SWM Jan-Feb 2012

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january / february 2012

it’s a new year



in hanover square



Lisa deveau

Mary Ellen Clausen:

MOVING ON FROM OPHELIA’S PLACE syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012

w w w. s y r ac u s e wo m a n m ag . c o m






xx 40


jan. - feb.

contents ETC


platter chatter


fashion forward


w.b.o.c.’s leading woman


fabulous finds


new year totally new you


feature: turtle landing


cover story: mary ellen clausen


local business matters


for a good cause: sled for red


sw inspire


a little swm beauty


healthy woman


in her own words: leisha tedford


heart healthy


main event


say what/swm calendar




OUR TEAM... Publishers

Kelly Breuer Barbara McSpadden


Barbara McSpadden


Farah F. Jadran

Creative DIRECTOR Kelly Breuer

Letter from the editor “I avoid looking back. I prefer good memories to regrets.” ----Grace Kelly Much like Grace Kelly’s sentiments, our January/February cover woman is focused on the future and remembering the good times. As you will read in this edition’s cover story, Mary Ellen Clausen has decided that this is the right time to step down as head of Ophelia’s Place. I have had the pleasure of knowing Mary Ellen for about three years now. And as elated as I was to tell Mary Ellen we wanted her on the cover, and that it would be the anniversary edition, she was reluctant to accept. Once she realized we wanted to share her story and her journey, she obliged my cover woman request. In case you missed the mention, it is our one-year anniversary…already! It was an exciting first year for us and we are already working on editions well into 2012. We had numerous women featured in our first six editions, each talented and unique their own way, and this trend will only continue into the New Year. I encourage all readers, past and present cover women and features to attend our anniversary celebration, which will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at Café at 407 in Liverpool. We will have delicious treats, great guests and wonderful prizes for you to win! Before you get into the bulk of this great edition, I have a few more items on the SWM agenda: First, I want to pay special tribute to Leisha Tedford. A few months ago, I asked her to write the “In her own words” piece for this edition since February is Heart Month, and because heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in women in the United States. During the final days of wrapping up this edition, Leisha underwent open-heart surgeries. The day before her Dec. 14 surgery, she told me to share this, “I just want you to know that being connected to Syracuse Woman Magazine is very important to me, as is educating woman about the reality of heart disease in their lives.” She was so worried her trip to the ER was cramping my photo shoot deadline, and I couldn’t believe it. She was so selfless in her concern that she minimized her health issues. What a woman she is…and thankfully she is now recovering. You’re brave beyond words, Leisha, and truly inspiring. Lastly, there is a hustling and bustling group of generous people in CNY, and they’re working to renovate a home for Dave and Diana Johnson who have adopted (over the past 35 years) 14 children in addition to their three “homemade” children. You can learn more about how you can help with this local home makeover by searching “Johnson Family Home Project” on Facebook. Monetary donations are being collected, but also volunteer workers for the project (to commence in April) and also supply donations are encouraged. I want to say, “Thank you,” to the Johnsons, Beth Baldwin and Scott McClurg for sharing this amazing story with me. As always, I am counting my blessings. I have a loving family, my health and a job that blesses me with the opportunity to be the voice for numerous incredible human beings. All of this, is simply invaluable.



Cindy Bell, of Focus Studio, 920 N. Salina St. in Syracuse, photographed Mary Ellen Clausen, former executive director of Ophelia’s Place in Liverpool.


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

graphic design Jessica Bates Melissa Meritt

Photography Cindy Bell Kelly Kane Raine Dufrane Janet Lee

Contributing Writers Farah F. Jadran Leisha Nicole Tedford Caroline Tisdell

advertising manager David Tyler

advertising sales Linda Jabbour Renee Moonan

Advertise with us...

Unlike any other publication in the Syracuse area, our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Eachissueincludesarticlesonhealth,fashion,fitness,finance,home matters, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives as well as a spotlight on local Syracuse women. Ads are due on the 15th of the month prior to publication. The print magazines will be distributed locally in over 200 locations and will beinyourinboxelectronicallybythebeginningofeverymonth.The publication is available free of charge.

Contact our home office

315.434-8889 x315 2501 James St., Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13206 info@syracusewomanmag.com Download our media kit at

www.syracusewomanmag.com Syracuse Woman Magazine is printed locally in Upstate NY. The magazine is published 10 times a year by InnovateHER Media Group, llc and Eagle Publications 2501 James St., Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206. Copyright © 2011 SyracuseWoman Magazine. No part of this magazinemaybereproducedorrepublishedwithoutthe consent of the publishers. Syracuse Woman Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Syracuse Woman Magazine and will not be returned.

Etc... january/february movies...

curb appeal with a cause

The plot centers on a security guard and former alcohol smuggler on the IcelandNetherlands route who is tempted back into illicit business by a dubious friend after encountering financial problems.





Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl), an unemployed lingerie buyer, convinces her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie (Patrick Fischler), to give her a shot as a bounty hunter. Her first assignment is to track down a former cop, Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), on the run for murder -- the same man who broke her heart years before. With the help of some friends, she slowly learns what it takes to be a true bounty hunter.

The tale of a small town news reporter (John Krasinski) and a Greenpeace volunteer (Drew Barrymore) who are joined by rival world superpowers to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. Local newsman Adam Carlson can’t wait to escape the northern tip of Alaska for a bigger market. But just when the story of his career breaks, the world comes chasing it, too. The new journey begins when Sean Anderson receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist — a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret that is rumored to involve Sean’s missing grandfather, Alexander Anderson. Unable to stop him from going, Sean’s new stepfather joins the quest.

You probably think you know every possible way that you can support the Carol M. Baldwin Foundation. Think again! It takes a “real man” to wear pink, but it takes a stronger, communityinvested man to lug a pink trash can to his curb. Thanks to a Manlius couple, Brian and Janice Jagodzinski, pink trash cans and pink recycling bins are now available to the Central New York community. Brian, the owner and founder of Up to 8 cents Bottle and Can Return and Not My Garage, saw a clear connection between his family’s success and local efforts toward breast cancer research. The Jagodzinskis, touched by breast cancer in many ways, have been continuous supporters of the CMB Fund for several years for one major reason: keeping breast cancer research funding local. “[We] love what the foundation is all about,” Brian said. After a close family friend passed away eight years ago while battling breast cancer, and his mother, six years ago, Brian started to think about an important figure, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Soon after, his brother’s wife would be diagnosed. She has been surviving for more than two years now. “Beth [Baldwin] wanted a way to promote a different awareness,”

The Not My Garage website, www. notmygarage.com, is now a portal for people to add a pink trashcan to their virtual shopping cart. The site offers 96-gallon receptacles for $100 and a 36-gallon container for $80. The latter are being retailed as recycling bins, and both are equipped with wheels so they can be rolled to the curb with ease. The Jagodzinskis purchased the pink trash cans, but all proceeds from the bulk orders and individual sales will go directly to the CMB Fund. That’s about $60,000, which will all stay local for breast cancer research.

SUPPORTING THE SYRACUSE ACADemY OF SCIENCE Girls Empowerment Group is a group of ninth and tenth grade female students, who attend Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School. The students participate in volunteer work, discussions, fundraising, and workshops to better themselves and the community they live in. Students receive tutoring from each other and a sponsoring sorority. In addition, the group provides tutoring to younger students in the elementary grades. The goal of this program is to provide a safe, nonjudgmental environment for the students and also to provide team-building activities that promote unity, teach life skills and increase student’s self-esteem, self-respect and moral character. Group discussions are encouraged and specific information is provided on issues females face in today’s world. Such issues include domestic violence, media exploitation, discrimination, stereotypes, and dating. Girls Empowerment Group teaches leadership by visiting community leaders all over the world and inviting female leaders to sit on our female leadership panel to present to the entire female student body. Since the month of December, Girls Empowerment Group has been fundraising through restaurants. Community members can pick up vouchers at one of the two Syracuse Academy of Science locations, 4837 South Salina St. or 1001 Park Ave. Present one of these vouchers on Jan. 10 at Applebee’s (3189 Erie Blvd E. in Dewitt) and the school will receive 15 percent of the sales. Applebee’s is hosting a flapjack breakfast for the program on Feb. 26. For tickets to this fundraiser, call (315) 469-9404, ext. 401.

