Rochester Woman Online May 2024 Edition

Page 1



Kayla Moreira


Adoptable Dog Spotlight from Rochester Animal Services


Karen Ward-Wilder

42 58 COVER



Kayla Moreira, president of Salvatores Old Fashion Pizzeria franchises, Donuts Delite & the Rochester Lancers soccer team, along with being an entrepreneur, mother, wife and so much more, was shot in the WeShootFilms studios in Perinton Square, Fairport NY.

Dear Rochester Woman Online Community,

Welcome to the May 2024 edition of Rochester Woman Online, where we continue to celebrate the remarkable women who shape our community. This month, we are thrilled to feature the incredible Kayla Moreira on our cover. As the president of Salvatore’s Old-Fashioned Pizzeria, one of Rochester’s largest pizza franchises, Kayla exemplifies the epitome of a dynamic and influential business leader. Her journey is one of balancing entrepreneurship, family, and community involvement, all while being a mother of three and the wife of a professional soccer player. Starting on page 22, Kayla shares with us the inspiring story of her daily routine, which begins at 5 AM, and how she seamlessly integrates her multiple business ventures with her family life.

In addition to Kayla’s captivating story, this edition marks the debut of our new monthly feature in collaboration with Rochester Animal Services. We are excited to highlight some of the amazing “fur babies” and their heartwarming stories, and showcasing some of these amazing pets up for adoption at 184 Verona St.

As always, we have an array of incredible stories of inspiring women throughout this issue. From entrepreneurs and artists to activists and educators, each story is a testament to the strength, resilience, and creativity that define the women of Rochester and beyond.

We would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our advertisers. Their support has been instrumental in keeping Rochester Woman Online thriving for over 15 years. Be sure to check out their offerings and services, as they play a vital role in our magazine’s success.

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for our billboard in the city, thanks to the generous support of Soccer Sam. It’s just one more way we’re celebrating the amazing women of Rochester.

Thank you for being part of our journey, and enjoy this inspiring edition!

And if you know a woman who embodies empowerment and inspiration or if you’re eager to showcase your business in our upcoming editions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Happy reading!

Signature Club 6720 PI SFORD PALMY ROAD • FAIRPORT, NY 14450
SPACE AVAILABLE Call 585.672.5000 to learn more. PLAZA HIGHLIGHTS Visitors to this family friendly shopping center can shop or dine at businesses with national recognition as well as stores and services of regional and local prominence. Size: 194,000 sf Vehicles (VPD): 25,654 Zoning: Commercial/O ce/Retail
visionary approach includes deployment of
people, practices & technologies in partnership with our clients, who benefit from the strength and experience of the DiMarco Group family of companies.







Kelly Breuer

Marisa Zeppieri

Kelly Breuer


We Shoot Films

Julie Oldfield

Daniel Delucenay

Peter Levins


Kayla Moreira

Lisa Wagner

Denise “Karma” Clifford

Bonnie Floyd

Kelly Metras

Kelly Bush

Kelly Lisciandro

Kim Fischer

Sheryl Vega

Dan Clor

Laura Ponticello

The ACS Team

Joanne Ryan

Nicole Doyley

Anne Leah Mauro

Karen Messina

Lori Bruton




Kelly Breuer

Network Rochester

Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the Greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2024. 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.
Mo - 4 Silvio - 28 Years Kayla - 13 Years Ashley - 11 Years Nick - 26 Years Edina - 16 Years Frank - 15 Years Nick - 37 Years Mike - 23 Years Craig - 14 Years Vinny - 32 Years Hassan - 28 Years Ray - 39 Years John - 46 Years East Main St Garage Door & Eastridge Lake Ave & Latta Rd Mt Read Ontario & Webster & Corporate Office Penfield & Newark Walworth Spencerport Corporate Office Avon Chuck - 46 Years Corporate Office Corporate Office Victor & HFL Mike - 35 Years Corporate Office Henrietta & Scottsville Donuts Delite THANK YOU ROCHESTER • JOIN OUR Celebrating The Family From Over 700 Combined CONGRATULATIONS KAYLA ON Join Our Amazing
4 Years Louie - 13 Years Brenda - 14 Years Cindy - 35 Years Ameer - 9 Years Ramez - 11 Years Sanel - 15 Years Greg - 33 Years Alessio & Sarah - 14 Years Mike - 15 Years & Alisia - 12 Years Tony - 26 Years Carl - 20 Years E Rochester Fairport Southwedge Webster Macedon Brockport Chili & W Ridge Canandaigua Avon CEO/Founder SoccerSam - 46 Years East Main Office East Main Office Marco - 11 Years Hilton Dewey OUR TEAM • BECOME YOUR OWN BOSS Erin - 7 Years Corporate Office Santino - 7 Years Corporate Office Celebrating 46 Years! Rochester, NY Since July 5, 1978... & Proud Of It Combined Years Of Experience! ON YOUR RWO COVER STORY! Amazing Team of Owner/Operators • visit



Kayla Moreira, the latest cover woman of Rochester Woman Online magazine, epitomizes the spirit of ambition and achievement. A graduate of St. John Fisher College with a degree in sports management, Kayla’s journey is marked by her relentless drive and versatility. She transitioned from student to successful professional, marrying a professional soccer player and starting a family, all while carving out a distinguished career for herself. Kayla is the embodiment of a modern-day boss woman, adeptly balancing multiple roles and responsibilities with grace and determination.

As the president of Salvatore’s, a renowned old-fashioned pizzeria franchise, and the Rochester Lancers, a storied soccer team, Kayla has demonstrated exceptional leadership and business acumen. Her strategic vision and commitment to excellence have propelled these ventures to new heights, earning her widespread recognition and respect in the industry. Additionally, she has embarked on her own entrepreneurial journey, further solidifying her status as a dynamic and influential figure in the business world.

Kayla Moreira’s story is not just one of professional success but also of personal fulfillment. She is a dedicated mother and a passionate advocate for empowering women. Her ability to juggle multiple high-profile roles while remaining deeply involved in her children’s lives makes her an inspirational role model. Kayla’s journey serves as a powerful reminder that with hard work,

resilience, and a clear vision, women can achieve extraordinary feats and inspire the next generation to reach for their dreams.

In this edition of Rochester Woman Online, we celebrate Kayla Moreira’s incredible journey and her contributions to the community. Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of following one’s

demonstrating that with dedication and determination, the sky is truly the limit.

Can you share a bit about your journey as an entrepreneur and how can came to wear so many hats, including being a mom of three?

I started my journey in college, attending St John Fisher and majoring in Sport

Management. I did a few internships where I met key people that helped along the way. My senior year of college I needed to complete a 600hour internship when I saw a job posting to work in ticket sales for the Rochester Lancers. I applied for the job, interviewed, and secured the job which would ultimately also serve as my 600-hour internship to complete my degree, and this is where it all started. I had no idea at the time that SoccerSam also owned the largest pizza chain in Rochester. I am not from the area so quite honestly, Salvatore’s was foreign to me. What the coming years would bring to my life honestly was just a dream but slowly I just started taking on more and more responsibilities. If you are going to work for SoccerSam, your hats are going to start piling up.

I met my husband, Marcelo through the Rochester Lancers in 2014 while he was playing the great game of indoor soccer and fate would have it that we were married 1.5 years later and had our first daughter in 2017. Today, I have three children, Jilliana, Thiago and Gabriella and two Stepchildren, Igor and Pedro. They are my greatest joy and always my number 1 priority.

Marcelo has an extensive soccer career both in Brazil and in the United States so when he was getting ready to retire and hang up the cleats from playing ultimately my next hat would be thrown on and that would be to manage his coaching business for him.

“I always choose to be grateful for the opportunities that I have instead of feeling overwhelmed with them.”


Balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood can be challenging. How do you manage your time effectively to handle both roles?

Managing my time effectively is one of the most challenging aspects of being a MOM and a Business Professional. My days look like a 5:00am wakeup to get housework done, catch up on emails and get my workout in. I aim to accomplish what many accomplish throughout their day in a few short hours in the mornings before my entire house is awake. But truly, those few hours in the morning are what kick start my day! I have an amazing support system in my husband, mom, and my boss. They all help to make it possible for me to chase my dreams and be a momma.

As the President of Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria and Donuts Delite, what are some of the key responsibilities that come with overseeing such a diverse franchise portfolio?

What an honor it has been for me to be named the President of such historic brands. Brands that have created a legacy throughout Rochester, NY. Salvatore’s and Donuts Delite have made lasting impacts by giving back to our great community. Right now, more than ever we are growing and expanding. Recently, after 45 years, we opened our first out of state location in Jacksonville, Florida and we have a few more exciting states to come! It has been a juggle to learn the new markets and figure out what will work best there while at the same time, not forgetting about our 30+ locations right here in Rochester, NY and maintain my focus on helping

our amazing owners here, many of them have been with us for years.

What inspired you to take on the role of President of the Rochester Lancers, and what does it entail to manage the oldest soccer brand in America?

The Lancers were my first job out of college. I played soccer growing up and my dream was to always work in soccer after college. When I got the job, I honestly thought I had hit the lottery even though I had no idea who this little indoor soccer team was or what the history behind them was. At that point I didn’t care, I got my job in soccer, and I was going to run with it.

As the years passed, I started to realize wow, this soccer team is way more than just an indoor soccer team, this soccer team has a very intense history with some of the greatest players to ever play to wear the logo or play against this logo.

Now 13 years in, I realize more than ever what our team means to so many people. It’s the memories, the wins, the players, and it is a huge part of Rochester history.

We are currently working on a very cool project that will showcase the history of the team. I cannot wait to be able to share more with everyone soon.

With so many responsibilities, how do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

Funny you ask because most people would probably tell you that I don’t. But I truly love what I do so I think

it’s healthy. In all seriousness though, SoccerSam encourages me to take off work, to shut it down, enjoy my husband and family so when I can I do but I am ultimately always available to all our locations, coaches, players, and the families that train with my husband’s business. I love it, I really do, all of what I do I love, and I wake up everyday feeling so blessed to have met some of the most amazing people through my career(s).

Could you tell us about More Keepers and how you and your husband Marcelo started this company? More Keepers offers expert training and coaching to help develop and finetune your goalkeeping skills. Our training programs are about so much more than soccer. We impact the skills needed to develop extraordinary keepers and even better human beings.

When my husband was ready to retire from playing soccer he wanted to continue working in soccer and pass down his knowledge and love for the game to the younger generation. It all just seemed to work, he is great on the field, and I specialize on the business side of things. Marcelo is a former First Division Brazilian Goalkeeper with an extensive playing career in Brazil, he brings training to the soccer field that Rochester, NY has never seen before.

What motivated you to venture into goalkeeper training with camps and clinics?

We slowly started offering private goalkeeper lessons, getting involved with the local youth soccer market and



“It took a few years of proving myself in the soccer industry and to our pizza owners before everyone started to realize that I was for real.”

we have grown today to working with multiple clubs throughout Rochester and Buffalo, coaching at the collegiate and professional level, and offering camps/clinics and individual training all year long to keepers of all ages and abilities.

As a female entrepreneur in traditionally male-dominated industries like pizza and soccer, what challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

I have a strong personality but even with this there have still been times that I felt like wow, what I have to say is always taken with a grain of salt. It took a few years of proving myself in the soccer industry and to our pizza owners before everyone started to realize that I was for real. I did have a clue about what I was talking about, and I did have their best interest at heart, always. It also really helps that SoccerSam advocates hard for his people. For the past 13 years he always stood on the front-line telling people how much I bring to the table. He has really helped me to believe in myself and provide me with the confidence that I needed to keep pushing forward even when I may have felt defeated.

How do you prioritize your tasks and commitments effectively to ensure everything gets done?

To do lists are my best friend. Of course, I have things with deadlines that must be followed and the rest I just complete in order of priority. The hardest part of my job is that I get thrown in many different directions every day and I must be able to navigate

through it all and still complete my work.

What advice would you give to other women who aspire to balance entrepreneurship and family life successfully?

We all have a choice. You can wake up every day and be grateful and happy or you can choose the opposite. I always choose to be grateful for the opportunities that I have instead of feeling overwhelmed with them.

I know that many people believe that women should take time off from their careers to be a mom but for me I don’t want my identity to just be a mom. I look at it differently, I believe that my career gives me the confidence and experience to be better in all aspects of my life, including being a mom.

With your extensive experience, what do you think are the key qualities needed to succeed as an entrepreneur? Find your passion, mine started off as soccer and turned into soccer, pizza and donuts.

Be willing to take risks, be bold, do things others won’t. Put in the long days & hours. Work nights and weekends. Be resilient, learn from your mistakes and always move forward. Stay the course, even when faced with setbacks.

How do you stay motivated and inspired amidst the demands of running multiple businesses and being a parent?

This is exactly what motivates me. I love the fast-paced life, dealing with something different every day. I see the potential in all the businesses that

I am part of, and I am beyond excited for what is to come. I know that I am surrounded by the right people, and I have God on my side. You can’t ask for much more.

Parenting while running companies of course, no doubt has its challenges but let’s face it, every season of parenting is going to be hard but if you really look at it being called mom is the best job title. I get to lead my littles every day to be amazing humans that are kind to everyone.

What role has mentorship played in your journey, and have you had any particularly influential mentors? Many mentors have come through my life but hands down my biggest mentor has been SoccerSam. He hired me right out of college and let me run with his business. He always made me feel like I had a voice and gave me the confidence and knowledge to find success. As soon as I met Sam, I knew I had to learn as much as I could from him. His story is inspiring, and I’m blessed to be able to learn from him. My husband always says, “there are not a lot of SoccerSam’s in this world and you have one”. It’s the truth. God placed Sam in my life for many reasons and I do not take that for granted.

Personally, my mom is a huge mentor and part of my success. She instilled morals, hard work and good ethics in me at a very young age. She taught me that nothing in life will come easy and I will have to work hard for everything that I have. She is to this day my biggest cheerleader and number 1 supporter.

“ Kayla is part of our FAMILY. She’s an amazing mom, her kids are so GROUNDED with Church every Sunday, Brazilian culture practiced at home, plus soccer and sports with LOTS OF LOVE. - SoccerSam ”
“I love it, I really do, all of what I do I love, and I wake up everyday feeling so blessed to have met some of the most amazing people through my career(s).”

