Women2Women Winter 2014

Page 1

Winter 2014



Giving Back… Sallie Weaver:

From Business CEO to Dedicated Volunteer

Valentine’s Day Recipes That Are Good For The Heart

is pleased to welcome

OB/Gyn Charmaine Anderson, MD

Charmaine Anderson, MD

St. Joseph Medical Group - OB/Gyn

St. Joseph Medical Group is pleased to announce that Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Charmaine Anderson has joined the group. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. She is a member of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, and is also a member of the Berks County Medical Society, the Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia, and is certified in Neonatal Resuscitation. Dr. Anderson’s office is located in the St. Joseph Medical Group OB/Gyn suite on the first floor of the Medical Office Building on the Bern Township Campus. She will also be working with St. Joseph Medical Group Women’s Services.

Accepting new patients at St. Joseph Medical Group - OB/Gyn 2494 Bernville Road, Suite 100, Reading, PA 19605 Please call 610-378-2899 to schedule appointments.

w w w. t h e f u t u r e o f h e a l t h c a r e . o r g



Karen Marsdale, Senior Editor | 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 Ms. Nancy Hoban Robyn Jones Donna Lamp Karen Marsdale

Winter 2014 Building Value Statements for Your Everyday Missions

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

Women2Women, managed by the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, encourages women to create connections, gain knowledge, open doors and build strategic alliances, and much more. Our goal is to create more women leaders in Berks County by providing a forum where women from diverse backgrounds can learn, share ideas and mentor each other. Membership is free and open to all women of Berks County.


From Business CEO to Dedicated Volunteer: Sallie Weaver

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

A Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day

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. 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 VIST Bank, A Tompkins Community Bank Wyomissing Hair Studio

Women2Women Magazine is published quarterly by Hoffmann Publishing Group, Reading PA HoffmannPublishing.com I 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




From Business CEO to Dedicated Volunteer


A Different Type of New Year’s Resolution

18 20


Recent Transformations: The Woman’s Exchange



Building Value Statements for Your Everyday Missions

Lean In: Keep the Conversation Going



The Law of Intentionality

An Alternative Approach to Addressing High Blood Pressure

24 Overcoming Challenges 29 Going Red to Save Women’s Lives 30 A Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day

In Every Issue 4 11 36

Editor’s Desk W2W Events Book Club

38 40

Ask Sassy More Women2Know

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

Like us at Facebook.com/ BerksWomen2Women

Editor’s Desk

Welcome Winter! Women2Women Magazine!

Melissa Varone, Editor, Women2Women Magazine

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

Heidi Reuter Photography


ot only is this the first issue of Women2Women magazine in 2014, but it is my first time as the editor of this phenomenal publication. Late last year, I can recall having a chat with my dear girlfriend saying how I was a little apprehensive about taking on this new task. Her first response was, “this is a great opportunity for you and I think this is going to be really good for you.” I remember walking away with just a little more assurance and confidence that I could make a go of this … only a good girlfriend knows exactly what you need to hear. Honestly, her words of encouragement were exactly what I needed and I am excited for this new endeavor. Flash forward to me writing this letter; I am reflecting how much I have enjoyed working with the editorial committee  — please see the list of talented volunteers. Not only do they volunteer their time, but they have to put up with me! I also have had the chance to meet women I have not had the pleasure of meeting. We joke at the Chamber that we know everyone in the community, but really there are so many amazing people, especially women, that we haven’t had the chance to meet and learn

4 Women2Women Winter 2014

their stories. My vision for this magazine, along with the editorial committee, is to share with you our readers the women in our community. Whether celebrating their successes, sharing their challenges, rejoicing in overcoming their obstacles     —   the ultimate goal is to share their stories with you. My feeling is that we can learn from anyone and I know we will certainly learn from them as they walk us through their journey. Another goal for this magazine is to have our readers offer input on what they want to read and topics we should cover. We sent out a survey to all Women2Women members and received a tremendous response. Keep an eye out in future issues for the women and ideas that you recommended! It was a little too late for this issue, as we were planning months prior, but I can assure you that your input is valuable and we are excited to incorporate your suggestions in our editorial content. My intention was to introduce myself with a ‘Happy New Year’ message, and I simply changed direction. You will see that New Year/fresh start theme in the articles we chose for this issue: A different type of New Year’s resolution  —   it doesn’t have to be just about losing weight, highlights of women that have a passion for our community     —   I hope they inspire you to do the same, overcoming obstacles     —   these women have amazing stories. Instead, for this message, I thought it was more relevant to talk about the importance of this publication and our plans for 2014. The issue speaks for itself; I thought it was more important to talk to you about direction and our hope for Women2Women magazine to be a reflection of our diverse and wonderful community. Happy reading!

Women2Women Magazine Editorial Committee Paula Barron VIST Bank, A Tompkins Community Bank Phoebe Canakis Phoebe Pure Foods Dawn Maurer Derr Writer Steve Fritz VF Outlet Center Tracy Hoffmann Hoffmann Publishing Group Mike Jupina St. Joseph Medical Center Julia Klein C. H. Briggs Company Karen Marsdale Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry Connie Skipper Berks County Intermediate Unit Melissa Varone Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry

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Women 2Know

Community & Business Profiles, Insights & Highlights

From Business CEO to Dedicated Volunteer

Sallie Weaver Heidi Reuter Photography

President, It’s A Gift — The Woman’s Exchange


n today’s world of social media it is tion about a person online through his or relatively easy to find out general in- her LinkedIn profile, or past articles written formation about just about anyone. If about them; but there was one quote in a you are a prominent person, it is even eas- Reading Eagle interview dated January 25, ier. So when the editorial committee of 2010 that really caught my attention. This Women2Women magazine asked me to in- was a direct quote from Sallie when the reterview Sallie Weaver for this issue of the porter asked her what she would like to do magazine I got a little nervous. After being in retirement — “Being able to give my time in the business community for quite a few and caring to others has always been a true years, I easily recognized her name and knew value to me.” I knew after two very short she was the founder and retired president of conversations with Sallie even before the Elite Sportswear, Ltd., the most recognized interview that I had a good feeling about manufacturer of gymnastic apparel. I cer- what has been the hallmark of her successful tainly wanted to do my homework before I career as a leader not just in the workplace, spoke with her about “what makes a great but also in the community as well. leader.” So of course I “Googled” her name. There is no question passion is the fuel that You can find out a lot of factual informa- drives Sallie Weaver, and she believes it is

6 Women2Women Winter 2014

By Paula Barron,

Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer— VIST Bank, A Tompkins Community Bank

inherent in being successful in whatever it is you choose to undertake. Sallie told me that having the passion to really want to succeed is a powerful tool. Passion drives us to tackle hard problems, overcome weakness, and develop skills that are not naturally inherent in ourselves. For Sallie that was overcoming being an introvert. As she says, “an introvert who wanted to succeed.” You can’t be a wallflower and get ahead. Years later Sallie still believes she is an introvert, but she spent time learning the personality traits of an extrovert so she could step away from the wall to make things happen. When she tells business colleagues that she’s an introvert, they of course don’t believe her. She says, “I truly am! When I am in achievement mode, I look

and act like an extrovert, but in social situations unrelated to business, you will find me hanging out with all the other wallflowers.” Sallie claims working hand in hand with passion are other qualities and tools that help define success. 1. Constantly striving for excellence. 2. Being the best that you can be. 3. Never accepting that good enough is good enough. 4. Having the ability to stay positive and focused even when things look bleak. 5. Always being optimistic and persistent   —    many things are darkest before the dawn.

My favorite comment during the interview that really struck home for me was —    you have to be brave. Sallie says the journey to achieving success is scary, because there are usually many risks involved. She thinks many women don’t achieve their goals simply because their fear of failure gets in their way. There is an old saying, “No Risk. No Reward.” She is always surprised at how often she sees women back away from asking for what they need or want because they fear being told “no.”She has overcome every no answer she has ever received. She says, “No doesn’t kill you, but risking a “no” often gets you that needed “yes,” which gets you one step closer to your goals.” I asked Sallie if she encountered any stumbling blocks along the way and how did she overcome them? According to Sallie, there were definitely stumbling blocks. Looking back over

her career, she tells me she never saw them as stumbling blocks at the time. She just looked at them as challenges or problems that needed to be solved. “I think if I labeled them as “stumbling blocks” I might have believed the label and not overcome them.” I wasn’t surprised to learn she is the ultimate optimist, believing that if she worked hard enough that she could achieve anything that she set her mind to. She thought that sounded a little cocky, but she believes that is what it takes. She told me, “You cannot look at problems or stumbling blocks as reasons to fail or stop being a creative problem solver.” In her opinion, it is just another key to success. She also mentioned the importance of the willingness to listen, learn and distinguish people who can help you grow, from the naysayers who will zap your passion. When I asked her about mentors throughout her career she said there were many. She would pick every successful person’s brain that she could and watch how successful people responded to their staff and others. There was a common thread that she used in her own development of her team.


it helped her define the culture of her company

TRUST, INTEGRITY & RESPECT for others and a strong work ethic

CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES by being alert, open-minded, creative and assertive

