Women2Women Spring 2014

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Follow Your Dreams‌ Finding New Career Paths

Early Learning Investment

What you should be doing to prepare

Make Your Rehearsal Dinner an Occasion to Remember

From first toast to last goodnight, Judy's on Cherry creates lasting impressions with understated charm, casual elegance & exceptional culinary experiences in a distinctive, historic property. Imagine the luxury of entertaining in your own private garden or in one of our lovingly restored buildings where Judy and her professional staff cater to your every whim!

Contact us to discuss your Rehearsal Dinner desires, or Bridal Shower plans.





332 Cherry St, Reading, PA



Karen Marsdale, Senior Editor

Spring 2014

Melissa Varone, Editor

201 Penn Street • Suite 501 • Reading, PA 19601 berkswomen2women.com • 610.376.6766

Women2Women Advisory Council Alexa S. Antanavage Margarita M. Caicedo Vicki O. Ebner Kim Hippert-Eversgerd Nancy Hoban Robyn Jones Donna Lamp Karen Marsdale

Katherine D. Metrick Mary Jean Noon Michele Richards Matilde Rodriguez Sotomayor, MD Carolyn Shultz-Spano Connie Skipper Ann M. Valuch



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.

I Graduated! NOW WHAT?

Jeannie Edfort cover story

Women2Women Magazine is a publication of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

To join: W2W@GreaterReadingChamber.org


Ready. Set. Read.

Stay connected: BerksWomen2Women.com Facebook.com/BerksWomen2Women LinkedIn: Berks Women2Women Title Sponsors St. Joseph Medical Center Wells Fargo Platinum Sponsors Penske Truck Leasing Reading Eagle Company Reading Health System Santander Bank Savage Dodge, Inc. Susquehanna Bank Sweet Street Desserts, Inc. VF Outlet Center Gold Sponsors BCTV Berks County Bar Association Berks County Living Bellco Federal Credit Union Boscov’s Department Store, Inc. Caron Treatment Centers Carpenter Technology Corporation Fulton Bank—Great Valley Division Herbein + Company, Inc. Indigo Prints & Marketing Group Lords & Ladies Salon & Medical Spa M & T Bank National Penn Bank ParenteBeard, LLC Prudential Financial RKL LLP Tompkins VIST Bank Wyomissing Hair Studio Women2Women Magazine is published quarterly by Hoffmann Publishing Group, Reading PA HoffmannPublishing.com • 610.685.0914 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

Women2Know   6 10 16


Jeannie Edfort



Remembering Elizabeth Ehrlich and Mary Ann Chelius Smith

Health2Wellness 32 36

Growth2Go 24

Is Your Job Large Enough for Your Spirit?

26 27 28

New Latina Initiative

High Quality Early Education is the Key to a Strong Workforce

Green & Organized Cooking Vegan

I Graduated! NOW WHAT? Ready. Set. Read.

In Every Issue 4 15

Editor’s Desk W2W Events

38 41

Book Club More Women2Know

© 2014 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced electronically or in print without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Cover Photo: AMA Photography by Tania Colamarino

Like us at Facebook.com/ BerksWomen2Women

Editor’s Desk

Happy Spring— AMA Photography by Tania Colamarino

Fresh Starts Melissa Varone, Editor, Women2Women Magazine Assistant VP, Marketing, Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry


his edition of Women2Women Magazine is all about “Fresh Starts.” When I think of Spring, I think of fresh starts and transformations. Transformations can apply to a new career, a new way of eating or a good spring cleaning! Did you ever dream of starting your career over? Ever think, ‘what if I would have been an accountant rather than a marketing professional?’ After reading this issue you’ll learn IT’S NEVER TOO LATE to turn that dream into a reality. This issue features two incredibly smart, talented ladies that will surely inspire you to dream big! Jeannie Edfort started her career as a biologist and is now designing exquisite lace bolero jackets and wedding gowns! Ady Abreu is a former engineer who now creates the most decadent cupcakes and cakes! I hope you enjoy their stories. Also included are tips to help you explore a full career transformation. Besides transformations, I think Spring is an inspiring time because we see the rebirth of flowers, and the return of longer daylight and warmer temperatures. Another Spring inspiration is Robin Roberts; she’s coming to Reading for the Chamber’s Annual Dinner on May 8, 2014. Ms. Roberts spent a majority of her career in the sports world and as a commentator and host on ESPN. She’s now co-anchor of the #1 morning show Good Morning America, a great role model and a

4 Women2Women Spring 2014

cancer survivor. You will not want to miss this event. Over the last year, we lost two beacons in our community. We pay homage to The Honorable Elizabeth Ehrlich and Mary Ann Chelius Smith in this issue. Judge Ehrlich was the first female judge in Berks County, and Mary Ann was one of only two women to hold a vice president title at Boscov’s Department Stores. Enjoy some fond memories from several women who knew Judge Betty and Mary Ann! Congratulations to the 2014 ATHENA recipient—Frances (Franki) Aitken, CPA! Franki is Senior Vice President—Finance and Operations of the Berks County Community Foundation. Franki will receive the Award at our Women’s Expo—Spring Renewal on Thursday, May 22. We hope you will join us in honoring Franki! Here’s to Spring, new transformations and plenty of inspiration! Happy reading!

Melissa Varone

Women2Women Magazine

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Paula Barron Tompkins VIST Bank Phoebe Canakis Phoebe’s Pure Foods Dawn Maurer Derr Sunrise Communication Heather Adams SMG Tracy Hoffmann Hoffmann Publishing Group Mike Jupina St. Joseph Medical Center Julia Klein C. H. Briggs Company Karen Marsdale Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry Connie Skipper Berks County Intermediate Unit Melissa Varone Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry

In our winter edition of the magazine, we did not include the co-author to the article: An Alternative Approach: Addressing High Blood Pressure. Gail C. Eiceman, RN CCN and Elizabeth Hassel, BS, MS candidate are the authors to this article. Please see the revised article at: http://issuu.com/nhgi/docs/w2w_winter_2014?e=3748117/6372969

W omen

When you need legal advice, rely on a woman’s perspective


W omen

For a Referral to an Appropriate Attorney Call The Berks County Bar Association at 610.375.4591

... your community of lawyers Proud Sponsor of Women2Women berkswomen2women.com 5

Women 2Know

Community & Business Profiles, Insights & Highlights

JEANNIE EDFORT GLORY BY JEANNIE LEE Handmade Custom Gowns & Accessories for Brides

“Have a support system in place; identify your client base; don’t trade things that are important to you for your career change, and most importantly, trust your instinct.”

AMA Photography by Tania Colamarino

6 Women2Women Spring 2014

by Jeannie Lee


eannie Edfort had a passion for music, painting, crocheting. As an adolescent, she excelled in math and science and wanted nothing more than to go to med school and become a doctor. To fuel her creative side, she replaced sports with music, art & cultural activities as her hobbies. In her senior year of college, she took a microbiology class and fell in love‌with science. It was then, she knew she didn’t want to be a doctor; she wanted to become a scientist. Continued on page 8

berkswomen2women.com 7

Women2Know Her first post-college job was as a microbiologist in a large testing lab. After several years, she had outgrown the job and made a big career leap into the pharmaceutical industry. Jeannie reflects, “The career change and new position was a huge confidence builder. My job there changed every 8 months and I enjoyed several promotions— it was pivotal for my career.” During her 20-year career in the science field, it never once entered her mind to change careers. Her job was challenging and rewarding. It was a good balance of creativity and business. She could work from home, she made a very competitive salary and really enjoyed her clients. One day, that all changed. “It became Jeannie. She found herself daydreaming and torture, repetitive and simply boring,” said being pulled in other directions. “I think I just achieved the pinnacle of my professional success and had this strong urge to try something different—to move in a completely different direction.” And so she did. Five years ago, she resigned from her position and started her own business. She started exploring her creative side and her passion for the arts. Even though it was counterintuitive from the disciplined practices she had learned growing up, she was driven to explore a completely different type of career. She admits to second guessing herself, experi-

8 Women2Women Spring 2014

encing a certain amount of guilt from leaving a steady job and paycheck, and experiencing doubt and fear, but she still persevered! Jeannie didn’t begin her new vocation selling bridal wear. She launched her new career selling unique handbags from vintage materials on Etsy. Her bridal line, GLORY by Jeannie Lee, evolved from the request of a bride who found her on Etsy. Jeannie’s first request was for a bolero jacket created from lace scraps from the young bride’s mother’s wedding gown. The bride admired the work, and was impressed with the way that Jeannie incorporated vintage lace. One client, one customized bolero and one new career were the genesis of a new venture for this former biologist. She was hooked! After finishing the client’s project, she visited thrift and antique stores, and started cobbling boleros together for wedding dresses. She has migrated from the early days of using the lace from thrift shop gowns and now purchases lace wholesale. She has also expanded the business to include bridal gowns and bridal party attire. When asked if she had a mentor or a confidant that she turned to for professional guidance, Jeannie shared that most of her mentors told her not to switch careers. Her true cheerleader was her husband Mark—he was the voice of reason. Mark encouraged her to take the risk and was adamant that she had made the right decision. Jeannie admits to facing some challenges when switching careers. She had to navigate uncharted waters with many of the intricacies of the bridal business. She had to start taking herself seriously that a passion could

I Have Purpose... Because of Goodwill. -Matthew


lead to a real job. And, she had to dedicate the time to find her personal voice in her creations. Gaining some confidence from some successful sales, her challenges are a little different. Now she is looking to take her business to the next level. She wants to grow her local presence and focus on the efficiency of running her business. Smart lady! Jeannie shared that if she were to offer words of advice for others seeking to change careers, they would be: “have a support system in place; identify your client base; don’t trade things that are important to you for your career change and, most importantly, trust your instinct.”