Can you share a memorable success story or achievement from your entrepreneurial career?

It wasn’t long ago when SoccerSam sent an email to my coworker and I about all of the major things that we have accomplished since we began working for him in 2011. I couldn’t believe it when I opened the email and started reading. So many fun, exciting and new initiatives I have taken part in. I think the most memorable though being in February 2024 when Salvatore’s opened our first out of state location after 45 years in Jacksonville, Florida! When we first began discussing out-of-state locations, it seemed so far off, like it would never happen. But here we are today making those dreams a reality.

What strategies do you employ to foster a positive company culture within your various businesses?

I Lead by example and set the tone for our company culture. Embodying the values and behaviors they want to see inspires others and creates a positive work environment. Communication also plays a big part, especially within Salvatore’s. We have 30+ locations and 20+owners. They all have different ideas, and they all want to be heard. Making sure they know that their opinion is valid and important helps to create a positive environment for everyone.

and staying ahead of the curve in industries like food and sports?

In our industries there are food shows, trade shows, league soccer calls, games, etc. Take it all in. Learn from others and implement where you can.

As a leader, how do you empower your team members and encourage their professional growth?

Set Clear goals and expectations, recognize and reward their achievements and support work-life balance. I always want my team to feel valued, motivated, and supported in reaching their goals.

improvement. Instead of seeing failures as obstacles, I now view them as valuable learning experiences that ultimately make me and my businesses stronger.

With your involvement in the community through various businesses and organizations, how important is giving back to you?

Giving back is a huge part of what Salvatore’s has ALWAYS been about. It sets us apart from everyone else. We pride ourselves on the work that we have done in our community and the money & awareness that has been raised for multiple not for profit organizations through our many different initiatives. I truly believe that giving back is who we are, who SoccerSam is and a large part of our success. If you know Sam, you know that he would give the shirt off his back to anyone. For me, it gives me a bigger purpose, it makes me proud of the work that I am doing, knowing that at the end of the day I am making a difference in people’s lives.

How do you approach innovation

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for the future, both personally and professionally? Personally, I want to continue to

“I have an amazing support system in my husband, mom, and my boss. They all help to make it possible for me to chase my dreams and be a momma.”

prioritize my physical and mental health. I have been on a health journey for the past 2.5 years, making exercising and eating healthy a part of my daily routine. I have been able to lose 45lbs and reclaimed my confidence. Although weight loss is a huge part of why I want to prioritize this, it’s also because it truly has helped me mentally to feel like I have control of whatever life throws at me. I am a better person, wife, mom, boss, employee, friend, etc. when I am in the right mental mindset and exercising helps put me in that mindset. I’m also

committed to continuous learning and self-improvement. Whether it’s acquiring new skills, exploring new hobbies, or broadening my perspectives through travel and cultural experiences, I want to embrace opportunities for my personal growth.

Professionally, I aspire to continue growing and advancing in my career, take on new challenges and expand my skills and expertise. I hope to continue to make a positive impact on all those around me and build strong professional relationships. A couple

of very new and exciting business endeavors are on the horizon for my family and I, and I can’t wait to be able to share them with you.

I would also like to give a huge shoutout to my husband, Marcelo. Thank you for allowing me to chase my dreams and be a mom. It wouldn’t have been possible without your love & support!

Mo - 4 Silvio - 28 Years Kayla - 13 Years Ashley - 11 Years Nick - 26 Years Edina - 16 Years Frank - 15 Years Nick - 37 Years Mike - 23 Years Craig - 14 Years Vinny - 32 Years Hassan - 28 Years Ray - 39 Years John - 46 Years East Main St Garage Door & Eastridge Lake Ave & Latta Rd Mt Read Ontario & Webster & Corporate Office Penfield & Newark Walworth Spencerport Corporate Office Avon Chuck - 46 Years Corporate Office Corporate Office Victor & HFL Mike - 35 Years Corporate Office Henrietta & Scottsville Donuts Delite THANK YOU ROCHESTER • JOIN OUR Celebrating The Family From Over 700 Combined CONGRATULATIONS KAYLA ON Join Our Amazing
4 Years Louie - 13 Years Brenda - 14 Years Cindy - 35 Years Ameer - 9 Years Ramez - 11 Years Sanel - 15 Years Greg - 33 Years Alessio & Sarah - 14 Years Mike - 15 Years & Alisia - 12 Years Tony - 26 Years Carl - 20 Years E Rochester Fairport Southwedge Webster Macedon Brockport Chili & W Ridge Canandaigua Avon CEO/Founder SoccerSam - 46 Years East Main Office East Main Office Marco - 11 Years Hilton Dewey OUR TEAM • BECOME YOUR OWN BOSS Erin - 7 Years Corporate Office Santino - 7 Years Corporate Office Celebrating 46 Years! Rochester, NY Since July 5, 1978... & Proud Of It Combined Years Of Experience! ON YOUR RWO COVER STORY! Amazing Team of Owner/Operators • visit




“Many of the dogs we will be featuring have their adoption fees sponsored, including Wanda and Abba who are sponsored by All Access CBD.”

Rochester Woman Online is excited to be able to bring you our ALL NEW monthly spotlights on some of the amazing dogs up for adoption at Rochester Animal Serices on 184 Verona St, Rochester NY.

We will also be highlighting some of these amazing fur babies each month on social media where we will go LIVE with staff and volunteers in the play yard. We hope you consider checking out some of these sweet faces and even if you can’t add a new fur member to the family, you can foster, volunteer, or donate. EVERYTHING helps!


Rochester Animal Services (RAS)envisions a community where our neighbors are empowered to stay together with their pets, have a central destination to find a new pet; where neighborhoods are enhanced through pet ownership, and lost pets are kept safe and nurtured.


RAS’ mission is to serve Rochester’s people and animals, to maintain healthy neighborhoods, support and preserve the human-animal bond by saving and enhancing lives, provide a safe haven for the most at-risk animals

in our community and promote RAS as a destination to find a new family member.


Pet-ownership can positively impact owner’s physical and mental wellbeing. Pets help prevent feelings of loneliness, give people purpose, and build

Adopt - Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue organization helps ensure we have the space and resources to care for our community’s most atrisk animals.

Foster - Fostering a pet from a shelter or rescue organization. By adopting from a shelter or rescue organization, you help us ensure we have the space and resources to care for our community’s most at-risk animals.

Check out this report from Better Cities for Pets to learn how.


Volunteer - Volunteers are critical to serving animals and people in our community. Typical roles include dog walking, clinic support, customer service, shelter greeters, outreach and pet support, offsite adoption events, lost pet reunification, self-rehoming support, transportation, research and data analysis, and website management. Volunteer your time, talent, and treasure!

Donate - It is more important than ever to ensure we have the resources to provide general husbandry, medical care, support foster caregivers, and provide resources to pet owners in under-served neighborhoods. adoptadog/






is a volunteer favorite. She is delightful and has a soul as pure as solid gold.”




is a great walking companion, loves chasing balls, and knows sit and takes treats very gently.”



“If there is space on your bed for a snuggle buddy, Bessie would love to fill it.”


If there is space on your bed for a snuggle buddy, Bessie would love to fill it. After a nice long nap with you, she would like nothing more than to play fetch. Balls, stuffed animals, and squeaky toys are all equally enjoyed and while she appreciates a nice chew session, she is not rough with her toys. Bessie likes to share her toys with cats, though has a hard time understanding that they are smaller than her

so would need to be with a dog-savvy cat that can tell her no when needed. Bessie is very dog-selective, and any resident dog must come in for a meet and greet with her. Bessie loves kids as snuggle buddies and fetch partners, but isn’t always aware of how big she is in comparison so would do best with older children. Bessie is crate-trained and house-trained but would prefer someone who is home most of the day to follow along

and curl up at their feet. She is learning her walking manners and while she does react and pull when she sees other dogs, she rarely barks. She has vastly improved with regular walks and would be a good jogging partner with a little more training. Bessie is such a beautiful girl and is a shelter favorite. She will need a little time to adjust when she goes to her new home.

Run in the 5K (8:15am) or 10K (8am) in person, or virtually Attend the pet festival filled with live music, food vendors, contests, vendors and pets! Get your pet vaccinated at the FREE Clinic Bid on items in the silent auction Walk your dog in the dog walk (10am) and see available pets for adoption Support pets in Need register register Here Here Saturday, June 8th, 2024 Rochester Animal Services, 184 Verona St. LEARN MORE at 5K & 10K Races, Dog Walk & Pet Fest In Person & OVirtual ptions '24 THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!


W e a r e d e d i c a t e d t o f i n d i n g

l o v i n g f o r e v e r h o m e s f o r

d o g s o f a l l k i n d s . W e r e s c u e

d o g s f r o m a v a r i e t y o f

s i t u a t i o n s , f r o m o w n e r

s u r r e n d e r s , p u p p y m i l l s ,

l o c a l s h e l t e r s , a n d m o r e .

A s a f o s t e r h o m e , y o u

p r o v i d e a s a f e a n d l o v i n g

e n v i r o n m e n t f o r o u r d o g s .

W e c o v e r a l l e x p e n s e s ,

s u p p l y n e e d e d i t e m s , a n d

o f f e r s u p p o r t t h r o u g h o u t

t h e p r o c e s s . E a c h a d o p t i o n i n c l u d e s

s p a y i n g / n e u t e r i n g , a

m i c r o c h i p , r a b i e s a n d a g e -

ap p r o p r i a t e v a c c i n e s ,

d e w o r m i n g , a n d

f l e a / h e a r t w o r m

p r e v e n t a t i v e s .

F O S T E R A D O P T A D O P T S T A Y C O N N E C T E D N O R T H P A W R E S C U E H E L P I N G D O G S F I N D T H E I R W A Y H O M E @northpawrescue @northpawrescue @north.paw.rescue





Webster Fireman‘s Field 1193-1207 Ridge Rd Webster, NY 14580

August 10, 2024 at 03:30 PM


: $5,000

($10,000) 100% Tax Deduction (20) Festival Tickets

: $2,500

($2,500) 100% Tax Deduction (5) Festival Tickets

($1,000) 100% Tax Deduction MAIN STAGE: 5:45 PM : MOTHERSHIP 7:30 PM : HOTEL CALIFORNIA

($5,000) 100% Tax Deduction (10) Festival Tickets

: $1,000

PLATINUM : $10,000
2 for a full list of Promotional Placements & Benefits 6


Tell us a little about yourself and your background. My background consist of having strong family ties, serving and helping others. Assisting others in seeing their true potential, and life gifts, is a passion of mine. While attending North Carolina A & T State University, majoring in Psychology, I took a creative writing course, This course enlightened my perspective of how powerful words are and howwords can creatively, positively impact others. A spark of energy and love for writing words, transformed my desire to write.

Upon graduating from N.C.A & T, my educational and community skills, allowed me the opportunity to provide counseling, and supportive services to encouraging youth and families. My purpose to serve others, led me to working at numerous community agencies and organizations in the Rochester, NY area, providing mediation services, counseling, advocacy, and other supportive and educational services, for people from all walks of life and backgrounds.

What made you decide to become an author?

=Becoming an author was something that came natural to me. I did not focus on the title of being an author, what I focused on was writing words that will help encourage others, especially when they are experiencing challenges times. Writing is fuel for me. It comes natural. I started off writing numerous plays and skits. I remember yes ago near the beginning of my writing, when one of my skits, “Save The World,” was presented at the church,

the room. It was a true blessing that our former Bishop Reginald McGill, as he rest in heaven, allowed me to present one of my first writings, at church.

New Life Fellowship is a beacon in Rochester, NY and our current Reverend Bernard McNeill, i instrumental in continuing the godly and inspiration approach to share with others at New Life.

My writings are very diverse. I have written books for all ages, whether the book messages were for teens, adults, and my most newest Children’s book, “Zackity Zack the Cat, Sparkles His Teeth,” is for children. All of my books have a purpose to inspire others., and to help others discover, and acknowledge, the inner strength that is within them, to persevere, and to succeed in their life journey.

that I am a member of, New Life Fellowship Ministries. A few of the members of the church were actors and actresses, and also dancers, who performed my skit, as I was the producer. In the audience while my skit was being performed, there was total silence. It was wonderful seeing the positive messages, bring interest and smiles to the audience, the church members and guests who was observing the skit. I observed many smiles and you could feel the peace within

I continued to write more skits, and even plays. Another skit that I wrote discussed the topic of domestic violence. This skit was performed at the famous Geva theater in Rochester, NY. The room again was silent while the actors and actresses performed this educational skit, while I produced it during the showing. At the end of the performance, I remember a lady walking up to me sharing her though about the skits. She was at the time, in a similar situation, and my skit, shook something within her to talk with me. My hope is that all of my writings, educate, inspire, and help others of all ages.

Enjoying writing, in addition to writing skits, and plays, I started to write books. Currently I have written five books for all ages, including one book, “Playing with Hidden Treasures at Home,Games and Activities for Children and Teens,” this book is also developed in Spanish, to expand



“Writing is fuel for me. It comes natural. I started off writing numerous plays and skits.”

young people in having access and comprehension of the messages and games in this book.

It has been a blessing for me to utilize my educational BA psychology degree, in serving thousands of families, and understanding areas in life that I can encourage others through my writings and books.

What type of books do you write?

My writings consist of both fiction and non-fiction. Four of my books are fiction and one is non-fiction. In being a very diverse author, I write what is in my heart at a particular time, in the focus of you can I inspire in a particular season. My main focus is to encourage our youth. Remember back when I was a teen, it was challenging. Whether the challenge occurred at home, even when you have a solid home background, or the challenge occurred at school or in the community, teen years are very sensitive. What teens see, hear, and experience whether it being at home, at school or in the community, can greatly influence their thinking and how they perceive the world around them.

One of the main reasons why I obtained a college degree in Psychology, was to utilize my education and experience to focus on helping our youth. This was before I knew my writing passion would intertwine with serving others.

Having a very diverse writing style, allows me to write both fiction and non-fiction books, skits, and plays for all ages, and backgrounds.