What is Sallie Doing Now? Sallie is now retired and truly fulfilling her desires to give back to the community. Her current project is “It’s a Gift.” I asked Sallie to tell us a little bit about it. It’s a Gift is a wonderful store run by an organization called the Woman’s Exchange. It is a non-profit run by volunteers with the exception of the manager. We have two missions at It’s a Gift—one is to support local and national artisans and the other is to give all of our profits to local charities. When I started as a volunteer two years ago I realized the potential that this store had and the impact its charitable giving could make in our community. The longer I volunteered, the more my passion to contribute to the cause grew. What is really great about shopping at It’s a Gift is that you can get incredible gift items and contribute to a local charity at the same time. I am on a mission to get everyone to make their first shopping stop at It’s a Gift. Not only will they find unique items that they won’t find elsewhere, they will be contributing to a worthy cause every time they make a purchase. That is why we say “A gift from It’s a Gift, is a gift that gives twice.” Berks County has its own gift in Sallie Weaver; there’s a lot we can learn from a woman with such passion. To learn more about It’s a Gift—The Woman’s Exchange, we have an indepth article on its history and recent transformation. See page 12.

berkswomen2women.com 7


A Different Type of

NEW YEAR’S Resolution weight! r I vow to lose ea Y w e N is h T :

Plan of attack

orning person) writer is not a m s hi (t rly ea up 1. Wake e barn work) tending to all th er ft (a m gy e me) 2. Go to th humans live with ed ct di ad ore O cult; r (could be diffi ell here) 3. Eat healthie uld serve me w co ol ho sc l ia paroch ation (years of 4. Resist tempt n setters) m ined resolutio er et -d lly ua eq r t (from othe 5. Seek suppor

ter e homemade Deadline: Eas ilt-free when th gu el fe to t gh ough wei upon my lips.) ds. (gotta lose en rce themselves fo s ep pe Goal: 10 poun w lo al gs and marshm peanut butter eg m I kidding? - Wait. Who a

By Dawn Maurer Derr, Writer


ccording to various statistics, less than tion…just for me. A word I need to absorb 10 percent of resolution setters actu- and apply in all my affairs in order to move ally achieve their goal so why do we forward. One year my word was fortitude; continue to make promises to do something another year clarity; joyous took precedent good or stop doing something bad when the another time, as did humor. odds are worse than betting at a racetrack? Whenever I was confronted with a chalWhy position ourselves for failure? lenge…a lazy co-worker; a dramatic friend; My philosophy on resolutions has noth- an emotionless spouse; a stubborn in-law; a ing to do with losing weight but in gaining rebellious teenager; a fearful SELF, I brought insight. Nothing to do with failing, but that year’s word to the forefront of my atsucceeding. Nothing to do with deprivation, tention and tried to the best of my ability to but engagement. incorporate it into my response. And, it’s sure to garner positive results for For example, last year my ‘word’ was SOAR. It literally felt like it flew into my you, as well. Each January, I pick a word. Not just any head the second I started meditating. On word, but a word chosen through medita- days I felt sad over the loss of my mom

8 Women2Women Winter 2014

and brother, I relied on SOAR to propel me. At times when I felt frightened to drive down our icy, snow-covered hill or stymied to make myself present in the presence of a powerful person I visualized myself handling the situation with poise and SOARED through it. After more than a decade of this practice, it’s apparent that I have grown spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually, academically. Do I have more to learn? More room to grow? Absolutely. And, that’s why there is a plethora of words in the dictionary! The subtle, yet remarkable effect this exercise has is that it transforms who we are, thus we become better listeners, more calculated

Women2Know risk-takers, happier co-workers, more engaged spouses, less worrisome parents, more empathetic sons and daughters. How different the world would be if the nature of New Year's resolutions were less superficial and appearance-oriented, but instead character building and selfless. We all know that what doesn’t work is a proclamation to go on a diet, stop smoking, lose 20 pounds; or willpower, which dwindles over time. What does work are small changes that inevitably lead us to the goal: changes in our eating habits, changes in our mindset and behaviors; replacing old habits with new ones. We may have the best intentions, but the real significance is in the strategic plan, so go ahead…meditate…and see what word comes to mind. For the first few weeks, tape the word to your mirror, in your car, at your desk, until it becomes natural and then THINK, CONTEMPLATE, RESPOND. In this world of e-mail, e-commerce, e-news, ask yourself: does your New Year’s resolution excite you? Does it encourage real change? Do you feel energized to meet your goal? If not, get rid of it. Start the new year ready to Embrace. Embody. Energize. Empower. I bet by the end of the year you will achieve positive change…and maybe even lose a few pounds or stop smoking or fix your finances or go back to school as a result. As for me, in 2014, I vow to be lackadaisical in work and tenacious in my personal life. Seriously, my new year’s resolution is to DIVE; jump in and make things happen without my usual hesitation and second-guessing. Cheers to words!

Need help with your WORD? Get quiet. Seek divine intervention. Meditate. (Be patient; sometimes the word comes right away and sometimes it takes a week or so.) Need inspiration? Here are the top 10 words from my repertoire: EMPOWER FORTITUDE PLAYFULNESS FAITH CLARITY PERSEVERE JOY SING DANCE BREATHE

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berkswomen2women.com 9


Resolution Inspiration! A few non-traditional resolutions from wonderful, wacky, wise women I call my friends.

Erin Causa Morrissey

“To stop yelling at my two year old.”

Denise Nicoel Hoyos

“Redefine. I want to live my life happy, not forced to do things that make me nervous or scared, or make people perceive me as something other than nice and sensible.”

Celeste Houllion Strobel

“To try at least one new fruit or vegetable weekly; swim a mile; compete in a triathlon; See how many different beers I could drink in a year.”

Joan Weidman

“When my kids were young and I was a stay-at-home mom I made a resolution to cook at least one new recipe a week. The keepers are now in recipe notebooks I gave them when they moved out on their own.”

Shauna Kring

“Have friends over for dinner to spend quality time together. Each month different friends. We always say let's get together. But we never do. I made it happen! It was great to catch up in person instead of just on Facebook.”

Heather Adams

“Two years ago I made a resolution to floss more. Figured it was attainable and I’m still doing it. I go for realistic.”

Danielle Malik

“To accept and enjoy where I am and not be constantly trying to change my path.”

Michele Ceccola

“To start being good to myself.”

Sharon Mast

“Find something to laugh about every day!”

Deborah Scaringi

“Seek balance.”

Judy Engle Aulenbach

“My resolution is to triple the numbers of volunteers that come into the Olivet Boys and Girls Club. These kids suffer under unfair stereotypes; the only way we can change that is to have nice people work with them and see that they are like any other kid— they just come from circumstances that make their lives a bit more challenging.”

Roberta Soos

Mary Wert

“To start painting again.”

Angelique Lukacs

“To stop anthropomorphizing my animals quite so much.”

“Balance time given to others with time for myself. To do what I promise. To keep trying despite setbacks. All sounds great in theory. Going to be hard in practice.”

Missy Orlando

“Wear life like a loose fitting garment and don't forget to enjoy the hugs.”

What Will Your Resolution Be? 10 Women2Women Winter 2014

W2W Events |


Daria LaTorre Dean of the School of Graduate and Adult Education & Mary Ellen Wells, Associate Professor — ­ Alvernia University Ethics And Its Impact On Women

February 11, 2014 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 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.

Rhonda Campbell Rhonda Campbell Consulting Solutions Follow The Leader: Leadership Lessons From A Children’s Game

March 11, 2014, | 11:30 a.m.– 1 p.m. The Highlands at Wyomissing - $20.00

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.

3rd Annual Women’s Expo and ATHENA Award Hosted by St. Joseph Medical Center & Women2Women

Thursday, May 22, 2014 | 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Crowne Plaza - $50.00 Look for more information about our 3rd annual day of pampering, networking, renewal and re-energizing! We’ll be kicking off our day with the time-honored ATHENA Award. Once again we are lining up a great day of workshops, speakers and connections that you won’t want to miss.


Patricia McLaughlin & Megan Bauer Founder/President & Vice President, Coventry Corners, Family First June 10, 2014 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Toscani - $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 mother/daughter team working to keep one woman’s dream a family reality and way of life.

W2W Scholarships


he beginning of a new year seems an appropriate time to reflect on how Women2Women has flourished. The growth and impact we’ve experienced over the last three years would not be possible without the financial support of chamber companies and organizations that recognize the value Women2Women brings to the community. We are so thankful for the commitment and generosity of our valued investors. You may not realize it, but you have our investors to thank if you’ve ever attended a W2W event through a scholarship offering. What does this mean? Well, each of our investors is granted a number of tickets for their employees to attend events. In cases where investor employees are not able to attend, those tickets are offered up to our general W2W membership. Never let a good thing go to waste! In 2013 we were happy to see 100 scholarships offered and used for our events. You may be thinking, how did that happen? We may be contacted by a member who really wants to attend a

particular event, but perhaps money is a little tight that week. The solution? Scholarship! The Women2Women groups on Facebook and on LinkedIn will make a post when scholarships are available. The solution? Check in online often! (And ‘like’ us on Facebook, or join our LinkedIn group.)We are grateful for the opportunity to offer more scholarships throughout 2014, and hope to see you soon!

If you are interested in a scholarship to an event, please contact Carolyn Shultz Spano at cspano@greaterreadingchamber.org or 610.898.7779

berkswomen2women.com 11

Heidi Reuter Photography


Recent Transformations

It’s A Gift — The Woman’s Exchange in West Reading

Front row left to right: Lura Stringer, Sallie Weaver Back left to right Carol Fryling, Susan Van Zant, Barbara Logero, Karen A. Nein

By Andréa D. Much, Writer


ome of us have fond memories of visiting The Woman’s Exchange as a child, and, yes, it’s Woman’s and not Women’s. It’s been one of Berks County’s best-kept secrets for nearly 50 years. Although many Berks County residents may think The Woman’s Exchange is a consignment shop, it has always sold an assortment of unique gift items.

