Uncontrollable Hormones: What to Do Next?
WHAT’s The new freshman 15?
Girls on the run – Walk the Talk and Live the Run berkswomen2women.com 1
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Karen Marsdale, Senior Editor | Tracy Beaky, Editor
201 Penn Street | Suite 501 | Reading, PA 19601 berkswomen2women.com | 610.376.6766
Women2Women Advisory Council Alexa Antanavage Paula Barrett Paula Barron Tracy Beaky Margarita Caicedo Robin Costenbader-Jacobson Vicki Ebner Dr. Theresa D. Haught Nancy Hoban Robyn Jones Donna Lamp Karen Marsdale Michele Richards Regina M. Rinehimer Connie Skipper Carolyn Shultz Spano Ann Valuch
Women2Women, launched by the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, encourages women to create connections, gain knowledge, open doors and build strategic alliances, and much more. Our goal is to create more women leaders in Berks County by providing a forum where women from diverse backgrounds can learn, share ideas and mentor each other. Membership is free and open to all women of Berks County.
Women2Women Magazine is a publication of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry To join: W2W@GreaterReadingChamber.org Stay connected: BerksWomen2Women.com Facebook.com/BerksWomen2Women LinkedIn: Berks Women2Women Title Investors St. Joseph Medical Center Wells Fargo Platinum Investors Carpenter The Reading Health System Reading Eagle Company Susquehanna Bank Gold Investors Bellco Federal Credit Union Berks County Bar Association Berks County Living Caron Treatment Center Fox Rothschild LLP Fulton Bank Indigo Print and Marketing Kohl Building Products Lords & Ladies Salon & Medical Spa M&T Bank Prudential Financial RKL VF Outlet Center VIST Bank Women2Women Magazine is published quarterly by Hoffmann Publishing Group, Reading PA HoffmannPublishing.com I 610.685.0914 To advertise contact email@example.com The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Summer 2013 Human Trafficking – It Does Exist
Your Hormonal Rollercoaster
Interview With Kristin van Ogtrop
8 Interview With
20 Human Trafficking – It Does Exist 22 The NEW Freshman 15: Tips for
Kristin van Ogtrop
preparing your child to be fiscally fit in college
24 Girls on the un – Walk the Talk & Live the Run
14 The First Farewell 16 Transitioning to College –
26 Your Hormonal Rollercoaster
Finding the Path Together
18 Act As If...
In Every Issue
4 Editor’s Desk 29 6 W2W Overview 30 13 Idea Exchange
Book Club More Women2know
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© 2013 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced electronically or in print without the expressed written permission of the publisher.
Pull-Out Women2Women Calendar of Events!
Emily Branch photo
Welcome Summer! Tracy Beaky, Editor Women2Women Magazine, Program Coordinator For The Chamber
elcome to summer! You know what summer signifies for Women2Women? It’s the lull in activity leading up to our launch event for the next year of great programming! We are approaching Women2Women’s 3rd year, and we hope you’ll join us at our launch on September 26 for an evening with Kristin van Ogtrop, our Woman2Know keynote speaker, and the managing editor of Real Simple Magazine. Catch our interview with her in this issue. You’ll also find the details of our 20132014 schedule of events in the center pages of this issue – feel free to tear it out and post it as a reminder of events throughout the year! It’s going to be great and we can’t wait to see you! For others, summer signifies the last months of one phase of life and the doorway to the next with children graduating from high school and moving on to college in the Fall. Let the moms in this issue share their experience with you in case you find yourself in the same situation; maybe you can identify? There are also some tips in helping prepare your child for financial independence and college success, and tips to prepare yourself for
Women2Women Summer 2013
what may be an emotional journey. If you do find yourself sending a child off into the world, you can find some tips for staying in touch here as well. Also check out an inspiring program that is about to launch in a few of our schools, Girls on the Run! This is a dream in the works for a local woman who wants to enrich the lives of girls in Greater Reading; how can we not love that! We’re also introducing a topic that many may have heard of, but we may not hear enough about: human trafficking. I confess that I’ve always considered the issue something that happens “somewhere else,” but the truth is we need to be aware that it can be anywhere. In discussing the issue, a colleague made the point that, “People aren’t talking about it because people aren’t talking about it.” With that in mind, let’s start the discussion so that we can be armed with awareness and do what we can to stop this modern-day slavery. Of course, also in this issue we share some good reading picks in our Book Club section, with a book recommendation by a local author, and also our Green Eggs & Hamlet book picks. Make sure you flip to More
Women2Know where you’ll meet Dr. Raquel Yiengst and Pam Rothenberger. I wish you all a happy and healthy summer filled with (safe) sun and fun, and look forward to celebrating the kickoff of our 3rd year with you on September 26!
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By Michele Richards, Pogram Chair, Women2Women Programming Committee Here it is the middle of summer. Typically this is a slower time of the year for Women2Women – a chance to catch our breath and get ready for launch in September. This September will mark the start of our third year and we are excited about the programming line-up for 20132014. In addition to our networking and “fun” events, our upcoming programming features two series, Growth2Go and Women2Know. Growth2Go is the educational component where we give a high-level overview of a topic and then provide some knowledge and some tools with which you can walk away to help you in both your professional and personal development. Attendance for the series has been growing and the 2012-2013 programs were well received. To determine what we would feature this coming year we listened to you – our members and investors. We really do read your surveys and look for your feedback! The second part of programming consists of Women2Know. This is our forum where we shine the light on notable, inspirational and otherwise successful women. Our Women2Know share their stories and provide insight into their history, successes and failures, and what they have learned along the way. Many of our past presenters have been very inspirational and encouraging – I learned that every one of them experienced struggles and failures along the way. They just didn’t let that stop them! Our Women2Know series always kicks off the Women2Women programming year at our Launch Event in September. This year’s launch features a wonderful evening with Kristin van Ogtrop, Managing Editor of Real Simple Magazine, and the author of the popular blog “Adventures in Chaos” on realsimple.com and the critically-acclaimed book “Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom.” I’ll let you in on a little secret. I am not a reader of Real Simple nor have I read Kristin’s book. However, when I heard the title of her book – “Just Let Me Lie Down…” and read a few of her past blogs, I knew we would love her! I hope you can join us for launch and get to know Kristin. She is funny, relatable, entertaining and humbly inspirational. In this issue of Women2Women Magazine, you’ll find the schedule of dates, times and places for this upcoming year of programming. You may also notice a few different times on the schedule besides the lunch hour - we heard the feedback that you can’t always get away for lunch, and we hope to see even more of you at these different times. Women2Women is all about you! I hope to see you at Women2Women in 2013-2014! 6
Women2Women Summer 2013
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Community & Business Profiles, Insights & Highlights
Kristin van Ogtrop Managing Editor, Author and HalfInsane Working Mom
By Tracy Beaky
e are thrilled to bring Kristin van Ogtrop to Greater Reading for our 2013-2014 Women2Women launch event as our keynote speaker and Woman2Know! Kristin is the Managing Editor of Real Simple Magazine and the author of Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the HalfInsane Working Mom. I had the opportunity to speak with Kristin and am excited to share our conversation. Of course I wanted to find out what she would be talking about with us in September at our Women2Women 2013-2014 Launch Event (An Evening with Kristin van Ogtrop, September 26 at the Crowne Plaza), but her down- to-earth, relatable and humorous nature led to a broader conversation that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you’ll enjoy it also. For more insight into Kristin’s “halfinsane” outlook on life, check out her blog, “Adventures in Chaos” at RealSimple.com.
