ELECTRIC Bringing the
HeForShe Campaign to
Alvernia University Partners with Women2Women to
TRAILBLAZERS PAVE THE WAY
For Generations of Women Who Follow
Karen Marsdale, Senior Editor Danielle Antos, Editor Kristin Golden Mancuso, Associate Editor
201 Penn Street • Suite 501 • Reading, PA 19601 berkswomen2women.com • 610.376.6766
Women2Women Advisory Council
Alexa Antanavage, Margarita Caicedo, Karen Collins Valerie Downing, Vicki Ebner, Toni Eckert Kim Hippert-Eversgerd, Delphia Howze, Bethany Kirkner Karen Marsdale, Kim Musko, Julia Nickey, Mary Jean Noon Chiara Renninger, Connie Skipper, Alison Snyder Vanessa Wanshop, Tricia Szurgot Women2Women, managed by the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, encourages women to create connections, gain knowledge, open doors and build strategic alliances, and much more. Our goal is to create more women leaders in Berks County by providing a forum where women from diverse backgrounds can learn, share ideas and mentor each other. Membership is free and open to all women of Berks County. Women2Women Magazine is a publication of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
A Middle-Age Concern: Aging Parents
Reaching the Dream It’s All About Engagement
Title Investors Penn State Health St. Joseph Wells Fargo
Alvernia University Partners with Women2Women to Encourage Women Leaders
The Who, What, When, Where and How of Prenuptial Agreements
The Impact of Foundations
32 Schneider Electric Bringing the HeForShe Campaign to Berks County
The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
For Advertising Opportunities: call 610.685.0914 Ext. 1 Read W2W Magazine Online at BerksWomen2Women.com
Millennials Giving Back
Mothers & Daughters Working Together
Platinum Investors Alvernia University BB&T Boscov’s Department Store, Inc. Penske Truck Leasing Reading Eagle Company Reading Health System Santander Bank Schneider Electric Gold Investors BCTV Baker Tilly Berks County Bar Association Berks County Living Bell Tower Salon, Medi-Spa & Store Carpenter Technology Corporation Comfort Keepers East Penn Manufacturing Fulton Bank Herbein+Company Highmark BlueShield Lords & Ladies Salon & Medical Spa M&T Bank Meridian Bank National Penn Peritech Home Health Associates, Inc. Reading Dermatology Associates RKL LLP (Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP) Sweet Street Tompkins VIST Bank Wyomissing Hair Studio VA Productions
The Most Important Role You’ve Never Heard Of
To join: W2W@GreaterReadingChamber.org Stay connected: BerksWomen2Women.com Facebook.com/BerksWomen2Women LinkedIn: Berks Women2Women
Trailblazers Pave the Way For Generations of Women Who Follow
Health2Wellness 46 Gestational Diabetes 50
The Skinny on Fat
In Every Issue 4 20
Editor’s Desk Idea Exchange
W2W Events More Women2Know
© 2016 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced electronically or in print without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Women2Women Magazine is published quarterly by Hoffmann Publishing Group, Reading, PA • HoffmannPublishing.com • 610.685.0914 Graphic Designer: Brittany Fry ON THE COVER: (Left to Right) Daria LaTorre, Dean of School of Graduate & Adult Education, Karen Marsdale, Senior Vice President, COO, Greater Reading Chamber COVER & SELECT PHOTOS BY: Dave Zerbe Studio of Photography
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Looking for your own copy of Women2Women Magazine? We invite you to view our distribution list, located on page 54, to find a destination near you, or view our digital issue online at berkswomen2women.com
s I sit down to write my first “Editor’s Letter,” I am in awe at being part of this amazing publication—not to mention, Women2Women as a whole. I am thrilled that being the editor of Women2Women Magazine is part of my new role as Director of Marketing & Communications at the Chamber. I look forward to continuing the great work of our previous editor, Melissa Varone, and will strive to continue to impact our community as well.
Dave Zerbe Studio of Photography
I started working at the Chamber in 2014 as Program Coordinator, after 13 years of working part-time and being a stay-at-home mom to our two lovely daughters. It was a hard decision to leave my career in marketing and advertising, but at the time, my husband and I felt it was the right thing to do. Believe me, it was just as hard to make the decision to get back in the workforce again full time; not only realizing that my children are growing up too fast, but wondering how I was going to make the transition. Thankfully, the Chamber staff was very supportive while I took on my new responsibilities and got acclimated to “Chamber World.” We are a small staff, but boy, we keep so many balls in the air! Now as I take on a new role, I look forward to more challenges and learning experiences as we move forward.
Danielle Antos Editor, Women2Women Magazine
Director of Marketing & Communications at Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Women2Women Magazine EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Danielle Antos
Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Tracie Barrett Sweet Street
Tracy Hoffmann Sara Braun Radaoui
Hoffmann Publishing Group
Kristin Golden Mancuso Marketing Consultant
Wilson School District, Wilson Education Foundation
Britany LaManna Loomis Company
Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Penn State Health St. Joseph
Berks County Intermediate Unit
We have another great issue, filled with inspiring stories and great information. Women2Women has embarked on a new partnership with Alvernia University. This partnership will allow Women2Women members to access adult education at a preferred rate. We are very excited about assisting women to continue their education and grow their leadership skills—truly an awesome opportunity! The article entitled, “Trailblazers Pave the Way for Generations of Women Who Follow,” tells the tale of several local women who were “non-traditional” in their youth and what inspired them to walk their path. We also feature a company right here in Berks that is bringing a world-wide initiative call “The HeforShe Campaign” to our own backyard. Take note of this important initiative supported by Schneider Electric and I invite you to take the pledge on the HeForShe website. We welcome Kate Alley back to Berks County as Vice President, Development at Opportunity House. She shares with us the inspiration for her return to our community. We also feature the Millennial’s perspective on the importance of volunteering and giving back to their community through time and talent. It’s great to hear that this generation feels valued from giving their time as volunteers. I hope you will join us for the 5th Annual Women2Women Spring Renewal Expo on April 26th. You will be inspired by our Breakfast Keynote Speaker, Dr. Linda Cliatt-Wayman, Pricipal, Strawberry Mansion High School; you may have seen her on television—she was featured on both ABC World News Tonight and Nightline for her dedication to helping students succeed in school and beyond. She is a passionate educator with an unwavering belief in the potential of all children. This event is packed-full of speakers and workshops focusing on health and wellness, finance, self-defense and general life balance; not to mention the Athena® Award Luncheon—which celebrates the potential of all women/men as members and leaders of the community and recognizes those who support them. See page 28 for the “Ten Reasons Not to Miss the Spring Expo” and reserve your spot today! All the best,
Reading Public Museum
4 Women2Women Spring 2016
Correction to Winter 2016 issue: (Page 34) Centering Group photo represents the program at Penn State Health St. Joseph.
Community & Business Profiles, Insights & Highlights
Pave th e For G W a e n e rati y Wo men Susa
ons o Who f Follo w
“There are always women who can see the little slivers & cracks that let light through and give them hope that they can succeed.” 6 Women2Women Spring 2016
lazing a trail often begins with envisioning a possibility. Those visions, when acted upon by women, become gifts that are passed from one generation to the next, creating new pathways and paving the way for those who follow. “These women trailblazers opened up spaces that didn’t exist,” said Dr. Janae Scholl, Coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies at Alvernia University. “They were able to
imagine themselves and womankind differently than what society was telling them, and that changes things.” Trailblazing sometimes occurs from necessity, as when women went to work in large numbers during World War II. “And then, women understand that they have the potential to fill the spaces that opened for them, and they don’t want to go back,” Scholl said.
In other cases, the recognition of potential comes from somewhere within. “There are always women who can see the little slivers and cracks that let light through and give them hope that they can succeed,” Scholl said. We talked to four Berks County women who were trailblazers, going where few women had gone before them, and clearing the way for their younger counterparts. Now in their 80s and 90s, these trailblazers remain role models to women of subsequent generations. They have lived well, and they continue to inspire.
Patricia H. Frankel
Lawyer & First Woman Candidate for Judge in Berks County Patricia H. Frankel was blessed with strong female role models, a family who encouraged her, and a husband who supported her professional goals. Those factors, coupled with her intellect and ambition, led her to a long and successful law career, which she continues at age 86. Frankel’s story began in Queens, New York, where she grew up surrounded by a large, extended family. Her mother and aunt worked in professional careers, and it never occurred to her that she couldn’t do the same. “I knew I wanted to be a lawyer from a very young age,” said Frankel, who now resides at the Highlands of Wyomissing. “My parents had a friend whose sister was a lawyer and a judge, and that was impressive to me.”
When Frankel was an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr College in Montgomery County, she met the love of her life and future husband, a young engineer named Samuel Frankel. They married soon after she graduated in 1951, and Frankel joined her husband in Reading, where he worked and lived. She took a job as secretary to a Reading attorney and settled into her new life, putting her dream of becoming a lawyer on hold. After a few years, however, she became restless and announced to Sam her intention to begin law school. Sam fully supported
her, driving her every morning to the train that would take Frankel to the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she earned her degree. Frankel graduated in 1957, one of three women in a class of 99 members. She soon established her own practice in Reading. After twice running unsuccessfully for judge, Frankel was appointed as a Special Master in Divorce for Berks County, a position she held for 20 years. Continued on page 8 berkswomen2women.com 7
Women2Know “I was the first woman in Berks County to run for judge,” Frankel said. “It was disappointing not to win, but I feel like I was able to make a difference as a Special Master.”
Mrs. Jordan, 91, worked as a draftsman at the Philadelphia Navy Yard after finishing high school during World War II. The work suited her, as she was artistic and enjoyed working on blueprints.
