55 Plus Rochester March 2017 #44

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How to Get ‘Senior Discounts’ on Just About Everything

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Buffet at del Lago Resort & Casino. We review the new restaurant

PLUS Issue 44 March / April 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

First Novel at 73

Book focuses on a psychopathic killer who is terrorizing the streets of Rochester

Leaving at the Top Dr. Nina Schor is leaving her position as pediatrician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital. She talks about her decadeslong career

Gray Divorce? In general, figures are down, but rate among boomers skyrocketing

free

Jim Terwilliger: What’s Up with Medicare Part B Premiums?


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March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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CONTENTS 55 PLUS

How to Get ‘Senior Discounts’ on Just About Everything

55

Buffet at del Lago Resort & Casino. We review the new restaurant

55 PLUS

March/April 2017

PLUS Issue 44 March / April 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

First Novel at 73

Book focuses on a psychopathic killer who is terrorizing the streets of Rochester

Leaving at the Top

Gray Divorce? In general, figures are down, but rate among boomers skyrocketing

Dr. Nina Schor is leaving her position as pediatrician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital. She talks about her decadeslong career

free

roc55.com

Jim Terwilliger: What’s Up with Medicare Part B Premiums?

14 Savvy Senior 6 Financial Health 8 Dining Out 10 My Turn 30 Addyman’s Corner 44 Visits 46 Long-term Care 48

28 12 FAMILY • Father’s dementia leads daughter to reflect about her own memories

14 BOOK

• Greece woman publishes first novel at age 73

18 DRIVING

• Lease or buy a car? We asked the experts Last Page Q&A Nannette Nocon, financial planner and Athena Award recipient explains why she is passionate about mentoring other women. 4

55 PLUS - March / April 2017

20 TREND

• Number of divorce cases among boomers on the rise • Divorce: major economic impact

24 RUNNING

• Older runners thrive in running-addicted Rochester

32 27 HOBBIES • Knitting club in Finger Lakes promotes knitting, camaraderie

28 LIFESTYLE • Wining and dining at NYWCC

34 COVER • Retiring at the top: Golisano’s Nina Schor, pediatrician-in-chief

37 BOOK • Fairport writer tackles life of Susan B. Anthony’s brother

44 SAVINGS • What to do when you start late

42 PROFILE • Laurie and Albert Broccolo

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age 62 or older

age 18 or younger

blind

disabled

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nationalfuelgas.com March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS 88818_Fuel_SpecProtectAd_Roc55Plus.indd 1

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1/20/17 2:16 PM


savvy senior By Jim Miller

Getting Old Pays: How to Get Discounts

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ne of the great perks of growing older in America is the many discounts that are available to boomers and seniors. There are literally thousands of discounts on a wide variety of products and services including restaurants, grocery stores, travel and lodging. These discounts — typically ranging between 5 and 25 percent off — can result in big savings. So, if you don’t mind admitting your age, here are some tips for you. Always Ask — The first thing to know is that most businesses don’t advertise them, but many give senior discounts just for the asking, so don’t be shy. You also need to know that while some discounts are available as soon as you turn 50, many others may not kick in until you turn 55 or older. Search Online — Because senior discounts frequently change and can vary depending on where you live and the time of the year, the Internet is the easiest way to help you. To do a search, start by visiting SeniorDiscounts.com, which lists thousands of discounts that you can search for by city and state, and by the category you’re interested in, for free. You can also look for discounts at TheSeniorList.com, which provides a large list of national and regional business chains that offer them, or you can Google them individually. Just go to Google.com and type in the business or organization you’re curious about, followed by “senior discount” or “senior discount tickets.” If you use a smartphone, another tool is the Sciddy app (see Sciddy. com) that lets you search for senior discounts and can send you alerts. Join a Club — Another good avenue to senior discounts is through membership organizations like AARP, which offers its 50 and older members a wide variety of discounts through affiliate businesses (see

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55 PLUS - March / April 2017

55PLUS roc55.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor

AARPdiscounts.com). If, however, you’re not the AARP type, there are other alternative organizations you can join that also provide discounts such as The Seniors Coalition or the American Seniors Association. Or, for federal workers, there’s the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Types of Discounts — Here’s an abbreviated rundown of some of the different types of discounts you can expect to find. Restaurants — Senior discounts are common at restaurants and fast food establishments — like Burger King, Subway, Wendy’s, Applebee’s and Golden Corral — ranging from free/discounted drinks, to discounts off your total order. Retailers — Many thrift stores like Goodwill, and retailers like Banana Republic, Kohl’s, Michaels offer a break on certain days of the week. Supermarkets — Many locally owned grocery stores offer senior discount programs, as do some chain supermarkets, which offer some discounts on certain days of the week. Travel — Southwest Airlines provides the best senior fares in the U.S. to passengers 65 and older, while Amtrak offers a 15 percent discount and Greyhound offers 5 percent off to travelers over 62. Most car rental companies provide discounts to customers who belong to organizations like AARP. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Carnival cruise lines offer discount rates to cruisers 55 and over. And, most hotels offer senior discounts, from 10 to 30 percent. Entertainment — Most movie theaters, museums, golf courses, ski slopes and other public entertainment venues provide reduced admission to seniors over 60 or 65. And the National Park Service offers a lifetime pass for those 62 and up for $10 (see nps. gov/findapark/passes.htm).

Lou Sorendo

Contributing Writers

Deborah J. Sergeant Ernst Lamothe Jr., Jacob Pucci Arn J. Albertini, John Addyman Mike Costanza, Donna Cordello Deborah Blackwell

Columnists

Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Jim Miller, Bruce Frassinelli John Addyman, Sandra Scott

Advertising

Anne Westcott, Debra Kells H. Mat Adams

Office Assistant Kimberley Tyler

Layout and Design Dylon Clew-Thomas

Cover Photo

Chuck Wainwright 55 PLUS –A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area is published six times a year by Local News, Inc., which also publishes In Good Health–Rochester—Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper.

Health in good

Rochester–Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Mailing Address PO Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 © 2017 by 55 PLUS – A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area. No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. Third class postage paid at Syracuse, NY. Permit Number: 3071

How to Reach Us P.O. Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 Voice: 585-421-8109 Fax: 585-421-8129 Editor@roc55.com


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March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

7


financial health

By Jim Terwilliger

L

What’s Up with Medicare Part B Premiums?

ike it or not, “means testing” is here to stay in the form of tiered costs for Medicare Part B premiums. The official name for this arrangement is the income related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA). IRMMA has been in place for a number of years. But many folks turning age 65 and starting Medicare health insurance coverage are just learning about it and are not happy. While premiums are not based on wealth, the federal government uses modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) as a proxy. For most taxpayers, MAGI is federal adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest. Hence, Medicare participants are charged a premium in any given year based on ability to pay from their income. Almost. I say almost because the MAGI used in the premium determination lags by two years. Premiums charged in 2017 are based on MAGIs listed in 2015 tax returns. There are five premium tiers. The bottom-tier premium is what most participants, about 70 percent, pay. In 2015, that premium was $104.90/ month and covered single taxpayers with MAGIs of $85,000 or less and married taxpayers with joint MAGIs of $170,000 or less. In 2016, this monthly premium increased to $121.80, and in 2017 it increased again to $134. This year-overyear increase is not related to IRMAA. It merely reflects the increased cost of running the Medicare program. Most people in the bottom tier are not impacted by these increases. They are favorably covered by what is known as “hold harmless” which affects those who were already receiving Social Security and covered by Medicare. Hold harmless protects

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55 PLUS - March / April 2017

these folks by not allowing their net Social Security (Social Security benefits less Medicare premiums) to decrease from one year to the next. In 2016, these folks continued to pay $104.90/month since the 2015-to2016 increase in Social Security benefits was zero. In 2017, they are paying about $109/month since the 2016-to2017 increase in Social Security benefits was only 0.3 percent. For those not covered by hold harmless,bottom-tier participants are paying $134 per month this year. When we get into the upper tiers, premiums become more expensive. Tier 2 is defined as MAGI between $170K and $214K for joint taxpayers (1/2 those numbers for single). Tier 3, $214K to $320K; Tier 4, $320K to $428K; and Tier 5, above $428K – for joint taxpayers (1/2 for single). The 2017 monthly Part B premium for Tier 2 is $187.50; for Tier 3, $267.90; for Tier 4, $348.30; and for Tier 5, $428.60. At each of the upper tiers, there is an additional unpleasant surprise — an extra premium adjustment for Medicare Part D even though Part D premiums are not paid to the federal government. Part D is purchased separately from a private insurance company in conjunction with a Medicare supplement plan (Medigap policy) or is included in a privately-purchased Medicare Advantage plan. The additional 2017 Part D premium adjustment starts at $13.30/ month at Tier 2 and increases to $76.20/month at Tier 5. Combining the Part B premium with the Part D premium adjustment gives a total 2017 monthly cost of $200.80 at Tier 2 all the way to $504.80 at Tier 5. This compares to the Tier 1 base cost of $134.00. And this is per-person. Total cost for a married couple is double.

Another downer for the upper tiers is that the hold-harmless provision does not apply. From a planning perspective, there is not a lot of wiggle room to impact MAGI. For example, there is no way to avoid the impact of a significant capital gain from investments in any one year. Just be prepared for a single year of increased premiums two years down the road. Fortunately, requests for a Medicare IRMAA reduction can be honored if you have an allowable change in circumstance. Qualifying events for you or your spouse include reduced work hours; a loss of income-producing property outside your control; scheduled cessation, termination or reorganization of your employer’s pension plan; settlement from a current or former employer because of the employer’s closure, bankruptcy or reorganization; and change in marital status To make a request, you must make an appointment at the local Social Security office or file form SSA44 Medicare IRMAA Life-Changing Event and associated documentation. Requests must be made either when you initially enroll in Medicare Part B or following receipt of the annual Medicare Part B — IRMAA notice each fall. For those folks falling into Tier 2 or above, building these additional Medicare costs into your retirement plan is a conversation best held with your financial planner. James Terwilliger, CFP®, is senior vice president, financial planning officer, Wealth Strategies Group, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at 585-419-0670 ext. 50630 or by email at jterwilliger@cnbank.com.


OVERWHELMED

Social Security

Q&A

Q. Are Social Security numbers reassigned after a person dies? A: No. We do not reassign Social Security numbers. In all, we have assigned more than 460 million Social Security numbers. Each year we assign about 5.5 million new numbers. There are over one billion combinations of the nine-digit Social Security number. As a result, the current system has enough new numbers to last for several more generations. Q. If I retire at age 62, will I be eligible for Medicare? A: No. Medicare starts when you reach 65. If you retire at 62, you may be able to continue medical insurance coverage through your employer or purchase it from a private insurance company until you become eligible for Medicare. For more information see our publication, Medicare, at www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs, or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Q. I’m gathering everything I’ll need to file my taxes this month. Do I have to pay taxes on Social Security benefits? Also, where can I get a replacement 1099? A: Some people who get Social Security must pay federal income taxes on their benefits. Still, no one pays taxes on more than 85 percent of their Social Security benefits. You must pay taxes on some portion of your benefits if you file an individual federal tax return and your income exceeds $25,000. If you file a joint return, you must pay taxes if you and your spouse have combined income of more than $32,000. If you are married and file a separate return, you probably will have to pay taxes on your benefits. You can read more about tax preparation in relation to Social Security at www.socialsecurity. gov/planners/taxes.htm. Social Security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. They don’t include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, which are not taxable. You can also get a replacement 1099 or 1042S when you open your own personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

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March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

9


DiningOut By Jacob Pucci

Restaurant

Guide

Farmers Market Buffet

B

Safe bet: Buffet at del Lago Resort & Casino offers flavorful food for less money

uffets and casinos have been a one-two punch of excess in America since the 1940s, when the first allyou-can-eat spreads popped up in casinos on the Las Vegas strip. Thankfully, the days of the $1 midnight buffet of cold cuts and Jell-O mold salads are over and in its place is a modern version where quality and quantity are equally important. Farmers Market Buffet, located only a few steps away from the flashing lights of the slot machines, is one of several dining options at del Lago Resort & Casino, which opened to the public on Feb. 1. The 285-seat buffet was full when

