO FORWARD WITH A DIVORCE? If your Marital Mediation does not help keep your marriage together, you may decide it is time to go forward with a divorce. You do not have to go to court for your divorce. As an attorney who has spent most of her career handling family law and matrimonial cases, I can assure the reader that divorce resolution processes like Mediation and Collaborative Law are far better than litigation. The courts are not the

place for family disputes, custody and parenting issues, and problems in a marriage. If you would like further information about

Marital Mediation or would like to schedule an appointment to begin Marital Mediation please call me at 585-377-5487 or email: Written by Julie V. Mersereau, Esq., Attorney Mediator and Collaborative Law Attorney. Ms. Mersereau focuses her practice on Family Mediation, including Divorce Mediation, Marital Mediation and Elder Mediation, and Mediation regarding other family system issues and Collaborative Family Law.

“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.




“I’ve heard of body contouring, but what does that mean? Will it hurt and what’s the downtime?” Body contouring, (also known as body sculpting) consists of noninvasive services using machines to destroy or shrink fat cells. There are different types of techniques and machines that give similar results. Body contouring is non-surgical, therefore it is painless. There is 0% downtime, meaning you can go about your day immediately after your session. Please be aware that body contouring comes with commitments from the client. Before we explore different techniques & their purpose, I believe it’s crucial to understand the general commitment & expectations. Body Contouring is not a 1 time service. In most cases, it is recommended to have at least 4 sessions to see improvement & at least 1 monthly session to maintain results. For most techniques, sessions can be done every 72 hours. It is highly advisable to protect your investment. Protecting your investment will aid in better & sustainable results. Here are some suggestions on how to project your investment: ● Stay Hydrated! Drink a lot of water the day before your session, the day of, the day after and in between each session. This helps prepare & maintain your body for a smoother detox transition. It flushes out toxins & helps your lymphatic system operate well. Water is crucial not only for 294


better results, but for your health in general. ● Maintain an active & healthy lifestyle. For example: exercise at least 30 minutes daily, even if it is only a brisk walk. It is important to also be more mindful of what you eat (lower your carbs, sugars & fatty oil intake.) I suggest seeking guidance from a Certified Nutritionist for suggestions on a plan that’s beneficial for you. ● Invest in a Body Shaper. Although I do not advise clients to remain in their body shaper for tremendous amounts of hours daily, I do advise clients to use a body shaper that best suits their lifestyle. Tip: wearing overly tight body shapers is not recommended. If you’re struggling to breathe normally, it’s too tight & that’s not healthy! *Blissful Image will have different styles of Body Shapers available in the near future! Like I mentioned above, there are different techniques for Body Contouring. Let’s review a few that Blissful Image offers! One of my favorite techniques is Radio Frequency Cavitation, also known as RF Cavitation. According to, “this uses ultrasonic waves to burst fat cells. It then turns those bursted fat cells into free fatty acids. These free fatty acids are then naturally disposed of by the Lymphatic system.” Another great benefit of this technique is that it aids in skin tightening. When I

offer this service, if my client has some cellulite they’d like to address then I like to pair it with Coffee Gel. Coffee Gel aids in reducing the appearance of Cellulite. Otherwise I use Orange Gel, which is also beneficial in reducing inches, either way after every body contouring session my clients leave smelling yummy! One of the few downfalls to R.F. Cavitation is that it’s not as versatile as Laser Lipo, meaning there are some areas where this service can not be performed. For example: if the area to be treated is on a bone, this technique will not be used. Why? R.F. cavitation performed on top of a bone (ex. Upper arm) will significantly increase your chances of developing Osteoporosis (holes in the bone). In cases like this, Laser Lipo should be used instead. Laser Lipo is a technique that uses infrared lasers to help liquify fat under the skin. It is then removed by the Lymphatic system. The fat cells are collapsed (unlike in R.F. Cavitation it’s destroyed). Laser Lipo can be used anywhere on the body, even in a boney area. It can even be used under your chin to help reduce the “double chin” appearance. Radio Frequency Cavitation & Laser Lipo can be used together, in the same session. Another one of my favorite Body Contouring techniques is Preso Therapy. Although this technique is more as an aid to the other services




BLISSFUL IMAGE }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “I’ve heard of body contouring, but what does that mean? Will it hurt & what’s the downtime?”

mentioned above, it’s still very beneficial. Preso Therapy is typically used after a Laser Lipo session. Although it just appears to be an inflatable bulky suit, the suit has benefits. The suite inflates 1 zone at a time to reduce the possibility of developing blood clots. There are suits available that inflate the entire thing at the same time, however those are not recommended as they can significantly increase the possibility of developing blood clots. Preso Therapy is the machine alternative to a Manual Lymphatic Massage (which can only be performed by a Licensed Massage Therapist or in some states a Licensed Esthetician, certified i n Ly m p h a t i c Drainage Massage). Preso Therapy aids in jump starting the lymphatic drainage process after a Laser Lipo session. It also aids in reducing the appearance of cellulite. This service is also beneficial to have after surgery as it releases fluid build up. A typical session is about 30 minutes long. This technique can be performed up to 2ce a week. Other benefits included with this service are: aids in relaxing muscles, reduces swelling & stiffness, tones & firm skin, and aids in building 296


a stronger immune system due to lymph moving properly. At Blissful Image, every Body Contouring session starts with 10 minutes on the Vibe Plate. This is a machine that you stand on while it sends elevated speed & vibrations through your body. The Vibe plate prepares your body for your session

Keep in mind that Body Contouring: ● Aids in reducing inches, not weight ● All types body contouring devices works best for people with normal BMI ( body mass index) of 18-25 ● With every session, you can lose 10%-80% of fat cells ● You may not see results instantly ● Patience, commitment, trusting the process and protecting your investment is important ● Results/ Maintenance rely heavily on a healthy & active lifestyle.

by: stimulating your lymphatic system, increasing your blood flow & flexibility, promoting stronger muscles & is very efficient in toning. Although Body Contouring is generally safe, there are some contraindications. This is why Blissful Image requires a consultation, which is included in your session.

