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ISSUE 6 MARCH 2012 COVER (l-r) Althea, Amanda and Alethea.

F E AT U R E S

BUSINESS The Power of Three Meet the Sisters of Success.

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CAREER Ask An Entrepreneur This month we talk with soul diva Twin Spirit.

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FA S H I O N Nolcha Fashion Week Indie designers display the best of Fall/Winter 2012.

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INTERESTS Finding Your Passion Don’t put off what brings you true joy.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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SHINE ON SISTA!

Illumination

(and inspiration for the daily grind)

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THE STILETTO STATEMENT


ISSUE 6 MARCH 2012

Editor-in-Chief Natasha Clark Copy Editor Jean Wroblewski Art Director Leonardo Pilares Director of Photography Denise Smith Columnists Crystal Senter Brown Brenda’s Child Erin Corriveau Dawn Leaks Katelyn Gendron Contributing Writers Tony Gaskins, Jr. Lamara Hunter

Lioness Magazine is the first online magazine geared toward female entrepreneurs. We deliver sharp and compelling information on a variety of topics that are relevant to female entrepreneurs and professionals. Our mission is to elevate, educate and support female professionals. We celebrate the unique challenges and achievements of women in business. We believe women are multi-dimensional creations who flourish, personally and professionally, when they take time to nurture their spirits.


editor’s Why not?

letter Natasha Clark

Why female entrepreneurs? I have been asked this question frequently in the last month. Why women? Why business? I’ve even been asked one question so ignorant I won’t waste the good ink to print it. Why? Why? Why? But here’s the thing: why NOT women? Why not female entrepreneurs who are doing things those women in previous generations only dreamed of doing? If you are a regular reader, you know why – Emmy award winner Daniele Boglivi-Fiori leaving a killer job at the Martha Stewart Show to launch a successful entrepreneurial venture; Kimberly Williams who inspires and educates hundreds of women of color each year with her Next Level Development conference; Thailand’s newswoman Able Wanamakok juggles motherhood, news and a PR firm. The list goes on and on. Rather than read stories of successful women such as these shoved in between pages and relegated to the back of newspapers and magazines, we are putting them out front, separating them from the herd, and giving them the rightful spotlight they deserve. Lioness was never intended to be MY magazine; it was created to be THEIRS, the female entrepreneur – a place where they can read and learn about and from women just like themselves who are leaders in their industries and superstars in their own right. This month’s cover story is a perfect answer to “why?” These lovely ladies are three sisters who defied the odds to become successful entrepreneurs who are providing jobs in their community. In 2012 women are heading Fortune 500 companies, raising families, leading boardrooms, bringing home the bacon AND cooking it. Actress Yancy Butler is quoted as saying, “Women have been kicking ass for centuries.” Lioness Magazine is here to tell you about it. So don’t ask me why. Ask me, “How can you choose which inspirational and successful women to showcase when the world is overflowing with them?” And I will tell you, “one issue at a time.”

Natasha

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The Power Of Three Sisters Beat the Odds to Carve out a Family Legacy By Mara Hunter

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hen you think back to The Greats, it has always been a family affair - The Jackson 5 (entertainment), The Trumps (real estate), The Buschs (alcohol), The Quandts (automotive) and The Williams (sports). In the heartbeat of Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley, sisters Althea Haines, Alethea HainesStevenson and Amanda White have been trendsetting as siblings thriving in business and difference makers in their community. And if they have their way, their names will be added to that list of The Greats no time. The family legacy they are creating with their two businesses, Success Temps, LLC and The Center After School Program, wasn’t one passed down and fed to them on a silver spoon. In fact, the trio charted their own course and built their budding empire by the sweat of their brow. While 50 percent of most start-ups fail, these ladies have been flourishing by sheer determination, a passionate work ethic and crafty strategic planning. Now they own two businesses in the same Mason Square community they frequented as youngsters. It is winter in New England when I meet them at their business headquarters on State Street. I notice that their business serves such a diverse

