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Singing her way to the top

Posted By Judy Goss, Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2016

It always makes my heart soar when I see a woman succeed in her own way with her own style, and for the past few years I have watched singer/songwriter Tiffany Carlen from Fort Worth, Texas do just that in the world of country music.

Her debut album "It's a Girl Thing" captures the heart of who she is - "Sultry. Strong. Sexy. Often fearless yet humbly bashful, she writes with passion and honesty." It appeals to women of all ages, and although I've heard some women don't like to be called "girl" anymore (not sure why?) I love that I never stop feeling like a girl on the inside. 

Maybe we should all be a little less serious, especially around the holidays...I know I smiled when I saw "It's a Girl Thing" for more than one reason. Take a listen and support our songbird member Tiffany Carlen as she quickly moves to the top of the country music charts in the New Year:

 

http://www.tiffanycarlen.com/

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True Leaders Are Selfless.

Posted By Judy Goss, Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I'm always impressed when someone reaches out to help others with no other intention in mind but to, well, HELP.

That is the mindset of our new Over 40 Female of the Month, Leslie Neiditz.

I'm partial to Leslie - full disclosure - she was one of my best chapter directors for almost three years at our Hartford, Connecticut Chapter. She opened with almost 90 women attending her launch, and was gracious and giving to every single one of the women attending. Little did I know that that was at the heart of Leslie Neiditz, being open and kind to all she meets, besides being an incredibly successful businesswoman in her own right and a loving Mom of two children.

Her background as a lawyer makes her sharp and knowledgeable on endless subjects, and her tight-knit family strengthens the bond that she has with people in general. What has really tugged at me over the years is the way she reaches out to people in need, whether she knows them or not. We hadn't spoken in quite awhile when my father passed away last year, and out of the blue she messaged me and commented on a photo that I had posted of him on Facebook. She didn't say "so sorry for your loss" or what you would typically say in a situation like that, but she commented on how "sweet" he looked and I thought that was so introspective of her to say about my Dad. And there are others whose lives she has touched over the years whose stories have gotten back to me, and I feel like we all really need to hear about people like Leslie in the midst of all the sensationalized stories that keep hitting us every day in the press. There are others like Leslie too, and they make the world a better and more positive place, one step at a time. 

Leslie is an uber successful Arbonne Representative, if you would like to learn more please visit her page: Arbonne.com

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Taking More Than One Leap Leads to Success

Posted By Judy Goss, Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"What happens when you combine a career in corporate America, an MBA from a top business school and improv comedy?" 

Lisa Fey happens, and she made a unique career combining these talents and experience that I both admire and respect. I have met her a few times in person and Lisa is the type of person that walks in a room and takes charge - not in a bossy way, but in a way that somehow connects the dots between people with her warmth and energy. I am thrilled to have Lisa as our "Over 40 Female of the Summer" - she is not only highly motivated, a successful business woman and an incredibly talented speaker, but she has all the makings of a role model that women everywhere should aspire to. Here is her background:

"Lisa began her corporate career in 1985 when she was recruited off the campus of The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill as a sales associate for The Coca-Cola Company.   At her first big business meeting, she realized there was no line at the ladies room!  During her 30-year tenure, she held leadership roles within customer management, marketing, and capability building.  Her career path took her all over the US and the world seeding key sales technologies. This broad experience enabled her to shape her thought ware around driving performance.

Always learning – Lisa began her MBA two weeks after she had brain surgery.  She graduated with honors from Emory University while working full time.  Next she discovered improv comedy and tried her hand at stand-up.

Her desire to start her own company was grounded in her work coaching others to increase their performance and find their ‘place’ to best use talents while increasing personal satisfaction. Taking the name from her work to catch people doing things right, Atta Girl LLC was born.

Atta Girl is a company focused on speaking, facilitating and consulting to support people working to reach their maximum potential. Lisa’s work is targeted on developing people, processes and tools to enable greater efficiency and effectiveness. She helps her clients understand their business challenges and identify solutions. She describes her role as helping others understand how to do more, better, faster. Lisa’s focus is to create positive change and growth.

