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november 2012

SWM’s annual:


liz peters wboc’s



Holiday Shoppes LYNNE HAMILTON-JOHNSON w w w. s y r ac u s e wo m a n m ag . c o m

syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012


When it comes to vascular services, the best care is at St. Joseph’s.



in New York state

301 Prospect Ave., Syracuse, NY Visit our new website: www.sjhsyr.org St. Joseph’s Resource Line (Physician & Program Information): 315-703-2138 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: stjosephshealth St. Joseph’s is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis. Franciscan Companies is a member of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center network.

A Different Way To A Better You...










































Kelly Breuer Barbara McSpadden


Barbara McSpadden


Farah F. Jadran

Letter from the editor


“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” — Mitch Albom

graphic design

This month’s edition of Syracuse Woman Magazine kicks off the local holiday scene for Central New York with some excellent gift ideas.

Cindy Bell Kelly Kane Cathryn Lahm Raine Dufrane

While we’re starting to make our gift lists and telling others what we want, we need to pause and think about what this season truly means. It’s not just about giving or receiving the No. 1 gift. It’s about being grateful for what we have, not focusing on what don’t have. Instead, we should focus on what we can do for others. There’s always much to be gained out of helping others. For example, having a heart full of satisfaction and compassion goes a longer way than a credit card that will eventually hit a limit. Because of this thought of a full heart, we figured one of the best ways to shop this season is to be a consumer and a community supporter all at the same time. This perfect equation also happens to be the focus of our November cover feature. In this edition, you will read about the Junior League of Syracuse President Lynne HamiltonJohnson and what has inspired her to be a member of the 93-year-old all-women nonprofit organization. Also, when you turn to the cover story on page 30, you will read about the JLS’ annual Holiday Shoppes event held from Nov. 16 though 18 at the NYS Fairgrounds. This event features more than 100 merchants all under one roof. The Holiday Shoppes help raise money to further the mission of the JLS which is committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. We’re proud to be a sponsor and the exclusive women’s magazine for this year’s event. Be sure to visit the SWM booth while you’re shopping! I’d also like to draw your attention to this month’s “In Her Own Words” feature written by Brandi Browning, an Army wife who knows all too well what it’s like to be grateful for her family not only during the holidays, but all year long. Turn to page 29 and see why her heart is full of gratitude. Also, the holiday season is the perfect time to participate in fundraising events. So, on Sunday, Dec. 2, I will be taking the plunge, the Oneida Shores Polar Plunge to help raise money for the athletes of Special Olympics New York. Special Olympics New York has 55,698 athletes training and competing year-round in 22 Olympics-style sports. Last year more than 350 Plungers braved the icy waters of Oneida Lake while hundreds of spectators watched on. Special Olympics athletes and their families or caregivers are never charged to participate. It costs $400 to support training and competition for one athlete for one sports season. With that said, I have pledged to take the plunge and I’ve set a goal of raising $400

http://2012.kintera.org/ cnypolarplunge/farahjadran, and help me reach this goal. I’ll undoubtedly be

to sponsor an athlete for an entire season. Visit “freezin’ for a reason” this holiday season!

As always, I encourage everyone to keep track of us and stay abreast of all our events by “liking” us on Facebook at


SyracuseWomanMagazine and follow us on Twitter, @SyrWomanMag. Also, follow me, your tried and true editor, @FarahJadran, for the inside scoop on what’s next for your favorite award-winning women’s magazine in Central New York!

Farah F. Jadran

ON OUR COVER… Cindy Bell, of Focus Studio, 900 N. Salina St. in Syracuse, shot our November

Kelly Breuer

Casey Jabbour Melissa Meritt


Contributing Writers Farah F. Jadran Jenna Schifferle Edward Bennett Brandi Browning Catherine Wilde

advertising Sales Renee Moonan Linda Jabbour

for advertising information:

Please contact Renee Moonan (315) 657-7690

Advertise with us...

Unlike any other publication in the Syracuse 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 info@syracusewomanmag.com Download our media kit at www.syracusewomanmag.com The magazine is published 10 times a year by InnovateHER Media Group, llc. and Eagle Publications, 2501 James Street, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206. Copyright © 2012 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.

etc... november movies...

In Skyfall, James Bond (Daniel Craig)’s loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

11/9 In the highly anticipated next chapter of the blockbuster The Twilight Saga, the newfound married bliss of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is cut short when a series of betrayals and misfortunes threatens to destroy their world.

11/16 An epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes – each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.

11/21 George (Gerard Butler) is a retired soccer pro whose glory days are behind him. Attempting reconciliation with his ex-wife (Jessica Biel), he becomes the most sought-after property in suburbia when he agrees to coach his young son’s struggling team. With bleachers full of sexy and restless soccer moms, George must keep his winning streaks, on and off the field, from unraveling.



Come enjoy a night of “Silver Bells and Skyline Sparkle” on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Crowne Plaza, 701 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse. Make your way to the top floor of the Crowne and you’ll be helping the WBOC (Women Business Opportunities Connections) in its biggest fundraising effort of the year. This will be a festive evening filled with music, dinner, dancing, connecting, and of course the WBOC Holiday Auction! Raffle tickets are available online or at the auction. Attendees are welcome (and encouraged) to bring a business partner, client or significant other. Music will be provided by DJ Jamie Cheeseman. The WBOC auction helps raise money for the organization’s scholarship program and grants given to women to advance in the business world. The WBOC is a local non-profit organization that has been providing support to women and access to innovative events and workshops for more than 20 years. Its mission is simple: To support and advance the success of women entrepreneurs. Whether running your own business, working for an employer or launching a new endeavor, women are connected through their entrepreneurial mindset. Tickets are $30 per person. The festivities will take place in the evening. Visit the WBOC website for the event time. For information on registering for the holiday auction or how to become a member, visit www. wboconnection. org.

We’re starting a conversation and a movement, and we want you to be a part of it, Central New York! Along with Syracuse Woman Magazine, the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Inc., Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC Women’s Initiative, Onondaga Community College and Ophelia’s Place, will be hosting a screening of “Miss Representation” on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Ferrante Hall in the Storer Auditorium on the OCC campus, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike in Syracuse. “Miss Representation” is the award-winning documentary film that exposes how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman or girl to feel powerful herself. There is limited seating for this screening. The reception will run from 5:30 to 6 p.m., with the documentary screening to follow. (For a sneak preview, go to http://vimeo.com/28122207) At 7:30 p.m., there will be a discussion, “From Miss Represented to Present and Counting,” and closing remarks and a call to take action will take place between 8:15 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the door or online at http://missrepresentationevent. eventbrite.com. Free admission is available to all Onondaga Community College students.

::platter chatter 8

november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

Tastes as good as it looks!

83 & Company BY farah f. jadran I PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY KANE “I always had a love for everything sugar.”

And so started Esther Houston’s lifelong love affair with chocolate drizzle, pecans, cheesecake filling and anything-flavored ganache. When Esther was a young girl growing up in Syracuse she would take her post in her grandmother’s kitchen and soak in every detail and take note of each ingredient that went into her pastry creations. “I was like her little shadow,” Esther said. Her culinary curiosity grew as she attended Henninger High School and began to imagine owning her own bakery. After graduating from high school, Esther attended the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh. There, she fine-tuned her baking skills and focused on packing quite the unique punch into her pastries. In July 2010, at the age of 27, Esther established her specialty pastry business, 83 & Company. “I didn’t think I would own my own business at that young of an age,” she said. “It was a discovery process. I realized I could do this myself.” From there “the business has blossomed,” Esther says. She posts photos of her many delicious creations on the 83 & Company Facebook page and finds out whether it’s a hit with her clients or if it’s time to go back to the drawing board. However, her creative cakes never miss the mark. “Things really started to grow for the business once we started the regular Facebook posts,” Esther said. Another big part of the success, she says, is the fact that her clients are constantly referring her desserts to friends and colleagues for their events. While having a cake shaped like a bassinet for a baby shower or a treasure -chest-cake filled with candy, it’s not just about the looks, it’s about the taste! “We make sure everything looks as good as it tastes,” she said. “There’s nothing we can’t do. What limits our clients is their imagination and a budget. Anything that you can think of, we can do it.” Taste has become a trademark for 83 & Company’s cakes, but the flavors of Esther’s cheesecake cupcakes have become mouth-watering conversation at many Central New York events. She has audience favorites such as banana pudding, key lime and red velvet. On top of these classic mini cheesecakes is the 83 & Company signature icing that melts in your mouth and has a memorable marshmallow consistency. However, the holiday season means some seasonal treats are on the menu. Enjoy heartier cheesecake flavors like sweet potato pie, brownie crumble, apple pie, peach cobbler and pumpkin for the mini cheesecake selections. Esther suggests taking full advantage of the festive mini cheesecakes for holiday parties because they’re unique and relieve the worry of baking from the host or hostess. The peach cobbler mini cheesecake has fresh peaches and pie crust in the mix and a little bit of sugar. Brownie crumble comes with vanilla buttercream icing topped with caramel ganache and toasted pecans. And if you weren’t already daydreaming about these treats, just imagine a pumpkin cheesecake cupcake with caramelized pecans on top with brown sugar, butter and heavy cream drizzle. The same cheesecake base is used for every creation, but with a balance between the cheesecake taste and the signature flavor, Esther said. While there are some new flavors still in the works, Esther says many of them were born from her grandmother’s mastery which started when she was a little girl. “For the most part a lot of the recipes are what we call a ‘sexy twist on a 100-yearold recipe,’” Esther said. “My grandma tried and tested her mother’s recipes…it’s generations of making things taste good.” And now the look has been perfected, too. To learn more about 83 and Company, visit www.83andcompany.com.


