Women2Women Summer 2014

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Cultivating Leaders An interview with Penske Exec Sherry Sanger

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Karen Marsdale, Senior Editor

Summer 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


Women in Non-Traditional Occupations


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.

Cultivating Leaders cover story

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


To join: W2W@GreaterReadingChamber.org 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



6 Women in Non-Traditional Occupations

15 20 27


2014 ATHENA® Franki Aitken

Finding Your Bliss What’s in a Name? Work-Life Balance


Growth2Go 10 12

So You’re Getting Married


Documentary Brings Domestic Violence to Light

32 36 39 40

Guts & Glory

Connecting the Dots Cultivating Leaders:

An interview with Penske Exec


Lean In Circles

So You’re Getting Married Not Just Another Hollywood Detox Healthy Summer Eating

In Every Issue 4 23

Editor’s Desk W2W Events

42 45

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.

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Editor’s Desk


! r e m m u S

Tina Louise Photography


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

Women2Women Magazine


Mike Jupina St. Joseph Medical Center

Phoebe Canakis Phoebe’s Pure Foods

Julia Klein C. H. Briggs Company

Dawn Maurer Derr Sunrise Communication

Karen Marsdale Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Heather Adams SMG Tracy Hoffmann Hoffmann Publishing Group

Connie Skipper Berks County Intermediate Unit Melissa Varone Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry

his issue coincides with one of my favorite holidays, Fourth of July. It’s high on my celebratory list simply for what it signifies—our Nation’s independence! Having independence is a gift, one not to be taken for granted. I consider myself highly independent—I try to instill the lessons I have learned with my friends, family and colleagues. Over the years, I have had to act more independently and I am grateful that as I grow older, I hope to be mastering the art. As an organization, I believe Women2Women encourages independence. Coming out to an event solo might not seem like a trait of independence, but it really is, and the task can seem daunting for those who might prefer an accompanying side kick. That one small act is a sign of independence. The women featured in this issue embody independence. Stayce Schlouch, Brenda Marks and Frances Jallu are redefining non-traditional roles as a construction manager, police officer and engineer, respectively. Sherry Sanger, one of only two female executives at Penske, didn’t get there by not being independent and making tough decisions. And, Franki Aitken—our 2014 ATHENA recipient—is a dynamic and independent female leader who is teaching her nieces to follow in her footsteps. In addition, we have a great story by our Associate Editor Dawn Maurer Derr on finding your bliss—a piece about women that have ventured into careers that fit their lifestyle. It’s pretty much the opposite of how the majority of us approach our jobs. However, if you have a demanding job and life, there is a way to balance. Learn more from Sara Stump who shares how she juggles a demanding career with her spouse, two children and she still finds time for her mommytales! In celebration of summer, we polled our women readers in asking how they are spending the dog days—read more for some great ideas. We have two educational and informative articles that will help with your wellness and nutrition to keep you feeling fit and fabulous for bathing suit season. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Be sure to get out and about and enjoy some summer fun activities in the beautiful place we call home, Berks County. Reflect on your independence and how you can help teach others now to gain more independence. I look forward to kicking off the 4th Annual Women2Women launch on September 23! Happy Reading!

Melissa Varone 4 Women2Women Summer 2014

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Women 2Know

Community & Business Profiles, Insights & Highlights

Liz McCauley Director, Program Development— Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry


hen Brenda Marks was a little girl, she loved to ride horses. Little did she know this passion would land her a job as a police officer in the City of Reading’s mounted patrol, where she guarded the streets on her trusty horse. Growing up, Frances Jallu liked to play with her dolls, but was more intrigued by her cousin’s toy racetrack, and she couldn’t help but wonder, “How does that work?” Stayce Schlouch grew up around her family’s construction business, but never dreamed that one day she would be operating heavy equipment, working on a crew, dispatching a trucking fleet, and eventually managing some complex projects on her own. These women are part of a growing trend of women in non-traditional occupations. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, projected growth in our economy and increased demand for these jobs due to retirees will give women an even greater opportunity to pursue careers in fields where there were only a handful of women just a few years ago. These jobs are attractive because they typically have higher entry level wages, greater autonomy, and result in a faster rise 6 Women2Women Summer 2014

Tina Louise Photography

up the career ladder. Linda Lowen, a leading journalist who has studied gender issues in the workplace believes that “women are more verbal, more eager to please, and easier to talk to than men—making them ideal candidates for jobs that combine technical expertise with sales.” Officer Brenda Marks has spent the last twenty-five years as one of approximately ten women police officers for the City of Reading, and plans to retire in the near future. She has no regrets about her career choice and, in fact encourages other women to consider a career in law enforcement. Brenda

grew up in rural Lancaster County and always loved being active outdoors. After a short stint doing some accounting work, she decided to take some paralegal courses in college, which she enjoyed. One day her significant other brought home two applications—one for the Reading Fire Department, one for the Reading Police Department. He chose the fire department and, intrigued, Brenda filled out the police department application. One of three females in her class, she feels she was accepted as an equal—mainly because she was physically able to keep

up with the guys. “They were great, and very supportive of me throughout our training. Yes, some of the ‘old timers’ were skeptical at first, but I just went out and did my job and they came around.” Ultimately, Brenda joined the mounted patrol and her childhood love of horses paid off. For seven years she helped protect our city from atop her horse “Skip,” and each day presented a new challenge. Although the job was demanding both physically and mentally, Officer Marks believes her innate ability to talk through a situation rather than immediately react physically kept her safe many times. “I believe that women have compassion and that has helped me as a police officer.” When the mounted unit was dissolved, Brenda had an opportunity to move into the traffic department and face a new challenge. “The best thing about my job, then and now, is that no two days are the same. I enjoy that!” As a systems engineer at EnerSys, Frances Jallu wants to “give back” to young women with the hope of inspiring them to realize their dreams. She and several other female engineers travel to West Chester twice a month as corporate mentors for the Women in Aerospace and Technology Program (WATP). This program, initially started by the Girl Scouts, has expanded and now hosts girls in grades 3 through 12. Each year they study a different program that teaches STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Often girls are intimidated by these skills and encouraged to pursue other areas instead. This program gives them handson experience and shows what kind of careers are available in various technology fields. Frances believes it is important for young girls to be encouraged to do whatever they want to do—not what someone tells them they should do. “I was very fortunate in that my mother encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I was always fascinated by how things worked and had a desire to learn everything I could.” Earning a degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering, an internship eventually led her to a job at

EnerSys. This career allows her to work on a variety of projects—from testing plastics to developing grids for batteries. Recently she visited a bus transit company using hybrid technology to determine if their batteries were working efficiently. “EnerSys is all

and completed her degree in Management. During her summer breaks in college, she had the opportunity to return to Reading and work at her family’s business, Schlouch Incorporated. She worked in the office assisting HR and eventually moved on to working in

about training and I get the opportunity to learn and grow. Every day is a different challenge, and I love that!” Although there are still more males in the engineering field than women, Frances and her co-workers are hoping to change that. “I encourage all young women to get engaged—find a mentor in a field you’re interested in and learn all you can. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t!” Stayce Schlouch credits her desire to try different things to the extensive travel she did with her parents as a young girl. Her perspective of the world became broad and she knew her love of adventure would take her places. After high school, she started

the field operations as a laborer and a roller operator. “I learned the value of truly dedicated co-workers and physically challenging work. I am grateful I had the chance to be part of a crew and understand the scope of the work.” After working full time in the field operations, she moved on to Dispatch which allowed her to see the importance of supporting the field team with the right resources. Always up for an adventure, Stayce had the opportunity to move to Australia three years later. “I have always had a passion for travel and I wanted to experience life in another country.” She worked on a family farm, a few jobs in hospitality, and eventually ended up at another construction firm. Ultimately, she realized that everything she wanted was at home, so she returned to the United States and began working back in the family business as a Project Manager. “After traveling abroad, I became more grateful for what I have right here in Berks County. I am forever thankful to all of my family, friends and co-workers who have supported me throughout my transitions.” My advice to anyone, male or female, who wants to work in construction would be to get out in the field and do the work. Find a mentor in the area you would like to learn, be coachable and ask questions.”

full time in the retail industry but quickly learned that was not her passion and decided to take classes at a local college. Later on she transferred to the University of South Florida

berkswomen2women.com 7


What Are You Doing This Summer? Check out some of the fun activities these ladies are getting into this summer… Compiled by Heather Adams, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager—SMG

Karen Meyers Haver Bandshell concerts at city park. Kate Gudelunas Flowers Strolling through the Reading

Museum gardens.

Sarah McKillip Eating my way through all the local restaurants.

Sharon Mast Hiking the trails on Neversink Mtn.; grillin’ and hangin’ out by the pool. Karen Fry Using Launch Sites and All Trails Apps to find new places to hike and kayak in Berks and surrounding areas.

State Park. 3D Outdoor had boards and kayaks to rent up at Blue Marsh.

Ambur Bernhard Scowering yard sales all over Berks looking for unique baby items, doing DIY building projects and painting to decorate and plan out the nursery for our first child.

Beth Ireland Hiking at Ontelaunee with the dogs!

Susan L. Angstadt Working on a photo project with Marcy

Karen Meyers Haver Paddle boarding at French Creek

Julia Armstrong Paddle boarding. Great exercise outside. Nan Reinert Living at Chubby Pickle Farm in Birdsboro,

Tocker and Sarah McKillip on the dogs of Animal Rescue League of Berks County’s Grey Muzzle Program.

Amy Fick Baseball, baseball and more baseball! Wyomissing!

Dana L. Z. Hoffman Getting my children outside! Walking and hiking at Nolde Forest, picnicking at Gring’s Mill, enjoying the quiet at the Reading Public Museum. We have so many green areas to enjoy.

Celine DeBruyne Field Swimming in my pool.

Stephanie Breon LaManna Kayaking at Blue Marsh.