population, perfectly mirroring their surrounding community. Althea touches on this as we converse and says they need to relate to every culture. “We need to be able to expose our kids to all the world has to offer. We are always reminding them not to limit themselves to what’s inside these four walls.” Reaching for the impossible Raised by Jeanette Haines, a single-mother from Brooklyn, NY, the sisters’ roots sprang from humble beginnings. Twins Althea and Alethea were born in Brooklyn. Older than their two siblings Robert James Haines and Amanda White, growing up wasn’t easy. They had to endure many trials and tribulations faced by children reared in a singleparent home, including an often tight financial situation. They moved to Springfield, Massachusetts in the early 1980s and attended Springfield Public Schools. Both graduated from Roger L. Putnam High School. They did their best to protect their younger siblings and made it a point to share their experience and life lessons as quickly as they learned them. Their mother always taught them the importance of giving back; and so as they grew, they made sure that their purpose and values in life reflected that same quality. Amanda feels that she has the best of both

worlds – acquiring different attributes from each elder twin. “I remember growing up and looking up to both of my sisters, but for very different reasons,” she recalled. She attributes her liveliness and joy to her sister Althea; who used to be a “happy go lucky” cheerleader in high school, and who would always have a wide grin on her face each day. Amanda’s passion for dance was inspired by Alethea who was always the determined one. She started her own dance group after being a part of one that was comprised of close friends and family. Alethea shared her passion for dance with Amanda and the community – traveling the country and winning trophies for their performances and, ultimately, being exposed to the wide world outside of their city’s limits. To this day the experience continues to play an integral role in their lives. They use dance and music to reach the next generation. “I worked with youth as a counselor from 14 to the age of 21 years old. I feel my purpose in life is to work with youth and expose them to [potential] opportunities,” Alethea said. Even though growing up is far behind them, Althea can’t help but look back with gratitude. “Among us we have 13 children. We’ve seen struggles, been on welfare and had to use food stamps to provide for our families,” she said. Alethea chimed in, “We want to be an inspira-

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the power of three tion to those who are and have gone through the same thing. We want to give them the hope that they can make it. They, too, can be successful.” A change on the horizon With no foresight that they would eventually start their own business, they began to learn the ins and outs of customer service at their first job at a local temp agency. Shortly thereafter, Althea left to work at the local grocery chain, Price Rite. Around that time, their aunt, Sharon Muhammad, who had started a daycare center, asked Alethea to come aboard and take on the position of director. Years later when their aunt decided to move out of state, Alethea, at the age of 25, took over the helm. She spent that time learning all she could about working with children and staff and the mechanics of running the center. Driven by the motivation and support of her family, in 2004 she launched The Center After School Program. “I envisioned this center offering all types of programs that would cater to [children] ages five to 13,” she said.

express herself and has been dedicated to teaching students how to express themselves, as well. “They need ways to express themselves in a positive way and so dance is a creative outlet for them,” she said. The trio began expanding their business and enhancing their programs to include zumba, tutoring, cooking classes, book clubs, field trips and a college tour of area colleges. The extensive curriculum called for more teachers, so they hired a full staff to include both qualified ECC trained teachers, teen volunteers and summer interns. Even their mother, known as “Minister Haines,” and a faithful servant of St. John’s Congregational Church, is on board. Reaching for SUCCESS Despite their achievements, Althea, Alethea and Amanda knew this was only the beginning. The sisters sensed there was another need in their community. By the mid-2000s, the economy was tanking and while their business was still afloat, they knew others were hurting and experiencing a void.

Her twin, Althea, remembered joining the Mosque and listening to the minister talk about creating jobs to support families. “So when my sister came to me with this idea to open our own after school program, I said, ‘Let’s go for it! Let’s do it!’”

With the help of a friend, Success Temps, LLC was launched. This agency was an entirely different business from the Center After School Program. The sisters sought guidance from professionals and began to use their resources to help put people back to work, simultaneously putting them on the map as the only minority, woman-owned temp agency in the region.

By this time both women were wives and mothers. Family members began to send their children to this newly formed after-school program, and it was off and running. With continued growth came the need for expansion, and they moved into their current location at 727 State St.

Amanda works for the temp agency as an administrator and for the after-school program as a dance instructor. “I am glad to be here standing with my sisters, helping them get goals accomplished and also achieving my dreams,” she said.