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we arrived for a late lunch around 2:30 p.m. on the casino’s first Saturday in business. Based on the outthe-door lines we encountered when we left the buffet, dining during the mid-afternoon was the right call. The buffet is organized as a series of stations around the perimeter — pizza and Italian, American comfort food, carving station, Asian and international — with salads and desserts occupying the large center island. With only so much stomach space, I zeroed in on the proteins. So I blew past the green salad and went for the Thai chicken and spicy roast beef salads. In both cases, the meats were tender and the vegeta-

bles, notably the colorful bell peppers and herbs, were fresh and crisp. Italy was the next stop on my world tour, where pasta and woodfired pizza are the names of the game. The pizza was good, but lacked the charred, blistered crust I look for in a top-notch pie. However, the rich, earthy mushroom ravioli and shrimp and vegetable pasta, with pieces of squash that still retained just a bit of snap, were highlights of the meal. Spring rolls, dumplings and stir-fries, offered both on the buffet line and at a made-to-order station, are among the offerings at the “Stir Crazy” Asian food station. Diners are instructed to fill a bowl with vegeta-


bles, sauces and noodles and hand it to the chef, who adds chicken, beef or shrimp to the mix. But unless you only want a few bites, forget the small bowl and use a plate instead. Having to balance a mountain of ingredients in a small bowl was among the opening week hiccups we encountered. Aside from the salad bar, none of the food was labeled, leaving the staff to repeatedly explain the offerings to diners. Without any signage, each dish was a bit of a guessing game. Fortunately, I’m an adventurous eater. The stations were spaced close together and with direction or guide, cutting in to grab an item can be awkward. Installing some sort of queue would help eliminate the bottle-necking and waits. Regardless of when you dine, there will be a line at the “Center Cut” carving station, but every second is worth it for the grilled steak alone. The beef, cooked on an open pit grill to a perfect rare, was smoky and tender enough to cut with a butter knife. Seriously, buffet steak is not supposed to be this good. Farmers Market Buffet also nailed it with the comfort food, which included the likes of fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and pot roast. The greens were tender with the right amount of vinegar zip, the pot roast was tender and beefy and the chicken was crisp and tender, which is no small feat for something sitting under a heat lamp. Saving room for dessert at a buffet is often a tough task, but it would be a shame to miss out on the selection of cheesecakes, crème brulee and other cookies, cakes and sweets. Tip: Skip the soft serve and head to the gelato counter, where scoops of pistachio, chocolate hazelnut, salted caramel and other types of gelato are served. The buffet also has not one, but two chocolate fondue fountains, perfect for coating whatever your heart desires with milk chocolate. Despite its opening week jitters, the Farmers Market Buffet offers a wide range of flavorful food for less money than I blew playing video poker for 15 minutes. In a place where winning or losing your money comes down to the press of a button or the deal of a card, the Farmers Market Buffet is a safe bet.

Asian food: Pork potstickers, shrimp dumplings, a spring roll and a made-to-order stir-fry with snow peas, mushrooms, bok choy, rice noodles and shrimp.

Pot roast, fried chicken, mac and cheese, pasta, bread and pizza

Gelato: A bowl of pistachio gelato with a pair of marshmallows dipped into one of the two milk chocolate fountains.

Address:

Farmers Market Buffet

del Lago Resort & Casino, 1133 State Route 414, Waterloo.

Breakfast:

Saturday and Sunday, from 9 to 11 a.m. —Price: $13.99 ($11.99 with Players Club Card) • Lunch: Daily, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Price: $17.99 ($15.99 with Players Club Card)

Dinner:

Monday to Saturday, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. — Price: $22.99 ($20.99 with Players Club Card)

Phone:

315-946-1777

Website:

www.dellagoresort.com/dining

Note:

The casino and all restaurants are only open to those 21 years or older. March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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55+

family

The Day Papa Went Fishing

Father’s dementia leads daughter to reflect about her own memories

D

ad and I sat down in the booth and he asked me where we were. And my heart sank. But, by the time our dinner arrived, he was telling me the story about the time his father took him and his brothers fishing. Apparently, my father accidentally hit his father in the head with a sinker when he cast his pole out. His papa chased him around, pretending he was going to hit him while his brothers laughed their heads off. He referred to his father as ‘Papa’ as if he was a little boy again. And, I wondered, how can he forget a place we went to weekly and remember an incident that took place 70 years prior? I worried about how long it would be before he didn’t recognize other things — like me. Would he ask me someday what my name is? And, I became anxious at just the thought of it. I also wondered how much of my life I would remember and what years I would forget. Sometimes, I struggle to find words — simple, ordinary everyday words. I walk into a room and forget why I went in. If I start to clean out a kitchen drawer, I end up tearing apart the bathroom closet. Although I know it isn’t dementia, I realize that my memory and focus isn’t what it 12

55 PLUS - March / April 2017

By Donna Cordello used to be. In fact, if you ever heard a conversation between my husband and I, it’s like a combination of Jeopardy and fill in the blank. And when neither one of us can remember a certain name, movie, event or place, we rely on Siri, the genius on our cell phones, who seems to know everything. Like my father, some of my recent events are cloudy while very old ones crystal clear. I can remember my nana pinning a kerchief on top of my head before entering church and the smell of the candles. I remember my mom and I singing “Que Sera Sera” together, which is, the first song she taught me. I remember picking berries with my brothers, our shirts and hands stained purple. The music of the Mister Softee ice cream truck permeating through our neighborhood and the excitement of when the huge tin of Charles Chip potato chips was delivered to our house. I remember how my father smelled of cement when he came home from work. How we would all pile into the car and go to the airport to watch the planes come and go, which was our entertainment. And the very special occasions that we went to the drive-in and always got the speaker that crackled and was muffled. I remember how the glass milk bottles had a layer of heavy cream on

top and how delicious the ice-cold milk was. My 20s were a blur, but I remember being a flower girl in my aunt and uncles’ wedding. I can’t recall what I was doing last Wednesday but I remember going to my first movie which was “Romeo and Juliet”. And that my first 45 record was “Let It Be” by the Beatles. There are events in my life I would just as soon forget. The times when I said the wrong thing, did the wrong thing and wrote letters I wished I never mailed. There are times when I made horrible choices. And events where I felt humiliated and embarrassed and wanted nothing more than a do-over. There are other memories that were so painful, they are like a scar that will never fade. The birthday morning when the phone rang to the news that my grandpa had a stroke. The cold blistering day that my best friend Susan died in a car accident at the age of 23. The night I got jumped and how I screamed and ran away from the stranger who was trying to drag me into his car. The time I came home to my apartment and discovered it had been broken into and the ring my great grandmother gave to me was stolen. Cradling my mother-in-law in my arms when she died. Holding my father’s hand as he took his last breath. And my knees weakening as I listened to the


4.75 x 4.75” 55+Roch - Roch/FingerLakes - Christopher Community good-bye opera song at my dear friend Denise’s funeral. Will I always remember the worst moments in my life? Or will I hold onto the best ones? Looking at the ocean for the first time and feeling the sun on my face and the sand between my toes. The way my husband looked at me in my wedding gown. The moment I found out I was pregnant with our first child. The first time I looked into my children’s eyes and the overwhelming love I felt and all the beautiful times we’ve shared together. The splendor of seeing rainbows and waterfalls and mountains and skies. I want to remember all the times I danced like a fool and laughed out loud. But I wonder if someday my mind might leave me before my body does. And I think about the blank lives of people who no longer recognize anybody and what a long and tortuous heartbreak it must be for their family and friends. And, I realize how blessed I was that I didn’t have to go through that pain, because my father’s heart stopped beating before I became erased. Shortly before the final chapter in his life, I was taking my father for a ride in the country, which was one of his favorite outings. He asked me how my children were. “They are all doing fine, dad.” A few minutes later, he asked again and I once again answered him. A minute later, the same question. After the fifth time, I jokingly said, ‘Daddy, you sure have a bad memory!” To which he smiled at me and replied, ‘I remember that I love you.’ If I ever end up suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, like my father, I hope that I will always remember that I was a mother. And If my memory fades and all else escapes me, that I will still be able to smile at my children and repeat the words my dad said to me… I remember that I love you... Donna Cordello, 60, is a freelance writer with local, national and international publications. She lives in Penfield and can be reached at donnacordello@aol. com.

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March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

13


55+

book

Greece Woman Publishes First Novel at 73 Book focuses on a psychopathic killer who is terrorizing the streets of Rochester

J

By Arn J. Albertini

udith Burns, 74, of Greece, had always wanted to write a book. This fall, her dream came true when she self-published her first novel. “I just always thought it was my destiny. It’s like a drive that was inside of me.” The novel — published under penname J.A. Goodman, “Tangled Justice: An Emma Mason Mystery” — is available for sale on at CreateSpace. com (the self-publishing division of Amazon) Barnes and Nobles’ website or you can borrow it from the Greece Public Library. Burns also has several short stories published on SeniorsInk.com, a website for senior citizen authors. “Tangled Justice” follows police detective Emily Mason as she tries to track down a psychopathic killer who is terrorizing the streets of Rochester. When she’s not tracking the serial killer, Mason keeps busy with her boyfriend Peter, who becomes a suspect in the murder of his partner in London. As the novel unfolds, these two stories intertwine. It’s a Columbo-style mystery where you initially meet the criminal, see the crime and then follow the detectives as they try to piece together what happened, Burns told 55 Plus recently. “I created 48 characters, and since it was a murder mystery about a serial 14

55 PLUS - March / April 2017

killer, I also ended some of their lives as easily as I created them.” “I found I had a flare for murder, thankfully only as an author,” she joked. “The fact that it came out as a murder mystery surprised me,” she said, adding that she always thought her book would be funny and inspirational. “But, then I started my first chapter talking about criminals and it just continued on from there. “What surprised me is how my mind worked to comprehend an intricate and complex set of clues that I could put down on paper.” “It’s probably because I’m OCD.” In addition to obsessive compulsive disorder, Burns has also been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia. The key to coping with these disabilities is being aware of them, she said. “You come to realize that if you have a problem, someone else probably has it too.” The built-in spell and grammar check on her computer are a big help too, correcting misspellings, but also adjusting words that she typed in the wrong order, said Burns. “I don’t know what I would do without a computer.” The computer has also been an

Judith Burns: “I love to tell and retell stories that lived in my imagination as well as my actual life. Sometimes the two would become intertwined and, as my children often complained, I lost sight of reality.” asset for research, she said. Research was a big part of the process because it was important to her that story be believable and realistic. For example, Burns said she wanted to make sure she had the details on police investigative procedures correct so she called the county medical examiner’s office to learn the procedure for what happens when no one claims a dead body. She also took a tour of the crime lab. “I wanted to make sure I had it right, [when I wrote] who would be at the crime scene and, who would be in the crime lab.” A l i f e l o n g re s i d e n t o f t h e


Rochester area, Burns wrote her book as a celebration of the city and the surrounding area. “I truly love the city.” Characters visit local attractions, like the Lilac Festival, where they see Tommy and The Tremors, which is a real band that includes her son-inlaw, and the Scenic Byway and local businesses, like J.F. Jones Jewelers.

In 2004, Burns and her granddaughter, Amanda, took a creative writing class at MCC with professor Chris Perri. She wrote a short story for the class about a conversation in an alley. “[Perri] said it would make a great beginning to a book and he wanted an autographed copy when it was published. Burns promised him an autographed copy of that book. “It took me nine years, but I kept my promise,” she said.

Lifelong passion Burns said she’s always loved to read and write. “I love to tell and retell stories that lived in my imagination as well as my actual life. Sometimes the two would become intertwined and, as my children often complained, I lost sight of reality.” “I found I had a natural skill, or some call it a gift, for making the ordinary sound extraordinary. My children called it a curse when the story was about them and I added a humorous twist to the story.” Burns said she first started writing a book when she was 8 years old,” The Bobbsey Twins in Canada”, which was inspired by the family’s yearly trips to Canada and her love of the Bobbsey Twins. “Even at that tender age, I knew to write about what you knew. I wrote in a spiral notebook, and though I never completed the book, I did hold on to that notebook before sadly losing it.” It would be several years before she could get back to writing a book. Burns had always planned on going to college right after high school, but her mother died while she as a senior in high school and she had to put those plans on hold. After graduating from Charlotte High School in 1960, Burns got a job as a teller at the Genesee Valley Union Trust. Then, she married and started a family. For 10 years, she was a stay-athome mother. For a time, she also ran a small business. Burns wanted her children to have ponies. To help cover the cost of keeping the ponies, she started Pony Parties, which rented out the ponies for children’s birthday parties.