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he Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Women2Women are pleased to announce this year’s ATHENA® Leadership recipient is Frances “Franki” A. Aitken, CPA, Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations at the Berks County Community Foundation. Franki oversees the management of the Community Foundation’s assets as well as manages the operations of the Community Foundation’s building. She works with local estate and financial planners on complex estate planning functions and assists their clients with designing charitable legacies. Since joining the staff in 1998, the Community Foundation has grown to $56 million in assets. In 2009, the Community Foundation opened its new headquarters and community conference center. Under Franki’s leadership, the building earned the highest level of LEED certification available to environmentally sustainable or “green” buildings. Franki is well respected in the legal and accounting field as a “go-to” professional for complex estate planning and gift planning guidance. Franki not only excels at her profession but is an influential volunteer in the community, contributing to the success of dozens of organizations and initiatives. Franki volunteers her time with a variety of community and professional organizations including: the Law Foundation of Berks County, Alvernia University and Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Finance Committee for the Berks Conservancy, and the Reading Symphony Orchestra. She is past President of the Berks County Estate Planning Council and serves as secretary of the Reading Chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Through all of these placements, Franki brings her personal style and expertise to the table assisting the community and many non-profit organizations through strategic financial management. An avid dog lover and supportive Aunt to four fabulous nieces, Franki continues to influence youth in our community through her work with the Reading Toastmasters. Under Franki’s leadership, the Reading Toastmasters created a youth program for young adults to excel at public speaking. We are thrilled to recognize Franki Aitken as the 2014 ATHENA® Recipient. She is incredibly deserving of this award and joins a distinguished group of Berks County women who continue to make a difference in the lives of others.


berkswomen2women.com 9

Growth2Go /

Finance, Mentoring & Education

From Business…to Family Business… to Women in the Family…to Women in the Family Business

Pat Langiotti, PMC President, Creative Management Concepts Chair of the Chamber’s Berks Family Business Alliance


t’s estimated that more than two-thirds of the business establishments in the Greater Reading marketplace are family owned and operated. There are literally thousands of family businesses ranging in size from the largest, like Boscov’s and East Penn Manufacturing, to the very smallest—home based service firms. No matter the size, all of these family businesses have one thing in common…in addition to dealing with regular business challenges, they must also deal with family issues. And as most will tell you, that can be more taxing than running the business! There is no doubt my traditional, conservative background influences my thinking...but whenever I hear the word ‘family’ my brain pictures a female. After all, what’s a family without a woman at the center of the family unit? My brain doesn’t do that when I hear the word ‘business’—but perhaps it should! The person who is at the center of a family business is also often a woman! It’s risky to make broad generalities (since there are always exceptions to the rule) but most would agree that:

10 Women2Women Summer 2014

WOMEN ARE GOOD AT MULTI–TASKING. They’re used to juggling multiple roles every day, all day long.

WOMEN TEND TO BE WELL ORGANIZED. They manage work, children and home responsibilities and to do so they must be well organized.

WOMEN have strong people skills. Refereeing and ‘keeping the peace’ on the family front is a great proving ground. • WOMEN • have experience managing a budget. Often out of necessity— as a result of having to manage and stretch the household finances.

Since women bring these and other skills to the table—it’s no wonder that many of our most successful Berks-based family businesses are led by women! I find it interesting to explore the various routes that got them there. In my thirty plus years in the consulting business, I’ve never met a single woman who grew up, went to school, and studied whatever she felt was necessary for the specific purpose of starting a business! I’ve encountered hundreds of businesses in a wide array of industries, but I never met a single woman who grew up in pursuit of that role. So how did they come to be there? Many of the talented women who run businesses in our local community landed there due to extenuating circumstances or because an earlier generation family member started a business and passed the gavel. Even though the end destination (running a business) was not their initial or primary career goal, each has brought their unique talents and energy to bear on running their business and thus, they have succeeded and thrived! As I consider a small sampling of local businesses with women at the helm, here is what I observe: Sandy Graffius took over running Graffius Burial Vaults when her husband passed away. She’s now passed the reins on to her daughter, Kelly Pellicano. Nancy Campbell, a teacher by profession, has greatly expanded the Compleat Baldwin Brass store she runs. It bears very little resemblance to the business her husband had started shortly before he passed away. Nancy’s daughter, Becky, plays a key role there. Julia Klein is the very successful Chairwoman and CEO of C. H. Briggs—a business that was started by her maternal grandparents, next run by her father, and she’s grown it into a thriving, multi-state enterprise since taking charge! Elaine McDevitt worked at The Rose Corporation, the company started by her dad, Lou Bruno, and named for her mom, Rose. When her dad passed away—her role expanded significantly. She’s brought in operational management talent and she is pleased with the team effort that has led to great progress with continuous improvement and training. And there are many others…

The Chamber’s newest initiative, the Berks Family Business Alliance (Berks FBA), was established to meet the specific needs of these and other family owned businesses. And since so many family businesses are owned and/or managed by women, the Berks FBA would like to roll out a special welcome mat to all W2W members who work for a family business. We hope that you will find our programs and learning options to be beneficial, the peer exchange groups to be a great mentoring opportunity, and the various networking venues to be good for business! Please join us and take advantage of all this new initiative has to offer just for you!

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Growth 2Go

Cultivating Leaders: An interview with Penske Exec Karen Marsdale, Senior Vice President

Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry

would be supported throughout the Penske footprint. It was also important to emphasize what the mission would be, an opportunity to network, work on professional and personal development through workshops and other meetings, as well as, build relationships through community service. These are not “vent” sessions, they are productive and positive meetings, allowing women the chance to connect with the organization, work on communication, creativity and critical thinking skills…skills that Sherry and I both agree are a huge part of the success factor.

Pictured: Sherry Sanger, SVP, Marketing at Penske Truck Leasing


eet Sherry Sanger, busy mom, pastor’s wife and Senior Vice President of Marketing at Penske Truck Leasing Co. L.P., a global company headquartered here in Berks County. Oh, and did I forget to mention she’s also a Ph.D. candidate at Case Western University, scheduled to graduate in December 2014? I’ve known Sherry, both personally and professionally, for a number of years but this interview gave me more insight into who this dynamic, bright woman really is and some of her views on what it takes to be successful. Not surprisingly, she talks about balance, hard work, being willing to take risks, and knowing who you are and identifying what you want. My main objective in scheduling the interview was to talk about the creation of Penske’s Women’s Network, an initiative Sherry and a

12 Women2Women Summer 2014

number of other women at Penske launched a few years ago. My intent was to see how things were going with the Network. The Network was started after Sherry had worked on a special project with a number of other women in the company while sitting on Penske’s Diversity Council. Sherry so enjoyed the experience of working with these really smart women she thought others might want the opportunity as well. Next steps were getting the buy-in from senior management who said “go for it.” The invitation to attend the first meeting was sent to 100 women in the company, 94 showed up for that initial meeting. The attendance validated that there was interest. The founding group made sure senior management was present to reinforce the fact that they believed in the mission of the Network and that it

“Ask for feedback from those around you, and ask… what do I need to do to get to the place I want to be?” So how is the Penske Women’s Network going? According to Sherry great, but it is definitely not easy work. The group holds themselves accountable to high standards, compelling programming and inclusiveness of all Penske women regardless of location (those working outside the corporate headquarters). The work can be daunting but it’s important and necessary. They most recently have utilized virtual technology to link women who are out of town, allowing the Network to have a much broader impact.

Who is Sherry Sanger?

Home is relative to Sherry Sanger who grew up moving many times throughout her formative years, making her independent enough to spend time in Germany in high school. She loved the language and thought this might just be her calling. As a matter of fact, she did major in German, lived briefly

in Germany after college and worked as a translator. She soon discovered that sitting in a cube translating all day was not her passion… and that was where she experienced her ‘aha’ moment. She later worked for an insurance company, but didn’t quite understand the business. That led this liberal arts, German major to start thinking that she needed to have an understanding of how business really works. Fast forward, Sherry achieved a scholarship to do her MBA at Case Western, and was on to the next journey in life. When a professor in what was essentially a statistics class asked the students to tell him what their majors were as undergrads, Sherry’s thoughts: “what’s this German major doing in an MBA program?” On the contrary, the professor applauded her decision, telling the class he loved liberal arts majors as they are creative, possess good critical thinking skills and can communicate, a strong foundation for success in business.” Armed with that validation,

Sherry studied finance and marketing in Marketing and 16 years with the company, graduate school, and ultimately graduated her responsibilities continue to grow and evolve, her passion remains evident. with honors. Sanger says she has learned a lot about her Degree in tow, Sherry landed a job with General Electric’s finance department, spent personal and professional goals along the time working on different assignments (even journey to senior management. Her advice, a stint in Germany) for both GE Finance “chart a course for yourself, don’t wait to be and GE Capital. She came to PA through recognized in your work, set yourself apart by GE Capital in Devon—this was another volunteering to work on that tough project defining moment. She liked the area and and look for ways to develop yourself.” Also, “Ask for feedback from those around when the assignment was over she drew a circle within an you, and ask…what do I need to do to get hour radius of Devon…and to the place I want to be?” Lastly, “align your goals with those of the organization, the rest is history. Sherry discovered Penske understand that you need to be an asset and Truck Leasing, (Penske then work like you really mean it!” Wise words from a woman who seems to Truck Leasing Co., L.P., is a partnership among Penske balance it all flawlessly. Corporation, Penske Automotive Group and General Electric Capital Corporation) and they discovered her. As one of only two women on the senior executive team, Sherry has a lot to share. She loves the culture of the company, the people and their focus on their customers. As Senior Vice President of