Along the way, she and Sam raised a son and a daughter, sharing 54 years of marriage before Sam’s death.
“It was a good job for me, but you know how 20-year-olds are,” Jordan recalled during a recent interview at Green Hills Manor at the Heritage in Cumru Township, where she resides. “I had a lot of energy and just got a little bit bored.”
Attorney Frankel offered two pieces of advice to women who are cultivating careers: Be ambitious, and safeguard your reputation. “Bull your way ahead,” she advised. “That was Sam’s expression, and it means to just go for it. There’s really nothing you can’t do.” And, in these days of intense public scrutiny, avoid any perception of wrongdoing. “You must be completely honest and above board,” Frankel said. “Guard your reputation, and stay courageous and true to yourself.”
8 Women2Women Spring 2016
Coast Guard Recruiter During World War II Natalie Jordan has always had a strong sense of adventure. It was that quality that caused her to join the Coast Guard when she was 20, travel the world, and raise five children who share her spirit of fun and wonder.
One morning on her way to work, Jordan passed a recruiting sign urging women to join the SPARs, the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve. “Well, that was a big deal for me,” she said. “My father was a marine engineer and worked on ships, so I was very familiar with the Coast Guard. I saw that sign and just got the urge to join.”
She did join, and served for two years in New York City as a recruiter. It was an experience she’s never forgotten.
Her advice to younger women is to be true to yourself, and find something to do that ignites your passion.
“It was a great time,” Jordan said. “The country was united and we were working toward a common goal. It was difficult because we were at war, but we believed the future would be better than the past.”
“There’s no excuse for being bored,” she said. “If you’re stuck doing something you don’t like, learn something else that takes you toward the life you’re looking for. And, don’t wait. Do it while you’re young.”
For her, that prediction turned out to be accurate. Jordan left the Coast Guard in 1946 and married Henry J. Jordan, with whom she would raise five children.
As Jordan reflects over her long life, while looking forward to living to be at least 100, she continues to stay busy socializing with other residents, and doing artwork and other activities.
She and Henry traveled extensively, vising Palestine, Africa, Singapore, many areas of Europe, and elsewhere. Jordan is grateful for those opportunities, and for the happy family life she enjoyed and continues to enjoy with her children and their families. “I had many opportunities and adventures, but the best adventure was raising my children,” she said. “We had so many adventures and so much fun.”
“I’m happy every day. That’s the secret. Do what makes you happy.” – Natalie Jordan
Veronica “Ronnie” Backenstoe Traveler & Vocational Pioneer
Stay positive, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, help out others when you can, and keep moving is the advice of Veronica Backenstoe, 95. “I’m always on the run,” said Backenstoe, who is known as Ronnie. “There’s nothing to be gained from sitting around all the time.” Continued on page 11 berkswomen2women.com 9
10 Women2Women Spring 2016
Women2Know “My father thought it would be a good career for me,” Rowan said. “He said if I was a doctor, I would always have a job.”
Backenstoe has done little sitting during her lifetime, having held a variety of jobs; traveled extensively alone and with her late husband, Warren; and pursued a range of interests and activities.
After graduating from Reading High School in 1952, Rowan went on to the University of Pennsylvania, and then to the New York Medical College. After completing her residency she returned to Reading and established a pediatrics practice on North 11th Street.
These days, residing in a cottage at Phoebe Berks Village, she is writing a book about her life and working on a quilt depicting her family’s genealogy. “I’ll finish both if I live long enough,” Backenstoe said. “I hope I have time.” Always drawn to adventure, Backenstoe married soon after graduating from Troy (New York) Business School. When her husband was stationed in San Francisco during World War II, Backenstoe, then age 20, traveled alone by train to be near him, although he lived on base. She knew no one else when she arrived, but quickly got involved with the Red Cross, found a place to live, and cultivated many friendships. “I traveled across the country three times by myself, and made a life in San Francisco while I waited for my husband,” she said. “You can’t be afraid to do these things.”
Dr. Sandra K. Rowan One of the First Female Physicians in Berks County
More than one in three physicians in the United States today are women, and female residents and fellows represent nearly half of that total group.
“That was during the 1960s when there were three hospitals in Reading,” Rowan said. “We covered all three, and got called at all hours of the day and night. There were no hospitalists in those days.” Rowan, who retired several years ago, maintained that grueling schedule for years while also raising two children, both of whom are doctors.
When Dr. Sandra K. Rowan served her “It was very tough sometimes,” she recalled. residency at the New York Medical College “Fortunately, I had help with our children in New York City, however, she was one of from my parents, and a good housekeeper.” only seven women in a group of 120 residents.
“As a woman, I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to get good grades so I could get a good residency,” recalled Rowan, who now resides at the Highlands of Wyomissing. Over the years Backenstoe held a variety “Women still have to get the grades and get of jobs, including serving 20 years as a field the residency, but it’s easier for them to be worker and program specialist for the Girl doctors now.” Scouts of America. She also was an x-ray Rowan, who declined to give her age, grew technician, a musician and worked in retail. up in Reading, the daughter of a dentist who encouraged her to pursue medicine.
While Rowan feels it’s easier now for young women to practice medicine than when she was young, she warned that there still will be challenges. “It’s not an easy field, but it’s rewarding,” she said. “I feel good that I got into the field when it wasn’t easy for a woman to do so. It was a good career.”
“I think having all those experiences made me outgoing and able to adapt to different situations,” Backenstoe said.
“I had to push for what I wanted sometimes, and I didn’t always get my way, but I worked hard and enjoyed what I did. It’s been a good life.” berkswomen2women.com 11
A Middle-Age Concern: Wendy Kerschner
Territory Managerâ€”Comfort Keepers
n the midst of a busy life with careers, kids and activities, caring for aging parents can unexpectedly become part of the juggling act. Unlike planning ahead for college and having time to plan and get ready, aging issues tend to be crisis-driven and can become a priority without warning.
When does planning for these eventual issues begin? If parents are age 70 or better, the time is now. It is always advised to have important conversations about care choices, financial status, legal matters and even burial preferences before health and cognitive impairment issues have surfaced. These conversations arenâ€™t easy, but are essential. Being proactive in gaining information about aging resources not only helps parents, but their adult children as well. Knowing that pertinent information related to their care is gathered ahead of time and available will save hours of time, not to mention undue emotional stress. 12 Women2Women Spring 2016
For starters, adult children should find out if a will, living will and power of attorney are available and obtain a copy (or at least know where a copy is kept). These are the basic legal documents needed to assist them in making financial and health care decisions, help to direct their care during a health crisis should they become incapacitated, and legally direct affairs after their death. Next, ask parents if they have invested in a long term care insurance policy. Many times parents will have invested in policies years ago, but have never mentioned it to other family members. These policies can play a vital role in future care by providing full or partial funding for in-home care or facility living expenses. Every policy is different so it is important to fully understand exactly what benefits are included in the policy. Is either parent a veteran? Are their military discharge papers available? There are a number of benefits extended to veterans, their spouses,
widows and dependent children, but discharge papers are needed in order to file the benefits paperwork. The time to locate and gather those important documents is now.
Financial conversations are often the toughest. Most people do not like to discuss their finances, whether it is their wealth or lack thereof. The importance of knowing their financial matters will help adult children to understand what choices and resources are available. Those with secure finances will be expected to spend their assets before they qualify for financial assistance through government programs. Knowing the financial situation will allow you to investigate options to protect assets or apply for funding and need-based programs. Among other topics to discuss might include: what happens when it is unsafe for them to continue driving; what are their care preferences (in-home care or move to a retirement community); are they in agreement with the utilization of hospice services (if necessary); and what are the details pertaining to their burial and remembrance ceremony. Wishes can only be honored when wishes are known ahead of time; and the only way
to know is to ask and listen. While you may not be able to control when an aging issue or health crisis occurs, with proper planning you can be prepared for it when it does happen.
Join Women2Women in partnership with Penn State Health St. Joseph and experts who work with these issues every day at The Aging Parent Fair. This event is intended specifically for adult children seeking help, support and resources for their aging loved ones. Professionals from the Berks County Area Agency on Aging, Berks Encore, Berks Veterans Affairs, hospice, home health, in-home caregiving, long term care insurance, elder law, financial services, downsizing and other organizations will be available to answer your questions. Register by calling Wendy Kerschner, Territory Manager at Comfort Keepers, (610) 413-1995.
The Aging Parent Fair Date: Thursday, May 5, 2016 Time: 5:00 pm â€“ 7:00 pm Place: Penn State Health St. Josephâ€” 2nd Floor Franciscan Room
Learn more at ComfortKeepers.com
REACHING THE DREAM
It’s All About Engagement
Karen Kramer, Director of Employee Engagement at Remcon Plastics
ne might think it highly unusual that a company, and a manufacturing company at that, would hire someone totally and completely dedicated to the engagement of its employees. But that’s exactly what Remcon Plastics owner, Pete Connors, did three years ago when he hired me as Director of Employee Engagement.
commitment, energy, dedication, teamwork, performance and accountability. Engaged employees that are emotionally committed to their company and its success can hugely impact the bottom line. According to Society of Human Resource Management, engaged employees perform 20% better at their jobs and are less likely to leave an organization.
CARING ABOUT OTHERS is one of four core values at Remcon Plastics in which the business operates. This means that our actions continually demonstrate that we care about the success, well-being and happiness of our employees, partners, customers, and community. “Employees” listed first in this grouping is no mistake. Without them, there would be no Remcon. But how do we demonstrate to our employees that they know we care about their success and their happiness?