Are you ready to start your Body Contouring journey? Schedule your appointment

with Blissful Image at:, Become part of my social media community! IG & FB: Blissful Image









The month of July is quickly coming upon us. Do you know where the name of July originates from? It was named in honor of Julius Caesar, since it was the month he was born in. Besides being an accomplished author, historian and statesman, Julius also proposed the Julian Calendar to take the place of the Roman calendar. The Julian Calendar took effect on January 1 (45 BC) and stayed in effect for 1,600 years. It was not until 1582, the Gregorian calendar replaced it. As interesting as all that is, mostly, many of us associate July simply with fireworks and summer fun. And in my case, my wedding anniversary! I figured July 4th would be a date he could not forget! And so far, after 17 years, he has not. I have to admit, it definitely was a fun time of year to get married! It was the perfect date, for everyone was already off from work. We simply combined a 4th of July party and a wedding with a ceremony, cookout, swimming and fireworks. Definitely a day to remember! Even had fireworks go off when it was time to kiss the bride and those fireworks are still going off! Fireworks and love seem to go hand in hand. And what better way to celebrate our love with fireworks that were going to go off that day, anyway? What is it about fireworks that fascinate us? Is it the rush of adrenaline when

the big bang startles us? Or looking up at a dark sky illuminated by color and wonder? How long have they been around? Fireworks have been around for a long time, used in different ways all over the world. Paper fireworks were used to scare off evil spirits, celebrate weddings and births. Those kinds were simply thrown into the fire, having no color. It was just a series of small, noisy explosions. During the Han dynasty (202 BC220 AD) people would throw bamboo stems into the fire to produce an explosion of sound. Later, gunpowder was packed into small containers to mimic the sounds of the burning bamboo. During the Song dynasty in 9601279. Pyrotechnicians were respected for their knowledge of complex techniques in mounting the firework displays. They manufactured the first firecrackers. Rolled sheets of paper with gunpowder and a fuse strung together in large clusters going off in close sequence. Fireworks have been used in the time of war. A way to locate enemy ships, possibly even scaring off sailors. However, use of fireworks in warfare became known as festive displays to show conquest. Even missionaries and colonizers used them to show their superiority on the people they wished to subdue. Modern colored fireworks were

invented in Europe in the 1830s. Who knew? I always thought all fireworks were originated from China but not true. And modern skyrocket fireworks have been made since the early 20th century. Believe it or not, in 2004, Disneyland in Anaheim California pioneered the commercial use of aerial fireworks launched with compressed air rather than gunpowder. The shell explodes in the air using an electronic timer. The advantages of compressed air are reduction in fumes, greater accuracy in height and timing. Walt Disney Company is now the largest consumer of fireworks in the world! I have seen many fireworks in my lifetime and I have learned one thing. When you see fireworks, you do not wonder how they were made. Where they came from or why they are being displayed. You simply enjoy the beauty and celebration, as we should with life in general. Our random National Holidays this month are a little lean on celebrations. We start off with a bang and slowly fizz out. However, there are some days that celebrate different alcoholic beverages, so let’s get the party started! today and enjoy! July 19th - National Daiquiri Day Not sure what is up with July but it definitely seems a drinking kind of month. Some like to confuse these with a Margarita. The difference is ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{{ TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} SHIFT+CONTROL Do you know where the name of July originates from? It was named in honor of Julius Caesar, since it was the month he was born in.”

Daiquiri is made with rum and straight lime juice whereas the Margarita is made with tequila and a little triple sec. Yet another refreshing drink to put you in the mood to see fireworks! July 24th - National Tequila Day - This is the day for ones who really want to see fireworks in the evening and the next morning! Lol. Or possibly make that Margarita we talked about earlier. July 25th - National Wine and Cheese 300


Day - See, I told you it was a drinking kind of month! I guess it is only fair that we go this route for the ones who enjoy a fine wine and tasty cheese. Go out and find some fireworks to enhance the flavor, remember though - pinky out!  For me, fireworks will always have a special spot in my heart. From the memory of a small child looking up in awe at them, to celebrating love with them.

Fireworks has it all. Mystery, intrigue, excitement, danger and delight. Perhaps that is why it is associated with love? Enjoy your fireworks this month and make their celebration yours! For fireworks are meant to be enjoyed by all!

