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Where to Downsize in Rochester? We Spoke with Experts Savvy Senior: Social Security Advice for Soon-To-Be Retirees


55 PLUS Issue 48 November / December 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Bike Ride

Dr. Bill Valenti Rochester physician, a pioneer in the battle against HIV/AIDS, shares in a new book his fight to treat AIDS patients in the early days

Friends bike around Lake Huron: Â 960 miles in 23 days

Second Act Brockport mayor enjoying politics — after teaching more than 30 years

Traveling Solo Solo Senior Travelers makes journeys a group effort

Susan Suben: 20 Questions to Ask Your Parents

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Where to Downsize in Rochester? We Spoke with Experts Savvy Senior: Social Security Advice for Soon-To-Be Retirees



Nov/Dec 2017

PLUS Issue 48 November / December 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Bike Ride


Dr. Bill Valenti Rochester physician, a pioneer in the battle against HIV/AIDS, shares in a new book his fight to treat AIDS patients in the early days

Friends bike around Lake Huron: 960 miles in 23 days

Second Act Brockport mayor enjoying politics — after teaching more than 30 years

Traveling Solo Solo Senior Travelers makes journeys a group effort

Susan Suben: 20 Questions to Ask Your Parents




Savvy Senior 6 12 ADVENTURE Financial Health 8 • Friends bike around Lake Huron:

Dining Out 10 — 960 miles, 23 days My Turn 28 16 WORKFORCE Addyman’s Corner 47 •More mature women working Long-term Care 48 18 ANCESTRY

• Delving into the world of genealogy

Last Page Q&A Dan Duprey, an engineer and president of a large firm in Rochester, talks about working nearly 30 years for the same company and what he thinks of millennials 4

55 PLUS - November | December 2017


• Small nest egg? You still have time


30 30 VOLUNTEER • Volunteers make all the difference at Jazz 90.1

37 LEGAL • Who will hold your POA?

39 GOVERNING • Brockport village mayor enjoying politics — after more than 30 years in teaching


• Where to downsize in Rochester?

• Older students take to the classroom for refreshing learning experiences



• Too much stuff in your life?

• G.R.A.P.E. publishing elder directory


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November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


savvy senior By Jim Miller


Social Security Advice for Soon-To-Be Retirees

eciding when to begin collecting your Social Security benefits could be one of the most important retirement decisions you’ll make. The difference between a good decision and a poor one could cost you tens of thousands of dollars over your retirement, so doing your homework and weighing your options now is a wise move.

What to Consider

As you may already know, you can claim Social Security any time between the ages of 62 and 70, but each year you wait increases your benefit by 5 to 8 percent. But there are other factors you need to take into account to help you make a good decision, like your health and family longevity, whether you plan to work in retirement, along with spousal and survivor benefits. To help you weigh your claiming strategies, you need to know that Social Security Administration claims specialists are not trained or authorized to give you personal advice on when you should start drawing your benefits. They can only provide you information on how the system works under different circumstances. To get advice you’ll need to turn to other sources.

Web-Based Help

Your first step in getting Social Security claiming strategy advice is to go to to get your personalized statement that estimates what your retirement benefits will be at age 62, full retirement age or when you turn 70. These estimates are based on your yearly earnings that are also listed on your report. Once you get your estimates for both you and your wife, there are many online tools you can turn to that can compare your options so you can make an informed decision. Some free sites that offer basic calculations include AARP’s Social 6

55 PLUS - November | December 2017

Security Benefits Calculator (AARP. org/socialsecuritybenefits), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Planning for Retirement tool ( and SSAnalyze that’s offered by United Capital ( But if you want a more thorough analysis check out Maximize My Social Security ( or Social Security Choices (, which both charge $40. These services, which are particularly helpful to married couples as well as divorced or widowed persons, will run scenarios based on your circumstances and show how different filing strategies affect the total payout over the same time frame.

Personal Advice

If you want human help, there are specialized firms and financial advisers that can advise you too. One such firm is Social Security Solutions (SocialSecuritySolutions. com, 866-762-7526). They offer several levels of web-based and personalized service (ranging from $20 to $500) including their $125 “Advised” plan that runs multiple calculations and comparisons, recommends a best course of action in a detailed report, and gives you a one-on-one session with a Social Security specialist over the phone to discuss the report and ask questions. Or, you can get help through a financial planner. Look for someone who is a fee-only certified financial planner (CFP) that charges on an hourly basis and has experience in Social Security analysis. To find someone, use the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors online directory at, or try the Garrett Planning Network (, which is a network of fee-only advisers that charge between $150 and $300 per hour.

55PLUS Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo

Writers & Contributing Writers Deborah J. Sergeant Ernst Lamothe Jr., Jacob Pucci Christine Green, John Addyman, Janet Olexy, Lynette M. Loomis, Nancy Cardillo


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


Anne Westcott, Denise Ruf 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.

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November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


financial health By Jim Terwilliger

Roth IRA vs. Roth 401(k): Much the Same … but Different


n past columns, we have commented on the positive virtues of the Roth IRA and why it is one of the greatest gifts bestowed by Congress on the American taxpayer. It allows one to save and invest over a working lifetime in an account where the income, appreciation and distributions are never taxed as long as certain rules are followed. What’s not to like about a retirement account where a dollar can grow tax-free from, say, a handful of pennies and command a full dollar’s worth of spending power? Roth IRAs were introduced in 1997. Four years later, Congress added icing to the cake when it added the option of a tax-free Roth feature to employer retirement plans. Note that employers are not required to offer the Roth version. Because of that, some folks do not have access to a Roth 401(k). Every working person has access to a Roth IRA either via contribution or conversion. Although both types of plans have been in place for several years, much confusion about the similarities and differences still exists. The purpose of this piece is to help reduce some of that confusion. Maximum Annual Contribution. The Roth 401(k) is the clear winner here. Maximum annual contributions follow the same rules as the traditional 401(k). They are indexed for inflation and currently are $18,000 with an additional catch-up contribution of $6,000 allowed for those aged 50 and over. Annual limits for Roth IRA contributions are also inflation-adjusted and are capped at $5,500 and $1,000, respectively. Contributions to either cannot exceed annual earned income. You can make contributions to both types of plans in any given year, subject to the limitations mentioned here. The Roth 401(k) is an employ8

55 PLUS - November | December 2017

er-sponsored retirement plan. The Roth IRA is an individual retirement plan. The two operate independently. Another route to adding money to a Roth-type account is through a conversion. This is generally a taxable event and is accomplished by transferring money from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA or from a traditional 401(k) to a Roth 401(k). There is no ceiling on the amount that can be converted. Income-Related Limitation. The Roth 401(k) again is the winner. There are no income ceilings that reduce or eliminate the ability to contribute.

Not true for the Roth IRA. For 2017, the ability to contribute phases out to zero in the $186,000-$196,000 Adjusted Gross Income range for married-filing-joint taxpayers and in the $118,000-$133,000 range for single taxpayers. There are no income-related limitations for conversions.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). The Roth IRA is the winner

here but just barely. RMDs are not required for Roth IRAs. Oddly enough, RMDs are required for Roth 401(k) plans starting at age 70-1/2, although

You’re not alone.

if the participant is still working at the company holding the 401(k), distributions generally are not required until retirement. The remedy for Roth 401(k) RMDs is simple. At retirement, just roll the Roth 401(k) over to a Roth IRA and the requirement for RMDs disappears. It is best to open a Roth IRA at least five years before such a rollover. This will ensure that all distributions from that account after age 59-1/2 are “qualified.” The “clock” for the rolled-over funds is set by when a Roth IRA was started. The subject of qualified distributions and the Roth “clock” can get quite complicated. We’ll leave that conversation to another day. RMDs for Beneficiaries. Nonspouse beneficiaries must start taking RMDs the year following the year of death. An inherited Roth IRA is established to receive a deceased owner’s Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) assets. A spouse can roll over a deceased spouse’s Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) into his/her own Roth IRA and not be faced with RMDs.

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Contributions after Age 70-1/2.

There is no winner or loser here. As long as you are receiving earned income, it is permissible to make contributions to both types of Roth accounts even if you are over age 70-1/2. Who Can Contribute? Anyone who receives earned income can contribute to a Roth account as long as other limits are honored. This includes folks working for an employer and receiving W-2 wages as well as others who are self-employed. For the latter, a solo Roth 401(k) can be established, which follows all the other rules/limits as a typical employer Roth 401(k) plan. Judicious use of these two Roth vehicles can make a marked difference in the success of one’s retirement-savings strategy. Understanding the similarities and differences between the two is key. Partner with a trusted financial planner to make them work best for you. James Terwilliger, CFP®, is senior vice president, and financial planning officer, at Wealth Strategies Group, of Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at 585-419-0670 ext. 50630 or by email at

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November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


DiningOut By Jacob Pucci



Aurora Inn Dining Room Aurora restaurant: Sophisticated but not stuffy — with great locally sourced food and views of Cayuga Lake


ood always seems to taste better when paired with a great view and while dinner at the Aurora Inn Dining Room would still taste good with the view of a drab wall, a view of the sunset over Cayuga Lake doesn’t hurt. Built in 1833, the Aurora Inn is a prime example of Federal-style elegance. It’s sophisticated, yet not stuffy. My dining partner and I played a quick game of chess in the adjoining parlor (I lost) as we waited for our table. It was an unseasonably warm fall evening and we, like just about every other diner, chose to sit on the lakefront veranda. The menu is billed as “refined American” and sourced from producers and purveyors from across the Finger Lakes and Central New York.


55 PLUS - November | December 2017

The dinner menu is not long — five appetizers, seven entrees, a few soups and salads — but it changes frequently and in the world of menu options, quality is much more important than quantity. Our dinner started with a pair of cocktails (largely made with locally sourced liquor) as well as homemade bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar from F. Oliver’s, a Finger Lakesbased gourmet purveyor. We were tempted to start our meal with a platter of locally made cheese and house-made charcuterie, but we opted for the smoked salmon with capers, blistered cherry tomatoes, sweet pickles and a garlic and tarragon puree. The salmon was only lightly cold-smoked, resulting in a final product with a texture close to

raw that melts in your mouth like a well-crafted piece of sashimi. The slight anise flavor from the garlic and tarragon puree played well with the sweetness from the pickles and tomatoes, while the bright acidic pop of the capers was a complementary pairing with the fish. The duck breast ($28) is served one way — seared to crisp the fatty skin and served rare. Duck is a fascinating meat, because it is like chicken or turkey when roasted whole, but a duck breast behaves more like a beef steak, with a rich, slightly liver-y flavor to boot. At Aurora Inn, the duck was joined by honey roasted carrots as sweet and addictive as candy and a butternut squash polenta that was as smooth as ice cream and tasted like

fall. A scattering of baby greens on top were spicy and bright. At this point in late September, the menu had turned the page to fall: Other entrée offerings included pot roast with root vegetables, pasta bolognaise with sirloin and pork, and pappardelle pasta with mushroom and leek ragout. However, as the sun beat on Cayuga Lake and temperatures danced around 80 degrees for most of our meal, it was clear summer still had a little fight left. So the seared diver scallops with sweet corn puree, truffle and summer beans ($32) was a natural choice. Corn is a wildly underrated ingredient that’s far too often reduced to at best, a backyard barbecue offering. But here the corn was presented as both whole kernels and a fresh, sweet puree where the pure flavor of the corn is on display. It served as a well-trained second fiddle to the trio of scallops, the deep brown sear of which was a testament both to the quality of the seafood and the chef’s skill. The scallops themselves were plump, firm and perfectly cooked. The Aurora Inn’s chocolate torte ($9) is a cross between a dense chocolate cake and a Snickers bar. In this case, the layers of rich chocolate were sandwiched around a gooey layer of salted caramel and almonds. The whole bar was coated in chocolate ganache with a quenelle of dulce de leche ice cream garnished with chocolate cookie crumbs and hibiscus served alongside. The chocolate torte was far more decadent than my candy shop comparison and the homemade ice cream was velvety, sweet and satisfying. The expected tartness of the hibiscus didn’t come through as much as expected, but this dessert was still a star. The Aurora Inn Dining Room accomplishes both fine dining with an extensive wine list and the kind of place to dine on banana bread French toast or eggs Benedict at brunch on the veranda. It’s elegant without being stuffy because the kitchen lets the top-quality local ingredients do the talking without being fussy. It’s a restaurant built for all occasions with a view you’ll want to enjoy all day long.

