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November C O N T E N T S

Letter from the Editor.............................................................. 6

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Past SWM Events...................................................................... 7 Fashion Forward: Ending the Reign of Red.......................... 8 Platter Chatter: Firudo.......................................................... 10

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WISE Woman: Sara Martin................................................... 15 Special Feature: Burnout Part Two...................................... 17 CNY Latina: InterAct Language Center.............................. 18

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Fab Finds: Buy Local Bash ................................................... 20 Cover Story: Juanita Critz..................................................... 25 In Her Own Words: Francine N. Whitman......................... 31

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Special Feature: Women of Beer........................................ 34 Inspire: Galyn Murphy-Stanley............................................. 38 Inspire: Josephine Yang-Patyi.............................................. 42

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Inspire: Lee Gatta.................................................................. 46 Upcoming Events.................................................................. 48

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LETTER from the Editor

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lichéd as it may sound, it’s easy to get caught up in the swing of things, always striving to meet that deadline, achieve that goal and anticipate your next 10 steps. The “what if” can be like quicksand; learning from past mistakes can lead to growth, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid getting stuck. As this holiday season approaches, my advice is to slow down and focus on the now. It feels like it was only a couple months ago that I was writing my first Letter from the Editor. Now, one year and 11 letters later, as I take a minute to step back and evaluate my “now,” I’ll be honest with you: I’m still hit with incredible gratitude from time to time that I’m so fortunate to have landed this gig as editor. I don’t think a single job or year has helped in my evolution as a human being as much as this one. Sure, life’s gotten busier. I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone more than once. My addiction to coffee ebbs and flows as the monthly deadlines come and go. But there’s not one day that goes by that I don’t truly adore what I do, and the people I meet while doing it. And so as my one-year work-iversary comes up, I’d like to dedicate this issue to those folks who have made such an amazing impact on my life in these 12 months since I’ve taken the reins. Among that sea of people are the many incredible women featured in this issue. Our cover woman Juanita Critz, co-owner of Critz Farms, actually played a huge role in my life without even knowing it. Though our paths didn’t cross until the cover interview, she inadvertently brightened my holiday season each year. Even that one year I lived in Watertown, I dutifully trekked down to Critz Farms to meet my family for a Christmas tree hunt, strapped the treasure to the top of my car, and made the hour and a half trip back to the north country — all so I could display some childhood nostalgia in my apartment. With the holiday season comes some level of commercialism. So this year, why not keep it local? Fab Finds highlights just a few of the many vendors SyracuseFirst’s Buy Local Bash plans to feature on Monday, Nov. 21. They filled us in on how they got involved with the bash and why they love being part of the Syracuse scene. As we slow down to appreciate the traditions, family, friends and community that make this crazy season well worth it, let’s not forget about those people who might need our help. Inspire feature Galyn Murphy-Stanley is one of the many people leading the way in that effort. As the neighborhood outreach coordinator at University United Methodist Church, she runs the organization’s food pantry, serving more than 100 people per month. And let’s not forget to take a minute to celebrate. For some, that means libations. In this month’s special feature Women of Beer, 11 ladies behind the brew at both of Empire’s locations share what it’s like to be part of that family. So gather your friends, your family, your traditions and your spirits, and have a happy beginning to this holiday season! SWM

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Lorna

On our cover: Juanita Critz was photographed by Alice G. Patterson of Alice G. Patterson Photography at Critz Farms in Cazenovia. Special thanks to Jillain Pastella Salomone, owner of J. Luxe Salon, for Juanita’s makeup styling.

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lisa Marie Butler Nicole Christina Lorna Oppedisano Gabrielle Reagan Engracia Angrill Schuster Colleen Stapleton Lindsay Wickham Francine N. Whitman

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The Holiday Edition


PAST SWM Events

Syracuse Fashion Week kicked off the fall season with its sixth annual Syracuse Style event on Thursday, Sept. 15in Armory Square. Photography by James Bass. Later that month, on Sunday, Sept. 25, the show moved to the new Marriott Syracuse Downtown for Fashions atthe Persian Terrace. Photography by Dennis Fernando. Both events benefited the Food Pantry of Central New York. The American Heart Association celebrated its Go Red for Women cam-paign with the

Red Hot. Red Heart. event on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Marriott Syracuse Downtown. Photography by Edges Photography. On Saturday, Sept. 24, Hope for Heather held its eighth annual Teal Ribbon Run at Lewis Park in Minoa. Photography by Mark V Photography. On Wednesday, Oct. 7, WBOC held its monthly meeting at Pascale Italian Bistro. The theme was Leadership in Action. Photography by Enfoque Images.

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FASHION FORWARD Ending the Reign of Red

No More Red Sweaters By Lisa Marie Butler

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he holiday season is fast approaching and I can see it now: twinkling lights, sparkling decorations, shopping, old friends, parties, get-togethers… and an endless sea of red sweaters. Ladies, I want you all to go to your bedrooms right now. Pull out every red sweater, dress, top, tunic and T-shirt. Put them all together, fold them up, put them in a big bag and stash it in the back of your closet. You are allowed to put them back on their hangers after the holidays, just in time for Valentine’s Day. I’m going to wean you away from the ubiquitous red sweater that I see at every single holiday party. I know it’s difficult, but you’re going to thank me for it later. The runways were full of fabulous trends for fall 2016 that you can adapt for your holiday wardrobe. So let’s focus on a few of them. The biggest news for fall/winter is velvet. Sumptuous, sensuous, soft and comfortable, velvet looks great on all body types and brings just the right amount of style to any occasion. Channel your inner Stevie Nicks with a long, flowing velvet dress, coupled with boots and a BoHo-inspired scarf or necklace, and you’ll be the hit of your annual girlfriends’ holiday night out. For your work party, you can either go velvet jacket or velvet pants… or if you’re truly inspired, a velvet suit. Every designer and store, from Armani to Macy’s to local favorite, The Changing Room, is carrying velvet everything. But please don’t even think about red velvet, unless you’re playing Mrs. Claus. If you have a sparkling personality and want to make an entrance, turn to metallics. Silver, gold, platinum, copper and bronze have been going strong for a couple of seasons now, and they don’t seem to be slowing down. Keep an all-over metallic dress from veering too theatrical by pairing it with suede accessories. Pair metallic pants with a simple lingerie-inspired top. And conversely, wear a smashing metallic tunic over simple leggings and boots. Just be aware of one thing: a heavy metallic garment isn’t the most comfortable thing for sitting in. It might be best for dancing the night away. Among an ocean of black suits and little black dresses at your company holiday gathering, stand out from the crowd in snowy white. Perfect for all skin and hair colors, ethereal white dresses are the new LBDs. Whether you prefer a sheath dress, empire-waisted flowing chiffon or Renaissance-inspired brocade (absolutely new and stunning for 2016), white gives you the perfect clean palette to build on. If you like a pop of color, bring on the most colorful shoes and bags in your closet. If you want to punk it up a little bit, a black leather Moto jacket is your answer. Do you lean toward goth? Now is the time for fingerless gloves, black cameo chokers and spiked hair. Child of the ’60s and ’70s that I am, my go-to is boho chic. I’ll be pairing my white dress with tons of bracelets, hoop earrings, a fabulous fringed clutch and a gold mani/pedi. Finally, an inescapable trend for fall 2016 is menswear-inspired dressing. Unleash your inner English lady with a gorgeous tweed skirt. Top it with a cashmere sweater and bring out your heirloom gold and pearls. Flat lace-up boots or the new Mary Jane… your choice. You’ll be warm and cozy through the cold winter nights. Or keep everybody on their toes when you walk into your soirée sporting a tuxedo suit. Sexy and strong, everybody looks good in a tux. Black, navy or winter white, keep the silhouette simple and make sure the tailoring is impeccable. Now is the time to bring out those fishnets and sky high heels, if your choice is a skirt tux. If you opt for pants, high-heeled oxfords are the way to go. And I’ll finally make one concession to a red shirt here. You may put a red button-up under your tuxedo jacket, but only if it’s silk. Happy holidays to all! SWM