“What will you be sharing with us when you come to speak for Women2Women in September?” “A couple of things around worklife balance…for example, where we are culturally with so many working moms and what that means for us. The Pew Research Center recently reported that moms are the primary breadwinners for 40% of American households today, which is record-breaking. I feel like there’s so much angst around work-life balance, whether you have a family or not. I mean, everyone has work-life balance issues; it’s not just working moms. What I’m going to be talking about when I present in Reading is the ways in which we are 8
Women2Women Summer 2013
already doing it successfully, because we really are. It’s never perfect, never ever, ever, ever. But most of us are doing a pretty good job whether we know it or not. There are always ways to tweak or improve, so I’m going to use some cultural examples and examples from my own life. Like places I go to for inspiration and improvement. I’m happy to work for a great magazine that helps us achieve some balance, and that’s why Real Simple fits my life, not only professionally but personally. I really feel like it helps us escape from the tyranny of perfection, so I’d like to share what I’ve learned along the way.” “Real Simple Magazine was relatively new when you started there, wasn’t it? What was it like to be involved with a fledgling publication like that?”
“The main thing was that I really liked the content. I felt like it really spoke to who I am as a person, as a homeowner and as a mom, even in terms of a psychological fit. And aesthetically it really reflects what I love. That’s why I’m here ten years later. I can’t imagine a magazine where I could feel a better mental and emotional fit for me.” “Real Simple is more than just a magazine; it’s actually touted as a lifestyle brand, isn’t it?” “Well, yes and that speaks to the great team we have here. I mean you can’t make anything great without a great team. Also when it came into being its cultural relevance was perfect. American women were tired of traditional fashion and
beauty magazines, and the Seven Sisters magazines were feeling a little dowdy (those in the group of Good Housekeeping, Better Homes & Gardens and the like). Where was the modern equivalent where you could see what lipstick to wear and still find something to make for dinner and learn how to arrange flowers, but in a modern way, not a 1950s way? That’s what Real Simple came to answer.” “When you started working, you were not a mother. What was the transition like from career woman to working mom, where you started to identify what those balancing struggles look like?” “I don’t remember a lot about the logistical stuff. One thing I can say is that the thought never occurred to me that “I don’t want to go back to work,” because I liked my work, I liked what I was doing, the work was interesting and I liked the people I worked with. At the same time, in terms of our family finances, I had to go back to work, not going back to work was not an option. The thing that I remember, because this lasted for years, was this worry that my kids were going to be really screwed up because I worked. Like many women I
I feel like there’s so much angst around work-life balance, whether you have a family or not.
came of age in a time when there were mostly stay-at-home moms, and my mom was a really great stay-at-home mom. But here I am living in New York City, which seems kind of twisted in its own way, and then leaving my child in the care of a relative stranger all day long – it was so different from the way I had been raised, which seemed right, so I really had these fears that my kids would be really adversely affected because of that. That was the hardest part of the transition. It was
more like my wondering, would the kids be better off if I didn’t work? But now the oldest is 18, the middle is about to turn 15 and I have a much younger guy who’s about to turn six (as Kristin points out parenthetically in her book “– not a typo” followed by reference to the entry in her book titled “Accounting Error”). On a day-to-day basis they’re happy, and they never were kids who clung to my leg saying, “Mommy, don’t go to work.” So, those fears are practically about 90% gone now.” “Your book, Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom is practically an anthem to working moms everywhere. It’s so funny and relatable, and makes those of us who’ve read it feel like we’re almost normal. At what point, with all of your insightful and funny observations on life did you say, “I gotta write a book?” “I’ve never said that, actually. It was external forces acting on me. We launched a blog on Real Simple.com called “Adventures in Chaos” in 2007. And the only reason I started writing that blog was because we didn’t have any other bloggers. But then I was having a lot of fun doing it, and by coincidence through another Real Simple project I met a literary agent who had read the blog and said, “You should write a book,” and I said, jokingly, “Oh, ok! Sure!”, because after all I am half insane. But a lot of stuff in the book is not just mine, it also comes from stories my friends tell. You tend to remember the hilarious stories you hear, and sure enough they ended up in the book. Of course, I emailed all my friends to check in and make sure they were ok with my using their stories, and I’m glad that everyone was ok with it.” “In a nutshell, what is it that keeps you half-sane?” “There‘s not one thing. There are many things. I try to get enough sleep. I try to put work problems behind me when I go home at night, which
I’ll talk a bit about when I come to the Women2Women launch event in September. I have a husband who doesn’t have a crazy schedule. I have a fabulous assistant in the office, Ann and a fabulous babysitter, Renata. So I have a really good support system, and I think you really need a good support system.” “What would you offer women who might not have the home support and work support, maybe one or the other, but not universal support? Or women who don’t feel supported the way they should be?” “I think everyone has a support system; it just might not be what you think it’s supposed to look like. Say you’re a single mom, and you have to be at the daycare center by 6pm to pick up your child, and you get home and there’s an empty refrigerator and the kids are tired, they need a bath and you’re exhausted. And maybe you don’t have a human support system if your mom or a babysitter or friends aren’t around to help, so you need an inanimate support system. I don’t want this to sound crazy, but I really think magazines like Real Simple are a great tool for that, because it’s all about providing systems and creative ideas to find the support you need. Sometimes you have to look harder than you might like, and maybe be creative about cobbling together some sort of support system. But I do believe that if someone doesn’t recognize a support system around them, they can create one. You have to be comfortable enough to ask for help and that’s something a lot of women struggle with.” “So true, so true. . .” For more on Kristin’s thoughts on the Balancing act, Brain spins, Coup de moi (my personal fave), Existential lethargy and more, be sure to check out her book. And bring the book with you to the launch event, because Kristin will be signing! Hope to see you there! berkswomen2women.com 9
Save The Date (Saturday, October 19, 2013) Visit to America’s Most Rebellious Art Museum! Join Women2Women on a day trip to The Barnes Foundation on Saturday, October 19, 2013. This trip includes stops at Reading Terminal Market and South 9th Street’s Italian Market. The day ends with dinner aboard Moshulu Restaurant at Penn’s Landing, the world’s largest 4-masted sailing ship still afloat and one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants. The package costs just $152 per person. Call Cynthia DeWald at Boscov’s Travel: 610-779-8640.
Foundation is comprised of The Collection Gallery and Special Exhibition Gallery, as well as educational and public spaces such as a café, courtyard and gardens. Barnes had very specific preferences for how to display his collection. The Barnes Foundation’s new home maintained these preferences, and many would say it is better than ever. The Barnes Foundation, established in 1922, relocated the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works to the heart of Philadelphia’s cultural corridor last year to the delight of art enthusiasts. The massive display includes the work of Picasso, Degas and Seurat, among other “rebel” talents. With such impressive works gracing its walls, it is difficult to imagine at one time critics regarded The Barnes Foundation’s collection as strange, not “good art”. With a 4.5-acre campus, The Barnes
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Women2Women Summer 2013
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W2W Events (April-June) Launch of Latina Round Tables – a momentous occasion for Women2Women!
A good time was had by all at the Women’s Seafood Fest at Fish Pond West.