Congratulations on Ophelia’s Place 10 year Anniversary

::platter chatter

King of an authentic cuisine by farah f. jadran I photos by kelly kane Layers of flaky phyllo dough,

both tart and sweet, crumble into your mouth as you savor the hints of nuts, spice and honey. Combining an array of tastes and textures for baklava treats like these can be a formidable task, but with more than three generations of expertise behind them, the culinary artists at King David’s restaurants are up to the task. Conversations held across cutting boards with grandchildren taste-testing lamb or chicken to learn the “secret seasoning” are all in the making of a family’s traditional dishes, dishes they have been sharing with Central New York for nearly 40 years.

Milad and Angela Hatem opened the Marshall Square King David’s in 1974 to share their cooking creations. The popularity of the family’s Lebanese-inspired cuisine grew over the years along with their passion for creating a customer-oriented atmosphere. Their son Charlie runs the flagship restaurant now, and their other son Nader runs the eight-year-old Fayetteville location. The Fayetteville location will undergo renovations in January 2012 while still keeping its Middle Eastern design. Nader says his parents instilled not only the knowledge of the Hatem Family cooking tradition, but also the desire to share cuisine with their community. Nader says both restaurants continue to feature staples from his grandmother’s kitchen. “We use the freshest and the best ingredients we can,” Nader says. The same recipes have held because of their authentic Middle Eastern flare. Among customer favorites, Nader says King David’s falafel is exceptional. “We’ve had people from overseas say they love our falafel.” The falafel recipe is “from the homeland,” something Nader says the family is most proud of because it has never changed. King David’s now features a gluten-free falafel among many other items on the gluten-free menu. An employee with celiac disease inspired the establishment to be more conscious of dietary restrictions. “We don’t want to change all the traditional recipes, but we became educated and evolved with the need [of customers].”

Among the many traditional staple menu items, King David’s homous is a unique choice for its fresh and detailed qualities. The recipe for the signature roasted sesame paste is one that has been used for years, according to Nader. He says he doesn’t know of many

that use the style of tahini (a mixture of sesame and olive oil) sauce that they do. The chickpeas are soaked and cooked. A can of chickpeas is not in this order. “We make this from scratch. This gives it a fresh, flavorful taste.” The flavor-bursting homous, Greek salad or tzatziki sauce (a cucumber yogurt sauce), accompany gyros or souvlaki, because the tastes complement nicely. Next to the fine flavor of the chicken kabob, Nader says the shish kabobs, over a bed of Arabian rice, are superb. Using a leg of lamb for the cuts, and then a “secret seasoning” for the meat while it cooks over the spit, makes the kabob juicy, tender and bursting with unique flavor. “It may be the best lamb you taste,” Nader said. King David’s two locations, Marshall Square and Fayetteville Towne Center, also feature children’s menus, takeout and catering. Visit www.kingdavids. rochesterWomanMag.com :: december 2011 9 com for more information.

SHIFT+CONTROL ::fashion forward


First things first: A beautiful face begins with a clean, clear, hydrated and glowing skin! Longtime WBOC member and independent Mary Kay sales director Teri Nichols took four local ladies and taught them some makeover tips and even some tricks! Here is what they learned: For “Daytime” (or just anytime): Select a lightweight foundation, one that completely matches your own skin tone. Contour with a bronzing powder or a mineral powder foundation 1 to 2 shades darker than your skin tone. Use color cosmetics that are a soft or medium contrast to the skin tone. Add an eyeliner, mascara, a close-to-the-lip color lipstick and you’re ready to go!


For a “Classic” or “Business” look: Begin with the basics of the “daytime look” and begin to layer for intensity. For the eyes: In the outer crease, add a medium to dark contrast, non-shimmer color...brown/black for blue eyes or blue/gray for brown eyes, and pink/plums for hazel and green eyes. Add a bit darker eye definer and intensify the lip color with lip liner and gloss. Before

For an “After-Five” Party look: Since softer lights and darker rooms absorb color, you can intensify by adding some skin toned shimmer in the “C” area, from the center of the eyebrow above the eye to the center of the iris below the eye. Another coat of black mascara will bring more attention to the eye. For a bolder lip look: Select a natural lip color, a fun and flirty lip color and a lip gloss with shine and shimmer. Add them in any order to obtain the best look for the outfit and occasion. Lastly, you must always remember: A flower is only half as pretty, unless it smells good, too!






january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com


::W.b.o.c’s leading woman

organized she’s completely


January not only marks the start of the New Year, but also it’s National Get Organized Month. What better time is there to develop new organizational habits? Persuaded by a friend, Lisa DeVeau, of Syracuse, started her own business, Completely Organized, Inc., almost 12 years ago. The company provides a variety of services to businesses and individuals, striving to achieve a team approach to organization. DeVeau enjoys speaking to others about how to get organized and she also focuses on the business-organizing aspect of her company. “I try and speak as much as I can,” DeVeau said. “I get to educate people and if they like what I say, but can’t do it themselves, they ask me to come help with it hands on.” DeVeau’s first product was a phone minder, which was designed to help users remember whom they talked to and when, and more importantly what was promised. “Many people write notes from phone calls on scrap pieces of paper and sticky notes,” DeVeau said. “Then they leave the notes out so they don’t forget to do what they promised and that can clutter your desk.” DeVeau hopes to bring more products to market, and plans to work with friends and business acquaintances to accomplish this goal. One way that DeVeau teaches organization is by her six-step method called ESCAPE. A person can organize any space based on this method. ESCAPE is an acronym for Evaluate, Sort, Containerize/Categorize, Apply Labels, Plan Maintenance, and Evolve/Educate. “Everything is going to change in the world so be ready to go right back up to evaluate and realize that something is changing and re-evaluate what is going on.” Often people fail to get organized because they are unsure of where to start or how to go about the process. ESCAPE is easy to follow; however, it does not take away the decision-making part, which is the hardest part. People tend to contemplate, “Do I keep this? Do I not? I want to keep everything.” This is the mental piece behind it, she said. In 2003, DeVeau got involved with the WBOC (Women’s Business Opportunities Connections). She has served three terms on the board as vice president, membership chair and is currently on the board of directors. “I am probably one of the longest standing board members. What kept me there all these years is the organization. Being an entrepreneur, solo entrepreneurship is great to have a bunch of people to bounce ideas off of and talk to.” DeVeau is enthusiastic when collaborating with other women. Joanne DelBalso and DeVeau do a lot of collaboration with business workshops for small business owners. “We came up with ACCORG. It stands for Accounting and Organization. We do a full-day seminar and we teach people who own their own businesses how to do QuickBooks and keep all of their things organized at the same time.” According to DeVeau, the most gratifying thing about being a part of the WBOC is the community involvement. “I like to support women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in general. I feel like I have been blessed and I should give back. I am always trying to give back to the community.” In January, DeVeau will present a few free organizational seminars. It’s free information for people and DeVeau will talk about “letting go” because it is the hardest thing to do. “Overcoming Procrastination,” will run from 6 to 7 p.m. Jan. 18, at the Northern Onondaga Free Library, 100 Trolley Barn Lane in North Syracuse.