{ WELLNESS 360 }



Our core is the foundation of all movements. Your abdominal muscles play an essential role in everyday movement, controlling rotation, forward bending, extension, side flexion, and many additional motions. Multiple injuries can occur when your core is weak, playing a role in pain in your back, neck, hip, and knees. How can you tell if your core is weak? Have you been pregnant? Gained weight? Back problems? Abdominal surgeries? If you answered yes to any of these questions and are not actively exercising your core, chances are your core is weak. Did you know that having a strong core has NOTHING to do with crunches? You can do crunches all day, and all you have accomplished is building muscle under your tummy fat and encouraging muscle imbalances that may eventually lead to low back pain or postural issues. Core strength is one of the most essential types of strengthening exercise you can do as you age. Core strength can improve your posture, decrease back pain, improve your balance, improve your daily activities, and so much more. Let’s debunk a few myths you may have on developing core strength. 1# COMMON MYTH: Crunches do NOT lead to 6-pack abs. While you may be developing the muscle of a small portion of your core (rectus abdominis), you are not losing abdominal fat by doing crunches. 302


Having definition in your stomach is accomplished by a strict diet, cardio, strengthening, and genetics.

pelvis, which eventually leads to low back pain. So there is no great reason to “target” your ab work.

#2 COMMON MYTH Planks are the best way to train my abs. While this statement does hold truth, planking can do just as much harm without the appropriate form. Correct form is crucial to planking. Planking is all about quality, not quantity! We will be discussing good form on planking later in the article.

#5 COMMON MYTH Sucking in your gut is bracing your abs. Your workout instructor will cue you to “brace your core,” and the person will end up holding their breath. Bracing your core is learning to activate your transverse abdominis (TA). This is the deepest muscle in your abdomen that acts as your natural girdle. Holding a TA hold is about bracing that deep muscle, not pulling in your belly button. You can work on bracing this muscle by exhaling like you are blowing up a balloon, holding the end contraction while returning to normal breathing, and pull in your pelvic floor. It takes practice to find this muscle. Engaging this muscle is a great way to protect your spine, improve your posture, and decrease low back pain.

#3 COMMON MYTH Your core involves muscles in your pelvic floor, abdomen, back, and even your glutes! These muscles include your Transverse abdominis (the muscle that is your natural girdle), Multifidus (tiny muscles along your spine), Internal and external obliques (muscles along your sides), Pelvic Floor (Ladies, strengthening these muscles are essential for so many reasons), Rectus Abdominis (your 6 pack muscle), and finally your glutes. Every muscle has a vital role in your day-to-day function. Therefore, it is important to make sure you have a balanced strengthening plan. #4 COMMON MYTH You can “target” your low abs. Guess what? There are no “low abs.” You have multiple layers of abdominal muscles. If you have had abdominal surgery, it can weaken your abdomen. It is essential to work your core as a whole. Most of the low abs you are targeting are your hip flexors. Tight hip flexors can cause pulling on your

When teaching a class or during physical therapy treatments, we always encourage neutral spine and functional core training. This means no extreme flexion, extension, or rotation. Any of these extreme motions can encourage slipped/herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and increase your risk of a spinal fracture. These neutral postures are safe for any age or diagnosis. Planking can be a very beneficial exercise when completed with good form. You can also advance a plank making it more challenging as you progress. Here are some instructions for perfecting your planks. Start in the top of a push-




{ WELLNESS 360 } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Abdominal muscles play an essential role in everyday movement, controlling rotation, forward bending, extension, side flexion, and many additional motions.”

position. You will want to be sure your head and neck are in line with your spine. You can do this by looking 6-12 inches past your hands. Next, engage your deep abdominal muscles, pull in your pelvic floor, and tuck your tail bone. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from the tip of your head to your toes with no sagging or bending. You 304


can start by holding this position for 10 seconds and work your way up to a full minute. This can be modified by placing your hands on a higher surface like a countertop or chair. Do not ever push through pain or discomfort. Listen to your body. Wellness 360 is a physical therapy clinic that focuses on the wellness

portion of acute and lifelong disease management. We can support your journey to improved balance, decreased back pain, or improved posture, amongst other things. Check us out at








Maitrī is defined by Wikipedia as “benevolence, loving-kindness, friendliness, amity, good will, and active interest in others.” This word is translated from Sanskrit and is a virtue of Buddhism. I believe with every fiber of my being that every single one of us has the potential to increase our loving-kindness to ourselves and to others. There are times in life when you take an action, like being kind, when perhaps you just were not feeling your kind vibe at the moment, that this kind action will do a plethora of positive things for the other person and for you. It becomes a positive party for everyone. Scientific research supports this. A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article titled “Why Being Kind Helps You – Especially Now” states ““being kind—doing something to help someone else—can help you, too. Research links kindness to a wealth of physical and emotional benefits. Studies show that when people are kind, they have lower levels of stress hormones and their fight-or-flight response calms down. They’re less depressed, less lonely and happier.” Buddha says “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” In reading the news and hearing comments from many individuals about the negativity going on in the world, often, not always, it seems like too many of us ask the question “Why isn’t this person or that person doing this, doing that, doing more or doing less.” I must confess that used to be me. One day I had this light bulb moment, a moment of internal clarity. Instead of being a back seat driver I could hop into the driver’s seat

to see what actions I would do to make a difference, to be the change I wish to see in the world. This isn’t always easy and there are times I want to say this is not my problem because it appears to not directly impact me. Yet as being a human on this planet who shares space with all of you other humans, an assortment of other creatures and more, it does impact me. As Marshall McLuhan states “There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.” Yes all of us are crew, in this giant rocky, challenging, glorious, joyous boat called Earth. My chosen career path immerses me with people struggling with a variety of challenges that affect them with different degrees of intensity. My humanness, from my own experiences of challenges, to seeing people I love struggle, has taught me to not judge or shame. I used to judge and shame myself, which carried over into all of my relationships and perspectives of others. No one wants to be dealing with hard stuff, even when some of their choices got them there. So what if we simplified it all. For ourselves and for others. We take a loving-kindness perspective for ourselves and for others. We use a “so what, now what” forward moving action step? After working on myself to change how I saw myself, and others, it helped me to be a kinder, gentler, and more loving person. I was happier and prouder of the person I am. “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” Arthur Ashe The majority of us know when we are making decisions that are not healthy for us. We know when we are taking an action that is not in our best interest. Our mind, body, and soul sends signals, which

