Moxie Magazine - September 2021

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| FROM THE PUBLISHER | Hello, September!

While the weather isn’t exactly autumnal yet, summer vacations have wrapped up, the kids are back in school and it is time for football and fall fun. It is also time for our annual (and favorite edition) She Means Business. This issue of Moxie is dedicated to the amazing & accomplished women who make Southwest Michigan exceptional. Happy Birthday Moxie! It is hard to believe that this publication marks one year of Moxie Magazine. It hasn’t been the year I had imagined or hoped, but thankfully as the Rolling Stones say, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need.” I want to thank each and every one you for being what Moxie needed this year. Your support by reading and sharing

the magazine and your words of encouragement have been more appreciated than you will ever know. So, cheers to year number one and here’s to year number two. May it be all that we hope!

As I close this letter, I’d like to ask you to take a moment to reflect on the devastating events of September 11, 2001. It is so hard to believe that it has been twenty years, but the loss and sacrifice of the women, men and families are still fresh in our heart. On this somber anniversary, I think of the blessing offered by Moses in the book of Numbers, “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

- Heather

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September 2021



FOOD & DRINK 38 | St. Julian Winery 40 | Recipe: Farmer’s Pork Chops 42 | Recipe: Milk Chocolate & Dried Cherry Cookies

HEALTH & FITNESS 12 | The Missing Link in Disordered Eating & Food Addiction Treatment





LIFE 6 | Women Run the World 8 | Boundaries 10 | The Power of Being in Nature 14 | Be the Civility “Glue” 16 | Clean Mama’s Guide to a Peaceful Home


18 | Marlita Walker Reviews My Dear Hamilton 22 | Everything I Know About Life Skills, I Learned at McDonald’s 34 | Unusual Gemstones


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Emily Betros Kim Carson Ashley Carter Youngblood Kelly Duggan Rachel Kirtley Heidi McCrary Jenny Opdycke Dr. Marti Peters-Sparling Elizabeth Precopio Hannah Reuter

Marlita Walker Demarra D. West WEBSITE:

BY MAIL: Moxie Media Group, LLC P. O. Box 2284 Portage, MI 49081-2284

FOR SALES INFO: 269-350-5227 BY EMAIL:

September 2021


Women Run the World It used to be that you had to choose between running a family or running a career, but that just isn’t the case anymore. Do you want to work? Awesome! Do you want to stay home with the kids? Also, great! Want to do both? Dang, girl, let’s do it. Through the continued support of women in the workplace, we are quickly accelerating to the “We Can Do It” mentality that propaganda tried to force upon us, but now, we are doing it because we CAN and WANT to. With the push for higher salaried opportunities (not equal yet!), more maternity/paternity leave, and more access to women-based resources – we really can achieve it all! Let’s destroy that glass ceiling.

Gender Wage Gap

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Although gender-based pay discrimination has been illegal since 1963, it does still occur. In the last decade, the wage gap has only closed by 4 cents. To end this, legislation has gone into play, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act that has been amended multiple times since its beginning in 1938 to accommodate women’s wages. Though, since the pandemic, the women’s labor force participation has been set back 30 years due to the lack of available childcare. So, we have some climbing to do.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 is a United States labor law that requires covered employers to provide employees with job-protected, unpaid leave for qualified medical reasons. In addition to this, the State of Michigan

provides eligible employees a six-week maternal leave. These bare qualifications are in much need of an update, such as including paternal leave, longer family leaves, and alternative childcare programs. To give you an idea, Finland provides 164 days EACH of leave, Iceland has 39 weeks, Norway has 49 weeks, and

In the chart shown, it is easy to see that we still have a way to go before women are truly at equal pay. To achieve pay equity, we need to start by increasing wage transparency in the workplace, enabling more union positions, doing away with discrimination, and disrupting occupational segregation. Luckily, the Women’s Bureau within the department of labor bureau is expanding pathways for women across the board. We have the power to overcome the wage gap and rise! Below is a chart based on 2018 median earnings.


September 2021


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Germany has up to THREE years of parental leave available. Most were implemented to encourage women to go back into employment following their leave, and guess what? It is working! Luckily, even if it is a minimalistic leave stipend, it is now possible for women/men to work and care for their families more efficiently while continuing to fight towards further basic rights. As the modern age changes into a less biased era, it is only a matter of time before we start seeing further changes for the better.

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Resources for Women

We Can Do It.

The resources available to women are abundant. You just need to know where to look. The US provides a list of federal agency resources that can be found on their labor bureau website specifically for women-based needs. Additional resources for women can be found in your local area, including libraries, women’s clinics, schools, and the YWCA. Together, we can create a world of equality.

Overall, many things are changing within our society and government to further include all genders. Being a feminist is not about pitting us against one another but in joining one another with open minds and no preconceived notions. So, let’s get out there and shatter that glass ceiling!

Hannah Reuter Hannah graduated from WMU in 2015 with a degree in Economics and currently resides in Portage. In her free time she enjoys strumming the guitar and painting. She is the author of two YA books under the pseudonym, H.B. Catherine. You can find information on her books and writing at

September 2021




f you’re reading this and identify as a woman, it is likely society hasn’t done a very good job teaching or supporting you in setting boundaries.

Boundaries are the ultimate act of self-care. They are our opportunity and right to live safely and speak our truth. Assertively setting boundaries naturally comes with a small (or large) slice of guilt and can sometimes make the other person uncomfortable or even angry. This is the number one reason people are unsuccessful at setting or maintaining their boundaries; they don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings or risk losing someone. So, they bury their own needs away to avoid the guilt. Turns out, doing this over and over leads to long-term resentment and often shows up as anger (sometimes directed at someone totally unrelated!) Let’s take a closer look at what boundaries are & how to work through short-term guilt so we can avoid long-term resentment and anger in the future.

Boundaries are the limits, rules, and expectations we set for ourselves as we engage in life & with other people.” 8

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Boundaries are the limits, rules, and expectations we set for ourselves as we engage in life and with other people. It’s the ability to assertively and clearly state I need, I want, or I expect. In other words, it’s firmly telling people exactly what you desire.

SOME EXAMPLES OF BOUNDARIES ARE: • I say yes to engagements I want to go to • I say no to things I don’t like or drain me of my energy • I go to sleep when I’m tired • I eat when I’m hungry, even if other people I’m with aren’t eating • I turn off my phone when ________ • I leave work at 5 pm • I don’t discuss ________ when I’m with my inlaws • I will visit but not spend the night at my brother’s house • I forgive myself when I make a mistake • I have a budget that I stick to • I use my vacation and sick time These are all ways that we show up for ourselves (hint: self-care!) We feel good and empowered when we honor our needs, even if they momentarily cause discomfort or confusion in someone else. While boundaries may impact other people, they are first and foremost about you. It’s important to anticipate at least a little guilt when we set boundaries. It usually doesn’t last long, and it can be helpful to remind yourself and boundaries are simply advocating for yourself. If the people in your life respect you, they will come around and seek to

recognize that what you are doing is important to you and, therefore, important to them. In fact, you will maintain healthier relationships if boundaries are set. As Nedra Glover Tawwab says in her book Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A guide to Reclaiming Yourself, “Boundaries are an excellent way of saying ‘hey, I like you so much. I want us to work on a few things.’” If you continue to doubt your ability to set boundaries, think about how many other people’s boundaries you’re upholding. Notice how they set them and how they benefit from them. Even if you don’t agree with it or it’s annoying to you, you still honor it because they are your friend and you care about them. The guilt will come and go just like any other feeling. While it can feel like other people aren’t respecting your boundaries, it might not be their fault. Often we state our boundaries but don’t uphold them ourselves. Checkin with your boundaries and make sure you’re upholding them before placing the blame on someone else. You may need to reiterate your boundaries as an expectation with more seriousness if it feels like it wasn’t taken seriously the first time around. Make sure you restate your boundaries as often as needed. Don’t assume people will self-correct because you’re acting upset. This is passive-aggressive communication, and there’s nothing helpful or assertive about it. You need to clearly state your needs, so they aren’t left guessing.

