Sass Winter 2016

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Online ives!! c ex lus great For more to reads, go .com azine sassmag

FEATURES 18 Woman to Watch Heather Clark 26 Women of Faith 32 Women in Tech 40

Fashion Glitter and Glam



18 Departments 8 Business Spotlight Tenth Ward Distilling Company

50 Travel Winter Trip to the Big Apple

12 Girl’s Guide to Massage

56 Career Tips to Dynamize Any Presentation

14 Girl’s Guide to Acupuncture 22 Inspire/Empower Jeanne Befano 46 Fashion Spotlight Gail Digges 48 Beauty Winter Beauty Nots


SASS magazine |

58 Health Sass Wellness Challenge 60 Recipe Cook for Winter Warmth

26 C o v e r : This issue's Woman to Watch, Heather Clark; photography by B. Hill Saunders / Grey Rose Studio. See page 18 for the full story.



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125 E. Patrick St., Ste. 3 Frederick, MD 21701

Winter 2016 | Vol. 2, Issue 2

COPY EDITOR Chrissy Moore Fashion Editor Brittany Carpenter Creative Leigh Caulfield, Designer Jen Tyler, Designer CONTRIBUTORS Brittany Carpenter, Rebecca Carrera, Kimberly Dow, Julie Gaver, Sarah Kurtanich, Courtney Luck, Chrissy Moore, Jennifer Neidenbach, Allison Parker, Amanda Reynolds, Caitlin Smith photographers Leigh Caulfield, Kimberly Dow, Brittany DeFrehn, Sarah Kurtanich, Jessica Patterson, Britt Hill Saunders, Meghan Shupe, Falling Squares ACCOUNTING Alicia Schwartzbeck Advertising Kim Dow Ashley Bailey distribution managers Tim & Donna Moore digital coordinator Laura Rennie additional Sass crew Jamie Shopland Rebecca Robinson Printing Graphcom | Sass Magazine is a free quarterly publication in the Frederick and western Maryland region that is also available for a paid subscription. Customer inquiries should be directed to Sass Magazine, LLC. All contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part for any reason without prior consent of the publisher.

hello there! Hello again and welcome back! Thanks for picking up this latest issue of Sass Magazine! I often get asked "What is it like starting a magazine?" The answer is rewarding, humbling and a LOT of hard work! I am constantly inspired by the stories and the women who grace our pages, and it's a tremendous reward to meet each of them and to share their stories with you. It is also humbling to receive such continuous positive support and feedback from the community (having someone tell us they saw a Sass Magazine in their doctor's office, texting us to say they just met our last cover model, or seeing a total stranger reading an issue in a coffee shop)! It continues to be, well, a completely awesome feeling. So, we thank you! But, it is also tremendous hard work…like, a lot. I am honored to have such an amazing group of women who continue to volunteer their time to make Sass a reality, a fantastic group of advertisers who make Sass financially possible, and an onging assortment of talented writers, photographers and contributors. It is wonderful to know that all our hard work has, and will continue to, make a difference—building a supportive community of strong and sassy female (and male!) readers. With your support, we will continue to grow and improve Sass. We've got another jam-packed issue for you this winter! We take a look at two career industries that have historically been under-respresented by women—technology and religion. We delve deep with our Inspire/Empower spotlight, take an artistic look at community space with our Woman to Watch, and learn a little about the prohibition era with our Business Spotlight. We also get glitzed up with our Fashion feature—check out our party dress picks on page 40. Planning a weekend getaway? Be sure to read our travel article for some wintery NYC suggestions. Last, but not least, do your New Year's resolutions involve getting healthier? We take a look at wellness with our girl's guides to massage and acupunture, and we start our Sass Wellness Challenge in January 2017—be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram to get weekly challenges and motiviations! Just a reminder that Sass Magazine is not JUST a print publication! We've got a slew of great articles on, so be sure to visit us online. Also, if you haven't done so already, be sure to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter with carefully curated quick links to inspiring articles about women, health, beauty, business, travel and more. Lastly, if you'd like Sass to be delivered right to your home (or if you'd like to surprise your mom, daughter, wife, co-worker, or girlfriend with their own copy), mailed subscriptions are also available at Thanks again for your support!

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P h o t o g r a p h y: j i m m y d o w

Owner + Publisher Kim Dow




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biz spotlight

tenth Ward

Sparked by a random conversation and a love for whiskey, Tenth Ward Distillery was founded on Memorial Day 2015 by Monica Pearce and her partner Kyle Pfalzer. A true grassroots start-up, Monica and Kyle developed the entire business from the ground up with their own personal financing, hands-on construction, inhouse marketing, and countless hours of recipe testing—all with a hard work ethic, a desire to learn, and a little help from family and friends (plus a lot of beer and pizza!).


SASS magazine |

Distilling Company By Monica Pearce & Kim Dow

P h o t o g r a p h y: S a ss M a g a z i n e

Business Spotlight:

biz spotlight How did you decide on your business name? During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Frederick was districted into ten wards. Our facility is located in what was considered to be the Tenth Ward. The design of our logo is even a handwritten font made to mimic the typeface of an original map of the Tenth Ward. It’s historic looking, yet kind of bad ass and in your face at the same time.

What makes your business stand out? We are one of the first distilleries in Frederick since prohibition. In January 2015, Frederick changed their zoning laws allowing distilleries to be included within the city limits. We not only stand out as a new and fun place to visit on weekends, but also because of our unconventional techniques. We make a product that is unique, but still has a bit of history to it. With the popularity of the IPA that morphed into the thousands of creative craft beer recipes that we see today, craft spirit drinkers are also looking for more than just your straight whiskey or bourbon. We influence the flavor of our product in natural ways through the type of grain, malt, smoke, etc., which carries through to the spirit from the mash and the distillate. Our corn whiskey, for example, is made with corn that is smoked by our farmer who uses a secret meat-smoking recipe. We also like to influence our taste by sourcing locally, as distillers would have done during pre-prohibition. For instance, our Applejack is distilled cider that we purchase from McCutcheon’s. And since McCutcheon’s sources their apples locally, the variety of apples pressed for our cider will change depending on what is in season. This is a lot of fun for us because we get a new and interesting flavor with every batch. Additionally, we proof all of our spirits using water from a Catoctin Mountain spring. Back in the 1800’s farmers would stop their wagons at similar springs on their way to town, with their whiskey barrels in tow, to fill up with spring water before selling the whiskey in Frederick. We’ve also built Frederick’s history of spirits into our brand. From our name to our tasting room papered with articles highlighting bootlegger and moonshiner busts in Frederick during the 1920’s, we’ve really enjoyed reviving a wild time in our local history that many are not aware of.

What is a typical week like? We try to take Monday off. I spend Tuesdays usually making orders, taking phone calls, delivering cases to bars and liquor stores and any other odds and ends that I can do when we don’t have customers. We are open Wednesday through Sunday, so Kyle and I tend to switch tours on and off while we are running our stills and mash tun at the same time.

Additionally, throughout the week we’ll hand label and bottle, take meetings, collaborate with other businesses, attend spirit festivals and events, and so much more. Really, the list is never ending (as many business owners can sympathize)— but I still enjoy most of the work!

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business? I think the most important skillset we gained was through Kyle’s internship at Copperfox Distillery in Sperryville Virginia. While homebrewing is legal and easy to practice with, home distilling (moonshining) is not. Not many distilleries offer up the opportunity for eager learners to work side by side with their production team. Kyle was able to gain hands-on experience in large-scale brewing, distillation, federal excise tax reporting, proofing and much more. Everything else we’ve just figured out along the way!

What is your background? I have a Master’s in natural resource management and come from a career in the conservation/non-profit scene. I’ve been able to bring a lot of experience gained from my previous job in conservation marketing, as well as my sustainable resource management experience to the business. I also have over ten years of experience in the service and bar industry which made for an easy transition into pouring and selling our own whiskey. What is it like to work for you? Well we only have one "employee"—our cat Verbal—so I’m not quite sure. He seems pretty content as a distillery cat though!

How does the environment in Frederick impact your business? It has been amazing. Frederick has always been a great community for supporting local businesses, even before it was a fad. We’ve had so many local customers and businesses that want to help promote us and/or collaborate with us, plus a local government willing to be with us through every step of the process. I have also taken the opportunity to launch the Frederick Area Distillery Association. When I heard about two other distilleries opening in Frederick city, I was inspired and wanted to make sure we worked together rather than compete against each other. The association is made up of eight distilleries, including McClintock Distilling, Dragon Distillery, Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery, Miscellaneous Distilling, Patapsco Distilling, Tenth Ward and Azabu Distilling. Additionally, we’ve included a number of Frederick governmental/nonprofit departments—Economic Development (both city and county), Tourism and Downtown Frederick Partnership. It’s been an winter 16


biz spotlight

What is the best part about what you do? The most challenging? My favorite thing about the business are the customers I interact with at tours, tastings and festivals. Everyone is curious about the new booming distilling industry, how craft whiskey is made, and our own story. I also love this industry in general. Local breweries and wineries are always willing to meet, share new products, collaborate, offer advice and, of course, have a few drinks. The most challenging part is running a day-to-day business. Making whiskey seems like an awesome and ideal gig, but we also spend a lot of time tracking finances, reporting on taxes, marketing, making sales pitches and really keeping afloat so we can seriously make a living.

