Women2Women_Summer 2022

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A Program of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

W 2 MEN2WOMEN themagazine summer2022

WOMEN2KNOW

2022 ATHENA

Christi Terefenko pg. 8

Acceptance & Goal Setting pg. 16

Access, Disparity, Equity & Insecurity: Food for Thought pg. 17

Travel Is Back! pg. 32


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2 GROW CONNECT LEAD

Summer2022

Contents

Kirsten P. Haas, Managing Editor 606 Court Street • Reading, PA 19601 berkswomen2women.com • 610.376.6766

Women2Women Council:

Alison Snyder, Chairwoman Rosa Arroyo, Kelly Beaver, Alyssa Conahan, Michelle Conway, Heather Evans, Carissa Johnson, Katie Johnsen, Mary Ann Moffitt, Sarah McDaniel Tracy Parmer, Donna Reed, Regina Rinehimer, Rachael Romig, Brenda Rosado, Adelle Schade, Trish Shermot, Emma Rose Strohl Women2Women is Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s catalyst for developing women leaders and connecting women from diverse backgrounds to learn, share ideas, and mentor each other. W2W offers a forum for women to create connections, gain knowledge, and build strategic alliances to foster their personal potential and career advancement. Joining the network is open to all who support women and Women2Women Magazine is a publication of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance.

To join: W2W@greaterreading.org Stay connected: BerksWomen2Women.com BerksWomen2Women

berks_w2w

Berks Women2Women SPONSORS Title Investors

Penn State Health St. Joseph UGI Energy Services, LLC UGI Utilities, Inc. Wells Fargo

Platinum Investors

Alvernia University East Penn Manufacturing Company, Inc. First National Bank Penske Truck Leasing

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Woman2Know

Features 11 Women2Women Conference + Expo Draws 300+ Crowd at New Venue

08 2022 ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient, Christi Terefenko Co-Founder & Executive Director, VOiCEup Berks

16 Acceptance & Goal Setting: Essentials to Growth & Development

W2W 2022 Upcoming Event Schedule 14 July - September Events

17 Access, Disparity, Equity & Insecurity: Food for Thought

Health2Wellness

06 Meet the W2Writers!

21 Penn Street Market: Committed to Fresh Food Access in the Heart of Reading 24 Helping Harvest: Feeding Generations 32 By Land, By Sea, By Air: Travel is Back! 34 The Moment is NOW: One Woman’s Solo Travel Adventure

Gold Investors

Berks Community Television Berks County Living Capital Blue Cross Customers Bank Ethosource Fulton Bank Herbein + Company, Inc. Highmark Blue Shield Masano Bradley Palo Magazine RKL LLP Tompkins VIST Bank

Women In Business

Berks Encore, GAGE Personnel Iron Roots Salon MJ Reider Associates Sweet Street VA Productions

De Mujer a Mujer HGSK Lawyers

The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

27 What Keeps You Up at Night? It Might be Your Food!! 28 The Value of the Power Nap

In Every Issue 05

eflections R & Inspiration

30 Asked & Answered 31 Community Call Out 36 Ladies Around Town 38 You Can Do It 39 GRCA: Annual Picnic

On the cover: L-R: EliAnna Bermudez, Sharon Mast, Christi Terefenko, Lisa Panczner, Rachel Kuhn Cover photo by Wayne Becker, Dave Zerbe Photography, davezerbestudio.com © 2022 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced electronically or in print without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Women2Women Magazine is published quarterly by Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. • Reading, PA HoffmannPublishing.com • 610.685.0914

FOR ADVERTISING INFO CONTACT: 610.685.0914 x1 SEE PAST ISSUES AT W2W.HoffmannPublishing.com SPREAD THE WORD #W2WMag

RECEIVE THE LATEST UPDATES BY FOLLOWING US ON SOCIAL MEDIA berkswomen2women.com 3


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Reflections

S

pring is generally acknowledged as a season of renewal. Nature blooms as new leaves on the trees and colorful flowers in gardens. Animals wake up from their hibernation naps. We ourselves venture outside more as the weather warms up and as the sun graces us with more hours of light. Why, you can almost hear the birds singing and the bees buzzing! Well, there were no birds nor bees but April flowered with the in-person return of the Women2Women Conference & Expo! A crowd of over 300 people attended the day-long event held for the first time at the Santander Performing Arts Center in downtown Reading. The Conference featured speakers covering a variety of topics and the Expo was comprised of over 40 vendors from local non-profits, W2W sponsors and woman-owned businesses. The energy that day was amazing! It was so great to reconnect with this community of women as well as meet new individuals with whom relationships will surely blossom. Be sure to check out the recap of the event and keep your calendar open for next year (especially if you missed it). Overall, it was a day of inspiration, learning and…yep, you guessed it, RENEWAL! So, if Spring is about “renewal,” what word describes Summer? I mean other than “hot” or “sticky.” Well, I think you will find the Summer issue is about NOURISHMENT. “Nourishment” is substance required for growth and health. In this issue, we provide nourishment for you… …with connections you can make at the GRCA Chamber Picnic …with inspiration from Woman2Know and 2022 ATHENA recipient Christi Terefenko …with education about the importance of food issues and resources in our community …with adventure that comes from travel …with knowledge that You Can Do It plus so much more! You will find that many of the articles in this issue are from W2W Contributing Writers. It is important to us to offer nourishment to the many voices in our community by giving individuals the chance to write about what they know and in turn, help the rest of us learn from them. In providing nourishment to each other, we fill the community and ourselves. Learn a new skill, make a new friend, read a new book, reconnect with family and old friends, travel to a new place or volunteer for a new cause. Whatever you do, make Summer your season of nourishment and be full!

Kirsten P. Haas Executive Director, Girls on the Run Berks County Managing Editor, W2W Magazine

I

Inspiration

had the privilege of interviewing the Summer Woman2Know and 2022 ATHENA recipient Christi Terefenko for this issue. During our conversation, she cited her mother as being her source of inspiration. And as clichéd as it may sound, I am also inspired by my mother.

I to school and so-on. Yet she found time to volunteer as a room mother at school; as a Girl Scout troop leader; and taught CCD at our church. My mom was politically active, making phone calls on behalf of candidates (no robo calls in the old days!) or canvassing neighborhoods with information.

My mom was a stay-at-home mom for all of my childhood. But make no mistake, she was an OG Woman2Know. She ran the household; my dad was in the military so when he was deployed elsewhere, Mom did everything by herself. I mean pay the bills, maintain the house, mow the lawn, get my sister and

My mom was an RN and although she did not work officially, she was the neighborhood “witch doctor” on call when one of us kids fell off a bike or stepped on a nail. She was equally talented as a classical pianist and a part-time bookkeeper.

As I left home to make my way in the world, I realized just how much she really gave me. Not merely in terms of practical knowledge and encouragement but also in understanding the importance of sharing yourself with the world. My mom passed away eight years; May is a hard time for me. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of something she said or did that influenced me, my words, my actions. Mom is my inspiration, always. My Woman2Know.

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Meet the W2Writers! Meet the W2W Magazine Editorial Committee and Contributing Writers who volunteer their time and talent to bring the W2W Community articles that educate, entertain, inform and inspire. The W2W Editorial Committee members not only lend their writing talents to the magazine but also develop and direct the creation of each W2W Magazine issue.

In This Issue: EMILY WUNDER BARRETT, Registered Dietitian and Regional Wellness Director with Eurest, W2W Magazine Editorial Committee I’m from Berks County and after living in Northern Virginia and New Jersey, I am happy to be back! Writing is a creative outlet for me and a great way to share interesting and helpful wellness information. DAYANA BLANDON, Human Resources Manager with DAK Americas LLC, W2W Magazine Contributing Writer.

JENNIFER GOLDSMITH CERRA, Director of Communications with Herbein + Company, W2W Magazine Editorial Committee I am a proud North American! Born in Canada, I’ve spent the past 22 plus years in the U.S. Married to Reading High teacher Frank Cerra and mom of Exeter High Class of 2023 member Luke, I love writing and editing almost as much as I love Canadian food classics like Swiss Chalet chicken and Tim Horton donuts. When I’m not busy trying to stay fit as a result, I’m the Director of Communications at Herbein + Company, Inc. AARON GANTZ, Senior Director Economic Development with the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, W2W Magazine Contributing Writer As Senior Director of Economic Development at the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, I bring over 11 years of economic development experience to my role, working with both the public and private sectors to enhance and facilitate economic development opportunities across Berks County. I reside in Wyomissing with my husband John, daughter Wyatt and dog Kai.

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SORELLY GERMOSEN, Driver Hiring Specialist with Penske Logistics, W2W Magazine Contributing Writer I grew up in Colombia and moved to the United States in 2010. I graduated from Kutztown University in 2020 with a Bachelors in Communication Studies and I am motivated by the possibilities of helping others advocate for themselves. On the side, I love to travel and write poetry!

KIRSTEN P. HAAS, Executive Director of Girls on the Run Berks County, W2W Magazine Managing Editor I’ve been writing since I could hold a crayon. My grade-school classics include Anne’s Horse and “The Devil and the Crack in the Sidewalk” and I am an award-winning poet and newspaper journalist. High school awards count! I am a native of Hawaii (not native in the ancestral sense, native in the “I was born there” sense); grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia and have lived in Berks County since 1998. I love college football, specifically my alma mater, the 2021 National Champion Georgia Bulldogs (Go Dawgs! Sic ’em!) and also enjoy JEOPARDY! (not just because I was on it!), reading, running (sort of ), writing and vodka martinis. AIMEE HAFER, Social Media & Communications Specialist with Helping Harvest Food Bank, W2W Magazine Contributing Writer A native of Reading, I reside in Spring Township with my husband, Todd, and teenage son, Donovan. I currently serve as a Board Member for Wilson Education Foundation and am a volunteer for Meals On Wheels through Berks Encore. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, watching movies & comedy specials with the family and making humorous TikToks about everyday life.