How did being an author and your passion for writing lead you to helping others write and publish their own books?

Throughout the years, at various events in which I participated in, whether it consisted of presenting a book reading and signing, giving a presentation at a college, churches, elementary schools, or other various community and national events, I had the pleasure to meet others at these events. Individuals often approached me sharing their interest in writing a book themselves, or knowing others interested in writing a book. Hearing this information and request often, allowed me to develop a educational classes entitled, “Basic Steps to Develop Your First Book.” Others interests in pursuing their dreams to write a book, sharing their experiences to help others, while becoming an Author, led me to continually present these educational classes on self-publishing.

Numerous individuals who have taken my classes, or meetings in which I shared educational information of the book development process, are now Authors, with some individuals who have written more than one book. It enlightens my heart knowing that my gifts of book development has expanded in helping others to share their powerful message with others as an author.

Seeing the need to help others not only locally, also nationally, I have classes online where individuals can register for my classes to develop their book, no matter where they reside nationally.

Throughout the years, I have found out

that individuals have various specific needs as it relates to creating their books. Some individuals have a lot of great ideas for their books, although they may find it challenging to write down put their thoughts on paper, or they may not have the time to develop their book manuscript. This year, I have added a new service for my book development classes. I now provide one-on-one services, to help individuals write their book manuscript, develop, and produce their book within 60 days. This service also includes the individual receiving one hundred printed book of their creation, their book. This service initiates a jump start in motivating the individual in setting a 60 day goal, to have their book completed and in their hand, to share with others.

What inspired you to come up with the idea of creating a TV series adaptation from your book, “Jack Wentworth- The Real Belt.? What are your goals to produce and air this TV series?

My inspiration to create a TV series from my book “Jack Wentworth-The Real Belt”, is from finding different ways to help teens become and stay encourage, and finding their true gifted potential.

With the younger generation, focus more on using their phones, electronics and viewing movies and videos, developing this my educational, inspiring book, into a TV series, is another stimulating, educational, visual format, to provide youth in



“All of my books have a purpose to inspire others., and to help others discover, and acknowledge, the inner strength that is within them, to persevere, and to succeed in their life journey.”

understanding the powerful messages in “Jack Wentworth- The Real Belt,” and see their powerful inner being, from viewing the “Jack Wentworth,” series.

The goal for our team, is to continue to work on presenting this upcoming, life-changing TV series to TV executive producers and sponsors, with a goal of producing the first TV series within the year 2026 or sooner. Individuals have approached me to ask how to assist regarding funding. For any one who is interested in being a sponsor, by going to the website: www.Karenwardwilder. org, you will see an area to sponsor. We thank you in advance for your support for this upcoming TV series.

Can you share some details about the story-line and theme of “Jack Wentworth-The Real Belt?”

“Jack Wentworth-The Real Belt,” was written to encourage teens. The teenage years can be a very sensitive time. A time where teens want to fit in, whether or not their behavior is positive. There are many teens who are doing great and productive things which at times, are overlooked. “Jack Wentworth- The Real Belt,” is a story about a teen, who is in a survival mode. He is bullied, although he has friends. Jack meets unique individuals during his journey in the story, who have life-changing messages. When Jack realizes who he is, his life positively changes to his life purpose.

When you’re not writing, what types of things do you enjoy doing? When I am not writing, I enjoy

spending time outdoors. I like to go bike riding, and enjoy watching a good movie. Reading a good book is inspiring. If I am in a certain mood, I may even sing to a song, that is playing on the radio or YouTube.

What genres or specific books do you enjoy reading in your leisure time? During my leisure time, I enjoy reading educational books on finance, time management, building wealth to name a few. I like to read books that help educate me with tools to build wealth, which in turn, I can become more supportive for my family, and also to spend more time writing books to encourage others. I like to stay up to date on book development, so I can implement new ideas in my book development classes to assist others in developing their books.

How do you balance your writing career with your personal life and other interests?

I balance my writing career and personal like and interests by first putting God first. When I put God first, I get clear directions on what to write, that will encourage, inspire, and build up others. My family is very important to me, and I humorously and lovingly hug them regularly. It is easy for me to balance my writing career because it is a passion to me. It is fun, and also relaxing. Although my writings consist of implementing research, it is a very enjoyment for me . It is a natural, fun, creative part of me with a continuous journey.

Can you tell us about a particularly

memorable experience or achievement in your writing career?

Having one of my written skits being performed at the Rochester, NY GEVA Theater was memorable. A life-changing memorable experience, occurred when I traveled to Ghana and Senegal, West Africa on a twelve-day educational tour, with a group titled, “Students In Africa.” This group consisted of teens and adults from Rochester, NY. As we departed the plane, arriving to Ghana, West Africa, and settled in our hotel, we were welcomes, by beautiful men and women dancing to the sounds of the beating drums. It was welcoming sounds of West Africa. Throughout the days, on this wonderful tour, I saw such beauty at the large open outside markets, the museums featuring numerous African Kings and Queens, the beautiful natural hut homes, uniquely designed, and the slave castles, in which you felt the heaviness as you walk in the room, from slaves being in bondage. The castle, had the opening from the room to the ocean, called, “The Door of No Return.” After seeing this specific history of West Africa, looking out into the ocean, at the “The Door of No Return,” much debriefing is essential, and prayers lifted. The beautiful hotels owned by West African which had large palm and coconut trees leaves flew, as you watch the sun gleaming on top of the beautiful water.

Seeing the richness of West Africa, prompt me to write a dramatic skit while I was on the twelve tour. My skit is titled, “Freedom In The Motherland.”



“The first advice that I would give to aspiring authors who would like to publish a book, is to let that individual know, to never let someone talk you out of writing your book.”

It was so exciting to have American and West African Actors and Musicians, to act out my written skit, and to hear live in West Africa, the pounding of the rhythmic drums from the Musicians who graciously became a part of the skit. It was such a highlight of my writing career, I remember to this day, and I am appreciative to everyone who participated in making my skit, “Freedom In The Motherland,” come into fruition. Prior to returning back to the United States, I met an Author in Ghana, West African and also a newspaper journalist.

When I came back to the United States, home to Rochester, NY, within a few years, I wrote my first book, “The King’s Men.” Remembering the wonderful newspaper journalist that I met in Ghana, West Africa, I mailed this journalist a copy of my new book. My first book has been circulating in West Africa for decades, and I hope that it has inspired and encouraged youth and families for decades.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to publish their own books?

The first advice that I would give to aspiring authors who would like to publish a book, is to let that individual know, to never let someone talk you out of writing your book. This advice is very significant. At times we may value other thoughts, but it is important that even if someone is a close friend or family, or even co-worker, if that person is saying words to discourage you from writing and developing your book, close your eyes to that person’s

advice. Focus on the purpose of why you want to write a book and who can your book encourage, educate, and inspire.

For example, it took me almost two years before I wrote my first book. I shared with someone, my interest in writing a book. That persons’ response was, you need a “doctor” degree to write a book. Once I build up my self knowledge in knowing that I already had everything that I needed, to write a book, I wrote my first book. There are children all around, who write books. So it is a myth that you need a doctors’ degree to write a book. What is important is to focus on writing what you know. If you teach classes to elementary students, and you want to write a children’s book, this is an area that you have knowledge of. You have to experience of writing basic words that children will be able to comprehend. If you are a parent and want to write a book to encourage other parents, you have that knowledge from experiences raising your children. If you are a person who provides home improvement, a real estate agent, who has experience in selling homes, write about what you are experienced in, and always remember not to let anyone talk you out of writing your book.

In addition to focusing on your purpose for writing a book, also talk to other authors, read books on writing, and get started on writing your book. Earlier I shared that I teach classes on book writing and development, and know I also provide a service to help others write their books in 60 days.

The reason why my new additional service consist of developing your book in 60 days, is due to it being easy for individuals to get started, writing their book, but in the process, they may become distracted. Years and years can go by without their first book being produced. Another advice I would share with someone is interested in writing a book, but have not started the process due to believing that they will not have the funds to develop their book, my advice would be to start writing your book manuscript and the money will come. A friend of mine gave me this tip years ago. I was concerned and hesitant about how much it would cost to put the book together, and have the books printed. My friend mentioned that I should just start writing, and the money will come. He was right. I started writing my book. In the process of writing my book, I started to become excited and was thinking of ways to obtain additional income to produced my book, as well as funds to print book copies. I worked more hours on my job to make the extra money. This allowed me to be able to write, create and produce my book. I share the same advice to you, start writing your book and the money will come. Write your book. Someone is waiting to hear your inspiring message. Your message can uplift others around the world.

In your opinion, what is the most rewarding aspect of being an author? The most rewarding aspect of being an author, is the lives that can be inspired and educated from reading my books whether the books are paperback


“My books will soon be transformed into audio books to give the individual another format to receive informative messages from my books.”

whether the books are paperback or ebooks. My books will soon be transformed into audio books to give the individual another format to receive informative messages from my books. As an author, you have the opportunity to meet diverse and unique individuals from events and speaking engagements that you attend as an author.

When I had a speaking engagement at an event in Houston, TX, or when I spoke to college students about my books at Medgar Evers College in NY, it was wonderful seeing individuals interested, and engaging in conversations about the educational messages in my books. At a recent event, that my team and I presented, at the Philis Wheatley library in Rochester, NY, featuring my new Children’s book, “Zackity Zack the Cat, Sparkles His Teeth.” Words

cannot express the enjoyment that I obtained in seeing families, reading out loud, my children’s book. The parents and children were laughing and having fun, while reading this fun and educational book. The reward for me is not having a title as an “Author,” the reward for me, is to see others enjoy, and be uplifted in their inner being, to a new level, knowing that they have greatness inside of them. For the children to learn new educational tools, and to laugh a lot and have fun reading.

What are your future plans or projects that your readers can look forward to?

My future projects consist of transforming my books into audio books. In addition with two of my books, “Jack Wentworth- The Real Belt,” and “Zackity Zack the Cat, Sparkles His Teeth” are both the first

books of a book series, and several additional books will be forthcoming in both series.

There will be more visual projects forthcoming regarding my books.

In addition, I plan to assist more individuals, who are interested in becoming authors, by helping them write and assist in the development of their books. My classes are online which allows anyone in the United States to register for my classes. I look forward to helping new and upcoming authors.





Recently, I was asked, “How do you remain positive in the face of your son’s disease?” Jon was diagnosed 26 years ago; at 30, he is considered an elder in the community.

Living with Duchenne MD is difficult, but we have tried to develop proper support, mindset, and coping strategies to maintain perspective and live life despite the challenges. We have always tried to remember that we are not alone and find the resources and support available to help navigate this journey. There isn’t a single method or formula for remaining positive; it’s important to find what works for you and your family.

I didn’t grow up in Rochester, so I have few friends, and my family is hours away. So, my husband and I learned to divide and conquer. We split caregiving and the research for assistance to utilize our strengths. Does it always work? No, however, we have figured out that when one of us is in what my son calls a dark mood or is not feeling well, the other steps in.

My son’s physical therapist in middle school and high school gave me valuable advice: Accept help if someone offers, allow Jon to participate in what he likes, treat him like a normal kid, give him chores that he can do, and don’t treat him differently than his sibling. When he uses a wheelchair and his friends can drive, toss them the keys to the accessible van and say have fun!

As his disease progressed, we found we needed aides, and after the hospital this past September, we needed nurses, too. Having non-family members in your home for most of the day, some days 24 hours a day, requires a lot of logistics and planning. We are grateful for any assistance we can get.

anything that improves his quality of life is better than not having the therapy at all.

Some of the strategies that have worked for us to help us remain positive are: We looked for our tribe. We sought out friends, family, or mentors who could offer encouragement, advice, or a listening ear and found others going through a similar experience. Connecting with others can provide emotional support and remind you that you’re not alone.

We aim to maintain stability and quality of life for as long as possible. A true cure for Duchenne will be a long time coming. My son has accepted the fact that he may not see a complete cure in his lifetime, and he accepts that

We focused on what we could control. We identified and acted on the aspects of any situation within our control. Accepting what we could not change relieved some stress and helped us direct our energy toward productive actions. Acceptance didn’t mean giving up; it meant acknowledging our reality and working within it. Acceptance allows us to focus on what we can control rather than dwelling on what we can’t. Instead of fixating on limitations, we concentrate on strengths and abilities. We celebrate small victories and accomplishments, no matter how minor. Focusing on what we could control and taking intentional action in those areas increased our sense of agency, purpose, and effectiveness in navigating life’s challenges. Remember that while you may not be able to control external circumstances, you always have the power to control your response to them.

“Living with Duchenne MD is difficult, but we have tried to develop proper support, mindset, and coping strategies to maintain perspective and live life despite the challenges.” { ONE TOUGH MOTHER }

We tried to maintain perspective. Maintaining perspective with a chronic illness can be incredibly challenging but essential for overall well-being. We stayed informed about care and treatment options. Education is necessary, but we must be careful not to constantly research symptoms or dwell on worstcase scenarios, which would increase our anxiety and stress.

We tried to set realistic goals. Setting realistic goals with a chronic illness is crucial for maintaining motivation and a sense of accomplishment while also considering health limitations. We needed to understand the physical and mental limitations due to Jon’s chronic illness. We needed to be realistic about what could and could not be done. Setting goals that pushed our limits led to frustration and setbacks. Breaking down our challenges into smaller, manageable goals helped us focus. We celebrated our progress, no matter how small, and acknowledged our achievements.

We try to make self-care a priority. Self-care is not selfish—it’s essential for managing and maintaining your well-being. Pay attention to your body’s signals and limitations. Pace yourself and avoid overexertion, as pushing too hard can exacerbate symptoms. Prioritize yourself and your needs. Ensure you get enough sleep and rest throughout the day. Nap when necessary and establish a bedtime routine to promote better sleep quality. Stay proactive with your healthcare by attending regular checkups and following your treatment plan. Communicate openly with your healthcare team about any concerns or

changes in your health.

