RWO March 2022 Edition

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SHE HUSTLES TALKS

HIGHLIGHTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

In This Edition... - INTRODUCING THE “SHE BOSS” DR JESS GERMANO - BLACK WOMEN VOICES: ALEXIS ARNOLD - SHE HUSTLES COVER WOMAN: BRAID’S INFINITY’S VERY OWN MONICA COLLINS - DEAR CAMILLE, SCARS OF SURVIVAL, THE INFLUENTIAL WOMAN AND MORE!

IT IS REIGNING

Queens






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“IT IS REIGNING QUEENS”: JESSICA FABUS CHENG, DIANA MEYER & NICOLE DOZ

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REGULARS

REGULARS

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CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS

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B.MOR

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HER EDGE

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COACHING WITH KRISTIN B

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WOMEN IN FINANCE

DEAR CAMILLE

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SCARS OF SURVIVAL

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WOMAN WHO INSPIRES Michele

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TRACY IS TALKING

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THE INFLEUNTIAL WOMAN

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AGAINST ALL ODDZ

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LADY “O”

SPECIAL FEATURES 147

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KARMA SPEAKS

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BLACK WOMEN VOICES Alexis Arnold

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ANIMAL CARE SANCTUARY CORNER

SHE HUSTLES TALKS Braids Infinity Colleen Bracci Melinda Thompson Yana Adams

FASHION & BEAUTY

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ONE TOUGH MOTHER

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FASHION FORWARD Osiris Stanley

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FOR A GOOD CAUSE

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THE INFLUENTIAL MAN

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FINANCIALLY SPEAKING

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SHE BOSS

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TAMMY’S TIDBITS

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REGULAR (CONT)

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FIT TO REIGN

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HER EDGE

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BUSINESS TALK

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CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS

HEALTH & WELLNESS 338

MIND, BODY & SPIRIT

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BLISSFUL BALANCE

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MENTALLY THINKING

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WELLNESS 360

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SERVICES FOR SENIORS

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DIVI9 CHAT

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LUPUS CHICK

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LIFE IN BALANCE


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“In this world there is no force equal to the strength of a woman determined to rise.”

I

n the latest edition of Rochester Woman Online, we have the 3 reigning “Queens” of the New York Miss and Mrs America pageants: Mrs New York America, Jessica Fabus Cheng, Mrs New York American, Diana Meyer and Miss New York for America, Nicole Doz gracing our cover. RWO was excited to sit down with the Queens and talk about what pageant life is like, why they became contestants, what their platforms are and what is their passion behing it, family, life, their goals for the future and so much more. They will hand over their crowns in July 2022, but this is just the beginning of their amazing journey’s. Read all about there storeis starting on page [18]. PLUS, we have some exciting new columnist joining us including: Vincent DiGorgio with the Influential Man, Black Womens Voices with Dr Tunya Griffin, Scars of Survival and more to come for 2022!

T T

ON OUR COVER

On our latest cover of 2022, we have the Reigning Queens of the New York State America pageants: Mrs NY America Jessica Fabus Cheng, Mrs NY American Diana Meyer and Miss NY For America Nicole Doz photographed at the national competition in Las Vegas, NV.

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We hope you continue to enjoy all of the amazing articles and women we bring to you each month. Want to join our amazing team? Contact us for more information at networkrocqueen@ gmail.com

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


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JESSICA YOU ARE FABUS ENOUGH. CHENG BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER CARDWELL, BRODY WHEELER, GEORGINA VAUGHAN, IRIDIUM NYC, PETER KAPATOS & JANN MOSCOSO

In the latest edition of Rochester Woman Online, we have the 3 reigning “Queens” of the New York Miss and Mrs America pageants: Mrs New York America, Jessica Fabus Cheng, Mrs New York American, Diana Meyer and Miss New York for America, Nicole Doz. RWO was excited to sit down with the Queens and talk about what pageant life is like, why they became contestants, what their platforms are and what is their passion behing it, family, life, their goals for the future and so much more. They will hand over their crowns in June 2022, but this is just the beginning of their amazing journey’s. Who is Jessica Fabus Cheng. Tell us a little about yourself. I am woman, hear me roar! I am someone who listens to my heart and fearlessly pursues my passions, goals and desires through hard work, dedication and humor, although not everyone finds me funny. I accept myself, love my family and see the best in others, even if it is through a city girl side eye. I see you. What inspires and empowers you both personally and professionally? On a personal level, seeing my daughter grow inspires and empowers me to continuously push myself to develop as a person. Professionally, I am a surgical instructor in the medical field, and seeing my students make connections 18

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to knowledge they can apply in the field and in life really motivates me. What made you decide to run for Mrs. New York America 2021? I decided to compete because I have always felt compelled to be in pageantry. I wasn’t allowed to be in pageants as a child or a teenager, yet in hindsight, I realize I can make the biggest impact as a titleholder now as opposed to then,

Power of Your Story” because sharing experiences is both exhilarating and often inspiring to others going through the same thing. It is also empowering to speak your truth. I have helped families to advocate for research and funding at the state and federal level, and the core of that message is grounded in the humanity of the experience. Lawmakers need to hear from families as they make key decisions about the direction of funds at their disposal, for example. What has been your biggest success in life? My beautiful 22-monthold old Coco! She is literally my everything. And my husband is okay, too.

given my platform and the work I do in my community. What is your platform, and why did you choose it? One of my passions is advocating for those in the Duchenne muscular dystrophy community, as I have a family member affected by this fatal disorder and I myself am a ‘carrier’ – meaning I have a high likelihood of passing it on to a future child. It has affected every area of my life. I decided to create my platform “The

What are some of your ambitions both personally and professionally? I am a Registered Nurse by trade and over the last three years I have transitioned out of the clinical setting into an educational one. I currently teach students preparing for careers in the operating room and I love being able to share my experiences and pearls of wisdom with them, as well as pass on time-tested clinical skills. How do you balance work and life responsibilities? Self-reflection. I’ve always been more of an idealist and dreamer as opposed to a planner. I get recharged taking time to myself and critically thinking about



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“I think the world would be a more thoughtful place. I don’t think the world’s problems would be solved if women ruled the world, but I do see a utopia in which the line for the women’s restroom would be cut in at least half when more stalls were built to accommodate us at places like airports and arenas.”

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{ COVER STORY } “I have always been inspired by people who live their truth, and I am constantly inspired by my fellow advocate Christine Piacentino, your “One Tough Mother” columnist.”

to myself and critically thinking about my actions and future goals. It is in this way that I am best able to manage my work and family life and make it all fit together as seamlessly as possible. How different would the world be if women were to rule the world? I think the world would be a more thoughtful place. I don’t think the world’s problems would be solved if women ruled the world, but I do see a utopia in which the line for the women’s restroom would be cut in at least half when more stalls were built to accommodate us at places like airports and arenas. What was the hardest question you have ever been asked and why? I’ve been asked quite a few, considering my career is in the health field and as an educator. But one of the hardest questions and also one of the most thoughtprovoking to me is, “If you knew in advance that you would lose a competition, would you still prepare for it in the same way?” I have spent many years as an athlete, and there were competitions that I knew I definitely would not win. The advantage to knowing in advance that you definitely wouldn’t win is that you get to train like you someday could. You get to surround yourself with people you aspire to be like. You get could push yourself to new heights and focus your efforts on yourself as opposed to worrying

about the person next to you. This is the mindset I used to win Mrs. New York America. Who is one person that has inspired you and why? I have always been inspired by people who live their truth, and I am constantly inspired by my fellow advocate Christine Piacentino, your “One Tough Mother”

operating room. Very niche and very specific, I get it. But this would be life changing for many. Imagine how much faster we could save lives if we were all caffeinated? Just food for thought. What is next for you? Dinner, drinks and conversation. But after that, I am asking God for direction. I want to continue to follow my heart with my advocacy work and in my future plans How have you used your pageant title to promote your mission and empower others? It has been a tremendous honor holding the title of Mrs. New York America 2021.

columnist. She has been advocating for her own son and people with Duchenne in the state of New York for over 24 years and is a true example of heart, consistency and dedication, all the while being the full-time caretaker to her son who is living with Duchenne. She is an incredible woman and hopefully will be a cover woman herself in the future!

For me it is important to note that the development of my platform and increasing confidence as a Duchenne advocate was really honed during my years spent as a local titleholder, as Mrs. Metropolitan America. Holding both a local and state title I have been able to directly connect with and support Duchenne families across the country, speak with patient advocacy groups and nonprofits that impact our community and work one-on-one with individuals honing their skills in sharing their personal stories.

If you could break one rule, what rule would that be? To allow coffee to be consumed in the

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

are considered high risk, but one of my favorite memories as Mrs. New York America so far was touring the Duchenne Care Center located in the Neurology department at the University of Rochester. It was incredible to connect with an entire force of physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists who focus on treating children with Duchenne in a team-based environment. That experience reminded me why advocacy work is critically important in securing funding that can advance treatment modalities, for example. Meeting others like me advancing important work - but in the clinical setting - was uplifting and empowering. What’s the best advice you have received that you want to pass on to other young women? Girl, go for it! Take the leap of faith if you feel it within you. There literally is nothing holding you back and you are limitless in your potential. If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for? A definitive cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. What is the true essence of being a woman? Accepting, believing in and feeling 24

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the power that burns bright within you. No one can stop you when you follow your true desires. Why is it important to be a multitasker? It’s important to have this skill, but it is equally important to know how and when to focus on just one thing at a time, prioritizing your life on the

What is the most important lesson for us to learn from life and tell us one important lesson you have learned through being Mrs. NY America. There are many important lessons to be learned along the journey of life, and one of those for me is that people know and can feel what is genuine. I’ve learned as Mrs. New York America that having the crown compels me to only want to continue to raise the bar on my life after I pass it on to the next deserving woman. How would you define success? I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.

things that matter most. What is the biggest challenge young girls face today? Believing that they are enough. Strong women leaders like titleholders and female community leaders are essential components for helping young girls and boys to see their future potential.

What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? I’ve had some health challenges this year and instead of focusing heavily on being a titleholder, I have decided to prioritize my health and family first. That is the beauty of competing as an adult and in Mrs. pageantry – family and your role as a wife and momma in my case have taken the utmost priority. Everything else is icing and Swarovski crystals.


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COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “I know I am not done in pageantry, and I am asking God for his timing and direction to show me the next steps.”

Where will we see Jessica Fabus Cheng next? On the cover of Rochester Woman Online with my stunning sister queens, and then on to Washington, D.C. to advocate for Duchenne research this March. I know I am not done

in pageantry, and I am asking God for his timing and direction to show me the next steps. I am not sure if that means competing, coaching or just being a strong support system for others that cross my path. God has never failed to open a door in

the right season time. I trust I will know when the time comes.

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YOU DIANA ARE ENOUGH. MEYER BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS NSP STUDIO PHOTOS BY BRODY WHEELER, CARLOS VELEZ,BYSLZPHOTOGRAPHY

Who is Diana Meyer. Tell us a little about yourself. I’m a 25-year-old Rochester, NY native! I married my husband Josh in October 2020 and nine months later, I won the title of Mrs. NY American 2021! I’ve been competing in pageants since 2013 and I am proud to say that I was a Top 15 Finalist at Mrs. American 2021. I also have a Bachelor of Arts in media and communication from St. John Fisher College. Although I dreamed of becoming a news anchor, I love my job at Robert Half as a Talent Manager helping people find employment in accounting and finance. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my mom and sister, and I love making homemade pizza with my husband in our pizza oven. I’m also a fitness enthusiast and I run a 5k every day! What inspires and empowers you both personally and professionally? I am in awe of my mom’s strength to raise my sister and me as a single mom. She supported me as a competitive gymnast, flautist, scholar, pageant contestant and wife. She never missed an important milestone in my life, and she continues to support me. I’m blessed to have a strong female figure in my life that showed me the importance of women needing a successful career, having a strong value system and what it means to put family first. My husband Josh is 28

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also one of my greatest blessings. I’m inspired by his confidence and ability to stay calm in life’s most stressful moments. He motivates me to be a better person and he is my perfect counterpart. What made you decide to run for Mrs NY American 2021? The opportunities in pageantry are endless and after watching Diane

Hardgrove’s production of Mrs. NY America, I was compelled to compete! This organization is the longest standing pageant for married women and its prestige is unmatched. It wasn’t until I competed at Mrs. American until I realized how blessed I was to be a part of this pageant system. Elaine and David Marmel created an iconic pageant that gave off the aurora of visiting Disney World. I urge every married and single woman to participate in this pageant because your career will flourish, you

will meet likeminded women, you will serve your community and most importantly, you will become a better woman. What is your platform, and why did you choose it? My platform recently evolved. I created “Unlocking Memories Through Music” 14 years ago in honor of my grandmother’s eight-year Alzheimer’s diagnoses. I raised funds, advocated, and even played flute duets in memory care homes. I still share the gift of music through live flute performances and portable radio donations. However, I recently became compelled to volunteer with Dress for Success after noticing the heartache women experience when they seek employment. I know what it’s like to feel like “the underdog” and I can sympathize with women who need to feel empowered with a new professional wardrobe and the influence behind one person believing in their potential! What has been your biggest success? I feel blessed to own a home, have a successful marriage, several pageant titles, a great career and a healthy family at such a young age. Although I have many things to be proud of, life always has tested my strength and courage. It’s important to realize that even the most successful people experience challenges.


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“Being a woman means you’re empowered to make decisions that are best for you and your family. Historically, women didn’t always have the privilege to make individual choices. It is beautiful to see that women can chose what they want to pursue, whether it is personal or professional.”

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{ COVER STORY } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “I think we are making more advancements as time goes on and women are entering more positions of leadership than we have ever seen.”

What are some of your ambitions both personally and professionally? I truthfully want my family and I to live a happy and healthy life. Time and who you choose to spend your time with is so precious. Other than that, my husband and I would like to invest in property and travel. Professionally, I want to advance in my career at Robert Half and test my potential every day! How do you balance work and life responsibilities? It isn’t easy, especially when life throws you roadblocks. However, I have a great support system that I can count on and I remember to give myself grace in lives most toughest moments. How different would the world be if women were to rule the world? I think we are making more advancements as time goes on and women are entering more positions of leadership than we have ever seen. It is an evolving process, and I am sure women will continue to prosper! What was the hardest question you have ever been asked and why? I’ve been asked many challenging political questions during my pageant career. However, I think understanding why things happen in life is the most difficult question or concept to wrap my head around.

Who is one person that has inspired you and why? My grandfather Anthony inspired me! He was a special education teacher, a WWII Army Veteran, an amazing father, and husband. My grandpa was a family man who loved to crack jokes and he was so wise. He continues to inspire me with how I choose to live my life. I will never forget some of his advice, including, “it’s better to have loved and

lost than to love and be losing”, “there are better days ahead” or “eternal love and respect is the most important aspect of a successful marriage”. If you could break one rule, what rule would that be? As someone who enjoys working out, I would love to eat as much dark chocolate and pasta as I wanted. And, without breaking the scale too!

What is next for you? After I crown Mrs. NY American 2022, I plan to focus on my career, myself, my marriage, and my family. After that, I trust in God’s plan! How have you used your pageant title to promote your mission and empower others? As a pageant titleholder, people suddenly pay attention to what you say and do. Becoming Mrs. New York American has allowed me to naturally share my mission of women empowerment to a larger audience. I attended events and speaking engagements to raise awareness and funds for Dress for Success. I also presented to over 600 teenagers about making positive choices, social media safety and goal setting. As a titleholder, it is your responsibility to make everyone feel like someone. Regardless of who I served and where I traveled in NY, I wanted everyone to feel empowered and worthy of greatness. What can be your greatest contribution to the world? The opportunities are endless! However, I want to make my work with Robert Half into a lifelong career. Helping hundreds of people find employment opportunities seems like a large contribution because in return, they are now capable of helping their families and communities ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL { COVER STORY } } “Success is personal and it looks different for everyone. I feel successful when I reach my high expectations or accomplish a goal.”

If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for? I would wish for a million other wishes! Therefore, my second wish would be for my family, friends, and I to be happy, healthy, safe, and successful. What is the true essence of being a woman? Being a woman means you’re empowered to make decisions that are best for you and your family. Historically, women didn’t always have the privilege to make 34

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individual choices. It is beautiful to see that women can chose what they want to pursue, whether it is personal or professional. Why is it important to be a multitasker? Multitasking allows you to accomplish several things at once. This obviously saves time and resources. However, you must remember to stay focused and pay attention to detail. What is the biggest challenge young

women face today? With unrealistic expectations in the media, everyday pressures and the isolating effects of COVID-19, mental health is a big issue. Developmentally, teens are set back at least two years due to the pandemic and women continue to experience impending pressures. It is crucial that we give ourselves grace and prioritize our mental wellness. What, according to you, is the most important part of a beauty pageant?


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{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “After I crown my successor in June 2022, I’m not sure what’s next. I will take some time to reflect and enjoy time with my family.”

The self-development aspect of preparing for a pageant is the most important part. People always ask me “how do I win a pageant?” And the answer is simple, become the best version of yourself. How would you define success and how do you handle disappointment? Success is personal and it looks different for everyone. I feel successful when I reach my high expectations or accomplish a goal. I often over prepare so I don’t experience disappointment. However, when I am disappointed, I reflect on the situation before I react to it.

What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? Although it wasn’t my decision, my parent’s divorce was a decision that impacted my life the most. Because I grew up without a father figure, I learned to value relationships and now family is the most important thing to me. I watched my mom singlehandedly excel as a mother and professional. My mom’s response to her circumstances taught me independence, strength, and kindness. I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if my parents were still married.

Where will we see Diana Meyer next? After I crown my successor in June 2022, I’m not sure what’s next. I will take some time to reflect and enjoy time with my family. However, I will let my passions guide me and I will always be receptive to new opportunities and experiences. You can follow along by connecting on Instagram at @dianammeyer and @2021mrsnyamerican

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YOUNICOLE ARE ENOUGH. DOZ BY NICOLEPAGEANT HEROUX HEADSHOTS WILLIAMS I PHOTOS NSP STUDIO BY LAURABYMARINO

Who is Nicole Doz. Tell us a little about yourself. I’ve been nicknamed the “Clean Queen!” I am a Supervisor with the Department of Sanitation during the day and a pageant queen by night! I enjoy baking, cake decorating, doing beach cleanups and going for walks with my fiancé, Mikey.

What is your platform, and why did you choose it? My platform is: The American Clean which focuses on keeping our environment and world, safe and healthy! What has been your biggest success?

What inspires and empowers you both personally and professionally? I am so lucky that my career is an extension of my lifestyle. I am a huge environmentalist and the Department of Sanitation allows me to combine my passion for the planet with my love for helping people. I am always doing community cleanups in my spare time and now I get to do them at work! I also get to be a voice for the Department and in turn, I am a voice for our planet! What made you decide to run for Miss New York for America 2021? My career with DSNY is a unique one. I love being able to share my story of my duel personalities and what better way than a pageant! Being a titleholder allows me to promote my passion for the planet in ways that I necessarily couldn’t do at work. I love being able to trade in my uniform and boots for a gown and a crown!

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to be a Chief within the Department. Personally, I want to continue to develop my platform, organize Cleanups in more areas and travel to gain more knowledge about waste reduction around the country and world! How do you balance work and life responsibilities? My schedule is always changing. I like to go by the motto: Improvise, adapt and overcome! I keep a detailed planner that’s always written in pencil and I prioritize all of my plans. How different would the world be if women were to rule the world? Women bring a different perspective to every situation. We can look for solutions that men may not have originally thought of.

One of my greatest accomplishments was getting Promoted to Supervior at the Department of Sanitation and being able to sing the National Anthem at my own recognition ceremony. What are some of your ambitions both personally and professionally? In my career, my goal is to keep working my way up the ladder. One day, I hope

What was the hardest question you have ever been asked and why? “Why don’t you go get a desk job.?” I’m entirely capable of working at a desk or in an office, but to hear this question took my by surprise. It’s sexist and not fair to continue to put women down by assuming we can’t work in physically demanding fields! Who is one person that has inspired you and why? Robin Nagle is my Departments in


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COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “I’ve been nicknamed the “Clean Queen!” I am a Supervisor with the Department of Sanitation during the day and a pageant queen by night! ”

resident anthropologist. She was so facinated and inspired by DSNY that she became a Sanitation Worker solely to learn about our work. I absolutely admire her commitment to our line of work, but also how she continues to promote Sanitation Workers as hero’s who keep the city moving.

you’re doing in front of the judges right now. It’ll help you build confidence in yourself and you’ll perform better on stage. If you could change something about yourself, what would that be and why?

Why is it important to be a multitasker? As a modern woman, I’m always on the move. Whether I’m working, volunteering or doing work around the house, I am nonstop. It’s so important to multitask because you can give your attention to so much more.

If you could break one rule, what rule would that be? I would break the rules of having a 5 day work week. Mental health days are real and I think more people would love a break and to relax at home! Is social media going the right way or the wrong way, and why? Social media is dependent on how we use it. I have seen so many advocates use Social Media to their advantage and I love to see the shift it’s taking.

What is the biggest challenge young girls face today? The ability to do it all. I’m always running around, but I always take the time to relax and focus on myself. We let society believe we can do it at and we can (just with healthy breaks!)

How have you used your pageant title to promote your mission and empower others? I was just recently featured on the Drew Barrymore Show as a ‘Wildflower’ where I was able to discuss my role in Sanitation and my title as Miss NYFAS. I have participated in numerous community cleanups and I’m planning a large scale one before my reign comes to an end. What’s the best advice you have received that you want to pass on to other young women? Practice the way you want to perform. Take every opportunity to practice as if

What is the true essence of being a woman? The ability to see the beauty in yourself. It’s not just about physical appearances, but about the beauty in your heart. When you’re kind to others, that beauty resonates outward!

Nothing! But I am working on my mindset as far as how much I overthink things. Your mind is a powerful tool, but sometimes it gets the better of me!

What is the most important lesson for us to learn from life and tell us one important lesson you have learned through being Mrs NY America. I learned the importance of staying connected. I’m always checking in with my director Diane and my wonderful

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“Being a titleholder allows me to promote my passion for the planet in ways that I necessarily couldn’t do at work. I love being able to trade in my uniform and boots for a gown and a crown!”

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{ COVER STORY } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Personally, I want to continue to develop my platform, organize Cleanups in more areas and travel to gain more knowledge about waste reduction around the country and world!

sister queens. We’re always checking in on each other and I love knowing that everyone has my back! How would you define success and how do you handle disappointment? Success is taking the next step to bettering yourself. You don’t always have to win to know that your growing. Disappointments are apart of life but that doesn’t mean that we can’t see them as learning experiences. 46

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What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? One of my toughest decisions was to compete in my first pageant. I really wanted to do it, but I just did not have the confidence. I’m so glad I pushed myself and had others encourage me because pageants really has opened so many doors for me. Where will we see Nicole Doz next?

I’m always going to be involved in pageantry, either as a competitor, volunteer or judge. I will definitely be doing a lot of all three in the future. I also plan on continuing to move up the ladder at DSNY any staying true to my girly self!


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{{ A{SHIFT+CONTROL SPECIAL TRIBUTE { BLACK WOMEN ROC DEAR CAMILLE } }} }

SETTING HIGH EXPECTIONS YOU ARE ENOUGH. FOR SUCCESS BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY CAMILLE CONT I PHOTO BY BRODY WHEELER

Dear Camille… Lately, after going through the pandemic and all that has transpired in our world, I difficult to function, and find myself wanting to just give up on my dreams and am in fear of having a mental health break down. I have found that my new motivation is to set my expectations lower and then surprise myself if we are able to achieve some thing better and higher. I am looking to find out if you have any other advice that could help everyone else going through this pandemic. I have found myself wanting to give up like so many others during these trying times and am hoping you have some words of wisdom for all of us.

