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A Program of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

W 2 MEN2WOMEN themagazine winter2022


Have Some Fun Today with Stephanie Rado Taormina pg. 23

Women in the Workplace: Local Leadership Survey pg. 10

Women2Women January – April Events pg. 18

Asked & Answered: Why People Love Women2Women pg. 25

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• Access to St. Joseph Medical Center’s 24/7 emergency care, • Free physician referral service to assist you in selecting a physician who’s right for you state-of-the-art imaging technology, conveniently located walkand your family. Call 610-378-2001 or email findaphysician@pennstatehealth.psu.edu. •in Schedule your first cares visit within weeksState and get assistance transferring your and urgent andtwo Penn Health OnDemand app medical records. • Backed by the nationally recognized expertise of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Health Children’s Hospital in Hershey. • Free physician referral service to assist you in selecting a pennstatehealth.org/welcome physician who’s right for you and your family. Call 610-378-2001 or email findaphysician@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.




Rachael Romig, Editor 606 Court Street • Reading, PA 19601 berkswomen2women.com • 610.376.6766

Women2Women Council:

Alison Snyder, Chairwoman Rosa Arroyo, Kelly Beaver, Alyssa Conahan Heather Evans, Carissa Johnson, Michelle Lehman, Mary Ann Moffitt, 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.


Women in The Workplace


06 The Future of Work for Women

23 Meet Stephanie Rado Taormina, Founder & CEO, HSFT

08 Where have all the women gone? 10 W2W Leadership Survey 2021 To join: W2W@greaterreading.org Stay connected: BerksWomen2Women.com BerksWomen2Women


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

Gold Investors

Berks Community Television Berks County Living Capital Blue Cross Customers Bank 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 The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

11 Inclusive Language 13 The Evolution of Words & Phrases

Health2Wellness 30 Empowering Women to achieve the highest quality of life through Natural Hormone Balancing

14 A SMART Retirement 32 Pay Parity: All Things Equal?

In Every Issue

34 You Can’t Ask That! Or Can You, Legally Speaking?


35 LinkedIn: Job Searching

25 Asked & Answered

36 Women in College

26 Ladies Around Town

W2W 2022 Upcoming Event Schedule 18 January-April Events

eflections R & Inspiration

28 Community Call Out 29 GRCA: Prepare Your Workforce Now 39 You Can Do It

21 Program Speaker Profiles

© 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





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Reflections A

s 2022 rushes in, we at Women2Women are looking towards an amazing year of programming, and meeting in person again. This issue shares the upcoming January-April events and you’ll be able to find a quarterly review of upcoming events in every forthcoming issue. Tear out the flyer and tack it on the fridge so you don’t forget to join us! Our Woman2Know this issue is pretty amazing and you can read more about Stephanie on page 21. And how about that cover photo?! All she wants is for you to Have Some Fun Today so get to it! While we are excited to promote the 2022 program, we know so much has changed for women in the workplace over the past two years. From losing jobs to retiring, to staying home with kids and making hard financial decisions, we took a deep dive into the Women in the Workplace Study from LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company and recapped it for you on page 6. While things are getting better for women in the workplace, there is still a lot of work to do. And that means for everyone, even women towards other women. If you take one thing from this issue as you also look to 2022, it is to remember that we need to uplift each other always. Stand up for one another, and listen open and honestly. I wish you all good things for 2022 and I hope you can join us at upcoming events. There will be development workshops, spotlights on women in Berks and their journeys, and new community partnership experiences where we can relax, network and learn more about the amazing things happening around us.

New Year

Inspiration I f you have a talent, use it every which way possible…spend it lavishly, like a millionaire intent on going broke.”

–Brenda Francis ell, we have a whole new year W ahead of us. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, a little more loving, and have a little more empathy, and maybe, next year at this time we’d like each other a little more.”

–Judy Garland L ast year told you what you needed to know. Now it’s go time.”

I heard some amazing quotes recently and they sparked me to planning for 2022 – the woman I want to be, how I want my personal brand to shine, and how I can continue to make a difference for those around me. I hope they give you that spark as well!

–Richie Norton

Cheers sisters –

F or a change, don’t add new things in your life as a New Year’s resolution. Instead, do more of what’s already working for you and stop doing things that are time-waste.”

Rachael Romig Senior Director - Events & Special Programs Women2Women | Family Business Alliance

–Salil Jha O n New Year’s Eve the whole world celebrates the fact that a date changes. Let us celebrate the dates on which we change the world.”

–Richie Norton

berkswomen2women.com 5





ach year LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company partner to produce the Women in the Workplace study. Started in 2015, to date over 750 companies have participated in the study, and more than a quarter of a million people have been surveyed on their workplace experiences.

Increases, but Still Behind. Since 2016, women’s representation in the corporate pipeline has increased, however, women still remain significantly underrepresented. And this is even more significant for women of color, especially as the level of responsibility and job title increases. But there is good news! “This year, for the first time, women of color were promoted to manager at about the same rate as women overall: 85 women of color were promoted for every 100 men.” (Women in the Workplace 2021, pg 12)

The 2021 study and findings focused on two main areas – how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted women in the workplace; and the growing importance and attention to women’s experiences in terms of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). One of the themes you will find in the study is INTERSECTIONALITY. And this word is so important because it shows that even though there are many differences of struggle for women in the workplace, companies need to recognize that the struggles of a white woman are very different from a woman of color and that from a disabled woman of color. There are many personal stories in the report, sharing experiences outlining these differences and likenesses. “Women have multiple and intersecting identities, which profoundly shape their experiences at work. It’s critical that companies and coworkers are aware of these dynamics, so they can noun more effectively advance equality and inclusion for in·ter·sec·tion·al·i·ty | \ , in-t r-, sek-sh -'na-l -tē \ all women.” (Women in the Definition of intersectionality Workplace 2021, pg 3)


Of the 50 page study, we have recapped the high level findings along with image spotlights from the study from LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company.

6 Women2Women | Winter 2022

: the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups (Merriam-Webster)

All the Work, None of the Praise. Everyone felt the pressure that COVID-19 placed on childcare responsibilities, mental health, new work systems and procedures – you name it, it changed. It has been during these times that women leaders are taking on the extra work that is needed to support their teams. From helping employees manage workloads to regularly checking on the general well-being of their staff, women understand the emotional impact the pandemic has caused. Women are also twice as likely to spend their time on DEI work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities. The study calls this “office housework,” and unfortunately is named this because these duties and actions are often unrecognized, and definitely not properly compensated (if at all). But it’s this extra work and communication that creates trust and better working environments for employees (and their overall production).

" Someone told me I was ‘so articulate.’ They thought they were paying me a compliment. It’s frustrating to hear those comments, to have your decisions questioned, to be perceived as the angry Black woman. It is very stressful. The average person has no idea about the stress that women and people of color carry. They have no idea about the small ways that women and people of color get humiliated, that make them feel undermined or made to feel smaller than they are. It happens all the time.” BLACK WOMAN, SENIOR MANAGER

What is very important to note here is that people ARE talking about being allies. However if you say you are an ally, BE ONE. Based on the study findings, there is a disconnect between what white women believe they should do as allies and what a woman of color needs from an ally. While women are on the right track for one another, all need to better recognize the “importance of more proactive, sustained steps” like the ones below. Women of color reported that the #1 way someone could be their ally is to “Advocate for New Opportunities for Women of Color.” White employees ranked this 3rd on their list, with their 1st being actively confronting discrimination against a woman of color. Women of color reported that the #5 way someone could be their ally is to “Mentor or Sponsor One or More Women of Color.” White employees ranked this #8. While this is a high level overview, there were also many positive findings on what women believe about allyship.

Office Housework – Work that contributes to business but isn’t taken into account in performance reviews, doesn’t lead to advancement, and isn’t compensated.

If you talk about it, BE about it. “Even after a year of increased focus on DEI and racial equity in corporate America, women of color continue to face significant bias and discrimination at work. They are experiencing similar types of microaggressions, at similar relative frequencies, as they were two years ago. And although the number of white employees who identify as allies to women of color has increased over the past year, the number taking key allyship actions has not.” (Women in the Workplace 2021, pg 28)

The Future of Work For Women : Accountability + Burnout Recognition The Women in the Workplace study offers 15+ pages of recommendations for companies to effectively and successfully put into place practices to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives. Read the report to learn more about: • Bias training focused on hiring • Ensuring all identities are well represented • Creating a company culture that fully leverages the benefits of diversity • Holding accountability at all levels • Fully and publicly support DEI efforts • Bias, antiracism, and allyship training • Continued support and commitment to combat burnout • Offer flexible work with clear boundaries It’s not easy. But it’s necessary. Read the full report at LeanIn.Org, see all past Women in the Workplace studies, and find other reports such as The State of Black Women in Corporate America. 2

berkswomen2women.com 7


Where have all the women gone? W

hether by choice or with their hands tied, a substantial number of women have left the workforce over the course of the coronavirus pandemic and the jury is still out if they will all come back. According to a MetLife study, 1 in 3 women do not plan to return to the workplace, and the reasons vary. There were many women who were furloughed or laid off during the pandemic. Then there were women who had to leave to care for children or other family members. In either case, for many this was a real eye opener on what they want to do with their lives and if a return to work would happen.

Burnout for women is a major issue and it seems to be getting worse. According to the McKinsey & Company Women in the Workplace 2021 study, “One in three women says that they have considered downshifting their career or leaving the workforce this year, compared with one in four who said this a few months into the pandemic. Additionally, four in ten women have considered leaving their company or switching jobs – and high employee turnover in recent months suggests that many of them are following through.” The pandemic has opened the door to show people it is okay to leave and seek a more manageable lifestyle.

For many women, the choice had to be made to leave their positions in order to care for children or other family members. With remote learning in full force and extracurricular activities cancelled, parents needed to be there for their children. For many women during this time, they saw all of the moments they were missing out on with their children by squeezing everything in along with a demanding full-time job. This group potentially may not return to their previous roles, or at least not for a few years so they can cherish this time with their children as they grow. This time also brought the need for women to care for relatives, especially those who are older, giving more time to them than they could while working full-time. Again, the realization occurred for many that this time was limited, and they should devote time to these family members while they were still around to do so.

Once people had a glimpse of this lifestyle, there were many who looked to find a way to keep it. Some people took a close look into finances to see that a return to work was not necessary and with two parents in the household, one was able to not return to work.

This group of women who have gone on to care for others, may eventually return to the workforce, but there are others who will not.