Spine and Wellness Center Dr. Patrick Borja, Chiropractor

chiropractic massage therapy acupuncture physical therapy personal training counseling laser


3933 Perkiomen Avenue, Reading PA 19606

www.spineandwellness.org Spine and Wellness Center

Voted the leader in Chiropractor category for the 2013 Berks County 16th Annual People’s Choice

berkswomen2women.com 9


Ady Abreu ADY CAKES Custom Cakes & Cupcakes for All Occasions

“I make cupcakes because anyone else can bake them. This is perfection­—being artistic and creative with cakes is totally unique for me and makes me happy!”


dy Abreu grew up in the Dominican Republic, learned English as a second  language and focused her attention on academics and ballet. She spent her high school in a very stressful and competitive environment where she concentrated her studies on accounting. After completing her schooling, she started her career as an industrial engineer in quality and production for a company whose biggest client was Levi. She loved her job but she worked 7 days. Since moving to the states through an exchange program, Ady has had a varied career in restaurant management, banking and back to engineering. She has a thirst for learning and tried to take advantage of every opportunity that was presented to her. Continued on page 12

10 Women2Women Spring 2014

AMA Photography by Tania Colamarino

berkswomen2women.com 11

Women2Know However, in her last role as engineer, the job was monotonous and she wanted to have freedom in her career. One evening she made a traditional Dominican cake and it actually came out as a cake! She was hooked and became a self-taught baker. She tried to quit her full-time job but they wouldn’t let her, so she went part-time and opened a cake studio by appointment only. After two months the demand was too great for her cakes and she had to leave her day job. Ady shared, “I make cupcakes because anyone else can bake them. This is perfection—being artistic and creative with cakes is totally unique for me and makes me happy!” “I never wanted a job, I wanted a business. I already had a job; I wanted to do something that I enjoyed but make something bigger than myself.” Ady was Berks and Lancaster County’s first and only Food Network’s Cupcake Wars Winner! In fact, when asked if she had a mentor, Ady said “I made a lot of great friends through cupcake wars. The chef that competed after me in the competition has turned out to be a great friend and confidant.” Ady focuses on the artistic and creative side of the business but is actively involved in the cake industry; she regularly attends trade shows, and keeps ahead with the trends in honing her skills. After 7 years in business, Ady has opened her second location in Lititz and recently signed a book deal—Ady Cakes recipe book is due out this Fall/Winter 2014. Some of the challenges that Ady faced when switching careers was that she had to come to terms with the sacrifices that had to be made in order for the business to be successful. She was also realistic and made sure she had enough savings that she would be financially secure should the business struggle in the opening months. Ady shared that if she were to offer words of advice for others seeking to change careers, they would be: “Make sure your family understands what your commitment entails; realize that your employees depend on you; owning a business is a major commitment and you need to be mentally prepared for the commitment.” 12 Women2Women Spring 2014

Operation Warmth

“I can help!” Full Cooperation with all Licensees

100’s of Commercial Properties... www.JimAdamsNow.com

For the second year in a row, the Chamber was the neighborhood champion for Shop Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday. Small Business Saturday is the day to celebrate the Shop Small movement to drive shoppers to local businesses, an initiative driven by American Express. The Chamber delivered signage to local retailers and distributed 50 $25 American Express gift certificates to encourage our members to SHOP SMALL!

Jim Adams

Masters in Commercial Real Estate, CNE, Master Municipal Planner, e-PRO Web 2.0 Cert. Ranked #2 of 2,861 RE/MAX agents PA/DELAWARE-1st Qtr 2013



RE/MAX of Reading 610.670.2770 x 3157

1290 Broadcasting Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Michelle Scott-Foster from Michaux’s Artisan Boutique was the recipient of $50 worth of American Express gift cards. “Being it was near the holidays, I pondered how to spend

Summer Camps at Penn State Berks Middle School Camps

JUNE 23–27 JULY 7–11 JULY 14–18 JULY 21–25

You Be the Chemist Camp® Make Your Own Video Game/ Video Game Animation Camp Junior Nittany Criminal Investigative Service Camp Young Architect: The Building Blocks of Design

JULY 28–AUG 1 Science of Technology Camp

High School Camps

JULY 7–11 the gift cards with a friend. I wanted to do something more than just support a local business, so I decided to think of a way to also give back to my community to show a double fold purpose of the gift cards, shared Michelle. “I went to a local small business and used the cards to purchase several skeins of yarn which were on sale for a total $50.00. I decided to crochet handmade scarves to give out to anyone who was less fortunate, homeless or was receiving treatment for an illness such as chemo, dialysis, or heart condition. It really didn’t matter what their illness was, or their hardship is, they would be free to select one so that they would be kept warm by a scarf that was created with love and care. I named this project Operation Warmth.”

Computers and Cyber Security Camp Engineering Camp Forensic Science Camp

For more information, call 1-800-BERKS-CE or visit berks.psu.edu/ce.

Michelle reported that with $50.00 worth of yarn, she was able to make 25 handmade scarves. Check out the photos of some of the scarves that she was able to give away for free during her Operation Warmth.

berkswomen2women.com 13

Women2Know Junior Achievement of Berks County and Lehigh Valley will induct Joanne Judge, Shareholder at Stevens & Lee Law Firm,

into its Business Hall of Fame.

The JA Berks Business Hall of Fame recognizes members of the business community for the positive role model they represent to our children and honors their accomplishments and contributions to the community. Judge’s induction will add to other notable accomplishments, including her 2009 ATHENA Award from the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry and her six-year recognition as a Super Lawyer by Philadelphia magazine.


oanne is one of the highest profile women in health care with 30 years of health care and financial industry expertise. She focuses her practice on transactional and regulatory matters for health care systems, senior living organizations and physician practices, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, affiliations and reorganizations, health care contracting, licensure, antitrust planning and compliance-related issues, along with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues. Joanne represents senior living facilities with more than 4,000 beds or units.

Joanne is a Certified Public Accountant and served as the President of Community Hospital of Lancaster for seven years and previously as its Chief Financial Officer. She is a Fellow in the Health Care Financial Management Association, served as its chairperson in 1992 and was honored with its national lifetime achievement award in 1999. She was also named one of Pennsylvania’s inaugural “Best 50 Women in Business” in 2000 for her significant contributions to job growth in Pennsylvania.

Golden Oaks Golf Club & Restaurant ...life as it should be. Jo Ann Heller

Director of Golf/Head Golf Professional at Golden Oaks Golf Club

• Open to the Public • Championship Golf Course • Tournaments & Charity Events • Corporate Meetings & Dinners • Affordable Memberships • Wedding, Dinner & Banquet Facilities • 1850’s Farmhouse for small events & lodging

10 Stonehedge Drive | Fleetwood, PA | goldenoaksgolfclub.com | 610.944.6000 14 Women2Women Spring 2014

W2W Events 2014 Mentoring has a new name!

Women2Know—Family First

Path2Personal Development

Patricia McLaughlin & Megan Bauer

Thursday, May 1, 2014 5:00–7:00 pm Center for Business Excellence (CBE) / Free Path2Personal Development has grown from the original mentoring initiative. Over the last year we have listened and responded. This initiative has a personal development focus and will be comprised of a series of programs throughout the year that are interactive and provide a place for women to connect, collaborate and support each other in a relaxed environment. Each year we will kick off with a panel discussion from leaders in the community and we will follow with 4–5 programs each designed to provide an opportunity to follow a Path2Personal Development. During this session, Manor Golf Course Owner and Operator, Cheryl Heckman, will present “Fear to Fore.” Please join us for an opportunity to discuss the value and opportunity for women to both enjoy and leverage golf personally and professionally. Cheryl will debunk some of the myths and lead us in a valuable discussion filled with practical tips and ways to begin or continue to enjoy this lifelong sport.


PA Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane Tuesday, May 13, 2014 5:00–7:00 pm Stokesay Castle / $25

Founder & President / Vice President—Coventry Corners, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:30 am–1:30 pm NEW LOCATION! Green Valley Country Club / $20 Patricia McLaughlin founded her dream retail shop, Coventry Corners thirty years ago. Since then it has continuously grown across three locations, evolving from a country gift shop to a creative boutique “where trends meet traditions.” Patricia’s retail dream became even more of a passion when her daughter Megan approached her to join the business seven years ago. Join us to learn the keys to success for this mother daughter team working to keep one woman’s dream a family reality and way of life.