Mentor gatherings have been a great new addition to the W2W offerings this past year.
Natalye Paquin (center), CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania with Take the Lead honorees. From left: Michele Richards, Yvonne Frey Oppenheimer, Michelle M. Davis and Crystal Gilmore-Harris
om women.c 2 n e m o w of berks hedule s! for a sc W event 2 W g in upcom
2013 Spring Renewal Women’s Expo Celebrating Athena Recipient, Paula Barrett
Women2Women Summer 2013
Nationally recognized speaker Kathleen Passanisi, the keynote at Spring Renewal kept us laughing for 90 minutes! One of our most popular speakers to date really resonated with the audience at this popular event.
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“My husband plays Wii Tiger Woods Golf, online with his sons. We’ve also played other Wii games, like MarioKart online with them. It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s FREE (if you own the system and games), and the family fun of bonding over sports and games is fantastic.” – Heather Chandler
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“All I can say is…thank goodness for Skype! My oldest child just finished his freshman year at college, and I think the whole family had separation anxiety, since we are all very close. But he actually Skyped us every night (or nearly every night) during his first semester. We also talked on the phone and texted, but seeing a face while chatting – there is no replacement for that. He and his two brothers and my husband are also active Facebook users, so they use that as well to mercilessly tease each other (and I literally mean tease without mercy!)” – Carla Hickey
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“Letters, a lost art and truly something to be treasured I have saved them all from my ‘near grown up’ years as a young girl off to college, and I truly enjoyed receiving anything resembling a hand written letter from home. So, when my daughter went off to college I felt a need to repeat those memories and carry on the letter writing tradition, along with care packages. And when my son was accepted to the United States Coast Guard Academy I wrote him daily and sent packages to keep him motivated for the first 6 weeks when he could have no phone and was in training 24/7.
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We’ve received a few letters in return from both, but texting seems to be this generation’s new communication tool. Still, I do find that they treasure those penned messages.” – Trish Shermot
Balancing Life, Work & Family
The First Farewell
he walked briskly across the stage...head held high, hand extended and ready to shake. Her eyes were bright with pride; her smile wide with coolness as her friends shouted, “DERRRRRRRR!” It was a defining moment and she looked every bit the part of confidence. Just declared a high school graduate, it was obvious to watching eyes that the time had come for this chapter to end and another one to begin. “You didn’t cry?” a friend gasped. “Not even a tear?” “Not even a tear,” I quipped. “But all moms cry...happy tears and sad tears...when their kid graduates,” she snapped.
“I’m happy, but I did
NOT cry. I was soooo right there beaming and enjoying the moment,” I countered smugly. Flash back to six months earlier, when sadly I was the typical blubbering mom who had made a promise to not to cry (unsuccessfully) when I bid farewell to my then 17-year-old high school senior as she prepared to leave home - for the first time ever without her parents or a close friend - for an extended equestrian training program. In the darkness of an early morning just one day shy of New Years, I watched her and her dad pull out of the driveway bound for Florida as she set off for this defining experience. My job, besides not to get emotional, was to stay behind and handle the details of getting her horse transported a few days later. Somehow, in between sporadically dumping tears wherever I ventured the next 48 hours, I met my responsibilities. 14
Women2Women Summer 2013
| By Dawn Maurer Derr
Being selected as one of 15 equestrians in the country to train with an Olympian for three months was NOT supposed to happen. When I encouraged my daughter to apply for the winter intensive riding program it was because I wanted to see her exercise her “courage muscles” and demonstrate what we already knew; Alexa is a serious athlete, and passionate about her sport. It was just suppose to be a STEP in a DIRECTION; not a STEP in ACTUALITY. Here’s why I cried then and not at graduation - I wasn’t secure in knowing whether I had prepared her properly for the challenges she would encounter on her own.
Therefore, I didn’t. As painful as it was to watch without correcting, to hear without changing, to see without wincing, I’ve practiced this advice ever since. I’ve been told that ALL our emotions stem from two: love and fear. So when we find ourselves freaking out (internally, of course) we need to ask, “What is this REALLY about, love or fear?”
If it is love, love more. If it is fear, fear no more.
The reason I didn’t cry at her graduation is simple; she had now already spent time living on her own in Florida. She lived with six other girls and met so many more from other cities and towns across the United States, and she returned self-assured. Before Florida, she would ask “What do you think?” “What would you do?” Post Florida, she asserts, “I sent all my paperwork in to declare for the North American Junior Young Riders Championships,” and “I think I’m going to trailer Livingston (her horse) to New Jersey so I can continue training with Lendon.” This whole experience reminds me of a basic parenting skill I learned from an Easter Seals counselor when Alexa was diagnosed at birth with a condition that restricted her from turning her head to the left and prohibited her from holding her head up:
“Don’t do for your child what she can do for herself.”
That being said, my now 18-year-old has decided to live at home and attend Albright her first year of college so she can continue training and go back to Florida over winter break. Do you think she will ask or tell me when or if she is coming home each night? Wait...that’s a question for another story.
Do you think I should buy tissues now?
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Transitioning To CollegeFinding The Path Together
he transitions that occur for parents and college-age students mirror the same transitions that roughly all 18- to 25-year-olds experience as they consider their career path. Jeffrey Arnett, author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties suggests that “Emerging adulthood is a time of transition, a developmental bridge between adolescence and adulthood.” This age is about exploring life’s possibilities, self-focus, work, world views, love and a place in their family and the world. Most college-age students are typically not full-fledged adults but they no longer fit the dependent child role they occupied during high school. Both parent and child are re-evaluating the dynamics of their relationship and how they fit into their new roles – the parent of an emerging independent college-age child and the college-age, independent child of a nurturing parent. Parents often struggle with how they can help their child transition from home to college. The autonomy felt by the college-bound student is new and provides an opportunity for the parent to give their child increased privacy, trust and financial guidance and support. Parents can take an active role by helping students understand the importance of identifying a plan in their first year of college to set them on the path to success for their college career. Here are just some of the things that college-bound kids can do to get on that path: make an appointment with a professional in the Career Services office of his/her college, talk with family, friends and professors, develop a mentor, develop a network, take career assessments, identify past accomplishments, prepare a resume, join activities on campus, and allow time for leisure. The combination of these activities is the perfect recipe for a successful college career. Many students 16
Women2Women Summer 2013
By Tish Jepsen M.Ed., Coordinator of Career Services, Penn State Berks
have said to me “if only I had known about your services in my first year, I could have been much further ahead in my career search.” So it helps to start early. The Student Affairs department on campus works diligently to provide services and mentorship to incoming students, adults and veterans. Some of these services include: counseling, multicultural and international affairs, student activities, athletics, student government, life skills, advising, learning center, internships, career counseling, job search, and various student enrichment activities outside the classroom. Mentoring is available in each area as students participate in these services offered by their educational institution. Opening the lines of communication between students and career professionals and identifying opportunities are an important part of this budding transformation process.