There was also a dive into finances for those who were close to retirement age. According to The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, “Roughly 2 million more people than expected have joined the ranks of the retired during the pandemic.” In some cases, people took a look at their finances and found their 401K had increased more than expected. Many in this group are of the “baby boomer” generation, so this is a large chunk of the population. The large movement in the population, or silver tsunami, could have major impacts on society as a whole if so many are retiring at once. Since some people in this group are in their late 50s, some will fall into the category of caring for elderly family members but then others, especially women, may use this time helping out with grandchildren. Then there are those who took this time to reflect, and many

8 Women2Women | Winter 2022


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realized they do want to work, but in a different field. AllBright, a professional women’s network, did a survey of women and found, “1 in 4 are setting up their own business going forward, and over 60% are planning a complete pivot altogether.” They found the most popular areas for these new businesses being health and fitness and publishing. Many have also chosen to go back to school to pursue a different career path altogether. Women in the workplace have shifted and for many have decided to focus on what they are passionate about, rather than the job they were doing. For some it may mean a return to their previous field but for others a new direction. Though the pandemic has brought so much tragedy, it has also enlightened many that life is short, so do what you want to do. 2



By Emily Wunder Barrett, MSCN, RD, LDN

Resources: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/ women-in-the-workplace https://www.npr.org/2021/08/23/1028993124/these-older-workershadnt-planned-to-retire-so-soon-the-pandemic-sped-things-up https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarazeffgeber/2020/11/28/the-new-silvertsunami/?sh=63ae94346d69 https://www.forbes.com/sites/briannawiest/2020/09/08/61-of-womenare-planning-a-major-career-change-post-pandemic-new-surveyshows/?sh=75c8dba417c5


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Leadership SURVEY 2021


ith the mission to develop women leaders, we looked inward and said – Have we done just that over the past ten years? It’s a hard question to answer because we believe that leadership appears in many different ways, not just professionally. We often say that developing leadership skills is good for personal growth as well.


Why do you attend Women2Women events?


Women2Women members Agree or Strongly Agree…



76% said I have better access to resources and tools I need to be successful.


Have you completed any of the following local professional development programs?


Do you volunteer for any organizations? Women said…


• Want to run the PTA? Leadership development. At the end of 2021 we surveyed our expansive membership list of women and asked them not only what they needed for 2022 but how they were involved in the community, what “leadership” programs they had completed, and if we could help them get more connected for growth. 71% of our W2W members are currently looking for a new opportunity to give back and grow!

10 Women2Women | Winter 2022

82% said:

• I have gained new knowledge & skills relevant to my professional goals. • I have expanded my knowledge on issues relevant to my personal life. • I have become an overall better human and am ready to make a difference in the community and those around me.

• Want to be the best stay-at-home mom you can be? Leadership development. • Want to take your volunteer role to a board level position? Leadership development.

Women said… 71% Personal Development 54% Networking/Relationship Building 54% Professional Development 32% Business Development/Growing Your Business


Women said… 43% Lean In Circle (Women2Women) 16% Employer Program 6% Leadership Berks (United Way) 5% Emerging Leaders (United Way) 4% Training Program (Greater Reading Chamber Alliance) 87% Yes!


Are you, or have you been on a board? Women said…


Are you looking for a new opportunity as a volunteer/ committee/board member? Women said…



32% 15%

Yes – Nominated by someone Yes – Self nominated

71% Yes!



What is your age? We know they are timeless! Women said… 37% 45-54 28% 36-44 23% 20-35 12% 55+



inclusive language

hile the pandemic has fueled widespread social change, the increasing use of inclusive language predates COVID-19. The 21st century ushered in a new focus on language that respects and values all members of society.

WHAT IS INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE? Inclusive language promotes diversity, conveys respect to all communities, and is sensitive to the differences between communities and cultures. It is based on three tenets: 1. People-first grammar 2. Nuanced language 3. Continuous evolution

THE BASICS OF INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, and is sensitive to differences and promotes equitable opportunities. Language is fluid; therefore, meanings and connotations of words can change rapidly. In effect, it is more important to apply inclusive language principles rather than always learning specific appropriate phrases, as these may change in meaning over time.

People-First Grammar People-first grammar puts people first in the sentence and then follows with their characteristics. People-first language centers the individual as a holistic entity as opposed to a sum of their parts (i.e., characteristics or identities). People-first focuses on the person, not their characteristics, e.g., instead of “a blind woman” or “a woman salesperson,” use “a woman who is blind” or “a woman on our sales team.” Only mention characteristics like gender, sexual orientation, religion, racial group, or ability when relevant to the discussion.

Nuanced language Understanding and demonstrating respect for the nuance of inclusive language is next. Adopters of inclusive language know

that mistakes are inevitable because words that may not seem offensive or exclusive to some, will seem so to others. For example, the word “queer” has historically been used as an offensive slur against people of the LGBTQIA community, but over the last decade or two, the LGBTQIA community has been reclaiming the word. Now, you can see the term “queer” as a substitute for “LGBTQIA” in editorials, academic research, and mainstream media. However, some in the LGBTQIA community still prefer that the term not be used because of the historical meaning or personal experience they’ve had with the word “queer.” This is a case where certain people find a term inclusive, and others do not. In this situation, if the language choice is to be used, it should only be used with people that the speakers explicitly know find this language acceptable and inclusive.

Continuous evolution Just as language is constantly morphing, inclusive words to use and exclusive words to avoid are also growing and changing. This third tenet of inclusive language reflects the nature of our modern society. As awareness of various social experiences and causes increases, our language choices should grow and reflect that as well. Words, also, can take on different meanings over time and inclusive language must reflect those changed meanings whether that additional definition is a positive or negative one. Because language itself is very dynamic, practitioners of inclusive language must constantly maintain a growth mindset – mistakes will be made but everyone is constantly learning new language to improve inclusivity. For businesses, demonstrating an understanding and appreciation for inclusive language is critical as customers, consumers, and employees have evolved their expectations around diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Continued on page 12 berkswomen2women.com 11


Inclusive language best practices Inclusive language is communication that proactively uses words, phrases and expressions that are welcoming. Inclusive language encompasses emails, marketing material, social media, websites, and other forms of communication, such as imagery. Where possible, avoid assumptions that may exclude people. The exclusion may be inadvertent, but it has a negative impact on people. Use universal phrases: Idioms, industry jargon, and acronyms can exclude people who may not have specialized knowledge of a particular subject – and many idioms don’t translate well from country to country. For example, saying “Hit it out of the park” could potentially turn your encouragement into a source of embarrassment if the person fails to grasp the expression or baseball’s cultural impact and significance. Recognize the impact of mental health language: “Bipolar,” “PTSD,” “OCD” and “ADD” are real mental health diagnoses. Using these terms to describe everyday behaviors underplays the impact of someone’s experiences with a mental disorder. Also, avoid derogatory terms that stem from the context of mental health, like “schizo,” “paranoid,” or “psycho.” Use gender neutral language. Using “guys” to address all people is gendered language that may insinuate that men are the preferred gender. Instead, work in inclusive words such as folks, people, you all, y’all, and teammates. Ask if you aren’t sure: Inclusive language is nuanced and used to reflect an individual or group’s personal style and preference.

Some examples of inclusive language are: • Introducing yourself with your pronouns e.g. I am x, the pronouns I use are she/her, him/he or they. • Examples like man vs the moon, are adaptable to humankind vs the moon. • Instead of assumptions about biological parents and assuming that there is a mom and dad to say carer, guardian, parent, caregiver, grownup, or responsible adult. • We may often say it’s “awfully good.” Does this mean it’s good or bad? This is contradictory and confusing for international audiences and anyone who identifies with being on the neurodivergent spectrum, such as Asperger’s and Autism. • Use factual language rather than value-laden words and phrases. 12 Women2Women | Winter 2022

For example, Old drivers are a liability (eek!) can be reframed. Better to say something like As we get older sight loss is more common, and as a result driving may become difficult. • Try not to erase certain groups with your language, or to lump together all people within a certain group. Recognize the individual experiences within groups by referring to data. Outline generalizations, noting there will be exceptions to the rules. •A sk in advance if you are not sure of something. It’s fine not to know something but find out where to go to get reputable answers.

WHAT IF I GET IT WRONG? Accept that you are human and that it’s okay to make mistakes. If you do make a mistake apologize, correct/change what you have said, learn from the mistake, and move on. It’s also key to respect people’s privacy. Let people share information about themselves when they feel comfortable doing so. Individuals are not responsible for educating the public by revealing their intimate lived experiences. Inclusive language goes beyond the carrot and stick legal approach. It’s about human connection and common ground. We are all more than what we chose to declare and have been subject to biases ourselves. It is about listening, hearing, and interacting to broaden our horizons and ensure we work together and talk about what will work best for everyone. Imperative to evolve to neutral language. Language stereotyping can be difficult to overcome, according to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. People are accustomed to gendered language – words that have bias toward a particular gender, like “waitress” – and linguistic bias appears at a young age, the study found. Even when told that masculine pronouns, “he” and “him,” were meant to be generic and include all genders, readers in the study still pictured men.

DISCOMFORT LEADS TO CHANGE Language changes, and will continue to evolve. Making language adjustments won’t come easily for everyone – but that discomfort leads to inclusive, equal, and diverse work and life spaces. 2 By Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra, Director, Communications Herbein + Company, Inc.

The Evolution of


And there are sports-focused terms and phrases to keep in mind: This task should be a lay-up.

Basketball term for ease of success as a lay-up is one of the easiest two points to score being right under the basket.

Our sales pitch today should be a slam dunk.

Another basketball term for success as in you almost can’t miss getting the guaranteed two points.

Guys: Using “guys” to address all people is gendered language that may insinuate that men are the preferred gender.

Girl/Girls: For anyone over 18 years old, woman or women is a better choice. Grandfathering/grandfather clause: A way to

exempt some people from a change because of conditions that existed before the change (e.g., we’ve grandfathered some users on an unlimited data plan). The term “grandfather clause” originated in the American South in the 1890s to defy the 15th Amendment and prevent black Americans from voting. A good alternative might be “legacy.”

Females: To many English speakers, females sounds like

a scientific designation you might use for animals or plants. Use “women” instead.

To achieve success, you need to take care of the blocking and tackling.

Football term about strategy for putting the people in the right place, and having them take care of their respective assignments, to guarantee success.

It’s fourth and goal, or fourth and one.

A gut-check football term about winning, meaning you either score the touchdown, get the first down, or turn the ball over to the other team.

Let’s go for the Hail Mary.

May be more than a football term but, in football, it means throwing a deep pass and hoping one of your receivers catches the ball in a last act of desperation.

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

Handicap: Disability advocates believe this term is rooted in a correlation between a disabled individual and a beggar, “who had to beg with a cap in his or her hand because of the inability to maintain employment.” Better alternative: Disabled.



Fantastic Smile

Housekeeping: In reference to office work, this language can feel gendered. Suggested alternative: maintenance, cleanup. Ladies/gals: Terms like “ladies,” “gals” or others can feel patronizing. Try women instead, or “folks” or “people” for mixed-gender groups.

Man: As a synonym for work – as in “man hours,” “man the inbox,” “man the conference booth” – this is unnecessarily gendered language. Try using work instead. More inclusive: Folks, people, you all, y’all, teammates. Mental Disability: The use of this phrase implies that someone that may struggle or have a psychiatric diagnosis is disabled and unable to do their job. This is likely to make them feel stigmatized and unwelcome in the workplace. Many people who struggle with mental health problems are great at their jobs, despite adversity, and supporting them can make them an even greater asset to your workplace. Ninja/Rockstar: Words sometimes used in tech job descriptions that can skew towards a gendered interpretation and discourage some groups from applying.