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? In the next year we’d like to upgrade our equipment so we have the capacity to distribute throughout the entire county, including restaurants, bars and liquor stores. In five years I would love to have a few staff members, perhaps someone running sales that is an extension of myself and someone else distilling who would

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become an extension of Kyle. Additionally, I’d like to see some distribution outside of Maryland and perhaps a cocktail bar upstairs on our second floor.

Can you describe your customers? We have a very wide range of customers from tourists who are looking for something to do over the weekend to locals. We’ve hosted bachelor parties and birthday parties for tours, media/press/ writers/bloggers, whiskey experts, our own friends and family, and local officials.

When you're not running your business, what are you doing? I love the outdoors! Hiking, gardening, walking around downtown, travelling. I also enjoy being a part of the Frederick community—supporting local bands, visiting art shows, shopping local and, of course, sipping on some sort of locally made booze.

What matters most to you in your business? It matters to me that we stay true to making a quality product. Although we may branch off at times into some fun limited edition batches, we really specialize in whiskey and brandy and want to keep learning and improving how we distill those spirits while staying consistent with our mission and brand. Tenth Ward Distilling Company

P h o t o g r a p h y: c o u r t e s y o f t e n t h w a r d

amazing effort from all parties and we’ve really started to see physical progress. We’ve seen a boost in business thanks to cross promotion, event collaboration, joint marketing about the beverage industry and much more. Lastly, we are working on changing a few pieces of local legislation that will hopefully make life easier.

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girl's guide

Massage girl's guide to

By Caitlin Smith

12 SASS magazine |

girl's guide Like any good relationship, the relationship with your massage therapist should be built on a strong foundation of trust, communication and honesty. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your next massage appointment.

The Basics: Massage Type Swedish Massage: Classic relaxation-style massage, and generally the lightest pressure. Deep Tissue Massage: Focuses on the deeper tissue structures of the muscle and fascia (a form of connective tissue). Beneficial for people suffering from chronic tension and/or pain. Sports Massage: Conducted with the intention of assisting an athlete to prepare for, or recover from, a physical activity. Therapeutic Massage: A general term that describes any type of massage that helps relieve pain, reduce stress and work on a specific problem. This is generally more clinical type work. Prenatal Massage: Massage therapy tailored to the needs of pregnant women.

Environment is Key: Assess Before You Undress Whether your goal is to simply relax, work out that annoying kink in your neck or address a more chronic problem, here are some things to keep in mind: • Make sure your therapist is licensed. Each state has different requirements. If you’re not sure, ask. • An empathetic nature and a willingness to listen is a must in a massage therapist. • Make sure you are asked to complete a health history form prior to your session. An up-to-date medical history is pivotal to provide a safe, effective treatment. • Your therapist should appear neat and tidy, with clean, short nails and non-obtrusive clothing, perfume or other odors. • A clean work environment is critical. Be conscious of the cleanliness of the table, work area, tools and other equipment. • Most importantly, a therapist should make you feel comfortable and safe.

Reap the Rewards • Show up early: This allows time for forms, introductions, questions and an unrushed (i.e. relaxing) session for you and your therapist. • Fill out the forms as honestly and as thoroughly as possible: The more information we have the better treatment we can provide. • Undress to your comfort level: While massage is easiest to perform without the obstruction of clothing, a good therapist can fully customize a massage based on your level of comfort. • To talk or not to talk: We tell all of our clients to use the time as they wish. Some people wish to have total silence in order to relax while others prefer a little small talk. • Speak up: Don’t hesitate to ask questions! This could include your therapist’s training, years in practice, licensing, techniques being performed, etc. Also, if you’re too cold, too hot, don’t like the music, need more or less pressure, or are uncomfortable in any way, it is vital to let your therapist know so he/she can make adjustments as needed. We want you to have the best session possible. • Enhance your session: Try to quiet your mind before getting on our table, silence or turn off your phone and deal with any pressing issues prior to your session. It is also helpful to schedule your session at the end of your day when you don’t have to rush back to work. • Become a regular: Massage every now and then can be valuable to your self-care, but regular sessions hold even more value. Benefits can include improved sleep, a boost to your immune system, increased energy and improved mood and focus. We recommend getting a massage at least once a month.

Caitlin Smith Caitlin Smith is the owner and lead therapist of Thomas & Co Massage + Fascial Stretch Therapy located in Urbana, Maryland. The company specializes in designing sessions unique to each client's needs.

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girl's guide

girl's guide to

Acupuncture By Courtney Luck

14 SASS magazine |

girl's guide Acupuncture has grown in popularity because of its holistic and natural approach to health and wellness. Originating over 2,500 years ago in ancient China, acupuncture involves the use of thin needles to prick the skin at strategic locations to treat a variety of physical, mental and emotional conditions. The goal of acupuncture is to balance the flow of energy or qi (chee) through the body to heal and alleviate symptoms. For women especially, there are significant benefits to receiving regular treatment, such as:

Stress Management Women tend to take on a lot of responsibility. We work, keep homes, have families. We do it all. And with all of those responsibilities, stress can become overwhelming. When left unchecked, stress may cause headaches, muscle tension, stomach upset, gastrointestinal upset, jaw pain, disturbed sleep and a whole host of other symptoms. Through regular acupuncture treatments these physical symptoms can be addressed. As those physical symptoms begin to release, many clients experience an additional emotional release. Acupuncturists are able to support their clients through active listening and by sharing tools to help navigate those emotions.

Fertility, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Support For women who want to start a family, acupuncture is extremely helpful. Acupuncture is so effective in facilitating healthy and regular menstrual cycles that it lends itself to creating the ideal environment for conception. By improving blood flow and addressing underlying conditions, the chances of conception increase. We have all heard the advice “you have to be relaxed to get pregnant”; in many ways this is true. Acupuncture not only supports the body, it supports our minds and our emotional well-being. One of my favorite acupuncture points for women is called Happy Calm. Not only does this point facilitate the smooth flow of blood, it also creates a sense of ease in the emotional state of the patient. A win/win for ladies hoping to become mothers. Because acupuncture is drug free, it is also safe and effective to receive treatments during pregnancy. Just a few needles can alleviate symptoms like morning sickness, back pain, swelling and fatigue. There are also treatments that support the baby as well, increasing the fluids and transformation of vital nutrients. As the due date approaches, acupuncture can be used to turn breech babies and induce labor naturally and safely. And once Baby arrives earth-side, acupuncture is helpful in boosting milk production, as well as replenishing fluids and energy lost during delivery. There’s a lovely treatment that I offer to postpartum moms that warms the abdomen and lower back. It’s like hitting the reset button on our energy, which is exactly what every new mother needs.

Ease through “the change” Irregular spotting, hot flashes and mood swings are some of the many symptoms presented during menopause. Did you know that there is a specific system in acupuncture that regulates our internal temperature? Treatment of this system greatly reduces the drastic temperature changes ladies experience during menopause. And similarly, with the effectiveness of acupuncture for the menstrual cycle, spotting and emotional changes can also be shifted and eased with regular treatment.