The first crisis starts when we are born and having to be fed and held, and taken care of by someone else. Then next, is that we have to be able to learn how to walk and talk and to feed ourselves as a toddlerand then to learn how to get on a school bus and go to school. These crisis affect both the parents and children. The next one goes to having to deal with all of the different personalities in the school building and having to figure out how to graduate and what you’re going to do next for either school or a job. Then we must decide how to

It’s nice that we’re able to get out of the house more, however, now we’ve all grown accustomed to working out of our home and don’t want to go back to offices. I’ve always wanted to build my own business and find a husband and now it seems further away than ever before! What suggestions do you have for living a better life? Feeling hopeless, dreaming of better days from New York Dear Dreaming of better days in New York, Our world has always been in a pandemic. It just looked different before and it had different characteristics to it. Now that the things that were going on behind the scenes have come to the forefront, all of us need to deal with the issues and problem solve as a nation and as a world! They say that we are always in a crisis, or coming out of a crisis, or going into a crisis in life. 52

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have our own housing and pay our own bills, all while still feeding ourselves. And another one is to figure out who to be properly dating that is right for you. The list goes on and on as we grow. It’s a continual journey of one crisis to the next crisis. Now we could also list a huge amount of crisis’s in the last century globally as far as political and human rights and people being harmed by dictators and unjust policies that hurt the underdog. There

are so many crimes against humanity to be aware of. With the internet and social media, they have become circumstances that is open to everyone. Previously, we all had our head in the sand about a lot of things that were going on that we did not know about in the world, or care to find out about sadly. This is the “awareness age” for us to all to become consciously aware and self-aware, plus also be able to be function in the world in which we live. So with that said, to choose to knowingly set your expectations low is absolutely ridiculous and will get us nowhere in life except to create more problems, more crimes and horrible devastation! That’s basically like trying to live for the worst case scenario and us living for that is a recipe for disaster. Let it be well noted that if we are focused on the “worst case scenario”, and are busy setting our expectations low, we will always live our “worst case scenario lives!” Instead, why don’t you set your expectations high, expect the best, and reset expectations as needed. Then expect the very best again and repeat this process if needed. You have the ability and chance to live your best life! It is not helpful in pursuit of empowering yourself or others to set the bar low and hope for the best. Instead, set the bar high and expect the best and repeat as often as necessary on your sacred and holy journey of co-creating your life’s miracles with the Divine. Then you can create and live multiple miracles and successes in your life!! There is a reason why some



“Let it be well focused on the “ and are busy sett low, we will alway scena


noted that if we are “worst case scenario”, ting our expectations ys live our “worst case ario lives!”


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“Miracles happen everyday and we must reach for and expect a miracle in order to receive and create one.”

people are constantly winning! You can set yourself up for success or failure, which do you choose? Be okay that timing might be off and you need to reset your goals. Don’t be a sore loser and need to set low expectations so you never feel failure. Use each perceived failure as a stepping stone to your success like everyone else that’s succeeding at achievingtheir goals! Miracles happen everyday and we must reach for and expect a miracle in order to receive and create one. Either get busy winning, or get busy failing. I know which one I choose! And if you are busy failing and you don’t want to anymore, then stop the madness and start focusing on all the positives. Miracle’s are achieved for those who are willing to allow themselves’s to 100% believe and expect them in divine order and timing.

Command and demand your timing and let God support you in the timing that is best for you and all parties involved. Have faith and trust in the process of success. DO NOT judge yourself or your worthiness and deserving factor if something doesn’t happen when you request, command, claim or demand it. However, know that “Divine Timing” is the best timing and you do not always know when that is. You can certainly command and demand your attaining and expect the best and start over again if need be until it all falls into place for you. Allow it to fall into place instead of creating obstacles by having a mindset of not letting yourself down because you set your expectations too high.

box, and sabotage your success in life by setting worst case scenario or (low) expectations! Only focus on your best case scenario and then work both hard and smart to co-create and achieve them. We are all born winners! Now, get busy and execute your “Divine Power” and mainfest the gifts and abilities within you of pure faith and belief, which cocreates your miracles in life. Please send me an email if you have any questions on this, or if you would like to write to Camille to camille@camilleconti.com. In Divine Success, Love & Joy Camille Conti www.CamilleConti.com

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CHRONIC ILLNESS & SLEEP YOU ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY MARISA ZEPPIERI BY NSP STUDIO

Over the years, sleep has become one of the most-discussed topics in the chronic illness community, and with good reason. How long we sleep, and the quality of our sleep, may often have the greatest influence on how our day will progress. Personally, I didn’t pay much attention to how much or how well I slept until I was in my 30s – about seven years after my diagnosis. It seemed I still had enough energy in my 20s to push through a bad day without any residual effect. Now, a few weeks past my 44th birthday, I can honestly say sleep is on my mind quite often. Through journaling, I can clearly see the effect that even one terrible night of sleep has on my physical body and my cognitive function, which is why I’ve made it my mission to find techniques or products that promote helpful rest. Sleep and its effects on the body You might be wondering how poor-quality sleep can be affecting you. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep deficiency will affect how well you think, react, learn, work, and get along with people around you. Continual lack of sleep can also increase your risk for additional health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart issues, and stroke. In addition, a recent medical journal paper from BMJ and LFA investigated sleep disorders in 100 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The results from the study found the prevalence of sleep disorders in SLE patients was 42 percent. Poor sleep quality was also very

common in people with SLE — with the person’s age, sex, disease activity level, anxiety level, depressed mood, and quality of life being the greatest contributing factors.

Simply put, find a small journal or day calendar and start keeping track of how much sleep you are getting, your quality of sleep and your daily symptoms. You will notice trends after a while!

TIPS AND TECHNOLOGY FOR SLEEP Between my own personal research and testing new products, plus speaking to countless numbers of people with lupus over the years, I have created a list of helpful tools in the battle to get a good night’s sleep. Here are a few favorites:

SLEEPYTIME EXTRA TEA: I was surprised by how many fellow spoonies swear by SleepyTime Extra Tea, made with valerian, chamomile, tilia flowers, and spearmint. You can pick it up at your local grocer and it makes a great addition to your warm bath routine before bed. ASMR SLEEP VIDEOS: If you aren’t familiar with ASMR, the concept may seem a bit strange at first, but once you try it you might fall in love. ASMR is the tingling feeling people get from different sounds, such as a whisper or the brushing of hair. There are literally thousands of ASMR videos available on YouTube that have helped many people achieve restful sleep. You can read more about it here and check out one of the most popular ASMR videos online here, plus one by Margot Robbie.

Your journal: You may have seen me discuss journaling before, but I have to mention it here because it is crucial. I’ve journaled for years and it has shown me trends and data regarding my sleep. Through these daily insights over the years, I know one night of poor sleep can throw me off my game when it comes to reacting quickly and getting activities completed. Two or three nights without sleep usually results in fever, irregular heartbeat, and the inability to do most tasks.

SLEEP PHONE APPS: There are a variety of downloadable phone apps that can help detect snoring, play white noise, and also chart your quality of sleep. Sleep Cycle is a top choice that helps you make sense of your sleeping patterns and also wake you up when you are feeling the least groggy. Check it out on Android and iPhone. CBD oil and gummies: Since this is still a controversial subject to some, I will just mention my personal experience with CBD oil. Cannabidiol – or CBD ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ LUPUS CHICK } “How long we sleep, and the quality of our sleep, may often have the greatest influence on how our day will progress.”

– helps regulate our body and maintain homeostasis. It has been extensively studied and has shown to help with pain, to reduce anxiety levels, improve insomnia, and can even help with nausea (in addition to many other positive effects). I specifically started using CBD oil for pain and noticed it was helping me sleep better. Here you can find one of my favorite CBD gummies that not only helps with pain but helps me fall asleep within 30 minutes. Many CBD oils contain little to no THC, meaning it doesn’t make someone high. This is why it is legally sold in the U.S. Depending on what medications you are taking, I would suggest discussing 62

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whether CBD oil is right for you with your physician. HEADSPACE: One of my favorite apps, Headspace takes you through guided meditations that are very calming. Just one meditation and I am much more relaxed, without dozens of thoughts going through my mind. PLAYLISTS: If you are a music lover, my last tip involves creating a playlist that instantly brings you to relaxation, great memories, and a calming feeling to the body. I have a Spotify playlist that is about two hours long and I am typically fast asleep within 20 minutes or so of putting in my earbuds and

hitting play. Sleep is crucial to our mental and physical health, and we must protect our sleep patterns and ability to rest. Try some of the tips above or create a list of potential things you want to try on your own and journal your negative and positive experience with each one until you find what works for you. Marisa Zeppieri is an author and the founder of LupusChick.com, a community for people with chronic illness and autoimmune disease. You can find her on instagram at: lupuschickofficial


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A INSPIRING SPECIAL TRIBUTE }} } { {SCARS OF SURVIVAL { CNY WOMAN

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SURVIVAL MATTERS! YOU ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX BYWILLIAMS SATHYA CALLENDER I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

Survival! It is such a strong and powerful word in today’s world. As we hear it or see it written it often inspires us with preconceptions of what we are about to discover about someone journey. Moving through the paragraphs we often soon discover that survival come with many moments of uncertainty. Survival begins in dark places. Survival comes from trauma. Through all the darkness and trauma, one faces there also comes many challenges in finding a way out, seeking light and learning regulation o f o n e’s e m o t i o n especially when facing the debilitating battle that is Depression. What happens when Depression takes hold? feeling worthless, feeling a burden feeling alone even when surrounded. Nursing untamed pains and frustration, not being able to sleep, wanting to just to make the hurt and the noise al stop. Craving rest from the emotional exhaustion carrying around this mental dysfunction causes. For many the only answers to escape one’s mind in to escape life altogether. When Suicide is on your mind and you just can’t shake it there is many times you do try, you try find things that make you happy you, try seek comfort and validation in others but it seems this just makes you feel worse. But

truly you don’t want to die so what is the alternative to stop these intruding thoughts ruling your existence? Well, are all told to reach out, get “help” but how is this possible? How do we know what to ask for, do we actually know what it is we are feeling? Can we see life beyond depression?

For centuries humans have suffered debilitating thoughts and unfortunately many haven’t survived, over many decades we have come to realise just how much people suffer, we have discovered that depression is not selective and that it can affects anyone in any walk of life, at any age, at any stage. To you and I, some can appear to be living light houses, bacons to guide

others to salvation and no one is the wiser of the battles that they fight deep inside. Other come across as being tormented souls who just can’t function and for many that bare witness to their behaviours failing them while the seek direction assume they just don’t want help. Every mask of depression is just that. A mask that helps us survive. Just some have better abilities to “fake” it through. But all are battling and all matter. As humans we have adapted to cater for our sisters in crisis but we are far from getting it right. Finding the right fit in support for someone who is suicidal is a mammoth challenge that many never see the end of. Why though? Its now 2022, we are all pretty equip with knowledge of what happens around us. we see the pain and suffering in the media, we see pleas of support for loved ones lost. We see campaigns to stop abusers, we read articles of stories of real people who faced their demons are survived and we watch movies depicting true life tragedies. We have all the tools to help. But why is it that suicide is still one of the highest causes of death? Why is it 1 in 4 humans through out the globe feel so depressed that they spend their entire life wishing they were dead, attesting to end the noise and the pain and why now in 2022 after the world enters its 3rd year of another pandemic so great that countries are being shut down causing more and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ SCARS OF SURVIVAL } “Survival! It is such a strong and powerful word in today’s world.”

people to fall victim of depression that there is even less help available. Is it because numbers of sufferers have risen and resources can not match demand? Or is it that even though the governments around the globe would of knew how crippling depression is and should have been ready and armed with resources to accommodate the extra demand that would impact on what was already existing once covid 19 hit the shores of countries all over? There are many factors involved in what causes depression. But its our governments that should be their making sure we are protected. They implement all these rules to protect us against covid 19 but in reality, they are causing more damage to our health by not catering to assisting us through the struggles we face even though they make a bunch of promises, just like the abusers of the world there causing our pain by breaching our trust and turning us away when we need to feel valid Too bad they didn’t and still haven’t? instead governments all over the world have cut resources to their people when the need is at an all-time high. Thousand’s suffering are reaching out, finding themselves being turned away, we hear things like 70

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‘Sorry we are under staffed’. ‘Sorry we have no beds but call us if u need’ How are we going to survive now? Where do we turn to for help? Do I leave the doors of the hospital and take a stroll down the beach, maybe that will help clear my mind, maybe taking a small hike up those cliffs and perch at the peak for a bit

to gather my sanity can help? Maybe while I sit here high above the sea I can look out and find the light beckoning me. Maybe if I stand and just see how far down it is… wait did I slip, what happened why am I here. Why is there now a bed available to me coz my body is torn and bruised? My mind was in far worse state and you said you couldn’t help.

These stories and many more are what is contained in the minds of survivors, they never forget their pain but by some inner strength and by some grace of the lord they are here to share with us their pain and their success. Why? Because every country on this earth still has so far to come to protect our minds, to help us heal. To prevent trauma and bring down the curve in the pandemic that is depression led suicide. Our world is currently in crisis but not because of a Awal virus but because those who are there in high places meant to lead us and keep us safe aren’t. they are crippling humanity and making many suffer by ceasing critical resources. So, it is up to people like you and I to make everyone aware. We n e e d t o b a n together in one voice and be heard that we all can survive. We need to tell our stories to give hope to those struggling because in this world of disempowerment and failed leadership its all we have to make another tomorrow come. We all matter, Survival Matters!


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{ A SPECIAL TRIBUTE } } { BLACK WOMEN VOICES

I AMARE NOTENOUGH. MY HAIR YOU BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY DR TUNYA GRIFFINBY NSP STUDIO

Alexis Arnold says, I Am Not My Hair | Alexis Arnold Shuts Down Hater Over Her Natural Hair! Chante Griffin writes, “Anti-black hair sentiment on U.S. soil has existed for centuries. In the 1700s, enslaved women who worked in the fields usually covered their hair in headrags due to the harsh demands of their work. Enslaved Africans who worked in the “big house,” however, sometimes mimicked the hairstyles of their enslavers, either by wearing wigs that had become popular during that era or shaping their kinky hair to emulate them. In cities like New Orleans, however, where free Creole women of color donned elaborate hairstyles that displayed their kinks and coils with an air of regality, the city implemented laws—the Tignon Laws—that required these women to wear a tignon (scarf or handkerchief ) over their hair to signify that they were members of the slave class, regardless of whether they were free or enslaved.” India.Arie sings, I am not my hair, I am not this skin I am not your ex-pec-tations no no I am not my hair, I am not this skin I am the soul that lives within Arie is pointing out the historical roots of why certain Black American 74

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hairstyles are more acceptable and considered more beautiful than others. Today with tools like relaxers, hot combs, rollers, and many others, Black women can transform their hair to more closely resemble white hair. Standards of beauty in America are based on whiteness, so this is what is considered “good hair”. Let’s take a walk back down memory

lane Another writer added, “At the end of the 19th century saw the invention of the hair-straightening comb, which would be used to “tame” black hair. Madam C.J. Walker, a black woman, popularized the comb, and “by the mid-1920s, straight hair had become the preferred texture to signal middle class status.” As a result, Walker became the first female African American millionaire. Although some historians have lauded Walker’s business acumen, others have chided

her for perpetuating the idea that straight hair leads to social and economic advancement. For better or worse, she offered black women an avenue for increased societal acceptance in an era when minstrel songs mocked the hair texture of African Americans, “comparing it to wool and often describing it as nappy.” School Daze, one of my favorite movies by filmmaker Spike Lee, highlighted the issues black women have with their own hair School Daze, which was written, directed and stars Spike Lee, is one of the most important movies for people to watch. If you want to understand colorism and its affects on black people, in particular black women, then I would recommend watching School Daze. The lyrics, “Talkin bout good and bad hair, whether you’re dark or your fair “ Alexis Arnold is one black woman who is changing the hair game rules “My hair on my terms!” Rochester anchor and reporter Alexis Arnold just proved that a black women’s choice of hairstyle is nobody else’s business. When a natural hair shamer criticized Arnold for wearing her natural hair on air, leaving a voicemail telling her to “do a little something with your hair because it looks kind of rough.”


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL BLACK WOMEN VOICES ROC} } {{ BLACK WOMEN “Anti-black hair sentiment on U.S. soil has existed for centuries. In the 1700s, enslaved women who worked in the fields usually covered their hair in head-rags due to the harsh demands of their work.”

How someone could find it in themselves to get up the nerve to make this type of disgusting comment at someone is beyond us, but apparently this troll felt it necessary to insult a black woman’s hair. Arnold decided to share the message with the public, while swiftly shutting down the rude commenter on Facebook. Here was her response: Amen to that, Alexis! This isn’t the first time that natural hair has become a hot topic of discussion. That because, for black women, hair dos are about much more than personal choice. They have become issues with both social and political implications that can have a deep impact many all aspects of her life. Just about every black woman has felt self-conscious about her hair at one point or another, and there have been many stories of women who were told that how they choose to wear their hair is inappropriate

in professional, academic and even some social environments.

reprimanded, disqualified, shut out and forced to change their hairstyles.

Why? In the world of conventional, European-centric beauty standards, black women’s natural features are considered unattractive, especially their curly to kinky hair. These narrow-minded ideals have left black women not only battling with issues of self-esteem, but struggling to fit into certain societal norms of prevailing hair and beauty standards to be accepted or achieve upward mobility.

Thankfully, the tide is turning.

When Michelle Obama decided to wear her hair natural — and Oprah and Beyoncé decided to reveal their own hair — women across the country cheered their decision. This helped raise much-needed awareness at a time when millions of black and other women of color still face criticism, stigma and discrimination for wearing their hair in its natural, textured state. Nationwide, there have been numerous cases of black women who have been fired,

Last year, California became the first state to ban discrimination based on natural hair. Shortly thereafter, New York and then New Jersey followed suit with their own state laws prohibiting bias in the workplace, housing, schools or public spaces based on hair texture, type or style — including braids, twists and locks. Whether it’s natural, treated, extensions, curly, straight or anything in between, your hair is yours. That means you have the right to wear it the way you want to. So, Alexis, we have your back on this. You’re beautiful and the choice is your own. There’s no room in this world for natural hair shaming or any other negative comments about a black woman’s appearance, period! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ THE INFLUENTIAL MAN }

WHERE HAVE ALL THE YOU ARE ENOUGH. GENTLEMEN GONE BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY VINCENT DIGIORGIO

There was a time when finding a gentleman was not that difficult to do. You know, the strong silent type, always looking dapper and treating women and the others around them with respect. When it came to being around women they would keep to polite conversation saving more spirited conversation reserved for when it’s a guys only gathering. So, where did these guys go? It seemed like they just disappeared, and no one was there to take their place. More on that in a minute. I believe we all have our own definition of what a gentleman is. Some people may say it’s someone who is polite and courteous, others may think it’s someone who looks or acts a certain way.

So, where are these men and where do they congregate? I think they are difficult to find because real gentlemen don’t hang out in packs, like wolves. Life has no doubt become more complicated and these men are more difficult to distinguish from the average guy. Why? Because life has become so casual and fewer people are dressing up. As a matter of fact, it has become even worse since the pandemic. Most of us don’t need to interact with as many people as we used to. Being a gentleman means interacting with people and using your social skills that promote gentility and respect. You really don’t need that level of social skills in your meetings if they are all cyber meetings.

So, what is the actual definition? A gentleman is a man who puts the needs of others before those of himself. He puts the needs of his woman or wife, along with children and friends, all before himself. Have you ever had a man hold the door open for you? A gentleman will even put the needs of strangers to pass through the door before he passes through himself. I guess what being a gentleman really boils down to, is being selfless. To find the last true gentlemen in our lives, we just need to think back to our fathers, uncles, or grandfathers. Men in our lives that walked, talked and dressed a certain way. They smelled of leather and Old Spice. They were men of another era, where a handshake was as good as a signed document. Integrity and honesty was something that meant everything to them.

Now, where can these “lone-wolf ” gentlemen be found? The answer is more obvious than you think. You just need to use your five senses, or as women are oftentimes thought to possess, that sixth sense. All true gentlemen put off certain signals whether they are in person or not. It’s in what they say or usually what they don’t say that tells a person’s true character. Having restraint and discernment are key elements in being gentrified. A gentleman is a good listener who thinks before he speaks. He only gives advice when asked. He is not profane or self-absorbed and always tries to lift others up and not himself. He is someone that takes care of himself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Without these traits, men are nothing, but boys trapped in a man’s body. And how can a man be a good partner

and mentor if he doesn’t have his own responsibilities in order? A gentleman is a man who has good taste both literally and figuratively. Someone who appreciates the beauty in simple things but also understands the subtleties of the finer things in life. And thus, we wonder - are there any real men still out there and if so, where can they be found? The short answer is yes, they are out there. As a matter of fact, you may even know some good candidates. There are two ways to find these gentlemen; the first is easier. Take the man you love and turn him into the gentleman you deserve. After all, James Bond was just a regular guy until he was trained to be the most interesting man in the world. If you want to create a real gentleman, it’s going to take some work. There is no gentleman without the word gentility. A better descriptor of this word is selflessness. He must be selfless to be a gentleman. He needs to be a man that is willing to put your needs and the needs of others before himself. It’s a love of humanity. Now don’t get me wrong, a gentleman can take care of himself and be a protector and a disciplinarian when he needs to, but that is the exception and not the rule. There are plenty of books on the market that will teach the discipline of being gentrified. So, take your man, give him a book (make sure you read it first) and set him in the proper direction. An example might be to wait at the car door until he gets the message that you would like the door opened for you. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL }}} BLACK WOMEN ROC {{ THE INFLUENTIAL MAN “There was a time when finding a gentleman was not that difficult to do. You know, the strong silent type, always looking dapper and treating women and the others around them with respect.”

Don’t accept certain behaviors that are unbecoming of a gentleman. It is a learned behavior, and you have a choice in the way you want to be treated. You will only get out of a man the work you put into him. After a while he will get the message that if he wants to be with an extraordinary partner, he needs to be an extraordinary person. Creating a gentleman takes time and effort and an investment in the proper attire too. To complete the process, a gentleman needs to act, think, speak, listen, and look like a gentleman too. That means a man needs to give thought to who he is going to be with, what he is going to be doing and the climate that he will be doing it in. Now there is nothing wrong with a baseball uniform, but you don’t wear that on a basketball court. Just like you don’t wear basketball shorts out to dinner with your family. Keeping the way you dress compartmentalized 80

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to the proper uses always sends the right message. A 45-year-old man in basketball shorts anywhere outside the gym is sending the wrong message. So, creating the man you have or the next man in your life to be a gentleman, is as easy as requiring him, as mentioned, to act, speak, think and also dress like a gentleman in order to be with you. Set your standards high, and if he can’t reach them, then set him free. The second and more difficult way to find a gentleman is to find one that has already put himself through the rigors of high standards all on his own. So, where would you find him? First open your eyes to the way he dresses, his hair cut, nails and shoes. A man’s shoes will tell you a lot about him. Then see how he interacts with people; how he treats a server at lunch, how he directs his attention when speaking with someone. Is he thoughtful and sincere, or is his head

on a swivel and easily distracted. Finally, is he boastful or is he humble about his accomplishments? In all of this, the conclusion of the matter is that gentlemen don’t look like bad boys or act like bad boys. They are everything you need; at all the right times you need them. If you find one of those, then you should hang on tight. Vincent DiGiorgio - ONE Custom Clothier Vince@onecustomclothier.com 585-271-1190 2423 Monroe Avenue Rochester NY 14618 http://www.onecustomclothier.com


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{FOR A SPECIAL TRIBUTE { BLACK WOMEN ROC} }} A GOOD CAUSE

YOU THE VIBE YOUKNOW ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY THOMAS STEIN BY NSP STUDIO

My name is Thomas Stein and my boss Charles Alexander and Co-Barber Rick Pena have put together an amazing opportunity for everyone at Edison Tech High School. We are currently offering free services to both boys and girls through out the high school who have obtained a 3.0 GPA or higher. We at YKTV believe that if you look good, you feel good, you do good.

YKTV has noticed a rise in crime throughout Rochester, and gun violence more frequent now more then ever. Our purpose at YKTV is not just to cut hair, but to create ever lasting relationships that you can take with you forever. YKTV stands for “You Know The Vibe” but is also means LOVE. Once you get to experience the YKTV vibe, you’ll understand that it is blessed with love and passion. So please come out to support the

movement, come support your children as they rise to there very best. Come support a cause that’s worth fighting for. Let us get you looking right, so you can do right. We are extending our hands out to the Rochester Community, we hope at YKTV that you know its not just a vibe, its simply love.