Thinking about plotting this path can seem daunting to a student just starting out in a new place of independence and unknowns while considering a new kind of class schedule and workload, and campus
or commuter life. Surprisingly, time is not as elusive as you might think. The weekly life of a student goes something like this: There are 168 hours in a week. Students average about 16 credit hours of class per semester and spend approximately two hours of study time for each credit hour. This means 48 hours a week devoted to academics. Now subtract the 50 hours assigned for sleep, and what is left? Believe it or not, 70 hours of unaccounted time! If the student has a job, as many do in order to supplement their finances, the 70 hours of free time becomes a lot less, giving the student further reason and incentive to work on a career plan. Career Services professionals typically encourage students to explore and use their major from the time they enter college until they graduate by securing internships, related jobs, shadowing/volunteer experiences and summer experiential opportunities. Parents, your college-age student still needs your involvement and guidance; the transition to adulthood is ongoing and takes time. There are failures and successes and learning to take responsibility for oneself rather than depending on or blaming others is all part of the transition. The more chances your student has to make independent decisions and begin to be responsible and financially self-sufficient, the better chance of increasing identity awareness and transitioning successfully to adulthood and a full-time career path. I have devoted many hours talking to students and lecturing in classrooms. My advice is to have fun, balance your studies, work and play, but always have a Plan! Citations Arnett, J.J. (2004). Emerging adulthood: The winding road from the late teens through the twenties. New York: Oxford University Press.
HAPPENINGS... Women2Women, launched by 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 in Berks.
Launch Event: WOMEN2KNOW AN EVENING WITH Kristin van Ogtrop September 26, 2013, 5-8 p.m. Crowne Plaza • $40.00 Look for Kristin van Ogtrop at the 2013-2014 Women2Women launch event as our keynote speaker and Woman2Know! Kristin is the Managing Editor of Real Simple magazine and the author of Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom. She has a down-to-earth, relatable and humorous nature that you’ll thoroughly enjoy!
To join Women2Women, e-mail: W2W@GreaterReadingChamber.org Plus, stay connected at: BerksWomen2Women.com • Facebook.com/BerksWomen2Women • LinkedIn: Berks Women2Women Group
WOMEN2KNOW SPEAKERS SERIES – For Inspiration 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.
Patricia McLaughlin and Megan Bauer Founder & President / Vice President Coventry Corners
Michelle Kissinger Director of Business Development Kissinger Associates
Family First December 10, 2013 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Toscani – $20.00
The Power of Storytelling January 14, 2014 | 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Crowne Plaza – $20.00
Patricia McLaughlin founded her dream retail shop, Coventry Corners thirty years ago. Since then it has continuously grown across three locations, evolving from a country gift shop to a creative boutique “where trends meet traditions.” Patricia’s retail dream became even more of a passion when her daughter, Megan approached her to join the business seven years ago. Join us to learn the keys to success for this motherdaughter team working to keep one woman’s dream a family reality and way of life.
Come hear how the power of storytelling can recast your personal stories of loss and hardship into stories of empowerment and joy. Michelle Kissinger of Kissinger Associates, Inc. and Kissinger Leadership Consulting (KLC) has come a long way since Milton Hershey High School. Having lived the power of storytelling herself, she continues to pursue her interest in storytelling as she works toward her PhD. in Organizational Leadership. Michelle’s own story is one that will inspire and restore your belief in the power of the human spirit.
Woman2Know TBD May 13, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Stokesay Castle $25.00
HEALTH & WELLNESS PROGRAMS Women2Women is pleased to offer comprehensive programming geared toward holistic health and awareness. From physical health and wellness to mental and emotional health, join us to learn about and discuss pertinent topics with compassionate experts from our health and wellness community. Stay tuned for additional dates and topics!
Stay tuned as we wrap up the details for this evening event!
3rd Annual Women’s Expo/ATHENA award SAVE THE DATE! April 17, 2014 | 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Crowne Plaza – $50.00 Renew, relax and re-engage! Look for more information to come about the 3nd Annual Women’s Expo and the chance to focus on your mind, body and soul, while networking and learning from experts.
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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.
Battle Tested Tips for Slaying the Communication Dragon Toni Reece, President The People Academy October 8, 2013 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing – $20.00 With 20 years’ experience as an international business and personal development coach, Toni has an extensive offering of tools to help in our quest to better communicate. Join us for this session and leave prepared to slay the communication dragon by understanding how our own storytelling, compassion, habits, attitudes, beliefs and expectations impact our ability to communicate with strength and purpose. Gain a new understanding of your own communication and claim your confidence.
Ethics and its Impact on Women Daria LaTorre, Dean of the School of Graduate and Adult Education & Mary Ellen Wells, Associate Professor Alvernia University February 11, 2014 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing – $20.00 The topic of ethics can be complex and range from social mores to the law. There are always ethical challenges and communications issues we face in our professional lives. Daria LaTorre and Mary Ellen Wells, each with a background in law (LaTorre in criminal justice and child abuse protection, and Wells in corporate and tax law) join us from Alvernia University to discuss how gender issues can make ethics challenges even more difficult when the stakes are high to win or succeed.
Taking the Emotion out of Conflict Resolution Joni S. Naugle, Principal Focused, LLC November 12, 2013 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing – $20.00
Follow the Leader: Leadership Lessons from a Children’s Game Rhonda Campbell, Rhonda Campbell Consulting Solutions March 11, 2014 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing – $20.00
Joni knows first-hand the challenge of conflict, especially considering that in her 25+ year career in banking, she provided leadership for more than 30 merger integrations. Indeed, conflict is an unavoidable aspect of life – at work with co-workers, at home with family, and even at play with friends. When two or more people are involved, sooner or later you will have conflict. And conflict triggers emotions. So what do you do? Join us as we discuss the types of conflict, causes of conflict, conflict resolution skills and tips to minimize conflict. Leave with ideas to effectively handle a conflict you may be facing.
Rhonda brings her 25+ years’ experience in training, consulting and coaching to tell us why a title means nothing in the leadership world, why having followers is not a sign of good leadership and why leaving your ego at the door is critical to success. Too often, individuals lead like they are playing a game of Follow the Leader where people follow you simply because you have a title, when really they may not support you or your vision. A leader is great not by her power but rather by her ability to empower. Come learn to be an empowering leader, whether at work or in life.
Visit BerksWomen2Women.com for more information about upcoming events!
Women2Women Mentoring As much as we recognize that mentoring is one of the best ways for women to connect, develop, and grow as leaders - whether you are a mentor or a mentee - we also recognize that mentoring can mean many different things to different people. We started the discussion in January at our mentoring launch event, and have since had two “mentor gatherings” that have seen increasing interest and attendance. Today’s objective of our mentoring program is to create the opportunity for anyone interested to gather as a group every-other-month in an informal setting (wine & cheese, social and educational!) to hear from other women on topics such as building confidence, work/life balance, career guidance, handling stress and more. These gatherings will also serve as an opportunity for women to meet, network, exchange ideas and perhaps find a mentor. Our next mentor gathering will take place on September 3, 2013 from 4:30- 6:30 p.m. The mentor gatherings are no-fee events. Watch for the Women2Women e-newsletter for more details as the date approaches! (Need to sign up for our e-newsletter? Send us your email address! W2W@GreaterReadingChamber.org)
ATHENA AWARD ATHENA International works with hundreds of organizations that include Chambers of Commerce, universities, business publications and women’s groups to administer the ATHENA Award Program. An ATHENA nomination speaks volumes about an individual’s quality of character and is a celebration of exemplary leadership, and the honor truly is in the nomination. The Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce is proud to pay homage to this tribute and tradition, and has honored 29 women in our region since 1993! We hope you join us in 2014 to continue to honor our next business leader via our Women2Women program. You’ll be seeing more about the Athena Award, so stay tuned!