12 Women2Women Winter 2014

Until recently, Sallie Weaver, founder and retired chairwoman of Elite Sportswear, Reading, thought the same. That all changed once she stepped into the little shop in West Reading a few years ago; she walked by it for nearly 30 years. It soon became her favorite store. Now, three years later, she not only volunteers to help run this non-profit, serving as Board President, but chooses to

advocate passionately on its behalf. With input from a dedicated Board of Directors, Sallie and her associates have transformed the image in hopes that the brand new sign, awning and canopy, along with the addition to its name, It’s a Gift, will help this non-profit store hold onto its nationwide historical sentiment — and catch the attention of new shoppers.

Women2Know Including the revised name, It’s a Gift — remarks, “It’s amazing what local and na The Woman’s Exchange of Reading, the tional artists can produce. What truly makes store has undergone a complete facelift that the store unique is that a lot of the artisan convinces customers it’s a boutique worth work is one-of-a-kind and the merchandise stepping into —  especially when gifts pur- changes on a constant basis, because artisans chased there will truly be given twice. Don’t are constantly making something new.” let the word “exchange” mislead you to think Despite several sparkling additions dethe merchandise at this store is used. The signed to inspire gifting, It’s a Gift — The store retained its original name since the Woman’s Exchange has maintained its values “exchange” novelty has deep historical roots. for nearly 50 years. Located at 720 Penn Dating back to the mid-1800s, the Woman’s Avenue, this all-volunteer organization is Woman’s Exchange of Reading Exchange Movement was born in the form of governed by the Board of Directors, with underground storefronts created so women one employed manager and more than sixty A NONPROFIT GIFT SHOP with charitable needs were allowed the op- faithful volunteers. “It’s hard to find volunportunity to earn income. At its height in the teers, and we are fortunate to have a lot of The Woman’s Exchange is run by early 1900s, there were about 200 woman’s women giving a lot of loving, tender care to exchanges nationwide. something they believe volunteers who give themselves, Today, including It’s a in,” says Weaver. their time, and knowledge, as Gift — The Woman’s Over the years, this well as support to artisans and Exchange of Reading, unique store has helped financial aid to our community. the total is down to 20. many local charities. We have chosen our signature name Inside the Penn This year, It’s a Gift an“It’s a Gift” because of its Avenue row home with nounced its charitable converted store front partner and benefiseveral meanings. is a room of treasures ciary of profits would A gift from the Woman’s filled with women’s be Berks Women in Exchange is definitely a gift jewelry, handmade Crisis  — a charity with that gives many times over! scarves, home décor, great need that continblown and infused uously makes a positive 720 Penn Avenue glass, pottery and nearly everything else impact on women. “A big difference here is West Reading, PA 19611 imaginable to dress up a woman, decorate that people know they are shopping for a gift 610–373–0960 a home or give as a gift. You’ll also find spe- that also helps a local charity,” states Weaver. Call for store hours cialty children’s clothing, such as christening Shopping at It’s a Gift  — The Woman’s gowns, and classic toddler clothing, in ad- Exchange in West Reading may help you dition to traditional toys; items for elegant rekindle the spirit of giving while seeing how entertaining and accessorizing gardens; and our foremothers paved the way in kinship, It's A Gift—Woman's Exchange a pantry stocked with artisan foods, many artistry and retail. of Reading will be closed which are locally made. The store is continfrom January 20 – 25, 2014 uously featuring new fashions and flavors, Photo, left to right Carol Fryling, Karen A. Nein for interior renovations. because more than 300 artisans are hard at Heidi Reuter Photography work, crafting new goods for one-of-a-kind exchange places such as It’s a Gift. It’s all in one charming place and the majority of merchandise is made right here in the U.S. As a remaining slice of our nation’s history and a true gift to the local community, It’s a Founders: Nancy Fry, Peggy Bertolet and Polly Smith. Gift recognizes the value of its history and The original idea was to open a storefront for a few weeks prior to supports it by strengthening its two misChristmas. They were given space on Penn Ave in West Reading. The sions: to help artisans benefit by the sales store was stocked with things they made along with a few other people’s and distribution of their handmade goods, things, too. When they had to move, Tom Masano offered them a cottage and give all of the shop’s profits to local charon the Old Lauers Farm for something like $1 a year. They stayed there ities. Women who benefitted from bringing with the three of them working/managing it until they had to move due their homemade goods to the woman’s exto the development of Lauers’ Tract. It was at that time they moved to change earned the opportunity to become the current location on Penn Ave. Nancy continued to manage it until self-sufficient, marking a historical first. the early ‘80s. Of the current artisan work to be found at It’s a Gift — The Woman’s Exchange, Weaver

The Beginnings of The Woman's Exchange

berkswomen2women.com 13

Work2Life /

Balancing Life, Work & Family

Building Value Statements For Your Everyday Missions Find Work  /Life Balance In The New Year Through Personal Value Statements By Andréa D. Much, Writer


usinesses create mission statements everyday to define their core beliefs and business direction, while establishing a set of expectations for their stakeholders. These mission statements provide guidance for evaluating opportunities. Running a household can be very similar to managing a company. Today, many women are balancing careers, kids, family and community activities where all compete for time and resources. Perhaps the New Year is a perfect time to take a page from corporate America and create a strategy to align your time and commitments with those things you value most. Why not develop a Personal, or Family, Value Statement to define strategies that help you stay true to your core beliefs in finding a better work/life balance and those things you value most? It may help you make better decisions when in the midst of life’s transitional moments, and give you tools to avoid acceptance of the awkward invitations that do not meet your personal interests. If you had to choose between opportunities to spend more valued time with your parents, husband or children, or opportunities to network your way to more money with great sacrifices, which would you choose now, and why? The start of a new year is a prime time to re-evaluate your current decision-making

14 Women2Women Winter 2014

system to help you better manage the imperfect trade-offs between work, personal and charitable agendas. Do you want to grow your career, improve your community, find more social opportunities, and how much are you willing to sacrifice time with family and friends to do these? Are there opportunities to incorporate your friends and family members into work, networking or social situations, thereby providing lessons for your children, building more goodwill for your causes or adding more value to your core beliefs? Which organizations support these opportunities? A Personal Value Statement may help you build some structure in setting a new course to bring a more rewarding balance to your life. With the help of Andrea Ditsky, Grace Galanti, Jennifer Quick and Elaine Stanko, Women2Women shares stories and ideas from other women who have strategized solutions and established frameworks for their decision-making. Perhaps their stories may help you define your own personal or family value statement to bring balance to your life in the New Year.

“Everything’s important — and so are my children.” – Jennifer Quick Berks County is a very community-driven, task-oriented community, notes Jennifer Quick, Director of Sales at the Courtyard by Marriott, Wyomissing. Her job requires a community-oriented professional, and you’ll often find her promoting the hotel at many

events throughout the Greater Reading community. Lately, however, it’s been extremely important to find more balance between work and family. “I’ve learned that I can’t do it all; I can’t be at every event,” says Jennifer. While most moms are striving for balance to avoid feeling constantly torn between family and work, and operate with ninety minutes or less free time daily    —    Quick refers back to her motto, “everything is important   —    and so are my children.” While raising a young family—  her children are just 3 and 6 years old    —   Quick has become more conscientious of the times and events she chooses to attend. Instead of an evening Greater Reading Young Professionals (GRYP) event, Quick will select a luncheon instead   —   or finds an opportunity to support the community simultaneously with her spouse and/or family. Recently, Quick stepped down from the GRYP Board, of which she’s been an active member since 2006. She decided to get more involved with the West Lawn United Methodist Church with more family and community opportunities, and West Reading-Wyomissing Rotary Club, a service organization where her husband also belongs. Her restructured value statement has provided more family time, which has also improved her outlook. She shared a recent playground-painting event for the Gilmore Henne Foundation with her daughter, Evey. It was one of the most heartwarming community experiences she’s ever had. “Mommy,

I painted this!” is what Quick hears whenev- within our own personal set of values as we er they revisit the playground. She’s proud approach work, life and family. to know her daughter made a difference in For Elaine, an attorney at McNees, the community at such a young age, and Wallace & Nurick, it was a huge success to knows she instilling a spirit of giving that steadily work nearly full-time throughout will grow into a lasting memory. It’s important for Jennifer to live the legacy with her daughter since her own mother was involved in her community, and it’s important for her children to know their parents can make a difference in the community. “Practice humanism before professionalism.” – Grace Galanti As women, most of us want it all, and certainly, many of us attempt to do it all. Let’s remind ourselves that while total balance is not a practical expectation, we can attempt to create balance over the multiple channels that include social, charitable and personal goals and obligations among work and home life. “Too often I feel that women are compromised to give up parts of themselves to fit some standard that exists out there,” says business owner Grace Galanti, who recently opened a holistic skin care spa in West Reading. Galanti relates that years ago she sacrificed a dependable and profitable career in order to create work in alignment with her own life’s purpose, so that at the end of the day, she would feel strengthened rather than depleted. As a single mother, Grace Galanti’s inclusive approach to professionalism includes a personal value reminder to practice humanism before professionalism. “Whether you make the decision to align your career with your children, or maintain speed with a career while implementing a strong support system and communication plan, allow yourself the opportunity to be your authentic self,” says Grace. “There’s always a way.” – Elaine Stanko, Esquire

Evey, daughter of Jennifer Quick

“What might mean success for one person may not be for another person,” says Elaine Stanko, Esquire. Women travel down individual paths, with experiences of career and home life weighing differently from one another, based on personal desires and core beliefs. What may work for one woman, may not work for another. Success is found