BRENDA HUEY, Vice President-Travel, and CHERYL GAUKER, Manager/Marketing & Public Affairs with AAA Reading-Berks, W2W Magazine Contributing Writers Brenda Huey Cheryl Gauker has enjoyed working for AAA for more than 30 years. From her beginnings at AAA Lehigh Valley to her current role managing marketing/public affairs here in Berks County, Cheryl enjoys and values the relationships that have come from helping AAA members and the public in general and hopes to continue for many years to come.

WHAT DOES YOUR

Your Smile SAY ABOUT YOU?

RACHAEL ROMIG, Senior Director of Events & Special Programs with the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, W2W Magazine Editorial Committee

LISA WEAVER, Healthy Community Program Associate, and LAURA WELLIVER, Grants & Special Projects Officer and Healthy Community Initiatives with Penn State Health St. Joseph, W2W Magazine Contributing Writers 2

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WOMAN2KNOW

2022 ATHENA LEADERSHIP AWARD RECIPIENT

Christi Terefenko CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VOICEUP BERKS

T

he ATHENA Leadership Award celebrates leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential. Since 1993, 38 distinguished women in the Berks community have received the ATHENA and we proudly present 2022 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient Christi Sychterz Terefenko as our Woman2Know!

What path led you to where you are today? I was born and raised right here in Reading. I attended Lehigh University where I received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and then Johns Hopkins University where I received a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. After graduate school I moved to Virginia where I began a 20-year career in the medical research field. I moved back to Berks in 2001, continued to work as a research consultant and began to become involved in nonprofit work locally. I not only volunteered but I sat on numerous non-profit boards including BEACON House, the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund, Wood-to-Wonderful and the Junior League of Reading (JLR). As part of JLR, where I also served as President, I helped launch successful programs like JLR’s “Youth Empowered” initiative and its “Young Women’s Summit,” a two-weekend long program for Reading and Muhlenberg middle-school girls to learn leadership skills through education and service learning. After spending several years working with my colleagues, Rachel Kuhn and Christie Botterbusch, implementing service clubs in local school districts, we turned our passion for empowering

8 Women2Women | Summer 2022

youth into a career by co-founding the nonprofit organization VOiCEup Berks. VOiCEup Berks and its Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading programs give youth the opportunity to advocate for issues they are most passionate about and take initiative by developing service projects to affect change in those issue areas.

Is there an “a-ha” moment or experience that defines who you are today?

In my early work with local nonprofits, I began to feel something missing. I saw there were not many available opportunities for youth to engage in meaningful community projects, at least not in ways that make them understand the “why” behind the actions. I realized there was a need to give youth a platform from which they can speak out and help on issues they decide are important; a platform youth can use to create sustainable change by engaging in the community in meaningful ways.

What is “service learning"? Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that combines education and reflection with meaningful community service to enhance students’ learning. It’s important to teach youth the “why” behind what they are doing and that every volunteer task, even the non-glamourous ones, serves a purpose when working to make community impact. For example, several years ago we did a YVC project with Family Promise where they needed help stuffing envelopes to support their work fighting homelessness. Not exactly something middleschool or junior high kids get excited about, right? Well, we started out the project by asking each student to draw a picture of what they thought a homeless person looked like. Many


of them drew pictures of old men under bridges with shopping carts. From there, we talked to the group about what Family Promise does, how they help homeless families and homeless teens, the causes of homelessness, the large number of homeless youth in local school districts and how important it is to get information about Family Promise’s services out to members of the community. With this background, our youth volunteers better understood the need and how important it was to get those envelopes stuffed. So, they stuffed the envelopes happily because they understood they were helping, even only if in a small way. At the end of the stuffing party, we asked our YVC students again to draw a picture of a homeless person. These last pictures were very different from the first ones. One student drew a picture of himself and said, “A homeless person can look just like me.” Their perceptions changed as a result not simply from doing the task but from understanding why the task was important. That, is service learning.

What have you learned from your work? I am constantly amazed at the power, intelligence and passion of the students I work with. Their passion lifts me up. I have as much to learn from them as they do from me.

Do you have a mentor or friend who inspired you in your work? I am inspired first and foremost by my mom. I am the 10th of 11 children in our family and we grew up with her example that service to others is essential. One way she (and my dad) served the community was as foster parents, and I grew up with many foster siblings running around our home. She was a woman of faith, believing “To whom much is given, much is expected.”1 She lived it as well as passed on those values to us.

What advice do you want to give other women? Women, even today, are encouraged to be modest. I think we need to embrace our fabulousness. Don’t apologize for being awesome! I also think that we need to constantly strive to lift each other up. Too many times we see a win for someone else as a loss for ourselves. We need to learn to truly celebrate the accomplishments of other women as a win for us all. There is enough room on the mountain top for all of us to stand.

What does it mean to you to win the ATHENA Award? I was nominated by Katie Schadler, a Wyomissing High School senior with whom I have worked on incredible youth-driven projects over the past two years. I am grateful to be able to use the ATHENA Award as a platform to empower more young people like Katie and encourage them to take on leadership roles in their schools and in the community. As past ATHENA winners already know, we don’t get anywhere by ourselves. We stand on the shoulders of those that have gone before us, our friends and mentors, sisters and colleagues, and we reach our hand out to help elevate the young women that come behind us. I am blessed to have co-founded such an impactful organization, to help facilitate amazing projects, to work with and mentor amazing young women, to collaborate with and learn from amazing female leaders and to ultimately be able to make a positive mark in this world. Continued on page 10

What is the best advice you have received? Well, it’s not so much advice as an author whose words resonate with me, Marianne Williamson: And as we let our own light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.2

1 2

Luke 12:48, the Bible “Our Deepest Fear,” A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson, March 1996

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WOMEN2KNOW What people say about Woman2Know, Christi Terefenko: In teaching me to recognize my potential and fearlessly voice my opinions as not only a community leader but as a female, Christi’s mentorship has most significantly inspired me to unapologetically immerse myself into my passions…Christi has wholeheartedly changed the very direction of my life. — Katie Schadler, Wyomissing High School senior

Christi really is one of my biggest inspirations: a successful woman who uses her position to empower the next generation. — Saishree Mupparaju, Exeter High School senior

Her passion to serve the community by empowering our youth is beyond gratitude from Berks County, as she is the reason behind youth excelling and using their voices. — EliAnna Bermudez, Oley Valley High School senior

Above L to R: Rachel Kuhn, Christie Botterbusch & Christi Terefenko – VOiCEup Founders

VOiCEup Berks/Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading VOiCEup Berks, a fund of Berks County Community Foundation, was founded in 2015 to connect people and organizations to meaningful volunteer and service-learning opportunities. Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading is the youth program arm of VOiCEup. Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) is a national program that develops students age 11-18 by engaging them in service-learning opportunities that meet community needs, build life and career skills and inspire a lifetime service ethic. Since launching YVC Reading programs in 2016, VOiCEup has engaged over 1,600 unduplicated youth in 24,000+ hours of community service to Berks County.

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What is the general mission of VOiCEup Berks? The motto of VOiCEup Berks is “Find your VOiCE. Make an Impact. Change the World.” It’s the genesis of the organization: Give people, especially youth, a voice and give them opportunities to make sustainable change. Even the logo reflects the mission: Volunteer Opportunities i (an individual raising their hand) Connecting Everyone.

What are some of the ways in which VOiCEup Berks has impacted the community? “Girls Supporting Girls. Period.” was a project created in 2018 by a group of Reading middle school girls to fight for menstrual equity by ensuring that period products in underserved facilities like low-income schools, shelters and prisons, were safely accessible and affordable. The project continues today with ongoing product supply drives and raising awareness about period poverty. And Stand Together Against Racism (STAR). In the summer of 2020, following the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the pandemic, several peers and I initiated a virtual series called “Community Conversations for Change,” a safe space for youth to engage in challenging but necessary conversations about race. STAR members shared these conversations with police officers, state representatives and civil rights activists; lead a virtual national anti-racist sit-in called “Stand-Up, Stand-In” and delivered a presentation on increasing cultural representation within curriculum to over 40 Berks County teachers at a professional development conference. What started as a small project to locally address racism transformed into a national youth-driven movement carrying its message of tolerance and acceptance to thousands of people through dozens of youth-led projects, striving to educate others, to stand up to intolerance, to respect differences and to create a community that is welcoming to all.