While at Coke, Lisa helped to found the women’s linc – the first and largest employee affinity group at The Coca-Cola Company as well as serving on the Diversity Advisory Council. She has served on the Board of The Executive Women of Goizueta at Emory University and currently serves on The Board of Visitors at UNC – Chapel Hill."

To find out more about Lisa Fey please visit: www.LisaFey.com

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It's Not So Bad After 40!

Posted By Judy Goss, Monday, September 12, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Yes, we have our aches and pains, yes our weight has shifted in places we didn’t know it could go, yes, we go through hot flashes, reading glasses and all kinds of other crazy adjustments during this time, but you know what? It’s not so bad after all and Dr. Robi Ludwig takes the "old-age" paradigm and turns it around in her new book “Your Best Age is NOW.”

Dr. Ludwig draws on her extensive background and research as a psychotherapist and explains in her book how THIS is the time to pursue our dreams, embrace a youthful mindset, start new ventures and even find a new soulmate. She gives us hope, insight and understanding as to how to accomplish these things and more. It’s a highly motivating read, purposeful and encouraging, with the passion of a true Over 40 Female spirit.

Thank you Dr. Ludwig, for not only reminding us that being over the age of 40, 50, 60 and beyond is not so bad after all, but for also showing the generations following us that it can be a very exciting time if we let it.

Dr. Robi Ludwig is a nationally known psychotherapist and award winning reporter. She has been appearing on broadcast media since 1997, and is sought after for her psychological insights on a wide range of topics. She is currently a relationship contributor for Investigation Discovery Network's Scorned, which presents reenactment and analysis of marital homicide stories. She also hosted two seasons of TLC's reality show, "One Week to Save Your Marriage" as well as , GSN's reality game show, "Without Prejudice?".

Dr. Ludwig is a regular on CNN, Headline News and The Fox News Channel and Nightline where she talks about psychological/lifestyle issues as well as the criminal mind. She also appears on national shows such as: ET, TODAY, 20/20, ABC World News, The View, Fox and Friends, The Steve Harvey Show, Wendy Williams, Neil Cavuto, Hannity, helping audiences and guests alike to understand the complexities of the human condition.


Her book, 'Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage and the Mind of the Killer Spouse, written with Matt Birkbeck is published with Atria books. It came out March in 2006.

In the late 1990's she worked as a psychology reporter for WETM-TV, the NBC affiliate in Elmira, New York. She wrote, produced and hosted Real Talk, a weekly live call-in show covering psychological and self-help topics.

Her practical experience as a psychotherapist began in 1988 when she worked as a counselor for patients with severe psychiatric disorders. In both clinical settings and in her private practice, she has treated all forms of mental illness, substance abuse, grieving, sexual identity issues, job stress, emotional and sexual abuse problems as well as the more common social and parenting issues.

Dr. Ludwig's academic credentials include a doctorate in psychology (Psy.D) from California Southern University; she holds a post-masters certificate in advanced clinical work from Hunter College, a masters degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in mass communications from Cedar Crest College
 

 

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"I'm the One That's Humbled"

Posted By Judy Goss, Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Who knew making gift baskets for a company while working as a paralegal would turn into the most rewarding entrepreneurial career imaginable?

Stacy Berkowitz was with a friend who had a double mastectomy, and she got a gift basket delivered to her home while recovering.  Stacy happened to be there with her friend at the time, and she turned to her teary-eyed and said “Would you like to take this home?” Stacy looked around to the mountain of fruit baskets in her home, and suggested she give it to her family. But her friend looked at her and explained that part of the side effects of chemotherapy was nausea, and the fruit not only made her nauseous but also added to the sensitivity inside her mouth that she was getting from the treatments.