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PLATTER CHATTER Firudo

FIRUDO

Photography by Steven J. Pallone

LINDA TIAN, OWNER

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FIRUDO

The Culinary Dream By Gabrielle Reagan

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alk through the doors of Syracuse’s latest Asian eatery, Firudo, and expect to feel at home — more specifically, at owner Linda Tian’s home. Part hostess, part chef and part server, Linda’s humbling hospitality and culinary creativity make Firudo a warm and inviting place to explore the best of both Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Celebrating the grand opening of a second location on Erie Boulevard East in July, Firudo has become Linda’s second home. Born in Fuzhou, Southern China, Linda is no stranger to hard work. She moved to New York City at the age of 19 and by her second day in the states, she was working full time. She studied English for five hours in the morning before working past dark in a crowded clothing factory. “I’d just go home, shower, make dinner and maybe make enough for lunch the next day,” Linda said. “Oh my goodness, it was pretty tough.” In less than a year, Linda gravitated toward the restaurant industry. She met her husband working in a small eatery. The two made a plan: work hard, save money, and one day open a place of their own. They did. But after Sept. 11, the rent began skyrocketing and they had little choice but to move upstate. Landing in Oswego, the Tians opened a second restaurant, serving guests for more than 10 years before moving to Syracuse and opening Firudo. Firudo’s menu — similar in style to Linda’s former restaurants — offers an impressive variety of dishes including sushi and sashimi, hibachi, noodles, tempura and Teishoku, a traditional Japanese dinner set served with white rice, miso soup and seaweed salad. Its full bar offers both domestic bottles and Asian beer, sake, plum wine and cocktails.

Guests can enjoy half-price sushi Monday through Thursday after 4 p.m. and all-you-can-eat sushi all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Try the Firudo Special Roll with shrimp tempura, snow crab, eel, avocado, topped with eel sauce and spicy mayo. “I think she combines the best of Japanese cooking and Chinese cooking style,” said Hui Chen, a volunteer for the International Center of Syracuse and friend of Linda. “She doesn’t always follow tradition. Sometimes she adds her own creativity and plays with style. That’s what makes her dishes so tasty.” Despite working seven days a week at Firudo, Linda still finds the time to prepare and donate food to events for the International Center. She’s volunteered her services so often that last year she received the group’s International Citizen Award for her profound work ethic, something those around her find incredibly inspiring. “I really admire her,” Hui said. “She is always the first one to open the restaurant in the morning and the last one to leave at night, seven days a week, and still manages to get a haircut for four kids. I mean, how do you find the time?” With her husband back in China, Linda runs both a restaurant and a full house on her own, spending hours each day making sure ingredients and recipes are carefully chosen and perfected. The first concern is always customer health, so she picks only fresh, high quality ingredients. “Her husband once told me he owes Linda a lot,” Hui said. “He knows how much she has had to sacrifice for them to achieve the American dream.” SWM Firudo is located at 3237 Erie Blvd. E. in Syracuse and offers lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and dinner Monday through Thursday 4:30 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4:30 to 11 p.m. They are open Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. For more information, contact firudosushi@ gmail.com or call 802-2915.

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Holiday Guide Spread

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The The Holiday Pink Edition Edition


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The Holiday Edition


WISE WOMAN Sara Martin

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SPECIAL FEATURE Burnout Part Two SPECIAL FEATURE: BURNOUT PART TWO

It’s Not You By Nicole Christina

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ast month, we looked at the epidemic of burnout, the profound weariness that seeps into every aspect of our lives and relationships. One can feel they’ve lost their empathy, and that can be upsetting and guilt-provoking, especially for caregivers. Consider these facts. We live in an economy that forces us to do more with less in a disappearing middle class; a culture that is rabidly accomplishmentoriented, with little value on downtime; a tech explosion that has the potential to slowly suck the life out of us; and a family-work dynamic that is simply untenable. The post-Sept. 11 world has left us feeling more vulnerable and with less sense of community. Loneliness is epidemic. In fact, new research puts it at the top of risk factors for early death. Being an adult these days is not for the thin-skinned. We have a sense that things are really out of whack, but no one wants to admit they’re barely treading water. As Americans, we tend to be individually focused. When things are going poorly, we tend to think it’s our fault. We may even think we’re clinically depressed, menopausal or in a midlife crisis, instead of realizing that the odds are often stacked against success. Many of my clients describe a vague and nagging feeling of not doing enough, and not being enough. Shame is right around the corner, which keeps us quiet about our struggles and gets in the way of us sharing the pain with others. Who wants to be the first to admit that they haven’t made a home-cooked meal in weeks?

There’s no such thing as a quick fix for burnout, but I will offer some helpful suggestions that I’ve gained in my 25 years as a psychotherapist. Try them, personalize them and see what works for you. 1. Compare and despair. It feels hard because it is hard. Remind yourself this is a no-win situation. That neighbor you see with the perfect makeup application, bouncing around in her yoga clothes — don’t make the mistake of assuming she has everything figured out. You have no idea what goes on in her head. 2. Embrace the concept of “the good enough mother.” Some of my clients try to make every mothering moment an enriching experience. But good parenting comes down to a strong attachment and connection. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be good enough. 3. Some stillness — any stillness — is absolutely nonnegotiable for mental health. Your brain needs time to fully rest. Netflix doesn’t count as stillness. Sitting still for even just a few minutes and watching your thoughts go by without getting tangled up with them can give you some precious moments of sanity. The list of benefits include better skin and less hair loss, if mental health isn’t motivating enough! Extra points for being still in nature. 4. Abdominal breathing is almost magical. Along with basic stillness and rest, abdominal breathing (the most basic kind where your belly rises and falls) sends a powerful message to your brain via your vagus nerve. Your brain receives the message that all is well, and your body becomes relaxed. The benefits of such a simple exercise are amazing. 5. Monitor your media. Although I’m blown away by the cinematic excellence that is “Orange is the New Black,” I wouldn’t exactly call it uplifting. I once had a client who had chronic trouble falling asleep. I asked her what she did just before bed. She casually answered that she binge-watched reruns of “Law and Order SVU”! Make sure you’re aware of what you’re asking your psyche to filter out. Think of it like a Brita filter; at some point, it needs a cleaning. In part three of this burnout series, I plan to discuss the healing benefits of having a spiritual practice. Spiritual practice can be anything from daily Roman Catholic Mass to hiking in nature and exploring the connection between living things. I’m always interested in your comments and suggestions. SWM Nicole Christina, LCSW, is a local psychotherapist and author. Her latest project is a web course entitled: “Diets Don’t Work (but Mindful Eating Does!)” You can find her at NicoleChristina.com.

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CNY LATINA InterAct Language Center

Sharing Traditions

By Engracia Angrill Schuster, InterAct Language Center co-director

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Photo provided by CNY Latino

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ecently, two Syracuse women planning to travel to China decided to take a few classes of Mandarin Chinese prior to their departure. As they prepared to leave, one of them commented, “I am so glad that the InterAct language center exists! It was great taking lessons tailored for our trip.” InterAct Language Center strives to help individuals or corp-orations learn languages in the context of the culture associated with the dialect. With a focus on conversation and immersion, this approach makes language classes both interesting and effective. We hope that our small private language center is filling a niche for a variety of people. We offer private or small group instruction in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and more. We try to be as flexible and affordable as possible to accommodate busy families and professionals alike. Last summer, as locals went on vacation, some vacationers came to Syracuse. In coordination with the YMCA, we offered a cultural exchange program geared to teens from other countries looking to visit our area and learn our culture, customs and language. Local teens volunteered in assisting participating international teens, and everyone prospered from the exchange of ideas. InterAct co-director Ana Guerrero and I are already planning a similar expanded program for next summer. When we opened our doors less than a year ago, we had a vision of bringing international

and local communities together, and it’s slowly taking shape. Most of our instructors are native speakers, passionate about sharing their language and culture with others. While learning or practicing a language and making new friends, program participants acquire a higher degree of empathy, tolerance, adaptability and perceptual understanding for other people’s feelings, values and life experiences. This is something you can’t learn alone at home from a computer program. With the holidays fast approaching, our instructors

are already discussing different ways to celebrate traditions and provide opportunities for collaboration and participation. Some plans we have in the works are making greeting cards in other languages; cooking a special round cake together — called “gallete” in France or “rosca” in Spain — for the Three Kings Festival in January; eating long noodles New Year’s Eve to signify a long life, a Japanese tradition; making a pair of maracas and learning a traditional Christmas song of Mexico; and so much more.