What do you want youth to learn from or want youth to teach the community? VOiCEup Berks provides youth with the opportunity to pick the issues they want to address, the issues they see need to be addressed. As such, they are invested in the projects and incredibly passionate about them. Even during the pandemic, the youth used virtual platforms to connect with each other and the community at-large about everything that was going on. VOiCEup Berks shows youth that when kids talk, people listen. 2

By Kirsten P. Haas, Executive Director Girls on the Run of Berks County


FEATURE

Women2Women Conference + Expo

Draws 300+ Crowd at New Venue Above: fireside chat with Molly Arbogast. Below: Ty Muse

O

ver 300 women and men returned to the long-awaited, in-person Women2Women Conference + Expo on April 20th. The Santander Performing Arts Center, a new venue for the event, proved to be the perfect space for two keynote speakers, three breakout workshops and more than 40 Expo vendors comprised of Women2Women sponsors, womanowned businesses, and local nonprofits. The day kicked off with a celebration of the 2022 ATHENA, Christi Terefenko, co-founder of VOiCEup Berks, nominated by a senior at Wyomissing High School. Christi, proud to accept the award, explained the work she does daily and how many people it has helped. For the first time, the program featured a male keynote speaker, Tyrone Muse, President & CEO of VISIONS Federal Credit Union. Muse shared his professional and personal journey that helped him find his “why” and encouraged the crowd to do the same. Second keynote speaker, Molly Arbogast, owner & founder of POV Sports Marketing, recounted her success story in a maledominated sports world and how to “get out of your own way” for success. Following her keynote, she sat “fireside” to answer questions. The crowd left for the day invigorated by her energy. Continued on page 12 berkswomen2women.com 11


THANK YOU to our EXPO VENDORS! • A Sense of Purpose • Alvernia University • ATA Martial Arts - Wyomissing • Berks County Community Foundation • Berks Encore • Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County • Capital Blue Cross • Dotterer Educational Consulting • Everlasting Wellness LLC • Fit4Mom Reading • French Creek Aesthetics • Gage Personnel • Girls Empowerment Movement • Girls on the Run of Berks County • Greater Reading Chamber Alliance • Healthy Living with Nancy Perrotti • Healthy U Fitness • John Paul II Center for Special Learning • Junior League of Reading, PA Inc. • Keystone Specific Chiropractic Center • Mary Kay Beauty Consultant • Moyer-Drabick and Associates, Ltd • Our Whole Living Counseling • Palo Magazine • Penn State Health St. Joseph • Penske Truck Leasing • Pretzel City Press, LLC • Reading Dermatology • RKL LLP • ROG Orthodontics • Safe Berks • Shade Tree Interiors • Skin Care by Alyce • Tastefully Simple Independent Consultant • The Dave Mattes Team ReMax of Reading • The Salt Lounge • Thrivent • Tompkins VIST Bank • VA Productions, Inc. • VISIONS Federal Credit Union • Women2Women 12 Women2Women | Summer 2022


Why Attendees Love the W2W Conference ▶ I LOVE the diverse sharing of ideas and I love that I always leave feeling inspired and empowered!

▶ I always leave with actionable items to implement immediately.

▶W omen supporting women in a professional setting; inspiring; networking at its best; a very enjoyable day.

▶H onestly, I would share about the entire day. All of the components of the day make it so special! I attended for both personal and professional growth.

Above: Wendy sharing her personal story and helping others decide if it’s time to take the next step

▶ T he ENEGRY!!

The engagement, the networking opportunities, lessons to be learned, and knowledge to be gained. The INSPIRATION!!!!

▶W omen supporting women – for me it was the

networking and I ran into several people that I had great conversations with.

▶ I t is an enriching experience, with very useful

information for personal and professional growth; in addition to providing resources for development, it gives you the opportunity to interact with and add relationships. (Networking)

ATHENA Christi Terefenko with friends, mentors, and mentees

▶ I love seeing all the women who join this conference from all types of businesses. Terrific keynote speakers and breakout sessions that you actually take something away from to implement.

▶ I really enjoyed listening to all the speakers. ▶ It's a great chance to learn more about oneself

through the breakout sessions and to meet other like-minded women in the community. 2

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ON THE CALENDAR 2022 SUMMER EVENTS

2 GROW CONNECT LEAD

WOMEN’S GOLF CLINICS WITH MANOR GOLF CLUB

Preferred pricing to teach women the great game of golf!

PENN STREET MARKET

DATES: JULY 11,18, 25, AUG. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

The Penn Street Market is an open-air, seasonal farmers market in the heart of downtown Reading, PA. The Market features local farm produce, fresh meats, baked goods, locally owned restaurants and food trucks, and more!

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Course: Manor Golf Club (Sinking Spring) Cost: Sign up at www.themanorgolfclub.com under “Get Golf Ready” or call 610-334-8690

AUGUST LEAN IN CIRCLE INFO SESSION These facilitator-led groups comprised of 12 to 14 women come together to learn, grow and support each other in an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust. It’s a unique model for female professionals. Curriculum is provided by the Lean In Foundation, founded by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, and Rachel Thomas, technology entrepreneur, and includes a growing library of lectures on topics including leadership and communication. These lectures offer participants practical skills they can apply in their professional and personal lives. If you are considering your career and personal goals, think about investing in yourself and your future and take advantage of this opportunity. If you are a supervisor looking at the women in your organization and considering your next generation of leaders, think about investing in their future by supporting their participation in a Lean In Circle. Please join us to find out more about this wonderful opportunity and experience what it is like to be part of a Lean In Circle.

A central feature of the Penn Street Market is the weekly SNAP nutrition education programming and demonstrations developed by The Food Trust of Philadelphia - Reading, PA team. The educational demonstrations are interactive and bi-lingual, offering an opportunity for everyone to learn more about healthy food choices and ingredients. All participants walk away with a weekly recipe that features seasonal fruits and vegetables that can be purchased from various vendors at the Market.

DATE: EVERY THURSDAY IN JUNE THROUGH SEPTEMBER Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Where: 638 Penn Street, Reading

AUGUST CHAMBER ANNUAL PICNIC While the Reading Fightin’ Phils are away, the Chamber will play! Join us for a last blast of summer for the annual Chamber Picnic. Last year we enjoyed beautiful weather, live music and great food. We can’t wait for the same, and more, in 2022!

DATE: TUESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2022

Not only will we continue the long-awaited 4th Annual Berks Business Home Run Derby (competition continues to grow), but we will also have a cornhole tournament and life-size Jenga!

Register for these events at berkswomen2women.com under CALENDAR

When you aren’t watching the derby, you can mix and mingle with experiences only Baseballtown’s ballpark can bring. Time your pitch or practice your golf putt. Take a selfie or a photo with your coworkers in the dugout. Let a Phillies ambassador show you where Mike Schmidt’s locker was back in his rookie days. Enjoy live music, the pool deck, and easy access to free parking.

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Venue: GRCA Center for Business Excellence (CBE) Free to attend. Registration required.

Each ticket includes an expanded picnic buffet menu, unlimited beer & wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and a BLAST with other professionals.

DATE: TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2022

JILL SCHEIDT

JScheidt@MasanoBradley.com

Suite 201, 1100 Berkshire Boulevard ◆ Wyomissing, Pa 19610 610.372.7700 ◆ Fax 610.372.4865 A PA Limited Liability Partnership

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Time: 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium Cost: $45 per GRCA Member | $55 per Not-Yet Member


SEPTEMBER NETWORKING@NIGHT WITH ETHOSOURCE Join fellow members of the GRCA for an opportunity to network and learn from one another over light food, drink and great conversation. Join us at the Ethosource showroom in Wyomissing to tour their venue and enjoy being together once again!

A

s the premier Realtor in Berks County, Lisa Tiger uses her marketing, and extensive network to more quickly match buyers and sellers.

DATE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2022

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Venue: Ethosource Showroom (Wyomissing) Exclusive GRCA member event. Registration required.

2022 MANUFACTURING SUMMIT Join us for our region’s premier, annual manufacturing summit to promote the nationally-recognized MFG Month in October! The Greater Berks County region celebrates manufacturing as our highest priority industry, and shares a dedication to the industry’s success with all of our neighboring partners, training providers, and employers in ten surrounding counties. Be a part of this can’t-miss event! Attendees will enjoy a half-day agenda packed with an expert panel and workshops with takeaway items.

Lisa’s passion and tenacity combined with her sales and marketing skills have made her the most successful agent in Berks County. She would love to have the opportunity to share that success with you.

When you are ready to buy or sell,

Team up with the Tiger!

SAVE THE DATE: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 Time: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Register for these events at greaterreading.org/events

2022

Embrace Your Wellness SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, September 24th Digestive & Wellness Expo

RAIN OR SHINE!

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FEATURE

ACCEPTANCE & GOAL SETTING: ESSENTIALS TO GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT was unachievable, until about three years ago when I took the first step. It started with volunteering to share part of my story at a de Mujer a Mujer event. Here, I was able verbalize my journey, my story in a space where many of us had a lot in common. It was here I was able to present the first portion of my journey titled “Finding my Voice, Acceptance and Goal Setting.” My goal was to help others by sharing part of my journey through storytelling. This extremely heartfelt moment, where not only did I find my voice, allowed others in that same space to do the same. Then recently, I had the opportunity this past month to do a follow-up presentation where I shared what has happened in my life in the last few years and the lessons I learned from it, as well as the path towards acceptance and the ability to set goals and succeed.

