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january 2014

fab finds TRY IT IN 2014! special feature



Miss America Nina Davuluri

Creating Circles of Unity w w w. s y r ac u s e wo m a n m ag . c o m :: January 2014







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change iright. Read this month’s Fitness article on [pg24] by Renee Benda because she truly takes you through the “before and after” process that women can relate to. Also, this month’s Healthy Woman column on p. ## will take you through several weight loss myths and how to properly implement a healthy lifestyle change. And of course, once we feel better on the inside and make peace with the healthy transformations we have made, we might want to venture into that somewhat scary…dating world! Check out [pg32] to read this month’s Miz Match column on finding what could have possibly been right in front of us all along. “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Every day is another day we’re blessed to share a story about you, someone you know or someone you should know. That is what Syracuse Woman Magazine is all about. We are beginning our fourth year of publishing and that means that we’ve been given another year to celebrate you! In this edition, we’re focused on the new year but we’re really focused on you. In this “New Year, New You” edition, you will find tips on starting 2014 on the right foot. Once the clock strikes midnight, we’re already changing out calendars and most definitely, we’re drafting those ever important resolutions. When it comes to “starting anew” — what are the most important areas you’re focused on improving or changing? Are you focused on making a career move or enhancing the one you already have? For career advice, check out Tracy Tillapaugh’s advice on [pg40] in this month’s “In Her Own Words” column. But if you’re looking to enhance your current career you have, think about joining a women’s business support group like the WBOC (Women Business Opportunities Connections). You can learn more about how this non-profit benefits women on [pg20] in this month’s WBOC Leading Woman feature. Plus, our finances can become a focus of a New Year’s resolution. Take a look at this month’s Reads and Writes feature about our May 2013 cover woman Lauren Greutman’s latest book releases, which will guide you on a debt-free path. Next to our careers, our fitness, nutrition and love lives always end up on that list of resolutions. We want to be healthier and we want to know we’re implementing health

Now, as you’ve already seen by picking up this month’s edition, our cover woman is none other than Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri. We thought it would be fitting to start the new year with Nina on the cover, not just because she is the reigning 2014 Miss America winner, but because her message and platform are of a new nature and one that needs to be inserted into our everyday conversations. Nina is on a mission to create unity wherever she goes. Her platform, Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency, has become a worldwide topic of discussion since night she was crowned last year. Learn more about Nina on [pg26] and what this movement of change in our society means to all of us. Also, what New Year’s edition would be complete without trying a few new Fabulous Finds? On [pg10], you will find some things I suggest you try in 2014. Some are simpler than others and some are just plain fun. Give one, two or all of them a try and make 2014 a year to remember. As always, we’re here to celebrate your ideas and your achievements, but most of all we’re here to talk about what matters most to you. Keep in touch with us online at SyracuseWomanMagazine and on Twitter at @SyrWomanMag. You also can follow me on Twitter at @FarahJadran for behind-thescenes coverage of SWM and lots of tweets about running, food and fashion! Until next month, be beautiful and genuine. In other words —be you! Sincerely,

Farah ON OUR COVER... Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, a native of Fayetteville and former Miss Syracuse, is pictured on our January cover. The cover photograph and all images in the cover spread were provided by the Miss America Organization which we worked with closely for this edition.

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AUnlike d vanye rother t i spublication e w i tinhthe Syracuse u s . . . area, our feature articles address major topics that interest local women.

Each issue includes articles on health, 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 350 locations and will be in your inbox electronically by the middle of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Contact our home office 315.434.8889 2501 James Street, Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13206 Download our media kit at The magazine is published 12 times a year by InnovateHER Media Group, llc. and Eagle Publications, 2501 James Street, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206. Copyright © 2013 InnovateHER Media Group, llc. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publishers. Syracuse Woman Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of InnovateHER Media Group, llc. and will not be returned.


OUT & ABOUT MELT AWAY THE MIDWINTER BLUES – February 7 On Friday, Feb. 7, the CNY Brain Aneurysm Awareness Campaign will host its Melt Away the Midwinter Blues Fundraiser at Barbagallo’s Restaurant in East Syracuse. The event will run from 6 to 10 p.m. The non-profit CNY Brain Aneurysm Awareness Campaign was started by aneurysm survivor Mary Cook, an educator in East Syracuse. It has been almost three years since her surgery. Attendees will enjoy dinner, desserts, wine and spirit tastings from Varick Farm and Winery, Merritt Winery and Bailey’s. Everyone will go home with a complementary bottle of wine sponsored by Varick Farm and Winery. Every hour, attendees will enjoy different entertainment, raffles and a silent auction. Syracuse Woman Magazine Editor Farah F. Jadran will be the emcee for the event.


The Advernturer- Jan. 10 In The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, 17-year-old Mariah Mundi’s life is turned upside down when his parents vanish and his younger brother is kidnapped. Following a trail of clues to the darkly majestic Prince Regent Hotel, Mariah discovers a hidden realm of child-stealing monsters, deadly secrets and a long-lost artifact that grants limitless wealth—but also devastating supernatural power

The Nut Jon– Jan. 17 Surly, a curmudgeon, independent squirrel is banished from his park and forced to survive in the city. Lucky for him, he stumbles on the one thing that may be able to save his life, and the rest of park community, as they gear up for winter - Maury’s Nut Store.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Jan. 17 The story follows a young Jack Ryan from 9/11, through his tour of duty in Afghanistan, which scarred him forever, and into his early days in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA where he becomes an analyst. When Ryan believes he’s uncovered a Russian plot to collapse the United States economy, he goes from being an analyst to becoming a spy and must fight to save his own life and those of countless others.

Labor Day – Jan. 31 Follows a 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-toschool shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict.

The campaign is committed to helping those affected by a brain aneurysm, educating the public about brain aneurysms and funding research relating to brain aneurysms. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door and can be purchased at .

SLED FOR RED – February 8

Would you like to go “slip slidin’ away” to raise cash for a great cause? Look no further and put Sled for RED on your agenda at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center. The biggest part of the night is the cardboard sledding derby, called the Daredevil. You can arrange a team of up to five people to build a sled made from only cardboard, tape, and paint. Each team is required raise a minimum of $250 and then race the sleds for various prizes at Four Seasons on the day of the event. After the derby, the Adrenaline Junky ticket offers discounted snow tubing for $10, and is available until 8:30 p.m. The Benchwarmer ticket, also $10, offers food (from local restaurants like Beer Belly Deli, Laci’s, Speach Family Candy Shoppe and Smoke Incorporated BBQ), beer, wine, and hot chocolate sampling. Teams receive both of these tickets for free. Kids age 10 and under can attend for only $5. Near the slopes, attendees can enjoy a heated tent and live music by “Hold the Air,” while the 95X DJs host the event. All proceeds benefit ACR Health’s youth HIV and STD prevention programs and client emergency needs. Visit for more information or to register.

CELEBRATE THREE YEARS OF SWM AT OLIVE’S EATERY– January 23 Want a night of fashion, food and wine, desserts, raffles and a great crowd? Join us from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, at Olive’s Eatery in Baldwinsville to celebrate yet another year of sharing your inspiring stories. Attendees will enjoy a wine tasting by Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, hot appetizers by Olive’s Eatery featuring their signature dips, and lovely desserts. Two-dollar wines will be available after the tasting and there will be time to shop around in all the shops inside —Twisted Sisters, Á la Maison, The Changing Room, Village Art, Anana Gifts, Sunday Frog, Thrift & Vintage, Maureen’s Hope and The Little Black Dress Boutique. Both Twisted Sisters and The Changing Room will feature jewelry and clothing in a strolling fashion show. Tickets are $10; $5 of every ticket will go to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund Inc. There will be numerous raffles featuring great items and all raffle proceeds also will benefit the Fund. Space is limited and only 50 tickets will be sold. Please contact us via Facebook at www. to RSVP and register for your ticket.

chatter ::platter


the Ale ‘n’ Angus 8

january 2014 ::