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Growth 2Go

Lean In Circles Joni S. Naugle Principal — FOCUSED, LLC

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hen Sheryl Sandberg first published meeting we watch a video lecture and discuss her book Lean In, public reaction topics such as Negotiation, Team Dynamics was at the opposite ends of the or Power and Influence. The lectures offer spectrum. Some rallied behind the power practical skills that can be applied in daily life. of the woman and others were put off by We discuss what makes sense, what doesn’t the arrogant reaction that women aren’t make sense and seek out ways to implement doing enough. After all, anyone could do what we’ve learned between meetings. what Sandberg did if they had the financial At an exploration meeting members have resources to support their every decision. I the ability to discuss current-day situations was actually of the latter perspective after only they are dealing with. The other members watching the 60 Minute’s segment that aired listen, question and provide suggestions, but March 10, 2013. At the encouragement of a always supportive of whatever the right next friend, I read the book and gained a better step is for each woman’s situation. understanding of Sheryl’s message, which I Last month at the Chamber’s Annual totally support. While there are a lot of things Dinner we heard newscaster Robin Roberts we can’t control, there are also a lot of things mention the phrase her mother said to her we can control. The important message is to —“Everybody’s Got Something.” No matter continue to learn, grow and be acutely aware what your current job position or age, that of the decisions we are making—in both our phrase is true—we all have something that we personal and professional lives. are dealing with. While it is always helpful to One of the core lessons in Lean In is that in get feedback from parents, spouses, children, many instances, as women, we hold ourselves bosses and co-workers, all of those individuals back. Whether it’s guilt, fear or some other have a stake in your decisions and actions. A limiting thought, we don’t always raise our Lean In Circle provides a confidential place hands even when it is in our best long-term to discuss challenges you are facing and get interest. We sit on the sidelines instead of unbiased feedback. Members’ only interest sitting at the table. the outcome is to help you be the best you. “Everybody’s in Beyond That’s where a the learning and helping, an addiLean In Circle Got Something.” tional outcome of a Lean In Circle is friendship. can help. A Lean In a relatively short time, the women in the In Circle is comprised of 12 to 14 women group form a strong bond of friendship. coming together to learn, grow and support There’s a lot of value packed into 2 hours each other in an atmosphere of confidentiality a month. You are responsible for your own and trust. Each Lean In Circle is facilitated growth and development. by a skilled facilitator. At monthly sessions, we alternate between education meetings and exploration meetings. For an education

Submit your application for participation in the new Lean In Circles launching this fall. Visit the Women2Women website, www.berkswomen2women.com, or contact Karen Marsdale at 610.898.7772 or kmarsdale@greaterreadingchamber.org.

14 Women2Women Summer 2014

Work2Life / Finding Your

Balancing Life, Work & Family


Dawn Maurer Derr Sunrise Communication

So you want to control your day-to-day planning? Be your own boss? Earn extra cash? Have flexible hours? All so you can devote needed time to family, self and lifestyle? For all the above reasons, there is no doubt that the growing number of women who have turned to direct sales, joined multi-level enterprises or started independent companies is huge and growing. Some say it’s lonely at the top, but for the three woman you are about to meet…not having a 9 to 5 job has afforded them the room to find their bliss, and a typical day is anything but typical, which is why they love it so.

Bernadette Bresnahan Creative Spirit Painting


ernadette Bresnahan has always known that she wanted to work ONLY for herself. An artist, her work is validated…her murals have appeared on HGTV on Dream Builders and Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and her custom hand-painted furniture and occasional portraits of animals have garnered quite the following. As a human being, she knows her limitations. She’s not a conformist, so a 9 to 5 job would be grueling to a person who exudes passion. What she didn’t know was that after 15 years of creating works of art for commercial type businesses and private homes, her degree in art education from Kutztown University would lead her to teach…an idea she would have outwardly snuffed years ago. “I had the passion to paint and the guts to take the chance at an early age,” said the Wyomissing resident. “Also, the lifestyle of making my own schedule seemed to fit my personality best. I don’t like to conform. Dozens of women have asked me for lessons, and I’d say ‘nahh, I don’t wanna do that’ because to me, I couldn’t see how I could ever make money teaching. But with time, murals faded out and I realized that the requests to teach would serve a social aspect that I needed at the time since I was new to Berks County.” So in 2013 Bernadette answered the prayers of many followers and began offering classes. Today she has quite a following as she takes groups step by step and teaches painting classes at Junk to Jazz in Shillington, where she has her own studio space and changes the painting subject with each season. “The most rewarding aspect of this job is that I am doing what I love,” says Bernadette. “I love to create with paint. The most surprising aspect regarding the classes is the idea that through my passion, others have joined in my joy. It has been a true gift. I get messages and letters all the time of women telling me how painting has changed their lives.” Creative Spirit Painting parties have become a hit and is now Bernadette’s primary source of income. continued on page 16 berkswomen2women.com 15

Work2Life “I could be bigger, better, make more money, yadda, yadda…but, for me that would be more headaches, she notes. “I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my family as much as I do. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. My kids always come first.” Her career choice works well for her family as her husband is the main source of income and her children benefit from her presence. “Not everyone is as fortunate as me to be able to find their bliss through work, she observes. “I happen to have a husband who encouraged me to follow my dreams. He could have easily said to me, ‘you need to do the 9 to 5 thing, benefits, retirement, etc.’, but he didn’t. I have had a few women who have wanted to join me, but I’m not interested in growing too big. My life is happy because I am present to those I teach and to my family.” A typical day for Bernadette is nothing typical. “I could start out doing housework and think I am going to paint and then the day ends and I’ve done nothing,” she jokes. “The next day, I could paint for five hours straight on my own stuff. The following day

maybe I have a custom order or need to pick up supplies. Then maybe the following day I set up for a class and teach that day, which for me is a total of 4 hours start to finish because it includes set up and clean up. I might teach once a week, occasionally twice depending on how I want to set it up.” Bernadette’s story is that she knows her strengths and she acts on them. “Am I the best painter around? NO,” she offers. “But I know that painting cheerful subjects are going to draw people to come

and paint and buy. I know that women need women. I create community. My classes do the same. I know that being upbeat and positive is going to create a fun atmosphere. When I go to teach a class, as I am setting up their paints, I think about the $40 they are spending; that they want to have a experience. I know when to be funny, serious, helpful and most importantly, how to connect them with each other as well as what they are painting. It didn’t happen overnight, but with time, I’ve figured things out. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d enjoy sharing my passion with others as much as I have. Inspiring others to get their own supplies and paint at home, that is exciting stuff! I also love commissioned work. When I see the tears stream down someone’s face because I painted something personal for them, I’m not gonna lie…it’s one of the best feelings!”

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r ystal Baird is an Independent Scentsy Family Consultant which means she joined each of the individual companies under the Scentsy Family. She can sell products from any company under their umbrella, which includes Scentsy and Velata, at a home show demonstration but only represent one of the two at a public event. Crystal says she likes that she can set her own goals whether it be $500 or $2000 PRV a month…PRV meaning “personal retail volume” from sales, parties, and events. From those sales she receives a commission based off the percentage of the sales. How she got started in this business is how most woman get started …they RSVP to a home party invite and discover that they LOVE the product, in this case wickless candles and fragrant products. That was August 2011 when she attended a home demonstration party that her sister-in-law hosted. Prior to that Crystal’s only experience with direct selling was as a child when her mother sold Avon. “She was able to stay home with us when we were younger,” recalls Crystal. “I remember going with her to her customers and delivering catalogs and orders. It never looked like work to me. My mom never complained and I never felt that it took time away from us.” Crystal’s reasons for joining a direct selling company varied. “I wanted to be able to not work as many stressful hours,” she stressed. “I wanted to be able to have the flexibility in the event we started a family. I was working with a boy with autism since the age of nine and now he is 21, and because he is graduating soon he needed someone to continue to work with him in his adulthood as a job.” “In addition, my husband, Jeff, and I love to travel. Scentsy has given us the opportunity to travel more than we did prior to joining the Scentsy organization. And, I LOVE the way the product SMELLS!” One booking led to another and Crystal officially became part of the direct selling community. “I told my husband that it would cost me $99 and I get a kit that includes a warmer and a few of the products. There also won’t be soot on walls from traditional candles, and in the worse case scenario that the business doesn’t work I get to keep the warmer and products.” she jokes. His responses was “If you like the product, you won’t have a problem selling it.” Jeff became vested after she earned her first all-inclusive incentive trip to Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana after only her first year of selling Scentsy.

Wish It. Dream It. Do It.

Crystal Baird

Independent Scentsy Family Consultant


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Now celebrating its 10th year, Scentsy’s product line includes innovated warmers for highly-scented, long-lasting wax. The company also includes their Scentsy fragrance on-the-go, such as room sprays, scent packs, and travel tins, items for your purse and pocket, bath and body, as well as the laundry care. Although Crystal has found selling the products to be rewarding, what she finds most rewarding is helping others in the community through fundraising. “I do vendor events and it gives me great happiness that I’m helping someone raise money by being at the event and/or hosting the fundraiser,” she says. “My education in occupational therapy through Penn State University has taught me to be organized, interact with others, and use time management effectively.” Most of her business comes by way of social media and traditional word of mouth. “I’m always talking about Scentsy everywhere I go…stores, doctor offices, sporting events, restaurants, walking in a park or in the community, she notes. “I post on Facebook about specials and every month send out a newsletter of the warmer of the month and what’s new! I also network with local businesses in the community.” About two years ago, Crystal added Velata to her repertoire; Velata is Belgium chocolate, rubs, cheese, raclette tabletop grill, fondue warmers, and knives and accessories. continued on page 18 berkswomen2women.com 17

Work2Life Dena Breslin

Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski, My ahaMind Coaching


inking Spring reisdent Dena Breslin has had the privilege of a full and varied career path, from specialty sales in a top five pharmaceutical company, to a physician assistant in a medical practice, to stay-at-home mom of three, to work-from-home mom with a thriving multi-million dollar party plan business, to a growing life/ business coaching practice. Being at home with her children was the number one priority 10 years ago when she started out in the Direct Selling profession. In 2009, a groundbreaking opportunity with Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski came across her path. As a Founding Leader with Touchstone, Dena’s passion lies in the personal development of the women and men on her team. Always looking to

improve her own time management, her days and weeks are filled with team coaching and training, scoping out and developing new business areas, and of course, the Party…the Girls Night, the Get Together…where women come together to just “be.” Dena is a huge fan of the home party. “We are infinitely busy and bombarded with activities and social media,” she says. “It’s health and wellness from togetherness. I have always believed there is a special energy at each party that provides healing power. When women hug each other and laugh together…there is magic there.” And, more than people realize and understand, direct selling allows viable earning power. More than 80 percent of women in the U.S who earn six figures are working in the direct selling profession, she notes.