all of us, myself included, have ignored. Nothing feels right about a decision yet you make it. Your insides can be screaming at you to not doing something and you do it. Perhaps something terrible or tragic happens. What if, instead of berating ourselves, or someone else, we were loving, kind, and caring. We use compassion and empathy. It does not mean we forget what happened. I know when I have made a mistake or a decision I should not have. What if we gift to ourselves, and others, the same kindness and care we give to children who make mistake by guiding each other to better decisions and choices. Think about what kind of world that would be. “Be careful of how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” Lisa M. Hayes My thought today is to be kind and gentle to yourself. Work on changing those inner thoughts of how you talk to yourself. Change the inner and outer conversations you have about others. Even if you are not believing your words, you can fake it, and if you fake it long enough, say it long enough, your brain will believe it. By changing the words you use and how you say things will change your brain, your heart, your soul. You deserve all the loving-kindness in the world. Give it to yourself. Give it to others. You have the power and ability to be the person you want to be. You matter. Who you are and what you do makes a difference. May your Maitrī be with you.





The definition of Vaginismus is “painful spasmodic contractions of the vagina in response to physical contact or pressure”. ( It is the body’s automatic reaction to the fear of some or all types of vaginal penetration. The problem women with vaginismus face are that any time they try to insert an object such as a penis, tampon or speculum into the vagina, the walls tighten up from involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. This can be incredibly painful and cause temporary cessation of breathing. Without treatment, aside from the distress and frustration, it may get worse.

SECONDARY VAGINISMUS “Secondary” vaginismus develops after a woman has already experienced normal sexual function. This condition can occur at any stage of life. It usually stems from a specific event, such as menopause, an injury, infection, surgery, or childbirth. Emotional issues have also been known to trigger secondary vaginismus.



Symptoms can vary between individuals but may include: • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia) with tightness and pain that may burn or sting • Penetration being difficult or impossible • Pain during tampon insertion • Pain during gynecological examination • Generalized muscle spasm or breathing cessation during attempted intercourse

Vaginismus comes in different forms and symptoms can vary between individuals. Age, emotional issues, and medical problems can all play a role in the type of vaginismus a woman experience. There are a variety of treatments, which involve emotional and physical exercises. PRIMARY VAGINISMUS “Primary” vaginismus is a lifetime condition in which pain has always been present. This condition is usually discovered by women during their first attempt at intercourse. The spasms can be so intense that women have expressed the feeling of “hitting a wall” when trying to insert a tampon or other object into their vaginal opening. The pain is intense but will subside when the attempt at vaginal entry is stopped.

spasms and pain. Situational vaginismus occurs only in certain situations. It may happen during sex but not during gynecological exams or tampon insertion.

• Long-term sexual pain with or without a known cause. Vaginismus can be caused by emotional triggers, physical stressors, or both. Physical stressors may include:

Even after underlying medical conditions have been corrected, the symptoms may continue if the body has become conditioned to respond to pain in a certain way. Global and Situational Vaginismus The last two vaginismus are “Global” and “Situational”. Global vaginismus is always present, and any object will trigger

• Urinary tract infections, yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. • Childbirth • Menopause • Cancer or lichen sclerosis • Inadequate foreplay • Insufficient vaginal lubrication • Medication side effects Emotional triggers include: • Fear from painful events, such as pregnancy




{ HIP HEMP } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Age, emotional issues, and medical problems can all play a role in the type of vaginismus a woman experience.”

• Anxiety about performance because of guilt • Relationship problems • Traumatic life events, including rape or a history of abuse • Childhood experiences, such as the portrayal of sex while growing up or exposure to sexual images. DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT A diagnosis starts with an appointment with a qualified physician, who will take a medical history and complete a pelvic exam. Depending on the cause, treatment could involve different specialists. The aim of the treatment will be to reduce the automatic tightening of the muscles 310


and eliminate the fear of pain. Treatment may include pelvic floor control exercises, education, counseling, emotional drills, reducing sensitivity to insertion, or dilation training. It may take a mix of any of these treatments before vaginismus can be successfully overcome. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are ways to help with the pain, such as In The Pink, organic Intimate Massage Oils. These oils can also help lubricate the vaginal opening. The added benefit of their essential oils helps to soothe the

mind and body, inducing the feeling of relaxation and reception. In The Pink Organic Moisture Drops are estrogen-free organic perles designed to sooth, hydrate and restore your vagina. These drops are made with Hemp Seed Oil, which is packed with Omega 3 and 6 linoleic acids with anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and analgesic properties. The anti-inflammatory can help calm painful spasms. You will also find Grapeseed Oil and Vitamin E in the Moisture Drops. This also produces anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-aging benefits along with being deeply moisturizing and nourishing.