Women2Women Seafood Fest June 2014 (check our website for confirmed date) 5:30–8:00 pm Fish Pond West / $60 Join us for the 6th annual Women’s Seafood Fest at Fish Pond West as we kick off summer! Choose from succulent fresh Maine lobster or sizzling New York steak and network with other phenomenal women. Beer and soda will be provided. Bring your own wine.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane will join us for an evening to discuss the topic of women in public office. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane is a veteran prosecutor with experience that spans from the crime scene to the courtroom. As an Assistant District Attorney for Lackawanna County, she worked on cases involving child abuse, prosecuting white-collar criminals and protecting senior citizens, among other areas of the law. Recognized for her distinguished service, Attorney General Kane was selected to head up Lackawanna County’s first Insurance Fraud Task Force. In addition, she has contributed to pioneering law enforcement programs aimed at improving local communities. Prior to her role as Assistant District Attorney in Lackawanna County, Attorney General Kane worked on civil litigation cases at Post & Schell, P.C. in Philadelphia.


Women’s Expo—Spring Renewal–ATHENA Breakfast Thursday, May 22, 2014 8:00 am–4:30 pm Crowne Plaza Reading / $50 Expo — $25 ATHENA Breakfast 3rd Annual Spring Expo will start with honoring our 2014 ATHENA Award recipient After the ATHENA Award presentation, schedule your day around workshops geared to renew body, mind, and spirit. Come engage with local experts and professionals in the areas of health & wellness, finance, and general life balance. Stay for a fabulous lunch and motivating keynote speaker. You will not want to miss this day filled with great topics, speakers and connections. Take time for you—to renew, relax and re-engage! Register for any of these events at www.berkswomen2women.com or call 610.376.6766.

berkswomen2women.com 15


TRAILBLAZERS Remembering two woman who paved the way for children, woman, & our community Dawn Maurer Derr, Writer


e all have been privileged to know at least one female in our lifetime that projects a bigger-than-life persona. A woman who, perhaps unbeknown to herself, is admired for the way she breaks down barriers and leads by example. SHE speaks out, challenges opinion, institutes needed change. SHE does not allow herself to be defined by others. SHE seemingly never tires. Rarely cracks. SHE exhibits grace, but she is unstoppable. SHE is a master juggler, co-mingling work and family with apparent ease. Kind-hearted yet firm. Generous, but certainly not a pushover. Powerful but not ego-driven. SHE may defy adequate description, but in one word she is a trailblazer.

Berks County has been blessed to produce many such women; unfortunate to have lost two since the inception of this magazine 12 months ago. The business community continues to feel the impact of the deaths of The Honorable Elizabeth Ehrlich and Mary Ann Chelius Smith. 16 Women2Women Spring 2014


In this issue, W2W pays tribute to their many accomplishments and celebrates the influence they have had on so many fellow females. The Honorable Judge Betty, as referred to by colleagues, died in January at age 83. She was the first woman in Berks County elected to the Berks County Court of Common Pleas, and once elected Judge was the first Administrative Judge on the newly established Family Court Division of the Berks County Court. She was nominated to be the first female member of the Endlich Law Club, a private club of 50 Berks lawyers. Mary Ann passed away last July at age 79. She was the first woman elected president of the Reading School Board and the first woman to receive the Eugene Shirk Community Builder Award, which was created in memory of the former Mayor to celebrate individuals who demonstrated Shirk’s spirit and qualities of civility, humor, honor, leadership and commitment to the well-being of others and involvement in our community. Most people remember Mary Ann as the marketing and public relations guru for Boscov’s Department Stores, and eventually one of only two women who held the vice president title of the infamous retail chain. But what these two women will forever be remembered for are not their ‘firsts’ but more importantly for paving a healthy path for children and women, and for making our community a better place to live. “They were professional stars and trailblazers, making their marks and being the “first woman” to do just about everything locally,” said Julia Klein, Chairwoman and CEO of C.H. Briggs Co. “Mary Ann was always full of ideas and projects – she was an unstoppable force in everything she did. Betty was a brilliant judge, filled with intellectual curiosity and an unshakable sense of justice. Both were (very!) tough-minded, insistent upon making their voices heard and their efforts really matter, and lots and lots of fun to be around.” Attorneys who presided before her in family and juvenile court considered Judge Ehrlich compassionate but a stickler to those who tried to weasel out of paying child support. She was instrumental in developing an adoption program for Berks County Children and Youth Services. “It was a joy to be in her courtroom on the days she was dealing with child support enforcement,” said Susan Denaro, shareholder of the Wyomissing law firm of Rabenold Koestel Goodman and Denaro. “Often the defendants would appear before her in handcuffs, having been brought in on an arrest warrant for non-support. She was so sharp she knew who was trying to con her and she was never shy about facing off with them. On one particularly busy day, she busted a guy who lied about not being able to speak English, had the bailiff pull up the pants of a young delinquent who had his trousers hanging so far down most of his rear end and underwear

was showing, and challenged a guy about how he could afford brand new Michael Jordan sneakers and a cell phone while his kids were going without support. The courtroom was always silent when she was on a tear and often the defendants somehow came up with money to get released from custody despite their protests that they had none.”

In awe of Judge Betty and Mary Ann’s accomplishments (and knowing full well they were no more immune to challenges than the rest of us) this author sought to reveal what propelled them to the spotlight; what set them apart as leaders? What follows are traits and observations derived from conversations and writings from people who knew these woman well: • A vision and the will to carry it out. • No time for drama. Stick to business. • Communicates effectively. • Able to see the big picture. • Keeps others accountable. • Solid in conviction and principle. • Did not get held down by the opinions or opposition of others. • Did what they could at the moment and moved on until another moment for opportunity to change came. • Did not let the fear of failure stop them from proceeding. • Sense of humor.

Both Women Sought To Educate & Advocate. Judge Ehrlich served on the board of directors of The Reading Hospital and Medical Center, The Highlands at Wyomissing, The Children’s Home of Reading, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Berks County, United Way of Berks County, and the Berks County Intermediate Unit, to mention a few. She received the Colby Townsend Memorial Prize for legal research while a student at Yale Law School…and was one of four females in a graduating class of 200. She also served on the Ethics Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of Trial Judges, as a lecturer for the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Association meetContinued on page 18

berkswomen2women.com 17

Women2Know ing, and was co-founder of the Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program of Berks County. Mary Ann played a profound role in the creation of Reading Area Community College despite having never attended college as a young adult. She served on boards of United Way of Berks County, Foundation for Reading Area Community College, Our City Reading, Berks Community Television, Berks County Workforce Investment Board, Community General Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, Berks County Community Foundation, and the Foundation for the Reading Public Museum. “Mary Ann drafted me to serve on the Scholarship Committee with her,” recalled Denaro. “That committee was responsible to read the voluminous applications submitted to the Berks County Community Foundation for the many scholarship funds it oversees. Mary Ann was delighted in the process and would talk about how important education was in helping kids get a good start in life. In many ways, I think it was a natural extension of her work to help with the creation of RACC.” Paula Flippin, a lifelong friend of Mary Ann, said: “She raised lots of money for lots of causes but her love was always Reading Area Community College. I know, she knew, had there been a RACC when she graduated from Reading High, she would have had a college degree.”

Both Brought Compassion, Directness & Sensibility To Their Roles Judge Ehrlich often took a neophyte attorney aside and mentored them as they juggled workload with family roles. Mary Ann was known to cut to the chase and get right to the heart of the matter. “There were many women and children who benefitted from Judge Betty’s dogged determination to enforce child support obligations,” said Denaro.

WE_QtrPage_FINAL_W2W_Layout 1 2/19/14 7:56 AM Page 1

• Sweets and specialty foods • Pet supplies & treats •

It’s A Gift! is stocked with high-quality items perfect for special occasions or a bit of self-indulgence. Many of our items are unique, one of a kind and artisan made. We have an incredible selection of infant, children’s, women’s and home decor items. Thanks to the efforts of more than 60 dedicated volunteers, our nonprofit shop has been able to contribute the proceeds from our sales to local charities—many of which benefit women and children. A gift from the Woman’s Exchange is definitely a gift that gives twice!

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Christening gowns • Toys • Baby & toddler clothing •

Jewelry • Home décor • Wedding gifts •

Hostess gifts • Pottery • Pillows • Glassware 18 Women2Women Spring 2014

“She always supported other women in the practice of law, a rarity in today’s world. The number of female attorneys at her funeral spoke volumes about the impact she has had on us.” Mary Ann’s daughter, Tina Segner, noted: “My mom pushed to start Reading Area Community College even after receiving a lot of negative feedback. Her thirst for knowledge was what drove her to persevere regardless of the obstacles.”