Seek Professional Help if Needed. Remember that seeking professional help for your mental well-being is a sign of strength, not weakness. Taking care of your mental health is an essential part of managing your overall health and well-being when living with a chronic illness. Various types of treatment may be beneficial for controlling the emotional impact of chronic disease, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based therapy, or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Discuss with potential providers which approach may be most suitable for your needs.

Here are some links to aid in your search for professional help:

If you have health insurance, inquire with your HR department to see if you have an EAP benefit. The EAP benefit team can help find therapists specializing in the kind of therapy you seek.

You can search for therapists, teletherapists, psychiatrists, treatment centers, or support groups by zip code or city via this link: https://www.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255

New York State Crisis Prevention: crisis.html

New York State Mental Health Program Directory:

Compassion Net services/home-health-care/our-services/ maternal-and-pediatric/compassionnet

CompassionNet is a community-based pediatric and perinatal palliative care program that provides support and care to families caring for a child with a potentially life-threatening illness or families expecting the birth of a child with a severe medical.

Some of our tips might not work for you or your family, and finding what works for you is essential. I don’t know all the answers, but I hope some ideas that worked for us might work for you.

Contact Us Today For More Information I I 585.727.9120




Hello! Welcome to the debut of Beautiful, Powerful, Deserving, my personal passion project. In this introductory article, I’d like to tell you how Beautiful, Powerful, Deserving evolved. It is a platform devoted to mental health, mind-body wellness, nutrition, fitness, beauty, and fashion. That might seem like a wide range of topics, but in my life—and maybe yours as well—they are all related. For me, keeping these different parts of my life—these different parts of me—in balance, in harmony, and in perspective has become the key to a healthy life.

Just writing that last sentence is a victory. During the hardest times of my life, all I saw was darkness. I didn’t believe there could be harmony or balance. I didn’t believe that my burdens and my hopes could share the same space, and even work together. With a lot of help and a lot of work, I know better now. Now I can see how every struggle taught a lesson, how every challenge drew out a hidden strength. I’ve learned the demons don’t have to be in charge: I’ve put them to work for me.

Let me tell you a bit of my story. I had strong feelings of anxiety, though I didn’t even know the word, when I headed off to first grade. Now, that stress is the foundation for my work ethic, giving me the energy and inspiration to do all the things I love. At age eight, I was overwhelmed with obsessive thoughts, and my life became an endless cycle of counting and compulsions. Now

I’ve morphed this same behavior into my self-discipline, attention to detail, and drive for success. When I was twelve years old, I—like so many other young girls—didn’t like my reflection in the mirror. Now my appearance is still important to me, but it is motivating and affirming, a way to share my best self with the

Lyme disease. That experience has strengthened my commitment to nutrition, health, and fitness, as they’re the best ways to control Lyme.

world. At age 14 I was restricting my diet in dangerous ways, and I was diagnosed with anorexia. Now, I still watch what I eat, but I do it to stay healthy and fit. Now I eat for self-care, not self-destruction. When I was 17, another kind of struggle started when I was diagnosed with

Like I said, there were times when things looked pretty dark. I’ve been hit with diagnoses of anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, and even Lyme disease. For years it seemed as if nothing improved my mental health, and at twenty-one I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation. Needless to say, that was a low point, but it opened a doorway. After my release I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and all my struggles over all those years finally made sense. Still, it was a sobering diagnosis. Borderline personality disorder, or BPD for short, is characterized by “identity disturbance and instability in mood, behavior, self-image, and interpersonal relationships” (Upstate Medical University, 2024). It is a very serious condition—comparable to a stage 4 cancer diagnosis— and, to make matters worse, it is highly stigmatized. The name itself, “borderline – person - disordered,” speaks of a broken person, pushed off to the margins of life. As someone with BPD, I felt ugly, weak, and worthless.

Believe it or not, those feelings led me to Beautiful, Powerful, Deserving. The name came to me as I grappled with my diagnosis, and searched for a way to put a positive spin on those three little letters that hold so much stigma.




“That might seem like a wide range of topics, but in my life—and maybe yours as well— they are all related. For me, keeping these different parts of my life—these different parts of me—in balance, in harmony, and in perspective has become the key to a healthy life.”

I asked myself what I needed to feel during my recovery, and what might touch others who share my diagnosis. I found the answer in Beautiful, Powerful, Deserving. The name is a direct challenge to the negative feelings that accompanied my diagnosis. I have had hard experiences, I am not perfect, but I am still, and forever, Beautiful, Powerful, Deserving—and so are you. I hope this platform will help others who struggle to find their own unique beauty, strength, and worth.

I am now 23 years old and am in treatment in the Upstate University Hospital Psychiatry High Risk Program. I’m already seeing remission of symptoms and will graduate to maintenance in July. I’ve had a transformative life experience. The wonderful people at Upstate saved my life, and I dedicate Beautiful, Powerful, Deserving to them.

I am grateful for all the experiences—good, bad, and in between—that have led me to where I am today. But I am especially thankful for the negative ones, because they have resulted in an abundance of blessings in my life. They’ve given me strength, and they’ve given me the knowledge, resources, and support that have healed me in mind, body, and spirit. I believe it is my life’s mission to use this platform to advocate for

those suffering from mental illness, to offer a light to those who feel they are alone, and to help them find their way. In short, I want to share what I’ve learned: we are not broken, we are beautiful.

Not broken, beautiful.

Many thanks to the talented Peter Levins for designing the logo for Beautiful, Powerful, Deserving, and making my vision come to life. The chameleon represents BPD, which is sometimes called a “chameleon personality.” The butterfly signifies growth and transformation. As you can see, the two are peacefully existing together in a harmonious little ecosystem. I hope this image serves as a visual reminder that you are so much more than any diagnosis or illness, and you can always choose life, recovery, and health. I promise you there is so much beauty waiting on the other side.

“ Believe it or not, those feelings led me to BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL, DESERVING. The name came to me as I grappled with my diagnosis, and searched for a way to put a POSITIVE SPIN on those three little letters that hold so much stigma. ”


It’s April 21, 2024, and I’m sitting at the speaker table in a beautiful ballroom at the Holiday Inn in Rochester, NY, for the Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo. The room is decorated with beautiful gold and cream-colored balloons. There’s a gold BOSS sign on the table with a pure white pleated tablecloth and 10 chairs.

Honestly, I was freaking out on the inside, and I wanted to jump up and run around from the adrenaline rushing through my veins, and I hadn’t even been introduced yet. My palms were sweaty, and I kept saying to myself, “Relax, deep breaths. You’ve done this before!”

About 45 minutes into the guest speaker session, a young lady - from the back of the room, red hair, about 5 foot 2 inches, approached halfway to the table with a small notebook, and she shyly takes the microphone and asks a question: “What has been the hardest part of owning a business, and what helped push you through that point in time?”

my business in the first place, which was so I could be a mom without being dragged to a corporate office every day.”

That young lady is my 16-yearold bonus daughter. Completely unprompted and unscripted.

I actually started choking up when I attempted to answer it because, at that exact moment in time, I realized

since they were 7 and 10). I’m an only child and have 3 biological boys. There have been countless days, nights, and years that I’ve spent wondering if I was doing it wrong or right. How do I parent a daughter? How do I raise a well-rounded, respected, independent woman? Today proved that I was doing something right.

I attended the event last year and had forgotten that when I came home, she asked me if she could go this year, and she matter-of-factly reminded me when I said I was going again. So of course I had to live up to my promise, and the only stipulation was that she ride with Dad on the back of his motorcycle. I was not going without being on mine and already had a bag filled with items on the passenger seat.

I happened to have the microphone in my hand already, so I answered. “The hardest part of owning a business as a Woman Entrepreneur is learning Work, Life, Family Integration. This means I need to make sure that I am there for my kids and my business. And how I pushed through the difficult times was remembering why I started

all my hard work had paid off, and I was so proud of her for taking the courage to ask that question.

You see - being a mom and running a business to biological children is difficult on its own, but there is a whole new set of challenges when it comes to being a Bonus Mom to someone (and in my case, 2 daughters

Like a champ, she battled the brutal cold and wind with us for 2 hours straight from Syracuse to Rochester.

You see, every little decision and boundary we make in our lives and businesses as a mother affects those around us, and sometimes we don’t see the immediate influence of our actions until much later in life.

Let me elaborate a little bit and clarify what I mean with some family history. My middle name is Leah. Pronounced Lee-uh. This is important because some people mispronounce it Lee, mistakenly thinking the “ah” as silent. The reason this is so significant to me



“The hardest part of owning a business as a Woman Entrepreneur is learning Work, Life, Family Integration. This means I need to make sure that I am there for my kids and my business.”


in particular is that it’s my paternal grandmother’s name. Her maiden name was Leah Bainbridge. She passed away in 2004 at 85. I have very vivid memories of her growing up. Although she only ever met my oldest, and he was only 2 years old when she passed. Her favorite flowers are purple lilacs.

When I rebranded my business to Anne Leah & Co., (pronounced company) at the time, it was a fun twist on me having such a large blended family. If we went to family events, it was easier for people to say “It’ll be Anne & Company” in attendance. It didn’t have as significant of a meaning until just recently. I have always adored my middle name, knowing the connection it had to my grandmother.

You see, my grandmother was the former owner of H.C.Bainbridge Inc. in Syracuse, and she retired in 1982 after 17 years, only a year before I was born. I would learn much later in life during conversations with my dad as a grown woman and entrepreneur myself - that Grandma Leah and I have a lot in common and that the universe had been speaking to me long before I realized it.

to visit her at the cemetery (along with other family members) and put freshly cut Lilacs around their stones while I quickly recap the previous year’s events, and my dad and I light-heartedly make jokes about the chaos.

Each and every year, she still influences me and has given me an even greater bond with my dad. We still, to this very day, visit the family camp regularly - where she lived and passed on Otisco Lake. I always manage to catch a glimpse of my dad smiling

accomplished following in the family Entrepreneurial footsteps.

I suppose you’re probably asking at this point, “What about your own mother, Anne?”

Well, my mother, Mary - has had her influence on me as an entrepreneur and mother in her own unique way. You see - she was also very entrepreneurial when I was growing up.

M.S. Desserts was a bakery she started in our upstairs kitchen and then attempted to open in an actual location. It unfortunately didn’t last long. However, she had me very involved in Girl Scouts for far too many years.

and watching his grandchildren (her great-grandchildren) enjoying it as if it were still 1985. I call it my happy place; I feel the most connected to her when we’re there.

You do know what they say about Girl Scouts, right? They basically promote it as “shaping future entrepreneurs”at least that’s the angle they use during cookie time.

Every year on Mother’s Day, he picks me up, and we ride together

Now, I can’t tell you if that was the Legacy she had intended to leave, but I’d say it’s one that has given back to many generations, and I sure hope she’s proud of what I’ve

Between selling Girl Scout cookies, traveling, exposure to public speaking, and helping my mother in the kitchen (taste testing was my favorite part of the job!) and at the bakery making and packaging cookies; It was very obvious that I was destined to be an Entrepreneur from a young age. One of my favorite stories is that she


“You see, every little decision and boundary we make in our lives and businesses as a mother affects those around us, and sometimes we don’t see the immediate influence of our actions until much later in life.”

used to “bribe” me as a teenager to wake up early and help her before school, and in return, she would take me to get my ears pierced multiple times. (I had 3 holes in each of my ears way before high school, and as a teenager in the early 90’s, it was the best payment ever!) Needless to say, Dad was not a fan of this approach. The point I’m making is that there has been a woman and or mother in your life who has significantly

influenced you in some way, shape, or form. We are a powerful force to be reckoned with!

In closing, this is my tribute to all the mothers who are also business owners and entrepreneurs.

You are more influential than you may know or realize. Not just one day of the year. Not just when you are living and breathing. But every

day, every week, and every month of every year for the rest of eternity. You are responsible for creating your own Legacy.

What do you want it to look and feel like 20 years from now?

Until next timeAnne Leah






“So on this Memorial Day and every day, please remember those brave souls who gave their lives so that we can live in the greatest Country in the world.”

This past Monday was Memorial Day, a day where Active Military Members, Veterans, Civilians and Future Servicemembers alike all come together to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great Country. Often we think of Memorial Day weekend as days off from work, time with friends and family, BBQ, baseball and beautiful summer weather, all of these activities are time well spent and amazing American pastimes. It’s very important to recognize what’s most important, the men and women who gave all so we could enjoy these very things.

From our Nation’s inception Americans have been paying the ultimate price to keep our Nation free, since the Revolutionary War we have lost over one million Americans in wars throughout the world. In the Military world we have a saying “All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” this phrase is powerful in that it drives home the severity of the sacrifice among our Nation’s Warfighters that never return home. The emotional hole in our hearts caused by losing a brother or sister in conflict can never be healed, it can only be managed. Families endure pain that will affect them for generations to come when a loved one comes home in a casket with a flag draped over it. The cost is total.

Active Servicemembers and Veterans who have lost fellow Warriors alongside them in battle often carry a survivors guilt, a feeling of “why them and not me.” It often doesn’t make sense in the haze of war how the numbers and souls are chosen, all we know is that they are and it can feel cold, random and unfair. “Til Valhalla” or “Until we meet again in Valhalla” is a phrase often used amongst the War Fighting Brethren.

So on this Memorial Day and every day, please remember those brave souls who gave their lives so that we can live in the greatest Country in the world. Where individuals can go from poverty to wealth with a dream and hard work, where one can practice freedom of religion and pray wherever they want, whenever they want without fear of death or persecution. Where men and women alike and people of every race, gender and creed are protected by the US Constitution. Where we have Freedom of Speech, the right to protest and the right to Keep and Bear Arms, the right to vote.

We have our national pastimes: Baseball, Football, Hockey, MMA, Wrestling and Boxing, great bands and classic movies, we have Johnny Cash and Clint Eastwood. We call it the “American Dream” for a reason, not the English Dream or

the French Dream, in the Marine Corps we say do it for “God, Corps and Country.”

The United States has not always been perfect, at times far from it. We’ve endured slavery, racism, corruption, murder, injustice, hate, we’ve went into battle and sacrificed lives in questionable conflicts. All this being said we are a Nation of dreams, second chances and pride. We want to do and be great, we love our families and our communities, we accept individuals from all over the world to come and join us in our American Dream. We are a melting pot where people from Italy, Mexico, Ireland and Japan can come here, bring their culture and share it with their fellow Americans as we are all held together by a common fiber our US Constitution and it’s symbol of hope and freedom the American Flag. Please remember and never forget all of those who have died to preserve and protect our American Way of Life.