I believe that one of the most important steps in growth and development may just be acceptance. Have you ever stopped to accept where and who you are before setting your goals and achievements? Pausing and resetting is critical to get you to the next level of success. Allow me to share my story of how my life took a turn for the better when I had a real talk in front of the mirror. Ever since I was a young girl, my dream was to help others. I envisioned myself helping in various ways, either by sharing stories in front of a group or simply in a one-on-one coach style setting. One of the people I considered influential growing up was Oprah and her ability to bring people together and share stories of hardship and triumph. That was what I wanted to do. This feeling never left me. However, at some point I began to think this goal

I shared how accepting who I was and where I was in my life was a key component of my ability to set goals and achieve. Often, we don’t see progress in our goals and success simply because we haven’t accepted who we are and where we are with grace and compassion. Not everything that happens to us in life is positive or healthy. However, accepting that every situation we face is a key ingredient in the recipe of who we become can help propel each of us to something great. I will tell you what I told the group: Once you step into that journey of acceptance, you can see with more clarity how you will set goals and achieve them. 2 By Dayana Blandon, Human Resources Manager, DAK Americas LLC

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16 Women2Women | Summer 2022


FEATURE

ACCESS, DISPARITY, EQUITY & INSECURITY:

M

ost people agree that access to affordable, healthy food is a basic human right. Sadly, millions of Americans struggle daily to access enough food for their families. There is a growing awareness of this problem, efforts to address it are expanding and new terminology to describe food access issues is more widely used. “Food equity” means there is healthy, nutritious, culturally connected and sustainable food for all. “Food disparity,” on the other hand, refers to unequal access to healthy and nutritious food, often leading to poor health outcomes disproportionately affecting lowincome communities of color. The USDA’s 2017 food access report showed that about 39.5 million people were living in low-access and low-income neighborhoods. According to Partnership for a Healthier America, “Regardless of terminology used, under-resourced neighborhoods have less access to healthy foods while often having greater access to food sources that promote unhealthy eating. As neighborhood poverty increases, supermarket availability decreases and convenience stores increase, regardless of race/ethnicity.”

Continued on page 18

berkswomen2women.com 17


FEATURE

Above: United Way LCS Visit In thinking about gaps in healthy food access, we often think about food insecurity, as well. Individuals facing food insecurity have limited or uncertain access to food due to financial constraints, and in many cases, due to a lack of transportation. In 2020, 38.3 million people in the U.S. and 1.77 million Pennsylvanians lived in food-insecure households. Food insecurity can create barriers to a healthy lifestyle for individuals and families, and increase the risk for chronic diseases.

How does Berks County compare with the national data? There are fewer grocery store establishments per 100,000 people compared to the rest of the state and nation, but there seems to be a higher concentration of SNAP/WIC approved retailers such as corner stores. So, while certain areas are technically excluded from being considered “low access” due to the number of stores meeting the demands of local SNAP/WIC recipients, the options for affordable healthy foods aren’t always easily accessible. A 2013 Food Needs Assessment conducted in the City of Reading by The Food Trust and Reading Hospital provided information on the number of existing food retail locations as well as suggestions on how organizations could work together to increase food access that would help impact the health of residents. Community residents surveyed for the Assessment stated barriers to healthy foods included cost, quality of produce and distance to food retailers. They wanted an increase in quality of produce at stores, more food emergency distribution centers and more farmers markets. In October 2017, the United Way of Berks County’s “Data Walk” event in the Oakbrook Homes neighborhood revealed 18 Women2Women | Summer 2022

that 50% of households worried about not having enough food. Additionally, the last several Community Health Needs Assessments conducted by Penn State Health St. Joseph highlighted the importance of healthy food access as a social determinant of health and a key strategy for addressing high levels of diet-related illnesses like obesity and diabetes in Berks County. This cumulative research, along with work by the prior Reading Food Policy and Action Council and others, helped jumpstart new programs and partnerships to improve countywide food accessibility. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing food needs in low-income communities, increasing the number of families struggling with food security by 20% nationwide. Locally, individuals and organizations rose to the occasion and Helping Harvest Fresh Food Bank’s leadership was critical in managing this situation while preparing for a protracted crisis. Helping Harvest’s Mobile Market program has grown from seven to 21 sites since 2020. These once-a-month pop-ups bring free fresh produce, dairy and meats (perishables not often found in food pantries) to strategic locations, reaching low-income residents in more remote areas of Berks and Schuylkill Counties. The Food Trust works on strengthening the robust corner store network in Reading to increase access to fresh produce. They partnered with more than ten corner stores in the past few years to one, influence the shopping decisions of customers by offering nutrition lessons on healthy eating and two, offer resources to store owners by providing health marketing, equipment and grant support. Some of the corner stores are part of the Berks Farm Bucks network, a financial incentive program in the City of Reading.


Above L: July 20 customers, R: Lilivette The Berks Farm Bucks network is funded by various partners and organizations at the federal, state and local levels. The network lets individuals using federal incentive programs like SNAP/EBT, or state incentive programs like WIC and FMNP to have their incentives matched by Berks Farm Bucks for increased spending power on fruits and vegetables. From 2015-2020, there was a 473% increase in state and federal funds utilized in the city of Reading compared to only $2,000 federal state SNAP/WIC/ FMNP funds utilized in 2013, all due to the power of the Berks Farm Bucks network. In 2020-2021, around $85,000 in Berks Farm Bucks were used by community residents to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in the City of Reading. The redemption and distribution sites are strategically placed to address the issue of distance to food retailers and are accessible by public transportation. Pairing nutrition education with the Berks Farm Bucks redemption sites is another key action to addressing health concerns in our communities. One such distribution site is the year-round farm stand at Penn State Health St. Joseph’s Downtown Campus. Located at 6th and Walnut Streets in Reading, the Downtown Campus is a community health hub for primary care, ancillary services and special health promotion and prevention programming. Started in 2018 in partnership with Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) Farm in Hamburg, the weekly farm stand is open every Tuesday and sells organic herbs and vegetables grown on their farm plus a variety of outsourced tropical fruits like avocados, pineapples, mangos and bananas. In 2021, the farm stand averaged 100 customers each week, redeeming an average of $400 in incentives, including Berks Farm Bucks. Many customers live within walking distance to the farm stand making it easier for them to shop. This

year, we plan to gradually expand the farm stand, adding produce from other local farmers for greater variety. The BMA farm stand is also a participating vendor in our Veggie Rx program, a fruit and vegetable prescription program that seeks to lower levels of diabetes and other diet-related diseases in Berks County. Now in its second phase, key program participant health metrics are still tracked, including pre- and post-program A1c (blood sugar levels), blood pressure and BMI. Results from the pilot program were encouraging, for example, A1c dropped an average of 1.3% across program participants. One patient said, “I learned how to eat less rice than I was eating. Before, I didn’t eat a lot of carrots or anything but now I eat them like crazy. It [the program] has helped me a lot.” From strengthening connections between corner stores and farmers, to providing nutrition education and hosting farm stands and the Veggie Rx program, various organizations work together to increase healthy food access in our community. It is no small effort but we know we are making a difference based on testimonies from community members who have participated across all the programs: Lilivette first started attending the weekly farm stand at Penn State Health St. Joseph in 2020 and participated in Heart Smarts lessons with The Food Trust. She began to attend other sites where nutrition lessons were offered like corner stores and community sites. Through the lessons, Lilivette began to connect with other health resources such as the Veggie Rx program and is now a patient in the program. “When I first started attending the lessons, I weighed around 246 Continued on page 20 berkswomen2women.com 19


FEATURE pounds. I’m now down to around 165. The lessons have really helped me change how I eat, how to choose healthier foods and what they are. The recipes are also awesome. I’m always reading the nutrition facts labels and try to tell others to do the same,” she shared. Lilivette also mentioned how she makes some of the recipes and would probably make the taco salad recipe shared later that evening. Testimonies like Lilivette’s keep us going. We invite you to join our efforts! If you’re interested in volunteering, donating, partnering or learning more about how to increase food access and food equity in our community, please reach out. Effective collaboration among individuals and organizations is ultimately what brought each of these programs to fruition and what it requires to keep them growing. 2 By Lisa Weaver, Healthy Community Program Associate, Penn State Health St. Joseph, and Laura Welliver, Grants & Special Projects Officer and Healthy Community Initiatives, Penn State Health St. Joseph With input from Jennifer Ramirez,The Food Trust

Food Issue Terminology: Ingredients fo Understanding FOOD ACCESS: Accessibility to sources of affordable healthy food, as measured by distance to a store or by the number of stores in an area as well factors such as income and transportation.

FOOD DESERT: Described as geographic areas

where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent due to the absence of grocery stores or markets within convenient traveling distance. This term is discouraged as an actual desert is a natural creation versus this manmade situation.

FOOD DISPARITY: Unequal access of healthy & nutritious food in communities, often leading to poor health outcomes, and disproportionately affecting low-income communities of color. FOOD EQUITY: Access to healthy, nutritious,

culturally connected, and sustainable food for all.

FOOD INSECURITY: The state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

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FEATURE

COMMITTED TO FRESH FOOD ACCESS IN THE HEART OF READING Every Thursday from June 2 to September 29, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM, the Penn Street Market transforms the courtyard at 638 Penn Street into a vibrant fresh food destination in the heart of Downtown Reading. The Market is a place for all to shop and enjoy access to: • Baked goods • Fresh herbs + flowers • Fresh meats • Local farm fresh produce And cooking demonstrations paired with nutrition education from The Food Trust (TFT) of Philadelphia. In 2018, the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) took on the administration and management of the Penn Street Market with help from partners like the City of Reading, the Reading Parking Authority, The Food Trust of Philadelphia, Alvernia University Bog Turtle Creek Farm, the Berks Agricultural Resource Network (BARN) and more. The Penn Street Market team focuses on: • Contributing to Downtown Reading revitalization by transforming a public space into a vibrant destination on a weekly basis Continued on page 22 berkswomen2women.com 21


FEATURE • Cultivating a thriving seasonal event through entertainment, education and community programming designed to engage all community members • Promoting access to healthy and locally sourced food in the City of Reading This season, the team is excited to welcome back vendors that customers have come to know and love. These vendors bring locally sourced fresh foods into the City of Reading including a variety of nutritious, high-quality vegetables and fruits as well as meat, bread and other shelf-stable products. Not only are most of the produce and goods sold at the market locally sourced, they are often sold directly from farm to consumer, so produce does not travel far and is literally farm fresh! Buying food directly from the producer reduces the cost of items while supporting growers, farmers and the local economy. City residents and nearby office-dwellers alike can walk a few blocks and have their pick of a variety of fresh, home-grown goods.

ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, HEALTHY FOOD In 2013, a Food Assessment for the City of Reading was conducted to determine the extent of food access and insecurity. The Assessment found that there are fewer grocery store establishments per 100,000 people than the rest of the state and the country. It was determined that to address access to healthy, fresh foods it is critical to continue to strengthen and promote the farmers market network in the City of Reading. Although this Food Assessment may seem dated, the COVID-19 pandemic underscored issues in both food supply chains and food insecurity, particularly among the most vulnerable populations: children and the elderly. In 2015, the Penn Street Market was re-imagined, expanded and found a new home at 5th and Penn Streets in Downtown Reading to answer the call for fresh foods in a centralized location in the City of Reading. As in the beginning, a central feature of the Penn Street Market continues to be the nutrition education programming and demonstrations developed by The Food Trust (TFT) of Philadelphia – Reading, PA team. The educational demonstrations are interactive and bi-lingual, offering opportunities for everyone to learn about healthy food choices and ingredients. All participants come away with a weekly recipe that features seasonal fruits and vegetables that can be immediately purchased from vendors at the market. While the Penn Street Market provides fresh food access in the City of Reading, it is only available seasonally for four months of the year, leaving a nine-month gap. In 2019, the GRCA and TFT took a broader, more strategic look at year-round fresh food accessibility in the City of Reading. In doing so, the incentive program “Berks Farm Bucks” was established to serve as city-wide fresh food currency. Thanks to ongoing support from The Friends of Reading Hospital, the Berks County Area Agency on Aging, GusNIP and more, many shoppers are eligible for Berks Farm

Bucks, which increases their spending power for fresh fruits and vegetables: • Shop with Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks (WIC + S-FMNP) – every $6 check, receive $4 of Berks Farm Bucks • Shop using your ACCESS card at participating vendors – every $5 spent, receive $2 Berks Farm Bucks In 2021, the team continued expanding the program’s reach through another program-based partnership with Penn State Health St. Joseph’s (PSUSJ) Veggie Rx program. The Veggie Rx program adopted the Berks Farm Bucks as their program currency, streamlining the incentive system for the customer and expanding the food access options for those eligible to utilize both programs. This partnership gives Veggie Rx users the ability to shop at any of the sites within the Berks Farm Bucks network. The Penn Street Market’s commitment to empower shoppers through regional and local incentive programs continues today. Year after year the food incentive programs, now all under Berks Farm Bucks, have continued to see growth in spending. Since 2015, there has been a 473% increase in federal and state incentive spending (FMNP, WIC, etc.) from shoppers. On an annual basis, over 80,000 pounds of produce have been purchased by families across the Berks Farm Bucks network. Learn more about the Berks Farm Bucks program at BerksFarmBucks.org.

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ROLE IN REVITALIZATION Studies have shown that farmers markets are key drivers of downtown revitalization. They inspire creative energy, promote foot traffic, utilize public space, support local agriculture, encourage walkability and nutrition and provide opportunities for social interactions all while targeting a variety of demographics. According to Lauren Suerth of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in an article Farmers Market Impact, “Farmers markets activate places and foster unique interactions. Oftentimes, they locate in underutilized spaces and they generate a dynamic flow of people into the area and within the place. Residents and tourists are attracted to markets for the ability to source food and goods from local farmers and businesses, but they also fulfill important noneconomic purposes. They are an engaging social setting where people meet over common interests and self-expressions.” The Penn Street Market is for everyone! The team loves to bring people together on a weekly basis in the heart of Downtown Reading. Check out the Penn Street Market on Facebook or Instagram for regular updates or visit PennStMarket.org for more information.

SWIPE

SPEND

Your ACCESS card Every $5 = $2 of Berks Farm Buck

Shop with your FMNP checks (WIC + S-FMNP) Every $6 check = $4 of Berks Farm Bucks

LEARN

SHOP

Through The Food Trust nutrition & cooking demo, every lesson = $4 of Berks Farm Bucks

Using your Berks Farm Bucks on fruits & vegetables at participating locations throughout the City

WHEN + WHERE Every Thursday, June 2 through September 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 638 Penn Street, Reading, PA

PARKING Parking is incredibly convenient at the neighboring surface lot in the 600 Block of Penn Street. Special thanks to the Reading Parking Authority for their partnership with the Penn Street Market. 2 By Aaron Gantz, Senior Director Economic Development, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

BerksFarmBucks.com Learn more and find shopping locations at:

BerksFarmBucks.com

berkswomen2women.com 23


FEATURE

FEEDING Generations

S

ince opening in 1983, Helping Harvest’s mission has been “to feed the hungry.” In that first year, 500,000 pounds of food were distributed to 12 food assistance programs serving low-income sectors of the community. Today, Helping Harvest supplies nearly 10 million pounds of food to 320 local food distribution programs in Berks and Schuylkill Counties, providing nourishment to more than 110,000 individuals annually. All of this food is provided at no cost to partner agencies as well as to those whom are served directly. Since the start of the pandemic crisis in March of 2020, many families and individuals experienced food insecurity for the first time. Thanks to the outpouring of support from the community, Helping Harvest strengthened and broadened hunger relief efforts. To reach more families and seniors in need, the Mobile Market program underwent a rapid expansion, tripling the number of distribution sites since the start of the pandemic crisis. Fresh, frozen and shelf-stable items are now provided monthly at 21 locations in areas throughout the service territory. An extraordinary 1,308,031 pounds of nourishing foods were distributed through the Mobile Market program in 2021 alone! In Fall 2021, Helping Harvest’s Board of Directors launched a strategic planning process that resulted in a set of ambitious goals that will direct their work for the next several years: • Build a service-delivery network that delivers fresher and healthier food to seniors in the community, both by expanding the PA Senior Food Box Program in Berks and Schuylkill Counties and through new initiatives.

24 Women2Women | Summer 2022

• Develop programs to direct as much food as possible to meet the nutritional needs of children during their peak braindevelopment years, beginning in-utero and continuing through the early elementary school years. • Identify ways to provide frozen, healthy, heat-and-eat ready meals to our clients, particularly for seniors and families. • Work with the 300+ food distribution partner – pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, snack programs, school programs – to increase the number of households served, increase the nutritional value and freshness of distributed food and improve the efficiency in which the community is served. In pursuit of those goals, several new initiatives have begun. The well-established Weekender Program provides participating children with a bag of nourishing yet easy to prepare food to sustain them through the weekend. “More than 2,000 kids receive Weekender bags after dismissal every Friday during the school year, a dramatic increase over just the past six months,” according to Jess Umbenhauer, Director of Programs & Community Engagement. “We hope to provide the Weekender Program in all 74 elementary schools in our service territory by 2023.” Recently, this program expanded to serve childcare centers, recreation centers and playground programs. Additionally, this year will be the first time that Helping Harvest extends the Weekender Program distribution through school districts’ summer programs. “By doing this, we hope to reach many children who might otherwise go without,” says Krista Renenger, Youth Programs Manager. By late-Spring 2022, more than 600 kids were enrolled in the Summer Weekender Program.


Another children’s program, Produce 4 Kids, will also be extended through the summer. Produce 4 Kids puts nutritious foods directly in the hands of elementary students in those school districts where all children are eligible for free and reduced lunches. Often, families are introduced to healthy new foods that they might not have tried otherwise. Helping Harvest plans to continue Produce 4 Kids through the summer by way of school and recreation programs. Entering its third summer is one of Helping Harvest’s favorite community events: Wacky Water Wednesdays. This weekly gathering is a partnership between Reading Recreation Commission and the City of Reading. At different sites each Wednesday throughout the summer, a city block is shut down, and the Reading Area Water Authority hooks up a sprinkler to a fire hydrant. Many kids from the neighborhood come out to enjoy a few hours of splashy play. Helping Harvest brings an assortment of nourishing treats to each event for neighborhood children and their parents. These treats include fruit, yogurt, kid friendly veggies, juice and granola bars. Unfortunately, the pandemic crisis also heightened food insecurity for seniors, perhaps the most vulnerable group in the community. With an enrollment of more than 1,900 individuals, the Senior Food Box program serves qualifying low-income seniors in need with a monthly food package tailored for them that helps stretch food dollars and adds nutritious foods to promote good health. “We hope to expand this program to serve 20% more seniors over the next year,” says Lori Lowery, Volunteer & Senior Services Manager. Continued on page 26

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

2021 Statistics Courtesy of Helping Harvest  More than 8.25 million pounds of food, valued at $11,762,685, were distributed through our network of 320 charitable food programs in Berks and Schuylkill counties. This represents a 15% increase from the 6.6 million pounds distributed in 2019 – representing a continued response to the increase in need due to COVID.  Of the food distributed, 3.57 million pounds (43%) were fresh and frozen foods – the foods typically the most nutrient-rich but often the most lacking in the diets of those in need.  92,732 food assistance packages distributed at food pantries. 8 78,716 meals and snacks served with food partially or fully supplied by Helping Harvest at area shelters. A nother 324,084 meals and snacks served at area soup kitchens and meal programs.  10,650 bags (64,065 pounds) filled with fresh and nutritious foods were distributed through Produce 4 Kids, which provides healthy foods to elementary students in the Reading School District. 1 4,560 volunteer and community service hours (equivalent to 9 full time Helping Harvest staff ) were worked by 1,780 volunteers. N early 310,000 pounds of fresh

and frozen perishable foods were delivered to senior citizens living in low-income housing through the Mobile Direct program.