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“A six-figure income may not be what someone desires, she says. “However, earning $60–$120 an hour working part time, four to five days a month, can change someone’s life. That is the opportunity that is available to every single person who is open to learning and growing in their business. There are no magic Starter kits. “If you run an organization right, then you are behaving as a CEO, developing and using the very same business and leadership skill sets that any corporate CEO is using,’’ Dena says. “That is a process that occurs over time. That is reality.” As Dena builds her personal development and business coaching practice, she thrives on curiosity and reinvention, and believes in pushing the limits of what seems possible by inspiring others to wake up to the clues of their journey. Coaching is a co-creative process that supports a client to work beyond an obstacle, be it in life, business, relationships, that is preventing them from realizing their best self, their highest potential,” says Dena. “It need not go on indefinitely. You hire a coach to work through an obstacle and move on. That is a freeing experience.” Dena admits this path did not always come easy, but today, through the support of her own coaches and mentors, she stands tall in the belief that “the answers to life’s questions are within and all around us; we simply need to slow down and listen with the right ears.”

COMMON “MULTI-LEVEL” ENTERPRISE LINGO • Direct Sales: doing business person-to-person

instead of shopping at a retail location. Aspiring entrepreneurs have the opportunity to start a business without investing a lot financially and they have the advantage of an experienced support team for such things as marketing, advertising, etc. Those involved in direct selling are independent contractors, not employees, and are sometimes referred to as consultants. They sell directly, whether it be from home parties, one-on-one meetings, phone calls, online, or through website and social medial venues.

• Multi Level Marketing (MLM): in most cases

is the party plan grouping…selling some but not all consumable goods. These are known mostly as consultants since there are consulting services offered within the time frame of a home party or one-on-one meeting.

• Network Marketing: building an organization

through recruiting by means of networking events… with or without the traditional home party, mostly through the use or purchase of consumable products, becoming what is known as a distributor of that product. SOURCE: Dena Breslin and Scentsy website



HMasano@MasanoBradley.com Managing Partner of MasanoBradley, member of the firm since 1981. Her practice emphasizes commercial and real estate matters, including acquisitions, banking, corporate formation, operation and succession; estate planning.


JScheidt@MasanoBradley.com Jill is the newest partner at MasanoBradley, having practiced in Berks County since 1992. She concentrates in the areas of civil litigation and family law.

• You are your own boss so no micromanaging here; you answer to clients and customers only. • Flexibility in hours worked, location to accomplish job, jobs obtained, and any imposed fees. • You decide how much or how little money you want to make and whether you want to work solo or recruit others to sell your product/service. • Startup costs are generally minimal…namely to cover sales aids, training materials and/or demonstration kits. • Experienced support team is available for such things as marketing, advertising, product description, pricing, etc. • Fewer politics therefore fewer people to please or enemies to make. • You can pat yourself on the back for any and all accomplishments. • You determine your dress code.

Ph: 610.372.7700

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• Personal style, story, and creativity are encouraged.

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berkswomen2women.com 19


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of our common law originated. In fact, this is the tradition in most common law countries where English is spoken. In modern times, the decision to keep her surname or follow the centuries’ old tradition of taking a husband’s surname is entirely the decision of the woman. However, throughout most of the 1800s and some of the 1900s, women were required to take the name of her husband. In fact, under the common law doctrine of coverture, a married woman had no right to retain her maiden name. Her husband assumed all of the legal rights of both members of the couple. And, once a woman married, she had no rights to her own property or to enter into contracts in her own name. The vestiges of coverture laws existed, at least partially, throughout the United States until the 1960s and 70s. Personally, I learned about the doctrine of coverture while in college and found it to be stifling. I made the decision to keep my maiden name before I decided on my ultimate career choice. The reaction that it has generated both within and outside of my family has been varied. Most have not been supportive of my decision because it bucks the status quo. But I stand firm in my decision and believe it was the right one for me. I didn’t keep my maiden name to preserve my family’s identity as much as I did to represent my own autonomy and my husband was supportive. While men changing their names “only weird lefties to assume their wives’ names is didn’t back then.” extremely rare, fewer women today are keeping their maiden names after marriage. According to a 2010 study, “Taking Thy Husband’s Name: The Role of Religious Affiliation” Volume 59 Issue 1 (01 March 2011), Abel, Kruger, Names: A Journal of Onomastics,

found that women who married older and more recently were three times more likely to retain their birth names than those married in 1990. There was also a higher likelihood of retaining maiden names for those marrying in civil ceremonies versus those married in religious ceremonies. A 2009 study published in the Journal Social Behavior and Personality, found slightly conflicting results. This study found that the number of women retaining their maiden names after marriage was at its highest in the 1990s, when about 23% of married women retained their maiden names. The same study found that the number had decreased to about 18% in the 2000s. There are many factors in making the decision, such as age of marriage, profession and ethnicity. I conducted my own mini research project and interviewed some local professional women about their individual decisions to keep their name or assume their husband’s name. Alexa Antanavage, a young lawyer who lives in Wyomissing and practices with her husband and father in Hamburg, married in 2009. She chose to maintain her maiden name primarily because “my parents had two

daughters and I had originally felt that I would carry on the family name.” However, when she got married, her decision was based on a purely business rationale. She received no pushback from the community and believed that many just assumed she maintained her maiden name for professional reasons. Her father, Joe, is a larger-than-life lawyer in the Berks County community and has been so for forty years. She does not believe that has been any confusion created but clients don’t necessarily know that she is married to her husband and law partner because their names are different. Heidi Masano married in 1981 and assumed her husband’s surname but maintains her maiden name as her middle name. She said “only weird lefties didn’t [take their husband’s surname] back then.” She felt

that those around her, including her family and community members, believed she had made the right choice. She felt there was an advantage to taking her husband’s surname because she is not from the area and she was interested in building a clientele and the Masano name is well known in Berks County. The only confusion it has created is that someone thought she was her husband’s sister rather than wife. Interestingly, it appears that the hyphenated version of maiden and husband’s surname has largely fallen out of favor. In fact, I don’t know anyone who has a hyphenated name. I do know that sometimes families make decisions that are very unique and special to them such as the Moser family. Karen Moser, continued on page 22

berkswomen2women.com 21

Work2Life Executive Director of the Wyomissing Area Education Foundation and Counselor with Caron Foundation, married her husband, Jim Eshbach, in 2004. She did not take her husband’s surname, even though Moser is actually her prior husband’s surname. She kept it because she has a son with her first husband whose last name is Moser and she had established an identity in her profession for close to ten years. She had worked with foster children and adopted children and she had concerns that people who needed to contact her would not be able to find her if she changed her name. She also wanted to maintain Moser to maintain some family unity. Interestingly, when she had a child with her current husband, they gave their daughter Moser as her last name. They chose to prioritize family unity by putting the sibling relationship first so that the three of them in the family would have the same last name. Moser explains that “the reasoning behind keeping my first husband’s name is often confusing to people. I am often asked if this

decision upsets my current husband, does he get called Mr. Moser, how could he give his child my prior husband’s name?” It is quite a tribute to her healthy relationship with her first husband’s family as they still celebrate holidays, birthdays and weddings together. It is a special and unique way to blend all three families. And by the way, Karen’s husband, Jim, has a licensed fictitious name. What an interesting, healthy and mature dynamic that the Moser/Eshbach family exemplifies for all of us. As for legal ramifications, there really are none. A legal name is a legal name. With the abolishment of the coverture doctrine, we, as single individuals or married individuals, are free to enter into contracts. Can it be confusing? Certainly. I know that there are people who don’t know if my husband and I are married because we have different last names but given the various constructs of families today, it is no longer unusual or very controversial.

Jill is a partner in the firm of MasanoBradley in Wyomissing. Since 1992, Jill has practiced in Berks County with concentrations in civil litigation, criminal defense and family law. Jill has litigated a variety of cases to verdict, including premises liability, medical malpractice, motor vehicle negligence, assault, DUI and three murder cases, including one capital case. Jill has been a member of the Pennsylvania Bar since 1992 and a member of the United States District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts since 1993.

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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Hostess gifts • Pottery • Pillows • Glassware 22 Women2Women Summer 2014



HAPPENINGS… Women2Women, an initiative of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, is Greater Reading’s premiere resource for women who want to learn, share ideas, build connections and mentor each other. Our goal is to create more women leaders in Berks. Membership is free and open to all women.

To Join Women2Women, e-mail: W2W@GreaterReadingChamber.org Plus, stay connected at: BerksWomen2Women.com • Facebook.com/BerksWomen2Women • LinkedIn: Berks Women2Women Group



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.


Host of MSNBC’s Your Business & Co-Founder—GoodSearch.com September 23, 2014 • 5–8 p.m. • Crowne Plaza • $40 JJ Ramberg is a contributor to the Today Show on small business and financial issues. She is also MSNBC’s small business expert and occasional on-air news anchor. She was a financial columnist for Cookie Magazine, Conde Nast’s parenting magazine and a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine where she focused on social entrepreneurship.

One of the longest running shows on MSNBC, Your Business has profiled thousands of small business owners and offered advice from countless small business experts and investors. The show’s guests have included Senate and House Small Business Committee members, the head of the Small Business Administration, and members of the Cabinet. She has received several awards including Self Magazine’s “Women Doing Good” and Jewish Women International’s “Women to Watch.”

Robin MK Shilling

Toni Miller

Independent National Executive Director– Pampered Chef December 16, 2014 • 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Stokesay Castle • $20 Robin Shilling has been with The Pampered Chef for just over 25 years. She was one of three Directors named to the National Executive Director position when those positions were created in 2001. Identified as one of the quickest to move through the hierarchy of management levels, Robin attributes her success to leading by example. This philosophy carries through to everything she does including modeling this behavior for her children. When she started her business she was married with two children ages 3 and 8 months old. For most of her career she has been a single mother struggling to be a role model, a provider and accessible for her clients and children 24/7.