“In the Military world we have a saying “All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” this phrase is powerful in that it drives home the severity of the sacrifice among our Nation’s Warfighters that never return home.”




RMHCR is focusing on high-risk pregnant mothers using innovation to enable health equity –

Being close to care is so much more than just a convenience, it can also mean the difference between the best and worst possible outcomes. At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, (RMHCR), we know that minutes matter and for a mother with a “High Risk” pregnancy diagnosis, every minute can literally mean the difference between a healthy, well-supported delivery with the best outcome or an emergent delivery with a fragile newborn who needs to be transported to a higher level of care.

Currently, there is a national maternal and infant mortality crisis that disproportionately affects women of color and their infants. Sadly, this is even more prevalent here in Monroe County. Alarming national statistics reveal stark disparities, with Black mothers experiencing mortality rates three to four times higher than their White counterparts. These discrepancies are mirrored in Monroe County, where maternal mortality rates soar to 29.7 per 100,000 live births, and infant mortality rates reach 7.1 per 1,000 live births, significantly surpassing state averages. These figures, sourced from the 2022-2024 Monroe County Joint Community Health Needs Assessment, underscore the profound impact of intersecting oppressions, including poverty and racial inequities.

RMHCR has found an innovative way

to positively impact the effects of this crisis by facilitating access to healthcare services for high-risk pregnant mothers and preterm babies, many of whom face complex medical conditions. Through established referral partnerships, in addition to supporting families while a child is in care, we are also focusing on supporting High-risk pregnant mothers prior to delivery.

an acute hospital bed open for a more critical patient admission. Being minutes from care keeps a family unit intact and stronger while simultaneously bridging the gap in healthcare access, which improves outcomes. This program offers support for families at risk throughout our region and this innovation is a scalable model enabling health equity for not only this community but communities across the country.

RMHCR is committed to being relevant and providing the most impactful programs and services we can. To do so, we consistently remain connected to our community and rely on their engagement and feedback to help us decide, design, implement, and evaluate each program we provide. The alarming racial disparities around maternal and infant mortality rates here in Monroe County fueled our desire to expand our high-risk services so that we can be more available to moms, especially Black and Brown mothers already struggling with healthcare access challenges.

Realizing that the entire family is at risk when a mom has a high-risk pregnancy, we understand that by keeping the family unit together before delivery we decrease some of the stressors that contribute to pre-term deliveries. We do this by providing a home away from home for the family while also keeping

We know that a high-risk pregnancy can also result in a preterm birth which contributes to heightened morbidity rates with associated medical complications identified as the primary cause of neonatal mortality by the National Institute of Health. Preterm birth also presents enduring medical complexities for newborns, and studies indicate that 80% of families with medically complex children rely on Medicaid, underscoring the vulnerability of this demographic. Highlighting the disparities, the 2023 March of Dimes Report Card for New York State indicates


“RMHCR has found an innovative way to positively impact the effects of this crisis by facilitating access to healthcare services for high-risk pregnant mothers and preterm babies, many of whom face complex medical conditions.”


that the preterm birth rate among infants born to Black and Native American mothers surpasses that of White mothers by 62% emphasizing the critical need for intervention to address these inequalities.

We are also proud to support these families after delivery, as they often have pre-term infants with medical complexities requiring hospitalization and so rely on RMHCR to stay close to care. Our commitment extends far beyond lodging, encompassing nutritious meals, transportation, and fostering a supportive community characterized by respect and access to top-tier healthcare for all referred individuals.

Our current programs include but aren’t limited to lodging facilities at our Westmoreland House (24 private bedrooms/ensuites), our House Within the Hospital at Golisano Children’s Hospital (7 private bedrooms/ensuites), and Unity Hospital (2 private sleeping rooms). Additionally, we provide nutritious meals across our housing facilities, hospital family rooms, and hospitality carts, alongside transportation services to and from the hospital, and mental health support to better address the intersecting oppressions that many of our families face. Our mental health support services assist children/teens with a mental health diagnosis, as well as parents of critically ill or injured children who may experience PTSD and depression while coping with their child’s health struggles.

The families we serve are actively involved in helping us to design and implement our programs. We provide evaluative surveys to all families we serve and are proud of our 98% satisfaction rate. We

believe our rate is so high because we have communication structures in place to enable community voice and we enhance based on their feedback. Via the surveys, all our families have an opportunity to tell us what they need and how we might better meet their needs; and to indicate if they are interested in serving on our Family Advisory Committee—an integral committee that meets multiple times annually to collaborate with RMHCR leadership and to ensure our community is actively involved in how we serve.

In addition to surveys and committees, we use focus groups and interviews to obtain feedback from our community to evaluate our services and understand and ensure we are meeting their priority needs.

We also partner closely with and have open and ongoing communication with social workers, physicians, and nurses about current health equity priorities for our families. To effectively support mothers facing racial inequities, high-risk pregnancies, and preterm deliveries, we draw upon the expertise of our healthcare partners and community thought leaders in the field to continually help us to focus our programs and services for the greatest impact. Leveraging these partnerships, we are committed to developing and implementing a comprehensive communication campaign targeting obstetrics and midwifery groups across our community to raise awareness about our services to key healthcare providers and thereby extend lifesaving care to more families grappling with intersecting inequities such as race and poverty.

Additionally, while a mom is in our care,

we facilitate access to other community services such as: Strong Beginnings Maternity Services through URMC, covering essential topics such as hospital navigation, breastfeeding, childbirth, and newborn care. Education and access are key to this initiative. All our services and programs are available to families and high-risk pregnant mothers at no cost.

In 2023 RMHCR provided 2,305 nights of lodging within or next to the hospital for families with pre-term babies and 156 nights for high-risk pregnant mothers, saving these families over $300,000.

RMHCR is proud to provide cutting-edge supportive care, constantly surveilling the community, our healthcare partners, and clinicians to identify areas of need, and then finding innovative ways to serve and improve outcomes for families in our care. We work hard to find opportunities for funding that can expand our reach and extend our impact. We are currently one of six community-based organizations awarded $25,000 for the Excellus Health Equity Innovation Awards—2023 and we are grateful for their recognition of our important and powerful work.

SPEAK UP The Transformative Power of Sharing Your Message as an Entrepreneur



“As an entrepreneur, your voice is your most powerful asset.”

In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, success isn’t just about having a great product or service – it’s also about effectively communicating your vision, values, and story. As an entrepreneur, your voice is your most powerful asset. It’s the tool that allows you to connect with your audience, inspire action, and leave a lasting impact on the world. In this article, we’ll explore the transformative power of using your voice and sharing your message as an entrepreneur.

Authenticity: The Heart of Your Message

At the core of every successful entrepreneur’s message lies authenticity. Authenticity is what sets you apart from the competition and resonates with your audience on a deeper level. Your message should reflect your true values, beliefs, and experiences – it’s what makes you unique and relatable. When you speak authentically, you build trust and credibility with your audience, fostering stronger connections that transcend transactional relationships.

Inspiration and Empowerment

As an entrepreneur, your message has the power to inspire and empower others. By sharing your journey, struggles, and triumphs, you provide a roadmap for aspiring entrepreneurs and changemakers to follow. Your story serves as a

source of motivation, showing others that it’s possible to overcome obstacles, pursue their passions, and achieve their dreams. Through your words and actions, you have the opportunity to ignite the spark of inspiration in others, empowering them to take bold steps towards their own success.

Driving Change and Making an Impact

Entrepreneurs are often at the forefront of driving change and making a positive impact in their communities and industries. Your message can be a catalyst for change, challenging the status quo and advocating for important causes. Whether it’s promoting sustainability, championing diversity and inclusion, or fighting social injustice, your voice has the power to spark conversations, raise awareness, and mobilize others to join your cause. As an entrepreneur, you have a unique platform to drive meaningful change and leave a lasting impact on the world.

Building Your Brand and Business

Your message is an integral part of your brand identity as an entrepreneur. It’s what differentiates you from your competitors and attracts your ideal audience. By crafting a compelling message that speaks to the values and aspirations of your target market, you can build a strong brand presence

and drive customer loyalty. Your message should be consistent across all your marketing channels, from your website and social media profiles to your email campaigns and product messaging. When you communicate your message effectively, you create a powerful brand narrative that resonates with your audience and drives business growth.

Overcoming Fear and Doubt

Sharing your message as an entrepreneur can be intimidating – it requires vulnerability, courage, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. However, overcoming fear and doubt is essential for personal and professional growth. Remember that your voice matters, and your message has the power to make a difference in the lives of others. By embracing vulnerability and sharing your authentic self with the world, you not only inspire others but also empower yourself to reach new heights of success.

Cultivating Connection and Community

Your message has the power to cultivate connection and community among your audience and fellow entrepreneurs. By sharing your story and engaging with your audience authentically, you create a sense of belonging and foster deeper relationships. Your




are often at the forefront of driving change and making a positive impact in their communities and industries.”

message becomes a rallying cry for like-minded individuals who share your values and aspirations, creating a supportive community that uplifts and inspires each other. As an entrepreneur, your voice has the power to unite people around a common purpose and create positive change in the world.

Conclusion: Your Voice, Your Impact

As an entrepreneur, your voice is your superpower – it’s the tool that allows you to share your message, inspire others, and drive meaningful change. Whether you’re advocating for a cause, building your brand, or empowering others to pursue

their dreams, your voice has the power to make a lasting impact on the world. So, speak up, share your message, and let your voice be heard. The world is waiting to hear what you have to say.

of Connections
“Empowered women empower women.” – Unknown

When I look back at my life, the people who lifted me and said, “You can do it, or take a chance and try something new,” bring a smile to my face. These were my support champions who believed in me and my potential and were always there to cheer me on. They were not just mentors or bosses but also friends and allies who pushed me to be my best self. Their empowering words fueled my ambition, solidifying my desire to be a different kind of leader—one that values collaboration and offers empowering words of support.

It’s important to acknowledge that women did not solely shape my journey in business. Men also played a significant role as mentors, valuing my perspective and ability to demonstrate my power through collaborative efforts. Their support and recognition have been instrumental in my growth.

As you think about the people around you, do they lift you? Or tear you down? It is a gift to surround ourselves with supportive voices who may not always agree with our perspective but value us enough to listen actively and then offer their insight.

My mother instilled in me a powerful lesson- to be open-minded, to listen to advice from a community of women, and to trust my judgment and stand tall with conviction. ‘The good you put out in the world will return to you a thousandfold,’ she would say. The belief in myself, in my power, has been a guiding light in my entrepreneurial journey.

So, as you venture forward in business, make a conscious choice to take a chance

on another woman by offering positive words of encouragement. Also, consider partnering with a woman entrepreneur for an event or a product launch. After all, we can rise together, grow, expand, and share our products and services. While the world is filled with competition, we can be the voice for collaboration and support while sharing savvy business advice.

Why Creating Connections that Empower You Are Important:

· Knowledge and Expertise: Entrepreneurs can tap into the knowledge and expertise of their connections. This can be invaluable for problem-solving, gathering insights, and learning from others’ experiences.

· Support System: Entrepreneurship can be a challenging journey, and having a solid network of connections provides a support system. Whether moral support, advice, or mentorship, connections can offer encouragement and guidance during successes and setbacks.

The Thirty-Day Challenge: Speak Empowering Words to Another Entrepreneur because words have power. Use every intersection—even when getting your coffee—to say a word of positivity or to tell an entrepreneur, “Thank you!”

Plus, there are health benefits. Entrepreneurship can be mentally taxing, leading to stress, anxiety, and burnout. Empowering words promote mental wellbeing by reducing negative self-talk, the internal dialogue that undermines our confidence and self-worth, increasing self-confidence, and fostering a sense of optimism and purpose.

Inspiring Action: Empowering words can inspire entrepreneurs to act, pursue their goals, and push past their comfort zones. Positive reinforcement and encouragement can motivate them to seize opportunities and overcome the fear of failure.

Speaking empowering words to entrepreneurs uplifts individuals and cultivates a culture of innovation, resilience, and collaboration. This culture encourages individuals to think creatively, bounce back from setbacks, and work together towards shared goals. This culture is essential for entrepreneurial success and the overall good of our community. It’s about providing the support, encouragement, and belief entrepreneurs need to thrive and positively impact the world. So, become mindful of the words you are exuding and choose more positive reinforcement for another entrepreneur.

Laura Ponticello is a four-time awardwinning and #1 bestselling author, coach, and publicist who learned the hard way the power of positivity. As a result, she fosters leadership and personal transformation so that others can Awaken to Their Amazing Potential. This concept encourages individuals to recognize and harness their unique strengths and abilities.

Connect at www.lauraponticello and


Our photo booth rentals are perfect for every occasion!


3 hours of fun (additional hours are available)

Unlimited photo sessions with high quality prints

Customized photo print and screen layout

One backdrop of your choice from our many options Tons of fun props On-site attendant for the entire event!

10% of all proceeds go towards local non- profits!


U S ! 5 8 5 - 2 5 0 - 0 2 4 1 m a k a y l a @ w r i g h t w a y p h o t o b o o t h s . c o m w w w . w r i g h t w a y p h o t o b o o t h s . c o m P . O . B o x 2 6 8 S h o r t s v i l l e N Y 1 4 5 4 8

Get ready to level up your beauty game with the JEMazing Cosmetics - Lip Collection! This ultimate beauty tool is all you need to take your pout to the next level and r

Our dazzlingly pigmented colors are super smooth glide on like a dream, giving you the perfect pout with one swipe that lasts all day long. And with five stun shades in each set, ranging from bold to nearly n you'll have everything you need to create show-stop looks that turn heads wherever you go.

JEMazing products are designed to be compact and travel-frie ndly, making them easy to carry with you wherever you go. With pro-level control always at your fingertips, you can be confident in achieving great results no matter where you use them.