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o make sure your goals for retirement are clear and reachable, they should fit the following S.M.A.R.T. format. SMART can be an effective tool that provides the clarity, focus and motivation you need to achieve your future plans. It can be useful, in that it encourages you to define your objectives and set a definitive completion date. SMART can be an easy system to implement with no required training. • Specific (written down, described in detail) • Measurable (How close you are to reaching this goal) • Achievable (Attainable, realistic) • Relevant (reasonable) • Time-Bound (There is a point when the goal is reached) Specific Your picture of a future retirement should be clear and well-defined. Otherwise it may be difficult to focus your efforts toward an end point. When creating your vision, keep the following questions in mind: • What does retirement look like, for me? • Why is this future important? • Who is involved (family members, friends)? • Where do you plan to live or visit? • Which resources will be at your disposal? Are there any limits on these resources?

14 Women2Women | Winter 2022

Measurable A plan for retirement should be able to be quantified, meaning that it is possible to track your progress. Visualizing achieving each step towards success can help you stay focused and meet planned deadlines. A measurable goal should address the following: • At what point is will my goal be accomplished? • What is the amount of income I will need in retirement? • Am I planning for any future medical expenses, for myself or loved ones? • Do I plan on donating to charity or funding a family member’s education? Achievable Any goal must be both realistic and attainable. In other words, it must be within the realm of “what is possible” based on your current or projected circumstances. Keep in mind all opportunities or resources available to you. • Is it possible to save the desired amount within my set timeframe? Relevant This step is about ensuring that your retirement goals matter to you, and that they also align with the goals and expectations of others in your life. • How does your vision for the future compare to other stakeholders in your life? • Do my savings habits leave enough room to live comfortably now? • Am I saving for anyone besides myself?

Time-Bound Every goal needs a target end-date, so that you have a deadline on which to focus. This part of the SMART process allows you to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals. • At what age do you want to retire? • What can I do immediately to start saving towards my goals? • How often should I assess my progress? The most important aspect to question, is if you are prioritizing your retirement goals. Oftentimes, we place daily living costs, paying off debts, covering housing costs, and general-purpose savings ahead of saving for a comfortable future. Life is about balance, but actively working towards your goals can help to create a sense of peace and security that is necessary in an often chaotic world. That’s S.M.A.R.T. 2

By: Claudia C. Wert, Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors * The opinions expressed here reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of the report and are subject to change without notice. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. CAR- 1221-05111

Becky McClure, CRNP & Debra Hampton, CRNP

Suffering from symptoms of hot flashes, low libido, low energy and/or emotional changes? You could be experiencing hormonal imbalance or “low T.”

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Are you thinking about retirement? See the Wells Fargo Advisors checklist on the next pages.

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Continued on page 16

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berkswomen2women.com 15


Thinking about retirement?

Here is a checklist from one of the Women2Women Title Sponsors, Wells Fargo.

Ready to retire checklist Ready Ready to to retire retire checklist checklist Before you exit your employer’s door for the last time, you’ll want to feel confident you’re as prepared for retirement as possible. Check each employer’s item on thedoor list below your Financial how he oryou’re she can increase your confidence Before you exit your for theand lastask time, you’ll want Advisor to feel confident as help prepared for retirement as in Before you exit your employer’s door for the last time, you’ll want to feel confident you’re as prepared for retirement as your retirement preparation possible. Check each item onstrategy. the list below and ask your Financial Advisor how he or she can help increase your confidence in possible. Check each item on the list below and ask your Financial Advisor how he or she can help increase your confidence in your retirement preparation strategy. Determine your retirement income need your preparation strategy.  Review your asset allocation (Investment mix)  retirement  

•Determine What are your your retirement anticipated monthly expenses? income need Determine your retirement income need What are are your your anticipated anticipated monthly discretionary expenses? •• What expenses? Whatyou are your anticipated monthly expenses? ••• Have taken into account inflation when projecting your What are your anticipated discretionary expenses? • expenses? What are your anticipated discretionary expenses? • Have you taken into account inflation when projecting your •• Are your projected to last past when your life expectancy? Have youassets taken into account inflation projecting your expenses? expenses? •• How do you plan to maintain your current lifestyle during Are your assets projected to last past your life expectancy? • retirement? Are your assets projected to last past your life expectancy? • How do you plan to maintain your current lifestyle during • How do you plan to maintain your current lifestyle during retirement? retirement?

 

Review your employer stock-based benefits

 

•Review Whatyour happens to your stock options upon retirement? employer stock-based benefits Review your employer stock-based benefits •• When will your to restricted stock vest?upon At retirement? What happens your stock options retirement? • What happens to your stock options upon retirement? • When will your restricted stock vest? At retirement? • When will your restricted stock vest? At retirement?

 

Consider your alternatives for employer stock held in a 401(k)? Consider your alternatives for employer stock held in •Consider How should handle employer stock stock in yourheld retirement your you alternatives for employer in a 401(k)? plan – roll it over or distribute it out of the plan? a 401(k)? • How should you handle employer stock in your retirement • How you handle employer stock in your plan –should roll it over or distribute it out of the plan?retirement plan – roll it over or distribute it out of the plan? Review your life insurance coverage

•Review Whenyour will your employer-provided life insurance coverage coverage end? At retirement? Review your life insurance coverage • When will your employer-provided coverage end? At •• How much life insurance will you need duringend? retirement? When will your employer-provided coverage At retirement? retirement? •• Which insurance is better for you, term or permanent? How much life insurance will you need during retirement? • How much life insurance will you need during retirement? • Which insurance is better for you, term or permanent? • Which insurance is better for you, term or permanent?

 

 

  

 

Ready to retire c

•Review Is youryour investment mix consistent with your risk tolerance asset allocation (Investment mix) and diversification needs? (Investment mix) Review your asset allocation • Is your investment mix consistent with your risk tolerance •• Should you begin toneeds? modify your portfolio reduce your Is your investment mix consistent with yourtorisk tolerance and diversification risk in retirement? and exposure diversification needs? • Should you begin to modify your portfolio to reduce your Before youyour exitportfolio your employer’s door fo •• How willyou a market downturn impact oryour Should begin to modify your portfolio to reduce risk exposure in retirement? retirement security? possible. Check each item on the list be risk exposure in retirement? • How will a market downturn impact your portfolio or •• How much income will your portfolio generate? your retirement preparation strategy. How will a market downturn impact your portfolio or retirement security? retirement security? •• Which accounts should you withdraw from first, taxable or How much income will your portfolio generate? • tax-deferred? How much income will yourportfolio generate? Determine your retirement income n • Which accounts should you withdraw from first, taxable or •Review Which accounts should youoptions withdraw from taxable or monthly • What are first, your anticipated tax-deferred? pension distribution tax-deferred? • What are your anticipated discretio •Review Does pension your employer’s pension offer a lump sum payout? distribution options • lump Havesum you taken into account inflatio Review pension distribution options •• Which payout is more pension beneficial: periodic? Does your employer’s offer a lump or sum payout? expenses? Does your employer’s pension offeryour a lump sum payout? ••• What of survivor benefit does retirement plan Whichtype payout is more beneficial: sum or periodic? • lump Are your assets projected to last pa provide? • Which payout is more beneficial: lump sum or periodic? • What type of survivor benefit does your • How doretirement you plan toplan maintain your c •Consolidate What typeyour of survivor benefit does your retirement plan provide? retirement assets retirement? provide? • How convenient will it be to assets manage multiple retirement Consolidate your retirement accounts? your retirement assets Consolidate • How convenient will it be to manage multiple retirement What are some of the help streamline your post•• How convenient will it ways be toto manage multiple retirement Review your employer stock-based b accounts? retirement accounts? finances? • What happens to your • What are some of the ways to help streamline your post-stock option •Review What are some of the ways tocoverage help streamline your postretirement finances? your medical insurance • When will your restricted stock ves retirement finances? •Review How long beyond retirement will your employer-provided your medical insurance coverage medical insurance Review your medicalcontinue? insurance coverage • How long beyond retirement will your employer-provided •• When will you become eligiblewill foryour Medicare? How long beyond retirement employer-provided medical insurance continue?  Consider your alternatives for emplo medical insurance continue? •• Have you accounted for increases in insurance a 401(k)? When will you become eligible for Medicare? premiums or expenses? • medical When will you become eligible for Medicare? • How should you handle or employer st • Have you accounted for increases in insurance premiums •• Which Medicare planfor alternatives are available to you? Have you accounted increasesplan in insurance premiums or – roll it over or distribute it out medical expenses? medical expenses? How will you supplement your Medicare coverage? •• Which Medicare plan alternatives are available to you? • Which Medicare plan alternatives are available to you? • How will you supplement your Medicare coverage? Review your life insurance coverage  Medicare • How will you supplement your coverage?

• When will your employer-provided c retirement?

Investment and Insurance Products are: • Not Insured by the FDIC or Any Federal Government Agency Investment and Insurance Products are: •Investment Not a Deposit or Other Obligation of, or Guaranteed by, the Bank or Any Bank Affiliate andbyInsurance are: • Not Insured the FDICProducts or Any Federal Government Agency •• Subject to Investment Risks, Including Possible Loss Agency of the Principal Amount Invested FDICObligation or Any Federal • Not Not Insured a Depositbyorthe Other of, orGovernment Guaranteed by, the Bank or Any Bank Affiliate •• Not a Deposit or OtherRisks, Obligation of, orPossible Guaranteed thePrincipal Bank or Any BankInvested Affiliate Subject to Investment Including Loss by, of the Amount • Subject to Investment Risks, Including Possible Loss of the Principal Amount Invested 16 Women2Women | Winter 2022

• How much life insurance will you ne

• Which insurance is better for you, te

Evaluate long-term care insurance

• How concerned are you that long-term care costs will deplete your retirement savings?

Determine your expected social security benefits • What is your projected Social Security benefit? • When should you begin receiving benefits? • What is the process for claiming your benefits?

Plan for income taxes

• How are you planning for income taxes, and minimizing the amounts you owe in retirement years? Evaluate long-term care insurance  • Do you have multiple sources of income to meet your retirement need? What is the tax treatment of each • How concerned are you that long-term care costs will source? deplete your retirement savings? • Will you have significant income in any year due to deferred or stock compensation, sale of a business or other assets?

• What plans do you have to manage the various tax brackets Planand for income income thresholds? taxes  How doyou youplanning anticipate taxand liability? Through • •How are forpaying incomeyour taxes, minimizing the with holding and/or estimatedyears? tax payments? amounts you owe in retirement • Do you have multiple sources of income to meet your retirement need? What is the tax treatment of each source?

Your Financial Advisor can help • Will you have significant income in any year due to deferred or stock compensation, sale of a business or other assets?

Evaluating all the these items can be overwhelming. Look • What plans do you have to manage the various tax brackets to your Financial Advisor to: and income thresholds? • How or docreate you anticipate paying your tax liability? Through • Update your Envision® plan. This process offers with holding and/or estimated tax payments? you an opportunity to identify your goals and create a plan for your retirement that can adapt to changes in yourFinancial needs over time. Your Advisor can help

• Reviewall your investment allocation and consider Evaluating thecurrent these items can be overwhelming. Look a transition a post-retirement allocation. to your FinancialtoAdvisor to: • Evaluate your income need during retirement and • Update or create your Envision® plan. This process offers provide a report that gives a clearer view of how you will you an opportunity to identify your goals and create a generate your retirement income. plan for your retirement that can adapt to changes in •your Analyze provided stock benefits. needsyour overemployer time. • Review your current investment allocation and consider a transition to a post-retirement allocation. • Evaluate your income need during retirement and provide a report that gives a clearer view of how you will generate your retirement income. • Analyze your employer provided stock benefits.