Vintage clothing is the new designer label. Anything old and trendy is suddenly coming back into style, especially in big cities such as New York, says Amanda Nicholson, a professor at Syracuse University. This trendy reality was the objective when making plans for the new thrift store, 3Fifteen. 3Fifteen isn’t a normal, everyday thrift store; it is a thrift store with style, pizzazz and appeal. The store is targeted to college students and young business professionals, but there is stuff for the whole family. 3Fifteen is conveniently tucked away next to Café Kubal on University Avenue in the Marshall Square Mall, the perfect place to stop by, have a coffee and find new clothes that won’t break the bank. It boasts a wide array of designer jeans and name-brand clothes, as well as shoes and accessories. Besides just clothing, the store has sports memorabilia, furniture and much more. The store started as a collaboration between the Rescue Mission and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). When a space became available next to Café Kubal, Amanda seized the opportunity to renovate and put the store there. They signed for the space in January and after months of work, the store came to life. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Sept. 19 with a small reception afterward to celebrate the opening. Since the opening, the store has done incredibly well. Even well into the fall semester, furniture is selling like wildfire, and sales are up. People seem to have very positive things to say overall about their shopping experience, says Liz Poda, director of the Rescue Mission. People love that the store is constantly changing to bring in new merchandise to


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

spice things up. “We have things coming in so many times during the week. The displays change. The prices are great. You can get something for $4.99 or something more expensive, that’s still far less [than normal store prices],” Liz said. The main goal of the store however, is to further the goals of the Rescue Mission, she added. Their slogan is “Shop for a Greater Good,” and the purpose of the sales is to alleviate homelessness and hunger in Central New York. Merchandise is carefully chosen to cater to the audience and promote sales. Donations, however, are accepted right at the store, and customers who donate often receive a coupon for a free coffee at Café Kubal. “One of the most wonderful things, I think, was the collaboration between these organizations and the Rescue Mission.” Amanda said. Every one was eager to help out, which made the process smoother, and Café Kubal has been very supportive. In addition to 3Fifteen, the local Rescue Mission also has 12 other Thrifty Shopper stores. Through all these stores, the mission is working hard to gather donations and find things that will sell. Both Liz and Amanda have high expectations for the future of the 3Fifteen. “We plan on being there for a long time,” Liz said. 3Fifteen is located inside the Marshall Square Mall, adjacent to Café Kubal on the Syracuse University Hill. For more information on the store, visit www.rmsyr.org.

::special feature

Ruth Colvin: Age Is Just A Number BY JENNA SCHIFFERLE

During her lifetime, Ruth Colvin has received various honors celebrating her work and professional career. Ruth founded the Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. in 1962 in the basement of her home. The mission grew and eventually combined with Laubach Literacy to become ProLiteracy. The non-profit organization works to lower the illiteracy rate and extend the opportunity to learn to read and write to every adult.

Later on in her day, she devotes her hours to writing and capturing her thoughts on paper, which gives her mental and emotional stimulation. Check and check. She recently published a book called “Off the Beaten Path,” which follows 92 stories of people who have made an impact on Ruth and her husband, Bob’s, lives. Along with a little bit of luck, Ruth lives each day with a spirit of zeal and passion for life.

Ruth and her husband frequently travel in the United States and abroad to give workshops on literacy and English as a second language. Ruth has received nine honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degrees, the 1987 Volunteer Action Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. She was inducted into the National Woman’s Hall of Fame and has written various books. But it doesn’t stop there.

Normally, the cut-off age for doing volunteer work abroad with the International Executive Service Corp. is 80. Ruth and Bob, however, were in good health and had a keen set of skills when they were on the brink of turning 80. They accepted an assignment in Zambia, Africa, and later in Papua, New Guinea, Madagascar, the Solomon Islands, Cambodia, Haiti and Guatemala.

Her latest achievement came in the form of the 2012 Eldercare Lifetime Achievement Award, which she received at the 5th annual “Gift of Age Cabaret” on Sept. 28 at the DoubleTree Hotel. This award was different because it represented age and achievement, she said. She is currently 95.

“When people are in their 80s, they think they’re old. But I want them to know that very often, it’s just a number. It depends on the individual people, their lifestyles and their health and their willingness to do volunteer work. A lot of interesting things can happen.”

“We’re all aging. Some are further down the road than others. But ages are just numbers. It’s only one way of measuring what we can do.” Ruth says that she is nothing short of blessed in her life. Age is a reflection of time, and she takes every minute to heart. She still enjoys playing 18 holes of golf, writing and tutoring. Balance is key, she says.


In order to stay healthy, you have to have a balance of physical, mental and emotional stimulation. Ruth wakes up every day and lifts weights. Physical stimulation, check.

november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

To date, Ruth has been to more than 26 countries with her organization, and she continues to tutor people and give talks. Through all her travels, the one thing Ruth has noticed is how willing people are to devote their time to help others. “In America, we’re willing to give what you can’t put a price on,” she said. “That is a beautiful thing,” she added.

::special feature

Marilyn Pinsky: Honoring Others While They Honor Her BY JENNA SCHIFFERLE I PHOTO BY CATHRYN LAHM

There’s nothing more powerful than people helping other people and working one on one, says Marilyn Pinsky. Every year, the Eldercare Foundation gives out a series of awards at the “Gift of Age Cabaret.” This year, Marilyn received the Eldercare Accomplished Professional Award for her advocacy on aging issues. Marilyn’s interest has always been focused on the political and governmental aspects of things. When she was in the midst of her educational studies at Maxwell University, she aimed to break into government. Partnered with her desire to make a positive change in the world, she took her civil service exams hoping to do just that. From there, she held two civil service positions, including working in the probation department as an administrative assistant to the commissioner and deputy director at the Onondaga Youth Bureau. When the Youth Bureau merged with the Department of Aging, Marilyn took over as commissioner. In this position, she was able to hire a passionate and able team. It was with that team that she felt she made the most difference. With the two departments together, the team was able to discover different links between the youth and the elderly. “We were able to see that family issues, aging issues were really intergenerational issues.” Thus, children and grandparents affect one another more than people realize. By working around all these issues, Marilyn truly discovered that she loved working in that area and loved the network of people. Currently, Marilyn is working as the New York state president of AARP, where she works on legislation on a wide array of tasks such as issues with older workers, health exchanges and insurance. Marilyn attributes much of her accomplishments to the support of her husband. She still feels his support to this day, though he passed away a year ago. And by accepting the Eldercare Award, she was offered another chance to honor Phillip. “I am very lucky to have had a partner that had my back and rescued me from untold disasters.” At the “Cabaret” on Sept. 28, Marilyn walked up on stage to accept her award in front of a room full of warm and upbeat people. She was proud to find herself with Dr. Sharon Brangman, Judge Minna Buck and Cynthia Stevenson as a new recipient of the award. She wanted more than anything to share it with those other people in her field who worked hand-in-hand with the elderly and with her husband who guided her forward in her career and her life. Phillip was always a source of inspiration for those around him, and Home Aides took care of him during his illness. She showed her appreciation for Sandy Martin, the president of the Eldercare Foundation, and expressed how much the program meant to her now, more than ever. “Though I’d always had great respect for what this organization does, it wasn’t until we were in the position to need to make that call to Sandy, that I realized how important it is that Home Aides exists in our community.” Despite being in the spotlight, Marilyn turned the spotlight back to the organization and the people who perform incredible deeds every day. syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012


::for a good cause

Is your closet cluttered? Is your wardrobe overrun with professional clothing that doesn’t fit you anymore, or items you have never even worn? If you answered “yes” to one or all of the above, it is urgent that you block out your schedule from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15, because California Closets and Syracuse Woman Magazine are co-hosting a professional clothing drive to benefit JobsPlus!. JobsPlus! is a partnership program between Onondaga Community College and the Onondaga County Department of Social Services that provides interview appropriate clothing, employment programming and confidence boosts to people on temporary assistance seeking employment. All donations are tax deductible. California Closets manager Patti Muller loves this event because it gives the store and the community a chance to come together and help others make a fresh start, or re-enter the workforce. “Your fabulous donations could furnish another person with the confidence to enter or return to the workplace, make a great first impression and land a job that could change their life,” Muller said. Attendees who clean out their closet for this (men’s and women’s) clothing drive can be sure their donation is appropriate by asking themselves this: “Would I feel comfortable wearing this clothing on a job interview?” If the answer is “yes,” then the clothing is perfect for JobsPlus!, and for a person taking their first step toward self-sufficiency. All items should be quality in-fashion garments in new or nearly new condition (no obvious tears, stains, missing buttons or broken zippers), dry cleaned or laundered and on hangers. Acceptable items for this clothing drive include: Men’s and women’s professional clothing, jackets or blazers, skirts and slacks, dresses, blouses, new pantyhose, new and nearly new shoes, scarves and coats. Unacceptable items include: Undergarments, used cosmetics, noninterview appropriate clothing, swimwear, formal or casual wear, denim or used pantyhose will not be accepted. The clothing drive will be held Nov. 15 at the California Closets Showroom located at 3210 Erie Blvd East in DeWitt. While at the event, visitors can browse the showroom and schedule a consultation with one of the designers who will work with you to create a new space for a new you in the New Year. (All scheduled consults with donations will receive a valuable coupon.) The evening will not only feature the clothing drive, but also it will provide the feel of much-needed ladies’ night before the holiday season kicks into high gear. Enjoy a wine tasting, desserts and other light refreshments. Syracuse Woman Magazine will be hosting several raffles for those who attend and make clothing donations for JobsPlus!. Bring a suit or other gently used professional clothing items for both men and women to this event and know your secondhand apparel could be someone else’s first impression for entering the work place. For more information regarding this event please contact

Ashley at the California Closets Showroom in Syracuse at (315) 701 - 4382 or syracuseshowroom@calclosets.com.


A-K Cup


The Shoppes at Towne Center Fayetteville, NY 315.637.3467 www.everybodysbras.com

Together, we can Get Her There Take the pledge today:

Make a lasting impact.

Volunteer | Reunite gsnypenn.org 800.943.4414

FEaturEd EntrEprEnEur Mary Price


ne of the hardest parts of starting

One day, she decided to take a leap

a business is to actually put your

of faith and left her full-time job and

idea into action, without hesitation.

followed her dreams of opening her

Mary Price knew she had a great

own business. Mary and her husband

business idea shaping up in her mind, but she was having trouble putting

::wise women

Owner and Artist, Kilnfusion Studio

built a studio in half of their basement, and she invested money to purchase

it into motion. After encouragement

a kiln to produce her work in house.

from her husband and other women

Noting the importance of great

entrepreneurs at the WISE Women

customer service, Mary enjoys being

in Creative Business Roundtable, she

able to take a client’s needs and ideas

finally put her plan in action!

and use her creativity to create a unique Mary holds a degree in marketing and held jobs in non-profit fundraising and running a local chamber of commerce. About 15 years ago, she started to work with glass and completed a few projects using the medium. Originally not an artist by training, Mary started

work of art. “I like being able to control the quality of my product,” notes Mary. “I also enjoy the freedom to balance the home side as well as the work side.” Currently researching commercial real estate, Mary plans to move the studio

researching different glass techniques

out of her house and into its own space

and eventually found her passion

over the next few years.