No matter the time of year I can conjure up the feeling being parched on the hottest of days: leaving the beach and taking a big sip of cool water and perking up almost instantaneously. Similarly, on winter afternoons when I just feel cold and damp all the way to my bones, sipping on a big hot mug of bitter herbal tea. Both gifts we get from water. Anyone reading this section of the magazine knows that you are supposed to drink lots of water every day to stay hydrated. Almost every weight loss plan I have ever heard of or read about includes drinking more water. Sometimes our body is craving nourishment – and we assume it’s food, when it’s simply thirsty. Animals need it. Athletes need it. The elderly need it. The fight for clean water carries on in many areas around the world unfortunately. I’ve spoken with several naturopaths and ayurvedic specialists who recommend hot lemon water as the best detox for your system. Forget the fancy pills and supplements. This hot lemon water ritual is how I start each day even before my coffee and I just feel better. I couldn’t tell you for certain if it’s detoxing my body but it certainly detoxes my foggy morning brain and any negativity left over from the day before. So those are some of the physical benefits of water – and arguably energetic (proper

hydration = more energy), but what about the mental and emotional healing that the water can bring? “When life places stones in your path, be the water. A persistent drop of water will wear away even the hardest stone.” ― Autumn Morning Star At the hardest points in my life, finding a body of water has almost always provided some clarity, or at least a little bit of

relief. Here are my three go-to practices (besides that lemon water) for when you’re feeling unsure of your next steps. Jumping in. I teach Paddleboard Yoga on Canandaigua Lake. Before I was teaching, I nervously stood as a student of Leslee Schenk Trzcinski’s on the beach of Kershaw Park. Once in the water – I was so terrified I would be the first one to fall off the board and into the lake. I moved, very rigidly and in a calculated fashion from posture to posture on the board. I was afraid of embarrassment.

At the end of class, I attempted to push myself into a full backbend and propelled myself directly into the lake. Cue “Jaws” theme song. It was a safe space. I emerged, soaked, and laughing. That was 2012 – before I was teaching the classes. Since then I have seen a similar student show up to almost every class since; neck and toes clenched for dear life, afraid a breath might topple them into the water. So often as humans, we are afraid of what will happen if we give ourselves over to something fully. We dip one toe into the proverbial water while still holding on onto what is comfortable. The fact of the matter is, we can try to control life all we want – but the world will never let us be in complete control. Take a risk. Get soaked. Jump in. Constant holding in of your body creates unnecessary tension that might follow you around the next day. Water just moves, without fear and certainly without judgement. Feeling the water. There is a definite change in the way the water and the air feel in Upstate New York from hot and sticky mid-July to late August when it gets a little bit cooler, and goose bumps start to pop up. I know most of us prefer one or the other. What I love about teaching in the water is that it makes me FEEL the physical sensations. Maybe the roughness of the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “When life places stones in your path, be the water. A persistent drop of water will wear away even the hardest stone.”

wind on my skin isn’t my favorite, but I have the privilege to get to experience it. And sitting in discomfort, is a skill. I of course would recommend getting up early and hopping in the lake to anyone – but if that’s a bit of a stretch for you– consider playing with water in your sink. Or ending your hot showers with cool water to switch things up. The next time you go to get in the pool drop any preconceived notion of what is hot or cold and just simply feel and notice. Water watching meditation. In my late twenties I felt a bit stuck. I needed something to be different, so on a bit of a whim I got a job in Portugal, teaching yoga at Salty Ways surf camp. It paid me in room and board. To say that all 314


of the employees and staff would get along on a daily basis would be a lie. Personalities just don’t work that way. But every evening, we would walk out to the road or the beach and watch the ocean waves for about an hour before sunset. Watching the water was a unifier. Simply sitting and watching, no story is perhaps the best meditation I can offer anyone. Go to your nearest lake, creek, ocean and just get lost in the watching. Your takeaway may be different than mine. Mine was that the Atlantic Ocean was here long before me and will be here long after. So any miniscule judgement, or negative thought I had about myself – was utter bullshit.

I complete this draft after teaching a yoga class to a bridal party on a dock on Seneca Lake. I didn’t know the group, but after surrounding ourselves with the feelings of the lake for the hour - the bride sighed, “I didn’t know how much I needed that.” What other ways has water helped you heal? Shoot me a note at, I would love to hear it! Kaitlyn Vittozzi is a Yoga Therapist specializing in personal growth, postpartum struggles, stress and chronic pain.


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Hunter Ekberg, Shawn Gray, Eric Vaughn Johnson, Eric Schutt, and more!

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Imagine floating on the surface of a placid, crystal-clear pond. Or diving deeply into an aqua-marine pool. One is calming to the nerves, while the other is exhilarating; both enticing the senses to a place of pleasure, perhaps even health and wellness. Have you ever wondered what it is about water that is good for you? Certainly the benefits of drinking water makes sense. It purifies your internal organs and hydrates your entire body. But floating on water or swimming within its depths, what exactly does it provide other than pleasure? I was meditating recently - imagine that - when the imagery of snakes appeared. At first I was frightened. What could they possibly mean? Knowing that whenever imagery appears in a meditation, it is a symbolic message, I began to search for answers. Unfortunately symbols often take time to decipher, whether it is moments, hours, days, weeks or even months. It wasn’t until I shared my experience with a spiritual advisor that I learned its profound meaning. Water Nagas. According to the knowledge base found at Wikipedia, “The Naga are divine, splendid, and proud semi-divine deities 316


that can assume their physical form either as human, partial human-serpent or the whole serpent.” In this case, they were the whole serpent. About eight of them. “Their domain is an enchanted realm filled with gems, gold and other earthly treasures called Naga-loka. They are often associated with bodies of water, including rivers, lakes, seas, and wells,

Lesson learned: When meditating near a body of water, honor the water nagas. Ask for any messages that may benefit your well-being. Then be receptive. Another way to unveil the healing secrets of water is to look at the beginning of our time here on earth, our conception. As we grew into our own physical nature, our fetus was nurtured in the womb of water. These waters were loaded with nutrients & love! Is it any wonder then, that swimming and floating on water is pleasurable. Elements of hydration that increase one’s healing include the minerals found in natural springs. These can be found all over the world! Here are a listing of just a few:

and are guardians of treasure. They are known to have guarded wise beings of Asian descent.” Super cool! Love it when symbols are this sacred. You can take the meaning of the nagas to a variety of places, I suppose. But I’ve learned it is wise to find the positive angle, in this case - guarding me and my treasures! Which could very well be the health & wellness of my … mind, body & spirit.