READY TO PRACTICE? Start with making a list of boundaries you’d like to implement for yourself. Next, write down your fears or concerns about setting that boundary. What might be the consequences of setting that boundary? Third, write down the benefit of the boundary or what you will gain. Lastly, come up with one actionable step to help you uphold your boundary.

EXAMPLE: BOUNDARY: I go to sleep when I’m tired. CONSE Q UENCE: Less time with my partner in the evenings. BENEFI T: I’m rested and in a better mood when I’m with my partner. ACTION STEP: Setting an alarm in the evening to prompt bedtime Start small and get familiar with feeling empowered by keeping promises to yourself. Adhering to our own boundaries first gives us the confidence to set them with other people eventually. People who truly care about you will appreciate your honesty and won’t leave you high and dry. Every time you say no to something or someone, you are saying yes to yourself, and that starts to feel pretty darn good with practice! Emily Betros Emily is a licensed clinical social worker, certified health coach, and owner of Reclaiming Health, LLC. She specializes in body image support, eating disorders, anxiety, life transitions, mindfulness, and women's issues. More info:

September 2021


The Power of Being in Nature BY DEMARRA WEST

The older I get, the more I fall in love with this great state that has more than earned its slogan, Pure Michigan. I have to admit, quite hesitantly, that for years I wondered, what’s the big deal about being Pure Michigan?! And then I went on a road trip through Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula for my 40th birthday last year and finally got it.

on the benefits of spending time in nature. Nature can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduce nervous system arousal, enhance immune system function, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Further, Attention Deficit Disorder and aggression lessen in natural environments, which also helps speed the rate of healing.

From hiking in the pristine PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS, to basking in abundant TAHQUAMENON FALLS to being enamored by more stars than I could count at DARK SKY PARK, to running carefree down SLEEPING BEAR DUNES, to biking MACKINAC ISLAND on the only road in the country where cars can’t drive, there are endless opportunities for you to experience Michigan in a way, well, that is indeed only Pure Michigan.

Lastly, in a recent study, researchers found that being in nature reduced feelings of isolation, promoted calm, and lifted mood among psychiatric patients.

Besides the expansive beauty and simply how good nature makes us feel, there are real health benefits to spending time in nature. There are more than 1,000 studies

A study published in 2019 found that just 120 minutes of being in nature is all you need to reap these benefits. The study consisted of 20,000 people and found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t.

Demarra D. West MA, LPC, PCC, RYS

Demarra is a certified yoga teacher, Reiki master, licensed therapist, and entrepreneur who has a deep passion for all things women and wellness. She is the founder of Be Well Beautiful Woman, a global platform created for women to heal, have abundant joy, and immense business success.

Just one or two of the Michigan excursions I mentioned would get you to that 120-minute mark. And day to day in your own neck of the woods, that’s three, four-minute walks around your neighborhood; two, two-hour walks at a nearby preserve; or just time spent grounding your feet in the grass while sitting in your yard and reading. Anytime is a good time to be in nature, yes, even in our blistering winters, but especially during the summer, to take in the bountiful beauty that only Pure Michigan has to offer. Your mind, body, and spirit will be glad you did.

Cheers to the power of nature!

“Being in nature reduces feelings of isolation, promotes calm, and lifts mood.”


September 2021

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September 2021



Missing Link in Disordered Eating & Food Addiction Treatment





Humans are different from other animals because we do not “feed.” We eat. So, we have an inherently unique relationship with food compared to all other life forms. And, when we introduce the addictive nature of certain processed foods and the tendency for us to behaviorally reinforce pleasurable experiences & avoid painful ones, we can have a recipe (excuse the pun!) for disordered eating and food addiction. HOWEVER, THERE IS HOPE! Recovery from disordered eating and food addiction via returning to a healthy relationship with food merely requires us to look at ourselves as a whole person – mind, body, and Spirit. It is that simple. Yet so many “diets,” nutritional philosophies, and even therapeutic counseling interventions for food addiction and eating disorders miss this essential component. Instead, through their religious-like fervor, they try to convert us into believing that their way is the only “right” way to recovery; meanwhile, avoiding the missing link to Wholeness in eating: Spirit.

D E F I N I N G “S P I R I T” “Spirit” does not mean religion. Nor do you have to believe in New Age philosophies or tarot cards (but, if you do, that is cool, too!). However, to heal, we must acknowledge that we


September 2021

are something greater than our bodies. We do things for reasons that relate to our bodies and immediate biological needs. But, there is an innate wisdom that keeps our heart pumping that is the same power that also allows for the rising and the setting of the sun. “Spirit” is also the attitude with which we approach food and our bodies. If we struggle with self-worth related to literally taking up space in our world with our bodies or our voice, something especially common for women, we are going to have issues with disordered eating and food addiction. This is because how we view ourselves is also how we engage in other activities. If we feel insecure about our bodies, we are unlikely to walk proudly with our shoulders back on the catwalk of life. Likewise, if we view ourselves and our bodies (or even our food!)

as an inconvenience or nuisance, we also bring that same “Spirit” of eating to our food. We look, instead, to eat as quickly as possible as cheaply as possible.

So, instead of respecting ourselves by setting aside time to sit down in a posture with dignity to eat foods that support and nourish our bodies, we eat to fulfill some sort of urge or deeper longing that cannot actually be satisfied with food. Or, we dismiss our needs because we just “don’t have time.” How we do one thing is how we do everything – whether with confidence, fear, dismissal, or apology. The “Spirit” of our eating is no different.

W H E R E TO S TA RT Food is survival. But, given that we are complex creatures who eat not to just fulfill a biological imperative, food is


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also much more. Although we will lay a foundation of how to address the spiritual experience of eating here (and will explore specific ways to do this in “Part 2” and “Part 3” of this article), a resource to start with is the book “Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being” by Marc David, a nutritional psychologist. In the meantime, let us start with our foundation.

A C C E P TA N C E Whatever we do in life, to fully heal, we must start at acceptance. The beginning and end of all habits are in acceptance. However, when considering healing from disordered eating and food addiction, there are several areas of acceptance to keep in mind.

FIRST, we are “imperfect” beings. SECOND, change is inevitable. Death being the ultimate, inevitable reality.

Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat 9:30-5:30 Wed, Fri 9:30-8 Sun 12-5

THIRD, there is no “perfect diet” or

eating behavior that can change or prevent these things. Each nutritional philosophy has its own set of evidence and success stories that can “prove” them right, in addition to having “miraculous” stories of change via the use of those same diets. But, newsflash: You cannot diet, meditate, or exercise your way out of eventual illness or death. You are still mortal. And, our body will be different today than it was last year or even last week. So, what may be “perfect” now for your body will likely not be so in your next decade or even next month.

FOURTH, we will make mistakes.

We are human. You will have that binge. You will eat that food that you know is inflammatory. It is okay. Just bring awareness to the moment, even when you know exactly what is going on. In awareness, you will find freedom. Freedom from “food rules”

and even freedom from the beliefs you did not know you had about food and about yourself.

The sooner we can acknowledge these realities and understand that we do not have to be defined by our relationship with food, the quicker we can move from the fear of eating. And, the sooner we let go of our fear and show ourselves unconditional self-love via this acceptance, the quicker we can heal from our disordered eating and food addiction and arrive at a place of joy in the experience of eating. Ashley Carter Youngblood LMSW, LMFT, CMHIMP Ashley is the owner and psychotherapist at her growing practice located in Kalamazoo, Inner Peace Counseling, PLC. She and her colleagues offer telehealth services to those in Kalamazoo & other parts of Michigan. More info at

September 2021


Be the Civility “Glue”

CIVILITY the act of showing regard for others by being polite



here’s no doubt that civil discord is on the rise. We see it. We feel it. We live with it. Daily.