Stacy felt horrible – her friend was supposed to be enjoying these beautiful expressions of love! This woman actually felt guilty for not appreciating these gifts and needing to give them away – can you imagine? In addition to her fighting for her life, trying to keep the kids’ morale up, grappling with work and everything else that goes along with this awful nightmare, it was not something Stacy felt her friend should be worrying about.

So Stacy took the basket home and thought long and hard about how she could make her friend feel better. She went online and started to look for something to put together for her friend, something she could use to pamper her, to inspire her to get well. 

Like a good entrepreneur does, Stacy did her research – with phone calls to cancer survivors asking them what they went through and how she could help her friend and looking around for things she could find in stores to help or soothe her in some way. She put together a basket that not only had products that would be practical to use for her friend’s treatments but would also take care of her in ways she may not have thought of in addition to thoughtful notes to explain what everything was for.

Stacy went back to her friend and gave her the first basket she made for a patient battling the nightmare of cancer and that, of course, led to “can you make me a basket for a friend?” from many others and she turned all the requests into her own company that she now calls “ROCK the Treatment” which ships baskets everywhere.  

Stacy puts in her baskets items like “Queasy Pops,” “Cozy Warm Socks” and Dionis Goat Milk Skincare, which is for the dry skin that chemo patients tend to get and doesn’t have a scent to those who are sensitive to smell, which is another side effect. The list goes on and on of thoughtful products for patients, both adult and children tailor made strictly for patients with cancer.

If that’s not enough, Stacy gives back to cancer organizations like “Hair We Share” which creates wigs for children with cancer, as well as other organizations that support cancer patients. Her thoughtful baskets empower and inspire people all over the country, and we’re proud to have Stacy as an integral part of Over 40 Females!

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A Prison Sentence for a Crime She Didn't Commit Made This Woman SPEAK UP

Posted By Judy Goss, Sunday, March 6, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Try spending time in prison - Riker's Island, no less - for a crime you didn’t commit. 

 

This was the case (no pun intended) of Jennifer Wilkov, founder of the Speak Up Women Conference, who was put in prison for a white collar crime she didn’t commit.

No, really.

I am so completely convinced that the way we learn about life is through each other’s stories, and our latest Over 40 Female of the Month's story is the perfect example of just that. Motivating, encouraging and compassionate, Jennifer’s mission is to make sure that every woman not only has a place to speak up, but also teaches them how to do it.

I was honored to be one of the panel moderators at Jennifer’s Speak Up Women conference at the United Nations in New York City this past weekend, for one of her panel sessions called “How to Speak Up and What’s Holding You Back.” The conference was an invigorating and inspiring assemblage of women from all different industries, from finance to fashion to media personalities and more. We were a pleasantly diverse mix of backgrounds along with a healthy dose of “millennials” who rounded out the roster with their curiosity and candor.

Jennifer should be lauded for her extraordinary passion for helping women understand themselves and each other. And for most importantly, letting it be known that we should not only speak up for ourselves, but for each other. In the middle of the event, she announced her crusade for TheWaterBearers.org, a foundation that brings clean water to women who don’t have it. Their mission is: “To inspire women who have access to clean water – to get it to those who do not!” Can we get clean water to one million people in the next month? As Jennifer mentioned, together we can make a difference – and if anyone can do it, Jennifer can.  

TO DONATE CLICK HERE

It’s no coincidence that Jennifer’s prison sentence has now made her a leader in freeing women from their innate hesitation to speak up for themselves, and also for women who don’t have the opportunity. Maybe with Jennifer’s work, someday EVERY woman will not be afraid to be heard, and will be able to “speak up” with the pride, passion and confidence that we deserve.

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A Fashionista’s Fascinating Mix of Health, Wealth and Philanthropy

Posted By Judy Goss, Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It never ceases to amaze me that I continually meet women in their 50’s 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s that are still inspired by life and at the same time, still inspiring the world with their passions. From the 89-year old woman that goes to the same Pilates school I do, to Theresa Roemer, who at the age of 40 won the U.S. Open title in bodybuilding and at age 50 climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the children of Child Legacy International, I applaud these women for their vigor and zest for life.