BY FARAH F. JADRAN I PHOTOS BY RICK NEEDLE When you enjoy what you’re doing, it isn’t hard for others to take notice. When you enjoy cooking, it’s easy to tell when it tastes good. Since Matt Beach was 15 years old, he has been working in restaurants. “I was a dishwasher at Hooligan’s (in Liverpool) for five years,” Matt said. From there, he went on to work every possible position. The only reason Matt left was because the restaurant was sold. He continued to work at other restaurants afterward. Matt was only able to work at restaurants in the summer because he was still going to school. However, Matt realized this was becoming more than a seasonal job. “When I go to work, I put forth one hundred percent.” While attending Mercyhurst University for his education and playing lacrosse, Matt majored in the Hotel/Restaurant Institutional Management Program. Not only was he studying it, but he was being promoted during the summer. Matt had already been given a management position even though he was on staff for three months at a time. “I must be doing something right,” Matt said as he reflected on being promoted at a young age. After graduating college in 2003, Matt had a hard time finding a good fulltime job. Although he did take a position with a chain restaurant, Matt was frustrated. He weighed the pros and cons and the answer was clear. The Beach Family decided to open its own restaurant. Matt’s parents, Randy and Anne, were in. The family came across a great a location, 238 Harrison St. in Syracuse. The restaurant’s final name came from Anne’s brainstorming since the initial focus was on the brews and the beef. And so, Ale ‘n’ Angus Pub was born in 2005. What goes into each American style dish at Ale ‘n’ Angus is a conversation. While I sat down with Matt to talk food, one of his cooks, Al Wells, came to the dining area to ask his opinion on what to do for a sweet and spicy dish. They discussed ingredients like red pepper flakes, feta and jalapeño. “Al is very knowledgeable,” said Matt proudly. “We find out what they’re good at and I like to put forth the effort and the time to work with them.” It isn’t just about experience and food and flavor knowledge, but also it’s about “caring” about what you’re doing. Because no front- or back-of-house in a restaurant is perfect, the Beach Family counts on effort and motivation in the staff. Right now the menu is steady. Some guest favorites are the well-known Cheesy Beer Chips, which are their homemade potato chips deep-fried with old bay seasoning. The chips are accompanied by Ale ‘n’ Angus beer cheese sauce, bacon and scallions. “They’re fantastic and a crowd favorite,” Matt said. The restaurant also has a variety of wraps including a Chicken Caesar Wrap with made-to-order chicken. “Many restaurants serve bag chicken that just gets warmed up when ordered,” Matt explained, but that won’t happen here. And for the hat trick of favorites, the Power Play Burger packs quite the punch. The burger has won Best Burger in the state of New York by the New York Beef Council in 2012 and 2013, and it ranked 12th in the world in 2012 after Matt and Randy traveled to Las Vegas for the competition. The burger is an 8-ounce angus beef patty topped with 3 ounces of slow-cooked prime rib. American cheese is melted on top and per Matt and Randy’s suggestion, no condiments are needed. “It’s so juicy,” Matt said. On to the ale, the bar area houses 73 different bottled beers and 10 draft lines. Because the bar area doesn’t allow for more taps, the restaurant offers everchanging bottled beers, especially seasonal lagers. Fresh ingredients and an attention to flavor have brought this 8-year-old establishment to this consensus: “You have to take pride in what you put out,” Matt said. “If you do, you’re doing it right.” For more menu information or to experience a “friendly atmosphere and homecooked fresh food,” visit

* * ::fashion



New Year, New You… New Closet!

A closet cleanse can change your look for the better BY JASMON BROWN It’s a new year! How does it feel to have the opportunity for a fresh start? By now, you have probably figured out what changes you want to make in your life and what steps you will take to get there. While many are focused on the “New Year, New You” mantra, we must not forget the importance of a closet cleanse. Reinventing your wardrobe can be done with a simple “closet audit” that will not only refresh your attire, but it will help you refresh life. A closet audit is done in three simple steps, described below in this month’s column, so you can feel like a new woman in no time!

Step 1: The Purge! What you will first need to do is get three boxes or bags and label them: keep, donate, and trash. Once you have your boxes labeled, the next step is to pull everything and I do mean EVERYTHING out of your closet. At that point you will then begin to try on your items in front of a mirror to see how they look and fit. During this process, you will put the items in their associated boxes whether you have to keep it, donate it, or trash it. This will definitely be a process, but don’t become overwhelmed. You will be able to make up for it in the end. Step 2: The Evolution! Once you have finished organizing your items you will then focus on the clothes you are keeping. Now it’s time to explore and see how you can create new looks and redefine your style, but don’t worry this step can be very easy. Try pairing a top with a different pair of bottoms and vice versa. Don’t forget to include your accessories such as jewelry, belts and even your shoes. You can gain inspiration for new looks by reading magazines and blogs of what styles are currently trending. This is the fun step, so enjoy playing dress up! Step 3: The ReStock! This step is to replenish old items you had to either donate or trash but still need. Parting with old essential items that are worn or damaged can be difficult but you are now able to buy something new to fill in that space. That’s right, we are going shopping! However, before you run to the mall, it is important to create a plan first. Write down your budget and what items need to be replenished. Once you have a completed list, you can then shop, but remember to stick to your plan. Buying things you don’t need can lead to a cluttered closet, thus undoing everything you just did. Now, give yourself a pat on the back because you completed your first Closet Cleanse! I hope you are now able to breathe a little easier as you have made a big step in reinventing yourself for the new year. As you move through the year you can do miniature audits if you feel your closet is getting out of control by following these steps again. Don’t feel like you can successfully do an audit by yourself? Call on Size Fabulous! My company provides this service at a low rate and you will be able to learn how to maintain your closet like a pro! Make that first step and visit to get started today. Jasmon hosts body image coaching, image consultations and various workshops. Follow her on Twitter at @SizeFabulous.


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Hot yoga is a vigorous form of yoga performed in a studio that is heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40 degrees Celsius) and has a humidity of 40 percent. The formal name for hot yoga is Bikram. According to most findings, the benefits are “perceptual” and for most who participate, it is said that the “quality of sweat” achieved is where the difference lies. However, the greatest benefit admitted from testimonials is the enjoyment of how much more flexible one feels when they do hot yoga versus (non-hot) yoga. Is it worth a try? You decide! TRY IT: WWW.THEYOGICOACH.COM OR WWW.CNYHEALINGARTS. COM



Did you know that $30 more for every $100 spent stays in our community when you shop local? Buying local should not be a trend or just something the cool kids do, it should be a part of our everyday lives. Thanks to Syracuse First, there are numerous resources to help you find more local businesses to support. Syracuse First’s mission is to create a thriving local economy by maximizing the potential of local businesses, and transferring market share from non-locally owned businesses to local independently owned businesses. TRY IT: WWW.SYRACUSEFIRST.ORG




January is the perfect time to start trying new things. Whether it’s a new wellness routine or changing up your leisure activities, the new year is the best time to try it out. Find out what SWM Editor Farah Jadran found to be the top six “Try it in 2014” Fabulous Finds!



Try it in 2014

Whether you’re reading a paperback, hard cover classic or an eBook… You’re on the right track! A recent Huffington Post poll found that of 1,000 U.S. adults, 28 percent had not read a book at all in the past year. There are numerous benefits to reading books. It can help keep your mind sharp, relieve stress, and it can even help you sleep better. Lastly, self-help books may even aid in easing depression. I love reading books and I know my brain has gotten a good workout every time I read another chapter. TRY IT: WWW.ONLIB.ORG





We might hem and haw over hairstyles we come across all year-long, but we might be too comfortable in our look to try something different. This edition is all about celebrating a New Year, New You —which means that you should be open to trying that cut and color you’ve had your eye on. There are numerous local salons to choose from when deciding where to go for this new look, so get out there and have fun with your new style. And many local salons are advertised in every edition of SWM, so flip through and choose the best one for you. TRY IT: WWW.SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM



Have you ever tried a wheatgrass shot or a ginger shot? I have tried a wheatgrass shot a few times before and I really enjoyed it. Wheatgrass juice is one of the best sources of living chlorophyll available today. The full benefit can only be obtained if the chlorophyll comes from a living plant. Wheatgrass juice contains up to 70 percent chlorophyll, which is an important blood builder and may help prevent the growth and development of unfriendly bacteria. On the other hand, ginger has long been known as a home remedy or antidote of choice for battling the cold or the flu. Ginger also can combat nausea or an airsick feeling. Lastly, ginger can improve the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. TRY IT: WWW.LOFOSYRACUSE.COM


Co-op’s provide a stable source of income for small, local farmers and producers who want to do what they love doing: grow good food sustainably. The Syracuse Co-op and its community of shoppers is a diverse organization of people who believe that together we can create a better world by supporting ethical food choices and sustainable foods. Join your friends, your neigh bors and your community by supporting locally grown, ethically sourced, good-for-you-food at the Co-op!