Review your retirement strategy regularly • How flexible is your plan in the event of changes in your original assumptions? Determine social security benefitsstreams to • How willyour you expected monitor your assets and income meet spending needs? • What is your retirement projected Social Security benefit?

Howshould often will make revisions to your retirement plan as • •When youyou begin receiving benefits? significant life events occur? • What is the process for claiming your benefits? Review your retirement strategy regularly • How flexible is your plan in the event of changes in your original assumptions? • How will you monitor your assets and income streams to meet your retirement spending needs?

• Compare your retirement plan distribution • How often will you make revisions to your retirement plan as alternatives and provide options for consolidating significant life events occur? your retirement assets. • Provide a personalized analysis of how to best claim your Social Security benefits. • Discuss your needs for long-term care or life insurance. Collaborate you andplan yourdistribution tax advisor to answer • •Compare yourwith retirement these questions: alternatives and provide options for consolidating your retirement assets. – How may the recent tax law changes impact your investments or retirement • Provide a personalized analysis accounts? of how to best claim your Social Security benefits. – How may future changes to your portfolio impact youryour tax needs situation? • Discuss for long-term care or life insurance. – Is there with a need toand make anytax modifications to tax • Collaborate you your advisor to answer withholding on your IRA distributions or other these questions: investment income? – How may the recent tax law changes impact your investments or retirement accounts? – How may future changes to your portfolio impact your tax situation? – Is there a need to make any modifications to tax withholding on your IRA distributions or other investment income?

Wells Fargo Advisors is not a tax or legal advisor. While this information is not intended to replace your discussions with your tax advisor, it may help you to comprehend the tax implications of your investments and plan efficiently going forward. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, separate registered broker-dealers and nonbank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2021 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. CAR 0921-00111 IHA-7074304

Wells Fargo Advisors is not a tax or legal advisor. While this information is not intended to replace your discussions with your tax advisor, it may help you to comprehend the tax implications of your investments and plan efficiently going forward. berkswomen2women.com 17 Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, separate


2 GROW CONNECT LEAD Women2Women (W2W) 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 through offering 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. De Mujer a Mujer, una iniciativa de W2W, continúa conectando a mujeres de diversos orígenes al ofrecer programación especializada en la noche y destacar a oradores de diversos orígenes.

To register for events & join Women2Women, visit www.berkswomen2women.com

JANUARY TOP 10 LEADERSHIP SKILLS – YOUR 2022 CHECKLIST SHARON MAST - President Spark Solutions & Support, Training and Facilitation; Corporate Trainer, Facilitator & Motivational Speaker Leadership is not synonymous with management, and everyone can be a leader when you care about – and understand – people. This checklist is the start of a wonderful journey that aims to bring out the best in yourself and others. Just a few minutes a day devoted to developing your leadership skills can make the world of difference in your personal and professional life.


Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Venue: Virtual Event (Zoom) Price: $15/GRCA Member | $20/Not Yet Member

Mujer Mujer DE MUJER A MUJER – Welcome Back Party! (¡Fiesta de Bienvenida!)

¡Ha pasado demasiado tiempo desde que los vimos a todos! Únase a nosotros en nuestra fiesta de bienvenida para hacer contactos y divertirse. ¡Traiga a un amigo, colega y familiar!


Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Venue: Radisson Hotel (formerly Crowne Plaza) Price: $5/person (includes admission to Caliente in Goodnites Lounge) 18 Women2Women | Winter 2022



GRCA BREAKFAST4SUCCESS: SUSTAINABLE LEADERSHIP: THE PROCESS OF INFLUENCE & INSPIRATION LUCINE SIHELNIK - Founder & Owner - Gayatri Wellness & Great American Creamery Everyone’s talking ESG, triple bottom line, and climate change these days. Do you know what it means?! Are you hip and ready to integrate sustainability in your business & everyday life? Join Lucine as she shares her story and tips on becoming a sustainable leader.

DATE: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2022 Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Venue: WCR Center for the Arts Price: $25/GRCA Member

DE MUJER A MUJER – Networking 101 & Reconnecting

(Redes 101 y reconexión) A medida que continuamos con nuestra fiesta de bienvenida, discutiremos y participaremos en los conceptos básicos de redes para volver a conectarnos. ¡Escuche también a nuestros oradores y asistentes anteriores!

Mujer Mujer


Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Venue: Radisson Hotel (formerly Crowne Plaza) Price: $5/person (includes admission to Caliente in Goodnites Lounge)

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH NETWORKING EXPERIENCE: FLOR DE TOLOACHE - Latin GRAMMY-winning, All-Female Mariachi Group Join Women2Women in partnership with the Miller Center for the Arts to experience Flor de Toloache! Enjoy networking with appetizers and drinks in the mezzanine followed by this spectacular show from balcony seating. Having performed at Coachella and a NPR Tiny Desk Concert, this New York-based ensemble is one of the finest all-female mariachi groups on the planet. Flor de Toloache stuns at the crossroads of fusion and mariachi girl magic. The result of this cultural bouquet is an edgy, versatile and fresh take on traditional Mexican music. They coalesce as would a band of sisters, with a grace and vibrant beauty that casts a spell over their audiences not unlike the legendary Toloache flower still being used in Mexico as a love potion. While working to preserve centuries-old traditions of Mariachi, their mélange of the traditional and the modern pushes the boundaries of the genre and brings Mariachi music to new audiences.


Time: 6:00 p.m.: networking / 7:30 p.m.: show begins Venue: Miller Center for the Arts Price: $31.50 per person **To reserve a space with W2W, call the Box Office at 610-607-6270 for the specially discounted rate.

Continued on page 20

berkswomen2women.com 19





PURSUIT, PASSION & PAYING IT FORWARD STEPHANIE RADO TAORMINA - Founder – Have Some Fun Today Stephanie Rado Taormina, owner of brand Have Some Fun Today, share her story of how her life experience and abilities formed her life direction : from her beginnings as a young girl and what has shaped her passions in art & design from there to now. With the mission to motivate other women on their own journeys, Stephanie will tell us HOW she did it and where she is now working to TAKE her brand into the future. Alone we don’t have all the answers, but together; with honesty, determination and a coming together of shared resources we can achieve so much more.


Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Venue: Folino Estate Winery Price: $25/GRCA Member | $30/Not Yet Member

DE MUJER A MUJER – Developing Leaders in 2022 : How & Why (Desarrollar líderes en 2022: cómo y por qué)

Mujer Mujer

La fiesta de bienvenida todavía está en pleno apogeo porque estamos muy felices de verlos a todos. Discutiremos la misión de Women2Women y cómo estamos desarrollando mujeres líderes en nuestra comunidad, seguido de la creación de redes entre nosotros.


Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Venue: Radisson Hotel (formerly Crowne Plaza) Price: $5/person (includes admission to Caliente in Goodnites Lounge)

Two years since our last in person Conference + Expo and we can’t wait to see you! Join us for our all-day schedule filled with two keynote speakers, breakout speakers and our 2022 ATHENA recipient. Also enjoy the always anticipated Expo and engage with Women2Women sponsors, women-owned businesses, and local nonprofits. Develop your leadership skills, buy yourself something nice, and learn more about all the community has to offer.


Time: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Venue: Radisson Hotel Price: $90/All Day Conference | $30/ATHENA Breakfast Only

NOMINATE THE 2022 ATHENA Women2Women is proud to host the ATHENA® Award Program – an award that celebrates the potential of all women/men as members and leaders of the community and recognizes those who support them. The ATHENA® Leadership Award is presented to a woman/man who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Presented to leaders across professional sectors, the ATHENA® Leadership Award’s rich history, international scope and focus on mentorship distinguishes it as one of the most prestigious leadership awards one can receive. Download the nomination form at berkswomen2women.com. Nominations due March 7, 2022. The 2022 ATHENA recipient will be honored at the Conference + Expo on 4/20/22.

GRCA’s mission is to be Berks County’s leading resource for building a healthy, competitive business community by assisting companies to retain, expand and grow their operations and employment while also attracting new business to Berks County. Greater Possibilities Start Here. Visit greaterreading.org for resources we can offer your business, or connect with us directly with any questions you may have at info@GreaterReading.org or call 610-376-6766 . 20 Women2Women | Winter 2022



Spark Solutions & Support understands the science behind behavior. I work with businesses, organizations & schools who want to create a culture of excellence where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential; is motivated to reach their potential and inspires others to do the same. Your ‘culture’ can set the stage for a healthy, engaged workforce who purposely adds value or it can force you to spend ridiculous time putting out fires that ultimately affects your relationship with your customers. When your culture is in alignment with your employees‘ ability to engage effectively, you position your company for success. So let me ask, do you want the employee who is “just laying bricks” or the one who is “building a cathedral?” As the company owner, I marry a strong business acumen, with a solid background in training & facilitation and a graduate degree in counseling which has given me the ability to understand and facilitate all types of workplace environments, personalities, generational & cultural differences. My goal is to provide you with the best training tools and techniques from the most respected training companies. I focus on customer service inside & out, self awareness & self regulation, putting your best foot forward, problem solving & critical thinking and build on the principles of adult learning: make it interactive, experiential, fun and immediately applicable.


Your life at your fingertips.

20 2

Why do they do that??? I have heard that phrase so many times from managers about employees and from employees about managers. We may excel at the technical skills needed to do our jobs but sometimes struggle with the interpersonal and communication skills that are critically needed to work effectively with co-workers and clients.

23rd Annual

Locally owned and operated since 1988

Helping you keep what matters most safe and in your control.

www.sahinc.com sales@sahinc.com 610.372.8872

Security | Fire Protection | Camera Systems | Low Voltage Systems

Memberships include: ATD (formerly ASTD), SHRM, NSA, the John C. Maxwell Team, the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance & an authorized Everything DiSC partner.

Stephanie Rado Taormina is the founder,

designer and CEO of the lifestyle brand Have Some Fun Today. As a fine artist and interior designer who began her career in fashion over 30 years ago, her creativity and artistic vision have always been at the heart of her work and art. It was that same creative spirit that deeply moved and inspired her after losing her beloved father in 2014. "I was sitting in my living room one day, shortly after the passing of my father, when I began to visualize a painting. I was inspired by something my father said every day; "Have Some Fun Today." The painting was just the beginning. I wanted to make a t-shirt, a beach tote, a hat… That was the day I started this brand." Stephanie has a BA in communications and business from The Pennsylvania State University. She then continued on to Parsons School of Design where she earned a BFA in fashion design and went to work on 7th Avenue for several years before starting her own soft home furnishing & loungewear brand called RADO, LTD.

Continued on page 22

Woman Owned Celebrating 15 years in business 560 Van Reed Rd. Suite 205 Wyomissing, PA 19610 610-750-6107 3607 Perkiomen Ave. Reading, PA 19606 610-404-8025

berkshearing.com berkswomen2women.com 21

2022 UPCOMING EVENT SCHEDULE PROGRAM SPEAKER PROFILES continued where she sold her pieces to high end stores across North America like ABC Carpet & Home, Gumps & Portico.