Theresa has the largest closet in America – no, really – and uses it for philanthropic events. She is passionate about getting people healthy and strong, especially women over 40, and teaches them how to do this through her new book “NAKED in 30 Days.”

Life wasn’t always so glamorous for Theresa though, and here is how she got her start and what she is up to now:

“Theresa Roemer grew up on a farm in Nebraska. While her childhood friends were busy being kids, Theresa did odd jobs to make money.  She was always looking for the next entrepreneurial challenge whether it be delivering newspapers or mowing lawns.  This strong work ethic has served Theresa well; she is a multi-millionaire with several businesses.

Theresa’s passion for health and helping people started as a young age. As a child Theresa was diagnosed with rheumatic fever many times over, which caused her to have a heart murmur; she was sickly and her doctors diagnosed her with a lifetime of physical constraints. Determined to prove the doctors wrong, Theresa began her lifelong journey to stay active, healthy, and physically fit. 

Theresa opened her chain of fitness centers, Body by Design in Wyoming in 1991 and ran five facilities through 2000, while also providing personal training services through her company Phenomenal Physiques during this time. She took the U.S. Open title in body-building at the age of 40, and in the year 2010 Theresa held the titles of Mrs. Houston U.A., Mrs. Texas U.A., and was the 1st runner up for Mrs. United America concurrently. In 2011 Theresa climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for Child Legacy International.

In addition to being the CEO of Theresa Roemer, LLC, owning several home goods companies, and being a fitness expert, Theresa is also a highly sought after corporate philanthropist. As an expert in business philanthropy, Theresa works regularly with major motion pictures; television studios, corporations and high profile brands to expand their philanthropic reach to raise millions of dollars through business charity events. Theresa consults with organizations such as LVMH to understand their business goals with fundraising, and then turns those objectives into a reality with her ability to produce high-impact business fundraising events.”

 

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Starting Over International Style

Posted By Judy Goss, Sunday, January 3, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Petra Contrada is our November Over 40 Female of the Month originally from Cologne, Germany.

She was a delight to interview and has a story that spans from Europe to the USA and taught me yet another perspective on the tragedy of 9/11 – she had just arrived in the United States nine days before and went through (like so many of us) the shock of having to find her footing again in business and her personal life. I remember what I experienced, but being new to this country must have been such a different way of trying to survive.

Petra moved her whole family from Germany to the United States in 2001. She left a very good job in Germany to take another one in the States with a former employer who she knew and trusted. Nine days after arriving in the States with family in tow, 9/11 happened and she was laid off in the aftermath 6 month later.  Her american husband didn’t have a job immediately, her daughter was entering kindergarten and she found herself in a foreign country that was not her home, without any income and no prospects.

Did she get upset? Of course. Was she concerned about the well-being of her family? Very much so. Did she pick herself up and keep moving forward? Absolutely.

She changed careers and after a brief stint selling advertising that she wasn’t altogether happy doing, she moved on to real estate. And even that wasn’t an immediate success. She found she had to meet the right person to get her moving forward in that industry, but move forward she did.

Petra said that her friends liken her to the “Weeble” that doesn’t fall down and keeps bouncing back up. Petra passionately says “Never give up. Winston Churchill says ‘Never, never give up.’ Keep moving forward and have a clear goal in mind that you will succeed, that was a big lesson I learned after 9/11.”

Now Petra is a highly successful real estate agent serving clients in Westchester, New York and Fairfield CT at Keller Williams NY Realty and is an avid supporter of the Anthroposophical Society of America.