Women2Women Business Owner Roundtables Starting in October 2013 We will be offering our second year of round tables for women business owners beginning October, 2013 to be held on a monthly basis. We plan to have a kick-off of the 2013-14 year in September so stay tuned for more details on dates and times. The inaugural year was a great success with over 20 women participating. The purpose of the roundtables is to give women who are in early stage start-up mode or more established businesses the opportunity to gather together, share best practices, learn from one another and network. This year was a great learning year for Women2Women regarding this new addition to our offerings and feedback has been really positive. In the meantime here’s what some of the members from this past year are saying about the experience: “It was very beneficial to me as a new business owner to interact and share ideas with fellow women business owners. Berks County is blessed to have so many women with enthusiasm and initiative who have started and are running successful businesses. Having the opportunity to meet with some of them was very valuable to me and to my business.” - Mark Clark, founder and coowner, Transition Connections “Starting a small business and all it entails...not a cake walk. Women2Women often provides the inspiration I need just to make it through my day. True story.” - Phoebe Canakis, owner, Phoebe’s Pure Food “This group makes us feel significant.” – Vali Heist, owner, the Clutter Crew
Visit America’s Most Rebellious Art Museum! October 19, 2013 - $152 Join Women2Women on a day trip to The Barnes Foundation on Saturday, October 19, 2013. This trip includes stops at Reading Terminal Market and South 9th Street’s Italian Market. The day ends with dinner aboard Moshulu Restaurant at Penn’s Landing, the world’s largest 4-masted sailing ship still afloat and one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants. Call Cynthia DeWald at Boscov’s Travel: 610-779-8640.
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Act as if...
By Ellyn Longacre
The high school graduation ceremonies and parties are over, summer is in full swing and for many kids and parents, the approach of Fall brings a new chapter.
hether heading off to college, or otherwise forging the path into the real world away from home, the impact is personal yet shared. These young adults look forward to a new brand of freedom and responsibility, some with eager enthusiasm, some with cautious excitement, and some with a bit of trepidation. Parents may be feeling much the same way. Maybe it’s too simple to think that, since parents have had 17 or 18 years to prepare their kids to leave the nest, it should be an easy transition. Kids at this age are likely more comfortable in their new adult skin than parents may realize, since developmentally their main influence comes from their peers (certainly, many parents can attest that their kids stopped listening to them around the age of 12). I spoke with Ellyn Longacre, 18
Women2Women Summer 2013
MA who has been in private practice in individual, marriage, and family counseling for 13 years. Who would know better what to expect or how to prepare for the transition of sending your child off into the world than a licensed, practicing mental health professional who regularly works with families in transition, and who herself has been through the experience, right? Ellyn agreed to write a piece about “Preparing Yourself as Your Kids Leave Home” with this perspective in mind. What resulted took on a different angle, and so the title changed to “Act As If.” You’ll see why. I can remember my husband and me checking out of our homey motel room in Colorado in August, 2007. We were preparing to go to the airport and head back home – minus one of our family members. We had dropped by our son’s dorm room for a quick
goodbye (to abandon him, to go back home without him). “Don’t you dare let him see you cry,” I said to my husband. “There will be plenty of time for that on the plane.” Well, that is my clearest recollection of the summer that my first son went away to college. We were in shock; it had happened so quickly! Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were standing on the corner waiting for the bus to take him to kindergarten? They always say that kids grow up in the blink of an eye, and here I was going from flashbacks to that little kid to realizing that he was now going to be living in Colorado, rather far from Pennsylvania. And now it seems I barely saw him that summer; I had to wonder, was he preparing us for his impending absence? Maybe? Probably not. Change: the one constant in life. The excitement of entering the
next phase of growing up. Maybe he’s excited, but I’m numb. I’m going through the motions and pretending I’m on board for this part of the journey – this journey that takes him to new places, people and experiences... and I won’ be there. Sadness and a sense of loss are looming in the air, ready to engulf me in that empty space. Can I be excited for him and sad for me at the same time? It’s almost as if God wanted to create a nice little dichotomy. In order to support my son and lend courage to his passage, I would need to bury and delay my sadness and act as if. How am I supposed to do that? I guess I’ll pretend – pretend that I’m as happy and excited about his leaving home as he is. And I’ll understand when he pushes me away and acts all independent, hides his feelings of fear and nervousness. And he’ll pretend – pretend he’s not going to miss us, that he’s not afraid of failing or not fitting in. Well, maybe...if we pretend, act as if and postpone our real feelings we can
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say goodbye and leave. Then we can cry, privately or publicly and get home and find the new normal. In discussing the process of writing this piece for us, Ellyn described the surprise she realized when she was so quickly taken back to the feelings of the time. How she and her husband woWuld look at each other hoping the other had an answer for “how do we do this?” She realized looking back that the way she made it through the conflicting feelings she experienced was to act as if – on the side of the reality of the situation, not on the tumult of her feelings. Not to deny her feelings but to act as if they would not take over. While the question and the notknowing are normal, it’s sometimes quite uncomfortable. So recognize that it’s normal. Remember that it’s a phase of transition – and transition is not permanent. These two points of perspective may help when you want to “act as if.”
Here are a few more of Ellyn’s tips for acting as if:
Acknowledge your feelings Start a journal
Talk to your partner
alk and talk (with your W partner, friends, your child) E xplore therapy through this transition Revisit old haunts
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Finance, Mentoring & Education
Human Trafficking– It Does Exist By Christine Gilfillan, Associate Director at Berks Women in Crisis.
ou have probably heard the term “Human Trafficking” increasingly in the news over the past three or four years as awareness of this issue continues to grow. Simply put, human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. It is a global crime that generates billions of dollars in profits for the traffickers. It is estimated that right now between 12 million and 27 million human beings are trafficked, or living in conditions of slavery around the world. And yes, 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation and 148 years after the adoption of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery and involuntary servitude in this country, tens of thousands are living in these conditions right here in the U.S. How can this be happening? Human trafficking typically falls under two categories: sex trafficking 20
Women2Women Summer 2013
and labor trafficking. In either case, the victim is recruited, transported, and/or harbored (imprisoned) by the traffickers. Elements of force (physical), fraud (debt bondage or false promises of employment or safety), or coercion (psychological manipulation or threats of force) are required to be present in order to categorize it as Human Trafficking under the law. Further, the law recognizes that any person under the age of 18 who is being sexually exploited is a trafficking victim. Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation accounts for approximately 58% of all trafficking cases detected globally, while trafficking for forced labor accounts for about 36%. Women and girls account for about 75% of all trafficking victims detected globally. (2012 U.N. Trafficking in Persons Report) Human trafficking should not be confused with human smuggling, or the process by which undocumented
persons cross the border illegally to the U.S. However, persons smuggled across the border for a steep price sometimes become trafficking victims, as they are debt-bonded to a trafficker to settle the (ever-escalating) costs of their entry into the U.S. Contrary to what most people believe to be true, human trafficking does not only consist of foreignborn persons brought into the U.S. and other wealthy countries to be trafficked for labor or sex. In fact, the number of U.S. citizens trafficked within the country each year is even higher than those trafficked from foreign countries. Shockingly, an estimated 200,000 American children are at risk for trafficking in the sex industry. Trafficking victims do not have to be moved from place to place, although they often are, so that they do not become familiar with their surroundings.