“A deep concern lies amongst Americans about the state of civility,” states Weber Shandwick. Research findings have reported in “Civility in America 2019: Solutions for Tomorrow” that the vast majority of Americans (93%) identify incivility as a problem. Most classify it as a “major” problem (68%). So how can WE collectively improve our behavior to improve our community, society, and nation’s well-being?

The Concept of Civility Civility is the act of showing regard for others by being polite. For example, you show civility when you speak kindly to someone who has hurt your feelings or, in today’s pandemic times, when you honor physical distancing whether you have the COVID-19 virus or not. It’s about being mindful of not just yourself but all those around you. Civility means being a conscious member of our community and behaving in a manner that depicts care for each other. When we’re not civil with one another, whether we agree or not, bad things can happen.


September 2021

How to Support and Practice Civility · Think positively, and first assume the best in people. · Practice polite behavior. Be respectful of others, show empathy, and extend kindness to them.

Kelly Duggan Kelly is an Image Consultant specializing in executive and personal image development, etiquette & communication skills. She is a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International. Contact Kelly at:

· Model civil behavior and communication in what you say and do and in how you listen. · Always think before you act. · Stick to facts, not assumptions, stories, or third-party opinions. · As needed, challenge incivility in a firm but civil manner.

One person at a time, we can make this world a better place. How do you practice civility in your personal and professional life?

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September 2021



Clean Mama’s Guide To A Peaceful Home KIM: Becky, my home is my sanctuary. I created it, so the last thing I want is somebody coming into my space and wrecking my Zen mojo. So let’s start there, how did you create a peaceful home and become a cleaning Guru? BECKY: Well, I enjoy cleaning, and that’s just the way it was, but

I was also an art teacher for ten years, so I also enjoyed that messy space and making those fun, artistic messes and then figuring out how to clean them up quickly. I also cleaned houses for people in the afternoons and evenings when I was teaching. So I kind of had the best of both worlds, messy and clean, and that’s kind of how I started getting into cleaning and showing other people how to clean and talking about systems and methods for cleaning quickly and easily. I started my website in 2009, and the rest is history.

K: Cleaning for a lot of people is very stressful; it’s overwhelming. I know of people who go on vacation to get away from their home, have clean sheets every night. But what if we could make our home the escape, and that’s what you’re all about, right? B: Exactly. The whole

purpose of the book is about sharing my cleaning routine, and it’s all about cleaning quickly and keeping your home clean most of the time so that you can enjoy it and enjoy the people you live with.

K: My mother lives that way, a friend too, they clean as they go. After they use the sink, they


September 2021

immediately clean it. Unlike the millennial daughter who will begrudgingly spend six hours on a Saturday cleaning her apartment and doing a few weeks’ worth of laundry because she’s too burnt out working 60 hours a week. B: Right? Well, you save so much time, and energy and some

people do enjoy a big huge cleaning session. I understand that, but if you’re making messes, especially with being home so much more, you might as well just stay on top of it and save yourself a Saturday.

K: And with COVID, our homes became a multi-purpose space. They were a classroom, an office, a gym, a restaurant. So how do you make that work with toys lying around, school books and supplies, overflowing junk drawers, and all that clutter? Where does one begin? B: I always say just start somewhere instead of looking at an entire room or your whole house. You need to break that down into smaller pieces because we all become overwhelmed. If it’s easier to say I’m going to take care of this small space, whether it’s a corner that has clothes dumped into it or a kitchen is the disaster, smaller spaces are always more manageable. I recommend you deal with them daily. Even if you set a timer for 10 minutes and work on small sections of your home, it’s going to be much

more manageable that way, and it’s going to be building that habit of doing daily decluttering so that you’re not letting things pile up. Once you get to the decluttered state, then you’re not going to need to be doing nearly as much daily decluttering.

K: Your book really does break it down. I’m one of those people who has struggled with this, but I make a conscious effort now to clean as I go. But the bigger question, because I know this is way bigger than just the messiness, is why do people have so much stuff? And why is it so difficult to part with any of it? B: Well, I think there’s a lot of different

reasons. The most common is that we feel bad getting rid of something from someone because we attach that sentimental value to it. But a lot of times, we don’t even realize what we have anymore because it’s stashed in the basement or in the attic, and you don’t actually recall it until you’re going through it. So I think we need to be better about realizing what we have. I still have things, sentimental things from high school, and I’ve recently started going through them. I thought, why did I keep this instead of actually taking the time to go through the box instead of continuing to walk past those boxes and bins? I think that we have a hard time letting go of things that conjure up good memories. Sometimes taking a picture and saving it that way is helpful. Or if you have a huge set of china, but you’ve never used it, you could keep a sugar and creamer or a gravy boat or something special from that set and display it instead of having the entire set in the basement. So I think we have to be creative about what we keep and how we remember things, too, because you’re not necessarily remembering your grandma in all the packed dishes.

K: Right, the memories are inside of you. I love the idea of taking pictures. I’ve done that, and it works for me. I look at an antique I no longer have, and I still feel those warm fuzzy feelings about it. I think I have these revelations about the stuff I don’t need each time I move. The stuff stays packed, and when I finally open it, what sometimes makes it difficult to part with something is thinking about the money I spent on it, and

now I’m just giving it away. But you know Becky having a lot of stuff is stressful. The more stuff you have, the bigger the responsibility to find a space for that stuff. B: Right! And then you also have that guilt.

I’ve spent “X” amount of dollars on this. I can’t let it go, and that’s hard too. But there are some places now that you can sell those things too.

K: Yeah, and there’s something good about giving it away, donating it too. I feel lighter. You say all we need is 10 minutes a day. It’s a ritual, a routine, something that we have to start. And when there’s clutter and everything is disorganized, it’s not just physical space that’s affected; it affects us mentally too. B: Oh, absolutely, and it’s affecting us in the

form of anxiety and stress. There are many studies that say that clutter actually increases the stress levels in your home as a whole, so not just for you but other people that live there as well. Getting rid of some of that clutter is so helpful. Even if you clear just one surface, I always say experiment with one surface; it could be a coffee table or an end table, your kitchen table, a counter, whatever completely clean it, completely clear it. Just that little space, put everything away, and let it sit there empty for at least 24 hours, and see how that makes you feel. You might want to add a couple of things back. But chances are you’re going to realize the effect of less and how that makes you feel, and you can actually enjoy the things that you do keep out because you can see them instead of it being cluttered with other unnecessary items.

K: I think most people would agree, even the people who dread cleaning that a clean and open space feels good. Now tell me about “happy tasks”? B: Absolutely. A happy task is something

that you enjoy doing, like some sort of task around your home, and a pain point is something that’s causing you issues. So, for instance, I am not a fan of unloading the dishwasher, so I can delegate that off to another family member, which I do, but usually what I end up doing in the morning is I will get up early. I will race my coffee

maker to unload the dishwasher because it takes two or three minutes. So I will do it as quickly as I possibly can while my coffee is brewing, and then I can sit down, relax and enjoy my cup of coffee. I know that the dishwasher is empty, it’s ready for the breakfast dishes, and I get on with the day. But I paired the pain point of unloading the dishwasher task with something that I enjoy...drinking coffee, hat’s my happy task. So those two things together become the habit that works really well in my kitchen and starts the day off right with my family.

K: Do you have any trouble getting the rest of your family on board with all of this? B: I have three kids, and each one is different.