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Of course, we hope to learn from participants as well. It’s all about coming together, interacting, learning and sharing. SWM For additional information on InterAct Language Center and their programs, go to intercactlanguagecenter.com. This article was provided by the CNY Latino newspaper, the only Hispanic-oriented publication in Central New York. The Spanish version of this article can be read in the November edition of CNY Latino, in both the traditional paper version and the digital format at cnylatinonewspaper.com. The Holiday Edition


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FAB FINDS Buy Local Bash

The Ice Cream Stand

Khao Gaeng Thai Street Eats

This will be my second year being a part of the Bash, but my first as a vendor!

We just opened last March, so this is our first time at Bash and we’re excited to be a part of this event.

How many years have you been involved with BLB?

This year’s Buy Local Bash is slated for Monday, Nov. 21. This seventh annual event aims to bring together community members with local merchants to highlight locally-owned independent businesses in our area. Photography provided by featured businesses.

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How did you get involved with the Bash?

Well, when it’s your boyfriend’s event and he asks you to help because you have a marketing and event management background, the responsible answer is “yes.”

Tell us a bit about your business.

The Ice Cream Stand opened April 1 and is proudly sharing Upstate Farms soft serve, Gifford’s hard ice cream, Recess coffee and more with all our friends! Indulge with us.

What can we expect from you at the Bash?

Visitors can expect some of our signature items (like Campfire S’mores ice cream with our famous toasted marshmallow) plus new additions we hope to debut next season.

What’s your favorite part of being a Syracuse business?

Having the chance to interact with people from our community and beyond on a daily basis is definitely a treat, and that includes other local business owners.

How/where can we reach you?

You can find us on Instagram (@ theicecreamstand), Twitter (@ theicecreamstnd) and Facebook (@theicecreamstandsyr), or visit theicecreamstand.com! Our seasonal stand is located at 7265 Buckley Road in North Syracuse.

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How many years have you been involved with BLB?

How did you get involved with the Bash?

We learned about SyracuseFirst and the Bash, and we think it’ll fit us well to be there, as we are a small local business. It’s a great way to showcase our menu to the community.

Tell us a bit about your business.

We serve Thai cuisine in a friendly format where our customers can build their own bowl. It’s a great way to mix and match and be creative with your meal. It’s fun, healthy and delicious.

What can we expect from you at the Bash? We will offer a sample where you can build a small bowl with some curry and sauces.

What’s your favorite part of being a Syracuse business? We’re new, but we really appreciate what nonprofit organizations like SyracuseFirst have done for local businesses and the community.

How/where can we reach you?

We’re next to Darwin’s at 208 W. Genesee St. in Clinton Square. Customers can call in, order online at khao-gaeng.com, or order for delivery through Grubhub.

The Holiday Edition


Stu Gallagher Photography

Original Grain

How many years have you been involved with BLB?

How many years have you been involved with the BLB?

How did you get involved with the Bash?

How did you get involved with the Bash?

This is my first year as a vendor.

I attended my first BLB as a customer last year and knew right away that I had to be a vendor in 2016.

Tell us a bit about your business.

I started out as a freelance commercial landscape photographer about four years ago. Since then, I’ve added just about every category of photography you can think of, including concerts, products, weddings and the occasional family portrait. I also offer free sessions to people with dogs that are in end-of-life situations.

What can we expect from you at the Bash? I’ll be offering landscape prints from Syracuse, the Finger Lakes and Adirondacks at the Bash.

What’s your favorite part of being a Syracuse business?

The sense of community between all the local businesses is pretty amazing in Syracuse. I’m not sure if that’s a national trend, but we seem to have it figured out here.

How/where can we reach you?

I can be reached at: stugallagher.com; gallagherlandscapes.com; facebook. com/StuGallagherPhotography; and sdgallagher@gmail.com.

Four years.

Chris Fowler’s is a close friend.

Tell us a bit about your business.

We’re a healthy, fast, casual restaurant located in downtown Syracuse on the corner of Fayette and Salina. We serve poke bowls, grain bowls, salads, acai bowls, avocado toast, nori wraps and smoothies.

What can we expect from you at the Bash? OG food samples, including chia seed pudding and nori wrap samples.

What’s your favorite part of being a Syracuse business?

Our incredible customers, and making them smile. The great community we have here, and local businesses supporting other local businesses.

How/where can we reach you?

By email: hey@originalgrainsters.com or visit instagram.com/originalgrainsters.

Syracuse Salt Company How many years have you been involved with BLB?

We attended as guests last year, since we were just beginning to formulate the idea of Syracuse Salt Company.

How did you get involved with the Bash?

After participating in SyracuseFirst and CenterState CEO’s Tech Meets Taste event in July, we knew for sure we wanted to be there.

Tell us a bit about your business.

Syracuse Salt Company is a small-batch, hand-finished gourmet sea salt company comprised of a father-daughter team, homegrown in the Salt City.

What can we expect from you at the Bash?

We’re excited to bring along some of our newer and interestingly-flavored sea salts, like Lemon Rose, Lavender and Thai Ginger, and show guests how easily you can elevate a meal with just one simple ingredient.

What’s your favorite part of being a Syracuse business?

Definitely the community and atmosphere. There has been a noticeable progressive effort to support local businesses in Syracuse and the surrounding areas, and that has shown through since we started Syracuse Salt Company in March.

How/where can we reach you?

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with @syracusesaltco or email info@syracusesaltco.com. Our website, syracusesaltco.com, has a useful ‘Where to find us’ page.

Smock How many years have you been involved with BLB?

This will be our third year doing the Bash.

How did you get involved with the Bash?

We first learned about the Buy Local Bash through Chris Fowler at SyracuseFirst. We thought it would be a great opportunity to meet with potential local customers in the area and get our name out into the community.

Tell us a bit about your business.

Smock is an inspired line of letterpress stationery goods produced right here in Syracuse. We offer stylish greeting cards, gift wrap, keepsake boxes, notebooks, calendars and more.

What can we expect from you at the Bash?

With the holidays right around the corner, you can expect to find holiday cards, gift wrap and cute stationery gifts for less than $20!

What’s your favorite part of being a Syracuse business?

We have such a loyal customer base in Syracuse. Many of our customers come to every event we participate in, and usually bring friends with them!

How/where can we reach you?

Online at smockpaper.com and on social media @smockpaper. Our studio is located at 509 W. Fayette St., Studio 135 in the Delavan Center. Our hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Responses edited for length and clarity.

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COVER STORY Juanita Critz

JUANITA CRITZ CRITZ FARMS CO-OWNER

Photography by Alice G. Patterson

You’re spreading this understanding, because most people really are very disconnected from agriculture and don’t understand it. So we’re on a mission to help them understand it better.” —Juanita Critz, Critz Farms co-owner

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COVER STORY Juanita Critz

A Lesson in Agri-Education By Lorna Oppedisano

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hen Juanita Critz reluctantly agreed to a blind date 20-something years ago, she had no idea that dinner and dancing would eventually evolve into a marriage and successful farm agritourism business. Matthew Critz, a SUNY ESF graduate, had bought a small out-of-use dairy farm in 1985, and was in the process of turning it into a tree farm when he met Juanita that fateful day. “When we got together, our skills and desires just clicked along with building the business,” the female Critz Farms counterpart explained. “And of course, at that time, if you had asked us then, we never would have envisioned what we have now.”