Dream realized

“Tangled Justice: An Emma Mason Mystery” as published last fall. It’s the first book Greece resident Judith Burns wrote. She is already working on a follow-up book. When her youngest child started school, she divorced her husband. Tasked with raising her four children on her own, she got a job on the production line at Kodak. Eventually, she worked her way up to be a quality control technician. In 1989, Kodak offered a buyout, which included paying for education. “It was a good opportunity that came my way, and I took it.” She enrolled in Monroe Community College and graduated two years later with distinction with an associate’s degree in marketing and a 4.0 GPA. She was awarded the academic achievement for excellence and was initiated in the Phi Theta Kappa Society.

I t w a s a c re a t i v e writing class at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute that provided the spark to get her working to fulfill her lifelong dream. “I got a lot of encouragement [ f r o m m y classmates] to do something with my talents. I just kind of thrived with all that encouragement. It gave me the confidence that I could actually do this.” A year and a half ago, she started devoting mornings to writing and, last fall she finally got the chance to self-publish her own book. As she wrote, she shared her work with classmates. “They provided with me different perspectives and different points of view that my readers would have. They helped me broaden my writing.” For example, Jean, a friend of the main character, Emma, approaches a man she’s interested in at the Lilac Festival, which Burns’ classmates at Osher, many of whom were married or widowed, didn’t think was realistic. “There are definitely differences in the way a married woman and a single woman have lived their life,” she said. Burns, who has been single since the 1970s, realized she needed to add more context to explain that times have changed since the 1950s and that it is common for a woman to approach a man. March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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Burns attends in Osher, a memberled organization that offers academic, social and cultural programs to enrich and inspire adult learners 50 and older. It’s a way to meet new people, get exposed to new ideas and develop new friendships, she said. “That’s kind of a secret of keeping your mind keen is to surround yourself with people smarter than you and more talented than you. It just keeps you on your toes.” Once the first draft of “Tangled Justice” was complete, friends helped her edit the piece and give additional feedback. Her daughter was a big help throughout the whole process, Burns said. “She provided editing as well as needed encouragement to continue.” The hardest part about writing the book was having the discipline to sit and do the writing every day, she said. “And once the book was written, I was really surprised at how much work still had to be done.” For about six months she was in

contact with a small local publisher, but after not making much progress, she decided to self-publish. She saw an article in 55 Plus featuring author Mary Dougherty, who runs Bootstrap Publishing, which helps other authors self-publish. Burns connected with Dougherty, who helped with much of the behind the scenes work of getting a book published, like writing an author’s bio, arranging for art for the front and rear cover and getting other writers to give testimonials about the book. Working on a follow up-book Burns is retired, but she keeps busy. When she’s not writing, or spending time with her four children, nine grandchildren and six greatgrandchildren, she volunteers for several local organizations including the Rochester Visitor ’s Bureau, the LPGA, the center for Missing and Exploited Children and town-wide clean-up efforts.

She’s also volunteered for the Special Olympics when it came to Brockport and for Beep baseball, a baseball program for blind children. Her passion for volunteerism is something she inherited from her parents, she said. Burns’ father, Leo Goodman, a contractor, was also a volunteer fireman and involved in the local business association where he championed the idea of building Park Ridge Hospital, which is now known as Unity Hospital. Burns is already working on the follow-up to “Tangled Justice”, which she hopes to have tout in June. And, once that novel is finished, Burns will get started on a third novel in the series. “Each of the books follows the life of the characters, but each has a distinctly different murder for the reader to investigate,” she said. “I like to incorporate surprise twists and turns and surprise endings. Burns will be teaching a memoir class at the Greece Public Library at 2 p.m. March 7.

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55+

driving

Is Leasing a Car Right for You? Buying a car was a no-brainer when you were younger — but is leasing a better deal now? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Y

ou likely made many decisions as a young adult that would have different answers now. Vehicle ownership may be one you’re rethinking. Is leasing a car better than buying? Local experts agree that leasing and buying each offer a few pros and cons. “On the surface, leasing a car appears a whole lot easier than going through the hassle of buying a vehicle and paying for all the maintenance and repair costs,” said Diana Apostolova, financial consultant with AXA Advisors LLC in Rochester. “Not only that, you get a new vehicle every three years or so, but you generally get to Apostolova enjoy a smaller monthly payment as well, and not to forget the brand-new car smell.” But at this age and stage of life, you may want to avoid the finance charges that leases incur. Even if you obtain a loan for a car, the interest will likely cost less than 18

55 PLUS - March / April 2017

the finance charges. You also may be hit with excess mileage fees if you are enjoying travel during retirement. Some choose leasing because they can’t afford payments on a car; however, if they choose to keep the car they’ve leased, the balloon payment at the end will likely stay out of reach, especially on a fixed income. “It may cost you a lot more than you ever anticipated,” Apostovolva said. “And possibly the biggest disadvantage of leasing, in my opinion, is that leasing doesn’t build any equity in the vehicle. Resale value, even negligible, can come in handy when you’re back in the market for another car down the road.” If you use the vehicle for a postretirement business, you may be able to write off the lease payments;

however, with purchased vehicles, you can write off mileage used for business, too. When leasing, “you may have a better grasp on your future expense projections than owning, as leasing would eliminate substantially all of the repair costs,” Apostovolva said. New cars are substantially more expensive than used, late-model vehicles. Purchasing a late-model vehicle reduces the amount of depreciation you pay and you will still have some warranty left. “If you plan on holding onto your care for 10 to 12 years, buy,” said Jeff Feldman, Feldman certified financial planner and owner of Rochester Financial Services in Pittsford. “If you have a mechanic you can trust, just bring it in for service and repairs.” If you’re unfamiliar with what you should look for in a used vehicle, it may help to bring along a mechanically-inclined friend to look over vehicles with you. Some people, however, want a new car every three years. They may want to maintain the prestige of driving a new-looking vehicle for entertaining clients. New cars also offer the assurance of the vehicle running optimally. For people with these concerns, leasing may be better since buying that often means the depreciation won’t be recovered. U l t i m a t e l y, deciding on whether to buy or lease a vehicle depends upon how long you intend upon driving the same car and how you plan to use it.


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55+

trend

Gray Divorce Figures on the Rise Financial implications more complicated when divorcing later in life, divorce attorneys say By Todd Etshman

T

hink you’re too old to go through a divorce at age 50, 60 or 70? Many people don’t these days. The overall divorce rate may have dropped but it’s gone up for seniors. According to figures from Bowling Green University’s National Center for Family and Marriage, roughly one in four divorces involves couples over 50 compared to one in 10 couples in 1990. Living longer is one of many reasons. Thanks to longer longevity, someone in their 50s could easily live another 25 to 30 years and that may be too long for a dissatisfied spouse to bear. Many boomers are already in their second marriage and not afraid of terminating another one if need be. It could be a consequence of the empty nest syndrome. It could be the result of a difference in spending habits. It could even be out of economic necessity. Whatever it is, society inflicts less moral judgment on it today than it used to, says Rochester attorney Sharon Stiller, a partner in the Rochester office of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP, who has had divorce clients in their 80s. Stiller said she felt that judgment

20

55 PLUS - March / April 2017

when her own parents divorced when she was growing up. Today, however, even the Pope is rethinking the Catholic Church’s position on it. Being happy is important. Pittsford-based Louis Falvo of Cross Roads Divorce Advisors LLC recalled when he was going through his own divorce in 2008 that while his attorneys were great at fashioning legal agreements, they weren’t nearly as adept at dealing with the short and long term financial implications of the divorce and those financial considerations are arguably the most important element. More than a house and a car put together, “Divorce is the largest financial transaction that someone will go through,” Falvo says, necessitating the need for financial planner assistance. Issues include property, spousal support, social security and health benefits. Men may have more of a financial advantage if the wife stayed home, raised children or interrupted her professional career. “Women’s retirement lasts longer and costs more than men’s,” says Falvo. “Expenses can go up 30 or 40 percent after the divorce. If the couple did any

financial planning prior to the divorce, the plan is irrelevant because it was based on the couple staying together through retirement until death.” Retirement assets including pensions, social security and marital property aren’t going to be the same and there is less time left to recoup the loss. Falvo recommends a gray divorce team approach that includes an attorney, a mental health professional and a financial professional trained in divorce finance issues. Falvo guides clients before, during and after the divorce to help comply with divorce agreement provisions and judgments, maintaining a budget, financial strategy and protection of assets in the future. “It’s very gratifying to help people make decisions in their best interest,” says the certified divorce financial analyst. “A lot of people [women in particular] just want to get out of the marriage but it’s critically important to make sure the resolution they come up with is sufficient to support them,” attorney Stiller says. It’s important because they may not be able to return or get into the workforce, may not have sufficient re-


tirement funds and social security benefits may not be enough to maintain the lifestyle they’re accustomed to. Divorce venues such as collaborative law and mediation encourage parties to work out their own resolution which can make post-divorce life a lot easier. Since New York is an equitable distribution divorce law state, that’s what courts will do unless the parties can reach their own agreement. A 50/50 split isn’t necessarily the best solution, however. Some give and take can be beneficial in the long run. Coming up with a mutually agreeable resolution with attorney and/or mediator oversight saves parties acrimonious courtroom battles and having a judge issue a decision on divisive issues. Stiller says people are more likely to comply with decisions they’ve made themselves and collaborative law offers a gentler and more dignified process that is particularly suited to gray divorce issues such as the illness of a spouse or their inability to work and make money. The illness of a spouse is a sad contributor to the increasing gray divorce

Longer life expectancy, illness of a spouse, empty nest, difference in spending habits are some of the reasons contributing to high divorce rate among boomers rate since older couples may divorce just to protect marital assets from being taken to pay for the health issues of a spouse. “If the health of a spouse isn’t good and they need long-term care, divorce may be an option. It’s out there,” says mediator Renee LaPoint who came from a mental health care background to divorce mediation. “It’s a sign of where we are in our health-cost system.” Elder law attorneys and financial professionals can help by creating asset protecting trusts for health care and

other issues such as the needs of adult children. Reducing the amount of assets a couple has in their name so that they qualify for Medicaid is a planning tool worth considering, the experts interviewed for this story said. No matter what the reason is for the divorce, LaPoint says there can be a lot of collateral damage and it can be hard to deal with. “A party can lose more than a spouse and money in gray divorce. Friends and family may take sides and adult children too. Having as big a support group as possible is a key to navigating the emotional side of gray divorce including friends, family, church and clergy, and community when the spouse they’ve paid so much attention to in the past is gone.” Corresponding with the increased rate of senior divorce is a rise in seniors re-marrying. It’s not uncommon for Stiller to see divorce clients return two or three times. Re-marriages are even more likely to end in divorce. People with assets to protect need an enforceable pre-nuptial agreement to protect those assets and the people they’ve worked so hard for in the past.