Lisa Tiger is that rare combination of passion for her business, sales skill, marketing professional and unwavering care for her clients. The ultimate professional, Lisa is the #1 Top Producing Century 21 Agent in the State of PA, and is consistently ranked in the Top 100 in the US., but proudest of her ranking in Berks County. Lisa cares about the communities she serves, and it shows in her commitment to others. In these challenging times, Lisa never waivers in her objective to help her clients reach their objective. It is always about YOU. When you are ready to buy or sell, Team up with the Tiger!

Service Stability Strength SCHATZ ELECTRIC, INC. Jeff Schatz, Owner/President

“Tompkins VIST Bank will be with us in the future and help us grow even more,” Jeff says. Schatz Electric has been in business for 45 years. To keep the business growing, owner and president Jeff Schatz focuses on mastering new technologies and supporting customers 24/7—so he’s always on the go. That’s why he works with the team at Tompkins VIST Bank, who proactively offer products and services that increase efficiency, such as remote deposit.

VISTBank.com 4/21

22 Women2Women | Winter 2022

From there she began another successful design business as principal in her own design firm called Stephanie Rado Taormina Interiors & Art, LLC. in which she created interiors & fine art for residential & commercial spaces all over the country until she switched gears and founded HSFT in 2014. Stephanie founded HSFT to share her passion for finding the joy in life. She started with a t-shirt, a tote bag and those four words her father always said and has since created a brand, a mindset and a philosophy that connects with her customers. It's the beauty of that connection with people that inspires her to keep sharing the message. ”My mission is to help shift people’s mindset to include Having Some Fun everyday and to make people smile through my designs."

Lucine Sihelnik Founder - Gayatri Wellness; Previous City Councilwoman For over a decade, Lucine Sihelnik has worked to bring together Reading’s community stakeholders to solve large community issues, like improving residents’ access to healthy food, increasing neighborhood livability and making sure that residents have a place at local decision- making tables. She has served as a change agent for many community programs and initiatives, connecting residents, city administration and city authorities, City Council, local businesses and non-profit organizations. She brings her diverse experience in leadership, community development and community health and wellness to improving the City of Reading. Lucine founded Gayatri Wellness in 2013 to promote Sustainability through Environmental Social Governance. Notable projects and clients include: creation and implementation of City of Reading's District 1’s Summer Meal Program, a collaboration between Reading School District, Reading Housing Authority, the Neighborhood Association & local health systems, and a project of the larger collaboration Regional Reading Food Policy and Action Council (RRFPAC), which she also helped to found and lead overall. She also served as the Penn Street Market Manager for three years, during which time she brokered strong community relationships in order to facilitate expansion of the market season; increase of both consumer and producer participation in the market; increase current and stabilize future funding streams; and engage and educate local youth in understanding local food systems. One of her proudest achievements is having secured funding through private & public partnerships to create a fresh food currency program, Berks Farm Bucks that has enabled more residents to access fresh, healthy food. She was awarded with the Tressie S. Canton Women In Agriculture award in 2020 for her Commission of a Victory Garden Taskforce in the City of Reading during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lucine served 3 years as the President of Berks Agricultural Resource Network (BARN), a group that contributes to Greater Reading’s economic development by supporting local agribusiness. As part of its revitalization of “Bountiful Berks” branding program, she led the creation of a local food co-op, connecting local farmers and residents together to donations; the PASS program to purchase directly from farmers; and ahealthy rating system and policy. 2


Stephanie Rado Taormina Founder & CEO, HSFT

1. What words of wisdom would you offer to other women? To believe in yourself & have faith. 2. What is the most valuable way women can support each other? I believe the most valuable way women can support each other is by giving each other the benefit of the doubt. So often when someone is different from us, we tend to be suspicious of their motives, but if we give each other the benefit of the doubt, we are giving them a chance. 3. Is there an “aha” moment or experience that defines who you are? The moment when I had the vision to create with the slogan “Have Some Fun Today.” Since that day 8+ years ago I haven’t looked back and I feel such a purpose around creating a truly inspiring body of work for all people. 4. What is your favorite mantra, favorite saying or words that keep you grounded? Have Some Fun Today! 5. What’s your mission? To make people smile and feel connected to each other. 6. What do you consider women’s main asset? The ability to multitask. 7. What do you consider women’s main threat? Other people’s misperceptions of her. 8. What three things do you recommend that contribute to your success? Belief in myself, being open minded, having laser focus on what it takes to get the job done efficiently and always doing what I say I will do. 9. How do you want to be perceived/remembered? I’d like to be remembered as someone who shared her gifts to bring joy to others and to be a role model for others to break free from limiting beliefs to turn their dreams into reality. 10. What is the best advice you have received? To: Have Some Fun Today – (from my dad.)


You recently shared on social media that you’d like to change things up a bit and include more of what you love. That might include art? Tell us how you realized it was time to reinvigorate the brand/yourself. My company Have Some Fun Today was started in 2014 with the idea of a painting I wanted to make. My mind quickly envisioned the painting, then the tote, the pillow, the tee’s, the hat and so on. All in the span of 5 minutes one morning while doing my morning meditation. As I developed the brand over the coming months including the initial paintings, I soon realized that I was stuck on the way the paintings were coming out and so Continued on page 24

berkswomen2women.com 23

Woman2Know Magazine Interview Questions - 2022

WOMAN2KNOW I didn’t do much with them over the following years. Then there was this global pandemic and it seemed like people all over were discovering the artists inside themselves. I had been painting all along, but something moved me to try something again with the words of my brand Have Some Fun Today. Maybe it was the self- work I had been doing, including the therapy I started to do last year. Whatever it was, when I approached my painting with those four words this time in my handwriting, it didn’t turn me off! To the contrary, something clicked! This time my own handwriting felt just right. Like I turned a corner in my own self- acceptance. The handwriting didn’t need to be perfect, it was perfect in its imperfection. Just like me. Just like all of us truly are.

Photos by Tania Pineiro-Colamarino

That was a breakthrough. I worked on experimenting with the concept 4. of doing some paintings in looked up this past October to attend my first Women in Retail my abstract style, with the words Have Some Fun Today boldly Photo by Tania Pineiro-Colamarino Leadership Summit, and what I experienced has opened my written down the middle. I worked for months to find the right eyes to the benefits of hearing what other women in business formula, and one day not too long ago it all came together. I leadership roles can offer to each other in terms of support & found the style and it has reinvigorated the brand for me so much guidance. It is truly a wonderful resource for our community to so that I am embracing my abstract colorful style back into the any women who utilizes it. designs for the brand in the bags & clothing for 2022. You see, I am not a follower. Never have been, never will be. However, when you are making and designing things to sell you do need to balance what people like and want with what you like and want to do. But, now that I have done some substantial laying the foundation of the brand, it’s time to be a lot more playful with what we put out there. It’s time for color and pattern and some FUN energy in everything we make. Stay tuned.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Just that it is an honor to be noticed by other business leaders in our community for my work and having this platform to share my experience. Over the years I’ve had many people privately reach out to me to give advice on starting their businesses and I am always happy to listen and give some advice. To me, it is very important to give back whenever I can to my community through the different events we have at Have Some Fun Today that often benefit local charities. Part of what makes what I do so Please share why you believe W2W is important special is that it is way for people to connect and feel connected. for the community. Two strangers passing each other both wearing something from For a very long time as a creative, I didn’t resonate with being an Have Some Fun Today are bound to strike up a happy exchange Woman2Know has the potential to range from 1-2 pages based on answers, supporting ‘executive’. After moving back toThe Berks County fromarticle NYC 25 and your whole day feels warmer and brighter. No Other Brand etc. Word should range from 500-1000. years ago, I worked for myself forphotos, a very long time ascount a design does that. I’m not solving the homeless issue (although I’d love to consultant. It wasn’t until my career path changed that I really work on that someday) or curing cancer, but I am creating a way went past being a Creative and became a Founder. Now that through my designs that reminds us to reframe our attitude. What I’m here in the C suite space of my own doing, I have this new you bring to your daily grind is a matter of choice. You can go to awareness that yes I am an executive and yes organizations like work or school with an attitude of drudgery, or you can go with Women2Women are really important for our community. I’ve an attitude of Let’s make this fun. It changes everything. 2 had my head to the grindstone for the past 8 years and finally

24 Women2Women | Winter 2022

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!

What are the best aspects about being a Women2Women member? Opportunities to meet other influential and successful women in the community and to refer business to each other and grow your network as well as learn from highly successful and motivated females in business. – JESSICA POTTEIGER, Tastefully Simple

The ease of access to a network of smart and confident women. Examples of where I can be. – JENNIFER BURTON, Gallen Insurance

Just being surrounded and inspired by other women in our community is the best aspect about being a W2W member. – RACHEL KEICH, Herbein+Company, Inc.

Getting to know women for all different life aspects. – ERICA MONTALVO

Being a W2W has deepened my relationship with my network and within my network. I am learning that help is out there for you if you need it, simply ask! – KIRSTEN HAAS, Girls on the Run of Berks

I love seeing so many women supporting each other and being positive influences. – BRANDY DELONG, Tower Health

I like many of the events that I have attended. I was able to meet new people & develop some professional connections. – MELISSA SARNOCINSKI, Ephrata National Bank

Education, leadership, new friends and supporting new businesses and ideas. – MARIBEL QUILES

Feeling the collective strength of women when we’re all together! It's empowering to know you're not alone, that there are other strong women out there! – LISA ASHCROFT, Girard Advisors, A Univest Wealth Division

Being connected to other women in the same local environment is empowering. There would be such a void if W2W didn’t exist. – GAIL R HAUSEMAN, Berkshire CPAs

berkswomen2women.com 25


The Power of Play Keynote speaker Strother Gaines encourages exploration through play at W2W’s Evening of Empowerment Keynote speaker Strother Gaines encouraged attendees to be authentic and not shave off the edges to make everyone happy. “Find the people that you naturally make happy and lean into them,” he said.


he event began with champagne and appetizers, networking and big smiles. It ended with insights into bringing play into everyday life and work.

The engaged and dynamic group of women that make up the special program of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA), Women2Women (W2W), enjoyed an in-person evening together at the annual Evening of Empowerment. More than 120 attendees gathered at the Reading Public Museum Stone Terrace Tent, which was up lit in purples and blues by VA Productions and featured stunning florals by Sarai Flower Shop. But attendees weren’t there for the just the décor, they came for the experiences that W2W provides. “I think it (W2W) offers an elite personal and professional development experience and networking opportunities that you don’t have to go to big cities to get,” said Caitlin Long, O’Pake Institute for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship, Alvernia University. The event’s VIP guests gathered in the museum’s atrium where they mingled with the keynote speaker, Strother Gaines, entrepreneur and owner of “But I’m a Unicorn Dammit!” Gaines, whose drag queen name is JoAnn Fabrics, took the stage at 7 p.m. with a commanding presence. He kept attendees laughing while asking them to question their strengths. He gave the audience permission to pretend or “act as if,” so that they could better find themselves through play. “I hope that people walk away and realize that play, and the extra time to sort of explore character and narrative on your own, is 26 Women2Women | Fall 2021

really just as valuable as some of the more like ‘hard skills’ that you’re developing in entrepreneurship and in business,” he said. At the end of his speech, Gaines invited the crowd to complete a skills assessment that he created based on the game Dungeons & Dragons. He asked guests to think about who their party members (besties and closest allies) would be, what skills they possess, what is in their inventory, and who they would summon (those not in their close circle but could help achieve their goals). The interactive presentation ended with Gaines asking the audience the assessment scores and to be more aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

Do YOU know your stats? Give this exercise a try. Out of 100 total points, what would you rate yourself in the following categories? STAT


Strength (Resiliency)


Intelligence (Self-Awareness)


Constitution (Self-Management)


Dexterity (Comfort with Change)


Magic (Social Awareness)


Charisma (Relationship Management)



berkswomen2women.com 27



Female Firsts

Origins of

Female FirstsCounty in Berks County e Firsts in Berks IN BERKS COUNTY

There is a famous quote by Abigail Adams

re is a famous quoteCOMMUNITY by Abigail Adams COMMUNITY CALL OUT CALL

OUT “Let's not forget the women.” There is a famous quote by Abigail Adams

Origins of National Women's Origins of National Women's NATIONAL History WOMEN’S Month History HISTORY Month MONTH

“Let's not forget the So women.” we won’t!