SWM Beams With

Bridal Beauty in 2014

Look for our Bridal & Beauty Book This June BY FARAH F. JADRAN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JUSSARA POTTER If you recently said, “yes,” then it means you’re getting ready to say, “I do,” within the next year. First off, congratulations! And second, we know you have a lot of planning to do for that big day. Whether you’re planning a small affair within a few months after the engagement or a large extravagant wedding set a year from now, you still have the same decisions to make. Many engagements may have just happened a few weeks ago since Christmastime tends to be a popular time to pop the question. Again, your “to do” list depends on the date and the size of the wedding, but no matter what, the staff at Syracuse Woman Magazine wants you to enjoy every moment! Plus, I will keep you up-to-date on social media with my own wedding plans as I move closer to my special day… May 2, 2015. This month we are previewing a bridal jewelry trend and some quick tips on picking your wedding colors because they affect what colors your bridal party will wear. Then you will have the best look at local wedding ideas and trends this June with our magazine’s inaugural “Bridal & Beauty Book” edition. We will feature local bridal styling and fashion, photography (by our own Jussara Potter and Rick Needle), locations, designs and themes, and much more. Stay tuned for that! Choosing the dress is the biggest decision (and possibly the hardest one), and rightfully so, it does indeed set the tone for the entire wedding. Again, whether your wedding is big or small, it can still be an elegant affair. That said, vintage weddings are becoming a common trend for the bridal look and the overall theme. And if you’re looking to keep traditions, that vintage dress, necklace or veil, could very well be your something old and new. Plus, you can always borrow… Choosing vintage jewelry is another way to make your look unique. Even if you choose a more modern-looking gown, a statement piece like a vintage necklace on a strapless gown can change the entire look. If you have a higher neckline, choosing detailed vintage drop earrings might just be the ticket. You can even decide to add a timeless bracelet with either look. No matter what, we are all looking to look fabulous for less. This means that many brides are choosing just one or two standout accessories, balancing a modern detail-oriented ceremony and reception with their minimalistic, classic ensemble. Choosing a hue for the bridesmaid gowns Bridesmaids are an important part of the wedding party, and most brides opt to have a handful of close friends and family members play

a special role in the wedding. Choosing a gown and a color that will flatter all of the bridesmaids typically takes a little work. Many bridesmaids worry about the gowns they will wear on the big day. Horrible bridesmaid dresses have been the butt of jokes for years, and many people have their own stories of garish gowns they’ve been asked to don for a wedding. (I already promised my group of ladies they do not have to worry about that!) Some have said that brides intentionally choose ugly gowns for their bridesmaids to ensure they’re not outshined come the wedding day. Although this may be the case for some, most brides aspire to select gowns that will be flattering for all and the color scheme is integral in the choice of gown. Every well-planned wedding carries a color scheme throughout. This includes the color a bride selects for her bridesmaids to wear. But not every color accentuates everyone’s features. Therefore, I suggest considering the hair color and skin tone of each bridesmaid to find a color that is flattering to all and fits with the color scheme. Once a color is chosen, brides also need to consider the season. Certain colors may look out of place depending on the season. For example, an evergreen or deep blue may seem wintry during a summer wedding. Similarly, red or brown may work for the autumn but not for a spring wedding. Many brides gravitate toward mid-level blues, greens, pinks and purples for their weddings, simply because those colors transcend the seasons. Enjoy your wedding plans and we’ll be back with much more bridal ideas throughout the year! Photos provided by Jussara Potter Photography: The highlighted nuptials in this spread are that of Charlie and Megan at the Emerson Park Pavilion in Auburn, N.Y. For more from this wedding visit www.



BeingMeetSue the BY FARAH F. JADRAN It’s a chilly Syracuse day and you and your family are taking part in the traditional walk up University Hill. The kids are bundled up to brave the cold, but their Orange spirit is what’s really keeping them warm. The final Syracuse University Football game of the 2013 season is the destination. You’re going to the Carrier Dome to watch the Orange take care of business. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m., so you’ve probably waited until 3 o’clock or later to make way to your seats. But next to the Dome’s crew and staff, there is one woman who arrived at 11:30 a.m. to get game day underway. The intricately planned behind-the-scenes communications not only set a tone for what’s said by national and local broadcasters during the game, but also how the post-game action rolls out. In action, off the field, Sue Cornelius Edson, the Assistant Athletics Director/Communications (Football), stands in the Dome’s press box with seven people gathered around her. It is 12:30 p.m. and now there’s only three hours left before kickoff. Today is also Senior Day—SU plays Boston College and it happens to be the last game to bring the team’s record up for bowl eligibility. It’s kind of an important game. The list of responsibilities for Sue and her staff is somewhat endless. If it has to do with communications and it hasn’t been assigned yet, it’s very likely to land on Sue’s plate. Sue is responsible for the athletic communications operation, which disseminates information for all varsity sports to appropriate organizations and manages the department website, Sue met with her staff and also welcomed a few people who would be helping for the first time. “It can be a little overwhelming the first time, I know,” Sue explained to them. All the tasks needed before the game and through each quarter were assigned, in addition to what would happen during post game. People were placed in charge of making copies, running stats to different booths and the media, and taping and transcribing during both SU’s and BC’s press conferences. Sue told me, “The goal is to close up and walk out of the Dome six hours after kickoff.” Today, this means that leaving by 9:30 p.m. would be good. “Today makes me nervous.” Sue and I took a few minutes to talk about the game and what her journey at SU has meant thus far. There were a lot of new people working behind the scenes today and if there’s one thing Sue does not like, it’s chaos within her crew. “We’re putting everyone in the right spot,” she said. “I have total confidence in everyone, I just expect it.” Before the game, 19 student-athletes and five student managers will get a photo with their family and one more with SU Head Football Coach Scott Shafer. Sue’s Orange pride runs deep with her alumna status. She graduated in 1990 with a dual degree in broadcast journalism from the S.I.


october 2013 ::

And until this season’s Tulane home game, Sue had never missed a game. The weekend prior, her husband of 17 years, Rob, passed away unexpectedly. In that moment, the family’s general routine changed forever. Like his college sweetheart, Rob shared a passion for college athletics and dedicated more than 20 years of his life to the field at both SU and Onondaga Community College. Six weeks later, Sue made her way back to the SU grid iron. Her 14-year-old son Thomas had a lacrosse game in Maryland and SU football was battling the Terrapins that same weekend. The family was aiming to regroup and become stronger. “That weekend worked nicely.” The Nov. 30 game in the Dome brought the Edsons to about two-and-half months past the day they lost Rob, but the student-athletes, coaches, staff and even the visiting staff and media, continue to be supportive. The camaraderie of those working in college athletics and those covering it, runs deeper than many outsiders might assume. On this day, the Boston Globe’s Mike Vega stopped to talk with both Sue and her 11-year-old daughter Tracey. He asked how they were doing but also he was excited to meet Tracey after talking to Sue about how each of their daughters play youth basketball months back at ACC Media Day.

messages to her out loud. Even though Tracey insists on a $2 per text message fee, she had this to say about her mom, “I just like watching her. She’s a role model for me.” Also, Sue has already given Coach Shafer her halftime report and she’s keeping up on stats to hand over for the TV broadcast. “The more knowledgeable they (national sportscasters) sound, the better we did our job.” We headed down to the field, stats in hand for Shafer, with less than five minutes on the clock. The game was close and the Orange tension was high. With 3:31 left to play and the Orange down by one point, I asked her, “Are you nervous?” She replied with a definite, “Yes.” With only a two-minute drill left and no timeouts, the Orange went to work. Sue used the trainer’s table stocked with sports tape to continue writing her stats from her iPad. The Orange quickly moved up the field during this time. An eight-yard quarterback run and a BC penalty for pass interference put the ball on the Eagles’ 33-yard line. With five more sharp plays, each marching the squad further into the red zone, there was only one way out… With 12 seconds left on the clock, QB Terrel Hunt connected with Josh Parris on a tight-end throwback. Parris roared into the end zone and the Orange had done it. Sue, watching every second of it, simply said, “Wow.” With the extra point, the Orange prevailed 34-31. The game was over, but now it was Sue’s turn to take over. She rushed to midfield to meet Shafer and national media for a quick postgame interview. About 15 minutes later, she would run the post-game presser for both Shafer and student-athletes. Thanks to Sue’s coaching, the players at the podium spoke with confidence.

Like Sue mentioned to me, there is not a blueprint for how to deal with what her family is going through. However, the community and the SU Athletics family have helped them every day.

In this presser, the team and coaches were overcome by pride with the exhilarating win with seconds to go. Shafer had this to say, “Today was a war about character.” It is fair to assume that Sue’s character has become known to many across the nation.

“One of the student-athletes (an SU football player) wrote me and the kids the most unbelievable card,” she expressed this with obvious emotion and gratitude. “He said he prayed in the end zone before the game and that he told Rob to meet him in the end zone.” During the game in question —he put six points on the board for the Orange to meet Rob in the end zone as planned. “It was so impactful for us.”

On injuries and taking over for those who can’t go into the game, Shafer also said, “The next man is up and it’s his job to get it done.” Again, it is known that when one of SU’s own needs help and can’t be on the job, it’s next woman (or man) in.