An appetizer of cold-smoked salmon with a vibrant garlic and tarragon puree, blistered cherry tomatoes, capers and sweet pickles.

The seared duck breast is served rare with sweet roasted carrots and butternut squash polenta.

Three seared scallops are served on a sweet corn and truffle puree and topped with corn and summer beans.

Aurora Inn Dining Room

Chocolate torte filled with salted caramel and almonds and covered in chocolate. It’s garnished with dulce de leche ice cream and hibiscus.

Address: 391 Main St., Aurora Phone: 315-364-8888 Website: Hours: Breakfast: seven days a week, 7 - 10 a.m. Brunch: Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Dinner: Sunday – Thursday, 5 - 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS




No Stopping These Ladies 60-plussers conquer biking around Lake Huron By John Addyman


or starters, they pedaled the length of the Erie Canal, from Albany to Buffalo — 400 miles. That was in 2015. Last year, they took their bikes around Lake Ontario — 604 miles. Last summer, Carol Peterson and Kim Corcoran, both in their 60s, biked around Lake Huron — 960 miles, 23 days. “We were inspired by a guy who did all five Great Lakes,” said Corcoran, who lives in Kendall. “To plan, you have to have a starting point, and if you cover 30-50 miles per day, what’s available to stop at? Are there towns around? Where does 30 miles or 50 miles put you? Is there a bed and breakfast there? Is there a hotel? It’s quite a project.” Corcoran is retired, sort of. She is a professional tutor, mostly for students in New York City, whom she covers over Skype. But she’s also a principal of the Kendall Lawn Chair Ladies, and a Sunday afternoon radio personality on Jazz 90.1, where she hosts a Broadway show. 12

55 PLUS - November | December 2017

Carol Peterson and Kim Corcoran, both in their 60s, biked around Lake Huron last summer — 960 miles, 23 days Peterson, a 27-year Xerox employee who left the company as an information security manager, lives in Caledonia. She’s busy with a granddaughter, an elderly mom, and a disabled brother. Since Xerox helped her retire, she’s been very busy. The pair met when the radio station was doing a fund drive and Peterson co-hosted a program with Corcoran. After that, they’ve become friends and adventure buddies. Planning for the bike hike around Huron began last winter over a large jug of margaritas. “We didn’t want to do Lake Erie,”

Corcoran said. “Erie is bigger than Ontario with a lot more urban areas. We’d have to go to Detroit to start.” “That wasn’t too exciting,” said Peterson. “So we decided on Huron,” Corcoran said, which meant the tour would start in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, dip into Michigan, and finish in Canada. “More bucolic — a lot of pretty scenery. Not many towns to stop in. Cornfields as far as you can see. Lots of wind — lots of headwinds.” The two pedaled an average of 43 miles per day for 23 days. They spent a lot of chancy moments getting passed by 18-wheelers and in Canada, logging trucks. In Michigan, there was a shoulder on the road, but not in Canada. But in Michigan, as they learned the hard way, half the roads aren’t paved. Both women rode “hybrid” bikes. “Not as heavy as a mountain bike or as fragile as a road bike,” Peterson explains. The bikes cost $500 to $750, and were equipped with the brightest

lights available. After all those margaritas, planning started in January, mapping the route, calculating daily mileage, and finding accommodations along the way, favoring B&Bs and using motels — and a camp or two – only when necessary. In January, the two made phone calls to see if all the places they wanted to stay in still existed. The trip was totally booked in February. Between February and the kickoff date in August, the bikers got in shape. After trips in 2015 and 2016, they knew what was required. “The very first year we did Erie Canal, 400 miles, an 11-day trip,” Peterson said. “I was convinced sometime during the trip one of us was going to get up in the morning and say, ‘I just can’t do this again. I can’t get on that bike another day.’ That was amazing to me. We never got up a morning and said, ‘I can’t do it.’ Every morning we got up and did it.” Corcoran said there isn’t a lot of information about how to train for a 960-mile ride through Michigan and Canada. “Most of the information is about training on road bikes for racing,” she said. “You have to make up

Planning for the bike trip started in January, mapping the route, calculating daily mileage and finding accommodations. Between February and the kick-off date in August, the bikers worked on getting into shape your training as you go along. You say, ‘Oh, I have this day free — I’m going to do 50 miles. The next day, I only have an hour, I’m going to bike as fast as I can for that hour.’”

Generate interest Once the trip got started, they enjoyed — and began to detest — the scrambled eggs and bacon that were served just about every morning. “We ate 35 pounds of bacon on the trip, I swear,” said Peterson.

If they were lucky. When they got to one motel after the ferry was late, all that was available for them to eat were chicken fingers and French fries from the snack bar. At a camp, they could order anything from the menu they wanted, as long as it was spaghetti. But they were insome wonderful accommodations, too. In Kincardine, Ontario, Canada, right on the lakefront of Lake Huron, the B&B hostess had created a magical, nautical fairyland as well as wonderful meals. The duo even developed some fans along the way. “We’d be riding and see a coffee shop and stop and people would see the bikes,” Peterson said. “They’d ask, ‘Where you going? Where did you come from?’ They asked a lot of questions. We met strangers on the road who were flabbergasted. It’s pretty cool telling them about our trip.” To cover all that distance on two thin wheels, the women made sure their bikes were in prime shape. “Every fourth town we’d stop in a bike shop for a tune-up,” Corcoran explained. “We don’t change tires.”

Scenes of a Bike Trip Around Lake Huron

Route with 23 stops around Lake Huron followed by Kim Corcoran and Carol Peterson. Accommodations were very simple and the pair was always happy to find laundry machines, which didn’t happen often. November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


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Still, they both had problems. When Peterson’s bike went lame, the owner of the motel — who also owned a garage — went downtown to bring back a mechanic to fix the bike. When Corcoran’s bike lost a gear, the owner of the Brimley Motor Inn happened to be a biker and fixed the bike before they had finished unpacking. Corcoran carried small indexed maps for the trip, but the duo relied on — and frequently cursed — Google Peterson Corcoran Maps, which sent them up we did it. Many people have asked us deer trails and down dirt roads. The women traveled very light- since the trip, ‘I know you had a lot ly, washing a change of clothes every of hills. How many did you walk up?’ night. It was priceless when they got We did not walk up a single hill. Not a single hill. We may have been going someplace with a laundry. In the end, they proved some- 4 mph, but we got up the hill.” “A trip like this makes you come thing to themselves. Get to a certain age and the things that keep you go- back and feel like you’re invincible,” ing are social activity, exercise and said Corcoran. “Physically, it was wonderful. We’re both past 60, but we challenges. “We learned that we’re tougher can go out and do 50 miles, then get than we thought,” said Peterson. “We up the next day and do another 50.” Corcoran says she runs into bikhad some really grueling days, and 14

55 PLUS - November | December 2017

Call 585-760-1300 to schedule a tour. 9/12/17 9:04 AM

ers who say, “I’m going to do a ‘century’ [100-mile trip].” “Fine, go ahead and do a century,” she said. “Then wake up the next morning and do another one, and then another one. It’s a different kind of challenge. You stay alive on your bike with an 18-wheeler next to you, with the wind, with the rain, with the bad food — and keep on biking.” “We did it. It’s powerful. It’s a powerful feeling,” said Peterson. “It’s energizing.” “At our age, we did it,” smiled Corcoran. “I’m not going to sit around.” “We’re OK; we’re not dead yet,” said Peterson. “We’re still vital,” Corcoran said while nodding to Peterson. “People should just wake up and stay vital. You feel you’re at the top of the world when you do something like this. It gives you a great deal of confidence to say, ‘yeah, I did this.’” “And we did it on our own,” said Peterson, “not relying on anyone.”

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55+ workforce

More Mature Women Working Longer Money just one of the factors keeping women in the workplace, sources say By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


oes it seem like more older women are in the workforce nowadays? It’s not just your impression. The percentage of women over 55 in the workplace increased from 12.6 percent in 2000 to 22.2 percent in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Officials at the bureau say this percentage will climb to 25.3 percent by 2024. Holly Hewins, president of Rochester Women’s Network in Rochester, is over 55 and feels she and other women her age are Hewins at the their best. “In the 40s and 30s and 20s, you’re scared and trying to prove yourself. 16

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Now you say, ‘I’m here, take it or leave it and I’m giving you what I’ve got.’” Instead of others marginalizing them for their age, today’s 55plus women leverage the experience they’ve gained in the workplace for the past three decades. Hewins believes that mentoring offered by women’s business organizations has helped more women feel confident to continue working and, for some, strike out on their own as entrepreneurs. Seeing other women succeed in business and enjoy long careers and second careers encourages more women to follow that example. Wende Knapp, an attorney working for the Xerox Corporation in Rochester, serves as president of the Women’s Council, an affiliate of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. She believes that societal



contributed to women working later in life because they have the opportunity to choose whether they want to work or not. “ Wo m e n are taking advantage of an opportunity Knapp that didn’t exist in the ‘50s and through the ‘70s,” Knapp said. “It’s sad that it’s only recently been socially acceptable to have careers and work as long or short as they’d like to. “Women are empowered to fulfill their own destiny, whether they have a financial need or they’re impassioned about what they’re doing.” Many women who are now in



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their 50s suffered financial setbacks during the dotcom and housing market crashes, both of which occurred in what should have been their peak earning years. Smaller nest eggs, combined with less confidence in Social Security, means that more women need to work longer. Compared with a generation ago, more couples have their adult chilMitchell- Jefferson dren living at home or care for their young grandchildren. And both men and women are experiencing longer, healthier, more active lives past 50. “More and more women are needing to work to provide more economic stability,” said Constance Mitchell-Jefferson, officer with the City of Rochester Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises. Compared with a generation ago,




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more industries are open to women, according to Mitchell-Jefferson. She mentions these construction and agriculture are some of these industries. Tracy Higginbotham is founder of Women TIES, a businesswomen’s networking organization with members across Upstate New York. She believes that there are many reasons for this growth of older women in the workforce. She said Higginbotham that some women enjoy their work and, providing they’re in good health, see no reason to stop, especially if they enjoy their work. “Sometimes I think I don’t see a time where I’ll want to quit working,” Higginbotham said. “Why should there be a cap on when individuals stop working?” She said that entrepreneurship is how many women decide to continue

working later in life — and it’s not always about the money. Entrepreneurship offers flexibility. Many women aged 55-plus care for elderly parents and may still have children at home. Those who are typical retirement age can still work while enjoying more of their pasttimes, such as traveling. “If women are looking for more flexibility as they grow older, entrepreneurship offers that perfect opportunity,” Higginbotham said. Entrepreneurs also call all the shots and don’t have to accept any guff. Higginbotham said she has spoken with women from all over the nation who said they have faced sexual harassment at the workplace. “If you work for yourself, people hire you based upon your level of experience,” Higginbotham said. She also thinks that women enjoy entrepreneurship at this stage because they can make a difference in the world. Instead of putting their noses to the grindstone, they want to build a legacy.