Grace Galanti and son, Nicolas

every stage of the growth and development of her children. At given times, certain family members, whether it be husband, wife, son or daughter, may go through busier periods that stress household resources, such as time or transportation. Stanko exemplifies this by sharing how this past season her son played both soccer and football. “But in the next phase, it will be someone else’s turn,” she relates. “The nature of my position is such that I have so much flexibility that there have been very few occasions that I haven’t been able to make a school musical or athletic performance.” In the span of her career, could she have had opportunities to earn more income or further capital growth with a title change? Certainly. But according to Stanko, whose children are now in high school, “my kids will tell you they never missed anything because they have a working mom.” Continued on page 16

Elaine Stanko, Esquire

berkswomen2women.com 15

Work2Life “We have to work together to make it work at all.” – Andrea Ditsky “I felt strongly about staying home and experiencing full-time motherhood,” Andrea Ditsky contends. “When I was home, that was my career.” When the Ditsky family moved from Gettysburg to Reading, Andrea made the decision to stay at home full-time to raise her family. Since the transition to one household income increases household stress, Ditsky added some part time jobs to keep her stimulated. Accustomed to career stimuli from her experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and upon her transition to stay-at-home mom, Ditsky immediately became involved with other facets. For several years, she coached two sports and held two part-time positions, including the Berks Equine Council, where

It Takes a Village… When planning for life’s major transitions, it’s helpful to identify a support system. Most women are humbled to answer the inevitable question that seeks the key to success: “How do you do it?” “I have a village that helps me with my family,” Quick shares. Crediting her husband, in-laws and a general manager that understands the run-around of young families, it’s this village that helps Quick reserve the energy to accomplish the priorities at-hand. When you don’t have family nearby, allow yourself to be supported by a system that holistically communicates and organizes a strategy that holds a collective focus. Elaine Stanko shares, “I try to rely on friends if needed, but the sensibility is that there is a way to make it work, we just have to figure out the way.” Identifying where you are and where you want to be with career, family and community can certainly help guide you to better choices; choices that are yours to make and own. Your personal value statement should be assessed every year as your role within the office, your family and your community contract or expand, and your experiences evolve. Here are a few starter thoughts to help you on your journey.


she served on the Board. She also picked up part-time pharmaceutical research projects to offset any financial burdens with the family’s switch to a single household income. Ditsky’s three children, now eleven, nine and six years old, have contributed to a new way of life within the household, one that includes delegated responsibilities that all family members participate in so that Ditsky is free for other roles. “Organization is key to sanity, not only for myself, but in teaching my daughters to contribute to an organized family.” Is it possible for working moms to not feel constantly torn when shouldering home responsibilities, household financial commitments and raising children? The modern female mind races with worry. Am I putting in enough time at work? Am I keeping up with everything at home? When was the last time I helped out in the community? Whether the career hours are full or parttime, as women, we continue to strive for a way to be present in all arenas, while also partnering for better, stronger communities for our families in years to come. 16 Women2Women Winter 2014

• Would a broader network of professionals enhance my career and/or income goals? • Are there professional organizations that provide opportunities to network within my field? • Are there civic or economic organizations that would benefit from my talents, and how would that fit within my career goals? • Is there a given career or occupation that would allow me flexibility to be more involved with raising a family when the time is needed? • When would be the ideal time to consider continuing educational pursuits, and how would that fit within my family and career commitments?


• When volunteering time, what organizations are doing work that fits with my personal beliefs (e.g. focuses on children, domestic violence, animals, civic or community engagement, economic development, education, health, arts,

humanitarian efforts, hunger, etc.)? • Can my commitment make a difference, and does the organization make a difference to those it serves? • How much time will I be able to give, at what level, and what is expected? • Are there opportunities to engage family and friends in these pursuits and will the pursuits add intrinsic value to those who participate?


• What sacrifices am I willing to make to enhance my career or income? • How will I fit my family into my career and community commitments, or how will I fit my career and community commitments into my family time? • Are there ways to engage my family and friends to play a bigger role in my decisions? • What types of choices will give me the greatest flexibility without sacrificing too much?

These women who have shared their stories may not have known they were creating Personal, or Family Value Statements, but each has created a better structure to identify those things that are most important in their lives. They have assembled core belief strategies that allow them to prioritize and align career, community and social commitments that meet their unique needs to balancing work and life. A Personal Value Statement may just be the answer to making tougher decisions easier.


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Finance, Mentoring & Education

The Law of Intentionality Personal Growth doesn’t just happen! By Karen Marsdale,

Senior VP—Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry


isclaimer, this was the title of an article I just read by John C. Maxwell, Leadership Guru and the author of over 30 books on organizational leadership. What struck me about this article was just how much it resonated with me as a woman who has come to realize the need for personal development as part of lifelong learning. John Maxwell tells the story in this piece about a friend who challenged him with this question when he was a young man starting out. “Do you have a plan for personal growth?” As Maxwell states this was a question that would change his life. Of course he didn’t have a plan, he was working too hard being the professional he was trained to be, and that would naturally get him where he wanted to be. But wait, is it true that if we work really hard at being, in my case a Chamber professional or perhaps in your case a banker,

18 Women2Women Winter 2014

lawyer, doctor or teacher, we automatically grow? The answer is NO, personal growth doesn’t happen on its own and furthermore don’t think anyone else cares about this but you. It’s not up to your employer, or your spouse or others in your world. And, another fallacy, no one improves by accident or with a “little more time.” It takes work. Your own personal growth is up to you and it must be intentional; only you can take control and make it happen. You must make this a tangible target…I will improve myself in order to improve my life. I have had the pleasure in the past three years of meeting so many women through Women2Women who are interested in personal and professional development. I encourage them and you to make a plan and start working the plan. Just be aware that this requires some sacrifice, time, money, maybe even some relationships…but it

will be worth it. Remember how it changed Maxwell’s life…it will change yours. Women2Women’s mission is to create more women leaders; we are intentional about this and our work validates it. So, begin by setting time aside to attend our programs, participate in Roundtables or Mentor Resource Gatherings; it will make a difference. W2W recently launched a pilot “Lean In Circle” that is proving to be a great success; we have plans to announce the formation of more of these popular venues in 2014…stay tuned, we will continue to have more resources available designed specifically to assist with your personal development. Maxwell closed by writing, “I don’t know any successful person who thinks growth comes quickly and climbing to the top is easy. It just doesn’t happen. People create their own luck.” I agree!

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Lean In:

Keep the Conversation Going By Karen Marsdale Whatever your opinion of Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book Lean In, or her personal philosophy relating to women in the workplace and the need to “Lean In,” the major take-away for me was what Sandberg says at the end of the book. She encourages women to keep the conversations going. In that spirit, Women2Women intends to keep talking about the issues that women face in the workplace, the home, and the community. We will keep the conversation going and we want you our readers to talk to us as well! We asked readers and Women2Women members to give us their thoughts on Lean In, so here goes…enjoy!

Joni Naugle For a myriad of reasons, women still lag behind their male counterparts in reaching the executive suite. We must acknowledge that women and men are different – biologically, emotionally, and how our brains work. Sheryl Sandburg’s book provides insight into why and how women can “lean in” or “lean out” during their careers and feel good about the choices we each make for ourselves. The ultimate goal is to be the best version of yourself that you can be! Elaine McDevitt I thought the first part of was much better than the last because it focused more on women having an intelligent and confident voice not only in a business environment, but in all areas of our lives. The author’s wide range of leadership examples, both in and out of the office, was inspiring, especially to the younger generation who are just now getting a foothold in business and as adult contributors in their communities. The jungle gym analogy for achieving success was new to me and I loved it! It gives the reader a sense that there is breathing room in careers…it’s OK to explore new experiences, being open to all 20 Women2Women Winter 2014

possibilities…and they don’t have to be linear to be the right move to make. While I do understand the author’s push for women to “stay in the game” to achieve more and forge pathways for the future generations of women leaders, I believe strongly that life isn’t all about money and business success. Women should be able to stay home and raise their families if they are financially able to do so and want to do so. Being a good mother…PARENT…deserves more respect than it is sometimes given.

society, Native American Mohawk Iroquois, leadership is part of our DNA. At the same time I was disturbed by the existing gender bias statistics. “Having it all” is one’s perception. I am fortunate to have a husband who is a team player and an occupation where I can make my own schedule to “have a lot.” I thoroughly enjoyed the book. My favorite quote from the book is from HBS “The result of creating a more equal environment will not just be better performance for our organizations, but quite likely greater happiness for all.”

Sandy Christel Women2Women Member While reading this book, I was thinking As a younger woman in the work force of myself and my daughter. But my son helped me see that it is OK to work hard, be had read the book and shared that he present and engaging in the work setting planned to implement several areas into his and not have to apologize for that. That it is training program. He shared with me his OK to be a strong woman who asks for what experience that women are more vague in she deserves and that it does not make me sharing their achievements while applying for jobs; whereas men may even exagger- a bitch. The best part was that it opened the door for the “Lean In Circles” and that ate them. He added that women tend to it is OK to need their help in making me a not even apply for jobs if they think they are not qualified whereas men will barrel on. better person. We need less of the negative competition between us and more support. Laura Humphrey-Bunn While reading , I found myself nodding in agreement. Coming from a matriarchal



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register online at GreaterReadingChamber.org Karen Wang I thought one of the most important concepts the book revealed to me was how young women in professional tracks “lean out” in anticipation of the time when they will want to take time out for childrearing. As a physician, I just completed my training around the time I turned 30, pregnant with my first child, so there wasn’t much chance to lean in or out before I was a mother. But I think it’s important to consider that professional women of all varieties make decisions about the type of jobs they accept based on anticipating motherhood, which ultimately might hold them back in the workforce. The best advice I ever got about having children as a woman in medicine was during a panel discussion in medical school where the consensus was to have children when you and your partner were ready to have children, because there was no “good time” career-wise in medical training. I continue to share that advice with the medical students, male and female, that I work with today. I think Sheryl Sandberg also highlights the importance of an equitable marriage and a true partner in career success for women. I think for years people have known this was true for men, that they needed the behind-the-scenes person at home, and likely also similar people behind them at work, to really succeed. That’s true for professional women too, and I know that I could not have achieved much of what I have in my career without the 50/50 partnership of my husband, Dr. Bryan Wang.