Senior Executive Vice President–Boscov’s Department Stores June 9, 2015 • 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Stokesay Castle • $20 Toni Miller has over 30 years of retail experience in finance and operations, having started her career primarily in direct marketing and from there her experience grew into retail stores, food services, hospitality and manufacturing. She joined Boscov’s as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in June 2009 after spending over 27 years with Bass Pro Shops, previously serving as their Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. She currently holds the position of Senior Executive Vice President–Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

Speaker TBA

February 17, 2015 • 8:00 –10:00 a.m. Stokesay Castle • $20




Recognizing that women face unique challenges as business-owners, we provide a forum for these like-minded women to learn from local experts about topics relevant to business ownership, and to learn from one another’s experiences. These roundtables meet monthly with an expert speaker and a facilitator. Topics discussed this past year included ethics in the workplace, insurance needs for small business owners, and retirement plans for women. All sessions meet on a Monday morning from 8:00 a.m. — 9:15 a.m. The cost is $180 for 9 sessions, which includes breakfast. The next series of Women-Owned Business Roundtables will begin in October and meet through June 2015. If you are interested in joining this dynamic group of women, contact Liz McCauley at 610.898.8386 or lmccauley@greaterreadingchamber.org.

24 Women2Women Summer 2014

PATH2PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT New this Fall! Our Mentoring Initiative Evolves to Path2Personal Development Path2Personal Development has grown from the original mentoring initiative. This new direction 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.



October 14, 2014 • 5:00–8:00 p.m. $25

March 11, 2015 • 4:30–6:30 p.m. Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence • FREE

Once again, a panel of distinguished women will share their journeys and talk about the obstacles they faced and overcame and the decision points they encountered. The role that sponsors or mentors played along the way will also be explored. Their stories will inspire you and ignite interesting discussion around the paths they have taken on their personal journeys.

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. Statistics show that networking is THE most effective way to connect with an opportunity or an organization. You can become a super networker…come learn the secrets to success.

Panelists include: • Mary Kay Bernosky, Executive Director – Berks Women in Crisis • Natalie M. Parisi, DDS, Orthodontist – Reading Orthodontic Group • Janice Luck, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Co Director of Athletics – Albright College • The Honorable Theresa Johnson, Judge – Berks County Court of Common Pleas



Senior Vice President, Retail Banking – Tompkins VIST Bank November 12, 2014 • 4:30–6:30 p.m. Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence • FREE

Learning & Development Business Partner — Tompkins VIST Bank and Certified Life Coach May 13, 2015 • 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence • FREE

If learning to cope rather than learning to influence sounds like you, learn how to strengthen your own skills of influence and persuasion. Use these skills to enhance your personal and professional life in ways you never thought possible.

Our most important relationships require our full participation, yet when it comes to having those “difficult conversations” we may back off, shut down, or ignore the issue at hand. You owe it to yourself, your boss, spouse, family, staff, clients to invest fully in your relationships by finding empowerment and growth through difficult conversations. Start here and you will leave with a few tools and shift in perspective to confidently approach at least one difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding.


January 14, 2015 • 4:30–6:30 p.m. Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence • FREE

Surveys have shown that the number one fear in the world is the fear of public speaking. Can you relate? You don’t have to be a professional speaker to be interested in the benefits of public speaking. Reason being that public speaking takes place daily even during those things we perceive as ‘ordinary’ activities of life… It’s simply a part of life! Come learn tips that will help you overcome your fear and set you up for success!

berkswomen2women.com 25

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.


Founder and CEO–Dunleavy & Associates November 18, 2014 • 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing • $20 Magic happens when you are able to go beyond networking, and actually connect with others. Learn how to stop the cycle of merely collecting business cards and learn how the power of connecting can change your career and the world around you. Nancy is one of Philadelphia’s "Top 101 Connectors," Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction and the owner of a top 100 woman-owned business. Her career as an entrepreneur was preceded by more than twenty years in the healthcare business, as a senior financial manager and hospital administrator.


Certified Business and Personal Coach January 20, 2015 • 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing • $20 Unfortunately, most people believe being busy means they are getting things done, but this is often not the case. If you prioritize properly, however, there will be no need to multi-task. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have been productive just because you are busy! Do you want to stop being a woman who does too much, and start being a woman who knows what she wants, gets the “right” things done, and achieves her goals? This session is for you!



CPA, Co-Chair of the Health Law Department – Stevens & Lee

Donna Vareha-Walsh

Director Global Procurement - Carpenter Technology Tuesday, March 17, 2015 • 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing • $20 Every day, women face situations that require using negotiation skills as a way to get things done in the workplace. Negotiation can be for your business or for yourself. This session will help you to improve your skills to get what you want out of negotiations. This session offers a practical approach to deal with both the issues and to manage the interpersonal dynamics that can prevent people from getting to “yes!”

Business and Human Resources Operations Consultant May 19, 2015 • 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing • $20 We’ve all been there…a co-worker who continually undermines us, or a manager who takes “all the credit” for the good work we’ve done on that special project. Or what about the game of office politics, should you learn it or walk away? This unique session will include an interactive, lively discussion that will be facilitated by a pro - Lynn Brown. Each table of attendees will have a table monitor who will jump start a series of discussions based on real life scenarios we’ve all been confronted with from time to time. You will have take-aways from this session that we guarantee will help you navigate those minefields each and every day.

Presenters Pictured: Left, Joanne M. Judge, Esq.; Right, Donna Vareha-Walsh


A Lean In Circle is comprised of 12 to 14 women coming together to learn, grow and support each other in an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust. Each Lean In Circle is facilitated by a skilled facilitator. During our pilot circle, we alternated between education meetings and exploration meetings. For an education meeting we would watch a video lecture and discuss topics such as Negotiation, Team Dynamics or Power & Influence. The lectures offer practical skills that can be applied in daily life. We discussed what made sense, what didn’t make sense and we sought out ways to implement what we’ve learned between meetings. At an exploration meeting, members discussed current-day, real life, situations they were dealing with. The other members listened, questioned and provided suggestions, but always supportive of whatever the right next step is for each woman’s situation. An Application for you to fill out is available at our website www.berkswomen2women.com or contact Karen Marsdale kmarsdale@greatrreadingchamber.org to apply. Circles will begin in late September or early October. Cost to join is $500 and consists of ten 2-hour monthly sessions.

26 Women2Women Summer 2014


Work-Life Balance

Achieving the perfect balance as a professional, mother & wife

Melissa Varone Assistant VP, Marketing, Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry


busy mother of two, devoted wife and integral business partner, Sara Stump shared with me how she achieves a healthy work-life balance. Sara works full time with her husband at Suburban Testing Labs, and enjoys the challenges of owning a small business with her husband where there is no “clocking out.” Her key to balance is to be organized, establish a good routine, but be willing to be flexible and decide on what is important.

“Whenever I feel a little guilty, my wish is that my children will grow to admire me for being a working professional, and mother.” continued on page 28 berkswomen2women.com 27

Growth 2Go For instance, Sara schedules a daily routine for her children, her husband and even herself. Simple things like waking up at the same time help her family stay organized and the children better behaved. She invests in date nights and spending time with her husband. “Rich and I may talk about work at home, but we reconnect at the end of day,” says Sara. “It is our time to connect over mommy and daddy-tails.” What you might ask are mommy and daddy-tails, their name for conversation over cocktails! When she first started her family it wasn’t that easy. Sara shared, “when I had my first child, I couldn’t do anything right. My husband Rich and I

Sara’s Work-Life Balance Tips • List your priorities — pick what is most important, you can’t do it all. • Engage in a network of help. Be sure to have backups — don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family, friends, neighbors. • Let go of the rest. • Schedule time for yourself. • Socialize with your spouse and/or friends.

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had to sit down and decide together what was important for our family, and the rest, we had to let go!” After they determined what worked best for their family, Sara could focus on her career, ditch the personal guilt and allow herself some leisure time away from her children—even if that time is simply running to Target while her little ones are in bed. She is on her own, and alone! “Whenever I feel a little guilty, my wish is that my children will grow to admire me for being a working professional, and mother,” stated Sara. “I have also gotten better at not stressing over the fact that my house isn’t organized or doesn’t look like a Pottery Barn catalog. I would rather spend that time putting together a puzzle with my children.” Her to-do list will always be there, but her children will grow up fast. Sara is finding the perfect balance as a professional, mother and wife.



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Health2 Wellness

Mental, Spiritual, Physical Health & Wellness

Documentary Brings Domestic Violence to Light Intimate Partner Violence is a pattern of physical, sexual, and/or emotionally abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Paula Barron, Senior Vice President, Retail Banking – Tompkins VIST Bank


n March 16, 2011 Jennifer Snyder, of Lower Macungie Township, a veterinary technician who was two months pregnant with her first child, was killed by David A. Rapoport, the married veterinarian she had been dating for about three years. *Although this tragic story is more than three years old, it repeats itself over and over again around the world and right here in Berks County.