With Alethea and Althea at the reins, they called on their sister Amanda to assist them in an administrative capacity. With a passion for dance, Amanda has the ability to uniquely

They are now approaching their eighth anniversary in business and their gratitude is still as strong as ever. They said they are grateful for parents entrusting them to care for their chil-

dren and for being able to provide a service to their community. They are also living examples of their Center After School Program’s motto, “Education is the Key.” In 2011, Althea graduated from Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) with an AS in Education and now attends Springfield College where she is studying Secondary Education & Mathematics. Her infectious inspiration has roused her sisters toward higher education as well. Alethea is currently majoring in Liberal Arts at STCC, but is also interested in pursuing an education which would qualify her to be a guidance counselor in the Springfield Public Schools, thus allowing her to offer additional assistance to their Center Program students as needed. Amanda is looking to enroll in school sometime in the fall of 2012 with a focus on the arts. The hard working sisters are also looking to build their own multiplex center and add a teen program to further enhance their mission and strive to reach even more lives within their community. In January 2012 they received the Entrepreneur’s Award at the Martin Luther King Day Celebration hosted at Springfield’s City Hall. Throughout all the struggles, could Jeanette Haines have imagined that her twin girls and their little sister would become some of Springfield’s leading entrepreneurs? She basks in the light of knowing she raised three strong, intelligent and beautiful black women. It is with a humble spirit that she turns and says to me, “I give God all the glory. They have worked so hard to make this possible, and I am very proud of their accomplishments. I couldn’t think of a better place to be then by my children’s side, encouraging them and cheering them on and I thank God for the strength to be a part [of it]. I’ve seen them through it all, but even through the trials and tribulations, one of my main things with them was to keep the faith.”

Mara Hunter, 32, is a multi-talented individual with the gift to create expressive pieces. This single mother of three is a native of Springfield, MA via Jacksonville, FL. She’s a Freelance Writer, Staff Music Journalist for Total Eclipse Magazine, Contributing Writer for Lioness Magazine, as well as a poet and dancer. Visit www.MaraHunter.blogspot.com.

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1) How long have you been in business? Professionally about 13 years. I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was about 9. My sister and I actually opened a candy shop called “The Sugar Shack” when we were in elementary school. My mom helped us set it up as a legal entity and we did well I must say…lol. That was my first foray into business. 2) Why music? It’s just a natural platform of expression for me. I have been communicating and sharing my heart and soul via song for as long as I can remember 3) What makes Twin Spirit unique? The fact that no other being who has graced the earth Past, Present, or Future has had or been impacted by life’s experiences exactly as I have. That makes my take on things unique and my expression of thoughts and emotions unlike any that have been or will ever be. Truthfully that’s what makes us all unique & valuable contributors to this journey called Life. 4) You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur? Freedom mostly. The Creative Freedom to succeed or fail on my own terms. 5) What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment? After an idea doesn’t quite produce the results I hoped and planned for it is easy to second guess my decision to take the road less traveled of “Self Employment.” 6) What was your last, “this is why I went into business for myself” moment? Every moment that I awake and can utilize my time and energy engrossed in things that make me happy. Those moments when I can take any idea I have and manifest it into my personal reality. (Those moment comes often). 7) I can’t live without ________ when it comes to fashion? Earrings & Rings (I’m an accessory girl to my heart).

Ask an Entrepreneur (Answers By:TwinSpirit)

8) Every female professional should have __________. The knowledge that they can create any reality they desire, focused intention, a spirit of allowing rather than controlling , & the ability to laugh at themselves and life. 9) If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why? Oprah. I have enjoyed watching her journey unfold and love that she focuses on “whole self” expression & growth (Mind, Body, & Soul). Also her spirit of gratitude and giving is a beautiful thing. 10) How would you describe your latest album? “MY BEAUTIFUL UGLY” is a musical adventure of words & sounds through the heart and soul of me. It was created in hopes to inspire others to explore & self discover who they really are and what they truly desire. I hoped it would inspire others to be courageous enough to say "YES" to their Dreams, Desires, Intuitions, Feelings, Hopes, Creative Energy, and Passions...in essence their SPIRITS. 11) What is your business motto? “Changing the World One Ear at a Time” 12) If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be? Be Clear about what it is you wish to Accomplish, Trust Your Instincts, & Remember to Have Fun. 13) Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you? The Internet & Social Networking: They give me the ability to connect with, network with, and build relationships with people of all walks of life from all around the world. It’s an amazingly beautiful thing and in essence gives us all equal footing and access to unlimited possibilities. 14) What is your goal for the next year? This may sound silly to some but my goal is always to fill my life doing only things that bring me happiness, joy, fulfillment, & bliss. Everything else always falls into place when the aforementioned bases are covered. 15) When someone is telling their friend about you, what do you hope they say? Whatever they honestly feel about me and hopefully in some way I have impacted their life in a positive manner.