“Let’s not forget theCounty women.” Female Firsts Female in Berks Firsts in Berks County

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is a famous There quote is by a Month famous Abigail quote Adams Abigail all Adams MarchThere is National Women's History when we by recognize women

and their accomplishments and deeds whether in women thethe home, business or “Let's notwhen forget “Let's the not women.” forget women.” tional Women's History Month we recognize all arch is National Women’s History Month when we our community. So and weinwon’t! Sobusiness we won’t! complishments and deeds theaccomplishments home, recognize all whether women their andor



The Berks Women's Alliance is once again partnering with the deeds whetherHistory in the home, business or our community.

March is National Women's March is History National Month Women's when we History recognize Monthallwhen women we recognize all women

Berks History Center to promote these women. This event recognizes



and theirWomen’s accomplishments their andagain accomplishments deeds whether inand the deeds home,the whether business Berks History Alliance is once again partnering with inorthe home, business or Women'sThe History Alliance isand once partnering with Monthofis a celebration of omen’s Historyomen's Month History is a celebration women who were and are currently FIRST in their field in Berks our community. our community. the Berks History Center to promote these women. This event women’s contributions history, culture women'stocontributions to and history, culture y Center to promote these women. This event recognizes . County recognizes who were and currently are. The Berkswomen Women's History The Berks Alliance Women's is once History againAlliance partnering is once with again the partnering with thesociety and has been observed annually in the

omen's Month is a celebration of in the andHistory society and has been observed annually were andThis are currently in their inby Berks Berksproject History Center Berks to promote History these Center women. to promote Thisthe event these recognizes women. This event month recognizes wasFIRST first introduced infield 2007 Berks Women's of March in the United States and other countries, This project was first introduced in 2007 by the Berks Women’s month of March the and otherof women's contributions to United history, culture History Month omen's is a in celebration History Month of States is a celebration women who were and women are currently who were andin are currently their field in FIRST Berks in their field Berks omen's including the United Kingdom and Australia, since 1987. Commission showcased atFIRST their Women's at in the Commission andand showcased at their Women's History History MuseumMuseum at women's contributions women's to history, contributions culture to history, culture countries, including the United Kingdom and society and has been observed annually in theand County. County. Goggleworks. Goggleworks. was firstthe introduced in 2007 by the Berks Women's March is selected as the month for observing Women’s and society andAustralia has been andobserved society1987. and annually has been in the observed annually in the This project was first This introduced projectinwas 2007 first byintroduced the Berks in Women's 2007 by the Berks Women's month of March in United thesince United States and other History to correspond International monthMonth of March in themonth ofwith States March and in other the United States and other The Berks Women’s History Alliance has now updated this project since and showcased at their Women's History Museum at the The Berks Women’s History Alliance has now updated thisWomen's project Commission and showcased Commission at their and Women's showcased History at their Museum at the History Museum at the Women’s Day. including the United Kingdom and March isUnited selected as the month for observing countries, including the countries, Kingdom including and the United Kingdom and we know there has continued BerksCounty County women who countries, have since we know there has continuedto tobe be more more Berks Goggleworks. Goggleworks. s. Australia since 1987. Australia since 1987. Women's History Month to correspond with Australia since 1987. The actual celebration grew out of a weeklong celebration become in History their field. doesn't matter what field or year they held women whoFIRST have become FIRST inIttheir It doesn’t matter what The Berks Women’s The Berks Alliance Women’s hasfield. now History updated Alliance this has project now since updated this project since



Women’sfield History Alliance has now updated this project since or year they held this position; just so they were the first female

organized by theInternational school district ofobserving Sonoma, in 1978. March selected as the March month isWomen's for selected asDay. the CA month for observing this position; so the female towomen run it,Berks manage it,women own it whoishave we know there just has continued wethey knowwere to there be more has first continued Berks County to be more who have County

March is History selected as the month observing Presentations wereMonth given atcorrespond dozens offor schools, Women's Women's to History with Month tohundreds correspond with ere has continued County women who have toor run it, manage own itBerks or head it up. become FIRST init,more their become field. ItFIRST doesn't in matter their field. whatItfield doesn't or year matter theywhat heldfield or year they held head itto up.be

The actual grew outcontest of a weeklong of students participated in acelebration “Real Woman” essay

International Women'sMonth International Day. to correspond Women's Day. with Women's this position; just so they this were position; the just first so female theyor to were run the it, manage first female it, own to run it it, manage it, own itHistory ST in their field. It to doesn't matter what year held We celebrate remind ourselves of thefield journey taken they totaken achieve celebration organized by the school district of and a parade was held in downtown Santa Rosa. We celebrate to remind ourselves of the journey to achieve these

or head it up. or head it up. International Women's Day. The actual celebration The grewactual out ofcelebration a weeklong grew out of a weeklong ; just so these they were the firstand female to run it, trailblazing manage own itwho accomplishments and honor these trailblazingit,women Sonoma, CA in 1978. Presentations were given at accomplishments totohonor these women who continue to


A few years the idea had caught on within celebration organized celebration by the school organized district of by the school district of We celebrate to remind Weourselves celebrateoftothe remind journey ourselves taken to ofachieve the journey these taken to achieve theselater, continue toway. lead the way. dozens of schools, hundreds ofacross students participated lead the communities, school districts and organizations

The actual grew ofgiven aPresentations weeklong Sonoma, CA in 1978. Sonoma, Presentations CA out in were 1978. at were given at accomplishments andaccomplishments to honor these trailblazing and to honor women these who trailblazing continuewomen to who continue tocelebration

in ahundreds “Real Woman” essay contest and was ToTo the women County, we thank you. can You take dozens of schools, dozens ofofthe students schools, participated hundreds of students participated lead thewomen way. of Berks lead the way. the of the Berks County, we thank you. can take great pride celebration organized by school district of a parade e to remind ourselves of journey taken to You achieve these

the country. In 1980, President Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March great pride and satisfaction your part in recording these held essay inindowntown Rosa. in a “Real Woman” a contest “Real Woman” andSanta a parade essay was contest and8a parade was To women of Berks Toyour County, thefor women weinthank of Berks you. County, You can we take thank great you. You can take great prideCA satisfaction fortrailblazing part recording these accomplishments soas Sonoma, in 1978. Presentations were given at ments andand tothe honor these women who continue topride National Week. held in downtown Santa held Rosa. in downtown Santa Rosa. accomplishments so future generations continue to see “the best is and satisfaction for your and part satisfaction in recording for “the your these part accomplishments inisrecording these so accomplishments so future generations continue to see best yet to be!”

A few years later, the idea had caught on within

dozens of schools, hundreds of students participated yetfuture to be!” suit thelater, next year, a on within generations continue future generations to see “the best continue is yettotosee be!”“the best is yet to be!” The A U.S. few Congress years later,followed the idea A few had years caught onthe within ideapassing had caught communities, school districts and organizations resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years incommunities, a “Real Woman” essayandcontest a parade was school districts communities, organizations schooland districts and organizations en of BerksKAREN County,MILLER we thank you. You can take great pride across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter later, the National Women’s History Project successfully KAREN MILLER KAREN MILLER across country. In 1980, across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter held in the downtown SantaPresident Rosa. tion for your part in recording these accomplishments so petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire the first proclamation issued the first issued presidential issued proclamation the presidential first presidential declaring proclamation declaring declaring month March. ations continue to see “the best is yet to be!” A fewofyears later, the idea had caught on within


the week of March 8 asWeek. the week of March 8 astheNational week ofHistory March 8 National as NationalHistory Week. History Week.

communities, school and organizations The U.S. Congress followed Thedistricts U.S. suitCongress the next followed year, suitthe thenext next year, The U.S. Congress followed suit year, Your Your name here? Your name Your name here? here?nameYour name here? name here? Your here? MILLER passing a resolution establishing passing a resolution a national establishing a national across the country. 1980, President Jimmy Carter passingIn a resolution establishing a national FIRST FEMALES IN the BERKS COUNTY: celebration. Six years celebration. later, National Six years Women's later, the National Women's issued the first presidential declaring celebration. Six proclamation years later, the National Women's First Female Mayor First Female Mayor History Project successfully History petitioned Project successfully Congress topetitioned Congress to PAST AND PRESENT KarenofMiller ReadingMayor of Reading First Female History Project successfully petitioned theexpand weektheofevent March 8entire as National Week. History First Female Mayor of Reading to theexpand the month event of to March. the entire month ofCongress March. to of Reading

expand the event a.m. to the entire month of March. March 12, 2022 - 10:00

Visit berkswomen2women.com Visit berkswomen2women.com to fill out the FIRST FEMALE to fill outform. the FIRST FEMALE form.

U.S. Congress followed suit the next Your here? Your name here? Visitname berkswomen2women.com BerksThe History Center, 940 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA year, Visit berkswomen2women.com to fill out the FIRST FEMALE form. to fill out the FIRST FEMALE form.

e Mayor ing

passing a resolution establishing a national

The Berks Women’s History Alliance continues its Suffrage FIRST FEMALES FIRST IN BERKS FEMALES COUNTY: IN BERKS PAST AND COUNTY: PRESENT PAST AND PRESENT celebration. Six years later, National Women's 2020 Centennial Celebration with athe panel discussion of March 12, 2022 - 10:00 March AM 12, 2022 - 10:00 AM FIRST FEMALES BERKS COUNTY: PAST Reading, AND PRESENT Berks History Center, Berks 940IN Centre History Avenue, Center, Reading, 940 Centre PAAvenue, PA Berks County women who are first in their occupational fields. History Project successfully petitioned Congress to Guided tours of the BHC’s Museum will be offered March 12, 2022 - 10:00 AM The Berks Women's The History Berks Alliance Women's continues HistoryitsAlliance Suffrage continues 2020 Centennial its Suffrage Celebration 2020 with atopanel Celebration discussion withofa panel discussion of expand the Centennial event the entire month of March. Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA following the program. Berks County womenBerks who are County first women in their occupational who are first in fields. theirGuided occupational tours of fields. the BHC's GuidedMuseum tours of will thebe BHC's offered Museum will be offered

following the to program. following the program. erkswomen2women.com fill out the FIRST FEMALE form. Reservations Required. Please Call The Berks Women's History Alliance continues its Suffrage 2020 Centennial Celebration with610.375.5543. a panel discussion of Reservations Required. Reservations PleaseRequired. Call 610.375.5543. Please Call 610.375.5543. Berks County women who are first in their occupational fields. Guided tours of the BHC's Museum will be offered

following the program.