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Honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Activist Dr. Diane LoRusso

Posted By Judy Goss, Sunday, December 6, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This month we are honoring a female owned medical practice in Rye, New York, called “Rye Radiology” who not only manages a successful business but dedicates her time to breast cancer research in several different ways:

Dr. Diane LoRusso co-founded Rye Radiology Associates, LLP. She graduated Cum Laude from New York University with additional honors in mathematics. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society. She graduated from SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, Cum Laude, where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society, and received the Roche Scholastic Award. Dr. LoRusso was Chief Resident in diagnostic radiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was an attending radiologist there for one and a half years following her residency. Dr. LoRusso currently holds a clinical appointment at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

 

Dr. LoRusso has a special interest in mammography and breast cancer detection. She has been the New York State Breast Cancer Spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, is a former director of the Westchester American Cancer Society and has been chairperson of the American Cancer Society Westchester Division Breast Cancer Task Force. She has spoken on national television, on radio talk shows and to women’s groups about the importance of mammography screening. Dr. LoRusso has been named by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., as one of the “Best Doctors” consecutively from 2001 to 2015. Dr. LoRusso has been included in the New York Magazine publication of the region’s “Best Doctors” from 2001 to 2007 and in Westchester Magazine’s publication from 2006 to 2015.

 

Dr. LoRusso became board certified by the American Board of Radiology in 1974, and is a member of the American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America, Society of Breast Imaging, Metropolitan Breast Group and Westchester County Medical Society.

 

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An International Singing Sensation After 40

Posted By Judy Goss, Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, February 3, 2016

One of the most inspiring things to me is seeing women follow their dream no matter what.

And one of the most encouraging things is when women do it no matter what age they are, in a highly competitive field – and succeed.

Liz Gabriel. a Business Member from our Fairfield Over 40 Females Chapter, was inspired to perform her singing-songwriting on the streets of Prague after the age of 40 and is now building a very successful career from her passion within – here is her story in her words:

“I am Liz Gabriel. I found myself as a Singer Songwriter in the Adult Alternative genre by writing 40+ titles on "classical music row" in Prague, Czech Republic, where I had the incredible privilege of residing in the home of an historic Czech Composer for 3 years.

Most commonly likened in sound to Tori Amos and Kate Bush style artists, my upbringing in south Texas also lends a veiled simmering in southern gospel and a pop writing style that occasionally crosses over to folk or country. A recent listener says, “…you need to write a modern musical, there was something very evocative and theatrical about it…” I already have. After sharing my music with industry professionals with whom I had previous affiliations in the US, and working with noteworthy musicians in Prague, I was encouraged to take my music to the street and I began performing my dramatic tunes as a solo vocal/piano Artist on the busy tourist thoroughfare that we lived on in Prague. In a short time I was being hired to play in local establishments; and within a year and a half, I was entertaining corporate executives at organized global events on a grand piano in a soaring hotel lobby venue and conference center on the Vltava River.

On the heels of landing my largest gig, a grand opening for a Czech Designer who had hosted spots on local TV, we were faced with an abrupt ending to my Husband’s corporate stint which originally took us there; and thus, we were uprooted and moved back to the States in August, 2013, barely in time for my son and daughter to enter high school. Upon my return, I was compelled by a Nashville Producer to lay down some rhythm tracks, after which I chose to complete a 6-title EP, Velveteen, in a highly collaborative arrangement with New York Area Producer and Audio Engineer, Nick Bariluk. Nick has a recording and performing history with Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Tina Turner, and a Jazz Duo that performed in the White House. It is a privilege to have his amazing musical contributions on the record.

As a matter of purpose in what I am doing, I have been told that my songs are healing: “…tears were streaming down my face…”. Though I do not see myself vying for song placements among many mainstream venues, I do believe music is powerful for repairing breaches and restoring souls and that there is something unique being offered through me as a Vessel. It is my hope that your time of listening or attending a Liz Gabriel event will pull you into a reverent place of soulful fulfillment and laughter and hope for whatever drives and inspires you.

For 2015, I plan to release a couple of powerful singles: a one-off R&B knee-jerk reaction to our move back to the USA and an orchestral cinematic ballad. I also hope to return to Prague to record an acoustic themed album titled “Prague”, which will be joyfully dedicated it to that magical city of dreams.”

Please visit Liz and hear her music here: http://www.lizgabriel.com

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