November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS




Delving Into the World of Genealogy Easiest and most economical approach to finding more about family genealogy is to begin with the many free resources available in the Rochester area By Christine Green


eople around the world are taking home DNA tests, spending hours at archives, hiring genealogists and traveling to libraries to leaf out the most distant branches on their family trees. Susan Moyer of Brighton gets emotional talking about her 30-year search for her biological roots. She discovered at the age of 16 that she was adopted, and she had to find out more. “I always had a deep-rooted feeling that there was something, someone out there that I had to discover,” she said. Brockport artist Kathy Weston’s mother disappeared in the 1970s after two residencies in state psychiatric hospitals. She hoped genealogical research could help find her. Growing up without a mom was hard and as she walked down the street, she’d look into the eyes of passing women and think, “Is that her?” While some take on this kind of research to fill in the blanks about an elusive past, others want to flesh out the details about old family tales. Mary Brzustowicz of Rochester heard the story of how Louis the XIII of France granted an ancestor land in Canada. Unfortunately, Cardinal Richelieu beheaded him in 1642. Brzustowicz said there is “some undeniable draw to figure yourself out in the present by looking back.” Patricia Decaro of Pittsford had plenty of family stories to research as well, but the unusual presence of genetic deafness among a startling number of ancestors presented even more


55 PLUS - November | December 2017

Patricia Decaro of Pittsford holding her family tree. Her research into her family’s ancestors took her Washington, D.C., Georgia, Texas and Illinois. Among other things, she found a distant family connection to a infamous 19th century serial killer. questions. Decaro looked to DNA testing to provide an answer to this medical mystery.

Getting started The easiest and most economical approach to genealogical research is to begin with the many free resources available in the Rochester area. Beverly Farley Eastman helps

people at The Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center in Brockport get started for free. She suggests beginning by filling out a family tree chart or “pedigree.” Pedigree charts are available for free at the Family History Center or through an internet search. Once you fill out the chart to the best of your ability, you can start your search either online or at home. is an easy to use genealogy site developed by the LDS church, and it is free to set up an account. Researchers can also go to a Family History Center like the one in Brockport for one-on-one help. The Monroe County Library’s Local History and Genealogy Division is another free resource for family research. Barb Koehler, the library’s genealogy specialist, has been interested in genealogy for years and spends lots of time helping patrons look into their pasts. The library has access to federal and New York state census records, city directories, cemetery records, birth, marriage, and death indexes, as well as many other materials. In addition, Koehler runs a free monthly program that touches on a variety of subjects, including how to use genealogy websites. One of the most popular genealogy websites is the well-known Home use of the service requires a fee but users can access the site for free at the local history and genealogy division at Rundel Library as well as at several branches including

Susan Moyer of Brighton discovered at the age of 16 that she had been adopted. Her research and DNA testing paid off. She has traced her biological family back eight generations through New York, Canada, and Ireland. She also found several siblings as well as the name of her mother who died in 1998. Moyer is working on a memoir about her search called “The Lonely Child.” Pittsford and Ogden. Patrons who prefer to work at home have free access to if they visit the site via the library’s main website and enter their library card number. Heritage Quest links researchers to the federal census, maps, military records, and other resources. If you know or suspect that an ancestor went to a particular school or was associated with another institution, try going directly to that establishment for information. Moyer eventually learned that before she was adopted, she lived briefly at St. Catherine’s Children’s Home in Albany. She will never forget the day she knocked on the door of the home as an adult. Seeing where she and the other children lived was emotional, and she could feel many untold stories reverberating through the rooms as she thought: “If these walls could talk… ” Decaro traveled to the archives of several schools that her deaf ancestors attended, including Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., Cave

Springs School for the Deaf in Georgia, The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, and the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, Ill. The records she found added several missing pieces to the ever-expanding story of her family. But archival and vital statistics is only one path to the past. Just a little bit of saliva can tell a person about their ethnic heritage as well as provide information regarding genetic medical conditions. Autosomal DNA testing looks at genetic material from one’s biological parents and is fairly easy to do. Companies like Ancestry and 23andMe mail testing supplies directly to the consumer who simply spits into a plastic vial and returns it to the company. In about six to eight weeks, a report is ready.

Filling in the blanks What can all of this reveal about a person’s past? As it turns out, quite a bit. Because New York state seals

adoption records, it is very difficult if not impossible for most adoptees to learn about their biological family. This made Moyer’s search difficult. She had to search long and hard for over 30 years for any information that could lead her to a better understanding of the mother who left her at St. Catherine’s over 60 years ago. “Everyone should have the right to know who they are, where they came from and who was involved. I was motivated because I am curious by nature and I was determined to find my biological family and if I had siblings, which was very important to me,” Moyer said. Her research and DNA testing paid off. She has traced her biological family back eight generations through New York, Canada, and Ireland. She also found several siblings as well as the name of her mother who died in 1998. Moyer is working on a memoir about her search called “The Lonely Child.” Brzustowicz learned that pretty much every Brzustowicz in the country is probably in some way related. Weston found her mother who died in 2006 in a North Carolina state hospital. Decaro discovered that many of her ancestors carried the genetic mutation Connexion 26 which is one of several causes of genetic hearing loss. She too carries the mutation but because it is recessive, her hearing isn’t affected. Additionally, she found a distant family connection to the infamous 19th century serial killer H. H. Holmes. It’s one thing to know about your family history; it’s another to process it. Moyer said her discoveries completely changed her life and gave her a new perspective about the woman who gave her up in 1953. “She must have done what she thought best for me. I am a person who believes in what is meant to be. I, for whatever reason, was supposed to go on this 30-plus year journey,” she said. Decaro uses creative writing to process everything she has learned. In her poem, “Joy at the Edge of Deafness,” she writes: “I am supported from below by the roots of this great tree of deaf family — a tree of deaf roots holding up a strong trunk, and opening out to a nest of leaves.” November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


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Small Nest Egg? You Still Have Time More than one third of people aged 50 have less than $25,000 in savings and investments. What can they do at this point? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


deally, people should save for retirement their entire working lives. But slightly more than onethird of working people aged 50 and older have less than $25,000 in savings and investment, according to the AARP’s analysis of the 2016 EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey. While $25,000 isn’t a lot, people in their 50s can still build this nest egg using the strategies local experts recommend. To have more money to invest and save, Diana Apostolova, financial consultant with AXA Advisors, LLC in Rochester, recommends that people in this situation continue working and, if offered, contributing to their 401k. Apostolova also recommends cutting back on non-necessities and evaluating how much benefit each expenditure provides. Where’s the money going and why? What can be trimmed from the budget? A few examples could include optional insurance riders, high-end cell phone plans, using a land line, eating out or buying coffee out too often, or unused subscriptions. Refinancing the home mortgage and consolidating and eliminating debt can also help keep more money in the budget. “By simply doing such an exer22

55 PLUS - November | December 2017

cise, many people are astonished how much money they find,” Apostolova said. Someone who owns vacation property should consider either renting it out for continual income or selling. In addition to saving aggressively, investing more aggressively can also help build the nest egg. This type of investment may garner high returns, but Apostolova doesn’t recommend it. “It generally comes with a big uncertainty in actual returns and the chances are that they may get some decent returns however they may also run the misfortune of losing a big chunk, and possibly all,” she said. A less risky strategy is investing for 10 years with a safer, more reliable type of investment that has principal protection, according to Apostolova. “The investment allocation should be made in such a way to ensure that the account will grow but yet not be subject to market losses,” Apostolova said. She said that the mix might include fixed annuities, CDs, structured notes, structured CDs, investment grade individual bonds maturing in 10 years — or longer if a bond ladder is used — and equity investments for

a long term returns. Ryan W. York, financial adviser and chief executive officer with Pinnacle Investments, LLC. in Rochester and other locations, thinks that a lot of people look at Social Security as their main source of retirement income — but they shouldn’t. “It was started before baby boomers and didn’t take into consideration extended life spans and the cost of living being outpaced by healthcare costs,” York said. York would advise a client in this scenario to continue working, at least part-time. If the client enjoys that type of work, then continuing to work shouldn’t be that difficult. Retiring to a high-end location and traveling to exotic locales may not happen. Readjusting expectations can help make retiring sooner more realistic. “Every situation is different, which is why creating a plan is helpful,” York said. “Some want to move away from central New York to where it’s warmer. Others choose to reduce their cost of living to live closer within their means and retire sooner.” He added that people should plan to support themselves for 30 years after retirement.

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November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS




Downtown Brockport.

Where to Downsize in Rochester? Three local real estate experts share the most appealing retirement places in the area By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


hen the children are grown it’s time to downsize for many people. Why clean and maintain a house with multiple unused bedrooms and bathrooms when it’s just one or two people living there? With retirement at hand, many people want a more carefree lifestyle. Many communities in Monroe County offer what downsizers are looking for. Theresa Downham, real estate agent with Nothnagle Realtors in Fairport, said that the area has many choices for people in this stage of life. “Empty nesters, when they want to downsize, want to walk into a vil-


55 PLUS - November | December 2017

lage or for shopping,” she said. Soon retired, they will have the leisure time to stroll out for coffee. A community with a mix of housing and shops with plenty of walking accessibility maintains a small-town feel appealing to many people. Fairport, Brockport, Perinton and Honeoye Falls have become popular places for people who want a “walkable community” for retirement. But, as Downham added, these towns aren’t so far from the city that it’s not hard to drive into Rochester occasionally. Downham also sees lots of potential for Ogden, Sweden and Spencerport.

Owning a townhouse or living in a leased apartment makes spontaneity easier. Retiring to Florida and spending summers North is also easier with a smaller dwelling in Upstate. Greece has become a good place to look for smaller homes, according to Carolyn Stiffler, real estate agent with RE/MAX in Rochester. She lives in an apartment in Greece because she wanted to decrease the effort needed to maintain a home. The city’s numerous rental options include senior and mixed-age communities. Stiffler has clients who are selling their larger homes in favor of smaller homes with two bedrooms and

two bathrooms. Others opt for rental units, with older people looking for “senior only” housing, and others in age-mixed complexes. “Some are older and don’t mind living with younger people around them,” Stiffler said. Duplexes with full basements are popular for people not yet ready to pare down their possessions, yet who also want to decrease the amount of time and money they spend on property maintenance. She said Stiffler that was part of the reason she now rents an apartment. Janice J. Voight-Witt, licensed real estate broker and owner of Witt Realty in Rochester, said that some people nearing retirement enjoy living in the city. It keeps them near the service providers they want, along with entertainment and shopping venues. Simply buying or renting a smaller place in Rochester works fine for them, Voight-Witt said. One-level ranch-style homes or homes that can be adapted for greater accessibility have become popular. “Health has become one of Downham the big, driving factors,” she said. Forward-thinking retirees can help avoid moving later in life, when mobility may become an issue, by looking for a home that has at least one bedroom and bathroom on the first level, first floor laundry, and few, if any, stairs. Voight-Witt added that open floor plans often lend themselves to better accessibility adaptations than homes with many internal walls and doorways. Styles such as split-level ranches represent poor choices for people who hope to age in place.

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The Magazine For Active Adults in the Rochester Area 7

Steps to Financial Fitness in the New Year


Savvy Senior: How to Locate Lost Life Insurance

How to Get ‘Senior Discounts’ on Just About Everything


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



Issue 44 March / April 2017

Issue 43 January / February 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

First Novel at 73

Almeta Whitis

Gone are the shoulder-length dreadlocks but the energy and the passion to connect with people through storytelling and the arts remain the same for this Rochester larger-than-life artist

Three local explorers uncover sunken treasures on Lake Ontario

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

Johnny Matt Band continues tradition of big band music

Gray Divorce?