Both Believed in Mentoring “They both made a special effort to mentor and bring others along; they specialized in encouragement,” Klein said. Mary Ann was the recipient of several awards including the Honorary Doctor of Public Service Degree from RACC, The Foundation for RACC’s Celebration of Education Gala Honoree, the Alvernia Senior College St. Clare Award, the Eugene Shirk Community Butler Award, the Girl Scouts “Woman of Distinction” Award, the ATHENA Award and the YWCA’s Trendsetter Award. Judge Ehrlich received the Girl Scouts Take the Lead Award, the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations President’s Award, the Berks County Commission for Women honoree, the YWCA Trendsetter Award and the Beacon Award by the Berks Women’s Network. “Mary Ann served as a mentor to many and when you asked her for advice, that is what you got…the straight talk,” said Flippin, who knew Mary Ann in the day when she was a radio personality at WRAW and a cooking show host for WHUM-TV. “I considered her a true friend and you do not have many of those in today’s active lifestyle.”



Visit Our New Location

Both were human 103 Lancaster Reading They grieved, carpooled, andAve., shared stories about the chal-

lenges of work, family, and everyday life just like the rest of the female population. Said Tina: “At her Celebration of Life we brought together all the elements of ‘Mary Ann’…her insatiable thirst for books and her love of gardens…and we celebrated with the people she loved at a place she fought hard to create (RACC), and it was catered by pitelli, Rob Camner Ow the place she spent her entire career (Boscov’s). She used to say she was a compulsive reader, whether it be mysteries, novels, cookbooks, non-fiction;Transport ifDuet she didn’t have a book started she would read labels Chair/ on cereal boxes and soup cans.” Rollator Lift L Sleep Apnea “At her funeral, all of Judge Betty’s Chairs kids talked about how she could C Products not cook,” Denaro mused. “She was known for burning spaghetti. She used to say that she was doing them all a favor because unlike most kids who leave home for college only to be homesick for mom’s cooking, hers would not.” Added Peggy Mast Ziegler, who worked with Mary Ann at Boscov’s many years ago: “I hope (nowIN that she is with my mom) ANY ITEM THE STORE Not Covered By Insurance. Expires 10/31/11 she is telling her the story of when the gorilla gotSupport loose in the hotel Stockingss at a Boscov’s store opening. That was a good one.” “Mary Ann and Betty built their lives here and were devoted to their husbands, Bill Smith and Leon Ehrlich, true partners each,” 103 won Lancaster Ave.,award Readingpossible, • 610-929-2004 said Klein. “They every but for both leaders Across from Queen City Diner • Parking in Front of Store • Fax 610-939-8338 • www.inhomeoxygen.net omeo gen ne their children and grandchildren were the lights of their lives. They embodied the integration of family, success, and comFREE DELIVERY • 24 HOUR SERVICEprofessional • WE BILL INSURANCES munity impact, and both left behind a wide circle of friends who miss them deeply.”

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What Does It Mean To Be In the Family of God? “Our community lost two leading lights in Betty and Mary Ann,” Identity is defined in both as nearly 2000 years Christians have heeded Christ’s expressed Klein, “and I am profoundly grateful for counting GRAN It is a moment According to the command to his disciples. special friends. This is one of therelationship. great things about Berks County D OPENING! where the —friendships across generations and in Oxford overlapping circles of life.” baptized is freed from sin, reborn as a child of God New Dictionary, the “When she (Mary Ann) received the ATHENA Award and in that water symbolically buried with Christ definition of a mother is, some “a years ago, the theme of her speech was that women are diamonds,” so that they may rise up with him as a new creation, woman in relation to her child” while a husband is, “a recalled Denaro. “She explained that we start out as a piece of coal married man considered in relation to his wife.” If the and under the applied pressure of all we handle in life we turn into as members of his body. It is here that the baptized Trinity is the starting point ofwomen Christianity thisfrom reality exquisite diamonds. She encouraged to not run that Christian finds identity in relationship. This is a pressure but to very embrace it to reach our full potential. That’s probably relationship with all the Baptized, the “one” family of becomes profound, especially for the Baptized. If why we she were was one of the most sparklingly beautiful women I have Estate & up Rental Clean-Up God because• Pack/Unpack we are first• drawn into the very life to ask, who is God the Father? The response been blessed to call a friend. And, I believe the same to be true for • Attics/Garage Cleaningthe & Fall Put-Away that is shared between• Spring the Father, Son and the necessitates identification in relationship, he is the Judge Betty; she was a gem, as well.”

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one who has a child, Jesus, who reveals the Father to humanity. From them processes the Advocate, the holy Spirit to remain with God’s family to teach and guide, and because of the relationship to the Father and Son, the Spirit can be identified. Continued on page 20 In Matthew 28:19 we read, “ Go, therefore,and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.” For

holy Spirit. • House & Pet Sitting • Repairs/Assembly • Garage & Moving • Sewing Repairs & Projects Father Eugene Ritz is the Sales Assistant Pastor of Saint • Errands • Sorting • Shopping Etc. ordained Catharine of Siena Parish in Reading. He•was to the Priesthood in 2009 after studies at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia. Originally from Greater Hazleton, he holds degrees in Philosophy and Systematic Need Help? Just Call Kim! Theology. 610.779.2979


berkswomen2women.com 19 One : 25

Women2Know What follows are recounts from women who knew Judge Elizabeth Ehrlich and Mary Ann Chelius Smith more intimately than the rest of us. Their remembrances allow a personal glimpse of moments in their careers that made a difference in all of our lives.


The first time I heard of Elizabeth Ehrlich was in 1983 when I saw an Ehrlich for Judge bumper sticker on (Janet) Orwigs’ car. I was in my first year of college and remember being excited there was a woman running for judge. I had no idea back then that she would be the first judge before whom I would make my first solo appearance in court. I will never forget the kindness she showed me that day nor all the days since. I will also never forget standing outside the poll at the Wyomissing Library when I was running for Borough Council and saw Betty coming up the sidewalk to vote. She was in treatment for cancer and was so frail. What blew me away was when she told me that she specifically came to vote for me and brought her pencil to do a write in since I was on the “other” side of her ballot. It is hard to express the gratitude and fondness I have for her. She used to tell the story about how there were no ladies rest rooms in the Yale Law School building when she was a student there. By the time I attended law school in the 1980’s law schools were 45% women, thanks to women like her who blazed the trail for us. I have always marveled at her courage in taking on the male-dominated field of law. Susan Denaro, Esquire Wyomissing Law Firm of Rabenold Koestel Goodman & Denaro

W She was such an amazing role model for me, especially when I first started practicing law and was trying to start a family. I remember going to a meeting at the Berks County Bar Association, which was held for “Women in Law“ (or something like that), and she was one of the speakers there. I had recently had a child and was trying to juggle my career and family, so her words of guidance on that issue were greatly needed and appreciated! She made me realize I could do it…She probably never even realized how she inspired me that day. She will be missed! Mary Zervanos Dialectos, Esquire Zervanos Law Offices

W My dear friend Betty…we have been going to the Symphony together for about 3 years and I will find those concerts a constant reminder of the friend I lost. I know she knew everyone in the lobby—it took us 10 minutes after we came through the doors to get to our seats and the same amount of time to get out when it was over. When I decided to run for office I contacted her to ask what I needed to do to campaign. She sat down with me and gave me advice on groups to visit and gifts to give for Bingo prizes. One night we were talking about her family when the kids were little. She said she and Leon had taken the 3 sons and her daughter Nancy on a camping trip across the United States. One night she ate something that made her deathly sick. There was no way she could cook or wash sheets, etc. and had to press Leon into service. He took 11-year-old Nancy to a Laundromat and didn’t have a clue how

20 Women2Women Spring 2014

to do wash. Betty said he never did any laundry before or after that. When she was diagnosed with cancer and needed 6 weeks of daily trips to Philadelphia a group of her women friends (as well as family) took care of driving her back and forth. I think had that been me I would have felt very sorry for myself. She took the positive spin on it and told me how great it was to be “taxied” by her friends and how much she got to know them on a personal level by chatting as they drove back and forth. When she first got out of law school she was really blazing the way for women lawyers. She finished at the top of her class but as she applied to different firms there was never an opening. Finally one partner asked her if she knew how to type and she said yes. How demoralizing it must have been when she was offered the job of secretary. PS­—she took that job to get into a law firm. “We’ve come a long way baby.” Sandy Graffius Berks County Controller Owner, Graffius Burial Vaults

W From a professional standpoint, Betty was one of those wonderful role models that balanced her powerful position with an outward presence of humility, intelligence and grace. Although I doubt a deadbeat dad standing before her bench would use the same adjectives to describe the encounter once she was through with him! Neglectful moms fared no better. As a friend, Betty was supportive and above all, loyal. She did more listening than talking usually. Her devotion to her best friend, her husband Leon was also an inspiration, as Betty became his primary caregiver in his final years. We had dinner out regularly. She was usually the last to arrive and the last one to finish eating her meal. Funny, no one ever complained about that; we just enjoyed her company. Ellen T. Horan CEO/Pres., Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce

In Memory Of Elizabeth Ehrlich The female lawyers of Rabenold Koestel Goodman & Denaro, P.C. express their deep gratitude to the Honorable Elizabeth Ehrlich for paving the way for us and women in our profession everywhere. She will be greatly missed. Jill Gehman Koestel • Susan N. Denaro Jaime L. Wertz • Christen L. Kochel 501 Park Road North, Wyomissing, PA 19610 610.374.2103



I was fortunate to be in a very small, tight-knit circle of friends with Mary Ann. I say friends but we were really more of a support group at times as we were all helping each other cope with some difficult challenges life had thrown at us. In her case, it was the insurmountable loss of her beloved husband Bill. Through our time together, I got to learn all about Mary Ann’s impressive work with Boscov’s and her early work in local TV where she had her own cooking show. She didn’t know the first thing about cooking when she got the show but she learned as she went by borrowing cookbooks from the library. That was Mary Ann—there was not a professional challenge she was afraid to tackle and there was nothing she could not master. Despite all that she did in her work life, she took the most pride in her family. She never lost sight of the fact that family and friends are the most important part of life. Not only did she master the art of cooking, she also made the best lemon squares I have ever had.

Her memory was impeccable and not to be challenged. She prepared the critique for the opening of the first Boscov store in the early 1960’s and continued opening stores throughout the mid-Atlantic until she retired. I was with her at her home in Flying Hills where she was struggling physically but handling it with true dignity. I told her I valued her friendship and considered her a true friend. She paused and contemplated a bit and answered, “It takes one to know one!” That will remain my very special memory of her. Paula Flippin Journalist, Event Planner & Partner in Uniquely 4 U

Continued on page 22

Get back in control! se pand • Ex arehou W nt ase rch quipme u P • E ory New vent n I y • Bu Banker ll • Ca

Susan N. Denaro, Esquire Wyomissing Law Firm of Rabenold Koestel Goodman & Denaro

W On July 16th, 24 years ago, Mary Ann interviewed me for a PR position at Boscov’s. Needless to say, that day changed my life. I worked for her until she retired, but more than that she was family and like another mother to me…and just about everyone else she knew. Mary Ann was incredibly talented, funny, creative, caring and generous. Peggy Mast Ziegler former Boscov employee



W I first met Mary Ann when I was 16 and a model for a fundraising fashion show for St. Margaret ’s Church’s woman’s club. In those days, Mary Ann lived with her grandmother on Hollenbach Street in northwest Reading. My mother and her cousin, Marguerite Arthur, were the owners of the E and M Dress Shop at the corner of Schuylkill Avenue and Hollenbach. They recognized the magnificent speaking voice of Mary Ann and I think hired her as the fashion show commentator. That began a lifelong friendship both personally and professionally. Mary Ann broke the glass ceiling for many women of Reading and Berks County. She was a one-of-a-kind creative writer and storyteller. She always found time to help when asked to help, as well as the time to be there for her two grandsons. She was often heading off to volleyball games.

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Women2Know My friend Mary Ann and I used to do a joint “horse and pony show” for the RACC sponsored program JUST FOR YOU. This was a daylong seminar for folks retraining to start a new career. She and I did a presentation on Coming Back from Adversity. Her half dealt with ‘Life After Divorce’ when she went to work for Al Boscov. Mine was ‘Taking Over our Family Business’ after my husband died. She was such a pleasure as a partner. She told me at one time after she was retired from Boscov’s that Al called her and told her she had to come back to work. She said “I’m retired.“ “Too bad,“ he said, “I need someone to run the Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market.“ She took over the job and wrote the weekly ads and managed the vendors. She was driving by a new shop on Lancaster Avenue featuring homemade polish food. “Stop,” she ordered her daughter. Mary Ann got out, ran across the street, and went in to ask the woman behind the counter if she wanted to run a stand at the Farmer’s Market. It turned out this woman and her husband had been funded by their family to come to America and start a business. They gave up their location on Lancaster Avenue and became part of the Fairgrounds Family. That’s how she did things.

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Mary Ann Chelius Smith was one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. She was responsible for a large part of Boscov’s success through the years. She was the first one Albert called if he had an idea for a promotion and she was involved in setting up many different promotions from the Cooking Schools and fashion shows back in the 60’s right up to almost the day she left us taking care and running the Fairground Farmer’s Market. There was no one who was more community minded; she was always ready to help anyone with advice and there was not a subject that she was not knowledgeable about. I always admired her intellect and her ability to balance her family, home, community work and her job, and maintain her friendly personality. Vivian Stephenson Executive Secretary, Boscov’s Department Stores


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Mary Ann was a friend of our family’s for over 40 years. My mother always said, “There’s no one like Mary Ann!” She said that not so much because Mary Ann raised a family while working full time, sat on a school board and participated in many community activities, which a lot of women didn’t do at that time. She said it was because the real essence of Mary Ann was how incredibly capable she was at even the subtlest of things. Sure, she was incredibly good to her friends, threw great parties, wrote beautifully, spoke gracefully from the heart, and had a great sense of humor. But what was most amazing about her was the way she jumped in to help in the exact way someone needed help without that person even knowing what they needed! Mary Ann was a very special person and friend…remarkable in so many ways.

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22 Women2Women Spring 2014

Robin Costenbader-Jacobson, CLC 610.207.9938 rcjconsulting.net

Growth2Go /

Finance, Mentoring & Education

IS YOUR JOB LARGE ENOUGH for Your Spirit? Robert Wummer & Doreen Mosher, Career Transition Specialists with Innovational Services


tuds Terkel in his book “Working” stated, “Work is a search, sometimes successful, sometimes not, for daily meaning as well as daily bread…Productivity has soared, but job satisfaction has plummeted.” He goes further to state, “Jobs are not big enough for people…or for the extraordinary dreams of ordinary people.” In support of Terkel, current research claims 70% of the US workforce is unengaged and not reaching their full potential in their career. Each month we speak with dozens of people; many admit they are stuck,

24 Women2Women Spring 2014

bored and frustrated. The fascinating thing is very few do anything to change their situation. Our team at Innovational Services has discovered three areas that keep individuals settling for less than a vibrant career: 1. Not knowing what career paths to explore. 2. Not knowing one’s worth and value in the marketplace. 3. Not knowing how to convey one’s value in an interview.

Care Reform offers an opportunity for “Health employers to rethink how health care benefits should be designed and delivered. ” – Mark Kunkle

We’re experts at benefits consulting. We’ll perform a Health Care Reform Readiness Analysis for your organization. • We’ll review your existing benefit programs and determine which will be affected by the health care reform provisions now and in the future. • We’ll determine the financial impact of healthcare reform to your organization. We’ll steer you in the right direction and help you implement your company’s health care reform strategy.

There will be dramatic changes in the future of the employee benefits landscape. Is your company prepared and complying with new regulations? What do you need to know? What plan do you have in place? Are you heading in the right direction? Contact us today. We’ve gained the confidence of over 450 local employers.

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In today’s age many will find that the to seeking the next powerful step in a career industry they have been part of for so long progression. What would be possible if we is contracting and in some cases evaporating. got in touch with our true sense of purpose Yet most have a natural tendency to attempt and followed our heart as well as our head? to go right back to where they have been or This is a very scary and anxiety provoking to what it is that they have known because thought; it takes a great deal of courage to be it is comfortable and the path of least open to seeing ourselves differently in order resistance. What if there is simply nothing to break through those self-imposed barriers. there? What if your true fulfillment lies outside of what you’ve known? What’s Jobs are not big enough for people your plan? It may be time for reinven…or for the extraordinary dreams tion and for transferring your skill set of ordinary people. to emerging industries and companies. The question is, what value can I bring What is it about you and your experience to these industries and companies espethat brings the most value to an organizacially since I do not have any experience? tion? Simply because you were paid what The answer lies in stepping outside of what you were paid may not necessarily mean that we do and into who we are, especially as it it is your worth and value in the marketplace. relates to our giftedness. How helpful would it be if you knew your We are limited by traditional truths in job worth and value prior to starting the job search that in turn limit our possibilities. Many do not know how to uncover what’s search process? We find that many job seekpossible and therefore lack a clear plan to ers do not truly understand the value they career expression and fulfillment. In addi- bring and therefore struggle to convey it in tion, the motivation in the job search process interview scenarios. Whether you are lookis typically based on survival. Many simply ing to transition or take on a larger challenge take something “just because” as opposed in your current organization you must have

the ability to express your worth and value in an interview or evaluation. The question to ask is: Are you running from or running to? Those running from are at risk to end up in a similar situation. Those running to, but not sure where they’re running to, are also at risk of falling into a similar pattern. Changing careers is not a matter to be taken lightly given how much time we spend in our work. It is critical to understand and be able to convey where you are headed, the role that will thrill you, the culture that will allow you to thrive, and your value and its corresponding compensation package. In order to cause a truly successful career transition one must have a desire to move beyond what was and create what could be.