Roots in education

While Juanita is technically a farmer, she is, has been and always will be first and foremost an educator. She describes herself as “one of those people” aware of her calling at age 12. Always feeling connected to children, she decided to be a nursery school teacher, and embarked on the two-year degree program at Cazenovia College. She landed her first job in education at Syracuse University’s daycare on the school’s campus, and decided to work toward a bachelor’s degree in elementary education while she was there. That’s when Juanita’s business sense first began to take root. “When I look back and look at when I noticed my entrepreneurial spirit showing itself, I would say it was at that time,” she said, “because you know, you’re in school, you’re paying tuition, you’re working in a job that doesn’t pay that much and you’re doing extra work for extra money.” Pretty soon, Juanita was the go-to person for professors in need of childcare. She eventually began an assistantship at Syracuse University’s nursery school, and continued with her schooling, earning a master’s degree in special education. The elementary and special education niches created a good balance of skills, Juanita explained. Life brought Juanita south to Florida, and a few years later back north to Connecticut, where she ran an early childhood development program from her home, her “next big foray into entrepreneurialism,” as she called it. All the while, Juanita made sure to stay as connected as possible to her industry, joining boards and going above and beyond her position as educator. “I’m a joiner, and that is part of who I am,” she said. “I really need a lot of those relationships in my life, and I get a lot out of them. I think I’m a giver, so I have a lot to offer those kinds of situations.”

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As life would have it, Juanita eventually found herself back in the Syracuse area, living at her parents’ house, a single mother of two boys younger than 4 years old. Around the same time, a special education position opened up in the Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District, where Juanita had student taught a decade earlier. “The stars aligned and I was able to get an amazing position there,” she reminisced. Not too long after — at a time when Juanita wasn’t necessarily looking to meet someone, she remembered with a laugh — her childcare provider asked her, “Ready to start dating?” Juanita agreed to a blind date, met Matthew, and the next stage of her life was set in motion.

Venturing into agritourism

Juanita’s career and calling in education was set. She never for a moment imagined that she’d find herself living on — let alone co-running — a farm. But when she met Matthew, he was a few years into developing an out-of-use 125-acre dairy farm into a Christmas tree farm. While working in special education at Jamesville-DeWitt, Juanita helped establish the new family business. The trees would take about a decade to come to fruition, so the duo planted pumpkins in the meantime. And then they found that people just wanted to stick around and chat after they picked out their crops. After finding themselves standing in the driveway talking to their guests more than a few times, Juanita and Matthew thought, “Well, what else are we going to do with them when they’re here? We aren’t going to stand around and talk to them all day! Let’s give them another experience.” So in the era before “agritourism” was really a concept, the new farmers set out to create more activities for their farm-goers. They started with the pumpkin picking. Then they added tractor rides. Then they opened a petting zoo; it started with just a few bunnies, and slowly grew as they brought in visiting animals and added to their own collection. Eventually, they added a gift shop, improved the buildings and offered food. Over the years, they added more crops, like blueberries, apples and strawberries, and products like wreaths, maple items, sweet cider, hard cider and most recently, beer. Every slight change and addition was done one small step at a time based on their visitors’ feedback, Juanita explained; that way “you can dip your toe in without getting yourself in too much trouble,” she said.

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And, most importantly to Juanita’s fundamental nature, every aspect of Critz Farms has potential for a learning moment. In 1997, Critz Farms started educational school tours, offering primarily pumpkin tours in the fall, and the occasional Christmas tree tour in the winter and wildlife tour in the summer. Aiming to offer more than simply a few hours out of the classroom, the Critz Farms staff developed a curriculum for their programs. “We decided that we wanted to have an educational farm trip program, not just a field trip,” Juanita explained, adding that they provide clearly defined objectives to teachers, and ideas for activities to do before and after the visit. Along with the education geared toward children, the Critz

family hopes to impart some agricultural wisdom to their adult visitors as well. Agriculture and farming was something that Juanita had no experience with or knowledge of before meeting Matthew and embarking on their journey. What’s grown into a booming agritourism attraction isn’t really about the “tourism” bit as much as the “agri” bit. Their commitment to agriculture and to the land is the cornerstone of their entire operation, from the Critz Farms business to their personal lives. “You’re spreading this understanding, because most people really are very disconnected from agriculture and don’t understand it,” Juanita said. “So we’re on a mission to help them understand it better.”

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COVER STORY Juanita Critz

A Lesson in Agri-Education continued from page 27 Cazenovia beverage trail Their latest addition to the farm is a subject in which many adults would no doubt gladly welcome a lesson: a tasting room featuring Critz Farms’ hard cider and beer, and wine from neighboring vineyards. Around the time they decided to venture into the beverage business, Juanita stepped back from working in the JamesvilleDeWitt district to work full time at the farm. While she does miss friendships with the fellow teachers — bonds unlike those developed in many other industries, she said — her initial worry of not having enough of a challenge was quickly quelled. “There was no lack of intellectual stimulation when I had to learn all about all of the federal laws, all of the state laws, the whole application process. Be careful what you wish for!” she said with a laugh. Critz isn’t the only newly established beverage business in the Cazenovia area. With the likes of Owera Vineyards, Empire Brewing Company’s Farmstead Brewery, Henneberg Brewing Co. and more popping up, the potential for a local beverage trail is a very real thing. When the Critzes first entered the beverage industry, Matthew would joke that it was a lot more fun than any other industry, Juanita remembered with a laugh. Being joiners at heart, the duo has remained involved with different organizations like the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York, New York Apple Association and New York State Maple Producers Association. “[Matthew] joked about how some farmers are always complaining about the weather or the crop or this or that — ourselves included — but in the beverage business, people are more upbeat and have fun,” Juanita said. “In all of those organizations, I would say there’s this camaraderie of helping each other.” Of course, there’s competition among the local beverage businesses, but they also work diligently to help each other; after all, collaboration sparks success, Juanita explained. That means serving other brands’ products whenever possible, suggesting guests venture down the road to visit another establishment and hopefully the eventual creation of an official beverage trail. It’s an idea that’s been in the works for a while; but since the nine potential members of the beverage trail opened at different times, the “trail” is still unofficial. So far, three businesses have formed the Cazenovia Beverage Trail — Critz Farms, Owera Vineyards and Henneberg Brewing Co. — but Juanita expects it to expand in the future. “Everybody has a big interest,” she said. “People have said they would help. Some people have helped here and there. But the bottom line is now I’ve got to pull it together and send it to the next level.”

“In this business — probably in any business — you have to always evaluate what’s working and what’s not working, and try to figure out how to be profitable and how to have it make sense and fit with your mission,” she said. “This business is always changing, so we’ve had to be a chameleon along with it.” A couple things haven’t changed: the business’ dedication to education, and the importance of family. With three of the five year-round full-time staff members being Critz family members — Juanita, Matthew and their son Patrick, the farm’s manager — it’s no wonder that Juanita identifies working with family as the biggest perk and the biggest challenge. “We all have the big picture,” she said, “and we live and breathe it.” During the years she worked in special education, and even now that she works full time at the farm, more often than not, Juanita’s juggling act features a seven-day work week. But when you’re a mother or running a family, she pointed out, every week is a seven-day work week. Now that she’s been full time at the farm for a few years, life is just as busy as ever, and — just like the rest of us — she still struggles to balance things from time to time. For other entrepreneurs with a lot on their plates, she offers these words of wisdom: “It’s advice I still need to hear, so if I say it out loud, maybe I’ll listen to myself,” she admitted with a chuckle. “Cut yourself a break. Focus on what you accomplish, not what you don’t accomplish.” It’s like putting on your own oxygen mask before securing your neighbor’s, she said; if you’re not in good shape, how can you possibly help someone else? Although the agritourism life is in no way easy, the visitors make it all worth it. Even during the weeks where a trip to the hair salon feels like a luxurious vacation, Critz Farms’ guests keep Juanita inspired. “I look out my bedroom window, and this is what I see every morning,” Juanita said, gesturing to the sprawling, bustling farm around her, “and I try to take a minute and take a breath and realize how special it is. And so when we have visitors here, and I can share that with people, that makes me really happy.” SWM For more information on Critz Farms, visit critzfarms.com.