Should you consider getting a job coach? Many boomers are going that route Getting married later in life? Talk over finances


Fairport Husband-Wife Team Cares for 400+ Antique Clocks

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

In general, figures are down, but rate among boomers skyrocketing


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

Savvy Senior: ‘Can I Inherit My Parent’s Debt?’ The Best New Restaurant in the Country? It’s Right Here in Geneva


Rochester’s first real magazine to celebrate life after 55. Homegrown Don’t miss out Humanitarian future issues. Subscribe today

How Gary Mervis, an underpriviledged kid who grew up in Rochester, turned personal tragedy into a nonprofit that has benefited more 50,000 people from 22 states and 35 countries

55 PLUS Issue 46 July / August 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Simpler Life Couple leaves everything behind to live a in a tiny home in rural Yates County

Helping Refugees Pittsford resident making a difference in the lives of refugees

Retirement Joe Flaherty, founder of Rochester’s Writers & Books group, adjusting to a new life as retiree

You Just Inherited $1 Million. Now What? Financial planner Jim Terwilliger offers 10 steps on what to do if you are the beneficiary of a financial windfall

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Enough Stuff By Janet Olexy


ave you noticed that we spend most of our adult lives accumulating stuff, only to reverse the process as we near the finish line of life? I began my too-young married life in a 720-square-foot mobile home, slowly replacing its factory-furnished contents with a new plaid sofa, loveseat and waterbed; a 1940s maple drop-leaf table and chairs purchased from my mother’s friend Lucille; and an old crib borrowed from my Aunt Carol. Buying our very own washer and dryer was a thrill — no more trips to the Lima Launderama for us! Six years and a second child later, my husband and I moved to a 1,400-square-foot house with three bedrooms, one bath, a small seasonal porch off the living room and a postage stamp yard in an older neighborhood. Better yet, it included a walkup attic, full basement and detached garage. I was giddy with storage space — and quickly filled it with Christmas decorations, bikes and big wheels, a small assortment of gardening tools and a lawnmower. We had the basics and, for everything else, we had neighbors from whom we could borrow things (a ladder for washing windows, folding tables for parties and a buffing machine to wax the hardwood floors once a year). Following a divorce and my subsequent remarriage, my new husband sold his house and moved into mine while we built a 2,600-square-foot house on 11 acres in Mendon. Even with our blended belongings, the new house looked pretty bare. A generous wedding gift from my in-laws allowed us to purchase a new dining room set, living room furniture, and a matching walnut bedroom set. We added drapes, pictures, wall coverings


55 PLUS - November | December 2017

‘Life is a cycle. We move from small house to big and bigger — and then back to small and smaller, until one day we end up in a two room apartment in assisted living (if we’re lucky) or a shared room in a nursing home (if we live long enough).’ and lamps; we acquired rocking chairs for the front porch, a hammock and an armoire to house a second TV. A riding mower, new deck and patio set came five years later, followed by central A/C; it took 17 years before we finally put in a front walkway. In the meantime, I scoured garage sales and antique shops for finds and purchased accent pieces in order to update our décor. At last, after years of striving and accumulating, it seemed that the house was perfect!

Until the furnace went kaput and the roof needed replacing and the chimney started chipping and bugs ate the bushes and the floors were too dated. Even worse, the children who had filled its rooms with noise and laughter and conflict and chaos were grown and gone. Though it was nice to finally have a study and a pristine guest bedroom, aside from family dinners and occasional parties, the house seemed way too big for just the two of us. I began to long for a bungalow, something charming, with a small yard, say about 1,400

-square-feet, with next-door neighbors and sidewalks in an established neighborhood. Something about the size of the house we lived in 30 years ago, when we were just starting out, though without the second story. I’m still working on my husband, though he, too, is growing weary of being a caretaker. He’s good at fixing things, but he doesn’t enjoy it. These days, he hires people to mow the lawn and treat the bugs and seal the driveway rather than doing it all himself. He worries about weeds like an old woman and frets about the rising cost of living. We both will cry like babies when we leave the amazing home we have spent the past 30 years creating. But it is time to downsize. It’s time to let go of things that we once prized so much, freeing ourselves of the weight of so many possessions. Sifting through our stuff will be difficult, but it will offer an opportunity to relive many happy memories of times gone by. More importantly, it will save our children from having to deal with our lifetime of accumulation. I am confident that when we gift or donate the many items we no longer want or need, they will bless others. Life is a cycle. We move from small house to big and bigger — and then back to small and smaller, until one day we end up in a two-room apartment in assisted living (if we’re lucky) or a shared room in a nursing home (if we live long enough). If we learn to be satisfied along the way, instead of constantly striving for “more” or “better” (as society tells us we must); if we hold lightly onto things, realizing their worth lasts only for a season; I believe we will grow to be more content, and therefore happier in the end. Janet Olexy lives in Mendon with her husband, Tony. She and her twin sister Joyce were caregivers to their parents for over a decade. For the past several months, Janet (with the help of her five siblings) has sorted through, saved and/or disposed of a lifetime of her parents’ possessions, seeking to have minimal impact on the environment, help others, and honor their memory.

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November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


my turn By Bruce Frassinelli Email:

Retiring on Top


‘It is a fantastic feeling going out on top’

here is much to be said about retiring while at the top of your game and not overstaying your welcome I retired as publisher of The Palladium-Times in Oswego on Dec. 31, 1998, at age 59 1/2. I considered myself at the top of my game. The paper was thriving, profitable, and I was rewarded with consecutive bonuses for achieving the goals set by our corporate bosses. An avid reader of industry newsletters and magazines, I could see the gathering storm clouds descending on the newspaper industry. So many

articles were speculating what would happen to newspapers as the internet was gaining significant popularity as an advertising medium. Advertising and circulation revenues are a newspaper’s lifeblood. While news may be its main reason for being, advertising and circulation pay the bills and provide the news department with the resources to do its job effectively. I was starting to hear about cutbacks at some big-city papers, which were going through retrenchments and consolidations. Smaller-city papers, such as The Palladium-Times, had

not begun to feel the pinch, but I was convinced that it was just a matter of time. I thought of the agony of laying off staff, cutting expenses, robbing Peter to pay Paul and the crushing impact this would have on morale. I had been in the newspaper business for 32 years. I had worked my way up through the ranks, first as a reporter, then a bureau chief, regional editor, managing editor, editor, general manager and, finally, publisher. My experiences were incredible. I can never recall on even one occasion when I woke up in the morning and


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said to myself, “Oh, no, I have to go to that dreaded job again.” I loved my job and the newspaper’s role in helping to make the community better. The Palladium-Times had changed hands three times in the previous four years, and it was likely to get sold again. Despite my solid record of achievement, I was concerned that a new owner might call me in one day and say, “Bruce, you have been doing a phenomenal job, but we are going in a different direction, so your services will no longer be needed in three weeks from now.” I got chills just envisioning such a scenario. All of the enormous satisfaction I enjoyed for this long and successful career would be dashed in a five-minute conversation. Not only that, it would be a constant albatross throughout my golden retirement years, making them less golden. If I retired on my terms, while I was still on top, I would enjoy the afterglow of a successful career for the rest of my life, and that was very important to me. In the fall of 1997, I announced that I was going to retire at the end of 1998,

so there was an orderly transition. I had plenty of time to say my goodbyes to the various constituencies that the newspaper serves, and I even had a hand in helping to pick my successor. I was so lucky. As Frank Sinatra’s hit song said, “I did it my way.” I felt proud of my accomplishments, of the positive impact the newspaper had on the community, of the relationships I built with readers, advertisers and community leaders and proud of mentoring those coming behind me. (The advertising director of the paper during part of my tenure was Jon Spaulding, now publisher of The Palladium-Times.) Many people who plan to work until, let’s say, age 65 or beyond are forced to retire earlier because of failing health, or they get laid off or fall victim to ageism. It takes hard work and even some luck to get to the top of one’s profession. A publisher is the chief executive officer of his or her newspaper. Climbing the corporate ladder has allowed us to see the changing landscape at different levels. Each level

has its pitfalls, its dangers and, at each rung, the demands and the pressures become increasingly more daunting. It is a fantastic feeling going out on top. Nearly 19 years later, I have never regretted, not even for one minute, leaving when I did. For all of these years and for those yet to come, I can enjoy the memories of my successes and accomplishments, the accolades from my coworkers and bosses and the beautiful written note of commendation from the corporate CEO thanking me for my service and success of the newspaper. I think about those who stayed around too long. Their demise and the humiliation they suffered played out in a very public way. Muhammad Ali, for example, one of the top fighters of all time, was just a shell of his glorious self, and we cried for him as lesser opponents pummeled him during his last several bouts. Obviously, when it comes to deciding when to retire, there are many practical considerations. We also must determine what we want to achieve in our careers. Each of us must decide what going out on top looks like.

November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS




Phil Dodd, 69, is one of the voices at Jazz 90.1. He has volunteered at the station for 22 years.

All That Jazz Volunteers of a certain age make all the difference in the world at Jazz 90.1 By John Addyman


t’s the last little slice of real radio that’s left.” Rob Linton is the station manager of WGMC-FM, Jazz 90.1 in Greece. When he made that statement, he gestured around the room to two of his radio DJs — not “radio personalities” or “on-air talent,” but “deejays.” In verbal shorthand, he also refers to them as “voices.” The two voices in the room — Phil Dodd, 69, and Kim Corcoran, 61 — are part of a group of more than two dozen volunteers who get the work done and the tunes played on Jazz 90.1. Most of the on-air staff is comprised of volunteers, and many of them have attained a certain age and are ready for something else in their lives. “These people don’t want to just 30

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sit around,” Linton said. “Retirees who are used to being active and doing things come to us and say, ‘I want to do this: I finally have time.’” Corcoran is an example. “I’m from the Station Manager terrified school,” she explained. “I Rob Linton was a total volunteer, a total newbie at the age of 61. That’s what’s so important — when you get to be a certain age, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be learning new things or at least attempting to. Don’t be afraid and don’t be terrified — do it anyway.” Dodd started volunteering at

the station 22 years ago, working a full week as an office manager for the state, then coming in to man the air chair on weekends. Now retired, he’s got a three-hour show five days a week. “I was always interested in radio, from the time I was a kid,” he said. “A big part of my life was listening to the radio. When I went to Binghamton University, I was on the radio for three years. After that, while I always had the interest, you couldn’t make any money in radio and you can’t do what you want anyway. I got a fulltime job working for the Developmental Disabilities State Operations. I was in charge of the office for the last 22 years, but had nothing to do with radio or music. “One day I was at an event in Rochester, and I talked to the station manager. I asked, ‘You guys don’t really need anybody, do you?’ He said, ‘We’re always looking for people.’ So, a week later, I came in for some training, and the week after that I was on the air doing a Sunday night program. I remember the first time I was on the air, a couple of hours by myself. I thought, ‘This is great.’ I always had the interest. In fact, I did my own mixing at home with a little mixing board and two turntables and two CDs, and I made tapes.” Linton said the jazz-only format began in the 1990s and deepened. Now it also airs music that has appeal to those who love jazz but like something different, too. “We’re kind of the land of misfit toys here,” he said. “We’re the one place where a lot of musical genres that don’t have a home anywhere else end up. There are fans of avant-garde and Broadway and blues and fusion.” Corcoran provides the Broadway fix every Sunday afternoon, a two-hour show she developed from scratch after a year spent learning and volunteering in the music library. “I volunteered to be in the music library with music director Derrick Lucas for a year. I was so bad at that, putting music away,” she confessed. “I said to Derrick, ‘You know what this station needs? A Broadway show.’ He said, ‘Yeah. Let me talk to Rob.’ “A month later, he asked me, ‘Did

Jazz 90.1 DJ Otto Bruno sets up a disc for play in the studio (top photo). On the left is Kim Corcoran, one of the volunteer DJs at Jazz 90.1. She started volunteering at the radio station by working in the music library. After a year, she recommended the schedule add a Broadway music show, and she’s now the DJ for it.

you really mean it?’” Corcoran said she was serious. “Not even knowing what a treadmill this would put me on. Then I had to make a demo thing for Rob and he said, ‘Sure.’ I had an hour show for about a year, then two hours — ‘Two on the Aisle.’” The station got pumped up to 15,000 watts in 2004 and now reaches a 50-mile radius from Greece Olympia high school, where the station and studios are hosted. The school district holds the license, but the station pays all of its operational costs through fundraising. Having just two full-time employees helps. About 25,000 people listen during the week, with the companion website garnering listeners from 15 countries and counting.