According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. • Females are most often victimized by someone they know. • Females who are 20—24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police

30 Women2Women Summer 2014

For most of us we only hear about domestic violence through the media. But, for agencies such as Berks Women in Crisis, a local non-profit agency that offers shelter services, legal services and counseling services to those individuals that seek assistance, these staggering statistics are real people that seek help every day. One Berks County woman, Tracy Schott, is passionate about educating us about domestic violence, not through the media hype that many times puts blame on the victim, but through a 70–90 minute documentary film she and Derek Dienner, Director of Photography, have been working on since the tragic death of Jennifer Snyder. Tracy began her career as a social worker, trained at the University of California-Berkley School of Social Welfare. For more than a decade she worked with women, children and families (many of them victims of abuse) providing psychotherapy. She later decided to make a career change to pursue a more creative outlet and began working in video production with her expertise being interviewing and directing. Tracy learned about Jennifer Snyder’s story,

shortly after Jenn’s death in 2011. Jenn’s aunt was a friend, and was upset at the way Jennifer was being portrayed by the media. On impulse, Tracy “googled” homicide and pregnancy and was “blown away” to learn that homicide was the leading cause of death during pregnancy. She decided then that this

may never have seen it coming, but “if you’re in a relationship, with someone who is manipulative and lying—it’s not a good idea”, Tracy says. Interviews with Jennifer Snyder’s family members and friends uncovered their belief that there were warning signs. Seventy percent of the film has been shot, but Tracy wants to continue to interview other victims as part of Finding Jenn’s Voice. The film will require three to four months of editing to complete before the it is ready to be released. The total budget for the film is $250,000, along with out of pocket expenses. Tracy has been, in addition to working on the film, working with groups to raise money and receive grants so the film can be seen by many. She is also planning a crowdfunding campaign this summer. Once completed she hopes to “take it on the road”, to college campuses, roundtable group discussions and to have a multi-media web site that will allow the interviews she has been doing to be seen in full and allow the victims to tell their whole stories. Ultimately, Tracy’s vision is for the site to become a virtual story needed to be told. The Snyder family agreed to participate support group, where survivors of intimate partner violence can share and Tracy began the journey to complete the self-funded film by their own stories. “Television and film have the power to do good—to inform, to educate, the end of this year. According to Tracy, “Finding Jenn’s Voice is to change people. I challenge the media to know that people want real being produced to teach all women to pay attention to their inner information; information that allows cultural shifts to happen. I hope voice, to not negate their feelings, to look for signs of violence in this film brings awareness that causes change” said Tracy. a partner and to seek assistance.” The film is also intended to raise To learn more about the film, you can follow its progress on the awareness of intimate partner violence as a social problem that can website, www.findingjennsvoice.com or follow on Facebook www. be changed through awareness and education. “Like cancer was facebook.com/findingjennsvoice. To learn more about PA Coalition in the 60s and 70s when everyone referred to it as the “c” word, against Domestic Violence, visit www.pcadv.org. intimate partner violence is associated with shame. When the media begins to provide accurate information about IPV, we will move beyond victim blaming and create a culture that doesn’t tolerate *Morning Call, March 18, 2012 violence toward women,” she added. This film has brought Tracy’s career full circle because of her background in social work, Tracy has been successful in interviewing experts in the field of domestic violence and clearly wants to portray in her film research that doesn’t “victim blame” but helps Support the film! to give victims early warning signs of what may tip the scale that Say NO MORE turns a relationship violent. There are obvious red flags to avoid to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault such as angry, controlling, possessive, jealous, or violent behavior. Unfortunately most abusers are able to mask these tendencies early on in a relationship. By the time people notice the obvious red flags, learn how you can help at they’re already attached to an abuser, which makes it much harder www.findingjennsvoice.com for them to leave the relationship. “Trying to leave the relationship is one of the hardest and most dangerous things to do”, Tracy said. According to reports from the Jennifer Snyder murder, David Rapoport never intended to leave his wife and had violently killed Jennifer after he learned that she was pregnant with his child. She berkswomen2women.com 31

Health 2Wellness



Glory Aparna Mele, M.D. Digestive Disease Associates

32 Women2Women Summer 2014


s a gastroenterologist, I am always Intestinal bacteria also synthesize essential  being asked how to keep the ‘gut’ vitamins and metabolize bile acids and sterols.   healthy. My answer always addresses There are 100 trillion microorganisms in four important points that include what we the digestive tract. The metabolic activities eat, how we eat it, the weight we carry, and performed by these bacteria resemble those the preventative measures we take to reduce of an organ, leading some to call our gut the risk of disease. bacteria a “forgotten” organ. Intestinal health is the optimal digestion, Research suggests that the relationship absorption and assimilation of food. Gut between intestinal microbiota and humans is health is critical to overall health, which starts symbiotic, as these microorganisms perform with good digestion. Digestive problems cause many important roles in promoting normal poor absorption of the nutrients our bodies gastrointestinal function, regulating metabneed to maintain good health. The resulting olism, and comprising 75% of our immune nutritional deficiencies contribute to an systems. In fact it is their dysregulation that increased risk of chronic disease. Resolving can contribute to many diseases, including gut problems does not just improve your allergies, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel immediate quality of life by eliminating disease, and infection. There are many causes unpleasant symptoms, but also promotes of dysregulation of these enteric bacteria, long-term health. including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, To review the importance of the bacteria antibiotics, chronic stress, prolonged illness, we share our guts with, gut flora are micro- diets that are high in refined carbohydrates, organisms that live in our digestive tracts and sugars and processed foods, and low in are the largest reservoir of human flora. They fermentable fibers. ferment undigested unused carbohydrates, The digestive system processes and absorbs which produces short chain fatty acids, energy nutrients from the foods we eat. There are ten substrates absorbed into the bloodstream. important steps to eating healthy for the gut.


A balanced diet is critical, which should include fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, oats, beans, moderately lean meats, fish, eggs, protein, and dairy.


Avoid saturated fats.


Don’t rush! Give quality time for meals, eat slowly to allow more efficient digestion, and chew thoroughly to release the important digestive enzymes that break down food.


Limit alcohol intake, which can inflame the lining of the digestive tract.


One’s diet should include prebiotics such as inulin and fructooligosaccharides, which facilitate the growth and activity of our gut flora and build immunity. Prebiotics foods include asparagus, onions, garlic, leeks, bananas, and beans.


Drink plenty of hydrating liquids to facilitate defecation, approximately 2L/day.


Don’t skip meals! Starvation creates a catabolic state, which depletes protein stores, leading to muscle loss and decreased energy. Regular meals maintain blood sugar levels, prevent cravings, and control hunger and weight.


Eat 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber .


Consume 2–3 servings/day of dairy, an important source of calcium, vitamins A, D, and B12.


Eat whole grains which contain natural fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which get stripped in the refining process.

The benefits of fiber are far-reaching. Fiber normalizes bowel movements by increasing the weight and size of stool, adding bulk and allowing complete evacuation. It maintains bowel health as some fiber is fermented in the colon and may lower the risk of hemorrhoid development, diverticular disease, and colon cancer. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein and reducing blood pressure and inflammation. Fiber can slow the absorption of sugar, thereby helping to improve blood sugar levels. Finally, fiber helps in achieving a healthy weight, as high fiber foods require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register satiety, thereby reducing overeating. A high fiber diet makes a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a longer time. High fiber meals are also less energy dense, which means fewer calories for the same volume of food. The health of the digestive tract is not just influenced by what we eat, but also the frequency, velocity, and volume of our ingested intake. There are enormous benefits to eating smaller, more frequent meals. People who continued on page 34

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Health 2Wellness eat several small meals throughout the day are less likely to overeat transfer gut microbes to each other, and if so, which set would end because they stay relatively satiated. The feeling of hunger does not up dominating the gut: the leanness ones or the obesity ones? They develop as intensely when there are only 2–3 hours between meals. found the answer depended on the type of diet. If the mice were Smaller meals can facilitate more efficient digestion by accelerating on a healthy diet—one low in saturated fat and high in fruits and gut motility. This not only helps the food digest quicker, but also vegetables—then the leanness-associated microbes invaded the gut prevents post-meal fullness and bloating that limits daily activities. of the mice with the obesity-associated microbes, hindering weight Muscle is built and maintained more quickly by a steady flow of gain and development of metabolic problems tied to insulin resistance. amino acids from frequent eating. It leads to better regulation of The study reveals another clue about the intimate ties between gut insulin, which in turn turns food into energy and stores it for future bacteria and diet in the development of obesity, and suggests that use. Vitamins and minerals are more efficiently processed. Finally, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables encourages leanness-related smaller, more frequent meals control hunger by avoiding wide microbes to populate the gut, leading to better weight control. fluctuations in blood sugar. Prevention can reduce the economic burden of disease in addition According to the surgeon general, obesity today is an epidemic; it to improving the length and quality of people’s lives. Taking charge is arguably the most pressing public health problem we face, costing of what we eat, how we eat, and the weight we carry, plus eliminating the health care system an estimated $90 billion a year. Three out other body stressors are crucial to gut health. of five Americans are overweight; one out of five is obese. Obesity is the 2nd leading preventable cause of death, behind smoking. 1. Controlling stress is critical, as stress increases Obese people live 7 years less than non-obese people. The average gut peptides that accelerate gut motility. life expectancy in the US is expected to decline because of obesity. Obviously obesity has global and far-reaching consequences on health 2. Eliminate tobacco use, as smoking is directly linked to and longevity, but how is it linked to the digestive system? Excess fat gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, intake leading to obesity can cause delayed gastric emptying with liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, colon polyps, symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and early satiety. colon cancer, and more. Obesity causes extrinsic pressure on the abdominal viscera and can lead to acid reflux, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer, the 3. Maintain a normal bowel movement pattern with a high fiber diet. fastest growing cancer in the U.S. It is linked to numerous chronic functional disorders of the gut and can also directly lead to liver, 4. Get plenty of sleep, as sleep deprivation can have detrimental biliary, and pancreatic disease. effects on bowel functioning, appetite, and body weight. Adults New research suggests that changing the mix of gut microbes need one hour of sleep for every two hours of being awake! can prevent obesity, but only if combined with a healthy diet. Researchers at Washington University School bred sterile mice with 5. Limit alcohol intake. no gut microbes of their own. Then, they took gut microbes from human twins—where one twin was lean and the other obese - and 6. Maintain an ideal body weight and combat obesity by transplanted them into the mice. Mice receiving the obesity-related actively exercising. gut microbes gained weight and fat, and developed obesity-related metabolic problems, while the mice that received the leanness-related gut microbes did not. They then paired up the mice so that the ones Beyond weight control, exercise has many profound benefits. It with microbes from the lean human twin were put in the same cages improves physical health and quality of life. Regular exercise helps as mice with gut microbes from the obese twin. Mice naturally reduce the risk of premature death from heart disease, high blood eat each other’s feces, so the researchers wondered if they would pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and colon and breast cancers and

fun • interactive • healthy • instructional

“Celebrate life by eating well.”