--- working with fused glass. To help

“Owning your own business is very

nurture her creative side, she took classes in drawing and design at a local

rewarding,” she says. “If you do the

community college and continued to

research and lay the groundwork, you’ll

experiment in her studio with new

be good… there’s so many resources

glass fusing techniques and ideas.

out there to help you get started.”

wise words of wisdom… “Treat people well and do your best every day.” – Mary Price


WISE WISE HappEnIngS: HappEnIngS: The Building Blocks for Starting a Business WHEN:

Nov. 6, 12:00 – 1:00PM Nov. 28, 5:30 – 7:00PM Dec. 4, 12:00 – 1:00PM

WHERE: WISE Women’s Business Center at The Tech Garden

WISE Women’s Roundtable Discussions: Women in Creative Businesses WHEN:

Nov. 1, 15, 12:00 – 1:00PM Dec. 6, 12:00 – 1:00PM

Women in Food and Farming WHEN:

Nov. 8, 29, 12:00 – 1:00PM

WHERE: WISE Women’s Business Center at The Tech Garden

WHERE: WISE Women’s Business Center at The Tech Garden

A women’s business center… run for women, by women.

WISE Library Literacy: Improve Your Business for Free! WHEN:

Nov. 14, 12:00 – 1:00PM

WHERE: WISE Women’s Business Center at The Tech Garden

FINd uS oN:

WISE Women’s Business Center @ The Tech Garden // 235 Harrison Street // Syracuse, NY 13202 // (315) 443-8634 // jmlenwea@syr.edu A PROGRAM OF THE FALCONE CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least 2 weeks in advance. Call (315) 443-8634.

::special feature


It’s been whirling around in the air, and where it lands…well, it’s no mystery — it’s landing in Syracuse! WonderWorks, a family-friendly amusement park for the mind, will be opening to the Central New York community in early November. The family attraction is not only the first location to open in the Northeast, but also it’s the first time it will be located in a shopping center like Destiny USA. “It’s the first location to not be a standalone structure,” said Jackie Vasquez, corporate director of sales and marketing for WonderWorks. “The [WonderWorks] location will be located all on one level on the third level of Destiny USA.” While CNY’s amusement park for the mind will have many firsts, WonderWorks and its familyfriendly appeal will remain the same, according to Vasquez. WonderWorks features more than 100 interactive exhibits that utilize some of the most sophisticated graphic and audio presentation techniques available. Vasquez described the “story of WonderWorks” and how it came to land in Syracuse: WonderWorks was once a top secret research laboratory on a remote island in the Bermuda Triangle. As legend has it, the world’s greatest scientists — led by Professor Wonder — were given the task of creating a man-made tornado and harnessing the power of it. During this experiment, something went awry and the power of the tornado was unleashed throughout the laboratory. This created a swirling vortex that was strong enough to rip the laboratory from its foundation. It was carried thousands of miles away and landed upside-down on the third level of Destiny USA in Syracuse. Remarkably, all of the experiments remained intact and functional. Vasquez says the story holds true beginning with the appearance of the entrance to the amusement park. “It looks very dramatic,” she said. “All of our columns are broken, the windows are broken… it really looks like it just landed here.” In order to enter the building and participate in the fun, Vasquez says all guests must step inside the inversion tunnel and be turned upside down to experience WonderWorks right side up. One of the unique attractions inside WonderWorks is the opportunity for families to ride the WonderCoaster — a virtual reality roller coaster that visitors design and then ride. The ride moves 360 degrees in every direction. Another favorite Vasquez suggests is the Bubble


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

Lab. “There’s nothing better than making gigantic bubbles,” Vasquez said. “It’s always popular. You can step into the bubbles…it’s very hands on, and doing it together as a family is fun.” Another part of the family fun comes with the Giant Piano, Vasquez says. If you couldn’t guess, this attraction is simply what you imagine — you can carry a tune on the giant keys laid out on the floor. Why Is This More Than Just A Kids’ Place?

“It really is an all age facility,” Vasquez said. “Adults love to be kids! There’s so many great things about it and they can all interact together. The adults get involved, too.” Also, Vazquez suggests this new location is even more family-friendly because it’s located in a place where you can enjoy some attractions, then shop or eat lunch in Destiny USA, and then return to WonderWorks for more activities. In addition, the location will host field trips, birthday parties and also corporate events for team building. The newly installed “Canyon Climb Adventure” ropes course is an excellent option for a team building experience. The course is completely suspended from the ceiling of the canyon area and will be up to 70 feet off the ground. Located indoors, the ropes course offers a year-round weather-proof challenge for families. The course is designed with the physical fitness experience level of each participant in mind. “It’s a great place for all ages,” Vasquez said. “Grandparents should come with the grandkids, and adults can come with family and friends.” Whether it’s the fact that WonderWorks was turned upside down, or that there’s an opportunity you’ll enter an anti-gravity chamber, chances are you’ll find something that intrigues everyone in the family.

Win a Family 4 Pack to WonderWorks! Want to experience Syracuse’s newest family attraction? Email SyracuseWomanMagWinner@gmail.com to enter for your chance to win a Family Four Pack to WonderWorks! Enter once by November 30th to be eligible. The winner will be notified on December 1st. Tickets for the winner of the Family 4 Pack will be available at Will Call.

::music view


to lots of snacks and encourage them to stay hydrated and rested.”

There’s a pile of Santa hats stowed away in the choir room at Cazenovia High School — but not for long.

She said it’s also a chance for them to give back to the community.

The members of the school’s select vocal group, Chamber Choir, will soon take their pick at the hats and don them when they sing at various spots around Cazenovia. The holiday concert tour, Santa hats and all, is a yearly tradition. “We sing between 12 and 15 performances in the month of December,” said Teresa Campbell, who heads up the high school’s music department. This is her 13th year directing the group. “I know that the students look especially forward to these performances,” she said. “They improve each time we sing at a new venue and are very strong by the time we get to the Christmas break.” The group, which consists of 14 students this year, sings all a cappella music. “They learn a great deal about the discipline involved with performing and about the responsibility of being in a small ensemble where each person plays a significant role,” Teresa said. “It is challenging to sing without accompaniment and the students learn to listen carefully and to balance their voices.” By singing without a piano, the group can perform virtually anywhere. You would be hard pressed to find a locale in Cazenovia where they haven’t sung holiday tunes. “I think it’s the excitement of singing together, for new audiences and in different locations, that keeps them going,” Teresa said. “They realize their full potential and really bond with one another. I also treat them

“The community is very supportive,” she said. “We tend to get invited back for the same events each year and always get many positive comments when people hear the group. The students view these performances as a service they can provide.” The singers are very dedicated, she said, and fun to be around, which makes her job all the more rewarding each year. Most of the students sang in the NYSSMA solo festival in the spring and will attend Area All-State at Ithaca College this winter. Two of them, Jessy Silfer and Kyle Johnson, were selected to sing in NYSSMA’s All-State Choir in Rochester in December. The Chamber Choir is preparing several a cappella selections, from various styles, cultures and time periods, to sing around Cazenovia this holiday season. They’ll perform everything from 16th century madrigals to contemporary jazz. Some songs have a holiday-theme, while others are simply fun and festive sounding. In the past the group has performed at the Cazenovia Lions and Rotary clubs’ holiday dinners, Elmcrest Children’s Center in Syracuse, the Cazenovia High School Senior Tea, the Cazenovia Senior Association Holiday Luncheon and on Big Mike’s Sunny 102 Christmas Broadcast, to name a few. Your best chance to see them perform will be at the annual Cazenovia Christmas Walk Tree Lighting ceremony, which will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, in front of the First Presbyterian Church on Albany Street.

syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012


Q: The holidays are upon us and we’re gearing up to eat more than usual. How can we combat possible holiday weight gain? Do you have tips for us?

::healthy woman

A. Holidays are meant to be happy times we enjoy with

our families and friends. I tell my patients that the goal of the holidays is to simply maintain your weight loss and don’t gain (like the rest of the country — with average weight gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas as high as 7 to 8 pounds!) If you try to be super strict, you will likely feel deprived and “revenge eat” later. Just focus on moderation and maintaining your current weight loss.

WENDY SCINTA MD, MS. I Medical Weight Loss of NY

My suggestion to my patients is to start every holiday morning with some exercise- either a brisk walk, or a workout of your choice. Since most of us will have some type of “feast” during the day, focus on controlling calories around that feast. I suggest meal replacements (such as protein bars or shakes) around that feast. This way your calories are better controlled, and if you include the exercise, you have a lot more wiggle room should you take in more calories than you normally would. At the feast, when you fill your plate, focus on the protein, and fill half your plate with turkey, ham, fish or whatever protein you have for the meal. For the other half of your plat, make 2/3 veggies or fruit, and the last 1/3 is your starch (potatoes or pasta). This way, you will get full on the “good stuff”. Watch the breads! Finally, when you take dessert, just have a bite or two of each. You will enjoy them just as much without the extra calories. Q: How can we indulge in the holiday eating while still staying conscious of a program we may be on? A: Just like you should never go grocery shopping hungry, you

should never go to a party or a holiday meal without having a little something in your belly first. About an hour before dinner, have a big glass of water, and a protein bar or shake, or some veggies with humus or a low calorie dip — or some fruit and yogurt. Prepare your plate as described above, and be very careful of breads and desserts. (We have a three bite rule for desserts. The premise is that your brain gets the same pleasure out of three bites of a dessert as it does out of a whole piece. Why take in the extra calories?) Another trick is to downsize your plates. Our brains like to fill space, so if you use your salad plate for your meal and your meal plate for your salad, you will do great, filling up on the healthier stuff. Watch the alcohol. When we drink more, two things happen. We take in the extra calories of the alcohol itself, and we are more likely to overindulge because we are paying less attention.

Q: In what ways would you suggest incorporating exercise and fitness into the holiday season? A: There are a lot of fun outdoor events and activities that

occur during this time of year and these venues are a great way to stay active or to start getting active. My family is from Buffalo and one of our traditions is the 5-mile Turkey Trot on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. For some reason, getting up and running that morning does not seem so bad when you are surrounded by 13,000 other people having fun, too. It can be a walk, run, hike, a football game or even a new family tradition that you can start with your family. The most important thing is to do some form of exercise- even if it’s not your usual routine. Exercise is the glue that holds the other pieces of the puzzle together. Medical Weight Loss of NY is located at 6800 East Genesee St., Suite 1501, Fayetteville, across from Wegmans in DeWitt. Learn more about Dr. Scinta at www.weightlosscny.com.


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

::wboc’s leading woman


More than 10 years ago, Janet Lutz made two important decisions that sparked major success in her career.

something is in shopping for the components. If you know someone who enjoys sewing, Calico Gals is the perfect stop for a gift!”

Janet became a member of the WBOC (Women Business Opportunities Connections) and she opened her own business, Calico Gals.

Plus, Janet says people who buy their supplies at Calico Gals tend to make many gifts for family and friends. “People who sew are very generous with their hobby. Our large selection of fabrics and project ideas makes it fun to create a personal gift for just about anyone.”