Courtney Luck Courtney Luck, M.Ac L.Ac is the owner of Soul Garden Acupuncture, where she offers Acupuncture, Reiki, and Acudetox treatments. Courtney lives in Downtown Frederick and enjoys live music, yoga, and hiking. Visit for more information!

winter 16 15

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By Chrissy Moore and Heather Clark

Alongside green energy building, Heather's artistic passion has always been sculpture, using her hands to create. For most of her life, Heather struggled to embrace her inner artist. “Art has always been a huge part of who I am and the part I have always brushed aside for something more ‘responsible.’ Growing up I was taught you gotta do things that are good for people and help the world. Art seemed more personal to me and not about giving” she said. She felt there were two sides to her being—the responsible project manager and the artist. Heather’s dream was to find a way to combine those two halves. In 2005 she caught a glimpse of that dream coming true when she and Matthew Mazzotta, friend and fellow artist, created the Busycle, a pedal powered, fifteen person vehicle and public art installation geared to create discussion regarding greener transportation practices. Once she had a taste of public art she decided, “I can do this!” She left Boston, became a mother and moved to Leesburg, Virginia. She bravely took a leap of faith and three years ago became a full time artist; one step closer to making her dream a reality. Heather realized that through public

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art she could create artistic sculptures, while also generating spaces for community engagement. At Sky Stage, she was able to produce art that upheld her desire to develop green, sustainable spaces while sharing that artistic space with a larger community; in essence she finally fused those two parts of herself together. Sky Stage is a beautiful communal space. When Heather asked the community to lend their skills and time to the project, Frederick responded with energy, enthusiasm and dedication (as only Frederick can do!). Heather remains grateful to the community members who came forward and admits, “I usually operate in isolation so this was a really fun social project for me. Camaraderie created through artwork. The art becomes your life—it’s a really thrilling thing. It’s not a job it’s a mission.” A mission shared by many during its creation, Sky Stage remains a community art project. Patrons are welcome to visit the Sky Stage website ( and share their own programming ideas for the performance space. So while Heather’s sculptural work may be complete, she has passed the creation of this space onto us so we can continue to fill Sky Stage with more living, breathing art.

P h o t o g r a p h y: b . h i ll s a u n d e r s / g r e y r o s e s t u d i o

Heather Clark is the artist behind Sky Stage, Frederick’s newest public art installation and performance space. Located downtown on Carroll Street, Sky Stage is living proof that dreams do come true. Although art is now Heather’s full time calling, this wasn’t always the case. With a life long interest in green energy and a driving desire to help others, Heather created Biome Studio and found herself successfully navigating and often times leading Boston’s green building industry. For instance, Heather partnered with low income housing residents to collaboratively transition their buildings into inspired green energy communities.


woman to watch


winter 16 19

woman to watch I am a sculptor and founder of Biome Studio. I utilize art, architecture, and public interventions to catalyze built environments that power themselves, cleanse themselves, transform waste, provide wildlife habitat, produce food, and enhance the lives of people. My projects have ranged from pure formal sculptures to practical green building projects that lead toward zero energy neighborhoods. For example, I oversaw the largest deep energy retrofit in the U.S., converted historic mills into green low-income housing, and installed over one megawatt of solar pv on 2,300 low-income apartments. Sky Stage falls somewhere in between pure art and a green building project.

What inspired you to create Sky Stage? As an artist and also a green builder, I have often times felt like two different people—one who is a sculptor and one who is a green building project manager. One of my goals has been to combine both my interests into a building-scale public artwork. After applying for a few RFPs and not getting any bites, I decided to try to do this myself. I was specifically interested in finding an underutilized boarded up building that I could transform. 59 South Carroll Street suffered a massive fire in 2010 and lost its roof, yet it remained incredibly beautiful. I approached the building owner, Rusty Hauver of the General Engineering Company, and asked if he would donate the use of the building for a temporary artwork. Amazingly he agreed! In the end, the final design for the building includes a two-story sculpture with ribbons of drought-resistant plants that twist and wind through a wooden lattice and the build-

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ing’s doors and windows. State of the art green roof technology has been modified to support the spiraling plants. Rainwater is collected from an adjacent roof and stored in a cistern to irrigate the plants and trees. This sculpture is inspired by other artworks I have created in the past, where I have incorporated wooden roller coasters, plants, and scaffolding. It also comes from my green building experience, where I worked with rainwater collection, drip irrigation, green roofs, and drought tolerant plants.

What is your typical day like? I have a family, so my day begins by getting my 5 and 6-year-old to school. Then I work in my art studio from 9-4. These days, I am preparing for an art show at the Hillyer Gallery in DC. I am building a large bellows out of wood and canvas that will inflate an 8 foot tall rubber ball. I love to physically build projects in my studio. It’s a blissful combination of endorphins from physical labor, creativity, and problem solving. Usually at lunch and in the evening, I’m researching online how to build my ideas (for example, how do you build a six-foot-long working bellows?) or searching for a specific material that I need to complete the work. What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome to achieve your goals? I have owned my own consulting company, Biome Studio, for about ten years. I worked mainly in New England and was known as a leader in green building, managing cutting edge projects. However, my green building projects weren’t artistic and I had an overwhelming desire to make art, which up until that point I was only doing sporadically. About three years ago, I decided not to take on any more green building clients, so I could exclusively focus on art. I am not trained as an artist, so

P h o t o g r a p h y: b . h i ll s a u n d e r s / g r e y r o s e s t u d i o

Tell me a little about yourself and your work.

woman to watch it was very scary to leave my career and start doing work that I wasn’t very good at and that no one, other than my family and a few friends, was encouraging me to do. I made a lot of terrible projects in my studio while I was learning how to find my artistic voice. My kids were also very small, which made it harder to focus and made me question how I was spending my time, especially given the financial strain on my family. However, I kept pushing and eventually I started making some projects that I liked. I also started experiencing great joy through creation. Sky Stage seems like the capstone project of this period—it is clearly art, but it also combines my interest in buildings and place making.

Your work intersects the creations of an artist, architect, engineer, ecologist, urban planner and so on... which creative/professional "hat"do you wear best? In my life, I experience some of my greatest joy making art. Ideas flow and I feel compelled to create. When I make things with my hands, I lose all sense of time and it's hard to think about almost anything else. Art making is the hat I enjoy wearing the most. However, I still very much feel like a novice art maker. At this point, I am probably a much better project manager. Project management comes from a very different part of my brain and without it I wouldn’t have been able to make Sky Stage. For Sky Stage, I managed all the permitting, fundraising, design, and contractors, in addition to actually building the project. During the process, I felt at times that I had met everyone in Frederick and I remain incredibly grateful to all those who lent a hand to make it happen. My overwhelming desire to make art, combined with my project management experience, plus finding all these amazing people to work with in Frederick, were key to getting the project done.

What is one sassy saying or quote that inspires you? My close friend, Artist Matthew Mazzotta, says to get a public artwork done, you have to "just keep the feet

walking. If you stop, it's over, but if you keep on going, the path usually opens up again, there's light at the end, and you get the project moved into reality." I kept thinking about him saying that as I confronted one obstacle after another, while trying to get Sky Stage off the ground. Over the past year, many issues came up that could have cancelled the project. Rather than giving up, his words helped me push through and keep trying.

What advice can you give to other women about following their passions/dreams? I have been very fortunate to manage a number of self-initiated projects. I have found that if you have a good idea and share it, people will often times come on board. I have also found that if you keep it to yourself, hoping that someone will let you do it, it will never happen. It’s important to ask. I think following your dreams starts by sharing those dreams with others. For Sky Stage, I had to overcome many inhibitions and doubts. Even though I was pretty sure that he would say no, I started by asking the owner of a beautiful building, if I could use his building for a community project. Rusty Hauver surprised me by saying, “That sounds like a good idea.” Then I asked many contractors in Frederick to donate their time to build the project and they also said yes. Asking for help was awkward, but rewarding—people became as excited as I was to participate in the project. For Sky Stage, I also feel incredibly fortunate to have shared my dream with the people of Frederick. Frederick is incredibly unique in terms of how well people work together and how much knowledge and know how there is within the city. I shared this idea with a community made up of residents, contractors, and city staff who have an enthusiasm for creative projects that improve their community. I am incredibly grateful that the people of Frederick supported this project.

What's next? I have an art show at the Hillyer Gallery in DC in January. Beyond that, I am thinking very seriously about my next big public work, which I plan to execute in the next year or two. Art will be at its center, but it will likely also include zero energy living buildings.

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Ne ide nb ac h

WEB EXCLUSIVE y at the full stor Check out m co e. in sassmagaz

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By Jen nife r

inspire/empower “Today we can talk about mental illness. I can talk about it and you can write about it, and some of the stigma is reduced as we do,” says Jeanne Befano. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10–34; there were twice as many suicides as there were homicides. Yet it often seems discussions regarding mental illness and suicide remain quiet, behind closed doors. Jeanne Befano is a Frederick county resident of over thirty-five years. In all her time here, she has shown herself to be a jack-of-all-trades. She has been a freelance photojournalist, a commissioner for the Frederick County Department of Parks and Recreation, and has volunteered for both the Hospice of Frederick County and the Maryland Suicide and Crisis Hotline. A few years ago she became an ordained pastor and a board member of the SHIP program (Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership of Frederick County). All of this while being a wife of forty-four years, a mother of three, and a grandmother of five. Twenty-one years ago, Jeanne was faced with the unimaginable: she lost her eldest daughter Dawn to suicide. This monumental event inspired Jeanne to change her life and her outlook for the future. As she endured this devastating loss and began rebuilding an inspired life for herself and her family, she realized there were many others who would come to benefit from her story.