berkswomen2women.com 25


FEATURE In an effort to better nourish those seniors who are unable to cook for themselves, Helping Harvest recently initiated Produce Plus, which delivers 700-750 bags of nutritious, perishable foods to seniors in partnership with Berks Encore. “These bags can include items such as cut fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs and yogurt,” according to Lowery. Homebound seniors receive the produce weekly with their delivery of Meals on Wheels, giving them a nutritious boost to enjoy through the week. The seniors receiving Produce Plus bags have been very pleased and one woman even remarked that she “hadn’t eaten blueberries in years!” Through partner agencies and direct service programs, Helping Harvest strives to not only feed the communities hungry neighbors, but to nourish them. No child should go to bed with an empty stomach, nor should a parent need to give up food so their child can eat. Seniors should not need to choose between getting medication and buying groceries. Continuing to adapt to the needs of the community, expanding existing programs and providing healthy foods to those in need is critical to rebuilding the community. This important work is possible only through the generosity of financial supporters, tireless volunteers and community partner organizations. Together, Helping Harvest can, and will, nourish those struggling with food insecurity in Berks and Schuylkill Counties! 2 By Aimee Hafer, Social Media & Communications Specialist, Helping Harvest

Thanks to generous community members like you, we are supplying nourishing foods to 320 charitable food programs that feed the hungry in Berks and Schuylkill Counties. During these difficult times, your support is needed more than ever before.

Please join in our mission to feed the hungry by donating online at HelpingHarvest.org

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Lori Borja, Pa Licensed Nutritionist Personalized treatment plans include: Dietary recommendations Recommendations for physical activity Stress management Supplement recommendations Laboratory testing recommendations, if needed Other lifestyle recommendations

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26 Women2Women | Summer 2022


What Keeps You Up at Night? It Might be Your Food!

The feeling you have after a good night’s sleep really cannot be beat. What if what you eat and drink during the day can help you get that well-rested feeling? Well, studies show there may be some foods that can! Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime. Caffeine and foods that contain a lot of sugar seem like no brainers to avoid before bed, but there are other food categories, even some sneaky ones, on this list. • Aged cheese and meat. If you enjoy a late-night charcuterie board, your sleep may be impacted. These foods contain an amino acid called tyramine. Tyramine triggers norepinephrine in the body which is a chemical that simulates the brain. Brain stimulation is not something you want to increase as you lay down to catch some z’s. • Apples and carrots. While these foods are great for your health, enjoy them earlier in the day. Both foods are naturally high in sugar which can keep you up. They also provide fiber which delays digestion and keeps you full longer. Normally this is a great thing, but not around bedtime! Foods that require lots of digestion can keep you awake since your body is working hard to break them down. • Chicken and steak. These foods also have a longer digestion time but for another reason: Protein. Like high fiber foods, high protein foods require longer digestion so avoid eating them right before bed. • Hot peppers, hot sauces, and spices. Spicy foods increase overall body temperature, so if your body is working hard to lower your internal temperature, it will leave you restless. These foods can also cause heartburn and indigestion which make lying down pretty uncomfortable. • Tomatoes and acidic foods. These foods can also keep you awake with heartburn and indigestion. You want to give yourself at least three hours to digest these items and avoid reclining after eating them.

• Unexpected caffeine. We all know to avoid coffee before bed, but other foods may keep you up because of their caffeine content. Chocolates, cocoa, decaffeinated coffee, breakfast cereals and even ice cream can contain caffeine. If you are sensitive to it, these foods can keep you awake. Foods That May Improve Sleep. On the flip side, there are some foods that will improve your sleep. Remember that any liquids or hydrating foods should be limited close to bedtime so you don’t find yourself waking up for a bathroom trip. • Cherries or cherry juice. This delicious fruit is a natural source of melatonin which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Melatonin is triggered by darkness, so keep your room dark and the electronics off. • Bananas. This fruit provides the minerals magnesium and potassium which help muscles relax. This is a great for your body when winding down for the night. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is involved with the process of creating serotonin, a neurotransmitter or messenger involved with the sleep and wake cycle. and stimulating calming hormones. • Kiwi. This fuzzy fruit not only contains antioxidants but also serotonin. • Lima beans and soybeans. These sources of plant protein provide isoflavones which are chemical compounds that impact sleep duration and sleep quality. • Whole wheat toast or oatmeal. Similar to bananas, these foods provide relaxing magnesium. They also help to trigger serotonin and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. Whatever your nighttime meal routine, you may find that these foods, ingested even within a few hours of bedtime, are impacting your sleep. Take note of what you are eating and when to see if your sleep can be improved by limiting or adding some of these foods to your evenings. 2

By Emily Wunder Barrett, MSCN, RD, LDN, Regional Wellness Director, Eurest

berkswomen2women.com 27


FEATURE

The Value of the

POWER NAP Need to recharge?

Embrace the power nap to boost your memory, cognitive skills, creativity and energy level. With the pandemic in its third year – and as more of us continue to work from home – napping is having a moment. For many, a few quick minutes of shuteye during the day is an essential way to function at a high level. Whether or not you’re a fan of napping, there’s plenty of research that backs up the benefits of daytime dozing. One study, published in the journal Sleep, found that a mere 10-minute nap resulted in immediate increased alertness and a boost in cognitive performance that could last close to three hours. A Personality and Individual Differences study found that napping can also boost your mood, as researchers discovered that after a 60-minute midday nap, people were less impulsive and had higher tolerance levels for frustration. Businesses are paying attention. Companies like Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Uber and Zappos installed dedicated nap spaces for their employees to catch shuteye whenever they need an energy boost. And while sleeping on the job 28 Women2Women | Summer 2022

can seem irresponsible to some, a recent report shows that employees who consider themselves nappers were 18% more likely than non-nappers to say they had gotten a promotion in the past year. An October 2021 study commissioned by Plushbeds, a luxury bedding manufacturer, surveyed 1,000 Americans to investigate the napping habits of U.S. workers. Napping at work was more common than not, with more than two in three respondents saying they have napped at work. Gen Z was most likely to admit taking workplace naps at 80%, compared to 70% of Millennials. The same study found that nappers were more likely to be in managerial roles, and to have received a promotion in the last year versus non-nappers. 55% percent of nappers worked in a managerial role, compared to 41% of non-nappers. 53% percent of nappers had also received promotions in the last year, compared to 35% of non-nappers. There’s even more data to support the value of the power nap.

Naps and Sleep Deprivation Several studies have found that decreased levels of nocturnal sleep have been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and colon cancer, and that not enough nighttime sleep can mess with the hormone that controls your appetite. If your body isn’t producing that hormone, then it doesn’t always know how to tell you when you’re full – and you keep eating. And whether you’re in the office or working from home, naps can be extremely beneficial to on-the-job performance. Short, 20-minute naps have been routinely demonstrated to improve attention, concentration, performance and alertness thus reducing accidents and mistakes . “Naps are a powerful way to treat sleep deprivation,” says Sara C. Mednick, PhD, sleep expert and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping,” she explains. “You reset the


system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people really need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.” The length of your nap and the type of sleep you get help determine the brainboosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano. What happens if you nap for more than 20 minutes? Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep – napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes – is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling direction. Getting rapid eye movement or REM sleep, usually 60 to 90 minutes of napping, plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems. The positive side effects of napping are helpful for a company’s bottom line: Fatigue-related accidents cost U.S. industries over $150 million a year, according to Dr. Mednick. It also helps keep you looking young, by improving skin and tissue regeneration. Plus, it can help you lose weight and reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke. And yes, it’s true. For an energy boost, a nap is better than reaching for a cup of coffee. Dr. Mednick says since caffeine can decrease memory performance, you may feel more alert, but you are also prone to making more mistakes. An important caveat: A brief snooze does not make up for all the sleep we lose on a regular, nightly basis. You still need to make your nighttime sleep a priority. And, if you struggle with falling or staying asleep at night, it is quite possible that napping may not be the best option since it might worsen your insomnia.

Tips for a great power nap Although napping may seem simple, there are a few tricks to optimize the benefits of a midday snooze.

Quick, 20-minute power naps are typically better than longer ones. Lengthier naps cause you to enter deeper sleep stages, leading to an increased feeling of grogginess upon awakening. Longer naps (and naps later in the day) can also interfere with nighttime sleep. Shorter naps are typically refreshing and can help increase alertness for a few hours. Make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable, quiet, dark and cool. If you are at home, try to nap only in your bed. If you aren’t at home, find a place where you can either lie down or recline. Block as much light as possible coming into the room (or get a light-blocking eye mask), and consider using a white noise machine, fan or silicone earplugs to block the noise around you. Be consistent. Keep a regular nap schedule. Prime napping time falls in the middle of the day, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Power naps taken before 2 p.m. tend not to interfere as much with nighttime sleep, so earlier naps are better. If you find that you have trouble sleeping at night, avoid napping during the day. Make it quick. Set your cell phone alarm for 30 minutes or less if you don’t want to wake up groggy.