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YOUGIRLS ARE ENOUGH. ROCK! NICOLEI HEROUX I PHOTOS BY NSPPANZARINO, STUDIO BY TRACYBY SIMONE PHOTOSWILLIAMS BY SAL PORTERFIELD, MIKE OTHERS

Girls rock! They also play in bands, jump out of planes, drive sports cars and motorcycles and just about anything else they set their minds to. That is, if they give themselves permission to pursue their desires and do not listen to those who would be negative and try to derail them. The most important thing is for women to know that if they believe it, they can achieve it. Too often, some of us fail to believe in ourselves enough to give ourselves permission to succeed. How many of us know women who are completely skilled in an area but lack the confidence to follow through on their desires? Even people with good intentions can fall short of their dreams because they just do not see themselves in the proper light. Some of us are raised to be demure and to not be too bold or harsh as we move through life. Afterall, a lady should be soft and not too assertive in the eyes of others, right? Well, we can do what we want to do and still be feminine. To be successful does not necessarily mean to shy away from non-traditional pursuits.It does not have to mean that we must be quiet or even pretend that we are something that we are not. Many women want to step out there and try something but are afraid of 88

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how they will be viewed. Maybe their family members or teachers, bosses, neighbors or someone else would frown upon them. Well, the truth is that what other people think of us is not really our business. Women (and all people for that matter) need to step out there and claim what is theirs for the taking. The only true mistake one can make is to not at least try. We should not have regrets when we get to the end of our journey.

It is easy to be distracted by work, relatives, taking care of our homes or other responsibilities. However, if we do these things at the expense of our own desires, we miss opportunities. Sure, we will have our ‘required’ tasks completed, but our souls will not have been fed. We need to make the time to pursue something that we always wanted to. If we happen to be doing it already, then we need to step it up a notch. We spend entirely

too much of our energy worrying about pleasing others. What happens if we do not include ourselves on the list of people who need us? We will never truly be at peace. There is something that will always gnaw away internally because even though we may have the job that pays the bills and contributes to the home, family, etc. we have still not taken care of that inner need. So then, what do we have really? We have a lot of time spent advancing everyone else’s agenda and ignoring ourselves. This is not healthy, and it is counterproductive. How much happier we would all be if we found a way to take care of the things on our ‘list’ AND did some of what we wanted? Often, many of us find ourselves really wanting to be or do something that may not actually allow us to support ourselves. That still should not stop us. No matter what, we should always be working towards our goals. Maybe we are not able to pay our bills with creative pursuits. If that is the case, then maybe we need to find a way to do our desired thing on the side. Maybe it will just take us a bit longer than we had hoped to be able to support ourselves with it. Maybe we never will make money at the thing that we love. It is still ok to follow that inner voice and go after the goals that we want or to step


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{ TRACY IS TALKING { TRACY TALKS } } “Whatever it is, take steps towards it. You can do it! How do I know? Girls rock!”

the goals that we want or to step up our game and get better at the ones we are pursuing. The tragedy would be to talk ourselves out of doing something and then have to live with that fact later in life. That little voice will never stop speaking to you. It will repeatedly say, “I wonder what would have happened if I had only……(fill in the blank)”. Maybe you have not really been able 92

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to visualize yourself doing that thing that you have always wanted. Maybe you remember someone telling you that you should not do it, or maybe that you cannot. Maybe the naysayer had something to lose if you were busy doing what you wanted to be doing. People sometimes have different motivations when they give us advice Many times, the people who tell us no are the people who are afraid to jump out there themselves.

TODAY is the day that you should decide to take the reins and go for it! Go get that certification or learn an instrument or write a book, etc. Whatever it is, take steps towards it. You can do it! How do I know? Girls rock!



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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES }

YOU MICHELE ARE ENOUGH. CLAUSER BY NICOLE HEROUXBY WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO TAMMY VREELAND

My interview with Michele Clauser, a very talented artist! A woman who can apply movie magic through makeup. Transforming humans into the most amazing living pieces of art. Tammy - Michele, thank you so much for giving us a ‘behind the scenes look’ at well - behind the scenes! A tribute to the unsung heroes who can magically create and transform people.

How about training? Your thoughts on classes or courses? I know for many artists, whatever form it is, there is a natural talent. Something where training only enhances the talent. I guess what I am trying to ask is this something anyone can do? Michele - For the most part I am self-

Of course you know, my first question has to be when did you realize this was something you wanted to do?

Tammy - Both are my favorites! Especially an American Werewolf in London! That was a transformation like no other before it!

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Thankfully, this is an age where everyone shares their techniques and is happy to discuss what they learned. I always ask other artists about what they used or how they achieve looks I like. They are usually quite happy to explain. Natural talent is only a small part that gives you the start. Hard work makes up the rest. Tammy - You’re right, I couldn’t agree more! I think a desire and then hard work can make you accomplished in anything.

Michele - I fell in love with movie monsters at a very young age. In my teenage years, I saw all the classic monster films. However, it was Rick Baker’s work in An American Werewolf in London, along with the makeups in Planet of the Apes, that sparked my desire to learn all I could about how makeup could do more than make women beautiful. By age 18, I was doing makeups and costume designs for myself, family and friends during Halloween. In college, I read every book and magazine I could find on the subject.

and makeups. I am still studying Master Makeup Artistry and Airbrush makeup classes through QC Academy, as well as studying other applications through Stan Winston’s programs.

I have to admit, growing up, I was fascinated with the monsters on the screen, too! I believed in the scenario being played out because the characters looked nothing like us. Granted, many of them were in costumes, but the face was what always seemed to be the magical influence to me. taught but I did find tons of videos and how to’s once the internet became a big thing. From there, I started taking online classes in Special Effects Makeup online with QC Academy. I finished those and worked on classes in face painting and learning how to use different mediums to create characters

When you first think about creating an illusion. Does the shape of a person’s face factor in? Michele - For me, it plays a big part. I prefer to look at the model’s face and build and see what it lends itself towards. You can always bulk up a slender person, but it is hard to create the illusion of


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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES TRACY TALKS } } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “I fell in love with movie monsters at a very young age. In my teenage years, I saw all the classic monster films.”

gauntness in a big person. Hard, but not impossible. If you work with the basic forms already there, the creature you are creating comes alive more. Foam latex is commonly used in prosthetics and while it is light, it does not move or bend well if too thick and the same is true of anything. The less you add to the actor underneath, the more they can emote and express themselves. The more extreme and inhuman the outer image, the more likely you will either lose that or have to venture away from makeup and rely more on animatronic devices to make your outer visage read as real. Subtle things like eye blinks, small facial moments such as mouth and lips, or ear twitches. Even small details like flared nostrils can then be remotely controlled by other people, but it makes for a much more intricate build and operation. Tammy - Wow, that is very interesting! I never really thought about the whole functioning concept. But now it makes me realize how much more intricate all this can be! What about a person’s chemistry? Like having dry or oily skin? Michele - The actor’s skin, along with how and where they will be in makeup, plays a key role in helping the artist know which products to use. Allergies can also come into play due to the many chemicals and compounds found in 100

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makeups and removers. Everything should be discussed beforehand and then it is advisable to do a small test patch either on the inside of the wrist or behind the ear. The model must trust the artist and the artist must listen to the model every step. Sometimes, that product you have used hundreds of times before will still irritate your skin. Everything must be removed to prevent permanent damage or extreme reactions. Oily skin will need a toner applied prior to any makeup application, and dry skin will need to be moisturized prior to application. Both cases will require proper removers for any products and a good cleaning regimen. Artists should always wear gloves and use hand sanitizer. Tammy - I know with just the simple task of trying to find the right daily make up for myself proves difficult at times. I can’t imagine trying to figure out the color or consistency for another person! I’ve often heard stars complaining about breaking out due to makeup. Can this be a problem? What about acme itself? Is it hard to hide while creating an illusion? Michele - Anyone who has worn makeup knows it can and will clog pores. Makeup should always be removed after you are done and a good moisturizer applied that is correct for your skin type. Artists routinely clean and sterilize workspaces, tools and kits. Makeup should not be shared. Instead, put on

a small palette if individual product and disposable applicators are not available. This virtually eliminates cross contamination. Artists are also very aware of the shelf life of products that can become bacteria breeding grounds if kept too long after opening. There are techniques and products that can minimize the appearance of blemishes but open cuts and fever blisters are the exceptions and these should not be covered due to the chance of infection. Tammy - I really like how mindful you are of the risks. We’ve touched on the make-up aspect, but there is also the prosthetics that can be applied. What types of material can be used? Michele - Foam Latex is still the most commonly used prosthetic appliances for many reasons. They are lightweight, cheap to make and will fit most needs. Occasionally a look might be better served by silicone appliances, but they can be heavy and hot to wear for long periods of time. Some very basic effects can be achieved with simple things like gelatin or liquid latex. Though there is a wide range of options with new ones all the time. However, foam latex serves very well if stored and cared for properly. Tammy - I know back in the day, some things used were toxic. Take the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. Since you first started, has things changed through the years on what to use? Are you finding


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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL { TRACY TALKS }} } “Thankfully, this is an age where everyone shares their techniques and is happy to discuss what they learned. I always ask other artists about what they used or how they achieve looks I like.”

today’s products easier to use? Safer? Michele - The FDA stepped in and started regulating what went into most of the cosmetics used today, making recommendations about what was or was not recommended for use on skin. But they only control what is marketed to the public for that purpose. People still experiment. One of the newest trends is the use of what is called Prosade Transfers. Prosade is a skin safe medical grade adhesive used to ‘glue’ prosthetic appliances to the skin, but now they have devised a way to create small prosthetics appliances made from Prosade itself. These are shaped in molds so they have depth and sometimes color is even added, but the process makes them on transfer paper that is applied much like those temporary tattoos we all grew up with. They need only a wet cloth over the paper backing to activate the adhesive again and when used along with makeup is very realistic looking and quite sturdy, if only for a single use. Many artists will use a variety of products and processes to achieve a finished look. Tammy - Kind of like a mad scientist figuring out the perfect potion for his monster? That is so cool about Prosade, I bet that can save a lot of time! Let’s get into how long it takes to transform someone. Are there stages to what you apply? Michele - Applications can vary in time. Essentially, the more time you have, the

more finished the result. Hollywood usually has entire teams of people assigned and they work in tandem, so the more intricate applications go quicker. Every application would ideally start with the supplies already laid out and on hand before the model arrives. Then their skin must be prepped and if they are already in costume, you would need to cover that. If prosthetics are involved, I prefer to pre-paint a base coat at least. Most foam latex is never flesh toned, so it needs color correction before being applied. Makeup I find I prefer to start off with a base color to get the skin surface uniform, as that allows the artist to decide where the shadows and highlights are. Then I work on the shading or contours before I move onto the eyes. I find that if contacts are needed, they must go in before prosthetics change the face shape to dramatically. I finish with lips very last after any teeth are inserted. Tammy - I’m sure through the years, trial and error have been a great teaching experience for you. Especially when it comes to knowing what needs to be prepped in advance, as well as understanding how subtle changes (teeth/eyes/etc) can affect the overall outcome. When you go to transform, do you need to know the rest of the costume? I would think knowing the colors and the style would be beneficial to complete the illusion.

Michele - Personally, I love the entire process of bringing characters to life. I want to understand the being I am creating. How do they move? What do they wear? Where would they live, work, or hide? Color plays a big part in that feel for me too. It also helps the model relate to who they are becoming. I do prefer to know or discuss costumes when creating a character so that I can think about how it will change the overall form as well as the area around the prosthetics. SFX makeup is not limited to just the face. In fact, some artists specialize in true prosthetics and appliances for medical purposes, helping people with injuries feel more normal. Think of glass eyes and dentures as well as hands and feet for amputees. What your model will wear is as much a part of them as the clothes and hairstyle they choose. Tammy - I know first-hand how amazing your work is! I love it when you show me a group of people in a photo and then ask me ‘which one do I think you are’? I can never tell! Man, woman, or beast, makes no matter! In a line up with others, you really have to study each person. I started trying to cheat by eyeing your height and use process of elimination, but even that didn’t always work. That is how good you are! How hard is it for you to work on your illusions on yourself? What inspires you to create a unique look? Michele - For the longest time I had ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES TRACY TALKS } } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Applications can vary in time. Essentially, the more time you have, the more finished the result.”

no model besides myself and it was a running joke that most people would see me in costume(s) and never know they had seen me multiple times. More people knew my makeups than knew my real face! That is slowly changing though, but I can still usually skip under the radar. I love coming up with creatures, so it is not hard for me. I get an idea and soon they have a life and identity of their own. They are vast and varied, though I am guilty of preferring Apes, Werewolves, Vampires and Demons. Demons are fun because they come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and colors. I enjoy giving each one their own unique identity. I hate doing hair work, but love horns and spikes. Tammy - I find all of this so very fascinating! We are able to show a few of your illusions here, but where can people go to see more of your amazing art? Michele - I try to keep a running steam of all my newest work posted on Instagram and Facebook under NightmaresDayscreams and I update my business page with a blog of my latest projects and events at Dayscreams.org. I work with a lot of wonderful cosplayers, photographers and conventions ranging from Science Fiction, Fantasy to Horror. As well as Comicons up and down the east coast and MidAtlantic. I was honored 104

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to be asked by the Ocean City MD Comicon to give a presentation panel on Special FX Makeup in 2021 and will be returning again in 2022.

able to not only express yourself but transform others into things they never dreamed of. May you continue to enjoy, create and entertain.

Tammy - Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out who may have helped you fulfill your dreams of sharing your talent?

Michele - My mom has put up with my weirdness and my daughter Willow sometimes grudgingly helps me out. This past year Mr. Tony Jones has started making sure to introduce me to a lot of people involved in small independent film making along the MidAtlantic, plus he is my convention partner serving as model photographer and promoter for me. They, along with others out there, have allowed me the chance to create all the characters and creatures that go bump in the night while everyone else is learning how to make the perfect cat’s eyeliner. Thank you all for letting me be me. Tammy -Thank you Michele, for the interview. I really enjoyed it! I’m usually one that doesn’t like to know the magic secrets, into creating what I may like to let myself think is real, but I must say it makes me appreciate it all so much more now! I think you are an amazing, talented artist and just a joy to be around! Your creativity knows no bounds. And honestly, you did find the beauty beyond mundane makeup. With being


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SAVING FOR THE CHILDREN YOUINARE ENOUGH. YOUR LIFE BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY DAWN IKELLOGG

It’s no secret that financial skills are important in life and getting kids started early with a savings account and good fiscal habits can make a big different for their future. When I was a kid, I had a blue passbook from a savings account that my parents had opened for me. That little blue book was mine and I loved going into the bank, depositing money, and seeing the number grow. It was into that same account that my birthday, babysitting, and graduation money was deposited, as well as paychecks from my first jobs. I set up a checking account when I went first went away to college, but it was that early savings account that was the foundation for my financial future. I held that account until well into my 20s when I moved to another part of the country for grad school. The days of the passbook are long gone, but for kids, there is still that thrill when you log onto your financial institution’s website or app, and see how your money has grown, or how it has been used. Everyone wants the best for their children, and one of the best ways to set them up on the road to fiscal responsibility is by opening a savings account for them. New York State does not allow minors to open their own accounts; however, a parent or guardian may open an account for the child. Consider putting both names 106

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on the account. Piggy banks are cute, and kids don’t usually have piles of cash stowed away, but by opening an account for them, you are investing in their financial education and future - and you don’t even have to have a huge balance on the account. You’re not necessarily trying to turn your child into a financial planner but building savings habits can help prepare them for adulthood. A recent study shows that children

was born, I set up an account for him and encouraged my fellow godparents to deposit gifts into that account. 20 birthdays, holidays, and special occasions later, and that account has grown so considerably, that my nephew was able to purchase his first car using money from that account. More and more schools are working with financial institutions to provide financial education to kids of all ages, proving it’s never too early to begin teaching your kids about money management at home. Here are some reasons to open a savings account for your child: It is literally one of the best teaching tools about money out there! The Summit, for example has a quarterly newsletter created just for Safari Club members (ages 5-8) with games and crafts designed to educate kids about money.

from low- or moderate-income families who have a savings account for college, are more likely to go to college, and to graduate from college – even if the account is under $1,000. Some people set up accounts for their children right after birth – which is a smart move! People receive gifts of money at the birth of a new child and what better way to begin a new life then setting up a savings account for their future? When my first nephew

It helps get kids in the habit of saving money early – it’s oh, so tempting to spend money on the latest online video game or the coolest toy but learning to save is central to financial security. It helps you to encourage them to save a portion of their earnings early – you can not only teach your kids about the benefits of saving, but you can enhance it by matching or contributing regularly to their accounts as well.


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{ {WOMEN INTALKS FINANCE {SHIFT+CONTROL TRACY } } } “It’s no secret that financial skills are important in life and getting kids started early with a savings account and good fiscal habits can make a big different for their future.”

Opening a savings account for a child is a great aid for parents in helping teach their children money management skills. Talking to children about money can sometimes be challenging. Surveys reveal that they are more comfortable talking about smoking, drugs, and bullying than about finances or investing. 108

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It gives kids spending options. College isn’t the only reason that kids might need money when they become young adults. It’s a means to financial goals – most financial institutions have online tools designed to teach kids about money, such as blogs, newsletters, apps, etc.

Dawn Kellogg is the Public Relations and Community Engagement Specialist at The Summit Federal Credit Union: www.summitfcu.org


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1.) Digital Spend Account Requirements. In order to open and maintain a Digital Edge Spend Account at The Summit the following is required: The primary account holder must be less than 27 years of age, enrolled in E-statement (electronic) delivery, enrolled in Mobile or Online Banking Services, and must perform a minimum of ten (10) Debit Card transactions that post each month on the Digital Edge Spend Account. If these requirements are not maintained while the primary account holder is less than 27 years of age, the account will automatically convert to an Enhanced Checking account after 90 days. When the primary account holder turns 27 years of age, the account will automatically convert to a Digital Freedom Spend Account. In order to open and maintain a Digital Freedom Spend Account at The Summit the following is required: The primary account holder must be 27 years of age or older, enrolled in E-statement (electronic) delivery, enrolled in Mobile or Online Banking Services, and must perform a minimum of ten (10) Debit Card transactions that post each month on the Digital Freedom Spend Account. If these requirements are not maintained, the account will automatically convert to an Enhanced Checking account after 90 days. 2.) Youth Account Requirements. Membership eligibility required. To become a Safari Club or Forward Bound member, your child must first establish Summit membership. A $5 minimum deposit is required to open the account. All children under 18 must have an accompanying joint member age 18 or older on the account and your child must have a Social Security Number to open an account. Visit any branch to complete a Membership Enrollment Application with your child’s information. Once you’re a Safari Club member, you’ll automatically be enrolled in our Forward Bound program when you turn 13.


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TAXES AND MARITAL STATUS BY CAROLINE HILL

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

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

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

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{{A SPECIAL TRIBUTE { BLACK WOMEN ROC} } } { THE INFLUENTIAL WOMAN SHIFT+CONTROL

FEELING LOST IN A SEA OF YOU ARE ENOUGH. STRESS? BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY DR PAM DENTON

Sarah has always been a fitness enthusiast, able to workout, and has used it as her therapy. For years, she would hit the gym with her girlfriends and get in a power workout. She did not have to worry about weight or body image, this was enough to keep her going and she felt amazing. Fast forward a decade, working in a highstress environment, growing her own business, where she literally feels that the stress is crushing her. Sarah’s workouts no longer help to relieve stress – in fact, her body begins to give out under the toxic load of mental, emotional and physical stressors. She suffers from back pain, insomnia, headaches, sleepless nights and weight gain. Sound familiar? Have you lost yourself to stress? Maybe you have given and given until there is nothing left? The Doctors tell Sarah: “Eat better.” “Get more sleep.” etc….. But this becomes frustration and anxiety because Sarah is trying but nothing seems to work! ❖ She eats clean but the scale does not move. ❖ She works out but no results. ❖ She goes to bed early, but wakes up exhausted. ❖ She is bloated. ❖ She is depressed. And no diet or pill helps her. Why aren’t Sarah’s workouts dissipating or resolving her stress to a degree that her body bounces back? Sarah doesn’t understand why the workouts won’t move the scale and she is falling deeper into depression, although knowing that as an influential woman she must find a solution. Sarah’s story is one of the many women who have benefited from Sacred O Sexuality training. She is driving and driving so hard to achieve her goals that she has dug herself into a stress loop that burns out her

hormones. She needs a hormonal reset. I developed Sacred O programs for influential women after many years of holding space while women sobbed in my office - frustrated and in pain because they had no way out from a stressed out body. Many women would show up at my doorstep desperate and traumatized by medical advice. All the things that seemed simple solutions DID NOT WORK. “Oh it’s menopause, its perimenopause, its your eating, you need to work out…walk…” Where does a woman go when this is happening? She goes down the rabbit hole, into criticism, judgment and blame. She blames herself and ends up turning the sword inwards, and her influence starts to crumble. So I began to develop the Female Form of Leadership, a program I now call Sacred O Sexuality. Sacred O became a Coaching Program for women that teaches women how to use a fitness movement practice and workout to consciously move through stress, almost like breaking shit but better, we use breath and movement to go through the stress cycle. I guide you to engage with your toxic stress load and release it from the body, mind, and emotions. And I provide a space for being real and expressive, what I call Unleash Your Wild Side! Through our client’s testimony we have found that Sacred O practices: ● Burn fat even when you are not working out. ● Intuitively eat delicious foods and feel satisfied while losing weight and bloat. ● Discover the power of energetic health derived from breathwork and movement. ● Balance your hormones. ● Reduce stress so you can thrive instead of survive. ● Lose weight and bloating naturally and with a lot of fun! When I entered into this work as a fitness coach and healer, I saw this pattern of stress

causing dis-ease in my clients. Women constantly reported that they suffered from fatigue, anxiety, pain, weight gain, and depression. Most of all, they lacked the ability to consciously connect with their stress to release it. They were carrying their toxic load into the gym and driving the toxins deeper into their bodies because they lacked the inner neurological technology to mindfully connect, let go, and pull in new, healthy energy. And they had no plan to get out. Nothing seemed to work. And most times they were using a cookie cutter workout that did not honor the creative life-force of the feminine body. My clients did not know how to move the feminine energy and it was all stuck in the pelvis. Workouts only complicated the aging process that had been compounded by increased stress loads. Too much stuff had gone unprocessed in her system and was now shoved inwards as a memory bank of stress. The American Psychological Association states that stress negatively affects “all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.” [https://www.apa.org/topics/ stress/body] It’s no wonder that stress is often cited as the number one killer in our modern world. Look around. Listen to the news or read it online - and ask yourself if we as a world and a society are “crushing” our stress – or is it crushing us? The answer is obvious – stress is winning. In fact, stress is affecting people at younger and younger ages. As millennials mature, they may be facing challenging health issues, according to a “Health of America” report released by Blue Cross/Blue Shield on April 24, 2019. [https://www.bcbs.com/the-health-ofamerica/reports/the-health-of-millennials] Their report showed dramatic increases in the prevalence of some health conditions, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ THE{ INFLUENTIAL WOMAN SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Sound familiar? Have you lost yourself to stress? Maybe you have given and given until there is nothing left?”

including depression, hyperactivity, Type II diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. The report stated that the health of millennials begins to take a “major decline” at age 27. Sacred O emerged in 2014 when I launched my book Love, Sex and Money: Journey to Female Empowerment. I realized there was a sacred process of connecting and breathing with movement that would reset the female body. This slowly became a coaching system of breaking old hardwired behaviors and habits holding women stuck in a body she did not want and in a life she despised. So what does Sacred O mean? Let’s break it down. ● Sacred: Going beyond our current ideas of what it means to get and be fit. Sacred means slowing down and tuning into the primal energy in your body, taking time for the sacred rhythms of the feminine body. Your primal energy is your emotion release valve. The primal nervous system knows your origin. It knows you are fit and by accessing the primal feminine we experience in each workout and coaching session a release that resets stress hormones in your body. Sacred O fitness for women releases toxic energy and incorporates all aspects of being our best – physical, mental, emotional, and, yes, spiritual. ● O: The cOre. The core is the center of your body that is accessed through the central nervous system where your major energy centers are located and can reset your hormones and stress level. The O also represents orgasmic sexual energy and female innate power - the cycles and rhythms of the feminine flow. The core is both the physical center of your body connected by your spinal cord and a metaphorical center where you can increase and harvest your inner strength and power. O is the energy of the cycles of a woman’s body, her natural pelvic energy, and her complete power. By working with the O we are organically resetting the rhythms of the feminine body to achieve a superpowered state. 118

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So what can you do RIGHT NOW to ditch stress and begin building your Sacred O Sexuality power? In Sacred O we focus on the energetic core through vigorous breathwork, movement, and coaching the release of stress and old stagnant, stuck patterns that break down the body. When you focus on the feminine energetic core as you breathe and move with awareness, you break through the stress cycle to become stronger than your stressors and this naturally starts to reset your hormones. No diets, no meal plans, not even a hard core HIIT workout that breaks you...this is all done from seated and moving into standing. And although we suggest superfoods, your body will innately reach for what it wants as you open up your energetic and intuitive body. In developing Sacred O Sexuality for Women, I discovered this one amazing and fun fact! Your breath is the most efficient pathway for you to access the stress reduction you’ve been missing this whole time. The basis of Sacred O’s fitness plan is breath. BreatheFit is the breathing practice that we use in our Fitness Coaching Program for women. As a BreatheFit coach, I direct our participants to breathe while they work out, using certain breath techniques and rhythms to achieve a higher level energy flow and stress reduction than they would through movement alone. I also help you to connect with conscious breathing – breathing with awareness and intent to achieve a desired outcome. In this case we move the feminine energy from the pelvis up! And one of the outcomes is – stress relief! Conscious breathing will allow you to: ● Reset hormones naturally and restore body balance ● Access and release stored stress or tension and reset your power body ● Move through emotional, mental, or physical obstacles The first step to conscious breathing is to

pay attention to your breath. And the first step to paying attention is to close your eyes. To connect with your breathing, it’s essential to remove external stimulus and begin to listen inward. When you are staring at computer or phone, eyes open, your energy is pointed outward. When your eyes are open, sensory-neuro stimulus is constant. Closing your eyes turns your energy inward toward yourself and allows you to sense your body (yes, we said it – SENSE your BODY!) EXERCISE: Checking in with Your Breath ● Close your eyes. Notice your breath just the way that it is, without changing anything. ● Are you breathing? ● Are you holding your breath? ● Can you feel the breath move through your body? ● What is the rhythm of your breath? ● Is your breath shallow and quick? ● Are you breathing through your mouth or through your nose? ● Is your chest rising and falling, or is the movement only in your belly? ● Do you care about your breathing? Think about it – you wouldn’t be alive if you weren’t breathing. You can live for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without breathing. Breathing is your body’s natural way of building energy, releasing toxins, and letting go of stress. And you won’t believe how conscious breathing will amp up your overall fitness, health, and well-being! There is a lot more to Sacred O and reclaiming your feminine form that you can experience on one of our amazing retreats, in session, or in classes Dr. Pam Denton is a fitness expert, international speaker, healer, coach, and founder of Sacred O Sexuality - Coaching and Fitness. She is author of numerous books including, She Means Business and founder of the Magic Moon Retreats for women to work with the Sacred O process for resetting from stress and awakening deeper

body awareness beyond stress.