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

The WBOC is a local non-profit organization that has been providing support to women and access to innovative events and workshops for 20 years. Whether running our own business, working for an employer or launching a new endeavor, women are connected through their entrepreneurial mindset. For information on how to become a member, visit www.wboconnection.org.

superfindsfo ::fabulous finds




Want an out-of-the-box (out-of-the-shoebox) way to display your best Port or that bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle you’ve been saving? Choose your style or choose one for a friend. These porcelain pumps (Shoe LaLa by Giftcraft) make a unique and fun gift for any woman that loves a good shoe, and a good bottle of wine. Whether that special woman loves animal print, heels with floral accents or a plain, but sharp red pump, you’re sure to make her smile. 305 VINE ST., LIVERPOOL i (315) 453-4030


“Life is too short to carry a boring bag.” Who can argue with that? Every Bailey Bag is handmade, which gives it a “specially made for you” touch. The bags feature far-from-the-ordinary colors, patterns and designs. It’s sure to beat a boring black bag any day. Spice up your cosmetic bag, diaper bag, beach tote, duffel bag or purse with a unique design, and step out of the box. You can even double your giving spirit by putting that bottle of wine in a fashionable wine bag. Now that’s savvy! WWW.BAILYBAGS.NET I 221-9202


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com






::fabulous finds

NANTUCKET CAT Adorn your ensemble with a timeless piece of artwork. Laurel Burch designs have been “in” since the ‘60s and her pieces are noticeable from miles away. These silk scarves showcase Burch’s intricate detail and animal-fancy style. Each scarf is 53 inches in length before hitting the fringe at each end. Anything and everything from elephants to horses, to dogs, cats and birds can be found on a Laurel Burch silk scarf. Find your fancy and flaunt it! WWW.THENANTUCKETCAT.COM I (315) 857-3425

THE SAVVY CHICK Want to be the “hostess with the mostest”? Look no further, and grab a 5 o’ clock Gridlock Party To-Go Box. This all-in-one kit contains enough margarita mix to stir up a gallon and a bonus Bloody Mary mix. You can also bring some variety to your ladies night with wine bag mixes ranging from Tango (Tini) Tigress, Cheetah Rita Margarita and Wild Cat (Wine Ice) Wine.


2017 MILTON AVE., SYRACUSE I (315) 416-4556



Thinking of a special way to say “Be mine,” “I love you” or on the contrary, “Love stinks!”? If so, then try saying it with chocolate. Choose from one-ounce candy bars that contain amusing messages such as “Forget love, I’d rather fall in milk chocolate,” or you can create your own personal message. Another way to celebrate Valentine’s Day (Or any day!) is with some Aphrodite’s Brickle, which is a mix of dark chocolate, rosemary, orange blossom and walnuts. (The mixture of rosemary and orange blossom is said to be an aphrodisiac, hint, hint, nudge, nudge…) Half-pound bags of brickle come in a variety of flavors and can feature personal messages, too. WWW.SPEACHFAMILYCANDY.COM i (315) 478-3100 syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012




New Year

Syracuse Woman Magazine took over the fashion scene in downtown Syracuse this winter. Three members of Women’s Business Opportunities Connections, and, for the first time, a “Syracuse man” stood before Cindy Bell’s lens for a fashion experience. Take a look at our alter ego New Year, New You fashion shoot and be inspired to change up your style for 2012.

New You

Kelly Bailey

Senior Representative, Primerica Financial Services

Artistry Salon created soft, honey kissed blonde layers to frame Kelly’s face. Business Casual look: D.A.R. brown blazer with teal hints; Basic sleeveless teal top and Old Navy trousers; Chinos necklace; Ann Taylor earrings. Formal: Navy blue pleated dress by Scarlet Night, red patent pumps by Guess, gold clutch by Apt 9. All clothing and accessories by Clothes Mentor. Honey brown shearling with raccoon trim by Georgio’s Furs

::2012 fashion shoot

Christine Allen

Owner, Chris Allen Coaching

Artistry Salon created warm golden blonde short layers to accentuate Christine’s natural curl. Business Casual: Ballet neck, loose knit sweater and skinny pant by Eileen Fischer and jewelry by Inspiration by Elisha Connor; Formal: Red dame dress by Black Halo and jewelry by Inspiration by Elisha Connor. All clothing and accessories by Oleander in Armory Square. Rose beige shear beaver jacket by Georgio’s Furs.


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

::2012 fashion shoot

Christina Sauve

Assistant Treasurer, Cooperative Federal

Artistry Salon donned Christina’s locks with a dark cherry brown and made long layers with fringed bangs. Business casual: Jewel toned tapestry jacket from Habitat, Boom Boom charcoal stretch denim skinny jeans, Vintage looking granny boots feature a kitten heel and laced front with zippers, Glamorous stretch belt with rhinestones, Magenta turtleneck from Survival, feather earrings; Formal: Figure flattering wrap front done in black/ silver/gold sequin cocktail dress from SCALA. Rhinestone strappy platform heels, sparkling bangles and teardrop earrings. All clothing and accessories

by Boom Babies. syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


::2012 fashion shoot

Jeremy Davidheiser Intern Landscape Architect, QPK Design

Artistry Salon tailored layers to Jeremy’s face, gave his beard a trimmed edge and used a light touch-up of mineral makeup. What a good sport for his first fashion shoot! Business casual look: Saks Fifth Avenue printed blue dress shirt, Nicole Farhi jeans; Formal: Saks Fifth Avenue white dress shirt, Nicole Miller purple tie, Charles G. Bailey tuxedo jacket and pants. All clothing by Designer Warehouse in Armory Square.


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com


::special feature

BY FARAH F. JADRAN For more than 10 years, Jamie Virkler had been hosting scrapbooking classes and workshops at her home in Baldwinsville, and the experience was also a pleasant one for her students. She and some of the same people from her classes would plan weekend trips, out of state, where they would rent a house and spend time crafting and scrapbooking, but also relaxing and socializing. “I started to think, women need this,” Virkler said. She returned from these trips exhausted, but also refreshed by the camaraderie. “I’m a better mom. I’m a better wife, and I think every woman just needs to recharge.”

‘grillmaster.’” Larry was surprised by how certain groups, especially scrapbookers, choose to spend almost every minute of their 72-hour stay in the basement, which was transformed into a crafter’s dream. The basement is complete with a fabric and paper cutting room, which once served as a bomb shelter. The father-daughter team cooks dinner for the guests on Friday and Saturday and return Sunday morning to make sure breakfast is served. A family friend out of Baldwinsville caters Saturday’s lunch, while Saturday morning breakfast features uniquely packaged baked muffins and breads from Box of Moonlight in Fairmount. You may very well enjoy a breakfast treat that was Tired of driving several hours to reach her weekend getaway thoughtfully packed into a mini picnic basket or beach pail. destinations, Virkler began to focus on her family’s property in Fulton, which sits within yards of the Oswego River. For this 3,000- Each room is stocked with props for guests to dress up in and have plus square foot home, she envisioned theme-rooms, a scrapbook- a good time. For example, your stay in the Western Room wouldn’t ing workshop, a full-service kitchen and gathering places galore. be complete without a message telling you to “Dust your boots off,” What she saw was the birth of the Turtle Landing Retreat. or the opportunity to sport a cowgirl hat. Turtle Landing Retreat is equipped to host 16 guests (if you count the Bad Kitty Room) but also The name for the getaway destination was inspired by from Virkler’s has two rollaway options, making the grand total 18 for total possible childhood nickname, Turtle, which was derived from her maiden weekend guests. “The sky is the limit here,” Virkler said. Guests have name, Tuttle. She decided Turtle Landing was a fitting name since been coming to host not only scrapbooking weekends, but others have the retreat lies alongside a river and she wanted a “water sounding” had team building workshops and family gatherings. No matter the name for the family business. Just off the fully renovated kitchen, reason, Virkler says the Turtle Landing Retreat is the perfect place to where Virkler and her father, Larry Tuttle, prepare many meals for be: “When you want to s-l-o-w life down.” the guests, is a wall-hanging that contains a picture of the two with a few sweet sentiments: “The story of the Turtle Landing is about A helpful hint for booking time: Reserve the “Bad Kitty Room” for a an exceptional father who believes in his daughter, no matter how hidden, quiet space to get some rest. Find more information on the Turtle crazy her dreams might seem.” Virkler says her father was quite Landing Retreat on Facebook or by calling (315) 374-0064. curious on what these guests, who are primarily women, “need to retreat from” in their lives. “I told him, ‘Everything, dad!’” Coming off the one-year anniversary of the Turtle Landing Retreat, Virkler remembers the first group they hosted. Virkler’s father showed up to cook, still with some reservations about the whole retreat idea, but immediately noticed what a great venture this was. “The women love his cooking,” Virkler said about her father Larry’s grilling skills. “Almost everything is grilled. He’s the