They all have different levels of what’s clean and what is not, so we discuss that quite often. My husband is naturally a tidy person, so we don’t have a lot of issues that way between the two of us? But I think just communicating. Hey, you have to put your shoes away, or hey, you have to put your towel on the hook that’s two feet away from where you tossed it. And continuing to communicate that is helpful and letting your family members know that it bothers you. Unless you tell them, especially with kids, you have to show them instead of saying just go clean your room. You need to show them what that means to ‘clean your room”.

K: Your book is wonderful and filled with graphics, decision trees, checklists, and a space to journal about what is working, what’s not safe recipes for home cleaning products, and wholehouse clutter catchers. You simplify everything and make it easy for those of us challenged in that area. Clean Mamas Guide To A Peaceful Home: Effortless Systems And Joyful Rituals For A Calm Cozy Home is available at your local bookstore and online. Learn more at Kim Carson Kim is an Author/Podcast/TV/ Internet personality. Watch and listen for her on WGVU TV’s Kalamazoo Lively Arts & J Schwanke’s Life In Bloom. Learn more at &

September 2021




Marlita Walker Reviews


... there is not a breath in any American’s life that is not shaped in some way by Alexander Hamilton. My husband. My hero. My betrayer.”

Because of Lin Manuel Miranda’s astonishing Broadway phenom, Hamilton, most of America has become mesmerized by the story of this statesman. However, when the story is depicted by his wife, Eliza, as in this book, there is definitely a greater understanding and perception of the heartbreak they endured. This 700-page epic is a brilliant example of why I love historical novels! As I became enthralled in the storyline, my “need to know” mind kept sending me to Wikipedia to check for the real little I actually know about the story behind our founding fathers! In some ways, I questioned whether our early government could be equally as divided as our nation today, and could the authors have possibly put a “present-day spin” on those matters of long ago? But as I reviewed my previous “picture” of wellmannered gentlemen sitting around a table politely discussing the birth of a new nation, I realistically was able to put aside that vision and understand that “birthing” is messy, hard, and painful. Many of our first presidents were ardent believers in freedom...but how to manage the nitty-gritty of that? “Black and white” thinkers were on both sides of the fence:


September 2021

Hamilton stridently supporting a strong federal government, and Jefferson just as adamant on states’ rights.....and so it has continued for over 200 years. I was appalled when Eliza eloquently voiced that the Jacobins actually wanted the “commoners” to have just as equal a say in government matters as the educated and wealthy; while she and Alexander stood firmly against that position, believing that the “rabble” of commoners did not understand the intricacies of government. It sounded so elite and uppity, but caused me to wonder if political parties in today’s society actually feel the same way?

The authors bring this well-documented period in history alive with all of the drama, intrigue, and disappointments that personally happened to the Hamilton family. Eliza Hamilton was a strong and passionate woman who endured humiliation from the community but persevered to not only bring Alexander’s detailed writings to the public for posterity but to establish homes for orphans. She was no “shrinking violet,” even when her heart wanted to quit from all of the sufferings of her life. I appreciated the sensitivity of the authors in acknowledging her strong faith, which brought her through the hardness of her life.

I also found it interesting that Eliza could mentally feel this way but also have compassionate feelings against slavery... did she want them free but not fully as free as the wealthy? And ironically, Alexander was not born into class, so wouldn’t he have been looked down upon as a commoner?! I recently read this from an opinion piece: “Our equation of spending with speech has led to a political arena in which a rich person’s or corporation’s “speech” is necessarily valued more highly than an average or poor person’s speech.” It’s so crazy that America has been fighting over many of the same differences since its inception!

Kudos to Dray and Kamoie for telling Eliza’s story, the story of a true Influencer. I am ready to read more from these two. Marlita Walker Marlita is a native Michigander, who returned back to the area after 18 years spent in IL & PA. When not on cruising adventures with her hubby in their vintage Roadtrek camper van; she relaxes by re-arranging her home decor, walking with friends, and connecting with her 10 grands who live in TN and CA. Read more book reviews at

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September 2021





Everything I Know About

Life Skills, I Learned at


“Seriously?” I said, looking at the disheveled pickles and condiments sliding off the

cold hamburger hiding beneath the smashed bun. I envisioned the creator looking out the drive-thru window under the golden arches, saying to herself, Oh, it’s her. I hate her. Wait ‘til she gets this! It wasn’t the first time I received a less-thanstellar product from a fast-food establishment, but it was the first time this seemed deliberate. Like many teenagers from an era before dating apps and TikTok, my first job was at the local McDonald’s—a job that thankfully got me through the teenage years and college. While my career took me down a path that drifted away from building Big Macs and deepsea breaded fillets, if I lined up all the jobs I have held in life, the one that taught me all necessary life skills was…



September 2021

Here are the TOP 5 life skills I learned working at a fast-food restaurant


Respect your boss – Just as you’re taught to respect your elders, the same goes for the person who hired or manages you. Truth is, if you’re not clicking with your boss, it’s time to find a new job. And it’s OK to know when it’s not working. We spend too much time at our jobs to not like the people we work with.


Don’t be an a**hole – While

this sounds simple, it’s probably the hardest rule to follow on a daily basis and easy to forget when faced with someone who is testing our nerves. Take the high road, even when that someone is being a jerk. We don’t know what kind of day they’ve had or what they’re dealing with in their own lives. Acting like an a**hole is the one thing we don’t need to pay forward. Just don’t.


Enjoy the Big Mac special sauce – Life is what we make it. While

we have no control over what is thrown at us, we can control our reactions and attitude. Have you ever encountered that cashier who genuinely seems to love her job? Her job and boss may be spectacular, but it’s more likely

that she simply approaches her career with a smile and a fresh attitude each day. There is good in every job; we just need to see it and embrace it.


Show up – This should go without

saying, but you’ll be ten miles ahead of the other guy if you just show up for everything in life—physically and mentally. That includes returning messages in a timely manner and staying off your damn phone when you should be working. Yeah, I said that.


Build better burgers – Take

pride in whatever you do. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating, teaching, or providing a service. If you take pride in what you do in the workplace, it tends to carry over in everything else in life. And will benefit you in endless ways. And to the person who served me that flat deranged hamburger, I can only say that I hope your day got better. I know mine did :)

Heidi McCrary Heidi is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her novel, “Chasing North Star” is available at Kazoo Books, This is a Bookstore, and online wherever books are sold. Follow Heidi at and

September 2021






YOU'RE INVITED Virtual awards ceremony & networking* *Limited in-person tickets will be available

September 29, 2021 | 12:30 PM PLEASE JOIN US IN HONORING THE


Pamela Enslen

Belinda Tate

For tickets & sponsorship options, visit Questions? Contact Judy Welch at We are excited to (virtually) see you there!


September 2021



When she means business, SHE MEANS BUSINESS. So many great, local women lead and have started some

great businesses around Kalamazoo and the surrounding areas. Many you know and love, and some are bound to leave you pleasantly surprised. Read on and meet the women who make it happen in Southwest Michigan!

* 269-350-5227 | | *

Susan M. Dennis Founder and CEO, Dr. Susan Dennis, loves giving people of all ages the smile of their dreams. As an expert in cosmetic dentistry and a Gold Plus Invisalign® provider, she has helped hundreds of her patients experience the life-changing benefits of a healthy and beautiful smile. Dr. Dennis is a compassionate and trusted professional who partners with her patients to provide them with the best possible care in her stateof-the-art office. From full-mouth reconstruction to proper jaw alignment to prevent - and even cure – headaches to whitening teeth, she is widely-recognized as an expert in her field.


plan based on their needs and wants. I give my patients everything they need to maintain optimal dental health. From the young to the youngat-heart, my passion is to give every patient a healthy and beautiful smile for life.” Dr. Dennis is very active in her community. She is the team dentist for several Western Michigan University sports teams and sponsors at least one charitable event every quarter, including the popular “$10,000 Smile Makeover Contest.” She is happily married to Jim Murray and together they have three wonderful sons and daughters-in-law and nine grandchildren. They chose to live in southwest Michigan when they fell in love with this familyoriented community.