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{ {{ONE TOUGH SHIFT+CONTROL SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLESMOTHER TALKS TALKS} } } }

THE POWER OF MY VOICE BY CHRISTINE PIACENTINO

Imagine a doctor telling you that your son would lose the ability to walk by age 12. Lose the ability to breathe on his own by age 15. Pass away due to heart failure at age 20. Horrifying right? That was considered the normal progression of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 1998. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle loss. It is a multi-systemic condition affecting many parts of the body, which results in the deterioration of the skeletal, heart, and lung muscles. Duchenne was considered the #1 lethal genetic disease of childhood.

In 1998 and 1999, I started a letter-writing campaign to my two Senators and my Congressional representative. I received form-letter replies. I didn’t understand how Congress worked. I finally got up the courage to meet with Louise Slaughter in her office in Rochester, NY. At the end of the meeting, Congresswoman Slaughter said: “Present a Legislative Bill to Congress, I will support it and sign on as a co-sponsor.” It took until 2001 to get a Bill written. In February 2001, PPMD brought the

As a mother, I felt powerless. I felt like my world was spinning out of control. I wondered how I could help my son. I couldn’t just obtain treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. No drug companies were investing in treatments for Duchenne. There had to be a way to leverage research occurring in Academic settings to interest the drug development companies to invest in treatments. I needed to become empowered to help my son. To quote the late Senator Paul Wellstone, who was one of the original Duchenne champions in Washington, DC: “The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I wanted to stop my world from spinning. I could not sit on the sidelines. I needed to somehow change the future of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, not just for my son but for others. I had to use my voice to affect change; I needed to tell my family’s story. I joined Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s (PPMD) fight to end Duchenne.

fight to end Duchenne to Capitol Hill. I was ready and willing to join the battle. I traveled to Washington, DC, to attend PPMD’s first annual advocacy conference. There was a Labor-Health and Human Services and Education appropriations subcommittee hearing. As I was sitting in the committee room, the School House Rock “Just A Bill” song ran through my head. I was witnessing the initial steps in getting a Bill passed. During the appropriations subcommittee hearing, Pat Furlong, the

President of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, asked Congress to invest 100 million dollars over five years for Duchenne Research. The congressional budget to the National Institutes of Health only covered 1/1000th percent of Duchenne Research. The MD-Care Act was signed into law on December 18, 2001, by President George W. Bush. Then-Congressman and now Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and former Congressman Collin Petersen (D-MN) sponsored the legislation. It enjoyed more than 300 co-sponsors. The late Senators Paul Wellstone (DMN) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) led the Senate version. It was cosponsored by nearly 50 Senators. The law and its successors created and strengthened muscular dystrophy research programs supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and created and refined surveillance run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It also established the MD Coordinating Committee (MDCC), which is still active in informing muscular dystrophy policy priorities today. A signature achiev ement of the MD-CARE Act and its four follow-on laws was the establishment of the Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers. For twenty years, these specialized centers throughout the United States have led the field in research and the training and development of researchers leading the fight to end Duchenne. The studies conducted at these centers have provided 30 potential therapies seen in clinics today and five drug approvals in the United States to date. In addition to establishing the Wellstone ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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SHE HUSTLESMOTHER TALKS }}} } {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS { {ONE TOUGH “I finally got up the courage to meet with Louise Slaughter in her office in Rochester, NY. At the end of the meeting, Congresswoman Slaughter said: “Present a Legislative Bill to Congress, I will support it and sign on as a co-sponsor.””

Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers, the MD-CARE act’s impact on Muscular Dystrophy is over $600M in Federal funding leveraged into research, with $50M+ invested by PPMD into Duchenne Specific research. The average lifespan of a Duchenne patient has increased by ten years; as a direct result of PPMD’s advances in care through the 28 Certified Comprehensive Duchenne Care Clinics throughout the United States. The MD-CARE Act reminds us of the tremendous benefits possible when 122

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lawmakers at all ends of the political spectrum resolve to work together to benefit communities. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the momentum achieved over the last twenty years continues. Some forms of Duchenne have treatments available. Many other mutations remain untreated, highlighting the need for a continued strong focus by Congress, the executive branch, and the community. Paul Wellstone once said, “Politics is not predictions, and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do; politics is what we

create, by what we work for, by what we hope for, and what we dare to imagine.” I hope for and dare to imagine an end to Duchenne. As I have for the past 20 years, I will continue to use my voice to ensure the strong focus needed by Congress advances the MD Care Act’s impact. My participation in advocacy has provided me with the opportunity to create a powerful story of how Duchenne affects my family as well and others.


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I AM TIRED OF THIS YOUMARRIAGE ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY OMENESA ORUMA AKOMOLAFE

HOW TO WORK HARDER IN A TIRESOME UNION If you have ever been married or are still married, what you read here today may resonate with you. Love in marriage is very different from love out of marriage or love in a relationship. When you are married, you both build on the foundation. You build on something concrete with the intention of seeing it through. You are building with love, not with strategy. Strategy in this context would mean “One leg in, one leg out”. Reservations, Fear, Presumptions. This is not when people live together for 20 years without getting legally married and when they are asked why, they tell you, “Marriage ruins things.” The funny thing is most of these people have never been married, so that statement is inconsequential. That’s reservation, and I am forced to question if that’s love or codependency, but that’s a kettle of fish I wish not to open today. When you get married, there are no intentions to ever leave or reservations while you build. Even if there are reservations, those vows you made keep gearing you towards the middle, the center, to stay aligned on your purpose as a married couple. Now, when you have built so hard and so long like that, it only makes sense to reap a harvest. What if you’ve worked hard on your marriage, and it still doesn’t seem to click? Work harder. Of course there are a few exceptions to this, and I’ll 124

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mention them in this article, but I still retain my stance, work harder!!! I wrote this article from a place of experience. After 10 years of marriage and 12 years of friendship, I have gotten extremely fed up and angry at my marriage that I’ve always asked God to forgive me for getting married. I have uttered statements of regret and deep remorse for marrying my husband. I have cried buckets for the things he didn’t do right, and the things he

refused to do. I have been bitter at my choice, but there is something about being bitter. It is a blindfold. It hides you from yourself. It hides you from the bitterness you TOO have caused others. I say this to say that I am writing this from a place of humility. So please, spare me. ******WORK HARD****** 1. BE STILL: When you get tired of your marriage, the first thing you want to do is to be “Still”. I didn’t say

go on a 3-month vacation to think about the marriage. Sometimes long gaps like that could weaken the cord that is already weak, and it will surely break. You want to be careful with that, especially if deep down in your soul, you still love this person, but are repulsed by their behavior. You could open yourself to temptation and get involved with people and practices that would cause you to escape, but not fix. You could also be given WRONG Advice from people who are just as tired as you are. Be careful! Well, why would you get tired if you love the person? Because you are human. Human beings are a pile of feelings and emotions, and when triggered, we can say and do anything. Most of our feelings can be validated, but a lot of what we feel are reactions and fallacies based on how we interpret the world to be(Which is highly informed by our childhood experiences). Many of them are not real. That’s why I said, “Be Still.” 3 days to one week or even 2 weeks will reduce the tension in your body, heart and mind. 2. BE HONEST: With yourself. You need to ask yourself where YOU have gone wrong in this relationship. Do you interrupt, yell, cuss, black mail, threaten, beat, silent treatment, taunt, jest, ignore, withhold(Money, Sex, Affection)? Is there sarcasm, selfishness, stonewalling, jealousy, porn, drugs, sex addiction, weak communication,


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{ LADY “O” } “How would you feel if someone treated you the way you treated them? How would you react? ”

poor boundaries, don’t apologize, absence of gratitude, taking each other for granted, entitlement mentality, dullness, competition, cheating, fear, no prayer life?????? 3. ASK YOURSELF: How would you feel if someone treated you the way you treated them? How would you react? You see at this point you want to validate the hurt of your spouse. You may not utter it, but admit it to yourself. Yes, they may not be reacting the way you’d want them to, but they have the right to feel hurt and display their disappointment any which way they please. As they get mature in God and emotionally sound, they can practice working on how to react healthily, but for now, this is who they are and that’s what you’ve got in your hands. Deal with it. Yes, deal with it. Accept it. Validate it. This is not the time to be politically correct. This is the time to really listen and take in all the details in which brought you guys to where you are today(hurting, wanting out of the marriage, etc.). 4. PENCIL TIME: Now that you have accepted that your actions haven’t been too pleasing, write down what you have brought to the table. You see, when you whip yourself, you must wipe your tears as well. You’ve already admitted to yourself all the hurts and offenses you caused your spouse. Now, what good did you do for your spouse? You showed up. You loved them. You cared. You made love to them whenever they wanted. You bought gifts. You prayed

for them. You picked up the kids from school everyday. You called to say, “I love you.” You were home every night. You never cheated. You never lied. You didn’t steal. You were loyal and faithful. You apologized A LOT. You got along with their family. Write down what you brought to the table. This would soothe your heart and ease your mind. 5. PEN TIME: Now write down what more you can do to make this marriage work. You can 1. Discuss money and handle financial issues better. Get a financial advisor if you may 2. You can build a business together with advice. 3. You can go for joint professional therapy. 4. You can place your marriage and yourselves in monthly accountability classes. 5. You can go out on dates. 6. You can have more family time. 7. Listen to each other more. 8. Read marriage books. 9. Attend workshops. 10. Help other couples. 11. Go on vacation. 12. Soak yourself in and with marriage material, 13. Have individual therapy to be healed of your own individual wounds so you are not spilling blood on each other(that’s how you got here in the first place). Both of you had or have wounds that caused you both to handle things terribly. 13. Practice giving. Giving is not just monetary, it is offering a listening ear, being intentional and empathic. Having sex and not making excuses. Praying for and with your spouse. Putting their needs as top priority. Why go learn these virtues with someone else when the person you really owe it to is your spouse? You didn’t marry your spouse as a practice tool, you married your spouse to build and grow together. Can you truly say

you tried everything you could to save your marriage? Mmmmmm 6. DON’T MARRY SOMEONE ELSE: Marrying someone else wouldn’t heal those wounds. You could end up with a defeatist mentality. You never know. Don’t set yourself up. Many people don’t realize the impact of their decisions until they’ve done it. Imagine throwing yourself off the cliff, only to realize that you cannot stop yourself from landing on hard concrete. In fact you could end up with a stronger complex and a tag of “Second-Hand, Good Will, Thrift Mentality. Not everybody in a second marriage is happy. There is a syndrome that comes with 2nd marriages. Not to all, but to some. Don’t be fooled. Again, I mentioned there are exceptions, and I’m getting to that. ******RESERVATIONS****** Now when do you give up? When your life is in danger. When your life is at risk. You are being beaten. You are being neglected on every level. Cheating (However, there are couples who still work through this because many at times cheating is a symptom of a problem. Once that difficulty is solved, most times the symptoms go away). But if your life is at danger(STDs, Unsafe, Threats, etc.), LEAVE!!! More reasons? You are being affected, and you have tried every means and every measure to make the marriage work. When I say every means, this would mean you have done everything right, and you wouldn’t be found wanting. This would mean you cannot be accused of the very reason in why you’d want to leave. For


{ LADY “O” } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “If you have ever been married or are still married, what you read here today may resonate with you. Love in marriage is very different from love out of marriage or love in a relationship.”

example: If you are leaving because your spouse cheated, the question would be, “Did you cheat”? If you want to leave because your spouse is selfish or nagging, the question would be, “Did you give? Did you listen to the words in the nag?” Nagging is a way of talking, there are words in it. Did you listen and act on what you listened to? That would be self-righteous for you to leave when you didn’t try so hard. It will give the impression that you are lazy and tired of trying, not necessarily tired. Big difference. You see, leaving is harder than you think. Will you really be able to live with a clear conscience when your anger dissipates, but you’ve already signed on that dotted line? It’s not about being a good person, it’s about being a good spouse, and that’s a choice. You may remember how you flat out never came home for dinner. You may remember how you were dismissive, rude and manipulative. You may remember the guilt trips and the negligence, and how you never for one day tucked your kids in bed. This is why it is important to be still. Your stillness will bring you to a certain degree of honesty. When your stillness cannot get you to tell the truth even to yourself, and to own up to it and long to fix it, then you are hardened, and this is not a good place to be. You should never be pushed to a place where you give up on an imperfect person when you weren’t perfect towards them. That’s not fair at all. 128

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Do you still love this person? Then work hard on your marriage. Roll up your sleeves and make it work. There is so much you can both still work on. If you have the patience and the stamina, you can build your marriage so unbelievably beautiful. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. As for me, I can live without my husband, but I DON’T WANT TO. I don’t want to build with someone else from scratch. My husband makes me laugh. He annoys me too, but I understand him, and it can suffice until the other gaps are filled. No matter how old you are or how much you’ve learned, building a life with another person will be starting from scratch because you’d have to learn a new person and give time to be enmeshed. That takes A LOT of time. If you gave that time to your present marriage, you’d be an Angel. I will rather CONTINUE to build with a friend I’ve already known for so long, provided we still have it in us to work hard. We owe it to US to stay and see the salvation of the Lord. We owe it to ourselves to try other ways to make our marriage work. As we submit to God and to humility, there will be a way, because we love each other. If we don’t love each other anymore, then the grind wouldn’t be necessary. Surely, you wouldn’t want to hijack someone’s life in the name of experimenting. Even at that, some people fall back in love with each other when the anger and bitterness has dissipated. That’s why I said “Be Still”. Give it time. Don’t make drastic decisions.

The grass is not greener on the other side. It is NOT!!!! Water your grass. Cut your lawn. Buy all tools and apply all chemicals needed to harness your garden, you’ll see how rich and healthy it will grow. Divorcing because you are tired is simply not a reason, well, it’s a selfish one. If people gave up on you, will you be here today? Would you even be alive to say you’re tired? It is okay to be tired, but it is not okay to leave on the grounds of tiredness. You leave on the grounds of planting on the wrong soil. The soil can’t suddenly become wrong because you want it to be wrong. Fruitful soil is fruitful. Simple!!! However, if you choose not to plant on that soil, let it be that you decided not to plant on the soil because you DIDN’T want to plant on the soil. Don’t render the soil to be WRONG or USELESS, to soothe your decisions. ******IN CONCLUSION****** See how hard adulting is? You cannot lie to yourself. There was a day in the midst of quarrelling with my husband, he said, “THIS IS SO TOXIC.” Those words ANNOYED me to the core because we were quarreling about a TOXIC thing he did. I couldn’t believe he could only view the results without seeing the process and layout of events. I, too, have told him to stop yelling and while I’m telling him not to yell, I am actually yelling while saying it. Getting off your high horse and stopping the self-righteous behavior will do you both some good. I have found that we hold on to self-righteousness to protect ourselves from admitting


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deep-seated inadequacies we harbor in us. There’s no need to hide. Arrest yourself, go to God and seek therapy. With constant drinking of clean water, you’ll rid yourself off toxins. At some point you’re going to have to be honest, and I hope you can live with your decisions. Your tiredness is granted, but if you give up on things EVERY TIME you get tired, then that says something about you that you may need to explore. Force yourself 130

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to treat your spouse with love and respect, and if you don’t know how to do that, then ask God. Nobody has ever graduated because they were tired. They tried harder. They tried many different learning methods until they passed. Get tired, but don’t throw in the towel, especially if it is a subject you like so much. Stay in school. You’ll finish soon.

labor. Don’t give up on something you worked so hard on. Don’t give up on something you still have room to work harder on. That’s not fair to you and that’s not fair to your spouse. However, as I mentioned before, if the exceptions are life-threatening, then by all means, do the needful. But is it YOUR needful? Or is it THE needful? Read that again.

Work on your marriage. Don’t allow someone else eat your harvest, your

#OMENESA


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YOU THE ARE SHE ENOUGH. BOSS BY NICOLE HEROUXBY WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO DR JESS GERMANO

Hi SHE Bosses! Welcome to my new SHE Boss Column. I am so glad you are here. Take a moment to give yourself credit for taking this step toward doing you and being the boss of your own true self, a SHE Boss: Strong. Happy.Empowered. My name is Dr. Jess Germano-Fokin, but most of my patients + clients call me “Dr. J”. I am a mental health practitioner that specialize in sexual health and intimate wellness. I am also a Certified Sexologist + Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. My coaching + clinical approach is using an integrative model that focuses on four key areas: Mental Health & We l l b e i n g , Personal Health & Wellbeing, Sexual Health & Wellbeing, and Intimate Wellness & Relationships. In addition, I focus on all overlapping aspects of the Self- emotional, physiological, behavioral, relational, and sexual. 134

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My motto is “You have to do you before you can truly do anyone else.” I am excited to be on this journey with you. SHE Boss will empower you to embrace your personal + sexual

body between the sheets, and creating the spark within you and in your intimacy. It will be real, raw and authentic because you are well-deserving of knowing your mind, body + soul and experiencing a healthy, fulfilling and pleasurable personal + sexual self. Explore. Experiment. Embrace Let’s lift each other up + level each other out by continuing t o B o s s Up , Rise Above + Represent together. Check out my new SHE Boss Collection + Coaching Platform https://powerof-a-she-boss. teachable.com

self. Including topics about dating, relationships, intimate wellness, confidence, sexesteem, body image, healthy boundaries, sexual and personal desire, holistic pleasure, what’s going on down there, getting your head in the game and your

Stay tuned in, in touch + turned on! Xo, Dr. J


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

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{ FIT TO REIGN }

STRIVING FOR STRENGTH IN YOU ENOUGH. ALL ARE AREAS OF LIFE BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY CORRIN STELLAKISBY NSP STUDIO

Fit to Reign is a women empowerment coaching business dedicated to creating a comfortable atmosphere where women can reach their goals and feel confident with their progress. I lovingly refer to Fit to Reign as “The Beauty and The Beast.” I believe that women are both strong and beautiful. On one side of Fit to Reign, there is “The Beauty.” This includes selfdevelopment, pageant, and model coaching, interview and public speaking preparation, and makeup artistry. On the other side of Fit to Reign is “The Beast.” This is where I push my fitness clients to their potential in the gym! The “Beast” is where women transform their bodies and become physically “Fit to Reign”. In the personal training studio (“The Beast”), I assess each client on their current fitness level and then construct a personalized program to help them reach their goals. Each client is different, therefore each client will have a unique fitness plan. I work with my clients on endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility training. I also provide nutritional tips for my clients to help them maximize their results! At Fit to Reign, my main goal is to make you feel confident, healthy, and strong! Fit to Reign is located in North Syracuse, New York, and is open by

appointment only. When you book an appointment with me, my focus will solely be on you. Fit to Reign is a small fitness studio, not a big box gym. In designing Fit to Reign, I was committed to creating a private, and comfortable atmosphere for women. I wanted to create a space for women to reach their fitness goals without feeling self-conscious. There is no comparison, competition, or

judgment. As a certified personal trainer, I love working with my clients in person, one-on-one, ensuring that they have the proper form and motivation! There is nothing more satisfying than helping my clients power through a workout that they initially did not think they would be able to complete.

If you are unable to come into the studio, I also provide online coaching through personalized programming. I train women all over the country! Through online coaching, I require healthy history information, updated measurements, and progress pictures throughout the entire process. Before writing a program, I need to be aware of any past injuries, or current limitations. I will also request starting weight, and photos in a swimsuit or spandex shorts and sports bra. Everything sent to me is completely confidential. This information helps me formulate the best plan of action. Throughout the entire process, I will be asking for progress updates, and encouraging my clients to ask questions! Health and fitness is a mindset, a lifestyle, and a daily decision to do what is best for your body. Through my business, Fit to Reign, I empower my clients to strive for strength in all areas of their life. You only have one body, and one life here on earth. Increase the quality of your life by making your body a priority! Exercising helps to boost “good” cholesterol (HDL) and reduces your “bad” cholesterol. It increases the release of endorphins which improves your mood. Building muscle increases ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ FIT TO REIGN } “I lovingly refer to Fit to Reign as “The Beauty and The Beast.” I believe that women are both strong and beautiful. On one side of Fit to Reign, there is “The Beauty.” ”

your body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), so you can burn more calories even if you are resting. When you exercise, your heart and lungs release more nutrients and oxygen into your bloodstream so that you have more energy. Getting fit helps to prevent high cholesterol, obesity, and joint problems and reduces the risk of getting osteoporosis. Consistent exercise helps improve sleep patterns and mental health. When you dedicate your time to your physical fitness, you will simultaneously be strengthening your mind and increasing self-esteem, and confidence. Through your fitness journey, you will not only improve your health and look better, but you will serve as an inspiration to others along the way! There are seven days in a week and someday is not one of them! A year from now you will wish you had started today. The most important investment you can make is in yourself and the best way to predict the future is to create it. Go train! Excuses are useless, but results are priceless. Commit to be fit! Become Fit to Reign! Contact Corrin Stellakis at fittoreign@ gmail.com

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SPECIAL INSERT WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES

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Monica Collins

AN INFINITY OF BRAIDS

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BRAIDS INFINITY YOU ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO PHOTOS BY L SHOT PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell us about your background, and how you started Braids Infinity. My name is Monica Collins and I was born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Staten Island. I recently became widowed and a very proud mother of five college graduates. I now reside in Rochester, New York were I’ve been braiding and styling natural hair for over three decades. My work has been displayed in hair and beauty magazines across the United States.

to keep up sometimes, but I manage to stay abreast on a lot of things. I self-teach myself and go over a lot of YouTube videos and discussing the newest trends with other fellow stylists that I know. What makes you “hustle”? What makes me hustle is the passion I have for hair and the great joy it brings

I came up with the particular name for my salon because one of my children said to me when they were younger, “Mommy you’re going to be braiding hair forever!” That for me that was the moment that inspired me to call my business “Braids Infinity Salon”.