So, what does Remcon do to instill Engagement? There are several approaches but probably the most powerful piece we implement is the Dream Manager program. The premise behind the program is that when an employee is pursuing a dream (owning a home; achieving a higher education; getting out of debt; starting a business; losing weight) and has a true desire to focus on a goal, there’s a renewed energy because they’re working toward something. Unlike executive or career coaching, which primarily focuses on the professional development side of things, the Dream Manager Program focuses on the personal side.
Research tells us when our employees are happy, when they know they are providing value and are progressing or advancing in some way; significant attributes come into play such as stronger 14 Women2Women Spring 2016
Interestingly, the Dream Manager Program was created by a janitorial company that was struggling with a severe turnover rate which was costing the company millions of dollars a year. After several surveys and conversations with employees and various attempts at possible solutions, the Dream Manager program was born. The premise was if you demonstrated to your employees that the company was genuinely interested in helping them build a future for themselves, not only will they stay but will become a very different kind of employee. As a Dream Manager and certified life coach, my primary role is helping the employee manage his or her dream. As a company, we very much want our employees to succeed and be happy (even if that means leaving Remcon). I help folks articulate exactly what they want, help them plan, prioritize and, perhaps the most important part here, is hold them accountable. Most of us believe we can manage our own dreams but when it comes to our own accountability, we’re not always so good at it. As humans, we have an amazing ability to deceive ourselves. So when there is consistent check-in with someone, the likelihood of doing what you say you’re going to do is much greater. Accountability partners are crucial. As employees got to know me and, more importantly, trust me, a profound realization came to light and another major role emerged. People, at all levels in the company, would come to me to talk something through. I listen. I ask questions. I provide an outlet for someone to freely share feelings, frustrations, and concerns (both professionally and personally), all of which is strictly confidential and because my position is not part of human resources, documentation is not a concern so people feel safe to share. The intent is to help the person come to the next step on their own, get off dead center and move forward. In the three years I’ve been at Remcon, I’ve had 40 people (we have about 85 employees) come to me to talk something through (often on a regular basis) and four people that had come to me about a specific dream or goal. One of those dreams has come to fruition and another is on the verge of completion. For many companies, focus is on new markets, sales, budgets, production, growth, anything and everything that affects the bottom line, ultimately keeping them in business. All critical. But what about the value of your employees? Do they know you care? Do they know that you understand that without them, there is no company? How engaged and connected are they to your company? Employees are the lifeblood of any successful company. They define your company’s reputation. “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person—not just an employee—are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy berkswomen2women.com 15
Finance, Mentoring & Education
Alvernia University Partners with Women2Women
to Encourage Women Leaders Susan Shelly
LEFT TO RIGHT: Shannon Isawalt, Alvernia University; Tricia Szurgot, Alvernia University; Daria LaTorre, Alvernia University; and Karen Marsdale, Greater Reading Chamber Photo by Dave Zerbe Studio of Photography
16 Women2Women Spring 2016
t took Liz McCauley more than two years to earn a master’s degree in business from Alvernia University while working full time for the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry. There were long nights of studying and writing, weekends when she missed events with family and friends, and a lot of scrambling to finish assignments on time. Was it worth it? Every minute. McCauley last February took over as executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Berks County—a job she considers a dream come true. “I feel like I’ve really found my calling,” McCauley said. “This is the most challenging and rewarding job I’ve ever had.” McCauley was happy in her position as Director of Program Services at the Greater Reading Chamber, but sensed that she wanted to advance into more of a leadership role. With an undergraduate degree in business administration, earning an MBA seemed like a logical step. “It was definitely the right thing for me to do,” McCauley said. “I don’t think I would have been prepared to step into this leadership position without the MBA.” To encourage and assist more women in returning to college to take courses or begin or complete a degree program, Alvernia University and Women2Women are partnering to offer W2W members preferred pricing on University tuition. The goal, said Karen Marsdale, the Chamber’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, is to raise awareness among women regarding the importance of education and the value that a degree, advanced degree or advanced training can have on their careers. “I don’t think it’s ever too late to advance your education,” Marsdale said. “But, we’ve
“I don’t think I would have been prepared to step into this leadership position without the MBA.” - Liz McCauley, Executive Director, Animal Rescue League of Berks County
got to give women a way to do that that’s flexible enough for them to make it work.” Often, she continued, women get sidetracked in their education. “An awful lot of women have some college experience but no degree,” Marsdale said. And, that can shortchange them in the workforce. Although women nationwide hold nearly 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, they fill only 14.6 percent of executive officer positions, according to the Pew Research Center. Only 5 percent of chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies are women, and women hold just 17 percent of Fortune 500 board seats. Making sure that women get the education they need can help to change that, Marsdale said.
“Our goal is to emphasize that we all, at the very least, need to complete a bachelor’s degree,” Marsdale said. “Employers will look for that.” Shannon Iswalt, a secretary in Alvernia’s School of Graduate and Adult Education, is well aware of the value of a bachelor’s degree, and currently is pursuing one in business management at Alvernia. The mother of four children between the ages of 9 and 16, Iswalt earned a two-year degree in court reporting before she got married and started her family. She worked in retail when her children were younger, as that enabled she and her husband to alternate their schedules to care for their children. “It wasn’t easy, but we could work around our family and we never needed day care,” Iswalt said. Continued on page 18 berkswomen2women.com 17
When all her children got into school, she decided it was time for her to return there, as well.
“I’d started working at Alvernia and I really liked the atmosphere of a university,” Iswalt said. “But, I knew that if I wanted to move up into a management position, I was going to need a degree.”
Women2Women Alvernia University An important objective of Women2Women is to work with higher education to assist in growing more women leaders within the Greater Reading community. A partnership with Alvernia University that enables W2W members to access adult education at a preferred rate will help to accomplish that objective. Here’s some information about the Women2WomenAlvernia partnership.
Women2Women members will receive preferred pricing on Alvernia University tuition.
Members will be able to pursue a bachelor’s degree, post-graduate degree, or associate degree or to take selected courses to improve a particular skill set.
College courses already completed will be accepted for credit, providing they pertain to the course of study being pursued.
Time in the workplace based on experience for particular courses will be considered for competency credit toward an undergraduate degree.
Alvernia will assist Women2Women members in applying to and enrolling in the University.
18 Women2Women Spring 2016
She hopes to graduate in 2018, the same year that her oldest son will graduate from high school, and begin working her way up the career ladder.
Briggs Company, one of the nation’s top women-owned businesses. As leaders, women exhibit more compassion than men, and tend to be better mentors and coaches, Schalk said. When they have the education they need to keep them competitive and vital in the workplace, everyone wins. In addition to the practical purposes associated with career advancement, continuing an education also contains less tangible advantages.
Maureen Klombers returned to Alvernia “Lifetime learning is extremely valuable, in 2013 with the goal of obtaining an MBA regardless of the subject area,” Marsdale said. degree. She previously had earned a degree “Alvernia encourages lifetime learning and so in criminal justice. do we, and we want women to think about what that means.” Attending college full time while working as a graduate assistant, she completed the Continuing to learn over the course of a program in two years and is now employed life is fulfilling and enriching, and keeps a as an assistant buyer at Boscov’s. person engaged and involved. Alvernia’s flexible course options made it feasible for her to pursue the degree, she said, and the degree made her an attractive candidate for the buyer’s position.
It’s gratifying for the Chamber to partner with Alvernia to solve problems and work to improve the quality of life in the Greater Reading region, Marsdale said.
“I wanted to get the MBA so I’d have more education and have more to offer an employer,” Klombers said. “It definitely was worth it. I love my job and I’m very happy.”
“These types of collaborations are just so valuable,”
“Women enrolling or returning to college to further their educations can benefit the entire region,” said Donald Schalk, Director of Business and Corporate Development at Alvernia University. “Women leadership in Berks County is fairly low,” Schalk said. “If women are to continue to move into leadership positions, they’re going to have to attain the education they need in order to be competitive.”
[ said Karen Mardsdale ]
“We’re lucky to have a university in our backyard that wants to help. That’s the concept of being in community and about community.” With a rolling admissions process and multiple start terms during the year, it’s easy to enroll as an adult learner at Alvernia.
Anyone interested should contact Alvernia’s School of Graduate and Adult Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the “I think that women tend to be better Admissions Office at 610-796-5187 or Karen managers than men,” said Schalk, who Marsdale, Women2Women, at 610.898.7772 before coming to Alvernia served as pres- or email@example.com. ident and chief operating officer at C.H. More women leaders, Schalk said, is good for business.
Alvernia University Offers Advice
for Paying for Education Hillary Saylor, Enrollment Coordinator for Alvernia’s School of Graduate and Adult Education, said the University is willing to work with prospective students to find ways for them to pay for school. Nearly 98 percent of Alvernia undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. Saylor, who formerly was an assistant director of financial aid at Alvernia, offered some advice regarding financial aid, and also for locating money from other sources. If you’re planning to enroll in a degree program and are seeking financial aid, fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You can find out more about FAFSA, including application deadlines, at https://fafsa.ed.gov. Many companies are looking to invest in their employees and boost retention, so be sure to talk to your supervisor or a human resources representative about the possibility of using professional development money that may be available within your organization. If you need to put up the money for school, ask if your company will reimburse you for all or a portion of it. There may be stipulations, such as achieving a certain grade point average. Look for a professional organization that may be willing to pay for all or part of your college costs. Seek outside scholarships that may be available for adult learners. This will require some time, but could pay off. A good place to start is Fastweb, an online resource for locating scholarships. You’ll find it at www.fastweb.com. Reach out to Alvernia’s financial aid office for help. Representatives will be happy to work with you. You can find help by calling 610796-8356 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about financial aid is available at www.alvernia.edu/financialaid.