Demand, or willingness of adult men to pay for sex (including with minors), drives the sex trafficking trade. The average age of entry into prostitution in the United State is 13. Many of these vulnerable children are runaways who have already been sexually exploited in their homes or communities, and/or are fleeing abusive situations. The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that 1.6 to 2.8 million children are on the streets at any given time, and that 1 of 3 is recruited into sexual exploitation within 48 hours. Women or men working as prostitutes are physically and sexually abused at high rates, and most likely entered “the life” as children or adolescents – a factor that contradicts the often disputed notion that they are in “the business” by choice. What can be done about Human Trafficking? Since 2009, the Berks Coalition Against Human Trafficking (BCAHT) and FREE, a grassroots community
organization, both founded by Bob Morrison, have been working to address Human Trafficking in Berks County. The Coalition’s membership consists of representatives from the DA’s office, Berks Women in Crisis, FREE, the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness, Children and Youth Services, the Reading-Berks Conference of Churches, Law Enforcement, county government and others. BCAHT and FREE have adopted the “Break the Chain” initiative developed by Morrison, within which there are four identified focus areas: • Traffickers (accountability through law enforcement, effective state and federal laws, investigation and prosecution of these crimes) • Vulnerable People (identification of victims and provision of support and resources, as well as prevention within vulnerable populations) • Buyers, or “johns,” who drive demand but are rarely held accountable
• Society, which involves raising awareness of the issues in the larger community and building the capacity of professionals and ordinary community members to get involved in the movement All of us can learn to be vigilant in our communities, especially by learning the signs that a person or group of people is being trafficked. We can confront the demand for pornography, prostitution, and face head-on the reality that men buy sex with under-age girls and women who are exploited every day, and demand that this stop. We can also support programs that provide resources to trafficking victims, such as the BCAHT, your local domestic violence/rape crisis center (Berks Women in Crisis), the Coalition to End Homelessness, Family Promise, and many others. For more information on the BCAHT, contact Christine Gilfillan, Co-Chair, via Berks Women in Crisis, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where Can You Learn More?
Polaris Project: polarisproject.org CNN’s Freedom Project: thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com Shared Hope International: sharedhope.org FREE: freefromht.org Berks Coalition Against Human Trafficking: Christine Gilfillan, email@example.com 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report: state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2012
Examples of potential Sex Trafficking settings: Exotic Dancing
and Stripping Pornography “Spas” Street
Prostitution Brothels On-Line Escort Services and Prostitution rings
Examples of potential Labor Trafficking settings: Domestic
servitude Agricultural labor/Migrant workers N ail Salons
industry C onstruction Sweat Shops
Tips for preparing your child to be fiscally fit in college. By Kirsten Keim-Shendge
As we send our kids off to college, we hope to be preparing them to be financially responsible adults. Here are some tips to get the conversation started.
2. P lan ahead: Once they have their account opened, encourage them to start saving and get a debit card. A debit card will give them access to cash via an ATM for books, groceries or other incidentals.
4. B e smart about credit cards: Credit card companies may offer your child a tempting deal, just be sure to understand the conditions and rates. One with a small limit for emergencies can be very helpful to build their credit history. Make sure they pay off the balance each month so they are not charged a fee. Another option is a secured credit card. Limit their use by having it backed by money in their savings account. Then they can’t spend too much and get in debt beyond their means. Help them understand their monthly credit card bill and encourage them to scrutinize all charges for anything fraudulent.
3. C onsider technology: Online banking, app and text banking are all services that will make maintaining your child’s accounts easier. Most kids have a smartphone and will have no problems figuring out these services.
5. O ffer parental support/guidance: Let your kids know how you can help and what your limits and boundaries are. Having access to their accounts can be beneficial so that you can add funds when needed or check up on their spending habits.
1. C hoose a financial institution: Help your child choose one that meets their needs with the services they require – debit or credit cards, direct deposit, surcharge-free ATMs, checking accounts, online and app services. Be sure to research their fees. Banks and credit unions charge different fees and one may be a better fit than the other.
Women2Women Summer 2013
6. R ock the budget: Review budgeting and how important it is to start a budget for this new phase of independence now. Help them set a budget for food, entertainment and other expenses, and stress the importance of sticking to it. 7. S ave, save, save: Saving is so important - encourage setting aside something (no matter how small) to plan for their future or unexpected expenses. 8. E mbrace frugality: Tell your child to pinch pennies now: clipping coupons, using public transportation and finding free entertainment are easy ways to save. 9. S eek scholarship opportunities: Keep looking for scholarships, there may be some still available to help them even after school has started. 10. E xplore college loans: It’s never too late to apply for some supplemental help. Your financial institution should have some readily available information about the student loan programs they offer. 11. H unt for textbook deals: Consider checking used bookstores and even Amazon for the appropriate text books for your children’s classes. Doing a little research could save you a bundle!
12. Avoid unnecessary fees and charges: Have your child pay attention to parking fines, late fees at the library or overdraft fees on checks or ATM services. Small charges add up over time. 13. C onsider a part time job: A few hours a week at an on-campus job can really benefit your child. Not only will it give them some extra cash, but it is a great way to get them to meet new people and it will add experience to their resume. 14. S tress the impact on future finances: How your child handles their finances now can affect them well after graduation. Even the smartest kids can get into money trouble. Do your best to steer them in the right direction and, whenever you can, help them when they need it.
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Girls on the Run Walk the Talk and Live the Run By Michelle Kushner, Director of Public Relations, RACC
irls on the Run (GOTR) Berks will officially hit the tracks this fall at four Berks County schools! So, you think this means we will unleash a group of professionally trained 8- to 13-year-old girls running through the streets of the County? Kind of...but it is really so much more than that. We have all been there as girls or even as women—that place where we struggle with who we are and how people perceive us. Some of us struggle physically, some of us emotionally and at any given time, some of us struggle with both. Girls on the Run of Berks County, which operates as a local council of Girls on the Run International, inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. The goal is really about helping our young girls realize and embrace their individuality through physical, social and mental well-being. Over the past year Kimberly Rivera, the program’s Executive Director, has been working tirelessly to spread the word of the mission, build community partnerships, recruit coaches and set up the logistics for the benefit of Berks County’s girls. “The
Women2Women Summer 2013
program is something I have believed in for a long time,” says Kim. “It is so rewarding to see our community rally around this organization and support the mission.” Support has arrived in numerous forms. St. Joseph Regional Health Network, Reading Health System and the Junior League of Reading have all provided significant financial support. “Girls on the Run brings girls together in a fun way that emphasizes the importance of emotional and physical health in overall well-being,” claims Camille Stock, Interim Vice President of Development at St. Joe’s. “Navigating their way in today’s world presents girls with a unique set of challenges and Girls on the Run addresses it in a unique way.” Other support has come from the Berks County Medical Society Alliance, the Berks County Community Foundation and individual donors. In addition to this financial support, GOTR reaches out to the community for help in the form of a large volunteer pool. “From board members, to coaches, running buddies and general volunteers, it takes some serious—but fun–– heavy lifting to fully utilize the program,” explains Kim.