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21


Divorce: ‘A Major Financial Impact’ By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

D

on’t entertain divorce as a choice for improving your financial situation. It likely won’t, according to area experts. Jeff Feldman, certified financial planner and owner of Rochester Financial Services in Pittsford, advises clients to stay married for the sake of their finances, unless facing domestic or financial abuse. “People should not take divorce too lightly otherwise,” Feldman said. “It’s a major financial impact. A lot of people divorce for the wrong reason and they think things will be better if they divorce and from a financial standpoint, it’s a lot worse.” The old adage “two can live as

cheaply as one” holds some truth when it comes to utilities, shared skill sets and housing expenses. In New York, divorcing couples equally share marital assets, regardless of which person earned more. Any retirement accounts, including a 401K, 403B, IRA, or ROTH IRA plans, will most likely be divided. “If you’re on the receiving end you’ll have to decide if you should roll these assets into an account or cash them out,” said Diana Apostolova, a financial consultant with AXA Advisors, in Rochester. “If you decide to cash them out, you’ll

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Debts are also divided, so petitioning the court for division based upon income can help keep the division fair. She added that adjusting one’s lifestyle to one income, looking for employment (or more lucrative employment), and liquidating assets are all key to financially surviving divorce. In addition, people who still have minors at home may need consider curtailing their expenses, such as after -school activities. “You may have to consider how to save and pay for their college expenses, weddings and grandkids,” Apostolova said. “If you have disabled children, you may have to plan very carefully how and who will take care of them in your absence, including while you’re at work or if you were to pass away unexpectedly or expectedly, and the financial implications associated with each action.” Keeping the home may be very difficult. The home’s expenses, as Feldman alluded, may be too difficult. Downsizing may make

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more sense rather than rattling around in a large home alone. Trish Blake-Jones, owner of Blake-Jones Mediation in Rochester, helps couples work through the complexities of divorce. “The most important thing when you’re divorcing after 55 is you don’t have the same runway to recover financially as when you’re divorcing as a younger person,” Blake-Jones said. “It’s more deleterious at this age. A Bowling Green University study about divorce indicates that boomers are five times more likely to be in poverty if unmarried than if married.” Blake-Jones said that the largest segment of her clients are 55 and older, and most of those are women; however, women tend to not work through the divorce in a confrontational way. Instead, many women think of assets and debts in a more emotional way, such as who keeps the house. “Someone may be clouded by her sentimental feelings towards her home, but hasn’t thought about it

needing $10,000 in repairs in the next five years,” Blake-Jones said. “The cold, hard reality is that staying in a house isn’t usually the best idea. It may not make sense for a single person to maintain that asset.” Budgeting and understanding income versus debt can help many people better prepare for how their finances will look after divorce so they can make better choices during the process. Relying upon the other spouse to offer a fair settlement nearly always ends up with an unfair settlement. If both parties agree, that’s how the judge settles the divorce, even if one receives significantly more assets. Blake-Jones recommends seeking help from a certified divorce financial analyst to help understand the current financial picture and the outcomes of taking different steps related to divorce. For an amicable divorce, a mediator like Blake-Jones can help reduce the cost of the divorce since the lawyer is needed only to look over the paperwork. March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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55+

running

Running Prowess Older runners thrive in running-addicted Rochester By Todd Etshman

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ven if you’re not a runner, you’ve probably noticed there are a lot of runners and places to run in Rochester. There are young ones, old ones, fast and slow ones, committed competitors and casual joggers that come in all shapes and sizes. Senior runners are well-represented in the Rochester running community, too, a community that is well known for its running prowess. No one knows how many senior runners there are for sure but coaches agree there are more than ever before. The over 50 age categories are full in area races held throughout the year. Harder to count are the many who don’t feel the competitive need to run in them. “Rochester is one of the running hubs of the country. It has some of the best courses and best races in the U.S.,” says Genesee Valley Harriers running club (GVH) Coach Mike Reif. The club is one of only 22 in the country to receive USA Track & Field’s elite development designation. The club’s master’s teams have 24

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won numerous national championships in Reif’s 20-year tenure, including the men’s 60 to 69 cross-country team that won the eight kilometer at the National Championship meet in Tallahassee in December. Sure, the coach and club members are proud of their accomplishments. After all, “Bringing out the Olympian in you” is the club’s slogan, but the club is committed to helping all runners improve and realize their goals no matter how modest they may be. “We can help you no matter where you’re at,” Reef explains. Reif, 67, develops training programs for his club members depending on the distance they are training for. Motivation, clearly stated goals and a well-thought-out training program are keys to successful running at any level. “As a coach, I get a good deal of satisfaction from seeing other people succeed. I’m the type of person who likes new challenges and running does that for me,” says the USA Track & Field certified coach. Bill Clauss, 65, took up running in

his late 50s. “I run because I like it and it makes me feel good,” says the attorney and former high school football coach. It also brought out the lifelong, all around athlete’s competitiveness. Clauss credits GVH for helping him become the runner he is today. “The club is non-judgmental. It’s about fitness and enjoying life,” Clauss says. He likes that Rochester has an abundance of attractive running venue options. It could be the popular Cobbs Hill option, flat Erie Canal trails, hilly Ellison, Webster, Durand Eastman or Mendon Ponds Parks. Million dollar tracks abound at local high schools and colleges. Runners can be found just about anywhere from secluded forest trails to crowded thoroughfares. The right pair of shoes is essential no matter what the venue. In addition to being the place to get the proper footwear a runner needs, Fleet Feet stores offer much more than shoes, clothes and running gear. They also have training programs, coaching and race teams for all ages.


Area runners, from left, team captain Jeanne Herrick, Belinda Obrien, Sharon Moore, Carolyn Smith-Hanna, Cindy Ingalls. They won the USA Track & Field (woman 60-69) in 2015. Improvement is often found in a structured team setting but not every runner wants it or needs it to succeed. Runners are free to follow their own path. “I prefer to run alone,” says Barbara Kreckel, 76, of Perinton, another successful senior age group performer, who runs with her family’s golden retriever, Apollo, instead of with humans. “It is my time away from all obligations,” says the volunteer EMT. She enjoys her surroundings, the wildlife and WXXI programming as well during her runs of up to eight miles during the week. “I do not train for races [specifically], I do not know which former time to beat, but I am happy when I win my age class,” she says. The benefits of running for Kreckel include endurance, commitment, discipline, delay of aging and the “occasional” admiration by fellow runners half her age. Another high achieving senior runner, Dave Monk, 70, credits his informal running group, the Bagel Bunch, for his success in marathons

Bill Clauss, 65, during his run at Boston Marathon in 2015

and every other race distance from 5K on up. The group started in 1996 and meets at 7 a.m. at the Latta-Long Pond Plaza Wegman’s store. Teenagers to seniors like 32-marathon veteran, Bob Dyjak, 64, run different distances depending on their goals. Not surprisingly, the group gets its name from the bagel breakfast they have after the workout at Bruegger’s Bagels. Monk says he found support and encouragement with his fellow runners in the beginning and offers support to new runners and motivation for older ones to keep going today. The Bagel Bunch isn’t unique in running addicted Rochester. Other towns and locations have running groups too including the Gold Rush in nearby Irondequoit. They also meet bright and early on Saturday morning, at Cam’s Pizzeria, 717 Titus Ave. in Irondequoit. Monk’s advice for newcomers is to start slow and gradually build up a longer run base. “Join a running group if you are looking for encouragement and social contacts. It worked for me,” says Monk who is training for March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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Participating in the Tallahassee National Club XC Championship last December are local runners Tim McMullen, Bill Beyerbach, Gary Radford, Mark Rybinski and Gary Moore. his fourth Boston Marathon in April. While elite area runners continually defy age with their accomplishments and results, there are some aspects of senior running that can’t be ignored such as, in training hard (or even not so hard), there is a good chance of having some type of injury or malady that makes it hard to keep going every day. Going overboard with mileage in the golden years is not a good idea. For seniors, too much of a good thing really is too much. “At the first sign of injury you have to back off,” says local running icon, Jim May, 70, still one of the area’s best senior runners, longtime Webster high schools cross-country coach and founder of the 45-year-old Webster Turkey Trot held at Webster Park in November. The race was capped at 4572 runners in 2016, a figure great26

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er than the population of many small towns in the area that are also popular running venues with their own seasonal races. For seniors, May believes not running is also key to success. “As you age you need to look for different ways to stay fit to complement your focus,” says May, who in addition to a history of running has cycled all over the world and written two books with wife, Carol: “Bicycle Odyssey: A Pilgrimage to Discover the Real America” and “Bicycling the Underground Railroad: Following Freedom’s Trail from Alabama to Canada.” May recommends swimming (which he also coached) and another popular Rochester sport, skiing, both downhill and cross-country, for reducing the pounding tender senior

legs get on area roads and a variety of surfaces. May coached a lot of runners in his career and enjoys the bonds he made with his runners and opposing ones, too (such as this author). One of his top Webster runners, Dave Boutillier, owns Fleet Feet with wife, Ellen. Don’t pass up running altogether for fear of getting hurt. “It’s a myth that it’ll hurt you,” says Clauss. “Running actually improves the condition of your joints. I encourage people to get up off the couch and get running.” You don’t have to win a race or run a marathon but you may find you like the fitness benefit of it, the social aspect of it, the scenery or the solitude and there’s no better place to do it than Upstate New York.


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hobbies

Members of the Finger Lakes Knitting Club.

All About Knitting

Machine knitting group promotes knitting, camaraderie

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s with many hobbies, sharing machine knitting with friends makes it more fun. The Finger Lakes Machine Knitting allows machine knitters to join fellow “knitwits” in learning new techniques, solving machine knitting problems and tackling new projects together. Joanne Andersen, its leader, has been involved with the Cortland-based group since 1992. She had purchased her first knitting machine nearly a decade earlier and was hooked immediately. After settling in Cortland upon her husband’s retirement from the military, Andersen discovered Silver Needles Machine Knitting Club (also known as Finger Lakes Machine Knitting) and joined in. “Everyone helps everyone else,” Andersen said. “Everyone gets stuck on something now and then. The group is wonderful to pitch in and help each other.” Meeting monthly, the group of 30 sometimes takes on the same project for the month. Members suggest and agree upon what they’ll do next. Other times, the group members help one

another with different individual projects. Using a machine offers several advantages over hand knitting. Some feel that machine knitting can be easier on the hands than knitting manually. “It’s a lot quicker,” Andersen said. “You can be creative quicker.” She likes how the machine helps

her projects turn out more even, rivaling store-bought knitted items. Though machine knitting’s speed and consistency makes some people think it’s “cheating” over using knitting needles, Andersen contests the notion. “I challenge anyone to just sit

down and machine knit,” she said. “You have to know quite a bit. It’s like using a sewing machine. In a sense, they’re cheating also, instead of hand sewing. We’ve just found a quicker way to do it.” The group hosts a seminar in September which has attracted up to 100 people, some from as far away as California. The club also hosts a three-day retreat on Casowasco Lake in Moravia, from Oct. 27 through Oct. 29, 2017. “We always keep learning machine knitting and learn new techniques all the time,” Andersen. “It doesn’t get boring. It never does the work for you. It depends upon how much you put into it as to what you get out of it.” The group started in 1984. Members meet at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month except June and December at the Ramada in Cortland. The group considers anyone under 18 as an “honorary member” and minors don’t pay annual dues of $51.50. For more information, visit http://www.fingerlakesknitting.com. The website also lists machine knitting items for sale. March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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lifestyles

John Berndt has joined NYWCC more than a year ago.

Wining and Dining at Culinary Center New York Wine & Culinary Center becoming top destination point, in part thanks to new manager By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

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ohn Berndt has a liking for the finer things in life. It’s not about the expense of the item or activity as much as the appreciation for when something quality is done with care and creativity. Berndt, general manager of New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua for the past year, has been instrumental in stretching the reach and scope of the business. A staple in the heart of the Finger Lakes for the past decade, the mission was to create a gateway for people in New York state, nationwide and worldwide, to experience dynamic agriculture, wine, craft beer and food industries. After working in international hospitality, Berndt chose to come home and continue his passion for the center and upgrade its services for the industry and community. “Berndt has maintained the high-quality standard the center has enjoyed since the beginning, but in addition, he is a great marketer,” said John Urlaub, 57, owner of Rohrbach Brewing Company. “He is very proactive in devel28

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oping new events and programs to drive traffic to the center.” In one year, several aspects of the center underwent tremendous

John Berndt, 62, general manager of New York Wine & Culinary Center with a guest. “He is a great marketer,” said John Urlaub, 57, owner of Rohrbach Brewing Co.

change, giving it higher visibility in the area through more partnerships with community wineries, additional culinary events and greater employee knowledge about various parts of the business. “My brother has worked with Wegmans for more than 25 years and I would come to visit the area after being overseas for years. I would visit the culinary center and I was always impressed with what they did,” said Berndt, 62, of Bristol Harbor. “I was an unofficial ambassador when I would go to Oregon, Napa, Australia or New Zealand and see similar centers.” The center’s state-of-the-art facility overlooking Canandaigua Lake features a hands-on kitchen, demonstration theater, tasting room, private dining room, culinary boutique, and locally sourced restaurant, the Upstairs Bistro. While he was impressed, Berndt understood the Wine and Culinary Center might not be reaching its full potential. Step back and learn So when he arrived around


Thanksgiving last year as general manager, the first thing he did was spend months as an observer in the offseason. “I wanted to understand what the public thought of the center and what wineries and the agricultural community thought as well. No matter how good of a job you are doing, you can always improve,” added Berndt. “I wanted to see what the center had accomplished in its first 10 years and develop a strategic plan for what the future would look like.” In his observation, he noticed most people had positive comments about the center. However, there was a bit of confusion about its mission and goals, and how the combination of services like classes, the restaurant and programs connected with that mission. “We had to create a clear identity and increase the ability to serve the community and industry,” he said. Berndt also required that every new employee attend as many different wineries, tastings and festivals in the community as possible in an attempt to build relationships and a better sense of

the current winery landscape. “It was very much important to me that our employees understand the various roles from working a tasting room, attending and learning to teach a class and tending bar to being in our bistro,” he said. “It makes for a well-rounded ambassador.” Urlaub said the center showcases their products in the bistro and at special events. In addition, the staff benefitted from its many educational programs. “It is a destination for people interested in New York state and the outstanding agriculture and beverage production we have in the state,” said Urlaub. “It highlights and offers all state craft beverages and educates.” Bonding with agriculture As a farmer, Jessica Winum says the NYWCC offers her a market for products and a little time in the spotlight. For her business, Maplestone Farm CSA and Pastured Meats in Stanley, it’s truly a thrill to see their

name on the menu and to work with the center on events. Her involvement with the center coincides with Berndt’s presence at the business. “When we first met him at a meeting there and told him what we did, he was eager to foster more collaboration between the center and our farm,” said Winum. “So, I see in him an excitement for engagement with the local and regional community, and the leadership to give the staff the freedom to be forward-thinking in the ways they work with and highlight New York state agriculture. The center is incredibly important in our community.” While the year has gone by quickly, the center is not just resting on its success. It wants to be viable well beyond the current landscape. “We want to be just as relevant in the next 10 years as we are now,” said Berndt. “I am a very positive person and I think this can continue to be a positive vehicle in the community.”