Sue’s apparent influence on the team and the SU Athletics culture is not just noted outside of the Dome. The most recent of her accolades includes a 2012 induction into the Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame. And if you’re not out of breath yet, her halftime lunch was interrupted to iron out a few issues, answer some media questions and listen to her daughter Tracey read Sue’s text


Newhouse School of Public Communications and policy studies from the Maxwell School. Sue started as the assistant sports information director soon after graduating and became the director of athletic communications in 1997.


ee woman Edsonbehind the grid iron

On Dec. 8, 2013, SU earned a spot in the Texas Bowl (which was played on Dec. 27, SU beat Minnesota 21-17) in Houston. What’s in a bowl for Sue? “I love it,” she said. “There’s nothing like game day. With a bowl, there’s about another month of football (for the ‘Cuse). There’s so much energy.” And for those keeping time, Sue left the Dome at 9:25 p.m. that night…five minutes earlier than planned. Stat noted. :: January 2014


leading woman

Georgia Austin:


Keeping the Synergy BY ALYSSA LAFARO I PHOTO BY CINDY BELL “People need what I have, and I need what they have,” said Georgia Austin of her relationship with Women Business Opportunities Connections (WBOC). “WBOC is a synergistic fit for me.” “Synergy” also is the perfect word to describe Georgia. The clinical nutritionist and founder of New Leaf Functional Nutrition in Manlius collaborates with her patients to get their nutrition on the right track. “I believe in working with my clients as partners, to learn from each other in our journey together to maximize their health potential,” she said. She sees people for everything from autoimmune deficiencies to high cholesterol to hormone imbalances. “Then there are those who just want optimal wellness —to make a change and to find out how to eat healthy, what supplements to take, and how to reduce their risk for chronic disease.” The synergy Georgia has with her patients spread to WBOC upon joining in 2010. There, she found her accountant, insurance agent, banker, and lawyer, as well as a few clients. “I gained so much,” she said. “I am not an expert in accounting or insurance or anything of the sort. I needed someone to teach me what they know, and I was willing to teach them what I know. That’s what makes WBOC work. It’s a two-way street. You connect with people that have that extra piece of the puzzle. It’s helped me focus on what I’m good at. That will always make you more successful in your business — when you can focus on what you are good at.” Georgia is so good at working with others and maintaining a successful business, that she was invited to become a director at large on the WBOC Board of Directors. “I like serving a higher purpose and thought it would be a great way to get more involved with the organization,” Georgia explained. “WBOC is a real sisterhood. There is something to be said for that, for having my bail team — banker, accountant, insurance agent, and lawyer. And there’s something to be said about them all being women. Women have a different sensibility and a different level of trust.” When she learned that this issue’s theme is “New Year, New You,” she offered up three pieces of advice for handling stress — something female entrepreneurs can benefit from. “The best way to handle stress,” she advised, “is to get eight hours of quality sleep.” The second is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water, and the third is to eat breakfast. These three factors are key in creating body synergy — perhaps the most important kind of synergy. “One of the biggest things I talk about with my clients, especially female clients, is self-care — making sure they are putting themselves first. You are your business. “My big picture goal is to change the face of health care,” she continued. “That’s what I want people to understand. When you educate people about how their body works and how food and stress affects them, they make better choices and demand better health care. And that changes the face of health care as it’s delivered now.”


January 2014 ::

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Learning Disabilities Association

gears up for



Thirty years ago, a group of Central New York families started a grassroots effort to support children who had serious struggles with reading, writing, math and other types of learning. The children were of average intelligence, but had learning disabilities, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and related disorders which affected their success in the classroom. Many of these problems were undiagnosed or not yet recognized as disabilities. These families were determined that their children would be successful in school, the community and everyday life. They worked tirelessly to improve opportunities for these individuals. This grassroots initiative became the Learning Disabilities Association of Central New York, a non-profit agency that provides a host of direct services and resources to children, youth and adults with learning disabilities and co-occurring disorders. The East Syracuse-based organization helps clients and their families navigate the special-education system, provides strategies for utilizing different learning styles, offers employment counseling and support to adults with learning disabilities, and advocates for equitable treatment of individuals with these challenges. LDACNY also provides educational and recreational services that build on people’s strengths and helps them achieve personal goals in all aspects of their lives. Because of its exclusive focus on learning disabilities, the organization provides leadership in the field for educators, health care providers and families concerned about learning disabilities. Last year, LDACNY served more than 400 area individuals and their families, according to Executive Director Paulette Purdy. ”Our clients come from throughout Central New York, and include young children, teenagers and adults of all ages.” Paulette said. “These are individuals with a variety of unique learning challenges.” LDACNY carries out some of its work with funding from government agencies, the United Way of Central New York and other donors. Central


January 2014 ::

New Yorkers support the agency in a big way each February, when they sponsor or purchase tickets to the Syracuse Auto Dealers Association’s Charity Preview. This gala event, now in its sixteenth year, showcases automakers’ newest models at the Oncenter and War Memorial in downtown Syracuse. Patrons enjoy entertainment, food and plenty of networking opportunities. With support from the Syracuse auto dealers’ group, also known as SADA —the LDACNY and other non-profit groups invite businesses, organizations and community members to designate the charitable portion of their tickets or sponsorships to their cause. Last year, more than 35 businesses and community representatives donated more than $17,000 through the Charity Preview to support LDACNY’s unique services and mission. These funds enabled the agency to provide scholarships for children attending the Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) educational program, and to improve its adult recreation and employment services. LDACNY staff and board members spend several months each year planning for the SADA Charity Preview. This year’s event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Proceeds to LDACNY will help create a scholarship fund for families seeking educational consulting services from professionals in the field of learning disabilities. The LDA welcomes contributions from Charity Preview patrons any time. Secure contributions may be made through LDACNY’s Web site, Sponsors who designate LDACNY as their beneficiary receive tickets to the event, recognition in the Charity Preview program, thanks on LDACNY’s website and Facebook page, and other benefits. Tickets to the event are $125 each, and a variety of sponsor packages are available. Vicki Krisak is the marketing and public relations coordinator for the LDA of CNY. For more information on the Learning Disabilities Association of Central New York or the SADA Charity Preview, visit or contact Paulette Purdy at

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Exercise + Nutrition =

A Healthy You BY RENEE BENDA The beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to decide to make a change. For years my resolution of change was always the same. I’m going to lose weight. Each year I would go overboard without a plan. Only to find by February my resolution to lose weight had already ended. Every year the cycle was the same. Go to the gym five times a week for a month and then never go again. My journey to healthy-living has not been an easy road. I always knew in my heart that I wanted to make the change but also felt helpless in the quest. I would join a new gym, go to a few classes and then never return. I wanted fast results and unfortunately as I’ve learned the quest is often a slow journey, marked with small successes that fuel more results. My true weight-loss journey began with steps and mostly walks. Every day I would walk, and slowly those miles began to accumulate. Soon I wasn’t winded after a three-mile walk and would walk five miles instead. Also, I began hearing about the Race for the Cure. I remembered walking that race a few years prior and was shocked to find people were running it. It was Feb. 6 when I made my plan to be able to run at the next event in May. I started the “Couch to 5k” training plan. Because I still wasn’t strong enough to run the “run” segments of the program, I walked when I needed to. The program forced me to be accountable. I couldn’t move on to the next training run until I had finished the first. And best of all it was attainable. The program mixed walking and jogging in varying intervals. After each workout I felt stronger and was seeing results on the scale. That May, I completed my first 5k. I still remember the rush of crossing that finish line. The rush and confidence of that first 5k carried me through many races that followed. But slowly the weight I had lost climbed back on. Even though I was still running, I realize now I wasn’t giving my body a challenge. I completed the same exercise over and over. My muscles knew it was coming. Unfortunately that January I found myself making a resolution, again, to lose weight. I added fitness classes to my workout regimen, including spin, to help aid in the weight loss. At this point, there was no hiding my frustration from my husband. He offered to talk to his old lifting coach, and soon, twice a week, I was lifting with him. Weight training made me so nervous. I didn’t want to get “huge.” (I still laugh that I actually thought this was true!) Our first session was spent learning how to properly squat. Let’s just say… I was a mess. But in no time I was seeing results. I could squat, dead-lift and clean. It wasn’t until I finally got serious about my eating habits that I saw lasting results. I overhauled my eating lifestyle. I removed most processed foods and stuck to the basics. The truth is you can’t out exercise a bad diet. I’m 55 pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of my journey. It hasn’t always been easy. Along this journey I gained a new respect for my body and what it can do. My best advice for those looking to lose weight is to make it a lifestyle change. Start with a walk or substitute out one processed meal for a clean meal with lots of veggies. Make one healthy choice and then make another. The results might not show immediately, but they will be longer lasting. “If you’re bored, then you’re boring,” has long been Renee Benda’s favorite quote and her blog proves there is a lot you can enjoy in one life. With spirit, spunk and spurts of seriousness this busy mom of two boys gives her readers tips and tricks for healthy living and fitting in fitness. Follow her on Twitter at @cusecomm.

story ::cover 26

January 2014 ::

Creating Circles of Unity… SYRACUSE’s very own



We’ve all seen it and we’ll never forget it, whether you saw it live or the next morning on local Central New York TV stations. If you watched it live on ABC on Sept. 16, 2013, it went like this… Four runners up in ornate gowns were called and walked away from center stage. Finally, it came down to Miss California Crystal Lee and Miss New York Nina Davuluri. In Atlantic City, they stood there, face-to-face, waiting to hear which young woman would be crowned Miss America 2014. Ultimately, the announcer revealed that 24-year-old Nina was the new title-holder, but there was more to this win than many viewers saw coming.