28 Women2Women | Winter 2022 T FEMALES IN BERKS COUNTY: PAST AND PRESENT Reservations Required. Please Call 610.375.5543.

12, 2022 - 10:00 AM

PREPAREYOUR YOUR WORKFORCE NOW PREPARE WORKFORCE NOW Areyou you prepared influx of employees returning the workforce? Are prepared for for thethe influx of employees returning to the to workforce? Become in-demand employer by investing the development Become anan in-demand employer by investing in thein development of your of your current employees to make way for those joining your team. Invest current employees to make way for those joining your team. Invest in your in your employees and take advantage of the training courses has to offer. employees and take advantage of the training courses GRCA GRCA has to offer.

Supervisor Supervisor Training Training Lead Worker Outdo the Supervisor Module 3: Module 1: Supervisor Certificate Competition Principles of TrainingLeveraging Training Program in 2022 Outdo the Lead Worker Supervision Workplace Module 3: Module 1: AM/PM Certificate Competition Relationships Leveraging Principles of

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Mind your Business: What do Dentists and your Retirement Income Plan have in common?

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Mind your Business: What do Dentists and your Retirement Income Plan have in common?

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berkswomen2women.com 29


EMPOWERING WOMEN to achieve the highest quality of life through Natural Hormone Balancing


ormonal balance is essential to a healthy mind and body but can be disrupted in a variety of ways. Raising children, having a demanding career, juggling schedules, over-exercising, not getting proper sleep, eating junk on the run, etc., all place a heavy toll on our bodies and cause chaos on our

hormones. In today’s modern, fast-paced society, it’s no wonder so many women are worn out and feeling less than amazing. It’s time we understand how to work with our bodies to combat the common hormone disruptors.

One of the main culprits of imbalanced hormones is stress. But not just mental stress. When we are under chronic stress – be it a demanding job, shuffling our kids around, excessive exercising, lack of sleep, too much caffeine, or an improper diet – our bodies pump out a hormone called cortisol to buffer stress on the body. Not only can high levels of cortisol lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, but the body also begins to steal progesterone to keep up with the demand. As a result, women can become estrogen dominant, showing symptoms of imbalanced hormones such as mood swings, headaches, anxiety/depression, sleep issues, low energy, stubborn weight, and more. In time, this imbalance can worsen with age bringing on new symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, lack of libido, high blood pressure, and more. Insulin resistance has become a massive problem in our culture, and it can lead to a myriad of chronic health problems. Since insulin is a hormone, and all hormones communicate with each other, increased insulin levels disrupt every other hormone system in the body. When insulin isn’t doing its job efficiently, it’s nearly impossible to reduce the associated symptoms, including; weight gain, difficulty losing weight, low energy levels, brain fog, food cravings, sleep issues, hot flashes, and night sweats. Obesity, imbalanced hormones, unnecessary thyroid replacement therapy, over the counter and prescription drugs, lack of physical activity, chronic stress, lack of sleep, as well as over-consumption of

30 Women2Women | Winter 2022

sugars, carbohydrates, alcohol, and insufficient amounts of protein and fats all contribute to insulin resistance. Inflammation is also a player in our imbalance. Think of inflammation like a fire that your body is trying to put out. It’s a defense mechanism that goes off when your body is trying to protect itself. Inflammation can be beneficial in many cases, such as when you sustain an injury and inflammation senses the tissues need care and protection. However, inflammation can cause more harm than good when your body is under constant or chronic attack. In this case, your body is so busy “putting out the fire,” that its priority is not on balancing your hormones. One of the main factors that can lead to inflammation is poor gut health and food sensitivities, often leading to fatigue, bloating, constipation, or unexplained weight gain. Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent and even reverse hormone imbalances caused by stress, insulin resistance, inflammation, and yeast overgrowth, improving your mood, sleep, cravings, and, hot flashes/night sweats, and allow for efficient fat burning! If you have been struggling with symptoms of a hormone imbalance, BeBalanced Hormone Weight Loss Center in Wyomissing is here to help. Our Natural Hormone Balancing Specialist will be your very own personal hormone health adviser. She will be a

guide to help you better understand what’s going on with your body. She will support you and give you encouragement throughout your entire journey. She is a knowledgeable source of information, one who studies and understands hormones and holistic health and will provide you with the tools and knowledge to help heal your body from the inside out. It's time to take control of your health from a holistic approach. That is why the BeBalanced method is so different than other weight loss programs. In fact, for us, weight loss is just an added benefit of balanced hormones. We believe that PMS and menopausal symptoms can be corrected with a proper balance of nutrients, stress management techniques, supplementation, one-on-one support, uncovering food sensitivities, and lifestyle changes. Take the first step towards feeling better today. We will be here every step of the way! Together we will address your specific symptoms and help you find your balance holistically. Set up your free consultation by contacting the BeBalanced Hormone Weight Loss Center in Wyomissing or visit our website and take a Free Hormone Assessment to find out the severity of your symptoms. Be well! | BeBalanced


" This year, we are done!"

WE ARE DONE... 9 9 9 9

fighting against our bodies exercising and NOT losing weight being told ‘it’s our age’ thinking it's our fault when it's imbalanced hormones!

Join us in being Done and Becoming Balanced. Schedule your free consultation at: www.BeBalancedCenters.com 90 Commerce Dr, Wyomissing (610) 750-5158

berkswomen2women.com 31


Pay Parity: All Things Equal? 2020,

Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, was also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ratified in August 1920, the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, stating, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The battle to get women into the voting booth was also a harbinger of increased numbers of women working outside the home. By March 1940, a year before the U.S. entered World War II, women constituted 25% of the workforce1. 79 years later, that percentage rose to 57% in 20192. During that time, the number of working women with a college degree quadrupled hitting 45% in 2019. Women working fulltime, year-round jobs rose from 41% in 1970 to 64% in 2019. The number of married women (in two-earner households) was 44% in 1967 and jumped to 53% by 2019. Women got the vote. Women make up over half the workforce. All things equal. Right? The Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 (an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1963) “…prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions.” 3 Again, all things equal, right? WRONG. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, as of March 2021, women working full-time, year-round jobs are “paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual gender pay gap of $10,157.”4 That means women are paid $.18 less than their male colleagues. While that gap varies by state (for example, the gender wage gap in Pennsylvania is closer to

32 Women2Women | Winter 2022

$.21), it also varies within groups of women. For instance, women of color are typically paid $.37 less and Latina women are paid $.45 less. This wage disparity means that women not only bring home less money in their regular paychecks (which equates to less money available to spend on child care, food, housing and other necessities) but it also means women have less money going into retirement savings and Social Security. It is estimated that the gender wage gap amounts to a wage loss of $956 billion annually. So, if the law says equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, why does the wage gap persist?

THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION PROPOSES FOUR DEFICIENCIES IN THE EPA5: 1. Limited remedies for compensation 2. Interpretations of what constitutes a work establishment and non-job-related reasons for unequal pay 3. Limitations on class action lawsuits 4. Limitations protecting employees from employer retaliation Additionally, many employers have policies that penalize workers from disclosing or sharing wage information making it difficult for individuals to know if they are being fairly compensated. Slowly, some progress is being made in levelling the gender pay field. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was passed in an attempt to clear at least one of those obstacles to fair pay, re-setting the statute of limitations for which an employee may file a claim of pay discrimination.

and the Wage Gap


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Wyoming (1) Utah (2) Louisiana (3) Oklahoma (4) Alabama (5) South Dakota (6) Idaho (7) Indiana (8) North Dakota (9) West Virginia (10) Mississippi (11) South Carolina (12) Montana (13) New Mexico (14) Michigan (15) Iowa (16) Illinois (17) Washington (18) Ohio (19) Pennsylvania (20) Arkansas (21) Texas (22) Kansas (23) Kentucky (24) Virginia (25) Colorado (26) Nebraska (27) Maine (28) Missouri (29) Oregon (30) New Jersey (31) Tennessee (32) Georgia (33) Wisconsin (34) Massachusetts (35) Minnesota (36) New Hampshire (37) Florida (38) District of Columbia (39) Delaware (40) Arizona (41) Connecticut (42) Alaska (43) Rhode Island (44) North Carolina (45) New York (46) Nevada (47) California (48) Maryland (49) Hawaii (50) Vermont (51)



$0.35 $0.30 $0.28 $0.27 $0.26 $0.25 $0.25 $0.24 $0.24 $0.24 $0.23 $0.23 $0.22 $0.22 $0.22 $0.22 $0.22 $0.21 $0.21 $0.21 $0.21 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.20 $0.19 $0.19 $0.19 $0.18 $0.17 $0.17 $0.17 $0.17 $0.16 $0.15 $0.15 $0.14 $0.14 $0.13 $0.12 $0.11 $0.11 $0.09

In January 2021 the Paycheck Fairness Act was re-introduced in both the U.S House and U.S. Senate; the bill includes provisions to: • Broaden the definition of “work establishment.” This provision is especially critical as more companies implement hybrid and/or remote workplaces. • Clarify the definition of “factor other than sex.” This means wage considerations for factors such as education, training or experience consistent with job requirements. • Beef up the ability of employees seeking recompense to recover damages. • Opening up who is included in class action lawsuits. • Increase the roles of the Department of Labor and EEOC in gender wage gap oversight and enforcement. • Protect employees from employer retaliation for seeking recompense, for seeking information on wage practices or for disclosing wage information to co-workers. The bill most recently passed the House (H.R. 7) in April 2021. It was read in the Senate that same month but there the tale ends. Or does it? On September 14, 2021, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced that the player unions for the men’s and women’s national teams will be offered the same contract proposals.6 Furthermore, if the women’s national team wishes to negotiate a separate contract, they will be invited to sit in on the men’s negotiations to provide transparency. This victory comes after a 2016 discrimination lawsuit filed by five women’s players and a 2019 gender discrimination/unequal pay lawsuit filed by 28 members of the U.S. Women’s National Team. For the record, here’s how the women stack up: U.S. Women’s National Team • Four-time World Cup Champions (1991, 1999, 2015, 2019) • Current FIFA rank: 1 | Lowest FIFA rank (2017): 2 • Best FIFA rank: 1 • Four-time Olympic Gold Medalists (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) U.S. Men’s National Team • 3rd Place World Cup in 1930 (best finish) • Current FIFA rank: 12 • Lowest FIFA rank (2012): 35 | Best FIFA rank (2006): 4 • 10th in group stage in 1996 (did not qualify in 2012, 2016, 2020) All things equal? Someday.


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

“Employment of Women in War Production”, Bulletin, July 1942, U.S. Social Security Administration “Women in the labor force: a databook”, BLS Reports, April 2021, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 3 “ The Equal Pay Act of 1963”, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/equal-pay-act-1963 4 “ America’s Women and the Wage Gap,” National Partnership for Women & Families, March 2021https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economcut Avenue, NW, Suite 650 info@NationalPartnership.org ic-justice/fair-pay/americas-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf 202.986.2600 C 20009 5“ The Pay Fairness Act”, American Bar Association, https://www.americanbar.org/advocacy/governmental_legislative_work/priorities_policy/discrimination/the-paycheckfairness-act/ 6 “ U.S. Soccer Federation announces men’s and women’s national teams will be offered the same contract,” Abigail Johnson Hess, Make It, CNBC https://www.cnbc. com/2021/09/15/us-soccer-federation-to-offer-men-and-women-players-same-contract.html 1 2

berkswomen2women.com 33


You Can’t Ask That!