“My passion is to give every patient a healthy & beautiful smile for life.”

269.216.7106 | 8150 Moorsbridge Rd, Suite A, Portage, Ml

“I listen to each patient’s story and concerns,” says Dr. Dennis. “Then I prepare a personalized treatment

She Means Business 2021


Jenn Tangeman


leading residential and commercial cleaning solutions providers. Jenn and her team’s dedication to excellence has resulted in consistent growth each year. Jenn says, “Our focus is listening to our clients, understanding their needs, and providing an exceptional level of service.”

Jenn Tangeman is a firm believer in the importance of loving what you do! She is passionate about working to support

CLEAN BY DESIGN 269.366.5994

time enjoying nature with those closest to her. Traveling, kayaking,

living to work. Following this guiding

camping, raising chickens, and

principle, Jenn has built a company

cooking food she has grown are some

that emphasizes the importance of

of her favorite activities.

authentic, quality relationships with clients and employees.

Jenn’s proudest accomplishment is raising three beautiful children:

Founded in 2008, Clean by Design has

Conner, 17, Lilly, 15 and Shawn, 14

quickly built a reputation as one of the

as a single mom.


Macal DeNeve is the owner of Wraps-n-Signs in Portage, MI. Macal has a passion for helping her clients grow their business brand, whether it is a new logo or a rebranding of their existing logo. She has a true talent for creating awardwinning designs that stand the test of time. Of her many projects, Macal’s favorites are boat wraps and interior graphics. Macal loves to meet new clients and help them with all of their design needs. Macal loves to spend time with her family & friends when she isn’t in the shop, particularly in the great outdoors. WRAPS-N-SIGNS | 269.345.0610 | 8324 Shaver Rd, Ste 2 Portage | She Means Business 2021

business, Jenn loves to spend her

the lifestyle you want to live and not

Macal DeNeve


When she isn’t busy growing her

Dawn SwickRenshaw

CEO and Social Media Strategist

If you’re looking for a social media expert in the area, Dawn SwickRenshaw is the woman to find. The Social Media Strategist and CEO of Stoney Creek Social Media in Portage created a business focused on social media marketing and strategy for local businesses and businesses across the United States and Canada. Her expertise has brought her on podcasts, radio and TV interviews, as well as in the latest book of four-time, New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk’s, “#AskGaryVee.” Outside of work, when she’s not spending time with her family, you can find her reading and/or learning everything she can about marketing, she just loves it that much.


Leading Real Advantages for Real People Advia Credit Union’s President & CEO, Cheryl DeBoer Opening a new headquarters and 30th branch location in Oshtemo, MI in the Fall of 2021 is the result of years of record growth for Advia Credit Union. Leading Advia’s mission of providing financial advantages is President & CEO, Cheryl DeBoer. Advia’s name derives from providing advantages via a pathway to easily accessible financial solutions – supported by core values of integrity, innovative thought, building strong relationships, and keeping people at the core. This mantra has served Advia well, now one of the strongest credit unions nationally both in terms of assets held and membership size. We asked Cheryl to share on her leadership style. Cheryl, as you’ve led Advia’s growth, what are some of your fondest accomplishments? Over the last 15 years we’ve built a talented, dedicated team of professionals passionate about helping our members. This team has helped Advia grow to be one of the largest credit unions

in Michigan and amongst the top 200 in the country, serving over 185,000 members in multiple states! What leadership traits have contributed most to your success? I’ve served in the credit union industry for over 40 years and feel that continued passion for learning and developing both myself and team members has contributed to my ongoing success. I’ve learned that a key trait to being a respected leader is being a good listener. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, and we can learn something from everyone by being a good listener. I also think being a good leader requires empathy and the ability to be compassionate. One of Advia’s core values is keeping people at the core, and I believe that foundationally this is where a leader must excel. Advia has over 60 females in leadership roles. What message do you want to provide future female leaders? You’re great enough! Set your goals and work on achieving them, and then set more.

Always having something to work towards keeps you focused. Be an example to females around you and support each other! What do you feel most excited about the future of credit unions? I’m so excited to see credit unions growing into more sophisticated financial institutions, competing on a larger scale. Credit unions will continue to serve local communities while also offering more comprehensive digital platforms to those who prefer to be more mobile. Learn more about Cheryl, their newest Oshtemo Branch, and Advia Credit Union at

She Means Business 2021


Kathy George Chief Executive Officer Kathy George has been in the hospitality industry for over 30 years and joined FireKeepers Casino Hotel in January of 2012.

Kathy worked for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts for over 13 years in various capacities, including General Manager for 7 of the 13 years.

Kathy became the CEO in May 2017 following her tenure as the Vice President of Hotel Operations. She is responsible for leading over 1,800 team members in providing superior service to all of our guests and employees while ensuring the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi’s goals for the property are exceeded. In addition to the FireKeepers Casino Hotel, she provides oversight to the Quality Inn next to the Casino, the FireHub and Kendall Street Pantry, and the Greenhouse at Pine Creek. Kathy also serves as the Tournament Director for the annual FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship part of the Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA, with proceeds from the tournament going to local charities. She enjoys her dayto-day interactions and connecting with team members, our guests, and the community and is excited to lead the team to continue to make a difference to all we interact with.

She also worked for Hilton Hotels for 1 ½ years as a General Manager. Kathy also returned to Western NY, where she grew up to work for the Seneca Nation of Indians, opening two hotels and one casino for the Seneca Gaming Corporation as General Manager for the Seneca Niagara and Buffalo Creek properties.

OPEN Kathy George? FireKeepers

Kathy’s favorite quote that she embraces and works to embody both at work & in her personal life is from E.M. Statler, “Life is Service, the one who progresses is the one who provides a little more…a little better service.” Kathy resides in Battle Creek, serves on the Board of Directors for the Binder Park Zoo, and anticipates joining another local board soon. Outside of work, Kathy loves spending time with her family and friends and likes to golf, attend sporting events, travel, and enjoy living life to the fullest.

KATHY GEORGE t 269-660-5601 f 269-660-5787

FIREKEEPERS CASINO HOTEL | I -94 Exit 104 | 11177 Michigan Ave, Battle Creek | 26

She Means Business 2021

Jacque Jennings-Carter International Business Developer, Anti-Aging Specialist

Making a difference in the lives of others has always been important to Jacque. Each day is a new opportunity for her to educate others about optimal cellular health, with a special emphasis on the immune system and Redox Signaling Molecules. She has been doing this since she left her nearly 25-year long corporate career in the late 90s, during which she received professional recognition locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. One of the things we learned is that Jacque does not charge for her services. “The only cost to the individual is for the product(s) I recommend,” she says. “I focus on the person’s immune system,” she says, “because it is important to understand that a healthy immune system is key to a healthy life. We need to care for it every day, not just when we feel ill.” Jacque serves “all ages from the fittest of the fit to the sickest of the sick and everyone in-between, regardless of the health issue, as well as athletes - elite or beginners – for performance, endurance, and recovery.” Redox Signaling Molecules are naturally produced in the mitochondria. They are important because they send the signals between the cells, which determines how our body responds to health issues. “Our cells talk to each other just like people do,” Jacque said. “It is called ‘cell talk’ by medical and health professionals. It is how cells respond to and prevent oxidation, inflammation, and disease. The molecules also activate the body’s DNA to detect, repair, and replace damaged cells to keep the immune system vibrant and strong.”