Preparing to ride into th Ophelia’s Place in her rearview mirror


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

the sunset…

::cover story


“I have no idea what the future holds.” To many, this could be a daunting outlook. But for one woman, who created something that grew beyond her wildest dreams, it’s OK that she doesn’t know what’s next. Ten years ago, Mary Ellen Clausen helped open the doors to Ophelia’s Place, a nonprofit organization that advocates for positive body image and provides education on eating disorders. Nestled in the village of Liverpool, Ophelia’s Place is a “safe haven and a part of the community,” Mary Ellen said. After a decade of being the executive director of Ophelia’s Place, she is passing the torch to a long-time friend and colleague. While this change may seem sudden to the community, it actually follows a five-year transition period, complete with ups and downs and some second-guesses, too. “The last thing I want to happen is for me to walk away and the organization to fall apart.” While Ophelia’s Place became a huge part of her life, there is more to Mary Ellen than just that. Over a cup of coffee at the non-profit’s Café at 407, Mary Ellen was focused on telling her story. Because two of her daughters battled eating disorders, Mary Ellen saw the need in the community and founded the organization. But Ophelia’s Place, she said, is not about her. It’s about the people who have had the courage to walk through the doors. And Mary Ellen doesn’t see the need (for Ophelia’s Place) going away. Media messages and societal norms are streaming constant negative messages about body image, especially toward women. “If there wasn’t still a need, I would get on my motorcycle and ride into the sunset.” Above all, she says she has merely been “a part” of the Ophelia’s Place story. OK Magazine, Glamour and more… “Magazines at the Wegmans checkout line are like a train wreck…I can’t look away.” She says a typical review of the covers shout mixed messages, from Love your body the way it is, all the way to lose 10 pounds in 10 days, and 100 ways to look hot. “Why do we need to look hot?” she asked. “So we can be an object for a man?” Images in society are getting worse, plain and simple, says Mary Ellen. The clothing in children’s sections of department stores are becoming tighter, more revealing and suggestive, featuring phrases such as “juicy” or “sexy” written across the bottoms of shorts or pants. “Here’s the deal, they can’t process that,” Mary Ellen said. “They’re not mature enough to handle that or to be responsible for what they feel as a result of all of that.” She says the pressure is incredible and increasing with every generation. “I want more than that for my granddaughter, I want more for my grandson. We have to educate more.” Working on redirecting these negative messages is about teaching young boys to be gentlemen and girls to enjoy childhood. “If society continues to objectify women, men will think of them as an object to be owned.” This is why she feels it necessary for parents to deconstruct messages and have conversations with their children. Yet we as adults continue to send the message that we’re not satisfied with our own bodies. “I don’t want to spend my lunchtime figuring out how many calories are in this or if I’m going to ‘be bad’ and have dessert.” Mary Ellen dislikes the term “being bad” when it comes to indulging. Too many times café goers ask when ordering: “Should I ‘be bad’ and have a cookie?” She says she proudly replies, “You’re only bad if you steal that cookie, but eating it doesn’t make you bad.” A clothing size is a number; it’s never going to be anything more. “If at age 51, it’s difficult for me to untangle those messages, how should I expect my 3-year-old granddaughter to be able to do that?” With her granddaughter Anna, 3, and her four-month-old grandson Andrew, she foresees a less rocky path of poor mind and body training. A time of transition Leaving her post as executive director hasn’t come easy. She stressed how it has truly been a five-year transitional period. For a variety of reasons, including compensation, several successor

syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


::cover story prospects came and went, with Mary Ellen still at the helm. But in the past year, Mary Ellen became more determined to make it happen. “I needed to lay out that strategy,” she said. “I said, ‘God, I’m trusting that you’re going to bring that next person through the door.’” While she had a few people in mind, Jodie Wilson-Dougherty, whom she had known since the night of Ophelia’s Place’s inaugural fundraising event, expressed an interest in the job. “She emailed me and wanted to support [Ophelia’s Place] through her church,” said Mary Ellen as she thought about how she never let her successor out of her sight since 2002. “Poor thing, she probably regretted that, hitting that ‘send’ button!” Coincidentally, Wilson-Dougherty became enthralled with the organization the first time the two met. Wilson-Dougherty, a licensed, certified social worker for ARISE Child & Family Services, will take the reins Jan. 2, when Mary Ellen switches into a fund development-focused role. “I think it would be helpful to have a social worker as a director, and slip into these shoes.” Mary Ellen’s hope is to see both the café and the organization become self-sufficient by 2014. Once this is achieved, Mary Ellen said she would be at peace. As she moves into her role of grant writing and fund development, she said she would continue to follow her heart. “It’s important to note that the only thing I knew about the café business is that I loved coffee.” The café just celebrated its second birthday on Dec. 3, 2011. “I think it’s equally important to note that I knew absolutely nothing about the nonprofit world when I started Ophelia’s Place,” she said. “I was just following my heart. I never think things are a big deal.” Since she believes the café’s kitchen has reached its full potential, she wants to find funding that will help the organization expand that area so it can continue to adequately serve the community. “I think that the café has grown beyond my wildest dreams. Without the café, I would have closed Ophelia’s Place,” said Mary Ellen as she hinted some sadness in that notion. “I always tell people that I would love for them to write a check, but they can buy a cup of coffee and that still supports us.” She sees the two-year sustainability goal as a sort of capstone to her time with the organization. “I’ll be leaving it in new hands but with a safety net.” Every person that has become involved with Ophelia’s Place, community member or board member, has left an impression on her. She is thankful for those connections and relationships, which have helped establish a

If there wasn’t still a need, I would get on my motorcycle and ride into the sunset.