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, ARKANSAS This was my first introduction to natural hot springs! Surrounded by cascading waterfalls and greenery. The springs are a testament to waking the senses and healing the muscles. JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA This has been on my map of places to go for sometime now. If you’ve been there, hit me up. I’d love to hear all about it! PAGOSA SPRINGS, COLORADO Located within a half hour of Tara Mandala, Tibetan Buddhist Retreat

{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT } “Personally I enjoy walking along the shoreline barefoot, feeling the coolness of the water, crushing the seashells beneath my feet; and listening to the call of the seagulls, and the rhythmic patterns of the waves rolling in and out.”

Center. This is a luxurious ending to a long meditation program! Each natural pool has its unique listing of healing minerals and elements as well as its level of heat, sometimes exceeding 100° BLUE LAGOON, ICELAND Imagine visions of ethereal icy blue waters with clouds of steam gently rising above. These geothermal waters begin1.2 miles below surface. SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK There are 21 public mineral springs scattered about the area. But wait. These springs are for drinking since they are all carbonated. IDK. A little bubbly in your bath might be good! There are many other health benefits 318


of water. The acronym ‘SPA’ is an abbreviation for the term “solus par aqua” which means health or healing through water. I used to love lingering in the steam room. It is an excellent practice to open the pores of your skin and release toxins. It can also be used to lose weight, most likely … water-weight! Personally I enjoy walking along the shoreline barefoot, feeling the coolness of the water, crushing the seashells beneath my feet; and listening to the call of the seagulls, and the rhythmic patterns of the waves rolling in and out. Another mythical creature of the water is none other than the nymph.

In his poem, The Water-Nymph, Alexander Pushkin describes the sad life of a lone friar, digging his own grave, so lonely that death is appealing to him. He is awakened by the lifting of a fog and the appearance of this magical water creature. In the romantic language of poetry, we watch this man come back to life, curious and enchanted by the naked beauty of the water nymph with long flowing hair and playful ways. The ending? Well, you’ll have to read the poem. Alana Cahoon is the author of Amazon Bestseller, Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditation. She coaches individuals to grow their businesses, expand their minds & heal their souls. www.



“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin, English Poet “And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

When we moved in, there were some bushes in a small bed in front of the house. They were in rough shape, so a couple of years ago I asked Louis to rip them out. I had the intention of planting a flower garden in the space. Of course, not knowing what to do I didn’t do anything. This spring Louis said he wanted to plant tomatoes there. So, I was forced

I admire gardeners because gardening is a skill that I wish I possessed. I love looking at gardens and I love having fresh flowers in the house. Many of my friends (Juliet, Marie, Maya, Melissa) are talented gardeners and have beautiful yards. They know what needs to be done and they do the work. My biggest problem is that I don’t know where to start. The whole process is overwhelming to me. The extent of my gardening has been our annual Memorial Day weekend trip to plant flowers on the graves of my family members buried in the Watertown and Clayton cemeteries. When we get home, I plant any extra flowers in pots and put them in the yard. We live in a house that is close to 200 years old. At some point, somebody planted a garden along the side of the house that still blooms. It looks overgrown and a little bit wild, but flowers still appear throughout the summer.

to act. I saw some landscaping around Starbucks on Route 96 in Victor that was just lavender – tall purple flowers in groups. It looked so simple and beautiful that I decided that was what I would do this year. Just plant some lavender and plant some begonias along the edge of the bed. Off we went to Wayside Garden Center to buy some lavender plants. Big decision – what type of lavender to buy. I chose Provence Lavender because it is tolerant

of poor soil, loves heat, and can withstand humidity. The employee I talked with at Wayside said that the plants would grow to be about 1 ½ feet wide and would flower. I planted the lavender, planted begonias around the edge, and potted the remaining begonias. I watered the garden faithfully on dry days and waited for the lavender to grow. (Here’s a fun little side note, I got poison ivy when I was digging, but that’s another story.) After a few weeks, I began to think that I had done something wrong because the lavender hadn’t grown yet. Then I talked to the lavender farmers at the Fairport Farmers Market. They told me that the lavender will grow to the size I was told, but it takes a year or two! They also told me that now that the lavender is planted, I can basically ignore it – making it the ideal plant for me! Louis has been the gardener in our family. I think he really wants to be a farmer. Every year he plants vegetables in raised boxes behind the garage. He experiments with methods that he reads about in Mother Earth News. Not all of his attempts at different vegetables work, but I will say, consistently his tomatoes do really well every year. At Wayside Garden Center I noticed a ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”

sign that said Gardening is Horticulture Therapy. The benefits of working in the garden on individuals with mental illness was first documented in the 19th century by Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and “The Father of American Psychiatry”. Today, the American Horticultural Therapy Association defines the practice as “the engagement of a client in horticultural activities facilitated by a trained therapist to achieve specific and documented treatment goals.” Certified Horticultural Therapists treat a wide variety of clients, including veterans suffering from PTSD and elderly with dementia. 324


There are also physical benefits to gardening. According to Robert Hutchins, M.D. M.P.H., of Chapel Hill Internal Medicine and Carolina Clinic, the health benefits of gardening include: • Improving heart health due to the cardiovascular workout provided by manual labor. • Keeping your hands and fingers strong from digging, planting, and pulling weeds . • Being in the sun boosts Vitamin D levels. • Growing your own food provides the ultimate farm to table experience.