Rebeca Tiago Collection

Ladies enjoy the after party after a day of shows.

Designer Fadwa Baruni.

Actress/ TV Personality Julissa Bermudez, friend and Actress/ Singer Adrienne Bailon take in an afternoon show.

Baruni Collection.

Behind the Scenes at Nolcha.

Vassilis Zoulias Collection.

Behind the Scenes a model gets prepped for the Runway while sipping a Monster.


Farasha Boutique

A glam squad readies the models to take the catwalk.

Megla M Collection. Guests arrive at Nolcha.

Designer Vassilis Zoulias.

Air shot of the Nolcha catwalk.


How I Found My Passion By Dr. Megan Hudson

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ore and more women today are in search of a career that brings them joy. The question is how do you discover your passion, if it is not as obvious for you as it may be for others? For me, finding my passion was as simple as following my curiosity, the burning kind of curiosity that keeps me up at night pondering the marvels of Neuroplasticity. Why do some people seem to learn more easily than others? How do people truly heal from trauma and move beyond the limitations of previous experience? These are two of my favorite questions that I am passionate about trying to answer. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do professionally. I remember feeling a bit lost at times. As a teenager, I knew one thing for sure. Whatever job or career path I would follow would not require me to wear panty hose! I refused to stuff myself into a stifling synthetic package in order to conform to some notion of

beauty in order to look professional. It might look good on the outside but it feels terrible, and that wouldn’t do. I didn’t know I wanted to run a Brain Balance Achievement Center because they didn’t exist until just a few years ago. I didn’t connect with the field of Functional Neurology until four years into my career as a chiropractor. It took me another two years of study to weave my previous training in elementary education with my developing understanding of learning and neurobehavioral development. When I was younger, I had a difficult time looking forward to see where I wanted to go other than knowing that I really enjoyed working with kids. The road always curved too soon and dramatically to get a clear view. As I look back upon the paths I have traveled to get to here, I see how they have all woven together. The common thread has always been following my intense curiosity. If you find yourself in search of your passion, my best advice would be to follow your instincts and the stirs of curiosity. You never know where they may lead you.

Dr. Megan Hudson is the co-owner and Center Director of the Brian Balance Center of West Springfield. She combines her training and experience in the fields of chiropractic, functional neurology, elementary and outdoor education with an intense curiosity for how to best serve humanity. She is a 2005 graduate of the Carrick Institute for Graduate studies and is board eligible in Childhood Developmental Disorders and chiropractic neurology.

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Western Massachusetts

BUSINESS HAPPENINGS A Dream Deferred

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today

Do you want to start your own business but don’t know where to begin? Is your start up suddenly at the finish line? This month we are sharing some upcoming workshops that may help you get your dream off the ground.

MARCH Financing Your Business Date: Friday, March 16, 2012 Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield, MA (directions) Cost: $40 Contact: Western Regional Office at 413-737-6712 or msbdc@msbdc.umass.edu Financing is an integral part to getting your business off the ground and growing it over time. Come learn about: what lenders are looking for; SBA loan programs (microloans, 7a and 504); new SBA programs (504 Refinance & CAPLines); venture capital and grants. Presented by Ray Milano of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Gary Besser with First Niagara Bank; and Christopher Sikes of Common Capital, Inc. Creative Happy Hour Date: March 22, 2012 Time: 5:00pm to 9:00pm Location: the Creative Strategy Agency, 4 Open Square Way Ste 215 Holyoke, MA 01040 Cost: FREE Contact Info: the Creative Strategy Agency, info@creativestrategyagency.com. Business Networking. How to Keep the Money You Earn Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 6:30pm to 8:30pm Location: AGAWAM SENIOR CENTER, 954 Main Street, Agawam, MA Cost: FREE Just as no small business should operate without a business plan and an accounting system, to be truly successful you need to have a financial plan as well. Workshop begins at 6:30pm, and lasts two hours, and will be held in the cafeteria. Seating is limited for this workshop, so advance reservations are necessary. You can register on-line at website www.asbac.net or by calling our reservation hotline at 413-786-0172. 7th Annual Women in Business Summit Date: Saturday, March 24, 2012, 8:30 a.m. Location: Travelers Claim University Cost: $125 Contact: kzullo@eventsofjoy.com WIB Summit is "Taking You to the Top!" with keynote speaker trainer and coach, Gilda Bonanno. Workshop topics include: How to create a six-figure business, Unlocking the DNA of influence, Act Like a Woman, Manage Your Money Like a Man and More. Visit www.wibsummit.com for more details. This year’s beneficiary is My Sisters' Place.