Making that connection Linton said the station’s voices bring a maturity, enthusiasm and genuineness to the music and approach. There is a vital connection between DJs and listeners. “What’s interesting about the folks here is a love or passion for the music and a knowledge that you can’t discover in a textbook or a library. These are people who love what they play,” he said. “You can’t fool radio listeners. They tune into Kim’s show on Sunday. I listen to her show, and it’s just like she stepped off an airplane this morning after watching a couple of Broadway shows over the weekend. It’s that connection with radio listeners that you don’t find anymore. She

says, ‘I’ll be saving you a seat.’ I literally feel like she’s talking to me, like we’re going to see the show. “That connection in Phil with jazz — you cannot fake that. Commercial radio is not touchy-feely. It’s not connect with listeners; it’s how much money can we make? I got here, and I’m talking to listeners. We’re not trying to make stockholders happy; we’re not trying to make a corporate giant happy. I’m here for the people who are listening in their cars. “Phil is playing big band music for people who used to dance to that music with their significant other who may have passed. Kim’s playing Broadway music to someone who’s as in love with the music as she is.” Is Jazz 90.1 still looking for people? Linton said volunteers are always welcome. The only on-air shifts available at the moment are through the night. And he also stresses the music is broader than “jazz” might connote to some. Dodd said the station has gone from smooth jazz artists in the 1990s to straight-ahead jazz of today. Half the station’s music comes from new releases every day, with Lucas poring through those new CDs and deciding what’s OK for the audience.

The DJs pick what they want from those releases, and choose the rest of their show’s tunes out of the library — always something familiar, always something new. He said although he does “big band” music, there are hundreds of new “big” bands and vocalists. “This is a station that doesn’t just focus on the deceased artists,” said Linton. “It’s taking the music forward. Some stations only play John Coltrane and Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald and that’s great. We don’t want people to think jazz has passed away — it hasn’t. Rochester is such a jazz town. We are very lucky to have that festival [Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival] here. It’s pretty incredible. There are people from all over the country and the world who would do anything to have nine days of music like that.” As for the station, “We have people who have walked in here and never stood in front of a group of people or talked into a microphone before, and before you know it, they’re talking to 20,000-25,000 listeners at a time,” said Linton. “It’s the last little slice of real radio that’s left.”

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Bill Valenti Rochester physician, a pioneer in the battle against HIV/AIDS, shares in a new book his fight to treat AIDS patients in the early days By Lynette M. Loomis


t 7 years of age, Bill Valenti received his first recognition as a pioneer, along with hundreds of other children who received lapel buttons that read, “Polio Pioneers.” Decades later, as a physician, Valenti did indeed become a medical pioneer leading the nation in the understanding, treatment and prevention of acquired immune deficiency syndrome — or AIDS. Unlike many youngsters, Valenti knew what he wanted to be from an early age. His view of the iron lung at Sibley’s during a March of Dimes campaign made a lasting impression. The success of the Salk vaccine against poliomyelitis led him to believe that a terrible disease can be wiped out. In high school, he interviewed his great uncle, James Chiappetta, a physician who practiced in the public market area of Rochester. When Valenti asked his uncle what it took to be a good doctor, he replied, “A genuine love of humanity.” In the course of his career, Valenti has shown great compassion to patients — many of them 32

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turned away from other doctors. In 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on five cases of pneumocystis in Los Angeles and New York City. As an epidemiologist, Valenti focused on infectious disease and at that time, the medical community thought AIDS was not in Rochester. However, in 1986, Rochester had 101 new cases of AIDS and Strong Memorial Hospital was treating 200 patients. The epidemic in Rochester was growing and there were more questions than answers. While continuing to treat patients, Valenti had to don two more hats: educator and fundraiser. His friends Dan Meyers and Jerry Algozer teamed up for the first major fundraiser, “Helping People with AIDS” in March of 1986. This event, which has morphed over the past 17 years, has raised more than $1 million for local patient care. Federal funding was not available until the early 1990s. Valenti says he and his colleagues will never forget the emotions associated with AIDS over

the decades. Patients died; families abandoned gay relatives; homophobia and the fear of contagion were pronounced; and the community was afraid. As a physician, Valenti knew this was a battle and acknowledges that he wore army fatigues around the house to remind him that this was a battle, a medical war. Part of the battle would be fought in the media and Valenti found himself in the front of the camera and microphone frequently. “Learning what to say and how to say it, and what not to say to a reporter is not one of the things that they teach us in medical school,” he said. “I was fortunate at the time to work with Dr. Steven Scheibel, a gifted ‘lab jockey.’ We were medical warriors together for a decade along with a team of compassionate and talented medical colleagues. Rochester should be very proud of its medical community and their long-term view of this disease and their professional and financial commitment to eliminate this disease,” Valenti said. Valenti’s long-time nursing colleague, Carol Williams, was

Bill Valente photographed Sept. 6 at his Irondequoit home preparing breakfast. From the grill that day: heirloom tomatoes and green onions served with freshly grated parmesan cheese, garden fresh basil and grilled crusty Italian bread. Photo by Charles Wainwright

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What Bill Vallenti’s Boss Says Andrea DeMeo, president and CEO of Trillium, shares some thoughts on physician Bill Valenti. His work: “He built the organization on the foundation of courage, hope innovation” Impressive attribute: “His commitment to caring and treating those impacted by HIV/AIDS has not waivered for more than three decades His uniqueness: “He stepped out in the community to bring hope and care to all those who had none at a time when HIV/AIDS was misunderstood, and the fear associated with it prevented access to qual-

At his home garden

ity care for so many How he motivates people: “Bill continues to remind us of how very far we’ve come, and continues to lead the fight for an AIDS-free generation Personality: “Bill has a mischievous laugh that is absolutely contagious, can command a room at any moment, and lights up in the presence of our babies and our children. Working relationship: “There is an uncanny connectedness between us…he reminds me of our history, and trusts me to lead us into our future with a momentary glance where we both know what the other is thinking


Name: William Valenti, M.D. Age: 72 Hometown: Rochester Education: Medical College of Wis-

consin, MD; SUNY Buffalo, bachelor’s degree in biology and biological sciences Influential person in his life: His great-uncle, physician James Chiapetta of Rochester Languages: English, French and Spanish Current positions: Senior vice-president strategic advancement, chief of innovation and staff physician at Trillium Health, Rochester; clinical associate professor of medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine Previous position: Hospital epidemiologist, University of Rochester Medical Center Hobbies: Gardening, international travel and photography Lifelong ambition: to be a physician and end AIDS, based on a childhood experience of participating in the Salk polio vaccine trials and watching the eradication of polio after the vaccine went into widespread use.

Something most people don’t know about him: “I collect bowling

balls and use them as garden art. Over the years, friends have given me some very colorful gifts that liven up the yard and make great conversation pieces. Also, I do a lot of digital photography and make photo books for people as holiday gifts.”


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instrumental in creating Community Health Network — now known as Trillium Health —and led the approval process to receive a New York state operating license. “This made us legitimate and we no longer had to run underground clinics on Friday nights in order to treat patients. By the late ‘80s, we realized that not every AIDS patient was a gay male or intravenous drug user. There were women who had heterosexually transmitted HIV [human immunodeficiency virus infection],” he said. “The face of the person with AIDS was changing and it was becoming more difficult for people to think of ‘them and us’.” John Urban, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Health Foundation, says of Valenti, “Over the years, Bill has been eloquent, precise and persuasive in his call to action for the medical community to provide care for people who are HIV positive. When many medical professionals refused to treat these patients, Valenti stood almost alone in his care for them. I am not sure if people truly recognize the influence he has had on medicine on this community. To this day, he continues to advocate for funding from grantors to provide funding for programs that support the health of the LGBTQ community. He is not only a gifted physician, but has shown incredible courage over the decades.”

Maverick in his Field Valenti has taken many risks in his career, including going against the prevailing advocacy position that HIV testing indicated only past exposure to the virus and would lead to discrimination and stigma for those who were tested. When the science of HIV testing told us that a positive test meant that people had HIV in their blood and that they could transmit virus to others, he went public in support of the test. This was an unpopular opinion at the time, but he thought it was necessary to speak to the importance of the test. Ultimately, he reconciled the science with the advocacy position that eventually linked test results to med-

ical care and help forge the legislation in New York state that protected test results from disclosure — before the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a law enacted in 1996 that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. “More than 500 of my medical colleagues wrote to me to let me know I was wrong,” Valenti said. “My mistake was not in the theory of the test but in making it clear that I was advocating for voluntary testing and not mandatory testing. There have been many humbling moments in my career.” In 1989, Community Health Network had permanent space for its clinic at 758 South Ave. in Rochester and was swamped with patients (the clinic is now located at 259 Monroe Ave.) A year later, the patient population had grown from 75 to 450. The clinic treated people based on their ability to pay, which made staying open challenging. After the film “Philadelphia” was released in 1994, the number of people in Rochester believed to be HIV positive was estimated to be in the thousands. “There was also good news that year,” Valenti said. “Some combination of drugs was working and being HIV positive was not necessarily a death sentence.” According to Valenti, there have been many more breakthroughs over the past three decad­es. Blindness from cytomegalovirus infection has been curtailed. Couples in which one person is HIV positive and the other negative understand how to conceive children who are born HIV negative. Kaposi’s sarcoma, which created disfiguring purple spots on a person’s body, has virtually disappeared. One pill a day, pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, greatly reduces the risk of HIV infection in high-risk people. AIDS is no longer a fatal illness, but a chronic disease for many. “I cannot begin to express the number of amazing people with whom I have worked over the past three decades in terms of patients and their families and colleagues. I have experienced every conceivable emotion from discouragement, to elation, from fear to optimism,” Valenti said.

“We worked long hours. When you believe in something as strongly as we did, it can be exhausting but it never has felt more like a mission than a job. I have cultivated a life for myself outside of work. I love to travel and have been around the world twice. I also like to relax with friends and family, listen to music, garden and spend time with Valenti has chronicled his journey in his recently my partner of 19 published book, “AIDS — A Matter of Urgency.” years,” he said. At the prodding of many colleagues, Valenti “We can end AIDS,” says Valhas chronicled this journey in his enti with his characteristic optirecently published book, “AIDS mism. “We are almost there.” — A Matter of Urgency.” When All book proceeds go to Trilliasked if he could use individual um Health’s Fund to End the HIV names in this book, not surprisingEpidemic by 2020. For book informaly, there was a resounding “yes.” tion, visit

HIV & Older Adults CDC: Older People Make Up 45 Percent of People Living with HIV in the U.S People aged 50 and over account for an estimated 45 percent of Americans living with diagnosed HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People aged 50 and older have the same HIV risk factors as younger people, but may be less aware of their HIV risk factors, the CDC states. At the end of 2014, an estimated 428,724 people aged 50 and over were living with diagnosed HIV in the United States.