berkswomen2women.com 25

Growth 2Go

New Latina Initiative: De Mujer A Mujer — estableciendo conexiones Karen Marsdale Senior VP, Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry

De Mujer A Mujer Will meet every Fourth Tuesday 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm MAY 27 Location: Viva Good Life, Wyomissing Speaker: Varsovia Fernandez, President & CEO Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce JUNE 24 Location: Viva Good Life, Wyomissing Speaker: Not Yet Confirmed


rom its inception, the Women2Women Advisory Council has made it a priority to have the organization “inclusive” to all women in Greater Reading. One of the outcomes has been to engage our Latina community, inviting them to be part of the positive momentum growing around W2W. We invited a group of Latina women to help establish the first Latina Women’s Round Table in 2012. We collaborated with the Latino Business Resource Center, The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs and the Latino Chamber to create additional events in the community for Latinas. It is now time to build on this work by offering a program that the newly established Committee for Latina Initiatives believes will fill a void within this growing demographic. According to these women, there is no other women’s group in their community providing an opportunity for Latina women to network, be mentored by accomplished women and be empowered to grow professionally and personally. Women2Women is taking a step to change this by creating “De Mujer A Mujer—estableciendo conexiones.” (Translation: Woman2Woman—Building Connections). These monthly meetings will consist of networking opportunities and speakers addressing topics relevant to both personal and professional development. The goal for these gatherings is “networking with a purpose” and will include speakers of interest to the group presenting in Spanish. We want to provide Latina women with a comfortable and supportive environment in which to build relationships with other successful Latina women. We will launch this new initiative on Tuesday, April 22 at Viva Good Life in Wyomissing and our guest will be Norma Tamayo, teacher of the Health Medical Professions program and Reading Muhlenberg CTC and author of A Girl Named Nina, an inspirational book for young adults based on her childhood experiences. Norma has an amazing story of determination and perseverance and she will share it with us. You will be inspired! Thank you to our committee of professionals who have been instrumental in getting this initiative off the ground: Marilu Rodriguez-Bauer, Margarita Caicedo, Raquel Lopez, Yvonne Fonte, Julia Kropf, Carolina Martinez and Rosa Julia Rodriguez. We also wish to thank EnerSys for underwriting this initiative. OUR OTHER SPONSORS ARE: Giant Food Stores, HGSK Law Office and Sun Rich Fresh Foods

26 Women2Women Spring 2014

Golf Clinic Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Manor Golf Club Are Teaming Up to Teach Women The Great Game of Golf!

Tuesdays, June 3,10,17 & 24 • 6–7:20 pm $99 per golfer

Sign up online at themanorgolfclub.com or call Cheryl Heckman at 610.334.8690 153 Bran Rd, Sinking Spring • 610.678.9597

Growth 2Go

I Graduated! NOW WHAT? Tips on How to Enter the Workforce After College Graduation Shannon Magee, Freelance Writer

Q: Where Do I Look For Jobs? A: Newspapers may be on their way out, but while they are still here, use them to your benefit. They’re not a bad place to start looking. Also, odds are, you know how to use the internet. Try Monster.com, see where your LinkedIn connections are getting jobs, or even check out Craigslist (yes they have real job openings on there). But your most important tool…NETWORKING! College professors are a great way to start making connections. Another great tool may lie at school. I’m not talking about grad school; I’m talking about career centers. Most colleges have a career center to use while at school and as an alumnus to help prepare you, and help you find jobs.

Q: What If I Found My Dream Job and They’re Not Hiring? A: Apply anyway! It couldn’t hurt. And when they eventually are  hiring and you apply again, your name is already familiar to them.

Q: What If They Require Experience That I Don’t Have? A: Again, apply anyway. They may take you, they may not.  If experi ence is a requirement (which it is with a lot of jobs these days) don’t be afraid to take a job as an intern. Paid or not, it will help you gain experience, and in the long run is probably your best option.

Q: What Kind Of Questions Should I Ask During An Interview? A: Naturally, you’ll have some questions come to mind during the interview process, and don’t be afraid to ask them, no matter how trivial they seem to you. One question that should always be asked is, “What is a typical day for someone in this position?” You may find out it wasn’t at all what you’d thought it would be. Or, their answer may end up presenting more questions.

berkswomen2women.com 27

Growth 2Go

Ready. Set. READ! Christine Spanier Director, Marketing/Communications United Way of Berks County


ake a guess: What is one of the most significant stages of a child’s academic experience? You may be surprised to learn the answer is third grade. Why is third grade so significant? It’s the year students move from learning to read to reading to learn. Because education and early grade reading are critical issues for Berks County, Ready. Set. READ!—a community initiative managed by United Way—was launched. We know early grade reading proficiency is an important indicator of academic and future success, yet last year, 27 percent of Berks County third-graders were reading below grade level. Research indicates children not reading proficiently at this time are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Ready. Set. READ! brings together schools, businesses, organizations and individuals to help tackle the issue. The collaborative is working towards the goal of 90 percent of third-graders in Berks County reading on grade level by 2023, as measured

28 Women2Women Spring 2014

by the third grade PSSA exam. “The critical ingredient for the initiative is collaboration and community action…all of us working together to support strategies that improve reading proficiency. When you improve education, you improve the community, and vice versa,” explains Tammy White, president of United Way of Berks County. A volunteer tutoring program is a primary component of the initiative. Ready. Set. READ! has trained over 220 volunteers, including corporate employees, college students, retired educators and community members, who volunteer at 22 elementary schools within eight school districts: Antietam, Daniel Boone, Exeter, Governor Mifflin, Hamburg, Muhlenberg, Reading and Schuylkill Valley. The tutors work with over 400 second graders needing assistance to become proficient readers.

Growth 2Go




a rewarding learning experience—for Connect been both of us,” says Lott. ALLISON As part of the EnerSys your products BA VER volunteer employee team, Lisa Greenly shares how much she and services values the experience. “The children are so directly to eager to learn. She doesn’t realize that she teaching me so much more in return.” your targetis Volunteers are rewarded with making a difaudience. ference. “I feel lucky to have become a part of EXCLUSIVE!

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the Ready. Set. READ! program because I am eager to share my love of reading. Six months Hoffmann Publishing Group is the regional leader in into the program 2 and I feel blessed to learn Happy Hour Silent Auction print andinitiative digital niche that my student is enriching my life as much Women have rallied around the publications Runway Show Boutique and serve in key positionspublishing. as part Our of the if not more than I am enriching his,” shares deliver targeted marketing Ready. Set. READ! board of directors and Carol Bender, a community volunteer. opportunities directly to the in other roles. Currently, women represent This work also reminds us to encourage key decision makers of Thursday, April 18 83% of all tutors. reading with children inGide our lives. Ready. Set. Berks County’s professional, on turns 50 Several area businesses business support and their communityREAD! offers each of us an opportunity to 5th Floor Red Building, VF Outlet employees volunteering asorganizations. tutors. Lacey help kids become better readers, and ultiDoors open at 4:30pm / Show at 6:30pm Lott from UGI Energy Services tutors a mately help build a better future. All for just $40 Muhlenberg Elementary School student. To learn more, visit “Every week is a new adventure; either we’re Get your tickets at yourgoodwill.org ReadySetReadBERKS.org debating the best cartoons on TV, taking and its Facebook page. turns reading aloud, or competing in a heatPublishing Group This fundraiser is brought to you by: All proceeds benefit: Photo’s courtesy of United Way ed word game. Tutoring a second grader has HoffmannPublishing.com & Bolts of Running a Business

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High Quality Early Education is the Key to a Strong Workforce Paula Barron, Senior Vice President, Marketing—Tompkins VIST Bank


t takes a village to raise a child. I can honestly say I don’t know where that phrase originated from but I along with many others couldn’t agree more. Parents are the first role models for their children, but there are so many others that influence a young person’s life. All you have to do is look around our community and also read some of the other articles in this magazine issue, to see how many formal and informal groups and organizations are passionate and engaged in helping children become successful adults. I applaud every individual and organization, formal or informal, who invests in our future by mentoring and nurturing our youth. In the course of our lifetime, it is the most important legacy we can leave. I had the pleasure of meeting with Julia Klein, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer at CH Briggs, about an organization she is engaged with that has a long-term view on making children successful. The PA Early Learning Investment Commission was created in September 2008, under the gov-