Joining the WBOC gave Janet the upper hand in the local business market. “I was looking for a way to meet, socialize and network with other women in business,” she said. “Through my connections at WBOC, there is always someone I can call who has a recommendation.” Janet says she loves the connections she has with the WBOC. “When working on a project, I often have needs and do not have answers.” While Janet has instilled a very apparent niche in the modern quilting world with Calico Gals, she still benefits from having feedback from women outside of her field. It allows her to diversify her audience and reach everyone who has any potential interest in quilting. Besides having an excellent source of networking, Janet says many of the members have become her friends outside of work and outside of meetings. What makes Calico Gals so unique? According to Janet, “Calico Gals is retail paradise for quilters and sewists.” The creative shopping environment features beautiful fabrics, fun classes and sewing machines for all levels. “The friendly and knowledgeable staff help make the experience fun and inspiring for anyone who enjoys making things with fabric and thread,” Janet said. With the holidays coming up, Calico Gals just might be the place to shop for that crafty and creative person in your life. Calico Gals has unique gifts in all price ranges for creative people. “The staff enjoys helping the customer make the right choice for a specific person,” Janet said. “Gift certificates are especially appreciated, because much of the fun in making


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

Janet says the store’s employees truly enjoy the holiday season and what gift giving may bring. “The best part is when we are in on the surprise,” she said. “It’s exciting to help choose a new tool, sewing machine or selection of beautiful fabrics as a gift. We anticipate the moment when it will be unwrapped and then it’s our gift, too!” Janet’s determination to make Calico Gals (locations in Syracuse and Oswego) the best has won her many accolades, such as the 2005 Better Homes and Gardens Top Ten Shop in North America; 2005 Fayetteville Business of the Year; 2007 CNY Woman in Business; 2011 Key Achieve Award; 2011-12 Key4Women Advisory Board Member. These honors are a true testament to Janet’s focus on ability to connect with others. And through the WBOC, Janet became part of a small networking group that meets monthly and has attended many educational events. “I have been featured in numerous publications all through the connections I made through WBOC,” Janet said. “I also enjoy the opportunity to help and support new members as they pursue their business goals.” The WBOC is a local non-profit organization that has been providing support to women and access to innovative events and workshops for 20-plus years. Whether running our own business, working for an employer or launching a new endeavor, women are connected through their entrepreneurial mindset. Syracuse Woman Magazine is a WBOC signature sponsor that aims to promote a common mission. For information on how to become a member, visit www.wboconnection.org.

comfort. love. respect

national hospice and palliative care month november 2012

“As a hospice voluteer, I’ve seen firsthand the comfort, love and respect hospice brings to all the people they care for.”


Torrey DeVitto Actor, Advocate, Hospice Volunteer and NHPCO Hospice Ambassador


It’s never too early to learn how hospice and palliative care can help you or your family.

Call 315-634-1100 We’re giving the gift of credit union membership. No-fee services Personalized member service Low loan rates We want to give you the Edge you deserve! 0000189790-01

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THE COLONIAL HOUSEFITTER Early Cupboards & Tables, Windsors, Upholstered Settees & Chairs, Lighting, Textiles and Other Primitive Handmades for the early home.

“I had cancer. Cancer never had me.”

I remember that day - the day I found out. I was devastated and terrified. Thoughts of my children started racing through my head. “I can’t let them all down. I’ve got to fight!” HOA seemed to know everything I was feeling. When my doctors laid out my treatment plan in terms I could understand, I felt more determined with every word. I was amazed that HOA had treatments unavailable anywhere else in all of upstate NY! Your confidence, experience and inspirational outlook gave me such courage. Now here I am a year later, contemplating my daughter’s graduation and our upcoming family vacation. I had cancer, but because of HOA, cancer never had me.

Join Us For A Most Delightful Offering Of Simple Christmas Pleasures

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::special feature



november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

Every Sunday evening, the Bregman family gets together for dinner. Aunts, cousins, siblings and grandparents all gather under one roof to share good food and good company.

“What I love about the work is I just love people. And so I knew whatever I did, I just had to do something with people,” Ona said. “It just enriches me.” For this, the Greater Syracuse Section of the National Council of Jewish Women honored the mother-daughter pair with the 2012 Hannah G. Solomon Award on Oct. 17 at Justin’s Grill. The award is given to women who have had a significant impact on the local and Jewish community, and this is the first year they are honoring a motherdaughter pair. Their story is unique. When Ona was a child, the world was a different place, and women played a different role than they do today. Her mother pushed her to go to college, despite her father not understanding. “My mother had always said to me, ‘Every woman should be able to take care of herself.’” And Ona strived to do just that. Though her mother had been somewhat of a traditionalist in terms of tending to the home, when Ona went away to Goucher College, an all-girls university, her mother started working to help Ona fiscally. It was at the university that Ona learned motivation. After graduation, she eventually worked at the Onondaga Mental Health Center, a job that jump-started her career in the mental health field. When she moved on from this, she began teaching social work at SUNY Oswego. But that wasn’t enough. Ona still wanted to help the community at large, and she knew that many people couldn’t afford quality mental health services. In the early 1970s, she decided to do something about it and opened a “Robinhood private practice,” where she only charged people as much as they could afford to pay. The effort was small at the beginning, but quickly grew, along with her client list. When SUNY Oswego canceled their social work program, Ona became a professor at Syracuse University, where she worked full time. She dedicated her time to both her practice and teaching. “I take whatever I do quite seriously,” she said. Outside of her professional track, however, Ona also has been involved in the Syracuse Family Center, National Association of Social Workers, Women’s Fund of Central New York, Community Wide Dialogue of InterFaith Works and Congregation Beth Shalom-Chevra Shas. She has worked closely with the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS), an interfaith organization, for about seven or eight years and is currently the president. She works on various social policies

Ona’s daughter may have big shoes to fill, but Randi took her mother’s inspiration and used it to foster her own motivation in her personal life and her career. After completing her undergraduate degree at SUNY Albany in political science, she received a graduate degree in social work from Syracuse University, just like her mother. Originally, she wanted to get involved in politics but had a change of heart when she decided that she wanted to help people instead of solely making policies. “There was always this change-the-world piece of me,” she said. Randi is now the executive director of Vera House Inc. where she has worked for the past 22 years. The organization works to eradicate domestic and sexual violence and help support those who have been or will be affected by it. On a day-to-day basis, Randi works with a wide range of people and issues. At Vera House, there can be young children who have been victimized by an adult to adults who are coming to terms with traumatic events in their past, to identity issues and more. She is responsible for bringing policies and resources into the room with clients, taking calls, working on finance development and budgeting. Everyone at Vera House comes together as a type of family, an outcome of dealing with such sensitive issues. Everybody helps with everything, including changing the toilet paper, she joked.

::special feature

It’s a time to reconnect with everyone and catch up on the happenings of the week. They pass around the noodle kugel, a fond reminder of Ona’s mother who passed away three years ago, and they reminisce about all the memories they’ve shared. Ona Bregman, and her daughter Randi, cherish these dinners because through their professional carees they have seen what it’s like to lack this support system. They have witnessed other people’s struggles and have both worked in their community to reach out and help make a difference in the mental health and social work field.

in the Syracuse area, such as legal representation, food access and minimum wage.

At the beginning of her career with Vera House, she was coordinator of the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse, and she is currently the co-chair. In addition, she also is the chair of the Human Services Leadership Council of Central New York, serves on the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault Policy Committee and the board of the Food Bank of Central New York. In recognition of her commitment to social work and change and her tireless effort to end sexual violence, Randi has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Social Justice Award and Distinguished Alumna Award from the Syracuse University School of Social Work, the Post Standard Achievement Award and the New York State Senate Woman of Distinction Award. Faith is a key factor in her success, she said. It has given her belief in something bigger than herself, and the hope that her work can create positive change for the people she serves and the community as a whole. “Because if you don’t have faith, and you look at what you can face each day, I think it can be pretty hard to get up the next morning and go back in.” One of the basic teachings of Judaism is social justice and your interactions with other people. “One of our injunctions that does come out of our theology is that part of our job here is to make the world a better place,” Ona said. “So it’s kind of fitting that a Jewish organization chose us [to receive the award].” What these women were most excited for was that they were able to receive the award in the presence of their loved ones. Bernie, Ona’s husband, has always supported her 110 percent, she says. Sonja, Randi’s daughter introduced her mother and grandmother, and Randi’s brother was there to celebrate the pair’s achievement, while simultaneously celebrating his own birthday. syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012



::fab finds

Central New York is no stranger to wheat and hops. Take advantage of the brew-heavy area we live in and find out what brew is your beau’s favorite. Instead of just grabbing a case and slapping a bow on it, make a day of it! Visit one of the many breweries in CNY, such as Foothill Farms (www.foothillhops. com) in Munnsville; Good Nature Brewing Inc. (www.goodnaturebrewing.com) in Hamilton; Saranac/F.X. Matt Brewery (www.saranac. com) in Utica; and Empire Brewing Company (www.empirebrew.com) in Syracuse. CENTRAL NEW YORK REGION I 1-877-NYFUN4U I INFO@NYSINFOCTR.ORG



Want to hit it long with a special message? Customize his favorite brand of golf balls such as the CallawayHX Diablo Golf Balls. A thin Ionomer cover promotes low driver spin for better distance and accuracy with your drive. Its core formulation increases ball speed for better distance, while still maintaining a soft feel off the clubface. HEX Aerodynamics replaces conventional dimples to reduce drag and produce a more penetrating ball flight in various weather conditions. DICK’S SPORTING GOODS DICKSSPORTINGGOODS.COM


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com




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::fab finds



Is he an Orange fan? (We hope so!) Find out which Syracuse University athletic team is his favorite, then get those hot tickets for home and away games. While you’re perusing the site for tickets, be sure he has all the gear he needs to boast his Orange pride in style! SU ATHLETICS I SUATHLETICS.SYR.EDU

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If he likes his watches, then he probably wants to make sure they always look nice. Get him a fine leather watch valet with a soft, velvet interior protects and stores his five favorite watches. It can be personalized with his initials, too! Crafted from beautiful Napa leather, this high-quality valet features fine details, focusing on superior stitching and neatly turned corners. Personalize it with up to three initials to create the ultimate custom gift. :: november 2012 27 BROOKSTONEsyracuseWomanMag.com I WWW.BROOKSTONE.COM