What is your most favorite service to provide and why? I love to create hairstyles such as Cornrows because it is so much versatility in them. I like to now focus more on creating more intricate styles that are displayed by models for beauty, fashion shows and magazines.

What is your specialty service? My specialty is natural hair care, meaning working with hair that has not been chemically processed. I also am also an expert in African braiding styles such as Cornrows, Box Braids,and Twists just to name a few. What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide? Braids Infinity’s clients needs are of the utmost importance. I am committed to meet those needs and as a result I have continued to prosper with repeat clients,referrals and new clientele daily. How do you stay abreast of the latest trends? It seems like every week its there is something new coming out. It’s hard 152

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I’ve always been fascinated with the ability to create different types of styles for each individual I’ve encountered with. Why did you choose this profession ? Believe it or not, when I was younger I attended a trade school to become a carpenter. One day the students were able to switch to different classes and try them out for a week. So for some reason I decided to go to the cosmetology class. I saw what this has done for the young ladies who participated in that class and also when going to the salon with my mom and watching them get the hair done. I saw the reaction that they had afterwards and it made me want to be a part of making other women and little girls beautiful.

As a business owner, what are your top three priorities? My three top priorities are my clients, my brand and my integrity .

to my clients. It gives me a sense of worth knowing that I can bring a smile to someone else’s face by enhancing their natural beauty. What fascinates you about this line of work?

Would you do business with yourself if you were a customer? Absolutely !!! Do you walk your talk as a lady boss? Yes, I do religiously. I am the owner, stylis, the secretary, and photographer, the advertiser, the accountant and the list goes onand on. I am the lady boss.


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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I’ve always been fascinated with the ability to create different types of styles for each individual I’ve encountered.”

Do you find it helpful or hard being a minority owned business woman? It is difficult at times being an AfricanAmerican woman in this industry that ignores us as a whole. This is especially true in an industry that has historically segregated us even now in 2022. A prime example : you still cannot wear your hair freely without the threat of changing it or being fired in the corporate world, so many of my clients are forced to wear their hair in certain hairstyles just to meet a professional criteria. I am on a lot of comities for this and would like to personally help or start my own movement of where this cannot happen to us any further in our community and that we can wear our hair more open,and freeely. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? I absolutely love what I do it gives me inner peace . I know I’ve been blessed with ability to do what I do I love all of it that it entails and it shows in my work. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? So far the best form of promotion myself is by using my website some social media platforms is excluding Facebook and Twitter and by word of mouth. What are your plans for your business for the future both personally and professionally?

Professionally to expand my services by having natural skin and nail care. I would like to on my own hair care product line and open up workshops for teens at risk in my community personally to grow spiritually and mentally. When starting your business, did you ever ask yourself “WILL CUSTOMERS ‘WANT’ OR ‘NEED’ MY PRODUCT OR SERVICE?” Yes, communication and that’s why I feel it’s important to have consultations with your clients first it helps for you both to have a complete understanding for each other. Are you a born leader? Having a great idea is one thing. Being able to communicate that idea and convince others to jump on board is another. Do you feel you have what it takes to be successful? Yes. I have taking full responsibility for everything that has happened in my career so far. I trust my vision and I am willing to make continue changes in the road ahead. My hard work, dedication and I love a receipt for my client speaks volumes I am already a success!!! Does your brand currently have a social media presence? What platform do you find to be the best response for you? I have a small social media presence. I have a website and I find that having that along with Google search for business has worked out for me and has actually brought me more clientele.

What inspired you to develop your business? What inspired me to develop Braids Infinity was the passion that I have for Hair and Art in the can ability to factor those two things together and to see the reaction of my clients is Amazing!!! What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful? My biggest factor to my success is my professionalism and my clients having trust in my expertise that keeps them coming back and referring other customers. What is the best piece of advice you could give to an young entrepreneur starting out? The best piece of advice I can give to someone who is just starting out in the same profession as me is to stay focused, educated ,consistent there will be a lot of obstacles, you have to learn how to balance them out. Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship? I look up to several women and men in the Hair community as a matter of fact even some of my clients give me so much inspiration and mentorship. I receive so much positive feedback, energy and encouragement. I’m so grateful for that. How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles? I have no team it’s just me! I keep myself highly motivated by talking with other stylist who are as motivated ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “What makes me hustle is the passion I have for hair and the great joy it brings to my clients.”

by talking with other stylist who are as motivated as me, reading books and magazines on hair and beauty. I try to stay away from conflicts and obstacles by staying positive and having a very relaxing and calm atmosphere to work in that my clients can enjoy as well. Where do you see yourself personally 158

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and professionally in the next 3 years? In the next three years Professionally: I plan on pursuing other adventures in the near future. Along with having a Natural Hair, Skin and Nail Care line and having a non profit organization that helps young teens at risk, I have other passions as well that I

can’t wait to pursue. I Love decorating so I plan on going back to school for interior decorating ! Personally: My personal goal is to continue to be happy and take others along on the journey !!!


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SHIFT+CONTROL { { SHE {HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES ENTREPRENHERS TALKS}} }} SHEHUSTLES ENTREPRENHERS

COLLEEN BRACCI PHOTOS BY NATALIE SINISGALLI

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background that led you into the real estate field. My father was a prominent real estate investor and Realtor. He owned his own company, Andy Kane Realty. He wrote numerous and humorous howto books that were quite the talk of the town. Titles such as Care & Feeding of Tenants (a book of instructions for Landlords); Tenants Revenge (a counter part to the Care & Feeding book), Saloon Survival (he wrote this one when I reached drinking age), How to Raise Up a Kid or Two (a humorous, but also very true, guide to his philosophy on parenting my brother and I), Jobs That Suck and Some That Don’t ( including an interesting job description of being a Realtor) and one that really ticked some people off- Mastering the Art of Male Supremacy- How to Train on the Homefront.

houses he owned to collect rent, clean out trashed apartments, build porches, rip asbestos of boiler pipes with our bare hands, rebuild burned out houses and throw bad tenants out. (Those were the days of when you had a bad tenant, you were actually able to toss them out.)

When people learn who my dad was, I am often told with a giggle or snicker, “he was a real character!”. That he was. That comment is usually followed by “How did you turn out so normal?” He’s been gone seven years and I still have those conversations with people I meet. Especially folks in the field of Real Estate, or whoever hung out at the strip joints and camps/beaches with my parents, who were also nudists (he may have been a partner in a few local establishments).

I helped him gain access into houses he didn’t have keys to (maybe one he was thinking of buying, didn’t own, nor have permission to get into) by crawling through windows and holding the board back when he would pry a board off a door. This was a skill I learned that I still use quite regularly in my own real estate business.

Every Saturday I spent with my dad going to Jimmy’s restaurant in the Public Market at 7am and shaking hands with the politicians that frequented there. From there we would be off to the

In addition to helping with his investment property business, I would also help out in the real estate office. Back then, there were no computers. Each week you picked up a stack of perforated index cards that had a black and white photo and scant details of the house for sale. It was my job to pull out the sold or expired and put the new ones in. I also answered phones, learned to type and manned the rental office on weekends so tenants could come and pay rent. I started these tasks around the age of 10, manning the desk began around 12 years old.

By the way, my allowance each week was $2. I had to ask for it on Saturday. I would spend all day on Saturday with him and inevitably forget to ask him for it. A day or two later when I realized I hadn’t asked, I would go to him and ask for it then. His response was “You didn’t ask for it on Saturday” Do you think that if I don’t collect my tenant’s

rent on the first that it will be there on the 2nd?” Andy Kane was known as the one who could sell any sh*t shack that no one else could. He loved the investment property business, and I grew up knowing not much more than how to be a landlord and Realtor. Today, I am known as one of the few Realtors who can sell the worst house on the block, and I have, many times. Back in 1984, to get your real estate license, you had to have a high school diploma, take a 35-hour course and pass a state licensing test. Viola! You are a Realtor. During my Senior year of Our Lady of Mercy High School (yes, my nudist parents, who hung out in strip joints, sent me to an all-girls Catholic school), I took my real estate classes. Two weeks after graduation, I took my state test and began my career in real estate. What makes you hustle both personally and as a real estate agent? My father’s work ethic was unmatched. He would be in the office at 5 am and work endlessly. During the summer, he would get to the office even earlier so he could hang out on the beach and in the saloons in the afternoons. He wrote many “contracts” on cocktail napkins at the Barrel of Dolls. Work hard, play harder! He was a very good (and sometime very bad) example of a hustler. He never went to college. Built his business up by himself. Never took “no” for an ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I don’t hide anything. Maybe sometimes I should? But, no, it is who I am and what makes me. No apologies. Just like my dad. ”

answer. I grew up with that attitude – I can do anything. I don’t believe in “no”. If someone tells me I can’t do it, watch out. I’m going to prove you wrong. That’s my attitude in everything I do. I am in the office before everyone else. I am at my desk at home after everyone has gone to bed. I always give 110%. Never less. Not able to do anything half-way. And, always have a sense of humor about life. Laugh in the face of challenges and show them who is boss. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer when I was 32. Not a very good prognosis being that young with an estrogen-based tumor. At 45, I faced end stage heart failure as a result of damage to my heart from the chemo I had thirteen years earlier. At 48, my husband and dad died within weeks of each other, and I buried them both on the same day. I have faced lots of tough times. Exhausting, yes. Defeating, no. Not in my mind to ever give up. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? My clients seem to find me. Once you do a good job for one, they tell their friends. Often people call me because they know I learned from my dad. I was born to be in the business, and I love (almost) every day of it. In 2008, I represented a company from the UK that bought over 100 homes from me in a little more than a year. My first trip abroad ever, my first passport, was paid for by them to present at an International Property show in London. I have a great deal of experience in working with buyers from out of the 164

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city, state, and country. I have clients and friends all over the world now. Some have become very good friends. People from out of the country come to town to shop for houses and I spend days showing them the sights and sounds of Rochester as well as selling them a boat load of houses while they are here. Many of my investors have bought dozens of homes from me. When I turned 50, one of my clients came here from Australia to attend my 50th birthday party and gave me a three week all-expense paid trip to Australia. It was magical. My career is one great big adventure that I thrive on.

it began, sharing photos of the houses I get to see. Telling funny stories about the events of my day. Always sharing things that make me laugh (sometime a little risqué, but funny!). I have been stopped in stores by people who recognize me from Facebook or TikTok to tell me they just love my posts. I have had calls from Realtors from other states saying they didn’t want me to think A: they were stalking me because they hit the “like” on all of my posts. I think Facebook keeps me, my career and my sense of humor in front of people and they remember to call me when they want to sell or buy a house.

When and why did you start using social media including TikTok? OK. TikTok #colleenrealestatequeen began when someone had told me for the umpteenth time that I needed to write a book. Writing was my dad’s gig. I’m not sure anyone would want to read anything about my life. My kids, ages 30 and 34, introduced me to TikTok. At first, I just spent countless hours enjoying everyone else’s content. Then I decided to try it out. My first video went something like “I was raised by nudists/ swingers and sent to an all-girls Catholic school, if you want to learn more, then like and follow!” From there I posted little snippets of my days going through trashed houses or beautiful mansions, stories from my colorful childhood, I talked about being a #widowinheat, dating after 50, being a grandma, asking for advice on hairstyles, dresses to wear to an event, and even sharing my decision to get mini-facelift last year. I have more than 30,000 followers now.

What is the number one thing you get asked as an agent? Ok, top 3 things... Top questionsQ: Why do you sell the kind of real estate you do? A: I never have a boring day! I sell all kinds of real estate- $10,000 homes to $1,000,000 trailer parks. The variety is exhilarating.

Facebook I became a fan of as soon as

Q: Aren’t you afraid to go into some of the areas and houses in poor condition that you do? A: I have only been involved in a driveby shooting once. I love checking out dilapidated homes and more than that, being able to sell them in that condition. Q: Do you ever sleep? A: No rest for the wicked. As soon as my eyes open, I am working. Having clients all over the world in different time zones can get me on a conference call at 5 am. My favorite real state attorney, Steve Pheterson, keeps the same hours. We have spoken at 6am on a Saturday, even Easter Sunday. I sold a house to



“I never sold a house to someone who said they wished they got the other one instead.”



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{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL { SHE HUSTLES TALKS

“Be patient and listen to your Realtor. You will find the perfect house for you.”

a property manager friend of mine at midnight through a text a few weeks ago. Call me the Energizer bunny. What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur especially in the real estate market? A hard-working person who is honest, ambitious, positive thinking, and happy. She also enjoys occasional day-drinking and lots of laughs. Honestly, I think just being down to earth and hardworking is the key to it all. What is the number one misconception in real estate right now? That you should wait to buy a house because it’s a Seller’s Market and the “bubble” is going to burst. Nope. Rochester has always been a very conservative town. Our rate of appreciation was extremely low- especially when it came to city property. Most investors bought homes here for the lowcost, high yield that Rochester offered and not for appreciation. Rochester is finally catching up with the rest of the country. We are still a market that is continuously being touted as one of the Top 10 Places to Buy Property in the US. This is not a bubble. This is us catching up. Prices will stabilize one day, but I have doubts they will drop. If you are waiting to buy, you might be disappointed to find out that you are buying less of a house for the same amount of money and higher interest rates. Don’t wait to buy. What are the best, and worst things you have seen going into a home? Worst- shiplap. LOL. God, every house a few years ago had a shiplap accent wall somewhere.

I have also been in houses that squatters were living in for years, with no running water or utilities on and each sink, toilet, tub and some rooms filled to the brim with poop. Many hoarder houses as wellone house in particular had numerous dead cat carcasses from years of a lady who hoarded cats and dogs. Best-I’ve seen a lot of great things in homes. I guess my favorite may have been a house that had a bookcase that opened to a secret room… it was very interesting to be in such a room. I’ve seen beautifully decorated and elaborate homes. Lake houses with incredible views. Creative mosaics, wall murals, or tile work. You just never know what you will find behind the next door. What is your favorite part of the business? Meeting all kinds of people. Seeing something new every day. No day is the same. I’m not chained to a desk on a nice day. I put out “fires” for my clients before they even know they were about to be burned. Problem solving and seeing a transaction through to a successful end. It’s a good feeling when you get that one done that no one thought would ever come together. How long have you been an agent? · I had my facelift to not give away my age, but I got my license at 18, I’m 55 now. How many homes do you help buyers purchase each year? I have a wonderful team of agents- 5 of us now. Last year, we were involved in 369 transactions- buying and selling. We are at the end of February right

now and we have represented 88 sides under contract so far this year. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Don’t ever sit back and let someone else do the job you should have done You only get out of life what you put into A:then go it. If you want a half-assed life, at it half-assed. Do you work with both buyers and sellers? I work with buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, property managers, home inspectors, attorneys, contractors and throw in a few pets. Anyone who calls me for services, gets me. How do you help buyers compete in this market? This market is very challenging for buyers right now. They can expect to put multiple offers in on houses they fall in love with and get punched in the gut when they find out their offer was not the one to take the prize. I counsel my buyers to expect some disappointment, but, the one phrase I say, almost daily lately, is “I never sold a house to someone who said they wished they got the other one instead.” It is absolutely true. It’s like dating, you keep meeting up with these people and you think this might be the one, but when something happens and he’s no longer “the one”, you move on and eventually find your soul mate. Be patient and listen to your Realtor. You will find the perfect house for you. What are the most effective ways to advertise real estate properties to prospective buyers? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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“My clients seem to find me. Once you do a good job for one, they tell their friends.”

Social media definitely helps. Creative, out of the box marketing helps, too. A sense of humor! Around Thanksgiving, a few years ago, I had my awesome Admin, Marissa, dress in a turkey costume and pose in front of the oven, laying on the bed in the master bedroom, and sitting on the toilet. It created a stir and that house sold fast, and lots of giggles from the buyers who saw it. Recently, I had her dress in a gorilla costume and get in the jacuzzi tub, eat a banana at the kitchen counter and we even did a tiktok dance in the kitchen to create some attention. I wanted one of my agents to dress up like cupid this year when I listed something in early February, unfortunately we couldn’t find a cupid costume for him… maybe next year. Lasty summer, I hired a hot dog vendor to come to two multi family houses that I knew were going to be swamped with agents and their buyers for the two-hour window I had open for showing. First, I gave all of the tenants free hot dogs and that made them much happier when having 50 people through their apartment that day. One agent came to me that day and said, “can’t you do anything without a circus?” I took that as a compliment. What’s unique about the service that you provide to your clients? I use different approaches. Often a bit of humor. A lot of experience and good communication. I’ve been doing this a long time. I have a great team that has also been in the business for years. We are all there for whatever we need to do to make a transaction run smoothy and get the job done. What’s one of the toughest decisions 170

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you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? Hmmm, this is a tough one. Business related, I guess it would be moving from one real estate company to another many years ago. I am a very loyal person, and it was hard for me to make the decision to move. That being said, I never regretted the decision I made and I have a successful business due to the support that my Broker, Tom Schnorr, and Re/max Realty Group has given me and my team. Personally, trying to weigh out my options when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because I was young, and at that time they didn’t have many my age with it, I wasn’t a candidate for standard chemo. I decided to participate in a clinical trial, testing a drug that had never been used for breast cancer. I prayed it would allow me to live long enough to see my kids graduate. This St. Patrick’s Day it will be 24 years. I now have beautiful grandchildren. One of the happiest days of my life was five years after I finished treatments, I heard on the radio that they had approved this drug (Taxol) as a treatment for breast cancer. Made me feel like I made a difference for other women who were facing chemo and now had the chance to have something that had been successful for me. What training and experience do you have that qualifies you as a real estate agent? Refer to the question about my upbringing…pretty much sums up my “training.” You have been very open on social media about dating, and even receiving plastic

surgery...what made you feel comfortable enough to share that and what has been the response so far? If you ask my kids and my friends, I have no filter. I am an open book. If you want to know something, just ask, I will tell you. It is who I am. So, when I decided to start on-line dating at my age, or when I decided to getA: a facelift, or when someone asked me about my breast reconstruction and how they add nipples, I just took to Facebook and TikTok and shared what I thought others might be wondering about. I get a lot of advice and support when sharing the disaster dates I’ve been on. When I got my facelift, I increased my followers on tiktok by thousands. Everyone had questions- how much did it cost, did it hurt, what were the scars like…. So, I chronicled every day from the day of to about 8 weeks later. When I first took off my bandages at home, I did it on camera. Everyone saw exactly what I saw in the “unveiling”. I had so many comments from women saying thank you because they had thought about doing it themselves and I had given them the insight they needed to make the right decision for themselves. I not only share funny stuff. I share times when I am vulnerable and conflicted, too. When my mom was in the hospital and I wasn’t able to see her and she ended up dying. I made a TikTok. The love from people all over the world was an incredible comfort. Many strangers sharing their own stories with me and giving me advice to help me through a dark day. On the anniversary of my husband’s


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{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL “When people learn who my dad was, I am often told with a giggle or snicker, “he was a real character!”. That he was.”

A:

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an expanded base of friends. Every girl needs friends. Many smiles, many hugs, and lots of laughs. That’s what I get, and that’s what I hope I do for others. I don’t hide anything. Maybe sometimes

I should? But, no, it is who I am and what makes me. No apologies. Just like my dad.


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YANA ADAMS PHOTOS BY L SHOT PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell us a little about Yana Adams and where you are from.. I am a single mom of 1 son. I am a soon to be wife . I am a full time nurse, dancer and a plus size model Im from Bronx NY and was raised in Jamaica. What made you decide to open your own business and become a female entrepreneur? I decided to open my own business because , I have a love for dance and you very rarely see dancers my size . I wanted to create a space where women of all sizes felt comfortable to come dance and let loose.

NY and majored in dance ! I am trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and West African. I also took dance classes all over the state between the Bronx and Rochester. I started dancing at the age of 3. My love for dance and people made me open my business. How did you persevere through the tough

What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? The challenge over the past year has been in person attendance. With Covid my numbers have been down but I’m still pushing through.

Where did you come up with the idea for Caribbean Fitness and what is the mission behind it? I came up with the idea for Caribbean Fitness while brainstorming with my bestie. I’m from the islands and I love music and dancing. It is my form of fitness so boom, here comes Caribbean Fitness.

What is your background and how did it lead you to opening this type of business? My background is in dance. I went to School of the Arts here in Rochester,

What service that you provide to your clients is your favorite and why? I provide a safe space to work out and even create what my clients might need. There is a no judgment zone . I offer 3 soca classes during the week and I also have a few special classes to provide a little switch up . What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? Most successful avenue in marketing my business is just by promoting it. People will always pass on my flyers, or share my events . Word of mouth works wonders!

What makes you hustle? What makes me hustle...My son. He pushes me like no other. I want to let him know you can do anything you put your mind to .

The mission behind Caribbean Fitness is to promote body positivity and to spread my culture around the world as much as possible.

my studio so we can reach more women.

times personally and professionally? I persevered through the tough times personally and professionally through prayer. As well as an amazing support system. #7 What do you want to achieve next? Next I want to achieve, awareness. I want to have sold out classes. I would love to have to open up more slots for

What do you do for motivation ? For motivation I go back to when I first started and I watch my growth. Then I remember my reason for starting . What would you say truly excites you about what you do and encourages you to keep moving forward? What truly excites me is my clients. They encourage me and keep me pushing . What advice do you have for other minority women entrepreneurs?

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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “ The mission behind Caribbean Fitness is to promote body positivity and to spread my culture around the world as much as possible.”

Don’t stop . Keep pushing . Network .

Dope.

What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an idea to start your own business? The things that surprised me most in longevity. When I first started I never imagined having my own studio . Having my own brand ambassadors.

What would you say are the key skills needed to be successful, especially in working with clients to build caribbean fitness? The key skills needed to be successful, is communication, commitment and heart.

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

Name one person who has inspired you and why. My mom has inspired me because she always pushed me to be the

best at whatever I do . Never let my circumstances define me or stop me. Always do better . What does empowerment mean to you? Empowerment means strong to me . Where will we see you next? Next you will see me on you tube . I have a Channel and I’m pushing it . I’ll have live class coming up .