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

solid foundation for both the café and the organization. “I am grateful, grateful beyond measure for all of this.” On the list of her gratifying notes, she says Danny, her husband of 21 years, stands out. “I am incredibly grateful for him because he didn’t sign up for any of this. I told him over dinner one night that I was quitting my job and doing this full time.” He has not only been supportive but he has had the unofficial role of maintenance man, IT guy, phone guy, snow removal guy…and anything else she has needed, Mary Ellen said. When he’s not helping around the café or Ophelia’s Place, Danny is working his regular job as a technical trainer for Liftech Equipment Companies and drumming with his band, Christopher Ames Band. “I told him he should be on the cover of this magazine, ‘Syracuse Man,’” she said as she laughed. While she assured me he would make a great “cover man,” I told her, this was about her, about her journey, her story. Her mother’s last tear On a scale from 1 to 10, how comfortable are you in your skin right now? “I would say I’m at an 8,” Mary Ellen said confidently. “I think I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I once was. My daughters have taught me so much through their journey, and I learned that I no longer want to go back to a world of dieting…chronic dieting.” This chronic dieting was normal for the women in her family, her mother especially. “I can’t comprehend my days being that way anymore, that’s why I give myself an 8, because I have come a long way, but I still have some work to do.” She constantly thinks about her mother in her own journey because her mother, a perpetual dieter, always dealt with body image issues. Six years ago, she passed away from pancreatic cancer only threeand-a-half weeks after she was diagnosed. She was 78. Even during her final days in Elmira, Mary Ellen’s mother still affirmed her body image issues. “I wanted to massage her legs and feet with lotion, and I realized I had never seen my mom’s feet.” Her mother hated the sight of her own feet and tended to stay covered up, no matter the occasion. “Here’s the interesting thing about perception,” Mary Ellen said. “I took one look at her feet and told her, ‘Mom, now I know where I get my feet from.’ Because I thought they were beautiful.” “I thought I would have my mom forever,” she admitted. On Jan. 6, 2006, Mary Ellen’s mother had slipped into a coma. While massaging her mother’s feet once again, she noticed her breathing had become heavier. She opened her eyes and a single tear came down, Mary Ellen said. She told her, “Mom, it’s time. The angels are here.” She got up to close her mother’s eyes. The clock on the wall showed that it was exactly 1 o’clock. “I had no idea what to do, but I wanted a sign that she was still there. I wanted to see a butterfly.” However, it was January in Elmira, how would she see one? A few weeks later, some family friends visited Mary Ellen and her husband to see how they were doing and also to give them a late Christmas gift. “I opened up one of the gifts and it was a box with three ceramic butterflies.” She smiled. She received the sign. “I still carry my mom’s last tear,” she said. “There are unanswered questions and things I won’t ever know.” The one thing Mary Ellen wants for herself during this next chapter is to “live whole-heartedly and to be present in every moment.” Losing her mother in a short period of time and with so many unresolved questions, she realized that life really is fragile. “Sometimes I actually believe that if I wish hard enough and pray hard enough I can actually bring her back. This takes me to the one thing I want for me…When you live totally and completely in the moment you open yourself up to just incredible goodness but you feel everything else as well.” Because she continues to believe that what she has done in life thus far is not a big deal; she was both humbled and anxious about being on the cover of Syracuse Woman Magazine. “People do greater things every day that they don’t get on the cover of magazines for,” Mary Ellen said. “There are so many people that are filled with goodness that are doing great things out there. So I think it’s about all their stories, all the people that walk through that door…it’s their stories that need to be told.” We will try, and we also look forward to learning what the next chapter in Mary Ellen’s story holds.

::cover story

syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


Shop Local

::local business matters

BY CAROLINE TISDELL I PHOTO BY JANET LEE Have you ever searched for a unique gift for your mother, a picky brother, or your favorite aunt? You search the “ins and outs” of stores and you just can’t find anything worth giving. Then you find yourself scrambling to the mall last minute to buy the typical boring gift card from a major retailer because it’s easy. Next time you find yourself in this bind, stop by OhGoodyGoody.com. Linda Erb decided to make this hassle a lot less stressful for her customers with a website that customizes gift certificates for local businesses. “I began asking my favorite local business owners why they don’t sell their gift certificates online. It should be as easy to buy local gift certificates online, as it is to buy major retailers’.” The reason why these local businesses were hesitant to start this was because they didn’t have extra time or money. In many cases, they just didn’t know where to begin. This is when Linda came up with OhGoodyGoody.com. “We make it easy for local businesses to enter the online gift market and easy for the online shopper to get the local [gift] certificates.” Linda set forth her business plan after a life changing accident in 2007. Linda was a flight attendant for American Airlines and after her accident she was unsure if she would be able to go back to work as an attendant. During her recovery time she had a lot of time to ponder things. “I felt inspired every time I thought about OhGoodyGoody.com.” Using OhGoodyGoody.com is simple. Shoppers just visit the website, choose a category (such as restaurant), select the certificate they would like to purchase, choose the amount, enter a personal message and it is instantly mailed or emailed to the recipient. Shoppers can also print certificates out themselves. “One stop shopping for your entire list. No wrapping or shipping, we do it all. It is also great for ordering gifts from a smart phone at the last minute,” Linda said. OhGoodyGoody.com also encourages shoppers to experiment with packages. For instance, pairing a certificate for a wine tour, with a local chocolate shop or restaurant nearby to create the perfect unique gift you spent hours searching for … except you didn’t. OhGoodyGoody.com sells gift certificates for locations as far away as Littleton, Colorado, but Linda is very passionate about being loyal and supportive of local businesses. “Buying local at OhGoodyGoody.com means buying local from wherever you live in America.” Linda is determined to provide outstanding customer service. “Where there is a will, there is a way,’ is a mantra that I have lived by in all areas of my life. Superior customer service is possible 100 percent of the time, if you live by that.” Last year OhGoodyGody.com flourished during its first holiday season. The site was swamped with business between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In preparation for this past holiday season Linda expanded her staff and is looking forward to another successful year.

syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


::for a good cause

BY CAROLINE TISDELL On Jan. 21, AIDS Community Resources will host its 2nd Annual Sled for RED event from 5 to 9 p.m. at Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center in Fayetteville. The event was a great success last year, said Jacki Coe, development associate at AIDS Community Resources. Sled for RED is not only a portal for fundraising for the ACR, but it is also a fun community event. “The mission of AIDS Community Resources is three fold: To prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, to provide support services to those who are living with HIV/AIDS, and to promote sexual literacy and improve medical outcomes,” Coe said. Last year, Sled RED raised nearly $10,000, twice the goal of $5,000. This year, ACR hopes to exceed the 2011 total and make the entire event bigger and better. Live bands will be on hand, as will 95X, which will be promoting the cheeriest fans. The ACR has different services that inform youth about HIV/ STD prevention. One of the services that youth can get involved in is the Teen AIDS Task Force. “We have trained professionals in health classes and with youth who we train as peer educators to go out and infiltrate the masses and spread the right information,” Coe said, “Not just rumors and guesses by other teens.” Another service the ACR provides for the youth is called the Q Center. This is a safe and welcoming place for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning youth to come together and be able to feel comfortable with one another. The third service


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

the Youth Safety Project for LGBTQ, which involves LGBTQ Youth Groups in Auburn, Watertown, Utica, Herkimer, and the Q Center in Syracuse. “LGBTQ youth are an undeserved population who are being bullied and stigmatized, we are helping to change how they feel about themselves.” There are three components to the Sled for RED. One portion called the Daredevil is a cardboard sledding derby, and last year it raised the most money, and attention. People involved in this are required to have a team comprised of up to five people, with one pilot and one pusher. Then they are required to build a sled made solely of cardboard, tape, and paint. This year the award for “Best Cheering” team will be featured. “We encourage the teams to bring all of their friends to watch, dress up, and cheer, cheer, cheer!” Coe said. The second component of this event is called the Adrenaline Junky. People can buy a $10 tubing pass and after the derby they can enjoy some old fashion snow tubing. And lastly there is “The Benchwarmer,” which is for the people who prefer watching. After they purchase a $10 ticket they get to sample food and drinks under a covered tent. For people that cannot come out to this event can take part by sponsoring a participant or making a general donation. Volunteers are also needed to hang up posters and pass out brochures to promote such an exciting event. To learn more about volunteer opportunities at AIDS Community Resources, visit www.aidscommunityresources.com.


syracuse women


Community Organizer, Healthcare Education Project


While in elementary school she moved to Liverpool from the sunny state of California. She stayed in the Syracuse area for several years, but was drawn to Washington, D.C., so she tried that scene for a while. However, something was calling her back to Central New York. “Two years ago I came back to Syracuse. I was constantly online reading common council notes and felt drawn to come back to sort of understand what was going on. Everything seemed so crazy here,” said Victoria Coit. It was her time in D.C. and the experience she gained there that taught her a lot about being proactive when it comes to community. Victoria appreciates the abundance of opportunities that Syracuse has to offer.