Linda Bell, chef 610.374.2674 www.theculinaryclassroom.com  theculinaryclassroom@gmail.com 34 Women2Women Summer 2014



LIFETIME Product Guarantee, Recipes, Newsletter Custom Kitchen, Cooking Demonstrations, Parties!


bolsters the immune system. Exercise improves psychological well-being by improving mood and reduces the likelihood of depression and anxiety. Physical activity stimulates endorphins that usually leave us feeling happier and more relaxed. You will not only feel better, but look better when you exercise regularly which, in turn, boosts confidence and self-esteem. Exercise increases energy levels, by maximizing circulation. It promotes better sleep by helping you fall asleep faster and into a more deep sleep, allowing you to be well-rested, and enhancing concentration, productivity and mood. It helps maintain and increase muscle and joint strength, improves balance, coordination, reaction time and flexibility. The importance of screening exams to detect early disease cannot be emphasized enough. Waiting until alarm symptoms develop to seek medical attention may make disease prevention too late. All individuals should be encouraged to get a screening colonoscopy in a timely fashion, according to national guidelines, to detect and remove precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer. Regular heartburn sufferers in high risk demographic groups should be screened early for precancerous cellular changes that can lead to esophageal cancer. So, how do we maintain a healthy gut? Take stock of what you are putting in your body, remembering that what we fuel our digestive system with will determine how effectively it works. Maintaining the right weight and combating obesity will promote longevity, digestive efficiency, and prevent disease. Make better lifestyle choices and include active exercise. Manage stress and eliminate other body stressors, including sleep deprivation, tobacco, and alcohol. Keep an eye on the normal functioning of your gut and seek medical attention for chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. And finally, get preventative screening on time. Hippocrates said it best: “All disease begins in the gut.”

Aparna Mele, M.D. is a board certified physician with Digestive Disease Associates in Wyomissing, PA. A trained gastroenterologist and hepatologist, she is the only female gastroenterologist in Berks County and has been in practice since 2007. Dr. Mele recently started a nonprofit organization called My Gut Instinct, Inc., which has created the Guts and Glory Digestive and Wellness Expo, an inaugural and entirely free nonprofit interactive public educational event being held at the First Energy Stadium on Oct 4, 2014. St Joseph’s hospital is the title sponsor, and there will be educational booths, live cooking demonstrations, group fitness exercise presentations, kids’ zones to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity at a young age, expert lectures, farmer’s market, massage tents, live music, healthy food vendors, and even an interactive exhibit of a crawl through human colon! For more information, refer to the website at www.mygutinstinct.org.

REFERENCES Cummings, J.H.; MacFarlane, G.T. (1997). “Role of intestinal bacteria in nutrient metabolism”. Clinical Nutrition 16: 3–9. Guarner, F; Malagelada, J (2003). “Gut flora in health and disease”. The Lancet 361 (9356): 512–9. O’Hara, Ann M; Shanahan, Fergus (2006). “The gut flora as a forgotten organ.” EMBO reports 7 (7): 688–93. Ridaura, VK; Faith JJ, et al. (2013). “Gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate metabolism in mice”. Science 6: 341 (6150): 1241214

berkswomen2women.com 35

Health 2Wellness

So You’re Getting Married Planning and Tax Considerations Stacy A. Weller, CPA Herbein + Company, Inc.


o you’re getting married—Congratulations! As a woman, this exciting time in your life is flooded with anticipation and planning checklists; checklists for the ceremony and venue, flowers, the perfect dress, celebratory toasts and much more. Paying attention to how marriage changes your tax picture can save your bank account for years after the wedding hustle and bustle is over. By adding tax planning to your wedding checklists, you will likely have an easier time this tax season and down the road. The following list is tax planning considerations that you and your fiancé may want to consider.

36 Women2Women Summer 2014


1. Name and Address Change You may decide to legally change your name after the nuptials. The name on your tax return must match what was reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA), exactly. Also, consider the need to file a change of address form with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by completing and filing Form 8822. If moving also report the address changes with the USPS.

2. Filing Status As long as you are legally married as of December 31st you will file either married filing jointly or married filing separately for that entire tax year. Most times it is best to file jointly, but calculate the numbers to be sure.

3. Withholding What to do with your withholding and W-4 Form

You should take a look at your tax picture as a married couple versus single filing—perhaps with combined income you are now in a higher tax bracket and should consider increasing your withholding as a result. You can adjust your federal withholding via completing a Form W-4 and giving it to your employer. Or perhaps you or your spouse will be staying home raising your children—this may put you in a lower tax bracket and you may be able to reduce your federal withholding.

Eye care for children. Good vision is essential for a child’s physical and educational development. Because a child’s eyes are constantly developing, early detection of eye problems is key to eye health in children. That’s why routine vision screenings by an experienced pediatric eye care specialist are so important. If your child fails a school vision screening, ever has a vision complaint, or you just have concerns about your child’s vision, one of our experienced pediatric eye care specialists would be happy to help. — DAVID S. GOLDBERG, MD, FAAP MITCHELL M. SCHEIMAN, OD, FAAO PEDIATRIC EYE SPECIALISTS

5. Marriage Penalty Does it really exist?

Is there really a “marriage penalty” within the tax code? Although some feel Congress made efforts to remove the so-called penalties, others feel there is indeed still a marriage penalty in the tax code. For instance, with the new Medicare surtax of 3.8% on net investment income, the applicable adjusted gross income (AGI) threshold for single individuals is $200,000 but for married filing jointly it is only $250,000. Additionally, the phase-out of personal exemptions was reinstated in 2013. A single filer’s personal exemptions will begin to phase out at $250,000 of AGI, and married filers will begin to phase out at $300,000 of AGI. You can clearly see the married filing jointly thresholds are not exactly double the amount of the single thresholds—hence the terminology “marriage penalty.”

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6. Itemized Deductions You may get more of a tax benefit from itemizing your deductions versus taking the standard deduction once you get married. Itemized deductions are reported on Schedule A of the tax return and include deductions for state and local income taxes paid, mortgage interest, charitable contributions and several other possible deductions. It makes sense to run the calculations to be sure you are getting the most tax savings possible! continued on page 38

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berkswomen2women.com 37



Health 2Wellness




Connect ALLISON your products BA VER 7. Education and services Can you claim it? directly Perhaps either to you or your spouse was attending postsecondarytarget education in the year in which you got your married. Don’t forget about valuable tax credits available audience. for post-secondary education expenses. It is also possible EXCLUSIVE!

9. Employer Benefits





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is the regional leader in These benefits print andtax digital niche are both affected by income publishing. Ourand publications thresholds may or may not be available due to deliver targeted marketing your new filing status and combined income levels. opportunities directly to the key decision makers of Receiving large monetary gifts Gideon turns 50 Berks County’s professional, business and community Perhaps you and your new spouse receive a sizeable organizations. cash gift to use towards a down payment for a new Greater Reading Young Professionals

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home. As the recipient, you do not have to pay tax on that gift. The person who made the gift may in certain circumstances need to file a gift tax return and possibly pay gift tax—please consult a professional to be sure.

Once you are married you should review your employers’ health insurance offerings and their respective costs. It might be possible to switch to family coverage under one spouse’s employer, which might yield more cost savings to you both as a family unit. Now is also the time to consider changing beneficiaries to possibly be your new spouse—for example life insurance policies and retirement accounts have beneficiaries. Also review employer sponsored retirement plans offered. If both plans match contributions, determine which plan offers the best match and take full advantage of it. Review vesting schedules for the employer’s matching contributions. Additionally, you should compare the investment options offered by each plan.

10. Life Insurance It’s also important to consider life insurance. Especially if you are purchasing a home together (and carrying a mortgage), and possibly starting a family. While no one wants to think about something bad happening to their spouse, if a spouse were to pass away early and unexpectedly, it is extremely important to have life insurance in place.

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11. Wills Look into creating a will for you and your spouse. If you already have a will, a major life event like a wedding is the right time to update them.


Getting married is such an exciting time for so many reasons! But as a woman it is important to be conscious of all of the financial and tax impacts that go along with getting married. Every individual situation is different so it is important to consider contacting a professional for advice.

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38 Women2Women Summer 2014

fitness Berks


You and your spouse should be proactive and discuss your financial situations and financial goals, decide on what type of bank accounts you will keep, plan an annual budget and record keeping system that you both can understand and be a part of updating. Money may be a major factor in the success and happiness of your marriage, so become an active part of managing it as a team. Stacy A. Weller, CPA is a Manager in Herbein’s Tax and Small Business Department. Stacy is responsible for managing multiple individual and corporate client tax engagements. Stacy specializes in individual tax planning, compliance, and tax minimization strategies for small to mid-size clients requiring various levels of tax and accounting services.