Or Can You, Legally Speaking?


s The Great Resignation continues (4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021)1, many individuals are seeking new jobs that better fit with newfound work/life harmony priorities. If you are one of the many looking for your next opportunity, know there are questions a prospective employer cannot legally ask you and you cannot be forced to answer. I talked with Kristi Gage-Linderman, COO and owner of Gage Personnel, to find out what you can and cannot be asked when interviewing for a new job: • You CANNOT be asked questions in regards to protected classes such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin or age.

legal requirement. Typically, employers wait until a job offer is made before asking clarifying questions. — For example, if a job requires lifting heavy objects, the employer can ask, “Can you lift 50 lbs. without assistance?” — An employer can also ask if an accommodation needs to be made for the employee to perform required duties. • Employers MAY ask for a desired salary or salary expectation although it is a question that you DO NOT have to answer. — “ In the current market, employers are finding that salary transparency is more effective in attracting candidates,” Gage-Linderman explains. “As a candidate, it is totally acceptable to indicate “negotiable” when asked this question.”

— “ Ageism is a real concern with job candidates,” says Gage-Linderman, “especially with folks afraid to leave a long-time job or who are coming back into the workforce.” She advises candidates and employers alike to focus on experience versus a number.

— Wage data for various jobs and geographical markets can be obtained on Google or Glassdoor but she cautions this data can be outdated. “Go into an interview with an understanding of what you need and what you want. Look at the entire compensation package, not just salary. Consider PTO, benefits, bonuses as well as advancement and professional development opportunities,” advises Gage-Linderman. “If that employer is a good fit for you,” she concludes, “sooner or later, you will be paid as you are valued.” 2

• You SHOULD NOT be asked questions regarding disabilities, criminal record, military discharge, citizenship or pregnancy. — Women candidates still face prejudice against pregnancy and childrearing. Gage-Linderman encourages women to seek employers who value what you bring to the role and to not be afraid to ask about workplace culture and balance. • Employers CAN ask questions about whether or not you can meet specific job requirements or if the information is necessary to meet a job-related 34 Women2Women | Winter 2022

By Kirsten P. Haas, Executive Director of Girls on the Run Berks 1

“ The Great Resignation: Why millions of workers are quitting,” Shawn Baldwin, CNBC Oct 19 2021 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/19/the-great-resignation-why-people-are-quitting-their-jobs.html

JOB SEARCHING May 5, 2003… That’s the day LinkedIn was launched, which is an incredibly long time ago in tech time and social media. The site now has over 700 million users. If you haven’t logged in recently, now would be a good time, especially if you’re job hunting. Here are some things you can do on LinkedIn to boost your chances of landing a new gig.

Get Ready First things first, update your profile. Include all previous experience and education, as well as volunteer experience, awards, skills, and accomplishments. Focus on crafting an About section that displays your personality and strengths Consider it a cover letter, but the modern version.

Hang the Open Sign LinkedIn has a feature called #opentowork that you can turn ‘on’ to let people know you’re looking. You can specify what opportunities you want, as well as a preferred location, if you have one. Recruiters can then find you more easily and share jobs that are a good fit.

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Make Friends Connect with people in your desired field or industry. When you add them as a connection, you have the chance to also send a note. Do it. Something simple and straightforward. You now have the ability to connect with almost anyone instead of just those you have worked with or know personally.

Develop Your Knowledge Follow others on LinkedIn with the skills you want to learn. Devour their posts and implement anything you think is important. There are also skill assessments that you can take on things like SEO or Microsoft Excel. Answer 15 multiple choice questions, score in the top 30%, and earn a skill badge, which is then displayed on your profile.

Job Search Companies love to use LinkedIn to post their openings. You can easily search and find roles you might want. Apply, apply, apply. Your connections may also share when their organization is hiring, giving you the chance to land an interview that way. What started as a platform to display your current and previous roles has evolved into the best place to build your personal brand and network, which could just land you your dream job. 2

Custom Design





By Sara Frassinelli, Director of Marketing, Spherion berkswomen2women.com 35


Women in College Photo by Theo Anderson, Alvernia University


ecent data from the National Student Clearing House, an educational nonprofit that provides education reporting and research, shows that the U.S. now has the largest gender gap in college students. In the 2020-21 school year, females made up 61 percent of the four-year private college student population, the highest of all time and the gap, according to experts, continues to widen. This is a significant shift in data from 1970 where the National Center for Education Statistics found that men made up 57 to 59 percent of those enrolled in college, compared to approximately 41 percent of women.

Additional data from National Student Clearinghouse shows that: • For the 2021-22 school year, 3,805,978 women applied to college compared to only 2,815,810 men. • Higher education institutions have 1.5 million fewer students today than they did five years ago, and men make up 71% of that decline. Many experts, including Mary-Alice Ozechoski, Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs at Alvernia University, aren’t surprised by the recent data citing that U.S. women have earned more bachelor’s degrees than men since the mid-1980s but have an increased interest in the “why?”

36 Women2Women | Winter 2022

There are several possibilities experts have considered including: • girls spend more time studying in elementary school and are less likely to “get in trouble,” • boys in this age group are more likely to be held back and have trouble learning to read, • girls are more likely to graduate from high school than male counterparts and • opportunities for well-paying jobs for men without a degree leading them to skip additional educational opportunities after high school. “Over the course of my 30-year career there has been a push for men to attend technical and trade schools,” Ms. Ozechoski said. “These programs can be completed in less time and offer good pay. Those factors are very enticing.” Alvernia University closely tracks their enrollment numbers and develops strategies to create a balance, including gender, in admissions. Their current enrollment is 54 percent female and 46 percent male. Diversity in the programs and majors offered at a college and university can play a role in the gender of applicants. For example, Alvernia offers a criminal justice program and recently added several engineering programs, both currently with more male students while their Nursing and Occupational

Therapy programs have more female students. “We are also fortunate that we have a robust athletic program for men and women and continue to add programs,” Ms. Ozechoski shared. “We’ve recently added football and wrestling and will be adding an NCAA ice hockey team in the next few years. These additions are helpful for our ongoing recruitment efforts.”

INTERESTED IN HEADING BACK TO SCHOOL? Learn more about the Colleges and Universities in Berks County offering unique programs for those interested in undergraduate and graduate programs, including programs for adult learners. Albright College | Albright.edu Alvernia University | Alvernia.edu Kutztown University | Kutztown.edu Penn State Berks | Berks.PSU.edu Reading Area Community College | RACC.edu Women2Women and Alvernia University have a unique partnership that aims to assist in growing more women leaders and next-generation family business leaders within the Greater Reading community through enabling W2W members to access adult and graduate education at Alvernia at a preferred tuition rate. Additional Benefits Include: • Preferred pricing on Alvernia University tuition • Access to associate degree programs, bachelor’s degree and degree completion programs, master’s degree programs and certificate programs • Transfer credits already completed • Get credit for life experience – time in the workplace can be considered for credit toward undergraduate degree • Assistance in applying and enrolling at Alvernia • Access to professional development events through our Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership • A vast network of professionals in the Greater Reading business community • Access to enhancing your employer’s benefits package – refer your employer to Alvernia to share the benefits of partnerships with your co-workers and their families 2



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Publishing 30 unique titles throughout southeastern and central PA Call today for advertising opportunities. | HoffmannPublishing.com | 610.685.0914 x201 38 Women2Women | Winter 2022


do it

any years ago, when I was a new homeowner, I was shucking corn for a backyard barbecue. I looked at that shiny garbage disposal opening in the sink and thought, “I’ll just throw the husks and silk down the disposal.” Bad idea. Within a few seconds the garbage disposal lurched to a halt and emitted that dull motor sound. So what to do? I called a plumber who detangled the silk and husks from the disposal blades and got it working. A couple years later I was husking corn again and decided to give it another whirl. Dumb. Idea. Once again, the disposal ground to a halt and I made another call to the plumber who fixed it. The first time I can blame on naivete. The second time there was no excuse. When the disposal got jammed again (no, I didn’t throw husks down) I decided to see if I could unjam it myself. Yes, yes I can! It’s actually quite simple, doesn’t require anything more than an Allen wrench, and takes less than 10 minutes. Here’s what I do and this should work for most newish garbage disposals. 1. Disconnect the disposal | Unplug the disposal from the outlet it is plugged into. If there is no plug, turn the switch that controls the disposal to OFF and turn off the disposal’s circuit breaker from your home’s electric panel. 2. Check and remove any objects | You can do this a few ways. One way is to use a flashlight and look inside the sink opening for anything that might be stuck. I take the end of a wooden spoon and poke around to see if I find something. Next, I use a gloved hand and fish around. On more than one occasion a citrus rind has been the culprit. If you don’t want to use your hand a pair of needle-nosed pliers will do the trick. 3. Loosen the jam | Look for the small round opening in the center on the underside of your disposal. Insert the short end of the Allen wrench that came with your disposal, or any ¼” Allen (hex) wrench, into that hole. Using some elbow grease, move the long end of the Allen wrench back and forth until the wrench moves freely in both directions. If you have trouble, gently tap the long end of the wrench with a rubber mallet to get it going. 4. Plug the disposal back in | Plug the electric cord into the outlet or switch the circuit breaker back to ON. 5. Reset the disposal | Some disposals have a small, red reset button on the bottom of the unit. Press the button to reset the unit’s internal circuit breaker. 6. Test the disposal | Run cold water into the sink, then turn on the disposal. Hopefully you hear the disposal working and ready to go. If you only hear a hum, repeat the previous steps. Voila! Disposal fixed and you saved yourself a lot of money. Moral of the story. Don’t put corn husks into the disposal! Here are some other foods that aren’t meant for the garbage disposal. These include things that are highly absorbent, fibrous, or hard. • Animal bones • Grease, oil, and fat • Pasta, rice, and bread • Coffee grounds • Non-food materials • Pits and seeds • Egg shells • Nuts and shells • Potato peels • Fibrous or stringy fruits and • Onion layers vegetable (corn husks and silk!) By Karen Klein, Fulcrum Information Resources, kklein@fulcrum-info.com

Unclog a toilet without a plunger When your toilet is clogged, and you don’t have a plunger, it’s time to get creative. Your best bet is to fill a pan with hot water. Heat it up on the stove or use the tap, but don’t let the water get to boiling point. Pour it in the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes to see if it loosens the clog. You’ll know if your efforts were successful if you see the water start to drain. Then, give your toilet a flush or two. In many cases, the hot water is enough to break up whatever is causing the backup. Dish Duty If you need to kick the unclogging process up a notch, borrow some dish soap from the kitchen and squeeze a generous amount, about a 1/4 cup should do, into the toilet bowl. Let the soap sit for 5 to 10 minutes so it has time to move down the drain and reach the clog. Then, add hot water (again, not boiling water) to the bowl and give it some time to sit. In most cases, the dish soap will act as a lubricant and grease the clog in the toilet drain to get everything moving again. 2

By Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra, Director, Communications Herbein + Company, Inc. berkswomen2women.com 39





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