Dawn scored a perfect 800 in verbal on the SAT, but her math scores fell below what someone with her intelligence should perform. By the time she went to college, she was given a full scholarship for students who were multi-handicapped. Life wore her down. Many people did not understand her, some never tried. A lot of people were mean to her. She felt strange and awkward, like she didn’t fit in anywhere. Her illness spiraled downward. Dawn never responded to psychiatric medications as well as we and her doctors hoped. Each time they were found ineffective, a new one was prescribed. By the end of her life, Dawn left a pill sculpture. She’d emptied the remains of her multiple prescriptions into a glass ball jar. It was ¾ of the way full of the latest and greatest meds. It became a testimony to how much she wanted to live. Dawn called her illness, “The Beast.” She wanted more than anything to live, but to do so she needed "The Beast" to die. Eventually, it won. Dawn left twenty-two journals detailing her life from the age Below is an excerpt written by Jeanne about her expeof twelve to twenty. Her last entry was written the night before riences. To read Jeanne’s full story please visit our website she died. The journals contain Dawn’s wonderings about her ( health at an early age, with questions like, “Why do I feel the way I do?” They describe what it’s like living with a serious Raising a seriously mentally ill, learning-disabled child was mental illness. As a young adult who would be dead a month not something I was prepared for. I felt alone and isolated. later, she writes, “So much of my life has been gobbled up by Friends and family members often discounted any voiced con- my depression, it makes me wonder if the remainder is worth cerns about Dawn with words like, “Don’t worry, she’s fine.” living. I have already decided that it is.” A few days later, “AnxIt led to a lot of self-doubt for me. iety attacks every pore with its tiny pins, needles and barbs. Many, if not most families, deal with mental illness of some I swing between semi-hope, conviction, despair and total kind. As a child, my Dad described my oldest sister as someexhaustion. I am afraid of turning 21.” one who “danced to the beat of a different drummer.” That The journals are a remarkable window into the struggle of was the best he could do. He knew something was off, but those who face this illness. Reading them gives me an underdidn’t name it as illness. She was later diagnosed as Bipolar standing of the sheer strength Dawn possessed to endure so at the age of fifty-eight. much for so very long. Dawn first received counseling when she was in ninth After her second suicide attempt as a freshman at the grade. My husband Lou and I learned far more about serious University of Maryland Baltimore Campus, I gave up. By that, mental illness than we ever imagined. One important thing I I mean I cried “uncle” in the face of this awful illness. I reclearned is that serious mental illness is a psychological illness, ognized that I couldn’t save her. I remember thinking about and much like cancer and diabetes, it runs in families. how capable and resourceful my husband Lou and I were. We In high school Dawn was identified as learning disabled. Her found good doctors for her. We educated ourselves. We advoperformance in school didn’t measure up to her intelligence. cated for her. We had what we considered the best money winter 16 23

We had three years together after this point­—time I am eternally grateful for. Dawn drowned herself in Lake Linganore in 1995. She was twenty years old, and had been recently released from a psychiatric hospital. Looking back, I realize that she came home to die. I will never forget returning home from her brother’s soccer game that day to find the sheriff’s car in the driveway. Upstairs, a pile of library books was stacked high. The bed was made. My grandmother’s Rosary beads were neatly laid out on her pillow. I knew immediately what had happened: “The Beast” had won and Dawn had died from suicide. Eight long, cold months later, her body was found. After Dawn’s disappearance, friends and family wanted to believe that she was still alive and simply missing. It was hard for our community, but I knew better. Some people just couldn’t go there, I understood that. In my life with Dawn, it became clear to me that our culture would rather run from pain and death than look at it, experience it, and let it teach us how to be more human. After she died, I gave a sigh of relief and said to God, “Well, at least she’s with you!” And then immediately countered that platitude with, “Wait a minute; I need to KNOW could buy, including consultations with doctors at Johns Hop- she’s with you. I need you to show me that she is with you!” kins. Despite our best attempts, the illness was larger. To say that I was a mess during those long eight months What broke me down was my own inability to heal or fix is putting it mildly. my daughter. Let’s face it: I wanted to play god for her. It Part of my faith journey included a large painting of the broke me open. And in that, I experienced a humility that I crucified Christ against a darkened sky, the Apostle John had never known before. Letting go was the most difficult stood on one side and Mary, his mother on the other. At one thing I’ve ever experienced. I recognized at this point that I point, the painting hung at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic could not save my daughter’s life; that she might die from Church in Libertytown, MD where I attended Mass daily as this. It is not something Mom’s are good at—we’re not built a parishioner. It finally dawned on me through that paintto let go of our children. ing: here was Mary the holy one, chosen to bear God’s son, I began to turn to God in a more authentic, real way. I vivstanding underneath her son’s murdered body…I said to idly remember standing in a fast food line talking to God in my God, “Is THIS how you treat your favored ones?” head. “I don’t know what to do!” I said. “What do you want me In this, I understood suffering in a new way. It became to do for you?” asked God. “I need you to love me and be with something holy, something blessed even. I recognized that if me,” I cried. And God replied, “That’s what you need to do for we hang in there long enough to experience the pain, rather her.” I needed to love my daughter and be present with her. than run from it, it can teach us. The pain becomes our pathIt was a turning point, my giving up. I accepted Dawn, way to resurrection. It becomes a way of turning everything illness and all, bizarre behavior and all and simply loved her. At around. It says to us, all of this stuff that we call life and death that point I was not trying to save her. A part of me died that belong, and God is intimately a part of it all. day. The part of me that tried to play god and save my daughOne day I visited a little church I’d always admired and ter gave way to the recognition that only God is God. found the door unlocked. Inside the darkened space was a There was grace in this realization; in this mini-death. large replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà, with Mary holding the I experienced a new freedom that helped me recognize an larger than life body of her son Jesus. I lost it. I railed against essential difference. I wasn’t called to save Dawn; I was called the unfairness of it all. I screamed at Mary, “At least you have to be her Mom, to listen to her, to love her, to accept her. From his body; at least you get to hold him!” I got honest with God. there, I became someone she confided in and depended on. I cried a storm of tears. And then I went home. Within an hour, Dawn taught me how to love and how to support her. Dawn’s body was found floating in the lake.

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inspire/empower The next day the doorbell rang and there stood the woman who found Dawn’s body. She was crying. I was crying. We, as strangers, were hugging each other. She said she normally prays the Rosary while jogging, but she was with her husband that day and forgot until she was right in front of our house. She began praying as she passed our home and was completing the prayer when she came upon Dawn’s body. I was grateful we could finally bury her. The years went by. Every book I read was theological. I took classes at Mt. St. Mary’s. I saw a wonderful spiritual director. I went through a three-year program offered at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and became a spiritual director. I look back and have to laugh at the person I was years earlier who believed the illusion that I was ever in the driver’s seat (I never was). Throughout this experience, God seemed to be moving me towards the priesthood. It was validated over and over again, even in my Roman Catholic community. I continued to avoid the notion, deciding to bloom where I was planted. After years of inner struggle, prayer, and discernment, I left the Roman Catholic Church since they do not ordain women. I moved towards the Lutheran Church where I was welcomed into a four-year seminary program, which led to a Masters of Divinity degree. Soon after, I was ordained and became a Lutheran Pastor. Jeanne’s story is admittedly hard to read. Her ability to fully accept and embrace Dawn, illness and all, and to simply and purely love her daughter is awe-inspiring. To this day, she continues to learn from Dawn. “Because of her, I am more able to accept others where they are, and to listen well to their stories. I am able to love,” Jeanne says. She recognizes that a lot of families have similar experiences and are often left with many unanswered questions. How did it come to this? What else could I have done? Dawn’s journals answer some of those questions and remind Jeanne and her family of Dawn’s daily struggles, the real difficulties she faced and how hard she fought to live. Jeanne’s story teaches us about bravery, strength, kindness and love. Jeanne shares Dawn’s story in order to educate others. In the end, she wants to remind us all to be, “compassionate with yourself or with others who are suffering.” Jeanne was called as an interim pastor at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Burkittsville, MD, where she finds joy leading a congregation. Jeanne finds inspiration traveling the world with her husband. She enjoys seeing how the rest of the world lives from day to day. She says the enormity of the world helps to put her own life in perspective and keeps her moving forward. She immerses herself in photography. She can be seen zipping around in her little Mini Cooper and spending time with her grandkids and close friends.