Jacque showed us a pre-pandemic quote from the late Dr. Robertson D. Ward, M.D., FAACP, MC-FP. “The immune system is designed to defend the body against the bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins, and parasites that threaten to invade it. Weakness in the immune system opens the door and lets them in.” Then she said, “When I think about his quote from many years ago and then think about the last 18+ months, the word ‘viruses’ almost jumps off the paper.” “The choices we make each day will affect our health years from now, positively or negatively,” she says. “Being healthy costs money but being sick costs significantly more and affects everyone in the family, not just the family member who is sick. I cannot say this enough: we cannot take our immune system for granted!” Since 1975, Jacque has committed herself to volunteerism. She has been a member of Rotary International since 1987 and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. She also maintains membership in many business, professional, music/ arts organizations, and chambers of commerce. She has devoted a great deal of her personal time and talent over the years serving in key leadership positions on multiple boards and committees and is very committed to helping organizations that benefit

children, animal welfare, social justice, gender equality, human rights, voting rights, victims of abuse and human trafficking, veterans, the arts, mental health awareness, and the elderly to name a few. Jacque received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees with honors from Western Michigan University, is a Bronco to her core and is thankful she is able to be a WMU donor. Above all is Jacque’s love for family and friends. Her favorite way to spend time is with her daughter, Ashley, sonin-law Jake, and her two granddogs, Max and Sunny.


She Means Business 2021


Janene Pirbhai

Travel Consultant

Some mornings Janene Pirbhai wakes up surprised that her childhood dream of travel to Tanzania has evolved into the Kalamazoo Safari Company. The safari adventure company was born from love of Tanzania and the desire to share with those inspired to journey there. In 2012, Janene and her husband Erfan invited friends and family to come along to Tanzania with them. Through this process, Janene discovered the challenges of creating custom safaris and met their current partner. Eighteen months later, the Pirbhai’s formed their new company. Kalamazoo Safari Company specializes in crafting customized adventures while staying committed to providing the service and attention that everyone expects, along with the security of a US-based organization. Janene recognizes that travel to East Africa is a long, expensive, and expansive trip. Every sense ignites as you explore the Cradle of Mankind and the wildness that reigns supreme. Sunsets in Africa hold light differently; the shimmer of reds and oranges are intensified by ancient volcanic landscapes. Janene has discovered that by the time travel ends; you might just feel that this trip marks a personal dawn: the time that you woke to view the world a little bit differently. As co-owner and Chief Adventure Designer, Janene Pirbhai has organized dozens of safaris for their clients. Additionally, since 2015 she has hosted four hikes to the Roof of Africa: Mt. Kilimanjaro. She feels that while it is important to help clients achieve their adventure goals, it is her mission to inspire travelers to explore and dream more. KALAMAZOO SAFARI COMPANY | 269. 929.7679 | 28

She Means Business 2021

Jaime Flees

Insurance Agent

Jaime Flees has a passion for educating and helping people navigate the often-confusing world of insurance. As a Farm Bureau Insurance agent in the Kalamazoo area, Jaime is committed to providing fast, fair, and honest treatment while providing the best life, auto, homeowners, farmowners, and commercial insurance. As a long-term member of the Kalamazoo community and a native Michigander, Jaime is proud to represent Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, a Michiganbased company and has been since its founding in 1949. Farm Bureau Insurance is consistently ranked among the top 100 insurance companies ranked by written net premiums by National Underwriter. While her new and rapidly growing business occupies much of her time, Jaime is dedicated to serving the community through involvement with several non-profit organizations. Jaime’s charitable affiliations include: being past-chair and current vice-chair of Constance Brown Hearing Center, past-president of the Kalamazoo Kiwanis Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Matchmakers committee member, Kalamazoo Air Zoo past-committee member, and a supporter of the Farm Bureau of Michigan Agent Charitable Fund’s mission to end hunger. Jaime’s proudest accomplishment is her beautiful family. Twenty-one years ago, she met and began dating Jeffery, her husband of nineteen years, while she was a student at Northwestern Michigan College. Jaime and Jeffery have two amazing kids, Gage (15) and Jade (12). The family shares their Gobles home with their two teacup poodles, Brewer and Bourbon. When Jaime isn’t in the office serving her clients, you can find her supporting her kids at their many activities. If the family is lucky enough to have a free weekend in the summer, they love to escape to their cottage at Sandy Pines in Dorr, MI. Jaime loves boating, golfing, and camping, so the time her family spends at their summer cottage are some of her favorite moments. In the winter, Jaime enjoys spending time on the slopes and in the ski lodge, and no matter what time of year, she enjoys spending time with her friends. FARM BUREAU INSURANCE - Jaime Flees | 269. 381.1262 | | 6221 W Main St, Kalamazoo She Means Business 2021


Ethel Wilkey-Downs


Ethel Wilkey-Downs established her real estate business in 2013, working as a full-time realtor with Berkshire Hathaway. While Ethel excels in supporting both sellers and buyers achieving their real estate goals, her niche is first-time home buyers. Over the past seven years, Ethel has guided more than 130 of her first time home buyer clients through the process of becoming homeowners! This is an accomplishment she cherishes. Although Ethel thoroughly enjoys helping these clients, her expertise has served a wide array of clients from those searching for half-million-dollar lake homes to new real estate investors with budgets as low as $25,000. Ethel has a firm foundation in business management. Watching her mom build and run a successful business for over 25 years made a powerful impression on Ethel, particularly about the importance of good business values and the true meaning of quality customer service. Ethel earned her first degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management and began a career with Bill Knapp’s restaurant chain. This career led to a chance meeting with a property management firm, and in 1991, Ethel joined that firm and began her real estate career. After years of working in the real estate industry, Ethel enrolled in the Elementary Education program at Western Michigan University, earning her degree in 2003. She spent years as a classroom teacher before her love of the real estate industry, and her entrepreneurial spirit called her back into the business world, this time as the owner of her own real estate business. Ethel’s clients value her dedication to customer service, her strong negotiating skills, and excellent communication. Serving on Berkshire Hathaway’s Beyond the Sale Committee allows Ethel to focus on giving back to local residents and the community. She is also a member of the Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors, where she has served on their Community Relations Committee and co-chaired the Veteran’s Day Community Event. One of her proudest professional accomplishments is being names to the GKAR Board of REALTORS Top 100 Agents five times in the past seven years. Ethel loves being a wife, mom, and grandma. Cooking is her passion, and she loves to create new recipes and experiment with new dishes. Nothing makes Ethel happier than being in the kitchen cooking with her children. Ethel would one day love to open her own food truck. BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY | 269.267.0515 | | 30

She Means Business 2021



President of Pest Pros

Wildlife Operations Manager

Maria serves as the President of Pest Pros and has led a career in several different roles within the pest control industry. She is on a mission to create a better quality of life for people which is reflected in how she does business with her clients and supports her team. Under Maria’s leadership, Pest Pros prioritizes their commitment to people by creating jobs where employees have unlimited potential to create the path they desire. One of her goals is to become a Best & Brightest Company to Work For. This results in excellent customer service and contributes to her passion of positively impacting the greater good and community. In her opinion, Pest control is an added advantage to society but isn’t the sole reason she wakes up to come to work every day. Maria immerses herself in leadership activities allowing her to be a resource for entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact in the world. One of her goals is to become a Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by creating a work environment where people want to be. When Maria isn’t working on the business, you will find her reading a book, hanging with her husband, kids and furry friends.

Kendel serves as the Wildlife Operations Manager for Pest Pros, which is perfectly aligned with her love for animals. She is full of ideas and a rockstar when it comes to accountability. Kendel is dedicated to her purpose of helping people grow and develop by coaching others to their own level of success. Going above and beyond the call of duty is something Kendel does often, like, when she took her tip money to help a customer because it was the right thing to do. She enjoys working at Pest Pros because of the camaraderie and the way people support each other and show up as their best selves. In her free time, you will most often find her spending time with her friends, family and sweet dog, Diggs.