Daria La Torre, Dean of Alvernia’s School of Graduate and Adult Education offers, “With focus on real world learning opportunities in the classroom and within our more than 100 local business partnerships, Alvernia students have an immediate career advantage.” La Torre continues, “We’re always looking to grow our network of business partnerships to help foster a community of life-long learning and are thrilled to offer them preferred tuition pricing, making Alvernia a very cost-effective option for their employees.” berkswomen2women.com 19
IWBC Ruth Hartman Memorial Girls Baseball Tournament presented by
BIG Vision Foundation
ave the dates June 16 to 19, 2016 and Spread the Word! BIG Vision Foundation is excited to partner with the International Women’s Baseball Center (IWBC) in order to honor one of Berks County’s greatest female legends, Ruth Kramer Hartman. This tournament will feature a women’s leadership component, which is sponsored by the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry and its Women2Women initiative. The girls competing in the tournament will have an opportunity to attend a series of workshops around leadership, health and owning your power. The workshops will be held Thursday and Friday afternoon at the beautiful new DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Reading. This collaboration between the IWBC, BIG Vision Foundation and Women2Women provides a new opportunity for young women. Each of these organizations shares the core value of empowerment through education, activity and example. At IWBC, education is the cornerstone of their mission to protect, preserve, and promote all aspects of women’s baseball, both on and off the field. They strive to inspire the next generation of players by helping them realize their dreams not only of participating in the sport, but also of passing on all they will learn and achieve for generations to come.
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BIG Vision Foundation values are uniquely aligned. At BIG Vision, they work to develop today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders through sports and community service, they promote volunteerism and giving back and drive our local economy. Women2Women is founded on the principles of purpose, possibilities and potential for women.
Upcoming W2W Events Mark your calendars for these exciting Women2Women events:
Path2Personal Development (P2D) This series has a personal development focus and is comprised of a series of interactive programs throughout the year which provide a place for women to connect, collaborate and support each other in a relaxed environment.
Women2Know Speaker Series — For Inspiration MAY 11
DO’S AND DON’TS OF EFFECTIVE NETWORKING, PART II Presented by Delphia Howze, Manager of Diversity & Inclusion and Corporate HR — Penske Truck Leasing May 11, 2016 • 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence • Free
Presented by Andrea Funk, CEO — Cambridge-Lee Industries June 7, 2016 • 11:30 am – 1:30 pm DoubleTree Hotel Reading • $20/person
Networking is not just about who you know…Networking is creating a relationship or solidifying an already existing relationship in order to develop a resource that will assist in making the right connections. We will re-visit this topic and learn more skills to enhance your success. You can become a super networker!
Growth2Go Leadership Series — For Education & Preparation Growth2Go is a professional “Lunch & Learn” series designed for women by women who want to share ways to help you succeed in a competitive world. Lunch is included with these educational sessions.
Women2Know is a speaker series featuring notable inspiring women who want to share their life lessons and stories of hope and triumph. We invite you to register for any or all of our Women2Know events as unique networking opportunities, while gaining insight from these dynamic women. JUNE
Ms. Funk has been the Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge-Lee Industries LLC (CLI) since September 2013. She has been a member of the executive management team and Board of Directors since 2010, when she joined the company as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer with responsibility for finance, treasury, accounting, human resources, technology, and purchasing. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Funk served as Director of Operations, Planning and Reporting for Carpenter Technology, Inc. In previous roles, she served as Senior Director of Manufacturing Finance, Director of Global Business Development, and Director of Financial Planning and Analysis with Arrow International from 2000 to 2007. Ms. Funk sits on a number of non-profit boards and is a very active volunteer in our community. She frequently speaks at local universities and community organizations, and is an advocate of young women pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
BUSINESS ETIQUETTE AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS Presented by Judie Thompson, Owner — Myndsight Consulting LLC May 17, 2016 • 11:30 am – 1:00 pm The Highlands at Wyomissing • $20/person Did you know that within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, we pass judgements about professional competence? Since up to 90% of communication can be non-verbal, the most powerful forms of communications are image and body language. Join us to learn how you can make a positively influential impression, strengthen your personal brand and establish credibility with everyone you meet.
Register for any of these events at
www.berkswomen2women.com or call 610.376.6766. To Join Women2Women, e-mail:
W2W@GreaterReadingChamber.org Plus, stay connected at:
BerksWomen2Women.com Facebook.com/BerksWomen2Women LinkedIn: Berks Women2Women Group berkswomen2women.com 21
What, When, Where & How
Of Prenuptial Agreements Jill M. Scheidt, Esquire, Masano Bradley
ou might think prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous, the Hollywood elite, or heirs to the largest fortunes of old money dynasties. But prenuptial agreements have a place in almost any marriage and can benefit members of the middle class tremendously. Simply put, prenuptial agreements are contracts that add order to the economic consequences in the event a marriage ends in divorce or the death of a spouse. For those of us who cannot cash flow years of litigation, these contracts provide an efficient and inexpensive framework to avoid legal fees. It is a legal tool that clearly exemplifies where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Now letâ€™s discuss what a prenuptial agreement is not. Child support and custody cannot be resolved in advance with certainty, as agreements for both are always subject to modification by a Court. So if you try to set an agreement for future support or custody, please know both are modifiable. A prenuptial agreement is also not a once and done proposition. What I mean is that after marriage, spouses have to consider future purchases, debt and restructuring of asset choices they make. Did the decisions they made comport with the intent of the prenuptial agreement? For instance, if the prenuptial agreement provides that
individual assets remain the sole asset of those individuals but joint assets are subject to division in a divorce, the parties have to remember that when they sell or use individual assets for the purchase of a joint asset. I have seen situations where the parties execute a prenuptial agreement, put it in a drawer, and then get divorced 15 years later only to have comingled or purchased new assets without a further written agreement reflecting their intentions. Another reason to execute a prenuptial agreement is to provide for an orderly transition of assets upon death. In Pennsylvania, you cannot disinherit your spouse without a written agreement. The prenuptial agreement satisfies this requirement. In a second marriage situation, where the spouses wish to leave their estate to their children from the first marriage, a prenuptial agreement is crucial to fulfilling this intent. When I draft estate plans, I ask if the parties have a contract for this very reason.
Anyone who is getting married.
Probably most of you know that a prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract between two parties as they embark on their happily-ever-after. Either or both spouses may wish to memorialize the smooth exit from the marriage either caused by divorce or death.
There are many reasons, all of them being important, that motivate people to seek a prenuptial agreement. Ownership interest in a privately held business such as a family business is a driving factor for many. In fact, some parties who are engaged to be married are encouraged by other members of their family, with whom they are in business, to obtain a prenuptial agreement to request that the new spouse disclaim any interest in the family business. Avoiding litigation over the value of a family business in a divorce eliminates a very difficult and costly obstacle. If a spouse has to buy out another spouse from a family business and there is no liquidation, it can devastate the business finances.
22 Women2Women Spring 2016
Ideally, both parties should be afforded ample time to consider all of the issues. Ideally, both parties should be able to have space to consult with their own counsel and not be doing so at the last minute while in the hustle and bustle of final wedding planning. In actuality, many people put this off and I see prenuptial agreements executed within days of the wedding. This causes hard feelings and resentment and can subject the agreement to challenge years later.
Pennsylvania law requires that there be a full disclosure of all assets and liabilities. This can be a sticking point for some as, especially in the second marriage situation, parties tend to be more private about their affairs. However, if full disclosure is not made by one or both parties, the agreement is not enforceable. The first step is to sit down with a lawyer months in advance of the wedding. Your lawyer will gather your financial picture and educate you on the process and the laws. Then your lawyer will draft the agreement to reflect what you would like. Then the agreement can be provided to the other spouse for review and negotiation. Because this process is â€œadversarial,â€? both parties need their own lawyer; it is a conflict of interest for the same lawyer to represent both. I recognize that this is a difficult conversation. Who wants to preplan her own divorce or death, especially in the midst of wedding planning? However, I have handled many divorces where valid, well-designed prenuptial agreements were prepared and executed, and my clients are always well-served because of it. berkswomen2women.com 23
Foundations THE IMPACT OF
Director of Communication at Berks County Community Foundation
Amy B. Klatt, MBA,
Marketing Manager, Herbein + Company, Inc.
Kristin Golden Mancuso, KGM Marketing LLC
Elm Street Manager, West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation
Phelicia Schuller, 23, of Reading, was a single mother of her daughter, Lorelei, and was caught in a vicious circle.
almost $80,000 in grants has been awarded since Power of the Purse was created in 2012.
She needed a job to make money to live and repair a car. But to hold down a waitress job, she had to be able to afford the cost of day care.
With 300+/- similar funds, there is a powerful ripple effect felt when all the grants are awarded by Berks County Community Foundation each year. Since the Community Foundation was founded in 1994, more than 10,000 grants and scholarships totaling more than $45 million have been distributed.
Complicating her life more was her determination to complete a drug-recovery program, which she did, and then regain custody of her child, who was being cared for by her mother.