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Business owners cannot overlook employment laws By Michael Oberther

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ob creation drives the American economy. Citizens are looking to business leaders to provide opportunities, and put Americans back to work. However, taking on the role of employer comes with certain responsibilities, and if you’re not cautious, potential pitfalls. As an employer it is your responsibility to create a work environment that is fair to your employees and meets state and federal labor standards. This in itself is difficult. Now, add the challenge of meeting these goals in a manner that supports your business culture. Most small business owners are protective of their culture. Taking steps toward having a legally compliant work place can feel like threat to their business identities. It is common for people in small businesses to be very close and feel like family. These relationships can lead to business leaders becoming lax about legal compliance. However, employment law is not sensitive to the strengths of these relationships. Employment law and the agencies that enforce it are largely concerned with protecting employees. In 1991, the Civil Rights Act was amended and several important changes affected employers. The primary issue was that business leaders were made responsible for documenting policies and ensuring consistent enforcement of regulations. The reason for this change was to reduce issues related to discrimination in the work environment. This is language from the EEOC website explaining part of the amendment: “ The Act

provided that where the plaintiff shows that discrimination was a motivating factor for an employment decision, the employer is liable for injunctive relief, attorney's fees, and costs.” You can find more information on the Civil Rights Act of 1991 at the EEOC web site.

Labor enforces these rules, and failure to comply will result in fines ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. For some small business, fines of this size are a major risk to the future of the business and to the jobs the employees enjoy.

The first step in becoming compliant with labor law is informing your employees about their rights. This requirement can be satisfied by displaying state and federal labor posters in an area accessible to all employees. Ideal posting areas include, near the coffee maker, water cooler or copy machine. You can order these from any number of online sources, or print them for free from the Department of Labor website. These posters are updated as needed. Employers must check for updates on a regular basis.

The second part of the handbook largely defines the rules created by the business owner. Issues like the dress code, smoking, cell phone use and the use of social media are some common topics. However, the owner must be aware of any labor laws that could impact his or her own policies to successfully craft this set of rules. The Small Business Administration offers resources that can help you get started.

The expectation of employers to put up labor posters is indicative of what the Department of Labor expects in general – constant communication. In the eyes of the court, documentation is proof that communication occurred between employers and employees. The most effective method of both documenting the exchange of information and communicating your business standards is to provide an employee handbook.

Handbooks are living documents and they need to be updated. New laws are ratified, and courts change the way laws are interpreted as cases are ruled upon. Finding a source of information that allows you to maintain a set of legally compliant business policies is essential to protecting your business. This is an investment in the longterm viability of your business. Find a professional that has access to the latest information and takes a proactive approach to your compliance efforts.

Think of the handbook as having two parts. Part one is the state and federal labor laws that affect a business based on its size. A common mistake made by business owners is using another company’s handbook as a model for their own. This is a risk because the specific rules vary depending on the industry and the total number of employees. The Department of

My employer, Paychex, has been helping small business leaders maintain compliance since 1971. We have contracted with Fisher & Phillips, a national labor law firm, to enhance our level of service. Click here to see Fisher &Phillips’ employment check list. This list is a great starting point for employers who want to begin working toward stronger compliance.

Michael Oberther is a passionate supporter of small business. Much of his time is spent brainstorming with business leaders, working to find creative ways to help small business succeed. His other passion is connecting people who have mutually beneficial interests. Michael knows that no obstacle can stand against a team of great people; sometimes they just need a little help finding each other.