We are a company that is proud to be woman-owned, vegan-friendly, and certified cruelty-free. Our unwavering commitment to animal welfare stems from our belief that every living creature deserves love, care, and a sanctuary. By using our JEMazing products, you are not only taking care of yourself, but also contributing to the protection of our furry friends and the environment.

T H E B E A U T Y Y O U E N V I S I O N , T H E C O N F I D E N C E Y O U D E S E R V E . T I N
w w w . j e m a z i n g c o s m e t i c s . c o m C O S M E T I C S





Now I have to read???

Who has time to read a book while running a small business? Not most of us, but it is an important and easy way to work ON your business. You can do this in the bathtub, at night (a great excuse to stop doomscrolling!), on the treadmill… on the beach!

Here are 7 of our favorite books relating to small business ownership. You may be surprised by some.

Zombie Loyalist by Peter Shankman. If you have met Kelly M, you know about Zombie Loyalism. If you ask any of her employees, they should be able to tell you what it means, why it is important, and how to integrate it into their jobs.

How is a zombie created? It is bitten. Then what happens? It spreads the contagion. Go bite those zombies! How? Use BRAINS… Bring Random Amazement Into Normal Situations, and the zombies will work for youthey will bring friends, share stories, promote your work, and continue to support you. Zombie Loyalism should be the forefront in every small business training program. It’s a no-brainer.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek. This book reminds us why we started our businesses. Simon explains the golden circle, with the target being WHY, the next ring being HOW, and the third ring being WHAT. People don’t continue to purchase your product, for just the product, but because of YOU and what you

believe in. WHY do you do this work. It is a great book to remind you of the beginning, to inspire you to keep improving, and to empower you to do the work for you as much as the customer.

There is a reason that this book remains a top seller for business books. Check it out for yourself! And follow Simon on social for daily inspiration.

Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell. Learn from the best? Yes, please! A quick read is broken into 10 golden steps that the most famous businesses in the world uses to continue to create magic. Use this as another book to inspire you to be a better leader, to maintain your integrity, and to inspire the people around you.

Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. A book to make you think differently about what you are doing. Everything has a tipping point- the moment that it goes viral (yes, just like a pandemic or the internet) and it will make you think about how you can find those moments in your business. Ideas that become movements. Products that find the perfect speaker. How to make yourself be the one that is heard among the masses.

This book brings the focus back outhow will you tip your business? Do you WANT to tip your business to the next level?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Do you have a book you return to again and again? This is the one for Kelly M. On average, Kelly reads this book once a year to remind herself that it is the journey, which often veers and shifts along the way, that will take

you where you need to be in the end. This book has nothing to do with business, but we are all in business ownership for the end goal- the shiny diamond, the freedom, the control, the creativity. When we are stuck scrubbing toilets, it is easy to forget the end goal and feel stuck. But that diamond WILL shine in the distance again, helping to refocus our energy and drive.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. Vulnerability, kindness, and hope. We all need a few minutes of this in our life to recenter ourselves. Super easy read and takes no time at all. Small business ownership can feel like the most vulnerable path ever- but that does not mean it is a bad thing. Put your phone down, grab some coffee or tea and a comfy seat, and get your head right. Then surround yourself with people that make you feel like this book.

Dirt Candy: A Cookbook by Amanda Cohen. For the restaurant people in this group, this is not just a cookbook, but the story of the start and struggles of a new restaurant- in comic form! Enjoyable, too relatable, and great recipes to boot.

Don’t forget, it is 2024. You can find these in audio form, and probably in podcast form. Tell us your favorite books at or tag us @bossyroc

Kelly & Kelly



“What I love about yoga therapy – whether for an individual or a couple – is that it helps us tune in instead of out.”

What I love about yoga therapy –whether for an individual or a couple – is that it helps us tune in instead of out. So for this month I created a Mindful Date Guide to let you do just that. These are primarily for romantic partners, but many of these could definitely be attended solo to connect deeper to yourself or to enhance a relationship with a friend or a family member. So put the wine and the Netflix down, and check these out this summer. (Note: these are primarily around the Rochester and Finger Lakes region, but I would bet if you’re reading these from out of area you can find similar experiences near you – or travel to come visit us!) So here we go, in no particular order.

1.Community Acupuncture: Acupuncture can be very healing if you are dealing with stress, an injury or medical condition. But did you also know it can be incredibly relaxing? Rather than book a private acupuncture session for yourself, consider booking a community session. You and your partner can book side-by-side beds or armchairs where you can listen to soft music. The doctors place a few gentle needles in your skin based on how you are feeling that day and any medical conditions you may have. Essentially, you get to take a little nap if you like and it is a great alternative to a cup of coffee for a weekend pick-me-up. Scared of the needles? They are totally pain free and the doctors are there with you if you need anything at all. Acu585.Com for schedule and details.

2. Meditation Walk: This is actually totally free and can be done at home or

on vacation. I recommend all couples go on walks together, but have you ever tried a silent walk together? We are a culture with a lot of mental chatter, and you would be surprised how much of it actually comes out of our mouths (a lot). Choose either a parklike setting or simply a quiet time on your neighborhood street. This could be extremely awkward at first, but just notice your own feet on the ground and your senses the first half of the walk - try not to make any small talk. At the halfway mark, check in with how that’s been for the other person and what they’ve noticed. Option to hold hands or not on the way back, notice outside of yourself – whether it’s the surroundings, your connection to your partner, or something else. The silence gets more comfortable with practice.

3. Paddleboard Yoga: Standup Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga is the perfect way to connect to nature while getting in tune with yourself. No yoga experience is required to take this floating yoga class. See if you can really go with the flow as much as you say you do while practicing yoga on scenic Canandaigua Lake or Sodus Bay. SUP boards are extra wide, extra long surf boards so they’re stable – you will feel some rocking underneath you but you won’t necessarily tumble into the lake –though it is encouraged in the nice weather! The teacher will guide the class through safety measures, instruction, and breath all while you get to feel the water underneath you and the sun on your face. Want something more intimate? Book a private class just for the two of youFingerlakesyogascapes.

com to book a public or private class.

4. Couples Boudoir Photo Shoot: Whatever comes to mind when you think Boudoir photography, throw it out the window. This is more than just snapping some risqué photos, this is a full day experience designed for you and your partner. No cookie cutter photos, you both get to bring your own personal touches to the shoot to let your own identity as a couple shine. You’ll have hair and makeup done right at the studio. You’ll be posed and captured in photos that make you feel confident, sexy and excited about yourself and your partner. Rocboudoirexperience. com for more information.

5. Yoga Therapy for Couples: So many couples try to talk to find deeper connection, but it falls flat when you’re stressed out and overscheduled. What if you didn’t give up, but stopped talking about it and started moving with it? These partner yoga sessions are nothing acrobatic. A yoga therapy session for couples consists of gentle joint warmups, intention setting, breath, touch, listening exercises and meditation. Feel what it’s like to really tune out the rest of the world for an hour and laugh together while enhancing your communication from a more grounded space. to book.

6. The Spa at the Inns of Aurora: My trip to the Spa at Inns of Aurora was actually with a friend of mine and we had a blast. Book your treatment ahead of time and take the short drive out of Rochester. After checking in you can ditch your cell phone - actually, all of


“These are primarily for romantic partners, but many of these could definitely be attended solo to connect deeper to yourself or to enhance a relationship with a friend or a family member.”

these activities have been phone free –throw on a comfortable robe and enjoy this exquisite spa. The complimentary café food is nutritious, you have access to indoor and outdoor pools and cold

plunge, as well as wet and dry saunas. Sip on some tea before or after your treatment and enjoy some downtime with your love. spa/ to reserve.

What did I miss? Email Kaitlyn@ with more recommendations.


I used to be afraid of growing older, but now I do it gracefully and on my own terms. Terms I have had to recreate for in my youth the image of the age I sit peacefully on my porch now and ponder, is nothing like what I had believed it would be. For years I couldn’t bring myself to admit anything over 29. I blame my brother for that one.

As a young child one evening no more than 5 years of age we were left alone with neighbor kids to be “watched” by one of the teenage family friends. Not a rare occurrence, we were used to running around our lakeside community with barely no supervision, or supervised by one of the teenagers, who as teenagers would be, had better things to do. As the wild kids of that generation did, we of course snuck out to hit up a late night rendezvous at the swingset and dream up what life would be after the year 2000. It seemed a lifetime away, and we compared it to the jetsons. A saturday morning favorite cartoon, while crunching on a bowl of fruity pebbles, or Cap’n Crunch. Hoarding all them crunch berries for last. Anyway, I’ll never forget the night my brother said to us all on that swing set in the middle of the night, thinking life would always be right there on that under the big fluorescent light swinging away or building rafts, and bike rides. Little did I know life would soon change drastically, but my brother’s words stuck around like those giant green glossy flies around a hot pile of cow manure:

“When you hit 30, you may as well just give up, cause that’s when you’re old. Nothing good happens once you’re old.” And for me as a kid, whatever my brother said was as true as turnips


and taxes. I mean he had a snowball globe he could speak to Santa claus on, he must be right.

So my entire life, my image of old age was that nothing good comes with it. I knew of death and a disease that stole people’s thoughts and memories. I never wanted to grow old. I decided to stay at 29, the horrid life of old age would never blind side me. The good thing about it was I always looked younger than I am, so for a while I could pass as 29, no questions asked. And it became sort of like a game. Very rarely admitting my age, claiming “I’m 29”, and saying little more.

These days I find my peace in knowing how much I have overcome in life. Things aren’t what my younger self anticipated, yet the world has changed so much. 29 seems so long ago, and that person was so naive. Stuck in a place of limbo based on not wanting to change and grow older, yet that’s all I have been doing. I’ve been a creature of always shifting and changing and that’s my path to growing older.

I have come across a whole new community who identifies with how I have felt about aging. We grew up unsupervised, drinking from the garden hose. We got jobs while still in highschool, we rarely talked back. If we did we took the risk of wearing a handprint on our face to school, and it wasn’t considered abuse, it was damage control. We were locked out of the house from fruity pebbles time until you heard your mom screaming your name through the neighborhood. You knew how to find your friends by searching where their bike was parked, you had fights sometimes, then learned how to come to terms. Our feelings were hurt,

sometimes by our own parents, yet it taught us how to take criticism and that we were not always right. I was a child who ran barefoot all summer and learned to swim in Lake Ontario with no floating device. We fried bologna on a homemade grill with other kids and we drank mad dog 20/20. I wasn’t afraid to confront a bully, but I used to be afraid to age. Yet myself and others in this age group, we haven’t aged like other generations have.

I still sit on the front porch and sip coffee and watch the birds, like I used to view “old” people as I would have thought my age back then. I still walk around in a robe wearing slippers at times. I talk to my pets, and my body creaks and pops. I have bifocals that I regularly lose.

Yet, I don’t feel like my life ended at 30, in fact a lot of my life happened after. I like to reminisce about the differences between kids now and my generation. I’d love to drop a kid off all the way back to 1979, and see if they make it. I’m not sure they could handle life outdoors, go find your friends. Dont come home til the street lights come on. No internet, no phones, no helicopter mom hovering around, so problem solving and critical thinking were survival skills you had tomhave, or else you were the target of the sarcasm that day.

Sitting here, imagining the world how it used to be, where I was so long ago, when I thought the person I am today would be considered old, I’m not old, I’m generation X. Raised on hose water, neglect and street lights.



“The way your children move through the world is dramatically different from the way you did and do. They are white and they are also Asian. They are Black and they are also Hispanic.”

In an interview about his documentary, W. Kamau Bell, tells the story about a couple who had an early morning argument about socks.[1]

It was 7:30 and their daughter, Mila, was late for school. In her haste, Mila put on mismatched socks and Brian sent her back to her room to find matching ones: “There’s no way you’re going to school like that,” he said. Jadon, on the other hand, had no problem with it; she just wanted to get their daughter out the door.

Brian is Black and his wife, Jadon, is Chinese American.

Brian argued, “She’s a Black girl. Let’s not give anybody any reason to think that she’s not put together!” But Jadon countered, “I grew up in Berkley [California]; it’s ok even if you wear two different shoes!”

She was struck that it they could be talking about socks at 7:30 in the morning, and race was still there. Brian had grown up like so many African Americans: Give your kids the best chance to be respected out in the world. You don’t want to give white supremacy an obvious target. Jadon, on the other hand, lived as a free-spirited, express-yourself-anyway-you-want Berkley liberal, and her husband’s discomfort with mismatched socks made it clear that neither he nor their dark-skinned daughter could do that.

This story is illustrative of two of the many challenges multiracial or multicultural families have.

First, Brian and Jadon are happily married, but they argue a lot about parenting, and most of it can be traced back to imbedded cultural assumptions.

I can relate. Especially in our kids’ earlier years, my husband, (who is West Indian), and I had our share of heated conversations about parenting, also rooted in cultural differences. For example, to him, any kind of back-talk was disrespectful: Come to dinner meant Come to dinner now. I don’t care if you want to finish your game.

I, however, grew up in a more egalitarian home and was more lenient: Let them finish their game! Because if it were me, I would want to finish my game. Through the years we’ve realized that sometimes Marvin’s way is right: in life, you don’t always have a say. You can’t appeal every decision. And other times my way is right: sometimes it’s ok to let kids finish their game. We’ve balanced each other out and, after eighteen years of marriage, our values match a lot more.

Similarly, just this morning, Marvin sent one of our boys back upstairs to change because he was wearing a sloppy tank top which Marvin felt was more appropriate for yard work than for school. This is not unusual. In his mind, there are play clothes, school clothes and church clothes, and you absolutely do not go to school in sweats, sloppy tank tops or uncombed hair. I’ve come to agree with this because I also want to decrease the likelihood of our boys being profiled. Don’t make the devil’s job easier, we often say. We want our boys to be respected, and unfortunately, as Black boys, the bar is higher for them.

Second, when we enter parenting, most of us have at least a partial roadmap stemming from our own childhood experiences. These help to inform what we will and will not do as parents. But if you are a different race from your children, at some point you realize something

incredibly sobering: your experiences growing up do not provide anywhere near a sufficient roadmap. The way your children move through the world is dramatically different from the way you did and do. They are white and they are also Asian. They are Black and they are also Hispanic. They are Black, but they have white parents - or whatever the case may be.