She is now a community organizer. Victoria works with the Healthcare Education Project, which protects and expands access to quality, affordable healthcare for all New Yorkers. Victoria is directly involved in dealing with budget issues, protecting against cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, lobbying, and creating and developing events. She is eager when it comes to helping with food access issues on the South Side. Passionate about cooking and food, Victoria was an aspiring chef in D.C. “The way people eat and their lifestyles directly relates to their happiness. As an organizer I can easily try and change their external situation but they have to address their internal issues.”

She doesn’t always know where her passion and motivation comes from when she is helping in the community. However, Victoria does link her motivation to her grandmother who was always involved. “Her motto was, ‘leave a place better than you found it.’ I try to live by that. It is always in my head.” In September, Victoria started studying to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She plans to graduate from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition next October. She wants to be a coach for people battling obesity and those who are affected by the lack of food access and knowledge. “My goal be the best person that I can [be] whatever issue comes my way.” Victoria says this avenue would allow her to help others find an alternative way to being healthy. “[People need to] understand that not one diet is the same,” Victoria said. “There is no quick fix to any ailment.” Her focus would be to create a plan specific to an individual. Her overall goal: Getting people healthy, one person at a time. Victoria became interested in doing this because as a child she was overweight and was always searching for new ways to be healthy. “That is where it stemmed. And also, my father was very overweight and unhealthy and I started to help him and he lost a lot of weight and was happier and I was able to see what losing weight does for people.” Her personal experiences as well as witnessing her father’s transformation has motivated Victoria to help others reach success with their personal health, too. Along with this passion, Victoria enjoys writing about all the places she has been “blessed” to travel to and experience. These experiences have inspired her love for community connections. “I wish other people could experience this. I believe our lives are directly related to our experiences.” (continued on page 36)

syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


::sw inspire

“My mom used to tell me ‘Keep things in perspective’” ELAINA BURDICK

Board of Trustees, Vera House BY caroline tisdell I PHOTO BY kelly kane “Working with Vera House has blessed me in so many ways,” said Elaina Burdick, member of the Vera House Board of Trustees. Vera House is an agency that provides safe shelter and support services for women, children and men. People that come to Vera House for help are survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Vera House stands out among other agencies because of the astonishing support services they offer. Also the people that work at Vera House are remarkable. “Don’t even get me started on the ‘angels’ who work there,” Burdick said. “Because there is no other way to describe these incredible people who counsel, educate, and also struggle to find funding.” At first Elaina was hesitant when a friend, Kate Flannery, asked her to join the board of directors for the agency’s Rape Crisis Center. She was tentative only because she did not know what she could contribute other than marketing and business support. “After my first board meeting, when it was mentioned that 70 percent of the sexual assault victims we served were children, I was in. All in.” In 2005, the Rape Crisis Center merged with Vera House allowing these two inspiring agencies to act together as one. This merger had unmeasured benefits for the community and the clients that they both served. Elaina served on the board of directors for six years and stepped down in December of 2010. Now she serves as a member of the Vera House Board of Trustees (also known as the Foundation Board). Elaina is appreciative of her time on the board of trustees but is disheartened by the realization of what people are capable of inflicting on each other. After meeting many survivors, she is blown away by the strength they possess. “My mom used to tell me, whenever I was wallowing in some teenaged drama, to ‘Keep things in perspective.’ I can’t begin to tell you how much working with Vera House has enabled me to do exactly that.” Vera House has helped her to become a better leader because she has to be strong and continue with dayto day challenges. Any given day at Vera House can be filled a number of challenges. Discussions among board members would range from the overflowing shelter occupancy, to the 8-year-old who was never allowed a birthday party until he came into the shelter, or the child who arrived so traumatized that she sat rocking under a table for hours. “It’s made me fearless. I don’t think I’m capable of being shocked anymore. The absence of fear is empowering.”


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

Elaina does many things when it comes to her dedication to Vera House. But at the same time she owns a niche marketing firm called EB&L Marketing. Her firm helps Carrier and Bryant distributors and dealers (heating/AC contractors) market their businesses. She absolutely loves what she does and tends to joke about knowing more about air conditioning than is attractive for a woman to know. (continued on page 36)

“There is a lot of activity and growth (in Syracuse) and I wanted to be a part of it.”

::sw inspire


Chief Administrative Officer, Upstate University Hospital at Community General BY FARAH F. JADRAN I PHOTO BY raine dufrane “I couldn’t ask for something more perfect in terms of opportunity.” How many people can say that about their current job? Perhaps your job isn’t even in a desired location, but if it was everything you ever wanted and near your hometown and family members, what more could you ask for? This is true for Meredith Price. She believes many things have happened by chance, but for the right reasons. More than a year ago, Price, 38, was named the director of operations at the Upstate University School of Medicine. When Upstate acquired the Broad Street campus of Community General Hospital, Price was named the Chief Administrative Officer of Upstate University Hospital at Community General. This is when everything truly fell into place for Price, her husband, Justin, and their two children: Tatum, who had her first birthday on Sept. 23, 2011, and Chase, who will celebrate his third birthday on Jan. 14. Price’s passion for medical consulting took her many places across the country, but she always wanted to return to her Syracuse roots. Price grew up in Liverpool and graduated from Liverpool High School in 1991, in the same class as her husband. Although the two never dated in high school, she says they found each other again when the time was right. The timing of life events and the unending support from her family have made the idea of “asking for more,” something she finds humorous. Over the past few years, Price traveled to distressed hospitals to assist in their financial recovery. Among the many memorable cases she worked on, her time at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (located in Martinez, Calif.) has stood out because of the dire needs of the community surrounding the hospital. Price said she worked with many Contra Costa County officials to help save the hospital from bankruptcy. While working on this case, the hospital board offered her a full-time position many times, but she refused because her heart was in Syracuse. Price and her husband bought a home in the Syracuse a few years back even though she was still working out of state because she hoped to ultimately work and live in Syracuse. “I wanted to be here,” Price said. “There is a lot of activity and growth [in Syracuse] and I wanted to be a part of that.” Her sights were set on Upstate because of its notable growth, including the Golisano Children’s Hospital and their plans to grow with Community General. When she got her opportunity to come to the hospital, she was more than pleased. “I was lucky,” she said. In her current position, Price says her team is impeccable, and again, more than she could ask for. “I don’t know how I would do it without this team of individuals that work with me,” she said. (continued on page 36)

syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


::sw inspire




In addition to working toward being a health coach, Victoria is involved with a lot of other things. This past October, she was the coordinator for Central New York’s National Food Day. She put together about four different events entitled Food Day Weekend. “It was a success. But next year I want to make it bigger. I want more people and organizations to get involved.”

She still involves herself with Vera House and hopes that with their focus on education and their support as well as advocacy it will somehow end the cycle of domestic and sexual violence diminishing the need for an agency like Vera House. For the time being she offers ways that people can help. “Here’s a suggestion: keep a box where you can collect items to donate. When you’re in a store and there is a buy-one-get-onefree sale on aspirin, mouthwash, or facial tissues, buy them and put the second one in your Vera House box.”

“They’re tremendous at finding solutions to problems.” Price says all her background and experience has been a good fit for the recent hospital acquisition and that she was glad to be involved in the planning stages.

In January, there will be a clergy breakfast at 119 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Office, where all the clergy in Syracuse will meet. The theme is Health Care for Dummies, and Victoria will talk about all the things that are going on in health care and the health care system. “We are breaking it down so they can break it down for their congregations.”

Anyone that is interested in doing this can drop off a box at the Vera House office, which is located on 6181 Thompson Road, Suite 100 in Syracuse.