GPC Operations & Technical Training Manager Amber serves as the General Pest Operations Manager and oversees the residential division by leading onboarding and training initiatives for the team. Amber’s superpower is building relationships by being a leader for her team and working closely with customers to solve their problems. Customer service is second nature for her and she will regularly go beyond with service; like helping someone change a tire on the side of the road while en route. She enjoys working at Pest Pros with like-minded people on the same mission with goals and an unstoppable vision. She is proud to be minimizing stigmas in the pest control industry as a woman. Amber is extremely family oriented and loves spending time with her dog, Eleven.


Customer Service & Scheduling Specialist

Taylor is the most recent addition to the Pest Pros team and serves as the Customer Service and Scheduling Specialist. She is currently finishing up her associate’s degree and is planning to explore opportunities in several different areas. She is exceptionally intelligent and has had several roles where she excelled in customer service. By nature, she is responsible and loves to take care of people, especially, her younger siblings. She enjoys working at Pest Pros because she likes the functions of an office setting and appreciates the autonomous internal culture. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, shopping and hanging out with her friends.

269.993.0051 5068 S Sprinkle Rd Portage, MI

She Means Business 2021


Alicia Pauwels Lead Graphic Designer

Graphic design ties together two things Alicia is passionate about: art & problem-solving. She enjoys the challenge of pulling together pieces of information & transforming them into something that is enjoyable to look at & easy to digest. She loves her work! And as the graphic designer at Moxie, it’s her job to combine those elements to stay true to the brand: Fresh, Fun, and Fabulous. Alicia was raised in Muskegon, MI and earned her BFA at Central Michigan University. After her career took her to New Jersey, then Florida, her love for her home state brought her back to Michigan. Besides her work on Moxie Magazine, she also works as a Graphic Designer for FireKeepers Casino Hotel. When she finds a moment between projects, she loves walking her dogs, Tenny and Lefty; painting; photographing events; listening to books & podcasts; & spending time with her family (she is a proud aunt to four so far).


KELLY DUGGAN Image Consulting, LLC, offers a total image service, including executive presence development, personal brand strategy and careerinterview readiness, through coaching, speaking and consulting. Additional services include signature style and wardrobe development, personal shopping and eyewear selection service for men and women.

Kelly Duggan

Founder & President

Kelly is an award-winning image consultant. Her passion: to help clients realize the power they have in themselves, develop their inner poise and confidence, and position themselves strategically for greater professional and personal success. “I help my clients authentically and strategically think, feel and present their very best.” In addition, Kelly is an independent stylist with J.Hilburn Menswear.


She Means Business 2021

Kim Yancey

Graphic Designer Fine Art Photographer I’m a Texan- born girl who found her home in Kalamazoo. As a professional freelance graphic designer, I help my clients communicate clearly by transforming their vision into effective design. My twenty-plus years in the printing industry have given me the opportunity to complete many projects, like corporate logos and branding, packaging, book covers, magazines, bridal suites, restaurant menus, billboards, advertisements and marketing materials. I have also provided professional photography for commercial and personal uses, as well as producing fine art photography for exhibition and sale. I love creating and learning new things while sharing ancey concepts and ideas with others. I’m inspired reatives by music, nature, architecture and travel. I am grateful for my many blessings and would love to be a part of your next project.


K YANCEY CREATIVES | 616.581.7641 |


Mary Beth Lyons





A Single Ray of Hope, LLC is a yo trusted and insured Personal S yo Assistant & Concierge Service in that has been serving southwest liv Michigan for 13 years. Do you A SINGLE RAY OF HOPE I 269-7 ever wish you could wave a magic wand and all tasks on your to-do list were already done? Wait no more! Schedule a consultation with Mary Beth to learn how you can Reclaim Your Time Today! Warning: Benefits include breathing easier, having peace of mind, and living longer and happier lives. A SINGLE RAY OF HOPE | 269.720.7605

As one of the leading arts organizations in Michigan and the Midwest, the mission of the KIA is to promote and cultivate the creation and appreciation of visual arts. Through the museum, the collection, fine arts library, Kirk Newman Art School, programs, events, and the Gallery Shop, art is abundant at the KIA. Staff at the KIA believe that art is for everyone and by offering unique exhibitions, like Unveiling American Genius, the reimagination of the permanent collection, the KIA reflects its diverse, intergenerational community. Half of the works in Unveiling American Genius are by women artists and artists of color. The KIA’s leadership team is predominantly women, who bring their own expertise and experiences to achieve a shared goal: making sure the KIA is a place for creativity to thrive..

Belinda Tate

Denise Lisiecki

Rehema Barber

Kimberly Earnshaw

Belinda Tate, Executive Director for 7 years, leads from a place of equality, community, and innovation. Tate honors the KIA’s traditions while embracing the ever-changing landscape of the arts. She is the first woman director of the KIA and one of only 5 African American individuals leading a large mainstream American art museum in the country. Her leadership has been recognized regionally and nationally.

Denise Lisiecki became the first woman director of the KIA’s Kirk Newman Art School (KNAS) in 1996. A celebrated painter herself, Lisiecki helped the KNAS flourish with a robust faculty of expert instructors, hundreds of onsite and online classes, and thousands of students walking through the doors each and every year. The KNAS is a leading community-based arts school and houses Michigan’s largest PostBaccalaureate Artist Residency.

Chief Curator, Rehema Barber, is a key creative driver behind the museum’s gallery content. She maintains the KIA’s impressive permanent collection of 5,000 objects. Barber conveys her passion for art by using her expertise and national network of artists and professionals to bring the highest caliber exhibitions to the KIA. Her inclination for innovation results in engaging and educational exhibitions, collections, and learning opportunities for our region.

The Director of Advancement does what the title implies… advances the museum’s mission in the community and beyond. Kimberly Earnshaw keeps the KIA on the map, locally and nationally, through marketing strategies, fundraising initiatives, memberships, grants, and more. Her team supports our local and global communities of followers, helping all to benefit from the power of art.

Executive Director

Director of KNAS

Chief Curator

Director of Advancement

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS | 269.349.7775 | 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo | She Means Business 2021


Unusual Gemstones Doug Mitchell Diamond Doug is Owner/Artist at UniQ Jewelry Gallery. More info:


he world is full of colored gems and for centuries civilizations have created immaculate jewelry and artwork from them. Fast-forward to today, step inside any jewelry store and you’ll see plenty of Sapphires, Diamonds, Emeralds, Opals, and Amethyst (just to name a few). What you may not know (or maybe you do), is that there is a plethora of unusual, unique, and astonishing gemstones no one talks about enough! As your admitted, committed, colored-stone junkie, I’m here to showcase some of the mesmerizing gemstones you probably haven’t heard of before!


September 2021

Morganite Like emerald and aquamarine, morganite is part of the beryl mineral family. However, unlike emeralds, which tend to have a lot of inclusions, morganite gemstones are relatively free of inclusions, making them more eye-appealing and easier to care for. Morganite is actually more rare than aquamarine. The gemstone is favored for its pink to orange-pink color, which is caused by trace amounts of the element manganese. Like other colored gemstones, a morganite’s color is the most important quality factor when determining value. The most valuable morganite gemstones are the ones that feature an intense pick to a magenta color. In 1910, morganite was first discovered in Madagascar. Today, this island is a minor producer of gemstone but still sets the standard for some of the highest quality morganite available. Morganite was named after American financier J.P. Morgan, who was an avid gem collector. Shortly after morganite’s initial discovery, George Kunz, who was the chief gemologist for Tiffany and Company, suggested that the gemstone be named after his friend to thank him for his financial support to the arts and sciences. With a rating between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, Morganite is a great suitor for long-lasting jewelry. Morganite is believed to alleviate stress and

anxiety, increase patience, improve productivity, and better one’s communication skills.