Beth Simcik serves as the Volunteer Program Director. She and Kim are currently setting up training for the Fall coaches. The coaches volunteer their time to teach the girls a threepart curriculum over 12 weeks. “After reviewing the coach’s training guides and learning the curriculum, it is so clear that a program like this can, and will, be effective,” comments Beth. The first eight lessons are centered on the girls getting to know themselves. Lesson topics and learning goals include “fueling our healthy pace,” “centering: the importance of slowing down” and “celebrating gratitude.” The next eight lessons concentrate on team building, being supportive and learning to listen and cooperate. Lesson topics and learning goals include “standing up to peer pressure,” “gossiping hurts everyone” and “it’s okay to choose my friends.” The last eight lessons relate to the world at large, including making a contribution to our community. Lesson topics and learning goals include: “learning about community,” “tuning into a new message (media literacy)” and choosing a community project. So where does the running come in? Each lesson begins with “Getting on Board” which sets up exploration of a topic through physical activity. A “Warm-Up” activity follows which further examines the lesson topic while warming up the girls’ muscles, joints and cardiovascular system. “Processing” Q & A follows the warm-up. The girls stretch while specific questions are asked to bring out the relevance of the warm-up activity to the topic. Processing is designed for the girls to make connections between the lessons and their individual lives. A fun “Workout” activity follows where the girls complete goal-oriented running games. The length of the workout increases throughout the season so that the girls are physically prepared to complete a practice 5k by the eighth week. It’s 5K time! The girls will have the opportunity at the end of the Fall and Spring seasons to participate in an organized run. It is non-competitive for the girls; instead
Growth2Go it signifies the completion of their goals and a celebration of their accomplishments. For the inaugural run this season, the girls will be part of West Reading’s “Run, Santa, Run” event in December, thanks to the help of board member Sorita Averill (West Reading’s A Running Start) and the support of the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation. GOTR-Berks is thrilled to offer its program in four schools beginning this fall. Whitfield Elementary in Wilson School District, Glenside in Reading School District, and Mifflin Park and the Intermediate School in Governor Mifflin School District will be the first schools to get running. In the Spring of 2014, GOTR- Berks expects to at least double in size! The Support Continues Here comes more of that community love. The Whitfield Elementary HSA (parent/teacher organization), with the support of teacher and former GOTR board chair Jen Huyett, has earmarked funds to help girls who need financial assistance to participate. “I grew up in less than perfect circumstances, but when I found running, it changed me,” recalls Jen. “It was my escape and my motivation to reach goals and view myself differently. This is such an ideal way to teach girls to value themselves!” “I cannot wait to see girls from each of the schools complete our first season,” says Kim. “I think our supporters will be as excited as we are!” Walk the Talk Now is the time to Walk the Talk and Live the Run! How, you ask? Reach out to the young women in your life and encourage good health and well- being any way you can. Try to curb negative comments about your weight or body. Take a risk and try something you’ve always wanted to do instead of holding yourself back due to fear. Be a model of courage and confidence and remember that you’re leading by example each and every day. Want to get involved in a more direct way with GOTR? Reach out and let us know you’re interested. Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and is always ready and willing to talk GOTR. You can also like our GOTR-Berks Facebook page, sign up for email updates, and follow us on Twitter. Let’s get running!
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Financial Planning Advisors Registered Investment Adviser Nancy W. Magee, CFP, EA Tricia J. Salvatore Ludgate Julie M. Kemp, CFP 1122 Penn Avenue, Wyomissing, PA 19610 610-376-6334
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Mental, Spiritual, Physical Health & Wellness
Your Hormonal Rollercoaster By Christie Ganas M.D., St. Joseph Medical Center
ORMONES!! We didn’t ask for these chemical messengers to guide us from puberty to menopause. We didn’t ask for uncontrollable mood swings and hot flashes (or as I call them power surges). We have no say in this rollercoaster ride of emotions, and still... This roller coaster ride starts at puberty. You pay for your ticket and get to ride until you hit menopause. Remember to keep your arms and legs in the compartment at all times – we’re
Women2Women Summer 2013
in for a bumpy ride. Puberty starts with pulsatile surges of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus that signal the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH signals follicular cells in the ovaries to produce estrogen. It takes 1-2 years for this hormone axis to align and produce regular menstrual cycles. This is when that sweet young girl reaches the top of the roller coaster and then plunges down the big hill as a reckless teen,
speeding with her arms raised and screaming. Hormones make themselves evident with the first signs of puberty, beginning with breast budding (called thelarche), followed by pubic hair development (called adrenarche), peak height change, and finally the start of menses (menarche). Thelarche is usually seen at 10 years of age, with adrenarche 6 months later. Finally menarche occurs at approximately 12-13 years of age. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Conditions that require evaluation With our hormones playing a different tune throughout our lives, it’s understandable that we may not always understand what exactly is going on. Here are some situations when you should check in with your doctor:
Adolescence No menses by 15 years of age Heavy or long menses Irregular menses Pelvic pain S evere cramps not relieved by over the counter therapy Reproductive age Irregular, prolonged or heavy menses Pelvic pain Breast issues (lumps, discharge) Fertility concerns (ACOG) recommends that adolescent girls first visit a gynecologist between 13-15 years old. Generally this does not include a pelvic exam, but establishes a rapport between the physician and the young girl for health guidance, screening, and the provision of preventative health care services. Cervical cancer screening should be initiated at age 21 with a pap test. Cervical cancer vaccination is recommended during this time. During childbearing years, the hormone roller coaster glides through small turns and some hills waiting for the next big plunge. Women are either trying for or to prevent pregnancy. They may seek care from a gynecologist for family planning, menstrual irregularities, pelvic pain, heavy menses, endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women should still see the gynecologist for yearly wellness visits. The cervical cancer screening guidelines now recommend a pap test every 3 years or every 5 with a HPV test. The roller coaster now throws you upside down and leaves you screaming. Welcome to perimenopause. During this time, there are erratic changes in hormones with less frequent ovulation causing irregular menses, hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. Think of hot flashes as a great way
Perimenopause S evere symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, irritability, sleep difficulties, memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, decreased sexual desire, depression Menopause Any vaginal bleeding Urinary incontinence Vaginal dryness Pelvic support issues
to lower the heating bill and save money for retirement. There is still a low chance of pregnancy, so family planning issues remain until menopause is reached. Many women seek care during this time for abnormal bleeding. Bleeding that is too long, too heavy, too frequent, intermenstrual (also known as spotting) or after intercourse needs to be evaluated. Perimenopausal symptoms can go on for several years before ovarian function completely stops. Menopause is the permanent end of ovarian function with no menses for 12 consecutive months. The average age for this to occur is 51. This transition can occur naturally, by surgery or by medications to stop the ovaries from functioning. Symptoms include hot flashes, sleep disturbance, memory/concentration changes, mood swings, depression, anxiety, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, weight gain, joint pain, and skin and hair changes. For many women this is the NEW PUBERTY. Who really wants to go through this again? You have stopped worrying
A bnormal bleeding, or regular, heavy, prolonged menses Urinary incontinence Pelvic pain
P elvic or abdominal pain, bloating, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
about shaving your legs, but now have to worry about shaving the mustache that appeared overnight. Other worries include retirement, taking care of aging parents, adult children returning home, financial issues, down-sizing, so why not throw the hormones into the mix? Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms. No two women go through this in the same way. Any bleeding during this time is considered abnormal and requires evaluation. Medical issues such as screenings for heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer are addressed at this time. The roller coaster comes to a screeching halt now. You are asked to exit the ride. It may not have been the bargain you were looking for, but what a wild ride it was.