• Exposing children to dirt can strengthen their immune systems. Encouraged that I can just relax and let my lavender do its thing, I plan to keep cultivating my little garden. My next adventure – planting tulip bulbs in the fall. 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.

“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.

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We have all felt depressed from time to time. Everyday life is full of multiple opportunities to feel down. Perhaps our car repair bill exceeds what we expected it to be, or we step on the scales, only to discover that we have gained five pounds over the weekend. Feeling down in response to negative life event is entirely normal. However, the development of clinical depression is an entirely different matter. Depression is a serious medical disorder. The lifetime risk of suicide for patients with untreated depression is 20%, whereas the risk for treated depression is only 0.141%. Major depression affects every aspect of our well-being; it has motivational, cognitive, emotional, and physiological symptoms. Consequently, it is most accurate to define depression as a mindbody disorder, as opposed to a mental illness. Motivational symptoms are marked by reduced drive to engage in activities, including those that were previously enjoyed. Cognitive symptoms include the display of cognitive errors, such as engaging in “all or nothing” patterns of thinking; emotional symptoms include a deep sense of sadness or an inability to feel pleasure. Physiological symptoms include fatigue, increased/decreased appetite, and increased/decreased sleep. There are many different types of depression. A major depressive episode is characterized by a period of two weeks or longer in which individual experience certain symptoms of major depression: feelings of sadness

and hopelessness; angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration over minor events; increased fatigue, so that even minor take extra effort; weight gain or weight loss; changes in sleeping habits; slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements; feelings of worthlessness or guilt and rumination about past failures; difficulty with thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things; unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches; loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities; or frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide. Sometimes, an individual experiences a single instance of a major depressive episode. Other individuals may struggle with depression as a chronic illness, experiencing multiple episodes of depression during their lifetimes. It is important to remember that symptoms of having an isolated episode of major depression are just as serious as those experienced by individuals who have been diagnosed with recurrent major depression. In my experience as a clinical psychologist, individuals with recurrent major depression are more likely to experience the inability to experience pleasure, as opposed to feeling extremely sad. Episodes of major depression are frequently triggered by a situational event, such as a death in the family, the loss of a job, the ending of a relationship, or some type of trauma, such as a physical assault. A leading theory of the development of mental illness is the diathesis-stress theory. This theory

maintains that a biological vulnerability to the development of mental illness interacts with the experience of a stressful event to produce emotional distress. A biological predisposition is not sufficient in and of itself, to produce depression; similarly, a stressful event by itself is not sufficient to produce symptoms of a depressive episode. There are well recognized gender differences in experiencing a major depressive episode. Women are twice as likely than men to experience depression. Depressed men are more likely to exhibit increased anger and irritability; they are also more prone to making risky choices. Women who are depressed are more likely to feel guilty, sad, and ashamed. There are several important means of coping with a major depressive episode. Receiving psychotherapy is an important component of dealing with depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapists address how cognitive distortions lead to the development of depression. For example, those who are prone to the development of depression often engage in catastrophic thinking; they jump to the worst- case scenarios when faced with difficult circumstances. Being consistent with taking antidepressant medication is another important component of treating depression. For those with recurrent depression, it is necessary to remain on antidepressant medication on a long-term basis, even when not feeling depressed. Finding the most ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2021


{ MENTALLY THINKING} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Major depression affects every aspect of our well-being; it has motivational, cognitive, emotional, and physiological symptoms.”

effective antidepressant essentially involves trial and error. The best outcomes are associated with reception of psychotherapy, plus taking an antidepressant medication; this effect is synergistic. Spending time with supportive individuals is of great benefit during periods of depression, despite most depressed individuals’ tendencies to withdraw from others. Practicing adequate self-care is critical when 328


dealing with depression. Self-care may include attending therapy or support groups; practicing meditation or yoga; journaling thoughts and emotions; actively challenging negative thought patterns; and engaging in relaxing and enjoyable activities. It is essential to practice good physical health habits in order to combat depression; eating a healthy diet, trying to obtain adequate sleep, getting plenty of exercise, and avoiding alcohol and

drugs is extremely important. Finally, spending time outside is an important strategy to combat depression. Depression is very challenging, but it is a manageable medical condition.