WEATHERING THE TWITTER STORM It is now well known that Nina had countless social media notifications (mentions) building up as soon as she was taking her first walk with the title and crown— there is much to be learned from the storm that brewed during the competition. After winning the pageant as the first Miss America of Indian descent, Nina has had much time to reflect on the special moment, but also her journey this far. The swirling negative and evidently racist comments, mostly in the Twittersphere, were not new to Nina. “I did experience it on a much smaller scale as Miss New York,” she said. And in many ways, she said she expected it as she moved further along into the finals of the pageant. However, the expectation of backlash was the last thing on Nina’s mind. She was on a mission, and remaining positive throughout the process made it possible for her to compete well and, ultimately, win the crown. “For every one negative tweet, comment or post, I received hundreds, and now thousands, of positive ones from across the country and around the world.” Nina’s early childhood was spent in Fayetteville, and she was raised in the Midwest since she was 4 years old, but has reclaimed Syracuse as her home almost three years ago. Her family still resides in the eastern suburbs. No matter where she has been or what pageant title she was after, Nina said she was always running into some form of negativity due to her ethnicity. “I grew up with stereotypes all my life,” Nina said. Because she was competing in the Miss America Organization’s pageant competitions, she was required to choose a platform that she would essentially lead and live by. That in mind, Nina chose “Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency,” which describes the change she is working to ignite. “It lifted my heart,” she said.

“Diversity is the backbone of America,” Nina said proudly. “I plan to share the tools we need to move past discrimination, toward embracing the diversity in our communities and establishing a sense of cultural competence.” One of the best points of view that Nina shared with me in one of our most recent conversations is this: “Change can start with one person.” She’s right. If we’re settled in accepting racism, discrimination and negativity in our nation, then what are we working toward? And second, what are we living for? “It’s been a wonderful way for me to bring awareness and educate our youth to build a more inclusive society.” Nina says this is just one way she will communicate with younger generations. Nina has said many times since winning her title that the “girl next door” is evolving. “This is one way for me to reach out to young girls and children…they can say, ‘Wow, she looks like me and I can relate to her,’” Nina explained. With this mission in mind, she is taking social media into her own hands and straying away from those days of Twitter terror. Nina created a hash tag for her platform (#CirclesOfUnity) and has been asking everyone to tweet pictures, thoughts and videos about unity. “It’s a different conversation,” she said. It is definitely a much different conversation than many were having the night she won. There is no negativity or “hating” here. Instead, it’s about hope and unity among fellow Americans, and beyond. “Social media is a new tool,” she said. What is the silver lining of the negative tweets and posts once spawned? “The silver lining is that it sheds more light [on the issues] and brings awareness,” Nina said.

ONE MOMENT IN TIME Nina knew, to a degree, that there was larger stage (and platform) waiting for her. Her humble spirit will always admit that she never thought she would actually win Miss America, but her confidence would put her on top. Her family was in the crowd watching Nina advance to each level of finalists. A trip sure to be made after Nina’s father missed her Miss New York crowning because he was on call at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. “It’s funny,” Nina said. “When I went into Miss America, I kind of had this feeling and it was almost a calming, peaceful feeling, I suppose.” The entire experience was very surreal, according to Nina. “It was an out-of-body experience.” There was (and always is) a total of two :: January 2014


of preliminaries, which no one saw, unless they were in Atlantic City and in attendance of the competition. “People see the finals [on TV],” Nina said.


“That Sunday morning for the final, it was a sense of calm that came over me.”


To be calm in a moment with a large crowd in front of the stage and an unknown number watching the telecast is a moment to be thankful for.

A PATH OF PAGEANTS Nina, a former Miss Michigan Outstanding Teen of 2006, began competing in the Miss America Organization (MAO) competitions when she was 16 years old. Because she waited until her teen years to enter the pageant world, Nina was never exposed to the somewhat peculiar realm of “Toddlers in Tiaras.” “I have never seen kid pageants. I was never exposed to that,” Nina said.“Pageants are not in my culture. I made that my decision.” Nina’s family was very supportive and they encouraged her in this decision. “For me, it was a lot about the Miss America Organization,” she said. “I got to share my talent and share my culture. It aligned with everything that was important to me.” What attracted Nina to this line of pageants? “Miss America is based on service and scholarship,” said Nina as she explained that other televised and well-known pageants such as Miss USA are more about “modeling.” For Nina, she was looking to compete and find her own niche. “You align yourself with what is most important [to you] and to your values and ideals.” In addition, Nina takes pride in her title because the MAO program is the longest standing of its kind. Along with her title and crown, came a $50,000 scholarship for her future educational goals. According to, the Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. Nina says that it is thanks to the MAO scholarship program that she was able to graduate from the University of Michigan completely debt-free. She earned $10,000 from her Miss New York title and $50,000 from her Miss America title, and all of it will go toward her medical school education. “It’s a wonderful resource,” she added.

NINA IN THE NEW YEAR The night she was crowned, Nina began a rigorous travel schedule throughout the states and internationally. Her New York City and Syracuse homecoming took place during Mid-November of 2013, which Syracuse Woman Magazine was a part of. And in 2014, she will travel around 20,000 miles each month and will stay in every destination for no more than 48 hours. “It’s my year of service,” says Nina, and it’s the schedule and suitcase-living Miss America must be dedicated to. The MAO has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals throughout the United States. Contestants competing in Miss America-sponsored competitions raise donations through appearances and fundraisers that benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Miss America Scholarship Fund.


January 2014 ::

In addition, each new Miss America becomes the goodwill ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, speaking on behalf of kids treated at children’s hospitals and raising awareness around the country. This is a responsibility that Nina has assumed and she had already been hosting service events in Syracuse and all over New York with her previous titles. “I will be traveling across the country and interacting with children,” Nina said. She also looks forward to promoting the idea of young girls entering the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field. Nina has an undergraduate degree in brain behavior and cognitive science from the University of Michigan. She earned dean’s list honors, the Michigan Merit Award and was named to the National Honor Society. She has made it known that becoming a doctor is important to her future academic endeavors. “My family definitely influenced me,” Nina said. However, she wanted to make sure she was making the decision for her and not her family. “I chose to compete in Miss America, and I’m going to medical school,” Nina said with pride. “In the past, it was laid out to me. I did this solely on my own and I found the opportunity. I have a sense of worthiness and I put my name on it.” Because being Miss America is a full-time job, Nina says she aims to enter medical school after she completes her year of service. “I have already taken my MCAT,” she said. Is SUNY Upstate Medical University on her radar? “I love the community of Syracuse and it’s always been my home,” Nina said. “[Central New York] truly made me feel like Miss America all the time with its support.” And will she have time to travel to India to share her title with her grandmother and aunt? “I am really hoping I can go back this year,” she said. Nina is second generation American, but she has spent many summers in India - it’s actually where she learned the traditional dance. “The last time I went was in 2010,” Nina said. But for now, she is embracing the service aspect of her job and she would like to take that to India and visit an orphanage she has volunteered at when she visited in years past. “It would be very meaningful for me.”

MISS AMERICA IN THE ‘CUSE When she was living in Syracuse (and when she plans to soon return), Nina had her ‘Cuse favorites like all of us. She worked with the YWCA quite a bit and would like to work with them again. Since hosting a Children’s Miracle Network event at Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse, she has found the restaurant to be one of her favorite places to grab a bite. And when it comes to java, she loves a smooth cup from Freedom of Espresso. “I loved their coffee and I miss it a lot!” said Nina, the FoE withdrawal was evident. Also, Green Lakes State Park is near her home and she enjoyed taking her retriever-mix pup, Hanuman, for walks there. No matter what the next day of being Miss America brings, Nina has the Salt City in her heart. She had this message for the city of Syracuse: “A genuine heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the community of Syracuse,” Nina said. “And it is a true honor to represent them this year.” :: January 2014


Out with the old, in with the new BY SUSAN DUTCH We’ve all seen those classic romantic movies like, When Harry Met Sally and Someone Like You. Two platonic friends take us through their heartbreaking journey of looking for love in all the wrong places throughout the year and then, near the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, they discover that it is the other that they truly love.



Finding love in 2014…

If only we could all be so lucky to stumble upon love with such sudden, intuitive perception. Is it that we aren’t looking in the right places or is it more that we’re not looking up from our busy lives long enough to see it right in front of us? As a new year gets underway, perhaps you are putting the pursuit of love at the top of your resolution list. Yet, just like resolving to lose weight or abandoning a bad habit, success will most likely prevail only if you get rid of old behaviors and bring in new approaches. In the case of love, this could mean merely looking up from whatever it is you’re doing as you scurry through life, and observing your surroundings. Have you ever considered that the neighbor in 5B just might be your prince charming — and yet you’ve never said more than “Good Morning?” to him over the past two years? Could the love of your life be the manager of your favorite coffee hangout down the street, yet all he knows about you is that you like iced coffee in a Grande cup with 3 pumps hazelnut, 2 pumps regular, and non-fat milk? Perhaps Mr. Wonderful spins on the bike next to you every Saturday morning but you’ve never hung around after class to find out. A friend of mine who was fresh off an ugly divorce was flying from Chicago to Syracuse and really just wanted to read her book and take a nap, but as luck had it, she was seated next to a zealous, chatty guy. Annoyed at first, she succinctly answered his questions and proceeded to bury her nose back into her novel. He was persistent though, and the more he attempted to engage her in conversation, the more he intrigued her with his quick wit and charm. She finally surrendered, put her book in the seat pocket in front of her and opened up to the idea of at the very least, making a new friend. By the time they landed in Syracuse they had learned enough about each other to swap phone numbers. After a few months of dating, they were engaged and have been happily married for years now. I was so envious when she told me that story. I remember thinking that things like that just didn’t happen to me. Yet I had to ask myself, would I have put my novel down? Just how open was I to finding love? It made me re-evaluate how I was approaching my quest for love. Then one Friday night a different friend invited me to go out with her and a few others. I was perfectly happy curled up with my dogs on the couch, prepared to stay in and watch a movie (which just happened to be, Must Love Dogs). But after much prodding, I surrendered —and it was that very night that I met my husband. Therefore, if you are beginning 2014 in hopes of finding love, stop for a moment and think about whether or not you are actually receptive to it. But as it is with playing the lottery, you’ll never know unless you take a chance. And should the stars align, as would the numbers on a lottery ticket, the payoff could be life-changing. Susan Dutch, a.k.a., MizMatch, blogs about love and relationships at Mizmatch. com. Contact her with your relationship dilemmas at mizmatch@mizmatch. com or follow her on Twitter at @mizmatchblog.