It’s inspiring! Individuals and families may have an interest in creating their own fund or contributing to an existing fund. “With so many funds at the Community Foundation,” notes Brudereck, “one of them is likely to address a problem or issue that a donor Phelicia used the YMCA’s Y-Haven program, which helps women wants to alleviate or solve.” avoid homelessness by finding them transitional housing so they can research educational opportunities or find employment. For instance, there’s the Pets in Need Fund, which provides grants for veterinary care for animals in life-threatening situations. Applicants The Y-Haven program covers child care and transportation costs must be residents of Berks County and be referred to the fund by until a mother has a steady paycheck or qualifies for other child care their veterinarian. Grants generally range from $25 to $800. funding programs. And then there’s the Berks County Arts Fund, which was created Berks County Community Foundation’s Power of the Purse, by the Community Foundation to encourage local residents to a women’s giving circle, makes an impact, not just on Phelicia’s support the arts in Berks County through their donations. Right life, but in the lives of countless other women. Phelicia’s story now, that fund is supporting two programs: the Penn Street Arts shows the significant impact that grants can have on individuals Grant Program and the Rural Arts Grant Program. and in our communities, says Jason Brudereck, Director of Communication at the Community Foundation. And Berks County Community Foundation is just one of several foundations in the Berks County area. “There are roughly 300 funds at Berks County Community Foundation,” says Brudereck. “Our mission is to promote philanthropy and improve What is a Foundation? the quality of life for the residents of Berks County.” We are fortunate to have so many different foundations, leading to the questions—what exactly is a foundation and what do they In the example, the Power of the Purse Fund was created with do for our communities? the donations of local women. The donations are channeled to nonprofit organizations that provide shelter, hope, inspiration According to The Council on Foundations, “a foundation is an and other help for women and girls in Berks County. Impressively, entity that supports charitable activities by making grants to unrelated “I am trying hard to be as self-sufficient as I can be, and the Power of the Purse program helped me, it really did,” she said.
24 Women2Women Spring 2016
The IRS classifies all 501(c)(3) organizations into two distinct types: private foundations and public charities.
foundation. The foundation will work with the interested party in setting up a charitable fund, and allow the donor to recommend grants to nonprofit organizations they wish to support. The key distinguishing factor seems to be that foundations generally support the work of public charities through grants instead of administering their own programs.
Focusing only on the foundation component of this definition, foundations can be private or public.
Foundations to Support Community Growth & Economic Development
organizations or institutions or to individuals for scientific, educational, cultural, religious, or other charitable purposes.”
Foundations: Private & Public
Private foundations may be supported financially by different sources: an individual, a family or a corporation. These foundations are established to aid charitable needs (educational, religious, social, etc.). There is generally a board of directors that makes discretionary giving decisions. Specific examples include: independent foundations, family foundations, and corporate foundations. Hospitals, schools, churches, and other charitable organizations make up what the IRS classifies as Public Charities. Public charities account for more than half of all 501 (c)(3) organizations (source: McRay). Generally, charities that primarily make grants are commonly referred to as public foundations. Another example of a public charity is a community foundation. Community foundations are tax-exempt charitable organizations created for the people of the communities in which they live. Specifically, people with philanthropic interests are able to support the issues that they care about with the assistance of a community
Another prominent foundation in our area is the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation. Dean L. Rohrbach, Elm Street Manager from the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation (WRCRF), shares their mission. “The WRCRF,” says Rohrbach, “is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) community-based organization committed to advance the vitality of commercial areas and livability of residential areas in West Reading through the Main Street and Elm Street programs.” The Main Street program addresses the needs of commercial areas and the Elm Street program supports the improvement of older residential neighborhoods. The WRCRF has achieved much success in both areas. In the Main Street initiative, over $6.2 million in grants and bonds have been invested in Penn Avenue—The Avenue—the five-block business district. Rohrbach provides this summary: “Visitors, merContinued on page 26 berkswomen2women.com 25
Growth2Go chants and residents have enjoyed street and sidewalk improvements; 21st century infrastructure upgrades; improved traffic flow; upgraded inter-modal transportation; charming cast-iron lampposts; bicycle trails; street furniture, hiding overhead utility lines; attractively landscaped public spaces and painted storefronts with quaint and unique signage.”
of individual residences and Paint the Town addresses beautification efforts one block or section at a time.
This area now boasts a wonderful mix of distinctive boutique retail shops and diverse dining options attracting visitors from around the region. “We have over 144 unique shopping opportunities to suit every budget, with over 20 restaurants including Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Italian, French, Chinese, vegetarian, micro-breweries and tavern cuisine,” says Rohrbach. “We’re also home to the Reading Health System, the largest employer in the county.”
Although only two foundations were sited in this story, Berks County is home to many, many others. Whatever your interest or passion, there is a foundation for you. Get involved and make an impact!
The Elm Street program has supported the revitalization of the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Rohrbach notes, “We are attracting a younger and more professional demographic to purchase here. West Reading has its own style; it offers choices; it has a cheery look; it’s small-town America; it’s a fun place to play and it’s the heart of the region.” Elm Street’s two flagship programs are: Property Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resell (PARR) program and Paint the Town. PAAR provides funding to invest in the purchase, rehabilitation and sale
The impact of WRCRF is evident from visitors and residents alike—attesting to the power of a foundation.
Find more Berks County Foundations here!
How can I get involved? 1. Become educated. Understand what each foundation in our community supports. 2. Donate. It may be funding, but in many cases, there are events or activities that require time and talent. Sometimes it’s expertise such as accounting to strengthen internal systems. 3. Become involved. Understand the needs and requirements of the foundation of your interest and offer to help! 4. Learn about grants that may be available to benefit your favorite 501 (c)(3) charity and apply. 5. Assist with a fundraising campaign or special event. Foundations need to raise money to distribute grants. Support their efforts!
26 Women2Women Spring 2016
Things You Don’t
Our inspirational keynote speaker, Linda Cliatt-Wayman—you may have seen her on Nightline, ABC World News Tonight, or a TED talk—will share her passionate and tissue-grabbing story on how she took a federally designated Persistently Dangerous School, Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia, and transformed it into a success story beyond belief. Fun fact…she has Berks County ties!
Discovering who the next ATHENA Award recipient will be! And the inspiring story behind her.
at the 5th
Meeting & mingling with other fabulous women—just like yourself!
Learning about the different emotional relationships women have with money— and some money smarts—from the wisdom of a financial advisor, psychologists, tax professional, and estate planner.
Using your intuition to find your sense of purpose and make sound decisions with a Spiritual Teacher. And using your smarts and power to defend yourself from Self-Defense experts. 28 Women2Women Spring 2016
Want to Miss
Annual Women’s Expo
PHOTO BY HEIDI REUTER
Learning how to care for your skin—at any age—from the expert perspectives of a dermatologist, dietitian, and aesthetician. Eating delicious food crafted by Chef Tim from the Crowne Plaza.
Taking time to renew, relax, and re-engage—that’s worth it in itself!
Ending the day with a high-energy fashion show presented by Boscov’s that leaves the age old question “what to wear” to any event or circumstance in the dust. Stay till the end and have a chance to win gift cards and prizes!
Browsing through 50+ vendors featuring beauty, jewelry, massage (ahhh!), and local services. Don’t miss the pop-up salon where you can get your hair done!
Bonus reason…grabbing your new and old friends to hit up happy hour at Goodnites. Less than 30 steps walking distance.
Balancing Life, Work & Family
The Most Role
You’ve Never Heard Of
Director of PX, Penn State Health St. Joseph
ou offer a great product at a greater price, you’ve hired the best and brightest employees, you have a killer marketing plan…your future is guaranteed to be that of big successes, right? Well not exactly. If Customer Experience isn’t in your top 3 priorities, your dreams— indeed the financial success of your business—could be squashed. Customer Experience, really? That’s something to put time and effort into understanding? There are people that are hired to do that? That’s a real career?! Indeed it is and it even has a catchy acronym, CX. As in CXO (Chief Experience Officer), or just plainly CX professional, and then there’s PX for those in healthcare fields. You guessed it, Patient Experience! Why should companies care about the Customer Experience? Let’s quantify what most people think is just a qualitative subject. According to Forrester’s Customer Index, customer-centric companies gained 42% in performance compared to a 33.9% decrease for companies who have neglected customer experience. According to a Temkin Group
report that looked at ROI of customer experience, there is a strong correlation between customer experience and loyalty factors such as repurchasing, trying new offerings, forgiving mistakes, and recommending the company to friends and colleagues. So why is this so important all of a sudden and why are big and small companies no longer able to ignore it? The answer lies in the four-syllable word that’s been driving our world: technology. I once heard a stat that a satisfied customer tells, on average, three people about their experience. A dissatisfied customer tells 25 people. The state of our connected environment and the rise of social media results in someone’s bad experience having a ripple effect at a much more rapid rate with a global reach. Not to mention all the apps and websites dedicated to hearing about people’s experiences with products, destinations and even other people—we’re looking at you Rate My Professor! It’s now so ingrained in one’s decision-making that when considering purchases people will first check what others have to say about their experiences. I’ll admit, I won’t book a vacation unless I first check out the reviews on TripAdvisor®. On the flipside, the same can be true about positive experiences and can work to companies’ advantages in attracting new customers and building a loyal base. Bottom line is, ignoring your customers’ experiences can be costly and damaging and should be seen as missed opportunities. For Customer Experience to be a priority, it has to be integrated into your company’s strategy. First and most importantly, senior leadership must see the importance and value. When you see CX reporting directly to the CEO or President, that’s when you know
30 Women2Women Spring 2016
it has high priority status. Once you have buy-in (by no means does it end there), you have to understand your company from the customers’ point of view. Cue customer journey mapping. Without going into too much detail—we’ll leave that for another day—these “maps” explore every possible interaction one may have with your company. They also incorporate emotions felt during each interaction. And lastly, I won’t even get into the need for employee engagement, which could take up a whole article in itself, but it’s very important to your customer experience toolkit.