When she leaves for work each day she feels confident that the kids are taken care of since Justin is a stayat-home dad. “I like knowing one of us can always be there, especially if one of the kids is sick.” The birth of their first child came a year after they were married, which was “by chance” and Price says that’s just been the way things have worked out. “None of it was planned, but looking back…everything fell into place,” Price said. “We’ve been really lucky.” She loves to come home from a long day and see the kids stumble toward her for a big hug. “Then it’s dinnertime, books and jammies and ready for bed.” Before the two possibly embark on another maternity journey, Price says she wants to start volunteering for organizations that she is passionate about. Also, Price would like to make plans to run her sixth full marathon. She has run marathons in Philadelphia, Boston (twice), Chicago and Disney. While she continues to run regular half-marathons (such as the ARC Half Marathon) and the Mountain Goat, Price says she would like to choose a different marathon for No. 6. Whether it comes to her family, her work or her running, Price says she’s committed. “I don’t know if I would have the same confidence or would set my sights on any of this if it wasn’t for my commitment or dedication.”

New Year

::a little swm beauty

New You

Start the with a By Jillain Salomone

Ladies, does the way you look on the outside reflect how you feel on the inside? I think it does... at least to some degree. Now this doesn’t mean we have to get all dolled up every day; but we should take the time to pamper ourselves every day. Because we are worth it! Personally, I can be feeling a little down and go put on some makeup and fix my hair and I’ll feel better. So even if you don’t go out of the house be sure to use a moisturizer every day and don’t get in a rut of wearing the worst clothes you have. You know the ones - the sweat pants with paint stains or your old t-shirts with holes. Here are some tips and ideas to start the New Year with that will help you to feel better by looking better. If you just want to freshen up your look this year these tips are classic and will never go out of style. Look your best and indulge yourself every day by experimenting with colors, a new shade of lipstick or gloss, or maybe a bronzer for a healthy glow. Try a new hairstyle or if you really want to be bold a new hair color. The key is to start with healthy skin and hair and then make the most of it for added beauty. If your best asset is your lips, try having fun with lip color. Lips are one of the easiest ways to be adventurous...after all you can take it off as easy as you put it on: Begin with a lip liner to define your lips and reduce feathering around your lip line. Choose a liner close to your lip’s natural color, or choose one that matches your lip color. Experiment with color, even if you’ve always thought you couldn’t go bold. Believe it or not there is a red that’s right for you. But bold isn’t your only option...it’s also sexy to go nude. Let your mood define your color...After all why should all your moods share the same shade? Finally, choose a gloss for added shine and radiance. Have fun with your cosmetics: Start with a flawless canvas - make sure your skin is clean and moisturized. How much coverage do you need? If you have blemishes or unevenness, use a primer and a foundation to give you coverage to even out your complexion. Healthy, unblemished skin doesn’t need to be totally covered. Apply face products selectively in areas of uneven skin tone, usually along your nose and cheeks. For a more natural look apply concealer to hide small imperfections and add blush or bronzer to brighten your entire face. If you have oily skin, add a translucent powder. Add drama to your eyes and lips. Since eyes are so expressive, you can bring attention to their natural beauty with a simple application of shadow, liner and mascara for lush, full lashes. Or, for evening drama try a trendy iridescent shadow or layer colors for added effect. Just as we take care to moisturize and protect our skin, we can’t forget our hair: Cleanse and protect your hair - use a shampoo that is made for your ‘type’ of hair. If you have oily skin you will probably have an oily scalp, same for dry skin and hair. You can get shampoos for color treated hair, volumizing shampoos for limp hair and etc. The important thing is to generously shampoo your hair with warm water. Finish with a good conditioner to lock in moisture and protect your hair from environmental influences. But most importantly, look for a shampoo that is sulfate free. Sulfates will strip your hair color and is bad for the environment. Make the most of your hairstyle. We’ve all seen a gorgeous hairstyle in a magazine and wondered how it would look on us. A good hairstylist will work with you to achieve the look you want, taking into account the following: Your hair’s basic texture for example if your hair is straight and fine, a curly style may not be your best choice. You can work with your stylist to learn tricks to boost your hair’s volume to achieve the look you desire. How much time and talent do you have? This is important. Be realistic! If you are typically a ‘wash and go’ type be sure to be honest with your stylist what you are willing and able to do to make a style work. Jillain Salomone is a professional hair stylist and make-up artist. For more tips visit her website www.jillain.com or follow her on Twitter @JillainDotCom syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


::healthy woman

BY FARAH F. JADRAN With every diet trend and latest workout craze, we are becoming more and more health conscious, or are we? The more celebrity-endorsed workouts, diets, pills and cleanses that hit the market, the harder it becomes to focus on what should be our main goal: leading a healthy lifestyle. Too often fads saturate the health and fitness industry, deceiving those that want to improve their health. Instead of entering a fly-bynight weight-loss program, try a few, simple lifestyle changes. Make an effort to get at least eight hours of restful, continuous sleep every night, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and figure in at least 30 minutes for vigorous exercise at least three times a week. Lastly, be mindful (but not neurotic) of what you eat. You can still indulge in decadent desserts and some fast food here and there, but the key to this is portion control! In general though, it is important to make an effort to fuel our bodies with more fresh and healthy foods, but when you’re “on the go” this can be tough. Luckily, our community has two new options for some healthy choices… Pronto Fresh If you work in downtown Syracuse or venture that way for meetings, Hanover Square will have a new “quick serve” eatery in January 2012. Pronto Fresh, owned and operated by Mark Bullis, will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch and it’s located next door to Bullis’ popular Bull & Bear Pub. Why would Bull & Bear’s longtime owner open a place like Pronto Fresh? “Because it’s the exact opposite of what I do (burgers and beer),” Bullis said. “There’s nothing like this in the market right now.” Bullis says customers can count on “simple breakfast” choices such as egg, Canadian bacon and provolone on a tasty ciabatta. Breakfast goers also can choose from muffins, bagels, croissants and hot oatmeal with choices of fixings. Lunchtime will be the draw, according to Bullis. “It’s all tray service,” which Bullis says will make it easy for people to stop in to grab lunch. Along with a la carte items, customers can select from a variety of sandwiches such as herb roasted turkey and classic tuna, but also salads such as Thai peanut and noodle-based salads. Bullis says he hopes to establish a Pronto Fresh club system for frequent customers. Stop in and give it a try and take a glance at their blog, www.prontofreshcny.com. Om Boys … Consciously fresh! It’s all vegetarian, all vegan and best of all, it’s all fresh! Om Boys, located at 137 First Street in Liverpool, has caused quite the stir with its unique offerings. The trio partnership, hard at work to provide “positive energy” and healthy and fresh 38

january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

Michelle and Todd Brundage, and Daniel Bebber, has been hard at work to provide “positive energy” and healthy and fresh food choices. “We really research what we serve,” said Michelle Brundage. “We like to get to know our customers and find out what they want.” Among the customers’ favorites is the grain bowl that features layers of freshly steamed rice, vegetables and a dragon sauce that contains maple syrup, tahini and nutritional yeast, a staple in a vegan diet, according to Brundage. Om Boys is a smart option for those with gluten allergies since everything is gluten-free. Also, Brundage stresses that everything is lightly steamed (some veggies are served raw, if desired) so that enzymes are not “cooked out” of the food. “Most of us want to change (eating habits) but we’re not sure how to do it,” she said, so why not let Om Boys offer some suggestions? Customers also have the option to buy fresh produce, granola or gluten-free baked goods. When you stop in, try a signature smoothie or a wheatgrass shot (to boost your immune system with up to six pounds of veggies in one shot) or some delicious French press coffee.