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MELINDA THOMPSON PHOTOS BY CHRIS JOHNSON

Tell us a little about who Melinda Thompson is, and what makes you hustle. Melinda Thompson is a mother, grandmother, college graduate, Church Administrator, and a God fearing Woman, who loves to help others and see others happy. Life made me hustle because I understood that if I don’t go after it, it’s not gonna come to me. What made you decide to open your venture out and become a female entrepreneur? I opened my business after working at Jackson Hewitt for a year and watching how people didn’t care how much they spent on getting there taxes done, and I said to myself there has to be a way you can help them out from spending so much money. What made you decide to go fulltime as a financial consultant and tax preparer with Just in Time Tax Services? The Lord and my health made me go full time with my office, because I was working 13 to 14 hour days between a 9 to 5 and my office for the last 4 and a half years, getting no sleep and stressing myself out trying to figure out how I could be a better service to my customers. Also I was having a lot of headaches from not getting proper rest. How do you keep up with all of the latest information and changes? I keep up with the latest changes and information by the software company and taking different classes through

out the year before tax season and after tax season. What is your background and how did it lead you to opening this type of business? As I stated earlier working at Jackson Hewitt and also going to there school for training and also wanting to help people and not just take there money. What service that you provide to your clients is your favorite and why? The favorite part of my office is the Tax prep I try to help my customers out by sharing things I know and have heard about, also that was the only service I was providing at the time and also to prepare them for the next year when they come back to file so they will know what’s going on. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? The most successful avenue that I have found in marketing my business is word of mouth from previous customers. What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? The challenges I have faced is being a sole proprietor, that means it just you, and your doing everything by yourself, there is no one there to help you with the customers, however I know God is there with me helping me along the way. What would you say truly excites you about what you do and encourages

you to keep moving forward? I get excited every time I get to share and help my customers and also meet new people, it lets me no that my office is not in vain. What is one element of your business that you can not live without? I can’t live without the knowledge and wisdom that I obtain because it helps me with my customers and without it I can’t help anyone. What would you say are the key skills needed to be successful, especially in working with clients finances? The key skills for me to become successful was determination, tenacity, support and wanting to share what I learned and is continuing to learn. Name one person who has inspired you and why. The one person that inspired me was my sister Twyli Denise Seymour, her determination and strength of becoming the owner of her hair own salon and how she cared for the customers, gave me that extra go ahead and push to let me know that I could do it as well. Also before she past, myself, her and my dad we sat down and talked and she shared some nuggets with me of how to become better and I listened and if she was here today she would be proud of me and my growth. What did you do before starting your business? Before becoming a business owner, I worked in retail for 5 years, fast food for 8 years, telemarketing for ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I get excited every time I get to share and help my customers and also meet new people, it lets me know that my office is not in vain.”

3 years and attended Continental School of Beauty. What makes your business unique? My business is unique because all of my customers are important to me and I don’t rush them when they come to there appointment, I take 192

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my time with them, we talk about life and things they might be doing before next year, might need to say a prayer, or even vent and it’s only them and me there not,the whole world. What do you have planned next? This year I’m offering some new

services such as Financial Advising, Financial Literacy, help with 401k, and helping those that want to open a business. So stay tuned more things to come form Easy Does It Tax Service


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THE “LITTLE BLACK DRESS” BY KRISTIN BAUER-GROS I PHOTOS BY BRAD VANDUSEN PHOTOGRAPHY

The Seneca County House of Concern has been serving Seneca County and surrounding counties for over 50 years, through its food pantry, thrift store and additional services for our neighbors in need. I’m glad to share an interview with the Seneca County House of Concern about their current work and upcoming fundraiser in April 8th & 9th 2022 “The Little Black Dress” Luncheon and Fashion Show.

exciting new additions! When will the events take place this year? Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9. Reception begins at 10:15am with raffles and shopping. The luncheon begins at 11:15am with a fashion

As a young girl, I have many memories of the Seneca County House of Concern. My mom would take my sister and I to buy gently used clothes and other household items and alternately when we had clothes that no longer fit or items to donate, we took them to the Seneca County House of Concern for someone else to use and love. Fast forward to 2022, being on the Planning Committee for the “Little Black Dress” Fashion Show and Luncheon, I see more clearly their impact and how the SCHOC supports and influences our community certainly much more than I realized as a young girl growing up in Seneca County in New York State’s Finger Lakes Region. Tell us about the upcoming fundraiser the Little Black Dress Fashion Show & Luncheon? Our theme this year is “Back in Black”! We are excited to be back, after a 2-year absence, with all of our traditional fun and some really

Seneca County community for over 50 years? SCHOC has been helping provide for the needs of the community through maintaining its food pantry and thrift store. The pantry, where families with food insecurities can come to get food boxes monthly to help provide the necessary nourishment people need. We also have nutritional recipe cards available. The thrift store where they can purchase discounted items that have been donated including clothing, household items, secondhand furniture, etc. The funds made through thrift store sales goes to help us fulfill our mission of “Feeding minds with knowledge, stomachs with food and hearts with hope.” What are a couple specific examples of the work of the Seneca County House of Concern? SCHOC stepped up to the challenge to fill in the gap for people in need during the pandemic when we went from serving around 425 families per month to 920 families. Support from community members and businesses helped make it possible.

show, fun, and luncheon favorites from Seneca Falls Country Club. The events will be held at the Seneca Falls Country Club which is located on Route 89, Seneca Falls, just south of Cayuga Lake State Park. How has the Seneca County House of Concern been supporting the

We have also worked with other community agencies to help provide some necessities for local fire victims and domestic violence victims. Why is now a more important time than ever to support the Seneca County House of Concern? There are still many families hurting ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “The Seneca County House of Concern has been serving Seneca County and surrounding counties for over 50 years, through its food pantry, thrift store and additional services for our neighbors in need.”

and in need because of the fallout of the pandemic and we want to continue to be there to serve them. We took a step of faith and moved to a newer, bigger facility to be able to serve our community better.

Purchase tickets online by visiting our website: www.houseofconcern.org,

Can I shop at the SCHOC Thrift Store? Where is it and what are store hours?

Or purchase tickets in person at Seneca County House of Concern Thrift

The Seneca County House of Concern Thrift Store is located at 22 Locust Street, Waterloo, NY 13165 Store Hours Monday 10-4 Tuesday 10-6 Wednesday 10-4 Thursday 10-6 Friday 10-4 First Saturday of Every Month 10-2 Food Pantry Hours Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10-3:30 Tuesday & Thursday 10-5:30

What are the goals of the Little Black Dress Fa s h i o n S h o w & Luncheon? We need to continue to fund the Seneca County House of Concern for all the services that are offered to the residents of Seneca County as well as some surrounding counties. Additionally, to connect with our faithful donors and our community members and to have a fun time after not being able to have in-person events for two years. Who should attend this event? Anyone who wants to have good time, perhaps win some pretty great prizes and, most importantly, support the legacy of Seneca County House of Concern - for years to come. Also, anyone who wants to learn more about our agency. How can one purchase tickets to this event? 198

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Store, 22 Locust Street, Waterloo, NY 13165, or The Copy Shop, 105 Fall Street, Seneca Falls as well as any of our Board Members or Planning Committee.


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FUN


THE SENECA COUNTY HOUSE OF CONCERN

Presents:

THE “LITTLE BLACK DRESS” NDRAISING LUNCHEON & FASHION SHOW EVENT DATES: FRIDAY, APRIL 8TH AND SATURDAY. APRIL 9TH EVENT LOCATION: SENECA FALLS COUNTRY CLUB 2790 ROUTE 89 SENECA FALLS NY 13148 EVENT TICKETS: WWW.HOUSEOFCONCERN.ORG


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LOLA BY KIM FOLGER

HAPPY 11TH BIRTHDAY LOLA! Wishing the most beautiful, stubborn, smart, adorable, demanding, sensitive, soulful, strong, tough, determined & absolute perfect girl the happiest of days. Today means so much not just because it is Lola’s birthday, but because a month ago we weren’t sure we would be able to celebrate this milestone with our Lola girl. To make a long story short, what was initially thought to be a torn ACL turned out to be osteosarcoma.

Being at an appointment thinking the worst thing you would hear is confirmation that surgery would be needed to repair an ACL, & to instead hear osteosarcoma & she likely has a few weeks…it left us shaken, heartbroken & resolved. Lola’s personality & her beautiful brown eyes told us she had fight in her & wasn’t ready to go. Lola had her affected leg amputated at the end of January (thank you Dr. Cely & Village Vet Clinic of Hamburg) & began chemotherapy in Pittsburgh 3 weeks later. We are optimistic that we will get more than a few weeks

with our perfect one. We are celebrating today with a beautiful birthday dress, decorations, mom and dad singing Happy Birthday all day, lots of hugs, kisses & pets, a long car ride, visiting some of Lola’s favorite people (her Uncle Joe, Grandpa and Uncle Kyle) getting ice cream, eating cake, & of course presents! Happy birthday to our sunshine – you make us happy when skies are gray. Words cannot express how much we love you sweet girl! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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AGAINSTALL


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MICHELE O’MARA YOU ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY LAURINI MCKNIGHT

All my life I have loved children and wanted to be a teacher, as did all my elementary school friends. After graduating from high school, I followed my passion for children, and went right to work in a day care center, followed by a position as a nanny for a few years.

over 14 children ranging from 18 months to 12 years, including three siblings sets of two, and two sibling sets of three. The shortest stay was 11 days, the longest was six months. In 2016, we took in two siblings (ages seven and eight), who never left. We adopted them in 2019.

to implement the Child-Focused Recruitment Model to help children who are freed for adoption find connection and permanency. These youth have been in foster care the longest, including teenagers, and children with special needs, and siblings.

After getting married and having my own children, I decided not only to continue caring for my own, but to care for other people’s children as well. So I became a nanny to a family with an 18-month daughter, the same age as my own, and the girls grew up together to become best friends. For 17 years, I also I worked in our elementary school as a librarian and a teaching assistant.

By 2021, I had concluded my position as a nanny. I saw that Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) had an opening to help children in foster care

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters work with smaller caseloads of 12-15 children to ensure that each child receives the time, resources, and support they deserve. I currently have 12 kids (ages seven to 21) from four New York State counties in my caseload, with 6 potential adoptions, including a four-sibling set.

My desire to foster and adopt began in 2014. I remember this because my oldest was in college and my youngest was entering high school. I always knew that my days of being a mother to young children were not over. I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen, but I knew in my heart that it would. My partner Marc and I saw an advertisement for potential foster parents. We immediately decided to go to an informational meeting at a local library, figuring that getting a little info couldn’t hurt. Within one year, we had gone through all the necessary training, and we were taking in our first foster child. Our lives haven’t been the same since! Between 2015 and 2016 we took in

through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Here was my opportunity to help even more children on an even larger scale. I was fortunate enough to be hired and became CAP’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter. Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is the signature program of The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The foundation partners with adoption agencies who hire recruiters

Even before I talk about adoption or guardianship with the children, my purpose is to connect with them, to be the consistent adult they can trust. As I was hired during the pandemic, I’ve needed to be flexible in how I see kids. So zooms and phone calls were how we communicated. Now, with a decrease in restrictions, I am excited to begin seeing children in person! Working at Children Awaiting Parents has certainly deepened my view of foster care and the foster care system. There are many aspects of the system that need changing. However, there is an abundance of people working toward positive changes who always have the youth at the forefront of everything they do. CAP staff are those people. They work diligently to do what is best for each and every ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ CHILDREN WAITING PARENTS } “I saw that Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) had an opening to help children in foster care through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Here was my opportunity to help even more children on an even larger scale..”

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child and family coming through the doors. Whether it is adoption or the new therapeutic foster care program, children’s needs always come first.

have former and current co-workers who are FAMILY. ALL my children are my FAMILY, and there will always be room for more FAMILY in my life!

My family is not only people with whom I share DNA, but it is also people I share LIFE with. So many people have come into my life for a day, a year, or a season. Those people are considered family. I have former foster children who are FAMILY, I

Along this journey I have learned that I have strength for more than myself, I have courage for more than myself, I have compassion for more than myself, and I have love for more than myself.

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The foster care and adoption journey has been life-changing for my entire family, and even though it’s been difficult, frustrating, and exhausting, it is also beautiful, magical, and magnificently challenging.


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CAP

Help Us Find Forever Families for Children Waiting the Longest in Foster Care. At Children Awaiting Parents we provide: Pre- and post-adoption services Support services for youth aging out of foster care MAPP training for prospective adoptive parents Support groups childrenawaitingparents.org I 585-232-5110 or 888-835-8802 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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WHAT HOME CARE? YOU IS ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY ERICA FARROWBY NSP STUDIO

The Term “Home Care” is sometimes used to describe types of medical or non-medical care provided in the patient’s home. There are significant differences between the term “Home Care” and “Companion Care.” Home Care ~ usually describes medical services that are provided by a licensed professional nurse or therapist. This may include assisting a patient with personal care needs such as taking a bath, getting dressed, getting in and out of bed, using the toilet, feeding and eating, transferring and walking. Home Care is sometimes covered by health insurance. Health Aides (HHA) ~ complete a training program and receive certification from New York State. HHA are supervised by a nurse. Companion Care ~ usually describes companionship mostly where a client cannot be left alone safely reasons. Services may also include meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, errands, shopping, and care of certain pets. Companion Care is typically not covered by health insurance. Companions are not required to complete any training or be certified. What services do home care agencies provide? Services may vary depending upon the agency. Tender Loving Family Care can provide you or your family 212

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member with: - Skilled nursing - Physical and Respiratory therapy - Dietary/nutritional education and guidance -Home health aide and personal care aide -Companion care and more… What does homebound mean? An individual can either be homebound not homebound. The status may be the difference between being eligible for insurance to pay for Home Care services or not. Homebound status is usually defined as: People who only occasionally leave their home and with difficulty due to an illness or injury. People who are unable to leave home for activities other than medical visits or religious services. People who are not physically or emotionally able to receive care on an outpatient basis. What should I look for when choosing a home care agency? When looking for a Home Care provider, ask about licenses, and certifications. A Certified or Licensed Home Care agency will have been reviewed and approved by the state, and must adhere to state and federal regulations designed to protect patient care and safety. These agencies provide supervision of all personnel, and

perform pre-employment criminal background and reference checks on all staff. In addition, there are two primary factors to consider when choosing the best agency to meet your needs: What services will you need? If your needs are medical or will require personal care, you will need a Home Care agency, not a Companion Care provider. Are your medical requirements encompassed in an agency’s program? In addition to its more generalized nursing, therapy, and home health aide services, Tender Loving Family Care also presently supports programs for: Alzheimer’s and Dementia Heart Failure (CHF) and Diabetes Falls and Injury Prevention Parkinson Disease and Stroke Wound and Ostomy Care How do I arrange for services? Services are often recommended by your physician, hospital social worker or discharge planner. These individuals can initiate your referral to a recommended home care agency. To request home care services with Tender Loving Family Care, contact us by calling 585-637-0333.


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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.

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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 fo 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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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

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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.


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A WRITER WRITES BY TAMMY VREELAND

Most of us have heard the expression a ‘writer writes’. But did you ever stop to take a moment to think about what that means? Or do you shrug it off with a pretense that it doesn’t matter how or why they write? A writer simply writes. While that may be true in a sense, every writer still has a reason to write. Whether it be for love, passion, self gratification or money, there is a reason for their writing. It doesn’t matter what the reason is. For whatever the reason, dedication and determination come with that reason. Writing is no different from any other job. There have to be goals. Which, in itself, gives you the determination and dedication to accomplish your goals. But is there a set of goals already predetermined for you to follow when it comes to writing? There are plenty of self-help books and classes out there that would like to make you think there are, when in reality there is not. I’m not saying these books and classes will not help you. Knowledge is always power! However, I truly believe that you hold the power within yourself to know what will work best for you. Sometimes, when that blank white screen is looking at you, and you are trying to apply something that worked for someone else, it can actually get in the way of your own writing! Remember, a writer writes. I have had many ask me, how do you write so many stories? Or have so many writing projects? Do I set a certain amount of time per day to write? My answers

usually surprise them. I write when I want. Granted, for a deadline, that may prove to be a little harder, but I have found what works for me. You may wish that to be the case for you, too. Then the excuses come, you have no time to write! You have a job, kids, responsibilities that get in the way! What? You seriously don’t think I don’t? Of course, in an ideal world, who wouldn’t want a cabin in the woods? Away from life and distractions, to be able to write when you want! Unfortunately, that only seems to be the case for a fictional character. For I know no one who actually has that scenario. And yet, it still can be done. I try never to force myself to write. I know, so many say you have to write daily! You have to set a specific time aside so it will become a habit! I tried the idea of forcing myself to write in a structured time set and hated it! And it showed. My writing looked strained. It didn’t flow. To me, it was harder for me to write, knowing I had to write in that time frame. That white screen blankly looking back at me, mocking me, to write at least something! Robbing me of my desire I used to have. Then there was the time factor itself. Even setting a small time didn’t work for me, for I had way too many other things happening in my life. Something had to give. My writing was going to be my sacrifice. I missed it. I became depressed at the

thought of not having it in my life any more. I found throughout a busy day, whether it be at appointments, balancing checkbooks, whatever the chore, in the back of my mind, I was still desiring to write! That the thought of getting to write actually calmed me. Then I realized the key was my desire. To me, desiring something is stronger than just wanting something. When I desire to write, I write. I found myself cheating on the sacrifice I was willing to make by writing little notes for ideas I was still having. With hopes that one day I could use them. Whether it was on a scrap of paper in my checkbook or a quick note on my phone, my desire was demanding to be satisfied. An idea would pop up in the middle of a hectic day, and all I would do was write a word or sentence to remind me of that idea. A treasured tidbit. A writer writes. And yet, that doesn’t solve the time to write or does it? When I finally got down time, I was usually too exhausted to want much of anything - let alone desire something! Then, before I went to bed, I found myself thinking of those stolen moments of writing. I would find myself looking for those treasured tidbits to read, fantasizing about how I would use them. It would kick my mind into thinking how could I apply this tidbit? It’s random. Is it an idea for a new short story, a novel or a magazine article? What genre would it work best for me? Children’s, Magazines or Horror? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ TAMMY’S TIDBITS } SHIFT+CONTROL “If you have a desire for something, you will find a way.”

Suddenly, the chore of writing, while exhausted, had now come back to being a desire to write! I found myself writing a little more to that tidbit at night or very early in the morning after a restless night, because it calmed me. Took my mind off life. Writing lets me escape. When I come back, I feel energized, accomplished! Ready to take on whatever life has to throw at me. Then when I do have time to write, I don’t feel pressured to come up with something for that annoying white screen! 218

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I have a secret weapon. The treasure tidbits that grew and are now ready for when I need them. All I need to do is to apply them. Expand on them. They give me the starting place I need to get the keys on that keyboard clicking. Think about something you truly enjoy. Something you desire. Once you are able to satisfy that desire, how does it make you feel? It must be a good feeling or you wouldn’t desire it to begin with. Feeling good lets you tackle the harder things in life. Do not deny your desire. Even if it is a sentence here or there.

It will keep the embers hot until you have time to make the fire! As I said at the beginning, I found something that works for me. You may not be a writer or even have a desire to write. And yet, all of us have a desire. And unfortunately, all of us have to deal with life. Don’t give up on your desire because of life. Find what works for your desire, which in turn will help you deal with life. If you have a desire for something, you will find a way.



I


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

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


{ THE ACS CORNER }

LOOKING FOR LOVE AT ANIMAL CARE SANCTUARY BY GREG KAPLAN

He might be hard of hearing, but he’s very easy to love. Once you hear this adorable four-year-old’s story, you’ll find it hard to believe this sweetheart is still looking for his forever home. Meet Casper. Casper came to Animal Care Sanctuary from a shelter in Philadelphia, PA, on Valentine’s Day of 2021. A good samaritan originally found Casper tied to a pole in a cemetery last winter, and he’s been looking for a new home ever since. While Casper can’t hear you call his name, he is overflowing with personality and is looking for the right family to share his love with. Every car ride is a new adventure, and every walk is another opportunity for Casper to unleash some of his unbounding energy. He might not be able to understand the words “go get it, boy”, but fetch is his biggest passion nonetheless. The one thing Casper is to a fault is possessive. Though that means he can get protective of his toys and of his meal time, that also means he loves his humans passionately. He’s big on snuggling, and if you have any belly rubs to spare, he’ll gladly accept them. 222

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What makes Casper so unique is that he’s been able to pick up on sign language and hand gestures. He is incredibly obedient, even if the commands aren’t issued verbally. Just this month, the staff at Animal Care Sanctuary celebrated Casper’s Gotcha Day by “singing” happy birthday through sign language. As much as the staff loves and cares for Casper, it’s time for this four-legged

adventurer to find a home to call his own. Could that be yours? Here’s what you need to know before you’re able to adopt one of the loving pets that are ready for their next chapter here in the Southern Tier and beyond: The first thing you need to have is time and patience. Casper is full of love,

but that needs to be met with a love for animals that you yourself possess. You must have the ability to provide training, proper care, and medical treatment if necessary when you’re adopting a pet. If you already have a pet, Animal Care Sanctuary recommends introducing your current pet to any new pets you’re thinking about bringing into your home. Appointments are not required when coming to meet our animals. Adoptions are available Mondays through Saturdays, and ACS does accept same day adoptions, so come prepared to bring your new best friend home with you.

forever home.

The entire staff and volunteers at Animal Care Sanctuary are committed to caring for the animals that come to the facility, and they’re committed to each animal finding their

Are you the one to give Casper the home he deserves?


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FIBROSIS BY RAQUEL WALKER

Adding clarity to the Post-op experience A couple of words in the post-op world have gained fame in being dreadful words no client wishes to hear. Instead, I will simplify a couple by building awareness and providing self-care tips. We often fear what we don’t understand.

the lymphatic system. For a condition such as inflammation to be noted as chronic, it must persist over several months. Persistent inflammation results in protein or collagen deposits that over accumulate. The emphasis here is over-accumulation.

At the mention of the word fibrosis, my client froze in place, holding her breath as if it were her last. I quickly launched into the simplest definition my mind could organize to help her exhale.

FIBROSIS TREATMENT Prevention is my favorite strategy. After the reduction of inflammation is under control following the first few sessions, we can now begin to monitor for changes in hardness or visible irregularities. Various tools are available to treat these concerns, such as cupping and soft tissue mobilization tools.

Fibrosis quite simply is the formation of scar tissue. Boom. Simple enough, so to understand why and when it becomes a cause for concern, let’s take a walk through a bit of the post-op process. YOUR FIRST MASSAGE POST-OP You just had liposuction, and now you are with a massage therapist for your first massage. This first massage is essential because you are experiencing what is called lymphedema. The cause is clear, you had an invasive procedure. The initial massage will push the excess protein-rich fluids out of the body. Specifically, these fluids will empty through the lower incision sites at your initial appointments. Note this type of massage can be referred to as a post-op massage, but is not an actual lymphatic treatment. The most effective treatment does change at different stages of recovery and healing. A more significant amount of swelling is expected and normal at this stage. According to the Academy of Lymphatic Studies, fluid accumulation will progressively harden if left untreated, resulting in lymphostatic fibrosis, aka fibrosis. The concern is not only aesthetic; this hardening can create obstructions that limit the movement of fluids through

For treatment in between sessions, massaging the area in small circular motions in both directions aids in softening and loosening the tissue. BENEFITS OF COMPRESSION Early compression aids in the reduction of inflammation. Let’s pause for a moment and clear something up. There is no need to end your inflammation overnight though you may wish that to be the case. There are lots of great things happening as a result of the inflammation. However, we want to maintain a reduction and continue to progressively reduce the inflammation. With that being said, with proper treatment and compression, you will not look or feel the same on day five as you do on day one. Compression is most effective in the first three weeks. HOW MANY SESSIONS IS ENOUGH There is a suggested total of 10 sessions over time. Clients may begin with four sessions for a few reasons: ● You are not prepared and don’t know what to expect: it is incredible how many clients are completely unaware of

the needs they will face after surgery. I prefer for you to experience the benefits first hand. ● You have already received a few sessions, mainly if this was a destination procedure. ● You have a robust support system, practice self-care between sessions, and maintain your progress. Characteristics of clients who opt for six to twelve sessions: ● Booking immediately after surgery. ● Excess worry and anxiety about the healing process. ● Lower tolerance for pain and discomfort. ● Feelings of detachment from their body. ● Scared to perform self-care. ● A variance of compression due to personal or recommended choices. ● May return to work in a shorter time frame. Characteristics of clients who become lifestyle members: ● Passion for self-care. ● Recognizes the added benefits such as the appearance of the skin, improved digestion, etc. ● Appreciation for the Divi9 experience. Mange inflammation in the kitchen I am frequently asked about what foods to eat. While I am not a nutritionist, a great resource is “Southern California Plastic Surgery Cookbook” by Kathleen Lission, CLT. This easy read is a great book to add to your pre-op planning to get your kitchen organized with a few essentials such as ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, sage, and other healing herbs and spices.

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{ DIVI9 CHAT } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “For treatment in between sessions, massaging the area in small circular motions in both directions aids in softening and loosening the tissue.”