Nap notes

giving your productivity a slight boost. The benefits don’t last long, but studies show that people feel an increased alertness immediately following a rest break. So, if a nap isn’t an option, “resting your eyes” for a few moments may be your next best thing. Finally, if you can’t get through the day on a regular basis without feeling sleepy, napping or dozing off (even briefly), speak with your health provider about a thorough checkup to rule out any medical disorders that may cause excessive daytime sleepiness. Consider a referral to a sleep specialist, since several sleep disorders can be the culprit (i.e., not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, sleep apnea, nightmares, narcolepsy, circadian rhythm disorders). Depression and stress can also lead to sleepiness and increased napping, so talk with your doctor if you’re concerned with any of these issues as well. So, the next time post-lunch sleepiness sets in, sneak away for a 20-minute power nap and provide the energy boost you need to power through the rest of your to-do list. Ready! Set! Nap! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

2

By Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra, Director, Communications, Herbein + Company, Inc.

If you’re in an office environment, you might have trouble finding a place to lie down flat, which is okay. W. David Brown, PhD, sleep psychologist at Children’s Health’s Sleep Disorders Center, and assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says napping on a flat surface may actually make it harder for you to wake up. If you work in an open environment, and can’t turn off the lights in a quiet space for a full-blown nap, you can give yourself a few minutes mid-afternoon to rest your eyes. While you won't reap all the cognitive benefits a snooze offers, you can calm your mind and reduce stress, which gives some of your neurons a break while berkswomen2women.com 29


ASKED&ANSWERED The ‘Asked & Answered’ can be found on our Facebook and Instagram social media pages. Follow us to share your answers for the next magazine!

Power Nap or Power Through? W2W Magazine polled the Editorial Committee to find out who is inclined to grab a power nap during the day and who prefers to power through until bedtime. I honestly love a good nap. It makes me feel refreshed for the rest of the day; however, it is very rare that I find the time to ever take one.

Napping – BIG NAY. When I close these peepers, they want to stay closed and quick naps do NOT give me energy. They make me want to cuddle up further into my blanket and snooze all day.

– EMILY WUNDER BARRETT, Registered Dietitian and Regional Wellness Director at Eurest Napping? That’s a definite yes. The only problem with napping is finding the time to take one – even on weekends. When I wake up from a nap, I am ready to keep going – and that’s more important now than ever, as my responsibilities grow. I recommend factoring a 10-minute snooze into your lunch hour, if possible. – JENNIFER GOLDSMITH CERRA, Director of Communications, Herbein + Company

30 Women2Women | Summer 2022

I have never been a napper, not even when I was a kid. I am very much an early-to-bed, early-to-rise person; I need ALL of my eight nightly hours of sleep! I might grab a cat nap if we’re going out for the evening but otherwise, I don’t want to interfere with my beauty sleep (a tired Kirsten is a cranky Kirsten). – KIRSTEN HAAS, Executive Director, Girls on the Run Berks County

– RACHAEL ROMIG, Senior Director of Events & Special Programs with the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Huge YAY to napping. The key is setting an alarm to allow you to sleep for 20-30 minutes. Anything more than that will leave you groggy + dragging. – SARA FRASSINELLI, Digital Marketing & Social Media Spherion Staffing


COMMUNITY CALL OUT

GIRLS EMPOWERMENT MOVEMENT

T

he Girls Empowerment Movement (G.E.M.) was founded in 2012 to mentor, encourage and educate young women in Berks County.

“ As a young girl I remember only really having my mom and one or two teachers that helped me along the way. I felt deeply that I needed to establish a core group of community women to be mentors for our future leaders. And that vision grew into something even more beautiful, our Fairy Godmother Project.” — Alneasa Jordan, G.E.M. Founder The Fairy Godmother project helps young women that cannot financially afford to go to prom make their dreams come true. G.E.M. helps provide services like a dress, hair and makeup and all that is needed for prom success. Just like a GEM which are all different and beautiful, so are young ladies in our communities. G.E.M. embraces and promotes education and empowerment by providing support, self-esteem and fun. Women2Women chose G.E.M. as a partner for donations at the 2022 Women2Women Conference & Expo. Attendees came with dresses, shoes, purses and more to donate to The Fairy Godmother project. Thank you to everyone who donated to this wonderful cause! “ Giving a big shout to Miss Alneasa Ani Jordan and her girls empowerment movement, she came up with her “Fairy godmother project” which gave me the opportunity to get a dress that I loved at no cost with the full experience. If you know anyone who may want to attend prom but can’t get help with getting a dress or any other services she may provide please don’t hesitate to reach out; her and her team will get you right thank you again Alneasa!!” ­— Heavenly Fields In 2022 1000+ items were collected and G.E.M. is always collecting donations for the following year. Find them on Facebook at Girls Empowerment Movements – Berks County or call (973) 687-3105 or email gemsberkscounty@gmail.com. 2

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FEATURE

By Land, By Sea, By Air:

Travel is Back! A

s the world moves into a post-pandemic phase, the travel industry is poised for a comeback. In July 2021, almost two million passengers daily flew the U.S. skies just shy of the pre-pandemic 2.5 million. By comparison, April 2020 saw an industry low of 90,000 air passengers.1 According to the U.S. Travel Association’s Monthly Travel Report for April 2022, air passenger demand continues to improve and was only 12% below March 2019 volume.2 People are looking to get away. Despite inflation and higher gas prices, AAA Travel booking data for Memorial Day 2022 travel – reservations for flights, rental cars, cruises and hotels – were up 122% from 2021. However, it’s fair to say there are some things one should know before jumping back into the travel game. It’s important to take into consideration the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. Here are some tips to keep in mind: • Anticipate the expenses associated with delays and cancelations including the possibility of having to stay longer if stranded. • Pack N95 or KN95 masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and disposable gloves in your carry-on and make sure it is easily accessible. • Notify credit card providers of your travel details (specify location and duration) to reduce the risk of frozen cards due to unusual activity. • Have photos of your vaccination card and other important documents (like your passport) on your phone as a backup. “ A travel boom is looming. But is the industry ready?” by Vik Krishnan, Darren Rivas, and Steve Saxon, July 27, 2021, https://www.mckinsey. com/industries/travel-logistics-and-infrastructure/our-insights/a-travelboom-is-looming-but-is-the-industry-ready 2 “ Monthly Travel Data Report,” April 28, 2022, U.S. Travel Association, https://www.ustravel.org/research/monthly-travel-data-report 1

32 Women2Women | Summer 2022

• Understand your destination’s COVID-19 restrictions and requirements including if you will need to take a test ahead of leaving and/or returning home. If so, make an appointment for a COVID-19 PCR test at least one month before departure and make sure the date of your results adheres to the timeline set by your destination (i.e., 1 day, 3 days). AAA suggests requesting a QR code from the PCR tester since more destinations require this.

Travel Agents: They’re Back in Style As recent events have shown, travelers benefit from having an expert in their corner when travel plans go awry. An AAA Travel survey found that six in 10 Americans see the benefit of working with a travel agent to plan their upcoming trips. A trusted travel agent can: • Save you time, money AND stress by handling the details, researching any travel restrictions or changes and coordinating plans within your travel group. • Use their extensive training and expertise to provide advice and advocate for you before, during and after a trip. • Match the right travel insurance that meets your specific needs and budget. • Advocate on your behalf when you need to cancel or reschedule travel due to situations beyond your control. • Quickly find alternative flights or accommodations for you if you find yourself stranded in a crowded airport.

Travel Insurance: Protect Your Trip AND Your Wallet The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on Americans’ travel plans. As a result, how they plan and protect those trips has also changed. One-third (31%) of U.S. travelers say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance for their trips planned between now and the end of 2022, specifically due to the pandemic.


The ability to cancel a trip and get a refund is by far the most frequently cited benefit of travel insurance, with 69% of travelers saying this is most important to them when considering travel insurance for an upcoming trip. AAA advises these travelers to look into travel insurance policies that include a “cancel at any time” component, which could offer more flexibility and protection in the event a traveler needs to cancel their trip. Although travel insurance policies have historically not covered epidemics or pandemics, some providers have started to introduce plans that cover some losses due to COVID-19 or other epidemic diseases.

By Land, By Sea, By Air: Get There! The February 2022 AAA survey found 42% of Americans will still travel by car despite rising gas prices:

A change of scenery, whether near or far, whether for a few hours or a few weeks, can be the tonic one needs to revive the soul. Don’t let the “do’s” and “don’t’s” intimidate you into a “won’t.” Adventure awaits, GO! 2 By Brenda Huey, CTA Vice President, Travel, & Cheryl Gouker, Manager Marketing & Public Affairs, AAA Reading-Berks

Imagine yourself

HERE.

• Make sure your car maintenance is up-to-date (oil changes, tire pressures and conditions, AC, etc.). • Plan your route in advance to avoid detours and to plan stops along the way (Fiberglass Punxsutawney Phil, anyone?). • Drive mindfully for peak fuel economy. If the sea beckons, know that the cruise industry has faced the most challenges during and post-pandemic: • AAA strongly recommends working with a travel agent to understand what to expect while onboard; limitations on ports, excursions and onboard activities; and changes to safety protocols, including testing or daily self-health assessments for travelers who still wish to cruise.