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ARIES JULY 2021 Your mood is lifted this month. You feel you can take on the world once more as you have an abundance of energy. New and interesting meetings are well starred. You could uncover someone’s deepest secret. A month where you could welcome changes in a stale contract On the romantic front you are noticed by the right person for a change. TAURUS JULY 2021 Your earthy practical skills will be in demand. Your efficiency will be needed in quite a few areas. It is a time when you can achieve a long term goal. You will be rubbing shoulders and getting noticed with people in high positions who have good intentions towards you and your ideas. Don’t come down too heavy handed or be the ‘bull’ in the china shop, as some- one close to you needs your help and advice. GEMINI JULY 2021 it’s a succesful in all you do. Expect the unexpected, even the unrealistic matters will have a strange way of resolving itself. There is an air of magic about you You will not go unnoticed by the opposite sex, as that some special approaches you with a romantic proposition. In life, in general a big step will be taken. 330


Leap forward with trust and faith. The planets are aligned in your favour. CANCER JULY 2021 You’re more willing to talk to people this month and make new friends. You may be in need of emotional support yourself,but don’t worry you are surrounded by good supportive people who will be there for you. When you find the freedom your soul cries out for, your wings will take flight. Your nurturing personality is needed where pets are concerned. A medical situation may arise but all is well. LEO JULY 2021 You have gained enough energy from a resting period that will allow you to tackle all those mundane things again that are mounting up. Putting your house into order is essential now. Partnerships at work will grate on your nerves. You may have to take matters into your own hands to see the benefits. Watch your finances carefully as extra money is needed by the end of the month by something unexpected VIRGO JULY 2021 Moderation and common sense is essential during this month. You may be tempted to be extravagant and just buy a totally out of

character purchase. There is a major decision to make this month. It’s best during the period between 10th and the 25th when the right decision is well starred. It is also a good time to travel especially if you have been reluctant to do so for some time. If you are single check out a dating page. LIBRA JULY 2021 You need a vacation now is the time to plan one. You need a breath of fresh sea air. The small things in life have become like mountains. Don’t hesitate to deal with the small issues now even if you are struggling.As you will need extra space and time later on in the month when even busier times hit you. Watching your diet and sleep patterns will also help for a hectic but enjoyable time ahead. Life is not all tedious, repetitive and boring so it seems. SCORPIO JULY 2021 Taking stock of your well being both physically and spiritually is important right now. Fitting in and finding a balance of exercise and meditation will take away those work stresses you appear to be under. Learn to say no to some over demanding people around you these could be in a family situation. For those

{ SEEING THE SIGNS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “ CANCER JULY 2021 - You’re more willing to talk to people this month and make new friends.”



{ {SEEING THE SIGNS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “ARIES JULY 2021 - Your mood is lifted this month. You feel you can take on the world once more as you have an abundance of energy. ”

who are looking for love will meet someone in an unusual or new place. Your sultry vibe never fails to attract. so spruce yourself up. SAGITTARIUS JULY 20201 Time to sign that long awaited contract. Things are starting to move fast on the financial front. Partnerships are well starred both in business and relationships. Don’t psychically over do things as attention is needed to something you have not been paying full attention to. Be kind to yourself and prioritize your medical needs. You will need all your strength for a busy time ahead. It will be all guns blazing and you will reap many rewards that have been a long time coming. CAPRICORN JULY 2021 Dreams can come true and this is the period when they do. 332


Spending extra time with those who are close and really matter, is important to you right now. Good karma is paying you some attention and you are feeling content about new prospects. Someone close confides their deep feelings for you. If you are single you are now prepared to take the plunge and move forward . News of wedding bells is likely. AQUARIUS JULY 2021 It seems you have slowed down a little, to take a good look at the world and value the family and friends around you. You will realise how much they care for you. Spending time with them right now is essential to your well being. Making your list of priorities is necessary. Professional matters arise and papers need your signature, don’t skip on the blue -print. Have a watchful eye. There may be news of a long awaited child on the

horizon. Let’s celebrate! PISCES JULY 2021 A time to devote to travel,entertainment and deep connections. You are full of bright ideas and most will be applied and come to fruition. Let no one stand in your way this month as you seem to be on a roll. Finding that perfect partner that romantic Pisces always dreams about could be a great possibility during this time. Don’t let anyone ‘burst your bubble’ avoid negative people. Use your natural intuition when judging newcomers as there seems to be plenty crossing your path this month. Enjoy! Blessings Angela McGhee I N T E R N AT I O N A L T V PSYCHIC MEDIUM AUTHOR & TEACHER



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Articles inside

MENTALLY THINKING article cover image


pages 326-329
BLISSFUL BALANCE article cover image


pages 322-325
MIND, BODY & SPIRIT article cover image


pages 312-321
HIP HEMP article cover image


pages 308-311
WELLNESS 360 article cover image


pages 302-305
YOU MATTER article cover image


pages 306-307
TAMMY’S TIDBITS article cover image


pages 298-301
BLISSFUL IMAGE article cover image


pages 294-297
COLLABORATIVE LAW article cover image


pages 290-293
B.MOR article cover image


pages 282-285
KARMA SPEAKS article cover image


pages 286-289
HER EDGE article cover image


pages 278-281
DIVI9 CHAT article cover image


pages 274-277


pages 262-267


pages 256-261
ALL ACCESS article cover image


pages 234-239
TRACY TALKS article cover image


pages 248-253
INFLUENTIAL WOMAN article cover image


pages 226-229
FINANCIALLY SPEAKING article cover image


pages 240-243
WOMEN IN POLITICS article cover image


pages 244-247
UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN article cover image


pages 230-233
SHE HUSTLES TALKS article cover image


pages 135-225
COACHING WITH KRISTIN B article cover image


pages 130-134
AFTERNOON COCKTAIL article cover image


pages 120-127
WOMAN WHO INSPIRES article cover image


pages 106-117
IN HER OWN WORDS article cover image


pages 118-119
YOUNG & INSPIRING article cover image


pages 74-91
WOMEN ON THE RISE article cover image


pages 54-67
WHAT IS YOUR SUPERPOWER? article cover image


pages 38-53