Patience, compassion, and ongoing support are keys to helping those who are suffering. For any readers touched by mental illness—whether that be a family member, friend or themselves—Jeanne advises you reach out for help. Advances in brain research have lead to new and more effective drugs. “At least 80% of people respond to psychiatric medications and are helped by them as well as talk therapy,” Jeanne says. Mental illness should be treated just like any other illness. “Serious mental Illness is not a death sentence, but it’s also not something you can will yourself out of. It needs the attention of professionals,” she adds. Above all, Jeanne says, “never give up on love.” Eternally grateful for the lessons Dawn taught her, not a day goes by that Jeanne does not give thanks for being called to be Dawn’s mom. Please reach out to the Mental Health Association of Frederick County Hotline at 2-1-1 or 866-411-6803 for assistance, support and guidance.

Jennifer Neidenbach Jennifer "Jen, Jenny, J-Dawg, etc." Neidenbach is an educator, mother, and wife from the Eastern Shore and a transplant to Anne Arundel County. When she is not working in the wonderful world of assessments, she enjoys spending tIme with family, long baths, and crushing candy. Follow her on Twitter @BeltwayStalker.

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Women Faith of

Leading Their Communities By Amanda Lee Magoffin

Whether it’s women in business or the workforce, women in politics or equal pay for women, gender equality is a hot topic. Yet, one area of consideration not on such a publicized list is women in faith leadership roles; though statistics show considerable growth over the past 60 years for women in these positions. Perhaps it has something to do with the mental shift of young women raised over the last half century to believe they can do anything just as well as a man. Another contributing factor may also be the faith organizations themselves realizing the potential women have to stand at a pulpit or lead a community in prayer or mediation. Whatever the reasons, for which there are probably many, this awakening has allowed a whole new group of leaders to emerge within faith-based communities and it’s happening right in our own backyard.

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Meet Katie Bishop

Lead Pastor at New Hope United Methodist Church (UMC) If she could share one thing: “God loves us. Sometimes it

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might be overwhelming. Sometimes the darkness feels like it is creeping in. Sometimes we feel alone. But our God loves us.” Katie Bishop, Lead Methodist Pastor at New Hope UMC in Brunswick, MD, grew up in the church. She knew early on she wanted to be a leader within her community. At the age of ten she preached her first sermon at the Youth Sunday Church. When her mother asked if she was nervous, she replied, “No—this is what God has called me to do.” It comes as no surprise that this clear-minded young girl became a leading woman of faith in her community. At 33 years old, Bishop and her husband Chris (Reverend at FaithPoint UMC), have two daughters, Eden (9) and Bethany (4), are currently in the process of adopting a third child from Haiti. Even with the responsibility of caring for her family, she leads her congregation over the high peaks and low valleys of living life through faith. When asked to share a memory that truly impacted her, she recalled a very difficult time for her as a leader when a young child of her congregation suddenly died. “His death wrecked me. I loved him. He was just a child. As I anointed his empty body and prayed for the assurance of his soul, I was wrecked. It broke my soul.” Despite the pain of his passing, Pastor Katie Bishop recalled that what enabled her to lead her congregation through the storm, was the congregation itself. “In the grief, in the sorrow, in the darkness, we found a way...together.”

Meet Ani Rinchen Khandro


Senior Nun at Kunzang Palyul Choling If she could share one thing:

“If we spend more time focused on the welfare of others and less time trying to fulfill our own desires, we find greater satisfaction in life.” Another woman faithfully leading the local scene is Ani Rinchen Khandro, a Buddhist Senior Nun at Kunzang Palyul Choling in Poolesville, MD. Ani (the Tibetan word for “sister”) Rinchen was one of twenty five nuns to be ordained in 1988 when the temple was created. Since then the temple has become a peaceful and meditative place for those seeking to understand the Buddhist path including the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path to end all suffering. Ani Rinchen did not grow up in the Buddhist faith though. Raised in a Jewish family, she questioned the idea of “blind faith” as an adolescent and as a young adult she found no comfort in Judaism. “For a long time, I followed no spiritual tradition, although I meditated for many years.” In 1983 she began actively looking for ‘something’ that would fill the void. It was then that she met a woman she was immediately drawn to without understanding why. At the time this woman was teaching her own beliefs not associated with any particular faith, and Ani Rinchen became her student. Two years later a highly regarded Tibetan Buddhist Master, His Holiness Padma Norbu Rinpoche, recognized Ani Rinchen’s teacher as an incarnate Tibetan lama. Subsequently, Ani Rinchen began officially practicing Mahayana Buddhism, what her teacher had been unknowingly speaking and sharing before her recognition. As a woman Buddhist in a faith typically known for it’s male leadership, like his Holiness The Dalai Lama, Ani Rinchen explains that through her belief system it is actually considered easier for women to achieve Buddhahood. Surprisingly, the challenges faced by female Buddhists in America are not so much gender-based, but cultural. “We are responsible for all of our personal needs which means we work in the world and have to juggle and balance our spiritual life with the necessities of day-to-day life: food, shelter, health care, etc.”

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feature Meet Cantor Shulie Hersh Cantor at Beth Sholom Jewish Congregation

If she could share one thing: “Gratitude is the quickest way to find

Whether leading a congregation of followers in their religious practices, or overcoming personal struggles within their own lives, these women embody power and courage and inspire women young and old to seek the path that is right for them. Pastor Katie Bishop, Senior Nun Ani Rinchen, and Cantor Shulie Hersh are just a few examples of how women are taking leading roles in their faith communities.

Amanda Lee Magoffin Adrenaline Junky. Foodie. Blogger. Quirky Fact: Broken a bone on every limb Can’t Live Without: Tacos #1 Ambition: To Be A Published Author Favorite Quote: “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell 30 SASS magazine |

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happiness. Be thankful everyday, and express it, and you will find true happiness.” Reaching the Jewish community in Frederick is Shulie Hersh, Cantor at the Beth Sholom Jewish Congregation. A Cantor leads the congregation in worship alongside the Rabbi and holds additional responsibilities within the faith community. As the daughter of a Rabbi, raised in Nyack, NY, Hersh looked up to her father. She was fascinated by the nature of her father’s job; he was an undeniable leader and eminent presence within the community. Watching her father help their congregation, she became inspired to emulate his status and prestige. As a young teen Hersh began leading Shabbat (Sabbath) evening services at the synagogue. “Little did I know that I would be building on this seemingly temporary experience to make it my life’s work.” As a female Shulie feels honored and humbled to work in a field that women weren’t even allowed to enter until the 1970’s. Prior to this time, women were not deemed acceptable Jewish spiritual leaders, and in some stricter streams of Judaism limitations on female leadership remain today. Shulie says, “I am blessed to be serving the Beth Sholom community—a place that I can proudly call my spiritual home, where I am embraced and encouraged to serve my congregation, creatively and spiritually in my work.” Cantor Shulie Hersh is a woman of faith with a deep appreciation for everything the world has offered and continues to give to her. When asked to share a deeply personal struggle she recounted the birth of her son and how she overcame a difficult delivery. “I felt the presence of a greater force helping me find the strength to push him into the world, after 3 days of labor and 4 hours of delivery, when I, seemingly, had no strength left.”

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Women In

tech By Allison Parker

The Tech Industry’s future is so bright, it’s gotta wear Recon Jet shades. Of the United States Bureau of Labor ranked occupations, tech jobs are the highest paid by a noticeable margin. In the past few years, the Metro area start-up and overall tech scene has surged. Tech industry growth potential is limitless. Despite this boom, the 2016 McKinsey report found that women comprise only 36% of people entering the tech industry. In September 2016, Melissa Gates launched a global initiative to get more women into the tech field, and help them stay there. This industry is poised and ready for a feminine influx. Frederick’s own tech community boasts women in leadership, information technology, and innovative business roles; women from three area Tech companies shared their experiences.

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"In my mind’s brain I see a stream of data going along the conveyer.”

In college, Becky Willard realized early on that she needed to diversify. A major in business education with minors in accounting, marketing and IT laid the crucial groundwork. Her first job was at a non-profit, creating a donation database system from scratch. Next, she worked for a company that implemented software systems for warehouse distributors. Willard became a systems expert for a system utilizing algorithms to determine inventory replenishment. She then accrued contracted project work before landing a position at a global distributor. Here, she was able to exercise her own troubleshooting perspective coupled with a deep appreciation of design, which lead to additional career opportunities. Willard explains, “When I look at a design…I don’t only see the physical activity that is happening, I see the inventory. In my mind’s brain I see a stream of data going along the conveyer.” Willard was a single mother making good money at a company where she anticipated she’d finish out her career. But new leadership brought creative changes and gender bias that made her once enjoyable workplace toxic. In 2015 Willard founded Beacon Grace LLC, a technology and business consulting firm for supply chain centers, located in Hagerstown. Her business venture was propelled forward by her faith, her drive and a cache of resources, knowledge and valuable experience—not to mention her passion for her field. 34 SASS magazine |

"I'm passionate about the role art plays in technology. I'm passionate about more women coming into technology—all types of fields. I'm passionate about supply chain technology... I love what I do. I wear this geeky hat—I joke that I'm an Inventory Control Geek!” Yakabod is a software product and services company based in downtown Frederick. It provides secure knowledge sharing engines, leadership communication applications, and information security incident management software to its clients, including the Federal Government. Devin Gaither has been a user experience (UX) specialist there for four years. Her focus is content strategy aka translating English to “geek speak” and vice versa. Her role is to enhance user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and enjoyment in the interaction between user and product. Gaither double majored in English and studio art before earning her MFA in Creative Writing. Many of her contemporaries found success going to work for software companies, meeting the industry’s demand for writers. Gaither followed suit, yet she is the only woman working in the company’s ‘App Factory.’ While women are underrepresented in the field, Gaither is welcomed and celebrated by her male colleagues. To them she provides a fresh and necessary perspective, as many app users are women.