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Health2 Wellness

Mental, Spiritual, Physical Health & Wellness

An Alternative Approach: Addressing High Blood Pressure By Gail Eiceman, RN, BS, CCN Elizabeth M. Hassel, BS


ost of us understand that a normal blood pressure is somewhere around 120/80, but what do those numbers really mean? You probably already know that an elevation of either number is not a good thing and you may worry when you hear that your blood pressure is elevated. Blood pressure increases can be normal during stressful situations such as a visit to your doctor or dentist. However, if

22 Women2Women Winter 2014

our blood pressure remains elevated for extended periods of time, it can start to cause other problems throughout our body. Blood pressure is essentially a ratio of the systolic and diastolic pressures in the heart. Systolic pressure is the arterial pressure while your heart is contracting. Diastolic pressure is the arterial pressure while the heart is in relaxation and refilling with blood. When either of these numbers are too high, it

means that your heart has to work harder to pump your blood. Blood pressure can be high because of stress, diet, plaque formation, weight, kidney disease, thyroid problems, and genetics. In addition, another important number to pay attention to is your pulse pressure. The pulse pressure is the difference between the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. If the pulse pressure is above 40, it indicates an

are many natural ways to decrease blood pressure, therefore potentially decreasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. An integrative approach involves the incorporation of traditional western medicine and natural medicine. Integrative medicine practitioners investigate the root cause of particular ailments. With the aid of proper nutrition and natural, well-documented and researched herbal supplements, the basic biochemistry of the body starts to work together again to resolve ailments. Specifically for high blood pressure, here are some well-researched natural therapies: Olive Bark Extract Blocks the beta adrenergic activity and therefore lowers blood pressure. The dosing for olive bark extract is 500mg three times per day. Magnesium Orotate An electrolyte that aids the heart; recommended dose is 3000mg once a day. Coenzyme Q10 Should be taken in the soy-free ubiquinol form; the type of CoQ10 is very important. Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate (P5P) Also known as active-B6; greatly increases the HDL or good cholesterol. P5P with the amino acid Taurine have been shown to greatly reduce blood pressure together.

increase in stiffness in the arterial wall. This lack of elasticity within the arteries can be the result of arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Arteriosclerosis decreases blood flow, which can lead to increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. The big question is what can we do about high blood pressure or an increased pulse pressure? From an integrative health approach there

To help lower an increased pulse pressure, Vitamin C at 2000mg (corn free) per day helps with the elasticity in the arteries. A good source of Vitamin C is Amala Berries. With any supplement recommendation, please know that the quality of the supplement is very important. It is best to consult with someone trained in Integrative medicine before beginning any regimen. Another thing to consider is checking to see if you have a well-balanced diet full of whole foods. A whole foods diet is based on plenty of fresh vegetables and noncommercial or prepackaged foods. Decreasing the amount of white sugar and adding more vegetables into your daily diet will improve your overall health. Some professionals also suggest salt restricted diets as well. Also, drinking half of your body weight in ounces of clean spring water will also aid in improving your health. Some form of daily exercise is very beneficial whether it be going to the gym or deciding to park farthest from the door at work or your favorite shopping plaza. Finally, for anyone dealing with high blood pressure, try to include deep breathing and de-stressing techniques in your daily life. If you are experiencing a rise in blood pressure, it is important to seek medical care whether it is from a traditional allopathic doctor or someone who is certified in integrative medicine. Elevated blood pressure readings should not be ignored. There is a reason it is called the “silent killer�; often a patient with heart disease may be asymptomatic. Get to know your numbers. If your numbers are elevated, change what you can to help take control of your numbers by living a healthy lifestyle and seeking the help of a trained professional. Gail Eiceman, In the health care profession for over forty years. She began her career as a Pediatric Nurse after receiving her nursing degree from Chester County Hospital. She was recognized by being granted the Outstanding Award in Pediatric Nursing.

Elizabeth M. Hassel, A 2011 Graduate from The Pennsylvania State University where she received her degree in Nutrition. Currently she is a candidate for her Graduate Degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health from the Maryland University of Integrative Health in Laurel, Maryland.

berkswomen2women.com 23


Strong Women CONQUERING Life’s Struggles By Phoebe Canakis,

Owner—Phoebe’s Pure Foods

Margaret McIntosh


n the spring of 1999, just after celebrating her 44th birthday, Margaret McIntosh broke her neck riding a young horse. She experienced no pain, she simply could not move, and was paralyzed from the neck down. With a diagnosis of incomplete quadriplegia, she had to depend on other people for the simplest things, such as rolling over in bed or pulling up the covers. “I was afraid if I started to cry, that I would not be able to stop,” shared Margaret. “I was overwhelmed by the love and support of my family and friends.” “Since my accident, everything I do is oriented to becoming stronger.” After six weeks she left the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital and was able to walk short distances with a walker. Incredibly, after one year of physical therapy, she could walk using a cane, swim and, most importantly, ride. One of her fellow competitors ran a therapeutic riding facility. “She ran next to me when I began, made sure that I always had safe horses to ride and encouraged me to follow my competitive instincts to Paralympic equestrian competition.”

24 Women2Women Winter 2014

Prior to the accident, Margaret had ridden horses for her whole life and was an accomplished rider. She competed at the International level in Three-Day Eventing for ten years completing the prestigious Olympic level Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 1998. She was chosen for several United States Equestrian Team training sessions in 1999 and her immediate goal was the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. But that hasn’t stopped her; she proudly states that she is probably in the best shape she has ever been in! She still can't walk far or fast or independently but she is stronger than ever. In 2012, she rode in the selection trials for the Paralympics in London. Although she missed making the team by 1/10 of one percent, it was the culmination of twelve years of fighting back. Where is

she headed? “I have a wonderful horse and am working toward the qualification trials for the World Equestrian Games to be held in Normandy in August of 2014.” When asked what she lost? She candidly stated, “I was a professional horse trainer.

horse…or even a walk on the beach, handin-hand with my husband…” But when asked what she has gained, Margaret shares “a whole new appreciation for my husband who not only nurtured me from the first moment after my accident but continues to do a thousand quotidian acts to make my life run more smoothly! As an “I was overwhelmed incomplete quadriplegic, unlike a complete by the love spinal cord injury, I was given the opportunity to recover. I see that as a mandate to and support of my work as hard as I can ever mindful of those family and friends.” who have every desire but no physical possibility for improvement. Disabled people I have never let myself even think about have no excuses to feel sorry for themselves how I will never enjoy the high spirits and these days! Just set short term and long term athleticism of a young horse or the adren- goals and never give up!” alin rush of galloping across country or the powerful explosion of a good jumping berkswomen2women.com 25

Health2Wellness Mary Ellen Mahan

“Life is too short to wallow in doubt, sorrow and “what-ifs.”


ary Ellen Mahan has gone from 311 pounds to motivating others to lose weight and exercise — one of her largest accomplishments in life. A demanding corporate career, dedicating long hours to her profession and always focusing on her customers, didn’t leave much time for Mary Ellen to focus on her health and wellness. That all changed when they started a weight loss program at her work primarily to improve attendance and employee morale. She joined the challenge to demonstrate support and was more successful than she ever expected. At the same time, Mary Ellen knew that she wanted more control over her work and wanted to change her behaviors. Mary Ellen shared, “Of course to add more stress to my life, my partner and I were in the process of separating. Bottom line is that there were a lot of things changing in my life and starting a personal transformation was something that would allow me to add more control to my life.” Prior to the weight loss, Mary Ellen was someone who gave too much of her time to work. She was quick to rationalize why work was more important than taking care of herself. Success to her, was defined by work accomplishments. “Working out and planning my food choices was just too time consuming and there was no time to fit them into my day.” Excuses were not tolerated at work, yet they seemed to be acceptable when it came to caring for herself. Mary Ellen lost a total of 153 pounds! More importantly she shared that she also lost the part of her that tolerated negativity and allowed excuses to take priority over change. She always believed in her abilities — except when it came to weight loss. After the weight loss, she gained a stronger belief away. If you track what do, you will be able in herself and an understanding that hon- to literally see how far you have progressed.” oring personal commitments and promises When she started trying to transform hershould take priority over anything else in life. self she had lots of reasons why she would She also learned that success is not always not succeed. Her strategy was to look for trying to be the best at an activity; it is being ways to turn the “can’t” comments into “how the best that you can possibly be. can I” comments. This mindset is one that How did she do it? Mary Ellen started focuses on success and not excuses. After with small promises. She set goals. She kept awhile she truly began to believe that any track of her performance. Don’t be afraid to obstacle could be overcome if she wanted fail. Like she says, “You don’t need to be per- to and if she was creative enough in figuring fect; you just need to get back on track right out how to proceed. 26 Women2Women Winter 2014

Her journey has been more than shedding weight; it has been a quest to prioritize positivity, enjoyment and happiness. Negativity has been shed. She may look different physically but she is also different on the inside. “Life is too short to wallow in doubt, sorrow and “what-ifs.” I choose not to now and it is amazing how much more enjoyable every day is.”