January 2014 ::

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Lauren Greutman

reads &writes

Gain financial sense with


Past SWM cover woman releases two books in 2014 BY FARAH F. JADRAN

This month our very own columnist and past cover woman, Lauren Greutman, also known as “I Am That Lady,” is releasing several books to share her expertise in budgeting and financial fitness. You are probably familiar with her cost-saving tips from both local and national TV broadcasts, but now you will have the chance to keep her books for continued reference on your shelves or on your tablet. Read this month’s Reads and Writes Q&A for more details on Lauren’s latest venture: Did being an author of such a well-followed blog encourage you to write a book? I do think that writing such a well-followed blog encouraged me. I had something to say that people wanted to hear. My heart has always been to help women be freed from the worry of money; whether that includes helping them find great deals on their Christmas presents or learning how to save money at the grocery store. I have always wanted to write a book but have been waiting for the right timing. After teaching seminars for years and seeing how stressed women are by their finances, I knew it was the right time to share my story. I want women to feel empowered that even though they are busy with their kids and work, they can always do something to make a positive impact on their debt and finances. What is the inspiration behind “Insufficient Funds”? When I was deeply in debt a few years ago, it was a very hard time for me. I really wanted to contribute financially to my family, but I also wanted to be home with my kids. I felt torn, stressed and helpless. Then I started learning how to contribute to my family in small ways that added up to big numbers! My inspiration was my own story of getting out of debt, and I want to help other busy women do the same.

What should we expect in this book? They can expect to hear about my story of how my husband and I crawled our way out of debt, the triumphs and the failures. I want to encourage women that if their life has spun out of control financially, I can share with you some of the tools that I’ve learned through experience. Is this the first of many books by I Am That Lady? Yes, I already have two more books that I am planning in my head. One is about a cash challenge and the other is about easy budgeting tips. I have an e-book out right now that is titled, “Budgeting that works” — and it can be found on or at How is picking up this book in the new year a step in the right direction for our personal finances? I think many people set the resolution to be better with their money, but they make one huge mistake, and that is that they do not define what their values are. In this book I talk about how we put a price on the things we spend our money on, which ultimately contributes to our value system. Once people change their heart and ideas on the way they spend their money, they will be much more successful at managing it. How did you go about publishing the book? (Also, please tell us about the e-version...) Right now I am pre-selling the book to raise money to actually print it. Printing can be very expensive! For anyone that pre-buys my book, will also get my “Budgeting that works”’ e-book totally FREE (valued at $9.99. You will be able to pre-purchase “Insufficient Funds” at You can follow the details of the release dates on Lauren’s blog at, on Facebook at iamthatlady and on twitter at @iamthatlady. Can you share maybe 100 - 200 words from your book?

But I’m in tears, scattered around us on the bed is the undeniable proof of our damage: Our credit cards, all maxed out, school loans, two car payments, and all our bills. We were 26 years old, $40,000 in debt, unable to make even the minimum payments, let alone pay for our living expenses. And we were losing ground every month to the tune of $1000. Mark’s work was still steady, but my once lucrative job had dried up. His paycheck alone just couldn’t keep up with this downward spiral. We knew for months that we were in a deep financial crisis, but we’d fooled ourselves into pretending we could rein in our spending. Instead, we played games—paying off one credit card with balance transfers from another, borrowing Peter to pay Paul, jumping into zero balance credit cards but ignoring the harsh fees, and the eventual day of double digit interest rates that always came back to haunt us. We’d never taken true stock of our mess. We’d never, together, sat down like this and actually looked at the damage we’d done--mutually, recklessly, and with abandon. Mark was numb. I was crying. We were both scared, feeling stupid and hopeless. For the first time we were owning up to the dire consequences of our crazy, no holes-barred spending. And the sight of those cards, the tally of all those bills, was our day of reckoning. Like many of our generation, we started out with grand plans and good intentions. But along the way, we got lost in our pursuit of the American Dream. And we’d never even stopped long enough to actually define what that dream meant to us. We just allowed ourselves to be swept along on a ride of having it all now and paying for it later. But we never paid for it, and now, the total owed was frightening. In our rush to aquire things, we’d fallen away from many of our core values—being responsible and building a future for our family… :: January 2014




Leading the way for innovative

technology & engineering BY ERIN REIMEL I PHOTO BY CINDY BELL

Amy Casper, the CEO of Ephesus Lighting Inc., a lighting solutions manufacturing company in Syracuse, became the leader of an industry typically run by men through both her initiative to turn the industry on its head and a few serendipitous opportunities. Amy oversees all of the company’s operations and ensures that the designs of the company are manufactured successfully. Ephesus is largely technology and engineeringbased, however Amy did not initially expect to pursue such a profession. With her degree in business, Amy Casper says that her career path was “not intended,” but welcomed with open arms. Despite her business education, Amy realized that she could not escape from the growing technology world. “Every job just happens to have a technology aspect,” she says. She incorporated her business background into her technological interest by developing software systems to aid corporations, when she noticed that technology seemed to be the key to getting a job done efficiently. However, Amy Casper was not always a tech genius. “A lot of it was hands-on training,” she said in regard to grasping her technology expertise. Rather than learning these skills in college, she is largely self-taught, learning as she went along in her career. With these skills and her direction, she is now capable of leading an industry that is rapidly changing as well as being a role model to young women who dream of being engineers and leaders, themselves. “IT-related aspects are male-dominated in my career,” she says. Engineering tends to draw men to its occupations, so it can be difficult at times for women to break into the field. “We are seeing more women applying for positions,” says Amy excitedly. “Right now we have a female intern from Syracuse University.” She mentioned how sometimes it can be difficult to find a diverse pool of applicants when the field is so often considered a male-dominate role. However, strides are being taken to create an equal playing field with Amy as the fitting example of how successful women can be in engineering and technology. Amy is especially proud of her advances with Ephesus in working toward providing arenas with entertainment lighting, rather than the typical scoreboards. “It is a different view of how we are approaching the market.” Ephesus has installed lighting systems in hockey arenas like the War Memorial in Syracuse to give the crowds a light show with the house lights, a function not often seen in these arenas. “We found that we have a niche,” Amy says in regard to her company’s emergence into this new market. The results were so impressive in the War Memorial that four more arenas are making the switch to Ephesus LED this year — including nearby Broome County Arena in Binghamton.   As the market expands, Ephesus does as well. With the company’s work being provided all over the country as well as in Canada, Amy is excited to extend the company’s influence. However, the plan is to remain mostly New York-based in order to stay close to family. Even after spending years traveling with her husband pursuing new technology opportunities, the decision has always been to stay in Syracuse. In fact, Amy believes that Syracuse is an incredible place from which to run the business. “There are so many resources in Syracuse,” she says. The area has many technology opportunities and will continue growing in that aspect. Amy looks forward to continuing to provide an entertaining, innovative product to her costumers. Also, she plans to continue developing new technologies and take the engineering and technology industry by storm. Amy will be leading the way to more efficient lighting systems and new technology, but her success thus far also will help encourage more women to enter the field. For more information on Ephesus Lighting Inc., visit

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woman ::healthy

Achieve a

healthy lifestyle change

5 Weight loss Myths for Women BY WENDY SCINTA. MD, MS

As you enter the new year, chances are somewhere on your resolution list is the vow to improve your health, and perhaps even shed some of those holiday pounds. While you are planning your mode of attack, keep in mind these myths that can undermine your success.

Myth 1: You need to exercise to lose weight

Exercise is incredibly important to achieve and maintain good health. Even if you didn’t lose a pound, you will become healthier with exercise, as you build muscle and convert unhealthy fat to healthy fat, which affects your glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol among other things. Unfortunately research has repeatedly shown that exercise will only minimally affect weight loss, because it is your diet that affects the calories the most. (Think about it: It takes over an hour on a treadmill per day to work off that 500-calorie muffin you ate in five minutes). In addition, because of the way the body conserves energy in famine states, we really only get back about one-third of what we work off. This does not mean that you shouldn’t exercise! It simply means you have to get the food piece down first, staying on a calorie deficit diet, and slowly increase your exercise as tolerated for your hunger level (and your level of conditioning) so that you can stay on your nutrition plan. Exercise is a key component to keeping weight off— so it becomes incredibly important as you get closer to your goal.