Let’s regroup…you have senior leadership buy-in, you’ve mapped out your customers’ journey and your employees are engaged, now what? Where is all this headed? Simply put, positive experiences occur when it’s EASY for your customers to interact with you and those customers FEEL GOOD about their interaction with you. If every interaction at every “touch point” (a CX term) is positive from your customers’ point of view, then you are good to go! Now all you must do is have those customers share their experiences with others—which flows naturally—and start seeing how a positive customer experience can impact the bottom line. It’s not all sunshine and blues skies, though, because you have to continually assess your engagement and be alert to new things cropping up that can impact the experience. Let’s take, for example, a random hospital. On one of their customer journey mapping exercises they learned about a patient who was exceptionally cared for on the clinical side, but the experience of accessing the care completely clouded what otherwise was a medical success. It went something like this: the patient receives a pre-registration call the night before a scheduled procedure. After answering many questions, they are told to arrive at the department at 8:00 am for an 8:30 am procedure. Upon arrival they are told—in what they described as an ‘unfriendly manner’—that they need to go to “pre-registration” because the phone call the night before “wasn’t really a pre-registration.” Back to the first floor they go. Now, they wait in the registration line with others, sign some papers, provide their ID and are sent back to the area they just came from. (Should we also mention that the patient is nervous about the procedure, which is further compounded now because it is 8:20 am and they not fully checked-in?) Eventually, medically and surgically the procedure was flawless. However, when the patient gets home, when their friends call to check in, what do you think will dominate the conversation? In fixing the patient’s physical problem, the hospital staff missed the opportunity to improve its own standing, its reputation for caring and compassion with the patient and their friends and family. That’s where service recovery comes in because you never know when “word of mouth” will turn “viral”—but that’s another article for another day! berkswomen2women.com 31
to Berks County Danielle Antos, Director of Marketing & Communications, Greater Reading Chamber
Dave Zerbe Studio of Photography
32 Women2Women Spring 2016
ou may not know that a division of a major world-wide corporation is right here in Berks County; a company that is committed to gender equality. On Route 61 sits the Leesport facility of Schneider Electric. A truly inspiring story, Schneider Electric has a multitude of initiatives focused on women throughout its locations around the world. From initiatives in France, India, the UK, Ireland and Turkey, Schneider Electric is making strides in the areas of equality for its employees—and it is doing so right here in Berks County too! The fact is, the facility’s management and supervisory teams are just about split equally among men and women. We wanted to talk with some employees and get their take on working at Schneider Electric—a company that is committed to empowering women and gender equality. Continued on page 34
Work2Life “Our facility is showing our commitment to empowering women through our sponsorship of Women2Women—we want to provide a networking outlet and a resource of information to help our employees learn and grow,” said Jeff Wood, Plant Manager. Schneider has also joined other global corporations like AccorHotels, Barclays, Koç Holding, McKinsey & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Tupperware Brands, Twitter, Unilever and Vodafone to promote the HeForShe Campaign, said Jeff. Grounded in the idea that gender equality is an issue that affects all people—socially, economically and politically—HeForShe seeks to actively involve men in a movement that was originally conceived as “a struggle for women by women.” The culture at Schneider is a perfect fit to support this initiative, said Jeff. “Whether an employee is male or female, there is never a thought that someone can’t perform a particular job because of their gender—their qualifications and experience are always considered,” he said. All employees should be supported no matter what their gender—and Schneider’s culture reflects that mindset.
34 Women2Women Spring 2016
The HeForShe Campaign, founded by UN Women (the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women), has an ambitious goal: to mobilize one billion men to accelerate the achievement of gender equality. Its belief is that this is not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue. To learn more and become involved, visit www.HeForShe.org.
The Berks Story…
Cathy Price, Human Resources Coordinator, has been with the company for 18 years. She is involved with promoting the HeForShe Campaign at the plant. “We are encouraging all employees to support the HeForShe Campaign, males and females alike. It’s as simple as going online and taking the pledge,” said Cathy. Whether a person is a victim of gender discrimination or not, it is important to support this global initiative. What Cathy enjoys most about working at Schneider is the encouragement she has received from her supervisors and managers. She has experienced much support from her managers and co-workers, both men and women. “Whenever I’ve expressed an interest in developing my skills in certain job-related areas, management has always responded positively. Schneider offers us many opportunities for training, such as diversity training and skill development. Tuition reimbursement is also available,” she said. Schneider offers an extensive library of online training programs—some optional and some required—to help its employees develop the skills they need to perform their job, but to also climb the ladder to higher positions.
Because Schneider is a global company, there is often opportunity to apply for positions in other countries, which can sometimes be overwhelming. Aline Fontes, Quality Manager at the Leesport facility, is originally from Brazil and started her career with Schneider there, moving to Leesport in 2011. “I was a Quality Analyst back home. My supervisor was a great mentor for me and showed me how to plan my career path through training opportunities,” she said. She feels the Leesport facility is very well-balanced as far as men to women; some departments may have more men, but that is only because women are not applying for those positions. “I have seven employees who report to me; three women and four men,” she said. She stated she has always felt respected and supported by her male counterparts. She is excited that Schneider is supporting the HeForShe Campaign and she has taken the oath of support online. “It feels great being part of something that helps everyone. In today’s world, it is so important that everyone is treated equally, no matter what their background.”
HeForShe can certainly help— men supporting women in STEM careers can make an impact for young people deciding on a career. –Rohini Prabhakar
Rohini Prabhakar joined Schneider Electric in 2006 at a manufacturing plant in India where she was hired as a Production Continued on page 36 berkswomen2women.com 35
Work2Life Supervisor. In 2011, she was transferred to the Leesport facility as a Manufacturing Engineer and her current role is Continuous Improvement Lead. “I am seen as an equal in my new role,” said Rohini. She said it feels great working for a company that concentrates on diversity and inclusion. “I feel I am setting a good example for my child. She will learn from my experiences,” she said. It’s also a great way to get young girls interested in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. “Young girls do not often think a manufacturing facility can offer them lasting employment. But there are so many options for them—we just need to make them aware of the possibilities,” said Rohini. Jenny Pursel has been with Schneider for about 10 months. Before joining the company as the Purchasing Manager for the facility, Jenny was working in distribution procurement. “I’m thrilled to be an employee here and I was pleasantly surprised at how intentional Schneider is about recognizing and promoting diversity in the workplace,” she said. Jenny also took the HeForShe pledge. “Every employee has a social obligation to take the pledge. Although I have all females on my team in purchasing, we still need to support all employees at every level,” said Jenny. Laura Tannis has been employed at Schneider for 11 years and was recently promoted to Order Engineering Manager. Laura believes that it is critical to have a mixed management team. “Times are changing and women bring a different set of skills and viewpoints to many situations.” Women need to be included in decisions because they speak openly and consider the whole situation, pros and cons of decisions being made. The Leesport facility is doing a great job of working together as a team. “Whether male or female, we all work together to be successful. The HeForShe Program reinforces this; working together is good for the company and good for the work environment,” said Laura. Sue Ray is the Production Supervisor at the facility and has also been with the company for 17 years in varying roles. “I began in the
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harnessing department and then moved to panel assembly, to team lead and then to my current role,” said Sue. When Sue became the supervisor of a mostly male dominated department, she was a bit uneasy—not because she wasn’t confident in her ability to lead, but because she was unsure how the department would react. “But once they saw that I could do what they could do as good as they could do it and that I had good ideas for improving processes, they knew I was the right person for the job,” said Sue. She also supports the HeForShe Program and appreciates how committed the company is to initiatives like this. “We are exposed to all sorts of training on diversity and inclusion. We have access to seminars and Ted Talks that are relevant to these topics and I can even assign training sessions to my team to help them develop and grow,” she said. HeForShe is making many employees realize the importance of working together. The Materials Supervisor at the facility is also female. Lisa Sensenig joined Schneider in August 2015 and has been impressed by the atmosphere. “Everyone has been very welcoming. It was a big surprise—I was expecting a very male-dominated environment because it’s manufacturing; but instead,
“From 1836 to today, Schneider Electric has transformed itself into the global specialist in energy management. Starting from its roots in the iron and steel industry, heavy machinery, and ship building, it moved into electricity and automation management. After 170 years of history, Schneider Electric has become the solution provider that will help customers make the most of their energy. With revenues of $30 billion in FY2014, our 170,000 employees serve customers in over 100 countries, helping them to manage their energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. From the simplest of switches to complex operational systems, our technology, software and services improve the way our customers manage and automate their operations. Our connected technologies reshape industries, transform cities and enrich lives. At Schneider Electric, we call this Life Is On.” www.schneider-electric.us
Continued on page 38 berkswomen2women.com 37
I found something very different,” said Lisa. She doesn’t feel a separation between genders. It’s just understood that women can hold the same positions as men and everyone works together. “It’s a great feeling when you know your supervisor is rooting for you every day and being your advocate,” she said. It’s also great knowing that your male co-workers value and respect your opinions and your work ethic; gender is just not an issue. “I think it’s great that my male counterparts are stepping up to support women in the workplace—it just makes sense.”
More on the Way…
Many more diversity initiatives are coming down the pipeline for Schneider. “We will be encouraging our women to engage in the WISE program, a networking tool specifically set up for women working at Schneider Electric to connect with one another,” said Jeff. “Schneider is committed to treating all employees equally and making sure that women have every opportunity to grow into leadership roles.”