P h o t o g r a p h y: fa ll i n g s q u a r e s

Becky Willard, Beacon Grace

feature She draws inspiration from the collaborative process and from the tools she uses. “The most exciting thing about working in the tech industry, at least for the work that I do, is getting to use all the different pieces of my personality. I get to have those moments where I use my type A, analytical problem solving… and at the same time I get to use that creative mind… so it’s a good balance between logic left brain stuff and creative endeavors and expressions." Yakabod Controller and Operations Manager Amber White attended college on a full golf scholarship. Her first job out of school was organizing amateur golf tournaments around the country. In graduate school she earned an MBA and an MSA in sports administration, leading to a job with the Washington Freedom. Unfortunately, the league folded three years later, six weeks after White gave birth to her daughter. White’s path then included stints working as a travel agent, at wealth management and tech companies, and a government contracting firm all before landing her current “dream job.” While her payroll, timekeeping, accounting and management skill set is vital to her current position, she calls herself a ‘Faux Techie,’ given that her role is not in IT. She loves working in downtown Frederick, and cites teamwork and the intelligence of her colleagues as exciting elements of the industry.

“In my experience, after working for a professional soccer team and playing sports, you can see how everyone plays an important role,” she said. In October 2016 Yakabod’s Chief Financial Officer Michelle Hoffman was awarded the Greater Washington Society of CPAs’ Women to Watch Award, in part due to her contributions to growing the DC area tech community and her support of women owned businesses. Hoffman was also named 1 of 5 ‘Influential Stealthy Women of #DCTech’ by an influential DC tech blogger in 2012. Hoffman finds inspiration in the core values Yakabod’s founders established for the company: integrity and grace. When asked what empowers her in regard to her career, Hoffman responded, “Knowing that your CEO trusts you is a powerful thing. It means they hired you to solve big problems and they trust you to do it.” Orases is a Frederick-based digital technology agency, providing custom software, website and application development services its client partners, who range from Start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Vice President Amy Damoulakis (whose husband founded Orases and moved the company to Frederick in 2002) fell in love with programming during a high-school class on the subject. Damoulakis was inspired

L-R: Amber White, Devin Gaither, Michelle Hoffman, Mary Jane Chapline, Yakabod,

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"…Tech is supposed to make you better, make our world better than it was before.”

by both the work itself and the female teacher who taught the class. “She was passionate about clean and organized code— she even made us handwrite everything on paper and line up our code with a ruler before we were able to test it out on the computer,” Damoulakis remembered. “It was exciting to see a machine do exactly what I told it to do, and when it didn’t, troubleshooting the code to find out what I had to do to change the outcome,” she added. Since moving to Frederick, Orases has grown into a company with 18 employees and over 750 clients. Kathryn Zoulias has been an Orases Account Representative for three years. Her role merges the responsibilities of a digital project manager and account manager. As the contact point between client and company, she’s devoted to the management and maintenance of clientele contracts, finding potential new sales, and managing internal budgets and scheduling. Zoulias describes that a lot of what she does is problem solving and communication, drawing from her background in public relations . Zoulias says, “What inspires me is when I can see that materializing for our clients, when I can see that the process is working, and makes them better and happier at their jobs. Tech is supposed to make you better, make our world better than it was before.” 36 SASS magazine |

Despite the variance in backgrounds and job titles, the passion that these women have for their industry and companies is palpable. The ever evolving nature of the tech industry is extremely exciting, yet also most challenging. But with such challenge comes opportunity. Gaither conveyed that the more technical aspects of her job were learned when the need presented itself. She advised, “There are so many resources out there for anyone that wants to learn more about coding and technology.” Zoulias recommends women consider small companies when seeking a career in the tech world, as many smaller Tech firms have amazing opportunities. She emphasizes that there is definitely room and need for more women in the field. “We bring a lot to the table with our problem solving skills and ability to tackle challenges.” And the Tech table has many seats available.

Allison Parker is a freelance writer and avid traveler. She is always on the lookout for a great movie, the perfect taco and the delightfully weird. She lives in Frederick with her fiancee and their menagerie of creatures. You can follow her on Twitter @FreewhlinDillon

P h o t o g r a p h y: fa ll i n g s q u a r e s

L-R: Amy Damoulakis, Kathryn Zoulias, Orases,

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fashion feature

and Glam By Brittany Carpenter

It’s GLAM time ladies! Holiday gatherings, business galas, New Year’s Eve parties, Valentine ’s Day dates…the festivities pile up this time of the year, don’t they? Dressing for formal events doesn’t have to be a panic inducing experience, in all honesty, the rules of fashion don’t change. You still want to pick pieces that flatter your frame. Top heavy? Avoid strapless styles and opt for something that covers a bra. Bottom heavy? Pick an a-line design that cinches your waist, making you look teeny tiny! Straight up and down? A shift was made for you! While I will never rule out the amazingness that is the LBD (little black dress), it’s time to break out of that rut! Color, sparkle, glitter and shine are your friends ladies—embrace them! And remember, getting ready for these parties should be FUN! Formal attire generally runs small, but don’t let any number hold you back from an amazing dress! Don’t stress the small stuff—put on some good music and dance around while you get your glitter and glam on!

Special Thanks! All styles available care of Chic to Chic Boutique while supplies last. winter 16 41

fashion feature

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P h o t o g r a p h y: j e ss i c a pat t e r s o n p h o t o g r a p h y

Cara: Nude tones are fashion’s newest and hottest trend. They are the perfect alternative to black and give a super sexy vibe. Just be careful to pick a tone that doesn’t wash you out! A red lip always helps POP lighter tones as well.

fashion feature Elizabeth: Don’t shy away from bright colors. Corals, blues, reds and greens are all perfect for evening attire. Pick a color that makes you glow and step out in confidence. Double points if you find something with sparkle!

Hair & Make-up: Dena Brockhoeft, Co.lab salon winter 16 43

Chelsea: New Year’s is always the perfect excuse to pull out the sparkle! Gold and silver sequins look amazing on all skin tones. Keep your accessories neutral to avoid going full on disco ball.

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fashion feature

fashion feature Elizabeth: What to wear over these STUNNING dresses? Faux fur of course! These pieces are so hot right now and will actually keep you warm—even if you’re just dashing to the car! Pick a lighter neutral tone, it will pop any dress color better than black.

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fashion spotlight

Gail Digges Occupation

Owner of Gail's Nail Boutique

Your best style advice

Wear what you like and be confident in your own skin.

Favorite brand/designer Louis Vuitton

Describe your style in a few words

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P h o t o g r a p h y: l e i g h c a u lf i e l d

Sexy, fun, and classy.

Shop Local This Holiday

Eight Guest Artists!

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Winter Beauty

NOTS By Rebecca Carrera


Lingering in a hot shower on a cold winter’s morn may feel amazing, but this is definitely a winter NOT! After about 15 minutes the hot water begins to compromise the lipid layer of your skin, where fatty acids bind in moisture. Shorten the length of your scalding escapade or just turn down the temp. Your skin will thank you later.

Neglecting Your Hands Foaming Cleansers

Any foaming facial cleanser containing sulfates, no matter what time of year, can really dry out your skin making them a big NOT! When the temperature starts to dip below 60 degrees swap out your foaming cleanser for a cleansing cream or cleansing oil. You won’t strip away your natural moisturizing factor or NMF (yup that’s a real thing). Any skin type can benefit from an oil cleanser, even oily skin.

The Wrong Lip Balm

Leaving your hands out in the cold can lead to dry cracked skin and brittle flaky nails. Avoid antibacterial soaps, use a good hand cream several times a day and apply cuticle oil on your nails each night before bed. Finally, wear gloves to keep your digits cozy.