Release those bags!

SPRING FORWARD to the life you deserve!

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?” Isaiah 43:18

Image: copyright n.morgan 2012

By Crystal Senter Brown What “bags” are you carrying around with you today? I’m not talking about your purse or your laptop bag, I’m talking about the baggage you can’t see but you can definitely feel: feelings of resentment, hurt, guilt or anger. Maybe your baggage is a failed marriage/relationship or a severed friendship. Whatever your baggage is, you have the power to release it! As women, we often internalize any issues we may be dealing with, especially when friends and family members say to us “Girl, just get over it!” And after years and years of “getting over it” we begin to experience the physical effects of carrying too many “bags.” Suddenly we find ourselves eating too much, struggling with addiction or dealing with physical ailments such as headaches and backaches. Maybe your “bag” is the hurt of being betrayed during a marriage/ relationship. Instead of carrying that bag around for another day, write a letter to your ex-spouse/ partner and let him know just how badly he hurt you. Then, instead of sending it to

them, rip it into pieces and “flush” it! Or maybe your bag the feeling of resentment toward a friend or family member. We all have been used and taken advantage of from time to time, but we are always in control of how we allow others to make us feel. If you are feeling resentful, identify steps you can take toward reclaiming your time and energy! Even if your bag is self-inflicted (for example, you were the offender in a failed relationship,) it is never too late to apologize. You may not be able to speak to the person face to face, but you can certainly send a message to them to let them know how sorry you are for hurting them. No matter what bags you’re carrying, make the decision today to release it and move on! And remember, it is okay to seek professional help if you just can’t seem to move past the hurt on your own. Going to therapy does not mean you are weak. For a great visual of how our bags can weigh us down, check out this painting by artist Nigel Morgan. The painting is called “Release those bags” and it visualizes how past hurts can weigh us down day after day. (You can see more of Nigel’s art ministry at http://theenemyisdefeated.blogspot.com.) Remember, your “baggage” didn’t appear overnight, so it will surely take some time to work through whatever issues you may be dealing with. But the sooner we release our bags, the sooner we can “spring forward” to the life God has planned for us!

Shine On Sista! Crystal Senter Brown has appeared in Essence Magazine, Vibe Magazine and Redbook Magazine and has released three music cd’s and three books, most recently “The Rhythm in Blue” (www.therhythminblue.com.) But the role she is most proud of is being Adonte’s mother and Corey’s wife. Learn more about Crystal at www.crystalsenterbrown.com.

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Western Massachusetts

BUSINESS HAPPENINGS

APRIL The Business of Consulting Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions) Cost: FREE Contact: Register online with link below. If you have questions, contact Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu. What does it mean to be a consultant? What work do you do, and what kinds of skills do you need? Who hires consultants? When and why? How do you price your services? If you have questions about consulting, here is your chance to listen to two seasoned practitioners talk about the pros and cons of this business, what it takes to get started, and to succeed. Come get a better idea of whether consulting is in your future. The speakers will be Ruth Gerath, founder and consultant at Consultants Business Academy and Richard Langevin, president and consultant with Langevin Management Advisors. Using Online Social Networking to Boost Sales & Marketing Services Date: Thursday, April 5, 2012, Registration 8:45 a.m.; Program 9:00 a.m. - Noon Location: Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center at Clark University, Worcester, MA (directions) Cost: $39 - prepayment required to reserve a space Contact: MSBDC at Clark University 508-793-7615 or via email at sbdc@clarku.edu In the first portion of this program, a marketing specialist will explain Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Social networking has taken the internet by storm and is once again changing the face of communications. Learn how to integrate social media into your company’s marketing and sales program. Some of the topics that will be covered include: Social networking tools and technologies, Where people are spending their time, Specific ways to drive more customers to your web site using social networking, Tips on how to construct an effective social media program, Examples of companies who have successfully put social media to work for them, The role of mobile devices and what you need to take into account when building your marketing program. Marketing Basics Date: Wednesday, April 11 - 3 - 5 p.m., Location: Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA Cost: $40 This workshop will focus on the basic disciplines of marketing, beginning with research primary, secondary, qualitative and quantitative. The core focus will be on developing and keeping a customer. Topics will include advertising, public relations, and the importance of developing a marketing plan. Presented by Dianne Doherty, MSBDC Network Reg.