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my turn

By Bruce Frassinelli Email: bruce@cny55.com

Growing Up in a Small Town ‘Along with my parents, the caring people of my hometown helped form me into who I am today’

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e seniors are constantly admonished not to live in the past. I agree, but I also believe it is fine to visit there from time to time. I was reminded of that again when I recently was guest speaker at my hometown’s historical society where I recounted some of my antics as a boy and teenager. What struck me were the smiles on the faces of many of my contemporaries in the audience who were vicariously living their childhoods through my experiences. I grew up in a small, coal-mining community in northeastern Pennsylvania. When I was a kid, the coal mines were petering out, and most of the miners had to find other jobs outside of the area or move to communities with more robust economies. It was pretty much of a foregone conclusion that unless I took over our family’s mom-andpop grocery store that I was going to make a career somewhere else. I wanted to be a French teacher and enrolled at a state teachers college about 40 miles away. When I graduated, I taught high school for a little more than two years, then went into radio and, finally, newspaper work. Although my jobs took me to a number of localities, I never forgot my hometown. What emerged as a final product had its molding origins there. First, I was blessed with parents who taught me the important values of life. They were immigrant Italians and came to the United States with virtually nothing to find a new life where they could

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Although my jobs took me to a number of localities, I never forgot my hometown. raise their children and succeed through hard work and enterprise. They taught me the value of being polite, kind, courteous, grateful and to repay my community for the opportunity it had given me to be successful. These were also the hallmarks of working in a small grocery store where the customer was always right. My friends’ parents taught me the graciousness of hospitality, something we were keen on, too. Anyone coming to our home was greeted with enthusiasm and given food and drink practically before they had their coats off. This was the reception we received when we visited friends’ homes, too. When I walked the streets of my hometown, I greeted everyone with an enthusiastic “Hiya,” and they returned the greeting. If I encountered more than a passing acquaintance, it is likely I would stop to chat. When I went to the local bank to make deposits for my parents, a two-block trip, it would sometimes take me an hour because of the number of conversations I had on the street or on someone’s front stoop. My mother always said she had thousands of eyes around the

community, meaning that other parents had my back just as she was looking out for my friends. God forbid, though, if I did something unacceptable, she would sometimes know about it and confront me with the grim details of the infraction as I walked in the door. At the time, this seemed oh-so-smalltownish, but as I look back on it today, I realize it was done in the name of love and caring. There were so many kind people who crisscrossed my life and had an impact on me. Several of my teachers were major influences. One appointed me to be the editor of the Junior High Chat, a monthly newspaper. This was the beginning of a lifelong fascination and love affair with journalism. My high school French teacher inspired me to major in French and to become a high school teacher, just like her. I was devastated when her tour bus crashed, and she was killed while on vacation in Switzerland. Along with my parents, the caring people of my hometown helped form me into who I am today. They gave me the grounding on the important things of life; they were there to knock me down a peg or two when I got a little too full of myself, but, above all, they formed a valuable support system. If I stumbled, they were there to help me get to my feet and encourage me to try again. I always remember the words of encouragement from my algebra teacher; “Reach for the stars, Bruce,” she would say. “Even if you miss, you are sure to pick up some star dust along the way.” I will be eternally grateful that I lived in such a community during my formative years, and I have always looked upon my hometown with the utmost respect and affection. My brother and his family and my niece and her family still live in my hometown, so I visit regularly. Regardless of how many times I do, when I reach the town limits I get a smile on my face and a lump in my throat, because I feel as if I am home again, just for a little while.


Request either or both of our free booklets from our website www.AlbrightBuild.com

James W. Albright, CAPS, GMB, CGR, CGP 5205 Johnson Hill Drive, Canandaigua, NY 14424 Cell (5850 230-4280; Fax(585) 396- 5879 albright1.j.s@gmail.com www.AlbrightBuild.com

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12/8/16 3:42


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cover

Leaving at the Top Dr. Nina Schor is leaving her position as pediatrician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital. She talks about her decades-long career By Mike Costanza

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hysician Nina Schor remembers that day back in 2006 when she first stepped into her office. As the newest chairwoman of the department of pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and pediatrician-in-chief of the Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, she relished the challenges ahead. “It was exciting, and yet…this was something very big,” she says. “You look at it and say, “If I fail, I fail really big.” Failure doesn’t seem to have been part of the picture. Schor has helped the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry’s (SMD’s) pediatrics department grow from 110 32

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to 175 faculty members — including 150 physicians — and taken its pediatric research programs in new directions. Her outspoken support for the construction of a dedicated medical treatment facility for young patients helped the Golisano Children’s Hospital obtain its own building. As that hospital’s chief pediatrician, she oversees the treatment of about 85,000 children each year. Schor has announced her plan to step down from her administrative positions in July of this year, though she will continue working in her field. The drive to succeed seems to run deeply through Schor. When she was growing up in Queens, her father, a Yale graduate with degrees in chemical and mechanical engineering,

strongly encouraged his two daughters to aim high. Her mother, on the other hand, offered unconditional acceptance. For Schor, it was a good balance. “I always think that it was my father’s approach that made me always reach for the next and best and higher, and my mother’s approach that said, “And, whatever comes of it, it’s OK. You’re going to be all right,” the 61-year-old explains. Upon completing high school at 16, Schor headed off to Yale to study biochemistry and music theory. After graduating early — cum laude — she enrolled in a combination M.D./PhD program, simultaneously studying for her M.D. at Cornell University Medical School and her doctorate at


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Rockefeller University. Her eventual aim was to conduct neurological medical research with the young. “Because of who I would like to spend every waking moment with, I decided to practice neurology with children,” Schor says. “They don’t hold anything back—what you see is what you get.” While doing neurology and pediatrics rotations at the famed Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Schor treated a young boy who was suffering from a cancer she’d never encountered before. The 5-year-old had been diagnosed with a neuroblastoma, which afflicts the cells of the nervous system. Unlike cancers that develop when mature cells have been subjected to carcinogens or other insults, neuroblastomas form while nerve cells are still growing and maturing. The affected cells do not develop normally, and multiply out of control. Neuroblastoma is among the most common of childhood cancers, and is often fatal. When Schor met her patient, his tumor had compressed his spinal cord, leaving him unable to move his legs or control his bladder

and bowels. “It was an emergency,” Schor recalls. “He was brought in to at least decompress the spinal cord, back then by surgical means.” At that time, surgery was normally followed by a standard treatment regimen. “We treated neuroblastoma at that point, and often quite unsuccessfully, with the same chemotherapeutic agents that we used for any other cancer,” she explains. The one-size-fits-all approach didn’t sit well with Schor. “Why would you treat something that never matured, that keeps dividing, that is a developmental arrest the same way you treat something that used to be mature?” she says. Though the boy was eventually cured of the cancer, the experience drove Schor to turn her attention as a researcher to neuroblastoma. As an assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she continued to study that form of cancer, along with other childhood afflictions and their treatment. At that time, the medical school’s

Lifelines

Name: Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D. Position: • Professor, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry • Chairwoman, University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Pediatrics • William H. Eilinger chairwomen of pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Pediatrics. Education: • M.D., medicine, Cornell University Medical School, 1975-1981 • Ph.D., medical biochemistry, Rockefeller University New York, 1975-1980; • B.S., molecular biophysics biochemistry, (cum laude), Yale University, 19721975. Post-doctoral Training and Residency: •Chief resident & clinical fellow in neurology, Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, 1985-1986; • Resident & clinical fellow in neurology, Longwood area program, • Harvard Medical School, Boston, 1983-1985, • Resident & clinical fellow in pediatrics, children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, 1982-1983 • Intern & clinical fellow in pediatrics, children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, 1981-1982. Personal: Enjoys playing jazz piano, writing poetry and watching the occasional Red Wings game at Frontier Field. Married, three grown children—two sons and a daughter. 34

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Winding Up on the Pitcher’s Mound On a shelf in Dr. Nina Schor’s office sits a baseball with a story. Schor had just joined the University of Rochester Medical Center as the chairwoman of its pediatrics department when the Rochester Red Wings asked her to throw out the first pitch at a game. “They had a fundraiser for our intensive care unit,” Schor explains. She thought she was ready to let fly at Frontier Field, but Schor’s two sons advised her to practice before heading to the mound. “They were like, ‘Ma, ma, do you know how far the distance is from the pitcher’s mound to the catchers mitt? You need to practice in the backyard,’” she relates. Undeterred, Schor headed off to the field at the appointed time and threw. The ball landed right in the catcher’s mitt. “I went back up in the stands, and I said ‘Did you see what Mom did?’” Schor says. Her sons had a ready answer. “They were like, ‘Did you see how far out he had to put his hand to catch that,” she says, laughing. “You can’t win.” fledgling pediatric laboratory research program consisted of four physician-scientists — including Schor — who worked in a 300-sq.-ft. lab. Though the University of Pittsburgh was nationally known for its research programs, the efforts of its pediatric department were a bit limited in scope. “What it had was very high-quality, but all of it was very directly clinical research — clinical trials, new drugs, whatever,” Schor explains. Valuable as those research programs were, they were not the kind of “bench,” or basic research programs that engaged Schor’s interest. Bench research can produce the foundational results from which new medicines and medical treatments might eventually be developed. “You’re looking into mechanisms of disease, but you’re not at the point where you’re ready to study some-


thing directly in the patient,” Schor explains. Schor helped focus the pediatric research department’s efforts in that overall direction as she advanced to progressively higher academic and administrative positions at the university. “For many, many years my group and I were looking at some of the toxic effects of chemotherapies,” she explains. “[The research] was not at the point where it was even near the patient, but it was driven by the problem and the question that the patient raised.” By 2006, Pittsburgh’s pediatric research program was a nationally recognized powerhouse. Schor had become the head the division of pediatric neurology, which had grown from a total of six to 21 faculty members. But she was ready for a change. “I began to get, I guess ‘restless’ is the right word,” Schor relates. “I realized that I really enjoyed empowering and networking and mentoring people — I guess that’s what management really is — creating a whole that’s greater than its parts.” When the chance came to head SMD’s pediatrics department, hold multiple professorships at that institution and become chief pediatrician at the Golisano Children’s Hospital, Schor saw a chance to act on her desires. Though the pediatrics department’s researchers had accomplished a great deal before she arrived, Schor felt the need to encourage more and better bench research. “Because we owe it to all of those people who came before us…we have to ask, ‘What could we do to make it even better than it was before,’” she says. For example, though individual investigators were doing high-quality work, they often did not realize how useful their efforts could eventually be. Schor set out to create a pipeline from the department’s labs to its clinics, and thence to the community. “You could actually design a therapy and bring it up through the point where you bring it out into the community,” she explains. “Building that culture was something brandnew in the department.” At the same time, Schor used her expertise and personal skills to mentor the budding physician-scientists