Health2Wellness Maureen Gallagher Fey


aureen Gallagher Fey’s life in recent years has been full of obstacles: her daughter’s cancer diagnosis in 2005, her alcoholism and recovery, her daughter’s relapse with leukemia in 2011, a divorce, bankruptcy and the loss of her home. In an intimate interview with Maureen she shared that the single biggest turning point of her life was Christmas Eve in 2007, when her spiral into alcohol addiction bottomed out and her children were taken from her. “Throughout my six short years in recovery, I’ve been through my fair share of challenges,” said Maureen. Her divorce and custody battle have unfortunately been bitter. She managed through bankruptcy and near foreclosure as a result of the divorce, single-handedly raised two teenagers on her own, and dealt with her oldest child being diagnosed with a leukemia relapse. In addition to her daughter undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, her treatment included a bone marrow transplant. Maureen experienced a very extended period of unemployment as a result of caring for her daughter and ultimately lost her home. “It seems the more struggles I’ve had, the stronger I’ve become. Not powerful, just stronger.” Before her recovery, Maureen felt for a good part of her life that life was out to get her. She felt that the things that happened to her were far worse than what others go through. “I thought people should change who they were for me, center their worlds around me. I thought sometimes that bad things only happened to me and I resented people who seemed to have it good.” Maureen has a completely different perspective and way of looking at life now. “Acceptance that everything I have is everything I need.” She has a desire to seek ways to become a better person and to surround herself with people who feel the same way. She has also experienced a realization that there will might be steps backwards that she can’t control, but never loses sight of the ability to move ahead. When asked what advice does she give to others? Maureen frankly stated, “I don’t really give advice. I try to lead by example instead.” Instead of doling out advice, Maureen prefers to be a shoulder to lean on, just like others have been for her. But

the person has to want to forge ahead. She if you alter your perception of them. What is learned that she can’t do that for people, or the worst that could happen? That’s always tell them how to do it. She hopes that she a great question to ask yourself. Then figure will lead by example and others will see from out a way to work through it. Sometimes her actions that it can be done. you will lose, we all do. But you have to be Once Maureen realized that she was pow- able to learn from those times.” erless over everything but herself she was able to adapt to change and move forward. Her advice, “Some challenges are harder than others, but they’re not insurmountable

“It seems the more struggles I’ve had, the stronger I’ve become. Not powerful, just stronger.”

berkswomen2women.com 27

Health2Wellness FOR SERIOUS AND

Karen O’Connor



own healer by balancing my mind, body Connect my and spirit naturally.” ALLISON When asked what advice your products BAVER do you give others, Karen easily answered, “We only have and services this one life, do you want to just exist in directly toit or do you want to live it. Change your to positive ones (mind), be mindyour targetthoughts ful of choices to how you fuel and exercise audience.your (body) and live with purpose and pasEXCLUSIVE!


aren O’Connor was plagued with health issues from her late teens to early 20s. After giving birth to her second child at age 29, she developed Grave’s disease, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid that makes it become hyper. Running had always been a Business part of her life but after her diagnosis with Management: Grave’s she couldn’t run at all. A few years though I felt hopeless.” At one point, she sion rather than just exist (spirit). With that later as her health deteriorated and getting was on 15 drugs and they weren’t approach you will have wellness!” Hoffmannhelping. Publishing Group is the regional leader in Karen’s attitude 2 out of Happy bed became Hour an issue, she Silent was diag- Auction She sought alternative therapy. and outlook on life has print and niche helped her on this journey of life. She benosed with Lupus at the age of 34. “Running Within 9 months, she regained herdigital health publishing. publications Runway Show Boutique was not even a thought; my thoughts were and was off all of the drugs except for Our a thylieves that life is always changing so with deliver targeted marketing how do I deal with such pain and disabili- roid medication. After the 9 months there a positive attitude and outlook, change opportunities directly to the ty,” shared Karen. “I was no longer able to was no sign of Lupus or MS! After her recovkey decision makers ofshouldn’t scare you, rather accept it and Thursday, April 18 care for myself, let alone my two kids.” She ery, Karen decided to dedicate her time professional, in know that you can dealGiwith that deon turnanything Berks County’s s 50 life’s changes hand you. Believing allows her was later diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis,VFhelping others. “I wanted to business pay it forward. and community 5th Floorwith Red Building, Outlet Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I overcame so much, illnessesorganizations. that I was told not to worry so much, something she did a Doorsdisease, openSjorgens at 4:30pm / Show 6:30pm Reynaud’s syndrome, IBS, Iat would never get well from, to wellness. It lot and that she believes is worthless negative forand just GERD, kidney disease,All heart lung$40 prob- was a mind, body, spirit approach that gave energy to put upon oneself. “I can’t control lems, and migraines. Karen was in and out of me that balance, great health and well-being life’s changes but I can get through it now Get your tickets at yourgoodwill.org because of my positive attitude and outlook the hospital and seeing so many specialists and for that I am forever grateful!” that she couldn’t remember what her life of the situation.” Since her recovery, Karen has a better atPublishing Group This fundraiser is brought to you by: benefit: was All likeproceeds before illness. It consumed her and titude and outlook on herself HoffmannPublishing.com As a side note, Karen did run again—  she and life. She heather@hoffmannpublishing.com soon it felt like death was at her door step. “I believes that the body has the amazing abil- completed a half marathon in 2010, 4 years 610.685.0914 x 203 I Reading, PA needed to do something about my life, even ity to heal itself. “I truly did the work to be after getting well.

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GOING RED To Save Women’s Lives By Larissa Bedrick

Communications Director, Berks/Lehigh Chapter, American Heart Association


eart disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in three women’s deaths each year or one woman every minute. It kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Even more frightening, 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. Heart disease affects every woman, and man, differently and can take many forms such as an abnormal heart rhythm, called an arrhythmia, a heart valve problem, or atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque in the walls of the arteries that may lead to a heart attack. Unfortunately, 64 percent of women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. Recognizing symptoms of heart disease can often be challenging, particularly for women whose symptoms are often different than those for men. Many women believe that the telltale sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain, but that is not always the case, particularly for women. Common heart attack symptoms in women include: • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort. • Breaking out into a cold sweat. • Nausea or vomiting. • Lightheadedness.

The best thing to do if you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms and believes something may be wrong is to call 9-1-1 and follow the operator’s instructions. Women who consider themselves healthy often misdiagnose or dismiss the symptoms of a heart attack because they don’t think it could happen to them. That is why it is crucial for women to learn about heart disease, know their risk factors and begin taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle. There are seven key lifestyle changes that can make a big impact on improving heart health. • Don’t smoke • Manage your blood sugar • Get your blood pressure under control • Know your family history • Stay active • Lose weight • Eat healthy The first step toward better heart health should be a visit with your doctor to discuss your personal risk factors for heart disease, including family history, no matter what your age. Your doctor can also perform basic screenings, such as blood pressure and cholesterol, which can tell you a lot about your personal risk for heart disease. Even if you are young and healthy now, knowing these numbers early will make it easier to spot a possible change in the future. They can also discuss if you need to make any of the other suggested lifestyle changes to improve your heart health. Ten years ago, the American Heart Association set out to make a difference in women’s heart health by launching the Go Red for Women movement to raise awareness among women about their risk for heart

disease, living a healthy lifestyle and empowering other women with information that could save their lives. At that time only one in five women knew that heart disease was their number one killer. Since then, there has been a 23 percent increase in awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women and more than 300 women’s lives are saved every day from cardiovascular diseases. February is recognized as American Heart Month, but to shine a spotlight on women’s heart health, the Go Red for Women campaign is also celebrating National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 7. National Wear Red Day encourages women and men of all ages to “Go Red” to raise awareness about women’s heart health. In communities across the country, workplaces encourage employees to wear red, news anchors wear red and report on heart health news, famous landmarks are set aglow in red lights, and shop windows display their red wares. Visit GoRedForWomen.org/WearRedDay for ideas about how you can join in on the National Wear Red Day fun.

For more information about women’s heart health and the Go Red for Women campaign, visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 610.867.0583 to learn how you can get involved in the Berks County area.

berkswomen2women.com 29


A Heart Healthy

VALENTINE’S DAY! Photo by Phoebe Canakis

Celebrate Over Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or Dinner By Phoebe Canakis

Preparing heart healthy dishes is as easy as trimming fat and sodium from your recipes while adding more flavor and fiber found in vegetables. By substituting plain, non-fat Greek yogurt for heavy cream, in both the Scallops and Quiche recipes, we trimmed fat calories. We also trimmed fat and calories by substituting a soft cheese (feta/ chèvre) for the hard cheese (cheddar). 1 ounce of feta has 74 calories and 6 grams of fat versus 1 ounce of cheddar that has 113 calories and 9 grams of fat. Dessert is elegant and a cinch. Did you know pears are an excellent source of heart healthy, dietary fiber? Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year so versatility is key in this menu, taking you from a traditional breakfast or brunch to lunch and dinner. It is also a simple menu to follow for entertaining a group of friends for Valentine’s Day. 30 Women2Women Winter 2014

Health2Wellness Granola Parfait

Savoring a sweet bite is as much about the simplicity of flavors as it is about the visual appeal. In a stemmed glass layer the list of following ingredients to make a gorgeous fruit parfait.


A peeled and cubed orange Non-fat Greek yogurt optionally flavored with vanilla bean seeds, honey or a squeeze of orange juice Pomegranate seeds Maple nut quinoa granola

Maple Nut Quinoa Granola Makes approximately 6 cups

Preheat oven to 300˚.