Family first

Looking back over the decades — from when Juanita and Matthew stood in their driveway chatting with those first pumpkin pickers to the multi-product, multi-season agritourism business Critz Farms has become — Juanita remarked that everything really has transformed. 28

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We all have the big picture and we live and breathe it”—Juanita Critz, Critz Farms co-owner

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IN HER OWN WORDS Francine N. Whitman

Building from the Bottom By Francine N. Whitman

Photography provided by YWCA

“R

ock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life.”—J.K. Rowling Just a few years ago, I was that woman at the intersection of Teall and Burnet with a cardboard sign asking for money to help my kids. I was a woman in her 40s, dressed like a boy, hair a mess and spirit broke. I had a 25-year substance abuse history, a lifelong struggle with abusive relationships, and no real purpose in life. However, I always managed to get by, and tried to see the best in life. I hadn’t had a job in a decade, and relied on public benefits to get by. In 2014, Child Protective Services removed my sons, who were 8 and 16 years old at the time. They removed them due to my alcoholism and poor choices. In hindsight, it was the best thing they could have done for me. One morning, I woke up, packed a bag of clothes and gave up on trying to live a productive life. I decided to leave home, and never come back. Having had prior bouts of homelessness, I figured it didn’t matter anymore if I had a home. I was merely existing. I woke up on Labor Day in 2014, and realized my spirit was dead. That was a special hell for me, because I’d always been a woman of strong spirit. I couldn’t take the way I felt, and couldn’t imagine living my life being dead inside. For the first time, I took action. I called an ambulance and requested detox at Crouse Hospital. I moved into transitional housing at the YWCA. I struggled for a few months with my sobriety, and entered rehab for the last time in January 2015. By this time, CPS was close to terminating my rights to my youngest son. On the last trip to detox, I surrendered to God. I gave up. I figured I would be kicked out of the YWCA, and likely lose visitation to my son. But I still wanted to be sober. Luckily, I was allowed to remain at the YWCA, and CPS was still willing to work with me. I was grateful. I had tried everything my way, and it hadn’t worked; so I decided to try it their way. I found noninvasive structure at the YWCA. They guided me through my darkest days, and provided me with a safe and stable environment as I navigated my way through classes, appointments and visitations with my sons. They helped empower me as a woman, mother and community member. They gave me a job and held me accountable. The support staff and case managers were able to love me until I was able to love myself. As a result of my willingness to change and the YWCA, my life is now so different.

I was reunited with my youngest son. My oldest is now 19 and lives on his own. My CPS case is no longer. I’ve had a job for 10 months as an administrative assistant at the YWCA, where I have positive strong role models and mentors. I have a bank account and I’m saving money. I just got my first credit card and paid off my car. I’m active in my son’s life. It’s my hope to help with our community’s homelessness. I aspire to further my education and become a case manager or outreach worker. I’ve done outreach in my community on a volunteer basis, and am learning every day. I’m able to be responsible and accountable. I’m starting to experience financial freedom. Today I have choices. I’m willing and able to do the hard work. I have a future. SWM Follow Francine’s work at facebook.com/syracusehomeless. Join the YWCA to celebrate The Spirit of the American Woman on Nov. 3 at the Genesee Grande Hotel, 1060 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. For more information, visit ywca-syracuse.org.

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SPECIAL FEATURE Women of Beer

Empire Brewing

By SWM staff

Olivia Cerio: Metro New York regional brand manager What does your day-to-day look like? I manage all of our accounts, so I visit all the bars and restaurants that carry Empire. I also manage our distributor, so I work with the distributors sales force. I do events. I do bottle tastings at special beer shops. I do festivals on the weekends. Do you find that people’s relationship with Empire is different in NYC than it is here at home? The brand Empire is just so strong that it symbolizes New York state as a whole, especially with this brewery. Down there, it’s a little bit different; but overall, I think we’ve posed ourselves as New York state’s brand, not just Upstate, not just the city. What’s your favorite beer right now? Deep Purple. It’s so good. I just got to try it fresh off the tank and it’s delicious.

Jackie Wood: Facilities and events coordinator & beekeeper Do your two jobs overlap? They do, because there is sort of an event marketing side to the agricultural side, and that’s where my role is — connecting the real hardworking blue collar aspect of our facility and farm to our marketing and the way that we coordinate events. What’s your favorite aspect of your job right now? I really have to say that it’s the beekeeping. A big part of beekeeping is passing along that tradition, so I’m looking for those opportunities to share any bit of information that I acquire. That’s what we are at the core, really: an educational facility. What’s your favorite beer right now? I love this Hop Harvest ale that I’m anxiously anticipating coming out. It’s only done once a year.

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Breanne Barzee: Brewpub general manager What does your day-to-day look like? It depends on the day. I do a lot of behind-the-scenes [work]. I do a lot of the event coordinating, so any event down at the brewpub. What’s your favorite aspect of your job and of being part of the Empire family? Probably getting to come into contact with people who are really interested in microbrews and that sort of thing. You get these home brewers that come in, and you get to talk to them about the different styles of beer. You get to go over tasting notes with them on what we brew, which is really cool. What’s your favorite beer right now? I love the Deep Purple.

Jing Zhang: Export specialist There aren’t many other craft beers in China, are there? The whole craft beer idea is very new in China. You see a lot of brands over there, but not officially. They get the beer through distributors or from the retailers, not from the brewery. So we are one of the first few that actually is sending beers over to China. What does your day-to-day look like? I’ll work whatever job I have to do in the daytime, and when China wakes up at night, I’ll work with them during that time, because all the communications will be more effectively done through the night. But it’s fun though. I wouldn’t complain. I love this. What’s your favorite beer? I’d have to say Two Dragons. It’s really good. I really like when they put a lemon in there.

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Photography by Alexis Emm

Tricia Little: Homestead general manager Do you feel like you’ve drawn a lot of people from Syracuse out to Cazenovia? We definitely see some familiar faces from the brewpub. It’s not as frequent as downtown. It’s a little bit of a drive. But we have a lot of new local people who we see here a couple times a week sometimes. We have a lot of out-of-towners and people coming in for their first visit. What’s your favorite part of your job? Every day is different. I like that it’s not the same tedious work. I like that I get to move around and that it’s just a fun environment. I really love the people on our team. What’s your favorite beer right now? I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep, so right now, Local Grind is probably my favorite, because I like having that little extra kick of caffeine.

Monica Palmer: Design director What does your day-to-day look like? As a company that’s not only doubled in growth, but also now has two locations, I constantly feel like I’m trying to play catch up, but it’s all really fun stuff. There are a lot of perks to working in the beer world. Are there any challenges to being a woman in this industry? It surely has been [a male-dominated industry] for a very long time. But now that smaller breweries are getting more and more successful, there are the opportunities to bring women in. I think the women in the office offer a lot as far as ingenuity and creativity. What’s your favorite beer right now? I have to go with the Slo Mo’ IPA on that one. I’m an IPA lover.

Jocelyn Feldmeth: Administrator/ manager brewpub downtown & server How do you balance serving with administrative work? My head is more focused inside the brewery aspect. But when I’m on the floor, it makes it so much easier for me to describe things to the customers. I get excited telling people about what we’re doing, because I’m a part of making that happen. What’s your favorite aspect of your job? Being in the brewery and learning. It’s always interesting — the different styles, what’s needed to go in to make it what it is. What’s your favorite beer? One of my favorite beers is one of our seasonals, the Golden Dragon. It’s a Belgian Golden with Thai basil finish. I’ve always really liked that beer.