Vanadinite Vanadinite is an uncommon mineral, only occurring as the result of chemical alterations to a pre-existing material. It is therefore known as a secondary mineral. It is found in arid climates and forms by oxidation of primary lead minerals. Vanadinite is especially found in association with lead sulfide during mining. It was originally discovered in Mexico by the Spanish mineralogist Andrés Manuel del Río in 1801. He called the mineral “brown lead” and asserted that it contained a new element, which he first named pancuronium and later, erythronium. However, he was later led to believe that this was not a new element but merely an impure form of chromium. Deposits of vanadinite are found worldwide including Austria, Spain, Scotland, the Ural Mountains, South Africa, Namibia, Morocco, Argentina, Mexico, and 4 states of the United States: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and South Dakota.

© Géry PARENT, Vanadinite, barytine, 16 December 2012,

Moldavite Moldavite is an olive-green or dull greenish vitreous substance believed to have been formed by a meteorite impact about 14.8 million years ago! Most specimens are found strewn throughout that area. It was named by Armand Dufrénoy for the town of Moldauthein in Bohemia (the Czech Republic), where it occurs. It is sometimes cut and polished as an ornamental stone under the name of pseudo-chrysolite. Moldavite is one of the most popular objects for metaphysical users and healers. Moldavite is a talisman of spiritual awakening, transformation, and evolutionary growth. Its effects vary widely, from mild to almost overwhelming, from physical cleansings to spiritual breakthroughs — yet the common denominator seems to be the revitalization and acceleration of one’s path of personal evolution.

Every gemstone in all shapes and sizes comes with its own one-of-a-kind beauty and lore. For those looking for the perfect stone to complement their style, I invite you to come to see the vast collection of gemstones beyond your wildest dreams. We’re not your traditional jewelry store expect the unexpected.

September 2021




From coaching you through my Home Readiness Program to ensure the highest market returns, to being diligent in my every move to get your offer accepted, no one works harder to help you achieve all your real estate goals. I LOOK FORWARD TO GUIDING YOU HOME. Ethel Wilkey-Downs, REALTOR® Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Michigan Real Estate



September 2021


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September 2021






ummer is winding down, and the kids are slowly getting back to school -hooray! Whether you are over homeschooling or working from home, we can all agree that a great glass of wine is the perfect way to end your long day! One of my long-time favorite wineries is St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw.

ST. JULIAN WINERY just so happens to be celebrating its 100th year in business in 2021. For One Hundred years, St. Julian winery has piloted the Michigan wine industry as the oldest, largest, and most-awarded winery in the state. While production is right here in Paw Paw, St. Julian Winery has six tasting rooms located across the state: Paw Paw, Union Pier, Dundee, Troy, Frankenmuth, and Rockford.

Their Story In 1921, Italian immigrant Mariano Meconi founded The Meconi Wine Company in Ontario, Canada. After Prohibition’s repeal, Mariano moved to Detroit with the business and renamed it the Italian Wine Company. In 1936 the name was changed again - this time to St. Julian Wine Co. This name change coincided with a move to our current location in Paw Paw, MI, which sits in Michigan’s premier grape-growing region; The Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. To read the FULL story, visit


September 2021

St. Julian Wine Co. has been owned and operated by the same family for FOUR generations. Their passion for local farms, real Michigan fruit, and the production of quality wine and juice has been upheld for 100 years. This long-term commitment to quality fruit from Michigan has made them the MOST-AWARDED WINERY IN MICHIGAN. St. Julian’s portfolio doesn’t just include award-winning wines; it also includes over 100 products including ciders, every type of wine from internationally recognized dry wines to sweet wines, dessert wines, and spirits! Since 1998 St. Julian has been producing some of the finest spirits, many of which are made from grapes. Their line

of spirits includes vodka, rum, award-winning brandies, and recently, Bourbon!

St. Julian keeps expanding and has some of the largest silos that can hold 70,000 gallons of juice per silo. Some of, if not the largest, in the country.

Today the Braganini family continues to perfect the tradition of winemaking. Winemakers Nancie Oxley and Kyle Totzke are considered some of the most experienced, creative, and talented in the industry. Nancie, the first female winemaker in Michigan, has a wealth of experience and Nancie Oxley, Kyle Totzke & Kristin Kohane has been with the company since 2002. Kyle comes from a Southwest Michigan wine grape growing family that dates back hundreds of years and compliments Nancie as they continue to harvest awards and medals in competitions. Kristin Kohane is the skilled enologist who runs the chemical testing on the wines, ensuring the quality and consistency of St. Julian products.

They have added two additional since my visit to equal four silos! Very impressive, and I love that this family-owned company has grown for decades and still continues to grow. Visit their website to find out how to sign up for their wine club, where you can score shipping for One Cent! Stay tuned for their favorite Fall wines, dessert wines, spirits, and more! I love nothing more than supporting local, especially when it’s on this level. AND, IT’S WINE…


Rachel Kirtley Rachel has worked in all levels of the food industry for over a decade. She is currently a Social Media Influencer, Content Creator and Restaurant Reviewer. You can visit her at

Visit the local St. Julian location in Paw Paw for wine and spirit tasting, purchasing bottles, and more! I was honored to tour the facility to see the entire winemaking process, from grapes from the vineyards to the barrel.

St. Julian Winery tasting room locations:

Apollo Braganini II, Sarah Braganini, John Braganini & Dario Braganini

• Paw Paw • Union Pier • Troy

• Dundee • Frankenmuth • Rockford

September 2021





Farmer’s Pork Chops 8 boneless pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick) 8

medium potatoes

1/2 medium onion 1

cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt 1/3 cup vegetable oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Peel potatoes; slice 1/4 inch thick and cover with cold water. Slice onion into very thin slices, and then cut the slices in half. Drain potatoes; layer half the potatoes in a well-greased 15×10 inch casserole dish. Scatter half of the onion slices on top of potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with remaining potatoes and onions. Cover potatoes with white sauce (below). Cover casserole dish with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes on high or bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Sprinkled seasoned salt on pork chops and dredge chops in one cup flour and salt and pepper. Lightly brown chops in vegetable oil. Do not cook them completely. As chops are removed from frying pan, lay them on top of potatoes. Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes. The juices from the pork chops will drip down into the potatoes. Serve with your favorite vegetable for a delicious dinner.


September 2021


tablespoons (1stick) butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 4

cups milk

1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded 1 - 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 - ¾ teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup chopped chives

Melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup flour; add salt and pepper. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly. Add milk, 1 cup at a time. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add in shredded cheddar. Reduce heat and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, then let stand at least 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in parsley or chives, if desired.


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September 2021





Milk Chocolate and Dried Cherry Cookies

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup unsalted butter plus 3 Tbsp, softened ½ cup white sugar ¾ cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract 1 cup dried cherries 1 (12-ounce) bag milk chocolate chips Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Beat the unsalted butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time; beat in the vanilla extract and almond extract with the last egg. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips, mixing just enough to evenly combine. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 375 F until browned around the edges, 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes; remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


September 2021

September 2021



JOIN US FOR A DAY OF FREE FAMILY FUN! Kalamazoo County Expo Center 2900 Lake Street | Kalamazoo, MI

• Bounce house & obstacle course • Heroes and characters who love to engage and pose for photos • Rocking musical performances

• Trick-or-Treating • Kid’s costume contest • Princess story time • Face painting


VENDORS: There is still time to reserve your booth for the 2021 Expo (269) 488-9780 | |