Physician Nina Schor in her office. She has helped the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry’s pediatrics department grow from 110 to 175 faculty members — including 150 physicians — and taken its pediatric research programs in new directions. in her department. Physician Jessica Shand, assistant professor of pediatrics in URMC’s division of hematology-oncology, first encountered Schor about 10 years ago, when she arrived at URMC as a pediatric resident. “It was clear that she had built her own research enterprise essentially from the ground up, and had been very successful at it, but was also very successful at being a leader, a teacher and a mother and wife,” Shand says. “That was exactly the kind of role model that I was looking for.” Schor took on the role of mentoring the young physician-scientist, and continues to do so to this day. That support helped Shand advance in her career, while fulfilling her own roles as wife and mother. “One of the major positive predictors of women in science and med-

icine is having mentors that tell them to keep going,” Shand says. Schor also gave her energy and time to raising money for the construction of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital building. Back when she arrived at URMC, the institution occupied one and a half floors of Strong Memorial Hospital. As one of the main drivers of the effort to construct a stand-alone, child andfamily-centered facility, Schor helped drum up popular and financial support for the construction project. Call it a variation of the fried chicken circuit. “I spoke to Rotary clubs, the Chatterbox Club,” she says. “I went to schools, and I spoke to alumni and potential donors.” In addition, Schor and others involved in the project talked to pediatric patients and their families about March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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the features they hoped to find in the new hospital. “The littlest kid said that the worst thing about the old hospital was that all the artwork was at eye level — for their parents,” Schor explains. The new, eight-story, $190 million home of the Golisano Children’s Hospital, which opened in July of 2015, is designed to meet kids’ particular needs for medical care — and more. “We created an environment that’s conducive to healing, allows families both privacy and comfort, and allows children to control some aspects of their environment, so that it’s child-friendly, and colorful and playful,” Schor asserts. Physician Mark Taubman, URMC CEO and dean of the school of medicine and dentistry, lauded Schor for helping make the new Golisano Children’s Hospital a reality. “It’s been the dream of every chair of pediatrics throughout the years to build a stand-alone children’s hospital, and the fact that it came to fruition on Nina’s watch is no accident,” Taubman says. “She championed the project and ensured that every detail was designed with patients and families in mind.” Oh, and the new hospital’s artwork? Cute figures and other features that kids find attractive are on various walls at eye level—for 2-year-olds. All along, Schor has continued to engage in the kind of research that first drew her. Last November, in recognition of her distinguished contributions to neuropharmacology and developmental neuroscience, she was named a Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science. Though Schor plans to leave her administrative positions this summer, her relish for research is unabated. “Once I step down, I will likely be taking a sabbatical to add new capabilities and collaborations to the work my laboratory does on neuroblastoma,” she explains. On her off time—what there is of it—Schor takes in the occasional Red Wings game, writes poetry and plays the piano for relaxation. Though she studied classical works, jazz seems to fit her busy lifestyle more. “I improvise—I sit and noodle around,” she says.


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book Jeanne Gehret, a Fairport resident, stands in front of a historical photograph of Leavenworth, Kan., at the City Hall there where she did research for her latest book, “The Truth About Daniel.”

Fairport Writer Tackles Life of Susan B. Anthony’s Brother ‘The Truth About Daniel’ is a book about the controversial brother of the woman who helped secure the right to vote for women. It focuses on relationships and maintaining a strong family bond in the face of disagreement By Deborah Blackwell

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he didn’t know it at the time, but the words of Jeanne Gehret’s high school English teacher stuck with her — so much so, they were the foundation for most of her life’s work. “My high school English teacher advised us to ‘pray for intellectual curiosity.’ It must have worked because it’s natural for me to wonder

what makes people tick and how they grow after surviving heartbreaking events,” said Gehret, 63, of Fairport. Her inspiration to pray for curiosity led her to follow her dreams. From her earliest mission as a youth minister and religious studies teacher to a public relations executive, writer, author, Susan B. Anthony impersonator, naturopath, reflexologist and massage therapist, Gehret answered her calls on what she refers to as her

“travel itinerary” of life. “My life’s path has been fulfilling my purpose,” Gehret said. “When I ceased to be a youth minister it broke my heart, but it didn’t work with my lifestyle and I decided I would always try to be a light in the world.” That light especially shines through her writing, which Gehret said has always been about topics that make life better for people. The steady mission brought her to her latMarch / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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Jeanne Gehret takes a minute to enjoy the garden at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Fla., where she researched 19th century artifacts for her latest book, “The Truth About Daniel.” est publication and first book written for adults, “The Truth About Daniel,” a story about the brother of suffragist heroine Susan B. Anthony, published this January. The book, reflecting her goal of helping to make life better for others, is ironically timely in the undercurrent of turmoil in our country today, she said. It explores the life of Daniel Reed Anthony who, according to Gehret, was a controversial person. She was inspired to explore his historical significance, traveling as far as Leavenworth, Kan., and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. for research and documentation. “In the years I have known Jeanne Gehret, I have come to greatly admire her diligence and perseverance in detailed research and historical writing,” said Mary Ann Sachse Brown, president of the Leavenworth County Historical Society. “Her enthusiasm for the subject matter is transferred to her readers, who, once they begin one of her books, cannot put it down.” This is the second book Gehret has written around the life of Susan B. Anthony. Her first book “Susan B. 38

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Anthony and Justice For All,” a biography for children about the reformer, was published in 1994 and can be found in more than 100 classrooms throughout the Rochester City School District. Gehret’s original fascination with the local historical figure became apparent in 1992 while on a book tour in Massachusetts for one of her earlier published books, “I’m Somebody Too,” a children’s book about codependence. She visited the Louisa May Alcott house in Concord and realized another historically prominent woman’s house was only a few miles from her in Rochester. From that moment on her intellectual curiosity about Susan B. Anthony was piqued. “When I returned to Rochester I went to the Susan B. Anthony House, was hooked immediately and became a docent,” said Gehret. “I started reading everything I could about her, then realized there weren’t any good children’s books on her so I decided to fill the gap and write one.” Gehret also began portraying Anthony in costume at schools, libraries, museums and historical centers throughout the country. “I saw her performance at the Adams, Mass., library in 2015,” said Eric Anthony of Boston, a descendant of Susan B. Anthony. “Her rendition of Anthony was accurate both from my knowledge of my famous relative and from certain prominent characteristics — that upright stance of stoic resolve in my own family.” After finding a dearth of information about Anthony’s brother Daniel, she moved forward with a book about his story. “This new book on Daniel Reed Anthony, while full of history, is really about relationships and family, and exploring questions about maintaining a strong family bond even when disagreeing,” Gehret said. “In part, those questions are answered by the book’s dedication, ‘To family, who pester you until you get it right.’” No stranger to getting it right, Gehret found ways to cope and overcome her own life’s challenges while raising a son with a learning disability — a common but unrecognized issue during her son’s formative years. When she discovered in 1988 that over a million other families faced a similar situation, she decided to write

Jeanne Gehret of Fairport, author and Susan B. Anthony historian, published “The Truth About Daniel,” her second book on the Anthony family this January. The story about Daniel Reed Anthony, the brother of the suffragist heroine, is full of history and explores questions about how to maintain a strong family bond when disagreeing. Her first book “Susan B. Anthony and Justice For All,” a biography for children, can be found in more than 100 classrooms throughout the Rochester City School District. about it. In 1990 she wrote and published her first book, “The Don’t-Give-Up Kid and Learning Disabilities,” after forming her own publishing company, Verbal Image Press. The enormous demand for that book actually paved the way for the Library of Congress to create a new classification for children’s books on learning disabilities, according to Gehret, one of the biggest thrills of her life. Five children’s titles and two decades later, Verbal Image Press has distributed over 110,000 books all over the world. In 2009 she also received the national Mom’s Choice Award. “I love getting to the heart of someone and trying to see things


through their eyes and explain who and what they are all about to someone else,” Gehret said. The motivation behind her action is visible through the twists and turns of her life’s “travel itinerary.” In addition to her career as a children’s literature author and publisher, she holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the University of Toronto, a master’s in theology from St. Bernard’s Seminary and a doctorate of naturopathy from Clayton College. She is also a certified reflexologist, a certified massage therapist and currently teaches an aquatic fitness class for seniors. Each Friday, she volunteers at The Tool Thrift Shop in Fairport, a charitable enterprise she co-founded that raises money to help seniors stay in their homes. “Jeanne is one of the most interesting people I know,” said Amelia Seiler, a friend from Wake Forest, N.C. “She is a multitalented woman distinguished by her zeal for life, her compassion for those in need, and her scholarly approach to everything she undertakes.” In her spare time Gehret also enjoys dancing in the group English Country Dance of Rochester with Jon Gehret, her husband of 41 years, and dancing in the Meryton Assembly, performing at local festivals, historical venues, colleges and libraries. Mother of two grown children, Gehret says she never lost sight of what’s in her own heart while chronicling the lives of others. “I’m inspired by the quote, ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world,’ she said. “If I see a need and know that I can help fill it, I swing into action, often by writing but sometimes just by being a friend.”

How to Find ‘The Truth About Daniel’ For more information on Jeanne Gehret’s book about Susan B. Anthony and her latest book “The Truth About Daniel,” visit www.susanbanthonyfamily.com. For information on Jeanne Gehret’s books about learning disabilities visit www.verbalimagespress.com.

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savings

Savings: What Happens if You Have a Late Start Expert: It’s never too late to start saving By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

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he concept of saving for retirement can sometimes be more daunting than saving itself. It’s especially the case if you decided much later in life to start thinking about your financial future. However, experts say even a later start in life past the age of 50 can still set you up for a better path in retirement. Katrina Smith, senior vice president of Wealth Management at Sage Rutty in Rochester, believes once people get over the mental anxiety of the saving, the rest is simple. “It is very easy talking to a professional and setting up a plan for your life,” she said. “The hardest part is not beating yourself up if you feel like you waited too long in life or the other side of feeling like saving will affect you living your life. Those two fears can paralyze someone from even starting.” Smith has a vast amount of experience with retirement planning and understands much of her senior clients’ challenges. She said one of the early barriers she encounters is getting someone to talk about their

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Smith money. A person’s finances can be one of the most personal aspects of their existence. “When you are talking to an expert about your finances, I understand that people feel a little vulnerable and exposed. Usually money is something you talk about only to the people who

you are closest with,” she said. “But you can’t let that fear keep you from making that first step.” When Smith first talks with clients, she asks many questions. That’s because in order to offer a person a plan that fits them, she says she must understand their lives, whether they want to be aggressive savers or play it safe. The first advice she gives people is being honest about their finances and realistic about their goals. “I can’t tell you to buy certain mutual funds or stocks, if I don’t know what a person feels most comfortable doing. With the market being an emotional being by itself, people also tend to forget that they lead with their hearts more than their heads,” said Smith. Nat Goodhartz is one of Smith’s clients. She sought financial expertise in her early 50s because she wanted to retire early. Smith helped make that happen. Goodhartz said she grew up with not having much so it was important to be financially comfortable. After already establishing a retirement plan from her job at the State University of New York at Brockport,


she wanted to find a financial adviser so she could transition to her greater passion, which was coaching fencing. “What drew me is that she didn’t speak in incomprehensive language that overwhelms you,” said Goodhartz, 74, of Hilton. “It’s not about being babied but having a common language to explain how I could retire in six years. She helped me find a path where I could be financially comfortable without taking risks.” After the first step of talking with a financial adviser and then deciding the plan that makes you more comfortable, the next step is even more personal — changing your mindset. Experts say not prioritizing your new financial plan has the same effect as not prioritizing New Year’s resolutions. “Anything where you don’t put your full effort toward your goal will make it harder to maintain and succeed,” Katrina Smith said. “You have to create your new pattern and follow through. Anything you can save even if you started at 55 years old will give you a little more cushion in life later on.” Even though you can save at any age, an early start remains the best option. That’s what Charles Willard did, another one of Smith’s clients. He began saving right after college. At the time, he wasn’t married, but knew one day he would want a wife, kids and the ability to support his family. “My folks lived through the depression and I was born at the end of it,” said Willard, 78, of Rush. “The way we received things in life was to save for them a little bit at a time. I remember being 8 years old and saving my allowance to buy a $5 baseball glove. I kept that thinking throughout my life.” It’s an example of how beginning earlier in life can pay off. “When you save in your early 30s, there is simply more you can do,” added Smith. “With the market being volatile, you can adjust to the ebbs and flow of it because you started decades before retirement. Plus you can make money work for you when you start early.” While her clients vary in personality and habits, she said people might be surprise, about what type of clients are hardest to manage. The most difficult people are the ones who are intrinsically saving their money.