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::in her own words


My parents always taught me to have a servant’s heart; to put others’ needs before my own. Many of us learn this invaluable lesson from an early age. As I grew, my mama (like any good, Southern woman) taught me the virtue of serving one’s husband. This act of service is taken to another level when you find yourself marrying a soldier. Army wives know a thing or two about serving. When we were first married, I was overwhelmed with the laundry, of all things. My husband, Major James Browning, changes outfits more often during a day than I do. First they wear their PT (workout) uniform, then they change into their ACU’s (Army Combat Uniform) for the day, and they come home and change into civilian clothes. Now that we have three children, I’ve given up on ever ‘winning’ at laundry. I’ve learned to appreciate all of that laundry, though. I’ve found myself crying tears of joy when I walk into my laundry room full of dirty uniforms and muddy boots. It means my husband is finally home from being gone for months or a year at a time. Deployment is not a new thing for today’s Army wife, and it is inarguably an act of service for the solider and the wife. It’s never easy to watch my husband get on that aircraft knowing there’s no promise of his return. It was definitely a sacrifice

when I gave birth to our firstborn son three weeks later, without my husband by my side. I looked down at my sweet baby, kissed his forehead, and promised to love him so much he would never know his daddy wasn’t there for his first 15 months. Talk about putting someone else before yourself. I was terrified, but I was determined to serve my family and hold us all together until our soldier came home. While we’re holding it all together at home, Army wives are also holding it together in our communities. No matter where we move (and we move often), we make friends fast. I’ve been touched so many times by the service of other Army wives. We cook for each other, help each other clean quarters for move-out inspection, offer linens and air mattresses during transition. We step in and help care for one another’s children, especially when our husbands are gone. We come over and stay with someone’s child in the middle of the night, so she can take the feverish one to the emergency room. We cook a holiday feast and invite everyone over because we don’t live near family, so we create our own big Army family. And most importantly, we know when to show up to a friend’s house with a bottle of wine and a listening ear, because this life of service isn’t easy. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012


::cover story 30

november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

It all started about four years ago when Lynne HamiltonJohnson told her children it was important to devote some time to volunteer work. This would not only be beneficial to them for college applications in the near future, but it would be good for the soul and their community. When having this talk, Lynne’s kids turned to her and said, “You don’t volunteer that much.” It was an epiphany for Lynne. Her kids were right. She was capable of doing more, and if she was going to encourage her family to get out into in the community to donate time and talents, she thought it best to do the same. “And so I began my search for organizations,” she said. Lynne, who has been the comptroller for Plumley Engineering in Baldwinsville for more than six years, also is the current president of the Junior League of Syracuse, a role she took on last July. The reasons this particular organization captured Lynne’s interest were many. She loves how it not only promotes the dedication to charity, but the JLS trains women to be volunteers so they can truly maximize their efforts in the community. The JLS also is probably best known to the Central New York community for its annual Holiday Shoppes event, happening this year from Nov. 16 through 18 at the NYS Fairgrounds. We’ll get into the matter of the Shoppes a little later! The JLS has members who are supportive and encouraging to one another, Lynne added. If it weren’t for the positive attitude of her fellow JLS member (there are 330 and counting), Lynne probably wouldn’t be the organization’s current leader. “I went into this role really not sure how well I would do at it,” Lynne said. “Others had more confidence in my abilities.” Lynne will turn 47 in December and she merely views age as just a number that’s “creeping up” on her. “I wasn’t sure how much growth was left in me,” she said. However, through the power of encouragement from the JLS, Lynne realized there was still a lot of opportunity for her to continue growing. For the first time in her life, outside of helping lead the family alongside her husband, Lynne is promoting the JLS to a larger audience as a leader of the mission. “I never thought I could be a spokeswoman for something like that,” she said. “I’m really passionate about the Junior League and have been front and center for that.” She’s OK with being in the spotlight and at times she finds herself “loving it” because she loves what the JLS stands for. According to the mission, the JLS is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing

the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. And the vision is that the JLS will be an organization of diverse women committed to enriching the quality of life for women, children and their families in the CNY community.

::cover story


Without a doubt, the JLS wouldn’t be capable of launching and completing so many community efforts if it weren’t for the teamwork aspect. “When I say it takes a village to be able to work full time and take on this exciting, challenging, fulfilling leadership role, I wasn’t kidding,” Lynne explained. Within her family unit, Lynne says she’s been encouraged and also inspired. Now, her three daughters, Brynn, Ayden and Rowan, take action for project ideas of their own. If they see a need in a part of the community, they “do something about it,” said Lynne in a proud mother’s tone. Coming into her leadership role with the JLS reminded Lynne of many things and people she should always be grateful for — people like her rock, the love of her life, her husband, Paul, of 20-plus years. “I think we take for granted the ones who are always there for us,” Lynne said. “The truth is, before accepting the role of JLS president I went home to my family and asked them what they thought. We talked about what it would mean for them and how they would need to take on more responsibility if I did this.” Paul looked at Lynne and asked if it was what she wanted. “Then he said the answer is simple, ‘Do it. We are here to support you.’” Lynne explained. “Just that easily the decision was made. The truth is, my family accepted this role as much as, if not more than, I did, and my husband Paul more so than anyone else.” TIME TO STOP AT THE JLS HOLIDAY SHOPPES!

Why would it be wise to visit the Holiday Shoppes this November? Because 17 years ago, a group of women set out to create a “boutique atmosphere” with endless variety for shoppers, and with its positive reputation, the event has only gained momentum since. Holiday Shoppes 2011 continued to be the major JLS fundraiser, generating more than $86,000 to support its leadership development and Community Collaboration activities. Lynne, in the company of all the 300-plus JLS members, knows this is the organization’s top fundraiser. Each year, revisions are made to ensure the mission is upheld — to provide the best local shopping scene for the community! syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012


::cover story

Last year’s event featured almost 200 merchants, and this year’s roster is rapidly approaching that mark, too. This year’s event will move back into the Horticulture Building on the NYS Fairgrounds after having been inside the Center of Progress Building in 2011. “This is a strategic move for us,” Lynne said. “It’s a more intimate setting. It supports the type of event that we’re putting on.” A part of the Shoppes’ diverse offering can be credited to the membership roster. Lynne describes the JLS members with too many adjectives to list, but this is because all of them come from different walks of life. There are women who run households, women CEOs, women entrepreneurs and even college students and women who are continuing their education. The members’ wide array of interests helps create a unique list of merchants. Plus, many of the members who themselves are entrepreneurs take up shop (no pun intended) in the spaces available at the annual event. It’s not only a great venue for members to show off their business, but also a chance for them to answer questions

about the JLS. Baileys Bags, Sissy’s Boutique, Watson Greenhouse and Nantucket Cat are some of the returning merchants; while KLB Designs and Little Letter Shop will be coming to their first Holiday Shoppes event this year. And because Syracuse Woman Magazine enjoys seeing women further their abilities to serve the community, it has signed on to be a sponsor, be in attendance at the Shoppes on all three days and the exclusive women’s magazine of the 2012 event. Be sure to stop by and visit SWM while you’re there. To view a full list of returning merchants and new ones for the 2012 JLS Holiday Shoppes, visit www.jlsyracuse.com. At the Shoppes, you’ll be able to browse and buy house-wares, custom cards, jewelry, gardening items, clothing and accessories, food items and so much more! Follow the JLS leading up to this big event on Twitter at @JuniorLeagueSYR and the following hash tags: #JLSHolidayShoppes and #JLSHS12. We’ll see you there!


More than 500 JLS continual volu



Holiday Sh


Find out more about becoming a member of t 2012 Holiday S


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com



One of the most crucial parts of the JLS is that each woman goes through training and experiences different educational pieces to better prepare her to be the best at whatever service project she tackles. Members are constantly in the midst of developmental training to enhance their skills in areas including public speaking, duties, rights and obligations, social media skills and many others.


“We not only offer it but you will be shown how to use it [the skills] in both your professional life and volunteer life,” said Lynne Hamilton- Johnson, president of the Junior League of Syracuse. “It’s different from other non-profits. We realize what else members can do. They’re learning more about themselves and they enjoy the experience more by breaking out of their comfort zones.” Because the JLS focuses on training but also development, Lynne and the members know that putting their ideas into action is key. Finding out members’ strengths, abilities and interests has allowed the JLS to complete numerous projects over its 93 years of existence, and launch a few other non-profit organizations in the process. “Feels like we have a lot to live up to,” Lynne said. “There are a number of projects that were roll-offs that became independent projects. The JLS has a huge presence. It’s so inspiring, but hard to live up to.” PRESERVING HISTORY AT THE ERIE CANAL MUSEUM

Past JLS President Peggy Lou Feldmeier spearheaded the effort to save the Weighlock building from having a highway interchange claim the building. Thanks to the efforts of Feldmeier and the JLS, the Erie Canal Museum opened its doors in 1962. And this makes 2012 its 50th anniversary, a moment the JLS was proud to be a part of. The Erie Canal Museum will celebrate the anniversary, but also it honored Feldmeier this past October. BABY SHOWER AT ST. LUCY’S

Each year the New Member class develops its own community project. The last New Member class hosted a baby shower at St. Lucy’s Church for teenage mothers, expecting mothers and new mothers. The project entailed a forum with what to expect, goody bags and supplies, and education modules. The New Member class got together and made a collective decision for this project. “They talked about the need of the community,” Lynne said. “The beauty of the New Member class project is that it’s so different form yearto-year.”

WANT TO BE ON THE ‘VERY NICE LIST’? Promoting Volunteerism

unteer initiatives and collaborations have been created since 1921.

velop The Potential Of Women

Training Placements Experience Leadership Development

prove The Community Through:

Member developed programs New Member Class event JLS Community Days

hoppes 2012 – Nov. 16 through Nov. 18

que “boutique” shopping experience CNY favorite since 1995

the Junior League of Syracuse by visiting www.jlsyracuse.com, or by visiting the Shoppes and talking to one of its many members.

syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012



urrounding the sapphire waters of Seneca Lake, our 32 wineries invite you to experience a destination rich in history, beauty, and the production of world-class wines. Located in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes Region, our climate supports not only the growth of hardy native grapes and premium hybrids, but also more delicate varieties, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. Along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, you will truly find a wine to suit every taste.


Look for our event banners, that participating wineries will fly during this event

January 18-21, 2013:

February 8-10, 2013:
















CNY Laser Is Your New Medi-Spa Providing You With All Your Skin Care Needs!

Tis the season...

LASER SKIN REJUVENATION 3 Full Face Treatments 800 (reg. $885)


1 Full Face Treatment 295


SEASONAL SPECIALS 1 hour massage with Shannon 55 (reg. $70)


30% off any waxing of $30 or more with Sara only

New Facials with microderm abrasion choose one for $99: • The I am Enchanting Facial • The Allure Facial, and • The Ravishing Facial

Laser Speider Vein Treatment $99 Legs starting at $125

Custom packages designed to fit your needs and concerns upon a complementary consultation.



Kenn Kushner Designs 183 Walton Street, Armory Square 475 7510

Photo: Cindy bell

Join us on Friday, November 23rd, from 8am-6pm for Coffee, Muffins, and Black Friday Shopping!! *


% off!

e ackag Any P 1/31/13 exp.