Lip balm can be tricky. You’re obsessed with that tingly feel from your favorite lip hydrator, but it’s those tingles that are actually drying out your lips and causing you to repeatedly re-apply. Get your tingles elsewhere, these lip balms are a NOT! Steer clear of any lip products with menthol, phenol or salicylic acid. These ingredients can work as exfoliators, therefore thinning the lips and making it difficult for lips to protect themselves from the elements.

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Skipping SPF

Whatever you do don’t skip the SPF. The sun’s rays still exist during the winter months, and over time can damage the skin causing premature aging. If you’re concerned about using a healthy sunscreen without toxins then look for a mineral version.

Rebecca Carrera Wife, mother, brow guru, green beauty obsessed, clean eater, design lover, and the owner of Maven Beauty Bar in downtown Frederick, Maryland.

Voted Best of Frederick for Twenty Years




New Space. New Life. New Look.

New York New York Salon & Spa is thrilled to welcome you to our new location. This fully remodeled mansion maintains the original integrity of the 1878 property while offering a go-to spot for fun, relaxation, and luxury. We have forty beauty stations caring for your salon and spa needs. Get your dream look in our amazing new salon (also introducing our new men’s grooming lounge!) and relax in our spa sanctuary overlooking Market Street with mani-pedis, massage and facials. We’ve shown you our new look—now it’s time for yours. We promise you’ll feel right at home.


Mary Louise


1201 N Market Street Frederick, MD 21701

(301) 695-7777


A Winter Trip to the

Big Apple

ut Check o es at sourc e r l a n additio sassma

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P h o t o g r a p h y: Ta g g e r Ya n c e y, IV / c o u r t e s y NY C & C o m pa n y


By Chrissy Moore

travel “New York City, center of the Universe,” or so it seems when I visit. There’s a palpable energy, anything is possible in the Big Apple. Maybe it’s the “rumble of the subway train, the rattle of the taxis,” the crowded sidewalks, or collection of styles— something about the city makes me feel alive! The air in NYC is never fresher than in the Winter months. Read on for tips, tricks and must do’s while traveling to NYC this winter.

Home Away From Home When looking for a place to stay, consider deals on groupon, or kayak. Once you’ve found a room rate that meets your standards, call the hotel and ask if they’re willing to give you an even deeper discount for booking with them directly (hotels pay a commission to booking sites and have wiggle room for savvy travelers). Moving your search to the east, west or south of Midtown will help defray costs. On a super budget? Check out the Mayfair Hotel. It’s old and the rooms are tiny, but the theatre district location and price can’t be beat. To live like a native, check availability on airbnb, or say “I'm blowin’ my dough and goin’ deluxe” and stay at the Plaza Hotel!

What To Do, What To Do The options are endless; you’re probably thinking, “We've got one day here and not another minute to see the famous sights!” Typical tourist spots like the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building are open year round—skip them, and save them for warmer weather! If you’ve identified the show tunes in this article, I’m guessing you want to see a show! If you don't buy tickets ahead of time, that’s ok. Many shows offer lottery tickets; each lottery is a bit different so visit their websites for information. Discounted tickets are offered at the TKTS booth in Times Square, visit their website ( for daily show postings. You won’t score Hamilton tickets, but you’ll get great seats for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, or Kinky Boots. Tip: Avoid the lines in Times Square, head to the booth at South Street Seaport and grab lunch. Or travel into downtown Brooklyn for tickets, then walk the Brooklyn Promenade for spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Broadway aside, NYC offers the best in museums, parks, shopping and city experiences! Don’t be fooled by “the shimmer of Times Square,” you can shop those stores at your local mall. Visit the TKTS booth, take some pics with the naked cowboy (give him a tip) and keep it moving. One of my favorite spaces in the winter is Bryant Park. Located one block east of Times Square, it’s a nice place to regroup before your next adventure. Bryant Park’s Winter Village is magical, shop through the 125 pop-up boutiques for unique gifts, or rent some skates and glide across the ice skating rink. Grab a cocktail at Danny Meyer’s Public Fare, a glass enclosed two story pop-up restaurant overlooking the park. winter 16 51


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events of September 11, 2001. The memorial plaza is free of charge and open to the public. Lastly, if you do nothing else—visit High Line Park. Running 23 blocks along Manhattan’s west side, the park is built on an antique elevated rail line. Offering amazing views, gardens, sustainable plant systems, innovative play areas and relaxing spots, the Highline is highly recommended!

Let’s Get Some Eats and Drinks If you’re in Midtown, head to restaurant row. Located on 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue, this block is dedicated to eating! Visit their website ( for a full list of restaurants. For the quintessential slice of NYC pizza look no further than Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village. Served piping hot, this slice of heaven is perfect for folding and eating on the spot. Better yet, grab your pizza to go and walk one block to the MacDougal Street Ale House for some brews too. The floors may be sticky, but the drink prices are great! The village is full of restaurants and bars of all kinds. Walk the streets to find that perfect spot for a meal or drink.

P h o t o g r a p h y: l e f t: J o e B u g l e w i c z ; r i g h t: J u l i e n n e S c h a e r c o u r t e s y NY C & C o m pa n y

The Stephen A. Schwarzman building, flagship location of the NYC Public Library is located along the east end of Bryant Park and offers a nice respite from the cold. Snap pictures on the steps where Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw almost got married, visit the free exhibitions, tour the historic building with a guided tour or grab something delicious from Amy’s Bread Cafe (vegan and gluten free included) before heading back out into the cold. Tip: This is a great place to use the restroom. Central Park offers a lovely winter escape. The crisp air and snowy banks are picturesque! Take a whimsical carriage ride through the park or hit up Winter Jam, a free winter sports festival. Billed as NYC’s ultimate snow day, manufactured snow is blown to blanket the park with powder for skiing, snowboarding and sledding. Lessons are available, bring your own gear or use the free gear offered at the event. Get in touch with your wild side at the Bronx Zoo. Crowds thin during the winter months yet the animals remain active in the cold. (Free admission on Wednesdays.) Warm up indoors at a museum or building tour. I recommend the NBC Studios tour. Or disappear into the Met, MOMA or the NY Transit Museum. The 911 Memorial and Museum offers a place of solace and remembrance of the

travel For a quick afternoon bite, the Shake Shack never disappoints. With several locations throughout the city, you’ll be double fisting a burger and milk shake before you know it. For healthier, vegan-friendly and gluten free eats try ChicPea, a counter served spot featuring Middle Eastern wraps, platters and hummus. Or follow the lunch rush into a nearby deli to enjoy a huge pastrami on rye. One of my favorite things to do in the city, even in the winter, is to end my night on a rooftop. My favorite teeny tiny rooftop bar is Vu Bar on 32nd Street, in Koreatown, atop the La Quinta hotel. Heated throughout the winter, Vu offers amazing views of the Empire State Building. Too cold? Then head over to the New York Beer Company, a stock market themed bar. The draft beer prices fluctuate throughout the night depending on the demand for each beer. A scrolling stock ticker above the bar shows the changing prices as the night progresses. It’s a fun place; visit and order enough to drive the price of your favorite beer down! When you head out of the city, I suggest taking the Holland Tunnel and making a stop in Jersey City, NJ at the Brownstone Diner. They have the best pancakes I’ve ever tasted!

Traveling to New York City in the winter months is gutsy, but so much fun. Don’t be afraid of the cold temperatures, you’ll warm up once you get moving! I suggest wearing layers that can be peeled off throughout the day. Be adventurous, try something new; get on the subway and head to different neighborhoods and boroughs. Bring hand and feet warmers and spend your day enjoying the sights, sounds and energy that is New York City. “History is happening in Manhattan, and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world.” Were You Able to Name All the Showtunes Cited? Answers, in order: Rent Santa Fe, 42nd Street The Lullaby of Broadway, Newsies I’m the King of New York, On the Town Opening—New York New York, Annie NYC, Hamilton The Schuyler Sisters

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wellness challenge

#SassWellnessChallenge Starting January 2017! Follow us on social media or subscribe to our eNews for weekly challenges and to be eligible for prizes!

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Great Tips to

By Julie Gaver

Any Presentation

What is the purpose of the presentation? Is it to inform, educate, inspire, or entertain? Or all of the above? The style and structure of your speech will vary depending on the intended outcome. Inspirational speeches can be more casual and include more storytelling than, for example, a quarterly update to your company’s board of directors.

Knowing the general make up of your audience as it relates to gender, age, educational level or

“ Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin

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P h o t o g r a p h y: b i g s t o c k

One of the most impactful ways to increase professional credibility is by delivering a powerful presentation. Here are some quick tips for transforming your platform presence from fizzle to sizzle!

career industry will allow you to better customize your message. Take the time to do the research and allow what you know about the audience to drive your selection of anecdotes. Hint: Millennials have no idea who Lawrence Welk was, and Baby Boomers may not have an instagram or twitter account. Knowing your audience allows you to better connect with them. The better you connect, the more sizzle you generate!