2 cups organic rolled oats (gluten free oats, if you prefer) 1 cup organic quinoa, red if available (only for the pretty factor) 3/4 cups pecans, chopped 1/2 cup almonds, slivered or sliced 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 1tsp vanilla extract 1/4 cup raw, organic agave 6T maple syrup 2T EVOO or coconut oil (in liquid form)

Mix all these goodies in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes. You should check 15 minutes in to make sure it is cooking evenly and stir if necessary. Cool and enjoy!

Feta, Mushroom and Red Pepper Crustless Quiche Serves 6 – 8


2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, CA Olive Ranch 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, chopped 1 shallot or small onion, chopped 1/2 cup diced fennel 1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 eggs 1/2 cup yogurt 1 cup prepared quinoa or prepared black beans 1/2 cup crumbled feta

1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Prepare glass pie dish with non-stick spray or butter. 2. In a skillet at medium heat sauté the olive oil, mushrooms, shallot, fennel, roasted red pepper, garlic, thyme and salt until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. 3. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs with the yogurt until smooth. Whisk in the quinoa and pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle the feta onto the egg mixture followed by the vegetable mixture. 4. Bake for 35–40 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. berkswomen2women.com 31


Shaved Fennel & Apple Salad Serves 2

Serve as a brunch salad with the quiche or as a side with the dinner scallops.


½ fennel bulb, about 1 cup very thinly sliced 1 small tart apple, sliced 2 teaspoons chopped fennel fronds 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons orange juice 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, CA Olive Ranch pinch of salt, to taste Gently toss all of the ingredients and serve chilled. Use some of the extra breakfast pomegranate seeds to sprinkle on the top.

Photo by Phoebe Canakis

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette Serves 2–4

Enjoy hot or chilled, seasoned as-is or with a simple vinaigrette. Toss leftover sprouts with your favorite cooked grain or rice, nuts, dried fruit and a vinaigrette to serve on a bed of greens.


16 ounces brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, (I prefer Seasons Taproom Chipotle infused EVOO) pinch of salt pinch of pepper 1. Toss the sprouts with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread over a foil lined baking sheet and place in the center of a preheated 450˚ oven. 2. Check every 10 minutes to toss and roast until golden. 3. Serve as-is or make a quick dressing by whisking 4 tablespoons of the poached pear liquid, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of Hemptzel’s Honey Horseradish Hemp Mustard. This recipe comes from Karen Meyers Haver, Executive Director at the Berks Art Council. She and her husband prepare this dish for special occasions, romantic dinners included. I made minor adjustments to reduce the amount of butter and cut out the heavy cream without compromising flavor. Is there a more perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with this dish and the arts. 32 Women2Women Winter 2014


Champagne and Shallot Scallops Serves 2

Sauce Ingredients:

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, CA Olive Ranch 1 shallot, diced 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock 2 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste In a small skillet sauté the shallot and olive oil on medium low heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cook over medium high heat until reduced by almost a half. Pour the liquid into a cup and whisk in the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Scallop Preparation & Ingredients:

Karen said the secret to a golden crust on the scallops is being sure they are dry and the pan is hot. 8 sea scallops, rinsed and dried 1 tablespoon clarified butter, I prefer Simply Ghee 1/2 cup champagne or sparkling wine squeeze of lemon juice 2 teaspoons diced chives 1. In a sauté pan heat the clarified butter over high heat and add the scallops. Be sure the scallops are not crowded/ touching each other. Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side, until golden. 2. Remove the scallops to prepare the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium whisking in the champagne until it reduces. Whisk in the reserved shallot sauce and add the scallops. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste. Top with diced chives and serve immediately. 3. Serve on a bed of black rice or root vegetable puree.

Photos by Phoebe Canakis

berkswomen2women.com 33

Health2Wellness Massage therapist Glenna Seelig, at JSMedi Spa in Sinking Spring, shared this decadent dessert she prepares for special occasions and enjoys served with a small dollop of Lancaster Longacre vanilla ice cream. I reduced the amount of processed sugar found in traditional recipes by using orange juice and a small amount of honey. You can consider apple juice or cider in place of the champagne. In true Valentine’s Day form, Glenna suggests the gift of a mini-massage for your partner. “Sitting on the sofa, with your partner’s feet in your lap is a comfort. Taking the time to gently massage their feet can ease stress, relax your partner and say an unspoken, I love you.”

Champagne Poached Pears Serves 4

Photo (top and left) by Phoebe Canakis


4 bosc pears, peeled leaving the stem intact 1 ½ cups champagne or sparkling wine ½ – ¼ cup orange juice 1 cinnamon stick 4 tablespoons local honey or to taste

Optional additions:

1 vanilla bean, seeded 4 cloves 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into discs 1 teaspoon PureBlend Tea’s Cinnamon Orange Hot Toddy Tea Blend 1. Combine the wine, orange juice, honey and cinnamon stick in a 8 cup sauce pan and bring to boil. Add the pears and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. 2. Cool pears in wine mixture to room temperature. You can refrigerate them in the poaching liquid until you're ready to serve them. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. 3. Top with a dollop of slightly sweetened mascarpone, ice cream or crumbled amaretti cookies.

34 Women2Women Winter 2014

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Book Club See What Other Book Clubs Are Reading… The Spirit Book Club

WOWW (Woman Over Words and Wine)

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Final Appearance of America’s Favorite Girl Next Door By Stephen Stark

By Garth Stein

Here is what the book club leader said about it…The Art of Racing in The Rain will teach the reader about love, life, death and how to be a better human. This is a “can’t put it down” book that will make you laugh, cry and sometimes leave you in shock. The beautiful, poetic language lulls the reader into a quiet contemplation: how blessed one is to be alive. Our next selection is Orange is the New Black. Submitted by Phoebe Canakis, Owner - Phoebe’s Pure Food, LLC

The First Rule of Book Club The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

This unusual and appealing novel could have been written by a woman, and I mean that as a sincere compliment. It isn’t often that I find a romantic story written by a man truly appealing from a female perspective, but this one is satisfying, and more. Meet main character Ellen Gregory, comic genius and sassy with-it woman who is questioning her purpose and place in life even as she reaches the height of fame and fortune. Throw in a creepy kidnapping plot set in the eerily unreal world of Hollywood, a love affair that will make you ache with jealousy for one of your own, and the thoughtful and lovely prose, and you have a brief outline of this book’s numerous and inventive riffs. Smart and sexy, Stephen Stark’s The Final Appearance of America’s Favorite Girl Next Door is more than a romance, however. For the thinking reader, it is an exploration of the phenomenon of celebrity, of the difficulty of finding and giving value to one’s own true self, and even a scientific inquiry into the nature of time and its effect on narrative and experience. Throw in the of-the-moment quirky sub-plot that explores the human-computer interface, and you have a fast-moving read that satisfies on many levels. For those who prefer to read without questioning life’s deeper meanings, its kick-a** plot and well-rounded characters will keep you glued to your e-reader when you should be getting on with your own life. Submitted by Angelique Lukacs, Contributing Editor - Practical Horseman Magazine and Manager - tackoftheday.com

Submitted by Tracy M. Beaky, Learning & Development Business Partner - VIST Bank, A Tompkins Community Bank

36 Women2Women Winter 2014

Book Club


Green Eggs & Hamlet Robin Costenbader-Jacobson,


Professional Life Coach RC-J Consulting Associates, LLC

We have an obligation to ourselves and in our culture to read for pleasure. As author Neil Gaiman said, “If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing.” We all have an obligation to daydream. Additionally, Gaiman tells us we have an obligation to imagine. He finds that it is easy for us to pretend that nobody can change anything; that we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing. The truth is, as individuals we change our world repeatedly. Individuals make the future and we do it by imagining that things can be different. Be the one to start a Book Club this year and interest your friends to read for pleasure; to enrich their daydreams; to imagine changing our world. And be part of Women2Women’s Green Eggs & Hamlet.


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1. Invite a core group of at least 2 to 4 people you are already connected to. You may want to ask each of these new members to bring a friend. A Book Club of least 8 to 11 works well. 2. Set a regular meeting time monthly or bi-monthly at the same time in the evening. Scheduling a routine date and time eliminates working around schedules. 3. Decide on the first book to read. You can decide yourself or include your core group in selecting a current bestseller with wide appeal. 4. Establish ground rules with your core group or all the members. Determine how books will be selected; who will host; who leads the book discussion and what kind of membership commitment is expected. 5. Meet the first few months. If the Club is small, continue to invite people. Some folks are more prone to join an already established Book Club. 6. Decide on a name by the end of the first meeting. Have members make suggestions and vote, making the Club official and helping the members feel like they belong. 7. Make every Book Club meeting a celebration to discuss what has taken time to read and having a good time of coming together. 8. Join us on Green Eggs & Hamlet on BCTV bi-monthly the first Wednesday of the month starting February 5th or join us with your Club online http://www.bctv.org/ bctv/watch_live/wl_bctv/

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Book Club

Catch up with Green Eggs & Hamlet’s Current Selection…

Welcome to the newest addition to Women2Women magazine

Ask Sassy! Similar to Dear Abby, Ask Sassy will be a regular feature column where readers submit their questions, problems, concerns or challenges. Ask Sassy is not a licensed therapist or board certified psychologist so she may answer a little differently than Abby. But, her wisdom and practical and sensible advice is drawn from years of experience and may be delivered with a twist. Write Ask Sassy at asksassy@greaterreadingchamber.org

Dear Sassy, Recently, while my husband and I were on vacation, my mother stayed at our house and decided to give my entire kitchen an overhaul. She cleaned out every drawer, rearranged my pantry, gave my microwave and coffee maker a complete makeover and washed all my linens, aprons included! Mother even had the nerve to clean out my spice drawer…leaving the expired spices on the counter! How can I politely tell her to stay out of my drawers? - Perturbed in PA

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 Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. Join the live discussion on BCTV on February 5, 2014 from 8:00 – 8:30 p.m. 38 Women2Women Winter 2014

Dear Perturbed in PA, Honey, you are looking at this the wrong way. Some people may be mortified, but if that were my mother, I would be so grateful! Life is busy enough to find time to clean out your cupboards, polish your microwave and scrub every nook and cranny. I grew up learning how my grandmother and mother would schedule their week around housekeeping chores, similar to the way Martha Stewart plans out her monthly calendar in the front of her magazine. When my mother shares with me that my Nanny would do the laundry on Mondays, iron on Tuesdays, clean the first floor of the house on Wednesdays, second floor on Thursdays and do her marketing (food shopping) on Fridays, it makes me feel less of a homemaker! I’m lucky if I get the ironing done once a month, and laundry – let’s not even go there. Now, times were different back then, typically our grandmothers did not work full-time, so we ladies of today should not beat ourselves up! If my mother came and helped me the way your mother did, I would be overjoyed with glee. These are the chores that I rarely have time to fit into my schedule. So the next time your mother house sits, don’t be stressed – be happy that she wants to make your life just a little bit easier and give her a hug. - Cheers, Sassy!