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S L A I N LEN Back MILGiving Sara Braun Radaoui,
Hoffmann Publishing Group
The word itself can carry a plethora of sentiments to those who utter it. Millennials are different, that much we know. They don’t act the same as their elders or work the same way as their parents. It could be argued that millennials prefer to connect via technology, and that they facilitate and rely mainly on peer influence. Many would say that attempting to understand the new up-and-coming generation can be comparable to deciphering a foreign language. To most, millennials are viewed as entitled and narcissistic—a “peter-pan” type of generation that has no intentions of growing up. Others, however, hold a different perspective, including Dr. Ernesto Sirolli. At the 2015 TEDxSacramento Conference, Dr. Sirolli, an authority in the field of sustainable economic development and international aid, shared his opinion on millennials. If you listen to his talk, you’ll notice that Dr. Sirolli describes them to be “a magnificent and inspiring generation.” He compares the Millennial generation to that of the Victorian Generation. The Victorians are
known to have created almost everything we use today, and Sirolli believes that the millennial generation will be the one to re-invent everything that we use for the next two hundred years to sustain humanity. “The millennial generation is studying the obscure arts, like handmade shoe making, and reviving them in our economy. The Millennials cannot be attracted to or retained at corporations who are not impacting this world positively. Millennials are refusing to live like the status quo; they are pushing boundaries and questioning existing practices.” Dr. Sirolli explains that his belief in millennials came about from ‘shutting up and listening to them,’ a tactic he has used in his experiences in international development. As a millennial, I do not understand the controversy that encompasses my generation. We are often illustrated as the villains of the modern age, infringing upon and violating everything that was right about our world, and forcing society to adapt to current methods. I’m quite certain this isn’t the case. As the youngest millennials are in the process of completing their college careers, we are becoming a strength for good within the non-profit and for-profit spheres. Millennials are striving to encourage the companies and organizations wanting to hire us to focus more on social responsibility, raising funds and creating impact. Engaging millennial volunteers is critical. We as millennials have grown up using smartphones and different social media platforms, and can help provide policy as well as transparency for companies and organizations that remain struggling to adopt them. The millennial volunteers that are being engaged today will without a doubt become the leaders and directors of tomorrow. Since 2009, the Millennial Impact Report has covered comprehensive data that reveals this rising generation is eager to connect, get involved and give back to causes that they’re passionate about. According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, millennials make up a majority of the workforce: 53.3 million, or 1 in 3 American workers. We learn that volunteering trumps giving—44 percent of millennial employees were more likely to volunteer if their supervisor participated, and 65 percent were more likely to if their co-workers participated. Seventy-seven percent of millennial employees said they’d be more likely to volunteer if they could use their specific
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skill-set or area of expertise to benefit the cause. The Millennial Impact Report found that 70 percent of millennials spent at least one hour volunteering their time to a cause they felt passionately about, and more than one-third was found volunteering 11 hours or more. Thirty-two percent used paid time off to volunteer, and 16 percent took unpaid time off to volunteer.
Millennial Behavior 63% of Millennials volunteered for a non-profit in 2012
% of survey respondents said they expected to volunteer as much or more in 2012 than in 2011
By a margin of more than , millennials who volunteer for nonprofits are more likely to make donations
% of millennials made a charitable donation during 2014
77% own a smartphone 23
% have signed up to volunteer via their smartphone
61% would share volunteer opportunities via Facebook
More than % said they’ve raised money on behalf of a non-profit—a generation of volunteer fundraisers
% say volunteer opportunities are the first thing they look for when visiting a non-profit’s website
% of millennials want volunteer opportunities included in the e-newsletters they receive from non-profits Continued on page 43 berkswomen2women.com 41
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The main reasons millennials don’t volunteer include: foremost, a lack of time, and secondly, most have never before been asked to. There are some interesting statistics, and it’s apparent that this generation is interested in giving their time to non-profits and vol-
unteering. So how do we take all of this information and apply it in an attempt to more successfully engage millennials? Offer varied volunteer opportunities. Millennials want to use their background and skill-sets to volunteer. They are interested in a wide variety of opportunities, from group volunteering, to one-time volunteer events, to leadership commitments where they can contribute significant value. Cast a wide volunteer net: announce your volunteer needs across multiple social media platforms in several different ways—due to smartphones, we know how quick millennials are to engage the internet. Use responsive design to ensure that important information for potential volunteers is displayed accordingly. Show impact. The millennial generation is looking for genuine connections with organizations. Make sure to show them the difference they are able to make for your association and for the world by volunteering. If you’re looking for swift outreach, testimonials from other volunteers are a good way to start, and tagging photos of other volunteers at work on your Facebook page and website send the right message. Never forget to show your appreciation with a simple thank you and let your volunteers know the impact they’ve made. Millennials are passionate about giving their time and talents, and want to feel value in return.
Mothers & Daughters Working Together
How did you decide to work together? JP:
We had a need for new, young blood. We needed a young influence—especially with changes in technology.
SPE: After I got my MBA, I realized that I should
use what I paid for to help my own family business. I knew I had a lot to offer.
What are the advantages & difficulties when you already know each other?
F e at ur i n g :
Judy Pollack & Susan Pollack Esposito,
POSITIVE: We understand and respect each other—and our opinions.
NEGATIVE: Because we are in a small family business, we spend a lot of time together.
SPE: POSITIVE: We are able to grow and learn together.
Pollack Fashion Outerwear
NEGATIVE: It’s hard to separate business and pleasure (family).
What led you to your current career path? JP:
With Mother’s Day around the corner, we asked a mother/ daughter duo to share their thoughts on working together.
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I grew up in a family business. My father was a manufacturer’s representative for many companies. I became a teacher in the late ’70s and taught marketing and sales. It felt natural to me to go into a small business.
SPE: I went to the University of Delaware and majored
in marketing and management. I went on to get an MBA at Alvernia University. I have been involved in our family business since I was a child.
What words of wisdom would you offer other women considering going into business together? JP:
Make sure you are willing to commit to a strong, healthy relationship, because it takes hard work.
SPE: Learn how to work and play together, but
also be able to survive in business. You need to be strong and have thick skin.
Is there a philosophy that you live by? JP:
Each day is a gift. And don’t sweat the small stuff.
SPE: If there’s a will, there’s a way. And don’t give up!
What three things do you recommend to ensure success? JP:
1. Enjoy what you do. 2. Do it with a smile on your face. 3. Be strong.
SPE: 1. Work hard.
2. Play hard. 3. Love what you do.
What is the best advice you ever received? JP:
If you don’t like yourself, no one else will either. Be true to yourself.
SPE: You can’t get flustered. Keep your head
straight and always stay focused.
How have you led other women in their career paths? JP:
I encourage and empower others to go after their dreams.
SPE: Being a leader and showing others that hard work
pays off. “Good things come to those who hustle!”
# WorkHard # PlayHard
Mental, Spiritual, Physical Health & Wellness
Gestational Lizzy Hawk, MS, RDN, & Angela Serafin, RN, MSN, CDE Penn State Health St. Joseph
elia was 24 weeks into her 3rd pregnancy and with a 3-year- her she would have to drink a solution old boy and a 6-year-old girl at home, she was just praying made of 100 grams of sugar and then for another healthy baby. Aside from being a little extra tired from have her blood drawn every hour for chasing around her other children, Celia felt this pregnancy was 3 hours. “I was scared and nervous; I much like her previous two. Her morning sickness had come and had taken the glucose test with my gone with the first trimester and by the second trimester she was previous pregnancies and never had starting to get some of her energy back. With the third trimester any problems,” Celia recalls. “I knew around the corner, she had anticipated she would encounter the same the test was to see if I had diabetes discomforts (difficult sleeping and some acid reflux) she had with the but that’s all I knew.” previous pregnancies but nothing she knew she couldn’t overcome. Celia got another phone call just Celia had just returned from taking her oldest to school when she a day after completing the 3-hour got a phone call from her OB doctor’s office. The 50 gram glucose Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. “They challenge test she had taken the week prior came back high and said my numbers were high and that they wanted to schedule her for a second test. This time they told I had gestational diabetes,” says Celia. 46 Women2Women Spring 2016
“I remember thinking it must have been all the rice and beans I’d been eating. I just assumed I caused it.” Celia was scheduled to meet with a Dietitian at Diabetes Management Services where she would learn what Gestational Diabetes (GDM) was, how to manage it, and what to expect after delivery.
What is GDM? GDM is the type of diabetes that develops during the second half of a pregnancy. GDM affects 7–14% of all pregnancies in the United States depending on the population, making it one of the most common problems of pregnancy. Unlike other types of diabetes it usually goes away after the baby is born because it is thought to be caused by the hormones produced during pregnancy. Hormones made by the placenta block the body’s use of insulin. Insulin helps the body use sugar in the blood as fuel so if the insulin is being blocked, blood sugar cannot be used as fuel and becomes too high, causing a problem for both mother and baby.
Who Gets GDM? Any woman can develop GDM but there are several things that may increase a woman’s risk: Obesity
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Family history of type 2 diabetes
Previous large-for-gestational age infant delivery
What are the Risks of GDM?
If blood sugar levels are not managed during pregnancy, this can cause problems to both the baby and the mother. The baby gets nutrients, including sugar, from the mother’s blood. If the mother’s blood sugar level is high, the baby will get too much sugar. The baby will store the extra sugar as fat and may gain too much weight and become too large. Low blood sugar for the baby at birth can be another problem. If the baby continues to get too much sugar his or her insulin level will be high. Once the extra sugar from the mother is cut off, the baby’s high insulin level could cause low blood sugar. Other serious yet rare problems can also occur but these problems don’t have to happen. The best way to prevent problems is for the mother to keep her blood sugar in the desired range. Continued on page 48
Heart Disease Cancer Stroke COPD (Emphysema & chronic bronchitis) Alzheimer’s
6. DIABETES 7. 8. 9.
Kidney Disease Blood Poisoning-Septicemia Anxiety Disorders/Depression
List compiled from Everyday Health, Fox News, Office on Women’s Health, Del Mar Times and Hopkins Medicine.