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DELEGATING AS A BUSINESS OWNER BY RUMELLA CAMERON

Small business owners at times wear many hats or in some cases, they feel as though they do. It can be hard giving up control or having others do things that you’re capable of doing. Sometimes small business owners may feel as though they’re the only ones that can get the job done. Running a business requires taking on many tasks and responsibilities. In many cases, it can be overwhelming, and you may need support daily. As a business grows, it may require greater efforts to help support this growth. This means that you may need to acquire new resources to avoid overloading yourself and to help keep your business on track. Of course, delegation can come at a cost, especially if you don’t have a big team to rely on. But affordable delegation is a real thing. Let’s take a look at how to make it work. Before you delegate review your tasks and make a list. What do you love doing? What do you need help with? What do you hate doing? Then categorize your list into two, what you should be doing and what you take off your plate. Now that you have an idea of what your tasks are, don’t overthink and get stuck on the idea of not having enough work to delegate. Focus on the small things. Start by breaking down tasks into smaller steps. A great example would be if you’re responsible for sales you can have someone do lead generation. They don’t have to do the sales presentation. Another thing to consider before delegating and handing off your

responsibilities, is to check to see if your current process is documented? That’s right, block out time to write out your tasks and break them down by each step. Make sure they are easy to understand and follow. This will make delegating a smooth transition when building a team. Now that you have a clear understanding of your tasks, you will be able to know what to delegate and who to delegate to.

responsibilities, you’ll want to plan for any necessary follow-ups with your employees and stay open to coaching or making changes that are needed. It’s important to create clear channels of communication so you can see how people are adapting to their new tasks. This allows you to assess their work, provide constructive feedback, and set them up for a successful transition.

A good rule of thumb would be to focus on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. After combing through the task list find someone either within your business to hand off some of those responsibilities or find a company to outsource to. If you are like me, time is something you never seem to have enough of. It rules my calendar and my day whether it’s a workday or a weekend. When you own a business it’s no different.

Whenever I assign a task to an employee, I schedule regular checkins and use email, direct messaging, in-person, and other communication methods. We touch base on progress toward project milestones and work together to determine whether they need any additional resources or insight from me. Another good tool to communicate and to stay on track is to use a project management tool, like Asana, Monday.com, or Trello.

For each thing you cross off your list there are at least ten more behind it that needs to be done. That is one of the reasons delegating is good for your business. Delegating allows you to finish more jobs in a shorter period of time. Therefore, it saves time to be used on other work projects or on more enjoyable activities, such as spending it with your family or friends.

It’s true that business owners have many different hats to wear as they manage their businesses. However, in order to be the most effective and make the best profits, they should consider delegating tasks that don’t need their personal attention.

Remember to be flexible. Delegation is an ongoing process. You can’t simply choose a task, find a person to do it and then let it go. That’s a recipe for chaos rather than healthy business growth. As you hand off

Conversance Business Solutions is a full-service administrative support, and consultancy firm, serving businesses from small to mid-size nationwide. Our team specializes in various virtual assistant services and onsite support tailored to meet each of our client’s needs. Whether we work as an extension of ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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BUSINESS TALK } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “However, in order to be the most effective and make the best profits, they should consider delegating tasks that don’t need their personal attention.”

your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements, we bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. 232

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We hope these tips were helpful. Get in touch with us today at 585484-0038 or visit us online at www. conversance.biz to find out more

about the ways in which our team can help you.


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COACHING WITH KRISTIN

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WHAT’S YOUR S WHAT IS YOU


SUPERPOWER? UR PASSION?


{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT }

WHAT IS LOVE? BY ALANA CAHOON

Ask a simple question, and you may expect a simple answer. But when I asked my Facebook community, “What does Love Mean to You?” the answers that rolled in spanned from a single word to a commentary. It was a beautiful revelation of the meaning of love, and how it relates to each of us differently. I imagine this may depend on our life stories, past and present relationships, how we were raised. There’s a beautiful meditation that opens your heart to the essence of love. You can try it now, if you’d like.

come up with a word, words, or phrase to describe it. When you’re ready, open your eyes, trusting that regardless of any given situation, you can always access this peaceful feeling. You can even use the description that came to you to bring it forth. Typically when I engage in this exercise, an image of my adorable dog appears with his big brown eyes smiling at me with such love and playfulness. I can’t

Begin by focusing on your heart chakra located in the center of your chest. This is the seat of compassion and loving kindness. Take several deep breaths into this space, imagining a glowing light or star within. This begins the process of warming up the love within you!

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help but smile and feel loved.

Continue breathing into your heart chakra, now with the image of your inspiration, and allow the energy of love to expand throughout your being. Let it bring a smile to your face.

For me, the meaning of love is being connected. Knowing when your loved one is hungry, and making the time to feed them. And having this sense of knowing reciprocated. When I’m tired or feeling down, my dog knows. He jumps up next to me and snuggles. He licks my face and stays by my side.

Think about how it makes you feel and

What Does Love Mean to You?

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Holly Delgaudio It is everything Andy Willoughby Hard to explain how it feels when my children and my grandchildren hug me Josie Estill It means feeling completely safe with and cherished by my husband. And also feeling compassion and caring towards others …. This covers SO much …. Janine Muehleisen LOVE is an opening of hearts to the Universe and everyone and everything in it, regardless of whether it is good or bad, because it can bring more love and light into existence for all of us to share in and benefit from.

LOVE MEDITATION

Now think of a person, place, or thing that makes you smile. Something that truly warms your heart, and makes you happy.

This is what my beautiful friends had to say.

To close our hearts for any reason diminishes our capacity to change the world for better. If we can raise the energy of even the darkest of people or situations just by being the light and the love that we are meant to be, we become our greatest of purposes for existing upon the Earth. If we close ourselves off to those things that make us cringe, we are denying our blessing to the world, and selfishly protecting ourselves by ignoring what we don’t care to face and stepping back from the harder task of raising up the beings and situations most in need of uplifting and healing.



{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT } ““What does Love Mean to You?” the answers that rolled in spanned from a single word to a commentary.”

Love and Light bearers are here to heal the world, not to ignore what we find distasteful. We are warriors for the salvation of All. Let US be LOVE!!!!!!!! Nancy Houck It’s funny you asked….. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. One aspect of love that I recognize that keep the days rolling by is commitment. For feelings to stick I need commitment to someone and from someone.

Chris Cook Never having to say you’re sorry? (I never understood that, did you?) Charla Kucko Unconditional, hopeful, compassionate, genuine, eternal Andrea LiquidArt Caring and loyalty

Linda Fulleda Wo w, w h a t a question. It’s a feeling of warmth security and confidence that I’d like to give to my close people and to have it reciprocated. The knowledge that there is nothing that can’t be said or shared, appreciation of each other and of the beauty around us, to not take any of it for granted.

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Timothy Corbett It means I’ll always have a reason to smile and never feel alone Sherri Longyear Staying connected Lisa Calabresi Never ending forgiveness. Lifetime endurance and trying to understand and learn. Always giving your best, even when falling short, everyday is new. Velvet Spicer Trust, above all else Paul J Green Caring deeply Ask yourself what love means to you, and bring it into every aspect of your life.

It’s almost a warm and energetic, internal feeling that you hope radiates outwardly to the people you care about and maybe radiates so much so that others pick it up, and it spreads.

Dave Kaspersin speciallady.net

Lori Ventura Gordon You don’t say love, you feel love

Timothy Morris Listening

Brad Haynes Care

Kathy Jackson Love means genuinely caring for someone

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else’s well being.. Wanting the best for them… Without an expectation..

Candy Bernhard Love is like your best fitting jeans

Alana Cahoon is a Mindfulness Coach, Founder of Grow 2 B U, and author of Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditations: 55 Inspirational Practices to Soothe the Mind, Body & Soul




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{ HER EDGE } { SHIFT+CONTROL }

LINKEDIN OR OUT? BY ROBIN DEWIND

I have been searching for new professional relationships for weeks. When you work for yourself, you are always looking for ways to find new business. I made calls, followed up with colleagues, and called vendors to see how they were doing. I craved connection and the start of 2022, left me feeling like the previous year did, isolated. I turned to a familiar place, LinkedIn. Lately this networking site about business, ironically offers up all the trappings of Facebook making me feel like everyone is living this amazing work life. It is the playground for professional cool kids.

looking to hire a middle-aged television anchor. Career transition during an unstable job market requires personal reinvention. This was survival. LinkedIn became a perfect place to appear like a duck on water. My smiling picture allowed me to seem calm and confident while casually sitting on a box looking like I had the world at my feet. LinkedIn was my favorite pastime. It was better than other social media platforms. Here

It was the recession and LinkedIn was already the most popular business networking site for anyone looking for a job. Back then, everyone was desperately searching.

Naively, I thought my work and reputation would be enough to find a comparable job at my current salary. I could not have been more wrong. With just a click, I buried three decades of professional work experience in exchange for buzz words like strategic, storytelling, and content creation. LinkedIn was not

I accumulated five hundred plus connections but there were no jobs, only polite responses, and sometimes nothing at all. Nine years and a business later, I am feeling a shift in my need for LinkedIn. During my morning and evening scrolls, I find this modest platform has become like a boastful dating app. It is a picture our best professional self on steroids, but in a sneaky way. On Facebook we collect “friends” who fill our feed with pictures and videos of life’s details. It can be fun or irritating (like family and friends can be) and that is okay. We can like it, love it, or keep moving.

I got on LinkedIn when I transitioned out of television. A well-meaning colleague insisted I had to be on it. He said it was necessary to broaden my professional circle.

Posting my online resume was not enough. I had to tout my accomplishments, interests, and causes. Recommendations, endorsements, and coveted connections became important for my online brand.

Most connected, few responded.

work, career, and professional engagement mattered. I felt like I was “working” when I was on it. Researching businesses and people I wanted to meet did not seem creepy or stalkerish. This social media pool was not about posturing or popularity. I would spend hours, looking through my connections, their connections, and their connectionsconnections. It was a rabbit hole that soothed my aching ego and need for a professional rebound. If I could just connect with the right people who would respond back, everything would okay.

LinkedIn has a hierarchy of “connections.” The pressure to comment, congratulate, or shout out a ‘big thank you,’ has made this resource less appealing. LinkedIn has mastered the art of being humble and braggy all at the same time. We have all done it. Sell our soul to sell ourselves to stay publicly relevant. The quiet start to the new year had me feeling a little jealous that everyone on the site seems to have a bigger job, title, or better business than I do. When I look at all the awards, accolades, and promotions, I get in a bad mood and start comparing myself. Are all these people really having more success than I am? Instead of being Linked-In, I felt very left out. I needed to get on Facebook and look at my neighbor’s vacation pictures from Atlantis ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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“Be vulnerable. Log off, take a breath, and remember you are not professionally alone.”

This used to be hopeful place that was a lifeline during a difficult point in my career. Now it just made me feel envious that I am not re-posting a thought-provoking article from a top influencer for my peers to opinionate and debate over. In the last month I have gotten three automated messages about website design, an offer for a corporate credit card and someone wanting to read my color wheel. A guy named Larry who insisted we knew each other fifteen years ago randomly messaged me asking if I “wanted to hang out?” 244

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Seriously Larry? You violated the rules, this is not Facebook Messenger or Match. Unexpectedly, my former colleague and friend Joanna reached out in a text. We had not spoken since before the pandemic and she wanted me to join her for a networking breakfast as her guest. She thought it would be a nice opportunity to connect with new people and to grab coffee to catch up and see how we could help each other. I left with three business cards and plans for lunch. I also met a new connection, who

knows one of my connections and we are planning to meet for drinks. I share this simple story for anyone who is feeling defined by what others are doing, sharing, and saying. Be vulnerable. Log off, take a breath, and remember you are not professionally alone. Go out to lunch or gab a cup of coffee with someone you respect. They may need you as much as you need them. Connect, for real.


CONTACT ROBIN DE WIND TODAY! I ROBINDEWIND@GMAIL.COM


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JAKE BY DENISE “KARMA” CLIFFORD

I can’t stop thinking about the time when I first held you in my arms and thought, I wonder what he will be when he grows up. I wonder if I’ll cry when he goes away to school on the bus. Will he learn how to drive And pass his drivers test at16? At 18, is he truly grown? And the thought of how far away the day is that he will turn 25, on the 25th. Why this even crossed my mind seems trivial. But I guess when you have just created life and are holding a precious gift in your arms, strange thoughts race through your brain. Like when he turns 25 on the 25th, what kind of man will he even be? This small unique gift I held onto, looked intently at me, as if to study me. His eyes already seemed to have this strange sense of knowledge held within them. He cried at birth, when the nurses rushed him away to get weighed and wrap him, but honestly it felt like mere seconds, until he was clean, dry and wrapped and I was holding this content little thinker. Even his father asked me, “isn’t he supposed to be crying?” I probably replied with a sarcastic answer that went like “he must like us.” I was always good for those sarcastic comebacks, And in the last few years have realized my son has trumped me on that. This old soul who I swear had things to say behind that intent look, yet just hadn’t learned to say them, was to me truly perfect. I was lucky to have this 246

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person in my life where I learned for the first time what unconditional love for someone was. Love and my own perception had been distorted. But oh, how I could feel love for this tiny little human, who seemed to already know his path. Strange as you may think, but even old ladies would stop me at the supermarket to tell me “oh, he has an

old soul.” I knew this, I always knew. Watching the transition from helpless human, to small independent fast learner was one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I watched milestones like when my son was able to hold his bottle on his own. The day he began to eat real foods, and was able to choose what it was he liked. I was there to hear

his first words, catch him as he learned to walk. I was there cheering him on. The best was when he learned to call out mamma, and realize that was me, and that I would respond to this word the most. Time seems to move so slowly, when the entire days are filled with nothing more than taking care of a small being. Yet here I am remembering them as if they are not even ¼ of space that occupies the memory on our phones. I still feel the helplessness of going all day without showering, or making myself look presentable, or even getting to go outside. I mean I stayed home, playing and feeding and changing the one thing that brought me such joy. Sometimes it felt like my life was useless, at a stand still and on hold, and for what? I mean, he learned to count, he learned his colors, he said please and thank you. The days revolved and the only changes at times were the decorations I scotch taped to the windows. Did he even really know it was St Patrick’s day, or Valentine’s Day, Halloween or Thanksgiving? Did he even care about the big red hearts in the window, or the turkey hand cut outs I made with the outline of his fingers? In the end, these become my memories anyways, not his. His brain doesn’t keep these ones, it will pick And choose when he gets older, Just what he remembers. And it is not a fault or to be blamed, it just is. I took pictures, and I recorded all the


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“To my first born son, Jake. “One day, you’re gonna thank me.”

moments that I could. “One day you’ll thank me.” Is a phrase I’ve been saying for about 25 years. I don’t have many pictures And have no videos of my childhood. I wish I did, because just like my own son, my memory didn’t choose to keep those long ago sweet memories that I wished I still had. So, I wanted to have this for my son. Sometimes I got lost in trying to save the moment for a memory, but you cannot look down upon this. I just needed to save the memory, they disappear so easily. And it seems the bad ones are the ones that take root most times. So, here we are as you turn 25, and I see exactly what you became, and it is not a surprise. Yes, I did cry when you stepped up onto that giant school bus, with your brand new light up sneakers, your dark blue Hawaiian shirt, denim shorts and that huge backpack with your home address tagged to it. I took pictures so you would remember, because it’s something I will never forget. I don’t even know if you knew how much I cried that day. I blamed it on the new baby, but I cried because this was where I learned how to let go. The big yellow bus signifies the beginning of when a 248

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child steps into life without thier mamma. Where a mom has to trust her child can do this, without her. Maybe that’s why I have come to dislike the color yellow. You did learn how to drive, how to adapt and how to make it without me. This is a mother’s best gift and worst nightmare all in one. I know at 25 you are grown, but I also know there is oh so much more growing to do. And that

I am still holding on to keeping those memories. You are still that old soul with so much knowledge behind those eyes. You are still showing me what it means to love, unconditionally, no matter what. You are still a memory that I want to keep, not just the bad ones that take root, but the ones we tend to let slip through the cracks. The ones we don’t think matter, but shape our mere existence. I want those ones too.

You are exactly what I had imagined 25 years ago. You are successful, smart, caring, sarcastic, and witty. I wish I could go back in time when they put you in my arms, and I could slow the time down. I wish I had today’s knowledge on the day we met. I wouldn’t have cared so much about the rules, or the bedtime. I wouldn’t have cared about the candy you weren’t supposed to have, or the time you spent on video games. I would have kept you for myself, a little bit longer. I would have stopped taking pictures and videos to enjoy the moment that my memory would never retain. I would have kept you home more often or even home schooled. I would have kept you as a child Just a little bit longer, until I was ready to let you go...until I was ready. To my first born son, Jake. “One day, you’re gonna thank me.” Happy 25th on the 25th. Love, mom 2/25/2022


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OSIRIS STANLEY Tell us about yourself, and how you started your own business. I was raised between Griffin, GA and Rochester, NY and went to college for Photography and Art & Design. My business idea was created during quarantine at the beginning of Covid-19. I had realized my creativity could provide people happiness and joy during such a trying time for the entire world.

create a positive outlet. What is your must have apparel item from your line and why? SiPhilae’s “must have” item is our original windbreaker because it’s one of our first official items of apparel. As a business owner, what are your top three priorities for success?

What makes you hustle? My drive and desire to succeed comes from wanting to make others happy and giving them something positive to look forward to.

What is the mission behind SiPhilae Apparel? SiPhilae’s mission is to affectively help at risk kids understand and appreciate the art and photography world. SiPhilae’s goal is to give kids the skill and knowledge in order to

“What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? I decided to create SiPhilae because it is truly my passion, love & joy. What do you do when you are not working in your business? When I’m not working I am thinking up new designs and spending time with my beautiful wife. Who were the mentors that encouraged you? My m e n t o r i n l i f e has always been my grandfather he encouraged me to do why inspires me and to follow my passion.

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide? SiPhilae’s most important quality is customer satisfaction the pride in our products. How do you stay on top of the latest trends? Osiris is very active across multiple social media platforms in order to stay well verse on what’s trending.

the quality of service is great and I believe in the mission statement.

What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? Currently the best form of promotion for SiPhilae is social media platforms, SiPhilae serves for all ages as does social media.

As a business owner staying humble, keeping focused on the mission and having no days off are my top three priorities for success. Would you do business with yourself if you were a customer and why? If I were a customer I would definitely do business with SiPhilae because

Where will we see you next? Next SiPhilae plans to have it’s apparel sold in popular stores around New York state. Be sure to check us out at siphilaestore.myshopify.com

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THE RISE OF TIKTOK BY BREANN MORRIS

While scrolling through social media, or even watching the news, it’s likely that you’ve come across a vertical video of someone you’ve never seen before with a bouncing TikTok watermark logo in the corner. When the app first launched it originally targeted dancers, singers, and artists to share their creativity and talents to a broader audience. However, don’t be fooled by the silly name and Gen Z popularity. With its addictive user interface, celebrity endorsements, and its overall rebrand to a more communitybased app, TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform in history and has completely redefined the relationship between people and platforms. It now competes with Facebook as the new norm of social interaction and digital marketing, with practically every name brand using the app to share content with consumers. There are many opportunities for small businesses to grow on TikTok, so here’s an overview on why it has become so popular and how you can use it to your advantage. What IS TikTok? On the surface, TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that lets users create, edit, and share any type of video content to the public. What makes this platform different from its competitors is that video is the only media form users can post. Another, more important, factor that sets TikTok apart is it’s futuristic, personalized content feed known as the “For You Page”. This is where we take a deeper dive into what the app does. We’ve become used to having social media as the place to connect with those you care about to see photos or sentiments they want to share.

However, when you login to TikTok the first thing that you’ll discover is a video of someone or something you’ve never seen before, labeled For You Page. Similar to other apps, you can swipe away if you don’t enjoy the video, or you can like the video if you find that topic or style of content appealing. The app uses advanced technology to data track which videos you swipe past and which videos you Like in order to recommend more videos that you’re most likely to enjoy. This also means you will be seeing videos from anybody around the world that has a public account. Users with viral videos will appear on most user’s For You Page feeds. No matter how many followers a user has, if they post a video and it gains an exponential amount of Likes and engagement, that video could be seen by every single user on the app thanks to the For You Page algorithm. The Rise of TikTok It may feel unfamiliar and weird at first to watch random videos of random people doing anything and everything, but that really is the beauty it. Instead of being limited to only seeing content from people you know to follow, TikTok uses the videos you like to keep track of your personal interests, what topics you care to keep up on, and recommends new inspiration that parallels with your lifestyle. The app’s user interface is intelligently designed to make users never want to stop scrolling because once their feed algorithm is customized to know what videos you want to watch, it becomes seemingly impossible to swipe away from an influx of interesting content. Whether you enjoy Fashion, Sports, Baking, DIY’s, or simply want to see funny videos of puppies, there’s

never-ending content for every niche to join. On any other app, you’re generally aware of the average amount of engagement you’re likely to receive each time you post, but on TikTok there could be 3 people viewing your video one day and then 50,000 people viewing your next video the next day. Humans love instant gratification, so if a user posted a viral video on TikTok that wouldn’t achieve that type of engagement on any other platform, they’re likely to be intrigued by this recognition and stay motivated to post consistently. Everyday people who may not have many followers on other social media accounts, can share their lifestyle vlogs to build a personal brand through their community on TikTok with anyone who finds them relatable or entertaining. All this, without the pressure of gaining or losing followers. Users love how personable and genuine the video content feed is compared to superficial, overedited photos on Facebook and Instagram. Depending on the quality and entertainment value of the content you’re willing to post, you can create an account, post a few videos, and earn thousands of views within days. TikTok for Business TikTok creates a whole new world of opportunities for digital marketing teams to connect with consumers and drive business. For your own content, your business can showcase its products and services in a video format that’s more natural and not over commercialized. Not only that, but people who aren’t aware of your business are able to react to your videos/brand, ask specific questions, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “Now go create your first TikTok video, you won’t regret it! ”

and provide real-time feedback that can be used to enhance your products and services. A unique feature TikTok has is the ability to reply to a comment through a video post. This allows brands to form a personal relationship with their customers by reaching out individually to answer specific questions with a more in-depth, human explanation available on their public platform. Businesses that want to reach and grow a certain market of their consumer base should heavily consider investing in micro-influencer marketing, also known as the key to community commerce. Like other social media apps, there are ways to create a classic advertisement to post for the entire TikTok userbase to see. Knowing the surfacelevel basics of the app and recognizing its immense growth, marketers are quick to invest a huge portion of their budget on a TikTok advertisement like they naturally would on any other social media platform. However, considering the deeper level of the app’s popularity with its personalized content feed, sense of community and sharing ideas, and easy access to quick entertainment, commercial advertising tactics have been proven not to work as well with TIkTok since users are very 256

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quick to swipe away from something they don’t want to watch. Businesses have found some success working with verified influencers on TikTok because they’re trustworthy of highlighting the brand. On the other hand, there are lifestyle vlog content TikTok creators that don’t have that “influencer” title but gain views by posting interesting content that certain communities love

to watch and learn from. Reaching out to brand-friendly TikTok creators that gain thousands of views, multiple times a day, allows growing businesses to reach a broader audience by taking advantage of the relatable, reliable, and most effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy.