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SPECIAL FEATURE Women of Beer

Empire Brewing continued from page 35 Katie Reed: Director of events

What’s your favorite type of event? I love when we do stuff in Syracuse with all of the local businesses, or in Cazenovia as well, with all the different restaurant owners and beverage owners. The people that we get to work with are so passionate about what they’re doing, and there’s just so much genuine excitement.

How did you join the Empire family? Empire was accepting applications so I applied and got the job! What’s your favorite part of your job? It’s great to work with people who care about Empire and doing a good job. I love the work environment Empire creates. I love walking to work! What’s your favorite beer right now? Roasted Pumpkin Ale.

Sidney Stehle: Merchandise and marketing coordinator

What’s your favorite beer right now? Our Slo Mo’ IPA.

Emily Whalen: Marketing director

to leave the restaurant industry.

How did you get involved at Empire? I knew that I wanted to get my foot in the door in the [craft beverage] industry, so when I heard about the project out here in Cazenovia, it was an opportunity for me

You’ve worked in the restaurant industry for almost a decade. How have you seen things change and develop? There’s a lot of evolution. Being here is great, because [David’s] not only growing the company, but growing the industry. And it’s not just a man’s job these days. I think for a company to be wellrounded, it takes both men and women, and their perspectives. What’s your favorite beer? My favorite beer… I go back and forth. It’s definitely White Afro; but sometimes a Skaneateles is good if you’re in the mood for a stout.

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What does your day-to-day look like? Every day is different. I spend some time every day researching new merchandise ideas for our retail store, distributors, events and marketing opportunities. Creating content for our social media platforms is something I really enjoy doing. I communicate with co-workers to make sure we are on track with ongoing campaigns and promotions. There is never a dull day! What’s your favorite part of your job? It is so hard to pick! The experience and knowledge that I have gained from working with Empire is something that I will always hold on to. Working for this brewery is like being part of a big, crazy family that I am so happy to be a part of. What’s your favorite beer right now? I can’t get enough of the Apple Harvest Ale. I love everything about this beer! Responses edited for length and clarity.

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Photography by Alexis Emm

How did you join the Empire family? I am originally from Virginia, and I moved up here about three and a half years ago and took a position at a local winery. I was really interested in hospitality and ended up really falling in love with the craft beverage industry and everything that was going on in New York.

Sarah Kate Glass: Events and marketing coordinator

The Holiday Edition


Sunday, Nov. 6 through Friday, Nov. 11: Celebrate Syracuse Beer Week at the downtown brewpub, 120 Walton St., with a hand-picked flight and local meat & cheese board special. Friday, Nov. 19: Visit Empire at the New York State Brewers Association Brew Fest for food and beer samples. Empire Brewing Company owner David Katleski is the founder of the NYSBA.

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INSPIRE Galyn Murphy-Stanley

GALYN MURPHY-STANLEY

Photography by Alice G. Patterson

UNIVERSITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH NEIGHBORHOOD OUTREACH COORDINATOR

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Striving for Food Justice By Lorna Oppedisano

G

alyn Murphy-Stanley has found her niche. From Syracuse to month. “The reality is that people can’t make their food City School District student to teacher to mother to benefits offered by the government last through the month,” she explained. advocate to entrepreneur to caregiver, her life has perfectly The shuttle service isn’t the only new offering at the food shaped her for the position of neighborhood neighborhood pantry. Most important, Galyn said, is the newly-instituted outreach coordinator at University United Methodist Church. grocery rescue program offered by the Central New York Food When she took the job just short of two years ago, and began running the organization’s food pantry, she knew it was a perfect Bank. She’s also added a small library that greets guests as they enter the building, and won numerous grants for produce and fit for her. a community garden. While guests are at the church, they have “The goal is always about food justice, and evening out how access to resources such as flu clinics and blood drives. people can access food,” she said, citing her pantry’s relationships Galyn’s also worked to develop strong relationships with other with similar programs throughout the city: “I’m very driven by local pantries at Hendricks Chapel, Temple Concord and Grace the fact that if we all just have the same basic amount of stuff to Episcopal Church. offer people, people will eat and live better.” Galyn is currently collaborating with Cornell Cooperative Galyn’s journey started with her parents’ firm rooting in social Extension, with the goal of teaching people how to best utilize justice. Discussion about sharing and a more socialist approach what they get from the pantry to create more nutritionally-dense to pay back the community were simply dinner conversation, she said. Experiences over the years of volunteering at food pantries foods for their families, she explained. She hopes that in the and local farms, paired with her upfuture, they might be able to work a bringing and background, led her cooking component into the Tuesday to this position. evening pantry hours. The goal is always about food When Galyn was hired as neighborThis kind of drive and vision for hood outreach coordinator, the pantry — justice, and evening out how empowerment is exactly why Galyn a 25-plus-year-old institution — was excels in her job. She approaches people can access food.” the pantry with a teach-a-man-toleaderless. The core group of volunteers — Galyn Murphy-Stanley, fish philosophy, offering everything led the efforts for those few months, and the pantry never closed, she said University United Methodist Church from food to helpful programs to coupons for the farmers market to proudly. neighborhood outreach coordinator plots at the community garden to The University United Methodist professional clothes for an interview; Church food pantry is a field site of the Central New York Food Bank, and functions thanks to but very rarely will she bring food to someone’s house. grants and donations from the community and congregation, “You have to make the first step and get your body in here,” Galyn explained. Each field site of the Food Bank is responsible she stressed. “I feel like that’s a huge piece of empowering folk.” for a specific district of the city. Galyn’s district runs north to She added that when people show up, they have the south from Erie Boulevard to Ainsley Drive, and east to west opportunity to pick exactly what items they or their family will use. That way, little to nothing goes to waste. from Westcott Street to Colvin Street. To get to the pantry, many people walk or take the bus. Galyn understands that everyone has difficult moments in life that might make them more dependent on the food pantry “Theoretically, you should be able to walk to get to your pantry. That’s the whole idea,” she said. “However, we feed people who than they’d like to be. It doesn’t have to be hard or shameful, she explained. largely live within a food desert.” “We strive very hard to create a light, happy, easy, boisterous, A food desert is an area in which it’s difficult to access good energized environment,” she said, “so people can feel like, quality, fresh food. That means that the pantry’s existence is crucial. One of the many additions Galyn has added to the pantry is a ‘I’m just getting food.’” SWM shuttle service that brings people back to their home after they pick up food. To learn more information about the pantry, visit uumcsyracuse.org/outreach The pantry feeds about 30 people every Friday morning, ministry. Pantry hours are every Friday from 10 a.m. to noon, and everything plus another dozen or so every third Tuesday of the month. third Tuesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. To get involved as a volunteer, Most of the time, Galyn sees the same people from month contact Galyn at uumcoutreach@twcny.rr.com.