Health 2Wellness How to Manage GDM? Like other types of diabetes, the goal for managing GDM and avoiding complications is to keep blood sugars under control. Although the suggested target blood sugar range for GDM is stricter than that of Type 2 Diabetes, the recommendations are virtually the same. Blood sugar is affected by diet, activity, and the amount of insulin the body makes to help manage blood sugar. Tips for managing blood sugars include: Eat meals and snacks according to the meal plan Get regular physical activity Take medicine as prescribed Check blood sugar often
What to Expect After Delivery? GDM usually goes away as soon as the baby is born. This is because the pregnancy hormones blocking insulin are no longer being made. However, a mother should get her blood sugar checked 6–12 weeks after the baby is born to make sure. Women who have GDM are at a greater risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes so it’s
recommended that they continue to have their blood sugars tested every 1–3 years at their annual physical. A mother can help reduce her risk of developing type 2 Diabetes by: Continuing to eat a healthy diet Getting regular physical activity Managing her weight
Can GDM be Prevented? Although findings in lifestyle intervention studies focusing on the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes have been promising, showing a risk reduction of 58%, few published studies have shown similar findings among high-risk women for GDM. Nevertheless, recently the Finnish Gestational Diabetes Prevention Study showed that GDM can be prevented in a high-risk population by simple, easy applicable lifestyle interventions focusing on moderate physical activity and dietary counseling. Furthermore, adherence to a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy is associated with a reduced GDM risk for the low to moderate at risk population. “I’ve learned a lot since being diagnosed with GDM,” says Celia. “At first I thought I’d have to cut out all carbohydrates and make separate meals for myself and family,” but with the help of Diabetes Management Services and one-on-one Medical Nutrition Therapy, Celia learned how to manage her blood sugars by choosing healthy foods and limiting portion sizes. “My whole family, even the kids, were learning what carbohydrates were and how much a healthy portion was.” Celia plans to continue the lifestyle changes she’s made and teaching her children what it means to stay healthy. “I didn’t know much about GDM before being diagnosed but now it’s not only important for me to stay healthy to help reduce my risk for Type 2 Diabetes but I keep telling my kids that they are at risk too and the changes we can make now will have major short- and long-term benefits.”
REFERENCES: Koivusalo SB, Rono K, Klemetti MM, et al,; Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Can Be Prevented by Lifestyle Intervention: The Finnish Gestational Diabetes Prevention Study (RADIEL). Diabetes Care 2016;39:24-30 Novo Nordisk; Gestational Diabetes. Cornerstones4Care February 2013 Making Everything Right: A guide to gestational diabetes. Diabetes Educational Society Angela and Lizzy are educators at Penn State Health St. Joseph Diabetes Management Services.
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Lizzy Hawk, MS, RDN
Penn State Health St. Joseph
t makes French fries savory, chocolate cake velvety and country biscuits buttery. The delicious ingredient I am referring to is FAT. Dietary fat has been ridiculed for years, blamed for weight gain and high cholesterol. Food labels and recipes boasting to be low fat, reduced fat and fat free once flooded the diet industry. But now, thanks to The Mediterranean Diet, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), and the likes of Dr. Oz, fat is back and it is taking revenge by making us rethink what is healthy and unhealthy.
If you pay attention to food labels and ingredients, products that claim to be low in fat typically will be higher in salt or sugar than its original version. Why? Fat tastes good and if you remove it something needs to be added to make up for the loss in flavor. Fat is the key ingredient to satiety from our taste buds to our stomach. It slows down digestion making us feel fuller longer and stabilizes blood sugars. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that 20–35 percent of our diet should come from fat. That is 40–70 grams for a 1,800 calorie diet. To give you an idea of what that looks like in food, ¼ cup of almonds has 15g of fat. The fat you choose impacts your health. Dietary fats are found in both plant and animal foods. They supply calories and help with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Some also are good sources of essential fatty acids. Fats are composed of a mix of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fatty acids, in varied proportions. For example, most 50 Women2Women Spring 2016
of the fatty acids in butter are saturated, but it also contains some monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Oils are mostly unsaturated fatty acids, though they have small amounts of saturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats are found in tofu, walnuts, pine nuts, and sesame, pumpkin, and flax seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of essential polyunsaturated fats found in seafood, such as salmon, trout, herring, tuna, and mackerel, and in flax seeds and walnuts. Research shows that a diet high in omega-3s decreases total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive, canola, peanut, sunflower, and safflower oils, and in avocados, peanut butter, and most nuts. Research shows a diet rich in these fats is not only good for the heart by raising HDL (good) cholesterol but can also help glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. Saturated fats are found in coconut and palm kernel oils, butter and animal fats like beef, pork, and chicken. Saturated fats can raise total cholesterol and LDL levels. New research now indicates that saturated fats have different effects on the body. For example, coconut oil contains lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fat that may lower LDL and raise HDL, according to some studies. But coconut oil also contains palmitic acid which is a saturated fat that promotes unsafe buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Tran fats are found primarily in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Small amounts occur naturally in meats and dairy products. Trans fats increase LDL and total cholesterol and may even reduce HDL. Despite all the controversy surrounding fat, the fact remains that it is the most calorically dense nutrient, containing 9 calories per gram versus carbohydrates and protein which both have 4 calories per gram. The 2015 DGA recommend replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats and eating less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat; that’s no more than 20 grams of saturated fat in a 1,800 calorie diet. Choose your fats wisely, keeping in mind variety and moderation to get the most benefits.
Tips to adding healthy fats and flavor
Swirl almond butter in oatmeal Slice avocado on a sandwich Blend silken tofu in a smoothie Combine 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp of water and let sit for 5 minutes. Substitute for one egg in baking recipes.
Women2Know More Women2Know looks behind the scenes at outstanding women who have successfully contributed to an organization’s successes, inspire and motivate others to achieve, and personify the mission and objectives of Women2Women.
Joins Opportunity House Kristin Golden Mancuso
KGM Marketing LLC
Photo by John Pankratz
hen Kate Alley first toured Opportunity House, she was exhilarated. The “opportunity” that long-time President Modesto Fiume presented her with was an ideal fit for her expertise—and for her passion of helping people. In this role, Kate would have the chance to directly impact the lives of individuals and families helped by Opportunity House, as well as support positive change in the Greater Reading community. The position also happened to serve Kate’s personal interest in returning to her hometown to be closer to family. Kate’s background in leadership, fundraising, program management and social work came after she earned her undergraduate degree
52 Women2Women Spring 2016
and spent time working in Russia and New York City. In 2000, she moved to Boston and attended graduate school at Boston University, earning an MBA and a Masters in Social Work (MSW).
sures in their store. Cleverly offering a coupon to shop each time a donation is accepted, many donors have circled the building from the back door drop-off point to a parking space in the front lot to do a little bit of shopping.
Her role as the Vice President of Development at Opportunity House blends so many of her interests. “Opportunity House helps so many different parts of the community throughout all stages of need,” says Kate. It’s this impact that makes Kate love her job!
The successful business is based on the model of the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s resale shop network in Oregon. Through a grant, the Society generously shares its best practices with other organizations who aim to implement this self-funding strategy.
In addition to these activities, Opportunity In the year Kate has spent with Opportunity House has three fundraisers: Souper Bowl, House, she’s been busy! She plans, organizes Wine, Women & Shoes and their annual Golf and directs all ongoing funding programs tournament. Many are probably familiar with for the organization. Along with the day-to- the Souper Bowl and the Golf Tournament, day responsibilities of growing community but Wine, Women & Shoes is new to the awareness and fundraising, Kate’s been part community. After evaluating the landscape of putting Opportunity House’s new upscale of events in Berks, Kate determined that this retail thrift shop on the map. event could attract a new group of supporters. Based loosely on the ever-popular “girls night Located at 3045 North 5th Street Highway out,” Wine, Women & Shoes is a unique in Muhlenberg Township, the OppShop franchise fundraiser where women can “sip accepts donations and sells gently used trea- and shop” with friends.
Perhaps the most impressive part of all of the activities of this year is the experience Kate has had with the Opportunity House community of supporters. Thousands of individuals volunteer their time and talent to the organization. Kate’s impressed. “Coming from a large city like Boston, it’s exciting to know that a smaller community like Reading can have so much support and strength behind the amazing, necessary programs of Opportunity House.”
If you’d like more information about Opportunity House or are interested in getting involved, visit their website, www.OppHouse.org.
Get Your Own Copy of Women2Women Magazine Pick one up at any of the locations below while supplies last, or view it online at berkswomen2women.com
BOYERTOWN: Dancing Tree Creations DOUGLASSVILLE: Lord & Ladies Salon & Medical Spa My Dad’s Flooring EXETER: Lord & Ladies Salon & Medical Spa The Spine & Wellness Center Martin Appliance FLEETWOOD: Lord & Ladies Salon & Medical Spa Simmeria Café and Bistro HAMBURG: Necessities New & Used Furniture Gallery of Hamburg Doris Berry
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KUTZTOWN: Dunkelberger’s Fine Jewelry & Gifts Sorrelli Jewelry MORGANTOWN: Weaver’s Orchard, Inc. OLEY: Evelyn & Harriette’s READING: Goggleworks Center for the Arts Judy’s on Cherry Double Tree Hotel ROBESONIA: The Shoppes at Randler’s Village SINKING SPRING: Charlotte Shoppe Hair on The Avenue Lord & Ladies Salon & Medical Spa
SHILLINGTON: Goodwill Fashion Store TEMPLE: Riverview Nursery & Garden Center WYOMISSING: Chamber of Commerce Center for Business Excellence The Carriage House Wyomissing Hair Studio Courtyard by Marriott Bell Tower Salon, Medi-Spa & Store WERNERSVILLE: Five & Divine WEST READING: The Compleat Baldwin Brass Center It’s A Gift! The Woman’s Exchange of Reading Jan Rae