30 Women2Women Spring 2014

ernorship of Edward Rendell. The mission of this organization is to education programs help our youngest learners prepare them to be “make the success of every child one of Pennsylvania’s top economic successful in school and in life. priorities.” Through the help of business champions throughout When speaking with Julia, I learned she is a mother in addition to Pennsylvania, like Julia Klein here in Berks County, they have found being a highly successful business woman. She is passionate about through scientifically sound research that there is a strong connec- early childhood education because she sees the results not just in her tion between quality early childhood and a productive workforce own family, but in the lives of the people that work at CH Briggs. 15 to 20 years later. “We need to build a foundation at three and “When my staff is at work, they are most productive if they are not four years of age to ensure that our future workforce will have the concerned about their young children and feel comfortable that skills businesses need for economic growth,” according to Julia Klein. their children are in reliable early care and learning skills that will How can early learning help to build a foundation for a skilled work- help their children become successful many years later,” stated Julia. force? It all begins with the study “Early childhood education nurtures intellectual skills along of the brain. By age five, 90% of with motivation, attentiveness, self-control and sociability— a child’s brain is developed. Skills the character skills that turn knowledge into know-how and such as language, math, logic, relapeople into productive citizens. The type of citizens that we tionship-building, self-esteem, all all want working for our companies,” she added. begin at birth. Research also tells us when a child is denied quality To learn more about how you can get involved with the PA Early Learning Investment Commission early learning opportunities, or is visit their web site at www. Pa-elic.org. the victim of abuse or neglect, the brain suffers permanent damage. “Every child needs effective early childhood support—and at-risk children from disadvantaged environments are least likely to get them—yet often need them the most,” says Julia. We all know times have changed; many parents can no longer stay home with their young children. Now over 60% of Pennsylvania’s young children are in child care as their parents work, and nearly 10% of Pennsylvania’s school-age children participate in afterschool programs. Quality pre-school care is imperative. Based on Dr. James Heckman, Nobel Prize Laureate from the University of Chicago, we can expect a seven percent to 10 percent per year return on investment in quality early learning programs based on increased school and career achievement as well as reduced costs in remedial education, health and criminal justice system expenditures. As a banker I can tell you that is a good return on investment! How does the PA Early Learning Investment Commission foster early childhood development? According to Julia, members of the commission, across the state, lend their voice and share information about the importance of investing in early learning by speaking to various business and economic groups. In addition, they hold an annual economic summit on early childhood investment in Harrisburg. Each of the members also visit high quality early learning centers in their area to see firsthand how the early care and

“We need to build a foundation at three and four years of age to ensure that our future workforce will have the skills businesses need for economic growth.”

berkswomen2women.com 31

Health2 Wellness

Mental, Spiritual, Physical Health & Wellness


ORGANIZED With Sabrina Fernandez, Owner of Eco-Friendly Cleaning by Sabrina, LLC

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on’t we all dream of creating purpose out of our piles or make them disappear? Maybe you want to create an eco-friendly home but aren’t sure where to start. For a busy career women, wife and mother who wanted to put her skills to use, her business began with the answer to a simple question, “What does every household need? A clean and organized home.” Organizing, cleaning and simplifying spaces is what Sabrina Fernandez, owner of Eco-Friendly Cleaning by Sabrina, LLC, loves to do.

32 Women2Women Spring 2014

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DIY RECIPES With a service focused on sustainability, earth friendly cleaning and home organization Sabrina has a unique perspective on effectively managing a household. Asking for help with organizing, from a friend or professional, can get the ball rolling because we often can’t see what isn’t working for us. “The biggest challenge I help people with is making their spaces work for them, instead of against them.” Sabrina has sage advice on reducing stress and clutter by creating spaces that work for us.

Define The Use Of Your Space.

Many people have a catch-all room or area. Taking a space with no real purpose and giving it one will change your routine. Sabrina says, “Eliminating clutter is the first step to being able to reclaim a space. Use three bins to sort: recycling, donations, and storage. Next, think about where you want each activity to take place: watching TV, gaming, play area, relaxing, bill paying, school work, etc. Then arrange furniture in a way that makes the most sense and allows for movement from room to room. Furniture with built in storage is preferable, i.e. table with drawers, ottoman doubles as storage. Only keep items in the room where they get used most often.”

Brighten & Whiten Your Teeth

Sprinkle some baking soda on your regular toothpaste and brusha brusha brusha

Facial Scrub

Mix together ½ cup cooked oatmeal 1 whole egg Spread it on your face and leave for 15 minutes

Body Scrub

2 cups of brown sugar 1 cup of granulated sugar 1 cup of sunflower oil 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract 2 c. sea salt—Baleine is a good choice 1 c. oil­(sweet almond, grapeseed or another light-textured massage oil)

Make Inexpensive Room Modifications

For efficient use of space, Sabrina suggests, “Simple adjustments to the room layout, like furniture placement and adding storage areas, can make a world of difference. Finding a place for each item is intentional and as a sorting process will help you eliminate unnecessary items. When it comes to organizing, a lot of times the storage solutions can be found in your own house. Use a long sturdy basket placed conveniently by the front door for shoes or on the bottom shelf of a bookcase under a bench, for recycling newspapers and magazines.” Continued on page 34

5–15 drops high quality essential oils

Peppermint Foot Scrub

1 c. Epsom salt 1 c. Sea salt 1 c. Baking Soda 15–20 drops Peppermint oil 1 tsp. Tea tree oil (optional for antibacterial purposes)

berkswomen2women.com 33

Health 2Wellness The Life Cycle of Your Stuff Rachel Gambone Owner, Reorganize with Rachel, LLC

Rachel asks clients to “think of their stuff as having a life cycle.” She points out our treasures, “at first are highly useful, beautiful or meaningful but over time becomes less so. Sheila McCurdy, in her book The Floor is Not an Option, invites us to look at our household papers in terms of their life cycles, discarding papers when they are out of date and no longer needed.” To overcome clutter, after fashion and technology fade, look at your stuff in terms of where it is in its life cycle and let go.

Make A Simple Plan

Becoming overwhelmed with everyone else’s needs and schedules can be dizzying. Paying bills on time, making date night happen, finding time with friends or preparing a wholesome meal while still finding our own quiet time doesn’t need to be impossible. Once there’s a system in place, everyone breathes a little easier. Setting up automatic bill payments to reduce waste, save time and eliminate stress is just one simple tip Sabrina shared. “One simple thing I always tell people is—give everything a home,” comments Sabrina. “The idea is to be able to find things easily. By storing things in the most logical spot they are quickly accessible, and they don’t get lost, because when they’re done being used—they go back to their home. This has been a life saver for people!”

Fun Family Napkin Project Heather Conlon-Keller

Heather uses cloth napkins, not just to save money, but as a fun family project. Each family member has his or her own personalized napkin. A particular permanent marker color is used for each person’s name. For a fun project Heather suggests Martha Stewart’s rubbing alcohol and Sharpie method to tie-dying napkins (http://www.marthastewart. com/893105/sharpie-tie-dye-t-shirts). Heather also saves a bundle using washable cleaning rags and, after 13 years of use, just retired the first cloth napkins into cleaning rags.

Love Affair with Vinegar Bethany Haring Lewis Owner, Sweet Dutchess Cakes & Confections

Bethany said she “has a love affair with vinegar, using it everywhere for everything.” As a busy mom and baker she knows time and money saving tips. She decided to try vinegar when regular products were not giving her an exceptionally clean toilet. Bethany said she “dumped a bunch of vinegar in and let it sit for a while and BAM! Totally cleaned it!” She uses a 1:1 ratio for household cleaning. To remove hard water stains from faucets, soak a rag in the vinegar mixture and allow it to rest on hard water stains until removed.

Natural, Indoor Air Cleaner Diane K. Salks President, Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc. Also DBA Riverview Nursery Garden Center

Diane said, “We believe in the use of houseplants to clean indoor air. All indoors plants (flowering or not) are able to purify indoor air to some degree through their normal photosynthesis processes. But some were found to be more beneficial than others in removing harmful household toxins, even removing 90% of chemicals in the air in only twenty-four hours! Some of the best to use are Pothos, Ficus, Dracaena varieties, Ferns, Aloes, Palms, Philodendron and Peace Lily.”

Clean and Organize Your Beauty Routine Tia Mazy Owner, Amazyng Style, an eco-friendly salon business

Tia advises, “Being Eco-friendly is really about simplifying. A good place to start is in your cabinets. Make your own beauty treatments and clean up your shower items (less chemicals), and you will not only help the environment but also your health. Coconut oil, naturally paraben-free, can be used as a once-a-week hair treatment, a facial and body moisturizer as well as a makeup remover.”

34 Women2Women Spring 2014

Sabrina’s tips to “Go Green with Me!” MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS Diluted Castile soap is great for just about anything: tables, counters, sinks, etc. Straight vinegar works great for cleaning glass. Rubbing half of a lemon on faucets and then buffing with a microfiber cloth works great for removing water spots. Not only is homemade safer, it usually costs less.

SHOP SMAR T Buy organic. Look for the USDA Certified Organic seal. It is kinder to the earth and healthier for our families. Shop with reusable shopping bags. Keep some in the car and carry a collapsible one in your purse. Less plastic in the waste stream is always a good idea.