Myth 2: The faster you lose weight, the less likely it will stay off

I have heard it time and time again: “I don’t want to lose the weight too quickly because I want to make sure it stays off this time.” This may come as a surprise, but the exact opposite is true. Research has shown that as long as you conserve muscle mass in the process, the faster you lose, the more weight you will lose, and the more likely you will keep it off long term. What does it mean to conserve muscle mass? Protein feeds muscle, and muscle drives metabolism. Often when folks lose weight, they lose a significant amount of muscle as well, and their metabolism drops. Then they have to eat fewer calories to maintain the lower weight. If you aim for at least 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight, you should be able to maintain your muscle mass and keep your metabolism relatively stable. (You should always check with your physician first before making significant changes to your diet or exercise regimen). I favor a weight loss of one to two-pounds per week minimum.

Myth 3: It’s just calories in and calories out

There is nothing more complicated than the way the body conserves energy. This is why it frustrates me to hear the inaccurate advice given: “Just push yourself away from the table and exercise more.” It is true, the total calories consumed in a day are important, and learning your resting metabolic rate is helpful (in our office we use resting calorimetry— which determines your rate based on oxygen consumption). But equally important is the quality and timing of your calories. For example, most women will lose weight on a 1200- to 1400-calorie intake per day. However these calories should be consumed in five small meals per day. If the 1200 calories are consumed after 5 p.m., the body goes into a fat storage state, and it’s more likely that an individual will gain instead of lose weight. The quality of those calories is also important. Lean protein is mostly driven into the muscles. Carbohydrates are broken down and stored as glycogen in the liver, but once we have maximized glycogen stores, the remainder of the carbs are stored as fat. Ingested fat depends on the source, and some forms of fat are stored safely while others contribute to plaque and other unhealthy conditions. So, 200 calories of chicken breast and 200 calories of candy will be stored by the body very differently.

Myth 4: The best diet is low cholesterol and low fat

Research has shown that the best eating lifestyle, regardless of the components, is the lifestyle that you stick with. That being said, I far prefer a primal approach (lean protein, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy with minimal, if any, starchy carbs and no processed foods) to help my patients lose and maintain weight loss for the reasons described above. Here is my formula: • Take your weight and divide it by two — that is your protein requirements per day in grams. • Eat five times per day with each meal having at least 10 grams of protein in it. • Never eat a carb (such as a piece of fruit) without a protein (such as a cheese stick). • Aim for 1200 to 1400 calories per day as a female. • Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day.

Myth 5: Once you hit menopause you are destined to have a “belly”

Not true! I swear. It is certainly true that our body stores fat differently after menopause (around our midsection instead of our hips), but you can keep that menopausal pooch away by minimizing your starchy carbs and sugar, and exercising your core. Wendy Scinta, MD, MS, practices at Medical Weight Loss of NY in Fayetteville. More information can be found by calling 445-0003 or by visiting

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Make your career a priority in



Happy New Year! At the end of every year I often look back to the year that’s passed, and begin to look forward to a new year. That reflection brings about the thoughts of how I can continue to move forward toward goals in the future. I know that most of us love fresh starts, a place to begin again, and we often gain a renewed interest and enthusiasm in projects big and small as the new year arrives. Sometimes that means we find ourselves looking for new career and job opportunities. I have some ideas for how you can use that extra motivation to spring your career forward this month. In my job at Syracuse University’s Career Services, I am always asking individuals, what’s important to you? The answer to that question might change throughout your career so thinking about the answer periodically is helpful. Do I need to find a company with better opportunities for advancement? Once you determine what’s important in your life, you can then determine if your career and position are where they need to be. What’s important? First answer that question before deciding where to go next. The next step would be to focus your energy on researching opportunities and organizations that fit your interests. Research companies online by looking at their websites and their employees on LinkedIn. Talk to people who work at companies that are interesting so you can find out firsthand if that company might be a fit. Find out how your dream company recruits and use tactics that will be most effective for securing a position in that area. As you go about your job search, create small goals that are attainable and not overwhelming. Determine how you work best and use that to create a strategy for your job search. Break up big pieces, such as creating a LinkedIn profile, into smaller pieces so you don’t stare blankly at the screen for hours. Take your time to create a profile, follow all of the helpful instructions in one sitting and then spend later periods of time exploring other parts of the site. A site like LinkedIn can offer many different opportunities to connect with others, so look through every part of the site to see how it can work best and then put your plan into action. Once you are ready, I highly suggest trying something new in your search! Most people focus on applying for jobs online but that method is not usually the best approach to getting a new position! One way to increase your chances of finding new opportunities is to diversify your job search by implementing several strategies at once. Instead of focusing your attention on one method try mixing it up by networking, applying online, attending events, and calling companies that interest you directly. Most people will gain their new job opportunity by networking. Try using LinkedIn or attend events put on by local professional organizations so you can expand your network. In addition, it can be helpful to join new networking groups or try taking a new course — you never know who you might meet at these events! The job search can be a tough process to go through, so I wish you the best of luck and a renewed mindset in 2014. Tracy Tillapaugh is Assistant Director, Counseling, at Syracuse University’s Career Services. She previously worked as a recruiter for more than four years in Central New York. You can connect with Tracy on Twitter by following @tracytilly.


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Inspire syracuse women



“Syracuse is my home.”

It all began when Kimberly Boynton was a young girl attending Catholic school at St. Brigid’s and St. Patrick’s on Syracuse’s Near Westside. Kimberly, who has been Crouse Hospital’s CFO for the past 10 years, is starting 2014 as the hospital’s new CEO. Her childhood education, community commitments and healthcare administration career have brought Kimberly full circle to one place — fulfillment.

“It’s very rewarding for me,” she said. “I like to think I am bringing my talents to various organizations [in the Syracuse community] and that I am helping move along their missions.” To name a few volunteer dedications, Kimberly is the board Vice President of the United Way of Central New York, the Catholic Charities Board Treasurer and a member of Christian Brothers Academy’s board. “You get just as much as give when you work with these organizations.” Kimberly says she is proud to give back to non-profits and educational institutions because it is a part of where she lives and what she knows. “I’m engrained in the community.” Kimberly’s commitment to community is apparent not only in her volunteer efforts, but in her professional life as well. “I am very excited about this opportunity,” she said. “I believe the transition will be smooth and I will build upon on what we’ve done in terms of the culture of the hospital.” The core values of Crouse translate into Kimberly’s focus, not only at work, but in her community interactions. (Community…working together. Respect…honor, dignity and trust. Open and honest communication. Undivided commitment to quality. Service to our patients, physicians and ourselves. Excellence through innovation and creativity.) Not many employees can say they were a part of how the mission and values of their company came to be, but Kimberly can. “I was very involved in the development of the Mission, Visions and Values (MVV)…it’s not just a piece of paper or ‘some words’ — we talk about it every day.” The MVV is written on the back of all employees’ ID badges, “So we’ll never forget.” The statement was created in 2002 with input from Kimberly, many employees and senior management. Kimberly says she enjoys working for a hospital because the everyday goal is to help others. “It’s taking care of people, filling a need and increasing healing in the community. There is another person on the other end of the service — the patient.” Providing medical care is part of this service, but Kimberly says that Crouse healthcare providers are working in an ever-changing field. “The care is changing based on medical advancements and regulations.” Because the most important aspect of Crouse is care, Kimberly said the number one priority is ensuring the environment is up to par.“ The operating rooms have state-of-the-art technology,” she said. “It’s a part of providing the best in patient care…that’s the mission of Crouse.” While serving as CFO, Kimberly focused on the financials, but since Crouse does not have an acting COO, she also had several departments (continued on page 46)


“I enjoy breaking through what other people see as obstacles.”


MARGARET LUTTINGER Principal, Luttinger Associates


“It is not possible to be a perfect mother, perfect wife, and perfect worker,” says Margaret Luttinger as she reflects on her decision to leave her fast-paced, high-paying position in the corporate world and start her own business. And while it may be impossible to be perfect, as Margaret says, she seems to be balancing her life better than she expected when it comes to growing a family and a business. Margaret founded Luttinger Associates, a professional consulting business, in 2004 after a successful career in human resources and the birth of her two sons. “Every day I went to work, my heart would break,” Margaret said. “I want to be there to see them coming up the driveway, I want to bake cookies and to know who their friends are.” This is a sentiment many women share when making the seemingly necessary decision between a career and a family. However, Margaret found a way to have her cake and eat it too. Her company, Luttinger Associates, is run straight out of Margaret’s home office. While it is a challenge to separate family life from business life when both are running under the same roof, Margaret simply stands by her decision to keep her priorities in front of her at all times. The house may not always be the tidiest and sometimes the office door must remain closed, so Margaret can stay on top of work. But after letting go of the need to control every detail of life, things seem to go more smoothly for her. Undoubtedly, Margaret needed help, as many women have trouble admitting, as they seem to believe that everything needs to be done on our own. She and her husband chose to employ au pairs when their sons were young in order to keep everything running smoothly, and Margaret considered herself blessed to have found people who are so willing to help make her dreams of being a businesswoman and a mother possible. It is not a surprise that Margaret is so driven to wear the many hats her life has handed her. “I like to grow things,” Margaret said. The love of the strategy, analysis, and creativity of her business mixes well with her passion to nurture and support others. It helps make Margaret a loving mother, as well as an effective businesswoman. But how does she keep it all straight? “I tend to think like a spread sheet,” she laughs. No doubt this helps not only to organize a business, but to keep a household in check. “I enjoy breaking through what other people see as obstacles,” she says, which only reiterates the reasons why Margaret has found success. She works with clients to help them start their companies off on the right foot by creating business strategies and giving them new structure and organization. She works privately with the leaders of small businesses to coach them in what they need to run an efficient and prosperous business.