The Chamber Trip is back and better than ever! Join us in Tuscany November 1-9 for an immersive cultural experience. Learn more and sign up for the trip by contacting Rachael Romig at rromig@greaterreading.org

• Follow the CDC guidance, which includes being fully vaccinated and/or getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster if eligible before cruising. • Use the CDC Cruise Ship Status Dashboard at cdc.gov/ quarantine/cruise/cruise-ship-color-status.html and verify vaccination status classification before traveling. Be aware that the ship’s status could change over time and may be different by the time of your cruise. If you want to join the jet set, be sure to reduce your chance of being grounded: • Book the first flight in the morning. Early morning flights are less susceptible to encountering problems from cancelations or delays. • Check-in online 24-hours in advance and enable airline notifications on your mobile device in case an issue arises that requires a change in plans. • If a flight is canceled, the airline must try and accommodate by booking passengers on an alternative flight. Under federal law, you are entitled to a full refund if you request it although it could take time to recover this money since more cancellations mean more people asking for refunds.

berkswomen2women.com 33


FEATURE

The Moment is NOW:

One Woman’s Solo Travel Adventure

W

here to begin? This was truly a life-changing experience! For many years I felt the urge to travel and meet people from all over the world. However, factors like money, safety and relying on other people to take the leap “prevented” me from doing so myself. I believed if I didn’t save a specific amount of money and if I didn’t have friends that could or were willing to go on a spontaneous trip, that I would just have to wait for the “right” opportunity, for the “right” time. One night, feeling down for not following my heart to the experiences I wanted to have, I made a decision. Without thinking of my “buts,” I searched for flights to places I wanted to visit and booked a flight to Tulum, Mexico! Booking the flight felt both daring and empowering. I knew it was the right decision, as I knew that regardless of what was about to happen, I made it happen. After feeling that rush though, all the factors that previously prevented me from taking this leap came to mind. I felt uneasy about traveling alone as a woman in Mexico, so I started to question my decision. I gained back courage, as I realized I was about to do something for myself. I chose to stay in a hostel called the Mayan Monkey. Not only did it look like a place to meet amazing people but it felt the safest. Hostels host travelers and backpackers who are open to experiences and people, and that was exactly what I was looking for.

34 Women2Women | Summer 2022

To my surprise, I did more than that. I felt that a new part of me was born. This trip helped me gain confidence in myself. Why? I became someone who could do anything! I no longer needed to wait on someone, nor did I need to fixate on the ways I’d be risking my life simply by being a woman. I became more in tune with my instincts by being more trusting of my decisions and judgment. I arrived at the hostel and engaged in a conversation with the person sleeping under my bunk bed. That turned into us eating dinner together! We then met another traveler along the way, as we were all staying in the same room. They were both from Argentina and it felt so amazing to already be where I felt I needed to be. The three of us then headed back to the hostel and met more people. I connected with another person from Chile and ended up at a man-made pool that same night! The moment I landed back in the U.S.A, I felt content. This experience made me realize, it is only the beginning. Just like I decided to book that trip, you can decide to take that leap into whatever your heart is calling to. I would love for this story to become one of many more stories from other women. You don’t need a big savings account. You don’t need to wait for the right moment. The moment is now. Take the leap! By Sorelly Germosen

2


TIPS & THINGS TO CONSIDER

WHEN TRAVELING ALONE • When searching for the ideal destination, I focused on countries that were closer to the U.S.A. I saw Mexico as one of the most popular travel destinations, but could not help but wonder if it’d be safe for a woman to go alone. This is why booking a bed in a hostel was one of the best decisions I made for this trip. I was staying with other people from all over the world, many of whom went to the hostel for similar reasons.

• You can travel for cheap! Pay attention to the times of the year when people are traveling the least. I paid $14.00/night staying in a hostel. • Travel light. This way you will always know where your luggage is, especially if you’re traveling to multiple locales. I only took a carry-on bag and my purse. 2

0

Your life at your fingertips. Helping you keep what matters most safe and in your control.

20 2

• Tell someone else where you’re going, and share your location with a friend or family member even if you choose to stay disconnected for the duration of the trip.

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LADIES AROUND TOWN

2

May ATHENA Luncheon Celebrating Christi Terefenko

GROW CONNECT LEAD

Each year, our past ATHENIANS meet for lunch to welcome the newest among their prestigious ranks. Over lunch at B2 Bistro & Bar, the ladies shared what was happening in their worlds and how they could help each other.

ATHENAS chatting

ATHENAS

De Mujer a Mujer at I-LEAD Education Center

Mujer Mujer

Dayana Blandon returned to speak to our group again, this time sharing with us how to accept yourself for who and all you are, and once you do this, you can better accomplish your goals.

Dayana and colleague Rosa, along with Rosa’s son who won flowers from Sarai Variety Floral Shop.

Angel Figueroa

36 Women2Women | Summer 2022

Johanny Cepada, owner of Mi Casa Su Casa, spreading the importance of getting out to vote!


June Love Yourself as Much as You Love Chocolate We looked in the mirror and said “I love you”…and it was hard. Kim Howie & Nancy Werteen of The Wisdom Coalition taught us that self-love and self-acceptance can improve not only our mental health but the relationships around us AND our physical health!

Ruthann and Virginia enjoying networking over breakfast!

Kim Howie

Nancy Werteen

Thank you to Alvernia University for hosting us at the Francis Theatre!

De Mujer a Mujer Awards at I-LEAD Education Center We were so lucky to meet three amazing women who were awarded with the 2022 De Mujer a Mujer awards. The Awards followed a session with Anna Amarante-Craig and Beth Bowers, attorneys at HGSK, on overcoming stereotypes. The crowd was very involved with the discussion!

The 2022 De Mujer a Mujer Award recipients: L-R EliAnna Bermudez – Young Changemaker Rosa Julia Parra – Small Business Owner Edna Garcia-Dipini – Community Impact

The 2022 awards from the GoggleWorks – heart shaped dishes.

Rosa and Pina enjoying networking before the program began.

Mujer Mujer

Thank you to Sarai Variety Flower Shop owner, Lourdes Peralta, for her donation of the beautiful flowers! Contact her for your large & small floral and event décor needs! (610) 587-3744

berkswomen2women.com 37


do it

Changing a Tire

Let's say you do not have a roadside assistance plan – which I highly recommend getting after learning these steps. You are driving along, you hit a pothole and you hear the unmistakable sounds that can only be the deflating of your tire. Know that you can accomplish changing your tire, on your own! I did not know how to change a tire, so I turned to my father, Kevin Wunder, previous owner of Bear Alignment for 17 years. The process itself is not too complicated, but actually doing it definitely requires some muscle. Before getting started, my dad stresses to drive your car to a safe location with a flat surface and remove any jewelry. Now, here’s what you do: 1. G et your supplies together and test a lug nut. Locate your car manual, the spare tire and the tire changing tools that come with your car and remove them from the car. Place the lug wrench on the flat tire’s lug nuts, one at a time, and slightly loosen them using your legs to turn the wrench (remember “lefty loosey”). This action tests if you can even loosen the lug nuts not completely take the lug nuts off the tire. Why? If you are not able to loosen all the lug nuts, you won’t be able to change this tire on your own. 2. J ack up the car. In the owner’s manual, find your car’s jacking spot. My car has a pinch weld that the jack fits into, but some cars have a pad. Near the tire you are changing, put the jack under the car in this designated spot. Twist the knob of the jack to make it straighten out. Use the tool from your car with a hook on it and loop it through the knob of the jack. Use this tool to turn and straighten the jack until the wheel you are changing is off of the ground. 3. R emove the flat tire. Now, use the lug wrench to remove all of the lug nuts then take off the tire. Kneel on one knee and lift

38 Women2Women | Summer 2022

it off or squat down low so you can use your legs to remove it. It was heavy! Note, you will need to get this flat tire back into your car, so be ready to do some heavy lifting. 4. Put the spare tire on the car. Roll the spare tire over to the empty spot and line up the holes with the studs. Similar to removing the flat tire, go down on one knee or squat down low and hold the tire on both sides. If you need to put one hand behind the tire, be very careful to not pinch yourself. Lift the spare tire into place until you get the studs through the holes. Now, take a deep breath, the worst is over! T wist each of the lug nuts onto the studs then use the lug wrench to make them snug but not totally tight yet. Loosen the jack, twisting in the opposite direction until the car is back on the ground and the jack pretty much falls out from under the car. Go back to the newly installed tire and finish tightening the lug nuts using the lug wrench. 5. Clean up. Get everything, including the flat tire, back into your car. Make an appointment to get a new tire as soon as possible. Spare tires are not meant to travel long distances or be a long-term substitute for a new, full-size tire. I won’t lie, this experience was very challenging for me, especially with large SUV tires. If it comes down to it, I can probably do this whole thing on my own, but I will for sure be keeping my AAA membership for roadside assistance! 2

By Emily Wunder Barrett, MSCN, RD, LDN Regional Wellness Director, Eurest


5

Top reasons to attend the Annual Picnic 1

Networking with Berks businesses: The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s (GRCA) Annual Picnic is a great place to meet your next big client. Last year, the event welcomed nearly 400 attendees — that’s 400 chances to make meaningful business connections.

2

Berks Biz Homerun Derby: Watch local businesspeople step up to the plate and square off in this battle for the trophy and some bragging rights. A little competition never hurt anyone’s pride, right?

3

New competitions: You take a block from the bottom and put it on top; you take a block from the middle and you put it on top. You

don’t stop until the tower goes flop! You guessed it — JENGA! This time it’s life-sized. So, get ready to tower above the competition.

4

Swag: Sponsors and GRCA always have something fun to take home – and this year GRCA is offering something new! What is it? You’ll have to attend to find out. We are working to utilize our swag to make our events more sustainable.

5

Summer vibes: If hanging out with colleagues over yummy food and beers isn’t enough, enjoy the live music while you bask in the sunshine at beautiful FirstEnergy Stadium.

 Tuesday, Aug. 9  4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.  FirstEnergy Stadium  Visit: tinyurl.com/GRCApicnic2022 for tickets & info

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