::in her own words


to my humbled heart BY LEISHA TEDFORD I PHOTO BY RAINE DUFRANE Here I sit, struggling for an idea or a thought. Why is writing and sharing about something personal so difficult to start? My career is easy to write about. Professionally I have done well. I have a graduate degree in social work from Syracuse University with more than 20 years of counseling and group facilitation experience. I’ve started my own companies, developed and implemented trainings, and gained experience in leadership development, administration, and public speaking. I’ve worked as adjunct faculty at a local college and was a top sales executive in the medical and insurance fields. But none of that really matters. We all have work experience that may define who we are. We all have had accomplishments that we are proud of. But I still sit here struggling to begin my story. Why is that? What about my story makes it unique, inspiring, or interesting? And then it hit me. There is nothing unique about my story as a woman. Our journeys can be very similar and our experiences, the same. I am hoping you can see some of your story in my journey and share an experience. Recently, during a conversation with my oldest daughter Chloe, I explained that when I was a teenager I had dreams for my life that echoed hers. I dreamed about my fairy tale that included a happy marriage, children, and a fulfilling career. I didn’t imagine a life that included divorce, bankruptcy, business failure, single-motherhood, depression, online dating, unemployment and health issues. I have found that life can be unfair and rewarding all at the same time. It’s all about perspective. My experiences were either lessons or blessings, or both. I am now thankful for every one of them. With all those life lessons behind me, I was ready for change. I was excited for my future. Turning 40 came with much anticipation and I was ready to author a new chapter in my life. I didn’t know that my most challenging life lesson was lurking around the next corner. Three years ago I had a heart attack. My symptoms were minor, atypical, and easily explained away. What other working mom isn’t fatigued? And my nausea was obviously some “bug” I caught from my kids. I delayed seeking treatment and I am lucky to be alive. My only option for survival was an emergency open-heart surgery. I was terrified. I believed I was going to die. The thought of never seeing my children again was devastating to me and I was filled with regret. Waking up on life support in an ICU after surgery left me feeling deeply humbled and grateful. I was given a second chance in life.


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

I believe that my heart attack and experience with heart disease makes my journey very similar to your story. Heart disease is part of every woman’s story whether she knows it or not. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of all women in the United States and it kills more women than all forms of cancer combined including breast cancer. It’s a silent killer and typically the first symptom of a heart attack is death. Let my heart attack be your first symptom to share an experience and motivate you to become proactive with your own heart health. My heart is filled with gratitude for a second chance and I am passionate about educating women about heart disease and teaching them to live intentionally making each heartbeat count.

syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


A Village of Caring...

Celebrating Ophelia’s Place 10 year Anniversary!

limp lizard


::heart healthy


and risk of STROKE by Dr. James T. Connelly

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder with more than 5 million cases in the country. A-fib is caused by the loss of the coordinated electrical activity between the top 2 chambers of the heart (the atria) and the bottom chambers (the ventricles). Instead of a coordinated squeezing of blood from the atria to the ventricles, the atria contract in a haphazard and erratic manner (fibrillation) that affects the heart’s ability to efficiently pump blood. Common symptoms are palpitations, a sensation of heart racing, fatigue, weakness, chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath and decreased stamina. More dramatic symptoms are congestive heart failure, fainting, and a dangerously low blood pressure or heart rate. The most devastating consequence of A-fib is a stroke. The pooling of blood in the atria causes a stroke. Since the blood is not flowing efficiently from the atria to the ventricles, the blood that is pooling will tend to form clots. A clot can form and dislodge itself and enter the blood stream. The newly dislodged clot travels to and abruptly clogs a brain artery, which causes brain cells to die within minutes resulting in a stroke. This is why the majority of patients with A-fib are placed on blood thinners or anticoagulants to prevent these clots from forming. The absence of symptoms due to A-fib does not protect against a stroke.


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

The treatment options for A-fib consist of medicines to slow the heart rate to lessen symptoms, shocking the heart back to a normal rhythm, and medications to convert the heart back to a normal rhythm. Fortunately, there are now newer anticoagulants such as Pradaxa and Xarelto, which do not require frequent lab monitoring nor frequent dose changes and are just as effective as Coumadin in preventing strokes. However, these new medications still do carry a risk of bleeding as do all anticoagulants. A-fib will undoubtedly remain a significant burden on our patients and the healthcare system. As our population grows older, the number of cases of A-fib will increase. The obesity epidemic will likely also lead to an earlier onset of this heart rhythm disorder. If you feel you have any of the above symptoms that could be consistent with A-fib, please call your physician as soon as you can. Only your doctor or cardiologist can determine which of the many treatment options are best for you.

syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012






Vera House hosted its annual New Beginnings Gala on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Oncenter. December marked the 20th anniversary of Vera House’s signature celebration. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow and her husband, Dr. John Epling were the 2011 honorary chairs. Both were recognized for their continued dedication to the organization. Vera House Executive Director Randi K. Bregman talked about how the support of the community has helped the organization to thrive. About 500 community members attended the 2011 New Beginnings Gala. Vera House is always in need of donations to its “wish list” which can be found on www.verahouse.org.



The Women’s Business Opportunities Connections organization hosted its annual holiday party and auction Dec. 7 at the Genesee Grande Hotel. This is the WBOC’s biggest annual fundraiser that allows the organization to continue to provide support to women’s leadership in local business. WBOC members enjoyed tunes donated by Liverpool DJs’ Jamie Cheeseman. Numerous members and other local business owners attended and also donated items for the silent auction and raffles. The WBOC celebrated its 20th anniversary in October 2011, and ended the year with a successful holiday party and auction. Learn more about becoming a member at www.wboconnection.org.


january/february 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com





Syracuse Woman Magazine hosted its first-ever holiday gathering Dec. 14 at Prime Steak House in Hanover Square. Guests who brought food items to donate to the Food Bank of CNY were entered into a drawing to win gift certificates to Prime Steak House, Canal Walk Café, Koolakian & Manro Menswear, Mohegan Manor and Mirbeau Inn and Spa. We had four lucky winners and collected 134 pounds of food for the Food Bank of CNY! Thank you to everyone who participated in our food drive! SWM will proudly celebrate its first birthday on Jan. 12. Join us between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Café at 407 (Ophelia’s Place) in Liverpool. Let’s celebrate one year (and many more to come) of sharing your stories!


syracuseWomanMag.com :: january/february 2012


::say what?

Say WHAT?! Hmmmm. What were they thinking?

We come across a lot of things in the course of our day that just make us stop and say ‘Huh?’ That’s what this section is for. It may be a silly road sign, maybe your pets or your kids did something funny, or yes, maybe you see someone who should have checked the mirror before leaving the house.




SWM One-year Anniversary Party

Time: 11 AM to 1 PM What: It’s our anniversary! Come enjoy great food, amazing company and celebrate the joy of sharing your stories! Where: Café at 407 (Ophelia’s Place), 407 Tulip St., Liverpool


SWM Night/Syracuse Thrist

Time: 5:30 to 7:30 PM What: After-hours with SWM & Syracuse First supporters Where: Anthony’s Pasta Bar


sled for red

Time: 5 to 9 PM What: Sledding and spreading good cheer for the ACR Where: Four Seasons Golf & Ski Center, Fayetteville

calendar 21



3rd Annual Hooley Fundraiser

Ladies Night at Fortunato’s

29 2nd Annual World Interfaith


Time: 7 to 10 PM What: Pizza, raffles, silent auction, dancing and kids’ zone to support Friends of Johnston School & Johnston School of Irish Dance Where: Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Road, DeWitt

Harmony Assembly

Time: 3 to 6 PM What: Celebrate different Faith Traditions in the Central New York area. (Sponsored by: InterFaith Works of CNY & Women Transcending Boundaries) Where: Temple Concord, 910 Madison St.

Time: 5 to 8 PM What: Spa pedicures, manicures, jewelry refreshments & more Where: Fortunato’s Hair Design & Day Spa, 217 First St., Liveprool

SWM Night at Limp Lizard

Time: 5:30 to 7:30 PM What: Enjoy LL’s food favorites and drink specials Where: Limp Lizard, 201 First St., Liverpool


CNY Laser Open House & Ladies Night Time: 4 to 8 PM What: Enjoy a wine tasting, refreshments Where: 3070 Route 31, Baldwinsville

Do you have an event coming up? Submit your information to events@ syracusewomanmag.com

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