Fast Facts

• Annual HIV infections among gay and bisexual men aged 55 and over increased 18 percent from 2010 to 2014 (from 1,100 to 1,300). • People aged 50 and over accounted for 17 percent (6,725) of the 39,513 HIV diagnoses in 2015 in the

United States. People aged 50 to 54 accounted for 45 percent (3,010) of the diagnoses among people aged 50 and over. • Among people aged 50 and over, blacks/African Americans accounted for 43 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in 2015. Whites accounted for 36 percent, and Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 17 percent. • Among people aged 50 and older, 49 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2015 were among gay and bisexual men, 15 percent were among heterosexual men, 23 percent were among heterosexual women, and 12 percent were among persons who inject drugs.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS



prep daily to help prevent hiv



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Who Will Hold Your POA? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


“If they need a monitor maybe power of attorney (POA) is partner with Friedman & Ranzenyou don’t need them as an agent,” he a legal document you give hofer, PC, in Rochester, said that the said. person drafting the POA paperwork an individual who will then People may also feel self-conbe able to make financial de- can include a provision for a monitor cisions on your behalf. The springing to look over the shoulder of the POA scious about appointing a monitor to power of attorney becomes effective “but most people don’t designate it,” someone they’re supposed to trust. Or that the POA will feel the person once the person becomes incapacitat- he said. lacks trust in the POA’s honesty or Trust may be why many don’t. ed, but proving incapacity can take months. Until then, bills can pile up unpaid. A durable POA can be used without proving incapacity. While it may seem easy to simply get joint accounts with your spouse and skip naming a power of attorney, retirement accounts and other WHEN IT COMES TO MEDICARE, financial vehicles aren’t joint. Only [WHEN IT COMES TO TO MEDICARE, [WHEN IT COMES MEDICARE, the person named can take money out until his beneficiary receives the money upon death. It’s all about trust, according e to] e m me] t [presiLeetltp[m Randell J. Ogden, seniorle vice l e the best m lpeet]find etp the planplan to fittoyour m fit your m m t]e[m eettt][find [sl m mee]best ] e[h ]eelh [l tueh dent and financial advisor Sage sl e L e L e e [uwith l p p l l p p l l e find the best plan to fit your e find the best plan to fit your p e find the best plan toyour fitto your e e ] find the best plan to fit h ] h l find the best plan fit your h e h e ]llp Rutty and Company, Inc. in Roches]eet[tu ]ehealth m m lpp carecare [m se h needs. [us] [uhse needs. Lhealth e[tu[sl p l l e e ] find the best plan to fit your e ] find the best plan to fit your h h e e ter. Legally, a POA can actually emphealth care needs. m ]health m lp s]e[tu[hsl care needs. health care needs. health care needs. e [ul health care needs. tltp[m Le ee lp find ty your bank accounts. the best plan to fitto your e find the best plan fit your health care needs. health care needs. h h ] ] p l s s [u [uhe He advises clients to select a health carecare needs. health needs. trustworthy relative such as a spouse part part part HOSpItAl HOSpItAl partpart HOSpItAl part or adult child. Odgen thinks it’s smart part HOSpItAl HOSpItAl part HOSpItAl HOSpItAl HOSpItAl StAYS A A StAYS StAYS A to have the attorney hold the original StAYS A A StAYS StAYS AA StAYS A StAYS part POA for safety. part HOSpItAl HOSpItAl [Are or ayou loved one in Medicare thisin year? [Are or loved one enrolling in Medicare Medicare this year? 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ability to make financial decisions. Miles Zatkowsky, attorney and partner at Dutcher & Zatkowsky in Rochester, specializes in elder law. He said that abusing the POA rarely happens, but it does happen. “We tell people if your loved one has an addictive personality or a specific addiction like gambling or drugs, you may want to rethink that,” Zatkowsky said. Even a generally honest POA holder may “borrow” money and become unable to repay it, such as to buoy up a failing business or repay money owed Zatkowsky to someone else. “As an older adult, you don’t have time to rebuild that wealth,” he said. It’s ideal to select a person to hold a POA who’s financially stable as well as honest. Zatkowsky advises people who don’t have a trustworthy relative to select as POA to hire an agency or attorney to serve as POA. Though they


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charge a fee, their insurance covers loss if anything goes wrong. He also advises clients to consider a statutory gift rider. Without it, people naming a POA can give them a maximum of $500 total per year. The statutory gift rider permits the POA to transfer money to himself to hold it should the principal need to financially qualify for long-term care. “Otherwise, the one person you want to have the money is not allowed to gift it to himself,” Zatkowsky said. People setting up a POA can choose the amount for the statutory gift rider. Zatkowsky wants people to seek help from an elder law attorney for setting up a power of attorney to ensure that the paperwork is correct. “Think of who you’d trust under all circumstances and see an elder law attorney, not a real estate or family lawyer,” he said. “They may not be up on the current law because it’s not their area of specialty. They may see one POA a year, not every day. It’s the same as medical specialists. You want to go to one who’s specialized in what you need done.”

What is a POA A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to sign documents and conduct transactions on another person’s behalf. A person who holds a power of attorney is sometimes called an attorney-in-fact. Powers of attorney are a common estate planning document: many people sign a financial power of attorney, known as a  durable power of attorney, to give a friend or family member the power to conduct financial transactions for them if they become incapacitated. People also commonly sign health care powers of attorney to give someone else the authority to make medical decisions if they are unable to do so. Powers of attorney have other uses as well. You might give someone  power of attorney to act in a particular transaction if you cannot do it yourself, such as signing documents at a real estate closing when you are out of town.




A Second Act — in Politics Brockport Village Mayor Margay Blackman, a cultural anthropologist who taught at SUNY Brockport for more than 30 years, is now making a difference in ‘The Victorian Village on the Erie Canal’ By Christine Green


hen Margay Blackman moved to Brockport in 1977, she never envisioned herself as a politician. In fact, she never even voted in a village election until 1997. But today she is serving her second term as mayor of “The Victorian Village on the Erie Canal.” Blackman, a cultural anthropologist, came to Brockport with her husband, Edwin S. Hall, so he could teach archaeology at The College of Brockport. When another teaching position opened up in the anthropology department, Blackman applied and was subsequently hired. She taught for 30 years plus an additional four as an adjunct professor after her retirement in 2007. She didn’t spend all of her time during those years in the classroom though. Her research took her to the northwest coasts of British Columbia and Washington State as well as to Alaska. Her studies included November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


the oral history of these regions in addition to the study of local art and historic photography. She has published several books, including two biographies of Native American women and a memoir of her fieldwork in northern Alaska. In addition to traveling the world, working through college committee work, and tackling administrative tasks, she was careful to teach her students the importance of understanding and respecting the community in which they lived. Student assignments included local research projects such as recording the stories of life-long Brockporters and interviewing village residents regarding their feelings about the sometimes-strained relations between villagers and students. These student-led studies were the seeds that grew into her current mayoral commitment to “town and gown” relations in Brockport. Blackman said the college is an important part of the Brockport landscape and that working together is important to maintain harmony. “The college is one of the village’s best assets though it’s often seen as a tax burden and social burden for residents who put up with increased noise, traffic and other issues when college is in session. Actually, the college is an economic driver in the village, provides all kinds of cultural events for the community, and opportunities for residents to learn and to enjoy its facilities,” she said. In 2005, one of her students persuaded the village to create the Brockport Tree Board. The mayor at the time, Josephine Matela, appointed Blackman as the first chairwoman of the board. To Blackman, this position was a great way to help the community that she had grown to love. In 2010, the residents of Brockport voted on village dissolution. Villagers voted against the measure, but the controversy made an impression on Blackman. She was committed to helping hold the village together and decided to run for village board in 2011 and then mayor in 2013. She was re-elected for a second term in 2017. The rest, as they say, is history. It’s no surprise that she is now dedicated to bringing together the college community and village residents to enhance ties for a more peaceful and pleasant partnership. 40

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Living in the heart of the historic district in Brockport gives Mayor Margay Blackman a unique perspective on village life. She enjoys when constituents stop her as she walks to work and ask about a particular village matter. She also provides her personal cell phone number on her business card and invites villagers to call her with their questions. The College at Brockport’s president, Heidi Macpherson, thinks Blackman is doing a great job in this respect. “We’ve been able to build on those ties over the last two years. She is a great partner as we co-chair our ‘town-gown’ committee — which is composed of college personnel and village residents — and meet throughout the year to try and make Brockport a better place to live and learn,” Macpherson said.

In the trenches But improving village and college relations isn’t the only thing Blackman works on as mayor. Her plate is full dealing with everyday administrative issues like snow plowing and road repair to bigger projects like bringing solar energy to the village’s municipal buildings. She also meets with other Monroe County village mayors every two months to exchange ideas and problem-solve concerns. Blackman loves these and the other political connections she has made while in office. She said these friendly networking opportunities have helped her better serve Brockport. “It is wonderful to be able to call on these people,” she said. And friendly she is. Living in the heart of the historic district in Brockport gives her a unique perspective

on village life. She enjoys when constituents stop her as she walks to work and ask about a particular village matter. She also provides her personal cell phone number on her business card and invites villagers to call her with their questions. Brockport Village Trustee Annie Crane thinks this kind of accessibility and visibility helps Blackman be a better mayor and noted she and Blackman often run into concerned residents. This isn’t a burden for either of them, though. “That’s one of the nice things about living in a small town. You have access through other channels to your elected officials. This makes us more aware of differences of opinions among the villagers and where they’re coming from and we are more likely to make careful decisions,” Crane said. Blackman’s time as an anthropologist studying human relationships has definitely helped her navigate the politics of Brockport. Anthropologists learn to study people using a process known as “participant observation” whereby a researcher lives closely with the people they are studying in order to observe day-today activities and conduct personal interviews. Neighbor and local history professor, Bruce Leslie, said Blackman’s time as a professional anthropologist helps her understand and relate to a variety of people. Leslie said the problems she has been able to solve have everything to do with her “disciplinary training in participant observation. I think she deserves a lot of the credit for the return of civility to village politics.” Blackman does indeed think village politics has become less argumentative and hostile in recent years, but while Leslie gives her credit, she passes that credit on to her co-workers. “One of the biggest achievements of this village board has been to restore respect, responsiveness and civility to our local government,” she said. Blackman has a very busy life but when she finds a little empty time on her hands, she enjoys yoga, biking, rowing, reading non fiction, and writing. She is working on a collection of essays about the caribou skin masks of the Nunamiut people of Alaska.

travel Traveling Solo


Solo Senior Travelers makes journeys a group effort

The number of seniors traveling alone through The Solo Travelers Club at AAA of Western and Central New York has grown to more than 5,000 members. Some of them recently visited Casa Larga Vineyards & Winery in Fairport.

By Nancy Cardillo


atricia Caputo has always loved to travel. But when her husband died in 2004, she thought her traveling days were over, or at least would be severely curtailed. “I have friends with whom I could travel, but we didn’t always have common interests,” Caputo said. “Some don’t like cruises and some didn’t want to go to certain places, and so it became more difficult to find travel partners.” Not wanting to give up her love for traveling, Caputo decided to try it solo. Her first group trip as a solo traveler was one of cookbook author and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich’s cooking excursions to Italy. “My kids thought I was nuts going that far away without a travel partner, but I had a great time and met so many wonderful people. I was hooked on solo travel after that,” Caputo said. Then she discovered AAA of Western and Central New York’s Solo Travelers Club, and she hasn’t looked back since. The 81-year-old retired

nurse has taken cruises, motor coach trips and day trips and looks forward to every adventure. “I can’t wait for the New Year’s Eve trip to Saratoga with the club,”

Caputo said. “I missed it last year because of illness and it looked like so much fun.” The Solo Travelers Club began as an experiment with the AAA of West-

Solo Travelers Club members (from left): Deb Rouviere of Syracuse, Karen Sheldon and Sherry Gillis, both from Rochester, posed for this photo after enjoying a winery tour and lunch in Skaneateles. November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


ern and Central New York, which covers the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse areas. Solo Travelers Club program manager Sue Smith would connect single ladies traveling alone on her group tours to make the trips more enjoyable for all of them. The ladies were so appreciative they suggested AAA set up a group geared specifically toward matching single travelers. “We started with a group meeting in Syracuse in 2010. It attracted nearly 50 people, so we held meetings in Rochester and Syracuse the following

week. From there, membership grew rapidly, and today we have more than 5,000 members,” Smith said. “Solo Travelers Club members can book any of our trips — which we call ‘solo friendly’ — and we’ll make sure they sit together on the coach and at meals. We also have at least six solo exclusive trips that adds to the camaraderie.” The solo club offers a roommate connection board. However, many members who love spending their traveling and meal times with others prefer their own rooms.