Many small businesses have grown from posting creative content on TikTok, and the platform has an ongoing effort to support these businesses in any way. That’s why, at the end of 2021, they launched their “Small Wins” initiative to help small businesses make the most of their content and gain the most traction on the app. These series of videos and tips educate new users and demonstrates the best ways to design a successful platform. After the difficult year in 2020, TikTok provided $100 million in ad credits to assist businesses to get back on their feet. Small Wins gets marketers adjusted to the unique data-driven insights on TikTok Ads Manager and gives you the key tools to finding the most ideal partnerships. Remaining authentic and sparking new discoveries are the best tips for businesses to find success on this new, gigantic, and quickly growing social media platform. Now go create your first TikTok video, you won’t regret it! Cheers, Bre


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Agness Wine Cellars Tasting Room

NOW OPEN 265 NY 14 Lyons NY 14489 AGNESS

@ Toganenwood Estates

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


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MAXIMIZE YOUR WORKOUT WITH HIIT BY BETH PARRY

HIIT-style workouts are getting a lot of press. HIIT stands for highintensity interval training and can come in different forms. Maybe you have heard of Tabata, interval, or circuit training? But what exactly is it, and why is it beneficial? HIIT exercise is a short burst of maximal intensity (80 to 90% effort) with a short duration of recovery time. This exercise style does not need to be an hour-long class. Most HIIT classes are twenty to thirty minutes long. A HIIT-style workout can be done anywhere, anytime, with minimal equipment. Some benefits of HIIT style workout are • Time: Easy to fit in a 20 min workout instead of 60 minutes. • Body: Heart-healthy and great for your lungs by improving your oxygen consumption. • Mind: Show to develop brain cells and increased nerve production • Weight loss: Research finds that you can burn 25-30 % more calories in a shorter amount of time and burn more calories at rest throughout the day. • Balance: Quick movements improve your reaction time and improve your balance. HIIT style training is excellent for many types of people, different fitness levels, and multiple diagnoses. Because of its significant cardiovascular benefits, it is beneficial for those with

heart disease and type 2 diabetes. HIIT-style workouts are also great for your brain health. It has proven to decrease your risk of dementia by creating new blood vessels and developing cells in your brain. Highintensity training has proven excellent at managing Parkinson’s disease by creating new nerve pathways and brain cells. Additional benefits include improved muscle control, enhanced cognition, improved balance, decreased stiffness, improved reaction time, and improved neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a change in the brain’s structure and decrease of brain cell degeneration. This is why you will find cycling and boxing classes to be so beneficial to the Parkinson’s community.

to the next mailbox. It will decrease your walking time but increase your results. If you do not have cardio equipment, no biggie. You can do a HIIT-style workout using jumping jacks, squats, jumps, lunges, and/or high knees. Not ready for a full 10-20 minute HIIT workout? Tabata may suit your needs. Choose one or two exercises and give it your max effort for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds for eight rounds. That is just 4 minutes of exercise total! Because of the highintensity push of HIIT-style workouts, you should limit these workouts to 2-3 times per week. This will give your body plenty of recovery time in between. In the days between, be sure to add strengthening exercises. This will keep your body, heart, lungs, and bones happy and healthy.

So how do you incorporate HIIT style into your workout? Any workout can be modified into a high-intensity workout by changing the timing and exertion. HIIT typically alternates 20-second maximum exertion intervals (at least 80-90% exertion)with 10 seconds of rest. You can change the timing to suit your needs. Maybe you do 45 seconds at 80-90% exertion and rest for 15 seconds. If you are on the treadmill, add in some high-intensity rounds. Push yourself for 20 seconds and rest for 10 sec. Begining a HIITstyle workout can be intense, so you can start with 30-second pushes and 30-second rest. Eventually, you can increase the time of your push and decrease your rest times. You can do the same with walking outside. Push hard to one mailbox, then walk slowly

HIIT training is not for everyone! There is much debate on who should and who should not be doing HIIT training. HIIT may not be beneficial for those who are immune are compromised. Placing additional stress on your body is not always the best answer to your long-term health. Osteoporosis is considered a contraindication of HIIT training. This controversy is because HIIT training is quick, can include plyometrics (jumping), and can increase your risk of falls, leading to increased fracture risk. Those who have pelvic floor weakness, 3-6 months postpartum, or those currently pregnant should not participate in HIIT style training. It is essential in any exercise program to modify the types of exercises you do dependent ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{{SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES { WELLNESS 360 } }} } “HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and can come in different forms. Maybe you have heard of Tabata, interval, or circuit training?”

on your health history, fitness level, and current goals. There are many ways to modify your exercise programs to continue to get the same great benefits but prevent injury. It is worth the time and money to have a trained professional guide you in an appropriate fitness program. Wellness 360 is a great way to manage your diagnosis and meet your goals 262

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with the supervision of healthcare professionals. We offer High-intensity classes specific to Parkinson’s disease, including Rock steady boxing, virtual boxing, Parkinson’s cycle, and more. We offer physical therapy, massage therapy, group fitness classes, and individualized wellness plans to meet the needs of most diagnoses. We also have an ON-Demand

program offering great evidence-based exercises for disease management. Wellness 360 is one-stop shopping for your fitness needs! For more information, please check us out at www.wellness360fitness.com.


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YOGA THERAPY EXERCISES FOR BUSY MOMS BY KAITLYN VITTOZZI

Is there such a thing as a not-busy mom? I’m yet to meet one, so if you’re always relaxed with a wide open schedule and nothing to worry about, please call me. I’d love to hear your secrets! Whether you stay at home, work, breastfeed, pack lunches, live 50 miles from your adult children – most moms are always on call. I’m in my thirties and I still have my own mother on call – God bless her. The world asks mothers to give a lot. Time boundaries can get blurry, and if you find yourself thinking about five things at once, odds are you are tired. Yoga therapy is all about practicing presence to bring more energy and ease to your life. I designed the list of the following yoga therapy exercises below so they can be done on their own or strung together into a longer practice when you have more time. Try to just focus on the task at hand. Even if you take just five minutes to try one of below, that time to yourself can provide mental and emotional clarity. Speaking of energy, this sequence roughly touches on the body’s seven chakras (energy centers). Of course, get cleared from your doctor before you add anything into your health and wellness routine. The below is designed to be a little bit uncomfortable but it should not be painful. If you’re in pain, stop! If you get frustrated or feel like you can’ stick to this, remember we’re all practicing. The more you make time for self-care a part of your routine the more routinely it happens. Understandably, you might

need to schedule these around your kids’ schedule, but you’re worth scheduling! 1. CALF RAISES: Get some blood moving, to help you get grounded even if you don’t have time to sit down. Slowly lift onto the balls of your feet on your inhalation, and on an exhalation let your heels lower down to the floor. Squeeze the muscles around your ankles, calves and hips. At first it might be hard to hold yourself up for more than a second but start to lengthen these out. 2. FORWARD FOLD: Stand with your feet flat on the ground. Put a micro-bend in your knees and reach down to the floor. If your hands don’t touch the floor you can let your hands rest on a chair, books, or whatever kids toys might be on the floor. Engage your abdominals, let your neck relax. Be sure to breathe while you are upside down. 3. SEATED TWIST: Mindfully make your way down to the floor – notice if the tendency is just to flop down. Take a moment and observe how your body finds the ground. If sitting on the floor makes your chest cave in, sit up on a pillow or a few blankets so you can sit up with a long, tall spine. Bend your right knee and let the sole of your right foot rest flat on the floor. Bring the right foot to the outside of the left thigh, still flat on the floor. If it feels ok, bend your left knee so your left foot rests by your right hip – but that’s optional. Inhale sit up tall and hug your abdominals, and on the exhale twist to the right, hugging your right leg in as close to your abdomen as you can. Option to bring the left elbow outside

of the right leg. Breathe and notice what it’s like to be here. Hold for 10 breaths (or longer) and then pause for a few breaths before switching sides. 4. CHEST STRETCH: If you’re breastfeeding, holding little ones, or spending a lot of time on phones or laptops – this one is for you. Lie flat on your back with your arms in a goal post shape, feet flat on the floor. If this is already an intense stretch, you’re welcome to stay here. If you want to explore a little bit more, wiggle your hips to the right side and lift your feet up – bringing them and your knees all the way to the left until they rest on the ground. If your right arms lifts, let it lift or support it with a pillow or blanket underneath. Feel what feels open or closed here. Hold for 20 breaths (or longer) and then pause for a few breaths before switching sides. 5. LION’S BREATH: Feel like your words are bound up or escaping you? Explore the throat chakra. Sit, stand, or kneel comfortably. Inhale fully through the nose and on the exhale sigh it out the mouth and stick your tongue out at the same time. Try at least 10 rounds. Notice the impact after. You might realize you’ve been deprived of your own silliness! If this feels ridiculous, do it more. 6. MEDITATION: Sit or lie down without external distraction. If you can ask someone to watch the kids for five, great. Focus on your inhalation and exhalation. Your mind might wander, acknowledge what you’re thinking about and come back to your breath ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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in and your breath out. Start with one minute, add on 30 seconds a day. 7. SAVASANA: Motherhood is so often filled with sleep deprivation – and even with the best exercise routines, doctors, life just seems harder when you’re exhausted. Lie flat on the floor if you can, but lounging in bed, a chair or some yoga props is great too. Simply 268

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let yourself rest for a few minutes. Nothing to do, nowhere to be. If you’re on a schedule and you need to set an alarm, no problem. This is all about taking a few minutes to do nothing. As you come out of rest, notice what you notice about yourself and your relationship to rest. Kaitlyn will be leading complimentary

therapeutic yoga classes at ROC & Soul in Webster at 7:15 PM (after the kids are in bed!). All levels are welcome for yoga, meditation and rest. Email Kaitlyn to register Kaitlyn@tozziyoga.com or call (585) 200-7209 with questions.


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ESSENTIAL OILS BASICS BY CINDY DECAROLIS

The History of Essential Oils

Why I choose doTerra Essential Oils

compatible and beneficial to humans.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years. One of the earliest noted uses was as perfume. Clay tablets, dating back to 4,000 – 3,000 BC, have been found with perfume recipes used by the Sumerians. In other ancient civilizations, essential oils were used in religious ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, cosmetics, funerals, and healing. In 1937, French Chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé published Aromathérapie, a book about the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.

I choose doTerra because they are the best essential oils on the market today. With no accepted standards for essential oils, doTerra created Certified Pure Tested Grade® (CPTG®.) The CPTG® process includes rigorous testing of each batch of oils – more than fifty tests. Many of the tests are conducted by third parties. doTerra’s promise is to provide 100 percent purity and potency.

When used appropriately, essential oils are natural and safe. They address the root causes of health issues, assisting the body in healing itself. In addition, essential oils are affordable. At just pennies per dose using essential oils can help you to save money.

What are essential oils? Essential oils are aromatic, volatile compounds found in plants. Essential oils can come from the leaves, flowers, bark, stem, roots, resins, or seeds of plants. Citrus oils come from the rind or peel of the fruit. In nature, the role of essential oils is to protect the plants from predators or other threats, as well as attracting pollinators. Essential oils are comprised of chemical constituents. The unique combination of chemical constituents in an oil is what gives the oil its distinctive properties. Citrus oils are extracted by cold pressing. Other essential oils are extracted by steam-distillation. Skillful extraction yields pure and potent essential oils. Extracting oils using chemical processes or solvents results in lower quality oils – these oils will not have the benefits of pure essential oils.

How do you use essential oils?

doTerra sources essential oils from around the world. Their co-impact sourcing initiatives guarantee that growers are paid fairly and their

When using essential oils, a small amount goes a long way. Begin with one or two drops and repeat several times throughout the day. There are three ways to use essential oils: aromatically, topically, and internally.

Healing Hands Foundation funds projects, such as clinics and schools, in developing countries where oils are sourced.

Us i n g e s s e n t i a l o i l s aromatically can be powerful because the sense of smell is our strongest sense. Our sense of smell is connected to the amygdala, the area of the brain responsible for emotions and long-term memory. Diffusing essential oils can calm or lift the mood, open our airways, and freshen the air.

How do essential oils work? Essential oils work for two reasons. The first is that the molecules of the active compounds in essential oils are extremely small, allowing them to absorb easily into the skin, permeate the cell membrane, and in the case of certain oils, cross the blood-brain barrier. The second is that human beings, like plants, are carbon-based, making essential oils

Used topically, essential oils provide a more localized benefit at the point of application. Methods of topical use include direct application, massage, reflexology, and adding a few drops to a bath. For best results dilute with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil. Some essential oils, such as citrus and herbal oils, can be taken internally. Keep in mind that when using essential oils internally it is critical that they ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2022

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{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “When used appropriately, essential oils are natural and safe. They address the root causes of health issues, assisting the body in healing itself. ”

are 100 percent pure. Oils can be taken in a cup of tea or milk, used in cooking to substitute for herbs and flavors, or put into a veggie cap with a drop of olive oil for dilution. Getting started with essential oils Keep it simple. There is so much to learn it can become overwhelming. A fantastic way to begin is with a diffuser for aromatic use. Choose several oils that you enjoy and diffuse them in

your home. Then as you learn more you can add different oils and explore other ways to use them. I would love to help you get started with doTerra! I am offering up to six months of free health coaching and essential oil education when you enroll with me as a doTerra wholesale customer. To schedule a consultation email cindydecarolis62@gmail.com. At Blissfull Balance LLC our mission is

to help you to live life healthier. Follow us on Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram @blissfull_balance. Namaste. *The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.


At Blissful Balance our mission is to help you to live life healthier.

• • • •

Get started with a doTerra wholesale membership today! Your membership comes with: 25% off retail pricing Optional monthly subscription box Opportunities to earn free oils and special promos Free essential oil education

Up to six months free health coaching with certified health coach, Cindy DeCarolis

Feeling inspired to take care of your family’s wellness

For a complimentary consultation contact cindydecarolis62@gmail.com https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/blissfullbalance www.blissfullbalanceroc.com Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance


{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } { SHIFT+CONTROL }

THE ART OF RELEASING BY LISA WAGNER

How To We Learn to Let Go Creatively In life, the hard road is the one we tend to resist. Especially after all we’ve been through the last two years. We are worn out and on edge with little left to give; even to ourselves. We tire more easily, and we avoid it by partying hard or by continuing to stay put because it feels a lot safer for many of us. Unfortunately, that is what’s holding you back from reconnecting with your joyful self. Joy is your true essence and until we learn the art of releasing that which no longer serves us or our growth, we stay stuck in limiting patterns and beliefs. Learning how to let go creatively means trying new things and the potential for an expansion of our hearts. Throughout our lives, we are tested by our deepest fears that can prevent us from our expanding our souls. This is just here to prove to us our own humanness and what makes each of us precious beings. We are here to learn from and then conquer them. We have listened far too much to outside opinions, expectations and advice that wasn’t always in our best interest. As if, had we not tried to live up to them or adhere to the “rules,” we were inherently failing ourselves and those who we believed were judging us. That’s where our first errors happen. It usually stands to bear that no one is paying attention to what we’re doing as much as we imagine. Their happiness isn’t hinging on anything we do most times. Funny that we hold that up as fact and run around people-pleasing & acting within societal norms. If I did my artwork in accordance with what others thought, I never would have made a single piece. 274

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Have you ever ventured out of your comfort zone and done what you know resonates more divinely to your soul? It’s scary that first go-around but completely worth it! Try to imagine what would happen if you did that scary step. What if you wore that cute bikini to the beach or started dancing in public? You probably don’t know anyone, and you’ll never see any of them again. Once you do that hard thing, it suddenly hits you that you’ve allowed yourself to reconnect to your joy. It’s the bliss we rarely allow ourselves as adults. We lose it along the way towards adulthood. Imagine a three-year-old worried about anyone’s opinion and they’re the happiest people I’ve ever met.

You were born with the innate ability and inner guidance to know exactly how to find your purpose and then shows you how to get there. Joy is your truest essence and it’s the most patient and loving constant in our lives; even when times are the hardest. How many times do we pray and spend the entire time asking instead of sitting quietly and just listening to the guidance available to us? When you imagine what it is you wish for, how does it feel? Stay in that feeling and then allow in the support that awaits you. Watch for signs that are meaningful to you as a confirmation that you are on the right path. They’re always showing up for you as a means of encouragement and comfort.

Each step we take to remove our own beliefs about what is keeping us safe from pain, we move ourselves closer to feeling alive again. Another simple thing we can do is set intentions about how we want to feel going forward and what we will need to release to achieve that. The Universe is always conspiring to bring us what it is we wish or hope for. Some emotions or patterns are easier to let go of than others. So, start with simple ones like wanting to control outcomes of things that matter to you; if you’ll get promoted, find the love of your life or, as an artist, how the work I had all planned out in my head looks nothing like it once I’ve finished it. All those hopes, dreams and plans we have for ourselves usually pale in comparison to what the Universe has in store for us. But only if we can allow them to take the lead and trust that we will be guided and held. When we try to control the outcome, we are actually blocking what we wish to attract to us.

Grief can hold us in its grips like a strait jacket that is continually tightening around us. We are left feeling out of breath and out of control. Yet, we are always being supported by something greater than ourselves. If we lean into the love that is offered to us, grace and some good therapy can then allow us to start healing. We are meant to move forward once we’ve fully experienced its throws. There is more for us to see, experience and offer the world. Your pain can and will offer others hope. It’s in that moment that we are our most powerful. We can affect positive change. Today, try breaking out a piece of paper and write out exactly how you’re feeling without judgment. Write down whatever you’re being called to let out. Then begin to draw and scribble over the top of it. A line, a hard scribble, a shape that represents how you feel. Use colors that you are being drawn to and fill the paper. Just let go and let whatever


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE }

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “The art of releasing what no longer serves you will begin to alter your mindset for the better.”

happens be perfectly imperfect. Feel free to embrace whatever emotions this brings up for you. Now, take a few deep breaths as you witness what you’ve put on the paper. How does it feel to put it all down on something other than your heart? Do this as many times as you need. You’re doing sacred work to heal your pain. I sometimes do this on the canvas before I paint over it or will bury the paper I made a mess out of, letting Mother Earth transmute it and regenerate it into energy for her. It feels as though I’m allowing myself to be lighter and rise up again. You deserve to feel that way, too, using whatever loving means or ways that feels good. For the students in my intuitive painting workshops, their methods to get to that feeling usually use one of these two different approaches: sometimes they begin with quiet color choices that should their trepidation and, as they began to feel the loving ripples throughout the space, would make a complete color palette shift to bright, bold colors, shapes, or paint strokes. Their smiles were contagious. For students at the other end of the spectrum, the exact opposite would happen. Harsh, loud colors they originally had applied would suddenly not suit them. They’d begin to go over the top of them with softer, 276

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quieter color choices. Their faces would relax, and their body language would feel looser and more uninhibited. Around this point of the workshops, there was a marked shift to joy, laughter, and fun. They begin to talk about their shared experience and the strides they made. When we have someone to share our journey with, there’s a communal feeling of love and support that’s undeniable and beautiful.

I’ve also seen students who are in a completely different portion of their self-love journey. They sometimes have left feeling frustrated and not ready to explore that area of their lives just yet. And that’s okay! We aren’t always in that headspace because it’s way too raw. If

that resonates for you, allow yourself time and space to become ready to process that pain. You’re allowed that. Be willing to seek the help you need without shame or judgment. We all benefit from qualified help and it can be incredibly lifesaving. The art of releasing what no longer serves you will begin to alter your mindset for the better. Whether it be through therapy, art, meditation, yoga, tapping or dance (of the millions of loving choices), you can begin to allow for the better in your life. You are worthy of love, joy, and happiness. That is your birthright. We are the ones who tend snuff it out with fear. Once you choose to have a more loving reaction to the difficulties you experience and root them in that love, there’s no way you can’t connect to your joy. There’s always someone who wants to help you be your best self and will love and support you through the pain. Let go and allow for the light that awaits you to pour in and take hold so that you can be nourished and grow into all that you are meant to be. Get excited that you are about to flourish and live with loving intention. I look forward to your heart being happy and fulfilled!


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{ MENTALLY THINKING }

MASTERING NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS BY BONNIE FLOYD

It’s the start of another new year. Many of us set New Year’s resolutions. Setting goals for changing our behavior is important for each of us throughout our lives. We each need goals to motivate us, each day, to achieve all that we are inherently capable of doing. Meeting our goals greatly enhances our self-esteem. It also provides increased motivation and drive for setting additional goals. Some of the resolutions that we set are relatively modest in nature, whereas others are all-encompassing to achieve. Perhaps you want to give up an unhealthy habit, such as smoking. Regardless of which type of goal you’re trying to achieve, there are several key factors associated with improving your odds of meeting your goals. First, it is important to set realistic goals. Setting realistic goals will go a long way in reducing the disappointment associated with not achieving a goal. Realistic goals are capable of being achieved with our innate talents, our currently available resources, and our level of commitment. Not setting realistic goals will inevitably result in enhanced frustration and disappointment. For example, an individual might desire to lose a total of fifty pounds. It’s entirely realistic to attempt to achieve this goal over the course of an entire year, whereas it’s not realistic to meet this goal within a two-week period. Another key factor is achieving our goals is breaking each goal down into more manageable steps. For example, many years ago I set the goal of achieving my doctoral degree in clinical psychology. This required achieving multiple goals along the way, including receiving

my associate’s, my bachelor’s, and two master’s degrees, prior to eventually receiving my Ph.D. This entire process took a total of fourteen years to achieve after my high school graduation. To be perfectly honest, I faced periods of intense frustration and discouragement while going through my academic training, due to the development of serious health problems. Nevertheless, I did my best to remind myself that I only needed to complete one semester at a time. In doing so, I successfully moved closer to the goal of earning my doctorate. When attempting to achieve our goals, it is critical to refrain from perfectionism. Perfection is the enemy of good, after all. Individuals with perfectionistic tendencies will often spend much more time than is necessary on any given stage of achieving an important goal. As a recovering perfectionistic myself, I’m finally appreciating that “good is good enough” when trying to achieve a goal. Many years ago, I took a watercolor painting class. I soon learned to appreciate that perfectionism was highly detrimental to mastering this specific medium. Attempting to correct perceived errors while painting only resulted in defacing the delicate paper being used. Mastering frustration is another important factor when trying to achieve a goal. We often encounter setbacks along the way to finally achieving our goals. I published a book, late last November. There was considerable frustration along the way to achieving this much-desired goal. In fact, I needed to carefully revise my initial manuscript, several times. This process was a very frustrating one. I needed to remind

myself, several times, of just how much effort that I had already made in trying to achieve this goal. I also enlisted the expertise of a line-editor. I reasoned that another set of eyes could more easily find the mistakes that were inevitably sprinkled throughout my lengthy manuscript. Another key factor in achieving goals is the ability to learn from our failures. Three years ago, I decided to open a shop in a small business co-op. I wanted to sell the wide range of polymer clay jewelry that I had been designing for the past couple of years. I had amassed an adequate inventory to open a store. However, I failed to thoroughly research the business aspects of establishing a store. I was certainly full of enthusiasm for taking on this new adventure, but I lacked the expertise in being able to successfully manage a business. Not so surprisingly, I eventually was forced to close my shop. Thankfully, I managed to learn a lot from not achieving this goal. Finally, be sure to enlist support when you are attempting to achieve a goal. We all need to recognize our interconnectedness. Even the most talented, highly driven individuals do not achieve their goals completely independently. It’s impossible to be equally good in all areas. We need to recognize when to enlist the expertise of others in trying to obtain an important goal. I freely admit that I never would have been able to obtain my doctoral degree without the assistance of my parents; they provided enormous support in attending graduate school as a single mother of a daughter with chronic medical difficulties. You’re capable of achieving your goals!

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P & W

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Articles inside

LIFE IN BALANCE

9min
pages 264-273

BLISSFUL BALANCE

7min
pages 274-277

MENTALLY THINKING

4min
pages 278-333

WELLNESS 360

4min
pages 260-263

B.MOR

6min
pages 254-259

FASHION FORWARD

2min
pages 250-253

HER EDGE

4min
pages 242-245

KARMA SPEAKS

6min
pages 246-249

SERVICES FOR SENIORS

6min
pages 212-215

BUSINESS TALK

9min
pages 230-241

DIVI9 CHAT

3min
pages 226-229

ANIMAL CARE SANCTUARY CORNER

2min
pages 222-225

TAMMY’S TIDBITS ‘

5min
pages 216-221

CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS

4min
pages 206-211

FIT TO REIGN

4min
pages 140-146

AGAINST ALL ODDZ

1min
pages 202-205

THE INFLEUNTIAL WOMAN

9min
pages 116-119

WOMEN IN FINANCE

3min
pages 112-115

LADY “O”

10min
pages 126-133

ONE TOUGH MOTHER

8min
pages 120-125

SHE BOSS

1min
pages 134-139

FINANCIALLY SPEAKING

4min
pages 106-111

DEAR CAMILLE

6min
pages 52-59

TRACY IS TALKING

4min
pages 88-97

LUPUS CHICK

5min
pages 60-67

SCARS OF SURVIVAL

6min
pages 68-73

THE INFLUENTIAL MAN

7min
pages 78-83

BLACK WOMEN VOICES

5min
pages 74-77

WOMAN WHO INSPIRES

13min
pages 98-105

FOR A GOOD CAUSE

1min
pages 84-87
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