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berkswomen2women.com 39


: QA &

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?

Penny Golden Manager, STORE at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts and Chair, Arts Festival Reading

Art Advocate Devotes Her Time in Developing and Growing Initiatives in Our Community.

40 Women2Women Winter 2014

with intelligent, creative, interesting, and in most cases fun, people who have a common goal. It has been an enriching experience.

A: I have always sought tasks that were interesting and a challenge to me. Most have Q: Tell us about your most been volunteer positions, but the lack of recent accomplishments. reimbursement didn’t impact the amount of effort put forth. I graduated with a BS in A: When I began at GoggleWorks STORE Education from Penn State in Art Education. almost seven years ago — I was given the I believe the arts and art appreciation add a opportunity to create a store that featured dimension to everyone’s life that allows each the work of GoggleWorks artists, and items of us to have a broader view of our world. for everyone who came into the building Each of the positions I have taken have for the classes and programs offered by had the link of education in one form or GoggleWorks, as well as for youth who paranother. I have taught high school art, been ticipate in some of the other non-profits who chair of the Art Show at Reading Hospital share space in the building. The STORE has as part of Garden Party, was President of grown to include over 200 local and regional the Auxiliary (now called the Friends) at the consigners. The STORE features American Reading Hospital, served several terms on made products with a particular focus on the Reading Public Museum Board, have the GoggleWorks artists’ work and our Glass been a Museum docent, founded Art of the and Ceramic Studios. All proceeds help supCraft with Flip Imber, volunteered with the port the mission of GoggleWorks which is Museum Shop and am currently Manager to nurture the arts, foster creativity, promote of the STORE at GoggleWorks Center education and enrich the community. for the Arts; and founder and co-chair of Arts Festival READING. Although many Q: What was your biggest challenge in all of those positions are not directly teaching, of your endeavors? each has an element of sharing information and insight into the arts. A: Founding Arts Festival READING for GoggleWorks was my biggest challenge. Q: What inspires/motivates you to Luckily, each of the community based commake a difference in our community? mittee members who joined me, brought their expertise, time and talent and we worked toA: I especially enjoy the challenge of starting gether to create an exciting, entertaining and new events. Chairing the first Tower Ball and creative festival that brought people from the first Tower Golf for Reading Hospital near and far to downtown Reading. Last year, helped to create proceeds for the Reading the second year, the festival hosted 60 visitHospital Auxiliary. Art of the Craft at the ing juried artists who joined our 30+ studio Reading Public Museum created income and artists and GoggleWorks studio managers to added to the proceeds of the Museum Shop create an outstanding event for our commuwhich was one of my volunteer positions nity. The festival brought many new visitors while on the Museum Board. In each case (over 2,000 to be exact!) to GoggleWorks and I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work the City.

Women2Know Q: How have you led other women in their career paths?

Q: What 3 things do you recommend to assure success?

A: As each of the volunteer projects has developed, our committees have added younger volunteers, both men and women, who bring their ideas and energy to the project in addition to replacing the older volunteers when they are ready to step back. This practice helps engage more people in the projects and expands volunteerism in general.

A: Be dedicated to anything you attempt, surround yourself with people who you enjoy and who enjoy what they do, and do things in a timely manner (it’s much less stressful!). Q: Anyone influence you?

A: While on the board of the Reading Public Museum I was asked to help revitalize the Museum Shop. I hadn’t had any retail experience A: The thread that ties everything together for me is trying to be to that point, so I asked for a partner with knowledge. At the time positive, support those around me including family, friends, staff Flip Imber was a member of the Board and she agreed to join me. and volunteers. It’s so much easier to have fun doing something She and her husband, Herman, had owned the Jeanette Shops, a women’s clothing business with several locations. They were retired, than it is to feel like its “work.” but their expertise and experience was quite valuable. Flip challenged her husband to develop a few simple retail rules that we could follow Q: What do you do to set work and play boundaries? that would guarantee success. We followed them carefully and very A: Having the right balance of work and play is sometimes difficult. quickly realized the goals that had been given us. I continue to value I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, playing golf that advice today while running GoggleWorks STORE. and traveling. At the same time, I manage GoggleWorks STORE, meet with each of the consigners every 8–12 weeks and also work with each of the committees for Arts Festival READING. It’s not that easy to maintain balance. Q: Is there a philosophy that you live by?

berkswomen2women.com 41


Sharon Danks Vice President, Tweed-Weber, Inc. Q: Why is your position unique to women in our community? A: At Tweed-Weber, we do strategic planning and market research (customer surveys, employee surveys, market assessments, nonprofit board of director assessments, etc.). I think doing this kind of consulting work is unique in Berks County. The market research side of our business, where I spend most of my time, is extremely interesting. We work with a wide range of for-profit and nonprofit organizations to help them identify what internal and/or external research will help them make important, strategic decisions with clarity and confidence. One day we are working with a human service organization, the next an engineering firm, the next a candy manufacturer, the next a library system, etc. The list goes on. Although our client base varies, the research process we use to obtain the information they need remains the same. Using research data to help clients increase sales, grow a product line, better understand employee perceptions, engage nonprofit board members, and/or gain more visibility in their markets, is exciting and very rewarding. Q: Would you wish to acknowledge a mentor or friend who helped you aspire to this point in your life’s journey, and why? 42 Women2Women Winter 2014

A: I can instantly name five mentors that many blessings in my life. I try to remind have had a huge impact on me. Two are peo- myself often that what I may take for grantple I worked for over 25 years ago before ed, someone else is praying for. Tweed-Weber; Lori Wood (Noll) and John Pachuilo. One is my current business partner Q: Is there a philosophy that you live by? at Tweed-Weber, Al Weber, and the other two are my parents, Tom and Adrienne A: My philosophy is a basic one   —  learning Danks. Lori Wood instilled in me the desire is never over. Every day is a chance to learn to work and achieve the professional goals something new. I believe anyone, from newI set for myself. John Pachuilo instilled in born to 100, can impart great wisdom if you me the importance of being committed and pay attention to them. I also believe strongly dedicated to your work. Al Weber instilled that animals are the best teachers of what in me the need for value, meaning, and in- humans need to learn most. tegrity that must be the foundation for your work. My father taught me at a very early Q: What do you consider to be the main age that being a responsible person who con- asset of women? tributes to the world around me will always result in something good. And my mother A: On a personal level, I think the answer always taught me to stay true to myself and would differ depending on the personality, to know that God is the only one I need to beliefs, and talents of each individual womimpress; that way, I’ll never have a need for an. On a professional level, I believe a few a big ego. There are so many other people common assets would be confidence, empain the Berks community I would consider thy, humor, graciousness, and the ability to mentors that I work with today (too many work collaboratively with others. to mention), and I feel truly blessed to be gifted in my life with such wonderful people. Q: What do you consider to be the main threat of women? Q: What do you do to set work and A: I believe, man or woman, there is no play boundaries? greater threat than yourself. As the quote A: A lot of people talk about “having balance” says, “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid today. I think there is an unrealistic view of of the branch breaking, because her trust is what defines a healthy work/life/play bal- not on the branch but on her own wings.” If ance. I subscribe to what one of my mentors a person believes in himself/herself, opportaught me years ago. It reshaped how I view tunities can be endless. my life. He believes a better way to think about it is through “integration.” How are Q: What words of wisdom would you offer you integrating, instead of balancing, every- to other women? thing you need to do and want in your life? For me, different aspects of my life take over A: The greatest words of wisdom I can share and require more attention at different times, is something my father used to tell me and and I’m OK with that. Sometimes I need my sister all the time growing up. He would to work like a maniac, and other times my talk to us about “the glass ceiling” and how home life shouts a little louder and I need to to approach it. He said if we ever ran into answer the call. It’s much less stressful when barriers, we should always look at it as “a you take the pressure off yourself to achieve mirrored ceiling,” not glass, because it would a complete balancing act and, instead, stay require us to look back at ourselves to get flexible realizing that an always fluctuating beyond it. I have been very lucky in my life. integration of work and life actually IS bal- There have only been a few times, early on ance. It just looks different sometimes. I in my career, that I felt the pressure of the “mirrored” ceiling, but I realized my father think it makes for a happier life. was right. Getting beyond an obstacle, for a women or man, is all about your attitude Q: What’s your mission? towards it and how you take personal ownA: Gratitude. My personal mission is to ac- ership of it. knowledge and be grateful for, every day, the

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