Appeals to older set Smith said approximately 90 percent of the Solo Travelers Club members are aged 55 or older, but notes that “any single traveler is welcome to join” and there are travelers in their 40s. There are men and women, widows and widowers, never- marrieds and even married people whose spouses don’t like to travel, or can’t. “It’s a very diverse, very wonderful group,” smith said. “We always have such a good time on the trips. Everyone watches out for each other,

Solo Travel Savings Tips By Jim Miller


olo traveling is a growing trend among baby boomers and retirees. Nearly 25 percent of the people who travel today (one in four), do it alone, according to a recent Visa Global Intentions Study. But one of the biggest drawbacks among solo travelers is the single supplemental fee — which is an extra fee charged to single travelers who stay in a double occupancy room alone. To help you avoid this extra charge, more and more travel companies and cruise lines are making adjustments to accommodate the growing solo-traveler market. Here are several to check into. • Singles Travel — There are a variety of travel companies today that specialize in vacations for solo travelers, including Singles Travel International (SinglesTravelIntl. com) and Singles Travel Getaways ( Both companies offer tours, cruises and adventures in the U.S. and overseas, and will match you with a roommate to avoid the single supplement, or won’t charge you if a match can’t be arranged. • General Tour Operators — Some big operators in this category that have lots of solo travelers include Intrepid Travel (, which handles more than 100,000 travelers each year, sending them to more than 100 countries. And G Adventures (, which has more than 700 tours around the


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globe, and offers a variety of travel styles. Both of these companies can pair you with a roommate, and some tours offer your own room option for an additional fee. And for higher-end luxury travel check out Abercrombie & Kent (, which offers a 50 percent single supplement discount on their select small group solo travel trips and cruises, and Tauck (, which has no single supplement on their European river cruises. • 50-Plus Travel — If you’re interested in trips designed for adults 50 and older consider ElderTreks (, Road Scholar ( and Overseas Adventure Travel ( – ElderTreks specializes in exotic adventures worldwide, and will match single travelers with roommates on most of its trips, and doesn’t charge if a match can’t be arranged. – Road Scholar specializes in worldwide learning adventures, and has designated trips that offer the same price for solo travelers as for those traveling in pairs. – Overseas Adventure Travel, which operates in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Cuba, Australia and New Zealand, has free single supplements on all its land tours and either free or low-cost single supplements on its small-ship adventures. • Cruise Lines — If cruising is

your thing, there are a number of cruise lines that have some ships with single-occupancy cabins, including Norwegian Cruise Line (, Royal Caribbean ( and Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s river ships ( Or, consider booking a cruise at, which uses a variety of different cruise lines for their single customers. They provide roommate matching. • Solo Women — For solo women travelers, there are a host of tour companies and clubs, like,,, and that will either match you up with a roommate, or reduce their single supplement fee. • Travel Partner — If you’d rather find a suitable travel partner before you book your next trip, there are a number of free websites that can help you here too. See Travbuddy. com, and Or, to find a cruise buddy try, which has a message board where users can post roommate requests. For more information on solo travel, check out SoloTravelerWorld. com, which offers solo travel tips, destinations and stories, and also publishes a monthly list of solo travel deals.

and many long-term friendships have blossomed thanks to the Solo Travelers Club.” She adds that several romances have also come about thanks to the club. The Solo Travelers Club rewards program offers many benefits to its members, including travel discounts and rewards and exclusive invitations to events and trips. Members are invited to four meetings a year plus several social events where they can get to know each other, offer their input and maintain friendships. Trips include cruises: close-tohome cruises where travelers are brought to the cruise ship by motor coach rather than airplane; river cruises, day trips and even mystery trips, which typically sell out within days of being advertised. “We’ve gone all over, near and far, on our trips,” Smith said. “There’s always a trained tour director on the trip, and we make sure our travelers know the level of activity scheduled for the trip, so they know whether they are physically able to manage. Safety, comfort and enjoyment are our priorities, as well as affordability.” As for Smith, she says she loves everything about the Solo Travelers Club. AAA makes it easy and affordable to sign up for trips, and takes good care of travelers, ensuring they are safe and having an enjoyable time. “If we’re traveling by motor coach, Sue always makes sure there are snacks and water available, and does a great job educating us about the place we’re going to visit. It’s really nice,” Caputo said. Plus, Caputo says she’s made great friends in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, and travels with them on a regular basis. “The Solo Travelers Club is an excellent way to travel,” Caputo said. “It’s an absolutely phenomenal group, and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves to travel but has no one to travel with. After one trip with Solo Travelers, you’ll have plenty of new friends.” It’s easy to understand, then, why the tagline for the Solo Travelers Club is “travel with friends.” For more information on AAA of Western and Central New York’s Solo Travelers Club, visit solo.

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Back to the Classroom

Older students take to the classroom for refreshing learning experiences By Christine Green


obbie Dumas Panek has held many titles including radiologic technologist, newspaper columnist, lifeguard and

mother. But the one she embraced anew at age 56 was “student.” After putting four kids through school, it was finally her turn to get the college degree she always wanted but never quite found the time for. She enrolled at SUNY Empire College and graduated with her degree in creative writing in 2010. Tess Padmore earned her Master of Business Administration degree in 1981 but that wasn’t the end of her education by a long shot. In the early 2000s, she began coursework toward her doctorate in education until health problems forced her to slow down. But slowing down is not the same as stopping and today the 64-year-old continues to take college-level courses at Monroe Community College and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology. For her, “going into classroom is like going home,” she said. Panek and Padmore are not alone is their pursuit of learning after age 50 as more adults in their older years either work toward degrees or take college courses to simply enhance their knowledge and indulge their curiosity. What motivates baby boomers to return to school when they are either retired or at the peak of their careers? Dana Brown, academic adviser at SUNY Empire State College, said some older students, like Panek, re44

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turn because their studies were interrupted in their younger years. Panek trained as a radiologic technologist but never got a bachelor’s degree. Marriage, work, and family took precedence for many years and when the kids became adults, she found that she was ready to focus more on herself and her own needs. Brown said others go back to school to learn more about their current career or because an employer has suggested or required it in order to stay up with the latest research or technology. Panek had a blast when she returned to college and found the experience much more fulfilling than

Bobbie Dumas Panek reads from her book credit. “[Returning to school] was a really big deal to me and still is. I encourage everyone to go back,” said Panek.

when she took college courses at ages 18 and 19 when she just wanted to get classes over and done with. As an adult, she was able to appreciate the learning process with a whole new perspective and found being a student more fulfilling. Adult learning wasn’t just a means to an end — it was, “something I was truly going after for myself,” she said. Maria Brandt, a creative writing professor at Monroe Community College, said older students bring something special to her classes. She noted older students tend to be more open and honest when it comes to class participation and they are, in general, “very vulnerable in ways that younger students who just haven’t gained that life experience struggle with.”

Enhances classroom experience This vulnerability and honesty influence the younger students, making for a much richer classroom experience for everyone. “I love when I have a senior auditor because it does tend to open up the whole class,” she said. Much of this honesty and excitement about learning comes from the maturity and wisdom that comes with age. “So many life experiences are brought to the table,” said Brown, who went on to say that these life experiences give students a greater depth of understanding that ultimately helps them in their studies. Anyone interested in taking college classes can look into the auditing programs offered by many local universities. Auditors can sit in on classes without having to complete assignments and they do not earn a grade. It is a great way to participate in learning without the pressure of homework and testing. Many local schools such as Monroe Community College and The College at Brockport offer special auditing programs for students over 60, making it that much easier for older students to return to the classroom. For those seeking college credit or looking to earn a degree, traditional university enrollment may be the way to go. A great option for older students is attendance at a school that offers part-time attendance or distance learning opportunities. Students at SUNY Empire, for example, can take

courses online or at various locations across the state. This type of learning environment is ideal for those who are working full or part time or who want more scheduling flexibility. SUNY Empire helped Panek create a degree program suited to her individual needs. She and her mentor were able to customize a schedule that included online as well as on-site classes. Rochester is also home to learning centers especially designed for the older student. RIT’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a membership organization that offers academic classes and social programs to adult learners over 50. Courses at Osher are widely varied and include everything from creative writing and history courses to film and music classes. Returning to school can be life -changing for an older student. Both Panek and Padmore’s time in the classroom gave them the skill and motivation to take their personal writing to new levels. Panak has since published two books and Padmore has five books in the works for future publication. “It was a really big deal to me and still is. I encourage everyone to go back,” said Panek.

Tess Padmore earned her Master of Business Administration degree in 1981 but she is back in school at age 64. She takes college-level courses at Monroe Community College and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology. For her, “going into classroom is like going home,” she said.



ElderPages a Unique Roc Directory By Christine Green


he Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly’s (G.R.A.P.E.) print edition of The ElderPages Directory is now available. A directory unlike any other in the area, the ElderPages lists contact information for senior and elder care resources in the greater Rochester area. Listings include everything from companion care services for the elderly to legal services and volunteer opportunities for seniors. G.R.A.P.E. publishes the ElderPages with generous funding from the National Council of Jewish Women, the daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, John F. Wegman, The Greater Rochester Health Foundation, and the NYS Office for the Aging. G.R.A.P.E. distributes more than 15,000 print copies to every area hospital, library and nursing home. The directory is also available online at Kimberly Kenna, G.R.A.P.E.’s executive director, is excited that this free resource is finding its way into the hands of those who need it. “The demand has grown since our last print in 2014 and we are very fortunate that our generous grantors now allow us to better meet the demand.” G.R.A.P.E. is a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting elder care professionals and seniors in Rochester. The organization started in 1992 when a small group of professionals came together with a “goal of connecting and enriching senior resources,” according to Kenna. G.R.A.P.E. has grown by leaps and bounds over the course of the last 25 years and now boasts hundreds of members from over 200 different elder care businesses, agencies, and organizations in the area. G.R.A.P.E. serves the community by offering education-

Connie Lester has been chosen to be the new president of The Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly’s (G.R.A.P.E.). She is the director of marketing for Hurlbut Care Communities in Rochester. al opportunities to its members, advocating for the elderly and their needs, and by helping professionals in the industry network and share ideas. One of its biggest programs and what former executive director, Jeanne Jones called “a must attend event” is its annual legislative town hall meeting. over 245 people including 35 local, federal and state representatives attended the 2017 town hall meeting in february. the 2018 town hall meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9 at The Locust Hill Country Club and will address various issues from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state budget. “This event is a stellar display of commitment to serve and protect those citizens that so desperately need representation and may have continued on next page November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


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ElderPages a Unique Roc Directory continued from previous page no voice on their own,” said Joanna Palvino who has been a G.R.A.P.E. member since 2006. Palvino is the current host of the “Seniors Rock Radio Show” on WYSL 1040 AM and 92.1 FM. G.R.A.P.E. is a sponsor of the show and each week Palvino dedicates 20 minutes of the program to highlighting a G.R.A.P.E. member and their role in the elder care community. “Letting the listeners and general public know what G.R.A.P.E. does and who they represent is an important focus of the show,” said Palvino.