Think of your presentation as a blind date. Like it or not, your audience will decide within the first three minutes of your “date” whether they want to invest attention and energy in you. Make those first few minutes count. I always open with a story designed to make the audience think or laugh. Laughter is the great equalizer. It reduces the stress your audience may be feeling and enhances a speaker’s likeability. Jokes are cliché. Tell stories. Besides, life is funnier. Show your sass!

Walk away from the podium during your presentation. It helps you better connect with your audience, but more importantly, say NO to PowerPoint. PowerPoint was originally designed as a tool to enhance presentations but has become a crutch for most presenters as well as the surest way to give your audience permission to nap. Most PowerPoints are glorified notes that many speakers merely read to the audience. Snooze fest! Just remember, people don’t know what they don’t know. Your audience will never know if you forgot something. Fake it til you make it. I was once the final keynote speaker at a conference after an entire day of PowerPoint-heavy

presentations. When I opened my presentation, I walked to the edge of the stage, looked my audience in the eyes, and announced that I would not be closing out their day with another PowerPoint. The audience erupted in thunderous applause. Be gutsy or be forgotten.

I don’t know whose idea it was to “picture your audience in their underwear,” that sure never worked for me. My approach to getting the “butterflies to fly in formation” is to remember that everyone has their insecurities. No audience is filled with perfect people. No audience is made up of people who never make mistakes. I remind myself every time I walk onto a stage that when I have the courage to be authentic, it allows others to be the same. No one is sitting in the audience hoping you will fail. A presentation is a shared experience. When you succeed, they succeed right along with you. Think of audience members as friends, not critics and you’ll feel the jitters disappear.

The words you speak are only a small fraction of your message. Let your body move. Let your arms be free. Tell your face that you are happy to be there! This only happens when you stop thinking about yourself and focus on your audience and the message. Consider how your body relaxes when you are telling your friends about the amazing weekend you had. In that moment, you aren’t thinking about what to do with your hands (or folding them in front of you, fig leaf style). You aren’t thinking about whether you used the proper word or how you should stand. You are solely focused on the thrill of the moment. Some call it enthusiasm. Others call it passion. I call it sizzle, and sizzle is the important ingredient in your presentation that will make the experience so engaging they can’t ignore you!

Julie Gaver Well known for her high energy presentation style, Julie Gaver has been professionally speaking nationwide for the past twenty seven years. Her self-deprecating humor and ability to connect with audiences help to make training programs, conferences, and retreats dynamic and memorable. A master storyteller, Julie uses a unique blend of experience and theatrics to bring her presentations to life. For additional information on Julie, visit her websites and

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WELLNESS CHALLENGE New year, new you! Sass is kicking off the new year with our annual Sass Wellness Challenge, and we invite you to be a part of it! The goal of the 2017 Sass Wellness Challenge (SWC) is to encourage and support a more positive lifestyle through weekly health and wellness challenges. With the help of a supportive and fun social media community rooting for you, you’ll never feel alone as you work hard to achieve your 2017 health and wellness goals! We want to celebrate your successes with you! Oh, and prizes, did we mention prizes!?

WEB m ssmaga Go to sa us on for or follow allenges! ch weekly

*Disclaimer: The Sass Wellness Challenge is intended for general wellness awareness only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use the Sass Wellness Challenge to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have during this challenge.

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P h o t o g r a p h y: n e e d p h o t o g r a p h e r


health/Wellness Each week, you will be challenged to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle behavior. The Sass Wellness Challenge is NOT meant to be a fitness or weightloss challenge, nor is it meant to be a substitute for your usual medical appointments or health practices. Our challenges will focus on a broad variety of wellness categories, with an overall approach to a holistic well-being—mind, body and soul. Through our website, social media and eNewsletter (be sure that you’re following us!), each week we’ll announce one challenge that we’d like our readers to focus on. Keep track of your challenges and share a photo or status update using #SassWellnessChallenge, and you’ll be entered to win one of our weekly prizes! We also encourage women to join up in teams or support each other in-person or on social media.

Why Do It? • Many of us hold jobs that often result in sedentary days, sitting at our desks, and an office culture not conducive to healthy activity. • Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to change unhealthy behaviors and lifestyles, this way we can support and help each other keep those resolutions. • It gives us a reason to keep in touch through the new year, and celebrate together at the end of the challenge!

Here’s a preview of what you can expect in our challenge: WEEK 1: Timeout 20 We challenge you to deliberately take time out to relax for a total of 20 minutes MINIMUM per day. What counts as relaxation? Anything you deliberately do that helps you relax… deep breathing, meditating, taking a bath, mindfulness, journaling, reading, listening to soothing music, or sipping your favorite tea. Also try self-massage, stretching, yoga, aromatherapy, or turning off all electronics.

WEEK 2: Eat 5 In Week 2, we’ll challenge you to eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables each day! In general, 1 cup of fruit or ½ cup of dried fruit counts as one serving, and 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or 2 cups of raw leafy greens is one vegetable serving. Aim for 2 pieces of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables, or simply fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

WEEK 3: Sleep 7 For week 3, we’ll challenge you to get a good night’s sleep— with a goal to get at least 7 hours each night. Rest up ladies!

WEEK 4: Move 30

The #SassWellnessChallenge will begin on January 3rd, 2017 and will continue for six weeks. While we encourage everyone to participate in the full six-week challenge, you are welcome to start during any week that suites your needs!

In week 4 we’ll challenge you to get out and move around— this can be in the form of a traditional exercise workout or simply a way of turning your everyday routines into movement. Do some squats while you’re cooking dinner at the stove, or leg lifts while you’re sitting at your desk. Week 4’s challenge is to exercise and/or move for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

Weekly Challenges Sneak Peek

WEEK 5: Hydrate 8

When Is It?

Each week, you will be challenged to adopt or maintain a healthy lifestyle behavior. Our challenges will include the following:

Week 1-TIMEOUT 20: Take the time to relax at least 20 minutes each day.

Week 2-EAT 5: Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Week 3-SLEEP 7: Sleep at least seven hours a night. Week 4-MOVE 30: Exercise for 30 minutes a day. Week 5-HYDRATE 8: Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day (based on 12 oz glasses).

Week 6-4 ME: Take care of yourself with a new daily

In week 5 we want you to stay hydrated! Week 5’s challenge is to drink a minimum of eight, 12 ounce glasses of water per day.

WEEK 6: 4 ME For our final week, we challenge you to take care of yourself with a new daily health habit. You get to pick what you’d like to focus on. Some suggestions include: eating breakfast every morning, starting to practice yoga, taking up a new hobby that makes you happy (such as craftwork, bird watching, sports, or hiking), stretching everyday, cutting out caffeine, limiting soda and other sugar sweetened beverages, practicing meditation—the possibilities are endless, and the goal is to find one small, new habit that you enjoy and that you’ll hopefully continue for the rest of the year.

health habit. winter 16 59


By Sarah Kurtanich

Who says cozy cocktail parties are reserved for the December holiday season? I think we should have even more of them in months like January and February to help keep our spirits up through the long, dark winter. Let’s make it a point to continue partying well past New Year's. Keep the recipes simple, have fun with the playlist and try to forget that it’s freezing outside. The Older, More Sophisticated Whiskey & Ginger (makes two)

s on More recipe com e. in az ag sassm

4 oz. whiskey, rye or bourbon of your choice 6 oz. ginger beer 8-10 dashes Angostura bitters (Approx.)

4 twists of lemon 1 In a shaker or tall glass, pour whiskey and ginger beer over several ice cubes. 2 Toss in half of your lemon twists and add the dashes of bitters. 3 Stir, do not shake, until combined. 4 Strain into two glasses and garnish with one more ice cube and another twist of lemon. Also known as A Horse’s Neck, this cocktail was first served around the time of the Civil War, but it’s high time for a comeback. Spicy and refreshing this is a great year round sipper.

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Orange & Brie Crostini Creamy brie Smallish segments of orange Agave syrup Fresh thyme leaves Toasted baguette slices 1 Spread some brie on a slice of baguette and top with an orange segment. 2 Arrange crostini on a plate, then drizzle lightly with agave and sprinkle a little thyme over each one. Make a lot of these. They go fast.

Sarah Kurtanich Sarah is a food enthusiast. She blogs about her life and culinary adventures at and leads culinary tours of her hometown with Taste Frederick Food Tours. When she isn't cooking or talking about food you'll find her hanging with her husband and golden retriever. Winter 16 61

Helping you to live an active and pain free life through stretching and massage Contact Us Today to Book Your Appointment! 301.418.0995

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