SAVE ENERGY & REDUCE WASTE Wash clothes and reusable cleaning towels in cold water, dry on low, or hang dry. Reducing energy costs saves money. Switch the smaller recycling can with the larger trash. Put a second waste bin in the bathroom for recyclables. Switch to energy saving power strips. Saves on energy costs and reduces our carbon footprint.

Green Eco Clean Home Organization & Shared Tips Tips Compiled By Phoebe Canakis, Owner Of Phoebe's Pure Food, LLC Food Writer & Recipe Developer

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Health 2Wellness

Cooking Vegan!

er Eating! recipes to help you spring into Healthy summ

VEGAN ARUGULA, SPINACH & WALNUT PESTO Submitted by Geri Weatherholtz Owner, Centre for Pilates

The arugula and spinach combined with walnuts is a delicious twist on traditional pesto. Feel free to use your imagination and improvise with both the greens and the nuts. I have also used a combination of spinach and swiss chard with almonds, and it is wonderful, too. The addition of nutritional yeast lends a rich cheesiness to the pesto.

Ingredients: 1 ½ c. packed raw arugula ½ c. packed raw spinach ½ cup raw walnuts 1 clove garlic (more, if you like garlic) 2 Tbs. nutritional yeast 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

(more may be needed depending on the desired consistency)

Pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour over your favorite hearty pasta and enjoy!

36 Women2Women Spring 2014

LETTUCE CUPS Submitted by Clara Iuliano, RD, LDN

Owner, Nutriclarity, Achieve Wellness with Knife and Fork

Ingredients: 1 lb. extra firm, water-packed tofu cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (or 1 pound baked tofu, cubed, then follow steps 6–9 below) 3 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce 1 medium finely chopped onion 8 oz. can chopped chestnuts 2 Tbs. Kikkoman Takumi Teriyaki Garlic & Green Onion Sauce Juice of 1/2 lime Rind of 1/2 lime 1/2 Tbs. safflower oil 1 head chilled butter lettuce

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BookClub Catch up with Green Eggs & Hamlet’s Current Selection… Read along with Women2Women’s book club, Green Eggs & Hamlet. Get together with your own book club to read and discuss, or call in to the live Green Eggs & Hamlet discussion on BCTV!

The current selection, as suggested by readers like you, is:

a picture is worth… the voice of today’s high school students (Vol. 1) Paperback

This is a book of life stories of Reading High School students— their advisor at I Lead and 5 of the 16 students will be on-air guests.

written by Aaliyah Bonas (Author), Lucy Casimiro (Author), Jessica Gomez (Author), Ashley Chamorro (Author), Jahida Dejesus (Author), Edgardo Herrera (Author), Jose Jaime (Author), Kevin Jendrus (Author), Davell Lawrence (Author), Jean Mouscardy (Author), Pedro Sanchez (Author), Jheyler Perez (Author), Betania Robles (Author), Precious Sewell (Author), Jocelyn Vargas (Author), Angel Ynirio (Author), Inc. I-LEAD (Author), Robert Rimm (Editor), David Castro (Introduction), Alisa del Tufo (Introduction, Producer)

a picture is worth…combines the skills of literacy, critical thinking, communication, photography, technology and essay writing with crucial values of integrity, self-awareness, empathy and leadership to provide a standards-based high school curriculum. This creative and dynamic program provides youth with the opportunity to find their voice through crafting powerful stories about their lives and sharing them through audio, photographs and written essays. a picture is worth…was born from a need to address Reading’s “unwelcome distinction” in 2011 from The New York Times as America’s city with the highest poverty rate, staggeringly low college degree attainment rates and elevated high school dropout rates. This creative and dynamic program—a collaboration between Threshold Collaborative, photographer Janice Levy and I-LEAD Charter School in Reading—provides youth with the opportunity to find their voice by crafting indelible stories about their lives and sharing them through audio, photographs and written essays. Join the live discussion on BCTV on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 8:00–8:30 pm Members of Green Eggs & Hamlet read the book selections and participate as on-air guests during the every other month BCTV program: Host & Producer: Robin Costenbader-Jacobson, CLC, Life Coach & Principal —RC-J Consulting Associates, LLC Book Club Members: Sandra McDevitt, LPN, The Highlands, Teaching Assistant, St. Catherine’s School; Vali Heist, Owner, The Clutter Crew and Certified Professional Organizer®, Author of Organize This!; Elaine McDevitt, CEO & COB, The Rose Corporation; Sandra Christel, CONCERN; Lisa McGowan, Book Editor & English Teacher at BTI; Susanna Burger, Instructional Systems Designer, as an independent contractor; Carol Pinkasavage, Senior Consultant at HR Solutions, Murray Securus.

38 Women2Women Spring 2014


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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.

Q: Why is your position unique to women in our community? A: I teach the Health Medical Professions program at Reading Muhlenberg CTC. I believe that by cross training my students, I will prepare them for the workplace and make them more marketable as health care workers. However, my job involves much more than teaching.

Norma Tamayo RN, LMT, Teacher, Author

that I have no regrets. I love being a nurse. As a nurse, I had the opportunity to work in specialize areas such as the emergency room, intensive care unit, operating room, and delivery room. I also worked as a manager in an outpatient clinic.

Becoming a teacher and an author were I consider myself to be a youth mentor. My never dreams of mine. I believe that both students look up to me as a role model, professions were a godsend. When a teachespecially my female students. I treat my ing position opened up at the school in students equally and with respect. Bottom which I now work, I applied, got the job and line, as a teacher, if you don’t have good rap- fell in love with the teaching profession. As port with your students, you have nothing. for becoming an author, I remember writing Building relationships with my students is books and selling them when I was a little a critical aspect to my success with students girl in elementary school. However, I never in my classroom. My students believe in me thought that I would become an author as and the feeling is mutual. They trust me an adult. I am thankful to God for helping enough to let me guide and coach them. As me create such a wonderful piece. A Girl a result of this, my students graduate from Named Nina is a young adult novel that my program and most pursue postsecondary most teenagers and women can relate to. It education. Many of my former students are inspires and gives them hope. nurses. Some are in pre-med programs. Q: How have you led other Q: What has led you to your current women in their career paths? career path? A: As I mentioned earlier, many of my forA: My dream was to always work in the med- mer students are nurses. A few other former ical field. It was one that I had since I was students work in health care facilities as five years old. As matter of fact, I wanted to certified nursing assistants or patient care become a doctor. My motivation factor to assistants and are still enrolled in postsecbecome a doctor was my parents, not fancy ondary education. Many of my current things or money. I wanted to take care of seniors are pursuing careers in medicine, my parents and save their lives. However, nursing, physical therapy and surgical techbecause of personal reasons, I became a nology. Most of these students are females. registered nurse instead. I can honestly say Continued on page 42 berkswomen2women.com 41

Women2Know Q: Would you wish to acknowledge a mentor or friend who helped you aspire to this point in your life’s journey, and why? A: My biggest mentor was my father. He taught me many great lessons including the meaning of having a good work ethic. My other mentor was my mother. She was always a strong woman, one who didn’t tolerate nonsense from anyone. On the professional side, quite a few nurses were my mentors. Prior to becoming a registered nurse, I worked at Reading Hospital as a nursing assistant. One of my charge nurses back then was Kim Hivner. She was confident and knew her trade well. Judy Koch, who is currently the Director of Clinical Operations at the Reading Hospital, was also one of my mentors. She would always lend a helping hand and still manage her own demanding work load.

Q: What do you consider women’s main asset?

Q: How do you want to be perceived/remembered?

A: To me, a woman’s main asset is confi- A: I would like to be remembered as somedence and being able to work with other one who helped changed the lives of others. people without feeling intimidated. Those who really know me would say that I am a warm, caring individual who is loyal Q: What do you consider women’s and shy at the same time. main threat? Q: What is the best advice A: Insecurity. This is very bad in a work you have received? place. Leads to nothing but negativity. On a personal level, insecurity may cause many A: Always strive to be the best that you problems in a relationship. can be. Find the good in people as there are reasons why people are the way they Q: What 3 things do you are. Surround yourself with positive people. Finally, always be prepared for those who recommend to assure success? may try to bring you down. A: Follow your dreams no matter how farfetched they may be. Stay true to yourself and never become completely dependent on a man.

Q: Is there an “aha” moment or experience that defines who you are? A: I never really had an “aha” moment. I do hear from my students how much they admire and want to be like me. Since my book release, I have been getting emails and calls from women who had read my book. They say that they can relate to Nina’s story because they had similar experiences. I do feel for these women. I know how hard it can be to deal with traumatic situations. Q: Is there a philosophy that you live by? A: The philosophy that I live by is, “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”


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Q: What is your favorite mantra, favorite saying or words that keep you grounded? A: Always do the right thing. Do right by your students, people you work with and family members. Q: What’s your mission? A: My mission is just like Nina’s mission in my book and that is to survive, so that I may help those in need, to guide those who need guidance, and to inspire others to live happier and more fulfilled lives. 42 Women2Women Spring 2014

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