January october 2014 2013 ::::

Her human resource background set her up to understand what each position in a company needs to work toward, and she brings these skills into raising her family. Her mind for counseling and cultivating (continued on page 46)


“I knew that I had to do something different.”




“I am a survivor. I’m a survivor of rape.” “And as a result of that, when that happens to one, you generally try to escape to many things, and for me, it was drugs and alcohol,” says Debra Person, founder of Exodus 3 Ministries in Syracuse. “Everything has a root; that was the root of why I did and chose things that were not good for me, that were not good to me,” she says. Pushing past this trial and getting to where she is today, as director of the Exodus House. She started the organization in 2012 to aid individuals in the transformation of the mind, body, and spirit by offering hope and support through the community. This led Debra on a journey that now allows her to help other suffering women to start anew and succeed in the same way she has. Debra established the Exodus House with her personal experiences in mind. After surviving molestation and rape, she tried to mask her pain, falling into bad habits, making poor choices, and not opening up to anyone about what she had been through. Believing she had to escape Syracuse, where she was raised, Debra fled the state. Trying multiple rehabilitation centers, she eventually entered Serenity House, which would ultimately help her begin her healing process. “When I walked into that house, in 1998, there was a force, a power, and I believe it was the spirit of God that just grabbed a hold of my soul and told me that I was safe and secure,” Debra said. “That’s why I never left. That’s why I completed. That’s why I’m celebrating 15 years today. That’s major; my life was horrific.” While at Serenity House, Debra was able to pursue an education, something that she took as a challenge to herself. In the past, she felt like she was not smart or confident enough to do so. Two years later, Debra returned to Syracuse to work at Vera House Inc., where she took crisis calls. “I was more sensitive to the crisis calls involving molestation and rape. They released something in me, so I knew something wasn’t right,” she says. “I thought that I had overcome that part of my life. But I didn’t, and I’m still suffering from what has happened to me…so I began the process of healing, from inside, and thank God for Vera House, I had the choice to do that.” Vera House helped Debra to continue healing, and she realized that she wanted to take some of what she had learned at Serenity House and bring it to Syracuse. “I knew that I had to do something different, not better than, but different.” The Exodus House combines Christian faith with the teaching of life skills that people need to be productive members of society. The organization hosts seven women at a time, who remain there for one year before graduating the program. They learn basic skills, like how to sew and shop, and are taught how to care for themselves, love themselves, effectively communicate, and other abilities often taken for granted. (continued on page 46) :::: october January 2013 2014





reporting to her and is still the President Crouse Medical Practice PLLC. Because of her experience with several areas of the hospital, Kimberly says she feels confident in overseeing future growth.

organizations to grow them to the best they can be is key in Margaret’s ability to do what she does every day.

The program brings in several professionals — doctors to teach about health or a therapist to discuss safety — and holds several classes to help the women learn these life necessities. “It takes a different person [to learn these skills]. It happened to me, it happened for me,” says Debra. “So I always tell them that they can have their own Exodus House, just like I did.”




Kimberly witnessed firsthand the need to change and move forward in the medical field with the unveiling of Crouse’s $53 million Whiting Surgical Suite project. The former operating rooms were built in the ‘70s and were not accommodating to what is needed in modern healthcare, she said. From start to finish, Whiting took four years to complete. “Our physicians continue to know this is a place they’re comfortable sending their patients to.” With her new and existing role, Kimberly stays very involved with the medical executive staff and all hospital operations. This is not a short list by any means. How does this Syracuse woman CEO, wife, mother and community volunteer balance it all? “It’s important to see the whole picture,” Kimberly said. While she is motivated and looking forward to advancing in her career, she wants to thrive in her family life. “I still go home and play with Legos,” said Kimberly as she laughed. “I’m a super hero when I’m at home, but it can’t be that way all the time.” Kimberly is thankful for the support she has at Crouse and the fact that Andrea Hachette, her administrative assistant, keeps her schedule tight to the minute. Kimberly’s husband Charlie, a Syracuse Fire Department lieutenant, also has a busy schedule. So, knowing when they can be together with their 4-year-old son Henry is important.


However, Margaret did not bring every aspect of her past into her new life and running her own business. “I wasn’t Zen-like when I worked in the corporate world,” she said. She learned to be more self-aware and trust that everything will simply get done, a difficult fact to accept as a workingwoman. Letting go of control can be a difficult task, but Margaret depends on her family and her faith to get her through such a busy life. “I like where I am,” Margaret says, “I want to be a consultant to my clients and my kids.” By meshing business skills and a motherly nature, she is living proof that women can have it all even though business and family have their own times and places. With determination and the right kind of people in your corner, women are more than capable of being career women and mothers. Sometimes you have to let things happen as they may. “I am less strict with myself,” Margaret says, but that freedom she allows is what makes her such an effective businesswoman and a supportive and loving mother.


Through their experience at Exodus House, and the influence of Debra, who inspires them with her personal story, which gives them hope — women leave transformed. Liz Garcia, the first to graduate from the program and a personal inspiration in Debra’s life, entered the program in a dark place. “Now this woman is in the broad daylight, capable of loving herself,” said Debra of Liz. “Her face was like a light bulb, like the sun…that bright. It’s something that you have to experience, and it’s so spiritual, the connection with the human soul. It’s indescribable.” Having experienced this herself, she is able to connect with those in the program, and is able to effectively make a difference in their lives. “I breathe to do what I do, when I can see a smile on someone’s face…I’m talking about when they’re fresh, coming in off the street, and to see a smile on a woman’s face. It does me good…I breathe to do this. This is my breath.”

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Syracuse Woman Magazine


SWM’s Events WBOC & SWM PRESENTS A HOLIDAY AUCTION Syracuse Woman Magazine had a blast teaming up with the WBOC (Women Business Opportunities Connections) for the non-profit organization’s annual holiday auction fundraiser on Wednesday, Dec. 4. This year’s event was held at the Greenwood Winery in East Syracuse. Numerous local businesses donated items to the raffle fundraiser. The WBOC’s mission is to support women in business and provide programs and networking to help them further their place in the professional word. SWM also hosted a small food drive for the Food Bank of CNY and we’re thankful for a great community that is so generous! 22ND ANNUAL NEW BEGINNINGS GALA I PHOTOS BY ALTERIMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY Vera House welcomed more than 540 guests to its 22nd Annual “New Beginnings” Gala on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Oncenter. Attendees enjoyed an evening of fine dining, dancing and an exciting silent auction and helped to raise more than $130,000 for Vera House programs and services. Vera House Executive Director Randi Bregman noted in her remarks that evening, “The new beginnings experienced by the individuals and families we serve in turn produce New Beginnings for all of us, the staff and volunteers, who are moved beyond words by the strength and courage we witness.”







WHEN: 5 PM WHAT: Want to learn how to harness the power of online video? Need more customers? Then the January WBOC (Women Business opportunities Connections) presentation is for you! Speaker: Stacey White. WHERE: Genesee Grande, 1060 E. Genesee St., Syracuse INFO: Registration fee required; WHEN: 7 PM WHAT: Lady Orange take on Duke on ACC Day. Many special groups will be in attendance for this game. Plus, you can stop by the SWM booth for an amazing free giveaway! WHERE: The Carrier Dome, Syracuse INFO: WHEN: 9 AM to 5 PM Jan. 21; 8 AM to 5 PM Jan. 22; 8 AM to 1 PM Jan. 23 WHAT: A trade show and conference for commercial fruit, vegetable, nursery, flower and greenhouse growers. WHERE: The Oncenter Convention Center, 800 S. State St., Syracuse INFO: $10 per day for trade show; conferences vary. information/. REGISTER: WHEN: 5:30 to 8:30 PM WHAT: Celebrate 3 years of your favorite women’s magazine! Wine tasting, hot appetizers, desserts and strolling fashion show; $2 wines, shopping, raffles and more! WHERE: Olive’s Eatery, 25 Syracuse St., Baldwinsville INFO: Tickets are $10 each. Space limited. Register/RSVP at facebook. com/syracusewomanmagazine



February 5 • 7:30 pm

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Swm january2014issue  

Our January cover features the beautiful Nina Davuluri, Syracuse native and newly crowned Miss America for 2014.

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