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INSPIRE Josephine Yang-Patyi

JOSEPHINE YANG-PATYI

Photography by Steven J. Pallone

FOUNDER OF YANG-PATYI LAW FIRM & PRO-ACTION REVENUE MANAGEMENT

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The Balance of Success By Colleen Stapleton

J

osephine Yang-Patyi’s office — where she runs her two With Josephine’s straightforward approach to any type of businesses, Yang-Patyi Law Firm and ProAction Revenue conversation - from talks with clients to an interview - it’s no Management — is filled with home. Upon arrival at the wonder that she gets her point across so effectively. Court Street office, guests are welcomed with an open-air-office “I think a good lawyer speaks plain language. I was talking to feeling. The walls are painted both bold and buttercup yellows; my off-counsel lawyer here, and she was telling me last night, potted plants cascade from indoor botanical baskets adjoined to ‘You taught me to speak plain language,’” she said. “I said, ‘Yeah, that’s what you do.’” glossy hardwood trim. Family-painted landscapes of waterfalls and Josephine has nothing but praise for the work nursing homes other aquatic scenes emphasize change, flow and strength. strive to accomplish. “They’re such a crucial part of our society,” Perhaps the first thing to keep in mind about Josephine is her gift of expressing jovial, blunt, well-placed and expository she explained. “They take care of things we can’t take care of, so we can go on with our lives.” counter-statements. When posed with the usual question “Talk about your business,” Josephine quickly replies: Nursing home litigation hasn’t always been Josephine’s “It’s puzzling how people run businesses!” passion; she actually stumbled upon a few files back when her Well-placed choices aren’t exclusive to Josephine’s pleasant specialty was bankruptcy law. way of talking, nor are they secondary accessories to Josephine’s “I was bored. I wasn’t busy. I hated that. I was one of the life. Strategic choices are integral to Josephine’s approach, and a younger ones, and usually the younger ones in litigation get the crappy files,” she reminisced. “So I had a lot of time, source of personal joy. The deliberate opening of her practice is and I was looking at them. no different. I started thinking, what if I play “I intentionally picked February I think you do whatever you need to do psycho-logical warfare with 8 this year, the Chinese New these people and try to get Year,” she explained. A lot of in both home and office, and you try to money out of it?” things about Josephine’s practice get everything done.” — Josephine Yang- When Josephine talks about are just as strategic, infused with mindset that makes her personal ideas about how life Patyi, founder of Yang-Patyi Law Firm and the practice - and life - so successful, should be lived. ProAction Revenue Management she grows serious and a little Having started her career as a contemplative. Her head bows bankruptcy lawyer, Josephine is no stranger to the art of purposeful conflict – something that carries a little bit and her eyes sparkle as she recounts her secret: applying Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” to every facet of her life, over into her role as a collections attorney, primarily for agencies from work to her husband, she said with a laugh. that serve the elderly. Everything she does involves social contract, “So I started thinking about it in that way,” she said, from her approach to a changing law field to her body of clients to thinking back to those first nursing home files. “I said, the emotional challenges of efficiently caring for the elderly. When ‘I’m going to twist it a little bit.’ I did that with a few files, dealing with her clients, Josephine balances direct action with and I started getting money for the clients. The clients were sensible encouragement. like, ‘We actually got paid on these.’ Yeah - got paid a bit, too.” For Josephine, the accounts-receivable department is the Now that she’s established two successful businesses, heart of any business, but not all businesses follow her thought Josephine admits with a laugh that she doesn’t know what process. With a lack of proper training, many companies “balance” is. “I think you do whatever you need to do in experience rapid employee turnover. Josephine takes a highly both home and office, and you try to get everything done. proactive stance when it comes to person-to-person training, I’m not sure if it’s a balance, because I guess compared to most stressing the importance of proper groundwork. people I know, I do put in a lot more hours into work, and I “I do seminars for clients. I train them on how to avoid bring my computer home, and I do it,” she said. “I can just problems and how to spot issues. I do a lot of training for the keep going.” SWM admission staff,” she said, adding that the goal is to make nursing homes self-sufficient in those areas. In large part, Josephine deals with somewhat reactionary mindsets. Conversations with clients are often difficult. “People just think that if they go into a home, somebody’s going to pay for it, not themselves,” she said. “It’s the mentality, For more information on Yang-Patyi Law Firm, visit yangpatyilaw.com. and there’s a lot of education when I deal with families who To learn more about ProAction Revenue Management, visit proactionrevenue.com. are actually my adversaries.”

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INSPIRE Lee Gatta

LEE GATTA

Photography provided by Central New York Community Foundation

FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL

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The Holiday Edition


A Path to Giving Back By Lorna Oppedisano

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f you’d asked Lee Gatta a decade ago about the Central New “They thought I had two heads, quite honestly,” Lee said. York Community Foundation, she’d have told you it’s the “I think it was because people just didn’t speak up, and didn’t place that very rich people go to donate very large sums of advocate for their loved ones like I did. I think it was just money. But after getting involved with the foundation’s because of the passion. It was a privilege for me to have my Women’s Fund, her mind was quickly changed. mother with me at the end of her life.” “We have to show people that there are many, many paths Lee pointed out that more often than not, the responsibility to giving back to your community,” she said, “and many, of caregiver falls to women, even career women like herself. many ways to do it.” But what people don’t always think about is the financial impact it can have, she said, explaining that when your income drops, For Lee and her husband Joe, that means the CNY so do your future retirement benefits. Community Foundation and its 5 for CNY campaign, an effort Since her mother’s passing in 1998, Lee thought a lot about to capture a portion of the wealth that will be passed from one how she could impact the caring community in Syracuse. generation to the next in the coming years. According to a study done by the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, When she became more familiar and involved with the CNY that equates to $20 billion by 2020, the foundation reports on Community Foundation, she came up with an answer. its website. “I realized, ‘Wait a minute. I can do something. We could set Lee’s charitable tendencies are in her DNA. Originally from up a fund. And we could put a little cash in it, but then use life New Jersey, she saw her parents give back to their community insurance as the vehicle,’” she said. weekly, she reminisced. It was just part of When Lee’s life insurance comes to everyday life. fruition, it’s planned to benefit the Then she became a caregiver for her Fund — a cause she cares for To whom much is given, much Women’s mother in 1992, an experience that greatly — and the Eldercare Foundation, eventually spurred her to get involved the charitable arm of Home Health Aides. is expected.”—Lee Gatta, with 5 for CNY. The money bestowed to the Eldercare financial professional In August 1987, Lee’s parents celebrated Foundation is set to support two purposes: their 50th wedding anniversary. A mere 22 the creation of an annual care organization days later, her father passed away. Then, a year later, her mother symposium and a respite fund. The aim of the symposium is to had a stroke and lost her sense of sight. After a stay in a rehab connect organizations dealing with home care and assisted living with the community. Without advice from her friends at facility and then at Lee’s sister’s house, Lee and Joe — newlyweds at the time — decided to move her mother up to their the Junior League, Lee would have had a much more difficult Syracuse home. time establishing care for her mother, she said; she wants to help others avoid that potential issue. Lee, an entrepreneur, had a somewhat flexible schedule, but still had to hire help. Following the advice of some friends The respite fund is intended to supply $500 per ask for those from the Junior League of Syracuse, she got connected with VNA caregivers who are burned out and otherwise couldn’t afford Homecare, and eventually had three women regularly come to a break. The grant could either be used to pay for a weekend her house to help care for her mother. of private care, or pay for a few days away from home while a “That whole experience was really valuable because it showed family member took a shift. me that there were some women who came to my house who Citing the CNY Community Foundation as a good way to get into the habit of giving, Lee explained that when you’ve really, really cared about doing the very best job they could do,” she said. “And they cared about me being a young woman having benefited from your community and have excess, giving back is to do this and work full time.” an obligation. Although she had a positive experience with the home “To whom much is given, much is expected,” she said. “I really health aides, Lee did have to advocate for her mother, she said, believe that. And I look for that in people, because I think it’s a explaining that at times, she felt the training of the women quality that shows others that you consider everyone part of who came to care for her mother was lacking. the human race.” SWM After her mother passed, she offered to conduct classes to To learn more about 5 for CNY, visit cnycf.org/5forcny. enlighten workers on the perspective of the caregiver.

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UPCOMING SWM Events Wednesdays in November 1 Million Cups

When: 9 to 10 a.m. What: Presentations by local early-stage startup companies aim to draw feedback from peers, mentors, educators and advisors. Open to the public. Cost: Free admission. Where: Syracuse CoWorks, 201 E. Jefferson St., Syracuse. Info: 1millioncups.com/syracuse.

Thursday, Nov. 10 Au Chocolat

When: 3 to 9 p.m. What: Features complimentary luxury trolley service, sweet treats and special promotions at local businesses. Cost: No admission cost. Where: Throughout village of Baldwinsville. Info: facebook.com/auchocolatbaldwinsville.