There is a gulf that exists between you because you can never truly understand what it is like to be in their skin. They are perceived differently from the way you were at their age, and their heritage is different from yours. They need to be ready for those perceptions and proud of every part of their heritage.

I’m writing a book about raising multiracial kids because of socks. That is, all the things, profound and simple, that parents of mixed kids should consider. I’m writing to encourage, celebrate, and hopefully provide some wisdom. It will also be germane to those raising transracially adopted children as they too must find a roadmap outside of themselves to raise happy, kids grounded in their identity.

In the meantime, get my guide, Beyond Hair; 9 things to do when your child is a different race from you and let me know what you think!

[1] Sasha Khokha and Marisa Lagos, “Encore Broadcast: W. Kamau Bell’s Family Explores The Mixed-Race Experience,” September 8, 2023, https://


Here is the story:

In 2013, after losing two dogs to old age, we adopted Bluster and Dawn from ACS. Dawn, a wired-haired pointing griffon, who we renamed Pawnin’, was with us for another 6 years before she passed due to a blockage in her small intestines. Bluster Brown Luster (known as BBLuster), is still with us and is now about 14 years of age. Bluster, a Bernese Mountain dog/Spaniel mix, has been a wonderful dog. At the time we adopted him in 2013, we were told that he was the happiest dog at ACS! His quirkiness and joyful demeanor continue on to this day.

Last year Bluster tore his cruciate and his meniscus in his back right leg. Friends who are dog people, suggested putting him down vs. having the surgery, which is expensive and often leads to dog depression due to the fact that a dog has to be on a lease for about 6-7 months after surgery. We moved our bedroom downstairs, slept as a pack and made every effort to keep as normal a schedule of walks and snuggles as possible. I only saw him

seemingly down twice during the whole recovery. True to ACS’


words, he’s a really happy dog.

Over the years, Bluster determined that one of his main missions in life was to go to certain areas of our 17acre property and bark to keep the deer away. The first time he did this after his surgery, I cried. Our old, quirky, vibrant dog, was back! He continues to love chasing deer from the yard, (although he’s not as fast as he used to be), he loves to hang around me as I garden and generally is a great helper pup to both Robert and me.

I am writing this to thank ACS for Bluster, who is a really special dog, Dawn/Pawnin’, who was a sweet girl and probably the fastest dog we’ve ever owned and for Moses, who we adopted in 2006(?), a six year old, tri-colored blue Merle Australian Shepard, who had never been inside a house until we adopted him and housebroke him.

On a final note, I would love to send you a picture of Bluster for your newsletter. He is in an Elizabethan collar after his surgery, which required him to spend 2 months in the collar. A picture is worth a thousand words.




The hype in the weight loss industry is the GLP-1 RA (glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists). These are the prescription medications which have been all over the media promising and promoting weight loss.

What is a GLP-1 agonist? What does it do? Why does it cause weight loss? What are the risks associated with this weekly injectable drug for weight loss? I plan to simplify it from a clinical standpoint.

The mechanism of action and pharmacokinetics of any drug is how the drug works in the body, its onset, activity, and excretion. We have natural hormones in our bodies that are released in response to what we do to our bodies. For instance, we eat a carbohydrate load, our body will secrete insulin. This occurs with digestion and absorption of glucose from the GI tract and release of insulin into the blood stream by the pancreas. We give our body carbohydrate and volume, and our brain secretes glucagon like peptide. Think about the brain as an endocrine organ, just like the pancreas. We secrete hormones from it. Our whole endocrine system in the body is controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are in our brains. These are the endocrine organs of our brains. They control all our hormone release in our bodies in response to triggers.

The drug industry synthesizes drugs that mimic what we already do in our bodies, our natural hormonal state. These drugs are longer acting, and time released so the short-lived effect in our brains now will be faster and longer with the drug.

Semaglutide is a synthetic (created in a lab) long-acting form of GLP-1 that is a weekly injectable drug. The benefit of long acting GLP-1 is that we feel fuller faster and longer in response to food intake. That leads to early satiety and less hunger. We eat less and we don’t feel hungry for hours. Clinically, what I have seen and heard is that patients on Semaglutide must force themselves to eat and are never hungry.

When we eat, our GI tract stretches by food and our glucose levels increase. Our brains will release GLP-1 in response but it is short lived, and we don’t feel full very long and get hungry easily. We have all experienced this. We eat regularly because we get hungry and are not satisfied by what we ate an hour earlier. I call this “hyperappetitemia”, the driving force of obesity. That is not a medical term, but I like it because it describes so many of obese Americans. We are hungry all the time. We are not balanced hormonally, neurologically, or metabolically.

The GLP-1 receptor agonist will increase glucose dependent insulin secretion with a carbohydrate load, decrease inappropriate glucagon secretion, slow gastric emptying and acts on the part of the brain that regulates appetite and caloric intake. These new medications are designed to address the hormonal aspect of weight management. Weight is not just metabolic; it is hormonal and metabolic. That is why these drugs are so effective for weight loss.

The problem with big pharma is that these drugs are not covered by most insurance

plans and are extremely expensive. No one can afford them. I am talking in the range of $800-1000/month or maybe with a coupon $550/month. The cost is astronomical which makes effective prescription weight loss only cosmetic and for the wealthy. These drugs have been shown to decrease weight and maintain weight loss over time in adults and adolescents over the age of 12. They have been shown to decrease repeat heart attacks in obese patients with heart disease without diabetes. They can be used to help cardiovascular disease and weight. Heart disease is the lead killer in the US today. We have drugs that can be used in heart attack survivors for secondary prevention of another heart attack and weight loss. Everyone should have access to these drugs in the patient centered model of disease prevention and even treatment.

The drugs are not the whole answer though. They must be combined with lifestyle changes. That means one must make some changes in their diet. A diet high in vegetables, lean protein with low good carbohydrates and low good fats. Or a plant-based diet that is high in fiber. The American diet is killing us and is unhealthy. We must strive for healthier habits to be healthier and prevent disease. Studies show up to 17% weight reduction in patients that take GLP-1 with lifestyle changes as opposed to 7% with drug alone.

Now, this is a good thing in many ways but it can work against one’s body also. What happens when a person stops eating and drinking fluids? What happens when a patient can’t learn to

“What is a GLP-1 agonist? What does it do? Why does it cause weight loss?”

eat when not hungry? There are risks to every drug and everything we do to our bodies.

I had a patient that didn’t eat or drink for 3 weeks. By the time she saw me, her kidneys had shut down and she was on the verge of hypovolemic shock. I learned of the new medication, a GLP-1 RA, when she came to see me for extreme fatigue and weakness. She was so sick. She thought it was okay because she was supposed to be losing weight on the medication. She was diabetic so had both me as her PCP and an endocrinologist managing her diabetes. She had lost about 40 lbs since

starting the medication. This was not the right way to lose weight and the drug almost killed her. She is thankfully still alive with a prolonged hospitalization to manage the ill effects of the drug. The drug is contraindicated in her now.

There are contraindications for all drugs. For the GLP-1 receptor agonists, a history of pancreatitis or a family history of medullary thyroid cancer are absolute contraindications. I have had to stop the medication in 2 patients for pancreatitis and 1 with ileus meaning the GI tract stopped moving. If an ileus becomes gastroparesis this is an irreversible adverse reaction.

When considering injectable drugs for weight loss, you must decide if the drug is right for the patient, do they meet criteria for treatment and what is the risk vs. benefit of the drug. To inject or not to inject is not just the choice of the patient, it is also the choice of the physician. We individualize the decision to prescribe with every single patient. To sign or not to sign, that is the question.




About the Documentary “Quiet on Set”

I watched the documentary called Quiet on Set, The Dark Side of Kids TV which was about kids on TV shows like Nickelodeon and other shows produced by Dan Schneider. It was so sad to hear how badly these kids were treated and at the hands of adults.

What I took away from watching that documentary is that these young adults now are still suffering past emotional wounds from that experience. They all seem to be in therapy as well, yet they are still in pain.

One gentleman said something that really made me think. He said that at the time of the show, his mom, who was always very vocal when it came to her son, seemed to be speaking out on his behalf when she felt something was not right.

When he was asked to leave the show, even though he was unhappy, he blamed his mother and she saw the pain in him at that moment. He said now, as an adult “you always want to blame someone when things like this happen”. His mom said, at the moment when he was let go from the show, that is what ruined their relationship.

After some therapy and the making of the documentary, he saw his mother pour her heart out about what happened way back then. He hadn’t heard her say those words until the documentary aired. He said “it wasn’t until that moment that I realized.” What he realized was that all the pain and resentment was really about what he THOUGHT had happened and not what actually happened. His experience and hers were completely different. He assumed he got let go from the show because his mom was so out spoken, but she was really just protecting him. What he didn’t realize was that he got let go because of his race. Being only one of 2 black kids on the show was by design by the Directors but they had a different plan for him that was going to happen whether his mom intervened or not.

So it was at that moment, now that he is an adult, when he heard his mother talk about the truth of what happened, he said “my past became my present reality and I realized I was wrong.”

This made me think that what we carry around with us, everything that happened to us, is our interpretation of it.

It definitely happened to us, but who are we blaming for our current situation?

Did we blame all the wrong people? Like our family or friends who tried to help but couldn’t because they are not equipped to handle such pain? But we need to blame someone, so we lash out at, most likely, the innocent people.

I was also struck by how much pain these young adults still feel today by what happened. One girl said, every time I hear this or see that, it brings me right back to that awful time.

Another thing that struck me was wondering why some of these kids didn’t just leave or tell their parents that I don’t want to do this anymore. One gentleman said he knew his career was on the line, he knew that everybody put a lot into him getting to the point he was at and he didn’t want to lose everything he had, so he put up with the abuse.

Doesn’t that sound familiar? Many women will stay in unhealthy marriages and abusive marriages for the same type of reasons, whatever it is that is personal to them.

They may not have a way to get out or they may not have family to support them or they just don’t think they can make it on their own.

Some of the kids from the show, now adults, said that they just didn’t know some things were wrong because they were kids, and they relied on their adults to protect them.

So now imagine if something like this

happened to you as a kid where you were put in a position where your parents and caregivers did not take care of you and you got emotionally wounded. Then you are trying to make your way through adulthood and never had your past emotional wounds healed or explained to you in a way that you could move passed them and you start to gravitate toward relationships that are not healthy but you don’t really see it until it’s too late.

Do I have a point with all of this? Well mostly that I can see so clearly in some situations how we end up in the abusive relationship or the unhealthy relationship or just the unhappiness that we might be in.

Like that one gentleman said, that it was in that very moment he realized that he was carrying around all this pain and blaming the wrong person. It does’t take what happened away, but it points you to the root cause of your pain so you can look at it, face it, and heal it from the correct perspective.

I mean, just think about it, all that time that you’re in pain because of what happened and then you’re confused about who is on your side or who is actually trying to help you or who is actually trying to hurt you which is adding to and confusing the situation even more.

Remember, it is not so much WHAT happened to you, but what you did after, that sets the tone for everything going forward.

And many times, years and years go by that you are carrying all of this without any help to unravel it.

So the good news is I am here to help you unravel it.

Feel free to go to my website at karenmessina. com and sign up for a free consultation where we can talk all about YOU.



A Reunion of Self

Remembering who you are is a profound and insightful exercise. Seeking to understand and reconnect with our inner selves can lead us to a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It has the power to begin your journey towards self-discovery and growth that can bring meaning to our existence. In my heart and in my decades of seeking, I am learning that it may answer what the meaning of life is all about. We are here to further our soul’s journey and raise our vibration in ways that gives us meaning and purpose. It also helps us to reconnect to our innermost selves.

During a recent meditation session, I had chosen one on the Insight Timer app by Sarah Blondin called, “Change Your Story.” In this particular guided meditation, she had you do one simple thing; turn inward towards your heart and say, “I love you. I am listening.” Little did I realized that such a simple prompt could shift me so deeply. I had tears streaming down my face without even realizing it when I did this meditation. It had clearly been too long since I had taken notice of its desires and needs. I could see the suffering that this had brought, and it felt incredibly overwhelming. These moments of being broken open are a gift bestowed upon you for real growth. This is the part where your greatness can rise up and be set free. You just have to let it.

You are your heart. You are Love. Yet, most of us are so disconnected from our true essence that we cause ourselves undue suffering. Remembering who you are will allow you to be reunited with the light that you have always

had inside of you. So, how do we find that beauty inside us and move forward surrounding ourselves with love?

First, I would encourage you to try Sarah’s meditation. (They have a free 7-day trial period.) You heart lovingly awaits you to convey what it needs as you become ready to harken its call. Your heart and mental well-being are worth the time and effort. Prioritizing self-love practices will shift you back to your true center. There is a gentleness that happens when we use our time this way. Grace is always a welcome emotion for our souls.

Once you do this or any meditative or quieting practice, notice the feelings that arise for you without judgment or attempts to push them away. They are here as a guidepost for your seeking practice. Accepting their messages with a receptive spirit moves us away from self-judgment and our inner critic. Instead, we move back to love. Write down what has come up for you so that you may come back to it at any time for introspection. You’ll be amazed at how you become less and less provoked by these messages and have moved into a space of benevolence.

When we feel disconnected to our heart, we make choices based in fear. As you seek to identify your fears and negative thought patterns, you begin to work on releasing them through self-compassion and gratitude. And remember, it’s a journey, so be patient and gentle with yourself as you work towards reconnecting with your inner light. This is our most important work. To show up and ask how you can be of service to your heart and

the heart of the Universe. To care for our bodies and our minds so that we can be fully engaged and clear about our actions and intentions. Movement, healthy food, nature, human connection, and creativity all reconnect us to who we were before the trauma; our core essence.

“I am love. It is never lacking or able to be stolen from me. I am good enough.