MAY Social Media: Better Content Equals better Marketing Date: Thursday, May 3, 5 - 7 p.m., Location: Greenfield Savings Bank, 400 Main St., Greenfield, MA Cost: $40 Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google +, emails, ads, mobile apps, websites and blogs... There is an ever increasing number of channels available to small businesses to get their message out, yet most businesses are no better off now than they were prior to the advent of these new technologies. In this workshop we will explore the one area of social media that is often overlooked...content. Technology alone is unlikely to improve your business but crafting well thought out content and a plan for distributing this content will help improve your current marketing situation with these new technologies. Participants must have a basic understanding of the different social media platforms. The nuts and bolts of how each platform works will not be covered. Adapt, Diversify, Reinvent & Grow Date: Wednesday, May 16 - 9 - 11 a.m. Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal St., Springfield, MA Cost: $40 The advantage of small business is that entrepreneurs can be nimble and flexible in any environment. The pace of change in today's business climate requires adaptability and flexibility. This is particularly true in a tough economy. Come hear local business owners talk about what they have done to keep ahead of the many demands on their time and at the same time adjust for the economic environment. Presented by Paul DiGrigoli, DiGrigoli Salon & School of Cosmetology; Tara Tetreault, Jackson & Connor; Kate Vishnyakov, Kate Gray Inc., and Rick Ricard, Larien Products Business Plan Basics Date: Thursday, May 24 - 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Location: Amherst Town Hall, 1st Floor Meeting Room, 4 Boltwood Walk, Amherst, MA Cost: $40 This workshop will focus on management fundamentals from start-up considerations through business plan development. Topics will include: • financing • marketing • business planning Co-sponsored by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, Presented by Lyne Kendall, MSBDC Network.

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Stepping

into Spring By Katelyn Gendron

‘Tis the season to put some spring in you step, and thanks to the latest fashion trends presented during New York Fashion Week, we know just how to do it with style. Featured techniques included color blocking, peplum skirts (perfect for the office!), floral motifs and geometric prints in dramatic orange and metallic hues. Color blocking is a practical way of emphasizing – or deemphasizing – certain areas of your physique. Color blocking is a technique that allows designers to use blocks or bands of colored fabric to accentuate the bodice, legs or waist. A pair of black tights with a simple band of color running vertically from the toe to the waist can elongate the leg and add some additional flair to an ensemble.

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Ellsworth Striped Peplum Dress by Marc Jacobs Image courtesy of Nordstrom.com

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stepping into Spring Marc Jacobs’ spring collection used the color blocking technique to add a vibrant alternative to the often blasé wrap dress. Such blocked or banded wrap dresses are ideal for the professional environment as they will set you apart from your coworkers because of their unique fabric and prints. Peplum skirts are also an exceptional alternative to the traditional business suit or dress as they accentuate the female’s hourglass figure while adding a little something extra with the ruffle. Not all peplum skirts and suits are created equal, however. Be sure that you don’t go to the far end of the spectrum and end up looking like a wedding topper or something that fell out of an ‘80s music video. Floral, geometric and tribal prints were big on the runway in New York for spring. Women with larg-

er frames should be careful with this trend as larger sizes mean larger prints and patterns that can make you appear wider than you are. Your best bet is to turn to the vertical tribal prints offered by Oscar de la Renta as opposed to horizontal prints which can really make you look wider. His muted color palette plays on the strength of your skin tone’s natural beauty. The 1920s Flapper fashion, as well as influences from the housedresses of the 1950s and ‘60s, also graced runways, which should motivate professional women to take a break from their common pencil skirt and cardigan to make way for an inspired ensemble straight from Gatsby. The glitz and glamour of spring fashion will not automatically shine in every closet unless we choose to turn the light on! Oscar de la Renta's tribal print Image courtesy of thechrisellefactor.com

The Stiletto Statement Katelyn Gendron is a native of New York, who is currently living and working as a newspaper editor in Western Massachusetts. She is a college-trained journalist and world traveler, who has documented her journeys for various publications spanning five of the seven continents (she plans to visit the remaining two during her lifetime). Her motto: “Life’s a ball. Let’s play!”