Nocon

Expert: Be Your Own CFO ”Focus on your goals and objectives, and use money as a way to meet those. If you need your money in 10 or 20 years out, you shouldn’t panic when there’s market volatility,” said Nannette Nocon, a financial adviser with Ameriprise Financial Services in Rochester. “Just look at that long-term perspective. If you have a shortterm need, your money shouldn’t be exposed to short-term volatility. Also, look at doing comprehensive planning, because one point of life that changes has ripple effects on other points. Working with a financial adviser that fits your personality is important too. You have to make sure you’re comfortable communicating with your adviser.” Here are some tips from Nacon, if you started saving later in life: 1. If your employer has a matching 401 K, start using it “Those are the people who are natural savers and have been saving all their lives. It makes them feel good whenever they put money into their savings accounts,” said Smith. “When they start getting closer to retirement age and have to start taking the money out, they sometimes panic. It’s very hard to change that mentality too the other way.” If you are starting later in life, she

Nacon believes that you want to start putting a little money into your employer’s matching system as soon as possible. If they match up to 6 percent, start putting 3 percent of your salary in or at least whatever you can start. Then after that, the key is increasing every year. If you increase from 3 to 4 percent the following year and keeping going 1 percent higher each year then you will see a significant difference. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up saving too much money. 2. Test yourself In retirement, you will be living off a lot less than the income you are currently making. You should practice for six months living off what you think you need for retirement. After the experiment, it will let you know if you need to save even more money or if you believe what you are saving now will be sufficient. It is also a great test for people who think they are ready to retire. It will let you know what your financial quality of life will be. 3. Use technology Nacon said there are apps or websites that can help you track how you are spending your money. Once you recognize a pattern of financial leakage, it can help educate you on what financial challenges you may have on your horizon. “You have to be your own chief financial officer,” added Nocon. “Saving a little bit at a time even if you started later than expected can make a difference. You can never spend enough time thinking of your financial future. I have a philosophy that says raise the bar higher than your last personal best.” suggests first putting away a little bit a time. That will lessen the feeling of completely changing your life without making you frozen in time by standing still. Smith said put money into your 401 K and retiring system until it hurts. And if it starts hurting then you can pull back. “The bottom line is you want to be able to stay independent until your last day in life,” she added. March / April 2017 - 55 PLUS

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couples

Married and Working Together Laurie and Albert Broccolo combine talents to run business together By Lynette Loomis

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n the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, young girls were still largely expected to get married and have kids or become a teacher, nurse or secretary. Picture a girl wiggling in her seat and looking dreamingly out of her classroom window, longing to be outside, not inside. What was her destiny? Should she try to “fit in” or could she create her own path? Laurie Renée Ver’Schneider, now Broccolo, decided to create her own destiny. The thought of sitting at a desk all day appalled her so she enrolled in Finger Lakes Community College for environmental studies and horticulture, and was one of only two females in the program. “I loved the program because many of the classes were ‘hands on’ and held at places like Sonnenberg Gardens, or a local cemetery. We also did a lot of hiking,” she said. With dirt under her nails and hiking boots on her feet, she knew this was where she belonged. Ted Collins recruited Ver’Schneider and one African-American student from the college to join his team as soon as they graduated in 1978. “Ted said he believed in giving everyone an opportunity and wanted to stay ahead of the competition in hir42

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ing minorities. Was the world ready to embrace a woman entering a traditionally male-dominated field? Yes and no,” she said. On the positive side, Ver’Schneider recalls some of the women’s reactions when she went to work on their properties. “Most were surprised and many cheered me on. Conversely, another woman told me that it was unacceptable for a woman to be doing man’s work. She did not allow it. However, in most cases being female was an advantage because clients were more likely to be impressed and call the office or write notes about how I often outworked some of the men,” she said. Collins proved to be an effective mentor about the landscaping business including advice on how to work with male crews. He gave Ver’Schneider the opportunity to start a lawn care department. From there, she grew into roles in marketing, sales, hiring and training staff and budgeting. She became vice president of all tree and lawn care services that were by then half of the landscaping business that Collins founded. Match made in landscaping While Ver’Schneider was pursing

her landscaping career, Albert Broccollo was working at Taylor Instrument. “Laurie was a down-to-earth woman and not interested in material things. She loved nature and introduced me to hiking through muck and exploring bogs,” he said. They married and their journey began. In the mid-’80s, people became aware of, and concerned about, the extensive use of pesticides. Since Broccolo had an environmental science background, she developed programs of just spot treating weeds, crab grass and grubs using minimal pesticides. “The lawn care industry became very controversial and my colleagues and I founded the New York State Lawn Care Association to educate members and the community about the products we used,” she said. “The men who owned their own business or managed larger corporate companies voted that I would be the first president and spokesperson because I was a woman. A female businessperson balanced the media’s too-frequent portrayal of hysterical women. In the same vein, it shifted the image of men as caring only about money to men caring about the community,” she noted. Broccolo rose to the challenge


of being in the spotlight armed with facts. One of the times her profession clashed with the marriage was the creation of a lovely ring with an expensive opal crafted by Albert for Laurie. “She dug in the dirt, lugged trees and plants and dragged pallets all over the place. The stone became gouged (Laurie says ‘nicked’). I replaced the stone with a moon stone of lesser value but it was hard to see how my work of art became a victim of her labor,” remembers Albert. When Collins sold his business, Laurie and Albert already had one child and she was on maternity leave with her second child. “I was unhappy, so my husband suggested I start my own business. I was concerned that we would lose my steady income that contributed to our home and he asked, ‘What is the worst that could happen? We sell the house and move into an apartment.’ He took all the stress out of my decision and while on maternity leave in November of 1990, Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care was born.” Albert recalls, “Not surprisingly, her first employee was another woman. She has been determined to grow the business with equal opportunities for men, women and minorities. Lois Dannenberg has been an employee of Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care for 24 years. “Laurie has been involved in many women’s business associations. She is a sought-after speaker on environmental issues and is definitely a role model for women in non-traditional careers,” Dannenberg said. Advocate for women Another female employee — Jessica Demasio — echoes Broccolo’s support of women in the field. “I have worked for Laurie and Al for 13 years, starting off as a lawn technician and working in many other facets of the company. I have found my niche as director of sales,” Demasio said. “They have always given me the freedom to try out new things and give constant support of my position. Laurie has been a solid role model for me. I have truly admired her being a female leader in the green industry.” Both Broccolos agree that many people assumed the business be-

longed to Albert because he was a man. “I accompanied Laurie to arborist and landscape conventions. I did not work for her. Laurie would look at equipment or fertilizer products and ask questions, yet the sales rep would ignore her and talk to me,” recalls Albert. Laurie said she loved Albert’s response. “See my tag. It says spouse. I am not a landscaper, so please answer my wife’s questions directly to her,” he would say. Laurie says it was infuriating and Albert did a great job of shocking them to reality. “How they reacted determined if

The Broccolos have been married for 38 years and worked together for 23 years. I would consider doing business with them. An honest mistake was fine if they apologized but if their response was still off-putting, I would not consider doing business with them,” she said. The business grew quickly and after three years, Albert joined the company. He advised Laurie about the mechanical and technical needs of computers and efficient equipment. Albert laughs as he says, “The reason it worked is because I don’t tell her about plants and she doesn’t try to tell me about wiring. We each have our own areas of expertise and we respect those boundaries.” Both Broccolos have a passion for preserving the environment and repurposing things. Albert uses his talent in welding and his artistic eye to create unique works for gardens. “One of the projects I really enjoyed

was creating the wedding arch,” says Albert. The idea of creating an arch started a year ago as part of a landscape design request for Glendoveers, a venue for weddings. The idea was that the gorgeous natural surroundings could be enhanced for outdoor weddings and other events. The entrance to it is a natural arch with trees and Albert was inspired to create a metal arch to draw one in and define the space. “No hurry,” said the owner. “Do you know what that means to an artist? No deadline?” asked Laurie. Leaning toward green A few months ago, a friend of their son asked if it was possible to make an arch for his wedding in September of 2016. That was the deadline needed for Albert to focus on getting the design from his head to actual creation. He finished it one week before the wedding and now it’s going to its permanent home for future weddings. Albert also designs green roofs, which are roofs covered with vegetation that absorb and slow down storm water, help insulate from heat and cold and improve air quality. Laurie, Albert and the team also design rain gardens that help to divert runoff from parking lots. The rain washes off the roof and filters through plants and becomes bio-sealed rather than seeping into a basement. Another common philosophy of this couple is giving back to the community. Laurie is active in the Genesee Land Trust, Greentopia and Albert is active in the Rotary Club and storm water management for the town of Penfield. The Broccolos have been married for 38 years and worked together for 23 years. They would be quick to point out that not every couple can work together. They are designing a new home to be built on the property of the landscape company in Penfield. Laurie comments, “They say couples can only rarely work effectively together to build anything. We’ve come this far, so I think we can handle one last house.”

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addyman’s corner By John Addyman

Waiting at Supermarket’s Check-out Line

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Worse thing than waiting in lines? Floating around selecting things to buy

don’t like waiting in line. My wife and I have different philosophies when we go into a store. She goes to shop. I go to buy. There’s a huge difference. My sweet wife approaches a store and all its goods like a honeybee comes onto a field of flowers — she has to float above things for awhile, settle on one thing or another, then decide to get down to work and grab some pollen. This can take a long time. A very long time. I, on the other hand, channel my inner wolf. I get into the store, walk to the place where the goods are, pick out what I need, and zip to the cashier. I am ready to leave, ready to take my goods home and use them in proper 44

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modern man fashion. I have accomplished my purpose. No floating. No surveying the flowers. Grab. Buy. Go. This is the way shopping is meant to be. Why else would supermarkets put stuff on the edges of shelves? The people who run supermarkets want to make it extra easy for you to grab and go. I like that. But the problem comes when it’s time to check out. Like any reasonable male, I like to zoom into a short line where other like-minded members of my gender have queued up, and fire past the cashier, just as my brothers have done before me. I’m always a little half-surprised, half-disappointed that we who have thusly streaked through the line don’t meet outside for a group high-five, having accomplished our

deed in record fashion. Unfortunately, all of this rarely happens. That’s because certain people tend to populate the check-out lines in front of me. First, there’s the person who shouldn’t be in my check-out lane in the first place. I’m in the lane that says “Seven items or fewer.” I have one item. The person in front of me is unloading a full cart. And here, please forgive me, I tend to be a little demonstrative. “One,” I count as the first item gets pulled out of the cart. “Two,” I say as the second lands on the conveyer belt. “Three,” and so on. When we get to “eight” my voice tends to get a little higher, a little louder. Normally, I


get ignored. Heard, mind you — but ignored. Sometimes, the person in front will turn to me and say, “Sorry, I’m in a hurry.” This of course means that the person knows he or she is in the wrong lane, but what he or she is doing is more important than what you’re doing, no matter what the “rules” or societal conventions are. And invariably, if they turn around and keep unpacking and I keep counting, they finally turn to me and say, “You’re being rude.” I’m the one being inconvenienced, but because I don’t grin and bear it, I’m rude. Second, there’s the person who has to pull the right change, to the penny, out of a purse or pocketbook or deep jeans pockets. Years ago, this was a quick exchange because most of us learned how to make and count change. Not today, folks. The younger the person trying to make correct change, the longer the process is likely to take. If the young person can’t pull out the phone and fire up the calculator to figure out what pieces of change make what amount, we’re in for a long night at the checkout lines. A lot of young people get around this, of course, by always handing over bills or a debit card, but not always. A corollary to number two is the people who write checks at the grocery store. Why do people write checks at the grocery store? There’s always some kind of interrogation that accompanies the check-writing — “Is your license

My sweet wife approaches a store and all its goods like a honeybee comes onto a field of flowers — she has to float above things for awhile, settle on one thing or another, then decide what to buy. I, on the other hand, channel my inner wolf. I get into the store, walk to the place where the goods are, pick out what I need, and zip to the cashier’ number on the check? Do you want cash back? Do you have photo ID? Are you a known felon? Were you conscious when you got those tattoos on your eyelids?”

Third, there’s the person who has to talk on their phone while they’re in line with you. You didn’t want to, but you hear about Phoebe’s psoriasis, the mold brother Eugene has growing behind his ears, what granddad’s girlfriend told the sheriff’s deputies when she ran over the cow, and directions on how to unclog a very messy toilet. Been there, heard that. I can understand the necessity of some conversations in public because of emergencies, but why do they have to be carried on loud enough for the people in the parking lot to hear them? Last, there are some people in line ahead of me I enjoy. For example, I love kids who are being carried on Mom’s or Dad’s shoulder, and they’re looking behind mom or dad — at me. This is entertainment waiting to happen. I make faces. I bob and weave. I wink and smile. I put my thumb on my nose and wave my fingers. Pretty soon, the kid and I are communicating. Sometimes I even get a laugh. If I get enough laughs, mom or dad will turn around to see what’s going on behind them. “I’m a granddad,” I say, smiling proudly. That explains everything. Mom or Dad turns back around, and the entertainment continues. In times like that, I don’t care how long the line takes. I’m having fun. I just hope the people in front of me with the terrific kid aren’t going to make exact change or pay with a check.