Thursday, Nov. 10 Ladies Night Out: The Art of Good Health When: 6 to 9 p.m. What: Event includes food, refreshments, music, health information, beauty tips, shopping and art. Cost: $20; reservation only. Where: Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., Syracuse. Info: everson.org.

Saturday, Nov. 12 Nightmare B4 Xmas

When: 7 p.m. What: Nightmare B4 Xmas themed fashion show to include dinner with a celebrity chef for each course. Cost: Check online for details. Where: Barnes Hiscock Mansion, 930 James St., Syracuse. Info: syracusefashionweek.com.

Saturday, Nov. 12 Ladies Night at the Palace

When: Doors open, 5:45 p.m.; show, 7 p.m. What: Featuring performances by Carolyn Kelly, Maureen Henesey, Donna Colton, Ashley Cox, Susan Royal, Letizia, Robyn Stockdale, Joanna Jewett and more. Cost: Pre-sale, $15; door, $20. Where: The Palace Theatre, 2384 James St., Syracuse. Info: ladiesnightcny.com.

Saturday, Nov. 12 The Music of Queen: Performed by Symphoria

When: 8 p.m. What: Celebrating the music of Queen with Brody Dolyniuk’s vocals, full rock band and live orchestra. Cost: Tickets range fro $15 to $55. Where: Landmark Theatre, 362 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Info: landmarktheatre.org.

Monday, Nov. 14 Home Birth Info Night

When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. What: Info night with Julie Carlson of Mama Bear Midwifery. Where: CNY Healing Arts, 195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse. Info: cnydoulaconnection.com. 48

Tuesday, Nov. 15 through Thursday, Nov. 17 Rent

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. What: Twentieth anniversary tour of family Broadway musical. Cost: Check online for details. Where: Mulroy Civic Center Theaters, 800 S. State St., Syracuse. Info: oncenter.org.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 CEO Presents: Breakfast Stories presented by VIP Structures

When: Registration, networking and continental breakfast, 8 a.m.; program, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. What: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Founder and Chairman John Stage to focus on art of storytelling in business. Cost: Members, $30; nonmembers, $45. Where: To be determined. Info: centerstateceo.com.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 40 Under Forty

When: Registration and networking, 10:30 to 11:50 a.m.; awards, luncheon and photos, noon to 2 p.m. What: Honors 40 individuals under age 40 who have contributed to their communities. Produced by BizEventz. Cost: $65. Where: Oncenter, 800 S. State St., Syracuse. Info: cnybj.com.

Friday, Nov. 18 Art Gone Wild! Reception, Sale & Auction

When: 6 to 8 p.m. What: Art pieces created by Rosamond Gifford Zoo animals to be auctioned off in support of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. Light refreshments and cash bar available. Portion of proceeds to benefit Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Cost: $5; ages 6 and younger, free. Where: Rosamond Gifford Zoo, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Info: rosamondgiffordzoo.org/art-gone-wild.

Friday, Nov. 18 through Sunday, Nov. 20 Holiday Shoppes 2016

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. What: Presented by The Junior League of Syracuse. Features boutique shopping from nearly 200 unique merchants. Cost: Presale, $6 online or at Price Chopper stores; at door, $8. Where: Horticulture Building, NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse. Info: jlsyracuse.org.

Saturday, Nov. 19 Dave Hanlon’s Cookbook When: 9:30 p.m. What: Local band performance. Where: Shifty’s Bar & Grill, 1401 Burnet Ave., Syracuse. Info: davehanlonscookbook.com.

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The Holiday Edition


Sunday, Nov. 20 Symphoria Casual Series I: A Trip Down The Danube

When: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. What: Performance of the Blue Danube Waltz. Cost: Tickets range from $25 to $35; college students, $4; ages 18 and younger, free. Where: St. Paul’s Downtown Episcopal Church, 220 E. Fayette St., Syracuse. Info: experiencesymphoria.org.

Sunday, Nov. 20 Milk & Cookie Portrait Sessions

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. What: Wear your pajamas and eat some cookies while photographer Alexis Emm captures the perfect holiday portrait. Investment is $195. Where: House of S. Jaye, 233 N. Clinton St., Syracuse. Info: alexisemmphotograffi.com.

Monday, Nov. 21 Buy Local Bash

When: 5 to 9 p.m. What: Social, shopping and tasting event highlighting locally-owned, independent Central New York business. Cost: Pre-sale, $25; at door, $30. Where: F-Shed at the CNY Regional Market, 2100 Park St., Syracuse. Info: buylocalbash.syracusefirst.org.

Wednesday, Nov. 23 Wizards of Winter

When: Doors, 7 p.m.; show, 8 p.m. What: Features holiday rock opera, “Tales Beneath a Northern Star,” and original Trans-Siberian Orchestra music. Cost: Tickets range from $29.50 to $59.50. Where: Mulroy Civic Center Theaters, 800 S. State St., Syracuse. Info: oncenter.org.

Saturday, Nov. 26 Night Market

When: 4 to 10 p.m. What: Urban popup market features local and regional artists, designers and small businesses. Cost: $5, includes complimentary cocktail; tickets available at the door. Where: Sky Armory, 351 S. Clinton St., Syracuse. Info: skyarmory.com.

Saturday, Nov. 26 Summit Credit Union Wine & Chocolate Festival

When: 2 to 5 p.m.; 6 to 9 p.m. What: Eleventh annual event featuring gourmet treats, jewelry and more. Cost: Wine tasters, $25; designated drivers, $15; ticket good for one session. Where: Horticulture Building, NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse. Info: cnywineandchocolate.com.

Saturday, Nov. 26 Dave Hanlon’s Cookbook When: 9:30 p.m. What: Local band performance. Where: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St., Syracuse. Info: davehanlonscookbook.com.

Saturday, Nov. 26 Salt City Waltz

When: 7 to 11 p.m. What: Live collaboration of local musicians in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of The Last Waltz. Bring donations for St. Lucy’s Food Pantry. Cost: $30. Where: The Palace Theater, 2384 James St., Syracuse. Info: saltcitywaltz.com.

Saturday, Nov. 26 & Sunday, Nov. 27 Syracuse Thanksgiving Antiques Show

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. What: Antique, art and collectibles in a range of styles and price ranges. Cost: Adults, $7; VIP weekend pass, $8; ages 16 and younger, free. Where: Center of Progress Building, NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse. Info: allmanpromotions.com/Syr.html.

Thursday, Dec. 1 Festival of Trees Preview Gala

When: 6 to 8 p.m. What: Preview of festival to include hors d’oeuvres, complementary wine and beer, and spirit tasting stations. Cost: Before Nov. 11, $100; after Nov. 11, $125; become a patron, $175. Where: Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., Syracuse. Info: everson.org.

Thursday, Dec. 1 Family Business Awards of CNY

When: 7:30 to 10 a.m. What: Award categories include business innovation, family business of the year, multi-generational, fastest-growing, community impact and service excellence. Produced by BizEventz. Cost: Check online for details. Where: Oncenter, 800 S. State St., Syracuse. Info: cnybj.com.

Saturday, Dec. 3 & Sunday, Dec. 4 Syracuse City Ballet’s The Nutcracker

When: 1 and 6 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. What: Holiday favorite performed by local professional ballet company. Cost: Tickets range from $10 to $75. Where: Civic Center Theaters, 421 Montgomery St., Syracuse. Info: syracusecityballet.com.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 Celebrate in the City: WBOC Holiday Party & Auction When: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. What: Annual holiday event includes networking, appetizers, dining, signature cocktails, dancing and auctions. Cost: Single ticket before Nov. 21, $55; single after Nov. 21, $65; corporate party package before Nov. 21, $600; after Nov. 21, $660. Where: Sky Armory, 351 S. Clinton St., Syracuse. Info: wboconnection.org.

November 2016

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Elderwood 1/2 page ad

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Profile for Lorna Oppedisano

Syracuse Woman Magazine November 2016  

The Holiday Edition

Syracuse Woman Magazine November 2016  

The Holiday Edition

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