*Enter to Win, With the Purchase of $20 or More

Mod Squad Fashion will host the debut of

Yummies NEW Cheesecake Muffins


(315) 638-1295 • www.yummiescheesecakes.com You have to check out our Cool Clothing Lines, Amazing Accessories and Ever-Expanding Brighton Jewelry! You will find exactly what you need to complete your Holiday Shopping!

Located in Marketfair North, Clay, next to Gino and Joes/Joann Fabrics Plenty of Free Parking - Mon. - Wed. 10-6, Thurs 10-7, Fri.- Sat. 10-5 315-409-4666 • Check us out online…www.ModSquadFashion.com

Holiday gift certificates available


A Picture Perfect Holiday Connie Brown at CB OFFERS 315 598 7915 63brownc@gmail.com



Celebrating 10 years of professional service

st? e to re No tim lp you with he e! Let me ds to be don e e n t wha ting, be hos May it g for a party ial in e spec prepar for someon g tshoppin what I do bes g in o d r o g! cleanin year ays this e! d li o h to m your Enjoy ess up the str e v a le &



olid H y p p a

Tis The Season


Wine/Spirit $ 1 off AnyPurchase 5 off

of $10 or more (includes box wine) 750ml, 1L, 1.75L Liquor Express • Baldwinsville • 635-3108

With this coupon. 1 coupon per person per day. Not valid with other offers or prior purchases. Sale items excluded. Offer expires 1/31/13.

4 Bottles Of Wine/Spirits

min. purchase $35

Liquor Express • Baldwinsville • 635-3108

With this coupon. 1 coupon per person per day. Not valid with other offers or prior purchases. Sale items excluded. Offer expires 1/31/13.

Case 20% off Any Of Wine 1.5L or 750ml. (Some restrictions may apply) Liquor Express • Baldwinsville • 635-3108

With this coupon. 1 coupon per person per day. Not valid with other offers or prior purchases. Sale items excluded. Offer expires 1/31/13.

(315) 635-3108 • 85 East Genesee St. • Baldwinsville, NY • Open 7 Days A Week

Rosi’s Cottage Treasures A New Unique Country Store for that “Something Special”

Pure, Safe and Beneficial Products

Discover fabulous gifts all created with botanically-based ingredients and earth-friendly packaging. A beautiful collection of Arbonne originals.

GiftS tHAt ArE A jOy tO GivE. A jOy tO rECEivE. AnD GrEEn tO tHE WOrlD. Check out our 12 Days of Christmas & 8 Days of Hanukkah gift packages!! Ask about Upcoming Open House Events, gift wrapping, special deliveries and So Much More!!! Denise McGraw, Arbonne Independent Consultant

www.mcgrawsplanb.myarbonne.com Denisemcgraw@twcny.rr.com (315) 506-3614

Give the Gift of Health & Wellness this Holiday Season!!

Victorian • Shabby • Primitive • Country Purses • Soaps • Cards • Painted Furniture Custom Orders & assorted Holiday gifts


Friday, November 23rd & Saturday, November 24th 10:00am to 6:00pm 434 South Main Street No. Syracuse, NY 315 458 8020



gift e e Fr es la


le su


Don’t Forget To Stop Into

*Victorian * Traditional * Country

Vintage Finds, Jewelry, Scarves & Much More... HOMEMADE

Lots of Gift Ideas!

Sandwiches, Hot Soups, Salads, And Much Much More!

Birkenstocks • Leather Bags & Belts • Dr. Martens Gloves, Hats & T-Shirts • Minnetonka Moccasins Posters • Jewelry • Candles • Wood & Metal Signs • Canes



exp: 12/24/12

Purchase Of $50 Or More At A.M.U.

HRS: Mon-Fri 10:30-7pm • Sat 10:30-6pm • Sun Noon-5pm

(315) 698-4330

www.allfedupofcicero.com P: 699-7044 • Fax: 698-2598

8140 Rt. 11 Cicero (1 mile North of Home Depot)

You're Invited!


Come find unique gifts for the holidays at our

Holiday Open House Saturday, November 10th ~ and ~

Sunday, November 11 11am-6pm


10% off with this coupon

exp. 12/31/12

512 Oswego Road (in the village of Liverpool) • 315-457-0494

Why not rent Turtle Landing and relax while we do all the work? Openings for Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Eve!

We “customize” your holiday! Slow down and enjoy life

, themed bedrooms that sleep 18, Meeting space (accomodates 50) & a personal chef for each meal! 130 Millard Bassett Rd. Fulton, NY • 315-374-0064 • www.turtlelandingretreat.com syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012 39

Make your next getaway one with the girlfriends!

Relax and reconnect in our historic Yellow Barn Suite

Win a for yo getaway u and your girlfri ends! Vis la it e.com/g to ente fgcontest r!


La Tourelle Resort & Spa has everything you need when planning your Girlfriend Getaway. Our Yellow Barn Suite is perfect for a group escape and our August Moon Spa will leave you feeling gratified and renewed. Don’t forget Simply Red Bistro for the finest in “farm to table” regional cuisine. Just mintues away from award-winning wineries, shopping and waterfalls.

Holi d cert ay gift ii avail cates able !

Call us to plan your girlfriend getaway! 1150 Danby Road (96B) ∙ Ithaca, NY 14850 ∙ (607) 273-2734 latourelle.com ∙ augustmoonspa.com ∙ simplyredbistro.com

Exp. 11/30/12



Saturday, November 17, 9am-4pm

A Bazillion Bolts of Beautiful Fabric!

20% off ALL Eufora Products

Featuring Elna & Babylock Sewing Machines


1 Hour Massage Only $40 *REFRESHMENTS*

Where Beauty Comes Together

Hair | Massage | Tanning | Facials Airbrush Tanning | Waxing Spa Manicures | Spa Pedicures

217 First Street (village of Liverpool) full




ift Holiday G s e Ce r t i f i ca t ! A va i l a b l e

Holiday Gift Certificates! Perfect for your Quilting Family & Friends!

FUN CLASSES ~ BRING A FRIEND! Syracuse (315) 445-0617 | Oswego (315) 343-0272 www.calicogals.com • OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK!

Holiday Parties! Home and Office! Party Trays! www.limplizardbbq.com One Coupon per customer. Coupon not valid on day of special sales. Cannot be combined with any other discounts. Expires 12/31/12.

201 First St. Liverpool, NY

ph: 315.451.9774 fax: 315.565.5916

A totally new kind of RESALE store for women

Why wait for a Sale! We are always up to 70% off on Top Labels All of your favorites for a fraction of the price - all in one store. We carry the most sought after womens designer and brand name clothing, purses, shoes, boots, & accessories in an easy to shop store. So you get all the name brand labels minus the name brand price tag. Give them a gift that stands out this season! Buy a $25 gift card and get a $5 gift card as our gift to you!

Located at Ruby Tuesday Plaza 3208 Erie Blvd. East, Dewitt, NY 13214 315-214-3311 • cmsyracuse@hotmail.com Store Hours: M-F 10-8, Sat 10-7, Sun 12-5

Guest Appreciation Month

The Nantucket Cat Builders of Fine Cat Furniture Purveyors of Wonderful Things for Cats & Cat Lovers

Guest Appreciation


65 (reg. $140)

to any Massage





Bare Minerals Make-Over

Featuring Laurel Burch Accessories Blossom Bucket Christmas Wine Slushie Mixes Art by Cranky Cat Cat Toys, Treats, and Furniture Nantucket Secret Spice Animal Print Accessories & Pashminas Christmas Felines for your Tree Better Brittle Gift Certificates

Buff & Tighten Beaute-Abrasion

complimentary with any service

FREE Signature Manicure

with the purchase of a Marine Peel Pedicure

3-D Eyelash Extension Full Set ~and~ Semi Permanent Mascara Enjoy both for $65 each (reg. $150)

Complimentary Color Gloss

with any service & a $25 Biolage purchase (During the first two weeks in November)

Check Out Our NEW Location! 49 Oswego Street, Baldwinsville 315-638-1981 • thenantucketcat.com Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5pm


315.622.3005 | 3627 St. Rte. 31 (at Moyers Corners) Liverpool, NY | www.innovationsdayspa.com

THE 17th ANNUAL Great gifts

Great cause

A gift for every occasion

Larimar Bracelet

NYS Fairgrounds, Syracuse Horticulture Building

November 16, 17 & 18 2012 Hours

Friday: 10am-7pm Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: 12pm-5pm


$6 Pre-Sale $8 At The Door

CMF Enterprize

For unique gems and jewlery

For more information Call (315) 423-9773 or visit www.JLSyracuse.com

CMF Enterprize Presents... Affordably gorgeous!

See us at the Holiday Shoppes! Only $15.00 Over 12 colors available!

See us at the Holiday Shoppes! cmfenterprize.com 315-409-9874


A Hand Crafted

cmfenterprize.c om 315-409-9874

Cozy Corner Boutique Featuring Knits by Diane and Local Artisans

Orders are welcome, and Gift Certificates are also available!

(315) 480-7072

We are pleased to offer fresh-baked, low fat baked goods catering to Weight Watchers. 85% of our products are handmade by local artisans.

60 Oswego Street • Baldwinsville, NY 13027 • ddavis04@twcny.rr.com Store Hours: Tues. - Fri. 11am - 6pm • Saturday 10am - 4pm Contact Us For Holiday Hours

The copper knot necklace

CMF Enterprize Unwrap the magic! See us at the Holiday Shoppes! cmfenterprize.com 315-409-9874


::rwm events

Syracuse Woman Magazine

SHOP, SPA & STYLE An evening filled with shopping, spa treatments and fashion all came together to benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY Inc. This year’s event was held on Oct. 12 at the Palace Theater in Syracuse. More than 200 people attended to enjoy the shopping and spa services, but also to see the fashion show that featured breast cancer survivors as well as others who were walking in honor of a loved one.

A RUN FOR THEIR LIFE The Second Annual A Run For Their Life 5k/15k was held on Oct. 14 on the South Campus of Syracuse University at Manley Field House to benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY Inc. Like last year, thousands of runners and walkers registered to support the cause and also honor breast cancer survivors and those who have passed away from the disease. This year’s event battled a rainy morning but the community’s commitment still came through!


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com



3RD WOUNDED WARRIOR RUN Time: Race start 10:45 AM; Post race party 11:30 AM Where: Camillus Fire Department, 5801 Newport Road, Camillus Registration: Race Day $35


MISS REPRESENTATION SCREENING Time: Reception 5:30 PM; Screening 6 PM; Discussion 7:30 PM Where: Storer Auditorium at OCC, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse Tickets: $5 per person at the door or online at http://missrepresentationevent.eventbrite.com. Free admission is available to all Onondaga Community College students.




CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET Time: 6 to 8 PM What: California Closets and Syracuse Woman Magazine are co-hosting a professional clothing drive to benefit JobsPlus!. Where: California Closets Showroom located at 3210 Erie Blvd East, DeWitt MR. HABITAT Time: 5 to 9 PM What: Live auction runway show, a silent auction with numerous goods and services, refreshments and cocktails all to benefit the Syracuse Habitat For Humanity Women Build Program. Where: The Oncenter Tickets: $15; www.mrhabitat2012.eventbrite.com BLACK FRIDAY AT MOD SQUAD Time: 8 AM to 6 PM What: Coffees, new cheesecake muffins by Yummies Cheesecakes and Black Friday Shopping! Enter to win an iPad with a purchase of $20 or more. Where: Mod Squad Fashion located in Marketfair North, Clay Website: www.ModSquadFashion.com

syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012


G.M. Crisalli & Associates, Inc. wish to express our sincere thanks to all of the Community and Volunteers who assisted with the 2012 Carol M. Baldwin “A Run for Their Life” Race on Sunday October 14, 2012

Photography by Raine Dufrane

It’s YOUR turn now. Give yourself the gift of a better future. You’ve been the one everybody counted on for years, developing skills that would rival a CEO. Now it’s time to take all the tasks you’ve juggled, budgets you’ve balanced, and problems you’ve solved and channel them into the degree YOU want. Monica Brown did it, and received a promotion at work when she graduated. Now she has a fulfilling career AND peace of mind as she enjoys her two grandchildren.

M y g r a du a t ion ! Scan this code for a list of SU degrees that can be earned with part-time study, or visit uc.syr.edu/degrees

It’s your future, and an SU degree is finally— and affordably—within reach. Go SU part time, at University College.

parttime.syr.edu Call 315-443-9378 to make an appointment with an advisor and shape YOUR future.

syracuse women


Executive Director, CNY Eye and Tissue Bank BY JENNA SCHIFFERLE I PHOTO BY KELLY KANE Nessa Vercillo is a firm believer in having heart. Every day, Nessa puts her own heart and soul into a cause she strongly believes in: organ and tissue donation. Nessa, the executive director of the CNY Eye and Tissue Bank, has oversight of all operations: the recovery staff which goes out and recovers tissues and eyes, the lab where the corneas are processed before being transplanted into the patients, the hospital development staff which works closely with hospitals to develop their transplant programs and the clerical staff. Everyone who works for the bank is part of a team. They each play an important role, Nessa says. Their job is not only to save lives but also to ensure that the donor families realize the impact of their gift on the lives of others. The great thing about the CNY Eye and Tissue Bank, she said, is that it is all community-based. All donations coming into the organization are transplanted directly into local patients. Consequently, results are seen locally and the difference the bank makes is quite apparent. Nessa also runs her own company called Bio-Integrity Consulting where she consults with hospitals and surgical centers to implement and develop implant programs. Both her company and the CNY Eye and Tissue Bank have a responsibility to protect the donations that people provide. “My company, Bio-Integrity Consulting, safeguards the gift…it’s just honoring the gift of donation from start to finish from the time it’s recovered from a donor to final implant into a recipient.” Nessa has been involved with organ and tissue donations for about 13 years and has played a hand in numerous donor organizations. Her passion for donation was sparked a few decades ago after facing her own tragedy. On Nov. 7, 1984, she was driving back from Liverpool with her four-month-old son, Matthew. She had just signed the papers for a mortgage on their new home and was looking forward to a new chapter in her life. When she glanced over, Matthew appeared to be sleeping, angelically. When she tried taking him out of his car seat, however, she realized that his pupils were dilated, his eyes were fixed and he was limp. She immediately performed CPR but to no avail. He was rushed to the hospital, but passed away two days later of sudden infant death syndrome. “You have this perfectly healthy, cherubic, little 21-pound, 4-month-old who was just perfect. And even after autopsy, they could find nothing wrong,” she said. If Matthew’s incident had occurred today, a law would have mandated that the hospital contact a designated organ donation center. At the time, however, no such law existed. Nessa never knew that her son’s life could have helped save another life. They could have donated their son’s heart or lungs or liver to give another baby a chance at life, but they didn’t know until it was too late. Nessa has never been the type to take things passively and without (continued on page 50)

syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012


::sw inspire

“It is really important to live every moment and just cherish life.”

ELIZABETH O’DONNELL-ERSEK Disaster Action Team, American Red Cross BY CATHERINE WILDE I PHOTO BY KELLY KANE By day, Elizabeth O’Donnell-Ersek helps people assess risk in their lives and by night she helps people cope and move on when disaster strikes. As a Disaster Action Team volunteer for the American Red Cross, Liz, with her team of three, helps place families in accommodations after they lose their homes to a fire. She also offers provisions to the firefighters and comforts families in need as they go through a devastating event. Since she is on call for the night shift, this often means climbing out of bed at 3 a.m. to load up an emergency rescue vehicle and drive to the scene of a fire with her team. Frequently she will have to shower and go right to work after the event is over. But Liz is happy to do it. “Just looking at the faces of these people when you’re helping them,” Liz shared. “Some throw themselves at you and say, ‘thank you.’ That’s what does it for me. I don’t need anything more than that.” Liz said that helping people in this way is her way of paying forward a good deed, adding she has been blessed with a loving family and a successful career as a life insurance risk manager. She also knows what it is like to go through something that can “turn your world upside down.” Liz’s youngest son lost his hearing at age 10, and now at age 21 he is hoping to pursue an acting career. But when he lost his hearing, Liz found herself dealing with something sudden and unexpected and was uncertain of the future. Liz is also president of the Baldwinsville Little League, another avenue of volunteerism that she is passionate about. In this capacity she has done many fundraising events for cancer. “There are families that are so much in the moment, with so much despair and they don’t know where to turn to. It means so much to give back and show somebody it’s not the end of the world,” she said. Volunteerism speaks to a need within her to serve the world and leave a positive impact. She tries in many small ways to leave the world a better place. Liz recalls poignant moments in her volunteerism with the Red Cross: from helping to save a charred pet cat to being the translator for a Spanish-speaking woman who lost her fiancé in a fire. A fireman handed her the cat as she was walking in front of a burning building, Liz recalls. She did not know what it was as she ran it to the truck for rescue efforts to begin. “It was owned by a little boy who was so happy. Just to see the smile on his face was priceless,” Liz said. As a bilingual speaker, Liz was able to translate for the woman who was devastated by the death of her fiancé.

48 48

(continued on page 50) november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

::sw inspire

“A particularly nice part of Hospice work is that we see people from all walks of life.” DR. JUDITH SETLA

Medical Director, Hospice of CNY BY FARAH F. JADRAN I PHOTO BY CINDY BELL “People assume working at Hospice is depressing.” explained Dr. Judith Setla. “And there are certainly some very sad days; tears are not uncommon in our building, but support and laughter are much more common.” More than a decade ago, Judy came to Hospice to just “try it out” after she had practiced as a primary care physician in Baldwinsville for 14 years at a PHP primary care centers. While her medical focus changed somewhat dramatically to the naked eye, Judy knows there are many similarities. “Anyone working in the medical or social work fields experiences sad and difficult situations,” Judy said. At Hospice, she often takes calls from nurses who are in homes seeing patients and making recommendations for symptom management. Because her patients are coming to terms with the fact that a terminal illness will take their life, she says they’re focusing on family and friends and putting the “chaotic medical system” behind them. “Caring for young adults or children can be very sad, but also rewarding. Those of us who do this work like to be part of team that makes sure our patients can enjoy what time they have left.” Having been in both the primary care world and now that of Hospice, Judy appreciates the level of care she’s able to give her patients. “Sick people spend enormous amounts of time waiting. Waiting to see doctors, to get x-rays, to get blood tests, to get the results of those blood tests and X-rays, in emergency rooms, in parking garages, in pharmacies, and on phones getting appointments and dealing with insurance issues,” Judy said. “Medical care in America is provided by mostly caring and bright people trapped in a chaotic and disjointed system that places the patient on the periphery of care.” While much of what frustrates her boils down to a long-time debate on what medical care should cost and who’s eligible, Judy knows her position allows her to give patients more attention. “When someone enrolls in Hospice, much of that lost time is regained,” Judy said. A primary nurse is assigned and the patient and family can access social workers, chaplains, volunteers, and physicians, if needed. All staff goes to the patient’s home. Staff delivers equipment, supplies, and medications to the home. If there are questions, Hospice has Registered Nurses on the phones 24/7 and if needed, RNs can visit the home in the middle of the night. “Comprehensive care delivered to where the patient lives, allows us to keep people home if that is their desire,” Judy said. “Finally, we provide grief services for 13 months after the death if family members desire. I believe putting the patient and family at the center of care is why over 95 percent of families would recommend Hospice of CNY [to others in annual surveys].” (continued on page 50)

syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012 syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012

49 49




action. After her loss, she couldn’t just sit back and not do anything. Though she had her 4-yearold son, Michael, to take care of, she founded the Upstate NY SIDS Foundation and became a member of the SIDS alliance in 1987. Four years later, she started Just for Babies, Inc., a not-forprofit organization that aimed at reducing infant mortality rate and teenage pregnancy by providing essential tools. The program reached more than 6,000 families in CNY.

While caring for patients at very crucial times, Judy says she’s often humbled by what she learns from them on a daily basis. “I watch the most ordinary people take on extraordinary tasks. A particularly nice part of Hospice work is that we see people from all walks of life; death doesn’t discriminate.”

Liz and her team help with intake paperwork at hospitals if needed. Also, they arrange shelters at local schools and churches or make provisions with hotels for temporary stays, depending on the situation. The volunteers are given psychological training to be able to comfort families who have lost their homes and loved ones.

::sw inspire


Everything Nessa does is motivated by her love for her son and a drive to help those around her. Looking back on her life now, she sees that the impact that her son’s life has had on so many other lives. A few years ago, she saw this impact first-hand when she was working on recovering hearts for the valves. She discovered two days into the project that a valve was transplanted into an 18-month-old baby and that valve saved the child’s life. If it weren’t for her own loss, she may have never felt that sense of gratitude and fulfillment that came from hearing that news. Working in her field isn’t easy. There are many times when she and her staff witness a failed procedure or the loss of a patient, and that is always difficult to cope with. Love, however, pushes Nessa forward and motivates her to make a difference. That is something she has tried to instill in her three other children. “Out of every tragedy, good comes,” Nessa said. “And we need to work on giving that back.”