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55 PLUS - November | December 2017

G.R.A.P.E. members held a silver anniversary celebration in June at The Locust Country Club with Deanna Dewberry from WHEC TV Channel 10 as the evening’s emcee. The event was part fundraiser to help support G.R.A.P.E. programs and part gala complete with dinner, cocktails, raffles and a silent auction. There was even a photo booth so that attendees could take home photos of the special night. The group also voted in the current president, Connie Lester. Lester is director of marketing for Hurlbut Care Communities in Rochester and joined G.R.A.P.E. in 2011. As G.R.A.P.E. president, she plans to work toward creating “more profile-raising community partnerships and continuing the fierce advocacy that our members (present and past) have worked for so tirelessly.” She will hold office for two years and said she is eager to be a spokesperson for the organization. “Our hope is that the future will remain bright for our professionals in the eldercare industry and that G.R.A.P.E. will continue to be a resource for them, our elders, and the community at large,” said Lester. “G.R.A.P.E. is growing in numbers at 350 members but, also in providing quality educational programs, advocacy and connecting senior resources within the Rochester area and beyond.”

addyman’s corner By John Addyman

Too Hot to Handle

Add a little zest to your favorite foods

You have no taste.” It was my wife speaking, talking to me. “I do have taste,” I argued. Ticking off my proof on my fingers, I reminded her that I had picked out our daughter Amy’s prom dress 22 years ago, that almost every room in our five houses over the years bore a color of paint that I chose, that many of the paintings we have in those houses I chose, and that I still have a drawer full of really colorful socks. “And I married you,” I told her, finishing the argument with a little married-a-long-time finesse. “That’s not what I’m talking about,” she said. “It doesn’t prove that I have taste because I married you?” I asked. “No — that was the epitome of taste,” she said. “I’m talking about something else.” “What?” “All that hot sauce you use on your food,” she said. Hmmm. I do like hot sauce. Yes, I know that as you get to the age where reading this magazine is a good idea, some of your taste buds may have followed some of your hair into the Twilight Zone. I also hear that your taste may change, in that you may have difficulty distinguishing when something is sour or bitter. I still know when something is sweet or salty. But I also know when something could be improved by adding a little hot sauce. This got started with me about 15 years ago. My friend Kevin and I would eat breakfast sandwiches at the General Store in Newtown, Conn., every morning. They were quick, hot, juicy and cheap. And we could sit down and enjoy them and talk, like retired guys like to do. Kevin would have The New York Times

obituary pages open when I got there, but that’s another story. I noticed Kevin put the contents of one of those little black pepper packets on his breakfast sandwich. Pretty soon, I was doing the same thing. Then Kevin, noticing what I was doing, would put two packets of black pepper on his breakfast sandwich. I started putting three packets of pepper on my sandwich. This is what old retired guys do for fun. After we got to the four-packets-of-pepper stage, I completely changed the landscape of our breakfast: I pulled a small bottle of hot sauce out of my pocket the next time we met for breakfast.

Bring on the sauce Kevin was shocked. I’d gone thermonuclear on him. He reached over, read the label on my hot sauce bottle — I have no idea why — and doused his sandwich with some of the red stuff. You can figure out what Kevin showed up with the next morning. That was years ago. Most mornings these days, I’m eating breakfast by myself. My wife is off doing things, getting her day started. I like to make some eggs with sausage in the morning, melt some cheese over it, and then, so I can enjoy all the flavors — the hot sauce carefully tops everything off. Since Connecticut, I’ve tried a variety of hot sauces, finding that I’m most partial to Louisiana Hot Sauce, which, luckily,

is carried in Dollar Tree stores for a buck. But that’s my “base” hot sauce, kind of the minimum warmer-upper for my mornings and a handy add-on to things like jambalaya, almost any stew, store-bought gravy, and occasionally a piece of chicken — anything that calls for pepper. On top of the Louisiana Hot Sauce, I’ve gotten into the habit of adding other hot sauces from very little bottles (like the old Tabasco bottles). Some of these sauces are pretty hot, and I use them carefully. They add an extra little tingle of taste — just a dash — to breakfast. I stay away from anything green, but after that, I’m game. I tried Horned Lizard Spicy Herb and Arizona Savory Western Style Hot Sauce. When I go into stores with a big selection, I can spend a long time deciding what next to buy. So far, I’ve stayed away from anything with Habanera peppers in it. I don’t want my tongue to ignite. But as a result of the testing I do, sometimes the tingle isn’t little. In mid-September, I picked up a bottle of Dos Amigos Caliente and put a little bit too much on my breakfast. I knew I’d overdone it at the second bite — my wife found out when she kissed me good-bye that morning. “What was that?” she asked, puckering and touching her lip. I guess some of the sauce was still on my lips. “Hot stuff, huh?” I asked. You have the hottest lips in the neighborhood,” she told me, and walked out the door.

November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


long-term care By Susan Suben

How Well Do You Really Know Your Parents? Start the conversation with some key questions you should ask


oth of my parents lived well into their 80s. We were very much a part of each other’s lives but I came to realize that I didn’t know as much about them as they knew about me. We would talk every day but mostly about incidental things. How do you feel? What did you do today? What are you making for dinner? How’s the weather? But who really were they? I know I missed many opportunities to start an open dialogue to find out about their childhood memories, dreams, hopes, accomplishments — what made them happy. Now that they are gone, I will never really be able to recreate their pasts unless it is through secondhand information from a relative or friend. In this day and age, many people don’t talk to one another anymore. They are too busy texting, Facebooking, tweeting, etc. The art of conversation is becoming a lost art. Yet, it really is the only way to get to know someone. As I surf the web to find topics of interest to write about, I came across a site called Its title page is “Conversation Starters: 20 Questions to Ask Your Parents.” The questions, compiled by elder care experts and editors, are ones that they would like to ask their parents and in exchange start a dialogue to better get to know one another. In other words, start a conversation. I actually enjoyed answering the questions for myself and shared my history with my son. Inner reflection is good. It can give you a new perspective on where you have been and where you would still like to go. Please consider taking these questions with you when you next visit your parents. Pick the ones that you feel will give you the greatest in-


55 PLUS - November | December 2017

sight to get to know and appreciate them. Try to stay away from the ones that may cause old conflicts or hurt feelings to come to the surface. 1. In what ways do you think I’m like you? Not like you? 2. Who is the person who influenced your life the most? 3. Do you have a lost love? 4. Which new technology have you found the most helpful in your life? Which do you find the most annoying? 5. Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have? 6. Is there anything you regret not asking your parents? 7. Do you wish anything had been different between us, or would

you still like to change something? 8. What was the happiest moment of your life? 9. What are you most proud of? 10. How did your experience in the military mold you as a person? 11. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life? 12. What is your earliest memory? 13. Did you receive an allowance as a child? How much? Did you save or spend it? 14. Who were your friends growing up? 15. What was your favorite thing to do for fun? 16. What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and

worst subjects? 17. What school activities/ sports did you participate in? 18. Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothing? Music? 19. What world events had the most impact on you? 20. How would you like to be remembered? Being that I am deeply involved in aging issues and care coordination, I have added a few more questions below that could help you understand your parents in the present time as they age. 1. What can I do for you now that will make your life easier? 2. Do you still enjoy living in your home? Your neighborhood? 3. Are you experiencing any medical issues that are causing you concern? 4. Would you like me to come with you to a doctor’s visit? 5. Have you been meaning to do something that you have been procrastinating about? 6. What items are on your bucket list that you would still like to do? 7. Would you like to spend the day together, just the two of us? 8.Can I help you sort through things in your house that you’ve been meaning to organize? 9. Is there anything that you would like to be different between you and your family, grandchildren? 10. Do you have a Power of Attorney? Living Will? When your parents are gone, their history is gone with them. You may have their pictures or other mementos as a keepsake but not their voice, their feelings — their essence. Take time in the present to enjoy their company. It may shed some light on who you are. Susan Suben is a senior certified adviser and president of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and Elder Care Planning. She is a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at 800-422-2655 or by email at

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We invite you to visit our member facilities in your community. Aaron Manor Rehabilitation & Nursing Fairport, NY | 585.377.4000 Ashton Place Clifton Springs, NY | 315.462.3140 Avon Nursing Home Avon, NY | 585.226.2225 Baird Nursing Home Rochester, NY | 585.342.5540 The Brightonian Nursing Home Rochester, NY | 585.271.8700 Conesus Lake Nursing Home Livonia, NY | 585.346.3001 Creekview Nursing Home Rochester, NY | 585.247.7880 Crest Manor Living & Rehabilitation Center Fairport, NY | 585.223.3633 East Side Nursing Home Warsaw, NY | 585.786.8151 Elcor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Horseheads, NY | 607.739.3654 Elderwood at Hornell Hornell, NY | 607.324.6990 Elm Manor Nursing Home Canandaigua, NY | 585.394.3883

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Newark Manor Nursing Home Newark, NY | 315.331.4690 Penfield Place Penfield, NY | 585.586.7433 Seneca Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center Waterloo, NY | 315.539.9202 The Shore Winds Rochester, NY | 585.663.0930 The Hurlbut Rochester, NY | 585.424.4770 Wedgewood Nursing Home Spencerport, NY | 585.352.4810 Wesley Gardens Rochester, NY | 585.241.2420 Woodside Manor Nursing Home Rochester, NY | 585.461.0370

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For Skilled Nursing Care, News from Local Facilities and Events, visit As a service to the community, the above facilities are receiving properly packaged and contained used syringes. Please call the facility nearest you for drop off times, accepted packaging, and other information. In conformity with the requirements of the Civil Rights Compliance Unit of the New York State Department of Health, we hereby affirm that it is the policy of the above member facilities of the Genesee Health Facilities Association to admit and treat patients without regard to race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability or handicap, marital status, sexual preference or sponsor (EOE).

November | December 2017 - 55 PLUS


last page Dan Duprey, 59

By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

Engineer reflects on nearly 30 years working at architecture and engineering firm Q: Tell me a little about your company.

Q: What do you find the most fulfilling about your career?

A: I have been with Clark Patterson Lee for nearly 30 years. When I joined the company, there were only 20 to 25 people. Now there are more than 250 employees companywide. When I look back I am always so amazed because you go from having your office Christmas party in a person’s house and filling up one quarter of it to now having to have big parities throughout in 11 or 12 offices in different states. It really is amazing how much we have grown during these years. It has been a lot of fun. We are going to continue to work hard to make sure the company is successful and have fun doing it.

A: I like working with people and the pursuit of the projects. It is challenging and fun. It is something we have the inner drive to keep doing.

Q: What made you go into this career? A: I went to college for civil engineering. I took an aptitude test and they told me I should think about areas in math and science and that maybe I would be suited for engineering. I thought I might as well be an engineer. I went to school in northwest Indiana where I met my future wife. I worked for the Indiana Department of Transportation as a construction engineer building bridges. I eventually found my way to Upstate New York. Q: What do you enjoy about your job. A: I enjoy the creating part as an engineer. I like high quality design and responsive projects. This might seem strange but I also love  inspecting and building bridges. In fact, if I did not have this current job I would work for a contractor building bridges. 50

55 PLUS - November | December 2017

Q: You have a good number of millennials on your staff. Tell us about them. A: I would say out of the 300-plus people we have about 100 are millennials. When you think about it these people are very impressive. They are young, energic and talented. It is a lot of fun to have them around. They are technical savvy and they want all the bells and whistles and you balance that desire with also teaching them the importance of maintaining economic balance because we can’t afford everything. I think every company should have a good mix of millennials on their staff because I think it does make your organization better and you are able to mentor the next generation. Q: What do you enjoy about Upstate New York? A: Rochester and Upstate New York is one of the most underrated places in the United States. A lot of people have not heard about this area but it is so incredibly beautiful. I have enjoyed raising my kids here. And I don’t mind the seasons. I can just as easily snowmobile in the winter as I can golf in the summer. It is also a great place to have a business. Q: What do you do in his spare time?

A: I spend time with my family, especially with our 1-year-old granddaughter. I like to golf in the summer and go snowmobiling in the win-

Duprey is president and chief operating officer at Clark Patterson Lee, an architecture and engineering firm in Rochester.

ter. I’m actively involved in Bivona Child Advocacy Center and American Council of Engineering Companies of NY. Q: What is some important advice that he would give to people? A: Always do what you say you’re going to do. If there are issues, don’t brush them aside, get them addressed and resolved even if it’s an unpleasant situation. Q: What do you credit to your success? A: My wife stayed home while the kids were young, which allowed me to be out in evenings for work meetings and events. That is really what helped me progress my career.  Q: What do you do to stay active as you get older? A: I’m very active in the summer months, so I really don’t work out until the winter months, when I go to the fitness center three or four days per week. There, I usually do half an hour of cardio and another half hour of weights.  Q: Could you name some things on his bucket list? A: A few things off my bucket list would be a trip to Italy, and golfing in Scotland and at Pebble Beach.

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Profile for 55 Plus: For Active Adults in Rochester

Roc55 #48 Nov - Dec 17  

Roc55 #48 Nov - Dec 17  

Profile for roc55

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