I trust life. Life is kind. There is no pain too great not to be fed by my love and kindness. I am strong. My worth is not to be gained. I am already all of the worth I will ever be.” Sarah Blondin

Recently, I had a vision at the end of a yoga session while in corpse pose. I was floating on a dark sea with no land in sight. I was growing tired and fearful that I would never find the shore. Fog had rolled in, and I had become disoriented. I began to also grow concerned about what was possibly beneath me. Just then, a mystical person, who I believe may have been Jesus, was on a small boat, arm outstretched. He instructed me to take his hand and then said, “I was here all along. You just needed to call on me.” I then heard the hymn, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” by Thomas A. Dorsey playing in my head. It hasn’t stopped looping since then.

Surrounding ourselves with people who uplift and support you, as the outstretched hand did for me in that dream, brings us a celebration of our inner growth and full authenticity. It will also raise your vibration. This collaboration builds a sense of community and a sisterhood that



“Seeking to understand and reconnect with our inner selves can lead us to a sense of purpose and fulfillment.”

can support us when we are at our weakest and reminds us to honor our victories. As you engage in activities that bring you joy and align with your values, your light can shine brightly. This intrinsically helps those you are aligned with to shine. You, as a collective, then begin to then attract more like-minded people, as if in a vortex of light and love.

Remember, the beauty and light within you have always been there, waiting to be rediscovered. By honoring and embracing your true essence and connection to spirit, you can move forward with love and create a life filled with meaning and purpose. My hope in sharing my own practices and experiences is that you will either begin to remember who you are by looking to reunite with self. Or you

may feel validated in the work that you are already doing on your path to meaning and contentment. It will be the most beautiful reunion you have ever experienced.


Our broader perspective makes the biggest di erence By understanding your vision, values, and evolving goals rst, we connect all aspects of your nances with what you want out of life.

Our comprehensive approach to private wealth management allows us to see the blind spots others miss, seamlessly align your other nancial relationships, and give you the edge you and your family need to enjoy your wealth today, and for generations to come


SFG Wealth Management 1162 Pittsford Victor Rd, Ste 200 Pittsford, NY 14534 585-248-4724

TH E O N E F I N A NCIA L PA RTN E R S HI P TH AT G O E S B E YO N D YO U R P O RTF O LI O. 29-5536-02 © 2024 Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) (life and disability Insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Subsidiaries include: Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (investment brokerage services), a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, and member of FINRA and SIPC. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (investment advisory and trust services), a federal savings bank. NM and its subsidiaries are in Milwaukee, WI.


Hang on -- Help is on the Way!

Do you hate your life right now? Do you feel trapped in a corporate cube or relationship and see no way out? Is fear of lack and loss keeping you there?

You are divorced, an empty-nester, over 40, feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and heading for burnout. You keep putting everyone else first except yourself, right?

You’ve been or are in an unfulfilled or toxic relationship.

I understand. Like you, I was there too. I knew I didn’t belong in that cube or in that relationship. It was draining and unfulfilling. I knew there had to be more for me. There is more for you. There is a way out.

If I could show you how to have a more fulfilling life that makes you excited to jump out of bed every morning, would you want to know? Wouldn’t it be amazing to love your life and love yourself? Live life on your terms with passion, purpose, and power. Embrace freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment.

There was a time when I felt discouraged, unloved, unworthy, and lonely. I almost gave up on my dreams, until I stopped sleepwalking through life and no longer allowed the cubical walls to close in, crushing my spirit. I decided to uncover the desires of my heart, expand my horizons, and get a better view.

You can too. You are the author of your story. You hold the pen. Turn the page, paint a new picture and see a larger vision

of yourself beyond your circumstances.

You are resilient and determined. Every time you gave up, you got back up. It wasn’t easy, but you did it.

I don’t know you, but here is what I know about you. You are hungry to learn. You won’t settle. You want more out of life.

Maybe you’ve thought about writing a book. You like to read books like selfhelp, leadership, and romance. You enjoy watching movies like musicals, romantic comedy, inspirational, and an intriguing mystery. What is your favorite book and favorite movie? I have many favorite books and movies. Two of my favorite movies are The Greatest Showman and Shall We Dance? Gotta love Richard Gere and Hugh Jackman, right?

When you turn up the tunes, you can’t help but bust some moves. Dancing and music soothe the soul. A girl has got to have some fun, right?

What else do you like to do for fun? Travel, swim, go boating perhaps? Paddling in a kayak is my jam. Right now in this summer season here in upstate New York, getting outside in nature, eating at a quaint café sipping a latte, or going to the beach are all good for our mental health and wellbeing.

Did someone say spa? Any time is the right time for a spa day and massage. Self-care is essential. One of my musthaves is using certain essential oils. I am always willing to share more about that.

We have similar values of faith, family, friends, and a supportive community. Your values have been compromised because work/life balance is out of balance. Is there really any such thing or is it an illusion?

All I know is burnout and being too busy is stealing your joy, your peace, and your life. You wonder how to have freedom, flexibility, and live life on your terms. But how?

The experience of loss, lack, and loneliness is looming all around you. You don’t feel heard or understood. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. You aim to please others, but often forget about yourself. Regrets, guilt, and shame swirl around in your mind causing stress and trouble sleeping. It’s a place of unrest and uncertainty. Am I right?

You want to be loved, valued, and respected. Your health and emotional wellness have been suffering. It’s overwhelming. Yet, you put on a smile and keep pushing yourself every day.

Ask yourself, “What’s most important to me in life right now?”

I want to share a couple of excerpts from my book. Here are some key points:

• Raise your awareness of who and what are around you.

• Find like-minded people who believe in you and encourage you.

• Network and brainstorm ideas. Set your course.

• Opportunities will find you and you will discover opportunities as long as you keep pursuing them.

“If I could show you how to have a more fulfilling life that makes you excited to jump out of bed every morning, would you want to know? Wouldn’t it be amazing to love your life and love yourself?”

• Know it’s possible; recognize and seize the right opportunities. and the right people who line up with your values, beliefs, and dreams.

Success requires Sacrifice

“There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask, ‘What if I fall?’

Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

– Erin Hanson

Risks are necessary to achieve success. You may have to face the fear

and take the risk anyway despite the uncertainty. Risks require courage.

Disrupt negative thoughts and emotions First, acknowledge them, because you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Break out of complacency. Get uncomfortable and go pursue the desires of your heart. Be assertive! Be compelling; and Fly high!

Are you ready to transform your life and live a life that outlives you? Step into your true identity and destiny. Build a legacy. It’s not too late. Don’t hesitate.

Join me on this transformative journey. I’ll show you the way.

What resonated with you most in this article? I want to know.

Text your name and email to 585-3718328 and let’s figure this out together.



How to Stick to Your New Wellness Plan

Ah, my Midlife friends, how often have we looked at the beginning of a new week with the very best intentions, only to find our plans for wellness (eating clean, working out, beginning that new meditation practice) lying still unfulfilled by weeks end? But let ‘s not speak of faltered attempts and sidestepped routines as failures. Instead, let’s gather here and talk about how to build better habits that stand the test of time and transition with us through midlife and beyond.

If you’re standing at the precipice of change, wanting to embrace a new wellness plan but feeling a tad overwhelmed at the thought, you’re not alone. The path to building better habits is as much about the journey as it is the destination—filled with learning, growing, and sometimes stumbling, but always moving forward.

Let me share a little story with you. A few years ago, I found myself at a crossroads. My body was sending me all sorts of signals, saying, “Hey, it’s time to pay attention!” Sleep had become a game of chance, and energy dips were more common than I’d like to admit. It was clear I needed to make a change—but where to start?

Step 1: Start with Understanding

First and foremost, let us acknowledge the metamorphosis our bodies are undergoing. Menopause isn’t just a phase; it’s a new landscape for us to explore. This journey comes with its own set of challenges, from hot flashes to mood swings, but each of us holds the strength to navigate through these changes. Embracing wellness now is not just proactive; it’s a form of self-love & self-healing.

Step 2: Start Small and Be Kind to Yourself

Small Steps lead to Big Changes. The first and perhaps most important lesson was to start small. Change doesn’t have to be grand or overwhelming; it can start with a single, small step. So I urge you to start by beginning small. Rome was not built in a day, and neither is a habit. Choose one well-intentioned change at a time. For me, it was a commitment to

walk every day, and increase my daily steps. It didn’t matter if it was a few miles on the treadmill or a longer jog along the canal path near my home—the goal was to move.

Perhaps this week you will drink one extra glass of water each day, or maybe you’ll take a short walk after dinner. Tiny victories, when strung together, create a series of successes to lead you to that transformative change that you seek.

Step 3: Write It Down

My Midlife friend, put pen to paper—yes, the old-fashioned way. There’s something about seeing words materialize that etches them into our daily script. Jot down what you hope to accomplish and be specific. (SMART Goals) Instead of ‘exercise more,’ how about ‘a dance class on Tuesdays’? You can’t determine the direction without having a destination. So set your goals and take the daily aligned actions towards them.

Step 4: Forgive and Forge Ahead

If you stumble, show yourself the kindness you’d offer a dear friend. There is no room for self-rebuke on this journey. Some days, I didn’t make it outside, and that’s okay. The beauty of midlife and beyond is recognizing the power of self-compassion, understanding that it’s not about perfection but progress. Instead, be kind to yourself and gently guide yourself back to the path. Each day is a new beginning.

Step 5: Adjust as You Go

Flexibility, my dear, is a cornerstone of resilience. As we age, our needs will shift, and so should our wellness plans. If something isn’t fitting quite right, don’t be afraid to tailor it. This plan is not set in stone; it’s as dynamic as the women it serves.

Step 6: Celebrate Every Win

In our goal-driven society, it’s easy to overlook small victories in pursuit of the grand prize. But here’s a thought: every step forward, no matter how small, is a win worth celebrating. Made it out for a walk three times this week? Fantastic! Choose a salad over fries during

lunch? Bravo!

Celebrating these wins not only bolsters your confidence but reinforces the positive changes you’re making. Trust me, there’s magic in acknowledging the effort it takes to build new habits. Celebrate Every Triumph! Progress, no matter the size, deserves recognition. These are the building blocks of unwavering habits.

Step 7: Find Your Tribe

We’re social creatures by nature, and there’s immense power in finding a community that supports and uplifts you. When I started my wellness journey, I was astounded by the strength found in shared experiences. Join a walking group or exercise class, rally a few friends to join you in your new habits or find an online community of like-minded women going through similar life stages like in my Midlife Menopause Makeover group.

It’s not just about accountability; it’s about connection. Hearing, “I’ve been there too,” or “Let’s try this together,” can be the fuel that keeps the fire of motivation burning bright.

Step 8: Embrace the Journey

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, embrace this journey with open arms and an open heart. There will be days when the old habits sneak back in, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s not about never falling but learning to get back up with grace and a smile.

The transformation into this vibrant, healthconscious woman doesn’t happen overnight; it blooms like a flower, petal by petal. Be patient with yourself, and remember, it’s the journey that shapes us, not just the destination.

So, to my fellow midlife mavens navigating the ebbs and flows of menopause and the myriad changes it brings, know this: you are not alone. We’re in this beautiful, sometimes messy, always rewarding journey together. And as we step forward, each at our own pace, let’s cherish the moments, laugh at the challenges, and build those better habits with courage and grace. Because, ladies, we’ve got this!



Rejection is an undisputed fact of life. We all face rejection, in one form or another, throughout our lives.

Some of us may face more episodes of rejection than others. Obviously, those of us who are hypersensitive are more likely to encounter more frequent periods of rejection. If we tend to overpersonalize neutral events in our lives, we will also be more likely to interpret them as incidents of rejection.

We feel rejection when we face the loss of something that we deeply valued or wanted. Rejection has been defined as the act of pushing someone or something away.

There are many possible explanations for why we encounter rejection in our lives. It’s important to remember that, many times, rejection is unrelated to who we are. However, it may reflect that someone else does not accept a specific type of behavior that we have exhibited.

Rejection is painful because it violates our fundamental need to belong. Experiencing rejection is so painful because it destabilizes our basic need to be a member of a social group. In fact, experiencing social rejection activates the same brain pathways that are activated when we experience physical pain. It is “hard-wired” in us to belong to one another, to need each other in meaningful, reliable ways. When this fails to happen, it hurts.

Those of us who have secure attachment styles are more likely to be resilient after

facing rejection. Attachment styles refer to those models which form the patterns of how we view relationships in our lives. These attachment styles are typically provided by our parents, or primary caregivers.

Personally, I’ve recently been challenged by rejections in my personal and professional life, neither of which was pleasant to deal with at all. After only having met with me for one session, a teletherapy client chose to transfer to another therapist. I was never informed about the reason why. Perhaps she didn’t like my theoretical orientation, or maybe our schedules simply failed to line up. I try to focus my energies on working effectively with those clients who do choose to work with me, rather than to waste my resources on trying to figure out why I’m not a good fit for someone.

Also, I recently decided to reach out to a college friend, someone whom I had not been in contact with for thirty years; he chose to not respond to me. I decided to graciously wish him well, and simply let this issue go. Again, I have decided to direct my limited energy towards those individuals who have expressed interest in maintaining an ongoing, bidirectional friendship. Life is far too short to focus on those who fall away along the way, in my humble opinion.

How we choose to respond to rejection is incredibly important. Healthy responses to encountering rejection involve the following steps: 1). Fully acknowledge that the rejection has

occurred (don’t try to deny it); 2). Attempt to learn something valuable from the experience (no experience need ever be wasted in our lives, even if painful); 3). Process your emotional reaction to rejection (feel sadness, anger, and/or anxiety); 4). Practice selfcompassion (be gentle with yourself, and acknowledge that rejection means that you were willing to take a risk); 5). Engage in healthy practices (eat healthy, get enough sleep, exercise, and hydrate); and, 6) Be willing to risk taking another chance in the future (don’t assume that a previous experience of rejection will inevitably be repeated in the future).

One essential means of buffering one’s self against rejection involves improving your self-esteem. Doing so will help you to become more resistant to feeling upset when others fail to include you in valued events or activities. Make a list of your positive attributes, your valued personality traits, your meaningful contributions, etc. Doing so will help raise your self-esteem, as well as potentially reveal deficits to work on remedying.

Although we rarely recognize it immediately after it takes place, sometimes rejection can be the very best thing that could ever possibly happen to us. That’s because it redirects our path in an entirely different, but ultimately better, direction.


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.