Hormone Therapy–The Basics If you find yourself wondering about hormone therapy to deal with hormonal issues, schedule an appointment with your health care provider to discuss these risks and benefits in relation to your symptoms, personal and family medical history.
Alternatives to hormone therapy
Risks Increased risk of heart attack Increase risk of stroke Increase risk of blood clot formation Increase risk of breast cancer Increase risk of gall bladder disease
Benefits Relieve symptoms of menopause Improve vaginal dryness Decrease risk of bone loss in early menopause Decrease risk of colon cancer
Lifestyle changes to avoid triggering symptoms Antidepressants Anti-seizure medication (gabapentin) Local vaginal estrogen therapy to relieve vaginal dryness P lant-based alternatives (soy, black cohosh, wild yam) – Not studied for safety and effectiveness, not regulated by the FDA Complimentary alternative therapy like hypnosis, acupressure
If hormone therapy is used, the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time is recommended. Re-evaluate the use of hormone therapy on a regular basis. Some women may require long term therapy due to persistent symptoms.
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Women2Women Summer 2013
BookClub What to Read:
Lunch with Lucille by Annarose Ingarra-Milch
her to change her perspective and her attitude. This book is a good read for any woman who is struggling and can’t quite put her finger on what needs to happen next. Enjoy, and as Lucille likes to say, Salute! Green Eggs & Hamlet Want to 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 for August, suggested by readers like you is: Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg Tune in to BCTV on August 7 from 8:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The selection for October is: You Are One of Them by Elliiott Holt Join the live discussion on BCTV on October 2 from 8:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
ocal author, Annarose Ingarra-Milch is making a splash with her novella, “Lunch with Lucille,” one of the books previously featured on Women2Women’s Green Eggs & Hamlet book club program on BCTV. Annarose, a motivational speaker as well as author, puts together in “Lunch with Lucille” her formula for overcoming the obstacles that many women face in their personal lives, and helping them make real change happen. Her insight and ability to simplify what can surely seem like a daunting process are refreshing. The narrator is never named, although her character is well-defined. She is a 40-something woman facing many of the challenges of mid-life: changes in personal appearance, health, family dynamics and workplace concerns. She is then introduced to Lucille, and over the course of four lunches the frustrated and unhappy woman gains insights that motivate
Women2Know & : QA
More Women2Know looks behind the scenes at outstanding women who have successfully contributed to their organization’s successes, inspire and motivate others to achieve, and personify the mission and objectives of Women2Women.
lend a hand, not give a hand. In the Latino community, there are not a lot of mentors. The disadvantage of many women is that they operate from fear of failure, fear of criticism. I don’t have that fear. Women need not be afraid to show their assets more. I just try hard to exemplify that and encourage others to do the same. What you hope is that everyday you are doing or saying something that will make a positive difference. Don’t miss that moment to make a difference in someone’s life.
Q: W ould you wish to acknowledge a mentor or friend who helped you aspire to this point in your life’s journey. and why?
Compiled By Dawn Maurer Derr
Dr. Raquel O. Yiengst
Vice chairperson of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission & President of the board of the Hispanic Center of Reading Raquel is vice chairperson of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, based in Harrisburg, PA. She has been with the commission 37 years ... the longest of anyone in Pennsylvania, and was named by seven different governors. She also is president of the board of the Hispanic Center of Reading. Born in Puerto Rico, she has devoted her life to bilingual education, leadership and community development, embracing cultural diversity, civil rights and human equity.
Q: Why is your position unique to women within our community?
Q: W hat has led you to your current career path?
A: I don’t know that it is unique but it is an opportunity for me to educate people about differences in cultures and how that impacts decisions and communication. One of the things we fight for is equal pay for equal work. Women are head of households, too. We need to address and make women more aware that they are entitled to the same pay if doing the same work and performing at the same level. Whatever we do it’s because it’s the right thing to do.
A: My advantage was my family. They valued education and had the means to send me here to attend college. I have always known that I was a minority and different; I’m small, have an accent, and didn’t speak English when I first came here. But I wanted to show them differently than what they thought.
Women2Women Summer 2013
Q: H ow have you lead other women in their career paths? A: We have a responsibility to mentor and sponsor others. I encourage them as individuals to work better; feel better;
A: My dad said to me “you are not better than anyone, but no one is better than you.” That’s pretty good words to live by. Q: W ould you wish to offer any words of wisdom for other women to follow or consider? A: If it is to be, it is up to ME. You have to be your own guardian. The past is gone. You only have today and tomorrow. Women love and fear women with strong personalities. We should learn from each other. We love it (strength) because it empowers us; hate it because it challenges us, but if we are secure then we know there is always an answer.
Photo by Rose Rossello
While meeting with one of the hospital social workers, she said magical words to me, “The most important thing you need to do right now is be a good role model for your daughters.” That statement completely changed the way I have faced adversity, defined myself and become the person I am today.
Q: What do you consider women’s main asset?
Compiled By Tracy Beaky
Executive Director of Mentors for Berks Youth Pam Rothenberger is the Executive Director of Mentors for Berks Youth. She was recommended as a Woman2Know by Regina Rinehimer who has met Pam in various community activities. Regina was struck by Pam’s commitment to Mentors for Berks Youth, and upon learning more about her thought, “Now this is a woman people should know.”
Q: I s there an aha moment or experience that defines who you are? Many years ago when my daughters were youngsters, my husband was hospitalized with a serious illness.
One of the greatest assets women (and some men) possess is resiliency. A few years ago, one of my daughters asked me if I knew how I became so resilient. The answer is very simple, yet very complex. We always have two choices: succumb to whatever the issue is or deal with it. I choose to deal with it, but at the appropriate time, by carefully putting it in its own little space and then, when I’m prepared to deal, get it out and face it.
Q: What do you consider women’s main threat? Some women are afraid of or not comfortable with being themselves. We are our own gifts, to ourselves and to each other. We should not be cautious about learning who we are.
Q: I s there a philosophy that you live by? Embrace life. Take educated risks and never, ever stop learning!
Q: What do you see when you look in the mirror? I smile at the picture I see. I smile because the picture in the mirror is ‘more mature’ than the person I feel like and act like and think like. She is not a lie, rather, a reminder to keep doing the things that make me happy and fulfilled, as time is passing...
Q: What has led you to your current career path? One of my daughters tells people her mother has come out of retirement more times than Bret Favre! It’s true. I’ve had 7 careers: classroom teacher, mother, florist, business woman managing a small retail shop and then managing large organizations for a fortune 500 company, entrepreneur, program director for a non-profit and my current position as Executive Director of Mentors for Berks Youth. As I look at these positions, the common thread is that I’ve always been in positions where I’ve been able to help others move along the pathway to becoming the best they can be.
Q: Would you wish to offer any words of wisdom for other women to follow or consider? The ONLY failure is in not trying! In everything you do, you learn something. So, go for it! Even if you did not meet the goal you set for yourself, you’ve learned...No failure!
Alexa S. Antanavage Estate Planning and Administration, Family Law
64 North 4th Street t Hamburg, PA 19526 610.562.2000 t f: 610.562.8889 t antanavagefarbiarz.com •
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Women2Women, launched by the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, encourages women to create connections, gain knowledge, open do...