In particular, Judy remembers a 24-year-old woman who put off college to care for her grandmother with dementia for a decade. Judy says the young woman was tender and gentle, right to the end. “Some of the best care-giving I witnessed was in a chaotic household.” Sometimes, a patient responds better with the door kept ajar and kids and various adults in and out at all hours. One woman’s heart failure improved so much with excellent care in a lively setting that she had to be discharged from Hospice. She passed away a full year later. Judy and her medical partners also are involved in teaching the end-of-life course for third-year medical students. They often have fourth-year medical students spend some time with them. “We offer an elective to Upstate medical students where they train as Hospice volunteers, and get credit for seeing patients over the course of a year.” Whether Judy’s helping a student understand what it is to administer Hospice care, or meeting another patient and his or her family, she has been immersed into numerous settings that have created lasting memories. “A student once told me the people are more complete than when he saw them in the hospital because they were in their own element,” she said. “Every home is a new setting and story.”


The volunteers interview the families that are displaced, learning about their situations so they can respond accordingly. If relatives cannot house them they are referred to the Department of Social Services. The volunteers provide a gentle and compassionate environment for the families during these questions — trying to ease the trauma as much as possible. There are many fires in Syracuse, said Liz. She estimates she responded to more than 75 of the approximately 100 fires that hit the city in the first half of the year. The team has dealt with fires that are the result of electrical problems and fires started by arsonists. Liz provides written releases to the news media as well. The irony of her dual life is not lost on Liz. As an insurance risk manager, Liz says she assesses risks before disasters happen on a daily basis. In her night volunteer work she helps people move on after disasters have happened. Her understanding of the two worlds has allowed her to use her talents to help her community. Because of her love for volunteerism and the satisfaction she gets from helping people in crisis, Liz says she will stay involved and always is looking for other volunteers. She says she has the best of both worlds: helping kids grow into responsible adults at the Little League and providing support and assistance to families in need through the Red Cross.




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november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

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::special feature

Women (and some men) lined up all along First Street in the village of Liverpool, as far as the eye could see. Every year, Liz Peters hosted an open house at her well-known silk floral design store, Liz’s of Liverpool. “It wasn’t Christmas without going to Liz’s,” said Mel Peters, Liz’s husband. “She was just that woman who lit up a room.” The store was a familiar locale to Clay and Salina area residents, but also, first-time Liverpool visitors couldn’t miss the sight of the village landmark. Liz’s was best known as the bright pink house with green awnings donned with her name. Inside, there were many rooms, each decorated with its own holiday theme. In preparation for the annual open house at Liz’s, the store would close for several days so the staff could dazzle and decorate each room accordingly. The first weekend of November, from 1990 through 2008 meant a visit to Liz’s was an absolute must. While Liz had been in business at a different location for about four years prior, the “Pink House” location was where it all truly started. The store featured at least 10 Christmas trees throughout and there was always a tree that would reach the height of 10 feet. Each tree’s design was planned out to a T, said Gail Falci, a manager at Liz’s for more than 15 years. Liz Made A Winter Feel Warm

“It never felt like a job,” Gail said. “It felt more like a fun place to go, and ‘oh yeah, it’s my job right now!’” The pressure was never on at Liz’s. Her employees never “had to sell” because business was always steady and “people knew what they wanted,” according to Gail. People would come in from all over Central New York just to get one of Liz’s latest creations, which included a wide range of holiday and home décor. “It was a beautiful place to go,” Gail said. The scenery and overall welcoming presence Liz instilled in the store made it a place people could go to find both décor inspiration and some peace. “You could come here after a rough day,” she said. “They [customers] would come in and have peace, music and beauty. They would take the time and walk through. I don’t know many people that would go in and not leave with a smile on their face.”


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

According to both Mel and Gail, Liz always went out of her way to make things right for her customers. “They didn’t go home with an item unless it was right,” Gail said. During the time Gail worked at Liz’s, she was inspired to decorate her own home. But since the store’s closing and Liz’s unexpected passing four years ago, the “ideas and influence aren’t there anymore,” she said. “I miss her smile and her laugh,” Gail said. “Liz would laugh at herself and we’d make each other laugh.” Gail says a few people asked why the store couldn’t stay open with the few employees who always helped Liz, including herself. This was not even a slight possibility, she said. “There’s no Liz’s without Liz, even if we changed the name, it wouldn’t be the same.” Of many things, the annual holiday unveiling wouldn’t have been the same either, according to Gail. Liz and Mel were on deck, but Liz’s parents and siblings came to help serve wine and they brought homemade cookies. The event was catered with a variety of delicious treats. “The open house was so much fun!” Gail exclaimed. Now, when the first week of November rolls around, Gail says she can’t help but remember how vibrant Liz made the community with the event. And she can’t help but miss it. “People would stand outside for hours [because the store had limited space],” Gail said. “They’d wait out in the cold. We’d take care of customers as fast as we could, but it didn’t matter. People would wait and it became tradition.” Gail says a lot of people thought of Liz’s creations as the most beautiful things they’d ever seen. “She was an artist and so talented. I hope she realized how happy she made people in their homes.” The holiday season wasn’t right unless Liz’s décor made it into your home. “People loved having her things in their homes,” Gail said. “It was magical. For Christmastime, you think you should go see Santa, but instead it was time to go see Liz!”

Inspiring Home Decor Everwhere

Because Liz’s store was built like an actual house, it was clear for people to visualize how her room décor would look in their own home.

“It wasn’t just about making something beautiful, she really took the time with each customer,” MJ said.

“People got ideas, visualized it and put their ideas from there,” said Liz’s husband, Mel. “There were prints and home décor. Every wall was covered and tastefully done. Women loved it.”

MJ says Liz wasn’t “out there and loud,” but in a way her personality was loud, because she was so open and generous with her talents. “She was so pretty and talented and didn’t even know it.”

While pink and green were Liz’s two favorite colors to pair and decorate with, she made the holidays extra special, even when it wasn’t Christmastime.

In addition to her indubitable talents, MJ said her sister’s personality was beautiful and unique. Her sense of humor was wonderful. “She had a poster on the basement door in the store that had a picture of Tom Selleck, and it read, ‘If you’re not Tom Selleck do not enter.’”

After Christmas and the New Year, Liz’s would shut down for several weeks before it unveiled the spring themes, which included birds, bunnies and an assortment of arrangements with tulips and daffodils. “She enjoyed just making people happy and in their own surroundings,” Mel said. “She brought warmth into a lot of houses and ‘cozied’ them up. She just wanted people to enjoy their homes for the holiday. When you have a beautiful home at the holidays, people feel comfortable in the house.” Mel said Liz always set good prices on her works of art and was very generous to the community. ‘Nothing Would Compare’

Liz’s customers knew they could bring in a photo of a room they were hoping to decorate and she would know just what to do, according to her sister, Mary Jo “MJ” Giambatista.

::special feature


When MJ meets someone that was a long-time customer at her sister’s store, they tell her how much they miss her and how they still remember her at the holidays. “They tell me it wasn’t a typical store and that it was like a little family,” MJ said. “People still tell me they have things from her store but they’re afraid to use them because you can’t get them anymore.” And besides the time and care she gave to her work and her customers, MJ says Liz was the one who always wanted the family to be close and to stay in touch. The Giambatista Family had a summer home in Sylvan Beach and Liz was sure to have a standing barbecue every Sunday for all nearby relatives. “I felt the need to go all the time because she kept the family together,” MJ said. “This family barbecue was similar to what she did for her customers. She made you feel welcome and made you feel that you were meant to be.”

syracuseWomanMag.com :: november 2012


::tips for women

and for gifts for others. Although, he says the amount of men buying jewelry during the holidays increases dramatically. “Men actually appreciate the ‘wish list,’” Welch says. “It takes some of the stress out of their shopping experience and ensures a hit every time.”

For a woman the most popular gift is diamond jewelry. Specifically diamond stud earrings. For men it would have to be watches. Men have become collectors of the new tech watches. And if you couldn’t guess, planning for holiday engagements has already begun! “We do have many clients already planning for holiday or preholiday engagements,” said Dan Welch, owner of Welch & Co. Jewelers in North Syracuse. “Many men want to be engaged before the holidays so the ring can be shown off at family events and holiday parties.”

To help someone find the right gift, Welch starts with a few simple questions about the person receiving the gift. Does she have diamond earrings already? Does she wear a watch? Does she usually wear gold or silver? For the person that says she has one of everything already, Welch says his store always has something that is new to the market. “Many of the new collections we carry are designed for the collection to be expanded on,” Welch said. “This makes future gift giving easier. Collections such as the O.W. L. (Ones We Love), Kameleon Collection and reflection beads all offer great potential for gift giving. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.” Welch & Co. Jewelers is located at 513 S. Main St. in North Syracuse. For more information, visit www.welchjewelers.com or call (315) 452-0744.

Welch says he and his staff prefer the subtle approach. You can do a “wish list” at Welch & Co. Jewelers. Clients can select several items they would want to receive as gifts not only at the holidays, but also throughout the year. “You provide us with his email address and we will let him know that you have your eye on at Welch & Co. Jewelers,” Welch said. “We keep the ‘wish list’ on file year-round, so when he needs an idea for any other special occasion he only has to stop and see us!” To this end, Welch says the store usually hosts a ladies night celebration where it invite the ladies to fill out their “wish list” while sipping on a beverage and enjoying refreshments. Welch says women buy the majority of jewelry by far, for themselves

What will your Red Box Diamond® moment be?

513 S. Main Street (RT 11) North Syracuse, NY 452-0744 www.welchjewelers.com


november 2012 :: syracuseWomanMag.com

Holiday Gift Certiiicates Available!

Burdick Audi, Driver’s Village 5885 E. Circle Dr., Cicero, NY 13039 (315) 699.2661

Burdick Audi


Driver’s Village, 5885 E. Circle Dr., Cicero, NY 13039 | (315) 699-2661 | www.burdickaudi.com

*LED lights and navigation enhanced by Google Earth are not standard on all A4 models. Audi connect WiFi and traffic data services require separate subscriptions. **Based on average 2009-2011 Strategic Vision Total Quality Index Rating on MY09-11 A4 sedan; 86,207 new vehicle buyers surveyed after 90 days of ownership. “Audi,” “A4,” “MMI,” “Audi connect,” “Truth in Engineering,” the Audi Singleframe grille design, and the four rings and Audi emblems are trademarks or registered trademarks of AUDI AG. “Google Earth” is a trademark of Google Inc. “Total Quality Index” is a trademark of Strategic Vision, Inc. ©2012 Audi of America, Inc.

Profile for Barbara McSpadden

SWM November 2012 Issue  

Our November issue features our annual Holiday Gifr Guide and features Lynn Hamilton-Johnson on the cover

SWM November 2012 Issue  

Our November issue features our annual Holiday Gifr Guide and features Lynn Hamilton-Johnson on the cover