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visits

Hill Auditorium is celebrated for its perfect acoustics with the acoustically best seats in the middle of the mezzanine.

10 Reasons People Love to Visit Ann Arbor By Sandra Scott

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nn Arbor, Mich., makes the short list in many categories: the happiest city in America, best place for singles, retirees, college students and foodies; plus, according to Frommer’s, it is one of the best vacation spots in the United States. Ann Arbor, with a population of about 110,000, has an amazing diversity of activities. There is something to tickle the fancy of any and all travelers be it sports, the arts, shopping or dining. Sports: The University of Michigan is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, which dates back to 1895. Best known is its football team which plays in the “Big House” that was built in 1927 and is now the largest

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stadium in the U.S. It could hold nearly the entire population of Ann Arbor. There is more for sport enthusiasts besides cheering as a Wolverine for the university’s many male and female sport’s teams. There is golf, biking, kayaking and skating. Museums: The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology houses a collection of 100,000 objects from the ancient cultures of Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Near East. The Museum of Natural History has exhibits on geology, the evolution of life, dinosaurs, and artifacts from human cultures around the world. They are justly proud of their newest acquisition — a recently unearthed mammoth. Check out President Ford’s baby book at the

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Gerald Ford Library. The hands-on science museum may be designed for the younger set but adults will also enjoy it. A r t : A r t i s e v e r y w h e re — indoors and outdoors. Wander the University of Michigan campus stopping to ponder Maya Lin’s unique grassy “Wave Field.” Maya Lin is the artist who designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington. It is just one of many installations scattered around the campus. Upon entering the University of Michigan’s Art Museum make a point to see “Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii’ who led friends through the ash-covered city. It is just one of the pieces in their 19,000 collection. There are many small

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“Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii’ is one of many pieces at the University of Michigan. galleries in the city center. Performing Arts: The classic-looking Hill Auditorium is celebrated for its perfect acoustics with the acoustically best seats in the middle of the mezzanine. Professional theatrical productions take place at The Purple Rose, founded by Jeff Daniels, a native who is an acclaimed actor, director and playwright. Daniels wanted to give back to the community by offering professional debuts. Enjoy live music at The Ark featuring a different artist each night. Artisans: The city is home to many world class artisans. Feng Jiang is just one of the violin and viola makers, a craft he learned from his father who was trained in China. Every Thursday there is a free tour of the Motawi Tileworks. The beautifully handcrafted works of art draw their inspiration from early 20th century decorative artists like Frank Lloyd Wright and Tiffany. Visiting fabric artist Mary Underwood is more than learning about her craft and appreciating her work; she often shares stories of her visits to Mongolia and other unique places in search of the best wools. Yankee Air Museum: World War II buffs and airplane lovers will literally take to the air at this museum. Wannabe aviators will be in seventh heaven with a flight on one of the museum’s vintage planes such as the Douglas C-47 Skytrain. The C-47 was the principal transport aircraft used by the Allies in World War II. In the Battle of the Bulge, the C-47s airlifted supplies to American troops trapped in Bastogne and was vital to campaigns

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World War II buffs and airplane lovers will literally take to the air at Yankee Air Museum. One of the planes on display — Yankee Lady — is a B-17, a transport aircraft used by the Allies in World War II. in the Pacific, including Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Burma and flying “The Hump” from India to China. Culinary: Take a culinary trip around the world without leaving Ann Arbor. At Ayse’s Turkish Café it is difficult to choose between Sultan’s Moussaka, Pepper Lamb Dolmas or Yogurt Kebab with Spicy Lamb. A similar problem exists at the Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant where it is said that people who eat from the same plate and break bread together will create a bond of lasting friendship. Select several items which will be served on a large platter along with typical bread called injera that is used to pick up the food. Get a taste of Far Eastern dining at the Slurping Turtle. Amadeus features Hungarian and other Central European dishes. Don’t miss the biannual “Taste of Ann Arbor” events. Nature: Ann Arbor is nicknamed the “Tree Town,” stemming from the dense forestation of its residential and park areas. Nature lovers should visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, where the conservatory has plants from three major climate zones including a bonsai collection in the Temperate House, plus outdoor seasonal gardens. The Nichols Arboretum has peony and lilac gardens along with an extensive collection of native and exotic trees and shrubs. Seasonal: Any time of the year is a good time to visit Ann Arbor. There is always something special going on from the Ark’s Annual Folk Festival in January to FestiFools (Ann

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Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant offers authentic Ethopian food and is one of many ethnic restaurants in Ann Arbor. Arbor’s spin on Mardi Gras) in the spring, to a multitude of events during the summer months that include art and music, to KindleFest, the annual, free, outdoor holiday market in December. Uniquely Ann Arbor: Look down to discover the Fairy Doors, miniature replicas of the doors to some of the businesses in Ann Arbor. Not only are the doors reproduced but with some it is possible to peek inside to see the miniature interior. Fairy doors began to appear unannounced in 2005. Like all fairies, the ones in Ann Arbor are surrounded in mystery. There is one by the Ark Theater and another at the Peaceable Kingdom. Take note of the historic sign in front of the Art Museum detailing the speech given by John F. Kennedy that led to the formation of the Peace Corp. The oldest observatory of its type in the nation with the third largest telescope in the world is at the University of Michigan.

10.

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long-term care By Susan Suben

The Trick to Long Distance Caregiving

I

Key to successful caregiving: Be prepared before a crisis occurs

n past articles, I’ve shared with you my caregiving journey with my mom. I took care of her long distance for 10 years when she lived in New York City. I visited her once a month, hugged her, communicated with her doctors, scheduled her home care, managed her finances and helped her move into assisted living then a nursing home. Long distance caregiving is challenging. Guilt, sadness and frustration are just a few of the emotions that can wash over you. The physical drain of traveling back and forth as well as its cost can take time away from your family and job. The trick to long distance caregiving is to be prepared before a crisis occurs. Put strategies in place so that the transition is easier for both you and your parents. Gather information. Get organized. Be a field agent to see how they are coping with day to day living. Have “the conversation” to find out what their wishes are should they become ill. Even though I consider myself young and healthy, I have started to put together a binder with important 48

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information for my son so that he will have everything he needs to help me care for myself when the time comes. Consider doing this for your adult children and I recommend you encourage your parents to create a binder for you. You may find some resistance from your parents. They may feel you are invading their privacy or suggesting they are not capable of managing their lives. Try to dispel those thoughts by assuring them that you are not trying to run their lives but rather that you want to be able to support them during a time of need just like they’ve supported you throughout your life. The binder should have basic information and copies of their birth certificates, social security and Medicare cards, and any military records. The most important documents/ directions to have in the binder are a power of attorney (POA), living will and health care proxy. A POA is a legal document that will delegate authority to you to make property, financial and other legal decisions for your parents. Without this document, you will not

be able to make any transactions/decisions should your parents become incapacitated. A living will ensures that your parents’ medical wishes are honored. The document states how your parents would want to be cared for in an emergency or if he/she is incapacitated. The living will covers such topics as resuscitation, desired quality of life and end of life treatments, including treatments that they do not want to receive. Lastly, the health care proxy is a medical power of attorney that lets your parents appoint you to express their wishes and make health care decisions if they are not able to themselves. The binder should also include a contact list for doctors, attorneys, financial advisors, accountants and banks with addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and account numbers. You can easily photocopy business cards and financial statements for all income sources, deeds, assets, investments, pensions, etc. A list of health conditions, medications, both prescription and over-


the-counter, and pharmacies should be documented and updated as needed. Utility companies should be noted as well just in case you have to assume responsibility for paying invoices. This is the gathering and organization phase of preparing to take care of your parents from a far. However, your most important role is field agent when you visit them. This is the time you will see firsthand how they are living. Are they wellgroomed? Is the house clean? Is the refrigerator full? Are they performing their activities of daily living well? Do they seem forgetful, depressed or anxious? Are they engaged in outside activities? If you notice subtle changes that cause concern, having “the conversation” becomes even more paramount. Knowing what difficulties they are experiencing or what their fears are will help you address them. Be patient and understanding. Don’t diminish who they are or what they are capable of. Maybe it’s just a question of talking to them more often or planning more visits that correspond with accompanying them to the doctor. Maybe they need someone to help clean the house or mow the lawn. As time goes by, they may need to move to a smaller home…maybe even an assisted living community. It might be a good idea to contact the office of aging to learn about senior living facilities or local geriatric case managers who can be your eyes and ears while you are not there Long-distance caregiving is difficult. But there is no single way to be a caregiver. Understand what your strengths, weaknesses and capabilities are. Plan accordingly so that you and your loved one can both live quality lives as caregiver and care recipient. Susan Suben, MS, CSA, is president of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and Elder Care Planning. She is a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. Contact her at 800-422-2655 or by email at susansuben@31greenbush.com. Ideas for this article came from Sheila Cevera’s presentation, Alternative Solutions for Long Term Care.

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last page Nannette Nocon, 55 By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

Financial planner and Athena Award recipient explains her love for Rochester and why she is passionate about mentoring other women Q. How did it feel to win the Athena Award? A. It was so interesting because you have all these amazing women in one place that are nominated and you are just happy to be in the company of incredible people. You never know who is going to be honored with the award until they start reading the winners’ resume. I was sitting down listening and all of a sudden as I was hearing the biography and I was just in shock realizing that they were talking about me. I think I went blank for a second because I was humbled and very touched to be selected. A friend called me last year and said, ‘I’d really like to nominate you for this, and I need to have names of people that you’ve mentored.’ I was pleasantly surprised that I was among the people selected from a lot of accomplished people. I’ve been to several of the luncheons before to honor the women. I’m just grateful they included me. Q. What are some of the reasons you give back? A. We are all a community here. Nobody got to where they are today alone. There were so many people who have been involved in my success and I truly believe it is the right thing to do to give back to others. Everyone should be sharing their thoughts, ways to improve and their personal stories to others as a way to help. Q. How do you go about helping your community? A. My passion is mentoring other women whether they are members of my staff or others out in the community. Among my staff, I help them with their continuing education whether that is a bachelor’s degree or master’s. If they work hard and do their best, I pay for their education. I really believe that is the key and I wouldn’t want fi50

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nancial burdens to hold anyone back. When I was young, my father died early when he was 39 years old so my mother raised us by herself. She would not have been able to help me with my education if I didn’t receive the educational scholarships. I’m glad I’ve mentored people, because I’m genuinely interested in helping people reach their fullest potential. I think everyone could use a hand, and if we can help each other out, that’s a good thing. I also give back to the Rochester arts community because I think it is a real jewel here that people should really appreciate. Q. What has been the reason for your business success? A. I credit a lot of things. First, I am a Cornell University alumnus. There are so many of them who have become my clients because they gave me a chance decades ago and they trusted me. That kind of support early on was incredible. I have a special connection to the school and the people I have met there. One of the women there interviewed me when I was 15 years old about coming to the school and she became my second mother. She even has the same birthday as my mother. Also to go back to the idea that you can’t do it alone, my four siblings always champion me and refer me to people. And when you do a good job, word of mouth becomes your friend. I have never been the kind of person who actively markets or advertises. I don’t even like to ask my clients for referrals because I believe it should be confidential who you are working with unless they want to recommend you to others. Q. You often talk about your love for Rochester. What about the community impacts you? A. My family came here in 1976 and I attended St. Agnes High School. The

Nannette Nocon is the founder of Nocon & Associates, Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., in Rochester. She recently received the Athena Award, presented by the Women’s Council, an affiliate of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. nuns were so warm and welcoming and so were the other students. That set me up for an incredible love affair with Rochester. I ran for student senate as a high school senior and won. Coming here from the Philippines it was such an incredible feeling that you could just come to America, put your best foot forward and great things could happen to you. Rochester will always be a special place for me. Q. What do you do with your spare time? A. My husband and I enjoy the arts all of Rochester. We attend the Nazareth College Arts Center, Geva and all the incredible arts that you can find here. We live in downtown so we can walk to so many venues. People should really take advantage. There are not many places where you can see high quality plays and musicals, find a parking spot right around the corner and it only takes you 15 to 20 minutes to get there.



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