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Business Etiquette 101 By Nicole Griffin

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s today's workplace becomes increasingly more competitive, knowing how to behave can make the difference between getting ahead and getting left behind. The Importance of Etiquette has always been an important part of life, be it social or business. However, it seems that business etiquette is has become more important in the last decade. In today’s competitive world of business where there is very little difference between goods and services from one company to another, what set one’s business apart from the competitors are one’s relationships and one’s people skills. And the best way to improve people skills is to learn and use the rules of business etiquette. Classic rules of business etiquette Dress Attire You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Dress in appropriate attire. Know the difference between formal and casual and how to dress in specific business settings. Work Place It is a place of business so understand the importance of business rules in general to your place of work. Limit the amount of conversa-

tion regarding your personal life. Understand basic rules of dining etiquette (when in doubt watch the host) Communication Understand how to introduce and address people properly. Remember the classic hello and a smile still goes a long way. E-mail communication should always be a wellwritten memo not of a casual conversation. Remember e-mails have a tone. Tone is the quality in your writing that reveals your attitude toward your topic and reader. Telephone manners are critical. Be upbeat. Put on your “inner smile” Accountability Accountability is a key ingredient to successful business etiquette repertoire. To be accountable is more than being responsible. You need to do what you say you are going to do. Practice proper meeting etiquette by being on time, prepared and willing to participate. Unfavorable business behavior • Unprofessional office attire • Arriving at work and not acknowledging fellow co-workers • Speaking loudly across the room • Cell phone rudeness

Nicole Griffin, founder and CEO of Griffin Consulting Firm, provides senior level recruiting services to organizations around the world. She’s passionate about her work and committed to her clients’ success. Prior to launching Griffin Consulting Firm, she held senior positions in Top Fortune 500 Financial Companies for more than a decade and subsequently worked as a Professional Interview Coach with the ABC’s of Interviewing Company.

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Women’s History Month Honorees Women's Education - Women's Empowerment is the theme for National Women's History Month 2012

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lthough women now outnumber men in American colleges nationwide, this reversal of the gender gap is a very recent phenomenon. The fight to learn was a valiant struggle waged by many tenacious women — across years and across cultures. After the American Revolution, the notion of education as a safeguard for democracy created opportunities for girls to gain a basic education. However, that education was based largely on the premise that, as mothers, they would nurture the minds and bodies of

the (male) citizens and leaders. This idea that educating women meant educating mothers endured in America for many years at all levels of education. The equal opportunity to learn, which today is taken for granted, owes much to Title IX of the Education Codes of the Higher Education Act Amendments. Passed in 1972 and enacted in 1977, this legislation prohibited gender discrimination by federally funded institutions. Its enactment has served as the primary tool for women's fuller participation in all aspects of education from scholarships, to facil-

ities, to classes formerly closed to women. It has also transformed the educational landscape of the United States within the span of a generation. Each year National Women's History Month employs a unifying theme and recognizes national honorees whose work and lives testify to that theme. This year we are proud to honor six women who help illustrate how ethnicity, region, culture, and race relate to Women's Education - Women's Empowerment. The 2012 Honorees are:

Emma Hart Willard, Women Higher Education Pioneer

Charlotte Forten Grimke, Freedman Bureau Educator

Annie Sullivan, Disability Education Architect

Gracia Molina Enriquez de Pick, Feminist Educational Reformer

Okolo Rashid, Community Development Activist and Historical Preservation Advocate

Brenda Flyswithhawks, American Indian Advocate and Educator

The stories of women's achievements are integral to the fabric of our history. Learning about women's tenacity, courage, and creativity throughout the centuries is a tremendous source of strength. Knowing women's stories provides

essential role models for everyone. And role models are genuinely needed to face the extraordinary changes and unrelenting challenges of the 21st century. National Women's History Month, designated by Joint Resolutions of the

House and Senate and Proclamations by six American Presidents, is an opportunity to learn about and honor women's achievements today and throughout history.

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MARCH 2012 LIONESS

Profile for Lioness Magazine

Lioness Magazine - March 2012  

For the Female Entrepreneur

Lioness Magazine - March 2012  

For the Female Entrepreneur

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