Health 2Wellness

Not just another

Hollywood Detox Benefits of a good detox plan

Suzie Carpenter, Peak Health Coach, Public Speaker Natural Foods Cooking Instructor


etox diets are often used as a fast Let’s back up for a minute. way to lose weight. Wanting to Why is it called a detox show off flat tight tummies in their and what is a toxin anyway? gorgeous red carpet gowns, many celebrities like Beyonce, Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow, A toxin is any substance that creates irritathave made detoxing a popular fad. ing or harmful effects in the body therefore Surprisingly, just the other day I got a call undermining our health and stressing our from a woman who said, “I thought your biochemical and organ functions. Quickie program was another Hollywood The reality is that toxicity is a much greater empowering, but it is one of the easiest steps detox until I learned from a friend that you issue today than in the past for many reasons. you can do to improve how you feel within are for real!” Just take what we eat. There are more than just three short days. So, is detoxing just another weight loss 14,000 man made-chemicals used today in gimmick or does it hold some merit in the food production including preservatives, FIVE NOTICEABLE BENEFITS world of nutrition and healthy eating? It artificial coloring and flavorings, and even OF DOING A DETOX: depends on what type of detox we are talking gases to artificially ripen fruits. Sugar is in about. A whole foods detox, which aims for everything: ketchup, salad dressings, vegetable 1. Flatten your belly proper nourishment and liver cleansing, is broth, cold cuts, bacon, peanut butter, pretzels, 2. Sharpen mental focus and stamina best and most certainly has benefits way kale chips and smoked salmon. beyond just losing a few pounds fast. The average American gets 20 teaspoons of 3. Get clear glowing skin One of the things a detox does is eliminate sugar a day from added sugars that are not 4. Reduce pain and inflammation processed foods including sugar, gluten and naturally present in foods. Sugar is empty 5. Find relief from headaches dairy allowing us to break free from those calories and feeds cancer cells, weakens the and migraines foods or chemicals that typically hold a tight immune system, interferes with absorption of grip on us, whether or not we know it. protein, and can contribute to osteoporosis, Just think about this: Have you ever wanted among many other things. to break a habit but simply couldn’t get Whether or not you have a sweet tooth, yourself to do it on your own no matter how breaking bad habits is one of the biggest hard you tried? Being a former sugar addict benefits of a detox because it creates increased myself, I can totally relate to that hooked, confidence alongside a fresh start of long term frustrated, and helpless feeling. That is exactly healthier habits. The thing is that sometimes what motivated me to create my detox plan we don’t know how badly we feel until we feel better. A detox is not only incredibly five years ago. berkswomen2women.com 39

Health 2Wellness

Jicama & Carrot Slaw Serves 6

1 whole jicama root 6 carrots 1 large raw beet

Cut off ends and peel carrots. Chop in half. Place in the bowl of a food processor with the shredder blade attached. Shred and place in a large serving bowl. Slice off ends of beet and peel. Cut in quarters then shred in processor. Place on a separate plate. Peel jicama and cut in quarters or smaller pieces. Shred in the food processor and transfer to same bowl as the carrots. Make the dressing in the food processor. Pour one cup of dressing over carrots and jicama. Toss well to combine adding more dressing as needed. Gently fold in beets and adjust seasoning as needed. Colorful, crunchy, creamy goodness!

Green Goddess Divine Dressing 1 1/4 cups sesame tahini 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup water or more 1 cup of olive oil 2 cloves garlic 1 bunch fresh parsley 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper Place garlic in food processor or blender and pulse until minced. Add remaining ingredients and gently pulse until combined but allowing some of the parsley leaves to remain visible in the dressing. If dressing is too thick add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time. 40 Women2Women Summer 2014


at sea

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Grilled Tomato Garlic Shrimp 2 pounds shrimp ¾ cup grapeseed oil 3 cloves of garlic 1 lemon ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves

2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 teaspoon sea salt skewers

Peel and devein shrimp leaving tail intact. Place shrimp in a large Ziploc bag. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well. Save about 3 tablespoons of marinade for basting and then pour the rest into bag with the shrimp. Marinate for 2–4 hours in the refrigerator. Heat grill over medium heat. Put shrimp on skewers by piercing once near the tail and once near the top or head. Discard marinade. Cook shrimp for about 5 minutes per side, basting with the marinade.



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berkswomen2women.com 41

BookClub Summer Fun Reads Compiled by Dawn Maurer Derr


h summer! The ideal time to find your happy place…whether it be at the beach with your toes dipped in the sand; lakeside with the cool breeze of swaying shaded trees; or on your porch with a tall glass of sweet tea…and cozy up to a good read. Women2Women’s recommendations of the best summer reads comes from our readers and covers a plethora of page-turners, so stop by your local library or bookstore, or turn on your e-reader, and begin your journey into another world. Keep in mind that some covers may have different jackets depending on when they were printed. “If you’re in the mood to appreciate history and sacrifice, read Unbroken before the movie directed by Angelina Jolie comes out this Christmas. Even though it’s documented history, Laura Hillenbrand manages to build suspense. I learned lots. Also, anything by Anne Tyler.”

Denise Nicoel Hoyos, Douglas, Arizona “Looking forward to Diana Gabaldon’s next in the Outlander series. Also, Janet Evanovich’s next in the Stephanie Plum series.”

Shauna Kring, Mohnton “I like any title by Sandra Brown, The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty, and Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler.

Joan Weidman, Wyomissing “I read (actually I devour) everything Elin Hilderbrand writes. Her setting is Nantucket and her books are a total summer/beach escape. I am anxiously awaiting her next release. And I’ve become obsessed about visiting Nantucket.”

Elaine Taroll Stanko, Wyomissing “Just read Colleen McCullough’s first book Tim about a mildly retarded man who falls in love with a middle age woman. It’s from the 1970’s and is a very thought-provoking read that is still light enough for the beach. Now reading her book The Thornbirds. She seems to like the forbidden love theme. Catching up on books that I missed when they were popular has been a hoot.”

Susan Denaro, Wyomissing Will Mrs. Major Go To Hell? By Aloise Buckley Heath, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, Nine Stories by JD Salinger

Mary Wert, Sinking Spring

42 Women2Women Summer 2014

Refuse to Drown by Tim Kreider

Nanda Tucci-Venezia, Reading “Anything by Lisa Scottoline, but my most recent beach read was Think Twice. Excellent!”

Laurel Bobst, Wernersville “Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen…great story of past, present and future.”

Sharon Mast, Mount Penn Sleeping with the Enemy…Coco Chanel's Secret War by Hal Vaughan

Laura Emmons Rutledge The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Josephine A. Pfeifer

Our congratulations to local author Norma Tamayo, who has been named an Award Winning Author for her young adult novel, A Girl Named Nina. Tamayo was presented the recognition by the International Latino Book Awards, the largest awards in the United States celebrating achievements in Latino literature and culture. A Girl Named Nina, published in 2013 by Aperture Press, is about a young girl with a dream to become a doctor amidst the harsh realities of her parents’ separation, physical abuse, a friend’s drug abuse, her best friend’s murder, and the poverty that surrounds them all. Born in New York City, Tamaya currently teaches the Health Medical Professions program at Reading Muhlenberg CTC.

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berkswomen2women.com 43

Book Club

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:

The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan 1878 Paris. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modeling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. There she meets a wealthy male patron of the ballet, but might the assistance he offers come with strings attached? Meanwhile Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Émile Abadie, must choose between honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde. Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of "civilized society." In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation, if not survival, lies with the other. Join the live discussion on BCTV on August 6 from 8:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. with host & producer: Robin Costenbader-Jacobson, CLC, Life Coach & Principal–RC-J Consulting Associates, LLC

44 Women2Women Summer 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: What has led you to your current career path?

Suzie Carpenter Peak Health Coach, Public Speaker, Natural Foods Cooking Instructor

Q: What words of wisdom would you offer to other women?

A: Shortly after my daughter was diagnosed A: Be true to you. Even though your responwith autism, we discovered she also had celiac sibilities may be great or even unbearable disease and a long list of food sensitivities. at times, keep yourself on your to-do list. Despite the intense stress of the situation, I Honor yourself daily by acknowledging was determined to learn everything I could and appreciating all the good you do. Make about how to help her. Now, this was fourteen caring for you a priority with things that years ago, pre-internet, laptop computers and feed you from the inside out, and the rest iPhones! Turns out, changing her diet (and will fall into place. then mine), taught me an entirely new way of looking at what we eat, which eventually Q: What do you consider women’s led me to attend a nutrition school in New main threat? York. Wanting to learn as much as possible, I also attended biomedical conferences and A: Themselves! We have the tendency to be created relationships with doctors in the our own worst enemy. Thoughts of not being functional medical field. There’s no question good enough or comparing and despairing that if it weren’t for my daughter, I wouldn’t lead to disempowerment, self sabotage and be where I am today with my personal health, stagnation. This, I know from experience! wellbeing and professional success. Passion, Find a way to work through those old habits persistence and love has led me here. or thought patterns and get help developing new ones that are in line with your expertise, Q: How have you led other women experience, potential and passion. in their career paths? Q: Is there an “aha” moment or A: When working with women regarding experience that defines who you are? lifestyle changes, my mission is always to advocate for them to be their very best. With A: There are so many “aha” moments. The my Clean Lean and Sexy jump start programs, key has been embracing the journey and being women find they are more focused and have open to those light bulb moments. With clean greater stamina with less stress whether it’s in eating and removal of hidden food triggers, their current career or during a transition to a not only did my health dramatically improve new one. The empowerment and confidence but so did my intuition and clarity with that comes from truly nourishing and caring thoughts and purpose. Clearly, that was the for our bodies trickles into all areas of life biggest and most defining “aha” moment in including career. my life. Before this, I had no clue that what I ate had such power of my wellbeing. Foggy continued on page 46 berkswomen2women.com 45

Women2Know thinking, tummy troubles and living with pain was my norm. In other words, sometimes we don’t know how badly we feel until we feel better. Food became the vehicle for me to feel better, and every single day eating for health is a gift I give myself. Q: What is the best advice that you have received? A: Growing up, my father told me, “it’s not what happens to you that matters most but how you react to it.” That is a motto I have lived by trying to always learn from situations and discover how I can grow and improve. This begs the question, are you going to merely survive or do you want to thrive? Q: What is your favorite mantra, favorite saying or words that keep you grounded? A: My favorite mantra that instantly grounds me is, “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy...” Allowing my intuition to guide me, I also embrace mantras that pop into my head which are in alignment with what I’m feeling or craving in that particular moment.

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Q: What’s your mission? A: It’s pretty simple—I love food! My belief is that food should taste deliciously satisfying. Which means that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring tasteless or make you feel deprived. My mission is to inspire people to realize that life is super sweet even without added sugar. With my health coaching business, my mission is to provide compassionate individualized attention to women so they can adopt deliciously healthy lifestyles they love that also promote healing and long term health. With my most recent venture, Clean Lean and Sexy gluten free snacks, my mission is to offer delicious guilt free grab and go snacks that have no hidden ingredients.

Reading Hospital

ROAD RUN 1–Mile Fun Run/Fitness Walk - 9 a.m. 10K and 5K Run/Walk - 9:30 a.m.

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